Monday, November 13, 2006

Does this verse just rock your world? Ephesians 3:12 in whom [Christ] we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him [Christ]. .

There are a few points here that are worthy of mention:
(1) There is an inclusio here. An inclusio is a sort of "book-endings" way to emphasize a point. For example, in this verse, we have two pieces of bread and the meat is in the middle. Christ is mentioned at the beginning and at the end of the verse. This rhetorical device was common in the first century Greek writing (and especially among the Pauling writing) to emphasize not only the bookends but what is sandwiched in the middle.

(2) The reality that Paul says "we." Paul doesn't just say "Christians," or even "I." We often think that Paul is a super-Christian who had special access to the presence of Almighty God. However this is not the case, Paul says "we." That means that all believers - men or women, Jew or Gentile, rich or poor, young or old - alike can partake in this bold access before God. This is personal. This is heart-gripping. This is the Gospel.

(3) Notice it is a present "we have." Not "we had" or "we shall have one day" but rather "we are constantly having." We - who are born again believers - are constantly having access to God. We do not have to wait till that one day - once a year - when the priest can enter the Holy of Holies and be in the presence of God. We - personally - can approach God at any time

(4) We have boldness and access in (or with) confidence. Did you know that? You can approach the God who made the Universe with boldness and confidence? The word here for boldness (parrysia) was used in the first century Roman world of a prisoner who was standing before a judge and allowed to give his honest and bold defense without restraint. This is how we - as believers - can (and should) approach God. We can approach him with confidence and boldness.

(5) Yet this confidence comes only one way. It doesn't come through any merit that you or I may bring to the table. It does not come through impressing God with a biblical knowledge. It is not attained through doing penance or even because of guilt-stricken conscience. Rather, this confidence is obtained through faith in Him. This faith must be "in Him" (or it could be translated "received by Him." Confidence and boldness to God is only through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. There is no other way to have access to God.

May we never forget the privilege we - as believers - possess. God is good. He is faithful. Yet, at the same time, we can approach this thrice-holy God with boldness and access in confidence.
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