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Jul 21, 2015 984
“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow-citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household” (Ephesians 2:19).
The temple of Jerusalem in Christ’s day was an impressive structure built by Herod the Great. It had areas for everyone: the priests, Jewish men, Jewish women, and finally Gentiles. This geography of the temple precinct was a paradigm of the social divisions of the times. Jewish orthodoxy accepted this ‘apartheid’ structuring of society. They believed implicitly that they were destined to be near God, while others were to remain far away. This huge rift running through the ancient world was believed to be sanctioned by God.
But the gospel does not divide. It unites. It closes the gaping wounds which keep people apart. God does not have favourite people, favourite races or nations. God does not have pets. Men in suits are not more pleasing to him than those with blue collars. The same is true of the educated versus the unschooled, rich or poor, man or woman, single or wed, gay or straight, politically right or left.
One thing is certain: God is never on the side of those who think God likes their company more than another’s. God is on the side of the human race. He is on the side of fellowship. Christians know that they are part of a large family composed of a vast array of different cultural and religious traditions. They are fellow-citizens with God’s people.