12. We Are MADE NEAR.

The saved one, according to Ephesians 2:13, is said to be “made near.”

Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. (NIV)

Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (NKJ)

As seen before, the word “made” is significant in that it assigns the whole undertaking to another than the one who receives the blessing. Various terms are employed in the New Testament to describe the close relation which is set up and exists between God and the believer. To be “made” near is not only a work of God, but is to be brought into a relationship to God which is of infinite perfection and completeness. To it nothing could be added in time or eternity. What such a nearness may mean to the Christian when he is present with the Lord cannot be anticipated in this life; nevertheless, the reality which the phrase “made
near” connotes (to suggest or convey in addition to the explicit, or denoted, meaning / the word “mother” means “female parent,” but it generally connotes love, care, tenderness, etc.) is as cogent (forceful and to the point, as a reason or argument; compelling; convincing) an acquirement at the inception of the Christian’s salvation as it will be at any point in eternity.

Divinely wrought positions are often accompanied by a corresponding Christian experience. This is true of the subject in hand. While, as has been stated, the position which is described as near to God is itself complete and final, the one who is thus “near” is exhorted to “draw near” to God. It is written:

James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purifyyour hearts, you double-minded. (NKJ)

Hebrews 10:22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled
from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. (NKJ)

These exhortations belong wholly in the realm of Christian experience, in which realm there may be a consciousness, more or less real, of personal fellowship with the Father and the Son:

1 John 1:3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. (NKJ)

The process by which a believer may draw near – as required by James and in response to which God will Himself draw near to the believer - is that of a confession of sin and an adjustment of one’s life to the will of God. Over against this it will be observed that, whether in fellowship or out of fellowship as respects conscious experience, the Christian is, because of his position in Christ, ever and always made near.

13. We Are DELIVERED FROM THE POWER OF DARKNESS.

As declared in Colossians 1:13:

Colossians 1:13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, (NIV)

Colossians 1:13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of theSon of His love, (NKJ)

this special position, as described here in this passage, may be taken as representative of all the Scripture bearing on the Christian’s deliverance from the power of Satan and his evil spirits. Previously, certain passages have been cited relative to the power of Satan over the unsaved. One passage, 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, reveals the blinding power of Satan over the unregenerate person’s mind in respect to the gospel:

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. (NKJ)

Ephesians 2:1-2 declares the whole company of the lost “children of disobedience” (disobedient in the
headship of disobedient Adam) - to be energized by Satan:

Ephesians 2:1-2 1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, (NKJ)

1 John 5:19 states that the world, in contrast to believers who are of God, “lies in” the wicked one:

1 John 5:19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. (NKJ)

1 John 5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. (KJV)

1 John 5:19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the
evil one. (NIV)

1 John 5:19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in the evil one. (ASV)
It will be observed that all these passages, to which reference is made, assert that the unsaved are under the
power of Satan and that the believer is delivered from that power, though he must continue to wage a warfare against these powers of darkness; and God’s Word assures the Christian of the victory made possible by an attitude of faith in the Lord:

Ephesians 6:10-12 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (NKJ)

The Apostle Paul, when relating his own divine commission, mentions one certain result of his ministry,
namely, that the unsaved were to be turned “from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God”:

Acts 26:18 ‘to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ (NKJ)

To be liberated thus is a great reality and constitutes one of the major positions into which the believer is
brought through divine grace.

14. We Are TRANSLATED INTO THE KINGDOM OF THE SON OF HIS LOVE.

As Dean Alford points out in exposition of Colossians 1:13 (N.T. for English Readers, new ed., in loc.), the
translation “into the kingdom” is “strictly local”; that is, it is now that it is accomplished, when saving faith is
exercised, and the entrance is into the present form of the kingdom of God and of Christ. Two other passages shed light upon this great change which is experienced by all who pass from the lost estate to the saved estate:

1 Thessalonians 2:12 that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. (NKJ)

2 Peter 1:11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (NKJ)

In Colossians 1:13, the term “translated” evidently refers to the removal from the sphere of Satan’s dominion to that of Christ. The kingdom is that of God, which may be considered also the kingdom of the Son of His love. Entrance into the kingdom of God is by the new birth:

John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he
cannot enter the kingdom of God. (NKJ)

Such a position is far more than merely to be delivered from darkness, however much the advantage of that may be; it is to be inducted into and established in the kingdom of God’s dear Son.

15. We Are ON THE ROCK, CHRIST JESUS.

In the consideration of divine grace as exercised in behalf of the lost, it is essential, as in other matters of
similar importance, to distinguish between the foundation and the superstructure. In the parable of the two houses -one built upon the rock and one built upon the sand – Christ made no reference to the superstructure, but rather emphasized the importance of the foundation.

Matthew 7:24-27 24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him toa wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds
blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 “Now everyone who
hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” (NKJ)

The smallest edifice (1. a building, esp. a large, imposing one 2. any elaborately constructed institution,
organization, etc.) built on the rock will endure the tests which try foundations, and only because the rock endures.
The Apostle Paul writes of the superstructure which is built upon the rock, which superstructure is to be tested by fire.
1 Corinthians 3:9-15 9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. (NKJ)
Reference is thus made, not to salvation, but to the works in which the Christian engages. It is not characterbuilding, but Christian service. There are, again, two general classes of superstructure being built upon Christ the Rock, and these are likened to gold, silver, and precious stones, on the one hand, and to wood, hay, and stubble, on the other hand. As gold and silver are refined by fire, and wood, hay, and stubble are consumed by fire, so the judgment of Christian service is likened to fire in which the gold and silver will stand the test and receive a reward, while that which corresponds to wood, hay, and stubble will suffer loss. It is declared, however, that the believer who suffers loss in respect to his reward for service will himself be saved, though passing through that fire which destroys his unworthy service.
The important truth to be recognized at this point is that, while the unsaved build upon the sand, all Christians are standing and building on the Rock, Jesus Christ. They are thus secure with respect to salvation through the merit of Christ, apart from their own worthiness or faithfulness. While this figure used by Christ does not lend itself to a literal development in every particular, it is clearly stated by this object lesson that Christ is the Foundation on which the Christian stands and on which he builds. To be taken off the sand foundation and to be placed on the enduring Rock which is Christ, constitutes one of the richest treasures of divine grace.


16. We Are A GIFT FROM GOD THE FATHER TO CHRIST.

No moment in the history of the saints could be more laden with reality than that time when, as a consummation of His redemptive mission - foreseen from all eternity and itself the determining factor in the character of all ages to come - the Lord Jesus Christ reviewed in prayer to the Father that which He had achieved by His advent into this world. He fully intended for His own who are in this world to hear what He said in that incomparable prayer in John 17:13.

John 17:13 “But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. (NKJ)

Devout minds will ponder eagerly every word spoken concerning themselves under such august and solemn circumstances. What, indeed, would be the designation by which believers will be identified by the Son? What appellation is proper in such converse? What cognomen answers the highest ideal and conception in the mind of Deity with respect to Christians? Assuredly, the superlative title, whatever it is, would be employed by the Son when He presents formally His own, and petitions the Father in their behalf. Seven times in this prayer by one form or another and quite exclusively His saved ones are referred to as “those whom Thou hast given Me.” Nothing but ignorance of the great transaction which is intimated in this title will explain the inattention of Christians to this descriptive name. When it is considered, it is seen that in the
background are two important doctrines, namely, that all creatures belong inherently to their Creator and, hence, that in sovereign election He has determined in past ages a company designed to be a peculiar treasure for His Son; but the title itself tells its own story of surpassing interest and importance, which is, that the Father has given each believer to the Son. This is not the only instance in which the Father gives a company of people to the Son. In Psalm 2:6-9 it is predicted that, at His second advent and when He is seated upon the Davidic throne, the then rebellious and raging nations will be given by Jehovah to the Messiah.

Psalm 2:6-9 6 “Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion.” 7 “I will declare the decree: the LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You. 8 Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. 9 You shall break them with a rod of iron; you shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’” (NKJ)

The imagination will not have gone far astray if it pictures a situation in eternity past when the Father presents individual believers seperately to the Son – each representing a particular import and value not approached by another. Like a chest of jewels, collected one by one and wholly diverse, these love gifts appear before the eyes of the Son of God. Should one be missing, He, the Savior, would be rendered inexpressibly poor. Immeasurable and unknowable riches of grace are latent in that superlative cognomen,
“those whom Thou hast given Me.

Dr. C.I. Scofield’s comment on this truth is clear and forceful: “Seven times Jesus speaks of believers as given to Him by the Father:

John 17:2 “as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many
as You have given Him. (NKJ)

John 17:6 “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They wereYours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. (NKJ)

John 17:9 “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they
are Yours. (NKJ)

John 17:11 “Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. (NKJ)

John 17:12 “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. (NKJ)

HOME

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

VII

VIII

IX

NEXT