The book of Hebrews is rich in sanctuary language and reveals the true tabernacle that God pitched and not man. But we mustn’t get caught up in the beautiful emblems of our faith without actually getting involved in practicing our faith. And Hebrews reminds us often that we must be involved in loving service both to God and our fellow man.

The passage we looked at this week, Hebrews 10:19-25, encourages us to live out our faith by having faith, hope, and love. Without these three, we won’t shine for Jesus as we should. God calls us to exhibit these three traits, especially in these last days.

Memory Text: “And since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:21, 22 NASB

This is the first “let us” expression in the passage we looked at this week. It is a call to faith, the faith that reveals itself by our conversion and cleansing experience. It encompasses both justification (which wipes away our guilt, enabling us to have a clear conscience) and sanctification (which cleanses our messy lifestyle, purifying our impulses and motives). Faith does it all.

Sunday: Access to the Heavenly Sanctuary

Having this great high priest, as it said in the memory text, we are also invited to come “boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 KJV

Hebrews 6:20 clearly identifies this priest as “Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” KJV And He is sitting in the very presence of God, interceding for us. (See Revelation 3:21.)

forgiven-jesus20forgivesJames 4:10 tells us to “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” KJV Being lifted up is comparable to finding “grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16.

Discussion Questions: How does coming before God lift us up? How has this ever happened to you?

Also, if we are to come to God boldly, or with confidence, as other Bible versions call it, how do we temper this with the humility that is also needed to come before God?

Monday: Cleansed and Sincere

Looking at v. 22 of our memory text again, we notice three conditions that must be met when we approach the heavenly sanctuary.

  • ·         A true or sincere heart (recognizing God for who He is, or our own condition in sin)
  • ·         A clear conscience or mind (our sins having been confessed)
  • ·         Cleansed bodies (washed daily with the blood of Jesus)

As you can see, we must worship God with our whole body, mind, and soul.

Our heart and mind involve our motivations, our emotions, our will, and our character. If these are being developed according to God’s will, the body will also see changes. Our lifestyle will be affected, as well as our thoughts and beliefs. When we have committed ourselves to this cleansing process, we may be assured that Jesus’ blood and intercession in heaven are available to us at any time, in any situation.

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded.” James 4:7-8 KJV

As you can see, after submitting we can draw close to God. Our hands (bodies) and hearts (minds) are both involved in resisting the devil. We can’t serve both God and Satan by being doubleminded.

Discussion Questions: If God is the only one who can cleanse us, how can we have this done before approaching His throne?

How does the earthly sanctuary service help us understand this process?

Tuesday: Faith—Be Confident

Here we must read the entire passage in Hebrews 10:19-25.

“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;[Insert memory text.]… Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 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.”

The Greek word for “boldness” here denotes courage and fearlessness and illustrates the kind of openness we can have in our relationship with God. We aren’t blocked in access to Him, except by our own decisions in life.

This confident feeling we have is not dependent on who we are, but who our Mediator is. And there are two ways to obtain it:

  • ·         Through faith itself (“In whom we have boldness, and access with confidence by the faith of him.” Ephesians 3:12)
  • ·         Through Christian service for others (See I Timothy 3:13.)

In other words, as our faith and works grow hand in hand, we also have a growth in our relationship with God. We will feel more and more confident of His love and protection.

Discussion Question: Is there a spiritual danger of things that happen in our life reducing our confidence in God’s good will toward us, and how can this be prevented?

Wednesday: Hope—Be Steadfast and Unswerving

The exhortation in v. 23 of Hebrews 10 is to “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)”

Our second “Let us”, the precious hope in God’s promises, especially His promise after His ascension to come again for us, should be held on to “without wavering”. Several verses in Hebrews admonish us to “hold fast”, to persevere and be steadfast in our hope and faith in God.

Discussion Question: How do you instill hope in someone who has lost all hope, both in this life and for eternity?

Thursday: Love—Encourage One Another

Our third “Let us”:

“And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.” Hebrews 10:24 NASB

This verse and the one following it about not forsaking the assembling of themselves together remind us that we don’t walk the Christian path alone. We need to care for our brothers and sisters along the way. And wouldn’t this especially apply to those living in the last days?

If Jesus even needed the companionship of the disciples while on earth, what makes us think we can do adequate service for God and others on our own?

His church is His vehicle for spreading the gospel, and we must be a part of it, if we are to follow His will.

Discussion and Thought Questions: What spiritual benefits do you miss when you don’t meet with God’s people on a regular basis?

How can you be a blessing to others when you come to church? After all, isn’t that one of the main purposes?

Can you remember calling other believers in the church “brother” and “sister”? Why has that practice stopped in most churches and should it be reinstated?

Which is easier for you—to antagonize and provoke your fellow church members, or to spur them on to more love and good deeds?

Next Week–New Quarter study on Discipleship!