God invites us to draw near in full assurance of faith. We see here the total necessity of approaching God by faith. God is only pleased when we come in faith in what he has done for us in Christ. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him (Hebrews 11:6 ESV). The Lord wants us to rely totally on him. Faith “holds on to truth and reasons from what it knows to be fact” (Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression, p. 144). So then, as the old hymn “Jesus Paid It All” expressed God’s invitation to us, “Child of weakness, watch and pray; find in me your all in all.” Faith relies on God as our all in all.
God has been pleased to bless us with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3ff), but he only allows us to enjoy these blessings as we live by faith in the Son of God (Galatians 2:20). One of the greatest blessings is that we have a place in the Father’s family through the grace of adoption (adult sonship). We are sons through faith in Christ, and so if we are to enjoy our position as sons, we must do so by that same faith. I call this the Colossians 2:6 principle: So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him (NIV). God allows no reason for self-confidence, even for the believer. Without Christ we can do nothing! Remember John 15:5. But as we believe in Christ, an inexpressible and glorious joy is ours! Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory… (1 Peter 1:8 ESV).
We see the degree of confidence in Christ that we ought to show; namely, full assurance of faith. This kind of assurance flows out from a believing knowledge of Jesus, our great high priest. “Though Jesus Christ is so highly exalted in glory, yet he is not forgetful of us on earth. Some, when raised to places of honor, forget their friends; as the chief butler, when restored to his place at court, forgot poor Joseph in prison; but it is not so with Christ; though exalted to such glory in heaven, he is not unmindful of his saints on earth” (Watson, A Body of Divinity, p. 207). Jesus deeply cares for you, regardless of your struggles with guilt feelings. Faith confidently lays hold of the greatness of Jesus, the great high priest, and his one-time, finished sacrifice for sin. The mark of true spirituality is not doubt, but the freedom and joy of full assurance.
Is this full assurance yours? You must first believe in Christ and then live by faith on him. As you follow him, the Holy Spirit will bring about bold assurance. The walk of faith experiences the unchangeable character and grace of the Lord Jesus and develops fresh dependence on him while the Spirit testifies to his greatness. Well did Isaac Watts write the following words: “Jesus, my great High Priest, offered His blood and died; my guilty conscience seeks no sacrifice beside. His powerful blood did once atone and now it pleads before the throne.” Amen! Praise the Lord!
Hearing this is one matter; doing this is another. We must actually draw near to God with the confidence that our consciences are cleansed through the finished work of Christ. Right now, boldly approach God the Father through his dearly loved Son. Enjoy the welcome he offers to you!
Grace and peace, David