Do you ever reflect on whether you are worthy to be in church? This is a trap. The best and worst of us on any given Sunday are only able to commune with God and draw near to him because of Jesus, who makes us worthy. This is the new and living way!
1 The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.
11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God…
15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
16“This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”
17 Then he adds:
“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”
18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
Hebrews 10:1, 11-12, 15-22
Today we see again the contrast between the law and its priests and Jesus who brought us a new covenant. The law and its required sacrifices were never able to make perfect those who draw near to worship. On what basis do you draw near to worship?
When you enter into worship before God, do you recognize that you only have standing to draw near because of Jesus? We see in verse 12 that Jesus, after offering for all time one sacrifice for sin, sat down at the right hand of God. His work was finished forever.
God has put his law on own hearts and written them on our minds, and through Jesus’ sacrifice, he remembers our sin no more. We are forgiven forever when our trust is in Jesus Christ. Sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary (vs. 18).
Jesus has ushered in a new covenant and a new confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by his blood. This is a new and living way, offered to us by the living Saviour Jesus. And so, because of what Jesus has done, we can draw near to God (vs. 22) with a sincere heart and the full assurance that faith brings.
Do you have that full assurance that faith brings when you draw near to God in worship? Let me help you answer: when you come to worship God, on Sunday morning or any other time, do you reflect on whether you are worthy to be there? Do you think about the night before or the week before and evaluate whether you have been righteous or unrighteous in your living? And does your reflection make you feel more or less worthy to offer worship to God?
This is a trap.
The best of us and the worst of us on any given Sunday are only able to commune with the Holy God and approach the throne of grace, drawing near to God through his son Jesus, who makes us worthy. May we never have a false sense of confidence which comes from ourselves. Our confidence is only, always, and ever in Jesus.