Filipinos for Jesus

Salvation for All

It may not impact so much on other people, but knowing that God also loves the Gentiles comforts me a lot.  This is because I am a Gentile, and so are most of us.

Gentiles refer to all people who are not Jewish or who are not citizens of Israel by birth.  The Jews are descendants of Jacob, to whom God gave the name Israel.  Jacob had 12 sons, who later became the 12 tribes of Israel.

I have always believed that God’s favor is on Israel.  In fact, the Bible describes the Jews as God’s people.  Because of this, I always look up to the Jews, because I know that God loves them and has something special in store for them. 

God takes care of them and blesses them abundantly up to now.  Do you know that Steven Spielberg, Barbara Streisand and Natalie Portman are Jews?  Albert Einstein, who is described as the brightest physicist of all time, is a Jew.  The list of highly successful Jews is very long.

I once told myself that I would be willing to serve a Jew, in whatever capacity, if it would mean being closer to God.  Of course, I derived such opinion from the belief that God does not love me as much as He loves a Jew.  Maybe I am just being jealous.

Reading the Bible, however, corrected my misconception about God’s love.  Now, I take comfort from the fact that God loves me as much as He loves anyone else.  I still respect and admire the Jews though.

How did I know that God loves me also?  I knew it because He gave me an equal opportunity to become a part of His eternal kingdom. “God does not show favoritism, but accepts men from every nation who fear Him and do what is right”. (Acts 10:34-35)

Let me try to explain How God manifested His love to all people.  In the beginning, God created Adam and Eve.  When the couple fell from God’s righteousness as a result of their sin, all their children were born to sin.  Apart from the righteousness of God, everyone became sinners.  In fact, so evil has the world become that God had to pick only one family to survive in the great flood.

That was Noah’s family.  But even Noah’s descendants became sinners.  Only Abraham pleased God, not because he was without sin, but because of his faith in God.  God made a covenant with Abraham that He would make his descendants a great and prosperous nation.

We all know that Abraham was the father of Isaac, who was the father of Jacob or Israel.  God chose Israel as His people, because other peoples of the earth did not know Him and were worshipping false gods.  When Moses led the Jews out of slavery from Egypt, God gave them the Ten Commandments and other laws.

Because the law was given to Israel, they are the only ones who followed the law, but not in all occasions.  God made Israel a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles. (Isaiah 42:6)  With the law, men became conscious of sin. (Romans 3:20)

Without knowledge of the law, almost all Gentiles were considered sinners.  Among the few Gentiles who were made aware of the law in the Old Testament were Ruth, a Moabite and Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon.  The fact, however, remains that the whole world is held accountable to God. (Romans 3:19)

Peter, the apostle, learned that Gentiles must not be called impure or unclean, since no one is righteous, not even the Jews. (Acts 10:28)  God wants not only Israel but also all nations to know Him.  As surely as I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God. (Isaiah 45:23)

The good news is that when Jesus Christ came to earth to set aside the first covenant, He died not only for the Jews but also for you and me.  Christ is the mediator of the new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance now that He had died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant (Hebrews 9:12).

Paul, the first missionary, said God’s salvation is for everyone who believes, first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (Romans 1:16) Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. (Romans 3:9)  Is God the God of Jews only?  Is He not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith, and the uncircumcised through that same faith. (Romans 3:29-30)

For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on Him, for Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Romans 9:12-13) This became possible because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who sadly remains to be recognized by all Jews.  Paul said: We preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  (I Corinthians 1:23-24)

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came down to earth as a man without a sin, and offered himself as a sacrifice for the sins of the Jews and the Gentiles.   For Christ died for sins once and for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. (I Peter 3:13)

With Jesus Christ, we the Gentiles and even the Jews who received the law can now become righteous before God.  Now, a righteousness from God, apart from the law, has been made known, to which the Law and the prophets testify.  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus to all who believe. (Romans 3:21-22)

One evidence that God also loves the Gentiles is the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the household of a Gentile in Caesarea. (Acts 10:45)

Jesus Himself referred to the Gentiles as the sheep from other sheep pen who will become His flock. (John 10:16)

It is very heartening to know that we Gentiles can stand side by side with Jews as the people of God.  Consequently you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.  (Ephesians 2:19-20)

The death of Jesus Christ benefited the Gentiles more.  Paul said:  Remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called uncircumcised by those who call themselves the circumcision.  Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:11-13)

Through the Gospel, the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 3:6)

Below is a suggested prayer:

God, the most high, I praise You for also loving the Gentiles because I am a Gentile.  I acknowledge that I am a sinner and could not do anything by myself to reach your righteousness.  Forgive me, Lord. Though I deserve death, You love me so much that You sent Your Son Jesus Christ to die for my sins instead.  I thank You for sending Jesus Christ from Heaven, so that He can give me and all other Gentiles and Jews a new life. I accept the grace of your salvation through Jesus Christ. From now on, I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and allow Him to prevail upon my will so that He will lead me from death to life. Glory to You, our God in the highest. I pray, in the name of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen!

    <P align=justify>Friends, if you want to know more about the life offered 
      by Jesus Christ and the wonderful things that He has done for us, we 
      invite you to join us in our worship service every Sunday at Emmaus 
      Bible Fellowship Center in Mandaluyong City. We would also be glad to 
      conduct Bible studies at places near you.  </p>

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