Hebrews 10:19-25 . . . 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 in full assurance of faith, 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 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
This short passage is PACKED with strong exhortations, note the use of the phrase, “Let us..” over and over! In light of the goodness of God shown to us in Christ, we are encouraged to take FULL advantage of the freedom He gives and all that He has accomplished for us.
Let’s take a look:
1. We have confidence to enter the MOST Holy Place
Think about that for a second. Before Christ, NO ONE would have EVER thought of having CONFIDENCE in going into the Most Holy Place — in the very Presence of God! The most common reaction would have been fear of death! No one could stand there! Only the high priest would go in there, and only ONCE a year! Even he was aware of the risk of his life in doing so!
But here we are, by faith in the shed blood of Jesus, not only are we invited to come face to face with God Almighty, we are told to do so BOLDLY, with CONFIDENCE! We can have “Full assurance” that we are welcomed and wanted in His presence! Wow!
Why would we linger far off, telling ourselves how unworthy we are? Of course we’re not worthy! BUT, HE has made us CLEAN! Come on in, and “let us draw NEAR” to God! 🙂
2. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess
-What does it mean to hold “unswervingly”?
To me, it’s the way I grip the steering wheel of my car when it’s pouring rain so hard that I can’t see the road, or when a blizzard has suddenly whited-out the way in front of me. This is the steadfastness which we should hold on to our hope in Christ.
-What is this hope we profess?
Well, in light of the preceding verses, it is that the sacrifice of Jesus’ body, and the shedding of His blood really DO make us clean before God and that we really do have PERMISSION to be in His presence. He wants us there.
In a broader context, our “hope” is that Jesus is King, and He’s coming to reign on the earth, and those who are faithful to Him will rule with Him forever!!
We are to hold onto these truths, and never let them go! Keep them close to our hearts. As the Old Testament believers were admonished to “tie them on your wrist and foreheads”, let this hope influence everything we think (forehead- our minds) and do (wrist- the works of our hands).
He who promised is FAITHFUL!
He WILL accomplish all that He has said and His will vindicate all those who have put their hope in His holy Name. No one whose hope is in the Lord will ever be put to shame!
4. Let us think of many ways to spur one another on . .
Do you ever do this? Do you think of your fellow Christ-followers and ask yourself, “how can I encourage them?”. You should! Often! Think of what you might say or do to EVERYONE you know, that will encourage them to keep their “hope” and to persevere in Christ. We need to “prod” one another on to seek the Lord wholeheartedly! What can you do TODAY or this WEEK to spur on others? What would have the greatest impact on that one who you know has been having a hard time? Ask the Lord for wisdom and insight, too (He’s more than happy to give it). Then, give your energy to bolstering those around you. The neat thing is, as you do this, you will be encouraged YOURSELF, because we always reap what we sow. 🙂
5. Let’s get together — and encourage each other — more and more!
Have you ever thought to yourself, “why are we always having meetings and more meetings?” or “what’s the point of church?” I know I have. Be honest. Well according to the Writer of Hebrews, we NEED it! Many people to day will say, “I can ‘do” church on my own, in my room, etc.” Others will turn on the TV to watch their favorite Christian speaker or get on the Internet to soak up their favorite ministry, and in doing so, feel that they have got their “church fix”. We are encouraged her to NOT give up on meeting TOGETHER. Why? In the context of this passage it would seem to mean that:
a. We are prone to LOSE hope, and meeting with others is key to keeping it. I can think of many people who feel hopeless, and many of those people, not because they have given up on following Christ, but because they find many reasons not to MEET WITH others.
b. We need the encouragement that meeting together brings. It always helps to know you’re not doing this thing alone, right? At the very least, meeting with others (on Sunday, in a weekly home group, at a prayer meeting) reminds you that we are in this together, we’re not fighting alone, and we’re not believing in vain! Secondly, if we can learn point #4, and seek to spur one another on, our meetings together with truly fan into flame the passion in our hearts to love Jesus!!
Let us draw near! We have no reason not to!