Not the vegetable, but the command…”Let us…” I know, that was cheesy, but you are reading…and possibly hungry.
In Hebrews 10:19-25 we are given some very specific ‘let us’ commands:
19(A) Therefore, brothers,[a] since we have confidence to enter(B) the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20by(C) the new and living way that he opened for us through(D) the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21and since we have(E) a great priest over the house of God, 22let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts(F) sprinkled clean(G) from an evil conscience and our bodies(H) washed with pure water. 23(I) Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for(J) he who promised is faithful. 24And(K) let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25(L) not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and(M) all the more as you see(N) the Day drawing near.
The first ‘let us’ isn’t specified as a “let us”, so I’ll emphasize…let us NOT blow right past the “Therefore” that starts this passage out. Hebrews just finished explaining over and over again that Christ’s perfect sacrifice was once for all (10:10-14) unlike the former Old Testament covenant and high priests that had to offer sacrifices year after year, Christs sacrifice that paid for all of our sin does not have to be repeated year after year. It is final, finished, as Sovergeign Grace says “Completely Done“. This fact paves the way for 3 important exhortations:
- Let us draw near – our confidence in drawing near is not in ourselves, it’s in the finished perfect work of Jesus on the cross. Therefore our confidence is rock solid, it’s not based on us, our works, how we are feeling that day…we are clean and pure before God thru Jesus.
- Let us hold fast – again, we are exhorted to be diligent, faithful, committed.
- Let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works – the Lord has been beating this into my brain. When we gather either informally with friends, or formally in the body of believers at church…are we considering how to stir one another on to love and good works? Or are we just drinking java and hanging out? I need to grow in this area, hence the conviction. I need to EXHORT well. Is that what you think about when you are at church or with fellow Christians?
It’s no small “coincidence” that I’m reading David Peterson’s “Engaging with God” in the very chapter on Hebrews right this moment, for the Holy Spirit to keep driving that conviction deeper.
He maintains “the giving and receiving of exhortation is undoubtedly a key factor in the Christian assembly.” So, the first thing…on the more ‘obvious’ side is that you have to GO to church. You can’t exhort others and be challenged, stirred up if you aren’t there. So, let us keep challenging each other to stay committed to our local church body. While we are there, and also one-on-one…let us also ask the questions that actually might stimulate someone to keep moving (straining) forward in their spiritual walk. Again, Peterson helped me here this morning
“The purpose of this ministry is to avoid being hardened by sin’s deceitfulness (Heb 3:13). To put more positively, Christians need to expose themselves to the warnings and encouragements that will help them perservere in the faith and grow to maturity.”
The Altrogge’s had a great post on their blog that I will leave you with. 7 Tough Questions to Ask Your Friends. Check it out.
When we gather at church…are we asking these kinds of questions?
When we meet one on one…are we asking these kinds of questions?
It’s hard to ask those questions, isn’t it? A little awkward…it’s much easier to talk about Tiger Woods, or ask if all your Christmas shopping is done.
Hebrews commands us to stir one another to love and good works…and there is a sense of urgency to it…as v25 says “all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” One day Jesus will return, and we may grieve at all the small things of life that we let get in the way of following the Word here. Lettuce not let that happen!