The animal sacrifices of the Law (the first covenant) are shown to be insufficient, while the death of Christ fulfills the will of God and perfects those who are being sanctified (1-18). A three-fold exhortation based on what Christ has done (19-25) is followed by the fifth of six warnings, this one against despising God’s grace with willful sin (26-39).
POINTS TO PONDER
* Why Christ’s sacrifice is superior to animal sacrifices
* The importance of drawing near to God and assembling with brethren
* The terrifying condition of Christians who persist in willful sin
1) What are the main points of this chapter?
2) Why were animal sacrifices insufficient? (1-4)
- They did not make one perfect, because they could not take away sins
3) In coming to do the will of God, what has Jesus done? (9)
- He took away the first (covenant) that He may establish the second (covenant)
4) What distinguishes Christ’s sacrifice from those of OT priests? (11-14)
- He offered one sacrifice for all time, capable of perfecting those being sanctified
5) What threefold exhortation is based on what Jesus has done? (22-24)
- Let us draw near, let us hold fast, let us consider one another
6) What should we not forsake? (25)
- The assembling of ourselves together
7) What’s meant by "sin willfully"? What’s the consequence of doing so? (26-27)
- To knowingly persist in sin (i.e., presumptuous, rebellious sin)
- No sacrifice for sin, certain fearful expectation of judgment and fiery indignation
8) Of what is one guilty when they persist in sin? Why should one be afraid? (29-31)
- Trampling the Son of God underfoot, counting the blood by which one is sanctified a common thing, insulting the Spirit of grace
- God will judge His people, it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God
9) What three things do we need to receive the promise of God? (35-39)
- Confidence, endurance, faith
Animal sacrifices insufficient
[Heb 10:1-39 NKJV] 1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, [and] not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3 But in those [sacrifices there is] a reminder of sins every year. 4 For [it is] not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.
Christ's death fulfills God's will
5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: "Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. 6 In burnt offerings and [sacrifices] for sin You had no pleasure. 7 Then I said, 'Behold, I have come--In the volume of the book it is written of Me--To do Your will, O God.' " 8 Previously saying, "Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and [offerings] for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure [in them]" (which are offered according to the law), 9 then He said, "Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God." He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once [for all].
Christ's death perfects the sanctified
11 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. 15 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, 16 "This [is] the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them," 17 [then He adds], "Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." 18 Now where there is remission of these, [there is] no longer an offering for sin.
Hold fast to your confession
19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and [having] a High Priest over the house of God, 22 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. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of [our] hope without wavering, for He who promised [is] faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as [is] the manner of some, but exhorting [one another], and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
The just live by faith
26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on [the testimony of] two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. And again, "The LORD will judge His people." 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. 32 But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: 33 partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; 34 for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven. 35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: 37 "For yet a little while, [And] He who is coming will come and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith; But if [anyone] draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him." 39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.