“(14) Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. (15) For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. (16) Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” – Hebrews 4:14-16
Last week we learned that when we have failed God, the first step is to remember who Jesus is. The sin you committed surprised you more than it surprised God, so the worst thing we can do is to distance ourselves from Him at a time like that. Jesus is our Great High Priest who sympathizes with our weaknesses, and He invites us to “approach the throne of grace with confidence.”
So the first thing you must do is remember Jesus is there for you. The second thing to remember – when you have failed God, do not lose your faith. Cling to it! Your faith is your lifeline. This is paramount if we are to learn to live as Christians and experience the joy of our great salvation. Look at verse 14 again: “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.”
What is meant by “confession?” What is this “faith” to which we should cling? It is the gospel, our lifeline. The apostle Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 15:2-4, “By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”
In other words, Jesus already paid the price for our sins. Our salvation, our very standing before God, is based not on what we have or have not done but rather on what Jesus already did for us. He paid the price for our sins when He died on the cross, so if you have placed your trust in Jesus Christ and His death on the cross as payment for your sins, and if you have received him into your heart by faith, then you stand righteous before God.
The moment you truly believed, God declared you righteous. In that moment, you were born again and became a child of God. That is the essence of what we believe, and it is this faith that we must cling to at all times. We belong to God. John 1:12 states, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” When you become a child of God, God is your heavenly Father and you can call Him “Abba” (Romans 8:15), an affectionate term similar to “Daddy.”
Understand that we are saved by God’s grace. He loves us; therefore, nothing delights Him more than to forgive a man or a woman who has a repentant heart. Have you ever felt the heavy hand of God upon your soul because of the sin in your life? I have. I know what it means for God to take His hand and place it on my heart and press down. It hurts. And I hope I never have to experience it again, but I understand it is God’s loving way of moving me toward repentance.
When you have sinned, confess it, and you will experience God’s streams of mercy. David knew that what God desires most is a heart of repentance. In Psalm 51, which David wrote after his affair with Bathsheba, he cried out to God for mercy. Is this your heart’s cry? If you are truly grieved by your sins, I want you to understand this: I believe God is more concerned about your faith than your sin. I’m not making light of sin. God hates sin. However, I believe He cares more about our faith.
In Luke 22, Jesus is eating the Last Supper with His disciples and sharing His final words with them. At one point, He turns to Peter and says, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Jesus knew that Peter was going to deny Him. Isn’t it interesting that Jesus did not pray that Peter would not fail? Jesus was more concerned that Peter’s faith would not fail. Why was the Lord more concerned about Peter’s faith than his failure?
On the other hand, if we don’t accept His forgiveness but continue to wallow in guilt, it is the same as if we slapped Him while He hung on the cross. We are rejecting what He did for us. He freely gave—we should honor Him and freely receive what He did for us. God is faithful, and He wants us to remember His faithfulness. Hebrews 10:23 states, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.”
When you have failed God, first, remember who Jesus is—our great High Priest! He has already paid the price for us, and now He is in heaven interceding for us. Second, don’t let go of your faith. Remember, God can and will still use you. He can even take your sin and work it out for good. He is not finished with any of us, so don’t lose hope!! Next week, we will examine the third step we need to take when we have failed God. Stay tuned. Amen!