Sunday, September 14, 2008

Praying With Confidence

If you are a Christian, you may have reflected on the life of Christ AFTER His ascension back to Heaven after His death and resurrection. We know so much of Christ's life from the 1st century due to the Gospel accounts which provide a lot of biographical information about the Lord Jesus.
We also know that Christ will one day return visibly to the Earth:

Acts 1:11 [The angels] also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven."

What about the "in-between" time (between about 30 AD and now in the year 2008)? What has Christ been doing?
Christ has been interceding for His people before God. Hebrews 7:25 tells us: "Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for the throne of God."

Jesus has been interceding for His people throughout Church History. Pick a year between 30 AD (possibly as late as 33 AD) and today. You can accurately say: "In the year ______, Christ was interceding for His people." If you chose the year 2008, replace the "was" with "is."

One of the most wonderful elements about this intercession is the invitation we receive concerning it. In human relationships, we tend to think that if someone is upset with us, we need a third party to intercede for us. If a child thinks that his father is angry with him, he may ask his mother to put in a "good word" for him to the father to ease the strained relationship. For Christ's people, this is not the case. We are not instructed to approach Christ through a third party (such as Mary the Mother of Jesus or a saint). We are instructed, and comforted by these

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

Christ knows our faults and our sins. When we pray, go in confidence directly to the throne of grace. We have been invited to do so.

The promise is for His people who have come to Him in faith. It does not apply to those who have not put their faith & trust in Christ. Such a person must come in faith to Christ to be saved from their sins and offense against God. That is the heart of the Gospel. Change your mind about your sin ("Repent") and believe (trust) that Christ has paid the debt of your sin before God. A new life in Christ awaits you when you believe (trust) in Him.