Sunday, 31 July 2016
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:13
The words “But now” are set in contrast to the words of the previous verse. In former days, the Gentiles were:
- Without Christ
- Alienated from the commonwealth of Israel
- Strangers of the covenants of the promise
- Having no hope
- Without God in the world
But now “in Christ Jesus” means that we have moved positionally from Adam to Him. We are “in Christ” and participate in all those things which we were unable to partake in. Because of being “in Christ” Paul says that “you who were once far off…” These words tell of how the Jews would speak of the Gentiles.
The Jews had the temple where God dwelt among them. They had the oracles of God which could speak to them. They had the feast days and the many other privileges which come through being “near” to God. The Gentiles had none of these things and thus were “far off” from them. However, even those “far off” were not completely forgotten by God. Isaiah told them this –
“I create the fruit of the lips:
Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near,”
Says the Lord,
“And I will heal him.” Isaiah 57:1
Through Christ, there is now peace. Those who were “far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” It is the blood of Christ which is considered the seal that guarantees us a new nearness to God. Earlier in Ephesians 1:7, it said that we have “redemption through His blood.” This indicated that the blood is the means of redemption. But it is also that which guarantees it as well.
It is as if the blood of Christ has been sprinkled on us. We are cleansed and purified by it. It is what provides the atonement, or a propitiation, for our sins as is noted in Romans 3:25. Therefore, it is what now allows us to draw near to God, regardless of physical location. This is revealed in the marvelously comforting words of Hebrews 10:19 –
“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus.”
Life application: If you have received the work of Jesus Christ, you have been redeemed, your sins are atoned for, peace with God has been restored, and you have access into the very dwelling place of the Almighty. As this is so, what should you fear?
Lord God, we often worry about the things which happen around us, as if they can somehow affect us in a permanent way. But this life is temporary and fleeting. In calling on Christ, we have been redeemed, we have received atonement, peace with You has been restored, and we have full and complete access to Your dwelling place. As this is so, why should we be anxious or afraid of the earthly things which surround us? We have an eternal guarantee because of Jesus. No fear here… the blood has made all things new. Amen.