You Belong

Jon Opgenorth

Read: Ephesians 2:11-22

Fellow citizens with the saints. (v. 19)

Paul writes to Gentile believers who were often made to feel like outsiders by the believers of Jewish ancestry. Some “insiders” even required these Gentiles to engage in the Old Testament rite of male circumcision. Not doing so left them, so to speak, as second-class members of the church. In these verses Paul reminds them who they were, who they are, and who they are becoming.

They were separated from Christ, alienated from God’s people, and strangers to God’s promises (v. 12). Because of Christ’s work on the cross, they now belong. They are “fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (v. 19). Even more, they are “being built together into the spiritual dwelling place for God himself” (v. 22). Paul strains for words to say over and over again the same thing: “You belong!”

We’ve talked a lot this week about the blessings we have received in Christ, but perhaps the most powerful personal blessing is a sense of belonging, not only to God, but in God’s family. No circumstance or heritage or past mistake can keep us out if we have received God’s grace in Jesus. We are outsiders no more; we are fully part of a new family with a new identity. We belong. Maybe that is why two young German theologians started what we know as the Heidelberg Catechism with this reminder: “I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.” —Jon Opgenorth

As you pray, rejoice that you belong.