Without Hope and Without God

To be without hope and without God is possibly the worst situation anyone could experience. If something is worse, I can’t imagine what it would be.

This is Paul’s picture of humans who are separate from God.

Ephesians 2.11-12 – So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called “the uncircumcision” by those who are called “the circumcision” — a circumcision made in the flesh by human hands —

Remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

Boundary Markers of the Covenant

God established a covenant relationship with Abraham and his descendants.

He commanded Abraham, “This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised” (Genesis 17.10).

A covenant is a two-sided relationship. God declared his part of the covenant with Abraham.

“I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.

“I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12.2-3).

Israel’s side of the covenant was expanded under Moses to include the Ten Commandments and other laws, the Sabbath, and kosher eating.

The rules of the covenant were never intended to be burdensome. They were intended to guide humans to the best life possible.

Suffering Gentiles

Non-Jewish people did not have the benefit of God’s guidance for the good life. They were left to the whims of capricious and unreliable gods.

Superstition was the predominant characteristic of pagan religion. People turned to philosophers to find direction in life.

Gentiles were not participants in the covenant that God made with Abraham’s children.

Rudy Ross in today’s video emphasizes the value of the commonwealth of Israel. He explains the commonwealth is “common wealth.”

God’s people had the shared wealth of God’s blessing that was given to Abraham and his descendants.

Gentiles were not participants in God’s blessings and they were tragically without hope and without God in the world.

A Blessing to the World

From the beginning of God’s covenant with Abraham and his descendants, they were called to be a blessing to the inhabitants of the world.

God said, “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12.3).

Only God would have planned for a Suffering Servant to be the agent of blessing to the world. Isaiah revealed this fact.

The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.

Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out himself to death
and was numbered with the transgressors,
yet he bore the sin of many
and made intercession for the transgressors.
(Isaiah 53.11-12)

Jesus was the Suffering Servant who reversed the plight of humanity. In Christ, we have a blessing in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1.3) instead of a hopeless and godless situation.

Ambassadors for Christ

Paul described God’s action in Jesus Christ and outlined our role.

2 Corinthians 5.19-20In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.

So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ: be reconciled to God.

We have the great privilege of being an ambassador for the King of all kings. Praise God.

YouTube Video and Prayer

Rudy Ross and I have produced a YouTube video on this subject. You will enjoy Rudy’s thoughts on this passage. The video can be found on the Bob Spradling channel.

Please email your prayer request to bsprad49@gmail.com. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.

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