At the end of Ephesians 3:11, Paul finishes the verse with the phrase “in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The following verses, 12 and 13, refer to the power that we have by our faith in Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 3:12 “In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.”
There are many benefits which come to a person as a result of their becoming a Christian. Paul mentions two of these in this verse: boldness and access.
This is not something we need to pray for God to give us. These are things which we have. Paul says “In whom (Jesus Christ) we have…” If your earthly father and mother have given you something, you don’t have to go to them and ask them for it. You already have it. As Christians, we already have the boldness and access which Paul talks about. Some Christians choose to not use this gift from God. But it isn’t God’s fault; it’s ours.
When praying to the Lord, we are allowed as His children to speak frankly to Him. That is the definition of someone who has boldness. We owe it to God to have the utmost respect for Him. But in our prayers we don’t need to withhold our true and innermost thoughts to God. We have the privilege to come to Him with boldness, being plain spoken.
It may be overlooked that Christians have access to God. This access which Paul speaks of means more than just coming before God. We read in the book of Job that the devil came before the Lord for permission to tempt Job. So simple access is not what Paul is referring to here. Paul is talking about communion and fellowship, and harmony with God. Recall that in Romans and also in Ephesians we’ve read where before Christ died on the cross, that mankind was without hope. It was as if there was a great gulf which man had created, with his sin, between God and man. Man had no fellowship with God because God is without sin and is pure. God bridged the gap, which made it possible for mankind to have a harmonious relationship with God. This harmonious relationship is what Paul refers to here when he says we have access.
Paul then says we have these things “with confidence.” There are two ways to read what we have confidence in. We either have both “boldness and access” with confidence; or we have boldness, and also have “access with confidence.” I believe we have both boldness and access with confidence. It makes no sense to me that we can have boldness without confidence. They go hand in hand. Our confidence yields boldness. This verse is saying that it is by the work of Jesus Christ which we are able to rely upon God. By Christ’s work we are able to be bold. By Christ’s work we are able to have harmony with God. It is His work that gives us everything we have.
Knowing these two things, access and boldness, gives us as Christians great strength. No matter the circumstances surrounding our lives; no matter how rough things get at work or at home, we have this confidence that we can always go to God in prayer, and we can pour our hearts out and He’ll listen. Our confidence covers the whole range of situations which we may face. In Paul’s particular case, he was facing tribulation.
Ephesians 3:13 “Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.”
Paul tells the church at Ephesus not to be worn down by their surroundings or by what they hear about his hardships. In a round about way, he is reminding them that when they hear about his tribulations, Church of Ephesus, you can go to God in prayer for me. All of our accesses to God don’t have to be about us. They can (and should) be about others who are facing a particular hard time in their life.
Remember when we need to go to God in prayer, we can do so boldly, anytime, anywhere, thanks to our Savior Jesus Christ.
To learn more about Ephesians 3, follow this link.