#785. ACCESS TO THE FATHER BY ONE SPIRIT (4/4/23)
This week, we continue our nine-week series, 'Praying Together,' which delves into the power and significance of communal prayer. Inspired by the teachings of Mike Betts and his book and course, 'The Prayers of Many,' our series aims to strengthen our understanding and practice of praying together. In this week's devotionals, we draw from the analogy of a family to illustrate how our identity as children of God should foster a confident and beautiful unity in prayer.
‘He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household.’ (Ephesians 2:17-19)
Summary: Faith for prayer is greatly enhanced as we understand the free access that we have to God by virtue of being His family.
You can watch this devotional at:
‘He came and preached peace…’ - Christ has come and has ‘preached peace’ to us. We were ‘far away’ from God. Our sin had separated us from Him. In this context, Paul is also referring to the idea that gentiles (non-Jews) were especially far away. However, through Christ, there is a new unity between us and God and a new unity between all people groups with Jews - God’s chosen people.
‘Both have access…’ - We are told that everyone (‘both’ referring to Jew and gentile) no matter their background, in Christ, has ‘access to the Father by one Spirit.’ As a child of the household has free access to the house and the parents, so we have free access to the Father. Before Christ, the Gentiles were considered outsiders and were not allowed access to the inner sanctuary of the temple, but now they are welcomed into the family of God and have the same access to the Father as the Jews.
The only way to approach God the Father is through faith in Jesus Christ, and this access is made possible by the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit is the means by which we are brought into a saving relationship with God through Christ. Through the work of the Spirit, we are regenerated and made alive to receive Christ and have our sins forgiven. Additionally, the Spirit unites us to Christ and His victory over sin and death, enabling us to live a new life in Him.
Furthermore, it is through the Holy Spirit that we have ongoing access to the Father in prayer and worship. The Spirit helps us to approach God with boldness and confidence, knowing that we have been adopted as His children through Christ. In this way, the Spirit is the constant reminder of our union with Christ and our access to the Father.
‘Members of God’s household’ - We are ‘no longer foreigners and strangers but are fellows citizens with God’s people (the Jews) and also members of His household. Through Christ we have become of the same citizenship and household - family.
In Ephesians 2, Paul explains how through Christ, both Jews and Gentiles have been reconciled to God and are no longer separated by their differences. All who are in Christ are no longer foreigners or strangers, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of His household. This imagery of being part of God's household emphasises the closeness of the relationship that believers have with God and with each other. It also highlights the importance of community and unity within the church. As members of God's household, we are called to love, serve and pray for one another, just as we would in a family.
Ephesians 2:17-19 is an amazing text that speaks of our new identity, unity and access to the Father. Take a moment to meditate and pray out of this text: What can you thank God for? What can you pray for?
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
Good Friday Services 10:30-11:30
Easter Sunday Service
Beginning at 10:00 with hot cross buns
‘What has God been speaking to you about from His Word this week and how has this helped you / affected your life?’
3. STUDY AND PRAY TOGETHER
During this series, we will be using the 'Prayers of Many' course by Mike Betts.
I encourage you to buy a copy of the book from: https://prayersofmany.org/book#buybook
If you need assistance in buying a book please send an email to the church office and we will happily purchase you a copy.
Please download the course handbook from: