A weekly Bible Lesson
Hope and Life Fellowship of Rockbridge
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
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How We Can Have Confidence Before God
-- New Revised Standard with Apocrypha
Hebrews 10:35 Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward.
The writer of Hebrews is telling us to hold on to our confidence because it brings a great reward. One translation says, Do not lose your fearlessness. Another translation says,
Ye may not cast away, then, your boldness. These are some different ways of saying
the same thing, confidence has a reward, and we need to be confident in order to receive it.
We should be able to go before our Father with great confidence and boldness.
My question is how can we get that kind of boldness or confidence before God, and is it something every believer automatically has? I believe we can find the answer to these questions, as always, in God's Word.
The Apostle John said --
My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.
For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. (1 John 3:18-24)
John said, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. John did not say if God does not condemn us we would have confidence before Him. We might say it like this, -- if our spirit or inner most being does not condemn us, we would have a clear conscious. Confidence comes from a clear conscious. Our spirit being is our conscious.
God's Word tells us in -- Proverbs 20:27 The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of his heart.
John also says if we love in deed and truth, we will know we are of the truth and shall
assure our hearts before Him. He is telling us to 1st we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and 2nd We should love one another, He commanded us to do this for as very good reason. We will put ourselves into a place where we can receive from Him when we are obedient to His commandments, as The Apostle John said -- And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments. We have to put ourselves into a place where we can receive.
We do this when we believe on Him, and walk in love toward one another. Not just in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. In other words we are not just giving lip service, but we are truly walking in love toward one another. Preferring one another over ourselves, and acknowledging one another. Not just with our words, but with our actions as well.
You might wonder what this has to do with being bold or confident. That is a very good question. Let's read on.
Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
The Apostle John had great spiritual insight in this area. I encourage you to get into His epistles and spend some time studying and meditating in them on your own.
We are to firstly, believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and secondly, walk in love toward one another -- then we know we are abiding in Him, and He is abiding in us.
We know this by the Spirit whom He has sent. So we have an inner witness in our spirit by the Holy Spirit that lets us know that we are in Him and He is in us. Knowing that God Himself is in you, and you are in Him creates this confidence in us before Him.
When your fellowship with God the Father is right, and your fellowship with other believers is right, then your conscious is clear before God, and your heart will not condemn you. This does not mean the devil will not try and accuse you. You have got to know and understand the difference. Satan is the accuser of the brethren. Rv:12:10.
However, we know of his devices, and won't be drawn in with his trickery, will we?
Many Christians have been brought down by the wiles of the enemy -- thinking it was God, not knowing all along, it was Satan.
Paul said in the book of Romans -- Romans 8:33-34. Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
God isn't the one who is condemning us. Jesus is at the right hand of God making intercession for us. God is on our side, He wants us to succeed. After all He went to great lengths to bring redemption to us, didn't He? He's not up there with a spiritual baseball bat trying to knock us down all the time, don't misunderstand me, I'm not condoning sin. I'm saying if we sin, God is showing us what we can do to make it right, we have an advocate with the Father.
1 John 2:1-5 My little children, these things I write to you, that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, "I know Him,'' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.
When we keep His commandments we are walking in His Word, and the Love of God becomes perfected in us. Being perfected is an ongoing process. It doesn't happen all at once or overnight. It takes time, so don't get discouraged if you mess up. Make it right, get up and dust yourself off, and keep going. There is a spiritual precept here we must come to understand and begin to walk in if we are going to have confidence and boldness before God. It starts by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, and walking in love toward our brothers and sisters in Christ.
I have seen too many Christians who are so very critical of others who don't believe like they do, or don't go to the same kind of church, the list goes on and on, I'm sure you could name many of these things on your own. Yet, we must come to understand we are not helping anybody when we criticize them, I'm not talking about a constructive, encouraging type of criticism, I'm talking about a negative criticism that is not intended to help, but tears down and helps NO ONE. We back bite and gossip and talk about others behind their backs, and we wonder why there is no power in our lives. You can not have confidence before God when you are in strife with your brothers and sisters in Christ, it will never happen. NEVER!
You might say how does walking in love with my brothers and sisters in Christ effect my confidence before God? We will never have all the answers in this life, but we have to follow God's commandments, getting out of love with a fellow Christian is breaking God’s commandment, and breaking God’s commandments breaks our fellowship with God.
Jn:15:12: "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
Jn:15:17: "These things I command you, that you love one another.
If we don’t love one another we don’t love God. Jesus said in John’s gospel;
Jn.14:15. "If you love Me, keep My commandments.
And what is God’s commandment?
John 15:9. "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.
10. "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.
11. "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy
may be full.
12. "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
Jesus said this is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
He said this is my commandment! One dictionary says a commandment is a law, an edict, or statue. He made it a commandment so that we would know the seriousness of this, if we break His commandment, then we know there are consequences along with it.
This is very important to the Father, it is a command. If it wasn’t a commandment we wouldn’t pay as much attention to it. You see, it is in our best interest if we obey, when we obey, we are walking in love, when we are walking in love, we are walking in Him, and can have true fellowship with Him only when that happens. When our fellowship with God the Father is right, and our fellowship with our brethren is right, then our conscious is clear before God, and our hearts will not condemn us. Then we can boldly go before the throne of grace, in full confidence before our God.
Jesus said in -- Matthew 5:23-24. "Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Why did He say this, just because He wants harmony among the brethren? Yes He does, but it is always in our best interest when we follow God's rules and do things the way His Word tells us to do them. He was thinking of our betterment when He said this, and will be for our brothers and sisters in Christ's betterment as well. When we do these things, our hearts become assured before God, and we can come before Him with confidence. Amen
If you want to know for sure that you are a child of God, then earnestly pray this prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "…and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37), So I know You won’t cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "… with the heart one believes to righteousness…" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!
Glory to God!!!! Amen.