God is full of paradoxes, don’t you love Him? The first shall be last and the Last shall be first is one such paradox that He seems to love.
- Esau came out from the womb first but God chose Jacob his twin brother. Gen 25:23; Rom 9:11-13)
- When Joseph presented his two sons to Jacob for him to bless Jacob blessed the younger Ephraim ahead of Manasseh. Gen 48:14
- Benjamin being the youngest of the 12 sons received a double blessing
- The one who exalts himself shall be put down but the one who humbles himself God shall exalt at the right time. Ps 18:27; Ps 147:6;Pr 3:34
With that in mind let us continue to look at Ephesians chapter 2.
Eph 2:11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands—
Eph 2:12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God(athiests) in the world.
Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Such a paradox we see here. Paul the converted Israelite is called to preach the Good news to these Gentiles(non Jews) so that they too will find their place in the Kingdom of God just as the Father wanted us to have.
The nation of Israel were first but now find themselves last as God puts them aside to save the Gentile nations.
Paul is encouraging these non Jews having been one of the main persecutors himself he is aptly qualified to do so.
He points out to them that they may be uncircumcised in their flesh but they are not uncircumcised in their heart. The Jews wanted to make them feel bad about not being circumcised and therefore not favoured by God. But the truth is the opposite now. Those who are only physically circumcised have no favour with God. The circumcision made in the flesh by hands is of NO VALUE AT ALL.
Rom 2:28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh;
Rom 2:29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.
Gal 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.
Gal 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.
It is a common teaching in the Churches these days that the Jews have some kind of favoured position with God even though they reject Jesus. Like Paul said to the Galatians- “Who has bewitched you?!” Gal 3:1
We need to understand that God has made a new covenant with the House of Israel for the old one He found fault with. The Old Covenant failed because it was up to man to keep it. Anyone still trying to be made justified before God through obedience to the old covenant is locked outside the Kingdom even if they are circumcised Jews.
It is required of all people who want to enter the Kingdom to receive Jesus the Messiah as their Lord and Saviour. There are not two covenants ONLY one.
The confusion is largely caused by the unfortunate mistranslation of the Hebrew word Olam and it’s Greek counterpart Aionios and Aionian which have been translated as for ever and everlasting and eternity. Rather the real meaning is for an age, or a period of time.
This requires you to study this out. If you do you will see that the Old Covenant and the priesthood and the sacrificial system and the everything relating to the Old Covenant was OLAM….for a time. When the new thing God said He would do came about, the Old was vanishing away.
We Gentiles used to be far off from God as Paul says in Ephesians 2:12. We were without Christ, without God even if we worshipped some other gods, they are not The God. WE were strangers from the Covenants of promise and had no hope, because we were atheists in regard to the Living God.
But as is God’s way He seeks for the lost ones never happy when anyone is left out.
Luk 15:4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?
Luk 15:5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
That is what God has been doing these last 2 thousand years.
Isa 65:1 “I was sought by those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am,’ To a nation that was not called by My name.
We have been brought near to the God of the Hebrews through the precious blood of the Passover Lamb Jesus the Messiah. We now have Christ where once we did not. We are now members of the household of God having become believers in the King of Judah, we are true Jews, Judahites according to Paul and I think he knows better than preachers today.
We have been saved in hope of aionian life, the life of the Age to come. And most importantly we have God as our God now thanks to Jesus sacrifice. We have access to God through His faith in His blood.
Before we believed we could not even think about God for we dwelt in darkness but by His mercy and grace He saved us and has given us an inheritance along with all those who have believed since Adam.
As we saw in a previous post on Ephesians 2:7 God shall continue saving people by grace through faith in the Ages still to come after the resurrection until all people are found worshiping Jesus Christ.
Rev 7:9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands,
Rev 7:10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”