DEVOTION FOR TUESDAY, JANUARY 9TH, 2017
SALVATION INCLUDES THE GENTILES
In the early twentieth century, Christian missionaries saw much spiritual fruit in the city of Pyongyang, now capital of North Korea. According to one source, it was “the most heavily Christian area of Korea, and the city became the hub for Presbyterian mission activity throughout Asia, including in China.” The city of Pyongyang was even called the “Jerusalem of the East”!
Given recent news headlines involving North Korea, this slice of church history may be surprising or even shocking. That’s how the Jews felt when they grasped that God’s plan of salvation included the Gentiles! The Ephesian church included Jews but was largely comprised of Gentiles. God’s plan of salvation amazingly included not only His “chosen people,” but the “uncircumcised” as well (v. 11).
Before salvation in Christ, the Gentiles were “separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God” (v. 12). Any hope of redemption through human merit would have been absolutely crushed by such a description.
This is not to say that the Jews were somehow more worthy of God’s grace (see Matt. 3:9). Paul had made sure to call circumcision a human thing. Yet they were God’s chosen people, with whom He made covenants, and through whom He had promised that all nations would be blessed (see Gen. 12:3; Rom.
From this perspective, we Gentiles have much to be thankful for. Formerly far from God, mostly oblivious to His plans and purposes, we’ve now been brought near and reconciled to Him through the sacrifice of Christ (v. 13). Salvation by grace through faith includes pagan Gentiles like us!
APPLY THE WORD
Without the grace of Christ, all of us would be far from God and aligned with the world, the flesh, and the devil. God’s power and grace should motivate us to pray for those who seem so far from His salvation. Whether it’s your unsaved loved ones or even the people of North Korea, pray that unbelievers will turn to Jesus and find salvation.
Today in the Word is a production of Moody Global Ministries
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