Be a Confident Christian
We’re going to talk about something this morning that may rock your theology a bit. Because when you mention the word confidence in the Christians circle you get those who shrink back and point to the sky---it’s not me it’s all Jesus. Last week we talked about how all emotions came from God—Satan just perverts those emotions into something ungodly. It may be the very reason that quietness is becoming a widespread epidemic in the American church.
There are others who state that confidence is just faith in action. However, I can have faith—I can believe without the ability to exercise that belief.
Have you ever questioned God so much an opportunity passed you by?
I was conversing with someone last week after my sermon on fear and they recalled a time in their life when God asked them to do something and they didn’t do it. This person was supposed to give a message to someone. God had talked to him, gave him his marching orders, but he kept seeking signs of reassurance. Halfway through the worship service the pastor stopped the service and gave the message.
He lost the opportunity to be obedient to God because he lacked the confidence to walk it out. My desire is that none of us will lose the opportunity to experience the joy and reward for bring obedient to God. Now the more I come to know this person the more I find that his confidence has grown exponentially and he shares his faith regularly.
For those who have experiences like my friend understand that there are a lot of things lost that you can get back when you have confidence.
Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.
First I want you to notice the use of the term confidence—not faith—and it’s equation to reward.
This verse when left alone can take many different avenues because:
Confidence without context can lead to catastrophe.
I have met many confident people who claim Christianity, but the only Christian thing about them is their T-shirt.
When we are confident without context we can become cocky and proud and as any good Christians knowns Pride comes before the....fall. Confidence in the wrong thing will lead to destruction and not having confidence in yourself leads to be led by your emotions. I have found that often times those who are governed by their emotions are often lacking, not in faith, but in confidence to walk out that faith. They believe that God can do all things, but they walk as though things can fall apart any minute.
It is only through confidence that we exercise our faith and our confidence comes from the practice of exercising. Have you ever seen someone take a huge step of faith and tell yourself you could never be that bold. They sold their house, they boldy walked into a room and shared their faith. You begin to almost elevate that person. I wish I could be like that! I wish I could walk with boldness. The fact is their confidence was built by many acts of faith you haven’t seen. It’s the culmination of seeing God work in the smaller things that gives you the ability to take the leap of faith in bigger things.
So where does this confidence come from?
This is where context helps because we gain our confidence outside of the proper context we will ultimately become self absorbed—a house of cards waiting to fall.
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Steven Furtick said “Christian confidence starts in your conscience.”
We have this amazing assurance that we can come into the Holy of Holies without fear. When our conscience is clear we can ask for anything before Christ because we ask with right motives and a pure heart. Nothing shakes the core of a Christ follower like a blemished conscience that hasn’t been sprinkled by the blood of Christ.
A blemished conscience gives seed to doubt, fear, and inaction. Our enemy is a crafty fellow because he knows that you Christ’s blood will restore our confidence so he uses our blemished conscience to keep up from that which can restore our confidence.
When Christ is the last person you want to see He is the first person you should visit.
In the Old Testament we know that the High Priests had to go through a cleansing ceremony before entering the Holy of Holies because blemishes behind the vail begot a fatal tail. The High Priests had to conform to a set of rules and standards to be considered clean, but we serve the ultimate High Priest who ripped the veil in two.
Christian confidence doesn’t equal your ability to conform to a standard, but rather to confront yourself in Christ.
V26 tells us not to sin deliberately
V27 says to fear judgement
Like many things in the Christian world confidence has become a swear word because we have seen or been victims of displaced confidence. People who are over confident in self become destructive to those around them. But those who are confident in Christ lift others up.
Our Confidence, first and foremost must be in knowing what God is telling us to do. People can either assist in building to breaking that confidence.
With the right context we are command to build each other’s confidence up.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
The people in your corner can either build you up or tear you down. Those who have confidence in self must step on others to boost themselves. People who have confidence in Christ can elevate others without elevating self.
I was told as a kid you will only become as great as the people you surround yourself with. In other words surround yourself with people who are where you want to be rather than those who are where you are currently are or have been. This doesn’t always have to be a person. A saying I learned in College is a good reader makes and excellent leader. In today’s world if you don’t like to read there are usually podcasts that will help you learn as well. I believe we need a good mixture of people and materials.
It is my desire as a Pastor to help build a confident church. I have walked in many churches consumed by gossip and taring each other down and the atmosphere conveyed such a message. One of our major ideals that I believe The Bridge should be known for is people building people, but this will only come out of confidence in who we are in Christ.
Another way to build confidence is by remembering the past. I have heard many sermons on the rearview mirror being smaller than the windshield, that we shouldn’t look backward, but forward.
Gorge Santayana said: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings,
What we recall can either strengthen us or drain us.
Sometimes we can be so consumed by our current circumstances that we forget that God has given us the victory over many battles in the past.
The reality is I am not who I want to be, but I am far from who I was. Remembering the struggle between who you were and who you are should encourage you to win the battle from who you are to who you will be.
Don’t give up because
If we weren’t meant to learn from the past the bible would haven’t been recorded. The Hebrew church was being criticized for their faith. They are not only watching Paul get mistreated, but they too are being mistreated. They are receiving public scorn. Becoming a mockery and an object for the wrath of the community.
We are seeing this come into fruition more and more. Hearing God speak is now a sign of insanity. Public scorn is at an all time high for this generation. If we aren’t placing our confidence in Christ and his call people will victorious in the battles ahead. Don’t quench your calling because of your lack of confidence.
This is where we come to an understanding of the reward that is spoken about in this verse. Faith- is belief in the unseen. Confidence backs up that faith and turns it into exercise. It’s in in the execution of our faith through our confidence in Christ that we are rewarded.
Here Paul is talking about Confidence and the reward of such confidence is
For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.
Those who shrink back—or ARE NOT CONFIDENT are destroyed. Why? Because confidence allows you to escape emotion and doubt and grow in faith.
Confidence is not the absence of emotion—It allows us to continue when everything inside of us is shrieking with doubt and fear.