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The Path of Unwavering Faith: Access, Community, Perseverance (Hebrews 10:19-39)

Hebrews 10:19–39 - 19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 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. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. 26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” 31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. 32 But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, 33 partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated. 34 For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one. 35 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. 37 For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay. 38 But My righteous one shall live by faith; And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul. What does today’s passage say? In today's passage, the writer issues a powerful call to confident intimacy with God (vv. 19-22). Having been granted access through Christ's sacrifice, believers are beckoned to draw near with sincere hearts, free from guilt's stain. This bold approach to the Almighty's presence is fortified by the imagery of the tabernacle veil being torn, removing all barriers. The passage then exhorts steadfast perseverance (vv. 23-25), charging readers to cling unswervingly to their professed hope, spurred on by the mutual encouragement of the faith community. However, a sobering warning reverberates through the verses that follow (vv. 26-31) – those who willfully persist in sin after receiving truth face grave divine consequences; they are basically disgracing Christ, His sacrifice, and His shed blood that sanctified them. Instead, the writer says that believers should remember how they endured through past trials; this will reignite their resolve (vv. 32-36). The passage culminates in an affirmation of the author's determination not to shrink back, but to live by faith, preserving their very lives (vv. 37-39). How can I apply <Hebrews=">Hebrews" 10:19-39="10:19-39</a></strong><strong>"> to my life? Our journey of faith is not a straight, paved road but a winding path with hills to climb and valleys to traverse. This passage gives us guideposts for navigating that journey, anchoring us in the steadfast hope of Christ while calling for an unwavering commitment from us. We are called to approach the Almighty's presence boldly, to cling tenaciously to our professed hope, and to persevere despite obstacles. This passage beckons us to fully embrace the privileged access before us, made possible by Jesus' sacrifice. It compels us to live uprightly, placing wholehearted trust in Christ's cleansing blood to purge our consciences and sanctify our lives. Moreover, it underscores communal support's indispensability, urging us to congregate regularly. There, through mutual encouragement in love and good works, we fortify one another as we await the Lord's return. Though sobering consequences for willful sin loom, the writer also summons memories of our former steadfastness in trials as an encouragement for perseverance. Weare told to remember our past resolute endurance and let those recollections embolden our constancy today. Here are some basic principles from this passage that we should apply to our lives:

  1. Draw Near to God with Confidence (vv. 19-22): The opening verses of this section invite us to approach God with confidence, thanks to the path Jesus has cleared for us. This passage urges us to embrace this gift with hearts unburdened by guilt, fostering a direct and confident relationship with our Creator. This process calls for daily reflection, a commitment to purge our lives of what distances us from God, and an invitation to walk in the fullness of our faith. It reminds us to put on our assurance like a cloak, to step into God's presence with the boldness Christ's sacrifice has afforded us. It's about transformation, a continual shedding of the old for the new life He offers. Practically, this means living in a way that reflects our understanding of this profound access to God, letting it shape our actions and attitudes (Hebrews 4:16; James 4:8; 1 John 1:9; Psalm 24:3-4).

Food for thought: What changes when you truly grasp the concept of coming boldly before God? How does this understanding impact your daily spiritual practices?

  1. Hold Fast the Confession of Our Hope Not Neglecting Coming Together to Build One Another Up in the Faith (vv. 23-25): The exhortation to steadfastly hold to our hope while mutually encouraging one another underscores the collective journey of faith we are on. This call to action does not just emphasize personal perseverance but also the vital role of community in our spiritual vitality. It is about weaving our lives together in a fabric of faith, hope, and love, strengthening the whole by each thread's integrity. The verses challenge us to see beyond our individual journeys, recognizing the power and necessity of coming alongside others in their walk with God. This interconnectedness amplifies our ability to stand firm against adversity, to celebrate victories, and to navigate the valleys with the support of fellow believers. In practice, it means actively seeking ways to encourage and uplift others, recognizing that our collective faith is fortified in the sharing of our hopes and struggles (Romans 15:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 3:13; Galatians 6:2).

Food for thought: In what specific ways can you contribute to strengthening your faith community? How does the collective journey of faith influence your personal walk with God?

  1. Do Not Go on Sinning Willfully for the Consequences Are Great (vv. 26-31): This section serves as a sobering reminder of the gravity of willfully persisting in sin after coming to the knowledge of truth. The deliberate choice to sin, particularly after having experienced the transformative power of Christ's sacrifice, is highlighted as a perilous path, one that leads away from the grace and mercy of God. This passage calls for self-examination and repentance, urging believers to live in alignment with the teachings of Christ and the conviction of the Holy Spirit. It speaks to the importance of cultivating a heart that is sensitive to God’s guidance, one that shuns the temptation to return to old ways. Living out this truth involves making conscious decisions every day to follow God's directives, recognizing the cost of Christ's sacrifice, and the profound loss of squandering His offered salvation (2 Peter 2:20-22; Luke 12:47-48; Matthew 12:31-32; Romans 6:1-2).

Food for thought: How do you maintain a heart sensitive to God's guidance? What practical steps can you take to avoid the pitfall of willful sin?

  1. Persevere in Your Faith Journey (vv. 32-39): Reflecting on past hardships and victories, this passage encourages believers to persist in their faith journey, recalling the strength and resilience demonstrated in earlier trials. It's a call to not only remember those moments of faithfulness but to allow them to fuel our perseverance in the present. This enduring commitment to faith is what anchors us amidst life's tumult, drawing on the deep well of God's past faithfulness as a source of hope and strength. Perseverance, then, becomes not just a personal endeavor but a testimony to the sustaining power of faith in God, echoing through our lives into the lives of others. It’s about steadfastly moving forward, with eyes fixed on the promise of what lies ahead, motivated by the eternal reward that awaits those who remain faithful to the end. This application involves embracing each day as an opportunity to live out that faith, to demonstrate through our actions and choices the depth of our commitment to God and His promises. (James 1:12; Galatians 6:9; Revelation 2:10; 1 Corinthians 15:58)

Food for thought: What does it mean to you to persevere in your faith journey? How can the memory of past faithfulness inspire your current walk with God? As we navigate this life of faith, this passage can serve as a compass, orienting us toward the true North of God's unwavering promise. In embracing the confident access Christ has granted, our strides can be bold, propelled by sincere hearts unclouded by guilt's shadow. And in that hallowed space of God's presence, we can drink deeply of His divine strength to cling steadfastly to the hope that anchors our souls. Yet the journey is not meant to be a solitary one - we are to lock arms with fellow believers, our united voices resounding in exhortation and our footsteps synchronized in brotherly love. For in that blessed community, iron is sharpened, and our resolve is fortified against sin's insidious appeal. When the path gets too hard or too difficult, let the memories of past faithfulness under fire be the wind at our backs that propels us onward with the same tenacious spirit. The trail may be long and the climb steep, but our Lord is proven trustworthy. By His grace, we will not be found among those who shrink back, but numbered with those who, by faith's Spirit power, endure to the end. Prayer Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for the confident access I have to Your presence through Christ's sacrifice. I pray that I would draw near to You daily with a sincere heart, fully trusting the cleansing power of Jesus' blood. Help me cling tightly to the hope I profess, not wavering in my faith. Strengthen me through the encouragement of other believers, that together we would persevere and spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Lord, guard my heart against willful, persistent sin. May I never trample on the Son of God or treat His blood as unholy. If I have hardened my heart, bring brokenness and repentance. Remember my past victories in the faith to fuel my endurance for today's trials. No matter how long the journey, I want to be among those who believe and are saved. Use this passage to transform my life. I pray these things in the most precious name of Jesus, Amen.

Hebrews 10:23 – “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” With His Blessings, Pastor Corby

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