LIVING WITH A CONFIDENT FAITH IN CHRIST
Draw Near To God In Confident Faith
Jerry A Collins
vCan a Christian lose his salvation?
Is it possible for a Christian to practice sin in his/her life?
How can we be confident in our salvation?
Think about how rewarding it is to have hung in there. To have endured and persevered and in the end earn your reward. Some of you have done that physically. You have stayed the course, avoided temptation, stayed focused on the goal and have been rewarded with a healthy lifestyle and even lost weight in the process. I persevered in seminary. For years afterward I would have dreams of never having graduated because I did not finish a class or turned in an assignment. The pressures of study, newly married, working full-time took years to settle down in my emotional and psychological life. I did persevere tho and received my degree. There is reward for enduring in the xian life. When we confidently walk with God. When we do not jump ship on God. There is great reward the writer tells us in 10:35. However, if you lose confidence, if you fail to stay true to God then the writer says all you have left is the certain terrifying expectation of judgment 10:27 and as if to highlight that he tells us it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God 10:31. This section of scripture summarizes and completeís all of the previous exposition of Jesusí high priestly role and service and drives home the implications of this teaching.
1. CHRISTíS PROVISION SUPPLIES US WITH THE PRIVILEGE OF GODíS PRESENCE 19-25
In this section Christ provided two things for us.
First, we have confidence to enter the holy place vs 19. This is not a church building. There is no building on the earth that can be called the house of God (ILL: of the ladies at Open Door who thot coming into Godís house casually was wrong) The house of God today is the bodies of men & women, boys & girls. That is where God dwells today. The true sanctuary is in the realm of the spirit of man. Possibly, like the tabernacle, the outer court is the body, the holy place is the soul and the Holy of Holies is the spirit. No entrance there was permitted unless Christ washed away the sin and guilt. Until then we are dead in our trespasses and sin (Eph 2:1). But the verse tells us Christís blood has opened the way and now the inner man, our spirit can meet with God face to face. Thatís the only part that can meet with God rite now. Jesus said true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth for the Father seeks such to worship him (Jn 4:23). Not buildings, organs, choirs but to God only acceptable worship takes place in the spirit, the inner shrine, that inner man. The only way in there is thru the blood of Christ. The curtain, once a barrier, symbolized Christís body and has been torn away leaving the way open for us (vs 20). So we are now on the same plane of privilege that the OT High Priest alone held.
Second, we have a great high priest over the house of God vs 21. Here is a description of Christ living in us by the Spirit. So we have a fully available, capable and thoroughly compassionate priest in control over the house of God, whose house we are. Each one of us. How should that make a difference for us? In at least three ways vss 22-25.
(1) Draw near with a devoted heart vs 22. You do not draw near to God when you come to church. You are no nearer to him then than you are at the office or the golf course or in bed. You draw near to God when you live in the recognition of his presence in your life all of the time. When you do that then the results include:
A. Full assurance of faith. That means we are adequately supplied. So our dependence is no longer on our natural man like our talents, training, skills, education, personality, money. Our dependence now is upon that power of the Spirit of God living in us a supply of which is like the flowing of a river of living water that never drys up.
B. Heart sprinkled clean from evil conscience. There is freedom from guilt. God no longer holds the penalty for your sin against you. Only God can supply that peace!
C. Our bodies are washed with pure water. Our bodies now become instruments of righteousness thru which our physical lives become cleansed, rearranged and changed by the new life we have in Christ (Rom 6:12-14; 12:1-2). Every dimension of our lives now becomes impacted by the presence of God within us as we draw near with devoted hearts to God.
(2) Let us hold fast to our confession vs 23. God will do as much for another person as he has done for us. It makes no difference, he is faithful. So speak out and hold fast to the confession of your hope without wavering.
(3) Let us consider how to stir vs 24. Here is the badge of Christianity, love & good deeds. James says the same thing in 1:26-27. How is this achieved?
A. Not abandoning assembling but encouraging one another. The nature of Christian gatherings is to be encouraging not discouraging. Have a ministry of encouragement.
B. Watchful awareness of judgment. The day tied to judgment of vs 26, 31, 35-36. Live in lite of our judgment day. Together these will stimulate one another to love and good deeds. We will be present with the Lord one day forever. Christís provided that for us and we can prepare ourselves for it.
2. DELIBERATE SIN WILL INVITE THE JUDGMENT OF GOD INTO YOUR LIFE 26-31
In lite of the day drawing near we are warned about sinful rebellion in our lives as xians.
(1) Failing to draw near to God a believers sins will only result in judgment vs 26-27. This verse is clear that if you can lose your salvation you can never get it back again. Some xians are in heaven without any rewards (1 Cor 3).
(2) This kind of spiritual rebellion calls for much worse punishment than the capital penalty inflicted under Mosaic setup vs 28-29. There are many forms of divine discipline than just death tho it includes that (Heb 12:7-13).
(3) This should never be regarded as just an idle threat vs 30-31. God has claimed the rite to take vengeance.
3. SO CONTINUE TO ENDURE IN THE LIFE OF FAITH 32-39
(1) Fortify your faith for the future by being encouraged from displays of it in the past 32-34.
(2) Persevere in faith and God will reward you greatly for that 35-36.
(3) Persistence in faith preserves us from the calamities that will overtake one who shrinks back and are ruined by their judgment.