STUDY Hebrews 10:19-25
(click here for notes)
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more so you see the Day approaching. (NIV)
A New and Living Way
The author of Hebrews interjects into his discussion of Jesus as the embodiment of the New Covenant another of his intense calls for believers to persevere. He begins this appeal by reminding the readers that Jesus has opened "a new and living way" for us to enter the Most Holy Place: the presence of God.
1. What is the curtain to which v. 20 refers? (see Mark 15:38)
2. What had been the purpose of that curtain? (see Hebrews 9:3; 8; 6:19)
3. Jesus is our "great priest over the house of God". What is God's house? (see Hebrews 3:6; 1 Cor. 3:16; 1 Timothy 3:15)
Draw Near to God
Because Jesus is our great priest, there are five things we are privileged to do. These things derive from Jesus' provision for us as the living way to the Father. These five things are: 1. "Let us draw near to God." (v.22) 2. "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess." (v. 23) 3. "Let us spur one another on toward love and good deeds." (v. 24) 4. "Let us not give up meeting together." (v. 25) 5. "Let us encourage one another." (v. 25)
4. Instead of bringing sacrifices in order to draw near to God, there are four conditions we meet when we approach God in the new covenant. What is a "sincere heart", the first condition listed in v.22? (see Matthew 12:25; James 1:6-8; 4:8)
5. What is the "full assurance of faith" mentioned in v. 22? (see Ephesians 3:12; 2 Cor. 3:4-5; Heb. 3:14; Heb. 4:15-16; 1 John 2:28; 3:21; 4:17)
6. What does it mean to have "our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience"? (see Exodus 24:8; Hebrews 9:14; 12:24; 1 Peter 1:2)
7. How does this sprinkling of our hearts cleanse our consciences?
8. What ceremonies in the old covenant prefigured "having our bodies washed with pure water" in the new covenant, and what does this metaphor mean in the new covenant? (see Exodus 30:19-21; Leviticus 8:6; Ezekiel 36:25)
The Hope We Profess
9. What is "the hope we profess" (v.23)? (see Romans 5:1-2; Hebrews 6:18-20; 7:18-19; 11:1)
10. What does "unswervingly" mean?
11. Against what danger was Paul warning these Hebrew Christ-followers by telling them to "hold unswervingly to the hope we profess?" (see Acts 15:5; Hebrews 4:8-11; Galatians 3:23-25; 4:8-11; 21-31; 5:16-18; 24-25)
12. How does God's faithfulness help us to hold unswervingly to our hope? (see 1 Corinthians 1:9; 10:13; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; 2 Thess. 3:2-3; 2 Tim. 2:11-13; Hebrews 11:11)
Good Deeds and Fellowship
13. How are "good deeds" different from "works" defined by the law? (see Titus 2:6-8; 14; 3:1; 4-8; 14; 2 Corinthians 8:20-21; Ephesians 2:10; 4:11-12; 1 Peter 2:12; 13-15; Romans 8:6;10-11)
14. How can we spur each other "on toward love and good works"?
15. The Greek word translated "give up" in v. 25 is a word that means "desertion" or "abandonment". Why is it important that we not abandon meeting together to encourage one another? (see Hebrews 3:13; Ephesians 4:14-16; 1 Corinthians 12:7)
16. What is the Day that is approaching? (see 1 Corinthians 3:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 4; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10; 2 Peter 3:10)
17. How does having a "great priest" make all of these above behaviors possible?
18. Whom do you have trouble encouraging toward love and good works?
19. Are obedience and good works different for you since becoming a Christian? If so, how?
20. How is fellowship, or meeting together, different for you now?
1. What tempts you the most to lose your hold on the hope you profess?
2. What are the biggest hurdles you experience to meeting together regularly with fellow believers?
3. What stressor or heartache in your life do you need God's faithfulness to cover and redeem?
4. Be honest with Jesus and tell him what weakness or frustration you are struggling with. Ask him to reveal the truth about your motives and feelings, and allow his love to fill those brittle places in your heart. Ask God to reveal his will to you regarding this problem, and let the Holy Spirit strengthen you to be able to give this problem into God's control.
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Studio, Redlands, CA USA. All rights reserved. Revised April 3, 2001.