"What Confidence Does For Us"
Since we have “confidence” to enter the holy place, it changes our relationship with God and calls upon us to increase our relationship with each other.
What Confidence Does For Us
A. O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world, has a wondrous attraction for me. For the dear Lamb of God, left his glory above to bear it to dark Calvary. In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine, a wondrous beauty I see. For ‘twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died to pardon and sanctify me.
B. On that cross Jesus cried out to God in heaven. The pain of sin must have been so great that within hours Jesus would die. The pain of God must have also been great; to watch and do nothing. But there was a plan – it included this death so that I might live. Jesus became the high priest and the sacrificial Lamb, but in his death more happened.
C. Mark 15:37-38. What I want you to realize is not that the curtain to the most holy place was torn in two, but that it was torn from top to bottom. It was not man that tore that curtain, but God himself.
D. How emphatic the statement, “from top to bottom;” as if to say, Come boldly now to the Throne of Grace; the veil is gone; the Mercyseat stands open to all who come in the name of Jesus. Before, it was death to go in to the Holy of Holies, now it is death to stay out.
I. The Torn Curtain
A. The tearing of the curtain is not just a statement about access to God, it is a statement about the final blood sacrifice. Heb. 10:4, “For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sin.” Heb. 10:18, “Where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.”
B. The open access to God is a statement of my cleansing by Jesus. The price for sin has been paid, I am saved. I may not forgive me, but God has. It is because of what Jesus did that we can come boldly, with confidence before God. (READ Heb. 10:19-20)
C. It is as if the Hebrew writer has called us to get off the pew and come to altar of God where mercy is extended to those who come through Jesus. While the cross is a sad scene for many of us, it is a glorious scene in reality. The greatest day this earth has ever known was the day sin was destroyed. It changed everything.
D. His words, “we have confidence/boldness to enter the holy place.” God wants you to feel good about being a Christian. Yes, we repent of sin. Yes, we are called to live in holiness. Yet, Jesus paid the price for sin and in His holiness I can live this life with joy and peace.
E. Because of that confidence, there are three admonitions in this section. The first is the calling to embrace God’s invitation to intimacy. The second is a plea for perseverance. The third is a challenge to community.
II. Intimacy With God
A. Look at how the writer puts it in Heb. 10:21-22. Now that’s a lot in those verses. The whole sprinkling statement is about what Moses did with the people back in Ex. 24. But it’s because our hearts are clean and our bodies are washed that we have total and complete access to the Father in heaven, the creator of the universe.
B. I can draw near to God because Jesus has cleansed me. Just like the high priest of old washed and but on robes to enter before God, Jesus has cleansed and clothed me. Because of the holiness he has given me my worship to God is focused on Him and not me. It is with my faith and a true heart that I worship Him.
C. Drawing near helps us to realize we live in two worlds. We live in this physical world, but we also live just as real in a spiritual world. That is why our communion is spoken of as the body and blood of Jesus, not crackers and grape juice. That is why prayer helps us to experience the presence of God in our lives, not just a wishful hope of something that happens after we die. That leads me to the writer’s second teaching, a plea for perseverance.
III. Plea for Perseverance
A. Listen to Heb. 10:23. This is one of those passages you either accept or reject. If God is faithful concerning his promise of our salvation, then persevering in this life as a Christian should be a n0-brainer. Yet, perseverance is not easy in this life because we face all sorts of trials and temptations.
B. The calling from the writer is for our hope to be unshakeable, unswerving, something we grasp and cling to in the good days and the bad. An unshakable faith is only realized when something is trying to shake it. We have to recognize those voices inside us that are not the Spirit of God but instead are the spirit of this world. Don’t let the cynicism of this life tear you down.
IV. A Challenge For Community
A. The last point we are looking at this morning is the challenge the writer gives for us to live in community. I love the words he writes in Heb. 10:24-25.
B. My life and your life need to be connected. The reason is simply, neither one of us will stay spiritually strong alone – not just alone, but intentionally avoiding each other. We need to think about how we can encourage each other to works of ministry that show love for others.
C. Is collective worship commanded? That duty style teaching lacks all aspects of the intimacy that God desires for us to have with him. Yes, I need to be here worshiping God with you. Not because God won’t be God, or even because your worship is lacking without me, but because we are family and family loves being together.
D. When Kerri is fixing one of her great meals you can smell it all through the house. When she says it’s time to eat, I don’t huff and puff, say “fine, but only because you say I have to.” No, the love she shows in her cooking and the love she shows when she is not cooking, draws me to that table to sit down and eat with the woman I love.
A. O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world, has a wondrous attraction for me. For the dear Lamb of God, left his glory above to bear it to dark Calvary.
B. Is that true? Does the love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit really have a wondrous attraction for you? Are you here today because you just couldn’t stay away? I hope so. This morning we celebrate with Veronica who was baptized last Sunday night. She was drawn to the cross and the blood of Jesus that would cleanse her and keep her clean. If that cross has the same drawing power of love in your life, then I hope you will come to the old rugged cross and lay everything down for the One who has lifted you up.
Because of Jesus,
Jeffrey Dillinger, minister