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What the Bible says about Confidence in Christ
(From Forerunner Commentary)

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Was there ever a man who was given as many gifts as the apostle Paul? Judging from how much God wrote through him—how much God used his mind, intellect, training, experience, yieldedness, and willingness to work and sacrifice himself on behalf of God and the church—it might have been very easy for him to have been puffed up. He even said himself that nobody worked any harder than he did, writing, "I labored more abundantly than they all" (I Corinthians 15:10).

However, he was not bragging. It is not wrong to take the right kind of pride and to speak the truth about what we really have done. There is nothing wrong with a developed skill and confidence in our ability to do it. If we do not have any confidence, will we ever offer ourselves in service to others? There must also be a proper recognition of where all that power, strength, and everything flows from. It flows from the gifts, from what God has given.

God mercifully allowed Paul to suffer a physical problem to keep him mindful of his dependence on Him. The truly humble are knowledgeable of their dependence, and they cry out to God continually for help, for what God only can supply: His Holy Spirit, His love, His faith, the forgiveness of sin, etc. Theirs is not just a feeling of weakness, because everyone, the converted and the unconverted, experiences weakness.

People with pride experience a feeling of weakness too, but they compensate, not by seeking God's help, but by flaunting what they think others will accept and bring praise to them. As long as a person continues to depend on himself, this world will continue as it is. Nothing will change. This attitude is illustrated in the beginning so simply. Without actually saying the words, Adam and Eve told God in Genesis 3, "We don't need you."

John W. Ritenbaugh
Faith (Part Seven)

Hebrews 3:2-6

Christ is greater, better, superior to Moses! Whoever the author of the book of Hebrews was, he handled this very delicately. He could have caused offense by seemingly putting Moses down, as Moses was held in high regard by the Jews. Yet, he was able to get across the fact that here was One greater than Moses in such a way that he showed that Moses, indeed, was faithful. However, he was faithful as a servant within the house of which Jesus Christ is the Builder.

Notice the word "confidence" in Hebrews 3:6. In Hebrews 4:16, the exact same word is translated as "boldness" These Hebrews were no longer rejoicing, nor were they bold. Their apathy had them just lying there, taking life in. They were observers, not doers, neglecting what had been given to them. Thus, the exhortation to be bold and confident in overcoming and growing, and to rejoice in the greatness of the message that has been given.

We could not have received a greater message than the one that we have been given. It is just not possible to hear any news greater than what God is preparing for His children.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Hebrews: A Message for Today


 




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