Faith Matters: Full assurance of faith

By REV. BRETT REITENBACH

Pastor, Greenfield Baptist Church

Published: 07-07-2023 12:36 PM

How can a person come to God with full assurance? The portion of the Bible called Hebrews was written to Jewish believers in Jesus Christ who were facing persecution. It is one of the richest books of the Bible but is also one of the most difficult to understand for those not familiar with the practices that are found in the laws of the written Torah that God gave to Moses for the nation of Israel to follow.

Hebrews 10:22 says, “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.” Jewish rituals have historically included various forms of washing and cleansing for various reasons. The message being emphasized here is what was done on the outside has a deeper spiritual significance because of what the Messiah, Jesus Christ, has done. A little earlier in Chapter 10, the book of Hebrews says, “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God.” According to the law of Moses, priests were to regularly offer animal sacrifices to atone for the sins of the people. A big change took place when Jesus Christ the Son of God came to earth and died on the cross for the sins of all mankind. Instead of multiple sacrifices being required, Christ’s one payment for sin was sufficient.

Hebrews 10 continues, “Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an 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.” Rather than continued death through the priests’ sacrifices, the focus could turn to life that has been provided by Jesus Christ. True faith in that one sacrifice for sins would result in a kind of assurance that could not be found in always being concerned with performing rituals and obeying laws. Obeying God’s law was evidence of one’s faith, but there was no power in the blood of animals like there was in the blood that Christ shed one time for our sins. When a person believes only in Jesus Christ and his death, burial, and resurrection to forgive them of their sins, it is a one-and-done event. The resulting full assurance allows the believer to confidently live a Christian life of faith in and fellowship with God. Prayer becomes more personal, and how life is lived takes on a deeper meaning.

The matters of belief and assurance were also addressed in the biblical writings of the apostle named John. In John’s gospel account, John 20:30-31 says, “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” John’s account of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ were intended to emphasize Christ’s identity as God Himself so that people would believe in who He is and what He did. 1st John 5:13 says, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” God desires that what starts with faith will continue with a believer living a life of faith knowing for sure that his or her position is one who has been forgiven. The offering has already been made, forgiveness comes by faith in Christ’s once-for-all sacrifice, and assurance is the result.

Greenfield Baptist Church is a caring church with a life-changing message. Founded in 2015, this independent Baptist church meets at 138 Main St. in Greenfield. Worship services are held on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., Sunday School is at 9:30 a.m., and Midweek Prayer Meeting is held on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. For more information about the church, please call 413-376-4516 or visit www.greenfieldbaptistchurch.net. Sermon videos can be viewed by searching for “Greenfield Baptist Church MA” on YouTube.

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