Romans 5:12; Ephesians 2:18; Ephesians 3:12

F. A. Hughes.

JAN/FEB. 1968

One of the most precious results of the death of Christ is that through it we have been brought near to God. "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God" (1 Peter 3:18). "But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ" (Ephesians 2:13).

The Scriptures at the head of this paper, in each of which the word "access" appears, reveal to us something of the blessedness of the realm into which we have been brought as the result of that precious death.

"Our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." Our sins dealt with "through faith in His blood;" justified and having peace with God — we now stand in the limitless ocean of God's grace, His boundless favour resting upon us. This is our present portion, the abiding unchanging favour of God is that to which we have access now. We rejoice in hope of coming glory — a certain hope with no consciousness of "coming short" of it, and as awaiting that wonderful day we stand on ground brought into evidence as a consequence of the death and resurrection of Christ, where the power and sweetness of an everlasting love, based on righteousness, is our present and abiding possession.

"For through Him we both (Jew and Gentile) have access by one Spirit to the Father." The truth implied in this verse is beyond the capacity of the human mind to grasp; it nevertheless contains that which is more than able to satisfy the heart for time and eternity. The chiefest of Jewish blessings cannot compare with this, and the Gentiles, those "which were afar off" had no claim whatever to such nearness. Access to the favour of God is a most blessed matter as we have seen, but to be brought right home to God from whom that favour flows, to the Source of eternal love — surely this is blessing beyond compare. Yet we see in this verse the activities of the whole Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit — moving towards this blessed objective, that we, erstwhile sinners of the Gentiles "having no hope, and without God in the world," should have immediate access to the Father Himself — the "spring and Source of blessing."

"Now free access to the Father,
Through the Christ of God, we have;
By the Spirit here abiding,
Promise of the Father's love."

In Ephesians 3 we have the unfolding of the choicest thoughts of God in relation to that which was in His heart from before the world's foundation, "His eternal purpose" (v.11). The apostle received grace to announce among the Gentiles, "The unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery." This is "to the intent that there might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him." Thus as brought near to God in Christ, He delights to reveal to us the treasured thoughts of His own wisdom and love, the precious truth of Christ, the exalted Man, and His church united to Himself in the bonds of eternal love.

How great then are our present blessings — standing consciously in the favour of God; brought into nearness and intimacy with the Father Himself; and to know "with all saints … the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge," and to "be filled with the fulness of God."