When I arrived home from dropping him off at the bus stop on the other side of town (have I just given away who it was?) I realized that he didn’t have his phone or his bus pass.
We had a worrying hour when we didn’t know where he was, whether he was on the bus, lost in Colchester or walking home. Eventually we discovered that he had been allowed on the bus even without his bus pass, the driver recognized him and knowing that he did have a pass said it was okay for him to travel.
Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us. (Ephesians 2.18)
My son was technically entitled to travel, we had paid the price for his pass and this gives him access to the college bus. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was the only way to pay the price necessary to give us access to God and the Holy Spirit (God’s presence with us) brings a reality to our access to and relationship with God. Rather than just hoping that we have access to God, the Holy Spirit acts as a connection making our experience with God real. We have so much to thank God for, Jesus gave everything to make it possible for us to know God and the Holy Spirit brings a reality to our relationship with him.
Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2.13)
My son was entitled to travel on the bus, but without his pass, if the driver hadn’t of recognized him then he would have been turned away. I wonder what the proof of our access to God is? There are many obvious things:
That we experience the reality of God leading us.
That we call Jesus Lord and that this is backed up with us trying to live in accordance with his teaching.
We accept that Jesus died to save us and to give us access to God. We don’t know God because we are worthy, we know him because Jesus makes it possible.
We will also have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control within our lives (these are the fruit that the Holy Spirit produces in a person Galatians 5.22-23).
We will love one another as Christ loved us.
What else should be in this list?
One thing that shouldn’t be in the list is being nice! Some churches seem to only be interested in finding nice people to join them rather than trying to help everyone to find access to the God the father through Jesus.
Jesus didn’t just call people who were nice to follow him, he was known as the friend of sinners. When challenged about his friendship with these people who were considered to be the wrong sort by the religious people Jesus said:
“Healthy people don’t need a doctor, sick people do.” (Matthew 9.12)
Jesus gave people access to God because they trusted in him as their lord and saviour. Jesus gives us access to God what even though we don’t deserve it.
My son travelled without his bus pass. The driver knew he owned a pass and so gave him access to the bus even though he was breaking the rules in doing so. This is grace in action.
In our churches, are we more interested in people being respectable than we are in them knowing Jesus? Jesus calls everyone to follow him, let’s be sure that we pass along the message.