Approaching God with Boldness

After clothing us with His own spotless garment of righteousness, God does not wBoldnesssssssssant us to
be conscious of our sins anymore, like the people were under the Old Covenant.

Trying to live according to the requirements of the law will make us all too aware of just how poorly we measure up against it.

The only way for a believer to have confidence when approaching God is to be
absolutely convinced that all their sins have been forgiven!

Anything less will always leave a trace of uncertainty about whether God really loves them or wants to bless them. God wants us to be conscious of our righteousness.

When we constantly tell God how sorry we are for this and that sin, we remind ourselves of how bad we think we are, forgetting that our sin was already forgiven at the cross more than 2000 years ago!

The writer of Hebrews wanted to instill in his readers this same confidence, showing them how the superiority of the New Covenant over the Old allows the believer to draw near to God with boldness, trusting not in their own level of obedience to the law, but in the blood of Christ.

Those who try to please God through their own efforts of law keeping are like the priests of the Old Covenant who constantly remained conscious of their mistakes, because no human being was or is ever able to perfectly execute the obligations of the law:

For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.

For then would they not have ceased to be offered?

For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins.But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.

For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. (Heb 10: 1-4, NKJV) But this Man [Jesus], after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.

For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. (Heb 10: 12-14 NKJV) Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. (Heb 10: 19-23 NKJV)

Being Aware of Who We ARE

Which of the following attitudes would Christ rather want us to walk around with: Feeling condemned, unworthy and guilty, begging and crawling on our knees before Him, constantly pleading for mercy?

While at the same time having no confidence whatsoever to approach Him because we feel we are sinners?

Or would God rather want us to be conscious of the fact that and loved by Him, how we have been justified and made righteous and given authority  over sickness, poverty and all other enemies of God?

We have even been seated in heavenly places with Christ! …and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Eph 2: 6 NKJV)

Now how can a believer who sits in heaven still think that they are a sinner?

This can only happen when we try to relate to God on the basis of how well we have performed, forgetting that this is not the way that He relates to us.

God is a Spirit and He relates Spirit to Spirit. And since the Spirit of a believer has been sanctified, perfected, purified and justified, this is the way that God sees us. In Matthew 3 we see Jesus being baptized in the river Jordan.

This was before He had done any miracles, before He began His ministry and before He had healed even a single person.

After He was baptized the heavens opened, the Holy Spirit came down onto Him like a dove and the Father said “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”

What makes this so remarkable is the fact that Jesus was accepted and loved by God before He even did one miracle or began His ministry.

Why then did God love Him already?

Because Jesus was God’s Son – simple as that.

By the way it isn’t written anywhere that the heavens ever closed again or that the Holy Spirit ever “lifted” off Him again.

Now the Bible tells us over and over that because of our faith in Christ, we are God’s children too.

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. (Rom 8: 16 NKJV)

In fact we are even called God’s SONS, just like Jesus: “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty”. (2 Cor 6: 18 NKJV)

Now if God loved Jesus at that stage, regardless of the fact that He hadn’t done any miracles, didn’t have a ministry or hadn’t even preached a sermon yet, wouldn’t God, because He is the same forever, love us in the same way?

We can therefore, whether we feel like He loves us or not, whether we think we’ve committed the worst sin or whether we feel like we’ve been wasting our lives with insignificant activities, trust that God rejoices over us simply because of our identity:

We are His beloved children, bought with the most precious commodity in the universe:

The blood of Christ: …knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. (1 Pet 1: 18-19 NKJV)

God is pleased with us, whether we do miracles or have a ministry, OR NOT.

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The Law Arouses Sin

If a married man were to go on a business trip to a different country and one night after work, while he was sitting in a pub sipping a drink, he was approached by a very attractive woman with “cruel intentions”, what would be this man’s motive for staying true to his wife?dddd

The ring on his finger?

The piece of paper that he signed on his wedding day? No!

These external things will never keep a person from committing adultery.

·     The strongest motivation for the husband to remain true to his wife would be if he loved her.

It is exactly the same with Christians and holy living.

The fact that a Christian ought to love their neighbor simply because the Bible says so is not enough motivation for them to actually do it.

In fact most people perform rather poorly at things they ought to do, and much better at things they want to do.

·     It is a fact that when we tell somebody they are not allowed to do something, we are actually arousing a desire inside them that wants to do that very thing!

This is exactly what the law does.

People would not have known what sin was if it were not for the law, because the law says “don’t do this”or “don’t touch that”:

·     What shall we say then?

·     Is the law sin?

·     Certainly not!

On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. (Rom 7: 7-8 NKJV) Salvation = Moral Living?

One of the predominant doctrines doing the rounds in the church today regarding moral living, is that if a person is not performing very well morally we should probably question if they were really saved in the first place, or whether God can use them at all.

However it’s really not our prerogative to stand in front of one of God’s children (who may just be going through a rough time), point our finger and say “I don’t think they are really saved”.

·     Who are we to judge?

Chances are good that such a brother or sister might be sitting under the teaching of a person or ministry that is still preaching holy living and moral behavior modification at the cost of being unconditionally accepted and loved by God and this might be causing them to struggle with some bad habit or pattern of immorality.

The Bible actually tells us to restore such a person with gentleness:

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. (Gal 6: 1 NKJV)

However when someone who claims to be saved, carries on in the same destructive lifestyle patterns for years and years and simply pops into church when it’s convenient for a religious little Sunday morning “fix”, with their lives void of any passion for God, it might be a good idea to talk to them about whether they were really saved in the first place.

But back to the point, a definite indication of legalism is when upholding some moral standard or code is considered to be more important than the person struggling with upholding it.

In some circles where people call themselves Christians, people are actually thrown out from their midst if they commit a certain type of mistake.

·     Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries…(Gal 5: 19-21a NKJV)

 

·     From this verse it is interesting to see that the Bible lists drinking too much beer or wine up there with murder.

Although we shouldn’t condone this kind of behavior, we are not to pass judgment on anybody either, because we do not always understand their circumstances.

Contrary to popular belief however, telling people that they don’t have to obey the laws of Moses anymore actually helps them to have more victory over sin, because it lifts the mould of external behavior modification off them.

At salvation God gives us a 100% righteous born again spirit man on the inside that wants to live for God, wants to love other people and wants to do good.

Ryan Rufus from New Nature Publications (Hong Kong) says: “Any true believer will admit that if they had the choice to push a button that would allow them to never sin again, they would push that button in an instant”.

·     This is proof that the laws of God have now been written on our hearts and that we don’t need the external written code (the law) to direct us anymore: …

I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts [this means God gave us the desire to please Him and have fellowship with Him]; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. (Heb 8: 10b NKJV)

The laws referred to in this verse are not the 10 Commandments either, since we are living under a new and better covenant and not under the Old Covenant anymore.

Before we came to faith in Christ, the law was our schoolmaster that taught us “holy living” and was only a type and a shadow of the real thing, namely faith in Christ.

·     The law, like a signpost, was only supposed to point us to the real thing – we were never supposed to set up camp next to the signpost!

Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might bejustified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. (Gal 3: 24-25 NKJV)

·     The Bible calls the law (that was written on tablets of stone) the“ministry of death”:

But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? (2 Cor 3: 7-8 NKJV).

·     If we now tell people that they should live up to the demands of this Old Covenant System, it means that we are actually putting death on them.

To conclude, if people think that we are saying they can just go out and live in full blown depravity, licentiousness and immorality, simply running like animals after the desires of their flesh, then they are wrong.

If God has removed our old sinful nature with its lustful desires, why should we live in it any longer?

·     …knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. (Rom 6: 6 NKJV)

Just as we once followed like slaves after the lusts of our old sinful nature, we now have the desire and privilege to follow the desires of our new 100% righteous reborn spirit:

·     I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members (flesh) as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members (flesh) as slaves of righteousness for holiness. (Rom 6: 19 NKJV)