Ephesians 2:18
For through him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(18) For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.—In this verse the two meanings again unite. In the original the order is emphatic: “Through Him we have the access, both of us in one Spirit, to the Father.” The greater idea of access to God is still prominent; but the lesser idea of union with each other in that access is still traceable as an undertone. “Access” is properly “the introduction” (used also in Ephesians 3:12; Romans 5:2), a technical word of presentation to a royal presence. So says Chrysostom, “We came not of ourselves, but He brought us in.” The corresponding verb is found in 1Peter 3:18, “Christ also suffered for sins—the just for the unjust—that He might bring us to God.” It will be noted that we have here one of the implicit declarations of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, so frequent in this Epistle. The unity of the whole Church, as united “to the Father,” “through the Son,” and “in the Spirit,” is here summed up in one sentence, but with as much perfection and clearness as even when it is unfolded in the great passage below (Ephesians 4:4-6). The ultimate source of all doctrine on the subject is necessarily in the words of the Lord Himself. (See John 14-17, especially John 14:6; John 14:16-18; John 14:23-25; John 15:26; John 16:13-15; John 17:20-21.) For these are the “heavenly things”; and “no man hath ascended into heaven but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man who is in heaven” (John 3:12-13).

2:14-18 Jesus Christ made peace by the sacrifice of himself; in every sense Christ was their Peace, the author, centre, and substance of their being at peace with God, and of their union with the Jewish believers in one church. Through the person, sacrifice, and mediation of Christ, sinners are allowed to draw near to God as a Father, and are brought with acceptance into his presence, with their worship and services, under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, as one with the Father and the Son. Christ purchased leave for us to come to God; and the Spirit gives a heart to come, and strength to come, and then grace to serve God acceptably.For through him - That is, he has secured this result that we have access to God. This he did by his death - reconciling us to God by the doctrines which he taught - acquainting us with God; and by his intercession in heaven - by which our "prayers gain acceptance" with him.

We both have access - Both Jews and Gentiles; see the notes at Romans 5:2. We are permitted to approach God through him, or in his name. The Greek word here - προσαγωγή prosagōgē - relates properly to the introduction to, or audience which we are permitted to have with a prince or other person of high rank. This must be effected through an officer of court to whom the duty is entrusted. "Rosenmuller," Alt und neu Morgenland, in loc.

By one Spirit - By the aid of the same Spirit - the Holy Spirit; see notes, 1 Corinthians 12:4.

Unto the Father - We are permitted to come and address God as our Father; see the Romans 8:15, note 26, note.

18. Translate, "For it is through Him (Joh 14:6; Heb 10:19) that we have our access (Eph 3:12; Ro 5:2), both of us, in (that is, united in, that is, "by," 1Co 12:13, Greek) one Spirit to the Father," namely, as our common Father, reconciled to both alike; whence flows the removal of all separation between Jew and Gentile. The oneness of "the Spirit," through which we both have our access, is necessarily followed by oneness of the body, the Church (Eph 2:16). The distinctness of persons in the Divine Trinity appears in this verse. It is also fatal to the theory of sacerdotal priests in the Gospel through whom alone the people can approach God. All alike, people and ministers, can draw nigh to God through Christ, their ever living Priest. For through him, as our Mediator and Peace-maker, who hath reconciled us to God,

we both have access, are admitted or introduced,

by one Spirit unto the Father; by the Holy Ghost, who is our Guide to lead us to the Father, as Christ is the way by which we go to him, John 14:6. As there is but one Mediator through whom both Jews and Gentiles come to God, so but one and the same Spirit, Ephesians 4:4. For through him we both have an access, That is, both Jews and Gentiles; the Arabic version reads, "we both factions": being made one, and reconciled unto God, and having the Gospel of peace preached to both, they have through Christ freedom of access and boldness in it:

by one Spirit unto the Father: they may come to God as the Father of spirits, and of mercies, who has made their souls or spirits, and bestowed his mercies on them in great abundance; and as the Father of Christ, and as their God and Father in Christ: and the rather they should consider him in this relation to them, in order to command in them a reverence and fear of him; to secure a freedom and liberty in their approach to him; and to encourage an holy boldness, and a fiducial confidence in him; and to teach them submission to his will: and their access to him is "through" Christ, who has made peace for them, and atonement for their sins; who has satisfied law and justice, and brought in an everlasting righteousness for them; so that there is nothing lies in their way to hinder them; and besides, he takes them as it were by the hand, and leads them into the presence of his Father, and presents their petitions for them, on whose account they have both audience and acceptance with God: and this access is also "by one Spirit"; the "Holy Spirit", as the Ethiopic version reads; and who is necessary in access to God, as a spirit of adoption, to enable and encourage souls to go to God as a father; and as a spirit of supplication, to teach both how to pray, and for what, as they should; and as a free spirit to give them liberty to speak their minds freely, and pour out their souls to God; and as a spirit of faith to engage them to pray in faith, and with holy boldness, confidence, and importunity; and he is said to be "one", both with respect to the persons to and by whom access is had, the Father and Christ, for he is the one and the same Spirit of the Father and of the Son; and with respect to the persons who have this access, Jews and Gentiles, who as they make up one body, are actuated and directed by, and drink into one and the same Spirit: hence this access to God is of a spiritual kind; it is a drawing nigh to God with the heart, and a worshipping him in spirit; and is by faith, and may be with freedom, and should be, with reverence, and ought to be frequent; and is a peculiar privilege that belongs to the children of God; and who have great honour bestowed upon them, to have access to God at any time, as their Father, through Christ the Mediator, and under the influence, and by the direction and assistance of the Holy Spirit: this is a considerable proof of a trinity of persons in the Godhead, of their deity and distinct personality.

For {q} through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

(q) Christ is the gate as it were, by whom we come to the Father, and the Holy Spirit is as it were, our guiding man who leads us.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Ephesians 2:18. Proof from an appeal to fact for what has just been said: εὐηγγ. εἰρήνην ὑμῖν τ. μακρ. κ. εἰρ. τοῖς ἐγγύς. In this case the main stress of the proof lies in οἱ ἀμφότεροι ἐν ἑνὶ πνεύμ. If, namely, through Christ, both in One Spirit have the προσαγωγή to the Father, to both must the same news, that of peace, have been imparted by Him. This is the necessary historic premiss of that happy state of unity now actually subsistent through Christ. He must have proclaimed εἰρήνη to the one as to the other; of this Paul now gives the probatio ab effectu. Others hold that ὅτι introduces the contents of the message of peace (Baumgarten, Koppe, Morus, Flatt). But the contents is fully expressed in the εἰρήνη itself, agreeably to the context; hence, too, we may not say, with Rückert, that the essence of the εἰρήνη is explained. According to Harless, the truth of that proclamation is shown from the reality of the possession. But in this way a subsidiary thought (namely, that the proclamation was true) is introduced not merely arbitrarily, but also unsuitably (for the truth of that which has been proclaimed was self-evident).

τὴν προσαγωγήν] Christ is not conceived of as door (John 10:7; Beza, Calvin), which is remote from the context, but as bringer; in which case there may be an allusion to the Oriental custom of getting access to the king only through a προσαγωγεύς (see on Romans 5:2), but not to sacrificial processions in accordance with Herod. ii. 58 (Meier), which would be an unsuitable comparison. Before Christ had reconciled men with God, communion with God was, on account of the wrath of God (Ephesians 2:3; Romans 5:10), denied to them; Christ by His ἱλαστήριον removed this obstacle, and thus became the προσαγωγεύς, through the mediation of whom (διʼ αὐτοῦ) we now and henceforth have the bringing near (Thuc. i. 82; Polyb. ix. 41. 1, xii. 4. 10; Xen. Cyr. vii. 5. 45) unto God. In substance the having the προσαγωγή to God is not different from the εἰρήνη πρὸς τὸν Θεόν (Romans 5:1), and from the filial relationship of the reconciled. It is the consequence of the atoning death of Jesus; the peaceful relation of believers towards God, brought about through this death. Comp. 1 Peter 3:18. Here, moreover, as at Romans 5:2, the notion of bringing towards, which the word has, is not to be interchanged with that of approach or access (as still by Rückert, Harless, Bleek), as though πρόσοδον were written in the text. Christ by the continuous power and efficacy of His atoning act is the constant Bringer to the Father. Comp. Ephesians 3:12.

ἐν ἑνὶ πνεύματι] for the Holy Spirit is to both one and the same element of life (comp. on Romans 8:15), apart from which they cannot have the προσαγωγή to God. The referring of it to the human spirit (ὁμοθυμαδόν, Anselm, Homberg, Zachariae, Koppe, Morus, Rosenmüller) ought to have been precluded by taking note of the Divine Trias in our passage (διʼ αὐτοῦ, ἐν ἑνὶ πνεύματι, πρὸς τὸν πατέρα); comp. Ephesians 2:12; Ephesians 2:22.

Observe, further, the difference of meaning between the ἔχομεν (denoting the continuously present possession of the signal benefit) and the ἐσχήκαμεν of Romans 5:2 (see on the latter passage).Ephesians 2:18. ὅτι διʼ αὐτοῦ ἔχομεν τὴν προσαγωγὴν οἱ ἀμφότεροι ἐν ἑνὶ πνεύματι πρὸς τὸν πατέρα: for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit unto the Father. Some take ὅτι as = that, the mention of the common access being taken as the contents of the εὐηγγελίσατο. But the subject of the preaching has already been given, viz., εἰρήνη. Hence ὅτι=for, and the verse is a confirmation of the previous statement in the form of an appeal to the experience of those addressed. The fact that we, both of us, are now brought to God through Him is a witness to the truth of what I have just said, viz., that Christ came and preached peace to both. The privilege referred to is a present and continuing privilege (ἔχομεν, not ἐσχήκαμεν as in Romans 5:2)—one to which effect is being given now, viz., τὴν προσαγωγήν, “the introduction,” or “our introduction”. This noun denotes, properly speaking, the Acts of bringing to one, and then the approach or access (Herod., ii., 58; Xen., Cyr., vii., 5, 45). It is urged by some (Mey., Ell., etc.) that both here and in Romans 5:2 it has the primary trans. sense, and denotes the privilege of being brought to God or introduced to Him. Christ would thus be presented in the character of “Bringer,” perhaps with some allusion to the office of the προσαγωγεύς through whom in Oriental courts one was brought into the royal presence. But the difference in idea between access (πρόσοδος) and “admission” (Ell.) or “bringing” (προσαγωγή) is slight, and there seems sufficient justification for the intrans. sense. The ἐν ἑνὶ πνεύματι, which is strangely taken by some (Anselm, Rosenm.) as = ὁμοθυμαδόν, “with one mind,” obviously refers to the Holy Ghost. That is made clear both by the mention of the coming and preaching in the Spirit, and by the reference both to Christ and to the Father. The ἐν is not = by, but in, with reference to the element in which alone we have the access. As that right is ours only through Christ (διʼ αὐτοῦ), so it is made ours in actual experience only in the Spirit, and Jew and Gentile have it alike because it is one and the same Spirit that works in both. So both have continuous access to God from whom once they were far removed, to Him, too, in the benign character of the Father (τὸν πατέρα) whom they can approach without fear.18. for] It is possible to render “that,” and so to make this the substance of the message of “peace.” The difference is not important. But it is grammatically better to retain A. V. (and R. V.).

both] Masculine plural, as Ephesians 2:16, where see note. Both the great groups, in all their individual members, have this access.

access] Better, our introduction; the proper meaning of the original word, reminding the accepted Christian that he owes his freedom of entrance to Another. True, the freedom is present, perpetual, and assured; but it not only was first secured by the Redeemer’s work, but rests every moment on that work for its permanence. We are, thanks be to God, evermore free to and in His presence-chamber, but we are also evermore free there “through His Son,” Who “ever liveth to make intercession for us.”—The word occurs elsewhere Romans 5:2; and below, Ephesians 3:12.

by one Spirit] Lit. and better, in one Spirit; surrounded, animated, penetrated, by the Spirit. This is undoubtedly the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, so largely in view in this Epistle. Cp. 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2; Judges 20, 21; among other passages, for a similar implicit recognition of the Persons of the Holy Trinity in the Divine harmony of their actions for and relations to the saints.

One:”—in contrast to the “both.” See Acts 5 for the fact that even to Apostles after Pentecost it was still a discovery that the Holy Ghost should visit and bless Gentiles with the same freedom and fulness as Jews.

the Father] “His Father and our Father;” John 20:17. This profound word, rich in life, love, and joy, was indeed a new treasure, in its Christian sense, to “them that were afar off.” No pagan mythology, or philosophy, though the word was not unknown to them, knew the thing; the Divine reality of an eternal and paternal Holy Love. To the Israelite the Lord was indeed known as “like unto a Father pitying his children” (Psalm 103:13); “doubtless our Father” (Isaiah 63:16); but even to him the word would develope into inexhaustible riches when read in the light of the Sonship of the true Messiah.

Observe that the approach of the soul is here, as always, ultimately to the Father. Not that the Son, and the Spirit, are not eternal and Divine; but He is—the Father.Ephesians 2:18. Ὅτι, because)—Πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα) to the Father, as to [our] Father. In this verse mention is made of Christ, of the Spirit, of the Father, in the same order in which Christ, the Spirit of promise, and God, are referred to at Ephesians 2:12; [comp. ch. Ephesians 1:3; Ephesians 1:5]. In a different order [the Three Divine Persons are mentioned] in Revelation 1:4-5.Verse 18. - For through him both of us have our access by one Spirit unto the Father. Further illustration of identity of position of Jews and Gentiles, and of the work of Christ in bringing it about. Subject of this verse, access to the Father; predicate, this access effected through Christ by the one Spirit. Our having access to the Father is assumed as a matter of spiritual experience; the converted Ephesians knew that in their prayers and other exercises they did really stand before God, and felt as children to a Father. How came this to pass? "Through him." Sinful men have not this privilege by nature; "Your iniquities have separated between you and your God" (Isaiah 59:2). They need a Mediator; Jesus is that Mediator; and through him, both Jews and Gentiles enjoy the privilege. But right of access is not enough; in approaching God and holding fellowship with him there must be some congeniality of soul, a fellow-feeling between God and the worshipper; this is effected through the same Spirit. Some render "in the same spirit, or disposition of mind." This is true, but not all the truth; for the question arises - How do we get this suitable disposition? And the answer is - It is wrought by the Holy Spirit. As the state of the soul in true intercourse with God is substantially the same in all, so it is brought by the same Holy Spirit. In fact, this verse is one of the characteristic texts of Ephesians, in which Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are brought together. Access (προσαγωγὴν)

See on Romans 5:2. Notice the three persons of the Godhead: through Him (Christ); one Spirit, the Father.

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