Hebrews 10:19–31 (NKJV)
Jesus’ death paid the price for our sins, once and for all. The previous chapters demonstrate the completed work of Christ for us. The author of Hebrews shows how the sacrificial system of Judaism was incomplete and temporary. Now, Jesus has taken our sins upon Himself, shed His blood, and washed them away. The provision for forgiveness and redemption is complete, and the opportunity is available. This passage of Scripture now explains humanity’s required response in order to be saved.
19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 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. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.Hebrews 10:19-25
There are several actions needed on the part of man, but they are all part of an expression of faith. First, one is instructed to take advantage of the opportunity to enter the Holiest place with boldness. One cannot even think of coming into the presence of God without a bold faith. The new and living way through the veil which Christ made available to us is through His flesh. He is the High Priest, and His offering of Himself opened the veil so that we might come before God for forgiveness. A sinner standing before God is an ominous proposition. Sinful men and women could be consumed in His holy presence. However, a sinner coming before God for grace and mercy is covered by the blood of Christ. Our High Priest stands with us before God to present us to Him. Therefore, we can draw near with a true heart. We can be fully assured in faith that God will forgive us when we approach under the covering of the blood of Christ. So boldness is achieved through faith, a second action. Accepting the cleansing of our hearts is another action of man in salvation. We are sprinkled by the blood of Christ and cleansed of our evil conscience, washed with pure water to be made clean.
These actions can be described in theological terms. The boldness is related to confession and repentance. We presume on God to accept our confession and repentant heart. The faith to believe for such a blessing is an acceptance of Christ’s gift. The cleansing of our souls from sin is justification. This pronounces the sinner holy and righteous because of the grace of God. In response to the wonderful work of God in the life of the sinner, mankind is instructed to hold fast to the confession of his or her faith. No not falter or waver in that faith. Stir one another up to good works and faith. Do not forsake assembling together, as this weakens the faith. Instead, gather together, exhort one another to behave righteously, even more so as you see the Day of His return approach.
26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The LORD will judge His people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.Hebrews 10:26-31
This second section of the passage offers ominous encouragement and warning to the redeemed soul. Willful sin after enlightenment and salvation has no excuse. A righteous life is the logical response to the unmerited grace of God. While grace is free and paid for by the blood of Christ, willful sin after salvation is especially egregious. There is no other sacrifice to be made for sin. Jesus is the sacrifice. Therefore, men and women everywhere who willfully sin after salvation have no further way to be forgiven. Judgment will come upon those who sin, even those who are saved. Those who transgressed the law of Moses were killed upon the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more guilty and worthy of punishment is the one who rejected not man’s law, but the grace of God? This cannot speak of occasional sin on the part of Christians, or no one would be saved. We all would be subject to the judgment of God. However, those who willfully walk in disobedience to God’s will do face a fiery judgment. Walking in abject sin after salvation is tantamount to having “trampled the Son of God underfoot.” This act of rejecting Christ’s work, renouncing one’s faith, and walking away from the life in Christ is extreme and counterintuitive. Insulting the Spirit of grace, counting the blood of the covenant as common, and basically blaspheming the Holy Spirit as He guides and directs one life, is sinful and heretical. The rejection of the grace of God is worthy of the judgment of God. So, do not waver, but stand firm in your faith and your walk with God. Do not find yourself on the wrong side of the Judge of the world. Instead, walk with Him and be faithful.