Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
In the text, St. Paul sets forth the privileges of the Gentile state, that is, of our state, by a very intelligible figure, by a figure especially understood in that day. The inhabitants, or rather I should say, the actual and acknowledged and free members, of particular cities, then enjoyed particular rights and benefits, to a greater extent than is usually found amongst us; and this was particularly the case with regard to the city of Rome, the then mistress of the world; of which city the apostle himself was a free-born citizen, and found the benefit of his birthright on several occasions. While strangers and foreigners then were disowned, and often unprotected and despised, the citizen was regarded and honoured and cherished wherever he went. And the Church of God is here compared, in this respect, to a city, of which the Israelites had formerly been the only true members, had alone enjoyed the blessings; the rest of mankind being in the situation of strangers and foreigners. But circumstances are now totally altered: the Gentile believers are no longer excluded from the privileges of the people of God; they are become fellow citizens of the spiritual and heavenly Jerusalem. Now, let us first inquire what is the nature and extent of this city, of which we are made the privileged members? what the family into which we are admitted? It is the whole body of Jehovah's accepted people throughout the universe: the whole family of the blest, wherever they are to be found. But it is not to the present race of mortals that our fellowship is confined: we have communion also with the saints at rest, with all that ever lived and died, from Adam to the present generation. The new dispensation is united with the old; they are both one; we may say one gospel; being parts of that same grand scheme of redemption, which was framed and declared from the beginning, for the recovery and salvation of mankind. But, indeed, we have not yet surveyed the length and breadth of that community, into which we have been received as members. The angels, the highest angels, form a part thereof; we are one with them; our city is theirs, and our Lord is theirs. Of the blessed Jesus, "the whole family in heaven and earth is named."
(J. Slade, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;