18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Access. What a powerful word that is. I could fill 100 pages talking about access but I’m going to keep this short. We go all the way back to the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve sinned against God and tried to blame each other. I’m sure you remember the incident. God at that time blocked the way to the Tree of Life by placing Cherubim and a flaming sword there. The way to the Tree of Life was now not available to Adam and Eve, or to all mankind.
Only Moses had direct access to God. I find this remarkable when I look at this part of the story and the access that nobody else had. It is obvious God had high regard for Moses to give him the kind of access that He did. As we go through the Levitical law, we see that the ark, which was considered the very presence of God, was put in the Holy of Holies, a place that only the high priest could enter into once a year. This was the only direct access to God that they had.
So first God blocked the way and then He made it so only one person, once a year could approach Him in person. But when Jesus came, He made the bold statement “I am the way”. He is the way that was blocked in the Old Testament in Genesis. The way is now open to us so that we have access through Him to the Father. Oh glorious day! What a great thing Jesus has done. Down through the annals of time men did not have access to God and now He is the way. And He will make a way for you, no matter what you’re going through, no matter what the difficulty. He will see you through and make a way.
19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
We’re not strangers to God anymore. We are not out there somewhere just floating around hoping to get into the kingdom of God. We’re citizens right along with the rest of the saints that have gone before us. We belong in heaven if we have Jesus Christ as our Savior. It is our home. You’ve heard many songs that talk about being homesick for heaven. Oh it’ll be a great day when we go to heaven – a day of rejoicing and great fellowship because we’re not foreigners anymore. We are part of the household of God. We are His sons and His daughters and we have a mansion waiting for us.
Not only are we fellow citizens, but we are built upon a foundation of great men before us. We can go all the way back to Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Paul and Timothy and then come into the new day with Jonathan Edwards, D L Moody, Charles Spurgeon, CS Lewis and so many others who have laid a foundation in the gospel. This foundation is built around a cornerstone and that cornerstone is Jesus Christ. The cornerstone is there to hold the whole thing together. That’s what Jesus does with our foundation – He holds it together.. We can never take Jesus out of the church because, if we do, the whole thing will topple. He has to be the preeminent figure.
21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
Everything is fitly framed together. God put you and your church family together the way He wants it. It’s not our choice who God places in our church, although we think it is. God puts the body together and He frames it the way he wants it framed so that it will be a holy temple unto the Lord. If we have a problem with somebody that God has brought into our congregation, we had better go to God with it. My guess is that God is trying to change me if somebody comes in to that congregation that I find offense with. And I better get my act straight instead of trying to condemn them. The typical responses is “Well I’m a member here so they have to go”. God might be saying “No, you need to change and accept them and love them.”
Then he says that we have been built together so that God can inhabit us. This is an interesting statement to me. It reminds me of the verse that says that God inhabits the praises of Israel (Psalm 22:3). We use this all the time and change it a little bit to say God inhabits the praises of his people. God has formed the body together so it will be a habitation for Him through the Spirit. He does live within our churches if we are allowing him to. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to services where they just don’t have time for the Holy Spirit. This is sad. I believe God would move in every church service in America and around the world if we would just give Him time to do so. Because we have been built together as a church for an habitation of God! He is there and He wants to minister to us. The question is – will we allow Him to?