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David's Deliberations . . .

Let Us Draw Near

7 March 2021

New Testament epistles usually consist of two parts: first, doctrine, or the truths that form the foundation of faith; and second, the practical application of that truth to our lives as Christians.

The Book of Hebrews demonstrates that Christ is worthy of our faith because He is a greater Spokesman than the prophets, a greater Law-Giver than Moses, a greater Rest-Provider than Joshua, and a greater High Priest than Aaron.

The "therefore" in Hebrews 10:19 signals a series of three exhortations (practical application) based on the preceding argument (doctrine) about Christ. The first of these exhortations is "Let us draw near..." (Hebrews 10:22). Draw near to what or to whom?

The lesson is based on the tabernacle or temple worship (Hebrews 9 and 10). The holy place (Hebrews 10:19) was a type (preview, foreshadow) of the church, while the most holy place (vv. 19, 20) was a type of heaven. We have entered the holy place (the church) by the blood of Jesus (v. 19). The process by which we enter the holy place is based on the fact that the church is purchased with the blood of Christ (Acts 20:28):

1. The only way one can get into the Lord's church (the body of saved believers, Acts 2:47; Ephesians 5:23) is to be saved, that is forgiven of sins.

2. People are saved from sin by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:12-13; 1 Peter 1:18,19).

3. The same process by which one is forgiven of sins also puts him into the body (church) of Christ (note: "baptized into Christ" in Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:3; baptized into the body of Christ, 1 Corinthians 12:13; baptized for the remission of sins, Acts 2:38; baptized to wash away sins, Acts 22:16).

The "holy place" in Hebrews 10:19 is referred to as the "house of God" in verse 21. We have a great High Priest over God's house (family), Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:15, 16). Therefore, we have access to God through Christ. Therefore, "Let us draw near" to God (see James 4:8).

From Hebrews 10:22 we learn that too draw near to God one must:

1. have "a sincere heart" -- free from guile and hypocrisy (see Matthew 15:8, 9);

2. have "full assurance of faith" in sincerity and confidence (trust in God);

3. "having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience" (See Matthew 5:8);

4. and, "our bodies washed with pure water" -- baptism for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16).

Back to verse 19: "Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus. . ." We can be confident in drawing near to God. If one has a proper relationship to God through and in Christ Jesus, one can be confident of salvation--forgiveness of past sins, and hope of eternal life.

—David Carl Swanson