alienated . . . strangers to the covenants of promise. They were not citizens of the nation with whom God was in covenant relation. Though God’s relationship with Israel included a promise to bless the nations (Gen. 12:3), Gentiles had no awareness of that hope.
without God in the world. God had revealed Himself to all humanity in nature and in the conscience. But Gentiles had suppressed what truth they did know, turning instead to idolatry (Acts 17:22–31; Rom. 1:18–2:16).