Essex Congregational Remembrancer
For through him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
I. NEARNESS TO GOD THE FATHER IS THE HIGHEST AND SWEETEST PRIVILEGE WHICH ANY OF THE HUMAN RACE CAN POSSIBLY ENJOY. The word access in the text means liberty of approach, as every one acquainted with its use in Scripture will admit. Sin alienates the mind of man from Jehovah, and raises a bar in his way to blessedness. But a method has been devised for bringing back those who are banished. We have access to the Father! What a significant and endearing name! The first thing requisite for us is access to the Eternal Father. This being granted, it must, I think, be manifest that our happiness will increase just in proportion to our nearness to God. But could the veil which hides the heavenly world be removed, how would this truth blaze upon us with noontide splendour!
II. WE CAN ENJOY THE PRIVILEGES OF ACCESS TO THE FATHER ONLY THROUGH THE MEDIATION OF CHRIST, AND BY THE AGENCY AND GRACE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
1. Here, then, are we clearly taught that the mediation of Christ is the only means of approach to and acceptance with God. This doctrine forms the grand distinguishing peculiarity of the gospel. But to enter fully into the spirit of our text, Christ must be contemplated in the character which He sustains as the great High Priest of the Church. It is not enough to own that He paid down a ransom price, and offered an atoning sacrifice of unspeakable value; but we must look to His perpetual and all-prevailing intercession. Nearly related both to the Father with whom He intercedes, and to us for whom intercession is made; the nature of each is joined in His Person. As a brother He has a lively sympathy with man, and as a prince He has power with God and prevails.
2. We enjoy this high privilege by the agency of the Holy Spirit.From the subject which has been brought before you, the following inferences may be fairly drawn.
1. If nearness to God be the highest happiness, then distance from Him, or dislike to His will, is the greatest misery.
2. If it is through Christ only that we find free approach to the Father, how thankful ought we to be for such a Mediator. In Him all excellencies, human and Divine, are united.
3. If the influence of the Holy Spirit is necessary to bring us into communion with the Father, as we have shown, then this influence should be earnestly sought and highly prized.
4. If the doctrine here taught is true, Christians of every name, nation, and tribe have substantial grounds of union. In the Church there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free; but Christ is all and in all.
(Essex Congregational Remembrancer.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.