“Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God. 8 Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers, 9 and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written: ‘For this reason, I will confess to You among the Gentiles, and sing to Your name.’ 10 And again he says: ‘Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people!’ 11 And again: ‘Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples!’ 12 And again, Isaiah says: ‘There shall be a root of Jesse; and He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, in Him the Gentiles shall hope.’ 13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
“14 Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. 15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God, 16 that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
“17 Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God. 18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient— 19 in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20 And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation, 21 but as it is written: ‘To whom He was not announced, they shall see; and those who have not heard shall understand.”
There are many in the Christian world who want us to believe that God’s promises are only for the Jews. Jesus, they say, came to the lost sheep of Israel, and not for us Gentiles. We have no hope and no future in Jesus. Hogwash!! I would love to use stronger language, but I will not. When God called Abram from Ur of the Chaldean, he was a Gentile; the Jews did not yet exist. When Rahab trusted in God’s promises in the book of Joshua, she was and remained a Gentile; she is listed in the lineage of Jesus as a Gentile (Matthew 1:5). Ruth was a Moabitess, and she chose the God of Israel (Ruth 1:16), and she became the grandmother of David, the king through whose line Jesus would come. Yes, let that sink in; Jesus has Gentile blood in his heritage.
If Jesus only came for the lost sheep of Israel, then a very small percentage of the people on earth are going to be saved. Hell will be overflowing, and there is no need for a New Jerusalem that is 1,400 miles cubed in size (Revelation 21:16). If one were to simply read the Genesis account, you would see that while Abraham had 2 sons, Ishmael and Isaac, only Isaac was the chosen one. He, Abraham, had 6 other children with Keturah in Genesis 21:1, but these are not part of the chosen. And while Isaac had 2 sons, only Jacob was the chosen one; Esau was not a part of the promises made to Abraham and Isaac. He kind of got the consolation prize. Thus, we can see that there are millions of sons of Abraham, but only one specific chosen line. If Jesus only came for the lost sheep of Israel, referring to the chosen line, we are in big trouble.
But this is not true. God deliberately allowed Gentile blood to be a part of the DNA of Jesus to show that the Gentiles had a place with Him as well. Paul here is telling us this very thing. He was the apostle to the Gentiles, he was handpicked by God to take the Gospel to the Greeks, the Romans, and eventually to all of us Gentiles. Paul is a Jew. Yet, he went to the Gentiles. The Jews were supposed to take the message of the Messiah to the world, but they hoarded the message and hated the Gentiles; they watched as millions of them went to Hell with no hope, and they became arrogant. They refused, for the most part, to share the message.
I wonder how we are doing today? Have we become hoarders of the Gospel? We ration it out to a few select persons and wonder why the response is so low. We have become cold and selfish; we have become complacent and indifferent to people going to Hell.
There are literally more than 100 verses about God’s love for the Gentiles, and there are too many to list here, but I encourage you to read some of them. Here are a few examples: Romans 3:29, 9:6, 10:12; Acts 13:47, 28:28; Galatians 3:8; Isaiah 2:2-5, 42:6, 49:6, 56:3, 56:6-8; Ephesians 3:6; Psalm 86:9; Revelation 7:9, and on and on I can go.
We are not an afterthought with the Lord. The very first proclamation of the Gospel was in Genesis 3:15; “and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
This was given before there were Jews and Gentiles; there were just people, Adam and Eve. The promise that the Seed of the Woman, Jesus, would crush the head of the serpent, Satan, and that the wound the Seed of the Woman would get would be a temporary wound, talking of the resurrection – in this, we have the salvation of mankind laid out. Then, to make the picture even clearer, in Genesis 3:21, God makes skins to cloth the sinful couple; they had made cloths of leaves, but God shed blood and made clothes of skin to cover their shame. Bloodshed was required to cover our shame, and God performed the first killing in the history of mankind; He killed and made them clothes. God had to cover them; they could not cover themselves.
We don’t know how long the couple lived before sin entered, but we get the idea that it was not very long. By the time of Genesis 6, if we check genealogies, it was about 1,500 years. Then around 2300 BC, Abram was called; so long before Jews existed as a people, the Gospel of the sacrificial, substitutionary death of one for another was preached and enacted by God.
Jesus is the God of the Gentiles; we are the ‘other sheep’ (John 10:16) that Jesus has but are not of the Jewish fold, so to speak. But we are here; we are His people. Simon the Cyrene who carried his cross was not a Jew, but he was a believer. The Eunuch in Acts 8 carried the Gospel back to Ethiopia. I know people personally from Ethiopia that will tell you the history of the Gospel in Ethiopia and how that man took the message back. God was exporting the Gospel to the Gentiles before He called Paul in Acts 9. You and I are not afterthoughts; we are not holding the consolation prize – Well, the Jews rejected the Gospel, so I need a runner-up, I need an also-participated group. God is not that way; He has been redeeming Gentiles from the beginning.
In Romans 4, the entire chapter plays out that Abraham was saved, justified, and accounted as righteous before the law and before even circumcision. He trusted God, he put his faith in God, accepted God’s word and promises, and God declared him righteous. You and I are saved the same way, not by the law, not by being a Jew, not by circumcision, but by trusting and believing God. Romans 4:16 tells us that if we believe like Abraham, then he is the father of us all who believe. In Romans 4:24-25 we are told that – those of us who believe in God who raised Jesus from the dead and trust that He, Jesus, was delivered for our sins, called offenses justified, and in Romans 5:1, we are declared justified by faith, declared righteous by faith, saved by faith – both the Jew and the Gentile are saved by trust in Jesus’ finished work.
One last thing; there is another doctrine out there that supposes that the NT church has replaced Israel. Once again, hogwash. Paul, in Romans 9-11, lays out the case that God is not done with Israel. Jesus, of course, is a Jew; He is the Jewish King, and as such, will need a Jewish nation from which to rule. We know, according to Isaiah 2, that He will rule the nations from Jerusalem, and as such, there will need to be a Jewish state. God is not done with the Jews; the entire book of Revelation, once you get past chapter 4, is about the Jews and the coming end. So, God did not leave out the Gentiles, nor has He written off the Jews. He is going to save all that will put their faith in Him, and with that number, a great number, He will build an eternity that will be glorious.
I leave you with a promise written by a Jewish missionary to a Gentile church, both of whom put their faith in Jesus’ sacrifice for their sins.
1 Corinthians 2:9, “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.'”
God bless you,
Dr. Sean Gooding
Pastor of Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church
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