A "Let Us" Invitation

Hebrews  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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As participants in the New Covenant, we can enter into the very presence of God and truly worship.

No, this is not a garden invitation, nor is it an invitation to a salad fest. It is not about lettuce, but rather “let us,” a request to allow us or to challenge us to do something.
So, this morning, we’re going to be looking at a variety of invitations as we go through our passage. The first few verses, will be an invitation to review what we’ve been going over so far. Secondly, we’ll be invited to draw near. Thirdly, take a strong stance as we’re being requested to hold fast. Finally, an invitation that is quite challenging, and that is to consider one another.
As participants in the New Covenant, we can enter into the very presence of God and truly worship.

Let Us Review - 10.19-21

Under the old Covenant, no one had the courage or the boldness, nor were they even permitted to enter into the Holy of Holies. Even then, the High Priest was allowed only one time each year, after he had gone through the necessary sacrifices and cleansings. So, Let Us Review together.
Hebrews 10:19–21 (NASB95)
Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
As we review what has been written thus far, the believer has confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus. This section, is written specifically to those who are truly born again. We understand that by the author’s referring to brethren. Plus, the reality is that someone who is holding onto the old ways and not willing to completely trust in the finished work of Christ, does not have access to the holy place. Thus, these seven verses are dealing with the believer in Jesus Christ.
Charles Spurgeon was quoted as saying, When Jesus died on the cross the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom so that big sinners like me might fit through. We recall that when Jesus cried out, It is finished, the temple veil was torn by God from top to bottom. This was to show that there was no longer a barrier between man and God. Because of what Jesus did on the cross, through His shed blood, everyone who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, has unguarded, total access to the Father.
This marks an open invitation to enter into God’s presence. This is a new and living way, not something which is based on that which has to be repeated since it cannot complete what needed to be done. This is the beginning of the New Covenant, which we know will never be replaced, since our Savior lives forevermore.
So what are some of the things which this involves?

Let Us Draw Near. - 10.22

Now that we’ve reviewed, let’s look at what some of the invitations are. We’re first of all invited to draw near.
Hebrews 10:22 (NASB95)
let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
We recall that the Old Covenant required the high priest to go through a number of ceremonial washings, along with the application of blood on the Day of Atonement. Even for the regular priests, as they performed their daily activities, that had to wash at the laver before they could even enter the Holy Place.
So, it makes sense that those of us under the New Covenant should also do a little preparation before we can truly worship and have fellowship with God. What might that be? Well, if a Christian wants to have true fellowship and experience genuine worship, we can’t just go before God with an arrogant spirit and a love for sin. There needs to be a humble spirit. Let’s look at what 1 John 1.5 - 2.2 states.
1 John 1:5–2:2 (NASB95)
This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
Well, thankfully we have been invited to go into the Holy of Holies, as it were, and be in the very presence of God. But what else does the author want us to do?

Let Us Hold Fast. - 10.23

Remember the temptation that many of the readers were having about going back to the old covenant? Even Christians can be tempted to forsake what the Bible says is the true way and go back to something which gives us a sense of contributing to our relationship with God, or even our salvation.
Hebrews 10:23 (NASB95)
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;
Some older translations mistranslated hope and used the word faith. The reality is that there is no evidence that the Greek word used was ever for faith. The Greek word is hope. Also, the author is not telling the readers to hold fast or hold tightly to their salvation, for that would imply that we could lose our grip and lose our salvation. You and I must remember that our security of our salvation is found in Jesus Christ. It cannot be based on us, in any way. So, what is the author encouraging them to do? Let us hold fast the confession of our hope.
How amazing is that! When you and I have our hope based on Jesus Christ, we will not waver. I can always trust God’s faithfulness to His Word. I cannot trust myself. I cannot trust circumstances. They will always cause us to waver and to doubt. People who try to sneak in heresy and false theology and false teachings have a desire to cause us to take our eyes off of Jesus and look back or look around at other thoughts. Christian, we look ahead to that glorious hope that is ours, that is found in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
So what can we do in the here and now with our brothers and sisters in Christ, who share in this position of being a child of God through Jesus Christ?

Let Us Consider One Another. - 10.24-25

Here is where we are reminded that Lone Ranger Christianity is completely unbiblical. We are reminded that for the one who is a true believer in Jesus Christ, the idea of worshipping the Lord, serving the Lord, being a Christian in isolation is a lie from Satan. The only times in the Bible that isolation or individual worship was encouraged was in a forced situation, such as being imprisoned.
Hebrews 10:24–25 (NASB95)
and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
The idea that one can have church without other Christians, is a very self-centered way of thinking. It has been noted that historically, during this time, there were some who claimed to be part of the fellowship, but had chosen to not participate with the local church assembly. The author, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is making it clear that Christians need to fellowship and worship together with other Christians in a local church community.
Notice also that these verses also fly in the face of seeker-friendly or what’s in it for me? thinking. The church was never supposed to set itself up to meet the needs of those attending, like a restaurant. It’s not about what I can get from the church gathering. Rather it’s all about what I can do for others within the church.
D.L. Moody once said, Church attendance is as vital to a disciple as a transfusion of rich, healthy blood to a sick man.
There are some who would suggest that this has nothing to do with gathering together with other Christians. I would definitely have to disagree, based upon the unique usage of the word assembling, combined with further explanation by using the word together. Listen to what Warren Wiersbe has to say regarding these verses. Faithfulness in church attendance encourages others and provokes them to love and good works. One of the strong motives for faithfulness is the soon coming of Jesus Christ. In fact, the only other place the word translated “assembling” (Heb. 10:25) is used in the New Testament is in 2 Thessalonians 2:1, where it’s translated “gathering” and deals with the coming of Christ.

Let Us Reflect

Interestingly, you might notice a parallel to part of one of Paul’s letters.
1 Corinthians 13:1ff (NASB95)
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Look at the very last sentence. There are three things which should stand out in the life of every true believer. They are faith, hope, and love.
Faith is seen in Hebrews 10.22
Hebrews 10:22 (NASB95)
let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Hope is seen in Hebrews 10.23
Hebrews 10:23 (NASB95)
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;
Finally, love is seen in Hebrews 10.24
Hebrews 10:24 (NASB95)
and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,
None of that was possible with the Old Covenant. However, it is possible and expected because of the New Covenant.
As participants in the New Covenant, we can enter into the very presence of God and truly worship.
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