Claim Your New Status

Key Verse: “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.”
—Ephesians 2:19

Selected Scripture:
Ephesians 2:8-22

ONE OF THE BEAUTIFUL results accruing to those who heartily accept the redemption supplied by the blood of Jesus’ ransom sacrifice is that such, upon giving themselves in unreserved consecration to him, enter into a special covenant relationship with God. This covenant arrangement means a new status for those thus entered, a status in which they are no longer alienated from God, but are considered as his sons. As Paul says elsewhere, “If any man be in Christ, he is a New Creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”—II Cor. 5:17

In the Selected Scripture Paul says (vss. 8-10) that it is only through faith and by the grace of God that this new status is obtained. There are no works we can do to achieve it. He says that “we are his workmanship.” Yet, once we attain this condition we have the ability, through Christ Jesus, to render acceptable works. This is a seeming paradox—on the one hand we could do no works at all to attain this new status, but once having entered into covenant relationship with God we can, indeed we must, render acceptable works to him. As the Apostle James says, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.”—James 2:17

Paul was talking primarily to Gentiles, and what he says is even more remarkable, considering that these non-Jews were never thought of as having any relationship with God. He says they were “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.” (vs. 12) But with God anything is possible, and the time had come for the blood of Christ to be efficacious to all who had a hearing ear and a heart of faith. Jew or Gentile—there was no difference any longer. Each had the opportunity to claim their new status through the means and method provided—Christ Jesus.

For the Jews, who had been under the “law of commandments” (vs. 15) for many centuries, this new status meant coming out from that Mosaic arrangement and into Christ. It had been thoroughly proven that only a perfect man could keep these former ordinances and hence reap the promise of eternal life. Only Jesus himself was able to do this. He sacrificed these eternal life rights to provide a way of escape for man, Jew and Gentile, out of the prison house of death and sin. “For through him [Jesus] we both [Jew and Gentile] have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”—Eph. 2:18

In the Key Verse, Paul states that all such who have this new status, regardless of their former condition or background, are part of one group now, “the household of God.” (vs. 19) This symbolic building has as its foundation the “apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.” (vs. 20) Once this building is complete, with every member—every stone—formed and fitted into place, it will be not just a building, but “an holy temple … an habitation of God.” (vss. 21,22) It will be this temple, the New Jerusalem, which will then bless all the families of the earth in Christ’s kingdom.—Rev. 21:1-7

Dawn Bible Students Association
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