“Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of the faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”
The writer has now moved from the things of the past dispensation of Israel, i.e., the Mosaic Law, the Levitical priesthood and the function of typology. He now begins to focus on the result of a believer’s relationship with God under grace in the Church Age. The word confidence indicates that the believers to whom this was written were not new believers, which we have learned within the context of the book of Hebrews. This was addressed originally to believers living in Jerusalem in 67 AD who had been under sound doctrinal teaching for some period of time. So it wasn’t lack of doctrinal teaching, but their lack of positive volition toward that doctrinal teaching that resulted in reversionism.
Our confidence, as believers, is to be based on the Bible doctrine resident in our souls. And, we should have a confidence that no one had in Old Testament times. We should have a confidence based on entering the true Holy of Holies (positionally) by means of our union with Jesus Christ. Believers in the Age of Israel could not enter the Holy of Holies. The true Holy of Holies (Heaven) is actually our home (we are citizens of Heaven). And, His spiritual death on the Cross (the “blood of Christ”) is the basis for our access into the true Holy of Holies. Therefore, when Christ accomplished His saving work on the Cross, something happened in the Temple to indicate this new access. The veil in the Temple was torn into two pieces making it possible for anyone who believes in Christ to enter the true Holy of Holies. (Matthew 27:51)
Let us draw near means to develop a spiritual life, which is our invisible relationship with God. There are four ways to draw near to God in this passage, and they are all related to Bible doctrine:
1. With a sincere heart
The Greek word for sincere is “alethinos,”which means true, real, ideal or genuine. This means we are to approach God without hypocrisy. God knows our inward desires and motives. He understands our approach to Him, His Son, the Holy Spirit and His Word (Bible doctrine). And He knows just how real or genuine we are being when we make our approach. Sincere or genuine humility is required when we approach Him. Arrogance in any form blocks the proper approach to God. If you are not teachable, you will never advance in the Christian life. God says, “Draw near to Me and I’ll draw near to you.” (James 4:8)
2. In full assurance of the faith
In full assurance of the faith means full confidence in Bible doctrine. It means to be doctrinally oriented. The word “doctrinal” means pertaining to a teaching, a body of principles or a branch of knowledge. “Orientation” means familiarization with a particular person, thing or field of knowledge. Doctrinal orientation, therefore, means to familiarize oneself with the teachings and principles of the Word of God. We believe that the Bible is inerrant and infallible in its original form. We believe that God so directed the writers of Scripture that His complete and coherent word was transferred to the pages of Scriptures in its original form without altering the literary style or personality of the author. Therefore, we can have full assurance that what we are learning is from the ultimate source of absolute truth.
3. Having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience
The Greek word for sprinkled refers to the work of Christ on the Cross as the basis for forgiveness. The Rebound Technique is in view. Rebound is a word used to describe confession because it means to bounce back. The Greek word for confess is “homologeo” and it means to name, admit, acknowledge or cite (as in a courtroom). Jesus Christ was judged for all sins in human history and therefore these sins cannot be judged again. God was completely satisfied with Christ’s substitutionary payment for our sins. The blood of Christ, pictured in the Old Testament as animal sacrifices, is a technical term for the spiritual death of Christ on the Cross. Christ’s spiritual death is the foundation for all forgiveness both at salvation and afterwards when a believer confesses his sins. The Word of God is very clear that the wages of sin is death. This refers not to physical death, but spiritual death, or separation from God for all eternity. Christ paid the penalty for sin by dying spiritually on the Cross, as well as dying physically. Both deaths and the resurrection of Christ are part of our salvation.(II Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 10:10-14; I John 1:6-10; 2:2)
4. And our bodies washed with pure water
Pure water is a reference to the Brass Laver. When the priest washed his hands in the Brass Laver it portrayed the Rebound Technique. We rebound after sinning by naming, admitting or citing a particular sin directly to God. The believer in this age is a priest and represents himself before God. We are not to confess our sins to another human being. Another human being, regardless of religious title, has no authority to forgive sin. Only God can forgive sin. The Greek word for “confess” literally means “same name.” In other words, call it what God calls it. If it’s resentment, call it resentment, if it’s being judgmental, call it being judgmental, etc. The second part of the Rebound Technique is to isolate your sin, put it behind you and forget it. This should eliminate any feeling of guilt for past failures. Remember that God casts our sins as far as the east is from the west and remembers them no more. We need to learn to do the same. The final part of Rebound is to resume your spiritual life - move on under the control and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Rebound means to be restored to fellowship with God. Confess it, isolate it, forget it and move on! (I John 1:6-9; Hebrews 10:17; 12:1-2; Philippians 3:13-14)
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He Who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as we see the day drawing near.”
The Greek word for hold fast is “katecho” meaning not only to hold fast but it means to guard something. That is exactly how it is used here. We are the guardians of our spiritual lives. The spiritual life that the writer has in mind, as we will see in chapter eleven, is the pattern of advance by certain Old Testament believers.
Our confession of hope is the pattern set for us by the faithful believers in the Old Testament and perfectly executed as our prototype by Jesus Christ. Biblical hope is confident expectation or anticipation. Our approach to God always comes by means of following the pattern of Jesus Christ. His approach to the Father was based on the doctrine He had in His soul. His approach to others was also based on the doctrine in His soul. His approach even to Satan was based on Bible doctrine. Our confession of hope is therefore confident expectation in God and His Word. And, it is very important that we do this without being distracted (wavering).
And why should we hold fast to God and His Word? The reason is that God is faithful. This means God is trustworthy, dependable and always keeps His word. God has promised you a life that can be meaningful and wonderful. The promises came in eternity past by means of the divine decrees. And, God loves to honor His Word. He will keep His promises, and in keeping His promises He will be glorified.
Let us consider means to think according to a norm or standard. Divine norms and standards are developed by the intake and application of Bible doctrine. So here we have the concept that you know doctrine and know how to apply it to others, especially fellow believers. To stimulate means to encourage. Believers are to encourage one another to exhibit impersonal love for everyone and to produce divine good.
Impersonal love is not what we normally think of as love. It is the virtue in your soul that causes you to have a relaxed mental attitude toward others and treat them with kindness, compassion, patience and forgiveness. In other words, impersonal love is how we treat others. Therefore, impersonal love must be based on the virtue of the subject, the one doing the loving (“the treating”). Impersonal love is a function of the Royal Ambassadorship of the believer. It is our love for God that motivates us to exhibit impersonal love toward all. Impersonal love operates from the integrity and virtue that you have developed from learning and applying Bible doctrine.
Without divine good works accompanying faith, a believer will be in operational death (no execution of the Christian life). There are a lot of words for death in Scripture and the Greek word for dead is “nekros,” which means a corpse. A corpse cannot produce anything, which is a perfect analogy for a believer in reversionism (no divine production). It is applied Bible doctrine that produces the proper motivation and the proper mental attitude for the Christian life. If you eliminate Bible doctrine, you can produce only human good. The missing link between faith and divine production is the object of faith, God’s Word, which does all the work motivating believers to be doers of the Word of God and not hearers only.
The Greek word for church is “ekklesia,” meaning called-out assembly. It was used in Acts 19:25-32 for the assembly of the Ephesians to handle the problems of their city-state. It was also used for citizens who gathered in the city to conduct business in Acts 19:30. It was used for the assembly of Israel in Acts 7:38. It was used for the assembly of Jews in their synagogue in Matthew 18:17. It is used for the universal Church in this dispensation, which is composed of all believers in this dispensation in Ephesians 1:22-23, 5:25-27; Colossians 1:17-18.
The local church is under the spiritual authority of a pastor. Whether the pastor teaches face to face is not the issue; his teaching may come in some other form of communication. The means of teaching does not determine whether or not the organization is a local church. Jesus Christ is the head of the Church. And, He has delegated authority for the communication of doctrine in the local church to the pastor-teacher. If believers have rejected the authority of Jesus Christ over their personal lives, they will obviously reject the authority of any pastor who communicates the Word of God. Without knowing doctrine, we cannot accept the authority of Jesus Christ.
Christ is the head of the Church and the Royal Family of God is the body. This speaks of Christ’s authority. The body emphasizes our differences in personality and spiritual gifts. (Ephesians 1:22-23, 2:16, 4:4-5, 5:23; I Corinthians 12; Colossians 1:17-18-24, 2:19) Christ is the Shepherd of the Church and the body of Christ is the flock. (John 10; Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 5:4) Christ is the vine and the body of Christ is the branches. (John 15:1-6) Christ is the groom and the Church is the bride. (II Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:25-27; Revelation 19:6-8) From each of these analogies, certain things are taught about your personal life as a Church Age believer. The local church is an assembly of believers under the teaching ministry of their right pastor, either face to face, or through some other system of communication.
As we see the day drawing near is a reference to the Rapture of the Church. Until that happens we are still living in Satan’s world, and we all need to be an encouragement to one another as members of the Royal Family of God.