Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 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. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 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.
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.”
But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
In this section of scripture, the writer continues to emphasize the superiority of Christ our High Priest and the importance of cultivating enduring faith, which holds fast to Christ regardless of the circumstances. In this section, the writer also warns against turning away from Christ to a life of willful sin.
In verses 19-25, the writer encourages his readers to continue to meet together for mutual encouragement. This involves regular assembling together. Christians gathering together for corporate worship and fellowship are essential if we are to challenge and encourage one another in our faith. This has been a difficult to do the last twelve months because of the pandemic.
In verses 26-31, the writer warns his readers regarding willful disobedience. The basic idea here is that after hearing and receiving the truth, turning away or drifting is deadly. If we “deliberately keep on sinning,” this means we are rejecting the truth of the gospel. By doing this, we are making a mockery of the sacrifice of Christ. To reject Christ’s sacrifice for sins is to reject the Only sacrifice; there is no other. Christ’s sacrifice is too important for men to treat with contempt. The only thing that the apostate has to look forward to is the judgment of God.
In verses 32-39, the writer follows up his warning with warm words of encouragement. The appeal is made once again to past experience, in which these Hebrews had demonstrated some positive signs of a true relationship with God. Good works and changed lives are the outward evidence of true, inward regeneration. Where there is new life on the inside, there will be new life on the outside.
The final exhortation in this section comes in v.35; “do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.” The writer is encouraging them to persevere in their faith because one day they will receive a great reward for it in heaven. This is true for all believers of all generations. Persevering faith is the hallmark of true Christianity. This leads us to chapter eleven where persevering faith is demonstrated by the believers of old.
Questions to Ponder
Do you forsake the fellowship of other believers? Are you involved in relationships that challenge and encourage you in your faith? Where does persevering faith come from? (Read Romans 15:4-5) What can you do to guard against fainthearted faith? What can you do to cultivate enduring faith? Does your life give evidence of an internal transformation? How does it make you feel to know that enduring faith will be rewarded one day?
- Praise the Lamb of God, our Savior and Great High Priest.
- Thank Him for being the Author and Finisher of our faith. Thank Him for His Indwelling Presence that empowers and strengthens us to live for Him.
- Ask the Lord to draw you close to His heart and close to other believers. Pray for transparency and honesty. Mutual edification and encouragement.
- Make time for moments of confessing sin and praying for each other. Pray He will lead us out of temptation and deliver us from evil.
- Pray we will be mature and fully assured in all of His will.
Sovereign Lord, we worship You as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Great I Am, holy and perfect. Thank You Abba that we can come boldy and confidently to You through the blood of Jesus Christ. Lord forgive us for times when we have tried to do life on our own, forgive us for forsaking the fellowship of other believers. Help us to stay close to You and to each other. May those around us know You by our unity and our love for one another. In the Name of Jesus Christ I pray, amen.