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What the Bible says about Gentiles, Cleansing of
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Leviticus 13:47-59

The clear implication of Leviticus 13:47-59 is that some, though not all, leprous garments became clean. Peter's vision of "all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air" (Acts 10:12) speaks to this point. God made it clear that He was capable of cleansing the Gentiles, but never said He had cleansed all of them at this time. Notice His admonition to Peter: "What God has cleansed you must not call common" (verse 15). Peter got the picture when he met Cornelius shortly after, telling the Roman centurion: "In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him" (verses 34, 35). While God calls from "every nation," only some, those who fear and obey, are acceptable to Him.

In verse 36, Peter interjects a vital idea: Christ "is Lord of all." Verse 45 records that the "Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also." The "apostles and brethren who were in Judea" (Acts 11:1) came to understand that "God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life" (verse 18).

Charles Whitaker
The Mixed Multitude

Acts 15:13-15

All James does is add his two cents, as it were, confirming that he could see in the Scriptures that what had happened to Peter in his first meeting with the Gentiles, with Cornelius, God had previously shown that He was going to do it. James then gives a practical application of the decision that had been made by Peter, and the rest confirm that this indeed is what was to be done.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 2): God's Pattern of Leadership

Ephesians 2:12

Notice two important factors he links to hope in Ephesians 2:12. First, in the time before God called the Ephesian Gentiles into a relationship with Him, they were "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise."

The commonwealth of Israel could be either the nation or the church because under the Old Covenant ancient Israel established a relationship with God, received a small measure of His promises, and possessed the hope of the Messiah. However, the primary meaning here is the church; those who have made the New Covenant with God are the Israel of God and a holy nation (Galatians 6:16; I Peter 2:9). The New Covenant contains God's confirmed promises—confirmed in the life, death, and resurrection of the Messiah, Christ Jesus.

Being part of ancient Israel under the Old Covenant did not give a person access to many promises that would have given him reason to hope. The Old Covenant promised no forgiveness of sin, no access to God, no promise of the Holy Spirit, and no promise of eternal and everlasting life, all of which we have. We have continuing, never-ending hopes because the New Covenant ensures a continuous relationship. Our relationship necessarily involves the other part of Ephesians 2:12: Before our calling, we were also without God in the world. Our hope is not merely in the fact that we have made a covenant, but more importantly, with whom we made it.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Elements of Motivation (Part Three): Hope

Hebrews 8:8

The New Covenant will be made with Israel and with Judah—without any mention of the Gentiles. Yet, other areas of the Bible contains a great deal about the Gentiles—so much that Jesus Himself says that we were entering into the "times of the Gentiles." Paul's ministry was to the Gentiles, so the Gentiles are certainly a part of the New Covenant. But in the discussion of the New Covenant in Hebrews 8, the New Covenant is made with Israel and Judah.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part 11)


 




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