Sunday, July 5
Growing in Grace!
A Holy Boldness!
I undertook this series on ‘Growing in Grace’ to respond to wonderings about how someone who isn’t a member of a church lives their Christian life. I have tried to be specific and to answer according to the understanding that I have now in this process of ‘growing’. My goal wasn’t to offend although I know that I have with this series. It wasn’t to promote anyone who reads here to leave the church, it was simply to give a picture of living faith outside of the church, which I am doing at this specific time in my life. How you have a living faith outside of the church was in fact the jest of the wonderings. We should always be careful to distinguish between the Christian church and the Christian faith; two very separate things.
We are called to serve the Lord without fear (Luke 1:74) and we are called to pass the time of our sojourning in fear (1 Peter 1:17) and so we must come to an understanding of what we are called to. Fear can mean many things to each of us so it is helpful to come to some understanding of how these words are used. We are not called to have a servile or slavish fear of the Lord our God as under the Law, we are free from the spirit of bondage that the law brings; Christ was made a curse for us (Galatians 3:13) and Grace has been exalted above Law! We are freed from the bondage of sin and the fear of death and hell and freed from the fear of men, what a glorious freedom we have. If Christ has set us free we are free indeed (John 8:36). Because the Jews served under the law and knew the burden of the law they have the saying that ‘greater is he that serves from love, than he that serves from fear”, they knew the difference.
It is a fear that rests in an attitude of the deepest respect of Who He is, our Sovereign Creator and Sustainer of all life. This is not a terrible apprehension of His judgment or His wrath, it is instead a filial fear for we are His sons and daughters and we know that we are under His mercy and His goodness. That is why we can cry ‘Abba Father’. We know Him because we know Christ and it is awe at His Attributes of Mercy, Goodness, Grace and His unfailing Faithfulness. His Love is perfect love and as the Scripture tells us in 1 John 4:18
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love”
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” Hebrews 4:16
We are told to come boldly to the throne of Grace, without fear and with great confidence that we will be heard. We are encouraged throughout the Scripture to come for help, to expect Faithfulness, to believe promises, to come with holy courage, to be brave and bold. We come because we have faith in Christ, in His person, His blood and His righteousness, “we have boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus” (Hebrews 10:19) and “we draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. “ (Hebrews 10:22.) We have confident access through faith (Ephesians 3: 12) and we can “have boldness in the Day of Judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17). What sweet repose to have our conscience freed by the cleansing blood of Christ Jesus.
We come boldly to the throne and the end of that coming is that we may obtain mercy and that we might know that Jesus came so that we might have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10.)
Grace and Peace!