We have concluded the doctrinal section of Hebrews, and we now begin to study the section on practical applications. The author has effectively demonstrated that Jesus Christ is our great High Priest who has fulfilled God’s redemptive plan once for all. Now he shows us how we ought to conduct ourselves in view of the great salvation we have received.
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- Exhortations (10:19-25)
- Warning against Willful Sinning (10:26-31)
- Appeal to Endurance (10:32-39)
What do we have, according to 19-21?Hide Answer
1. We have boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood and body of Jesus.
2. We have a High Priest over the House of God.
Record the exhortations that begin with “let us” (22-25).Hide Answer
1. 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.
2. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering.
3. Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.
Why is our way to God “new and living”?Hide Answer
It is new because no one has ever been able to approach God in this manner. It is living because our approach to God is not through external rituals but through a daily, personal relationship with our living Savior.
How do we draw near to God?Hide Answer
We draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith. We need to believe in our hearts that Jesus Christ is our Savior and build a personal relationship with the Lord in our lives. We must do all things for God out of sincerity, not with superficial acts. We also need to trust in the Lord with the full assurance that He will surely save us if we hold fast to Him.
What does it mean to have our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water?Hide Answer
This is a reference to baptism, which is an outward washing with an inward cleansing effect (1Pet 3:21). When we are immersed in water, the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from our sins (cf. Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1Jn 5:6-8).
Where do the words “faith,” “hope,” and “love” appear?Hide Answer
22, 23, 24.
Why should we not forsake the assembling of ourselves together?Hide Answer
Assembling ourselves together and exhorting one another is one of the most important and effective ways to stir up love and good works (24). Through constant encouragement, we can build each other up and motivate each other. Through the assemblies of believers, we can also learn to serve each other with love. Furthermore, as we encourage each other with God’s word and pray for one another, we are helping one another to prepare for the coming of the Lord (25).
Have you been slacking in assembling together with fellow believers? How can you motivate yourself?
How do the exhortations in the previous paragraph lead into the warnings in this paragraph?Hide Answer
Verse 26 begins with the word “for.” This suggests that this paragraph reinforces the necessity of the exhortations in the previous paragraph. Failing to act upon the knowledge of Jesus Christ leads to dire consequences. Punishment on the unbelieving will be severe because they have rejected such a great Savior.
Who is this warning given to?Hide Answer
Those who have received the knowledge of the truth, i.e. those who have known and accepted the gospel of salvation.
What does it mean to “sin willfully”?Hide Answer
Based on the context of this passage, to sin willfully means to live contrary to God’s commands despite knowledge of the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
What are those who sin willfully guilty of?Hide Answer
1. Trampling the Son of God underfoot.
2. Counting the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing.
3. Insulting the Spirit of grace.
What will be the consequence of those who sin willfully?Hide Answer
Fearful expectation of judgment and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries (27); God’s vengeance (30); falling into the hands of the living God—which is a fearful thing (31).
What sufferings did the believers endure?Hide Answer
1. They were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations (33). Their goods were plundered (34).
2. They became companions of those who were so treated (33), for they had compassion on the author in his chains (34).
How did they respond to their sufferings?Hide Answer
They endured the sufferings (32) and joyfully accepted them (34).
What motivated them to endure in their sufferings?Hide Answer
They knew that they had a better and an enduring possession for themselves in heaven (34).
What may cause a Christian to cast away his confidence?Hide Answer
1. The apparent delay of the Lord’s return and fulfillment of God’s promise (cf. 37), resulting in discouragement and doubt.
2. The deceitfulness of sin (cf. 26; 3:13). In either case, the loss of faith in Jesus Christ leads to apostasy.
What has this paragraph taught you about what it means to have faith?
What is the reward of faith?Hide Answer
Enduring possession in heaven (34); life (38); salvation of our souls (39).
What are the contrasts in verse 39?Hide Answer
“Draw back” vs. “believe.” “Perdition” vs. “saving of the soul.”
Recall a time when you endured sufferings for Christ and compare it with your present condition. Have you persisted in your faith or have you begun to draw back?