Bible Reading: Hebrews 10 - 12
“It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?...For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:7,11)
What is faith? Hebrew 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”. In other words, it is to trust in something or someone with conviction that what they promise will come true. Trust is then complimented with action. When we trust and then act, that is called faith. Take this example. You have faith in your friend that they will turn up to the park at 11 am as you had previously agreed on last light. You trust someone who is your friend in this case, and because of your long acquainted friendship, you believe pretty confidently that your friend will turn up to meet you at the park at 11 am. If you have faith in your friend, then you will act out your trust. You will back your bag, put on your coat and head off cheerfully to the park just before the clock strikes eleven, and with high hopes, you would expectantly wait for your friend. This is your act of faith in your friend.
Hebrews 10 - 12 gives a gaping overview of the vast richness and reality of faith in God. If God gives us the grace to see, it is truly wonderful! There is so much in it that it would probably take years to unpack. But here are a few truth gems that only just touch the surface.
The first is the object of our faith. The object of our faith in Christ and His rock-solid sacrifice on the cross. Hebrews 10:19-22 says, “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Previously in Hebrews 10:10, it says, “And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all”.
What is the author of Hebrews trying to unpack here? In the Old Testament, the Israelites had to offer animal sacrifices again and again for their sins. Yet, it was God’s will that Christ would come and override this system that was only a shadow of true realities. Christ came as the perfect sacrifice, in a human body, to die and sanctify all those who believe once and for all.
Because of this, we have complete confidence in Christ. We can trust Him because His blood has purchased us to be His once and for all. We have the confidence to enter the holy places, that is, to commune with God. Previously in our sin, we were enemies with God, and we would have been annihilated in God’s presence by His wrath. Yet, cloaked in Christ and His sacrifice, we can confidently approach the throne of God.
We have a great High priest over the house of God, and so let us draw near to Him with a true heart in full assurance of faith! Our hearts have been cleaned from an evil conscience, and our bodies have been washed by the work of the Spirit and Christ’s blood. Blessed are those who hear and can praise God for these realities in their life!
Lord, thank You that the object of our faith in Christ. Thank You for Your perfect and full sacrifice on the cross that cleanses us once and for all. Thank You that in union with Christ, we can confidently approach Your throne and commune with You. Thank You for the reconciling work of Christ that has brought us close to You. Oh, give us a full assurance of faith! In Jesus’ name, amen.