The Sufficiency of Christ

“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:14-16

 

I’ve been reflecting a lot on what it means to trust in the sufficiency of Christ in all circumstances over the last week. I’m such a volatile person that I can often find it difficult to discern where my true identity lies. Furthermore, it can be difficult to fully trust the sufficiency of Christ’s work on the cross to reconcile me back into relationship with God for my peace and contentment. And, to be completely honest with you, this is something I’m wrestling with even as I write these words. Perhaps it is always something we have to fight for.

 

Citizens and Saints has this song entitled “Day by Day” and a couple of the verses say,

           “Even when I’m at my worst

             I am still of righteous birth.”

These words seem so simple, yet they reign so true. Despite the circumstances that may flood our lives or seem to overpower us in the weak moments, if we are in Christ, we have been made alive again and we are of righteous birth. When I think about the certainty of that truth, everything else fades in comparison. When I think about the certainty of my salvation in Christ, the worries in the days to come seem so small. No amount of techniques or routines can change my emotions toward contentment. However, my trust in the redeeming work of Jesus certainly can.

 

Every human has a need, whether it’s belonging, peace of mind, affection, or anything else, and the truth of Hebrews 4:14-16 shows us that our need(s) are sufficiently filled by a great high priest, Jesus, that has interceded on our behalf and provided an eternal security for us with God. So, my friends, I encourage you to join me in remembering this truth each and every day. Even when you fail an exam, lose a close friendship, or deal with any other hard time, you are still secure in your salvation if you have placed your hope in Christ and in the truth of the gospel. That’s good, good news…and, it’s news that we need to remind ourselves of often. We don’t remind ourselves of this good news solely to pat ourselves on the back for having obtained new life in Christ; rather, we remind ourselves of this truth so that we can fully rely on God for our peace and contentment and be dissuaded from allowing circumstantial things to blur our vision of the race set before us (Heb. 12:1-2).

 

Hebrews 4:14-16, which I copied above, speaks to a beautiful reality. “Since” (v.14) we have Jesus, we should hold fast to our confession (our trust in Christ––who because he was incarnated into flesh, empathizes with our weakness––for salvation (v.15)) and draw near to God to find mercy and grace in time of need (v.16). Through Christ’s atoning work on the cross to cleanse us of all unrighteousness, we can now draw near to the throne of God’s grace to find our hope, our trust, and our sufficiency in any circumstance. Through Christ’s atoning work on the cross we have been transferred from a domain of darkness into his kingdom of glorious light (Col. 1:13). Through Christ’s atoning work on the cross he has resurrected our dead bodies and given us new life (2 Cor. 5:17). And through Christ’s atoning work on the cross we can enter into right relationship with our good Father. I don’t know about you friends, but I’d rather trust in that promise than trust in my own fickle heart. And the beautiful reality is that no amount of “bad fortune” or worry can change the salvation God has afforded us through his son Jesus. Join me in persevering to remember that promise, trust that promise, and live in light of that promise. 

 

God, our father, may we be a people that lays down our lives and our desires to trust in the sufficiency of your son’s work on the cross to restore us back into right relationship with you. May we never lose sight of the security of our salvation and the implications drawn from that gift. In turn, we pray that your Holy Spirit would empower us to live lives of holiness marked by an undeterred trust in your provision. We submit to your will, to your care, and to your plan for our lives, and may we never cease to declare our gratitude for the gift of your son Jesus.

 

 

Further reading that could prove helpful in fleshing out a trust in Christ’s sufficiency: The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes.

Here is an excerpt,

“The sighs of a bruised heart carry in them a report, both of our affection to Christ, and of his care to us. The eyes of our souls cannot be towards him unless he has cast a gracious look upon us first. The least love we have to him is but a reflection of his love first shining upon us.

As Christ did, in his example to us, whatever he charges us to do, so he suffered in his own person whatever he calls us to suffer, so that he might the better learn to relieve and pity us in our sufferings. . . .

But our comfort is that Christ drank the dregs of the cup for us, and will succour us, so that our spirits may not utterly fail under that little taste of his displeasure which we may feel. He became not only a man but a curse, a man of sorrows, for us. He was broken that we should not be broken; he was troubled, that we should not be desperately troubled; he became a curse, that we should not be accursed. Whatever may be wished for in an all-sufficient comforter is all to be found in Christ.”

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