Believe Jesus: Confidence
Confidence is important and a major theme of the letter to the Hebrews. Confidence gets things done, but as Christians we need to be clear that the confidence we have is in Christ, and not in our own skill or charisma.
Confidence because of what Jesus has done
• the true priest who atones and intercedes for us
• the true temple where we come into the presence of God
• the true light – the shadows are gone, reality has been made plain
• the true manna who feeds his people with the life of God
• the true vine into whom we are grafted as part of the people of God
• the true curtain, now flung open!
Jesus is alive! The way to him is open! Be confident!
Confidence to walk up to God
No-one should be able to walk in on God – for anyone other than the High Priest to have walked into the most holy place (and even for the High Priest only on the Day of Atonement) would have spelt instant death. But because of what Jesus has done we have confidence (freedom, permission, authorisation) to do just that. The gospel is radically inclusive – anyone can now come to God through Jesus, which means the gospel is especially good news for the marginalised.
Confidence of faith
Because we have transformed hearts we are enabled to believe that God is good and will do as he has promised. Becoming a Christian means a complete transformation; it is not merely a life-style choice but a complete turning around. God grants us faith to try difficult things and find our confidence in Him. Even when our faith is being tested and the road feels rocky we can be confident in his plan and of our place in him.
Christianity’s bold claim is that it is true and gives meaning to life. Christians are not (in the words of Radiohead) just “waiting for something to happen” – we know that something – someone! – has happened! Our hope is not wishful thinking but objective confidence in Christ that gets things done. This means that the church is meant to be involved in the work of building a better future in the place where God has put us.
Confidence that doesn’t swerve
The letter to the Hebrews is written to stiffen the spines of struggling Christians. The challenge for the Hebrews, and for us, remains as it was when Elijah confronted the people on Mount Carmel: If God is God, don’t waver, don’t limp, don’t swerve! Don’t give up! Believe Jesus! At times when it feels you have no belief – believe! If you have belief keep on believing! Don’t swerve; hold onto your confidence.
Confidence because of who God is
God is faithful! God doesn’t waver! God keeps his word! All other rulers, kingdoms, authorities come and go but He remains! We can be confident because he is this rock. Let’s live in this confidence and believe Jesus!