Full Assurance of Faith

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith...
— Hebrews 10:22

Scripture tells us that Almighty God dwells in “unapproachable light” and our sin has separated us from Him. We have no right to approach Him. But Scripture also teaches that we can be “brought near by the blood of Christ.” God has provided a way for all those who put their trust in Jesus to have free and full access to His holy Prsence. The great plan of God is for us to have fellowship with Him. He wants us confident in the knowledge that we can come to Him at any time. After all, the main purpose of salvation is to bring us to the Father.

When we come to God, we reverence Him, we stand in awe of Him, and yet, as His children, He has invited us to come boldly. When I’m in my office my grandkids come right in. They don't have to make an appointment. They don’t even knock on the door. Kids don't do that. They walk right in. At home, if any of my kids come around, they don’t have to ask for food they go right ahead and open the refrigerator door. They have every right. They are home. That's how God wants us. Jesus said we must come to the kingdom as a little child. We are to come with the confidence a little child has with his Mom or Dad. We are to come freely and often with our needs, our hurts and our troubles that He might heal our wounds. He is not some distant “god” before whom we must grovel and do penance for a hearing. We do not need an appointment. By the work of Christ and the continued work of the Holy Spirit we have continuous access to the Father. The question is what are you doing with this privileged access? Are you drawing near to the Father in praise and worship? Are you drawing near to God in prayer? We under-value its power. If we really valued prayer, we would do more of it. Perhaps, like the disciples, we need to cry to Jesus, “teach us to pray!” Let’s not neglect this wonderful privilege. Accept by faith the finished work of Christ on the cross as your only access to God and then “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith!”

- From Study #5167

There is Power in the Blood

How much more shall the blood of Christ...cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
— Hebrews 9:14

By God's grace we have a conscience by which we can know and feel when something is right or wrong. But how many times have we done what our conscience said not to do? It is not a complete guide for conduct because the power of the will can overcome it and actually tell the conscience how to behave! A perfect conscience is one that has been cleansed by Jesus through a person’s free and powerful will choosing to follow Christ.

Perhaps the most effective way Satan hinders a Christian is by guilt. While reminding you of your failings he will tell you that you are not good enough to serve God, or to witness for Him. It’s here that we can fall into the trap of “dead works.” Feeling bad over a guilty conscience can lead us to begin to do “good deeds” just to feel better about ourselves. We have done something wrong so we think we need to do something right for God to smile on us again. These are the “dead works” Jesus died to cleanse. He doesn’t want you going around doing things to try to clear your conscience. He wants to cleanse it. Don’t let the enemy hinder you. Come to Jesus by faith, resting in His power to rid you of guilt and then get on with it and serve God. Some are not usefully serving the Lord because they are so hung up in this area. They are constantly looking inward, feeling bad about their failures. God wants you to settle it by knowing and understanding what the Scripture says that Christ has achieved for you! Let Him cleanse you from all guilt and shame so that you can serve the living God with a free heart, with the anointing of God on your life, walking in the light in openness with God. Jesus can set you free to be a victorious Christian – fruitful, powerful, and full of faith! You can know the assurance of a Christ-cleansed conscience. There is power in the blood – power to make you all that God intended you to be!

- From Study #5166

Jesus is Better!

The law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.
— Hebrews 7:19

Jesus is better! This is a major theme of the book of Hebrews: in chapter one, Jesus is better than angels; in chapter eight, He is Mediator of a better covenant with better promises; in chapter nine, His sacrifice is better; in chapter ten He offers a better reward; in chapter eleven, He has provided us a better place and a better resurrection and in chapter seven, Jesus brings a better hope and guarantee of salvation. To trust in our own efforts to keep the Commandments and “be a good person” and to hope that such efforts at religion will earn favor with God and a place in heaven is to hope in vain. The Law was given to reveal sin, not to secure holiness. It can show us we are wrong, but it has no power to make us right. However, the real problem is not with God’s Law but our weak and sinful flesh. Fallen man is powerless to use the Law to become holy because he lacks the strength to fulfill it. In fact, the Law was given so that in breaking it, he might discover what God always knew – just how sinful, weak and unable to be righteous, man really is. The Law cannot save, it can only demand. But there is a better hope, not in my ability to keep God’s laws but in God’s love and provision for me through the cross of Jesus Christ. This is the hope “through which we draw near to God.” Everyone at every moment can draw near and “come to God through Him.”

Now, obedience is transformed from something we did to try to earn from God into something we do because of our love for God. Now there is a much greater law working within us, namely, the law of love and power in the Holy Spirit. Yet many still refuse to give up and admit they have nothing to offer God. People still choose “legalism.” But Levi can never save. Only the Priest after the order of Melchizedek, Jesus Christ, is “able to save to the uttermost.” “The Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17) JESUS IS BETTER!

Our Hope is in Jesus

“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever...”
— Hebrews 6:19-20

In the Jewish tabernacle and later in the Temple there was a veil (a huge, thick curtain) blocking the way to the innermost room called the Holy of Holies. It was here that the presence of Almighty God dwelt in the form of a cloud. No one could enter behind the veil except the high priest and then only once a year to make an offering for his own sins and the sins of the people. The message to a sinful world was loud and clear: “God is here and you cannot come in!” The veil meant that the people had no personal access to God. Sin barred the way into His holiness. But Jesus came and did what none of the Jewish high priests could ever do. Though they could go in and represent the people they could never take the people in! When Jesus, both High Priest and sacrifice, entered God’s holy Presence with His own blood, He did so as our “forerunner.” For at His death, “The veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” (Mark 15:38) Jesus broke down the sin barrier so that we could follow Him into the very presence of God! In Christ we have access to God’s wonderful throne of grace! Jesus has made a “new and living way,” literally, “a just now way,” so although it was two thousand years ago, we can come as if it was done for us just now. We can draw near and worship Him because God Himself has made the way. And, “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast...” (Heb 6:19)

Are you anchored to Christ? Does He have a hold of your life? Do the promises of life in Christ hold you sure and steadfast? Or are you drifting in this world of sin and suffering, disobedience and disappointment? Jesus knows what it’s like to live on this planet; having been persecuted, rejected, betrayed, deserted, misunderstood and even tempted, “yet without sin.” He is the great and compassionate High Priest. Let Him represent you and take you in.

- From Study #5164

The Child of God’s Heritage

“You have put all things in subjection under his feet... But now we do not yet see all things put under him. But we see Jesus...”
— Hebrews 2:8-9

We do not see Man as God intended him to be. Consequently, we overlook what a marvelous act of God’s creation we are. We forget the position He intended for us. God placed Man over all creation and gave him dominion over the earth. It was in this position that Man was to reflect the glory of God. But we do not see Man reigning, as he ought. Man does not have dominion and where he tries to exert his influence greed, disease, and corruption spring up. For every flower, there are weeds, thorns, and briars. Neither Man nor his world is as God intended them to be. What went wrong? Why isn’t Man a ruler and the earth a paradise? Because Adam committed high treason in the Garden of Eden, delivering the kingdom into the hands of a wicked enemy, in effect saying to the devil, “Here, destroy my King’s world.” Man abdicated his position. Today, “we do not yet see” Man as God intended him to be...But we see Jesus!”

We have the example of what Man should be. It’s Jesus! He came to show us a life lived in constant communion with the Father, as God intended. That means it is possible and all is not lost! Though we can't see Man in his rightful place as king and ruler, we can see Jesus, “who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.” (Heb 2:9) Because He humbled Himself, one day we can be exalted. Jesus has made a way for us to be free from our fallen nature and to become what God originally intended. The “redeemed,” are the fulfillment of God's purpose. In Christ, God has restored us to the position of sonship and “raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Eph 2:6) One day we will reign together with Christ over a perfect world.

- From Study #5162