Useful Bible Studies > Ephesians Commentary > chapter 3

Can Gentiles have a right relationship with God?

Ephesians 3:5-6

We can depend on the knowledge that we learn from other people; or, we can believe what God shows to his people by his Holy Spirit.

If we depend on other people’s knowledge, then clearly the Gentile nations had no relationship whatever with God (2:11-12). The Gentiles are all the people who do not belong to Israel, God’s special nation. At the time of Paul, none of the Gentile nations served the true God. God had given to Israel his law, his promises and many other benefits; even Christ belonged to Israel (Romans 9:4-5). The Gentiles had none of these benefits.

However, God has made the most wonderful plans that, without the help of his Spirit, we cannot know (1 Corinthians 2:9-10). He cares about the people in every nation (John 3:16). He sent his Son, Christ, so that people everywhere can have a right relationship with him. Because of Christ’s death, everyone who believes in him receives life without end (John 11:25-26; Romans 1:16). That promise is for the Gentiles, as well as for Israel’s people.

After God showed this to Paul, Paul went to discuss it with the apostles, the first Christian leaders (Acts 15:1-32; Galatians 2:1-10). The apostles discussed the matter and they agreed with Paul. They remembered how God had already sent Peter to speak to Cornelius, a Gentile, about Christ (Acts 15:14 and Acts chapter 10). They also remembered what the prophets, the holy men of the Old Testament (the first part of the Bible), had written about these things (Acts 15:15-18; Acts 26:27-28). God had shown the prophets that he would work in the lives both of Israel’s people, and of people from the Gentile nations (for example, Isaiah 49:6).

Next part: Paul's humble attitudes (Ephesians 3:7-8)


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© 2019, Keith Simons.