Made nigh by the blood of Christ
We have seen in this letter about the “riches of the glory of His inheritance of the saints”, and then our salvation by grace through faith. Paul now puts his attention specifically on the Gentiles. You must realize that anybody who is not an Israelite or a Jew is a Gentile. Majority of people living in this planet is a Gentile. This part of his letter is pointed towards us Gentiles but there is one very important thing that made us near to God, that is, He shed His precious blood on the cross and died for our sins.
I. The hopeless condition of the Gentiles “without Christ” (Eph. 2:12)
A. Aliens from the commonwealth of Israel
1. Gentiles are not part of the nation of Israel
2. They are not part of what we call God’s “chosen people”.
B. They are strangers from the covenants of promise (Eph. 2:12)
1. They have no part in the covenant and promises made by God
2. No everlasting covenant such as mentioned in Genesis 17:7-8, “to be a God unto thee” and “I will be their God”.
C. Having no “hope” (Eph. 2:12).
1. Having no promises and being not part of the covenant Gentiles have no hope unlike the Jews who have it.
D. Without God in the world (Eph. 2:12)
1. Gentiles do not have the knowledge of the one true God who can give them salvation of their souls, as well as spiritual and temporal blessings.
2. Of course, Gentiles have a “zeal” of God also but not according to knowledge (Rom. 10:2).
II. What the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ does to us? (Eph. 2:13)
A. Blood is necessary for our salvation. If Jesus Christ had not died on our behalf, none of us would have any hope to heaven. If His blood had not been shed on the cross, no British, no New Zealanders, no Americans, no South Africans, no Filipino, no one would have a hope for eternal life.
B. Without the crucifixion, there is no atoning blood, no hope, and no future. From beginning to end, the Bible reveals that atonement requires a blood sacrifice. By the way the Hebrew word that we translate “atonement” literally means “to cover up”. The animal sacrifices in the OT were intended to cover a man’s sins.
C. When Adam and Eve sinned, they recognized for the first time that they were naked, so they covered themselves with fig leaves. God knows that the fig leaves were inadequate to cover their sins and their shame that’s why God make coats of skins, and clothed them. (Gen. 3:21). What’s the difference? There was shedding of the blood. (Gen. 4:4-5). In Abel’s sacrifice, blood was shed- a basic requirement – the shedding of the blood for the atonement of sin.
D. The list below are the things that the blood of Christ does:
1. We are redeemed through Christ’s blood (Col. 1:14; 1Pet. 1:18-19).
Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 1 Peter 1:18-19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain
conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
Redemption is a term used in the Bible to refer to the special intervention of God for the salvation of mankind. This use of the word deals with the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross in which He paid the price to “purchase” human beings and set them free from their slavery to sin. On account of Christ’s substitutionary atonement, He is called the Redeemer. (Job. 19:25, Isa. 44:6). In the New Testament, redemption refers to salvation from sin, death, and the wrath of God by Christ’s sacrifice.
2. We are justified by His blood – Romans 5:8-9 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Justification commonly has been defined as “just as if I’d never sinned” but it’s much more. Justification means “to declare righteous “. Justification is God’s declaration that those who trust Jesus Christ are perfectly righteous before Him, free from guilt and punishment. (Romans 5:9-11). Justification is being brought into a new spiritual position before God (Rom. 5:1-2). In Justification, the perfect, holy righteousness of Jesus Christ is imputed to the sinner. Before I am saved, God declares that I am a condemned sinner. After I come to Christ, God declares that I am righteous because of what Christ did for me on Calvary.
3. We are Sanctified by Christ’s blood – Hebrews 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. God has set us apart for the purpose of sanctification not impurity (1 Thess. 4:7) and being such, we are called to do good works (Eph. 2:10).
Sanctification – means to be set apart for special service. The Blood of Jesus Christ is also called the sanctifying blood. Sanctification follows Justification. In justification, our sins are completely forgiven in Christ. Sanctification is the process by which the Holy Spirit makes us more like Christ in all that we do, think, and desire. True sanctification is impossible apart from the atoning work of Christ on the cross because only after our sins are forgiven can we begin to lead a holy life.
4. We care reconciled to God through His blood – Colossians 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. Reconciliation means to change from enmity to friendship; to restore a relationship (Mt. 5:24; 1 Cor. 7:11). Through Christ’s sacrifice, believing sinners are brought into reconciliation with God (2 Cor. 5:18-20; Col. 1:20-21; Heb. 2:17). Reconciliation is changing for the better a relationship between two or more persons. Theologically it refers to the change of relationship between God and man. We are naturally children of wrath (Eph. 2:3), and are at enmity with God (Eph. 2:11-15); but, “…we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son…” (Rom. 5:10). Because of the death of Jesus, the Christian’s relationship with God is changed for the better. We are now able to have fellowship with Him (1 John 1:3) whereas before we could not. The problem of sin that separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2) has been addressed and removed in the cross. It was accomplished by God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:18).
5. Grants access into God’s presence – Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
Before Christ died and entered into heaven, there was no such access to the throne of grace. Man had no offering which he could bring that would make him acceptable to God. But now the way was open. Access was free for all, and all might come with the utmost freedom.
6. Grants peace – The blood of the Lord is also called “peace making blood”. Colossians 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. The peace here is not the internal calmness and serenity. It is peace in the sense that there is no more enmity between God and man because of his sinfulness and rebellion against Him and His laws. (Col. 1:21 – 22).
7. Cleanses from all sin. The blood of Christ is also called “the cleansing blood”. 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. What sin have you done? Murderers, thieves, adulterers, liars, etc., have all been forgiven by Christ when He was here. Ps. 103:3 “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities”. Christians have been forgiven of all sins (Ps. 103:3; 130:4; Jer. 31:34; 36:3; Acts 5:31; 13:38; 26:18; Rom. 4:7; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14; 2:13; 1Jn. 2:12). If Christ had forgiven us then we are to forgive others also. (Lk. 6:37; 2Co 2:7,10; Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:13).
8. Purges our conscience (Heb. 9: 14), Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
By this it means guilt is removed replacing it with peace and calmness. The conscience is the knowledge of good and evil which God has put in man (Pr. 20:27; Rom. 2:15). Conscience is the internal judge examining all that I do and say. The word conscience does not appear in the OT. In the OT, the word “heart” is substituted. 1 Sam. 24:10 “David’s heart(conscience) smote him”.
Some says that conscience will be the main tormentor in hell. (son, remember…” Lk. 16:25).
9. Frees (washes away) from sins (Rev. 1:5), The blood of Christ is also called “the washing blood”. 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. He has removed the pollution of sin from our souls by his blood; that is, his blood has been applied to cleanse us from sin. Blood can be represented as having a cleansing power only as it makes an expiation for sin. (1 Jn. 1:7, Rev. 7:14).
10. Gives victory over Satan (Rev. 12:11). It is the overcoming blood, enabling believers to withstand the deceptions and accusations of Satan.
Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
No accusation can stand against those whose sins have been forgiven and washed by Christ’s blood.
11. Brings us near to God – Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
Now we have nearness of access to and commune with God, Father, Son, and Spirit, and the saints, in virtue of the blood of Christ. Because of the blood, Jews and Gentiles can be one with Christ.
E. It’s a sad thing that modern-day pulpit doesn’t preach about the blood of Christ anymore. They never sing the hymn about it also. Those who say the blood of Christ is only symbolic for death are wrong. The blood of the O.T. animal sacrifices was symbolic, typifying the blood of Christ, but the blood was real and was required by the law of God (Lev. 17:11; Heb. 9:22). To change the word “blood” to “death” as some modern versions do is big mistake and is a denial of the atonement of Jesus. (This is one of the mistake of the famous John MacArthur. I hope he will change his position or stand here).
Illustration: Salvation through the Blood of Christ
In the New Testament, there are 290 references to the love of God, 290 times when God had declared His love for man. But in the same chapters and the same verses there are more than 1,300 references to the atonement, 1300 assurances that salvation can be had through the blood of Christ.
Without Christ, Jews and Gentiles are hopeless. Christ’s shedding His precious blood on the cross changed this. I hope this short message will change your view about Christianity. What makes Christianity different from other religions? The precious blood of Jesus Christ. All other religion is “bloodless!”