Friday, July 2, 2010

"How Near?" Conclusion

(We conclude our consideration of the truth that believers are called not only to confidence in God, but to confidence in the relationship He has provided for us in Christ).

The heart of Christian faith involves affirmation of the relationship between God the Father and God the Son. "Whoso shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God" (I John 4:15).

Our faith also includes the Biblical declaration of our relationship with God. "But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name" (I John 1:12). This marvel of grace is based on the gift of union and communion with the Lord Jesus, as manifested in us by the Holy Spirit. "Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father" (Galatians 4:6).

Confidence in our relationship with God rests in the truth of the Word of God, and the faithfulness of the Christ who maintains our bond by His ongoing heavenly ministry: "He ever liveth to make intercession for us" (Hebrews 7:25). Whenever we think or feel that we cannot approach or relate to our Heavenly Father for any reason, we must remember that the person and work of the Lord Jesus is the only reason we can ever do so. Our best spiritual moments do not obtain our access, nor do our worst spiritual moments forbid an audience with the King of our lives. Certainly the former may make it more likely we will commune with Him, and the latter discourages approach to God. Neither, however, are the basis upon which we come. Ever and always, Christ is our way, our access, our path, and the One "in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him" (Ephesians 3:12).

Of all the New Testaments truths that form our doctrinal understanding of relationship with God, I can think of none more important than this confidence in how near He has drawn us to Himself. Indeed, we must live in the presence of God not only in fact, but in the expression and outworking that fosters consistent communication. Growing understanding of the enormity of Christ's atoning work on our behalf increases the possibility we will avail ourselves of the gift He has given, the giving of living and vibrant relationship with God. We were made and redeemed for this, and it is God's desire, no, it is His delight that we live our lives consciously near to His heart. "The prayer of the upright is His delight" (Proverbs 15:8). There is no more blessed place, and there is no other place whereby our own hearts will be filled and fulfilled...

In Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."
(Psalm 16:11)

"One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after. That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple."
(Psalm 27:4)

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