The Expository Files.


Obey, Remain & Consider

Hebrews 10:22-26



{All quotations from New King James}

"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 hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins."

This passage lays out the broad picture of Christianity in a nutshell. It identifies the central issue in religion, the problem of sin, and also encourages us as well as
warns us, about its ever present danger. There are three things the writer enjoins on us all.

1. Obey the gospel of Christ for salvation.

Hebrews 10:22
"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."

I am reminded here of Galatians 3:26-27- "..For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ."

Under Old Testament law, sanctified things and sanctified people were sprinkled with the blood of sacrificial animals. The Hebrew writer, appealing to the familiarity
of his audience with that fact, speaks of our own internal purification in terms of being sprinkled.

In addition, however, to the internal cleansing, there is required of every man submission to water baptism. Baptism is an act of faith.

1 Peter 3:21 21
"There is also an antitype which now saves us -- baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ."

Believing, "in full assurance of faith," that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that he died, was buried, then arose the third day, we cleanse our hearts, through repentance, and have our sins washed away in baptism. "And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'" (Acts 22:16).

The first point in our lives is the salvation of our own souls. We must save ourselves by God's grace, our faith, and our submission to His commandments. "Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling," (Phil. 2:12). There is, however, more to the life of one who would be saved.

2. Once you have been baptized, do not let go of your faith. Remain pure.

Hebrews 10:23 23
"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful."

The faith that must precede baptism is a faith that must be confessed. Christianity is not a closet religion. Romans 10:9 states, "that if you confess with your mouth
the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." The Hebrews text encourages us to hold on to that faith. Remember the confession we made that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Do not stray from that confession. With Jesus as Lord of our lives, He directs our every step.

Just as we must confess our faith, letting God, as well as other people, know just where we stand, there is an element of our life with God that also reaches out to
other people. We must help others go to Heaven with us.

3. Consider the destiny and life of our fellow man and brother in Christ.

Hebrews 10:24 24
"And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works." "Consider one another." The child of God, washed clean through faithful obedience, has no selfishness in his character.

Romans 12:16
"Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion."

We cannot hoard our faith. We owe an obligation to the rest of God's creation to do all that is within our power to show them the way of truth and to keep them on that way once they have found it. To consider one another is no small task. We must bury our self interests and look outward. I refer you to Philippians 2:1-5 and quote here verse 5. "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." It is a Christ-like thing that is demanded of us, but isn't that what it means to be a Christian?

Verse 25 in our text in Hebrews 10 cites one basic example of how we consider one another. We assemble with those of like faith, with those with whom we have associated ourselves together in a local congregation. "...not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching." The more we grow and discipline ourselves to consider one another, the more we will recognize the joy and the necessity of regular assembling. Some never realize the importance thereof. They miss the great joy of being a sacrificial child of God. Assembling with saints is not just a command. It is the lifeline of the Christian. It keeps our energies up. It keeps us edified and empowered to meet the temptations of the devil.

The final warning is in verse 26. "For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins." If we fail to
become a Christian (v. 22), remain faithful as a Christian (v. 23), or reach out to help save others (v. 24), we have willfully sinned against God and have no hope. The tragedy is that, with the knowledge we have received from God through His word, there is no reason for us to fail. Many yet do fail and refuse the goodness of God. The only sin for which we cannot receive forgiveness is the sin from which we refuse to turn away. To refuse to become a Christian, stay a Christian, reach out as a Christian, and assemble as a Christian is all willful sin. The gospel call is a call to change. Become a child of God, even today, and then grow as a child should to complete maturity with the confident assurance that Heaven will be your home.

 By Larry Fain 
 From Expository Files 2.12; December 1995

 

 

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