So let us come near to God with a sincere heart and a sure faith, with hearts that have been purified from a guilty conscience and with bodies washed with clean water. Let us hold on firmly to the hope we profess, because we can trust God to keep his promise. Let us be concerned for one another, to help one another to show love and to do good. Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead let us encourage one another all the more since you see that the Day of the Lord is coming nearer (v 22 – 25)
The first half of chapter 10 continues to explain how the Jewish law was only a model of what was to come through the Messiah – Jesus Christ. The sacrifices were a reminder to the people of their sins and that the blood of these sacrifices could never completely take away those sins as they had to be repeated.
We see in verse 5 (and Psalm 40 v 6-7) that Christ said:
You do not want sacrifices and offerings….You are not pleased with animals burnt….or with sacrifices to take away sins
but he offered himself
Here I am to do your will O God, just as it is written of me in the book of the Law (v7)
We are reminded again that Christs’ sacrifice was final, once for all and that the work was complete.
A significant thing to notice here is in verse 12 where it says that He sat down at the right hand of God. This is significant as it symbolises the completion of the work. He could sit down, rest, there was nothing more to do. The priests would always have to stand to do their work and offer the sacrifices as it was never complete, it would always need to be repeated, whereas Christ’s was complete and therefore he could go and sit down at the right hand of God until the appointed time for the fulfillment of the promised covenant.
The writer then moves on to give instruction as to what our response should be in verses 22 t0 25, with 5 exhortations which should be part of the outworking and evidence of our faith and trust in him;
- Let us come near to God – there are four conditions given in verse 22 for coming near to God;
- a sincere heart – being honest and genuine about our desire to follow Him
- a sure faith – trusting and following Christ completely
- with hearts that have been purified from a guilty conscience – being free from guilt having accepted the purifying work of Christ’s sacrifice
- with bodies washed with clean water – this is likely to be referring to the baptism in water on confession of that faith
- Let us hold on firmly to the hope we profess – we can be fully confident in God because we know that he will keep his promise.
- Let us be concerned for one another – we are implored to love and support each other in doing good and holding on to the faith that we profess.
- Let us not give up the habit of meeting together – this was evidently the first stage of slipping away. Desertion and abandonment not only of the practice of meeting together but of their faith in Christ even to the point of apostacy. Verse 29 speaks of people treating the sacrifice Jesus lightly and therefore insulting the Spirit of grace.
- Let us encourage one another – to keep on believing and trusting God through difficult times. Verses 35 to 37 tell us to not lose our courage because it brings with it great reward but to have patience to do God’s will and receive his promise.
Do not lose your courage, then, because it brings with it great reward. You need to be patient, in order to do the will of God and receive what he promises.
The promise is that he will come.
We finish with a warning again to not turn back, but to have faith.
My righteous people, however will believe and live; but if any of them turns back I will not be pleased with him
We are not people who turn back and are lost. Instead , we have faith and are saved.
We are saved by our faith in the sacrifice made for us by Christ
Quotes from The Good News Bible.