Approaching God Boldly
“…in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith…” (Ephesians 3:12)
Bible Reading: Ephesians 3:11-12
God has given us a glimpse of his plan for the ages and his unsearchable wisdom in the church. In the coming together of people from all races in one body through the cross of Christ, he is pointing to his ultimate purpose – to reunite all things in heaven and earth in Christ (Ephesians 1:10; 3:10).
“This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realised in Christ Jesus our Lord,” Paul continues (3:11). From eternity, God’s plans have centred on his Son coming as the incarnate saviour of the world, Jesus Christ our Lord. Some go so far as to say that all of God’s plans are for the glorification of his Son – a kind of love gift of the divine Father to his Son. Whether that is the case or not, there can be no question that all of God’s plans are “realised in Christ Jesus our Lord” (v. 11). The “unsearchable riches of Christ” (v. 8) have their roots in the eternal purposes of God and climax in a perfected kingdom (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).
Mention of the Lord Jesus and his role in the purposes of God leads Paul to continue, “…in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him” (Ephesians 3:12). The apostle has already mentioned this idea of access to God through Jesus in connection with the reconciliation of Jew and Gentile (2:18). Here, the emphasis is not on the equal right of all believers to approach God but upon the confidence with which they may do so. Twice in these words, Paul underscores this point. Through Jesus, “we have boldness and access with confidence” to God.
The writer to the Hebrews makes the same point in connection with the high priestly role of Jesus. Having passed through the heavens (in his ascension) and entered within the veil of the heavenly sanctuary, Jesus now appears on our behalf and intercedes with the Father for us. On account of that, the writer exhorts: “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
Confidence and boldness to approach the throne of God (the Ruler of heaven and earth) as a throne of grace – what a privilege! Truly, a new and living way has been opened into the holiest place of all (Hebrews 10:19, 20). Yet, it is only because of Jesus. His blood and his intercession are sufficient. They tear open the veil, as it were, and bid us approach the Father without fear. This we do, fixing our eyes on him – through our “faith in him” (Ephesians 3:12). While there is nothing meritorious in our faith, it is essential to exercise it as we approach God in prayer. We approach the Father through Christ his Son.
Do we believe in this amazing privilege? Does it lead us to pray?
- Does the presence of Jesus in heaven give you the confidence to approach God?
- Do you bring your requests to him for grace and mercy to help you in every time of need?
– Andrew Young