Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"How Near?"

(We continue our consideration of the New Testament's emphasis on the believer's confidence not only in God, but in the relationship with Him given to us in Christ.)

Part 1

Confidence in our relationship with God presents great challenge to born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. For many, the mere thought reminds of too many failures and too little unfettered devotion to the glory and will of God. "How can I be confident in a relationship wherein too often I have been - and still am -a no show?"

The answer lies where all answers lie, in the Word of God. The Bible unequivocally declares that God has established in every believer the ongoing possibility of vital relationship with Him. Whether we have acted on the Truth is not the primary issue. The Truth itself is the issue. Through the person and work of the Lord Jesus, we may presently approach the aptly-termed "Throne of grace" regardless of how faithful, obedient, and devoted we may or may not have been (Hebrews 4:16). When we get there, our Heavenly Father will lead us to contrition and repentance if necessary, and if sins have been committed that affect other people, our path from the Throne may lead us to their doorstep to offer apology and make restitution. However, the fundamental issue is our approach and subsequent relationship to God. Christ and Christ alone is the basis of such grace. As long as "He ever liveth to make intercession for us," we may and must come (Hebrews 7:25).

God has given to His trusting children the agencies of the Lord Jesus, the Bible, the Holy Spirit, and the fellowship of believers as the primary means by which we relate to Him. Three of these gifts are pristinely perfect in their substance and dynamic working on our behalf. While not perfect, the fourth consistently illuminates the face and fact of God as we walk with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Confidence in our Lord's relating to us and our capacity to relate to Him should therefore teem within our hearts and minds in abundant excess. If this is not the case, we need search no further than an inadequate understanding of Truth as the culprit. Regardless of how well we think we know the Bible concerning relationship with God, something is amiss in our understanding if our communion with God is not consistent and vibrant.

We must devote ourselves to increasing awareness and affirmation of the magnitude of the Lord Jesus' redeeming work on our behalf. Mere glimpses of such glory will call the born again heart near to the heart of God, effecting revolutionary change that results in the blessed knowledge that so long as we come by Christ, we can come. "Beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (II Corinthians 3:18). Our Heavenly Father's confidence in how closely He has united us to His Son is far greater than our own, and the more our assurance reflects His assurance, the more we will think, speak, act, and relate accordingly. May nothing keep us from availing ourselves of so great salvation made possible by so great a Savior.

"Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him."
(Ephesians 3:11-12)

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