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Hebrews Chapter Ten


Hebrews 10

In chapter 10 this principle is applied to the sacrifice. Its repetition proved that sin was there. That the sacrifice of Christ was only offered once, was the demonstration of its eternal efficacy. Had the Jewish sacrifices rendered the worshipers really perfect before God, they would have ceased to be offered. The apostle is speaking (although the principle is general) of the yearly sacrifice on the day of atonement. For if, through the efficacy of the sacrifice, they had been permanently made perfect, they would have had no more conscience of sins, and could not have had the thought of renewing the sacrifice.

Observe, here, that which is very important, that the conscience is cleansed, our sins being expiated, the worshiper drawing nigh by virtue of the sacrifice. The meaning of theJewish service was that guilt was still there; that of the Christian, that it is gone. As to the former, precious as the type is, the reason is evident: the blood of bulls and of goats could not take away sin. Therefore those sacrifices have been abolished, and a work of another character (although still a sacrifice) has been accomplished-a work which excludes all other, and all the repetition of the same, because it consists of nothing less than the self devotedness of the Son of God to accomplish the will of God, and the completion of that to which He was devoted: an act impossible to be repeated, for all His will cannot be accomplished twice, and, were it possible, it would be a testimony of the inadequacy of the first, and so of both.

This is what the Son of God says in this most solemn passage (vers. 5-9), in which we are admitted to know, according to the grace of God, that which passed between God the Father and Himself when He undertook the fulfillment of the will of God-that which He said, and the eternal counsels of God which He carried into execution. He takes the place of submission and of obedience, of performing the will of another. God would no longer accept the sacrifices that were ordered under the law (the four classes of which are here pointed out), He had no pleasure in them. In their stead He had prepared a body for His Son; vast and important truth! for the place of man is obedience. Thus, in taking this place, the Son of God put Himself into the position to obey perfectly. In fact He undertakes the duty of fulfilling all the will of God, be it what it may-a will which is, ever "good, acceptable, and perfect."

The psalm says in the Hebrew, [1] ears for me," translated by the Septuagint,"Thou hast prepared me a body;" words which, as they give the true meaning, are used by the Holy Ghost. For " the ear" is always employed as a sign of the reception of commandments, and the principle of obligation to obey or the disposition to do so. " He hath opened mine ear morning by morning" (Isa. 1), that is, has made me listen to His will, be obedient to His commands. The ear was bored or fastened with an awl to the door, in order to express that the Israelite was attached to the house as a slave, to obey, for ever. Now in taking a body, the Lord took the form of a servant. (Phil. ii.) Ears were digged for Him. That is to say, He placed [2] in a position in which He had to obey all His Master's will, whatever it might be. But it is the Lord Himself* who speaks in the passage before us: " Thou," He says, " hast prepared me a body."

Entering more into detail, He specifies burnt offerings and offerings for sin, sacrifices which had less of the character of communion, and thus had a deeper meaning; but God had no pleasure in them. In a word the Jewish service was already declared by the Spirit to be unacceptable to God. It was all to cease, it was fruitless; no offering that formed part of it was acceptable. No; the counsels of God unfold themselves, but first of all in the heart of the Word, the Son of God, who offers Himself to accomplish the will of God. " Then said he, Lo, I come, in the volume of the book it is written of me, to do thy will, O God." Nothing can be more solemn than thus to lift the veil from that which takes place in heaven between God and the Word who undertook to do His will. Observe that, before He was in the position of obedience, He offers Himself in order to accomplish the will of God, that is to say, of free love for the glory of God, of free will; as One who had the power, He offers Himself, He undertakes obedience, He undertakes to do whatsoever God wills. This is indeed to sacrifice all His own will, but freely and as the effect of His own purpose, although on the occasion of the will of His Father. He must needs be God in order to do this, and to undertake the fulfillment of all that God could will.

We have here the great mystery of this divine intercourse, which remains ever surrounded with its solemn majesty, although it is communicated to us that we may know it. And we ought to know it; for it is thus that we understand the infinite grace and the glory of this work. Before He became man, in the place where only divinity is known, and its, eternal counsels and thoughts are communicated between the divine Persons, the Word-as He has declared it to us, in time, by the prophetic Spirit--such being the will of God contained in the book of the eternal counsels, He who was able to do it, offered Himself freely to accomplish that will. Submissive to this counsel already arranged for Him, He yet offers Himself in perfect freedom to fulfill it. But in offering He submits, yet at the same time undertakes to do all that God, as God, willed. But also in undertaking to do the will of God, it was in the way of obedience, of submission, and of devotedness. For I might undertake to do the will of another, as free and competent, because I willed the thing; but if I say '"to do thy will," this in itself is absolute and complete submission. And this it is which the Lord, the Word, did. He did it also, declaring that He came in order to do it. He took a position of obedience by accepting the body prepared for Him. He came to do the will of God.

That of which we have been speaking is continually manifested in the life of Jesus on earth. God shines through His position in the human body; for He was necessarily God in the act itself of His humiliation; and none but God could have undertaken and been found in it; yet He was always, and entirely and perfectly, obedient and dependent on God. That which revealed itself in His existence on earth was the expression of that which was accomplished in the eternal abode, in His own nature. That is to say (and of this Ps.40 speaks), that which He declares, and that which He was here below, are the same thing; the one in reality in heaven, the other bodily on earth. That which He was here below was but the expression, the living, real, bodily manifestation of what is contained in those divine communications which have been revealed to us, and which were the reality of the position that He assumed.

And it is very important to see these things in the free offer made by divine competency, and not only in their fulfillment in death. It gives quite a different character to the bodily work here below.

In reality, from chapter 1 of this epistle, the Holy Ghost always presents Christ in this way. But this revelation in the psalm was requisite to explain how He became a servant, what the Messiah really was; and to us it opens an immense view of the ways of God, a view, the depths of which-clearly as it is revealed, and through the very clearness of the revelation-display to us things so divine and glorious that we bow the head and veil our faces, as having had part as it were in such communications, on account of the majesty of the Persons whose acts and whose intimate relationships are revealed. It is not here the glory that dazzles us. But even in this poor world there is nothingto which we are greater strangers than the intimacy of those who are, in their modes of life, much above ourselves. What then, when it is that of God! Blessed be His name! there is grace that brings us into it, and that has drawn nigh to us in our weakness. We are then admitted to know this precious truth, that the Lord Jesus undertook of His own free will the accomplishment of all the will of God, and that He was pleased to take the body prepared for Him in order to accomplish it. The love, the devotedness to the glory of God, and the way in which He undertook to obey, are fully set forth. And this-the fruit of God's eternal counsels--displaces (by its very nature) every provisional sign: and contains, in itself alone, the condition of all relationship with God, and the means by which He glorifies Himself. [3]

The Word then assumes a body, in order to offer Himself as a sacrifice. Besides the revelation of this devotedness of the Word to accomplish the will of God, the effect of His sacrifice according to the will of God is also set before us.

He came to do the will of Jehovah. Now faith understands that it is by this will of God (that is, by His will who, according to His eternal wisdom, prepared a body for His Son) that those whom He has called unto Himself for salvation are set apart to God, in other words, are sanctified. It is by the will of God that we are set apart for Him (not by our own will), and that by means of the sacrifice offered to God.

We shall observe that the epistle does not here speak of the communication of life, or of a practical sanctification wrought by the Holy Ghost: [4] the subject is the Person of Christ ascended on high, and the efficacy of His work. And this is important with regard to sanctification, because it shews that sanctification is a complete setting apart to God, as belonging to Him at the price of the offering of Jesus, a consecration to Him by means of that offering. God took the unclean Jews from among men and set them apart--consecrated them to Himself; so now the called ones, from that nation, and, thank God, ourselves also, by means of the offering of Jesus.

But there is another element, already pointed out in this offering, the force of which the epistle here applies to believers, namely, that the offering is "once for all." It admits of no repetition. If we enjoy the effect of this offering, our sanctification is eternal in its nature. It does not fail. It is never repeated. We belong to God for ever according to the efficacy of this offering. Thus our sanctification, our being set apart to God has-with regard to the work that accomplished it-all the stability of the will of God and all the grace from which it sprang; it has, too, in its nature, the perfection of the work itself, by which it was accomplished, and the duration and the constant force of the efficacy of that work. But the effect of this offering is not limited to this setting apart for God. The point already treated contains our consecration by God Himself through the perfectly efficacious offering of Christ fulfilling His will. And now the position which Christ has taken, in consequence of His offering up of Himself, is employed in order clearly to demonstrate the state it has brought us into before God.

The priests among the Jews-for this contrast is still carried on-stood before the altar continually to repeat the same sacrifices which could never take away sins. But this Man, when He had offered one sacrifice for sins, [5] at the right hand of God.

There-having finished for His own all that regards their presentation without spot to God-He awaits the moment when His enemies shall be made His footstool, according to Psalm 110: "Sit thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool." And the Spirit gives us the important reason so infinitely precious to us: "For he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."

Here (ver. 14) as in verse 12, on which the latter depends, the word " for ever " has the force of permanence-uninterrupted continuity. He is ever seated, we are ever perfected, by virtue of His work and according to the perfect righteousness in which, and conformably to which, He sits at the right hand of God upon His throne, according to that which He is personally there, His acceptance on God's part being proved by His session at His right hand. And He is there for us.

It is a righteousness suited to the throne of God, yea, the righteousness of the throne. It neither varies nor fails. He is seated there for ever. If then we are sanctified-set apart to God-by this offering according to the will of God Himself, we are also made perfect for God by the same offering, as presented to Him in the Person of Jesus.

We have seen that this position has its origin in the will, the good-will of God (a will which combines the grace and the purpose of God), and that it has its foundation and present certainty in the accomplishment of the work of Christ, the perfection of which is demonstrated by the session at the right hand of God of Him who accomplished it. But the testimony-for to enjoy this grace we must know it with divine certainty, and the greater it is, the more would our hearts be led to doubt it-the testimony upon which we believe it must be divine. And this it is. The Holy Ghost bears witness to us of it. The will of God is the source of the work; Christ, the Son of God accomplished it; the Holy Ghost bears witness to us of it. And here the application to the people, called by grace and spared, is in consequence fully set forth, not merely the fulfillment of the work. The Holy Ghost bears us witness, " Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more."

Blessed position! The certainty that God will never remember our sins and iniquities is founded all the steadfast will of God, on the perfect offering of Christ, now consequently seated at the right hand of God, and on the sure testimony of the Holy Ghost. It is a matter of faith that God will never remember our sins.

We may remark here the way in which the covenant is introduced; for although, as writing to "the holy brethren, partakers of the heaven]y calling," he says, "a witness to us," the form of his address is always that of an epistle to the Hebrews (believers, of course, but Hebrews, still bearing the character of God's people). He does not speak of the covenant in a direct way, as a privilege in which Christians had a direct part. The Holy Ghost, he says, declares, "I will remember no more," & etc. It is this which he quotes. He only alludes to the new covenant, leaving it aside consequently as to all present application. For after having said, "This is the covenant," & etc., the testimony is cited as that of the Holy Ghost, to prove the capital point which he was treating, that is, that God remembers our sins no more. But he alludes to the covenant (already known to the Jews as declared before of God) which gave the authority of the scriptures to this testimony, that God remembered no more the sins of His people who are sanctified and admitted into His favour, and which, at the same time, presented these two thoughts: first, that this complete pardon did not exist under the first covenant: and, second, that the door is left open for the blessing of the nation when the new covenant shall be formally established.

Another practical consequence is drawn: sins being remitted, there is no more oblation for sin. The one sacrifice having obtained remission, no others can be offered in order to obtain it. Remembrance of this one sacrifice there may indeed be, whatever its character; but a sacrifice to take away the sins which are already taken away, there cannot be. We are therefore in reality on entirely new ground-on that of the fact, that by the sacrifice of Christ our sins are altogether put away, and that for us, who are sanctified and partakers of the heavenly calling, a perfect and everlasting permanent cleansing has been made, remission granted, eternal redemption obtained. So that we are, in the eyes of God, without sin, on the ground of the perfection of the work of Christ, who is seated at His right hand, who has entered into the true holiest, into heaven itself, to sit there because His work is accomplished. Thus all liberty is ours to enter into the holy place (all boldness) by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, that is His flesh, to admit us without spot into the presence of God Himself, who is there revealed. For us the veil is rent, and that which rent the veil in order to admit us has likewise put away the sin which shut us out.

We have also a great High Priest over the house of God, as we have seen, who represents us in the holy place.

On these truths are founded the exhortations that follow. One word before we enter on them, as to the relation that exists between perfect righteousness and the priesthood. There are many souls who use the priesthood as the means of obtaining pardon when they have failed. They go to Christ as a priest, that He may intercede for them and obtain the pardon which they desire, but for which they dare not ask God in a direct way. These souls-sincere as they are-have not liberty to enter into the holy place.They take refuge with Christ that they may afresh be brought into the presence of God. Their condition practically is that in which a pious Jew stood. They have lost, or rather they have never had by faith, the real consciousness of their position before God in virtue of the sacrifice of Christ. I do not speak here of all the privileges of the assembly: we have seen that the epistle does not speak of them. The position it makes for believers is this: those whom it addresses are not viewed as placed in heaven, although partakers of the heavenly calling; but a perfect redemption is accomplished, all guilt entirely put away for the people of God, who remembers their sins no more. The conscience is made perfect-they have no more conscience of sins-by virtue of the work accomplished once for all. There is no more question of sin, that is, of its imputation, of its being upon them before and, between them and God. There cannot be, because of the work accomplished upon the cross. The conscience therefore is perfect; their Representative and High Priest is in heaven, a witness there to the work already accomplished for them. Thus, although the epistle does not present them as in the holiest, as sitting there-like in the Epistle to the Ephesians-they have full liberty, entire boldness, to enter into it. The question of imputation no longer exists. Their sins have been imputed to Christ. But He is now in heaven-a proof that the sins are blotted out for ever. Believers therefore enter with entire liberty into the presence of God Himself, and that always-having no more for ever any conscience of sins.

For what purpose then is priesthood? What is to be done with respect to the sins we commit? They interrupt our communion; but they make no change in our position before God, nor in the testimony rendered by the presence of Christ at the right hand of God. Nor do they raise any question as to imputation. They are sins against that position, or against God, measured by the relationship we are in to God, as in it. For sin is measured by the conscience according to our position. The perpetual presence of Christ at God's right hand has this twofold effect for us: 1st, perfected for ever we have no more conscience of sins before God, we are accepted; 2nd, as priest He obtains grace to help in time of need, that we may not sin. But the present exercise of priesthood by Christ does not refer to sins: we have through His work no more conscience of sins, are perfected for ever. There is another truth connected with this, found 1 John 2: we have an Advocate [6] with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. On this our communion with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ is founded and secured. Our sins are not imputed, for the propitiation is in all its value before God. But by sin communion is interrupted; our righteousness is not altered-for that is Christ Himself at God's right hand in virtue of His work; nor is grace changed, and " he is the propitiation for our sins;" but the heart has got away from God, communion is interrupted. But grace acts in virtue of perfect righteousness, and by the advocacy of Christ on behalf of him who has failed: and his soul is restored to communion. Nor is it that we go to Jesus for this; He goes, even if we sin, to God for us. His presence there is the witness of an unchangeable righteousness which is ours; His intercession maintains us in the path we have to walk in, or as our Advocate He restores the communion which is founded on that righteousness. Our access to God is always open. Sin interrupts our enjoyment of it, the heart is not in communion; the advocacy of Jesus is the means of rousing the conscience by the action of the Spirit and the word, and we return (humbling ourselves) into the presence of God Himself. The priesthood and advocacy of Christ refer to the condition of an imperfect and feeble, or failing, creature upon earth, reconciling it with the perfectness of the place and glory in which divine righteousness sets us. The soul is maintained steadfast or restored.

Exhortations follow. Having the right thus to approach God, let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith. This is the only thing that honours the efficacy of Christ's work, and the love which has thus brought us to enjoy God. In the words that follow, allusion is made to the consecration of the priests-a natural allusion, as drawing near to God in the holiest is the subject. They were sprinkled with blood and washed with water, and then they drew nigh to serve God. Still, although I doubt not of the allusion to the priests, it is quite natural that baptism should have given rise to it. The anointing is not spoken of here-it is the power or privilege of the moral right to draw nigh.

Again, we may notice that, as to the foundation of the truth, this is the ground on which Israel will stay in the last days. In Christ in heaven will not be their place, nor the possession of the Holy Ghost as uniting the believer to Christ in heaven; but the blessing will be founded on water and on blood. God will remember their sins no more; and they will be washed in the clean water of the word.

The second exhortation is to persevere in the profession of the hope without wavering. He who made the promises is faithful.

Not only should we have this confidence in God for ourselves, but we are also to consider one another for mutual encouragement; and, at the same time, not to fail in the public and common profession of faith, pretending to maintain it, while avoiding the open identification of oneself with the Lord's people in the difficulties connected with the profession of this faith before the world. Besides, this public confession had a fresh motive in that the day drew nigh. We see that it is the judgment which is here presented as the thing looked for-in order that it may act on the conscience, and guard christians from turning back to the world, and from the influence of the fear of man--rather than the Lord's coming to take up His own people. Verse 26 is connected with the preceding paragraph (23-25) the last words of which suggest the warning of verse 26; which is founded, moreover, on the doctrine of these two chapters (9 and 10), with regard to the sacrifice. He insists on perseverance in a full confession of Christ, for His one sacrifice once offered was the only one. If any who had professed to know its value abandoned it, there was no other sacrifice to which he could have recourse, neither could it be ever repeated. There remained no more sacrifice for sin. All sins were pardoned by the efficacy of this sacrifice: but if, after having known the truth, they were to choose sin instead, there was no other sacrifice by virtue even of the perfection of that of Christ. Nothing but judgment remained. Such a professor, having had the knowledge of the truth and having abandoned it, would assume the character of an adversary.

The case, then, here supposed is the renunciation of the confession of Christ, deliberately preferring-after having known the truth-to walk according to one's own will in sin. This is evident, both from that which precedes and from verse 29.

Thus we have (chaps. 6, 10.) the two great privileges of Christianity, what distinguishes it from Judaism, presented in order to warn those who made profession of the former, that the renunciation of the truth, after enjoying these advantages, was fatal; for if these means of salvation were renounced, there was no other. These privileges were the manifested presence and power of the Holy Ghost, and the offering which, by its intrinsic and absolute value, left no place for any other. Both of these possessed a mighty efficacy, which, while it gave divine spring and force, and the manifestation of the presence of God on the one hand, made known on the other hand the eternal redemption and the perfection of the worshiper; leaving no means for repentance, if any one abandoned the manifested and known power of that presence; no place for another sacrifice (which, more over, would have denied the efficacy of the first), after the perfect work of God in salvation, perfect whether with regard to redemption or to the presence of God by the Spirit in the midst of His own. Nothing remained but judgment.

They who despised the law of Moses died without mercy. What then would not those deserve at the hand of God, who trod under foot the Son of God, counted the blood of the covenant, by which they had been sanctified, as a common thing, and did despite to the Spirit of grace? It was not simple disobedience, however evil that might be; it was contempt of the grace of God, and of that which He had done, in the Person of Jesus, in order to deliver us from the consequences of disobedience. On the one hand, what was there left, if with the knowledge of what it was, they renounced this? On the other hand, how could they escape judgment? for they know a God who had said that vengeance belonged unto Him, and that He would recompense; and, again, the Lord would judge His people.

Observe here the way in which sanctification is attributed to the blood; and, also, that professors are treated as belonging to the people. The blood, received by faith, consecrates the soul to God; but it is here viewed also as an outward means for setting apart the people as a people. Every individual who had owned Jesus to be the Messiah, and the blood to be the seal and foundation of an everlasting covenant available for eternal cleansing and redemption on the part of God, acknowledging himself to be set apart for God, by this means, as one of the people-every such individual would, if he renounced it, renounce it as such; and there was no other way of sanctifying him. The former system had evidently lost its power for him, and the true one he had abandoned. This is the reason why it is said, " having received the knowledge of the truth."

Nevertheless he hopes better things, for fruit, the sign of life, was there. He reminds them how much they had suffered for the truth, and that they had even received joyfully the spoiling of their goods, knowing that they had a better and an abiding portion in heaven. They were not to cast away this confidence, the reward of which would be great. For in truth they needed patience, in order that, after having done the will of God, they might receive the effect of the promise. And He who is to come will come soon.

It is to this life of patience and perseverance that the chapter applies. But there is a principle which is the strength of this life, and which characterises it. In the midst of the difficulties of the christian walk the just shall live by faith; and if anyone draws back, God will have no pleasure in him. " But," says the author, placing himself as ever in the midst of the believers, "we are not of them who draw back, but of them that believe unto the saving of the soul." Thereupon he describes the action of this faith, encouraging believers by the example of the elders who had acquired their renown by walking according to the same principle as that by which the faithful were now called to walk.


[1] It is not the same word as to "bore, or thrust through , in Exodus 21 nor as "open" in Isaiah 1. The one (digged) is, to prepare for obedience, the other would be to bind to it for ever, and to subject to the obedience when due. Exodus 21 intimates, the blessed truth that, when He had fulfilled His personal service on earth, He would not abandon either His assembly or His people. He is ever God, but ever man, the humbled man, the glorified and reigning man, the subject man, in the joy of eternal perfection.

[2] As throughout the epistle, the Messiah is the subject. In the psalm it is the Messiah who speaks, that is, the Anointed here below. He expresses His patience and faithfulness in the position which He had taken, addressing Jehovah as his God and He tells us that He took this place willingly, according to the eternal counsels respecting His own Person. For the Person is not changed. But He speaks in the psalm according to the position of obedience which He had taken, saying always, 'I' and 'me', in speaking of what took place before His incarnation.

[3] Remark, also, here not only the substitution of the reality for the ceremonial figures of the law, but the difference of principle. The law required for righteousness, that man should do the will of God, and rightly. That was human righteousness. Here Christ undertakes to do it, and has accomplished it in the offering up of Himself. His so doing the will of God is the basis of our relationship with God, and it is done, and we are accepted. As born of God our delight is to do God's will, but it is in love and newness of nature, not in order to be accepted.

[4] It speaks of this last in the exhortations, chapter 12:14. But in the doctrine of the epistle, "sanctification" is not used in the practical sense of what is wrought in us.

[5] The word translated here " for ever " is not the same word that is used for eternally. It has the sense of continuously without interruption, "eis" ____ "dienekes". He does not rise up or stand. He is ever seated, His work being finished. He will indeed rise up at the end to come and fetch us, and to judge the world, even as this same passage tells us.

[6] There is a difference in detail here; but it does not affect my present subject. The High Priest has to do with our access to God; the Advocate with our communion with the Father and His government of us as children. The Epistle to the Hebrews treats of the ground of access and shews us to be perfected for ever; and the priestly intercession does not apply to sins in that respect. It brings mercy and grace to help in time of need here, but we are perfected for ever before God. But communion is necessarily interrupted by the least sin or idle thought-yea, really had been, practically if not judicially, before the idle thought was there. Here the advocacy of John comes in: " If any man sin," and the soul is restored. But there is never imputation to the believer.

── John DarbySynopsis of Hebrews


Hebrews 10

Chapter Contents

The insufficiency of sacrifices for taking away sin, The necessity and power of the sacrifice of Christ for that purpose. (1-18) An argument for holy boldness in the believer's access to God through Jesus Christ, And for steadfastness in faith, and mutual love and duty. (19-25) The danger of apostacy. (26-31) The sufferings of believers, and encouragement to maintain their holy profession. (32-39)

Commentary on Hebrews 10:1-10

(Read Hebrews 10:1-10)

The apostle having shown that the tabernacle, and ordinances of the covenant of Sinai, were only emblems and types of the gospel, concludes that the sacrifices the high priests offered continually, could not make the worshippers perfect, with respect to pardon, and the purifying of their consciences. But when "God manifested in the flesh," became the sacrifice, and his death upon the accursed tree the ransom, then the Sufferer being of infinite worth, his free-will sufferings were of infinite value. The atoning sacrifice must be one capable of consenting, and must of his own will place himself in the sinner's stead: Christ did so. The fountain of all that Christ has done for his people, is the sovereign will and grace of God. The righteousness brought in, and the sacrifice once offered by Christ, are of eternal power, and his salvation shall never be done away. They are of power to make all the comers thereunto perfect; they derive from the atoning blood, strength and motives for obedience, and inward comfort.

Commentary on Hebrews 10:11-18

(Read Hebrews 10:11-18)

Under the new covenant, or gospel dispensation, full and final pardon is to be had. This makes a vast difference between the new covenant and the old one. Under the old, sacrifices must be often repeated, and after all, only pardon as to this world was to be obtained by them. Under the new, one Sacrifice is enough to procure for all nations and ages, spiritual pardon, or being freed from punishment in the world to come. Well might this be called a new covenant. Let none suppose that human inventions can avail those who put them in the place of the sacrifice of the Son of God. What then remains, but that we seek an interest in this Sacrifice by faith; and the seal of it to our souls, by the sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience? So that by the law being written in our hearts, we may know that we are justified, and that God will no more remember our sins.

Commentary on Hebrews 10:19-25

(Read Hebrews 10:19-25)

The apostle having closed the first part of the epistle, the doctrine is applied to practical purposes. As believers had an open way to the presence of God, it became them to use this privilege. The way and means by which Christians enjoy such privileges, is by the blood of Jesus, by the merit of that blood which he offered up as an atoning sacrifice. The agreement of infinite holiness with pardoning mercy, was not clearly understood till the human nature of Christ, the Son of God, was wounded and bruised for our sins. Our way to heaven is by a crucified Saviour; his death is to us the way of life, and to those who believe this, he will be precious. They must draw near to God; it would be contempt of Christ, still to keep at a distance. Their bodies were to be washed with pure water, alluding to the cleansings directed under the law: thus the use of water in baptism, was to remind Christians that their conduct should be pure and holy. While they derived comfort and grace from their reconciled Father to their own souls, they would adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour in all things. Believers are to consider how they can be of service to each other, especially stirring up each other to the more vigorous and abundant exercise of love, and the practice of good works. The communion of saints is a great help and privilege, and a means of stedfastness and perseverance. We should observe the coming of times of trial, and be thereby quickened to greater diligence. There is a trying day coming on all men, the day of our death.

Commentary on Hebrews 10:26-31

(Read Hebrews 10:26-31)

The exhortations against apostacy and to perseverance, are urged by many strong reasons. The sin here mentioned is a total and final falling away, when men, with a full and fixed will and resolution, despise and reject Christ, the only Saviour; despise and resist the Spirit, the only Sanctifier; and despise and renounce the gospel, the only way of salvation, and the words of eternal life. Of this destruction God gives some notorious sinners, while on earth, a fearful foreboding in their consciences, with despair of being able to endure or to escape it. But what punishment can be sorer than to die without mercy? We answer, to die by mercy, by the mercy and grace which they have despised. How dreadful is the case, when not only the justice of God, but his abused grace and mercy call for vengeance! All this does not in the least mean that any souls who sorrow for sin will be shut out from mercy, or that any will be refused the benefit of Christ's sacrifice, who are willing to accept these blessings. Him that cometh unto Christ, he will in no wise cast out.

Commentary on Hebrews 10:32-39

(Read Hebrews 10:32-39)

Many and various afflictions united against the early Christians, and they had a great conflict. The Christian spirit is not a selfish spirit; it puts us upon pitying others, visiting them, helping them, and pleading for them. All things here are but shadows. The happiness of the saints in heaven will last for ever; enemies can never take it away as earthly goods. This will make rich amends for all we may lose and suffer here. The greatest part of the saints' happiness, as yet, is in promise. It is a trial of the patience of Christians, to be content to live after their work is done, and to stay for their reward till God's time to give it is come. He will soon come to them at death, to end all their sufferings, and to give them a crown of life. The Christian's present conflict may be sharp, but will be soon over. God never is pleased with the formal profession and outward duties and services of such as do not persevere; but he beholds them with great displeasure. And those who have been kept faithful in great trails for the time past, have reason to hope for the same grace to help them still to live by faith, till they receive the end of their faith and patience, even the salvation of their souls. Living by faith, and dying in faith, our souls are safe for ever.

── Matthew HenryConcise Commentary on Hebrews


Hebrews 10

Verse 1

[1] For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

From all that has been said it appears, that the law, the Mosaic dispensation, being a bare, unsubstantial shadow of good things to come, of the gospel blessings, and not the substantial, solid image of them, can never with the same kind of sacrifices, though continually repeated, make the comers thereunto perfect, either as to justification or sanctification. How is it possible, that any who consider this should suppose the attainments of David, or any who were under that dispensation, to be the proper measure of gospel holiness; and that Christian experience is to rise no higher than Jewish?

Verse 2

[2] For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

They who had been once perfectly purged, would have been no longer conscious either of the guilt or power of their sins.

Verse 3

[3] But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.

There is a public commemoration of the sins both of the last and of all the preceding years; a clear proof that the guilt thereof is not perfectly purged away.

Verse 4

[4] For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

It is impossible the blood of goats should take away sins — Either the guilt or the power of them.

Verse 5

[5] Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

When he cometh into the world — In the fortieth psalm the Messiah's coming into the world is represented. It is said, into the world, not into the tabernacle, Hebrews 9:1; because all the world is interested in his sacrifice.

A body hast thou prepared for me — That I may offer up myself. Psalms 40:6,etc.

Verse 7

[7] Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

In the volume of the book — In this very psalm it is written of me. Accordingly I come to do thy will - By the sacrifice of myself.

Verse 8

[8] Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;

Above when he said, Sacrifice thou hast not chosen — That is, when the Psalmist pronounced those words in his name.

Verse 9

[9] Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

Then said he — in that very instant he subjoined.

Lo, I come to do Thy will — To offer a more acceptable sacrifice; and by this very act he taketh away the legal, that he may establish the evangelical, dispensation.

Verse 10

[10] By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

By which will — Of God, done and suffered by Christ.

We are sanctified — Cleansed from guilt, and consecrated to God.

Verse 11

[11] And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:

Every priest standeth — As a servant in an humble posture.

Verse 12

[12] But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

But he — The virtue of whose one sacrifice remains for ever.

Sat down — As a son, in majesty and honour.

Verse 13

[13] From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

Psalms 110:1.

Verse 14

[14] For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

He hath perfected them for ever — That is, has done all that was needful in order to their full reconciliation with God.

Verse 15

[15] Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,

In this and the three following verses, the apostle winds up his argument concerning the excellency and perfection of the priesthood and sacrifice of Christ. He had proved this before by a quotation from Jeremiah; which he here repeats, describing the new covenant as now completely ratified, and all the blessings of it secured to us by the one offering of Christ, which renders all other expiatory sacrifices, and any repetition of his own, utterly needless.

Verse 16

[16] This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

Jeremiah 31:33, etc.

Verse 19

[19] Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

Having finished the doctrinal part of his epistle, the apostle now proceeds to exhortation deduced from what has been treated of Hebrews 5:4, which he begins by a brief recapitulation.

Having therefore liberty to enter,

Verse 20

[20] By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

By a living way — The way of faith, whereby we live indeed.

Which he hath consecrated — Prepared, dedicated, and established for us.

Through the veil, that is, his flesh — As by rending the veil in the temple, the holy of holies became visible and accessible; so by wounding the body of Christ, the God of heaven was manifested, and the way to heaven opened.

Verse 22

[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.

Let us draw near — To God.

With a true heart — In godly sincerity.

Having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience — So as to condemn us no longer And our bodies washed with pure water - All our conversation spotless and holy, which is far more acceptable to God than all the legal sprinklings and washings.

Verse 23

[23] Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

The profession of our hope — The hope which we professed at our baptism.

Verse 25

[25] Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Not forsaking the assembling ourselves — In public or private worship.

As the manner of some is — Either through fear of persecution, or from a vain imagination that they were above external ordinances.

But exhorting one another — To faith, love, and good works.

And so much the more, as ye see the day approaching — The great day is ever in your eye.

Verse 26

[26] For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

For when we — Any of us Christians.

Sin wilfully — By total apostasy from God, termed "drawing back," Hebrews 10:38. After having received the experimental knowledge of the gospel truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins - None but that which we obstinately reject.

Verse 28

[28] He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

He that, in capital cases, despised (presumptuously transgressed) the law of Moses died without mercy - Without any delay or mitigation of his punishment.

Verse 29

[29] Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Of how much sorer punishment is he worthy, who — By wilful, total apostasy. It does not appear that this passage refers to any other sin. Hath, as it were, trodden underfoot the Son of God - A lawgiver far more honourable than Moses. And counted the blood wherewith the better covenant was established, an unholy, a common, worthless thing. By which he hath been sanctified - Therefore Christ died for him also, and he was at least justified once.

And done despite to the Spirit of grace — By rejecting all his motions.

Verse 30

[30] For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

The Lord will judge his people — Yea, far more rigorously than the heathens, if they rebel against him. Deuteronomy 32:35, etc.

Verse 31

[31] It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

To fall into the hands — Of his avenging justice.

Verse 32

[32] But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;

Enlightened — With the knowledge of God and of his truth.

Verse 34

[34] For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.

For ye sympathized with all your suffering brethren, and with me in particular; and received joyfully the loss of your own goods.

Verse 35

[35] Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.

Cast not away therefore this your confidence - Your faith and hope; which none can deprive you of but yourselves.

Verse 36

[36] For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

The promise — Perfect love; eternal life.

Verse 37

[37] For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

He that cometh — To reward every man according to his works.

Verse 38

[38] Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

Now the just — The justified person.

Shall live — In God's favour, a spiritual and holy life.

By faith — As long as he retains that gift of God.

But if he draw back — If he make shipwreck of his faith My soul hath no pleasure in him - That is, I abhor him; I cast him off. Habakkuk 2:3, etc.

Verse 39

[39] But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

We are not of them who draw back to perdition — Like him mentioned Hebrews 10:38.

But of them that believe — To the end, so as to attain eternal life.

── John WesleyExplanatory Notes on Hebrews


Chapter 10. Follow God's Will

Set Aside the First
Establish the Second

I. Sacrifice Once for All

  1. Made Holy
  2. Take Away Sins Forever
  3. Made Perfect Forever

II. Draw Near to God

  1. By a New and Living Way
  2. Enter the Most Holy Place
  3. Live in the House of God

III. The Righteous Lives by Faith

  1. The Fourth Warning
  2. Accept Joyfully
  3. Richly Rewarded

── Chih-Hsin ChangAn Outline of The New Testament

The Superior Sacrifice (10:1-18)
1. In showing the superiority of the New Covenant, we have seen the 
   author discuss...
   a. The better promises - He 8:7-13
   b. The better sanctuary - He 9:1-28
2. The author now reaches a climax in his discussion with a look at 
   "the better sacrifice"...
   a. Not that he hasn't already made mention of it - He 7:26-27; 
   b. But now there is a contrast to the Old Covenant sacrifices in the
      clearest of terms
3. In this section, we will find the author...
   a. Bring together the main ideas he has alluded to earlier
   b. Add a further thought not stressed before
[In the first four verses of chapter ten, then, we find...]
      1. The Law was only "a shadow of the good things to come"
         - He 10:1a
         a. Its gifts and sacrifices were a "copy and shadow" of the 
            heavenly things - He 8:4-5
         b. They symbolized what Jesus would actually do - He 9:11-12,
         c. The "good things" included such things as:
            1) His better sacrifice
            2) The better hope
            3) The eternal redemption and the eternal inheritance
      2. The sacrifices did not make the worshippers "perfect" - He 10:
         a. Perfect in regard to the conscience - He 9:9
         b. The repetitive nature of the sacrifices prevented this
      1. Every year there was the constant reminder of sins - He 10:3
         a. In addition to the daily and monthly sacrifices, there were
            the annual sacrifices on the Day of Atonement
         b. The constant sacrifices reminded them of their sin and need
            for cleansing
      2. It was not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take
         away sins - He 10:4
         a. The blood of animals could not really take away sin
         b. Their purpose was to impress upon the people their need, 
            and to foreshadow what would one day be accomplished in 
[The sacrifices of the Old Covenant accomplished their purpose; they 
served as "a shadow of the good things to come".  Those "good things"
involved the sacrifice found in the New Covenant, of which we now 
      1. From Ps 40:6-8, we see the attitude of Christ when He came
         into the world
      2. Burnt offerings and sacrifices did not meet His Father's 
         ultimate desire - He 10:5-6
      3. But what did meet God's desire, God provided Himself:  a body 
         - He 10:5
      -- This reminds us that propitiation for sin was provided by God,
         not man - 1 Jn 4:10
      1. Christ came as prophesied to do the will of God - He 10:7-9a
      2. Here is a striking difference between Christ's sacrifice and
         the animal sacrifices...
         a. Animal sacrifices were offered against their will
         b. Jesus freely offered Himself in accordance with His 
            Father's will! - cf. Jn 6:38
      1. In doing the will of His Father, Jesus has taken away the 
         first covenant - He 9:9b; cf. Co 2:14-17
      2. Making it possible to establish the second covenant, of which 
         He is the mediator - cf. He 9:15
[So what animal sacrifices could not accomplish, God did by the sending
of His Son who freely accepted the task of offering Himself for sin.  
But was His sacrifice adequate?  Read on...]
      1. We have been sanctified through the offering of His body - 
         He 10:10
      2. Its sufficiency is seen in that He only had to offer it "once"
         a. The repetition of the daily sacrifices illustrated their 
            inadequacy - He 10:11
         b. But with Jesus, it was "one sacrifice for sins forever" 
            - He 10:12-13
            1) Illustrated by His sitting down at God' right Hand 
               - cf. He 1:3; 8:1
            2) Where He waits (and reigns - 1 Co 15:25-26; Psa 110:1-2)
               till all His enemies are made His footstool
      3. Thus "by one offering" He has provided true sanctification 
         - He 10:14
         a. "He has perfected forever" (doing what animal sacrifices
            could not - He 10:1)
         b. "those who are being sanctified"
            1) Note the present tense - sanctification is an on-going 
               process - He 2:11
               a) In one sense we have been sanctified - 1 Co 1:2; 
                  6:11; He 10:10,29
               b) In another sense we will be sanctified - 1 Th 5:23
            2) Made possible by the one-time sacrifice of Christ - 1 Jn
      1. As the Holy Spirit bore witness through Jeremiah in Jer 31:
         31-34 (quoted earlier in He 8:8-12) - He 10:15-17
      2. With true remission of sins, there is no need for repeated 
         sacrifices for sin - He 10:18
1. By providing complete sanctification and remission of sins, the 
   sacrifice of Jesus is truly "The Superior Sacrifice"!
   a. Why would anyone want to return to sacrifices...
      1) That did not make the worshiper "perfect"?
      2) Were there is the constant reminder of sin that weighs heavy 
         upon the conscience of man?
   b. With the sacrifice of Himself, offered freely keeping with the 
      will of God, Jesus provides what the Law could not!
2. With verse eighteen, we come to the end of the two main arguments in
   this epistle...
   a. That Christ is superior, for He is: 
      1) Better than the prophets, as a much better Spokesman - He 1:
      2) Better than the angels, by virtue of His Deity and humanity 
         - He 1:4-2:18
      3) Better than Moses, for He is the Son who provides a heavenly 
         rest - He 3:1-4:13
      4) Better than Aaron, as His priesthood is a superior one - He 4:
   b. That the New Covenant is superior, for it is:
      1) Based upon better promises - He 8:7-13
      2) Based upon a better sanctuary - He 9:1-28
      3) Based upon a better sacrifice - He 10:1-18
The purpose of the author has been to encourage his Hebrew brethren to
remain true to Jesus Christ.  Though one may not be a Hebrew by race,
the same arguments should encourage all Christians to remain true to 
Jesus and abide by the conditions of the New Covenant of which He is
the Mediator!


A Gracious Exhortation (10:19-25)
1. To this point in "The Epistle To The Hebrews", doctrinal arguments
   have been presented to encourage faithfulness and steadfastness...
   a. Demonstrating the superiority of the Son - He 1:1-8:6
   b. Illustrating the superiority of the New Covenant - He 8:7-10:18
2. With He 10:19, the author begins making application based upon these
   a. Which he does through a series of exhortations and warnings
   b. Such composing the remaining part of this epistle
3. In verses 19-25, we find a three-fold exhortation...
   a. To draw near to God
   b. To hold fast our faith
   c. To stimulate one another in love and good works
   -- All based upon what Christ has done and will do for us!
[I have entitled this lesson "A Gracious Exhortation", for certainly
each aspect of the exhortation is based upon God's wonderful grace 
bestowed upon us through Christ, and it reflects the tone of the author
as he makes his heartfelt appeal.  Beginning with...]
      1. To "enter the Holiest" - He 10:19
         a. That heavenly place where Christ has entered! - He 9:11-12
         b. Into the presence of God Himself! - He 9:24
      2. To so enter:
         a. "having boldness" (with great confidence) - He 10:19
         b. "with a true heart" (with all sincerity) - He 10:22
         c. "in full assurance of faith" (without doubt) - He 10:22
      -- Though not expressed explicitly, this is a call to draw near 
         to God in prayer! - cf. He 4:16
      1. We are able to "enter" God's presence because:
         a. Jesus has consecrated "a new and living way, through the 
            veil" - He 10:19-20
            1) There is now a new way to approach God in heaven, 
               through One who lives!
            2) It is made possible by "the blood of Jesus...His flesh"
               (His death on the cross)
         b. Jesus now serves as "a High Priest over the house of God" 
            - He 10:21
            1) Who is able to come to our aid - He 2:17-18
            2) Who sympathizes with our weakness - He 4:14-16
            3) Who ever lives to intercede in our behalf - He 7:24-25
      2. But we are also able to "enter" God's presence because:
         a. We have had "our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience"
            1) This is an allusion to the Old Testament practice of 
               taking blood from the altar and consecrating the priests
               by sprinkling them with it - Exo 29:21
            2) It is the blood of Christ that is truly efficacious in 
               purging our conscience of sin - He 9:14
         b. We have had "our bodies washed with pure water"
            1) Another allusion to the manner in which priests were 
               consecrated - Exo 29:4
            2) The author likely has reference to baptism...
               a) For baptism is referred to as a "washing"- Ac 22:16;
                  cf. Ep 5:26; Ti 3:5
               b) Though the stress is on the inner cleansing, not the 
                  outer - cf. 1 Pe 3:21
[With Christ as our "High Priest", and our own consecration as 
"priests" through the blood of Jesus, we should not hesitate to draw 
near to God in prayer and worship, looking forward to that day when we
literally enter "through the veil" into God's wonderful presence!
For similar reasons we should also heed the next part of "A Gracious
      1. In Christ we have a much "better hope" - He 6:19; 7:19
      2. But there is the danger of apostasy - He 3:12-13; 4:11
      3. For which reason we must "hold fast" the hope which we confess
         - He 3:6,14; 4:14
      --  Indeed, we need to "hold fast...without wavering" - He 10:23
      1. The faithfulness of God:  "for He who promised is faithful"
         - He 10:23
      2. God will not fail us (He 13:5); therefore we need to emulate
         the faith of Sarah, who "judged Him faithful who had promised"
         - He 11:11
[We can depend upon God to keep His promise.  But will we remain 
faithful to Him?  To help ensure that we will, we need to heed the 
final part of "A Gracious Exhortation"...]
      1. As we "draw near" to God and "hold fast" our hope, we are not
         to do so alone
      2. We are to be mindful of each other and how we are doing
         ("consider one another")
      3. With a view to incite or spur on ("stir up") both "love and
         good works"
      -  This is reminiscent of the exhortation in He 3:12-14
      1. An important purpose of our assembling is to "stir up love and
         good works"
         a. Yes, we do come to worship and praise God
         b. But we also come to edify and exhort one another! - He 10:
      2. Therefore we must not become guilty of "forsaking the 
         assembling of ourselves together"
         a. The word "forsake" means "to abandon, desert"
         b. I.e., to stop assembling with the saints altogether
         c. Some evidently had done so ("as is the manner of some")
      3. Exhorting one another through assembling is even more 
         imperative "as you see the Day approaching"
         a. Some commentators believe the "Day" referred to is the
            destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70
            1) Which was impending at the time this epistle was written
               (ca. 63-65 A.D.)
            2) Certainly such an event would call for encouragement 
               through frequent assembling
         b. Others suggest that the "Day" refers to the Judgment Day at
            the Second Coming
            1) It certainly fits the context of He 9:27-29; 10:27,37
            2) And while one might not know the "day and hour" of His 
               coming, we were given some general signs of His coming 
               - cf. 2 Th 2:1-8
      -- The main point is to appreciate the value and necessity of our
         assemblies, and that forsaking them is indicative of apostasy!
1. With "A Gracious Exhortation" before us, we are encouraged to:
   a. Draw near to God in full assurance of faith
   b. Hold fast the confession of our hope
   c. Consider one another to stir up to love and good works
2. As motivation to heed this "exhortation", we are reminded of:
   a. The "new and living way" now open to God, made possible by Jesus'
   b. The High Priest who now serves for us over the house of God
   c. How we have been "consecrated" through having our hearts 
      sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure
   d. How He who has promised is faithful
   e. How we have each other to encourage us along
   f. The approaching Day, in particular the Day of Judgment
If we truly appreciate the blessings we now have in Christ, we will do
all that we can to draw closer to God, hold fast that hope which we 
confess, and utilize the opportunities we have to encourage one another
in love and good works!


A Warning Against Willful Sin (10:26-39)
1. Immediately following a gracious exhortation to draw near to God and
   hold fast the confession of our hope, we find an ominous warning...
   a. It is a warning against "willful sin" - He 10:26-39
   b. It speaks of reaching a terrible state in which:
      1) "there longer remains a sacrifice a sacrifice for sins"
      2) There is "a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery
2. Is this a warning for Christians?  Some would say no...
   a. They believe in the doctrine "once saved, always saved"
   b. Who hold that true Christians:
      1) Cannot so sin to point of being eternally lost
      2) If they begin to sin to the point where they might be lost, 
         God will intervene and take their life to prevent it from 
3. Does the Bible teach "once saved, always saved"?
   a. It teaches "the security of the believer" (i.e., those who remain
      faithful are secure)
   b. But it also teaches that a "believer" can become an "unbeliever",
      at which point a person has every reason to fear for his or her 
      salvation! - cf. He 3:12-14
4. The possibility of apostasy is taught in the Bible, especially in 
   "The Epistle To Hebrews"...
   a. We have already seen several warnings implying this possibility:
      1) A warning against drifting - He 2:1-4
      2) A warning against departing - He 3:12-14
      3) A warning against disobedience - He 4:11
      4) A warning against dullness, leading to apostasy - He 5:11-6:6
   b. But perhaps now, with "A Warning Against Willful Sin", we learn
      the real danger of losing our salvation if we despise what we 
      have received! - He 10:26-39
[To see if that is really what the Bible teaches, let's begin by 
      1. "If we deliberately keep on sinning..." (NIV)
      2. "For if we willfully persist in sin..." (NRSV)
      3. "For if we go on sinning willfully..." (NASB)
      1. Implying not an "act" of sin, but a "state" of sin
         a. All Christians have moments of weakness, or ignorantly sin 
            - 1 Jn 1:8-10
         b. It is not "inadvertent" sin, but "deliberate" sin that is 
            under consideration
      2. A "state" in which one...
         a. Knows the truth - cf. He 10:26b
         b. Yet chooses to deliberately and continuously persist in 
      1. Note the pronoun "we" (the author includes himself in the 
         warning) - He 10:26a
      2. He later describes one who was sanctified by "the blood of the
         covenant" - He 10:29
      -- This warning is directed to those who have been sanctified by
         the blood of Jesus!
[When one persists in sin with "a high hand" (i.e., presumptuously, cf.
Num 15:30-31), they are in grave danger. This is especially true when
one is a Christian!  What sort of danger?  Consider...]
      1. What sacrifice is under consideration here?  Christ's
      2. What sacrifice no longer remains?  Christ's sacrifice!
      -- The blood of Christ is no longer available for one who
         persists in "willful sin"!
      1. "a certain fearful expectation of judgment" - He 10:27a
         a. One can expect a judgment that is "certain"! - cf. He 9:27;
            Ac 17:30-31
         b. One can expect a judgment that is "fearful"!
            1) For we must answer to Christ Himself - cf. 2 Co 5:10-11
            2) And we will be in the hands of the living God! - He 10:
      2. A "fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries" - He
         a. A judgment involving "fire" (figurative, but torment just
            the same) - cf. Re 21:8
         b. A judgment involving "indignation" (the wrath of God) 
            - cf. Ro 2:5-11
         c. Such a judgment will "devour" (not annihilate, but destroy)
            - Mt 10:28
[Such are the consequences of "willful sin", and the warning is 
directed to Christians!
Is God just to bring such a punishment upon His children who have been
redeemed by the blood of His Son?  Evidently so...]
      1. Death without mercy! - He 10:28
      2. Such was the punishment for a particular kind of sin:
         a. Sin that was "deliberate"
            1) In which one "rejected Moses' law" (NKJV)
            2) In which one "despised Moses' law" (KJV)
         b. Sin that was "open"
            1) It had to be seen by two or more
            2) For death was not rendered unless there were "two or 
               three witnesses"
         -- Again, it is sin with "a high hand" that is under 
      3. While there was mercy for sins of weakness or ignorance, there
         was none for open and deliberate sin under the Old Covenant!
      1. One is worthy of "much worse punishment"! - He 10:29
         a. What could be worse than physical death?
         b. Only "fiery indignation"! (i.e., hell)
      2. Why?  Because a Christian who "sins willfully" has...
         a. "trampled the Son of God underfoot"
            1) The word "trampled" comes from katapateo
            2) It "denotes contempt of the most flagrant kind" (MOFFAT)
            -- Such a person treats Jesus who died for him like dirt!
         b. "counted the blood of the covenant by which he was 
            sanctified a common thing"
            1) The "blood of the covenant" clearly refers to Jesus'
               blood - He 9:14-22; 13:20
            2) It is by this blood one is "sanctified" (i.e., made a 
            -- Such a person consider Jesus' blood a "common thing"!
         c. "insulted the Spirit of grace"
            1) Perhaps a reference to the Holy Spirit
               a) Through Whom the message of salvation was given - Jn
               b) Through Whom our sanctification takes place - 1 Co 
                  6:11; Ti 3:5-7
            2) Or perhaps referring to the spirit (disposition) of 
               God's unmerited favor
            -- Whichever, a person who openly and deliberately sins 
               "insults" God's grace!
      3. This passage clearly teaches two things:
         a. That a Christian can so sin as to reach this point of open
            rebellion against Jesus!
         b. That the punishment reserved for such is "worse than 
      1. Isn't God a God of love?  Of course! - cf. 1 Jn 4:8
      2. But He is also a God of justice, One who judges His people 
         - He 10:30
         a. To who much is given, much is required - Lk 12:47-48
         b. Those who despise His love, set themselves up to be 
            recipients of His wrath - Ro 2:4-6
      3. Therefore it truly is "a fearful thing to fall into the hands
         of the living God" - He 10:31; cf. He 12:28,29
[What can we do to ensure that we do not become guilty of "willful 
sin"?  In the remaining verses of chapter ten, I believe we find the 
      1. The writer reminds his readers of their "former days"...
         a. Those days after they were "illuminated" (enlightened)
            - He 10:32
            1) I.e., shortly after their conversion
            2) In the days of Justin (ca. 167 A.D.), this term was a 
               synonym for baptism
         b. Those days in which they were "made a spectacle" - He 10:
            1) By their own sufferings
            2) And by sharing in the sufferings of others, including 
               those of the author
               a) In whom they had compassion in his chains
               b) In which they "joyfully accepted the plundering of 
                  your goods"
            -- Knowing that they had "a better and enduring possession"
               in heaven!
      2. It is such confidence they must be careful not to "cast away"
         - He 10:35
         a. To "cast away" is the opposite of "hold fast"
         b. Only in "holding fast" our confidence is there "great
            reward" - cf. He 3:6,14
      -- Likewise, we need to rekindle the fire of that newfound faith
         we had when we first responded to the gospel! - cf. Re 2:4-5
      1. Endurance is needed to receive the promise - He 10:36
         a. For the Lord is coming - He 10:37
         b. And the just lives by faith - He 10:38
         -- If we draw back (become unfaithful), the Lord will not be 
            pleased! ("My soul has no pleasure in him.")
      2. The author speaks of his own confidence - He 10:39
         a. He is not of those "who draw back to perdition" (who cast
            away their faith)
         b. But of those "who believe to saving of the soul" (who 
            remain faithful to the end)
      -- We too need to "believe to the saving of the soul", or to put 
         it in the words of Jesus, "be faithful unto death" - Re 2:10
1. We can look forward with great anticipation to the "saving of the 
   soul", if we...
   a. Remember (and rekindle) that confidence early in our conversion
   b. Endure to the end with the faith that saves
2. But with "A Warning Against Willful Sin", we must never forget that
   one can...
   a. Fall from grace!
   b. Fall into the hands of the living God!
   -- Which is a terrifying thing!
3. How much better, though, to be "upheld" by the hand of God, as the 
   Psalmist wrote:
   "The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights
   in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; 
   For the LORD upholds him with His hand." - Psa 37:23,24
Such is the case of those who remain strong in their faith and trust in
the Lord.  Are we believing to the saving of the soul...?


--《Executable Outlines


Follow God’s will

Set aside the first

Establish the second


I.  Sacrifice once for all

1.    Made holy

2.    Take away sins forever

3.    Made perfect forever

II.Draw near to God

1.    By a new and living way

2.    Enter the most holy place

3.    Live in the house of God

III.       The righteous lives by faith

1.    The fourth warning

2.    Accept joyfully

3.    Richly rewarded

-- Chih-Hsin ChangAn Outline of The New Testament