Skip to main content

Ephesians 2:13: Brought Near

Ephesians 2:13
[13] But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (ESV)

Do you know what it feels like to be an outcast?  I remember growing up and having very thick glasses.  Every day of school I was called "four eyes."  I also did not wear the latest fashions.  At that time all the kids that were cool wore Levi's jeans and Nike leather basketball sneakers.  I wore whatever hand-me-down jeans or K-Mart brand jeans I was given.  I was never part of the "cool" crowd.  In the school yard, I wanted to play football.  I was always picked last.  I was the one that a team got stuck with. I would have wished that someone would have stepped up and said, "Hey, Kevin is just as cool as us.  Let's hang with him."  It never happened.

Now, my being excluded was unpleasant at the time, but not the end of the world.  The exclusion that the Gentiles experienced was a matter of life and death.  As we looked at in verses 11 and 12, they were without God and without hope!  Someone needed to reach out to them and make a way possible for them to be part of God's Kingdom.  That someone came.  His name is Jesus.  Paul tells the Ephesians in our verse today, "But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ."  We do not fully appreciate just how amazing that truth was for the first century Ephesian Christians.

A sacrifice had to be made.  For mankind to be brought near, including the Gentiles, Jesus had to sacrifice his perfect life blood for man's sin.  He was willing.  He reached out.  There is no need for us to be outcasts any longer. We are not good enough. We are not righteous like Jesus is.  We are not holy.  But, he forgives our sin, and gives us his holiness.

I want to go back talking about clothes again for just a moment.  Clothes were such a big deal to me as a teenager.  I did not have the clothes that made me cool. I could not afford them.  Someone would have had to give me clothes for me to appear cool.  Do you realize that as Christians we are given new "clothing" to wear?  Take a look at this passage in Revelation.  And think about your new clothes.

Revelation 7:9–10
[9] After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, [10] and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (ESV)

Do you know what it feels like to be an outcast?  Separated from God?  Praise him today that you have been given salvation.  Thank him for giving you the clothing of his righteousness.  Prepare to meet him with all the saints, clothed in white robes.  Thank Jesus today for reaching out to us so that we could be brought near to him.


Popular posts from this blog

Romans 8:18: For I Consider That The Sufferings Of This Present Time Are Not Worth Comparing

Romans 8:18 [18] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (ESV) Perspective. What an important word. Let's be honest. We do not like the idea of suffering. We will do almost anything to avoid any kind of suffering. Some churches have gone so far as to preach against the idea of suffering, declaring it to not be a part of the true believer's life. Paul is not shy about the topic. Paul uses the sufferings of this present time as a means to consider the greater glory that awaits us. Perspective. Paul is not in any way attempting to diminish our suffering. A view toward eternity puts our suffering in a proper understanding. Yes, our suffering is terrible. In the grand scheme of eternity it is not even worth comparison. Maybe you are thinking that Paul does not know what he is talking about when it comes to suffering. In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul describes countless beatings, often near death,

Romans 11:24: For If You Were Cut From What Is By Nature A Wild Olive Tree, And Grafted, Contrary To Nature, Into A Cultivated Olive Tree . . .

Romans 11:24 [24] For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. (ESV) We continue looking at the illustration of an olive tree. The root of the tree is the covenant relationship relationship of God with Abraham. Abraham's faith is what this spiritual tree is built on. The first branches would have been the faithful people of Israel, who like Abraham, placed their faith in God. They believed God, just like Abraham, and it was credited to them as righteousness. There were branches of the people of Israel who never placed their faith in God. Because these branches were not true followers of God they were broken off of the tree. Faith in God was the essential element that made the branches true branches of this spiritual tree. Some branches remained. Others, the faithless unbelievers, were removed. After Jesu

Romans 15:20-21: And Thus I Make It My Ambition To Preach The Gospel, Not Where Christ Has Already Been Named

Romans 15:20–21 [20] and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation, [21] but as it is written, “Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.” (ESV) We need to be reminded continually that the message of the Gospel is intended to move all across the world. Jesus said that his followers were to preach the Gospel, starting in Jerusalem, and continue preaching the Gospel to the whole world. Christians have not always been good at delivering the Gospel message as far and as often as they should. In the first century church it took intense persecution to motivate the disciples in Jerusalem to bring the Gospel to Judea and Samaria. Once the disciples fled to new regions they shared the Gospel wherever they went. Would the disciples have preached the Gospel without the persecution? We may never know. Some probably would have stayed in their co