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Devotionals :: Day by Day by Grace :: Today's Reading

Hoekstra's Day by Day by Grace (July 30th)

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The Gentiles Included as Children of Promise

That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel…that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Ephesians 3:6 and Galatians 3:14)

There are monumental implications when we become children of promise through faith in the promises of God. One of the consequences of outstanding significance is highlighted in our present verses. It involves the Gentiles.

It is quite obvious in the Old Testament that God had great plans for the Jews (for Israel, His chosen people). "'And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel" (Exodus 19:6). God's plans ultimately included the Gentiles (the nations of the world). "Oh, praise the LORD, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples!…The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising" (Psalm 117:1 and Isaiah 60:3). Nevertheless, the Jewish people would have a special place in God's purposes. "For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth" (Deuteronomy 14:2).

In light of these Old Testament truths regarding Israel, imagine what an astounding revelation it was when the Holy Spirit began to unfold, through the Apostle Paul, the full participation that the Gentiles would have in the promises of God: "That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs." By believing in the promises of God, the Gentiles would have full partnership shares ("fellow heirs" ) in the inheritance of God for His people. The Gentiles would also be "of the same body." This body that included Gentiles and Jews was the church of Jesus Christ. "And He is the head of the body, the church" (Colossians 1:18). Jew and Gentile would comprise one new unit, the church. There is no longer a separation. Also, the Gentiles would be "partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel." Through the promises of the gospel of grace, Gentiles would share fully in eternal life, daily blessing, and intimate access to the Lord. By faith in the God of Abraham, the Gentiles would also enjoy (along with any Jew who believed in Jesus as Messiah) the promise of the Spirit: "that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." Yes, now the Holy Spirit would dwell in the lives of all who would believe-not only the Jew, but also the Gentile!

Lord God of Israel, I praise You for being the God of believing Gentiles as well. How glorious is Your grace—how mighty are Your promises—Jews and Gentiles sharing in common the realities of God that are freely given to all who believe in Jesus Christ!

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