Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, (NKJ)
He is ensphered in divine grace. The same grace that saved him sustains him. The same principle upon which he is saved when he believes, is continually applied to him for safekeeping throughout his earthly pilgrimage. Of the ensphering grace, Peter wrote these words:
2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. (NKJ)
The thought seems to be that the Christian, being in grace, is appointed therein to grow in the knowledge of
Christ. Certainly no one who has not found entrance into divine grace through faith, will grow. It is not a matter of growing more gracious, but of coming to know Christ, which knowledge is possible since the believer has entered the sphere of grace.
2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (NKJ)
B. WE HAVE ACCESS TO THE FATHER.
Of this specific access it is written:
Ephesians 2:18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. (NKJ)
All three Persons of the Godhead appear in this brief text. It declares that both Jew and Gentile, being saved, have access through Christ and by the Spirit to the Father. The essential part which Christ has accomplished has been considered at length, but there is also a part which the Holy Spirit undertakes. The Christian's apprehension (1 Cor. 2:10), communion (2 Cor. 13:14), and much of his qualification for the divine presence (1 Cor. 12:13), are directly the work of the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. (NKJ)
2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. (NKJ)
1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body-- whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free-- and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. (NKJ)
The all-important truth - marvelous beyond comprehension - is that each believer has perfect and immutable access to the Father.
C. OUR ACCESS IS REASSURING.
So perfect, indeed, is this admission into the divine presence and favor that the Christian is urged to come boldly. In this instance, boldness becomes the believer, since every obstacle has been removed. Two passages enjoin this boldness:
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (NKJ)
Hebrews 10:19-20 19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, (NKJ)
To be one to whom unrestrained access into the presence of God is accorded is to occupy a position of superior privilege and standing, whether it be measured by the standards of heaven or of earth.
25. WE ARE WITHIN THE MUCH MORE CARE OF GOD.
It will be conceded by all who are awake to the divine revelation, that the love of God for the unsaved is as immeasurable as infinity; yet there is clear revelation that the expression of divine love for those who are saved is even "much more." The argument is that, if God loved sinners and enemies enough to give His Son to die for them, His attitude will be "much more" toward them when they are reconciled and justified.
Romans 5:8-10 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners,
Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (NKJ)
This inconceivable devotion on the part of God for those He has saved leads on to various blessings for them.
A. WE ARE OBJECTS OF HIS LOVE.
The unchangeable love of God underlies all that He undertakes. It was His love that originated the way of salvation through Christ and thus by infinite grace. It is true that God is propitious; that is, He is able through the death of Christ to receive the sinner with unrestrained favor. The death of Christ did not cause God to love sinners; it was His love which provided that propitiation in and through Christ.
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (NKJ)
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (NKJ)
1 John 3:16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (NKJ)
The satisfaction which Christ rendered released the love of God from that demand which outraged holiness imposed against the sinner. The love of God knows no variations. It experiences no ups and downs, moods and tenses. It is the love of One who is immutable in all His character and ways.
B. WE ARE OBJECTS OF HIS GRACE.
Men are not saved into a state of probation, but into a sphere of infinite grace - a sphere in which God deals with them as those for whom Christ has died, and whose sins are already borne by a Substitute. That grace contemplates:
Salvation. Thus it is written:
Ephesians 2:7-9 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. (NKJ)
Safekeeping. As the Scripture declares:
Romans 5:2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (NKJ)
Service. Of this it is said:
John 17:18 "As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. (NKJ)
Ephesians 4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. (NKJ)
Instruction. So, also, it is asserted:
Titus 2:12-13 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, (NKJ)
C. WE ARE OBJECTS OF HIS POWER.
A full induction of all passages in which God is said to be able to work in behalf of those who trust Him will prove a real help to the student. It will be seen that infinite power is ever actively engaged in the support and
defense of the believer. It is written:
Ephesians 1:19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power (NKJ)
Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (NKJ)
D. WE ARE OBJECTS OF HIS FAITHFULNESS.
Limitless comfort is provided for those who recognize the faithfulness of God. It is said:
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." (NKJ)
Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; (NKJ)
1 Thessalonians 5:24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. (NKJ)
E. WE ARE OBJECTS OF HIS PEACE.
Not only is that peace with God in view which is due to the fact that all condemnation is removed, but the imparted, experimental peace is promised also:
Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (NKJ)
John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (NKJ)
Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. (NKJ)
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (NKJ)
F. WE ARE OBJECTS OF HIS CONSOLATION.
Respecting divine consolation it is written:
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work. (NKJ)
G. WE ARE OBJECTS OF HIS INTERCESSION.
While it is revealed that the Holy Spirit "makes intercession" for the saints according to the will of God and they also are enjoined to pray "in the Spirit", it is also indicated that one of the present ministries of Christ in heaven is His unceasing intercession for the saints.
Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray
for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (NKJ)
Ephesians 6:18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints-- (NKJ)
Jude 1:20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, (NKJ)
In His Priestly prayer He said that He prayed not for the "cosmos" world, but for those the Father had given Him; and it is probable that His present intercession, like this Priestly prayer, is restricted to His own who are in the world. Three passages assert this heavenly intercession:
Romans 8:34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. (NKJ)
Hebrews 7:25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. (NKJ)
Hebrews 9:24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; (NKJ)
To be included thus in the "much more" love and care of God becomes a position in divine grace which is of surpassing value.
26. WE ARE HIS INHERITANCE.
A partial anticipation of this position in grace has been expressed under the previous heading, which announced that each Christian is a gift of the Father to the Son; however, beyond the treasure which he is to Christ as a gift from the Father, Ephesians 1:18 asserts that the believer is also the inheritance of the Father. This exalted truth is the subject of the Apostle's prayer. As though, apart from the supernatural revelation of the Holy Spirit, they could not understand, he prays:
Ephesians 1:18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, (NKJ)
Much is promised the believer respecting his future place in glory. It is written:
John 17:22 "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: (NKJ)
Romans 8:30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. (NKJ)
Colossians 3:4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (NKJ)