Theology Thursday: My Best Version of Me

Man embracing his identity in Christ

Hebrews is a fantastic book that provides a foundation in faith. It truly brings us to the throne of God and to Christ himself. In Hebrews 10:24 we are challenged to spur one another on toward good deeds and love.

The Power of Grace Over Works

In Hebrews, we are shown that Christ’s shedding of his blood on the cross allows us to be cleansed from our sins once and for all. We no longer have a need to feel guilty of our past sins. The old way of sacrificing animals with a blood offering is only a reminder of our past sins. The priests of old would be the only ones to be able to sacrifice the animals.

Now Christ steps in and gives his body as the ultimate sacrifice, and now his blood cleanses us from all sins and we no longer need anything else to save us. We should be careful of anyone that tells us that we need to do good works to gain our salvation. Is simply believing in Christ and the sacrifices that he made on the cross enough for us to gain salvation?

Hosea 6:6 tells us that God desires mercy and not sacrifice. He desires us to acknowledge God rather than perform burnt offerings and sacrifices. Our good works mean nothing to God unless we have given our lives to Christ and we have trusted in Him and Him alone.

Hebrews then tells us that once this takes place we can approach the throne of God with great confidence. We do not have to be timid, fearful, afraid or worried to seek God and ask Him for help.

Balancing My Identity in Christ and Life’s Baggage

So that takes us to Hebrews 10:24 where we are challenged to spur each other on to do good deeds in love. If we do not need to do good deeds to get into heaven, then what is this proclamation for? What keeps any of us from doing good in our lives and from becoming the best version of ourselves that we possibly can be? For some, it is that you have not trusted Christ as your personal savior and made him Lord of your life. For others who are believers in Christ, it is their choice to hold on to pain and sorrow that hinders them from good deeds.

Some might have fears that keep them from doing good. Others are holding on to past sins that they committed, and they are telling themselves that they are not good enough to do anything for God in their own life. Many have regrets that keep them from accomplishing anything in their lives. Some have been hypocrites while others are held back because they were in failed relationships. Others have experienced abuse and trauma and do not feel worthy. It is as if we have put ourselves in our own personal prison and we have thrown away the key.

Hebrews squashes all of this and says you can approach the throne of God with great confidence and your sins are forgiven once and for all! Now this does not give us a free pass to say that we should never do any good works or never serve God at all. It should give us great confidence to know that we can serve God and do good deeds for Him in love.

Christ, the Source of New Horizons

There is a true story of a great white tiger that was donated to Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. They did not have room to put him anywhere so they kept him in a 12-by-12 cage that the tiger just would walk back and forth in. This lasted for many years until they finally built the tiger a free roaming area with hills, trees, water and many places to play.1

This tiger had been trained so long to stay in that area that when they released it into its new habitat it stayed in one 12-by-12 corner and just walked around and around in that same area. The patch was worn down so much that the grass died in a perfect 12-by-12 area.1 This was such a waste and the tiger eventually died there.

How many of us are just like that tiger? We have built our own cages and our own prisons as believers in Christ. We let our past sins, our regrets, our fears, our anxieties, our pains, our sorrows or anything else that you want to fill in the blank with, keep ourselves from becoming the best version of who God wants us to be.

We are so afraid to do good works for the Lord that we have created our own boundary that keeps us from becoming and doing great things for God. We have let people around us say we are not good enough. We have let our past sins define us. Having let these regrets hold us back even after we have become believers. We are silently living in our own cage and not stepping out to greatness to experience the fullness that God has for us.

As Hebrews 10:24 says, “Let us spur each other on to greatness for God by doing good deeds in love.” If you are not doing this, please stop right now and ask God to boldly give you the confidence to accept your righteousness in Him and know that no sin, no past sins, no person, or no one thing can keep you from becoming the best version of yourself that God has for you. Repent of those things and go on to serve the Lord with confidence. Go as if you were out of that cage and walking freely in the great expanse that God has for you and roaming free to serve Him in His power. Be blessed.

Grace and Peace,

Matt Hampton

Grand Canyon University has been training Christians in ministry since its inception. If you are interested in pursuing a career in ministry, GCU's College of Theology has many degree programs, including Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry, Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies and Master of Arts in Christian Ministry.

1 Referenced From: Monkeymagic.net, Mohini The White Tiger and Learned Helplessness, in January, 2018

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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