Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part XXIV: Applying The Truth That Believers Have Access To God
  1. Introduction
    1. Some of us come from religious backgrounds where we were taught to be afraid of God for fear He might punish us for some fault we were not even aware we had. Others have come from backgrounds that were themselves so godless that, when we discover we have a long ways to go just to understand God and His truths, we can feel intimidated, wondering if God is somehow so annoyed at our deep ignorance that He is about to punish us for some unknown infraction we might ignorantly commit at any moment!
    2. In reality, God is perfectly righteous and we are very limited in our understanding of righteousness; if left to ourselves, then, we are drastically unfit even to relate to such a perfect God.
    3. However, one of the 33 positional truths applicable to every believer the instant he trusts in Christ as his personal Savior from sin is the fact that he has blessed access to God, cf. Lewis S. Chafer, Systematic Theology, vol. III, "Soteriology," p. 257-259. Applying this truth to how we view our relationship to God and how we can relate to Him equips us to relate with Him " boldly" even regarding such weaknesses:
  2. Applying The Truth That Believers Have Access To God.
    1. The moment we trust in Christ as Savior from sin, we have access to God's grace for standing and growth, and this access supplies security of salvation and room to grow in our knowledge of Christ:
      1. In Christ, the believer stands in God's grace just as he is saved by grace, Romans 5:2. This means he continues to function by God's grace so that he is kept safe in his salvation status before God in spite of his occasional sins, cf. 1 John 1:8-10.
      2. In Christ, the believer also is so "ensphered" into God's unmerited favor, into His grace that he is appointed the calling of growing in his knowledge of Christ in that sphere, cf. 2 Peter 3:18. Thus, regardless of his imperfect knowledge of the truth and all of the potential problems that ignorance may create in his relating to God and living acceptably in God's eyes, the grace of God gives him ROOM and TIME to grow in his knowledge of Christ until he functions in keeping with God's will so as to enjoy more of God's blessing. (Ibid., Chafer, p. 258)
    2. The moment we trust in Christ as Savior from sin, we have perfect, unchanging access to the Father in relationship and hence in prayer, and this access also supplies accessibility to fellowship with the Father:
      1. According to Ephesians 2:18, because of our identification with Christ in His substitutionary atonement for us on the cross, and because of the Holy Spirit's involvement in indwelling and ministering unto us, we who trust in Christ have access to God the Father.
      2. The context reveals that this truth applies to Jewish as well as to formerly pagan Gentile believers at Ephesus, so it applies to every class and segment of believers in the Church era, cf. Ephesians 2:11-17.
      3. Hence, we believers need not live in dread of some relationship break with the Father simply because we come from a religious heritage that was drastically estranged from Biblical truth or simply because we are immature or lack Bible knowledge, etc.; in Christ, we by God's grace through the Godhead have constant, unchanging, full access to the Father unto Whom we can always approach by way of prayer!
    3. Due to the strength of such access, we have assurance to pray boldly re: even our dire spiritual frailties:
      1. Hebrews 4:16 calls us to come "boldly unto the throne of grace to obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need," and that in the context where the "need" is weakness regarding the dreadful temptation to deny Christ and slip back into legalistic Judaism, Hebrews 4:14-15 with Hebrews 2:1-4.
      2. In the same way, Hebrews 10:19-20 repeats the call for believers to approach God boldly in prayer re: their need to hold fast to their profession of Christ versus slipping into Judaism, Hebrews 10:23-24.
Lesson: When we trust in Christ as Savior from sin, we are so DEEPLY "ENSPHERED" by God's UNMERITED FAVOR that (1) we are unconditionally eternally secure in Christ, (2) we are given great TIME to GROW in knowing Him REGARDLESS of our past so that we can start to relate properly with Him and (3) we have such constant access to intimate fellowship with the Father (4) that we can even pray BOLDLY to Him about the most dire spiritual weaknesses we might possibly have!

Application: May we take ADVANTAGE of our standing of being "ENSPHERED" in our ACCESS to God so as to GROW in Him and OVERCOME our WEAKNESSES and even (dreadfully?) EVIL pasts!