Hebrews 10:19-25

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

HOLD FAST YOUR CONFESSION

INTRODUCTION:

 

Hebrews was written to Jews professing faith in Christ. As a result of severe persecution, some of them were contemplating abandoning Christ and Christianity and returning to Judaism and living under the law. Hebrews was written to warn them not to do this but to persevere in their faith in Christ.

 

We have seen in Hebrews 1:1-10:18 :

 

    I.    That Christ is superior to angels - 1:4 - 2:18

   II.    That Christ is worthy of more glory than Moses – 3:1 - 4:13

  III.    That Christ’s ministry is more excellent than the Levitical priests’ ministry – 4:14 - 7:28

 IV.    That Christ is the mediator of a better covenant – 8:1 - 10:18

 

In Hebrews 10:19-13:21 we see that Christ has provided a better way of life than the law provided. It is the life of faith.

 

In Hebrews 10:19-25 , which we are looking at in this message, we see that believers should hold fast their confession.

 

We see that –  

    I.     THE BLOOD OF JESUS HAS MADE THE BELIEVERS’ ACCESS INTO THE PRESENCE OF GOD POSSIBLE – 10:19-20

 

It is because His blood has been presented as an offering for sin and has perfected forever them that are sanctified.

 

Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus.

 

Having is understood in the sense of inasmuch as we have, because we have, or since we have.

 

Therefore draws an inference from the fact that there is no more need for a sin offering and is understood in the sense of consequently, accordingly, then, or so.

 

Brethren is brothers, indicating that the writer is writing to professing Christians, i.e. to people who are claiming to be genuinely saved.

 

What these brethren have is boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus.

 

Boldness means courage, confidence, or fearlessness and is used especially of boldness in the presence of persons of high rank.

 

Here it is boldness to enter into the holiest, i.e. to enter into the presence of God the Father.

 

To enter is literally for the way of entering, for entrance, or for access.

 

The appears before way of entering, entrance, or access in the Greek text, indicating that it is the particular entrance or access into the holiest that is in view. It is the only access there is and not just one of many.

 

To enter is particularly used for the access believers have into the holiest, i.e. into the holiest (place) or sanctuary, and implies access into the very presence of God the Father.

 

By the blood of Jesus is by means of the blood of Jesus.

 

Thus, the blood of Jesus is what has made the believer’s access into the presence of God possible.

 

Hebrews 10:20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.

 

Verse 20 repeats the same idea presented in verse 19 but says it in another way.

 

By a new and living way which he hath consecrated for us is literally which He renewed for us as a new and living way where which refers to the entrance into the holy of holies and where consecrated for us is renewed for us or opened for us.

 

He is Jesus; whereas, us refers to believers.

 

By a new and living way is as a new and living way or to be a new and living way where new is used in the sense that this way was not previously existing.

 

Furthermore, it is a . . . living way because Jesus is alive from the dead forevermore.

 

Through the veil reminds the readers that the Old Testament high priest would enter into the holiest place or the holy of holies in the earthly tabernacle once a year and that he would have to enter it by going through the veil.

 

That is to say identifies what this particular veil is.

 

It is his flesh, i.e. the flesh of Jesus.

 

Thus, in verse 20 the believers’ way of access into the presence of God the Father is seen to be through the flesh of the Lord Jesus Christ; and those who have access are the ones who have accepted this sacrifice of the Lord Jesus for them on the cross at Calvary.

 

They are believers and always have access to God the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Just as the way into the presence of God in the holy of holies before the crucifixion was through the veil separating the two compartments of the tabernacle, so the way into the presence of God since the crucifixion is through Christ’s crucified body.

 

His crucifixion has made access into God’s presence possible. Apart from Christ’s death on the cross, there is no access into the presence of God the Father.

We also see that –

  II.     BELIEVERS HAVE A HIGH PRIEST OVER THE HOUSE OF GOD – 10:21

 

Hebrews 10:21 And having an high priest over the house of God.

 

And having indicates that believers not only have boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus but that they also have a high priest over the house of God.

 

An high priest is a great priest or a great high priest.

 

Over the house of God indicates the function of the Lord Jesus Christ as the high priest of believers.

 

The house of God refers to believers.

 

Thus, Jesus is the individual believer’s great high priest.

Next, we see that –

 III.     BELIEVERS SHOULD DRAW NEAR WITH A TRUE HEART IN FULL ASSURANCE OF FAITH BECAUSE THEIR HEARTS HAVE BEEN SPRINKLED FROM AN EVIL CONSCIENCE, AND THEIR BODIES HAVE BEEN WASHED WITH PURE WATER – 10:22

 

Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

 

Verse 22 is an exhortation intended for those people wondering what was happening to them with all the persecution they were enduring and wondering whether they should return to Judaism.

 

It is based on the assertion that believers have boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus and by the fact that believers have a great high priest over the house of God, namely Jesus.

 

The exhortation is let us draw near which means let us come to, let us go to, or let us approach.

 

Let us draw near is the same phrase which was translated let us come . . . unto in Hebrews 4:16 where professing believers are to approach the throne of grace, which represents God Who gives grace or which represents the place where grace may be obtained.

 

It seems reasonable to believe that it is also to God that believers are to come near in verse 22.

 

With a true heart suggests with a genuine heart, with a sincere heart, or with a dependable heart.

 

The readers are also to come in full assurance of faith.

 

Full assurance means certainty or conviction, and of faith suggests of trust or of belief.

 

Believers know that they have placed their trust in Christ as their Savior. They know that this trust has opened the way of access to God the Father. Therefore, rather than shrinking back and returning to Judaism, they need to go into the presence of God the Father.

 

Having our hearts sprinkled is understood in the sense of because (i.e. since, inasmuch as, or in view of the fact that) our hearts have been sprinkled or purified, let us draw near.

 

It is the sprinkling or purification of the hearts from an evil conscience which enables believers to draw near to God.

 

Sprinkled suggests sprinkled (or purified) with the blood of Christ as an atonement for our sins. The tense of sprinkled indicates that an action has been completed in past time with its result continuing on. Believers’ hearts have been sprinkled in the past from an evil conscience; and they remain sprinkled. Believers are in a state of having been sprinkled with the blood of Christ and enjoy perfect protection from judgment as a result.

 

What has been sprinkled is our hearts.

 

Our refers to the writer and readers of this epistle.

 

It is another way of saying that their hearts have been cleansed or washed by the blood or that the blood of Christ has been applied to their hearts.

 

Our hearts implies us, deep down inside our innermost recesses.

 

In other words, believers have been sprinkled from an evil conscience where from suggests away from or removal from.

 

Conscience is moral consciousness.

 

Conscience is described by evil which suggests a wicked conscience or a bad conscience and, possibly, a guilty conscience. It results from doing things which are wrong.

 

Although the blood of animals was able to remove the sins of the flesh temporarily, it was never able to perfect the conscience.

 

We are reminded of Hebrews 9:13 where it has been shown that the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of flesh.

 

However, as Hebrews 9:14 indicates, it is the blood of Christ which purges believers’ consciences from dead works to serve the living God.

 

And our bodies (i.e. our physical bodies) washed is understood in the sense of and because (i.e. since, inasmuch as, or in view of the fact that) our bodies have been washed. Its tense likewise indicates action completed in past time with its result continuing on. Thus, the bodies of believers have been washed in the past; and they remain washed.

 

With pure water continues the symbolism and means with clean water. Believers are clean or pure as a result of their having been washed with pure water. Our bodies washed with pure water answers to the sanctifying of the flesh, which occurred with the sacrifice of the blood of bulls and with the application of the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of an heifer, sprinkling the unclean in Hebrews 9:13 .

 

Not only have believers been cleansed from sin in their flesh by the sacrifice of Christ, but also their consciences have been cleansed or purified.

In addition, we see that –

 IV.     BELIEVERS SHOULD HOLD FAST THE PROFESSION OF THEIR FAITH WITHOUT WAVERING – 10:23

 

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised).

 

Verse 23 is a second exhortation, along with verse 22 based on the fact that believers may enter boldly into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, Who is the great high priest over the house of God.

 

Let us hold fast means let us retain faithfully or let us keep.

 

Believers are to hang on to or hold on to the profession of our faith, and they are to do it without wavering.

 

The profession of our faith is the confession of our faith or the acknowledgment of our faith where our refers to the writer and readers and by extension to all believers.

 

Even though believers may have undergone some difficult times, they should not abandon Christianity because of these times. They are going in the right direction with Christianity.

 

Our faith is literally the hope. Here, the is used to show possession and is translated our. Our hope is the hope of Christianity; hence, it is translated our faith.

 

In today’s usage in English, hope conveys the idea of something for which one may wish but of which he cannot be not certain.

 

However, in the New Testament the hope that believers have in Jesus Christ as their Saviour is definite and certain. It is absolute; there is no doubt about it. Thus, it is an expectation. The difference is like a woman hoping to have a baby and the woman who is expecting a baby. One is not pregnant; the other is.

 

Believers are to hold their faith or hope without wavering, which suggests that they are to hold it steady; and the reason they should hold the confession of the hope steady is for He is faithful that promised.

 

For is thus used in the sense of because.

 

He is apparently God the Father.

 

He is faithful suggests that He is dependable, He is reliable, or He is trustworthy.

 

(He) that promised is the One Who has promised. The One Who promised is the same One Who made promise to Abraham and suggests God the Father.

We furthermore see that –

   V.     BELIEVERS SHOULD CONSIDER ONE ANOTHER TO PROVOKE ONE ANOTHER UNTO LOVE AND TO GOOD WORKS – 10:24

 

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.

 

And continues the thought from verses 22 and 23 of something believers should do because they have boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus and because they have a great high priest over the house of God.

 

Let us consider is parallel to let us draw near in verse 22 and to let us hold fast in verse 23. Let us consider is let us notice where notice is used in the spiritual sense of let us fix the eyes of the spirit upon.

 

What believers are to consider is one another or each other.

 

To provoke is for stirring up, for provoking, or for encouragement.

 

Unto love and to good works indicates that for which believers are to stir each other up, provoke each other, or encourage each other. They are to provoke, stir up, or encourage love and good works on the part of each other.

 

This love is the kind of love God demonstrated for believers when He sent Christ to die on the cross for their sins. It is the love that gives itself completely on behalf of someone else without expecting anything in return.

 

Also, good works should be characteristic of all believers; but here these good works are in contrast to the dead works which were found in Judaism.

Finally, we see that –

 VI.     BELIEVERS SHOULD NOT ABANDON CHRISTIANITY AS EVIDENCED BY FORSAKING THE ASSEMBLING OF THEMSELVES TOGETHER – 10:25

 

Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

 

Not forsaking means not abandoning or not deserting.

 

Some had ceased assembling themselves together because of discouragement with their outward circumstances brought about by persecution and affliction, which they as believers were experiencing but which they had not expected.

 

They needed to stop this practice and begin assembling together again for mutual encouragement, service, and worship.

 

What they were forsaking was the assembling of ourselves together.

 

The assembling suggests the meeting of a local church or a body of believers together; while ourselves indicates the group of people who were assembling together. It refers to believers.

 

As, i.e. just as, the manner of some is indicates that some were already failing to assemble together.

 

It is simply as is customary of some or just as is a habit for some.

 

The failure of some to continue assembling indicates that they were heading in the wrong direction spiritually.

 

If they continued going in this direction, it might eventually result in their total abandonment of Christianity and would demonstrate that they were really unsaved people; instead, they needed to make sure that they were really saved and that they were going in the right direction in their lives.

 

Attending church does not save one, but abandoning church attendance may indicate a complete abandonment of Christianity or a complete apostasy.

 

The use of this verse to encourage consistent rather than spasmodic church attendance does not really deal adequately with the context.

 

But introduces a strong contrast between what they should not be doing and what they should be doing.

 

Exhorting one another is encouraging (one another), comforting (one another), urging (one another), or appealing to (one another).

 

And so much the more as is and all the more as.

 

Ye see is you are seeing, and what you are seeing is the day approaching or the day coming near.

 

It suggests someone who is in darkness who is seeking to hold out until daylight appears.

 

The day that believers trust will appear is the day that their hope will be fulfilled, the day in which their hope in Christ and their salvation will be complete. It is a reference to the rapture of believers.