Hebrews 10:19-25 reminds us that we have full access to God because of the sufficiency of Christ’s work on our behalf. Jesus has cleansed us, and not just on the outside of the cup but on the inside. This was God’s plan for reconciling us back to himself and reveals his heart to be near us. Don’t keep your distance. Even while we might be keeping our distance from one another with a 6-foot rule, don’t allow any distance to creep into your relationship with God.
Draw near to him with “a true heart in full assurance of faith” (10:22), and we can do this because our hearts have been made clean (10:22) and we have VIP access to the holy place by the blood of Jesus (10:19). Could you imagine a greater gift and benefit than this kind of confidence before the living, holy, loving God of the universe? And yet it is truly ours through Christ. Don’t let this benefit go to waste or sit on the shelf. Draw near to him today. Press on in the faith, your “confession” (10:23), without wavering, knowing you can draw near to God at any time and he is there for you.
But then the author again returns to an important theme. Our endurance, growth, and the desire to draw near to God are lived out together. On our own, we’re prone to believe lies that would push us away from drawing near to God. In isolation, we can start to walk in darkness or slip into the shadows. We need one another. We need reminded of God’s promises that we can draw near because of Christ, and that it’s based on his performance and not our own. We need one another to grab our collar when we’re slipping into sin and pull us back into the light, with grace and truth. We need spurred on with encouragement to persevere in faith. And we need the prayers, encouragement, and models we get from being part of a body of Christ to draw near and hold fast.
Though that might be challenging in a quarantine, it’s still possible and necessary. Find ways to encourage one another. Stay connected. Speak truth and grace to one another.
Draw near to God today, and then encourage and spur others on to do the same.
Study, Reflection, and Discussion Questions
- What are the three “let us” statements in 10:19-25? What are we encouraged to do in each one? How might you live that in your own life?
- Why is God’s faithfulness the grounds for us holding fast to our confession without wavering (10:23)?
- We’ve seen throughout Hebrews that while we must take ownership for our faith and obedience, we can’t do it alone but need others. What are ways we can stir up one another to love and good works?
- If Hebrews 10:24 tells us to “consider” how to encourage one another in the faith, why should be more intentional and pro-active in providing encouragement and accountability to one another? What might that look like for you?
- Read 1 John 1:8-9 and 3:4-10. What’s the difference between committing sin and willfully choosing a lifestyle of sin? Why should any unconfessed sin in our life alert us or make us concerned?
- How does their “great reward” (10:35) and “better possession” that abides (10:34) motivate them to endure hardship? How do we practically apply this by keeping eternity in mind as we suffer temporarily on this earth?
- When you think about enduring until the end and finishing the Christian life well, what fears come to mind and what comes to mind? What would you want your legacy of faith to look like?
For Further Study
- “Encourage One Another” by Garrett Kell at 9marks.org
- “20 Ideas for Encouraging Others” at familylife.com
- Sermon “Consider Each Other How to Stir Up Love” by John Piper at desiringgod.org
Ideas for Response
- Stir up others to love and good works. Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us to consider how we might encourage others in their faith and in good works. Come up with a couple practical ways to do this to others today or this week. How can you encourage someone? How can you walk alongside of someone? How can you stir others up to love and good works? If you have children, have them participate by coming up with ways they can encourage others.
- Don’t neglect meeting together. In our day and age, people are too quick to neglect meeting together than prioritizing it. Be committed to weekly attendance at your own local church. Don’t just show up and spectate, but participate. Find ways to then gather with others throughout the week for mutual encouragement.