The Church of God

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

God’s Church is made up of individual believers. The Scriptures in the Old Testament times referred to two basic classifications of people, the children of Israel and unbelievers. In the New Testament there is a third classification called the Church of God. Believers make up this new Church – those from Israel who believe on Jesus Christ as their Savior, and unbelievers (also called Gentiles) who would also believe on Jesus Christ as their Savior. In Ephesians chapter 2, God’s Word explains much about the new Church of God who are together with Christ.

Ephesians 2:12 – That at that time {before Christ} ye {the Gentiles} 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:

In the Old Testament and throughout the Gospels the Gentiles were completely separated from the promises of God having no hope whatsoever. God’s calling was strictly to only Israel until Christ gave his life for all humanity (see Matthew 10:5 and Romans 15:8).

Ephesians 2:13 – But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off {Gentiles} are made nigh {made united, close-family} by the blood of Christ.

Now in God’s grace the Gentiles are also called into God’s new Church and into God’s family. The Gentiles who would believe do not join into Israel but rather the Gentiles and those from the tribe of Israel who believe are joined together, which is the way God intended from the beginning.

Ephesians 2:14-15:
-14:  For he {Jesus Christ} is our peace, who hath made both one {the believers from the Gentiles and from Israel are now one in Christ}, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
-15:  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself {in Christ} of twain {two} one new man, so making peace {between Gentiles and Israel, and between God and us}.

The middle wall was a wall within the temple in Jerusalem that separated Israel from the Gentiles. Israel was permitted to go past the wall of separation, further into the temple area than the Gentiles, and in doing so they would be closer to God Who would bless them. However, they did not allow the Gentiles in. Here in Ephesians the spiritual perspective of God’s Word places believers from both groups together in one, for we collectively now make up the true temple of God. Israel was commanded to present themselves at the temple, and so they would become closer to God, but today in grace there is no separation between believers (Christian believers) who accept the sacrifice of Christ for us. Even the Law of commandments have been abolished by Christ. God’s Word now offers to humanity a new and peaceful entrance to the actual throne of God’s grace for He certainly dwells within our hearts. Today we live under a new law, the law of love! The new Church includes those from either group who will simply believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior.  Today all Christian believers are spiritual members of the Church of God irrespective of where we congregate, for God’s Church is one according to Ephesians.