The morning after… the sequel

But for all this supreme accomplishment by Christ and His high priestly role in the house of God, it all comes to nought unless we draw near ourselves in simplicity of faith and sincerity of heart – Hebrews 10:22
…let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. (HCSB)

We have been provided with a new and living way, we have been given the boldness, and we have a great High priest over the household of God – now it’s over to us, up to us to take the step of drawing near in full assurance of faith and a true heart. There is nothing more God can do. When Christ declared “It is finished!” upon that cross (John 19:30), He quite literally meant it – it was finished from His end, He had done it all, He had completed His side of the bargain, and His part of the deal was now completed, done and dusted. Now it is up to us. From then on the ball has always been and remains in our court.

The implication of all of this is our action, it is our drawing near that is going to make the desired outcome happen – God and man in fellowship again – like in the garden of Eden, walking together unhindered and unfettered by sin that is unaccounted for. We are to draw near to God by way of this amazing and living access that is the body of Christ and with this unshakeable boldness afforded us by His blood in full knowledge of the fact that we have a High Priest who is even now, in real time standing in God’s house on our behalf pleading our case.

But we are to do this with “full assurance of faith” and a “true heart “.

The twin requirements of faith and sincerity of heart still stand and always will.

We need to come fully assured, wholeheartedly believing this truth and not giving in to doubt and with a true heart. Cue these two verses that speak about the importance of faith when approaching God and in our relationship with Him in general:
Hebrews 11:6
Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him.

James 1:6-7
But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. (HCSB)

We see then that faith is critical to receiving anything from God.  It is our faith that not only pleases God to the core but is unfailingly rewarded by Him. Without faith we neither get to please Him nor get rewarded.

Let us also take absolute care allowing the word of God to search our hearts (which alone …”is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart” Hebrews 4:12) in order that it may not found to be insincere understanding that nothing is hidden from God before whom all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account. (Hebrews 4:13)

Let us continually offer up our hearts to God for Him to search us and eradicate any way in it that is offensive to Him.  Psalm 139:23 – 24:  Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.

The state of our hearts and how sincere we are is truly critical to how much we will benefit from this unhindered access and extreme boldness we have been given in Christ.

In Hebrews 4:14 – 16 we find another powerful invitation and exhortation to come to God, to press on towards the One who paved a “new and living” way back to Himself for us through His own Son. Only this time the emphasis is on the fact that this high priest of ours is not one who cannot sympathise with us but one who in every way is able to understand our weakness by virtue of the fact that He lived our lives and walked our walk but overcame our failures.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens—Jesus the Son of God—let us hold fast to the confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time. (HCSB)

Friends, ours is to be a bold approach – not a timid and shaky one!

The boldness with which we are to approach the everlasting throne of grace is neither self-generated nor performance-related. It is based purely on the shed blood of Christ. In fact, ironically, we are exhorted to approach this throne of grace with confidence not at a time when we feel we’re on top of the world but at the very time when we feel we’re at the bottom of the pile and require help to pull us out and pull us through. It is at those very times when we feel we least deserve it or have earned it, at those times when we need mercy and require grace to help us out that we are to demonstrate boldness in approaching God’s throne of grace.

Let us value and demonstrate ever increasing appreciation for this new and living way to access the living God and determine never to take it for granted by freely and boldly accessing God’s throne continually, in full assurance of faith and a sincere heart.

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