“Don’t forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders. You were called “uncircumcised heathens” by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts. In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope. But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.”
Ephesians 2:11-13 NLT
Once we were lost and without hope. As Gentiles (non Jewish) we were outcasts and considered pagans. We were not part of God's remnant. Many of the Jewish people thought they were God's children just because they were circumcised. Circumcision was the covenant seal given to Abraham in Genesis 17:9-14. Every Jewish male had to be circumcised, including servants who were their possession. This act became their identity. They relied upon this outward procedure as their salvation and became arrogant as a result. Comparing themselves to Gentiles they felt superior. Yes, God had chosen them as a people. Yes, they had received the Abrahamic Covenant. The problem was simple. They became reliant upon the fleshly seal rather than the giver of the Covenant. They missed the point. They thought they were God's children simply because of a religious ritual. Everyone outside of that practice were identified as heathens. Yes, the Gentile populous was filled with heathenism but God did not hate them. He wanted mankind to know His mercy, grace, and love. The problem with the Jewish perspective was that they considered themselves to be superior as God's people. Many today in religion deem themselves God's children through religious acts. They think they are superior to others simply because they are religious. That is a terrible mistake. Going to church and calling ourselves by our denominational distinctions are empty proclamations without truly knowing Jesus Christ. We are God's children through our trust in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. We cannot classify ourselves by our genealogy or religious affiliation. We must classify ourselves only under one name - Jesus Christ. He has bought our redemption by His blood. Whether we are Jew or Gentile, Methodist, Baptist, Nazarene, or Pentecostal only one thing matters: Knowing Jesus as Savior and Lord!
Rev. Curtis Norris