Our Right of Way

“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:11-22).

Introduction

The Temple in Jerusalem was considered to be the holiest place on earth by the Jews. Non-Jews were only permitted to go as far as the Court of the Gentiles, but even the Jews, except for the High Priest, were not allowed to go behind the last curtain to the area called the Holy of Holies. Anyone who attempted to do so would immediately die.

The five-foot barrier which barred Gentiles getting any closer to the Temple had a warning sign on it, it read, “No foreigner is to enter within the banister and embankment around the sanctuary. Whoever is caught will have himself to blame for his own death which follows.” Therefore only God could make a way into the Holy Place for Gentiles.

There is a way

It is interesting to note that every religion thinks it has the only way to approach God, and each one of them say it is through rituals, ceremonies, washings or good deeds. For the Jews it was going to the Temple and they believed that no Gentile had the right to go into it. “Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place” (Acts 21:28). But Paul knew, even though he had not taken a Gentile into the Temple, that God had made a way through the blood of Christ for all men to approach Him. He is the open door into the Holy of Holies. “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved” (John 10:9). Now all who believe in Him are automatically reconciled to God and there is no fear of being rejected or killed. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:16) … “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).

The barrier is removed

In reality the only barrier that kept both Jews and Gentiles from entering the Holy of Holies was sin. “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). The sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross has once and for all removed this barrier so that sinners can repent at the Mercy Seat. “Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom” (Matthew 27:50-51). Now “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13), and receive justification and peace with God. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:1-2).

The plan

Only God Himself could create a way for all men, both Jews and Gentiles, to come into His presence and find perfect salvation. Man is so sinful, and God is so holy that ne’er the twain shall meet. Any plan man had would be built upon his own righteousness and thus rejected by God, therefore God had to implement His own way, which was through His Son. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16-17) … “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 Timothy 2:4-6). If God has made a way, then we would be fools not to take it. “This is the way, walk ye in it” (Isaiah 30:21).

Conclusion

Our opening text makes it abundantly clear that there is no obstacle to man coming directly to God for salvation. The path is perfectly laid down and signposted. “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Only man’s love of sin will keep him from even considering taking the path of life, and so he remains unclean and unable to come into the presence of God. “And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein” (Isaiah 35:8). But those who do repent and follow Christ are led by the Holy Spirit on the pathway of life. They have been given the Right of Way into the Kingdom of Heaven.

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