Summary: Jesus is the only way we have access to the mercy and grace of God…which gives us confidence in our salvation. Here are Five Foundations of Firm Faith...
FIVE FOUNDATIONS OF FIRM FAITH
The Law of Moses decreed that a High Priest preside over worship, both in the tabernacle and in the temple. Aaron was the first High Priest, and all members of Israel’s priesthood were required to be descended from him. (Aaronic Priesthood). Israel’s High Priest was one of many priests who offered sacrifices of various kinds on the sacred altar. But once a year, on the Day of Atonement, only the High Priest officiated at the special sacrifices. Atonement translates a word meaning “covering over”; sacrifices were made on the Day of Atonement to cover over the sins of all Israel. He first offered the sacrifice of a bull - a substitute taking the punishment in the lives of the high priest and his household for their sins. He would cast lots to determine which of two goats would be sacrificed and which would be stent away (alive) as a scapegoat.The High Priest sprinkled blood of the sacrificed bull and goat on the “atonement cover” which was the top of the ark of the covenant. This was located in the inner room, called “the most holy place” of the tabernacle or temple. Only on this one day of the year did anyone enter that room. The essence of the Day of Atonement was that of substitutionary sacrifice: the lives of the animals were given in place of the lives of the human sinners.
Jesus is our High Priest! He is greater than the Aaron! Aaron was a sinner who needed cleansing / Jesus never sinned! Aaron offered animal sacrifices / Jesus offered Himself as Lamb of God! Aaron was chosen by God to be a priest/ Jesus was Son of God! Aaron offered release from sin via a scapegoat / Jesus offered eternal salvation for all who believe and obey Him. Jesus is the only way we have access to the mercy and grace of God…which
gives us confidence in our salvation. Five Foundations of Firm Faith:
1. Firm Faith in Jesus who Entered Heaven. (4:14)
4:14, NLT So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe.
The High Priest of the OT could only enter the Holy of Holies; annually! Jesus is at the right hand of the Father reigning in His Kingdom today!
Our faith is not…
In ourselves - we are always in need of the gospel because we continue to struggle with sins.
In others - no matter how great another person or mentor is, they will ultimately let us down.
In the church - the church is made up of sinners!
Only Jesus is worthy of our faith …
He is perfect in every way.
He loves us very deeply.
He is in heaven at the right hand of the Father.
Don’t ever give up your confession - your faith- that He has saved you.
2. Firm Faith in a Savior Who Understands our Weaknesses. (4:15)
4:15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.
Everyone has weakness - struggle - temptation. Jesus understands because the faced those testings also! Jesus, however, did not sin! Temptation and weakness are part of the human condition. These are things we battle with every day and always will.
Our reaction to our weakness is important:
Do we deny our weakness?
Do we excuse away our weakness?
Do we indulge in our weakness?
Do we let our weakness weigh heavy on our conscience in misery?
Do we admit our weakness in faith that: Jesus understands. JESUS doesn’t just pretend to know nor does he try to imagine what we are facing. He knows our weakness - our feebleness, our weaknesses, our sickness, disease, whatever we are going through, He knows.
Andrew Murray: That not one single feeble soul should be afraid to draw nigh to the great God or, in drawing nigh, should doubt as to whether God is not too great and holy fully to understand or to bear with his weakness.
Jesus will empower us to overcome. The value of support groups of any kind is to acknowledge that another person knows how I feel and together we can find our way through. The Christian has a Savior who knows, understands, and can help. Firm Faith is in Jesus in Heaven, in a Jesus who understands…
3. Firm Faith because we are invited into the throne room (16)
4:16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
AMP: 16 Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].