But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Any businessman will tell you that location is extremely important. If you set up shop in a place where hardly anyone goes, you won’t get that many customers and it won’t be long before costs exceed profit. On the other hand, open a store in a high-traffic area of town and it’s likely more people will stop in to see what you’re selling. If you’re not in the right location, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Location is even more important in the spiritual realm. In fact, it’s critical. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me” (John 14:6). Paul told the Christians at Ephesus that they had used to be far from God, but now they had been brought near to God by Christ’s blood; notice that he specified that he was talking about people who are “in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:13). Being “in Christ” is the right location for salvation.
So how does one get “into Christ”? It’s not by simply being a good person and becoming a better person. That actually comes after one is in Christ. People don’t get into Christ by moral transformation. Ephesians 2:13 says it happens “by the blood of Christ.” When Jesus suffered and died on the cross, He paid the sin debt for all the world. His blood was shed not for a select few as Calvinism teaches, but for everyone. The apostle wrote under divine inspiration, “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). Salvation comes by the grace of God through our own faith (Titus 2:11-12; Ephesians 2:8).
Regardless of what you’ve done or how long you’ve done it, Christ died for you. He paid the price.
Yet even though the price has been paid for all, not everyone will be saved. Jesus Himself made that clear when He said, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13-14). More people will take the easy route, wandering away from the truth into myths because they would rather follow people who tell them what they want to hear instead of heeding sound biblical teaching (2 Timothy 4:1-4; cf. Matthew 7:15-27).
So how does one walk through that narrow gate that leads to life and avoid the wide gate that leads to destruction? We are saved by God’s grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8), so have faith. Legitimate faith comes from hearing God’s Word rather than the false teachings of man (Romans 10:17; Matthew 7:15-27). Faith is proven to be alive when it is backed up by one’s deeds of obedience to God’s Word (James 2:14-26). God’s Word says that one must have faith in order to receive everlasting life (John 3:16). It also says one must have godly sorrow over one’s sins which produces repentance, which in turn leads to salvation (2 Corinthians 7:9-10). It also says one must wash their sins away through baptism in order to be saved and forgiven (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 8:35-38; 22:16). The Bible teaches that Christ’s church is His body, that which “fills Him” (Ephesians 1:22-23). One gets into that body via baptism (1 Corinthians 12:13).
Paul said it this way in the following passages:
“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Galatians 3:26-27).
“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” (Romans 6:3).
How does one get “into Christ”? The door is open because of God’s grace, love and mercy. One walks through it by having real faith in the Word of God, faith that motivates them to repent of their sins and be baptized…”into Christ.”
Location is key. Are you where you need to be? Are you “in Christ”? If you would like to study more about what the Bible says about this, let me know in the comments.