1) Are you confident that you can draw near to a holy God? How has this passage helped you to gain confidence?
2) How important have doctrine and theology been in your life? Are there places where you are wavering about what you believe? How can this passage help?
3) How is your church involvement right now? Even if you need to stay home because of health concerns, are you still reaching out to others in church? How does this passage motivate you to improve and grow in church involvement?
I. You respond to Jesus as your great high priest by drawing near.
A. Before the author of Hebrews tells his readers how to respond to his teaching, he briefly reminds them of two key doctrines he has been focusing on. First, he reminds the readers in vs. 19-20 that Jesus is a better sacrifice than the animal sacrifices that were offered in the tabernacle. Jesus gives us access to God. We have such eternal access to God because we have a great high priest in Jesus (vs. 21). All three responses to these doctrines about Christ’s person and work in Hebrews 10 begin with the two words: Let us.
B. Verse 22 gives us the first response of “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.” Because of who Jesus is and what He has done on the cross we should draw near to God. We can draw near to God in this way because our hearts have been sprinkled clean by the blood of Jesus (vs. 22). And our bodies have been washed with pure water at our baptism which symbolizes the complete forgiveness of our sins (vs. 22). Ezekiel 37:27: “My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
II. You respond to Jesus as your great high priest by holding fast.
A. The whole letter of Hebrews has been an encouragement to hold fast to Jesus. So, now, in vs. 23 the author tells us: “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering.” Hold on then to the doctrinal content of your faith. We persevere, we hold fast, through clinging to the doctrines from the Bible that the church has always taught. The author of Hebrews is teaching that doctrine matters.
B. You will be tempted to waver in your faith (vs. 23). So, what does the author of Hebrews say you need to do in response to the doctrine and truth about Christ as our great high priest that he has been teaching for many chapters? Hold fast to it. Cling to Christ and what the Bible teaches about Christ. Don’t believe the lie that doctrine and truth are irrelevant. No! Christian doctrine and truth are essential to hold fast to if you are going to persevere in your faith and make it to heaven one day. Satan wants to separate you from true doctrine so that you will fall away from Jesus. But God is holding fast to you: “For he who promised is faithful” (vs. 23).
III. You respond to Jesus as your great high priest by encouraging others.
A. The last response to the truth that Jesus is your great high priest is found in vs. 24-25. It is not just holding fast to the truth of the Bible that will bring you home to heaven. There is something else you need. You need other Christians to encourage you. It is so easy in this world to become discouraged. We need others to lift us up when we are down. Because we get so easily discouraged, we read in vs. 25 that we are not to neglect meeting together. One way that we encourage one another is to stir up one another to love and good works (vs. 24). In better times, we Christians can grow stale and spiritually lazy. We need another Christian to stir us up to start doing good for others. And one thing we should always be doing is loving another. Jesus taught in John 13:35: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Do all you can to stay true to Jesus and encourage others to stay true to Jesus.
The letter to the Hebrews
Commentaries on Hebrews by Thomas Schreiner and Raymond Brown
Bible study by Michael Kruger