Friday, October 16, 2009

Hebrews 10:19-25 And The Provision For Perseverance

I’m back tonight to deal with the second Hebrew text that we didn’t deal with last night: Hebrews 10:19-25.

We saw in Hebrews 4 that their knowledge of Christ as High Priest over the house of God was to drive them to draw near to Him, come to Him with their weaknesses and struggles—all because He was tempted IN ALL POINTS, IN EVERY WAY, but didn’t sin!!
Now, on to Hebrews 10:19-25—

19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:19-25, New King James Version)

In verses 1-18, the writer of Hebrews discusses the insufficiency, or lack of efficacy, of the temple sacrifices made by the priests every year. In verses 16 and 17, the writer quotes from Jeremiah 31:33-34 regarding the New Covenant:

“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them. Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more” (Hebrews 10:16-17, New King James Version).

Because the Hebrews congregation (and modern-day believers) are recipients of the New Covenant, verses 19-25 applies not only to the Hebrews—but also ourselves. Because Christ’s blood has paid our sin-debt, and Christ is also High Priest, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith…let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for HE WHO PROMISED IS FAITHFUL” (Hebrews 10:22-23, NKJV).

We are to hold onto our confession because Christ is faithful. His faithfulness WARRANTS our faithfulness!!!

But notice that in verses 24 and 25, the writer tells the Hebrews (and us today) how to hold on to our confession: by loving and doing good to one another (v. 24), as well as assembling together and exhorting one another (v.25).

Our assurance of Christ’s power over our lives, plus His faithfulness to us, should motivate us to continue to endure the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1), looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. The Lord’s faithfulness is not there as a cushion that prevents me from feeling the weight of my sin; no—the Lord’s faithfulness is the standard by which I will be condemned if I fail to persevere to the end.

To conclude, I will leave you with words from the great preacher Alexander Maclaren, in his “Expositions of Holy Scripture: Second Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and Hebrews”:

“…what attitude in us corresponds to the faithfulness of God? I need only quote one of the expressions in the Epistle to the Hebrews to give the answer, ‘Hold fast the profession of your faith without wavering, for He is faithful that promised.’ OUR FAITH CORRESPONDS WITH AND IS THE ANSWER TO GOD’S FAITHFULNESS. As with two instruments tuned to the same pitch, when a note is struck on the one, the chords of the other vibrate it back again, so God’s faithfulness should awake the music of answering faith in our responsive and vibrating hearts. If He is worth trusting, let us trust Him” (Alexander Maclaren; “Life In The Son: A Study of the Doctrine of Perseverance” by Robert Shank. Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 1961, page 111).

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