Hebrews 10:19-25

Sunday Morning Bible Study

February 4, 2001


The letter to the Hebrews was written to Jewish people, people who understood the Old Testament, people who understood the Law of Moses, people who understood the sacrificial system of the Old Testament.

We’ve seen that the Old Testament worship system was to be a picture of heaven, a picture that would be fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

The Old Testament had things built into it that were to teach us about how God was to be approached, like the design of the Tabernacle, the tent that Moses built.
To get from the place of the ordinary worshipper to the place of God’s presence, a priest had to walk through the outer courtyard, wash in the laver, offer sacrifice on the altar, then enter into the first room of the tabernacle called the “Holy Place”.  Then it was only the high priest that was allowed to go the last step, past the last curtain into the “Holy of Holies”, where the Ark of the Covenant was, the very picture of God’s throne itself.  The fact that there were “veils” keeping people from God’s presence showed that the way into God’s presence wasn’t open (Heb. 9:8).

We’ve seen that the New Covenant is better than the Old Covenant.  The New Covenant is all about Jesus.  Whereas the way into the Holy of Holies was closed under the Old Covenant, with Jesus the veil was torn, the way was opened.  Jesus offered a better sacrifice than those of the Old Covenant.  With one sacrifice, His own blood, He was able to remove all of our sins forever. With the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, God’s throne room is open for all who will come under the blood of Jesus.

Hebrews 10

:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

boldnessparrhesia – free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, assurance

to entereisodos – an entrance; the place or way leading into a place (as a gate); the act of entering

the holiesthagion – reverend, worthy of veneration; here it’s talking about the “holy of holies”, the place of God’s presence, the place where God’s throne is.

:20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

consecratedegkainizo – to renew; to do anew, again; to initiate, consecrate, dedication

new prosphatos (“before” + “slayed”) – lately slaughtered, freshly killed; recently made, new

Under the Old Covenant, a man could approach God immediately after the animal had been slain for his sins, before he had time to commit other sins.

Because Jesus’ sacrifice for us is an eternal, perpetual sacrifice, once for all time, He is always a “freshly killed” sacrifice.

livingzao – to live; Jesus is not dead.  He is alive.

the veilkatapetasma – a veil spread out, a curtain; Here it’s talking about the veil inside the tabernacle that separated the “holy place” from the “holy of holies”.

fleshsarx – flesh

Jesus has made the way open through the “veil” that keeps us from God’s presence.  He has made the way because of His “flesh”.

We remember this at Communion:

(1 Cor 11:23-24 KJV)  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: {24} And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

Isaiah wrote:

(Isa 53:4-5 KJV)  Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. {5} But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Jesus has made the way to God’s presence open to us.  He did it by dying on a cross for us.  He made possible the way to God when He died in our place, paying for our sins.

:21 And having an high priest over the house of God;

As we saw a couple of weeks ago, Jesus is our Great High Priest who is constantly praying for us.

(Heb 7:25 KJV)  Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

You never have to worry about whether or not you’re good enough to come into God’s presence because your Great High Priest is praying for you.

:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

let us draw nearproserchomai – to come to, approach; draw near to

truealethinos – that which has not only the name and resemblance, but the real nature corresponding to the name, real, genuine; true, sincere

The writer doesn’t say to come with a “good heart”.  He says to come with a “true” heart.

God knows that you can’t come to Him with a heart that is good enough to “deserve” to meet with Him.  He’s not looking for goodness from you, the only goodness we offer is the goodness of Jesus.  What God is looking for is sincerity.

Are you open and honest with God?  Jesus said,

(John 4:24 KJV)  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

full assuranceplerophoria – full assurance, most certain confidence

The Old Testament High Priests would have a rope tied around their ankle as they entered into the Holy of Holies.  They also had little bells on the fringe of their robe, and their assistants could hear the tinkling of the bells as they moved around.  But just in case the high priest had some secret sin, and God ended up killing the guy, they could get the body out by pulling on the rope.

God doesn’t want you coming to Him and worrying if everything’s okay.  He wants you to find rest in knowing that Jesus has fully paid for your sins.  It’s not up to you to be good enough.  It’s up to Jesus to have paid enough.

sprinkledrhantizo – to sprinkle; to cleanse by sprinkling, hence to purify, cleanse

consciencesuneidesis – the consciousness of anything; the soul as distinguishing between what is morally good and bad, prompting to do the former and shun the latter, commending one, condemning the other; the conscience

evilponeros – full of labours, annoyances, hardships; bad, of a bad nature or condition; in an ethical sense: evil wicked, bad

washedlouo – to bathe, wash

purekatharos – clean, pure; in a levitical sense; clean, the use of which is not forbidden, imparts no uncleanness; ethically; free from corrupt desire, from sin and guilt

The writer is painting some pictures of how the priests prepared themselves before coming into God’s presence in the Tabernacle.

The priests were to be “sprinkled” with blood before they began their ministry and approached God (Ex. 29:21).

The priests were to wash their hands and feet in the water from the laver, a large brass basin that sat out in the courtyard of the tabernacle (Exo 30:18-21).

But those were the “shadows”, the things that couldn’t really make a person clean.  Only Jesus can really make us clean.

Jesus cleanses our hearts and consciences with His own blood.

(Heb 9:13-14 KJV)  For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: {14} How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

He washes us with the water of His Word.

(Eph 5:25-27 KJV)  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; {26} That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, {27} That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.


Intimacy with God

There are three “let us” statements in our passage.  They are the things we are to take seriously and be sure to do.  They are things based on our ability to come “boldly” into the Holy of Holies.
The first is to be sure that we “draw near” to God.
Intimacy with God starts with being honest, having a “true heart”.  Once you’re honest, God can begin to change you, and He starts by forgiving you.
But it all starts by taking a step towards God.  Taking a step towards intimacy with Him.
by Kirsten Burgess
He sits by himself at a table for two.  The uniformed waiter returns to his side and ask, “Would you like to go ahead and order, sir?” The man has, after all, been waiting since seven o’clock—almost half an hour.  “No, thank you,” the man smiles. “I’ll wait for her a while longer. How about some more coffee?”  “Certainly, sir.”  The man sits, his clear blue eyes gazing straight through the flowered centerpiece. He fingers his napkin, allowing the sounds of light chatter, tinkling silverware, and mellow music to fill his mind. He is dressed in sport coat and tie. His dark brown hair is neatly combed, but one stray lock insists on dropping to his forehead. The scent of his cologne adds to his clean cut image. He is dressed up enough to make a companion feel important, respected, loved. Yet he is not so formal as to make one uncomfortable. It seems that he has taken every precaution to make others feel at ease with him.  Still, he sits alone.  The waiter returns to fill the man’s coffee cup. “Is there anything else I can get for you, sir?”  “No, thank you.”  The waiter remains standing at the table. Something tugs at his curiosity. “I don’t mean to pry, but...” His voice trails off. This line of conversation could jeopardize his tip.  “Go ahead,” the man encourages. His is strong, yet sensitive, inviting conversation.   “Why do you bother waiting for her?” the waiter finally blurts out. This man has been at the restaurant other evenings, always patiently alone.  Says the man quietly, “Because she needs me.”  “Are you sure?”  “Yes.”  “Well, sir, no offense, but assuming that she needs you, she sure isn’t acting much like it. She’s stood you up three times just this week.”  The man winces, and looks down at the table. “Yes, I know.”  “Then why do you still come here and wait?”  “Cassie said that she would be here.”  “She’s said that before,” the waiter protests. “I wouldn’t put up with it. Why do you?”  Now the man looks up, smiles at the waiter, and says simply, “Because I love her.”  The waiter walks away, wondering how one could love a girl who stands him up three times a week. The man must be crazy, he decides. Across the room, he turns to look at the man again. The man slowly pours cream into his coffee. He twirls his spoon between his fingers a few times before stirring sweetener into his cup. After staring for a moment into the liquid, the man brings the cup to his mouth and sips, silently watching those around him. He doesn”t look crazy, the waiter admits. Maybe the girl has qualities that I don”t know about. Or maybe the man”s love is stronger than most. The waiter shakes himself out of his musings to take an order from a party of five.  The man watches the waiter, wonders if he’s ever been stood up. The man has, many times. But he still can”t get used to it. Each time, it hurts. He’s looked forward to this evening all day. He has many things, exciting things, to tell Cassie. But, more importantly, he wants to hear Cassie’s voice. He wants her to tell him all about her day, her triumphs, her defeats....anything, really. He has tried so many times to show Cassie how much he loves her. He’d just like to know that she cares for him, too. He sips sporadically at the coffee, and loses himself in thought, knowing that Cassie is late, but still hoping that she will arrive.  The clock says nine-thirty when the waiter returns to the man’s table. “Is there anything I can get for you?”  The still empty chair stabs at the man. “No, I think that will be all for tonight. May I have the check please?”  “Yes, sir.”  When the waiter leaves, the man picks up the check. He pulls out his wallet and signs. He has enough money to have given Cassie a feast. But he takes out only enough to pay for his five cups of coffee and the tip. Why do you do this, Cassie, his mind cries as he gets up from the table.  “Good-bye,” the waiter says, as the man walks towards the door.  “Good night. Thank you for your service.”  “You’re welcome, sir,” says the waiter softly, for he sees the hurt in the man’s eyes that his smile doesn”t hide.  The man passes a laughing young couple on his way out, and his eyes glisten as he thinks of the good time he and Cassie could have had. He stops at the front and makes reservations for tomorrow. Maybe Cassie will be able to make it, he thinks.  “Seven o’clock tomorrow for party of two?” the hostess confirms.  “That’s right,” the man replies.  “Do you think she’ll come” asks the hostess. She doesn’t mean to be rude, but she has watched the man many times alone at his table for two.  “Someday, yes. And I will be waiting for her.” The man buttons his overcoat and walks out of the restaurant, alone. His shoulders are hunched, but through the windows the hostess can only guess whether they are hunched against the wind or against the man’s hurt. 
As the man turns toward home, Cassie turns into bed. She is tired after an evening out with friends. As she reaches toward her night stand to set the alarm, she sees the note that she scribbled to herself last night. ‘7:00,’ it says. ‘Spend some time in prayer.’ Darn, she thinks. She forgot again. She feels a twinge of guilt, but quickly pushes it aside. She needed that time with her friends. And now she needs her sleep. She can pray tomorrow night. Jesus will forgive her.  And she’s sure he doesn’t mind.

:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

hold fastkatecho – to hold back, detain, retain; to hold fast, keep secure, keep firm possession of

professionhomologia – profession; subjectively: whom we profess to be ours; objectively: profession [confession] i.e. what one professes [confesses]

faithelpis – hope; Here it’s talking about our hope in Jesus to save us.

without waveringaklines (“not” + “bowing”) – not inclining, firm, unmoved

faithfulpistos – trusty, faithful; of persons who show themselves faithful in the transaction of business, that can be relied on

promisedepaggello – to announce that one is about to do or furnish something; to promise (of one’s own accord) to engage voluntarily



This is the second “let us” statement based upon our ability to come into God’s throne room with boldness.
God wants you to hold on to your commitment to Jesus.
These Jewish believers were going through very difficult times.  They were being tempted to just forget all this “Jesus stuff”.
Have you ever noticed that whenever a person makes a serious commitment to following Jesus, their life suddenly gets harder?
For the apostle Paul, he had no thoughts of turning away from Jesus.  In Philippi, he and Silas were beaten and thrown in jail for sharing the gospel, yet instead of quitting, they spent the night singing praises to God (Ac 16:25).
The word that is translated “profession” is the same word translated “confessed” in:
(Heb 11:13-16 KJV)  These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. {14} For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. {15} And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. {16} But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
We’re going to see in chapter 11 a huge group of people who learned to hold fast to their commitment to God because they had faith.  They trusted in God, even when their circumstances looked horrible.

:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

considerkatanoeo –perceive, observe; consider attentively, fix one’s eyes or mind upon

to provokeparoxusmos – an inciting, incitement; irritation

loveagape – brotherly love, affection, good will, love, benevolence

goodkalos – beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable

worksergon – business, employment, that which any one is occupied; an act, deed, thing done



This is the third “let us” statement.  It’s all about “fellowship”, about how our relationships with one another ought to affect us.  Here’s some of the elements of our “fellowship”
1)  Look around  - Consider, look around and take notice.  In our modern society people more and more tend to not make eye contact with others.  We don’t pay attention too much about who is here and who isn’t.  We don’t seem to notice when people around us have a need.
2)  Provoking to love – not just “stimulate”, but “provoke”!
Usually the things we provoke are not “love”.
A big-city, California, lawyer went duck hunting in rural Texas.  He shot and dropped a bird, but it fell into a farmer’s field on the other side of a fence.  As the lawyer climbed over the fence, an elderly farmer drove up on his  tractor and asked him what he was doing. The litigator responded, “I shot a duck and it fell into this field, and now I’m going to retrieve it.”  The old farmer replied, “This is my property, and you are not coming over here.”  The indignant lawyer said, “I am one of the best trial attorneys in the U.S. and, if you don’t let me get that duck, I’ll sue you and take everything you own.”  The old farmer smiled and said, “Apparently, you don’t know how we do things in Texas.  We settle small disagreements like this with the Texas Three-Kick Rule.”  The lawyer asked, “What is the Texas Three-Kick Rule?”  The Farmer replied, “Well, first I kick you three times and then you kick me three times, and so on, back and forth, until someone gives up.”  The attorney quickly thought about the proposed contest and decided that he could easily take the old codger.  He agreed to abide by the local custom.  The old farmer slowly climbed down from the tractor and walked up to the city feller.  His first kick planted the toe of his heavy work boot into the lawyer’s groin and dropped him to his knees.  His second kick nearly wiped the man’s nose off his face.  The barrister was flat on his belly when the farmer’s third kick to a kidney nearly caused him to give up.  The lawyer summoned every bit of his will and managed to get to his feet and said, “Okay, you old coot!  Now, it’s my turn!”  The old farmer smiled and said, “No, I give up.  You can have the duck!”
That’s not the kind of “provoking” we’re talking about!

There’s two more aspects of fellowship:  Assembling and exhorting …

:25 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.

forsakingegkataleipo – abandon, desert; leave in straits, leave helpless; totally abandoned, utterly forsaken; to leave behind among, to leave surviving

the assemblingepisunagoge (“synagogue”) – a gathering together in one place

the mannerethos – custom

exhortingparakaleo – to call to one’s side, call for, summon; to address, speak to, (call to, call upon), which may be done in the way of exhortation, entreaty, comfort

approachingeggizo – to bring near, to draw or come near to.  Jesus is coming back soon.  Very soon.  I want to be ready.  I want to be all that He wants me to be.

3)  Regularity

Some people have interesting “customs” about church.  Some are quite comfortable coming to church once or twice a year.
Look at the early church:
(Acts 2:42-47 KJV)  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. {43} And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. {44} And all that believed were together, and had all things common; {45} And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. {46} And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, {47} Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

It seems that the “custom” of the early church was to meet “daily”, not “yearly”.

4)  Encouragement

We’ve already seen how much we need to be “exhorted” or “encouraged”.
(Heb 3:12-13 KJV)  Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. {13} But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
The theme of Hebrews is that of encouraging the readers to not quit, not to get discouraged with the difficult times that they were going through.  One of the chief things that can keep us going is to have people around us who will encourage us.
God does not make “Lone Ranger” Christians.  He made you with some missing pieces, pieces that only others can fulfill in your life.
Sometimes that “exhortation” is a positive, comforting type of encouragement. When David was running from Saul, his pal Jonathan sought him out and “encouraged him in God”.
Sometimes that “exhortation” might be something a little harder. When David was running from God and trying to hide his sin with Bathsheba, Nathan the prophet came, told him a story about an abusive jerk, and ended with “You are that man!”
We need both kinds of exhortation.  We need fellowship.