This special meditation has been prepared by PRC home missionary, Rev. Aud Spriensma.
Drawn Near by the Triune God!
Meditation on Ephesians 2:18
For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Look at what the Lord Jesus Christ has done! In Matthew’s account of Jesus’ death, we read, “behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom” (Matt. 27:51). That the curtain of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom indicates that, as the result of Jesus’ death, sin has been removed as a barrier between God and His elect people. Reconciliation has been achieved, and the way is now open for them to approach God. This is by faith in Jesus Christ and His work. We read in vs. 15 and 16 that Jew and Gentile believers have peace with God and with each other, reconciled to God through the cross.
What is this reconciliation? First, it is a change from a hostile to a friendly relationship. Second, it means that Jew and Gentile are reunited or reconnected. As we are reunited to God through the cross, so also all believers are reunited. There is no more enmity or hostility but complete unity, love, and peace. God has done this through the cross. Because of sin, humanity hated God and hated his neighbor. But as the curtain of the temple was torn from top to bottom, so reconciliation comes down from above. Before this great work, we were estranged and alienated from God and fellow man. From our end, the situation was entirely hopeless. We could not make reconciliation. Even worse, we would never desire to. But God made reconciliation. God the Father sent God the Son, Jesus Christ, to bear the full punishment due to us for our sin. He bore it away in His own body by dying on the cross. He came to preach peace: peace with God and peace with fellow believers, those who were afar off and those who were near. He preached peace, that through Him we both have access in one Spirit unto the Father.
Notice, we have the entire Trinity mentioned in our text. In verse 18 we read, “For through him…” This refers to Christ, the Son of God. The access that we have is in the Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity. That access is to the Father. Now of course, “the Father” in verse 18 refers to God as Father and as our Father in Jesus Christ our Lord. And that is also in the Holy Spirit. It is to the Triune God we have access. Access means that we can approach God, come near to Him so that we can have fellowship with Him. We have access toward the Father. This results in and has its final purpose in our being near to God and having fellowship with Him. This is the truth of the covenant!
The Spirit is the Spirit of Christ received by Him in His ascension. He is the Spirit that was poured out on the church at Pentecost, poured out on Jew and Gentile Christian. Both have the same Spirit. This is what Peter experienced when he was called to go to the house of Cornelius. The Holy Spirit came upon that house, so there was nothing Peter could do but baptize his household (Acts 10:44-48). This Spirit dwells in all believers. Without that Spirit, we could have no access to the Father. That Spirit is the regenerating Spirit, creating in us new life. That new life is the life of love, love to God and love to one another. It is by that one Spirit that we are inclined to seek access to God. It is by that Spirit that we are enabled to seek access and to accomplish that access unto the Father. What sweet communion we enjoy! Sing then and rejoice with great joy! We are drawn near to God by God Himself, the Triune God. How we need greater love to God! How we need greater love for one another!
All nations are one at the foot of the cross. Despite our tendency to exalt ourselves and judge others based on race or culture, all believers are one and Christ is all. Let us therefore repent of our arrogance and welcome one another! Yes, the gospel demands humility. What have we to boast? Our salvation is entirely due to God’s grace alone. Let us come in meekness before the Lord Jesus, and give all the glory to God! What a story we have to tell to the nations.
Dwell in me, O blessed Spirit! How I need thy help divine! In the way of life eternal, keep, O keep this heart of mine! Round the cross where thou hast led me, let my purest feelings twine. With the blood from sin that cleansed me, seal anew this heart of mine. Let me feel thy sacred presence; then my faith will ne’er decline. Comfort thou and help me onward; fill with love this heart of mine. Dwell in me, O blessed Spirit! Gracious Teacher, Friend divine! For the home of bliss that waits me, O prepare this heart of mine. (G. Berky)
I am thine, O Lord, I have heard thy voice, and it told thy love to me; But I long to rise in the arms of faith and be closer drawn to thee. Consecrate me now to thy service, Lord, by the power of grace divine; Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope and my will be lost in thine. O the pure delight of a single hour that before thy throne I spend, when I kneel in prayer with thee, my God, I commune as friend with friend. Draw me nearer, nearer, blessed Lord, to the cross where Thou hast died; draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord, to thy precious bleeding side. (Fanny Crosby)
Rev. Audred Spriensma (Wife: Alva)
Ordained: January 1981
Pastorates: Atwood, MI CRC - 1981; Bethany, S.Holland, IL CRC - 1984; Grandville, MI - 1992; Missionary to the Philippines - 2002; Kalamazoo, MI - 2007; Byron Center, MI - 2010; Home missionary (Byron Center PRC), 2017Website: www.prca.org/missions/domestic
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