Tuesday, May 24, 2016
“Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?” (Galatians 4:8,9 KJV).
Not only do we in Christ know God. More importantly, God knows us!
Ephesians 2:11-13 lays out the Bible timeline: “ Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;  That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”
In “time past,” God dealt with mankind on the basis of physical circumcision (Jew) and physical uncircumcision (Gentile). He had separated unto Himself the nation Israel from the world (see Romans 9:4,5). Ephesians 2:11-12 says, during that time—Gentiles were “without Christ” (Christ’s earthly ministry was to Israel only; Matthew 15:24), Gentiles were “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel” (not members of Israel), Gentiles were “strangers from the covenants of promise” (God made covenants with Israel), Gentiles “ha[d] no hope” (no promises from God), and Gentiles were “without God” (no Levitical priesthood of God). This correlates to the first part of today’s Scripture: “[W]hen ye [Gentiles] knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.”
Verse 13 of Ephesians chapter 2 says, “BUT…,” a contrast to our previous statements: “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off [Gentiles] are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” This links to the next part of today’s Scripture: “But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God,….” In what Scripture calls “but now,” our present-day, God deals with all of mankind without distinguishing between Jew and Gentile.
We proceed to show how this new way of God dealing with mankind began with the Apostle Paul’s salvation and commission….