19 “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,
20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body,
21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,
25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching,” Hebrews 10:19-25
The “therefore” of verse 19 takes us back to verses 16-18 which reminds the readers of Hebrews that they are under a new covenant and the amazing blessings that accompany such a covenant. “ ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord; I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,’ and He adds, ‘I will remember their sins and their misdeeds no more,’ Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin,” Hebrews 10:16-18.
Let’s take a quick jaunt through these encouraging and helpful verses. We are to have confidence to enter into the Most Holy Place through the blood of Jesus. Through Jesus death at Calvary we now have access to God in a direct and personal way that was never possible under the old Covenant, because it was designed to point forward to Jesus. Now in the person of Jesus we may see God face to face and have a personal relationship with Him because He has revealed Himself in the love, ministry, sacrifice and redeeming mercy found of His beloved Son Jesus. (See verse 20)
In verse 19 we are told to have “confidence” and again in verse 22 we read, “let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” When we come before God with open and honest hearts living by faith we have “full” assurance of the reality of our relationship with God.
Remember the story of the Philippian jailer back in Acts 16? Paul and Silas could have escaped after the earthquake tore the prison apart and loosened every chain that secured them to the dungeon. But instead, they stayed out of love for the jailer who would have suffered a terrible death of torture for allowing any prisoner to escape. In gratitude he falls at the Disciples feet and cries out, “What must I do to be saved?” I love Paul’s answer, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:32
Our faith that we are saved by the grace of God and our understanding that there is not one thing we can do to add one iota of merit to our own salvation gives us the confidence to trust God. We don’t need to be weighed down under the power of sin and guilt because at the cross they have been dealt with. “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” (v. 23)
“ ‘I will remember their sins and their misdeeds no more’ ” (10:17) is one of the most amazing and awe inspiring promises in Scripture. When Jesus died at Calvary He took our shame, our guilt and our sins and nailed them to the cross that we could now have reconciliation with the Father and enter once again into his presence without fear or condemnation. Jesus set us free from the power of sin, death and Satan and gave us instead freedom, life and the Father’s never ending love.
Look at what the writer of Hebrews encourages us to do, “draw near to God with a sincere heart” “let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess,” and “let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds.” We are encouraged to draw near to God, hold onto our hope and meditate upon how we can uplift each other through love and practical ministry.
Now look carefully at verse 25, “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching,” We are reminded that encouragement is not only for us but a gift to share with others as well. And how do we encourage each other? We meet together in church, small groups, cell groups or with a couple of friends and lift up the love of Jesus to each other.
Christianity isn’t about learning all the rules, spending your waking hours reflecting upon your sins and living a fearful and despondent life. True Christianity always leads us to the grace and love of Jesus and when those realities become part of who we are we will never be the same again.
Now read Hebrews 10:26-31 and those verses will not scare you the way they did me before I understood grace. And after you read those verses put everything into context by reading the rest of the chapter. Here is a hint about reading these verses; just remember verses 19-25 and apply them to verses 26-31, and “deliberate sin” is defined in these verses as not “holding firm to Christ’s grace”.
If you have time email me or leave a comment at the end of the post about your thoughts on verses 26-31.
* Folks, the persecution of Christians has not stopped. If anything it’s increased. The main stream media doesn’t talk about it much anymore but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Pray and stay informed and inform others. Please take the time to read some of their stories at http://thebeggardanced.com/nine-oclock-club/ there is much more on the internet…