Who are the gentiles?

BibleAsk TeamPosted on

The term gentiles is used to refer to those who are not Jews or of the literal “seed of Abraham.” At the time of Jesus, the gentiles were looked down on by the Jews. God originally designed that “His people” would spread His true message to all the world and to the gentiles.

John the Baptist paved the way for this principle when he warned the Jews not to trust their literal ancestry for salvation “Bring forth therefore fruits meet [worthy] for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham” (Matthew 3:8, 9).

Later, Jesus echoed this same principle in a showdown with the religious leaders “They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham … Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do” (John 8:39, 44).

Finally, when the Jewish nation rejected Christ and crucified Him, they were temporarily cut off (as a nation not individuals) from the blessings of a relationship with God (Matthew 21:43). As a result, the gospel was given to the gentiles, who gladly received it (Romans 11:17,18).

Paul was known as the apostle to the gentiles (1 Timothy 2:7), and he broke down the barrier that the Jews had created, and taught that anyone who accepts Jesus as their personal Savior is now considered God’s child, whether they are Jew or Gentile, they are now part of God’s spiritual Israel (1 Corinthians 12:13). Paul wrote, “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham” (Galatians 3:7). Thus, according to inspiration, real Jews in the sight of God are those who have personal faith in Jesus Christ.

Eventually, this truth was also understood by Peter the apostle of the Jews, and he affirmed, “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him” (Acts 10:34, 35).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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