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Bobby Stafford Drawing Near To God          Christian Living

Drawing Near to God

Introduction:

Throughout the ages, kings, rulers, and presidents have enforced the strictest conditions and requirements for those wanting admittance to their presence. Jehovah, the Supreme Ruler, has set down conditions for coming to His presence as well.  The writer of Hebrews 10:22 gives the conditions for those of us who wish to draw near to Jehovah. 

Text:  Hebrews 10:22  “let us 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.”  NKJV

Body:

I.  A True Heart

·  True – pure, undiluted  A true heart is necessary to see God.  (Matthew 5:8)  “Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.” NKJV  Standing in God’s presence requires a pure heart, one not contaminated or polluted.  (Psalm 24:3-5)  “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?  Or who may stand in His holy place?  He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully.  He shall receive blessing from the Lord, And righteousness from the God of his salvation.” NKJV  (James 4:8)  “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” NKJV

·  A true heart is not divided between things of God and things of the world.  (James 4:4)  “Adulterers and adulteresses!  Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?  Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”  NKJV  Note the soldiers of the tribe of Zebulun:  I Chronicles 12:33  “of Zebulun there were fifty thousand who went out to battle, expert in war with all weapons of war, stouthearted men who could keep ranks;” NKJV 

·  A true heart is necessary to receive God’s Word.  (James 1:21)  “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” NKJV  (Luke 8:15)  “But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.” NKJV

·  A true heart is free from hypocrisy.  (Matthew 23:25-28)  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.  Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.  Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly; but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.  Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” NKJV 

II.  An Assured Faith

·  The faith is necessary to please God.  (Hebrews 11:6)  “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” NKJV

·  An assured faith is a confident faith, one that completely trusts God and His Word.  (Psalm 40:4)  “Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust, And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.” NKJV  (Proverbs 3:5-6)  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;  In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” NKJV  (Proverbs 30:5)  “Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.” NKJV

·  An assured faith is living and active.  This faith obeys God and is blessed.  (James 2:14-17)  “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?  Can faith save him?  If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?  Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” NKJV  (Hebrews 5:9)  “And having been perfected, He became he author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,” NKJV 

III.  A Clean Conscience

·  In the Old Testament, the blood of an animal was sprinkled by the priest on the altar to make atonement.  (Leviticus 1: 1-9)  “3 If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the Lord. 9b And the priest shall burn all on the altar as a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord.” NKJV  Sprinkling of blood was also used by Moses when the Mosaical covenant was confirmed and *to consecrate the High Priest and his garments.  (Exodus 24:8)  “And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, ‘This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you according to all these words.’ ” NKJV  *(Exodus 29:21)  “And you shall take some of the blood that is on the altar, and some of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron and on his garments, on his sons and on the garments of his sons with him; and he and his garments shall be hallowed, and his sons and his sons’ garments with him.” NKJV

·  In the New Testament, it is the blood of Christ which makes atonement for one’s sins.  (Hebrews 9:11-14)  “But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.  Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.  For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” NKJV  Since it is sin that separates us from God, *it is Christ’s blood that allows us to be brought near to God.  

(Isaiah 59:1-2)  “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear.  But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.” NKJV  *(Ephesians 2:13)  “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” NKJV

·  But when does the blood of Christ make atonement for our sins?  Note I Peter 3:21.  “There is also an antitype which now saves us – baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” NKJV  When we are baptized, we appeal to God for a good conscience.  God cleanses us with the blood of His Son.  (Ephesians 5:26)  “that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,” NKJV  (Romans 6:3-4)  “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?  Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” NKJV

Conclusion:

For us to approach God, we must possess a true heart, an assured faith, and a clean conscience.  Then we can serve the living God with confidence.  (Hebrews 10:19-22)  “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us 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.” NKJV 

Bobby Stafford 

January 31, 2016

 

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