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Bible Commentaries

Henry Mahan's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament
Hebrews 10

 

 

Verses 1-10

He takes away the first
and
establishes the second

Hebrews 10:1-10

Hebrews 10:1. The ceremonial law given by Moses is a figure or picture of the good things to come in Christ. These ‘good things’ are pardon, peace, rest, fellowship, preservation, and eternal life. The tabernacle, the priesthood, and the law were not given to put away sin, but only to serve as a blueprint of the real tabernacle and sacrifice, which is Christ (Colossians 2:16-17; Hebrews 8:4-5).

Hebrews 10:2. If any or all of these sacrifices could put away sin –

1. They would have ceased to be offered! If I bring an atonement and it puts away my sin, then I need not offer another (Hebrews 10:12-14).

2. The people who offered the sacrifice would be discharged from all sin and guilt and would feel no condemnation (Romans 8:1; Romans 5:1).

This is the reason we have such assurance and confidence in Christ (Romans 8:33-34). He has offered one sacrifice, and we feel totally confident that our sins are gone (Hebrews 10:17; Isaiah 53:4-6).

Hebrews 10:3. In these Old Testament sacrifices offered on a regular basis, a fresh remembrance of sin is brought forth; they are still there. The very sacrifices themselves reminded the people of their sins. The sacrifices must continue until the Messiah comes and puts an end to them and to sin by his sacrifice.

Hebrews 10:4. It is not possible for animal blood to take away sin.

1. Sin is a transgression of the moral law. These sacrifices belong to a ceremonial law. Christ was born under and obeyed the moral law (Galatians 4:4-5).

2. The blood is not the same blood. It is not from the same kind of person who sinned. But Christ was bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh (Hebrews 2:16-18).

3. Sin deals with the mind and conscience to which an animal cannot relate. Christ made his soul an offering for sin. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:10-11).

Hebrews 10:5-8 is a quotation from Psalms 40:6-8 in which David writes of Christ who was to come.

Hebrews 10:5. God would have the sacrifices and offerings continue only for a time until Christ came (1 Corinthians 5:7). He would never accept them as a term of righteousness; but he clothed Christ in a human body prepared by the Holy Spirit, that Christ might (in the body of a man) obey the law and suffer for sin (Romans 5:19; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22).

Hebrews 10:6. Burnt offerings and sacrifices could never satisfy his justice, appease his anger, honor his law, nor put away sin. There is no pleasure nor satisfaction in a picture (Isa l:11-18).

Hebrews 10:7. In the Book of God (the Bible) it is clearly written that Christ should come to work out the redemptive will of God (Luke 24:44-47).

Hebrews 10:8. In this verse, Paul repeats the prophecy, including all sacrifices and types; so that when they are all fulfilled and replaced by Christ, it will be clearly stated that none of them gave any pleasure to the Father except as they were offered in faith toward Christ (Hebrews 11:4; Hebrews 11:17; Hebrews 11:28).

Hebrews 10:9. In completely fulfilling the redemptive will of God (John 6:38), Christ has put away all sacrifices, all offerings, the priesthood, and all that was associated with that covenant; and he stands in the place of them all. When we have Christ, we have all things (1 Corinthians 3:21-23; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Colossians 2:9-10).

Hebrews 10:10. here is the sum of it all. here is the gospel of redemption in a verse!

1. ‘By the which will:’ that is, by the will, purpose, and design of the heavenly Father. Eternally decreed, we are redeemed (John 1:11-13; Romans 9:11-16; Ephesians 1:5; Ephesians 1:9; Ephesians 1:11).

2. ‘We are sanctified.’ Sin is put away; we are holy and accepted by God (Ephesians 1:6; Colossians 1:21-22; Jude 1:24).

3. ‘Through the offering of the body of Christ.’ his human body was offered on the cross. His blood was shed. He died for our sins (Isaiah 53:4-6).

4. ‘Once for all.’ One atonement–one sacrifice–one offering (1 Peter 1:18-21; Hebrews 9:26-28).


Verses 11-25

The foundation and exercise of grace

Hebrews 10:11-25

Hebrews 10:11. ‘Every priest.’ We are not speaking of the High Priest, who offered the atonement once a year, but of the common priests (who were many) who offered daily sacrifices. ‘Standeth’ at the altar, showing that their work was never finished. ‘Which can never take away sins.’ The fact that they were continually offered indicates that they were ineffectual (Numbers 28:3-4).

Hebrews 10:12. ‘But this man.’ Our Lord became a man, though not a mere man, but the God-man (Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:23). ‘Offered one sacrifice,’ forever. ‘Sat down on the right hand of God’ (Hebrews 1:3). His work done, his sacrifice accepted, his people sanctified, our sins pardoned–he sat down. All this is different from the priests under the Law. They were many–Christ One! They offered many sacrifices–he only one! They stood–he sat. Their sacrifices were but types–his effectual!

Hebrews 10:13. ‘Til his enemies be made his footstool’ (Psalms 110:1); that is, until all enemies of him and his people be subdued under him–carnal professors, profane rebels, the world, the devil, all the powers of darkness, and the last enemy, death itself (1 Corinthians 15:25-26).

Hebrews 10:14. ‘By one offering,’ himself, body and soul. This is why he sat down, why he expects his enemies to be destroyed, why he is at the right hand of God. He has accomplished what he came to do. He has completely cleansed, perfected, and made holy all who were given him by the Father. To be sanctified is to be set apart by the Father (Jude 1:1), to be declared holy by the Son (1 Corinthians 1:2), and to be made holy both instantly and progressively by his Spirit (2 Thessalonians 2:13).

Hebrews 10:15-17. This is a quotation from Jeremiah 31:31-34. The word of God is one, both Old and New Testament. This is the sum and substance of the new covenant. After the days of types, ceremonies, and promises, when the Messiah has come and fulfilled all things, my laws, my gospel, my commandments will be written on their minds (to think on them) and on their hearts (to love them), not on tablets of stone. They shall all be priests to offer sacrifices of faith, praise, and devotion; and because of the sufficient sacrifice of the Redeemer, all sin shall be forgiven and remembered no more (1 John 1:7). In the Old Testament sacrifices, there was a remembrance of sin with every sacrifice, but now he has put away sin and will remember it no more!

Hebrews 10:18. Where there is absolute remission, forgiveness, and cancellation of all penalty, there is no longer any offering or sacrifice to be made. If we are in Christ and redeemed by Christ, it is dishonoring to our Saviour not to rest in his grace and his atonement (Romans 8:1).

‘Tis done, the great transaction's done,

I am my Lord's and he is mine.’

The foundation of grace

Hebrews 10:19-21. We have full freedom and confidence to enter the very presence of God by the power and virtue of his blood (Hebrews 4:14-16). The veil in the temple is rent in two, and the ceremonies and sacrifices have all been laid aside by Christ's effectual sacrifice in the flesh (Galatians 5:1). We have an eternal, great High Priest who rules and reigns by virtue of his atonement and who is accepted and has absolute authority!

The duties and exercises of grace (Hebrews 10:22-25)

Hebrews 10:22. Let us all come forward in prayer and praise before our God with honest, open, and sincere hearts. He will receive us, for our hearts have been sprinkled with the blood of Christ and our bodies have been washed or purified by his Spirit.

Hebrews 10:23. Let us persevere in faith and grace, whatever the trial, the fear, the doubt; for God is faithful to his promise, and in that he promised.

Hebrews 10:24. Let us consider one another both as frail men and as brethren. If we are busy loving and giving love, we will have less time to complain of being neglected. We can also help to kindle and re-kindle love and grace in others.

Hebrews 10:25. Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. It is the duty and privilege of believers to meet together for worship, praise and fellowship.

1. Because of God, who has appointed it, who approves of it, who is glorified in it, and who should be worshipped.

2. Because of ourselves. We need to be edified, instructed, refreshed, and comforted.

3. Because of others, that they may be convinced, converted, and brought to a knowledge of Christ.


Verses 26-39

The just shall live by faith

Hebrews 10:26-39

Hebrews 10:26-27. These words have been wrongly made use of in order to prove that persons who commit sin after baptism are lost or should be excluded from the fellowship, and they have brought great distress to the honest heart that is burdened with a sense of inward sin and realizes that ALL of our sins have a degree of willfulness. The true sense of the whole is this: After men have embraced and professed the truth of the gospel of Christ (and particularly the great truth of this chapter--that Jesus Christ is the only High Priest, his blood the only atonement, his sacrifice the end and fulfillment of all types) and yet after all this, against all evidences, light, and revelation, they willfully deny the sufficiency of Christ and the efficacy of his sacrifice, there is no other sacrifice for sin--there is no other Saviour! There is no help for them, no hope, only a certain fearful judgment against them eternally. There is no going back to the Mosaic ceremonies; so if you willfully turn from Christ, there is no hope! (Acts 4:12; 1 Corinthians 3:11.)

Hebrews 10:28-29. God gave the moral and ceremonial laws to the people through Moses, and any person who rejected them or set at naught their rules and sacrifices was put to death (Deuteronomy 17:1-6). While the tabernacle and ordinances stood, they were binding upon the people. If God poured his wrath upon those who made light of the types, think how severe shall be his judgments upon those who reject or make light of the precious blood of his dear Son. A return to circumcision and ceremony (away from Christ) is to bring contempt upon the Person of Christ (Galatians 5:1-4; Galatians 4:21).

Hebrews 10:30-31. Such persons who choose will-worship, circumcision, works, and law in the stead of the revealed Christ have every reason to expect the wrath and judgment of God to fall on them; for it is threatened in the word of God (Deuteronomy 32:35-39). We have many examples of God's dealing in wrath with Israel when they turned to idols. It is a fearful thing to incur the wrath of the eternal and living God (John 3:36).

Hebrews 10:32-34. To encourage these Hebrew believers to persevere in Christ and to hold to their confidence in him and not be disturbed and discouraged by false prophets, ceremonialists, and legalists (who would question their liberty in Christ), Paul tells them to remember the early days of faith when they endured mocking, ridicule, and affliction. When you left the world to walk with Christ, they did not allow you to leave peacefully; but you knew that in heaven you had a family, an inheritance, and a lasting glory, even if you lost everything here. The people you lose for Christ's sake are nothing compared to the family you gain. The comforts, pleasures, and fame of this world are soap bubbles –the glory of heaven is eternal.

Hebrews 10:35. Cast not away your confidence, your boldness in Christ; for great reward is in store for the true believer.

Hebrews 10:36. You have great need of patience and perseverance in Christ, for the fulfillment of the promise is to those who continue in the faith of Christ (Hebrews 3:6; Hebrews 3:14; Colossians 1:19-23).

Hebrews 10:37. Yet a little while and Christ will come for his own (John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11). When Christ comes, he will put an end to all suffering and death (1 Corinthians 15:24-26; Revelation 21:4-5).

Hebrews 10:38. True believers live by faith, not by law, works, merit, or ceremony.

1. They receive spiritual life by faith in Christ.

2. That life is sustained and kept by the power of God through faith.

3. That life shall be perfected by faith –all of grace! Works make no contribution to our life in Christ; and if any professor of faith draws back to ceremonialism or away from PURE faith in Christ, ‘My soul hath no delight in him.’

Hebrews 10:39. True believers will not and do not leave Christ, nor will they take up beggarly elements in the place of Christ. ‘To whom shall we go? He hath the words of life.’ (John 10:27-30; Romans 8:38-39.)

 


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Bibliography Information
Mahan, Henry. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:4". Henry Mahan's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hms/hebrews-10.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, June 26th, 2019
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
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