Thus saith the Lord GOD; No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel.
Thus saith the Lord God,.... This that follows is the law and rule to be observed, and which will be observed by the churches in the latter day, though so little regarded now:
No stranger uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary; of these See Gill on "Ezekiel 44:7" unregenerate men may not be admitted members of a Gospel church; for that is holy, and holiness becomes it; but they are unholy, and as unfit to be received as swine into a king's palace; saints and they cannot talk together, their language being different, they are barbarians to one another; nor can they walk together, being not agreed in sentiment and practice; besides, such persons disquiet the churches of Christ by their quarrelsome behaviour in it, and immoral conversation out of it; and are dangerous and infectious persons, whether heterodox in principle, or immoral in life: and much less should such be admitted to public service, to preach the word, and administer ordinances; since they should be holy that bear the vessels of the Lord, his name, and Gospel; they are blind and ignorant, and so not apt and fit to teach others; they are dumb, and cannot speak to cases they are strangers to, as those of wounded consciences, tempted and deserted, or backslidden ones; they will bring in strange doctrines, foreign to the Scriptures, and the experience of saints; and it is no wonder they are unsuccessful in their ministry, and churches do not thrive under them; to which, among other things, we must impute the great decline of religion, even among Protestant dissenters, who, it is to be feared, have too many of this character among them: but there should not be here
of any stranger that is among the children of Israel; though they are among them, nay, though they are the children of them, and have had a religious education; yet being strangers to the grace of God, should not be admitted members, and much less ministers, of the churches of Christ.