In the article “What is repentance?”, I wrote that God produces repentance in the heart of those who enter the New Covenant. But from the Old Testament passages, which speak about the promise of the New Covenant, it seems that this Covenant was promised only to the people of Israel. Moreover, in the Gospel of Matthew, when a Canaanite woman begged the Lord Jesus to heal her daughter, the Lord Jesus initially neglected her, and when the disciples urged Him to listen to her, He replied, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24). However, what is the part of the non-Jews (or Gentiles) in the New Covenant? Can the Gentiles enter the New Covenant?
1. The fact that the Gentiles would benefit from the blessings of the New Covenant was a mystery until the coming of Jesus
Apostle Paul, who was an Israelite, wrote to the Ephesians who were of the Gentiles:
By revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power. (Ephesians 3:3-7)
2. The promises were made to Abraham and his seed, and the seed of Abraham is not his descendants by flesh, but those who walk in the footsteps of his faith
In Galatians 3:16 Paul writes,
Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ.
And in Galatians 3:27-29 Paul adds,
For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.
So, when we enter into a Covenant with Jesus, we identify ourselves with Him; and then it does not matter what our nationality, social position, or sex is: in Christ we are equal. By identifying with Christ, we become the seed (descendants) of Abraham, and we inherit all the promises made to Abraham and his seed.
Translated by Marcela Tasca
Read this article in Romanian.