The legal sacrifices under the law, which were but shadows of Christ’s atonement, could never make the comers perfect nor satisfy justice. Now, under the Gospel, Christ’s atonement is perfect and not to be repeated, and the sinner once pardoned, is ever pardoned as to his standing, and only needs to walk in communion with God, on the basis of Christ’s blood, to have a continuous sense of God’s pardon and favor.
1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
21 And having an 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 profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
25 Not 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.
26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;
33 Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.
34 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.
35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
Hebrews 10:1 – J. Vernon McGee
Hebrews 10:2-4 – J. Vernon McGee
Hebrews 10:5-10 – J. Vernon McGee
Hebrews 10:10-18 – J. Vernon McGee
Hebrews 10:19-20 – J. Vernon McGee
Hebrews 10:21-22 – J. Vernon McGee
Hebrews 10:23-25 – J. Vernon McGee
Hebrews 10:26-27 – J. Vernon McGee
Hebrews 10:28-31 – J. Vernon McGee
Hebrews 10:32-37 – J. Vernon McGee
Hebrews 10:38-39 – J. Vernon McGee
Hebrews 10:1-10 – “Lo, I Come To Do Thy Will”
When a heavenly body is in eclipse it can be examined with even greater precision than when the astronomer’s eye is directed toward its burning glory; so in Leviticus we can discover details of our Lord’s atonement otherwise overlooked. This is notably the case in Leviticus 1-4.
The keywords of this chapter are year by year and day by day as contrasted with continually and forever. Repetition means imperfection. The ancient offerers of sacrifice could never be sure that they were finally accepted. Each year they had to go over the odd ground. How different from us, who have heard Jesus say, “It is finished” (John 19:30)!
The spirit of inspiration offers to us the secret of our Savior’s work in His voluntary identification with the divine purposes. It was not so much His outward anguish and blood-shedding that made reconciliation possible, as His cry (Luke 22:42), “Father… not my will, but thine.” His attitude reminds us of the ancient custom of boring fast to the door the ear of the servant, who desired never again to leave His master’s service. “Mine ears hast thou opened” (Psalms 40:6). —Through the Bible Day by Day
Hebrews 10:9—He taketh away the first, that He may establish the second.
The meaning of this is clear. In the old covenant the stress was laid on the outward rite; but in the new covenant, for burnt-offerings and sacrifices for sin are substituted first the entire devotion and consecration of the blessed Lord to his Father’s will; and next, ours in Him.
It is very noticeable that by the offering of the cross, in which the Savior’s yielded will culminated, we are said to have been sanctified, consecrated, or set apart once for all (v. 10). The thought there is, evidently, that our Savior’s death has implicated us for evermore; and that his Church, whom He represented in that supreme act, is for ever pledged to be dead unto the world and sin.
But still later we learn that He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified (v. 14). The change of tense surely indicates that what was accomplished for us in the purpose of God when Jesus died, must be accomplished in us by the operation of the Holy Spirit. Every time, therefore, our will is brought into more perfect union with that of God, a further step is taken towards that glorious elevation which Jesus made ours in the death of the cross.
And if you would have an incentive to this, remember how Jesus promised that all who would do the will of God should be reckoned members of the holy family (Matthew 12:46-50). Are you a member of that family? You may be, and sit only on the outer circle, for the constituent members are always altering their position towards the central Christ; now advancing towards the inner heart, now receding. Oh, see to it that you are not only within the holy circle of the will of God, but that you are near the golden centre where Jesus is seated. —Our Daily Homily
Hebrews 10:11-25 – The New and Living Way Open to Us
Note the contrast between the standing of the priests and the sitting of the Priest. The one indicated incompleteness, the other a finished work. All that needed to be done for our final and entire deliverance from sin was accomplished when Jesus returned to the Father. It is for us to pass in large demands and claims. The bank is full, but we must draw on it.
It is a great help, in the study of the Old Testament, to notice how explicitly the writer here attributes to the Holy Spirit the words spoken by one of the old prophets. What a comfort it is to know that God forgets our sins when we have confessed and forsaken them!
The way of prayer and faith was new, for our Lord had just opened it; living, because only those alive in Christ can tread it. The rending of the Temple veil was emblematic of the open vision of God, given through Calvary. But we must be true, believing, reliant on His death and pure through His cleansing (John 13:5-8). —Through the Bible Day by Day
Hebrews 10:13 – The wrath of man shall praise God. I believe the last song of the redeemed, when they shall ultimately triumph, will celebrate in heavenly stanzas the wrath of man overcome by God. Sometimes, after great battle, monuments are raised to the memory of the fight; and of what are they composed? They are composed of weapons of death and of instruments of war which have been taken from the enemy. Now, to use that illustration, as I think it may be properly used, the day is coming when fury and wrath and hatred and strife shall all be woven into a song; and the weapons of our enemies, when taken from them, shall serve to make monuments to the praise of God. Rail on, rail on, blasphemer! Smite on, smite on, tyrant! Lift thy heavy hand, O despot! Crush the truth, which thou canst not crush; knock from His head the crown, – the crown that is far above thy reach, poor, puny, impotent mortal as thou art! Go on, go on! But all thou doest shall but increase His glories. For aught we care, we bid you still proceed with all your wrath and malice. Though it shall be worse for you, it shall be more glorious for our Master: the greater your preparaions for war, the more splendid shall be His triumphal chariot when He shall ride through the streets of heaven in pompous array. The more mighty your preparations for battle, the more rich the spoil which He shall divide with the strong. O Christian, fear not the foe! Remember, the harder his blows, the sweeter thy song; the greater his wrath, the more slendid thy triumph; the more he rages, the more shall Christ be honored in the day of His appearing. (Spurgeon)
Debt is one of the most disturbing and harassing factors in human experience. It sows nettles in the pillow of poverty, and even the merchant, farmer and banker pursue a weary existence when they are compelled to live under the shadow of overhanging indebtedness. How many hearts would be lightened today if by some magic stroke their books of debit and credit were balanced and for once they could feel and know that they owed no man anything. The weight which financial indebtedness imposes is comparable only with the weight which the debts of sin heap upon us. As we think of the sins of envy, and of malice, and of hatred, falsehood, deceit and cupidity, which our conscience has been justly charging up against us since early years, the load becomes all but intolerable. At this moment the great Debt Payer steps upon the scene. He presents a check in payment of the entire amount. It is payable to our order. He says, “Endorse this and your account with sin is square.” As an evidence of our love and faith we write our names with confidence and boldness across the back of the check and step forth into life with new hope and new determination.
Hebrews 10:19, 22 – Oh, the glory of the message! For 15 centuries Israel had a sanctuary with a Holiest of All, into which, under pain of death, no one might enter. Its one witness was: Man cannot dwell in God’s presence; cannot abide in His fellowship. And now how changed is all! As then the warning sounded: “No admittance! enter not!” so now the call goes forth: “Enter in! the veil is rent; the Holiest is open; God waits to welcome you to His bosom; henceforth you are to live with Him.” This is the message. Child! thy Father longs for thee to enter, to dwell, and to go out no more forever. (Andrew Murray)
Hebrews 10:19 – This is our title to enter. Our capacity to worship, when we have entered, will depend upon our spiritual energy. Christ is our title. The Holy Spirit is our capacity. Self has nothing to do with either the one or the other. What a mercy! We get in by the blood of Jesus; we enjoy what we find there by the Holy Spirit. The blood of Jesus opens the door; the Holy Spirit conducts us through the house. The blood of Jesus opens the casket; the Holy Spirit unfolds the precious contents. The blood of Jesus makes the casket ours; the Holy Spirit enables us to appreciate its rare and costly gems. (C.H. McIntosh)
Hebrews 10:22 – Faith, let us remember, is the root, and assurance is the flower. Doubtless you can never have the flower without the root; but it is no less certain you may have the root and not the flower. Faith is that poor trembling woman who came behind Jesus in the press, and touched the hem of His garment; Assurance is Stephen standing calmly in the midst of his murderers, and saying (Acts 7:56), “I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” Faith is the penitent thief, crying (Luke 23:42), “Lord, remember me”; Assurance is Job sitting in the dust, covered with sores, and saying (Job 19:25), “I know that my redeemer liveth”; “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15). Faith is Peter’s drowning cry, as he began to sink (Matthew 14:30), “Lord, save me.” Assurance is that same Peter declaring before the council, in after-times (Acts 4:11-12), “This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Faith is the anxious, trembling voice (Mark 9:24), “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief”; Assurance is the confident challenge (Romans 8:33-34), “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect?… Who is he that condemneth?” Faith is Saul praying in the house of Judas at Damascus, sorrowful, blind, and alone; Assurance is Paul, the aged prisoner, looking calmly into the grave, and saying (2 Timothy 1:12; 4:8), “I know whom I have believed. There is laid up for me a crown.” Faith is life. How great the blessing! Who can tell the gulf between life and death? And yet life may be weak, sickly, unhealthy, painful, trying, anxious, worn, burdensome, joyless, smileless to the very end. Assurance is more than life. It is health, strength, power, vigor, activity, energy, manliness, beauty. (Ryle)
Hebrews 10:23 – Faith is the cable which binds our boat to the shore,and by pulling at it we draw ourselves to the land; faith unites us to God, and then draws us near to Him. (Spurgeon)
Hebrews 10:23 – I would sooner walk in the dark and hold hard to a promise of my God, than trust in the light of the brightest day that ever dawned. (Spurgeon)
Hebrews 10:26-39 – Beware of Backsliding
The willful sin here referred to does not consist in isolated acts, but in a determined course of action, persisted in until the very desire for a better life wanes and dies out of the soul.
These strong remonstrances were needed in those days of sore persecution. Three considerations are adduced, urging steadfastness: (1.) The certain punishment which must follow on the rejection of the greatest gifts that God can make, so much richer than anything presented under the Mosaic covenant. (2.) The sufferings already endured, the reward for which would-be forfeited, if these harried souls were now to draw back. (3.) The near advent of the Christ, who would not fail to compensate His faithful servants.
Then we are reminded that the just—those who have been accepted in the Beloved—live; that is, may derive all the reinforcements of soul strength and patience that they require, from the unseen and eternal world where Jesus waits to succor and uphold. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Hebrews 10:29 – Disheartened by the extraordinary dangers and difficulties of their enterprise, a Roman army lost courage, and resolved on a retreat. The general reasoned with his soldiers. Expostulating with them, he appealed to their love of country, to their honor, and to their oaths. By all that could revive a fainting heart he sought to animate their courage and shake their resolution. Much they trusted, they admired, they loved him; but his appeals were all in vain. They were not to be moved; and, carried away, as by a panic, they faced round to retreat. At this juncture they were forcing a mountain-pass, and had just cleared a gorge where the road, between two stupendous rocks on one side and the foaming river on the other, was but a foot-path, broad enough for the step of a single man. As a last resort, he laid himself down there, saying, “If you will retreat, it is over this body you go, tramping me to death beneath your feet.” No foot advanced. The flight was arrested. His soldiers could face the foe, but not mangle beneath their feet one who loved them, and had often led their ranks to victory, sharing like a common soldier all the hardships of the campaign, and ever foremost in the fight. The sight was one to inspire them with decision. Hesitating no longer to advance, they wheeled round to resume their march: deeming it better to meet sufferings, and endure even death itself, than to trample under foot their devoted and patriotic leader. Their hearts recoiled from such an outrage. But for such as have named the name of Christ not to depart from iniquity, for such as have enlisted under His banner to go back to the world. for such as have renounced sin to return to its pleasures. involves a greater crime. A more touching spectacle bars our return. Jesus, as it were, lays Himsef down on our path; nor can any become backsliders, and return to the practice and pleasure of sin, without tramping Him under their feet. (Guthrie)
Hebrews 10:32 – There is a way in which the lapidary tells whether a diamond is genuine or not. He breathes on it, and if the breath linger there, it is a false diamond; if the breath immediately vanish, it is a real diamond. Then he has the grinding process afterward, if the first fail. So you can tell God’s jewel. If the breath of temptation comes on it, and soon vanishes, it is a real diamond; if that breath lingers, and continues to blur it, it is a false diamond. But better than all is the grinding machine of affliction. If a soul can go through that and keep bright, it is one of God’s jewels. (Talmage)
Hebrews 10:38 – Faith links us to eternal life; obedience keeps the life full. (C.I. Scofield)