Come Boldly to God
Ephesians 3:12 tells us, “Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.” So, what does this mean? Is this saying that I can barge in on God and demand that He answer my prayers? Of course not! Let’s take a few minutes and see what Paul is talking about.
The Greek word that is translated as “boldly” in this verse is the word, “παῤῥησία parrēsia” (pär-rā-sē’-ä) which the Strong’s Concordance defines as, “outspokenness, i.e. frankness, bluntness, publicity; by implication, assurance: confidence, freely, openly, plainly (-ness)…” This word is used 32 times in 31 verses of the New Testament. Most of these occurrences are talking about preaching with boldness or speaking confidently, only 4 other passages speak of coming before God with boldness.
Hebrews 10:19-22 says, “19 And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. 20 By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.21 And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house,22 let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.” This one is a great picture of what he is talking about. The writer of Hebrews is comparing coming to God today to how they had to do it before Christ. You see, before Christ, the only way to bring something before God was to first go to the High Priest, because he was the only one who was allowed to come before God. So, once a year, the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies, or the Most Holy Place, to offer a sacrifice and petition God for His people. Even this High Priest had to prepare himself first. He had to make sure there was no sin in his life and, just in case there was, he had to wear bells around the hem of his robe and have a rope tied around himself. This way, if there was unconfessed sin in him and he was struck dead, those outside the curtain would know when they heard the bells stop ringing and could drag him out by the rope.
But, because our sins are covered by the blood of Jesus, we can enter the Most Holy Place with boldness. See what verse 20 says, “By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.” Jesus made a new way through that curtain. How do we know this? Because, when Jesus said, “it is finished” on the cross, that curtain tore from top to bottom. This act was no accident or earthquake, that curtain was about 80 feet tall and as thick as your hand is wide. God tore that curtain open because the Holy Spirit was moving out and moving into us. Now, Christ is our High Priest and He is the only one that we can go through to get to God, remember what Paul told us in 1 Timothy 2:5-6, “5 For, there is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. 6 He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone.”
So, how do we develop this confidence in Christ? 1 John 4:17 tells us, “And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.” If we live in God, if we are living to please Him, our love will continue to grow into perfection. This will enable us to come before God boldly…and why is that? Because we know that our sins are forgiven and that He is our loving Father who longs for our relationship and obedience.
If we look back a little in 1 John 3:18-21 we see how that works, “18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 19 Our actions will show that we belong to the truth so we will be confident when we stand before God. 20 Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence.” This goes back to James 2:14-26, where James tells us that faith without works, is dead, well the same goes for love. You can say you love someone until you’re blue in the face, but if you don’t show it, it is useless. I was raised in the South and when someone from the South says, “I love Bubba to death”, you know they are about to say something horrible about Bubba. They don’t love Bubba, that is just lip service, saying one thing but demonstrating another. So, don’t just say you love each other, show it. What does John say about that? 1 John 4:7-8, “7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” Did you catch that? If you don’t love others, you don’t know God, because God IS Love!
The last passage about coming boldly before God is found in Hebrews 4:14-16 and says, “14 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. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 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.” Jesus is our great High Priest in heaven, He is the only mediator between God and man, and He will plead our case. Look at verse 15, Jesus understands our weaknesses. He faced all the same temptations that we face, but, unlike us, did not sin.
So, because Jesus came to this earth, lived a perfect life among us despite temptations, died as a sacrifice for our sins, rose from the dead to claim victory over death and the grave, and sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven, we can come boldly before God. Romans 8:15 says, “So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father.’” That phrase, “Abba Father” is best translated as “Daddy”. God wants an intimate relationship with you, a relationship where you can run to Him for comfort and assurance. Because of Christ, the Father is our Daddy who we can come boldly to…isn’t that beautiful?