The Invitation to Come Closer

August 31, 2015 at 9:17 am | Posted in Hebrews | 15 Comments
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It is a wonderful and amazing thought that God would invite us to draw near to Him. We are to draw near to Him with diligence, with focused and rapt attention. Of course, even as we draw near to Him, we are also sent out from Him. Just as we are to draw near – to come to God – without doubt, we are to likewise go forth as His ambassadors – those sent by God – not with sluggishness, but with zeal and boldness.

Among the Old Testament types of the offices of Christ, which He fulfills in superior ways under His New Covenant, we have discussed the prophets, the angels, Moses himself, and Aaron. Aaron was the High Priest in the time of Moses, but Christ is the Great High Priest. Generally speaking, the people couldn’t go to Aaron the High Priest with their problems. They could, in a sense, draw near to God through him and the other Levitical priests, but, in another sense, the Law required that a wall of separation be maintained between the priests and the common people. As New Testament believers we can go directly to the Great High Priest.

Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:14-16

Christ is also superior because He is on the throne. We are allowed and encouraged and commanded to come before the throne of grace – to come boldly – but He’s still the One on the throne. Even Aaron couldn’t sit on the throne.

The Christians to whom the Book of Hebrews was originally written went through extreme persecution, but they were encouraged to confess their faith. When we fail to confess our allegiance to Christ, we don’t change His character, but we do bring reproach to His name. Hebrews 12:15 says, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God…” The grace of God will never fail us, but we must not fail the grace of God.

As we study Jesus’s role as the Great High Priest, we probably don’t see the depth of all the meaning that the 1st Century Hebrew Christians did. They understood the Levitical system of sacrifices and atonement and what the priests did in the temple better than we do. There must have been times when these saved Hebrews were really being tempted to go back to that old system, but the Holy Ghost was telling them, no, Christ is superior to that system, for the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did.

Jesus accomplished what the Law could not do in:

1. His propitiation. He satisfied and took upon Himself the wrath of God that was due to us for our sins against Him.

2. His expiation. He carried our condemnation away from us, and extinguished it in a way that was acceptable to God.

We were saved in a sense when Christ caused us to draw near enough to Him for Him to save us, not by standing aloof and trying to garner His favor or impress Him with our works. We drew near to Him by faith. When what saves you is effective, why would you want to try something else afterward? If drawing near led to salvation, then it stands to reason that the saved person can draw even nearer – that we can draw into confidence with God, into peace with God, into rest in God.

For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.

Hebrews 4:8

Here the reference is mostly likely to Moses’s general and successor, Joseph, whose name looks like “Jesus” in the Greek, but, just as Joshua had a certain day to lead the people of God into Canaan, so Jesus is a better Joshua. He is the means to the rest that still remains for the children of God.

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  1. […] priesthood is better than Aaron’s priesthood in numerous ways, including the fact that Christ’s priesthood is forever. It is from a […]

  2. […] “I’m right and you’re wrong, and here’s why.” We must remember that, in order to draw near to God, it is never necessary to push someone else away from Him. There is room near God for the […]

  3. […] Once we move past the milk, to the strong meat, and start to grow up – be big boys and girls – we don’t have to squabble about who’s more spiritual than whom. We have “full assurance.” Assurance by itself should be enough, but our assurance is full. It is assurance plus bonus benefits. And it is shown by diligence, not slothfulness. Eternal security provokes growth, not childishness, because when you know in Whom you have believed, you draw closer and closer. […]

  4. […] is The Great High Priest, superior to Aaron in His ministry, in His position, and in the way He was ordained. He’s “after the order […]

  5. […] is God. He is greater than: the prophets, the angels, Moses, Joshua, Aaron, Levi, Abraham, and […]

  6. […] richly, teaching and admonishing you (Colossians 3:16), as you grow in spiritual maturity, and grow closer to […]

  7. […] not walking to GET TO God. We’re walking WITH God – and growing as we walk. Enoch drew nigh unto God by walking with Him. As Christians, we need to be on the move, but we need to be more […]

  8. […] The logical conclusion for 1st Century Jewish Christians would have been, “If we keep drawing closer and closer, we’re going to wind up in the Holy of Holies – that’s as close as you can get – AND WE […]

  9. […] them when they disobeyed again. The people did not like this. In their repentance they wanted God near them. The Lord arranged for a new meeting place with Moses – a tabernacle outside of the […]

  10. […] near” to God. Under the New Covenant, and its superior Sacrifice, we are allowed to come this close to God. “Drawing nigh” creates the image of pulling up forcefully and quickly and […]

  11. […] know their destination: He is Jesus. We have to keep our eyes on Him to move toward Him, and we have to keep our eyes on the Bible to move with […]

  12. […] have to draw close to “consider.” Christ is our best example for running the race. He didn’t use His […]

  13. […] Unbelief (Hebrews 3) 11. The Labor of Rest (Hebrews 3-4) 12. Rest / Repentance (Hebrews 3-4) 13. The Invitation to Come Closer (Hebrews 4) 14. A Timely Word (Hebrews 4:12) * 15.Beware the Feeling of Formidability (Hebrews 5) […]

  14. […] homes, and some folks move into a FEMA trailer. But all of God’s folks need to move closer to the true God of the Bible, and need to move into the lives of their neighbors who have not yet […]

  15. […] or unfaithfulness. Even as we are moved with terror at His blazing majesty, we are invited to move nearer and nearer. This is King in Whom safety is found not by fleeing away, but by drawing closer and closer in the […]


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