This is an excerpt of a sermon that I preached. The text was Hebrews 4:1, 12-16 and the title was “Boldness.”
Jesus’ resurrection is the apex of the pinnacle of human history. Mankind’s entire fate, his eternal rejoicing or damnation hinged on the success of this single event. We already know the result. The tomb is empty. Now, Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father (but stands on His feet when we are in trouble, as in the case of the martyr Stephen) making intercession for us. He Jesus, is the believer’s personal advocate as well as the best defense lawyer ever. As His creation, God knows us and He sees the innermost thoughts we possess because He searches the heart. “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13). Yet in the very next verse it says, “Therefore, (or, seeing then that…) since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess” (Hebrews 4:14).
Here is a tip in Bible study. Whenever you see therefore in the scriptures, you must pause, think and ask yourself “Self, what is it there for?”Just in case you have forgotten, nothing concerning our thoughts and actions catches God by surprise. He sees and knows everything about us, but instead of pronouncing judgment we are told to hold firmly or fast to our confession of faith in Christ. Grace and mercy abound to us as we are reminded that Jesus has ascended into heaven and is currently making intercession for us and on our behalf.
One of the things that help us relate to Jesus as our personal Saviour is that He can relate to us on the basis of our humanity. To put it in our vernacular, He’s been there and done that. This is what I mean: Jesus started it all with nothing. He was born in the lowliest of circumstances. He was born to very youthful parents, put in a lowly manger that was reserved for barn animals which was not exactly the place for the Creator, the King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16). But He grew and as He did, He faced temptations, trials, persecutions all of which enabled Him to be fully equipped to serve as our High Priest and Lord. Anyway, He also dealt with cruel and finicky people, the hosanna-cum-crucify Him crowd, and faced dire, unsavoury situations that are common to us humans and yet the Bible says that He was without sin.
Based on this, we have accepted Him as our Saviour and Lord (have you?) and we are admonished to hold fast our confession of faith. If we firmly hold this confession of faith until the end, remembering that He is our High Priest, then we will have the confidence and boldness we need to approach God; on the basis of this faith (Hebrews 4:16), of course. We are informed that we can enter into God’s presence to receive mercy and find grace when we need it.
And by “need,” I want you to understand that you may have been praying for months and months for something in particular and you tell everyone “I need an answer right now.” But then, a minute passes, an hour, days, weeks, months and your “need” has not been met and your “right now” has become months. You see, we define our need in our own sense and we expect God to meet that “need” “right now.“ Meanwhile, God is like, “Son/Daughter, that is not a need,” or “Son/Daughter, you don’t ‘need’ that ‘right now’”. If you needed what it is that you were praying for “right now” which could have been five, six, seven months ago, aren’t you still here even if that “need” has not been met? Just as Mary and Martha when their brother Lazarus died and they sent for Jesus. It was a pressing matter for them but not for Jesus, who took four days to arrive; by then, the dead body was stinking but Jesus was on time.
The verse 16 says we obtain “grace” and “mercy”. Mercy is not getting what we deserve. Grace is getting what we don’t deserve. Further, Mercy is not receiving the punishment for our sins. Grace is receiving forgiveness and being restored to a state where it is as if we had never sinned. Only when you understand the complete forgiveness from sins can you have confidence to enter into the presence of God and boldly draw near to the Throne of Grace. And we have the freedom of access. We don’t need permission, like it was with ancient kings where subjects needed permission to approach the throne.
Proposed prayer: Dear Lord, You look on the heart and not just on outward appearance. You have said to us that when we rend our heart and not our garment, we will be able to come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Please help me to trust You so I will have that boldness to approach Your throne. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer, in Jesus’ name.
Have a wonderful week full of confidence and boldness.