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The Assurance of Faith

 

From a sermon by Ebenezer Erskine on Hebrews 10:22

 

 

Whereas the sinner might object, That though the door be opened, and the new and living way consecrated; yet he is either so ignorant, that he knows not this way; or so impotent, that he cannot walk in it; or so guilty, that he dares not venture to go into the holiest: therefore, to obviate all these, Christ is presented to us as "a great high priest over the house of God," ver. 21. O what noble encouragement is here for believing! Christ, as a High Priest, "is ordained for men in things pertaining to God." Heb. v. 1. And seeing he is ordained for men, may not men make use of his mediation with confidence and boldness? Heb. iv. 14, 16. And then, by his office, he is obliged to execute the duties of his office toward every soul that employs him therein: he is obliged, as a High Priest, to instruct the ignorant, to strengthen the weak, to confirm the feeble, and to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. And therefore let us take courage to employ and improve him, especially considering that he is both "a merciful and faithful High Priest," Heb. ii. 17; and also a High Priest who is over the house of God, i. e., he has full power and authority from his eternal Father to negotiate our affairs, and to render both our persons and performances acceptable unto him. In a word, the whole management of the offspring and issue, and of all the vessels of cups and flagons, is committed to him; yea, "all the glory of his Father's house hangs upon him, as upon a nail fastened in a sure place," Isa. xxii. 24. And therefore, "seeing we have a High Priest (of such authority and interest), let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need," Heb, iv. 14-16. Whenever we have any business with God, whenever we would enter into the secret of his presence, or enjoy fellowship with him, let us go in at the back of our great High Priest, who has led the way before us, and is appearing in the presence of God for us.

 

Now, I say, the apostle having thus presented Christ under the most encouraging views, as the object of our faith, trust, and confidence in our dealings with the majesty of God, he proceeds to recommend and inculcate a correspondent duty in the words of my text, ver. 22, "Let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled," &c.

 

 

 

Ebenezer Erskine (1680-1754) and his brother Ralph were famous Presbyterian ministers in Scotland, and close friends of Thomas Boston. Their father was Henry Erskine, under whose preaching the youthful Thomas Boston came to Christ.

 

Reference

The Works of Ebenezer Erskine, Vol 1 (Free Presbyterian Publications, 2001), pp206-207.