Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience…
The apostle's great argument is concluded, and the result is placed before us in a very short summary. We have boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way; and we have in the heavenly sanctuary a great Priest over the house of God. On this foundation rests a threefold exhortation.
1. Let us draw near with a true heart, in the full assurance of faith.
2. Let us hold fast the profession of hope without wavering.
3. Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works, labouring and waiting together, and helping one another in the unity of brethren. Faith, hope, and love — this is the threefold result of Christ's entrance into heaven, spiritually discerned.A believing, hoping, and loving attitude of heart corresponds to the new covenant revelation of Divine grace.
1. Having received, through Christ's sacrifice and Christ's present priesthood boldness, a full right of access into the holy of holies, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith. The privilege is right of access unto God, the duty is that of approach; and no man values the right of access who does not desire to approach. There can be nothing which really satisfies the heart of any man in being told that he is at liberty to approach God, if he has no inclination to approach unto God. We can only approach with our heart, and by faith, which has its seat in the heart; with a heart which is in earnest, true, and purposeful in this very work of approach. God desireth truth in the inward part. A true heart is a heart which accepts the testimony of God, which distrusts itself, which believes God's Word, declaring our sin, guilt, and helplessness, and which responds simply, and without reservation, humbly and joyfully to the Divine gospel of the gift of God, eternal life through the righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ. A true heart is a heart purified by trust in Jesus. A true heart is a heart which desires to be with God and to live unto Him. What is meant by full assurance of faith? Nothing else but faith in full, vigorous, healthy exercise. Faith in what? Not faith in our having faith, in our being accepted; but faith that we have a right of access, that Jesus is the living way, and that He is the High Priest in the holy of holies. The object of faith, of the weakest and smallest spark of faith, as much as of faith in plenitude or full assurance, is not ourselves, but Christ in His person and work. The eye does not see itself; faith is not to stand on itself; your full assurance is to be that Christ's blood is precious, and that He has entered as the Forerunner. Then you are at peace. Faith means trust, reliance, confidence, leaning. There is no other worthy of trust, none else reliable but Jesus. But if you wish to have an additional object of faith in your own progress and spirituality, you are, like Peter, looking away from Jesus unto the unstable sea. Nor have I any other proof of my faith's genuineness yesterday, but my exercising faith this moment. It is an ever-present tense — "He that believeth hath eternal life."
2. We are exhorted to hold fast the profession of our hope without wavering. Before the First Advent believers looked forward in faith and hope to the good things to come. Believing the promise, they expected in hope the glory of Messiah's reign. With us this unity of faith and hope is substantially the same; but it appears now in a twofold manner. Faith rests on the past, the accomplished work of Jesus; hope looks to the future, the return of our Saviour. And the more we realise Jesus as the living Lord, the more shall we look forward, waiting for His coming, and going forth to meet Him. If we believe that He has come, we also hope that He will come. The profession of our hope is most practical and testing. Hereby we profess that we are strangers and pilgrims upon earth, that we are seeking heavenly things, labouring for heavenly rewards, laying up for ourselves heavenly treasures. We must forsake the sins, pleasures, and honours of Egypt; we must purify ourselves, as Christ is pure. If we profess hope, we must also rejoice, though we be in tribulation; we must view the sufferings and trials of this present life as not worthy to be compared with the coming glory. Then hope, resting on faith, supports faith, and fills us with courage and patience. "Till I come," is the voice of the Saviour, when faith beholds His dying love; and going forth to meet Him, going forth out of the world's sin, bondage, gloom, is the response of the bride.
3. But in thus drawing near unto God, and holding fast the profession of our hope, we must bear in mind that we are called to be a brotherhood, and that faith and hope are to be exercised in love. We are the body of Christ, and members one of another. We are to please not ourselves, but our brother unto edification. We are to consider one another as fellow pilgrims; to study our brother's need and sorrow, difficulty and trial; to exercise our mind on our duty and relation to him, that thus we may be helpful to him in his course, and stimulate and encourage him to good works. To consider one another in the right spirit is to look above all at the Christian character of our brother; to regard him, not so much in the light of his natural disposition; to love him, not so much on account of qualities congenial and pleasing to us; still less to exercise criticism, and to cherish suspicion and uncharitable judgment; but to fix our thought on the one great fact of brotherhood in Christ. And running together in a holy rivalry the same race, we should behold in our brother features of Christian character and activity in which we are deficient. And in this spirit of love we should cherish Christian communion; "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together." Christianity is eminently an individual heart-affair; but it is also eminently social. The promise of Christ's presence is to the assembly gathered in His name.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.