“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23
After explaining why the new covenant is superior to the old covenant, we see the author of Hebrews shift gears halfway through chapter ten. From this point forward, the author discusses how we are to live out our faith in Christ. In 10:19-25, we see that the author gives us three commands to adhere to as Christians. Let us take a look at the author’s exhortations.
We are to come close (v. 22)
The author spent a great deal of time throughout the book of Hebrews explaining to us how Christ did away with the barrier that separated us from God. We are reminded again and again that Christ passed “behind the veil” and entered into God’s presence to make atonement for us. In so doing, He cleansed us entirely from our sin. However, that is not all Christ did for us. He also removed the veil for us, meaning that we are no longer prohibited from entering into God’s presence for ourselves. Christ holds the door open for us and allows us to go where we previously had been forbidden to go. As a result, the author tells us that we are to draw close to the Father. We are to go into God’s presence for ourselves. Christ has allowed us to have direct communion with the Father by allowing us to come directly into the Father’s presence. Since we now have this ability, we must use it; we must do it. Going into God’s presence for ourselves is one way we demonstrate our faith in Christ because by doing so, we show that we have faith in Christ and trust Him enough to come directly before the Father.
We are to hold tightly to our confession (v.23)
The second exhortation the author gives us is to hold tightly to our confession. We must hold unwaveringly to our belief in Christ as our Savior, regardless of what is happening around us. Here we must remember what is going on in the context of the letter. This letter was directed to Hebrew believers in Christ who were experiencing persecution for their beliefs. Many of the believers were starting to waver in their faith. They were wondering if they’d made a mistake by putting their faith in Jesus, and some were considering returning to the old ways and customs. The author wrote this letter to encourage these wavering believers to hold fast to their belief in Christ and stand firm in Him. The author also reminded the believers that God has promised to sustain them and anchor them throughout this life. All of Scripture reinforces the fact that God is faithful to keep His promises. In light of God’s faithfulness to us, we must remain faithful to Him. We do this by clinging to our belief in Him and leading lives that support and confirm the beliefs we say we have.
We are to be committed to community (vv.24-25)
The author then reminds us that, as followers of Christ, we must be committed to community. We must take this commitment seriously and be dedicated to assembling together with our fellow believers. Believers gather together, first and foremost, to worship God. But we also come together simply to be together and to have fellowship and discipleship with one another. The author reminds us that we are to push each other to love and good works and that we are to encourage each other as we go through life. We cannot live as Christians in isolation; we must come together and support one another. We must care for each other and be committed to our community. But, we cannot be part of the community if we do not partake in the community. Joining a church is not like joining a social club; it is a commitment to being involved and becoming an active part of a living body. As Christians, we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, and we must be here for each other. What we do when we assemble together is a preview of what eternity in Heaven will look like. We will there be worshipping the Lord forever with our fellow believers from all over the world. But until that day comes, we must be found together in our local communities, worshipping the Lord and encouraging one another.
As the author of Hebrews reminds us, Christ has done so much for us. We must then ask ourselves, what are we doing in return? Are we coming close to the Father? Are we going into His presence for communion? Are we holding tightly to our confession, regardless of what is going on around us? Are we committed to our community and being together with our fellow believers? We must be doing all of these things, for we can’t live as God’s people if we are not.
Artwork: “River Baptism,” anonymous.