Andrew Murray: Let Us Draw Nigh!
The Confession of Our Hope
10:23. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope that it waver not; for He is faithful that promised.
The three chief words of this injunction we have had before—Hold fast, Confession, Hope. If we hold fast the glorying of our hope firm to the end. Give diligence to the fullness of hope. Christ the High Priest of our profession. Let us hold fast our confession. A better hope, by which we draw nigh to God. We have now been brought to see what Christian perfection is, in that perfect life in God’s presence to which Jesus brings us in: here, more than ever, we shall need to hold fast our hope.
Faith and hope ever go together. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for.” Faith accepts the promise in its divine reality, hope goes forward to examine and picture and rejoice in the treasures which faith has accepted. And so here, on the words, Let us draw near in fullness of faith, there follows immediately, Let us hold fast the confession of our hope. Life in the Holiest, in the nearness of God, must be characterized by an infinite hopefulness.
It is not difficult to see the reason of this. Entering into the Holiest is only the beginning of the true Christian life. As we tarry there, God can begin to do His work of grace in power. There the holiness of God can overshadow us and can be assimilated into our life and character. There we can learn to worship in that true humility and meekness and resignation to God’s will, which does not come at once, but in which we may grow up even as Jesus did. There we have to learn the holy art of intercession, so as to pray the prayer that prevails. There we wait to receive in larger measure, in ever fresh communications, that fullness of the Spirit which comes and is maintained only by close and living contact with Jesus on the throne. The entrance into the Holiest is only a beginning. It is to be a life in which we every hour receive everything from God, in which God’s working is to be all in all. Here, if anywhere, we have need of an infinite hopefulness. After we have entered in, we shall very probably not find what we expected. The light and the joy and the power may not come at once. Within the veil it is still, nay rather, it is eminently, a life of faith, not looking to ourselves, but to God, and hoping in Him. Faith will still be tried, will perhaps most be tried, when God wants most to bless. Hope is the daughter of faith, the messenger it sends out to see what is to come: it is hope that becomes the strength and support of faith. Here, in the Holiest, let us above all hold fast our confidence and the glorying of our hope firm unto the end. Let us rejoice in hope of the glory of God, as it will most surely be revealed in our souls.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope. Men always speak out of the abundance of the heart of that which they hope for. We, too, must confess and give expression to our hope. The confession strengthens the hope; what we utter becomes clearer and more real to us. It glorifies God. It helps and encourages those around us. It makes God, and men, and ourselves, see that we are committed to it. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope, that it waver not. Let the better hope by which we draw nigh to God, by which we enter within the veil, be the one thing we hold fast and confess with a confidence that never wavers. Let the blessed hope of being kept day by day in God’s love, the hope of a continual abiding in Jesus and where He is, in the light of God, be our anchor within the veil.
For He is faithful that promised. Study the references on the word “promise” in this Epistle, and see what a large place they take in God’s dealings with His people, and learn how much your life depends on your relation to the promises. Connect the promises, as is here done, with the promiser; connect the promiser with His unchanging faithfulness as God, and your hope will become a glorying in God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Faithful is He that promised: that word lies at the root of the life within the veil. Just as it is God who speaks in Christ, who sent Him, who appointed Him Priest, who perfected Him, so it is God to whom Christ brings us into the Holiest for Him now to work directly and continually in us that life in which, as His redeemed creatures, we are to live. This is the blessedness of being brought into the Holiest: Christ has brought us to God. And we are now in the right place and spirit for honoring Him as God—that is, for allowing Him to work freely, immediately, unceasingly in us such a life as He wrought in Christ. He is faithful that promised. God is going to fulfill His promises of life and love, of blessing and fruitfulness, in a way we have no conception of. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope, for He is faithful that promised.
My reader, you have heard the call, Let us draw near in fullness of faith. And have you obeyed? And have you believed that Jesus takes you into a life of abiding in God’s presence? And are you, even amid the absence of feeling or experience, even amid the doubts and fears that threaten to press in, holding fast the confession of your hope?—Listen, look up—He is faithful that promised! Let this be your rock. Say continually—O my soul, hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him. You are my hope, O God! I will hope continually, and praise you yet more and more. This is the blessing of the inner sanctuary, that you have found your true place at God’s feet, there to wait in absolute dependence and helplessness on His working. Look up in the boldness the blood gives you. Look up with a true heart, in which the Holy Spirit dwells and works. Look up with a heart sprinkled by your blessed High Priest with the blood—and hope, yes hope in God, to do His divine work in your soul. Let Him be to you more than ever the God of hope. Claim the fulfillment of the promise of His word: The God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Ghost. The infinite faithful God, as the God of our hope, filling us with joy and peace in believing, and we learning to abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost: Be this our life in the secret of God’s presence!
1. Fullness of faith and fullness of hope are two dispositions that mark the true heart. It is because we are to have nothing in ourselves, and God is to be all and to do all, that our whole attitude is to be looking up to Him, expecting and receiving what He is to do.
2. That ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. See how the life in the Holiest depends entirety upon the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. For this life we need to be filled with the Spirit, to have the immediate, continual moving of the Spirit. Not a moment can we dwell in the Holiest but by the Holy Spirit. Not a moment but we can dwell in the Holiest by the Holy Spirit. Let us abound in this hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.