Sometimes on the Internet we encounter the message, “Access denied.” Signs populate doors, “Authorized Personnel Only.” Yesterday, on the highway we passed a country club sign with the warning, “Members Only.”
Many places are closed to us. We can’t enter because we don’t have the right.
The halls of power allow few to enter their doors. Abraham Lincoln allowed the public to roam the White House and seek an audience with the U.S. president, but those days are long gone. Most of us will never have the opportunity to talk to a president, prime minister, king or even a congressional representative or parliament member.
Through the death of Christ, we have free and confident access to God. Paul said God’s eternal purpose was accomplished in Christ Jesus, our Lord, “in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in him” (Ephesians 3:12 NRSV).
This access, or approach (NIV), allows us to have fellowship (friendship) with God, to submit to him our requests and intercessions, to share his mission in the world as a part of the church of his Son (verse 10).
Such a free approach to God is amazing, considering the rich and powerful do everything to restrict access to their presence. He offers it because, first of all, he loves and desires a relationship with us.
Second, as the Sovereign Lord he is not threatened by any attempt at rebellion or assassination, constant worries of human figures.
Also, he is able to receive all who come in submission and obedience and relate equally and fully with each individual. His time and energies are not limited.
Only when we are “in Christ” is this access offered to us. See Ephesians 3:12 again.
So the great question is, how do I get into Christ?
The New Testament offers clear answers. It tells us that immersion in water puts us into Christ (Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27). We must understand what is happening during immersion, because it is not a sacrament, effective without the faith, repentance or awareness of the person being immersed. Our decision to come to God must be informed, intelligent, obedient.
With that informed decision, we can approach him boldly, knowing that we will be accepted, for he has made us holy, as he is holy.
No greater privilege has been granted mankind than this access to God. Let us make every effort to enter and remain in his presence.
Therein lies our blessing, our life, our future.
“As for me, you uphold me because of my integrity; you allow me permanent access to your presence” (Psalm 41:12 NET).