Coming into God's Presence
As believers we like to quote Ephesians 3:12, “Because of Messiah and our faith in Him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.”
But we forget sometimes whose presence we are entering into. We forget that God is holy and we also need to be holy, and to be holy we must have a reverence and a fear of the Lord. Even the angels cover their eyes as they stand before God Almighty. We take this Scripture out of context. Why does Paul tell us that we can now have the freedom and confidence to enter into God’s presence? Because of the previous verses. Paul, speaking about the mystery of Messiah, says this in Ephesians 3:6: “This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Messiah Yeshua.”
Ephesians 2:11-22 tells us, “Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called ‘the uncircumcision’ by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— remember that you were at that time separated from Messiah, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Messiah Yeshua you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Messiah. For He Himself is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that He might create in Himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Messiah Yeshua Himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”
So you see, as Gentiles we had no way or no right to come before God, but because we have been grafted into Israel, as Romans 11:17-18 tells us, “But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.” And through the shed blood of Messiah that we accepted and now believe (which caused us to go from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light), we can come before God knowing that we are now His children.
So we see that now through the Messiah we (Gentiles) can come before God with confidence, an assurance that has been given to us by accepting the sacrifice of the shed blood of the Messiah on our behalf. Our boldness and confidence is in our faith in Messiah, not in ourselves.
It is our position, as Ephesians 2:1-10 tells us, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Messiah even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Messiah and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Messiah Yeshua, in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Messiah Yeshua. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Messiah Yeshua to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
God is a holy God and we are to be holy also. We must come into His presence humbly and contrite and washed clean. We are to examine ourselves before we have communion; well, we have communion every time we come into God’s presence.
So be confident in the sacrifice of Messiah, but also be thankful that we can come into the presence of a holy God.