Delightful Duties – Part 1

Hebrews 10:19-22

For about 8 months, studying Hebrews and topic: Jesus Is the Best. Jesus is superior to all the prophets; in fact, he is Supreme Prophet. Even as privileged as angels are – access to God’s very presence, serving as his ministers – Jesus is superior because only He is the Son of God. Only Jesus is the Everlasting King. Jesus has a superior office and character. He has won a superior victory… over sin and Satan and death. Jesus is superior to greatest heroes, even Moses, mediator of Old Covenant.

Jesus’ superiority doesn’t stop there. He is the perfect High Priest, accomplishing for his worshipers what no other priest ever could. Jesus is the one who instituted and guarantees the new covenant, better and far more effectual than old one. Jesus is the one who has taken perfect sacrifice into perfect, real, heavenly sanctuary and offered it once for all for his people. Is it any wonder we say Jesus Is the Best?! Even that doesn’t begin to express whole truth about Lord Jesus.

One who is a true follower of Christ cannot fail to respond – at least with “WOW!” Probably with much more. As understanding of these truths grows, so does our response. Considering the superiority in every way of Christ and His work, we have a duty to respond, we have duties to perform, duties that should be delightful.

v.19-21 bridge from doctrinal to practical sections of Hebrews – similar to other parts of Bible e.g., Ephesians. Is a vital but neglected principle in evangelical Christianity in America – too many have attitude, “don’t try to explain it, just tell me how to make it work.” Bible keeps doctrine and life closely connected: what you believe governs how you behave.

Up to this point, have considered the theological foundations for our faith in Christ; now how does that impact daily life? How does God expect us to respond to our grasp of truth? Challenge other Christians to killer game of Bible Trivia? Write a book, give royalties to the church, of course! Maybe, but not likely. Three categories of delightful duties identified by divinely inspired author: Draw Near (22) – the duty of worship; Hold Fast (23) – the duty of public confession; Consider One Another (24)- the duty of good works. In other words: faith, hope and love. Second and third duty next week, DV, first duty today.

A. Therefore

consequently, since what I just said has been established as true, do this in response: think this way, act this way

good practice to follow during Bible study – you come upon a “therefore”, stop and figure out what it’s there for

is one of those signpost words: lets you know that author is going to give you a conclusion or principle or command… and basis for it is in section leading up to the “therefore”

immediate context – Christ as perfect sacrifice who purchased forgiveness for those who trust in him – since we are forgiven by Jesus’ once-for-all sacrifice, we should do what comes next

nearby word, “boldness” or “confidence” one used repeatedly in Hebrews; is significant, helps understand the larger context

this is 3rd of 4 uses in Hebrews, first one in chapter 3; means probably what author has said from chapter 3 on has at least some bearing on the “therefore”

hence the summary: because of who Jesus is, what Jesus has accomplished, where he is now ministering, how we his people have benefited, here’s the kind of action we should pursue

bottom line: here is what God says – first, they will be my people and will obey me; second, their sins are history

David, Ps. 103:12 “as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.”

remember the audience: intended for true converts – not a blanket assurance of forgiveness for any or all who might hear

order is important: it is those who have received heart transplant with new software – instructions for behavior, principles for motivation… doing what pleases the Father out of love for the Father

B. Having confidence

Heb. 3:6; 4:16; 10:19; 10:35In content it is the freedom of access to God that is given in Christ’s blood and grounded in his high-priestly ministry.” TDNT

is because we are God’s house, place of his dwelling, that forms basis for our confidence for both now and the future

since we now, present tense, have High Priest who sympathizes with our weaknesses, all points tempted as we yet without sin, can then approach throne of grace with confidence

spoken in terms of a given – “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence” – not an exhortation to have confidence, it is already a reality

whole concept here would blow minds of devout Jew – to approach God in earthly sanctuary was to risk certain death

can get some idea of what that sort of access would mean: think about how we approach worship, speaking to God, being in his presence, how very little is off-limits to anyone

now, think about other worship traditions – layers of ritual and regulation that keep worshipers at a distance

not a priest or have permission, don’t approach the altar; not a priest, don’t touch, don’t speak out of turn, don’t get close

possibly we are too casual; however… we can not only approach, can enter right in, real sanctuary where God dwells… w/o fear

by the blood of Jesus

much has changed, some has not: can approach confidently, but not arrogantly or disrespectfully; God is still God

sinful people cannot approach God without blood; OT priest had to take it with him, Jesus has done for us

don’t hurry over this truth – is what distinguishes true Christians from all other people – the ONLY passport that provides entrance into God’s presence, the sanctuary, is the blood of Christ shed on our behalf

God is in charge, God made the rules, God not obligated to accept everyone, God not obligated to accept anyone except on his terms

Muslim says – if I die as a martyr, God will accept me; Jew says – if I keep all God’s laws, he will accept me; average American says – if I’m not as evil as my neighbor, God will accept me; atheist says – I’ve decided there is no God and I accept me

every last one – dead wrong, dead in their sins, facing eternal death and separation from God without hope

blood of Christ is powerful – when applied to you, achieves forgiveness, cleansing, supplies confidence before God; how?

is unforgiven sin that separates from God, puts under penalty of God’s wrath, rightly inspires fear in God’s presence

here is what God in Christ has done: read Col. 2:13-14

by a new and living way

another significant truth – not by means of dead sacrifices, rather through one who died and is now alive and ministering

if we are to follow Jesus closely, we must be living sacrifices, too – having died to our sin that was nailed to cross, alive to Christ

through the veil

again, another clarification – is only through faith in Christ and his sacrifice that we gain access to God

besides, Jesus is already there serving in capacity of our great High Priest – is Jesus who invites his brothers and sisters in

need both passport and invitation from someone already in Russia to get travel visa; same is true when entering sanctuary

passport: blood shed on our behalf; invitation: High Priest who says “come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matt. 11:28-30

C. Draw near – the duty of divine worship (faith)

Heb 4:16; 7:25; 10:1; 11:6προσέρχομαι – approach, draw near, come right up close

“draw near to the throne of grace”; “draw near to God through him”; something forbidden in OT – flaming sword in Eden, “keep your distance, don’t touch the mountain”

not a permit to hunt in Sherwood Forest while locked out of the castle; not even permission to stand in hall (or sit in back row)

is gracious invitation/exhortation to come near, right down front, up close and personal with loving Heavenly Father

especially important to be front and center when God has promised to show up – when the church, God’s people gather for worship

with a genuine heart, not pretending, truly loyal

remember kind of worshipers God is seeking: those who “will worship the Father in spirit and truth” – sincerely, motivated by love for One whose presence you are entering

if you can’t muster up right attitude, don’t compound it by wrong action; come to worship anyway, don’t pretend, pray God will meet you at your point of need and change you

with full confidence based on faith – maximum belief in God and his word

draw near in confidence, but make sure confidence has correct object: Jesus, and his finished work of redemption applied to you

be sure to check self-confidence at the door… and don’t take it back when you leave; only confidence in Christ will never let you down – true in all of life, not just worship

we pray our worship will be acceptable to God; can have confidence it will be when we come close secure in what Jesus has done

with a conscience freed of guilt – state of true forgiveness

true faith in Christ along with prompt confession of sin produces clear conscience – knowing sin has been forgiven

yeah, well maybe God can forgive me, maybe God has forgiven me, I can’t forgive myself; that means you have higher and more righteous standard than God!!

Rom. 8:1-2 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”

since God’s word gives assurance of forgiveness, should be worshiping God… right now… with clear conscience

with a public identity

two things in view here – public identity as a Christian by virtue of believer’s baptism; public identity as Christian because of way of life

should be absolutely clear to Christian brothers and sisters that you are member of the family, you have declared publicly

should likewise be absolutely clear to neighbors that you are member of God’s family – things like don’t bother call Sunday morning cuz you’re in church, worshiping God; do expect certain character of life throughout rest of week, consistent with what you profess Sunday morning

We are exhorted to draw near, should be our desire to draw near and be drawn nearer to God. Experiencing intimate fellowship with God will fuel desire for more and more.

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