Reflections on the Quest: Drawing Near to God

When I can, I am slowly reading Charles Hodge’s three-volume Systematic Theology.  It is a labor.  It is not easy to read like Wayne Grudem’s systematic text, nor is it filled with doxology like Calvin’s classic Institutes of the Christian Religion.  However, in my quest to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3:18), I decided that–as far as it depends upon me–I would read this massive work before I die and meet Dr. Hodge personally! As you know from previous entries, I am teaching the book of Hebrews in our adult Sunday School class at church (this morning we had a great time looking at chapter seven).  Several weeks ago, we discussed the awesome truth that Jesus–rather than ourselves–is the Author of salvation (2:10).  Today we saw that this Author also has the power to keep saved all those who draw near to God the Father through Him (7:25)!  How is He able to do that?  The text gives us two answers.  First, Jesus is able to keep His sheep because His almighty power is just that–almighty power!  He is so strong that no one can pluck His sheep from His hands (John 10:29).  Second, Jesus is able to keep His sheep because [the argumentation of the author of Hebrews in this verse] He lives to intercede for them (7:25)!  At this very moment, Jesus is representing His people in heaven, proving to be our [believers] successful advocate (1 John 2:1)!  Back to Hebrews, chapter seven…here’s the NASB rendering:  “Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (7:25).  This morning I ended our discussion by challenging us to continue drawing near (an action mentioned twice in Hebrews 7 [over 5x in the book]).  Today I attempted to draw near to God by attending church, using my spiritual gifts, and reading Charles Hodge.  What about you?  Allow me to close with the wonderful promise of James 4:8, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

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