John Wesley on Prayer Lesson 25

*Jesus’ Intercession for Us

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.

Hebrews 10:22 NKJV

By that faith in His life, death, and intercession for us, renewed from moment to moment, we are every whit clean. There is not only now no condemnation for us, but no such desert of punishment as was before, the Lord cleansing both our hearts and our lives.

By the same faith, we feel the power of Christ every moment resting upon us, by which alone we are what we are. By this alone, we are enabled to continue in spiritual life. Without this, regardless of all our present holiness, we should be devils the next moment.

But as long as we retain our faith in Him, we draw water out of the wells of salvation. We lean on our beloved, even Christ in us the hope of glory, who dwells in our hearts by faith.

He likewise is interceding for us at the right hand of God; we receive help from Him to think, speak, and act what is acceptable in His sight.

Thus does He go before us in all our doings, so that all our designs, conversations, and actions are begun, continued, and ended in Him.

Thus also does he cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of His Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love Him, and worthily magnify His holy name.

*From How to Pray: The Best of John Wesley on Prayer, published by Barbour Publishing, Inc. Used by permission.

In this twenty-fifth lesson on prayer, Wesley correlates our moment by moment faith in Christ with all the moment by moment benefits we receive from Christ. Hebrews 10:22 is the verse Wesley draws from here but let us read verses 19-25 in order to add context. After lauding the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus, the writer of Hebrews continues,

“19Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near” (NASB).

It is only because of Jesus that we have the confidence, or the boldness, to enter the holy place, to draw near in full assurance of faith, and to hold fast the confession of our hope. Faith in the life, death, and intercession of Jesus is the platform on which we build.

In Hebrews 11:1-2 we read “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men [and women] of old gained approval.” Verse 6 adds, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” The words “By faith” are used near 20 times in the rest of Hebrews 11 as an introduction to what we call “the heroes of faith. But we also learn that they died without receiving the promises, but welcomed them from afar.

But we are not so. Hebrews 12 begins, “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:1-2).

Jesus finishes in us what was begun in them. Therefore Wesley proclaims, “Thus does He go before us in all our doings, so that all our designs, conversations, and actions are begun, continued, and ended in Him. Thus also does he cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of His Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love Him, and worthily magnify His holy name.”

Published by doctorpaddy

An ordained minister, Christian communicator, and educator.

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