The doctrinal section of the epistle closes with two remarkable statements:
(1) “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” (Heb. 10:17) How utterly wonderful and glorious are these words. The infinitely holy God who knows all about our sins and iniquities declares to His saints, “I will remember your sins and iniquities no more.” Believers have been forgiven and pardoned; their sin and debt to God has been cancelled.
(2) Now says the writer, where remission of these is, “There is no more offering for sin.” The only offering for sin that will ever be made has been made on the cross.
“Once in the consummation of the ages hath He been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.”
“Once offered to bear the sins of many.”
“The offering of the body of Jesus once for all.”
“One sacrifice for sins forever.”
“By one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.”
The writer would conclude this doctrinal section and have us enter our practical obligations with the words, “No longer any offering for sins,” ringing in our hearts and minds.
Heb. 10:19 “The Holiest”
“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest.”
Let us consider what it means to “enter into the holiest.” During the Jewish economy it was impossible for the ordinary Jew to enter the holy or most holy place. Only the priests could enter the first compartment, and only the high priest could enter the second. In the present dispensation, all this has changed. God has no special place where only a special caste of men may approach Him. Instead, all believers may enter into God’s immediate presence by faith, at any time, and from any place on earth.
Many believers, during their lifetime, never enter into and dwell in the holiest. Many dwell in the court of the Tabernacle. They are lukewarm and half-hearted believers content with the hope that their sins are pardoned. Others enter and live in the “holy place,” content to busy themselves in the service of the tabernacle. But the veil is still there and hinders full fellowship with God. Spiritual believers enter through the veil where the High Priest is, there to live, walk, and work, always in the presence of the Father.
O the blessedness of a life in the holiest! Here the Father’s face is seen and His love appreciated. Here His holiness is revealed and imparted. Here the sacrifices of love, praise, adoration, and worship, and the incense of praise and supplication is offered in power. Here the outpouring of the Spirit is known as it pours like an overflowing river from the throne of God. Here the soul grows into complete oneness with Christ, and becomes more like Him. Here the soul mounts up on eagles’ wings. Here we experience fresh anointing which enables us to be channels of God’s blessing to mankind. Beloved, this is the inheritance offered to every believer by virtue of the precious blood of Christ.
The writer now goes on to say that the way we enter into the holiest is “by a new and living way.” It is a “new way” (i.e. it is newly made by the newly slain Christ). God, who inhabits eternity, looks perpetually upon His Son as the lamb newly slain. It is also a “living way.” Living seems to be a reference to the Lord in resurrection, therefore to a living Savior. Hebrews 7:24-25 says, “But this man, because He continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore He is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.” We are reminded here that Christ lives on forever.
Eighty-four high priests had ministered in that office, but their terms of office were terminated by death. But Christ lives on forever. His priesthood is unchangeable and intransmissable. It is a “living way” because He ever liveth to make intercession for them. “Which He hath opened/consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say His flesh.” This would suggest that the veil between the two compartments of the tabernacle was a type of the body of Christ.
In order for us to have access into God’s presence, the veil had to be rent, that is His body had to be broken in death. We enter God’s presence through “the death wounds of the Lamb.” May we always remember that this privilege was procured at tremendous cost to our Lord. Heb. 10:21 says, “And having a high priest over the house of God.” Thus far in our study, we have noticed that the holiest has been opened up to all believers. With holy boldness we can enter in by the blood of Christ. This is a new and living way.
Finally, we are reminded that “we have a high priest over the house of God.” As high priest, Christ represents us before God. This perpetual ministry on our behalf assures us of our acceptance by God. His eternal presence before God gives us the hope of eternal salvation, the pledge of ultimate satisfaction.
“There is an eye that never sleeps
Beneath the wing of night;
There is an ear that never shuts
When sinks the beams of light.”
As High Priest, He ever liveth to make intercession for us.
Hebrews 10:22 speaks of the four chief marks of the true worshipper:
1. A true heart.
2. Fullness of faith.
3. A heart sprinkled from an evil conscience.
4. The body washed with pure water.
“Let us draw near.” This is the believer’s blood-bought privilege. How exquisite beyond all words that we are invited to have audience with the Sovereign of the universe.
There are four things with which we must be spiritually altered when entering the throne room:
1. “With a true heart.”
“The heart is deceitful above all things.” Millions attempt to draw near, using the name of the Lord Jesus, even speaking of His sacrifice, whose hearts are not true. Israel honored God with her lips, but her heart was far from Him. “A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.” Our approach should be with utter sincerity and pure holiness.
2. “In full assurance of faith.”
We should draw near with utter confidence in the faithfulness and promises of God, knowing that we will be received graciously.
3. “With hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience.”
This can only be brought about by the “new birth.” When we are born again we are sprinkled with the blood of Christ. Blood and sprinkling that speaketh better things than of Abel. Our hearts have been sprinkled with the blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:2), just as the Israelites sprinkled their doors with the blood of the Passover lamb. This delivers us from an evil conscience.
4. “Our bodies washed with pure water.”
Our body represents our life. This washing with pure water speaks of the sanctifying work of the Spirit as through the Word He cleanses our life from daily defilement. John 13:10.
The four requisites for entering the holiest are: sincerity, assurance, salvation, sanctification.
The first exhortation is “Let us draw near.” The second is “Let us hold fast.” What have we to “hold fast?” The confession of our hope. Nothing must turn us away from confessing that our only hope is in Christ. Witnessing is a very important facit of our faith.
There are at least five things every believer ought to be doing.
1. Reading the Word daily.
2. Praying without ceasing.
3. Confessing Christ before others.
4. Keeping company with those of like precious faith.
5. Fellowship in a New Testament church.
The verse teaches us that we are not to waver from these divine principles nor deviate from the ministry into which God has called us. (Examples: Abraham, Moses, Samuel, David, Daniel, and the apostles)
“He is faithful that promised.” Our hope is built on the faithfulness of God. His promises can never fail, no one who trusts in Him will ever be disappointed. The Lord will come, as He has promised, and His people will be with Him and like Him forever.
Heb. 10:24 “Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.”
This means that we all should be discovering ways to encourage each other to manifest love and engage in good works. In the New Testament sense, love is not an unpredictable emotion, but an act of the will. We are commanded to love, therefore it is something we can and must do. Love manifests itself in giving. It is love’s prerogative to give and give and give. Love is the root, good works is the fruit. By our example and by our teaching, we should stir up our fellow-believers to this kind of life.
This is the third exhortation, “Let us consider one another.”
The fourth is by implication Heb. 10:25, “Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together.”
The writer is appealing to the Jewish believers not to forsake the local fellowship or assembly. Some were forsaking the assembly. Today this should be considered an exhortation to all believers to be faithful in their church attendance. In gathering together we find strength, encouragement, nourishment, and joy as we worship and serve. Basically the verse is a warning against apostasy. “The day” referred to here could be the day of apostasy, the Laodicean age, or the Day of Jesus Christ = the rapture of the church. The writer closes this section by reminding them on whom the end of the age is come that we ought to exhort and encourage each other.