Hebrews 10:19-39 - Outline of Hebrews (MENU page)
10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest
by the blood of Jesus,
brethren- Those who are God's children by identification with Christ (cp. 2:11-13; 3:1)
boldness- GK=parrhesia, confidence to speak freely without fear.
Not with arrogance (as the English word could imply),
but in confidence due to freedom of access & freedom of speech (cp. 4:16).
the holiest- ie., the heavenly Holy of Holies, the immediate presence of God (cp. 9:24).
by the blood of Jesus- Access is available only on the basis of Christ's sacrifice.
Two additional phrases repeat this thought:
10:20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us,
through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
by a ... way-
through the veil- The veil in the tabernacle separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place.
It symbolized the barrier which excluded sinful man from the presence of the Holy God. Heb 9:6-8
The rending of that barrier (ie., the sin which separated man from God's presence) was accomplished by the rending of our Savior's flesh by which He entered into God's presence for us. Mat 27:50,51; Heb 9:11,12
Previously (at 9:4), we noted that the writer seemingly miss-located the Golden Altar of Incense
on the 'wrong side' of the veil in the tabernacle. However, compare the context (9:2-4).
The words "wherein was" locate the table & lampstand in the first tabernacle (the Holy Place).
The words "which had" indicate that the Golden Altar 'belonged' to the second tabernacle (ie., the Holy of Holies), although it was physically outside the veil.
This golden altar of incense symbolized the prayers of God's people rising up toward God.
But their prayer, like the incense smoke, was hindered, by the veil, from free access to the Mercy Seat, where it 'belonged.' Once a year, symbolic access was opened. On the Day of Atonement, the high priest filled a censer with coals from this altar and then passed through the veil "not without blood." 9:7; Lev 16:12-14; Psa 141:2
Now, through the blood of Christ, the veil is gone. The way is open. We, who are 'in Christ,' enjoy such audience with the Father, as belongs to His children. Joh 15:7; 16:25-27
Consider the priestly privilege and responsibility which belongs to us:
10:21 And [having] an high priest over the house of God;
This High Priest -- is uniquely ours. He calls us His brethren. Heb 2:17
-- is unique in power & position. He is God the Son. Heb 3:1-6; Rom 8:34
We have not only Access into God's immediate presence (vs. 19,20),
but, there, in God's presence, our High Priest is our Advocate (v.21).
We cannot use "fear" or "uncertainty" (as to what or how to pray) as excuses to stay away.
10:22 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.
let us...- (occurs 3x in v.22,23,24) These three verses outline the christian's priestly service.
It is not "lettuce." "Salad bar" christians pick and choose what appeals to them. [JVMcGee]
But as a kingdom of priests, we are not free to neglect any of these ministries. Ex 19:6; 1Pet 2:9; Rev 1:6
A. Draw near...- The way has been opened into the Holy of Holies (v.19,20) Rom 5:1,2; Jam 4:8
  • ...with a true heart- ie., a genuine, sincere heart; not with lip service. Mat 15:8; Joh 4:23,24
  • ...in full assurance of faith- Assurance does not depend on the strength of our faith, but on the strength of the One in whom we place our faith. We approach God, not because we are full of faith, but because Christ is the Living Way.
  • ...having our hearts sprinkled... our bodies washed-
    As the OT priest required ceremonial cleansing, so the NT priest must be cleansed in:
    • heart- The conscience cleansed by consciousness of the value of the blood of Christ. [GWms] Heb 9:14; 12:24; 1Joh 1:7-9
    • body- The conduct cleansed by obedience to the Word of Christ applied by the Holy Spirit.[GWms]
      "Pure water" does not refer to baptism, since "pure" water cannot be found on earth. Joh 13:10; Eph 5:25,26; Titus 3:5-8
  • For what purpose? The OT priest approached God in behalf of other people.
    So, we have this responsibility. cp. Heb 4:16; 1Sam 12:23; Eph 6:18; 1The 5:17; 2The 1:11
10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of [our] faith without wavering;
(for he [is] faithful that promised;)
B. Hold fast the profession of faith-
  • the profession...- GK=homologia, lit., 'same speech' (in agreement with God), confession.
    One may 'profess' what is not true. We 'confess' that which is true. [HAIronside]
    cp. Heb 3:1; 4:14
  • ...of faith- lit., of the hope, Heb 6:18-20
  • ...without wavering- lit., without bending.
    The Lord will not waver from keeping His Word.
    We must cling to it, and not cast it away. (cp. vs. 35-37)
For what purpose? The OT priest was to preserve & proclaim the Word of God.
So, we have this responsibility: Titus 1:9; 1Pet 3:15
10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
C. Consider one another- To 'consider' is to clearly perceive, to understand fully.
  • to provoke...- GK=paroxusmos, to irritate, to stimulate. (cp. this word in: 1Cor 13:5)
  • ...to love- GK=agape, the divine self-sacrificial type of love
  • ...to good works- eg., to touch the forgotten people around us.
As the OT priest was to examine (eg., for leprosy & other impurities) and to exhort his countrymen.
So, we have this responsibility: Rom 15:1,2; Gal 6:1,2; Heb 3:12,13
10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is];
but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Considering one another requires that we-
  • not forsake the assembling of ourselves...
    forsake- GK=egkataleipo, to let down, to abandon, to leave in straits.
    Some believers were "coldly withdrawing" from the fellowship for concern of self, rather than for one another (eg., under threat of persecution, or dissension). Such were to remember that their responsibility was all the greater if some seem to have failed grievously and others are in danger of failure. [HAIronside]
    assembling- GK=episunagogue, a gathering together.
    The choice of this word may imply that "some members of this community... had persuaded themselves that the relation of Judaism and Christianity, and of the 'synagogue' and the Church, was such as to permit them to avoid close [interaction] with Christians and direct association with Christian assemblies. This neglect was the first step toward apostasy." [CJEllicott]
    Although some may have been attending the Jewish synagogue, it was an inadequate substitute for the gathering of believers, since it would not be conducive to encouraging one another in Christian doctrine and discipleship.
  • exhort one another-
    exhort- GK=parakaleo, comforting, encouraging. Heb 3:13
    It is possible to assemble while forsaking the purpose for assembly.
    Such assembly contributes to apostasy. 1Cor 5:1-6; 11:17,18; 14:23
Considering one another is all the more urgent...
  • as the day approaches (ie., the Day of Accounting to the Lord)-
    cp. 1The 5:2; Php 1:10; Rom 13:11-14; 1Cor 3:13; 2The 2:1
    Some see here a reference to the imminent destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD. (ie., 'When the place of meeting is destroyed, you will need to gather all the more to encourage one another.') cp. Mat 24:1,2; Acts 5:42
10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth,
there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
for...- vs.26-31 provide a severe warning (in light of the coming day of judgment, v. 25)
of the serious consequences of neglect of the truth. (vs. 26-31 parallel 6:4-8.)
sin wilfully- The verb form indicates deliberate persistence.
In context, the wilful sin is continuous rejection of Christ's sacrifice, after receiving the knowledge {GK=epignosis, precise, correct, full knowledge} of the way of salvation. cp. v.29; Heb 6:4-6; 2Pet 2:21
no more sacrifice- The OT Temple sacrifices could not take away sin.
They anticipated Christ's sacrifice for the remission of sin. (cp. 10:4,12,14,17,18)
The man who rejects this sacrifice has no more hope, though he brings lambs without number.
Rather, his future holds judgment:
10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation,
which shall devour the adversaries.
{cp. Isa 26:11; Mal 4:1; Heb 12:29}
Contrast the expectation of God's children- Heb 9:27,28.
10:28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
This verse alludes to Deu 17:2-7 regarding apostasy from Jehovah to idols.
It is here applied to apostasy from Christ, to return to ritualistic Judaism. cp. Heb 2:2,3; 12:25
10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy,
sorer punishment -- punishment under the old covenant was physical & temporal.
-- punishment under the new covenant is spiritual & eternal.
thought worthy - ie., by God on the Day of Judgment.
who hath trodden under foot the Son of God,
ie., by regarding Him (whose Name is above every name, 1:1-4) as dirt, as of no worth.
and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing,
ie., by regarding Christ's blood (which established the new covenant, 9:13-17),
as a common thing (unholy- GK=koinos, common, ordinary, Levitically unclean, defiled)... of no more value than that of any other man.
"'Sanctified' here is positional. Just as all Israel was set apart by the blood of
the old covenant and yet any Israelite lacking faith could turn from the privileges that were his by the blood, so the entire professing Church is set apart unto God by the blood of the new covenant. But it is possible for a professor to reject Christ's sacrifice and the blessedness which it has purchased." [HAIronside]
and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
ie., by discarding the Holy Spirit's testimony (regarding Christ) as beneath one's intellect.
cp. Mat 12:31,32; Joh 16:13-15
10:30 For we know him that hath said,
Vengeance [belongeth] unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord.
And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
This verse quotes from Deu 32:35,36,
which promises judgment upon those who turn from Jehovah to idols.
There is no help in false gods. In turning to them from the living God, the people who should have known God's favor become His enemies.
10:31 [It is] a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Psa 76:7; 90:11; Mat 10:28
10:32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which,
after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;
but...- vs.32-39 provide encouragement to believers
(in contrast to the hopelessness of rejectors, vs.26-31),
by recalling evidences of the new-birth in their early walk of faith. (vs.32-39 parallel 6:9-10)
ye endured...- GK=hupomeno, lit., to remain under.
...after ye were illuminated.
Others did not continue in the truth though they had been exposed to it. Heb 6:4-6
...a great fight of afflictions- ie., persecution for Christ's sake, cp. v.33; Php 1:27-30
10:33 Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions;
and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.
ye endured (v.32)...-
  • ...as a gazingstock- GK=theatrizzo, while being put on public display--
    -- under reproaches- ie., insult.
    -- under affliction- ie., physical persecution.
  • ...as companions- GK=koinonos, partners, sharers. They were more than company.
    They identified themselves with those who were suffering insult & physical harm, and shared their burdens (as in v.34). 1Cor 4:9
10:34 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, {Php 1:7; 4:14}
and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, {Mat 5:11,12; 6:19,20}
knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.
{or: 'perceiving that ye have your own selves for a better possession, and one that abideth.'} [CJEllicott]
cp. Luk 9:25; 21:16-19; 2Cor 5:1; 2Tim 4:6-8
10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence,
which hath great recompence of reward.
therefore- ie., Once you were willing to suffer for Christ's sake. (v.32-34)
He is no less worthy of your trust now.
confidence- GK=parrhesia, boldness, freedom of speech (in the presence of God, v.19-23)
reward- ie., from the Lord. Joh 16:33; Rev 22:12
10:36 For ye have need of patience, that,
after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
Psa 37:7; Luk 21:16-19
10:37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
vs.37,38 quote from Hab 2:3,4 with some variation.
In Habakkuk ch. 2, the LORD spoke to the prophet in a vision, to assure him that although evil men seem to have the upper hand, justice will prevail in the end. The final fulfillment of the prophecy awaits the future Messianic Kingdom. As quoted, in Hebrews, it is clear that Christ's second coming is in view. Jam 5:7,8; 1Pet 1:6-9
10:38 Now the just shall live by faith:
Hab 2:4 is quoted 3x in the NT, each time with a different emphasis--
-- the just (Rom 1:16,17)- are made just {righteous} by believing the Gospel of Christ.
-- by faith (Gal 3:11)- justification is by faith, not by the law.
-- shall live (v.38)- the Christian's way of life, in a world of enemies, is by faith in God. v.32-39
but if [any man] draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
draw back- GK=hupostello, to shrink back, to shun.
"One may accept Christianity as a system one day and reject it the next.
But he who truly trusts in Christ will never draw back unto eternal loss." [HAIronside]
no pleasure- cp. Psa 147:11; 1The 2:14,15
10:39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition;
but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
perdition- GK= apoleia, destruction, cp. Php 1:28; 3:17-19
Faith in Christ separates the saved from the lost.
cp. Joh 5:24; 1The 5:9; 2The 2:13,14; 1Pet 1:5; 1Joh 5:5

Click here to continue the study in Heb 11:1-16
Return to Hebrews - MENU page.

Limited permission is granted to copy & distribute these notes from www.theBookWurm.com

Go to The Book opening page.