Eternal – Spiritual Confidence - Blessed Assurance - Active Faith





Introduction


In life, when we have been given a welcome invitation, granted full accessibility, and are provided with unlimited resources with which to function and produce it is a clear and positive sign that we have been empowered, that we are in a good place; a place where we can be effective, confident, and maintain high functionality and expectations.


I am of course speaking directly of the eternal truths and foundational themes of Hebrews 10:19-25; atonement - redemption - reconciliation - regeneration - replication. In relatable terms; God in Christ has not only rescued us, but He has included us in His greatest plans. To do so He has welcomed us into His presence - assured us of our place at His table and His purpose for our life - equipped us with the gifts of His Spirit, and purposed us for the mission of His kingdom and the message of the Gospel to the world. These truths and themes generate hope and confidence in our faith and generate deep gratitude in our hearts that inspires and motivates us to love, to forgive, to show mercy and compassion, to live and confess life by faith in Him, and finally to serve in humility those who we desire to lead.


Any organizational, family, or community leader would be thrilled to lead from such a position of strength and confidence. That strength and confidence come to us from God the Father through the death, resurrection, and promise of Christ Jesus. The liberty to worship God comes to us in Christ, not from man - the freedom to live life without guilt, shame, and condemnation comes to us in His love, mercy and the forgiveness of our sin. We access the freedom to live this life in confidence, assurance, and gratitude in Christ - not in fear, insecurity, and constant apology because of the hostility and shame of hate and intimidation culture. No one has the authority to cancel Jesus...


Together we will unpack one of the historically eternal foundations of God's truth for His people - we are His people.

Biblical Text


Hebrews 10:19-25

[19] Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, [20] by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, [21] and since we have a great priest over the house of God, [22] let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean 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 how to stir up one another to love and good works, [25] not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Historical Context


Regarding basic historical context for the book of Hebrews one thing is certain. We are unlikely ever to be able to give specific answers to such questions as: Who wrote Hebrews? Where it was written? And to whom it was written? Written originally in Greek, Hebrews (the letter) itself does not give this information, and there is no textual evidence that it ever did. External evidence of authorship is unreliable and divided, and external evidence of the circumstances in which the letter was written is largely lacking. However, for those who are particularly interested, there are several reliable and reputable sources who have offered pathways of practical probability and logical thinking to place the writing of the letter in a specific time period. I am interested in that information, and have been for some time. I am well aware that many of you are not, and so for the purposes getting the intended meaning of the God-breathed Biblical text of Hebrews into our hearts and minds I am going to scratch the surface of a few of these historical issues and move on.


Authorship

At least thirteen potential authors have been theorized over the last twenty centuries including names like Paul, Clement of Rome, Luke, Barnabas, Peter, Jude, and my personal favorite - Stephen (ask me why). There is no generally acceptable evidence available and so the verdict is - author unknown. However, this did not prevent the early Church historian Eusebius, from including Hebrews as one of the 27 New Testament books canonized in 325 A.D.


"The Epistle which is inscribed to the Hebrews is received not only by the Churches of the East, but also by all Church writers of the Greek language before our days, as of Paul the apostle, though many believe that it is from Barnabas or Clement. And it makes no difference whose it is, since it is breathed out of the inspiration of the Spirit of God."

...Jerome 414 A.D.


Original Audience

There is no direct evidence of a specific audience for the book of Hebrews to have been directed at, or addressed to. The Hebrew centric content of the book reveals the knowledge level of both the author and the audience to be far above that of a novice or new believer. It also certainly appears by the content that both author and audience were well-versed in the religious history of God and the traditions of the lineage and lessons of His chosen covenant people. That might indicate Messianic Jews and then again, it might not.


What we do know is that the letter of Hebrews was widely circulated and embraced by first century apostolic leaders and the rapidly growing Church of Jesus. The fact that Hebrews was fully embraced and endorsed by first and second century Church leaders was one of the stronger cases for its eventual inclusion in the canonized New Testament.


Date of Authorship

The earliest written evidence of an apostolic leader referencing and acknowledging the letter of Hebrews is that of Clement of Rome in 94-96 A.D. However, there exists even stronger evidence that the letter was written prior to Nero led Rome, putting the date sometime before 64 A.D. In the last chapter of the letter itself there is reference to the release of young Timothy from prison and we know the active time for Timothy's ministry. There is also the reference of the persecution of Christians in Rome (chapter 10, 12) which is consistent with the Nero led persecutions dating to as we said 60-64 A.D.


Literary Genre

This is "muddy" but critically significant to the authenticity and veracity of the book or letter we have known for twenty centuries as Hebrews. The literature method is primarily written, not oral - yet has the sense and feel of a long homily or sermon. The language level is either common “letter” or literary “epistle”. The literary composition of Hebrews is either stereotyped or creative, and it addressees specific and or general themes and issues. it is clear from the literary style that Hebrews was written specifically to either an individual or a group. Finally, it's recognized patterns of an opening (protocol) and a closing (eschatocol) are classic representation of epistle or letter.


It truly seems best to conclude, while we recognize the oral features Hebrews which have led a majority of scholars to describe the body of Hebrews as a sermon, that Hebrews in its present form may be most accurately considered as a letter or epistle, in which its author displays skill in both written and (indirectly) oral communication.


Biblical Context


We cannot rightfully understand the theological and spiritual practicality of of this great passage in Hebrews without having a basic understanding of the Biblical atonement and sacramental system and the redemptive process. Here is an analogy and typology structure that I have adapted and customized for the context of our passage.


ANALOGY and TYPOLOGY: THE ALTAR OF THE HEBREW TABERNACLE (HOLY PLACE) and THE CROSS OF CHRIST


A. How the Hebrew High Priest Made Atonement at the Mercy Seat

(altar) in the Holy Place (behind the veil) (yom kippur)

1. Once a year the High Priest went into the Most Holy Place (see Hebrews 9 and Leviticus 16).

(a) He first offered a sacrifice for his own sin.

(b) He then offered a sacrifice for the sins of the people.

2. The sacrificed animal was slaughtered openly on the altar.

(a) The high priest then collected blood that came from the animal.

(b) He took this blood and offered it on the Mercy Seat (place of atonement) inside the Most Holy Place.

(1) The animal was an offering when it was on the altar; a pledge before all.

(2) Atonement did not take effect until the very blood was sprinkled

on the Mercy Seat behind the veil.


B. How Christ Made the Ancient Sacrificial System Obsolete on the

Cross (1 Corinthians 5:7)

1. What he did on the cross was done once and for all (Hebrews 10:10).

(a) He did not need to offer sacrifices for his own sin (Hebrews 4:15).

(b) All he did was for our sins (1 Peter 2:24).

2. Jesus shed his blood openly on the cross.

(a) That is our pledge that we will be saved (Hebrews 2:9).

(b) But atonement took effect when Christ entered the heaven of heavens by his own blood (Hebrews 9:24).

(1) He died for all (2 Corinthians 5:14–15; 1 Timothy 2:6).

(2) He intercedes only for those who come to God through him (Hebrews 7:25).

(3) In short: the atonement takes effect for believers only (Romans 3:22–26).


(Adapted and Customized for Reunion Church [2021] from R. T. Kendall [1996]. Understanding Theology, Volume One (pp. 119–120)




About Reunion Community Church

We are a Bible teaching Christian church in Peoria, AZ. We love God and teach His Truth. We invite you, your family and friends to join us on the faith journey, growing closer to one another, the Christian community of believers at Reunion, and most importantly with God. Read more about the timeless Truth we build our lives and faith in Christ on HERE.

We are conveniently located just off the 101 on 83rd Ave and Cactus Rd. Join us on Sunday mornings, Weds. evenings, and throughout the week at our small groups, meeting in homes around the Valley, including Surprise, Glendale, Peoria, Phoenix, Goodyear, Litchfield, and more. Connect with us on Facebook and watch our live streaming service on YouTube.