By Stan Brown
Ephesians 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household,
In the previous section, Paul has declared that believing Jews and believing Gentiles are united together into one humanity; into one body. This is a remarkable transition. Under the Law, the presence of God was demonstrated in the temple and the message of God that was to bring people from the world to God was found in the nation of Israel. There were many Jewish proselytes but they did not have all the same privileges as those who were born Jews. Paul states that this is no longer true. We are all one humanity in Christ. The book of Acts lets us know that there were struggles in getting there but does not change the fact that we are all members of one body in Christ.
In this verse, Paul speaks of the results of our union together in Christ. He speaks directly to Gentiles as he emphasizes the move that has taken place. The Gentiles are no longer foreigners living in a country possessing a permanent residency visa. The words strangers and aliens are similar in meaning and carry with them the idea that I have just mentioned. They had previously been believers on their way to eternity with Christ but were not considered by the Jews to be equals.
Their position as believers had now been transformed. They were now fellow citizens with the saints. This did not mean that they had finally gotten their citizenship papers as part of the nation but rather that they were born into the new form of the Kingdom in exactly the same way as the Jews got there. (Quick pause here: This did not abrogate the millennial promises but that is a discussion for another day). We all have the same access. We all have the same privileges. No one is more important than any other. We are all believers saved by grace through faith. We are all citizens together. We all receive the blessings promised to Abraham. (And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed. (Gen. 12:3)”)
The phrase are of God’s household takes it one step further. We are one with the saints of all ages and we will all live together as such throughout eternity. Hoehner puts it this way, “All the saints of every generation believed that God was involved with their redemption and reconciliation. They all had access to God and they all had fellowship with God and other saints.” I would put it this way. Believers of all ages are saved by God’s grace through faith. We are all saved through the shed blood of Christ.
So, what is the practical lesson for us? As believers of this age we are all one in Christ and live in the unity of the body. No one is superior to another. Let us love one another.