Who are we?

In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

What was a Gentile? (Eph. 2:12)

Paul lists three spiritual benefits that Gentiles did not have: the Messiah, the commonwealth of Israel and the covenants of promise, with the consequences that they were without hope and without God in the world.

When Paul says that they had no hope, he does not mean that they were not optimistic about their abilities or about their future. Rather he means that they did not possess the hope that Israel had, which he states elsewhere was the hope of the resurrection (Acts 24:13-15).

The Gentiles were also without God in the world. This does not mean that they were not religious nor that they did not believe in a god or gods, for they had pantheons of gods. This verse is a reminder that other religions do not lead to God.

What a sad picture of the Gentile world. William Hendriksen summarises Paul’s description of the Gentiles as Christless, stateless, friendless, hopeless and godless. As we contemplate these features of deprived blessings and hopeless living, we should remind ourselves that they describe Gentiles today as much as the Gentiles of Paul’s day.

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