TO BE SPECIFIC,
THAT THE GENTILES ARE FELLOW HEIRS AND FELLOW MEMBERS OF THE BODY: einai
(PAN) ta ethne sugkleronoma kai sussoma: (Ep 2:13-22; Romans
8:15, 16, 17; Galatians 3:26, 27, 28, 29; 4:5, 6, 7) (Ep 4:15,16; 5:30;
Romans 12:4,5; 1Corinthians 12:12,27; Colossians 2:19)
Paul coins 3 words (2 of which are used no where else
in the NT) to make the mystery
known = The Gentiles are now...
1) Fellow Heirs (joint heirs)
2) Fellow Members of the Body (joint bodies)
3) Fellow Partakers of the Promise (joint partakers)
To be specific
- added by the translators.
(eimi) explains the content of the Spirit's revelation. The
contents of the mystery are a fact, not a purpose. The believing
Gentiles are fellow-heirs, etc, with the believing Jews.
“That the Gentiles were to be saved
was no mystery (Ro 9:24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33; 10:19, 20, 21). The mystery ‘hid in God’ was
the divine purpose to make of Jew and Gentile a wholly new thing—‘the
Church, which is His (Christ’s) body,’ formed by the baptism with the
Holy Spirit (1Cor 12:12, 13) and in which the earthly distinction of Jew
and Gentile disappears (Ep 2:!4, 15-note,
Col 3:10, 11-note).
The revelation of this mystery, which was foretold but not explained by
Christ (Mt. 16:18), was committed to Paul. In his writings alone we find
the doctrine, position, walk, and destiny of the Church.” (Scofield
(ethnos) refers to non-Jews or the heathen and when preceded by
the definite article ("the") in Greek, means "the
nations" which is synonymous with the
Gentiles a description implying those who practice
idolatry and are ignorant of the true and living God. Remember that all
of mankind can be divided into the general groups of Jew and Gentile. It
follows that "Gentile" is a synonym for anyone who is non-Jew and is not
one of the "chosen people". The Hebrew word for the Gentiles is
goyim. From Genesis 12 onward the majority of the Scriptures are
about the Jews, with the Gentiles mentioned as they interface with the
162 times in NT - Matt. 4:15; 6:32; 10:5, 18; 12:18, 21; 20:19, 25;
21:43; 24:7, 9, 14; 25:32; 28:19; Mk. 10:33, 42; 11:17; 13:8, 10; Lk.
2:32; 7:5; 12:30; 18:32; 21:10, 24f; 22:25; 23:2; 24:47; Jn. 11:48,
50ff; 18:35; Acts 2:5; 4:25, 27; 7:7, 45; 8:9; 9:15; 10:22, 35, 45;
11:1, 18; 13:19, 46ff; 14:2, 5, 16, 27; 15:3, 7, 12, 14, 17, 19, 23;
17:26; 18:6; 21:11, 19, 21, 25; 22:21; 24:2, 10, 17; 26:4, 17, 20, 23;
28:19, 28; Rom. 1:5, 13; 2:14, 24; 3:29; 4:17f; 9:24, 30; 10:19;
11:11ff, 25; 15:9ff, 16, 18, 27; 16:4, 26; 1 Co. 1:23; 5:1; 12:2; 2 Co.
11:26; Gal. 1:16; 2:2, 8f, 12, 14f; 3:8, 14; Eph. 2:11; 3:1, 6, 8; 4:17;
Col. 1:27; 1 Thess. 2:16; 4:5; 1 Tim. 2:7; 3:16; 2 Tim. 4:17; 1 Pet.
2:9, 12; 4:3; Rev. 2:26; 5:9; 7:9; 10:11; 11:2, 9, 18; 12:5; 13:7; 14:6,
8; 15:3f; 16:19; 17:15; 18:3, 23; 19:15; 20:3, 8; 21:24, 26; 22:2
It is important to
note that the Old Testament clearly states that God will save the
Gentiles through Israel, but nowhere does it state that both Jews and
Gentiles will form "one new man", both in one body, the church, the body
of Christ. This mystery was revealed by the Spirit to Paul and other
leaders in the early church but it was a truth that was difficult for
Jews to accept.
The Importance of the Preposition
"Sun" in Ephesians
In each of the
three descriptions of this "new race" which are no longer Jew and no
longer Gentile but are now "one new man" Paul utilizes words that all
begin with the same prefix "sun"
a preposition that means "with". Sun however differs from "meta",
the other Greek preposition meaning "with", in that the former describes
a more intimate relationship. Here is Wayne Barber's illustrative
explanation of the difference...
"One Greek word for "with" is
the preposition meta. We are with one another (Ed note: he
is speaking this to his congregation, those who are "with"
him to listen). The Lord Jesus was with them when He was on this
earth. He was alongside them, in a room together with. That’s the word
Another word for "together with" is the
which means not only are we together with one another, but we are so
mixed in that nobody can tell the difference one from the other. We
can’t get apart from each other.
Let me give you the illustration... making
biscuits. Take all the ingredients and put them out on a cookie sheet.
Measure out the flour, the shortening, the baking powder, etc. Put each
ingredient on the sheet. All of those ingredients can still be
separated, but at the same time they are with each other— that is a
picture of the meaning of the word meta.
Now take all of the ingredients and mix them
together. Cut the dough and put it in a pan and bake it. After it has
baked, it comes out as a biscuit. Once the ingredients are baked
together, the biscuit serves as a perfect picture of the meaning of the
No scientist can separate the ingredients of that biscuit because
they are united together in intimate union! That's the idea of the
Ephesians is "rich" in
combination words beginning
Clearly Paul is emphasizing to his Greek reading audience a profound
sense of unity that now exist in believers (see the 2 uses that have a
negative connotation). Here is a list of the "sun--" words,
composed of verbs and nouns...
2:5 even when we
were dead in our transgressions,
made us alive together with
zoopoieo = make alive -
Christ (by grace you have been saved)
and raised us up with
egeiro = to raise) Him, and
seated us with
kathizo = to set or sit down -
Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus,
So then you are no longer
strangers and aliens, but you are
fellow citizens with
polítes = a citizen) the saints, and are of God's household,
in whom the whole building,
being fitted together
harmologéo = join together -
is growing into a holy temple in the Lord
in whom you also
are being built together
oikodomeo = to build) into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
to be specific, that the Gentiles are
kleronómos = heir, sharer by lot) and
fellow members of the body
soma = body), and
fellow partakers (summetochos
metochos = a partaker, participant, sharer -
of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,
being diligent to
preserve the unity of the Spirit in the
déo = bind = literally means "bound together" -
from whom the whole body,
harmologéo = join together) and
bibazo = to make to go up) by that which every joint supplies,
according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the
growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
Therefore do not be
partakers with (summetochos
metochos = a partaker, participant, sharer) them;
And do not
koinoneo = to partake) in the unfruitful deeds of darkness,
but instead even expose them
also be written "syn-" and is an important prefix to many
familiar English words - synagogue, synergy, synonym, synoptic,
synchronous, syncretism, symphony, sympathy, symmetry, etc)
sun = with, together, implying a
closer relationship, intimacy or union + kleronomos = heir,
sharer by lot, a possessor) is a joint heir, one who participates in the
same lot. Sugkleronomos speaks of receiving possessions along
with another OR OF inheriting together with. Heirs as used by Paul
describes one who obtains something assigned to himself with others and
the focus is upon receiving an unearned gift. In the biblical sense
‘heirs of God’ are those who receive the blessings that God has for His
Even in the OT (cf
Genesis 12:3) God had included Gentiles in the sphere of salvation, but
heretofore it was never on an equal footing with Jewish believers. Now
God has revealed that the Gentiles are to
share equally with saved Jews as heirs of God, joint heirs with Jesus
Christ (Ro 8:17), and fellow heirs with all the redeemed. The two have
become one new man in Christ.
signifies more than one who inherits, or obtains a portion, it means to
take into possession.
is used of Abraham in Heb 11:9; of a husband and wife who are also united in Christ
3:7; here in Ephesians of Gentiles who believe, as participants in the
gospel with Jews who believe, and of all believers as prospective
participants with Christ in His glory, as recompense for their
participation in His sufferings, Ro 8:17.
In Galatians Paul
alludes to the equality and heirship of Gentiles writing that...
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there
is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for
you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then
you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise. (Galatians
heirs is used 4 times in the NT...
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of
if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with
Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be
glorified with Him. (note)
Hebrews 11:9 By faith he lived
as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in
tents with Isaac (Ge 26:3, 4) and Jacob (Ge 28:3, 4, 48:3, 4), fellow
heirs of the same promise;10 for he was looking for the city which
has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. (Comment:
Isaac and Jacob are co-participants in the promises God initiated with
You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way, as
with a weaker vessel, since she is a woman; and grant her honor as a
fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be
(Comment: Peter describes believing husbands and wives as united
of the body (4954)
sun = with, together, implying a closer
relationship, intimacy or union + soma = body, used figuratively
here of the Church) refers literally to a joint body and figuratively to
fellow-members of the Christian community. It describes a "co-member"
or one who is a member of a group, with emphasis upon the coordinate
relation to other members of the group.
commentary on this unique word which appears to have been coined by Paul what he had just explained in Ephesians 2
But now in Christ Jesus you who
formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14
For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one, and
broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His
flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in
ordinances, that in Himself He might make the two into one new man,
thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body
to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. 17
AND HE CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU WHO WERE FAR AWAY, AND PEACE TO
THOSE WHO WERE NEAR; 18 for through Him we both have our access
in one Spirit to the Father. (See notes
Ephesians 2:13; 14; 15; 16; 17; 18)
As Wayne Barber
Gentiles are not in the body
because of the courtesy of the Jews. The Jews didn’t stop and say,
"Well, okay guys, we will let you in." They had nothing to do with it.
The Jews are not in by the courtesy of the Gentiles. Both of them are in
solely by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have been allowed in. (Ephesians 3:1-9 God's Divine Mystery - 2)
The Gentiles are
at no distance or disadvantage now, but share a position of equality
with saved Jews. Both groups are united in one body as members of the
"Mystical Body of Christ", the Church, which corporately is a new man, a
new creation, in which the line of separation (the barrier of the
dividing wall) between Jew and Gentile has been broken down
In Jesus Christ we
are made fellow members of one body, and all the middle walls
that separate us are removed. This has been demonstrated clearly again
and again when people of different backgrounds and cultures and classes,
different outlooks, different races, have come together in Christ and
found that all the differences which once seemed to be so tremendous are
reduced to nothing, and they are able to overleap them and be healed in
their fellowship together.
S Lewis Johnson
had some enlightening comments on this section writing that what...
we have today in the church of Jesus
Christ is something new. Now, the church is not the mystery,
but it’s the relationship of the Jew and Gentile within the
church that is the secret. It was not a secret in the Scriptures that
the Gentiles would be saved. Now the Apostles had difficulty with this.
Do you remember who had difficulty? Well, Peter had difficulty.
Remember, when he had the vision, he was looking out, fell asleep, had
the vision of the sheet that came down from heaven and those unclean
animals within it, and he was told arise and eat; he said, not so Lord,
I’ve never eaten anything unclean. All of this was to prepare him for
the preaching of the Gospel to Cornelius and the Gentiles. Because they
had the idea, carried over from Old Testament times, where it was a
proper idea, that the person who was converted through the preaching of
the Gospel, in order to be related properly to the true God, he became
an Israelite. He became a part of the company of Israel. Think of Ruth,
for example. Ruth was a Moabitess, but because of Ruth’s experience and
finally her conversion, she became an Israelite. And actually, as you
know, became one in the line of our Lord Jesus Christ. There are other
illustrations of that in the genealogies in Matthew chapter 1.
So when a person in the Old
Testament became a believer, they identified with Israel. They
became a member of that company of people. Now Peter had difficulty
with that, the idea that Gentiles could be saved. That was just natural,
because Israel had the revelation of God, and God had spoken to them,
and he had appeared to them, and he had ministered through them, and he
had difficulty with that. But finally, God overcame his difficulties,
and he came to Cornelius’ house, and he preached the Gospel, and he came
to Jerusalem and told them how God has been saving Gentiles.
Now there was still one other thing
that they didn’t understand. And that was, not simply that whether or
not Gentiles could be saved, but if they were saved, were they in the
believing company on the same level with Jewish saved people? Did they
have to be circumcised? And of course, that question arose in Antioch.
And after a lot of disputing there, Paul and others, like Barnabas, came
down to Jerusalem, and there they had some more disputation and had a
lot of arguing with people standing up and citing Scripture, seeking to
understand the mind of the Lord, and finally Peter stood up, and he gave
what came to be ultimately, the decision of the council, and that was,
God saved people by faith through grace, and that the Gentiles not only
could be saved, but they were saved in the same way. “But we believe
that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved, even
Now Peter turned it around, because anybody who had the slightest idea
that there was any advantage so far as salvation was concerned in being
a Jew, didn’t understand the grace of God. So he said, you people who
wonder how the Gentiles can be saved and whether they can enter the
church on the same basis with us, you need to have your theology
purified. We’ll send you back to theology 101 if you don’t watch out,
when you get to heaven. So we believe that through the grace of the Lord
Jesus Christ not, “they shall be saved even as we,” but “we shall be
saved, even as they,” in case there’s somebody with this lurking sense
of self-righteousness. (See Acts 15:11)
So in history, they had to go through the experience so that the Gentiles
be saved (cp Ro 11:15ff-note), and when they are saved they don’t have to become Jews. They
are saved, and they stand on the same plane as the Jews. That, I think,
is what he means when he says that the Gentiles in Ephesians 3:6, should
be fellow heirs and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in
Christ by the Gospel.
You know, if you look at that in the
Greek text it’s a rather interesting construction that the Apostle uses
in connection with the three words. I’m going to read it out of the
Greek text because the relationship of the Jews and the Gentiles is seen
more plainly in the Greek text. The Apostle writes, “that the Gentiles
should be fellow heirs and fellow members of the body and fellow
partakers of the promise in Christ through the Gospel.” Now in Greek he
takes three nouns and he puts the little preposition “with” with them,
and coins – doesn’t coin in the sense of making up new words entirely –
but rather puts these words together so that you get the overwhelming
idea of the sameness of relationship between Jew and Gentile in the
Church of Jesus Christ. So the Gentiles are fellow heirs, they are
fellow members of the one body, they are fellow partakers of the promise
in Christ by the Gospel. That’s the mystery. That’s the secret. That’s
the relationship that did not exist in Old Testament times. That’s the
content of the mystery.
Now notice, too, the means by which
they come to these blessings is through the Gospel. Just as in the Old
Testament times individuals were saved through the Gospel, so in New
Testament times they are saved through the Gospel. The Gospel is not
different now. The Gospel is the same Gospel that was preached in Old
Testament times. It’s not the Gospel that’s changed. The results of the
Gospel are different in the sense that in the Old Testament, when Jews
were saved, they became a member of the theocratic company. They also
were responsible to be put under the Law of Moses, and they also were
responsible to submit to the sign of the covenant. But now, in this age,
the law done away with, they are fellow members, fellow partakers of the
Paul in Romans says, “Paul, a servant
of Jesus Christ called to be an apostle, separated unto the Gospel of
God which he had promised before by his prophets and the holy
Scriptures.” So in the Old Testament we have the Gospel. In the New
Testament we have the Gospel. In this age we have the secret. That was
not made known in ancient times as it is revealed through Paul and the
apostles and prophets of New Testament times.
And that’s a magnificent relationship we have it is not? Gentiles and
Jews now brought together in one redeeming company, fellow heirs, fellow
members of the body, this one new man, and fellow partakers of the
promise in Christ by the Gospel.
We are, Sunday morning, studying
Paul’s letter to the Romans, and in Romans chapter 11 he goes into more
detail concerning the fact that the natural branches were cut off,
broken off, and the unnatural branches of the Gentiles were grafted in
among them, that is, the faithful ones, the remnant, and have become
fellow partakers of the root of the fatness of the olive tree. In other
words, the Gentiles have been brought in to this one body and they have
been made partakers of the blessings which are called the promise in
Christ by the Gospel. What we have now in the church of Jesus Christ,
then, is a group of redeemed people who are made up of Jews and Gentiles
who stand on the same plane before the Lord God.
It is a new international community,
too. Jews and Gentiles, all equal in Christ. They are not joined to the
Jewish nation and subordinated to them in significance, but there is one
new, or to use the adjective “new” in its stress, one fresh man,
for that’s the idea of the Greek word kainos which is used there
instead of the word neos. One fresh man. Isn’t that a magnificent
thing, that we Gentiles are now members of the church of Jesus Christ,
fellow partakers of the promise in Christ by the Gospel? We’re called
Children of Abraham, seed of Abraham, because we possess those promises.
Something remarkable and new in the unfolding of God’s program. (Ephesians
3:1-13 The Dispensation of the Grace of God)
AND FELLOW PARTAKERS OF THE
PROMISE IN CHRIST JESUS THROUGH THE GOSPEL: kai summetocha tes
epaggelias en Christo Iesou dia tou euaggeliou:
(Gal 3:14; 1Jn 1:3; 2:25)
tells the following story which indicates that there is a great need for
a proper understanding of this foundational truth of Jew and Gentile in
Just recently a decree was issued by
a Christian church that hereafter no Jew could worship there because of
governmental threats. A very consecrated Hebrew Christian missionary in
that country who had membership in that church and often preached there,
was among those ejected. He and other Christian Jews were compelled to
form a Hebrew Christian church. Christian Jews not allowed to worship
with Christian Gentiles as fellow-heirs, fellow-members,
fellow-partakers! Not "both one," but both two. Not "both one body," but
each one body. Oh! the awful shame and sin of such an act!
(To this she responds writing) Did
not God put that word "remember" in Ep 2:11
for such a day as this?
"remember" that "in time past" you were an helpless, hopeless outcast in
the deepest depths of sin. "Remember" you would still be there, as "far
off" from God as any Jew you know to-day, had you not been "saved by
grace." "Remember" that you were then the "alien" and the "foreigner"
belonging to a pagan, unprivileged race, while the Jew belonged, and
still does, to God’s chosen people, a nation privileged in God’s sight
beyond all nations of the earth. "Remember" that apart from the blood of
Christ you could never have been "made nigh" unto God. "Remember" that,
as a Gentile, you have nothing in yourself or in your race of which to
boast; and that your position as a "wild olive tree grafted into the
good olive tree as a branch" is held only through faith, and not because
of any personal, national or racial merit or superiority (Ro
11:11-34-note). "Remember" that God has no favorites in His family, and that
both Jew and Gentile have the same access unto the Father, through the
Son, by the Spirit. "Remember" that, when once either Jew or Gentile has
been incorporated into Christ through faith in His blood, he is a
fellow-member of Christ’s Body and a "fellow citizen" with all saints.
"Remember" that "we twain" are made "one new man" in Christ, and that
henceforth we belong to a heavenly race that is super-racial and
super-national, sharing alike both the privileges and the
responsibilities of the Christian Church. O yes, ye Gentiles "remember"
that your two most precious possessions, your Saviour and your Bible,
came to you through the Jew; that the door to the Church was opened to
you by Peter, the Jew; and that the revelation given of your equal
possession of all its blessed privileges came to you through Paul, the
Jew. And to any Gentile Christian who gives over all the curses to the
Jew pronounced upon him in God’s Word, while he glories in all the
blessings as promised to himself, even those plainly and exclusively
given to the Jewish nation, "remember" the Word of God spoken centuries
ago to the father of the Jews:
Genesis 12:3. "I will bless them that
bless thee and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all
families of the earth be blessed."
And the Word of God through the
"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love thee."
And our Lord’s own touching word
regarding "my brethren":
Mt 25:40, 45. "Inasmuch as ye have
done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto
me... Inasmuch did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not
unto me." (The Wealth, Walk and Warfare of the
(summetochos from sún = with, together, implying a closer
relationship, intimacy or union +
= a partaker or sharer as one
who participates with and shares common blessings with another) means
literally partaking together with one, a joint partaker of something, a
sharing with (a co-sharer, co-participant).
It means to
share in the possession of something, in this case "the promise in
used in the papyri of those who were joint possessors of a house.
believers who have entered the New Covenant by faith now share in
all the gracious promises of God, except those specifically concerned
with the future of Israel as a nation. In the present context the
promise refers to the gift of salvation in Christ Jesus as
proclaimed in the Gospel.
Paul also spoke of
the promise of the Spirit associated with salvation writing to
Christ redeemed us from the curse of
the Law, having become a curse for us-- for it is written, "CURSED IS
EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE"--in order that (here is one purpose for
which Christ set us free from the curse) in Christ Jesus the blessing of
Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the
promise of the Spirit through faith. (Gal 3:13,14)
applies this truth about fellow partakers in the promise of Christ
Jesus writing that...
in the mystery of the gospel, Jews
and Gentiles alike are made joint partakers of the promise of the Spirit
of God. The power of God is given to us to do what we otherwise could
never do. Those who have learned to reckon upon this power find they are
able to love and forgive when they never could have otherwise. So this
gospel touches the heart of humanity's problems. (Ephesians 3:7-13:
partakers or fellow sharers, it is perfectly proper for Gentile believers to claim and apply the wonderful
blessings first given to the Jews in the promises found in the Psalms
and Proverbs and the rest of the Old Testament (again excepting those
promise made specifically to the nation of Israel, such as the land of
puts these great privileges made available to Gentiles in their
historical/cultural perspective writing that...
This was a completely new discovery.
The basic sin of the ancient world was contempt. The Jews despised the
Gentiles as worthless in the sight of God. At worst they existed only to
be annihilated, “The nation and kingdom that will not serve you shall
perish; those nations shall be utterly laid waste” (Isaiah 60:12). At
best they existed to be the slaves of Israel; “The wealth of Egypt and
the merchandise of Ethiopia and the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come
over to you and be yours; they shall come after thee; in chains they
shall come over and they shall fall down unto thee” (Isaiah 45:14).
To minds which could think like that it was incredible that the grace
and the glory of God were for the Gentiles... in the ancient world the
barriers were complete. No one had ever dreamed that God’s privileges
were for all people. (Barclay,
W: The Daily Study Bible Series, Rev. ed. Philadelphia: The Westminster
(epaggelia from epí = upon or intensifier of meaning +
aggéllo = tell, declare = to announce with certainty as to what one
will do) is a declaration to do something with implication of obligation
to carry out what is stated. Epaggelia was a legal term denoting
promise to do or give something. It was a legally binding declaration
giving one to whom it is made right to expect or claim performance of
the specific act. Most often epaggelia is used to describe the
promises of God. and provides firm assurance of His future action.
52x in NT - Lk. 24:49; Acts 1:4; 2:33, 39; 7:17; 13:23, 32; 23:21;
26:6; Rom. 4:13f, 16, 20; 9:4, 8f; 15:8; 2 Co. 1:20; 7:1; Gal. 3:14,
16ff, 21f, 29; 4:23, 28; Eph. 1:13; 2:12; 3:6; 6:2; 1 Tim. 4:8; 2 Tim.
1:1; Heb. 4:1; 6:12, 15, 17; 7:6; 8:6; 9:15; 10:36; 11:9, 13, 17, 33,
39; 2 Pet. 3:4, 9; 1 Jn. 2:25
explains that "fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus
through the gospel" speaks of...
is the promise of redemption, that if
a man comes by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, he can enter into the
family of God. In Galatians chapter 3 there are several verses that
discuss now we have been allowed to partake. Look at Galatians
"Christ redeemed us from the curse of
the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is
everyone who hangs on a tree in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing
of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the
promise of the Spirit through faith."
We have been allowed in. We have
redemption through the Lord Jesus Christ. Look at Galatians 3:19...
"Why the Law then? It was added
because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the
agency of a mediator, until the seed should come to whom the promise had
The Seed was promised to Abraham, and
now we are a part of all of this. Remember, He told Abraham, "through
you all nations will be blessed." How can all nations be blessed through
the Jewish race? Through the seed that came to them, which was the Lord
Jesus Christ. We’ve been allowed in by faith in Him. Look at Galatians
"But the Scripture has shut up all
men under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given
to those who believe."
There is no distinction whether they
are Jew or Gentile. Now we can enter in to the promise. If we believe,
we are a part of the redeemed. Look at Galatians 3:29
"And if you belong to Christ, then
you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise."
He is talking about spiritual Israel
here. He is talking about the Israel that has come, by faith in Jesus
Christ, into the family, into the kingdom, into the very holy Temple of
God Himself. He is saying to those Gentiles in Ephesus,
"Don’t take this thing for granted.
It was revealed to me and then explained to me very specifically that
you are allowed in. God stopped me on the Damascus Road. He commissioned
me and made me an apostle out of due season. I am preaching something to
you that God revealed to me. Don’t you dare take it for granted.
Gentiles, you have been allowed in. You are fellow heirs, fellow members
of the body and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus."
Do you realize what you have, what I
have? We are talking about what you have in Jesus Christ. You are rich
Don’t ever take salvation for
granted. Remember whose you are. Remember who you are. We are about to
get into Ephesians 4-6. That’s not the riches...not the reasons...not
the revelation. That’s the responsibilities of our salvation, and they
are based on everything Paul has said in the first three chapters. If
you don’t get this down pat, you’ll never understand why there is so
much responsibility for Christians to live as God wants them to live. (Ephesians 3:1-9 God's Divine Mystery - 2)
In Christ Jesus
- (See also in
in Christ Jesus
) The inclusion of Gentiles in God's purposes remained mysteriously
unclear under the old covenant. It became clear in Christ through the
preaching of the Gospel, the good news of redemption and reconciliation
of God and man and of Jew and Gentile.
MacDonald explains that...
In the coming kingdom of our Lord,
Israel will be the head of the nations (Isa. 60:12); Gentiles will be
blessed, but it will be through Israel (Isa. 60:3; 61:6; Zec 8:23).
The calling of Israel was primarily, though not exclusively, to temporal
blessings in earthly places (Deut. 28; Amos 9:13, 14, 15). The calling of the
church is primarily to spiritual blessings in heavenly places (Eph.
1:3-note). Israel was called to be God’s chosen earthly people. The church is
called to be the heavenly Bride of Christ (Rev 21:2-note,
Israel will be blessed under the rule of Christ in the Millennium (Hos.
3:5); the church will reign with Him over the entire universe, sharing
His glory (Eph. 1:22, 23-note). Therefore it should be clear that the church is not the
same as Israel or the kingdom. It is a new society, a unique fellowship,
and the most privileged body of believers we read about in the Bible.
The church came into being after Christ ascended and the Holy Spirit was
given (Acts 2). It was formed by the baptism of the Holy Spirit (1Cor.
12:13). And it will be completed at the Rapture, when all who belong to
Christ will be taken home to heaven (1Th 4:13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18-note; 1Cor. 15:23,
51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58. (MacDonald,
W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)
from eú = good + aggéllo = proclaim,
tell) is literally good message and was in common use in first century
indicating good news of any kind. A common question must have been “Have
you any good news (euaggelion) for me today?”
- 76x in NT - Mt. 4:23; 9:35; 24:14; 26:13; Mk. 1:1, 14f; 8:35;
10:29; 13:10; 14:9; 16:15; Acts 15:7; 20:24; Rom. 1:1, 9, 16; 2:16;
10:16; 11:28; 15:16, 19; 16:25; 1 Co. 4:15; 9:12, 14, 18, 23; 15:1; 2
Co. 2:12; 4:3f; 8:18; 9:13; 10:14; 11:4, 7; Gal. 1:6f, 11; 2:2, 5, 7,
14; Eph. 1:13; 3:6; 6:15, 19; Phil. 1:5, 7, 12, 16, 27; 2:22; 4:3, 15;
Col. 1:5, 23; 1Th 1:5; 2:2, 4, 8f; 3:2; 2Th 1:8; 2:14; 1Ti
1:11; 2Ti 1:8, 10; 2:8; Philemon 1:13; 1 Pet. 4:17; Rev. 14:6
As in the OT so
among the Greeks, euaggelion was used for the proclamation of
news of victory and the death or capture of the enemy! Ponder this in
terms of our enemies!. Often the news was sent in a letter, but also
came from the field of battle by ship, by horse, or a swift runner, who
proclaims to the anxiously awaiting city the victory of the army, and
the death or capture of the enemy.
Others uses of
euaggelion included being gladdened by the birth of a son, by news
of an approaching wedding, or of the death of someone.
The Cult of the
Caesar was the state religion of the Roman empire, in which the emperor
was worshipped as a god. When the announcement of the emperor’s birthday
was made, or the accession of a new Caesar (gives rise to our English
Kaiser & Czar!) proclaimed, the account of either event was designated
by the word euaggelion or “good news.” The NT evangelists
appropriated the word, take it out of the secular usage, and applying it
to the message of salvation as the "best news" a man could ever hear!
E Stanley Jones
“Religions are man’s search for God;
the Gospel is God’s search for man. There are many religions, but one
A B Simpson
is reported to have said that the gospel
"Tells rebellious men that God is
reconciled, that justice is satisfied, that sin has been atoned for,
that the judgment of the guilty may be revoked, the condemnation of the
sinner cancelled, the curse of the Law blotted out, the gates of hell
closed, the portals of heaven opened wide, the power of sin subdued, the
guilty conscience healed, the broken heart comforted, the sorrow and
misery of the Fall undone."
John Phillips sums up this verse writing that...
The new equality of the Gentiles was a bitter pill for most Jews to
swallow. For centuries they had prided themselves on being God's chosen
people. They had nurtured a growing contempt for Gentiles and wallowed
in religious and racial snobbery. They had considered themselves to be
God's favorites. Now all this superiority was shattered. It turned out
that all along God had loved the Gentiles just as much as He had loved
the Jews (witness the events in the book of Jonah, for instance). Now
God was proving this truth in an astonishing way by bringing Jews and
Gentiles together in a new body that ignored the special privileges the
Jews had enjoyed for some thousand years. Gentiles were not going to be
added to the existing corporate body of the Jewish people, the nation of
Israel. There would be an entirely new body to which Jews and Gentiles
would be added on equal terms.
Jews and Gentiles would share equally in the same legacy. They
would be "fellow heirs." There would be no double portion for the
Jews. Jews and Gentiles alike would receive the same blessing.
They would share equally in the same life too. There would be one
body, its head being Christ and its members believers. Jews and Gentiles
were all one in Him- all washed by His blood, all partakers of the same
Spirit of life, and all equally dependent on Him and on one another.
Jews and Gentiles would also share equally in the same light. In
Christ, there were no longer any special promises to Jews (Ed note:
the promise to the nation of Israel of the land is however yet to be
fulfilled to them and it will be in the future), no revelations made to
them alone. The full blaze of New Testament truth was the property of
the church, not Israel.
It made no difference that Saul of Tarsus had been a Hebrew of the
Hebrews, a trained rabbinical scholar, a tribal member of the nation of
Israel, and a practicing and zealous Pharisee. In the church he was an
equal partner with the Philippian jailor and the runaway slave Onesimus.
J. Exploring Ephesians) (Bolding added)