The Power of Grace Ministries

August 8

It is through Jesus and Him alone that we have complete access to God our Father. Not by might, nor by power, but by His word. 

Ephesians 2: 18-22
, “18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

In John 10:9, Jesus tells us that He is the door to God and we have free access to come in and go out. This is very significant in that under the Law of Moses only the High Priest, and only once a year, could go into the presence of God in the Holy of Holies. The inner temple behind a veil was where the Ark of the Covenant was and is where God would meet with the High Priest and if the High Priest’s personal sacrifice was accepted by God and was allowed to live, then and only then could he inter on behalf of the children of Israel. No one but the High Priest had direct access to God and the High Priest did not freely go in and out. In the New Covenant, God wants to have personal communication with us, one on one. There is no longer the need for a High Priest to go in on our behalf, and we no longer have to wait for a word from God through a Prophet as in the Old Testament. Hebrews 4:16 encourages us to boldly go into the presence of God since we now have Jesus as our living High Priest, having given Himself as sacrifice for our sins, and standing in the presence of God making intercession for us. In the Old Testament, to be a stranger or foreigner was to be considered a sojourner, a person that may dwell near or live in a specific land, but have no rights of citizenship. Just as if we may go and live in another country we would have no natural citizenship. Those of us who are Christians are Sojourners here on earth with our citizenship now in heaven. Not only are we now citizens of heaven, but in verse 19 we are called members of the house of God. The term “members” used in verse 19 has a deeper meaning as well. Membership to most people is simply an association of people, who chose to join together, for a single purpose. We have memberships in everything from country clubs to buying groups. We even use the term “membership” when we refer to a specific denomination we choose to belong to. Once again to the Jewish person the meaning has greater depth and significance. To be a member of a household was to actually be a blood family relative. You had full inevitable rights as a family member to be a part of that family including free access to any and all inheritance. Your actual name was given to identify you as that family member. In Matthew 16:17 Jesus identifies Simon as Simon Bar Jonah, meaning Simon son of Jonah. We are members, “family” of the household of God. Galatians 4:6 says we have the Sons Spirit crying out Abba Father. As children of God we are also joined together as a building, and considered a holy temple, a dwelling place for the Lord. 

The covenant that God made between Abraham was actually between his Seed which is Jesus. Because Abraham believed God it was accounted to him as righteous. A covenant is only as strong as the people that make it. God’s who cannot lie was one and Jesus having gone to the cross already for us is not going to back out. Therefore the covenant has been ratified. The apostles are considered to be the foundation for the church because they were chosen by Jesus to follow him and because while here on earth Jesus actually gave them the authority to preach the gospel, heal the sick, cast out demons, and raise the dead. In the last chapter of Luke and in the first chapter of Acts, Jesus confirmed that these apostles would be the ones to go out into the world preaching the gospel, henceforth; they are considered the foundation with Jesus the chief cornerstone. When Jesus was referred to as the chief cornerstone in verse 20; to the Jews that carried a stronger position that just another stone in the foundation of a building. The foundations of their buildings in those days were not poured concrete set in place by measuring a set distance from the curb of the street. In many cities the houses actually were built one against the other and the first stone lay had to be in correct orientation to how the house was to set in conjunction with the others. If this house was the first in the city then the direction this city faced was in direct relationship to how the first stone was placed. Jesus being the cornerstone for the temple of God, His church, then we know that it is built “exactly” in the correct orientation God wants it to be which is face to face with Him. 1 Corinthians 3:16 tells us that we, individually, are the temple of God and that His spirit dwells in us. In 2 Corinthians the Apostle Paul is speaking to the church as a whole, and in 6:16 we see that the church is referred to as the temple of God. All three are true and do not contradict each other. John 4:17, Romans 8:8 both confer with 1 Corinthians 3:16 that Christians individually have the Spirit of God dwelling in them .In Mathew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of thee”, we clearly see how when believers are gathered together in a church, they collectively are the temple of God and therefore the church as a whole is the temple of God. This is the very reason unit within a church is so very important. Each member is important to the other Ephesians 4:16 “from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love”.