The new and living way
into the presence of a holy God is through the blood
of Jesus Christ.
Because of all that has
been accomplished for us by Jesus Christ we can now
confidently approach the Lord God in worship. Each
time the writer of Hebrews stresses the saving work
of Christ, he makes explicit statements about the
blood of Jesus Christ. It was "not through the blood
of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He
entered the holy place once for all, having obtained
eternal redemption. . . . how much more will the
blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit
offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your
conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"
(Hebrews 9:12, 14). "Therefore, brethren, since we
have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood
of Jesus" (Hebrews 10:19). "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?"
(Hebrews 10:29). "And to Jesus, the mediator of a
new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which
speaks better than the blood of Abel" (Hebrews
12:24). "Therefore Jesus also, that He might
sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered
outside the gate" (Hebrews 13:12). "Now the God of
peace, who brought up from the dead the great
Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the
eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord" (Hebrews
13:20). All of these passages powerfully stress the
sacrificial death of Christ for the sinner.
Therefore, there is no
other way into God's presence. Jesus said to him, "I
am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one
comes to the Father but through Me" (John 14:6).
"And there is salvation in no one else; for there is
no other name under heaven that has been given among
men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
How then shall we live
since we have explored these great theological
truths in the book of Hebrews?
We are invited to enter
into the true heavenly sanctuary.
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" (Hebrews 10:19-21).
"The holy place" is the
innermost sanctuary of the holy of holies. It is the
place where God dwells I heaven. Our great High
Priest intercedes in the presence of God on our
behalf in the most holy place.
Enter with boldness
"In whom we have boldness
and confident access through faith in Him"
Jesus has entered into
heaven as our forerunner. We can now draw near to
God through Him. We have full assurance to enter
because our confidence rests on the all sufficiency
of Christ's death. "These things I have written to
you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so
that you may know that you have eternal life" (1
John 5:13). That is the bold assurance God gives the
believer in Christ. The basis of this boldness is
the fact that God is faithful to His promises. We
can take Him at His word because He has never failed
to keep His word.
Blood of Jesus Christ
The bold entrance is only
by means of the blood of Jesus. The atoning
sacrifice of Jesus is the vicarious penal atoning
sacrifice that covers the believer's sins. This is
the stress all through the book of Hebrews.
New and living way
It is not the old
covenant with its shadows and types. Christ has
opened up a new and living way by means of His death
and resurrection. It is the new covenant which will
never become old and obsolete. It issues in eternal
life because Jesus is the way, the truth, and the
life. He is eternal life and He gives eternal life.
We enter in through
The old curtain shut
sinful man out from the holy of holies. On the Day
of Atonement the high priest entered within the veil
by means of the sacrifice. The sinner was excluded,
but now the way is open through the shed blood of
Jesus. At the very moment Christ died the curtain
was torn from top to bottom (Matt. 27:51). Moreover,
the body of Jesus was torn, His blood was shed, and
the way was opened for us to enter into God's
presence. We have full access into His presence by
means of His broken body of Jesus. Christ removed
the veil between God and His people.
Here, the author of
Hebrews equates the torn curtain of the temple with
the flesh of Jesus. The "new and living way which He
inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His
flesh" (v. 20). In a symbolic way the flesh of Jesus
is identical with the veil of the tabernacle. It
kept sinful men out, and was also the means of
entering into the presence of God. Through His flesh
He opened the way for us to a holy God. The barrier
that kept sinful man out of the presence of God was
torn apart, and now we boldly enter into His
presence by means of that shed blood at Calvary. By
means of His incarnation Jesus Christ made the
perfect and final sacrifice for sin. By means of the
sacrifice of Jesus we have full entrance into the
holy of holies.
We have a great High
Our great high priest is
the very one who opened up the way into the presence
"Therefore, since we have
a great high priest who has passed through the
heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our
confession" (Hebrews 4:14).
Remember, Moses was
faithful as a servant, but Jesus is the faithful Son
over the house of God (Heb. 3:6). Our great High
Priest has opened up the way into the sanctuary of
God because He is the eternal Son of God. The writer
of Hebrews has stressed that Jesus is seated at the
right hand of Majesty on High (Heb. 1:3). He is our
"great High Priest." The stress is on the
superlative greatness of Jesus Christ as our High
Priest. There is none to be compared to Him.
Let us draw near to
We are exhorted to
approach God's throne of grace with confidence in
"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" (Hebrews 10:22).
A "sincere heart" is one
that is has singleness of purpose. We are to
approach Him in honest, genuine, wholesome
dependence upon Him without deceitfulness. "Seek
first the kingdom of God and His righteousness"
(Matt. 6:33a). Every born again believer enjoys this
freedom of access into God's presence. If we have
singleness of heart we experience full assurance of
His presence. The writer of Hebrews is encouraging
his readers to simple trust in God's great provision
in His grace.
The heart is the control
center of our being. It is the core of our
personality. The Christian believer's heart is
sprinkled with the blood Jesus Christ that cleanses
from all sin. We can now freely approach God at His
throne of grace because our conscience is clear. We
are forgiven of sin by the work of Christ. Christ
has removed forever the guilt that keeps the sinner
from enjoying the presence of God.
Full assurance of
Our faith needs to be
focused on Jesus in unwavering trust. We have
confidence and assurance in our approach to God
thought the shed blood of Jesus. "He is able to save
completely those who come to God through Him,
because He always lives to intercede for them" (Heb.
We are absolutely secure
because of our great High Priest interceding on our
Hearts sprinkled clean
Only the heart that is
sprinkled with the blood of Jesus can enjoy this
entrance into the presence of a holy God.
The imagery is the Old
Testament priests consecrating themselves by washing
with water and the sprinkling of blood of the
sacrifice. We have been cleansed and washed by the
blood of Jesus (1 John 1:6-10). Our hearts have been
purged of all sin by the blood of Jesus once for
all. "If we walk in the Light as He Himself is in
the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and
the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin"
(1 John 1:7).
"He saved us, not on the
basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness,
but according to His mercy, by the washing of
regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom
He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ
our Savior" (Titus 3:5-6).
"Water, because it
cleanses, is indicative of the Holy Spirit," wrote
Thomas Aquinas. We have the water, the word, and the
blood that cleanses. Hence, we see the Word of God,
the Holy Spirit and the blood of Jesus working
together to provide a great salvation. The Word of
God sanctifies as the Holy Spirit applies the
atoning sacrifice to the believer. The great truth
of this passage is "the blood of Jesus cleanses us
from all sin." Water is simply a visible sign of the
inward and spiritual cleansing that God accomplished
by the atoning sacrifice of Christ. This passage is
not teaching that we are saved by faith in Christ
plus water baptism. We are saved by grace alone
through faith alone in Jesus Christ's death and
resurrection alone. It is never Christ plus
something else, no matter how religious sounding it
Let's hold fast our
confession of hope in Christ
"Let us hold fast the
confession of our hope without wavering, for He who
promised is faithful; 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" (Hebrews
The writer has already
told us to "hold fast our confession" (Heb. 4:14).
The new covenant of Christ is the ground of this
better hope (3:6; 6:11; 7:19; 11:1). The new and
better covenant has a unique and better High Priest
with a perfect sacrifice that covers all sin and
therefore provides a better hope for those who come
to Christ for salvation.
The confession of the
early church was, "Jesus is Lord" (1 Cor. 12:3). No
one can be saved without confessing Jesus is Lord
(Rom. 10:9-10). If He is not your Lord He is not
John Calvin said hope is
the child of faith and is nourished and sustained by
faith to the end. Hope looks to the future. Our hope
is centered upon God's faithfulness. We focus our
eyes on Jesus, and in Him we have salvation,
righteousness, eternal life and assurance that on
that great day of the resurrection we will be with
Him for all eternity. We will experience that hope
fully when Jesus returns in glory.
God is faithful.
God has demonstrated
Himself faithful down through history. Peruse
through the Old Testament and see His sustaining
grace and provision for His chosen people. He has
been and is faithful to all His promises. "He
Himself has said, 'I will never desert you, nor will
I ever forsake you'" (Hebrews 13:5b).
The prophet Isaiah said,
"Because the LORD who is faithful, the Holy One of
Israel who has chosen You" (Isa 49:7h). "Can a woman
forget her nursing child and have no compassion on
the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I
will not forget you" (Isaiah 49:15). Can God forget
His child? Never!
That was also the
testimony of the apostle Paul when he wrote: "God is
faithful, through whom you were called into
fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord" (1
Corinthians 1:9). "God is faithful" (2 Cor. 1:18).
"Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will
bring it to pass" (1 Thess. 5:24). "The Lord is
faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you
from the evil one" (2 Thess. 3:3). "Now to Him who
is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we
ask or think, according to the power that works
within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in
Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.
Amen" (Ephesians 3:20-21). Paul says literally, but
to Him who is able above all things to do
exceedingly above. It means to exceed some number or
measure over and above, more than necessary. He adds
the idea of exhaustlessness. Our great God and
Savior provides beyond all things, super, abundantly
and over and above all our need to accomplish His
eternal purpose. He is faithful. He is faithful even
when we are not faithful.
I could go on with many
more verses from both the Old and New Testament, but
I think you get the idea. God is faithful. Now go on
to encourage and build up one another in that faith.
Stimulate one another
In verses 22-24 the
author exhorts his readers to faith, hope and love.
The apostle Paul also stressed this theme in several
of his letters (Rom. 5:1-5; Gal. 5:5-6; Col. 1:4-5;
1 Thess. 1:3; 5:8).
God demonstrated His love
for us by sending His Son to die for us while were
still sinners (Rom. 5:8). We love Him because He
first loved us (1 John 4:19). Moreover, "We have
come to know and have believed the love which God
has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in
love abides in God, and God abides in him" (1 John
4:16). "We know love by this, that He laid down His
life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for
the brethren" (1 John 3:16).
The apostle Paul observed
that the church at Corinth was a selfish, unloving
divisive church (1 Cor. 1:10). It was full of
divisions and competiveness. Self-love in any
congregation breeds dissention. The I, me and mine,
get all I can get for myself attitudes in the great
American dream is destroying churches. The American
evangelical churches have been sold a bad bill of
goods by a lot of false doctrine during the last 25
years. The tragedy is it is tearing churches up, and
the devil is having a good time. Prosperity, health
wealth and blessing theology are false heretical
teachings based upon false interpretation of the
Scriptures. The only ones receiving "blessings" and
prosperity are the ones selling DVD's and TV
programs peddling the emotional nonsense. The
evangelical church needs to get back to Biblical
priorities and sound teaching on how to stimulate
one another to love and good deeds. Here is how
Jesus said to do it: "'You shall love the Lord your
God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and
with all your mind.' This is the great and foremost
commandment. The second is like it, 'You shall love
your neighbor as yourself''" (Matthew 22:37-39).
Encourage one another
Lack of love for the Lord
God and His disciples is demonstrated by forsaking
the assembling with other believers in worship and
Bible study. It is an indication of self-love and
self-centeredness instead of agape love for God. As
believers in Christ we do have a responsibility for
every member of our churches. It is our
responsibility to reach out to one another in love
and give encouragement to faithfully serve Christ.
In every church where I
have pastored I have used encouragement cards. Take
a three by five card and print encouraging verses of
Scripture on one side and the other write a personal
word of encouragement to someone who is hurting,
bereaving, going through a difficult time, or a note
of thanks o congratulations for an achievement. You
will be surprised how often people are in a need of
a kind word. Build one another up in the Lord. It is
extremely difficult to live the Christian life as a
lone ranger. We need one another.
Christ is returning
Our job is to encourage
one another, to build up one another in faith until
the coming of Christ. "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" (Hebrews 10:25).
The Day or Day of the
Lord in this passage can mean only the last day, the
ultimate eschatological day with the consummation of
God's eternal purposes.
The Day of the Lord will
be a day of judgment for some and a day of blessing
for others. It all depends upon one's personal
relationship with Christ. He is referring to the
"great and glorious day of the Lord" (Joel 2:28-32;
Acts 2:20) that "will come like a thief in the
night" (1 Thess. 5:2; Rev. 3:3; 2 Pet. 3:10-13).
It will be a time when
believers are gathered together to be with Christ (1
Thess. 4:13-18; 2 Thess. 2:2).
The words of the apostle
Paul are very appropriate application of this
passage in Hebrews. Both writers are burdened with
how to stimulate believers to love and discipleship.
"According to the grace of God which was given to
me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation,
and another is building on it. But each man must be
careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a
foundation other than the one which is laid, which
is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the
foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood,
hay, straw, each man's work will become evident; for
the day will show it because it is to be revealed
with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality
of each man's work. If any man's work which he has
built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If
any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss;
but he himself will be saved, yet so as through
fire" (1 Corinthians 3:10-15).
The critical question is
what is your relationship with Jesus Christ? If you
have never put your trust in Him this is the perfect
time to do it. Jesus Christ died for you on the
cross. He paid your sin debt to the righteousness of
God so you do not have to pay it. He paid it in full
when He cried out from the cross, "It is finished!"
It was an all sufficient sacrifice for your sins and
unbelief. Now He offers you complete pardon,
forgiveness and cleansing for all sin. You do not
have to face the wrath of God. If you trust Him it
is turned away. Jesus bore the full wrath of God on
What must you do to be
saved? Simply ask Him to be your savior and believe
on Him. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you
shall be saved," the Apostle Paul told the
Philippian jailer. And that is also true for you and
me. "That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as
Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him
from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart
a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and
with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation"
(Romans 10:9-10). You do not have to psych yourself
to some great emotional experience. The Bible says
believe on Christ. That is simple trust or
dependence upon Christ and His sacrifice for your
sin. Jesus paid it all when He died for you on the
cross. Believe on Him today and you shall be
I often hear people say,
"I am afraid I don't know if I have enough faith."
How much faith do you need in order to be saved?
The Bible does not teach
that you are justified because of your faith. Faith
is not works.
Faith is nothing more
than the instrument to receive our salvation.
Nowhere in Scripture will you find that we are
justified on account of our faith. The Scripture
says that we are justified by faith or through
faith. Faith is nothing but the channel by which
this righteousness of God in Christ becomes ours. It
is not our faith that saves us.
What saves us is the Lord
Jesus Christ and His perfect saving work. It is the
death of Christ upon Calvary's Cross that saves us.
It is God putting Christ's righteousness to our
account that saves. Faith is only the channel and
the instrument by which His righteousness becomes
mine (2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 4:24). The righteousness
that saves is entirely Christ's. My faith is
not my righteousness and I must never define or
think of faith as righteousness. Faith is nothing
but that which connects us to the Lord Jesus Christ
and His righteousness.
The whole emphasis on
salvation by faith is clearly on the object of our
faith: Jesus Christ. Jesus saves! Faith does not
save us. Jesus alone does that.
If we are saved at all it
must be through faith in the substitutionary
sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).
Spurgeon once said, "It
does not take a strong faith to save you, just
faith. The weakness of your faith will not destroy
you. A trembling hand may receive a golden gift."
The object of our faith
is the all-important thing (Acts 16:31). Our faith
must be focused on Christ Jesus and His saving work
on the cross. He died as our substitute. We must
trust in Christ to save us.
The righteousness that
God has graciously provided becomes ours through
simple faith. Ponder over Romans 3:22, 24-25, 26,
28, 30 and observe the emphasis the apostle Paul is
making in these verses. Faith will not earn your
salvation. If it did then faith would be works and
God would owe you something. Faith is essential
because only those individuals who put their trust
in Christ will be saved.
The apostle Paul wrote,
"The righteousness of God through faith in Jesus
Christ for all those who believe" (v. 22). Sinners
are "justified as a gift by His grace through the
redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God
displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood
through faith" (vv. 24-25a). God did it this way as
a demonstration "that He might be just and the
justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus" (v.
26). You cannot boast if you are saved by grace
through faith in Christ, "For we maintain that a man
is justified by faith apart from the works of the
Law" (v. 28). Moreover, "He will justify the
circumcision by faith and the uncircumcised through
faith" (v. 30).
If you have never done
so, will you believe on the Lord Jesus and be saved
today? "Therefore having been justified by faith, we
have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ"
10:19-25 Jesus Christ is the New and Living