Hebrews chapter 10, class 13-14. Jesus Christ, the high priest, benefits believers

April 8 and 29, 2009

Tod Kennedy

Main points to emphasize in Hebrew 10

  1. Jesus Christ’s complete sacrifice and His present priest ministry are the only works that can remove sin and prepare one for heaven.
  2. Right now we can enter the presence of God, and Jesus is right now our high priest supporting us. Let’s put these facts to use each day by confidently going to God in faith, reverence, and prayer by holding tight to what we believe.
  3. Assembly with believers in church is vital to a healthy Christian life—it is not optional. This is especially important in view of the spiritual war in which each of us finds himself. Local church assembly is the primary place for Bible teaching and preparation for ministry, for encouragement, for building up the body of Christ, for group prayer, for giving to the Lord, and for sending of missionaries.
  4. We are to draw near to God, hold tight to what we believe, think how we can stimulate other believers to love and good works, assemble together, and encourage each other.
  5. Making light of Jesus and his completed work by adding some human effort can bring severe discipline in time.
  6. Faith in Bible doctrine can produce endurance when one is under ridicule and persecution for one’s biblical faith, sympathy with those imprisoned because of their biblical faith, and joyful living even when your property is unjustly taken because of your biblical beliefs.
  7. Continued spiritual assurance of your biblical hope, even in the face of trials, results in great spiritual rewards, so continue to endure in the biblical faith (steadfastness toward self in hard circumstances).
  8. Beware, faithlessness in the face of trials can bring destruction by the persecutors and discipline by God while faithfulness to God brings spiritual success.

Relationship of Hebrews 7, 8, 9, 10

  1. Hebrews 7 teaches that Christ’s Melchizedek priesthood is a better.
  2. Hebrews 8 teaches that Christ’s new covenant is better.
  3. Hebrews 9 teaches that Christ’s tabernacle-sanctuary is better.
  4. Hebrews 10 teaches that Christ’s sacrifice is better.

Outline

  1. Hebrews 10:1-10. The Mosaic law sacrifices were unable to completely cleanse sinners, so Jesus came to fulfill the old covenant and establish the new covenant through His once and for all sacrifice of Himself for sin.
  2. Hebrews 10:11-18. Jesus’ once for all sacrifice completely cleansed—perfected—believers, and His sacrifice qualified Him to sit at the right hand of God as our high priest.
  3. Hebrews 10:19-25. Because we can confidently approach the throne of grace, and because Jesus is our high priest we ought to draw near to God, hold fast our confession, consider how to stimulate others to love and good deeds, and not forsake assembling in church.
  4. Hebrews 10:26-31. Sinning believers, who now reject the complete and only work of Christ, have no other sacrifice to remove those sins. Instead, they face God’s severe judgment—discipline in time.
  5. Hebrews 10:32-39. Believers, remember the days when you believed in Jesus Christ and His completed work. With strong confidence you suffered for the Jesus Christ and you served Jesus Christ with great reward awaiting you. You need to endure that faith and service as you did then.

Exposition of Hebrews 10

  1. Hebrews 10:1-10. The Mosaic law sacrifices were unable to completely cleanse sinners, so Jesus came to fulfill the old covenant and establish the new covenant through His once and for all sacrifice of Himself for sin.
    1. Verse 1. The law is a shadow. The word is σκιά skia S4639. This word is the shadow cast by the sun over an object like a tree. It is an unclear image. Contrast this with “form” εἰκών eikon S1504 which is the same form or exact form or likeness. Eikon is used for Jesus Christ in 2 Corinthians 4:4 and Colossians 1:15 where Jesus is the exact likeness of God.
      1. The law was good in its form and purpose, but was not the definitive or exact remedy for sin.
      2. To make perfect refers to the complete removal of sin and guilt. The following context (10:2-4) shows that this does not mean sinless perfection. It means the successful removal of sin.
    2. Verses 5-10. The volition or free will of the Son chose to enter the world to do the Father’s will. In doing so, He in His humanity took the place of the inadequate animal sacrifices. Furthermore, Jesus “takes away” the first or old covenant which is the Law of Moses and He established the second. The second is the new covenant.
      1. Verse 9, ἵστημι histemi, aorist active subjunctive with hina for purpose. The meaning is to set, to place, to stand, to establish.
    3. Verse 10. Christ’s will is meant. The word is θέλημα thelema S2307, what one wishes or wills or the act of willing. Sanctified refers to our positional sanctification. Each believer in Christ has Christ’s righteousness credited to his account and is set apart as holy because of Christ’s work—His death on the cross spoken of here as the offering. See 1 Corinthians 1:2, 30 and 2 Corinthians 5:21. His body refers to His humanity.
      1. Sanctified is ἁγιάζω hagiazo S37. It is in the perfect periphrastic which stresses the completeness of the action and the present results. The word means to set apart as holy, to dedicate, to make sacred. This refers to our position in Christ, acceptable to God the Father through Christ. See Ephesians 1:6-7 and 2:13.
      2. Note “once for all.” ἐφάπαξ ephapax. 1 Peter 3:18 has ἅπαξ hapax. They are adverbs and mean once for all.His sacrifice never needs to be repeated. This phrase is used 7 times in the NT. Five refer to the work of Christ for us.
        1. Rom 6:10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
        2. Heb 7:27 who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.
        3. Heb 9:12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
        4. Heb 10:10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
        5. 1 Pet 3:18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit.
  2. Hebrews 10:11-18. Jesus’ once for all sacrifice completely cleansed—perfected—believers, and His sacrifice qualified Him to sit at the right hand of God as our high priest.
    1. Verse 11. This section continues to emphasize the completed and once for all, never to be repeated sacrifice of Christ for our sins. The writer continues to contrast the OT priests sacrificing many times and the once for all sacrifice of Christ.
    2. Verse 12-13. Jesus is now seated at the right hand of God the Father. This is the place of honor. He could not be there if His sacrifice had not been accepted by the Father. Footstool comes from Psalm 110. The Messiah is at the right hand of the Father until he returns and subdues all those opposed to Him. This will occur at the second advent of Christ to earth.
    3. Verse 14. He has made believers, those sanctified (verse 10) acceptable to God. This is not sinless perfection. This is positional sanctification.
    4. Verses 15-18. In the context of this book Jesus inaugurates the new covenant and retires the old covenant. The author quotes from Jeremiah 31 which promises the new covenant. The point he applies from the Jeremiah passage is that once sins are forgiven, there is no need for any more offerings (verse 18). The author is not saying that the Jeremiah new covenant has been fulfilled. He is saying that since Jesus Christ was the one sacrifice for sins, there is no other sacrifice or offering for sins. There is no need.
  3. Hebrews 10:19-25. Because we can confidently approach the throne of grace, and because Jesus is our high priest we ought to draw near to God, hold fast our confession, consider how to stimulate others to love and good deeds, and not forsake assembling in church.
    1. Verses 19-21. In this extended and immediately applicable section we will just consider the high points. The basis for the exhortations of verses 22, 23, and 24 is found in verses 19-20 and in 21. These subjects have been covered in the previous chapters.
      1. We may enter the holy place, the throne of grace, by prayer (19-20).
      2. We have a great priest (21).
    2. Verses 22-25. Each exhortation is in the present subjunctive. The subjunctive mood is the mood of possibility. The probability depends upon the context. These verbs are first person plural present subjunctive which are used as hortatory subjunctives.
      1. Verse 22. Draw near to God, the throne of grace, the heavenly tabernacle. Προσέρχομαι proserchomai, S4334, to approach, come to, go to. We have unlimited and free access because of Jesus. We may confidently pray and fellowship with God.
      2. Verse 23. Hold fact to the confession. Κατέχω katecho S2722, to adhere firmly to, to keep in one’s possession. Our confession is what we know to be true and believe about God, Jesus, grace, heaven, rewards, and the future. God is always faithful, so there is no reason to waver or doubt.
      3. Verse 24. Let us consider κατανοέω katanoew S2657, to consider carefully, observe, think about. “To stimulate” is παροξυσμός paroxusmos S3948, irritation, exasperation, stirring up. So they will act in love and do good works.
      4. Verse 25. “Not forsaking” ἐγκαταλείπω egkataleipo S1459, to leave behind, to leave out, is a present participle that adds a reminder to the above exhortations. The use of the participle is attendant circumstance e.g. this is the fourth exhortation.
        1. Assembly with believers in church is vital to a healthy Christian life—it is not optional. This is especially important in view of the spiritual war in which each of us finds himself. Local church assembly is the primary place for Bible teaching and preparation for ministry, for encouragement, for building up the body of Christ, for group prayer, for giving to the Lord, and for sending of missionaries.
        2. Assembling together is ἐπισυναγωγή episunagoge, S1997, gathering, meeting, assembling, accusative direct object. This is the local church assembly. Some are forsaking the assembling together and this is bad for the individuals and for the local assembly.
        3. On the positive side believers are to encourage one another. The word is παρακαλέω parakaleo S3870. This means to send for, summon, call to one’s side, encourage. This is a participle of attendant circumstance. It follows a strong contrast word, but—alla. We encourage each other by gathering together. We have the same savior, the same doctrine, the same future, the same present testing, and the same opportunities. The local assembly is a body, a team that needs each other.
        4. Church assembly is especially important for the recipients of Hebrews in view of the soon coming tests and trials—the coming destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by the Roman army, and the future judgment seat of Christ.
      5. Summary. We have reason to approach God in prayer, fellowship, and faith: we have confidence to enter the heavenly tabernacle and we have a great high priest, Jesus. Because we may approach God, we are told to make 5 applications: draw near, hold fast, consider, not forsake assembly, and encourage one another. To ignore these exhortations is to ignore our confidence (19-20) and to ignore our great priest (21). Furthermore, our spiritual health depends upon the application of these statements of God’s word.
  4. Hebrews 10:26-31. Sinning believers, who now reject the complete and only work of Christ, have no other sacrifice to remove those sins. Instead, they face God’s severe judgment.
    1. Verse 26-27.This warning is for believers in Jesus. Read this in the context of Hebrews. Jesus is God’s son. Jesus is the high priest of Melchizedek’s kind. Jesus offered the once for all sacrifice for sin. For those who go on sinning and reject Jesus’ sacrifice, there is no alternative but God’s judgment. There is no other offering for sin. God will discipline them. Refer back to Hebrews 6 for the same warning.
    2. Verse 28-29. The illustration is the law of Moses. Under the law, if proper witnesses gave testimony, there was strict punishment of the guilty. Now Jesus, His person and His work, have been clearly attested by history and by the God inspired Scripture. To reject those is the same as trampling Jesus and His sacrifice under one’s feet. This is to ridicule and mock Him and His work. This is to insult the Holy Spirit. If one was punished for disobedience to Moses’ law, how much worse it is to insult Jesus and His work.
    3. Verses 30-31. Divine discipline can be harsh and terrible.
  5. Hebrews 10:32-39. Believers, remember the days when you believed in Jesus Christ and His completed work. With strong confidence you suffered for the Jesus Christ and you served Jesus Christ with great reward awaiting you. You need to endure that faith and service as you did then.
    1. Verses 32-34. This is a plea to recall the days when their faith and service was uncluttered by the doubts and rejection of Jesus and His finished priestly work.
      1. Verse 32. During that time they had much joy even though they suffered as Christians.
      2. Verse 33. Suffering included public reproaches and tribulations directed against themselves and partly because they stood with other believers who were persecuted.
    2. Verse 34. They sympathized with persecuted believers and they were joyful when they suffered personal loss. Why? Because they knew they had a future eternal home and great reward. What was happening to them on earth was only temporary.
    3. Verse 35-36. Confidence in God and His plan yields great reward in time and in eternity. Faith and confidence during suffering has the present time reward of knowing that one is sharing in Christ’s sufferings. The future rewards are great and wonderful in heaven.
      1. Verse 35. Do not throw away your confidence. The verb ἀποβάλλω, apoballo, to throw away, sell to cheap, get rid of S577, is in the aorist active subjunctive with the negative me expresses a prohibition.
        1. Confidence reaps reward from God. Practically, rightly placed confidence brings reward on the human level. In this passage rightly placed confidence in God and His word brings future reward, called great reward.
      2. Verse 36. Endurance in the Christian life yields promised reward from God. Do the will of God and receive what He promised—great reward.
    4. Verses 37-38. The author appeals to Habakkuk 2:3-4 to make plain his point. He is not interpreting Habakkuk, but simply using those statements now as his own. In verse 37 he makes the point that Jesus will come to earth. Do not doubt this. Then in verse 38 he uses Habakkuk’s point that the one living righteously and pleasing God is the one who lives daily by faith.
      1. The readers of Hebrews need to heed both principles: 1. rest in the fact that Jesus is returning and he will reward the faithful, and 2. live at the present time by faith in God’s promises and faithfully carry out his will, especially that of verses 19-36.
    5. Verse 39. The author concludes with a statement of confidence. We, believers in Christ who have their doctrine of Christ correct, are among the band of believers strong in faith during all trials. This faith preserves the life from spiritual failure and loss of reward by God.
      1. We are is prounoun “we” and the present tense verb εἰμί eimi (form in the text is esmen for first person plural) for to be. It expresses what is true at that time.
      2. Shrink back is ὑποστολή hupostole S5288, removal, shrinking, evasion, timidity used as a predicate nominative describing a group of people—those turning away from Jesus and his completed work.
      3. Preservation is περιποίησις peripoiesis S4047, keeping safe, preservation.
      4. Soul is ψυχή psuche, life or soul.
    6. The author has concluded this section with a warning followed by a note of biblical congratulations and encouragement.

End of Hebrews 10 study