Hebrews 10/ June 24
“…we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus” (Hebrews 10:19)
Many profess a confidence of getting into heaven by their works, saying things as “I do the best I can” and “I’m not as bad as I used to be” or “I’m better than other people I know”- believing this to be sufficient. This is comparable to those of the Old Testament who sought to please God by keeping the Law… but failed, which constituted the need for sacrifices in order to appease God.
The Law is a shadow of the real thing- the “real thing” being perfection. He says, “For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near.” (10:1) In v4 he says, “For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (10:4) and in like manner it is impossible for good works to satisfy God as a means of reaching His requirements, for there will always be someone better than you. This is what he means by the “consciousness of sin” (10:2)- there is always a lingering doubt of having done enough, of having been good enough. There must be a better means outside of your good works in reaching God.
Christ came to satisfy the requirements of living a perfect life as required by the Law, this is what is meant be “I have come to do Thy will”- He lived a sinless life that had no dependence on animal sacrifices to hold off God’s judgment. He lived without any sin staining Him or His conscious. So v10 assures us, “By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (10:10)
The author encourages us, “…since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” (10:19-22). This is the confidence we can have, of salvation not based on works but in the blood of Jesus.
This confidence we take is followed by the confession we make, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;” (10:23)
The confession we are privileged to make is in Christ being our Savior. We are to hold it without wavering, without doubt and without betrayal to living as do the unredeemed. It is a confession that we hold with others who believe- for Christ is our common bond. That is what brings together a church body, and though there can be diversity among the members, the blood of Christ is what gives us unity. Beginning in v24 we read, “and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” (10:24,25)
The church is to be where we find unity and strength. Christ is Who we have in common. This is what makes it vital for a church to have as its primary purpose the teaching of God’s word, for in His word we have oneness. Most do not see church participation and activeness as being this critical, but that’s due to a lack on their part to understanding how important it is to learn God’s word and of the church not handling with significance the teaching of the word of God.
The third point seen n this chapter is there being a commitment we must not break to Christ. The author teaches us, “For if we sin willingly after we are to receive the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume all adversaries.” (10:26,27) The writer is speaking to the believer, for he says “if WE sin”; the one who says they believe yet does not lay down sin as an active pursuit of their behavior is soiling the sacrifice made by Christ. The question is asked, “How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?” (10:29) The one who says they are cleansed by Christ’s blood yet willfully remain in sin is trampling under foot the Son of God. Do not treat lightly any sins which are in your life by regarding them as easily forgiven by God’s grace.