Solus Christus - Access to God, Full & Free

Hebrews 10:19-25

Solus Christus—Access to God, Full & Free

This morning we will return to our series on the Solas of Protestant Reformation. As you remember there are five of them. The Reformation was that period of church history from 1517-1648 that was marked by the incredible expansion of God’s Word throughout the Western world.

There was a convergence of factors including economics and the printing press that paved the way for the church to come out of the dark ages. There has always been a true church, but at the time of the Reformation, Catholicism was the dominate spiritual influence, and was a false church with a false gospel.

The fives solas are five principles that make up the key issues of the Protestant Reformation. Sola is latin for alone or only. 

Sola Fide (material principle) humans are justified solely on the basis of faith. By the works of the law no man is justified in your sight. It isn’t a mixture of God doing his part, and then we are completed by works. Rather, the righteousness of God is imputed to sinners who believe God for salvation (Luther and Romans 1:16-17).

Sola Scriptura (formal principle) as Scripture was unleashed this what fueled the growth of the church. We considered the life of William Tyndale and 2 Thessalonians 2:13 about the powerful work that God’s Word does when it is given to people with clarity and sincerity.

Sola Gratia. Incredible doctrine that salvation comes to us exclusively out of the kindness and mercy of God, and that the Spirit of God produces new life in our dead hearts. Regeneration precedes faith. Before you could believe you had to be made alive. And in this way, God gets all of the glory in our salvation and no flesh can boast.

This week we come to Solus Christus. Interestingly about this one, unlike some of the others, Catholics would defend that we believe the same thing here. If you read Catholic apologists they take head on sola Fide—we are justified by faith and works; sola Scripture—rather it is Scripture as interpreted alongside the Church tradition (both authorities).

But when we come to Solus Christus there is a defense that Catholics too believe that salvation is by Christ alone. They would appeal to the same text 1 Timothy 2:5—one mediator. They would affirm that salvation doesn’t come to us through the work Buddha or Confucius. It was the work of Christ and no one else that brings us salvation. But there is a problem here. It is a problem of eternal consequences—eternal condemnation or eternal life. 

  • That one mediator mediates grace through sacraments
  • Office of priests who bring us to Christ who brings us to God
  • Role of Mary and other saints interceding in our behalf
  • Necessity of baptism and communion for salvation

The issue of Christ alone then wasn’t the exclusivity of Christ’s person over-against other saviors; but rather the sufficiency of Christ’s work alone.

And now we get to the crux of the issue. For the evangelical, it is salvation for Christ’s all sufficient work alone. And for the Catholic dogmas it is Christ alone in terms of person, but additional means of grace are required for salvation.

There was confusion around relics, indulgences, the rosary and the mass, baptism, penance. On the one hand Christ has a superabundant work, but on the other hand, we access that superabundant work through the sacraments, mediated by the church.…

Christ alone means not only that there is one name under heaven, given among men whereby we may be saved. But furthermore, Christ alone means nothing else is required beyond his once-for-all sacrifice.

Hebrews 10:19–25—19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

2 Ways to Take Full Advantage of Your Access to God through Christ

  1. Ponder Your Privileged Relationship with God (19-21)
  2. Perform Your Personal Responsibility to God (22-25)

These two points are taken in succession, with the second building logically upon the first. Said another way, the first three verses (19-21) set the stage for the commandments that will come cascading in vv. 22-25. The privileged relationship with God is what enables you to carry out your personal responsibility to God.

Hebrews isn’t a letter per se, but rather a sermon written down. Only full-length sermon recorded it the new testament.

Hebrews 13:22—But I urge you, brethren, bear with this word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly.

And so, the preacher is delivering a word of exhortation. Exhortation is what categorically distinguishes preaching from a lecture. A lecture explains truth, an exhortation explains truth and then exhorts the will. There is a compelling obligation to obey what is heard.

In fact, the sentence structure here in terms of the main point would read like this… Therefore, brethren, (v. 19)… let us draw near (v. 22)… let us hold fast (v. 23)… let us consider (v. 24). These are exhortations, and they constitute the main verbs in the paragraph.

But before laying out these urges to the hearers to endure and persevere and lay hold of these privileges, the preacher reminds them of the basis for these instructions. Therefore, since we have… since you possess… and there are two objects. The first comes in v. 19—confidence and the second comes in v. 21—great high priest.

We could say for simplicity: Your Access to God (19-20) and Your Advocate before God (21). They are closely related concepts. The both came to you by the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus Christ, and his ongoing priestly ministry.

If you were going to make a distinction between the Access and the Advocate, it would be this: the access speaks to the definitive relationship you have with God the Father. It is unrestricted, it is objective, it is your status. The advocate highlights the ongoing mediatorial work of Jesus in your behalf. This is an enduring ministry from which you derive these spiritual benefits.

Persevering, enduring, and shall I say it, even thriving spiritually flows out of one source and it is the power of God in you. There are many dimensions of this relationship, but the significant one, which captures the mind of this preach is that of the priestly ministry of Jesus Christ, and the resulting privileges therein.

Taking them one at a time, let’s Ponder Your Privileged Relationship as it relates first to… 

  1. Your Access to God (19-20)

(19) Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, (20) by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,

(19) Therefore, brethren, 

In light of the priestly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ that I have just gone into great detail with from 8:1-10:18. Now then, these three verses serve as a summary of the privileges which you receive through your Great High Priest.

since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 

Both the preacher, and his audience have this confidence to enter into the presence of God by the blood of Jesus.

The holy place (literally the sanctuary) formerly referred to the innermost part of the temple. That place was off limits to the folks, and even the priests. One priest, the high priest could enter into that chamber, but only once per year. Highly restricted access.

Of course, now the holy place isn’t a small room in a building in Jerusalem, but to the place where God dwells. The earthly holy place was temporary, and it was clearly not a place where the everywhere present God was contained. God’s presence was manifested in a special way there, but even in the Old Testament, the people of God understood that God cannot be housed in a building.

1 Kings 8:27—But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You, how much less this house which I have built!

Psalm 11:4—The LORD is in His holy temple; the LORD’S throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men.

God is in heaven, and He is completely unapproachable. In fact, Moses saw a little glimpse of part of God’s glory (Exodus 33:11, 20). But no sinner can behold the full glory of God and live.

John 1:18—No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.

An unapproachable God, who has restricted access to Himself, not out of a cruel game of divine-hide-and-seek, but the necessity of His separation from sin.

Perhaps this relationship is best pictured by Adam and Even. Before sin, God is walking and talking with them in daily fellowship. After sin, God removes them from the Garden and puts an angel with a flaming sword to keep them away. Do you get a sense for the separation? And we have never known it any other way.

In the old covenant, before the priest could enter the inner chamber, the holy of holies, there was a series of rituals that he would accomplish… explain the blood.

Blood was necessary for the forgiveness of sins. The wages of sin is death, and bloodshed equals death. And so now, by the blood of Jesus the preacher says, we have gained free access to God.

This is a decisive, game-changer.

Hard to imagine the combination of shock, and if believed, joy a Jew would experience hearing this. God’s presence was off-limits and intimidating. And now the preacher says we have παρρησίαν: assurance, confidence, openness, free access.

By saying free we don’t mean of course that the access cost nothing. Surely it was acquired by cost. But it is free in that the type of access is unrestricted.

The best illustration I could think of here is that of a prince. Most commoners in a kingdom will never meet the royal family in person, let alone share a meal. To get a meeting requires setting it with staff who have layers between the king and queen, and the outside world.

You don’t shoot a text to a king and set up a lunch appointment. But for a royal child? They place in the throne room, and make a mess at the royal table. What is intimidating for most is intimate for those little ones.

They don’t require background checks, or advanced scheduling. They don’t have to go through metal detectors and fill out paperwork. 

My dear friends—you have intimate access to God through Jesus Christ. When you enter into the sanctuary of God in your prayers, in your meditation, in your worship, you don’t come sneaking in, or tiptoeing or reserved but with full confidence. 

Because by the blood of Jesus the divine Son, sacrificed Himself, so that you could enjoy the fullness all the privileges He has as a perfect Son.

This was radical. It was totally new, just look…

(20) by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,

The old covenant was the way to God for 1,500 years. And now Jesus comes and says there is a new way that brings not death, but life.

John 14:6—Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

The access point to the inaccessible God is Jesus Christ. In that sense, this way is highly restrictive. It is exclusive that Jesus is the only entrance into the heavenly throne room. And this is a new way.

The preacher says which He inaugurated for us… inauguration is the legal kickoff of a covenant. Blood makes a covenant effective. A covenant is a binding promise. Your relationship with God is based upon the promise of God. And the promise had to be brought about with blood.

Hebrews 9:18—Therefore even the first covenant was not inaugurated without blood.

The first covenant was inaugurated with blood, and so was the new covenant. When Jesus gave up His life, He brought about a new covenant, a new relationship with God with new features and benefits in contrast to the old covenant.

1 Corinthians 11:25—In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

This free access to the heavenly throne room through a new way (hadn’t previously existed before and is qualitatively better than that which it replaced). Went from being a housed in a building in one city in the Near East and today exists with equal access, full access worldwide 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

2 Ways to Take Full Advantage of Your Access to God through Christ

     1. Ponder Your Privileged Relationship with God (19-21)

  1. Your Access to God (19-20)
  2. Your Advocate before God (21)

(21) and since we have a great priest over the house of God,

The and [καὶ] here connects this object to the since we are having back up in v. 19. This is the second privilege.

The house of God is the church. A few chapters earlier the preacher uses this language:

Hebrews 3:6—but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.

Paul will use the expression household of God—structure, familial context, a foundation, building up. There are all kinds of analogies that flow out of this imagery.

What was the job of a priest in the old covenant?

  • Priests were a vital, even necessary component of the Old Covenant. When you think of a priest, at least the godly ones, these were precious to God’s people. The priest would (note Azurdia on this point about burying, and performing ceremonies). Note difference between the high priest and the regular priests? Lev. 21:21—chief among brothers. No higher office/mediator

What now is the job of Jesus, the great high priest?

The emphasis here is on what the living Christ is doing now interceding on your behalf. You think his death was valuable to you, it was the necessary beginning, but it was by no means the end of his work.

Having a great high priest is a remarkable privilege. Priests labor for your spiritual benefit in the old covenant, and now this high priest does the same. You know that when you are sinning, or straying, or even just sleeping, Jesus is interceding for you.

And even as you hear the sound of my voice this morning Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, continually making intercession for you. He ever lives and pleads for me…

You want to talk about a buoying truth to bring confidence. On the days that you hardly give God in heaven the thought He deserves, there’s Jesus, thinking of you, praying for you. His work is tireless. He never dies. There He is praying for your spiritual protection, caring for you.

These truths stand in direct contrast to the Roman Catholic teaching concerning Mary, the rosary, the saints, the office of the pope, the bishop, the priests, and even the role of the church.

In the proper view of the priesthood of the believer, the Reformation applied the doctrine of Solus Christus to demonstrate that access to God was not restricted through rituals, and He isn’t accessed through the church. Rather, God is access by individuals directly through the priestly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

We are so familiar with the new covenant it is hard to imagine it any other way. But it would have seemed too-good-to-be-true as it was announced. Removing restrictions is a key part of advertising: no more blackout dates on using your frequent flyer files, or no more extra fees on your phone bill.

How do we take hold of this truth? Well, let the truth have its intended effect, by bringing your heart courage and confidence before God. You have access, meaning your relationship with God is not marked by separation or fear, but by love and intimacy.

And you have an advocate meaning that you have another performing in your behalf. 

If I can be so bold as to say it carefully, and yet with the authority of this text: if you are in Christ, then your relationship to God is not defined by your performance, but the performance of Jesus Christ in your place.

The access plan to God isn’t through human effort, but by faith in the effort of Christ.

2 Ways to Take Full Advantage of Your Access to God through Christ

  1. Ponder Your Privileged Relationship (19-21)
  2. Carry Out Your Personal Responsibilities (22-25)

Now we come to three commands lined up in a row. They are framed up in a distinct manner. The instructions still carry the weight of an imperative (i.e., do this), but it is issued in the form of an appeal.

The preacher is saying, in light of what you have just heard, I want to urge you to make use of these incredible blessings. Your privileged opportunity has consequences. 

And now I want to see you put your freedom to work, and you to take full advantage of it. Therefore, since you have access and an advocate… 

  1. Come to Your God (22)

(22) let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Seize the opportunity of accessing God, which Christ made possible through his priesthood and his personal sacrifice. You have it, so use it.

Again, such a foreign concept. Exodus 20:18-19 at Sinai where God made enacted the Mosaic Covenant after the nation had left Egypt and receives the law, the people were full of fear and trembling, and begged Moses to speak to God for them so they didn’t have to face Him.

Hebrews 12:18—For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind,

Hebrews 12:22—But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,

Echoes the refrain of drawing near to God…

Hebrews 4:16—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 7:25—Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

Hebrews 11:6—And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

Get a theme? In a time of spiritual instability, or weak faith, or struggle to persevere and endure, then draw near to God.

Look at what sits behind it all: having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

One of those phrases that has about as many interpretations as interpreters. 

It is clear the main sense of what the preacher is saying here, even if the specifics are harder to come by. Blood and water were used to consecrate the priests. We read of Aaron and his sons being washed with water, sprinkled with blood and consecrated and cleansed (Exodus 29:4, 21; Leviticus 8:6, 30).

It was part of the Old Covenant. Even the priests needed to go through a process to be made clean. But now through the blood of a Christ the new covenant has come, which brings inner cleansing. A thorough cleansing, even of the conscience. This was a promise of the new covenant:

Ezekiel 36:25-26a—Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart…

Sinners are called to cleanse themselves by coming to God in confession and sorrow over sin. But who is the one who ultimate does the cleansing? God does.

And now you and I are urged to come to Him with full assurance and a clean conscience. Drawing near to God isn’t limited only to praying, although that would be included. Faith, worship, studying, fellowship, meditation…

Allow me to say on the authority of God’s Word that if you have been cleansed by Christ than you are thoroughly cleansed. Your reproach is removed because He bore your reproach. The stain was transferred onto Him. Hearts and bodies—thoroughness of sins you have committed with your body and with your heart. God takes it away.

Here God is wiping away the stain and reproach and the shame and the defilement and wiping the slate clean. No more defilement—as a new creature in Christ, behold God makes all things new.

The audience that the preacher is writing to in Hebrews is concerned that these people are going to abandon what treasures they have been given to return to the former system. His express purpose here is to re-establish in their minds the magnitude of what God has done for them. 

Friends, when you let this truth wash over you, it will produce worship. Because you didn’t deserve this. You got let off the hook, when justice should have exacted that you personally pay for every sin you committed. 

You have access and now as a consequence, the Spirit of God implores you through the pages of Scripture to make use of that access. Not in self-confidence, but in confidence in Jesus Christ.

2 Ways to Take Full Advantage of Your Access to God through Christ

  1. Ponder Your Privileged Relationship (19-21)
  2. Carry Out Your Personal Responsibilities (22-25)

 

  1. Come to Your God (22)
  2. Cling to Your Hope (23)

(23) Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 

Here is encouraged for the spiritually discouraged and the fainthearted. Although the word confession is here, this isn’t the confession of the faith. He isn’t saying cling to your profession of faith (the Gospel), but cling to the hope-producing Gospel.

The idea is, amidst pressure to give up, don’t swerve to the right or to the left, but cling to your privileged position. You have been given full access to God the Sovereign Creator. Remain fixed and steadfast and stable in that conviction.

How can you remain hopeful in the face of promises unfulfilled? The answer is right here: by fixing your eyes on the character of your God.

He who promised is faithful πιστὸς γὰρ ὁ ἐπαγγειλάμενος.

God’s people find courage to face trials and temptations and unfulfilled longings by taking comfort in the conviction that God is faithful. It means that He is trustworthy. In what sense? He will never act in a way that is not in keeping with His character. He will never break a promise. He will never run out of resources to make good on a commitment. He will never change.

Paul encourages the Thessalonian believers in this truth:

1 Thessalonians 5:24—Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

And here in Hebrews we find the similar concepts of clinging to hope due to God’s trustworthy character.

Hebrews 6:18—so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us.

How did this look for the original audience?

How does this look for us? i.e. what to repent of?

I have a hard time thinking of a more important truth in all of Scripture. This single attribute of God would negate every other attribute because you if you can’t trust everything He says, then you could trust nothing that He says. If God has said it, He will do it. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He is the same yesterday today and forever.

If you have been with us on Wednesday nights in our Home Bible Study one of the early principles we have discussed in encouraging one another biblically is the importance of establishing hope. It isn’t merely some wistful feeling of positivity that trusts, “the sun will come out tomorrow, bet you bottom dollar that tomorrow’s gonna be…”

Well this is so encouraging. You have been given this privileged relationship to God through Christ, that you now maximize by coming to God in faith, clinging to the promised hope by faith, and now for the final personal responsibility:

  1. Ponder Your Privileged Relationship (19-21)
  2. Carry Out Your Personal Responsibilities (22-25)

 

  1. Come to Your God (22)
  2. Cling to Your Hope (23)
  3. Care for Your Brethren (24-25)

(24) and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. 

Your love for the body of Christ is vital to God. 1 John 4 says that the love we have for one another is to make God known and visible. That’s a high calling. And here the application is to care for one another’s spiritual well-being.

God saved you through the ministry of Jesus Christ, and now calls you into ministry. And these two verses are helpful because they are very simple to understand, and very practical to apply. Let’s just walk through the words and understand them, and then briefly apply them.

Verse 24 starts off with a divinely issued homework assignment:

and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,

Let us consider κατανοῶμεν. It never ceases to amaze me how much effort it requires to think. Especially to think deeply and thoroughly and carefully. And yet that’s the principle here. The call is to ponder, and strategize, and pray about, and mull over, and plan how to help bring about growth in one another.

Love wants the best for others. That love goes into action then as you thoughtfully consider how to kindle love and devotion to Jesus Christ in the lives of those in your sphere of influence.

One the best passages on bodylife in the Scriptures. Just look at the language. The words to stimulate… to love and good deeds. You need to provoke each other. Most the time we think of provocation negatively.

Scriptures warn fathers not to provoke children to anger. Siblings often find it tempting to provoke one another. Here you are supposed to work at provoking, in a positive sense. The thought is stir each other up, provoke one another spiritually, awaken and stimulate zeal, spur one another on.

Serve one another by being a spiritual catalyst in each other’s lives. Love and good deeds. Clearly this verse is teaching that we need each other to become who God intended us to be. Love—sacrificially setting aside self for the benefit of others. Good deeds—living righteously.

And there is a nuance here that is small but profound. The NASB renders this verse, let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, which is clear and accurate. But in the original the sentence is structured a little bit differently.

The object of the verb is not the how or the what but a whom. 

And let us consider one another… my friends this is profoundly different that a programmatic approach to bodylife (by bodylife I mean church life, church ministry, serving one another). You are called to think about each other’s spiritual lives.

This is Ephesians 4:16 in living color—the body causes the growth of itself… strong churches have vibrant bodylife. They are vibrant (or alive) because the Spirit of God is at working and moving in and among the people of God causing spiritual growth.

 If I could be so bold as to say it this way: the spiritual health of Cornerstone Bible Church is only partly dependent upon the pastor, or upon the leaders. But our spiritual health will be limited or flourish based upon your faithfulness to this task.

You want to see God work in a church in profound ways? It is through the saint’s ministry to one another. The vision for bodylife set forth from this passage is one where you have spiritual conversations with one another, intentionally.

When you are apart, you are reflecting. “I remember my brother said something that I have been thinking about and praying about, and I want to ask him some more questions next time I see him.”

As you pray for others, you listen and observe, you think and mull over, you consider passages of Scripture, and your words are measured and have a specific goal in mind. 

It is the right truth at the right time to address the right issue—some need to be admonished and called to an account for disobedience, others need help in figuring out how to practice truths they know, but have yet to apply. This is love and this is obedience. Saved by the ministry of the Lord Jesus for ministry.

Preacher gives two more little modifiers to this instruction.

not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some… some of the members of the body were neglecting the precious gift of their spiritual community. They were careless in how they regarded their time with one another.

Started out with other priorities creeping in whatever they were. And eventually it became the habit to not be with God’s people when they gathered. They got into a pattern of life that wasn’t conducive to meeting regularly, and became comfortable to spend time on other things.

The call here becomes clear then. You cannot be spiritually useful to the body of Christ if you aren’t vitally connected to the body of Christ. How else could possibly carry out the instruction to spur one another on spiritually? That requires time—time praying, time studying, time conversing. If your involvement with one another is primarily Sundays here and there, then you are missing out on bodylife, and more pointedly to this passage, you are robbing others.

I will ask the question this way: who are you blessing right now in the body of Christ? Who are you loving with this type of love? How are you cultivating relationships in such a way as to be able to carry out these instructions?

It is natural to think that the neglect of the meetings was motivated by fear of recognition by outsiders in a time of persecution, or by disappointment in the delay of the Parousia, or by some other acute concern. It is sobering to discover that in the early second century in Rome it was simply preoccupation with business affairs that accounted for the neglect of the meetings of a house church (Herm Sim 8.8.1; 9.20.1).

but encouraging one another; 

I love this. The view isn’t that you are personally missing out when you neglect the brethren, but rather they are missing out on you. 

Encouraging one another παρακαλοῦντες a verbal form of παράκλητος, the word we translate as helper for the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our Helper, Comforter, Encourager (παράκλητος) and now our ministry to one another is to παρακαλοῦντες.

Friends, this is the priesthood of the believer. You have a ministry from God to one another. And as we studied last week, there is an urgency to this command.

and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Literally, so much more as much as you see the day coming near. Here is eschatology—the day is the day of the Lord when Jesus returns in his second advent. What’s the point? Urgency because spiritual things matter most.

You see that day approaching and it generates a hope-filled incentive that focuses your attention on the task at hand. When Jesus comes then our work here is over. We don’t know when that trump will sound, or when we will breather our last breath, but there are no extra innings, no overtime, no extensions. It’s done. 

The connection is so obvious when you apply it to everyday life. That little word that creeps into the workplace often: deadlines. Few people like them, but fewer would argue for their effectiveness. They are important. 

Coupons without a short-term expiration date lose effectiveness. Work projects get moved forward with deadlines and accountability. And when you have an important deadline what happens? You have to drop other priorities to get the job done in time. And so here, the preacher says, do this fervently, but so much, much, more as you see the day nearing.

This passage brings such confidence and boldness and joy. And it leaves us sitting here, humbled that God would bring us into an intimate relationship with Himself. And all that He had to do to get us there.