There’s no greater reality than being “in Christ Jesus.” It’s the essence and totality of the gospel. It means we share in who Jesus is, what He has accomplished, and what He has obtained–all freely giving “in Him.”
This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
The great litmus test for sound theology is the centrality of the person and work of Jesus Christ. That’s ultimately the main (and only!) point of the Bible. It all started with God’s promise to Adam and Eve: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Gen. 3:15).
Later on God chose Abraham to be His Son’s ancestor: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matt. 1:1). When He chose Abraham, He said: “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 12:3). God’s salvation is for “all the families of the earth.” Race isn’t an issue at all: “You were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9).
Even though God had clearly stated the gospel is or “all the families of the earth,” the Old Testament is primarily about the lineage through whom Jesus would come—the Jewish people. They were the ones who received “the covenants of promise” (Eph. 2:12). Since these promises were so clearly stated to Israel, some believe that they have no true bearing to Christians, separating them into two peoples of God. That persuasion misses the main (and only!) point of the Bible!
Paul made it clear that throughout the Old Testament there was a mystery that wasn’t clearly revealed until the New Testament: “That the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus.” Whether a Jew in the Old Testament, like David, or whether a Gentile believer in the New Testament, salvation is centered “in Christ Jesus.”
The “covenants of promise” are only fulfilled in Christ Jesus: “For all the promises of God find there Yes in him” (2 Cor. 1:20). It’s only “in Christ Jesus” that we have salvation. Whether one lived from Genesis through Malachi or from Matthew till the end of the age, those who believe God’s promise, realized through the gospel, are “members of the same body”—the body of Christ.
The Devotional Writer
P.S. While Christmas is still a little less than two months away, the stores are already displaying the Christmas merchandise. I guess it’s not too early to start. In order to properly prepare for Christmas, I invite you to check out my latest devotional: Joy to the World – Christmas throughout the Year. (it’s only $0.99 and will be a blessing to you).