Useful Bible Studies > Ephesians Commentary > chapter 1

God’s work in the lives of Jewish Christians

Ephesians 1:11-12

Christ told his disciples (special students) to take his message, the gospel, across the world (Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8). Those original disciples, and all the first Christians, were Jews. In other words, they belonged to the nation called Israel. God chose Israel’s people to be his special people (Romans 9:4-5).

So, the first people who put their hope and trust in Christ were Jews. They included Paul (Romans 11:1). You can read about the extraordinary event that caused Paul (then called Saul) to put his trust in Christ, in Acts 9:1-22.

Paul has just written about God’s great plan to bring all things under the rule of Christ (1:9-10). Paul taught that God works in every circumstance to bring about his purposes (Romans 8:28). So, clearly God was working in the lives of Paul and all the first Christians.

What God was doing in the lives of those Jewish Christians was for his own glory. In other words, their lives brought honour to him; they were showing God’s greatness to the world. In his great wisdom, God had chosen to use their lives for this purpose.

We can see that those Christians truly were God’s special, holy people. They belonged to Israel, God’s holy nation; and they were also carrying out God’s holy work in the world. Perhaps it is not so easy to recognise that later Christians are also God’s special, holy people. They may be from other nations (1 Peter 2:9-10); but God has joined them to Israel’s people who trust in Christ (Romans 11:17-27; Ephesians 2:11-19). They are all God’s holy people; they all belong to God.

Next part: God's love is for people from every nation (Ephesians 1:13)


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© 2019, Keith Simons.