Gather round, study friends! We’re launching week 6 of our study, Why Israel Matters. Last week we studied “God’s Love Story,” where we concluded that His love story is for both Jews and Gentiles. Today, we turn our focus toward the Jewish roots of our Christian faith.
Paul was an apostle to the Gentiles, and this week we will settle in Ephesians and Romans, two letters Paul wrote to Gentile audiences. Let’s begin in Ephesians 1.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.
Genesis 12:3 tells us that all the families of the earth will be blessed by Abraham and his descendants. (We know that blessing to be salvation.) The apostle Paul confirms that we are blessed with every spiritual blessing, and that Christ chose us in Him before the foundation of the world…even before God entrusted that blessing to Abraham! Those who are in Christ were destined for blessing!
But, the tune seems to change when we get to Ephesians 2! In the first few verses, we find that we were dead in our trespasses and sin, we were doomed and we were dominated by the devil! Moreover, 1 Corinthians 2:14 puts the nail in the coffin. As “natural man” (without Christ), we could not understand spiritual things, thus, we had no hope!
But God throws the life preserver our way in Ephesians 2:4-9! BUT GOD, being rich in mercy made us alive together with Christ! We had a need, God had a plan and the Jewish people had a solution! (Thus, it is important to understand our Jewish roots!) John 4:22 tells us salvation is from the Jews!
So, we drift toward Ephesians 3. But, before we land there, let’s talk about mysteries, as that is a theme in Ephesians 3. In fact, Paul reveals several mysteries in his writings. Take a few minutes to read some of them that correspond to our study:
Do you get the gist? Good! Now, read Ephesians 3:1-6. What is the mystery? Did you see it specifically identified in verse 6? Yes! Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel…the gospel that was first preached to Abraham! (Galatians 3:8) Glorious!
Israel matters because our salvation is a Jewish thing!
Let’s end on that high note and come back tomorrow ready to dig into Romans 9!