Lecture 11 Exposition of Hebrews 10.19-11.40

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  1. III. Keep Faith in the Son, Jesus Christ and Live it (10:19-13:25)

This section clearly begins the preachers main section of application. Notice the “let us quote of 10:19-25. 10:26-39 is a warning passage in chapter 11 begins an illustration of those who did not fall away, but persevered in the faith.

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A. Because His Priestly Ministry Convinces Us to be Faithful (10:19-25)

  1. To draw near (10:19-22)

The kernel of the passage is “brethren…(v.22) let us draw near.” He gives two reasons why we should draw near. These are indicated by the words “since” (v.19,21).

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It’s all the “brethren” (v.19) who draw near, not just the priesthood.

“Drawing near” refers to what the priest did in order to offer sacrifices. Read the verses in Leviticus to get a picture of what it would be like. Lev 9:5, 7f; 10:4f; 21:17f, 21, 23; 22:3. Here, it’s similar to our passage: drawing near to the throne.

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See also Heb. 7:25, where it has reference to initial, saving faith. Here, it’s drawing near to God.

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  1. We should pray because we have boldness/free access into the Heavenly Holy Place by Jesus’ blood and a new and living way
    • ‘boldness’ to enter and pray:
      • In the midst of intimidating circumstances, be bold. We have “boldness to enter.”
      • It can also refer to “free access to enter.” To do what?
    • When we pray, we enter the holy place
      • We enter and then “pray” (Heb. 4:15-16)
      • Approach the holy of holies (enter) and then pray (draw near).
      • Heb. 4 uses both confidence/boldness and draw near just as Heb. 10:19-22 does.
      • Through prayer, we enter the heavenly holy of holies
      • Let this affect your prayer life.
      • Our present access to God through Christ is just as close as what Christ himself has now.
    • We can have boldness/free access to approach the holy of holies by Jesus’ blood.
      • Likely a reference, not to the cross itself, but to the sprinkled blood of Jesus upon the things in the heavenly sanctuary.
      • The picture is of ‘drawing near’ as priests did. They drew near to the altar in the earthly holy of holies. Jesus ‘drew near’ to the heavenly holy of holies.
      • The way to the Father has been purified for us to approach the holy of holies for prayer.
    • We have boldness/free access to the holy place by a new and living way
    • Jesus inaugurated a new and living way
      • What way? Hebrews 9:8, the way into God’s presence, the heavenly holy of holies.
      • This is “new and living”
        • New: It is recent; did not previously exist.
        • Living: Heb. 7:25. Draw near because Christ is always alive.
        • Recall the gospel writers’ description of the tearing of the veil of the temple (Matt. 27:51; Mk. 15:38; Lk. 23:45).
        • Behind the veil was the altar, the Ark, and the mercy seat.
        • Yahweh says that behind the veil He will “meet with” the priest (Ex. 30:6).
        • The author to the Hebrews compares Jesus’ flesh with the veil (Heb. 10:20).
        • The veil is the curtain that separated the two parts of the sanctuary (Ex. 26:33). The high priest passed through the veil once a year to make atonement.
        • In a similar sense, Jesus established access to Yahweh for believers by means of His flesh.[1]  
        • Now, through Jesus’ sprinkling of his own blood in the heavenly holy of holies, believers too can have confidence to enter it.
    • He inaugurated it through the veil, his flesh

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  2. We should pray because we have a great high priest over the house of God (10:21)
    1. He is a “great high priest”
      • Recall his compassion and sympathy in this sermon.
    2. He is “over the house of God”
      • Recall the meaning of “house” in Heb. 3:1-6.
  3. We should pray/relate to God with a sincere heart, full assurance of faith

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Instead of shrinking back, losing confidence, or failing to persevere, come to God with a heart that is true and that is assured has saving faith. Don’t be a hyprocrite (sincere) and don’t doubt (full assurance).

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  1. Because our hearts have been sprinkled clean from an evil conscience
    • Combines the OT imagery of the sprinkling with blood to give ritual purity with the emphasis on the interior cleansing provided by the new covenant.
    • It is the heart that is cleansed and the conscience made perfect.
    • Evil likely refers to what it does in 3:12, an unbelieving heart. If you are tempted not to believe, your conscience will rise up against you.

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  1. Because our bodies have been washed with pure water
    • Similar to above, referencing OC ritual requirements.
    • Search: .bod* water wash*: Lev 14:9; 15:13; 16:26, 28; Num 8:7; 19:7f; Heb 10:22
    • Referring to ceremonial cleansing. We are ‘cleansed’ to approach God.
    • To ask “Does this talk about baptism” is to miss his OC reference.

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  1. To hold fast the confession of our hope (10:23)

Christ’s priestly ministry convinces us to be faithful, not only to draw near to God, but also to hold fast to our profession of faith.

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We should relate to God (vv19-21), to ourselves (v22), and to others (vv23-25)

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  1. Recall the “hold fast” theme in the sermon.

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  1. 3:6, “But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.”
  2. 3:14, “For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.”
  3. 4:14, “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast [our] profession.”
  4. 10:23, “Let us hold fast the profession of [our] faith without wavering; (for he [is] faithful that promised).”

Hold firmly to the confession of your confident expectation without doubting.

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10:23 provides a reason for holding firmly to it. Hold firmly to this confession because of who made the promise. The promises we believe are not man’s or government’s or a politician’s, but the promises of God: He who promised is faithful.

Many of our problems result from our wavering in the character of God and in His word. Num. 23:19, Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

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  1. To meet together to encourage love and good deeds (10:24-25)

Think about how to stimulate other Christians. Think about how to cause them to exercise love and to practice good deeds, deeds that are attractive for their quality of goodness.

What is one way that you can encourage and cause love and good deeds and other people? By not forsaking church services. Merely assembling together will encourage others. By virtue of attending church services, it is very difficult to avoid encouraging other Christians.

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The return of Christ is drawing near, we should be so much more encouraging one another.

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Keep Faith in the Son, Jesus Christ and Live it (10:19-13:25)…

B. Because His Priestly Ministry Can be Rejected (10:26-39)

  1. Apostasy annuls Christ’s sacrifice resulting in judgement (10:26-27)
  2. This principle proved from OC comparative example (10:28-31)
  3. Instead, do not throw away the confidence you endured in (10:32-39)

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  1. Exhortations

Preacher of Hebrews says, “_____ or else!” (“or else” is the consequence). But what’s the _____?

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  • “do not cast away your confidence” (10:35)
  • “you have need of perseverance” (10:36)

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  1. Consequences

Preacher says, “If you don’t [exhortation] (above) then ____ happens.

  • “no sacrifice for sins remains”; 10:26
  • “but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God”; 10:27
  • “fire”; 10:27; 12:29
  • “died without mercy”; 10:28
  • “punishment” or “vengeance” or “retribution”; 10:29, God’s judgment (10:30–31)
  • “destruction”; 10:39

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  1. Sin

This is what the subjects are exhorted against committing.

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  • “deliberately sin” (10:26)
  • “the enemies of God” (10:27; cf. Isa 26:11)
  • “reject” (10:28)
  • “trample the Son of God” (10:29)
  • “regarded the blood of the covenant as common” (10:29)
  • “treated with contempt the Spirit of grace” (10:29)
  • “do not throw away your confidence” (10:35)
  • “shrink back, become timid” (10:39) [Note: this leads to damnation: (10:39; cf. 10:38)]

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  1. Subjects or Audience

Who is able to commit this sin?

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  • Someone/Someone within a group that is similar to the Preacher.
    • He includes himself with the audience (“we” 10:26).
  • Someone/Someone within a group who can apostatize yet have been sanctified?
    • At 10:29 the author implies that those who are defiling the blood of the covenant (i.e., who are apostates) were sanctified.[2] Sanctified in the same sense as in 1 Co. 7:14? See also 1 Ti. 4:5. Or is that explaining it away?
    • MacArthur: I believe the phrase by which he was sanctified refers to Christ. It could not refer to the apostate who is regarding the blood as unclean, because he is hardly sanctified. The reference, therefore, must be to Christ. In His high priestly prayer, Jesus spoke of His sanctifying Himself for the sake of those who believed in Him (Joh_17:19). He set Himself apart unto God, even as He sanctifies us, by the blood of the covenant, shed on Calvary. The apostate counts this sacrifice as unclean, despised, worthless. In so doing he has rejected the second Person of the Trinity, whose very blood was shed for him. The apostate regards Christ’s blood as common blood, just like that of any other person. That which cost God His Son, and that which cost the Son the agony of becoming sin for us, is counted as worthless. That which is of infinite value, he counts as valueless.

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Keep Faith in the Son, Jesus Christ and Live it (10:19-13:25)…

C. Because of the great cloud of witnesses who obtained a good testimony from faith (11:1-40)

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1. Faith Defined.

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“I have to see to believe; you Christians can believe in anything.” Someone who receives

truth apart from the scientific method, then, is considered an idiot. “It’s not proven;

therefore, you just believe it’s true.”

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Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of

hebrews 11:1

things not seen.

“Faith is the reality of hoped-for things, it is the evidence that what we cannot see really

exists.”

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“Faith is the assurance of hoped-for things, it is the conviction that what we cannot see

really exists.”

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~despite the difficulty in translation, what we can conclude is that biblical faith isn’t

wishful thinking.

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This captures it: Faith is the internal conviction that is based on evidence for the existence

of unseen things.

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2. Faith as a means of divine approval

Cf. Verse 2 and v. 39

Hebrews 11:2 2 For by it the men of old gained approval.

Hebrews 11:39 39 And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised,

3. Faith also produces understanding that God created the world.

Hebrews 11:3 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

Everyone uses faith, even lost people. Lost people use faith when they believe v. 3. They also use it when they read history books, etc.

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4. Faith pleases God

Hebrews 11:5–6 5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

All these are examples of faith. And you can see that faith produced actions.

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5. Faith sees, welcomes promises, confesses that he is a stranger/exile on earth, seeking a heavenly country, pleasing God.

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Sojourning…

Hebrews 11:13–16 13 All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. 15 And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out [i.e., the world], they would have had opportunity to return [which is what happens when you think about the world, especially in the midst of persecution]. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.

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Read through Heb. 11 and find examples about how this would be encouraging to those under persecution and tempted to turn away from Christ. These examples of faith in action are here that the readers may imitate them. These people’s faith was a persevering faith that carried them through trials, keeping them faithful to God.

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See Hebrews 11.xlsx

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Keep Faith in the Son, Jesus Christ and Live it (10:19-13:25)…

D. Because of Jesus’ example (12:1-3)

Just like these witnesses, let us also lay aside encumbrances and sin, and run with endurance. We do that by fixing our eyes on Jesus.

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Joy set before Him=sat down at the right hand of God?

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Not only have these cloud of witnesses shown examples of faith, but Jesus Christ

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Keep Faith in the Son, Jesus Christ and Live it (10:19-13:25)…

E. Because of lack of discipline proves you’re illegitimate (12:4-11)

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Exhortation: Strengthen each other that no one come short of God’s grace and refuse Him who speaks! (12:12-29)

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F. Concluding Exhortations (13)

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  1. The dia. in 10:20 is locative, but the locative sense with reference to Jesus’ flesh does not make sense (Jesus inaugurated a new and living way by passing through His own flesh?). Therefore an instrumental sense is necessary when dia. refers to Jesus flesh.

  2. The use of the third person singular (ἐν ὧ ἡγιάσθη) could be construed impersonally and parenthetically to mean “by which one is sanctified” and then be no comment whatsoever about the status of the person who mistreats the blood of the covenant. P. E. Hughes, for instance, seems to prefer this view, though he devotes no attention to this expression. Instead, he sees “simulated” faith on the part of an apostate rather than genuine faith and refers the act to the ineffectual taking of weekly communion. Cf. Hebrews, 422–23; see J. Brown, Hebrews (Geneva Series; London: Banner of Truth, 1972 [=1862]) 473–74. A majority of commentators translate the third person singular with “he” and imply that the one who is sanctified is also the one who defiles the blood. See, e.g., Westcott, Hebrews, 331; Spicq, Hébreu, 2.325; Michel, Hebräerbrief, 353; L. L. Morris, “Hebrews,” 107; Attridge, Hebrews, 292, 293. This interpretation seems preferable.

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