Summary: The joy and priveledge of the believer’s access into the holy of holies; into the very presence of God in heaven
Let Us Draw Near
Dr. Russell K. Tardo
22Let 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. 23Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. [Heb. 10:22-25]
I. From the Old to the New
The Hebrew Christians were experiencing great persecution. They were unpopular, even unwelcome in their communities, and ostracized by their families. These Hebrew Christians had a religious upbringing in Judaism. They had come into a very simple faith in Christianity from a very complex religious system in Judaism -- a great difference! Some were not ready to give up the old religious system. The wanted to straddle the fence and take the best of both religions. Some had become slack in their attendance at meeting and were falling away. This epistle was written by Paul to encourage these Hebrew Christians emphasizing that the old religious system was inferior and binding, that the new system was superior to the old covenant.
In verse 22 above, the admonition was to draw near to God at a time when many were falling away. At a time when discipleship was unpopular, the call was to draw near in their communication to God. This was new to them as the Old Testament believer had no direct access to God. They were experiencing some difficulty in making the change from the Old Covenant to the New. Under the New Covenant, believers have the privilege of drawing near to God through the blood of Jesus. Ours is free access to the holy-of-holies without fear of death as in Old Testament days. The New Covenant brings the invitation for man to fellowship with God Himself, i.e., a personal, intimate relationship. It’s a freedom that has been given the believer, but that freedom is not without responsibility.
II. Drawing Near to God’s Presence
25Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. 26My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. 27For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a-whoring from thee. 28But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works. [Ps. 73:25-28]
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. [James 4:8]
The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. [Ps. 145:18]
The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. [Ps. 34:18]
By a complete or whole dependence on God, believers are to come with a right attitude, full assurance of faith, boldly, but not arrogantly, with a true heart, not a hypocritical heart.
A. Draw Near through Adoration:
Believers are to draw near through their adoration, praise, worship, and thanksgiving.
2Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
B. Draw Near through Meditation:
Believers are to draw near through prayerful meditation on the Word. The gates into the Father’s presence are gates of prayer. They have been perpetually opened by the blood of Jesus. To neglect prayer is to neglect God.
C. Draw Near through Holy Living:
Believers are to draw near through living holy lives. In order to be partakers of God’s holiness, the believer must draw from God through holy living.
Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee. [Ps. 86:2]
For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. [1 Thes. 4:7]
For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. [Heb. 12:10]
D. Draw Near through Obedience:
Believers are to draw near to God’s Word, even when it’s not popular to be obedient. While it’s not popular to preach against spiritual doctrine, unity, etc., it is obedient to do so.