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19Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching
Our confidence to enter
It was not always so that man had confidence to go into the presence of the Most High. Only the priest had that privilege and even so, only once a year.
And before he did it was with great trepidation. Any mistake could be a death warrant. He must offer sacrifices for his own sins and then for others.
The people did not have even the foggiest idea of what the holy of holies looked liked. They only imagined it.
But today we are all allowed to go into God’s presence, not once every year but any time; not with great dread but boldly too.
16Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Heb4:16
Jesus paved the way, paid the price when He took our sins away the very thick, curtain that separated the Holy of Holies from other parts of the temple was torn from top to bottom, signifying and symbolising the truth that from then on a New and Living way had been laid out for all who believe and accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
We now all belong to the royal priesthood. We who where once aliens, foreigners to God’s promises, are now accepted in the Beloved. The middle wall of partition has now been broken down. Glory to God! Enemies are now friends. Slaves to sin are now servants of Christ, freed from the prison of sin, Satan and his cohorts.
By the Blood of Jesus
We enter by the blood of Jesus – the blood of the eternal covenant, better than the blood of Abel, better than the blood of bulls and goats. His blood is special, spotless, precious, powerful, efficacious enough to atone for any sin we may have committed or will commit. That blood speaks volumes for us before the Father. That is why we can come boldly. When that blood was pored on the mercy seat God the Father accepted it as sufficient to wash you and I and make us whiter than snow. God then removes sin from as far as the east is from the West.
Without the blood there is no remission of sin. Heb.9:22
We draw near with faith
Those who come to God must do so in faith. They must believe that he exists and true to His word. They must see Him with the eyes of faith believing that he is even more real than the things they see with their physical eyes.. Because without faith is impossible to please or see God.
The blood and the word of God cleanse us from guilty conscience
The word of God is a purifying agent. It washes our hearts as we meditate on it. As we ponder on it our minds are transformed in to the mind of Christ. We start thinking God’s thought and walk in His pathway of righteousness. We walk in the knowledge that our sins are forgiven and that we are now new creatures in Christ Jesus, the old is gone and the new has come.
1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ JesusRom 8:1
17Sanctifythem by the truth; your word is truth.John17:17
18 "Come now, let us reason together,"
says the LORD.
"Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool. Isa1:18
18 Who is a God like you,
who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry forever
but delight to show mercy.
19 You will again have compassion on us;
you will tread our sins underfoot
and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
Let us hold fast to the Hope
We need to hold fast to our salvation because we have enemies – principalities and powers who want to trip us up, lie to us and shake the foundation of our faith. We fall from time to time because we are human. But we thank God that it is not the end. God gives us a second chance. His mercy endures for ever. He is extra ordinarily patient and abundant in goodness and in truth. We need to put on the whole armour of God so that we can stand in the evil day.
We need to assure ourselves from time to time that
• God is near.
• He is our Father.
• He does not lie
• He is faithful
• Heaven is our home, we’re citizens of heaven.
• We are purchased with a great price
• We are New Creatures in Christ
• God is for us
So hold on unswervingly. Cast not away your confidence. There is great reward in it.
Let us spur one another
We are in this race with others- our brothers and sisters. We need each other to be fulfilled. We need the Church and need to acknowledge each other. God has endowed each one of us with gifts and talents that we all need. We need to come together from time to time to share those gifts and talents. United we stand, divided we fall. Every one that has accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour belongs to the Body of Christ – World –wide. We can encourage each other to be their best to the glory of God.
Benefits of Going to Church include: Warmth, friendship, fellowship- encouraging one another, praying for one another; hearing from God, being led to repentance, growth and development in Christ,
Disadvantages of not going to Church include: falling deeper and deeper into sin, backsliding, losing power with God, having a shaky foundation, missing out on what others can supply to your spiritual well-being, exposing yourself to the darts and arrows of the enemy, risking not fulfilling your vision
I read these interesting comparisons to Christian without a church recently in a devotional::
• a student who won’t go to School
• a soldier without an army
• a citizen who won’t vote
• a sailor without a ship
• a child without a family
• a drummer without a band
• a ballplayer without team
• a honeybee without a hive
• a scientist who does not share his finding with his colleagues
‘Seven days without a church make a one weak’
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