Sermon: Affected by Truth (Hebrews 10:19-25)

Affected by Truth

Hebrews 10:19-25 (ESV)

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus,  [20] by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh,  [21] and since we have a great priest over the house of God,  [22] let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with 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 stir up one another to love and good works,  [25] not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

As humans, we have the need to live based on truth not on feelings, emotion, or even opinions.

Like most epistles found in the Bible, Hebrews begins with doctrinal teaching.  Doctrine is vitally important.  Doctrine is like spiritual oxygen, without it we will die.

We live in a day where everyone’s opinion is held to be as valid as anyone else’s.  One person’s fabrication of God is just as good as the next person’s.  We also live in a day where these ideas can be and, in fact, are extremely destructive.

Recently, in a discussion about God, I heard someone say, I just can’t think of God that way.  She meant that what the Bible revealed about God didn’t line up with an idea she had had for years about God and rather than know the God revealed in Scripture, she’d rather worship the idol she imagines in her mind.  There is no salvation in a make believe God.  The true God is offended when we worship a false god.  We must get it right.

We live in a day where people really don’t like doctrine.  It’s too wearisome in a fast paced world to slow down and consider and study truth.  Sometimes doctrine is tedious and sometimes difficult.  It is always vitally important.

2 Peter 2:1 (ESV)

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

Titus 1:9 (ESV)

He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

Why do most epistles start out by teaching sound doctrine?  Why don’t they start out by telling us what to do or how to behave?

Proper belief must precede proper behavior.  Lost people cannot behave like saved people.  A person must be changed on the inside before he can manifest that change on the outside.

The writer of Hebrews has taught proper doctrine.  He has taught us well.  We understand many things about Jesus and the nature of the New Covenant that we didn’t know before.  Like all doctrine, it is meant to affect us and cause us to change.  How does the writer want us to change?  In what ways do we need to change?

We have the need to live based on truth not on feelings, emotion, or even opinions.

Orthodoxy- right beliefs lead to Orthopraxy- right behavior

That is why the writer begins the next section of Hebrews with Therefore, brothers…

The human need that the author is getting ready to address is the need we have to live based on truth rather than based on what may be fixed in our minds.

1. Let Us Now Draw Near with Boldness (Hebrews 10:19-22)

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus,  [20] by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh,  [21] and since we have a great priest over the house of God,  [22] let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

I’m not going in there.  There’s no way in a million years could anyone pay me enough money to go in there. The Holy of Holies was a scary place.  The only person allowed in was the high priest and he only once a year.

If I was a first century worshipper who witnessed the ordeal every year, I would never even think about going in behind the veil.  I heard about the high priest who had some unconfessed sin and how they drug him back out by a rope after the Lord struck him dead…

If I’m going to live based on truth rather than experience or some personal belief I have, something has to change.  What has changed is Jesus has entered the equation.  Now I can obey because of what I know about the Lord.  We can obey by faith.

we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, We don’t enter based on our righteousness but on the merits of Jesus.  It’s all different now.  God’s wrath is satisfied and He comes to our aid.

What we learned from Hebrews about Jesus Christ our Great High Priest that makes this possible is found in chapter 4.

Hebrews 4:14-16 (ESV)

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  [15] For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  [16] Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

New Covenant worshippers go before the throne into the throne room of the King with boldness because by faith we believe that Jesus has made a new way for us to enter.  When we enter we don’t experience God’s displeasure because of our sin, Jesus paid for that, we experience mercy and are treated as adopted beloved children of royalty.

Just as the first century worshipper had to overcome previous understanding of God to enter with boldness, we have previous guilt.

We struggle with the fact that we are sinners and have guilt because of sin and it just doesn’t seem right that with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, How do we get this confidence?  The more we know about Christ, the more confident we should become in His work.  This should change our behavior.

An accurate understanding of Christ and His work will cause us to live based on truth not on feelings, emotion, or even opinions.

1 Tim. 6:13-16 (ESV)

I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession,  [14] to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,  [15] which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords,  [16] who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

We don’t enter into God’s presence frivolously without reverence.  But we can enter confidently because of Jesus.

[20] by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh,

The death of Jesus allows us to enter into God’s presence with confidence.  The writer compares the tearing of the veil to the tearing of Jesus flesh as He was scourged.  Thank the Lord that He suffered for His people. He was opening up an entrance into God’s presence for us.  Now, we must enter.  We must enter with complete confidence because of the death of Jesus.

[21] and since we have a great priest over the house of God,  [22] let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

We draw near with confidence and assurance because the High Priest’s work was accepted by God.  We are washed with pure water.

Boldness comes from our confidence in Christ and from our faith in His perfect priestly sacrifice.  Our confidence and assurance comes from true doctrine.  Doctrine is vital to right behavior.

Do you see how terrible it is when doctrine is not taught?  It must be made crystal clear and held very high or God’s people will not live as He wants us to live.

Coming boldly into God’s presence shows the world that we have confidence in what He’s done for us.  Faith is what God looks for.  Faith shows that we trust Him.  Faith shows the world the value of Christ.

2. Let Us Hold Fast with Confidence (Hebrews 10:23)

[23] Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

The first exhortation has as its subject faith.

let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith

Now we’re exhorted to hold fast to our hope.  Here and other places in the Bible, hope means our future expectation.  It does not carry a meaning of uncertainty but confidence in the Lord.  It’s more like anticipation or future expectation.

Paul refers to this idea in…

Col. 1:27 (ESV)

To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Believers should rest in total confidence that God will fulfill all that He says in Christ.  We can look forward to the future with total trust that the Lord has secured our heavenly future.  We can hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering

What does it mean to waver?  If we waver, we hesitate or we don’t do something because we’re unsure.  We can have a hope that is guaranteed because of Jesus Christ.  Run toward that hope, don’t hesitate.  Run by faith looking to Jesus.

As believers, we must aggressively persevere.  We must have so strong a confidence that the very gates of hell itself cannot shake our trust.  We hold fast to the gospel and understand it to be our lifeline.

3.  Let Us Consider Each Other (Hebrews 10:24-25)

[24] And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,  [25] not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Faith, Hope and Love are the three exhortations given in this text.

[22] let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith

[23] Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering

[24] And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,

The simple, in your face, truth that’s presented here is that we are commanded to encourage and to help one another find an avenue to exercise our gifts.  One of the jobs of the church is to help each other work.  We cannot do this if those who make up the church are absent.

How do we stir up one another to love and good works?

To begin with we consider one another.  We care about each other like a family.  If someone in our family needs help, we go and help.  We rejoice together in good times and cry together in sad times.

Specifically, here we are to think about how it is that we can cause a particular member to have an increasing working love for others here.

Small talk and empty greetings have no place in the family of God.  Becoming involved in each other’s lives is the key to stirring up one another to love.

The best way to accomplish this is by example.  Involve others in your ministries.  If you go visit someone, take a younger Christian with you.  Each of us should take the first step in showing our love to others whether it is shown to us or not.

A very good example of showing love to others is when we gather together on the Lord’s Day.  Another time we can show love is when we gather for small groups.  Both show others that we care and are interested in them.  If we truly love our brothers and sisters in Christ we will [25] not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Self-centered people come when it’s good for them.  When nothing better is going on, they show up.  Folks who love Jesus and each other come to be an encouragement to others.

Gathering together in the name of Jesus Christ invites His presence…

Matthew 18:20 (ESV)

For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

Gathering together is an encouragement to Pastors and teachers…

Hebrews 13:7 (ESV)

Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.

Hebrews 13:17 (ESV)

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Gathering together strengthens the congregation…

Col. 3:16 (ESV)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Gathering together nurtures our souls…

Acts 2:42-44 (ESV)

And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.  [43] And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.  [44] And all who believed were together and had all things in common.

Gathering together proclaims the gospel…

Acts 2:46-47 (ESV)

And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,  [47] praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Gathering together heightens our awareness of eternity.  If we neglect the coming together we will very quickly fall into walking by sight and not by faith.  Worldliness begins to set in as we neglect the awesome privilege to join together consistently for worship and fellowship every Lord’s Day and now every time your small group meets.

Help stir up one another to love. Stir up one another to…

Matthew 6:33 (ESV)

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Of all these things, we need to be constantly reminded.

Live based on truth not on feelings, emotion, or even opinions and help one another do the same.

Faith, Hope, and Love grow out of the rich soil of proper doctrine.  I pray we run away from easy fluffy teachings that are meant to manipulate some feeling within us and run to deep Christ-centered doctrine that is food for a starving soul.

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