Monday, November 11, 2013

Ephesians 2:11-13 comments: near to God by the blood of Christ

11 ¶  Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

The Circumcision is a reference to the Jews and the Gentiles were called the Uncircumcision, as a reference to the practice that signified God’s covenant with the Jews. This is done in the flesh. God performs a Circumcision of our flesh from our soul and it is entirely God’s operation.

Colossians 2:11  In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12  Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

13 ¶  And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14  Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15  And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

12  That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

Here, using parallel phrasing we find the definition in the Bible of the word “strangers” as being aliens, a word we know to mean foreigners. Another phrase which defines strangers is coming up in verse 19. We were not part of the commonwealth of Israel and we were strangers to the covenants that God had made with His people and the promises resulting. We had no hope and we didn’t have God.

Without God we have no hope. Mankind will not make the world a better place. He will not create a utopia. The most man can do without God is to redecorate the waiting room to Hell. This is our condition. It’s also the condition of every so called Christian or unbeliever who is depending on His own goodness to guarantee him eternal life. 

I have met many good people who weren’t Christians; many atheists and agnostics who have more character and are kinder than I am. And it’s a terrible tragedy that they are going to Hell and I’m not. But, that’s the way it is. Period. Done Deal. In my unsaved state I knew sexually immoral people, liars, thieves, drunks, and murderers who, if they liked you, would give the shirt off their back or the contents of their wallet or smackdown someone who would speak badly of you. And you know what, without Christ, they died and went to Hell just as they were; sexually immoral people, liars, thieves, drunks, and murderers.

I can think of names, fine people by mankind’s standards, kind people by any standards, loyal friends. Just as dead in their sins and without hope and without God as they could be. I’ve met good Muslims, good Catholics, good Protestants, good Baptists, and good Hindus and pagans. I can give you their names. It hurts me that they are going to burn in Hell forever without Christ.  Now, I know you are going to say, well, they weren’t good if they weren’t saved but you know what I mean. If you’re honest and you have ever known people who weren’t Christians you know that there are some really nice people who are lost as a goose in a horse race and some Christians who aren’t worth the shot and powder it would take to blow them into the lake of fire.

13  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Paul is talking to the Gentiles here who were not God's people as Israel was.

Now, presently, IN Christ, with this change in position of not being in Adam, you are brought near to God by the blood of Christ. The blood of Christ, not you, not your church, or any ritual brings you near to God. You are not near to God by being on your knees in front of the benches in front of the pulpit. You are brought near to God by the blood of Christ.

Acts 20:28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Hebrews 9:12  Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

Hebrews 13:12  Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

Revelation 1:5  And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

Just because sometimes you who believe don’t feel close to God is irrelevant. Your feelings have nothing to do with it. You believe, He saves you, His Book sanctifies you, and He uses you for His purpose. Sometimes you need to come apart from where you are, whether it be apart from your seat to come forward from your pew, or from your easy chair at home, to fall on your knees, because you have sinned or are hurting and you feel like God is so far away. But, never forget that you are now His child, no matter what.

I have things in my head and running around in my mind on any given day that make me sick of myself and of how selfish and sinful I am.  I’m ashamed. But, I must never forget that the deed is done. I’m saved. God owns me. It’s stupid to doubt your salvation if you believe. It’s arrogant to doubt other people’s salvation if they don’t act like YOU think they should act. But, regardless, you or they who believe according to Romans 10:9 are saved. Period. Done. 

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