10:19 Having therefore, brothers, boldness to enter into the holy
by the blood of Jesus,
10:20 by the way which he dedicated for us, a new and living way,
through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
10:21 and having a great priest over the house of God,
10:22 let's draw near with a true heart in fullness of
having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and
having our body washed with pure water,
10:23 let us hold fast the confession of our hope
For he who promised is faithful.
10:24 Let us consider how to provoke one another to love and
10:25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as the custom of
but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as you see the Day
Warning Against Nominalism
10:26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge
of the truth,
there remains no more a sacrifice for sins,
10:27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment,
and a fierceness of fire which will devour the adversaries.
10:28 A man who disregards Moses' law dies without compassion
on the word of two or three witnesses.
10:29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will he be
who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and has counted the
of the covenant
with which he was sanctified an unholy thing, and has insulted
Spirit of grace?
10:30 For we know him who said,
"Vengeance belongs to me," says the Lord, "I will
"The Lord will judge his people." (Ps 135:14)
10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the
Confidence and Endurance
a Measure of True Faith
10:32 But remember the former days, in which, after you were
you endured a great struggle with sufferings;
10:33 partly, being exposed to both reproaches and oppressions;
and partly, becoming partakers with those who were treated so.
10:34 For you both had compassion on me in my chains,
and joyfully accepted the plundering of your possessions,
knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and an
one in the heavens.
10:35 Therefore don't throw away your boldness, which has a great
10:36 For you need endurance so that, having done the will of God,
you may receive the promise.
10:37 "In a very little while, He who comes will come,
10:38 But the righteous will live by faith. If he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him." (Hab
10:39 But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction,
but of those who have faith to the saving of the soul.
What kind of outward characteristics would you expect of a Christian
is confident and fully assured of his faith as described in vs
How would you know if you were not "holding unswervingly to the
we profess"? (vs 23)
vs 25 What benefits do you get out of meet regularly with other
Does the warning of vs 26-31 mean you could lose your salvation?
If so, how can you possibly have confidence and full assurance of
if it is based on your sub-standard performance? Or do you not
to be a sinner?
vs 33-34 Why is this type of persecution not more common for
living in this society? Are there societies today in which this
persecution is common?
vs 35, 38 Since confidence is rewarded and lack thereof is
how can you practice being a confident Christian, and what does
you to be confident about?
The Christian's Confident Faith 10:19-25
vs 19 Our confidence is in the blood of Christ. Some think
a person cannot be both confident and humble. But this is a
of Biblical humility. The humble Christian confidently approaches
he reckons that Christ's atoning work was sufficient to deal with
in his relationship with God. In fact to not be confident in
God in view of the blood of Christ, is an insult to God. For it
the blood of Christ.
vs 20 The tabernacle is of course symbolic. Between the
place and the most holy place there was a curtain. It represents
from God. But you can also think of it as the body of Christ. When
his body being torn, we had direct access to God. When Christ
curtain miraculously was torn from top to bottom.
Mr 15:38"And the veil of the temple was rent in twain
the top to the bottom."
vs 22 Thus we approach God with full assurance of faith.
we should have a healthy conscience, we need not feel guilty in
For we reckon ourselves to have been forgiven. Once again, to feel
is to not exercise faith in the atoning blood of Christ.
The "sprinkling" is not referring to baptism per se, but to the
of blood during the levitical sacrifices, which represents the
work of Christ. Washing was also common in the book of Leviticus.
of these can be symbolized in water Baptism which itself
washing away of sin by the blood of Christ.
vs 24-25 You can't live the Christian life apart from
with other Christians. But as you minister to other Christians,
help them to develop their ministry. "Meeting together" does not
going to church on Sunday. The format in many churches disallows
the congregation from making hardly any contribution other than
and singing some songs, allowing the pastor to be the only
if people can only attend one meeting a week is to have a small
group. But I think most Christian should be able to attend at
meetings a week. I would also recommend that if your church does
you to love and good deeds or does not allow you to minister,
it or find another one. Or start your own study group.
The Warning of 10:26-31?
vs 26 "If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have
the knowledge of the truth"
"Knowledge" here is "epignosis" in the greek. And while "gnosis"
a relational knowledge, "epignosis" is only a surface knowledge.
means "around". These people know about Christ, but they don't
personally. And thus this is referring to nominal Christians.
One obvious question about this verse is: what sin is not
Since Christians have been set free from sin they have no excuse
any sin. A Christian cannot give the excuse "I just couldn't help
for in saying so, he admits he is still a slave of sin. (Rom
the other hand, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive
and the truth is not in us."1John 1:8. So
reckon themselves to be sinners are believing a lie and, lacking
of sin have not been born of the Spirit of God.
On the other hand, true believers do not sin in a lifestyle
"Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed
in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." 1Jn
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom
of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor
nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind," 1Cor
"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and
and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars,
their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone:
the second death." Rev 21:8
What is emphasized in these lists are that these sins are
of their lifestyle or profession, refusing to call sin for what it
as opposed to Christians who, though sinners, call sin for what it
repent. However, not all who claim to be Christians will escape
for some treat the blood of Christ with contempt by their behavior.
Though the principle of Heb 10:26-31 can be generalized
sinful behavior, in the context it seems to be applying it
to apostasy. Having received the knowledge of the truth and
that they have been sanctified by the blood of Christ and call
"Christians", they then depart from the Christian community and
their beliefs so as to avoid persecution. In the case of those of
of the circumcision whom Paul wrote a great deal as in Galatians,
added the Law of Moses to their Christian faith with the idea that
+ works save, not unlike many a modern "Christian".
"As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they
you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution
cross of Christ." Gal 6:12
Confidence and Endurance 10:32-39
It was not easy to be an early church Christian. They faced a good
of persecution. But that's good. For it helped to ensure that their
was genuine. Modern Christians don't face much persecution in the
They may in Muslim and communist countries. But because of the lack
persecution, there tends to be a great deal of nominalism in much of
Even in early Christianity, enduring through some persecution did
guarantee that your faith was genuine. "Shrinking back", even
with harsh persecution, would indicate that such faith was not of
value. But the author was confident that his readers would
endure in faith.
vs 37,38 And just as a minor point, the author is quoting
the Septuagint, as all the New Testament authors do, though most
use the Masoretic text for the Old Testament. Notice the
Masoretic: "Though it linger, wait for it; it
certainly come and will not delay. See, he is puffed up; his
not upright— but the righteous will live by his faith—"
LXX (Septuagint): "though he should tarry, wait for
he will surely come, and will not tarry. If he should draw
has no pleasure in him: but the just shall live by my faith."
Thus if you're studying the New Testament, good to have the Septuagint
handy for cross referencing, the New Testament authors often quote
for word. The
Heb 10:19-20Therefore, brothers, since we have
confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by
and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his
Confidence of faith is one of the themes of Hebrews. Confidence but
presumption. Heb 4:16Let us then approach the throne of
grace with confidence,
so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time
need. Formerly one could not approach God with
The tabernacle was a shadow of that which was to come. It's
is found in Christ. The curtain separating the Holy Place from the
Holy Place represents the body of Christ. When his body was torn so
the curtain. "When Jesus had
cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that
the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The
shook and the rocks split." Mt
Formerly "your iniquities have
separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from
so that he will not hear." Is
59:2 But the curtain having been torn for those who have
their faith in the blood of Christ there no longer exists a barrier,
separation between man and God.
Heb 10:21,22 and since we have a great priest
the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in
assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from
guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
Ever avoid coming to God because of feeling guilty? Or ever come to
pretentiously and not in sincerity overlooking your sinfulness? Well
now that Christ has dealt with the guilt of our sin by his blood and
become our mediator, we are free to come to God in sincerity of
Here the Jews would most likely have understood "sprinkled" as an
allusion to the sprinkling of the blood of the sacrifices as the Law
commands. Moses then took the
blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, "This is the blood of
covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all
Although while this sense is its predominant use in the Old
there is one case in Ezekiel where it is used of water, but which
be relevant here, "I will
sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse
from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you
heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your
stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in
and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws."Eze 36:25-27
Thus the washing likely refers to the effect of regeneration upon
desires and behavior. "He saved
through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit." Titus 3:5b
Heb 10:23-25 Let us hold unswervingly to the
we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider
may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not
meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us
encourage one another— and all the more as you see the Day
What is the "hope" which we profess but to enter into God's presence blameless with great joy. Thus while the world fears the coming of the Lord, the believer "wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead— Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath." 1Th 1:10 To doubt the eternal security of the believer is to doubt the hope of which we profess.
Those who have been born of God continue in the faith as it is written, "They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us." 1John 2:19 Thus,
"By this gospel are saved,
you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have
believed in vain." 1Cor
15:2Those who reject the hope never had the faith that saves to begin with. "And we are his
house, if we hold on
to our courage and the hope of which we boast." Heb 3:6 Otherwise we have shown ourselves to be false brethren.
The faith that saves is an application oriented faith. But unlike the Neo-Circumcision, believers don't put their faith in the applications of faith to save them, but rather put their confidence in Christ to save them. Love
and good deeds are the applications of this faith. To be merely a
Christian in one's theology apart from one's actions is again to show one's faith to be invalid. For
is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of
devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of
nor is anyone who does not love his brother."1John 3:10 and Jesus said, "By this all men will know that you
my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:35 "Therefore, as we have opportunity,
let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to
family of believers."Gal
One way to practice holding fast to the hope is through regularly engaging in
fellowship. And while some think that going to church on a weekly
covers this, it says, "exhort
another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be
through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of
Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the
end."Heb 3:13,14 So consider how
may apply this principle of fellowship on a daily basis.
Heb 10:26 If we deliberately keep on sinning
after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice
sins is left
Concerning the category of sin he's referring to it is first of all
deliberate, intentional, willful. But he's not talking about snapshot events, but rather a chosen lifestyle of deliberate sinning. The NIV is correctly interpreting the usage of the present tense as "keep on sinning", as opposed to if the aorist tense were used which would be referring to point in time events. Furthermore given the "willful" aspect, these are not sins of which
one is reluctant to commit due to the weakness of the flesh, nor
of which one is unaware, being blind spots, but those which one has
consciously chooses to define one's lifestyle.
A further condition is not just deliberate sinning, but doing so in
light of having received the knowledge of the truth. This is not to
that such people had come to know Christ personally. The word is
"epignosis" - mere surface knowledge - to know "about" someone.
that one has to know about someone to know him personally. But one
know about someone without having a personal relationship with that
person. These are at best nominal Christians, false brothers.
example Peter writes in 2Peter
2:20, "If they
have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and
Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are
off at the end than they were at the beginning." Here again "knowing" is
actually "epignosis" - knowing about something rather than knowing someone personally.
But in particular it would seem he's talking about the sin of apostasy. Note in verse 28 he makes a comparison with the rejection of the Law of Moses for those Israelites subject to the Law. In this case he is referring to those who had allegedly become "Christians", but later rejected Christ and the gospel of Christ.
We have seen similar things so far in Hebrews
chapters 3, 4 and 6. Note in particular the rhetoric the Heb 6 passage "if
they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss
they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to
public disgrace." Heb 6:6 Compare to Heb 10:29 So here he points out that those
essentially leave the faith by opting for a lifestyle of sin also
behind the sacrifice which could have atoned for their sins. For
is no atonement for those who leave the faith. But let us also remember 1John 2:19 "They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us."
Heb 10:27-29 but only a fearful
expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the
enemies of God. Anyone
law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three
you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son
under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the
covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of
Those who have come to trust Christ regarding their salvation are not only eternally securely, but they are also born again of the Spirit of God, becoming new creatures such that's it's natural to do what is right. (1John 3:9) As such, one's behavior, though not a cause, is an indicator of one's salvation status. (1John 3:10) Thus while those born of God can have a confident hope of their destiny, not so for apostates, the subject of all the warnings in Hebrews, who are merely "Christians" in name. (1John 2:19)
Paul writes, "Do
not know that
the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be
nor adulterers nor male prostitutes
nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards
nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."1Cor 6:9,10 And "of this you can be
sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person— such a man is an
any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no
you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath
on those who are disobedient." Ephesians 5:5,6 And
"the acts of the sinful nature
obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and
witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish
dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did
those who live like
not inherit the kingdom of God." Gal 5:19-21
Those who live a lifestyle of sin end up in hell. And how much
so for those who do so willfully knowing the gospel. (Apostates) Yet there is a
misconception not uncommon among modern evangelicals (due to the influence of "Free Grace Theology") that one's
behavior doesn't matter, that one can pray a prayer to "receive"
and then go on to live a lifestyle of sin. Such people have been
deceived with empty words.
To deliberately live a lifestyle of sin as a "Christian" is to
the Son of God underfoot. It is to treat his blood as unholy and
the Spirit of grace. This is much like those of Hebrews 6 of whom it
impossible "if they fall away,
be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are
crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to
is furthermore an insult to the Spirit of grace to deny the
regeneration he brings to those who are in the faith. "For the grace of God that brings
salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to
ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled,
and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed
hope— the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus
who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to
for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is
Heb 10:30,31 For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will
and again, "The Lord will judge
people." It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of
The quotes are from Deut 32:35,36
and Ps 135:14 concerning
towards straying Israel. The New Testament uses the same
rhetoric with regards to Christians. "For I do not want you to be ignorant
of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the
and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized
Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual
and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the
rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.
was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered
desert. ..."1Cor 10:1-5
And likewise in Jesus's teachings. For example he ends his parable
the unforgiving servant saying, "In
over to the jailers to be tortured,
pay back all he owed. This is how my heavenly Father will treat
you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."Mat 18:34,35
Many alleged Christians will be disillusioned on that day.
said, "Many will say to me on
that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in
name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell
plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’" Mt 7:22,23 Like concerning some
woman in a church who called herself a prophetess yet led Christians
into sexual immorality (not uncommon today) he says, "I will cast her on a bed of
suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her
intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her
dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches
and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds."Rev 2:20-23 May those
Christians today whose teaching leads God's servants into sexual
immorality suffer a similar fate.
"And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me
sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a
millstone tied around his neck."
Heb 10: 32-34Remember those earlier days after
had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great
in the face of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to
and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those
were so treated. You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully
accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that
yourselves had better and lasting possessions.
Despite the fact that he's speaking to Christians who have stood on
their convictions in the face of persecution he nonetheless speaks
these warnings. They are not like those of whom Jesus characterized
his parable of the sower as "those
ones who receive the word with joy when they
hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in
time of testing they fall away."Luke 8:13 Rather his concern was
whether they would become like those among the thorns, as he states
somewhat explicitly in Hebrews
6:7,8 "Land that
drinks in the rain often
falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it
farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns
thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end
will be burned.", which follows the warning of Heb 6:4-6
Many Christians today are distracted by the thorns of the worries,
riches and pleasures in life without even having been subjected to
kinds of trials these Jewish Christians have suffered.
Publicly exposed to insults and persecutions
Advocating for and affirming those who have been so treated
Sympathizing with those Christian put in prison for their
Joyfully accepting the confiscation of your property due to
exercise of your faith in view of the eternal rewards promised.
How do you measure up at this point? Realize that even if you have
through these things, there's no guarantee you won't fall away. "Therefore let him who thinks he
take heed lest he fall."
Heb 10:35,36So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
Again with the imperatives. Whenever an imperative is given, there's an application in mind. "Richly Reward" speaks not of salvation itself (which is either/or and not a matter of degree), but rather rewards on top of salvation as 1Cor 3:11-15 also alludes to.
Confidence is revealed by one's response to persecution, be it verbal or otherwise and also by perseverance. Even Paul himself was concerned about being disqualified for rewards, and thus speaks of exercising self-control saying,"I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."1Cor 9:27
"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him."Jas 1:12But the reward for perseverance is not just rewards in heaven, a confident perseverance in the faith communicates conviction and consequently wins a hearing for the gospel, or otherwise provokes fellow Christians to do likewise.
Of course what is implied in all this is the fact that we will be subjected to discouraging circumstances. But"consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls."Heb 12:3
Heb 10:37-39For in just a very little while, "He who is coming will come and will
delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he
I will not be pleased with him." But we are not of those
shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are
The quote is from Hab 2:4
LXX (the Septuagint), which Paul also quotes in Rom 1:17 and Gal 3:11.
1:17For in the
righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by
from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by
is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by
The righteous base their lifestyle on trusting in Jesus and thus relying upon the spirit of regeneration to empower them to live the Christian life. Those who don't
so are not saved regardless of what they may claim to believe. "Whoever claims to live in him must
walk as Jesus did."1John
To shrink back from applying one's faith to their life is akin to
unbelief. To shrink back implies cowardice. And cowards are first on
the list in Rev 21:8 to get
thrown into the lake of fire, along with those who opt for a justification by some kind of law, a works-based salvation idea, who are under a curse according to Gal 3:10.
Note the confidence, indeed the presumption that he along with his audience are not going to shrink back but will certainly be saved. What is the basis of this presumption but the guarantee of Eternal Security and the effect of regeneration mentioned in 1John 3:9 and 1John 5:4. Those who shrink back from accepting eternal security reject the grace of God and don't trust in Christ to save them.
"And now, dear children,
in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed
before him at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you
that everyone who does what is right has been born of him."1John 2:28,29