People who are not Jewish.

The word "Gentiles" means "nations." The people of Israel were called by God to be a people who were set apart from other nations. God said, "if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine, but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation" (Exod 19:5). Other nations worshiped various deities, but Israel was called to worship the one true God. The Old Testament tells how the people often worshiped the gods of the nations and needed to be brought back to worship of God alone. God also promised that he would bless the nations through Abraham and his descendants (Gen 12:3).

Matthew’s gospel says that Jesus initially sent his disciples to preach to the people of Israel, but after his resurrection he commanded them to go and make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:19). The book of Acts tells how Jesus’ disciples brought the gospel to Jews and Gentiles from Jerusalem to Rome. Paul’s letter to the Romans announces that the gospel means salvation for Jews and Gentiles. Ephesians says that in Christ the wall of hostility that divided Jews and Gentiles is broken down.


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