Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20040317.htm
APPLYING THE CHRISTIAN'S POSITIONAL RICHES IN CHRIST
Part XII: Applying The Truth That Believers Are Brought Near To God
(Ephesians 2:13 ESV et al.)
Lesson: (1) If one sees he is "disconnected from God", he can believe in Christ as Savior from sin and GOD will INSTANTLY "CONNECT" him to Himself and to every other Christian in full "spiritual connectivity." (2) Of course, if we as BELIEVERS SIN, "fellowship" (never SONSHIP) is broken with God and others, so we must confess it to God in prayer for restored "fellowship," 1 John 1:6-7, 9.
- A great need many people today express is that of a spiritual thirst to "feel connected to God," to have "spirituality" or "something more" that they see is missing in their "inner person hood."
- As depicted in Lewis Sperry Chafer's, Systematic Theology, vol. III, "Soteriology," p. 246-247, this need for spiritual intimacy is met by God the instant one trusts in Christ as his or her personal Savior from sin:
- Applying The Truth That Believers Are Brought Near To God, Ephesians 2:13 ESV et al.
- When anyone believes in Christ as his or her personal Savior from sin, he or she is positionally placed by God "in Christ," a term that implies enormous divine blessing for the believer, Ephesians 2:4-5, 8-10.
- One of the results of being "in Christ" is that one is "made nigh" to God (KJV), or that this party is "brought near" to God as the ESV describes in Ephesians 2:13; Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, ftn. to Eph. 2:13.
- To appreciate this positional truth, we study Ephesians 2:13 in its context as follows:
- Paul prefaced his revelation of one's being "brought near" to God by describing how alienated his readers had once been from God and from one another before they had trusted in Christ, 2:1-3, 11-12:
- Before salvation, Paul's readers belonged to the eternally doomed kingdom of Satan, 2:1-2.
- Before salvation, they indulged in sinful lusts of the mind and body as people doomed to hell, 2:3.
- Before salvation, their condition had kept them alienated from Christ, from others who believed in God and (as Gentiles) from those of God's chosen people, the seed of Abraham, Eph. 2:11-12b.
- Before salvation, Paul's readers were without hope and were alienated from God the Father, 2:12c.
- However, in stark contrast to their pre-salvation state, Paul's readers "in Christ" enjoyed blessed spiritual unity and intimacy with other godly people and God Himself as follows, Eph. 2:13-22 et al.:
- To offset the alienation of Gentile from God's chosen people, the seed of Abraham, God broke down the barrier between the two to make of them both a completely new entity, a Christian, and this when Jew and Gentile believe in Jesus Christ as Savior from sin, Ephesians 2:13, 14-17.
- To offset the alienation they had known from God Himself, God established a variety of spiritual connections between the believer, Himself and other Christians as follows: (a) God gave the believer His Spirit, or God (Acts 5:3-4) the Holy Spirit, Eph. 2:13, 18a; (b) God the Holy Spirit gives the believer access to communicating with and spiritually being "connected" to God the Father, 2:13, 18b; (c) Indeed, Romans 8:15 reveals that Holy Spirit equips us to address God the Father as "Father," meaning He gives us the subjective awareness of being related to God the Father as His child! (d) As every other believer is thus "connected" to God as His child, the connection between God and the individual believer works to network that believer with every other believer in Christ in a true spiritual brotherhood, Eph. 2:13, 19 [Paul's "therefore" that starts verse 19 (KJV) unites verse 19 with verse 18; so, due to the Holy Spirit's giving us all who trust in Christ access to the Father (v. 18), we have mutual access to one another in a spiritual fellowship (v. 19)!] (e) This network with other believers runs deep: the believer is connected in a fellowship with the twelve apostles of Christ, with every believer in Him who has lived since the Church began on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2, as well as with every other believer around the world who has since then lived or is currently living [This explains why, as one ancient Roman general described Christians, Christians are people who know each other before they meet.']. (f) God spiritually equips every believer with a special supernatural gift of service that makes him needed by every other believer, a further aid to "connectivity" in our experience of serving the Lord. 1 Corinthians 12:8-27.
Application: May we (1) believe in Christ and (2) keep "short accounts" with God re: confessing any sins we might do as BELIEVERS so we can enjoy not only "connectivity," but "fellowship" in Christ!