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Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible
Hebrews 10

 

 

Verses 1-18

Hebrews 10:1. 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.

A man could go to the Levitical sacrifices twenty years running, and yet be no forwarder. He must go again and again as long as he lived. They were only figures and shadows and types; the real sacrifice is Christ.

Hebrews 10:2. For then-

If they had been effectual,

Hebrews 10:2. Would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

Once forgiven, the sin would not have come back again. If the sacrifice had really cleansed the conscience of the offerer, he would not have had cause to present it again.

Hebrews 10:3-5. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

Wherefore when he cometh- he who is the essence of it all, “When he cometh,”

Hebrews 10:5-7. Into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

Types were no longer needed when the great Antitype had come. Christ was no longer pre-figured, for he was there in person. He put away the old shadows of the blood of bulls and goats when he brought his own real sacrifice, the true atonement for sin.

Hebrews 10:8-9. 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; then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

The old law is gone, the first sacrifice is no longer presented, for the second is come, the real offering of Christ the Lamb of God.

Hebrews 10:10. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Once, and only once. How Paul loves to recall this fact!

Hebrews 10:11-12. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this man,

Note these glorious words, “This Man,”-

Hebrews 10:12-13. After he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

He would not have sat down if his work had not been done. He would not have ceased from his priestly service of presenting sacrifice if his one offering had not been sufficient. This Man’s offering once, once, once, has done all that God demanded, and all that man required.

Hebrews 10:14. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

This glorious message is for you, beloved, if you believe in Christ. By his one sacrifice he has done all that you need; he has perfected you for ever.

Hebrews 10:15-17. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I wilt 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; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

Treasure up these golden words: “Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”

Hebrews 10:18. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

The offering for sin is in order that sin may be put away; and if it be put away, so that God himself will remember it no more, what more is wanted? What more could be desired? Wherefore, let us rest in the one great finished work of Christ, and be perfectly happy. Sin is gone, wrath is over, for those for whom Christ died; they are perfected for ever through his one great sacrifice.

This exposition consisted of readings from Hebrews 9:24-28; and Hebrews 10:1-18.


Verses 1-22

Hebrews 10:1. For the law —

The old ceremonial law of Moses, —

Hebrews 10:1. 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.

Those that were sprinkled with the blood of the Old Testament sacrifices did not feel that their sin was for ever put away. They went back, after the victim had been offered, with a certain measure of rest and relief, but not with that perfect rest which is the accompaniment of the pardon that Jesus gives to those who come unto God through him.

Hebrews 10:2. For —

If the worshippers had thus been made perfect; if they had been completely cleansed and accepted through these sacrifices, —

Hebrews 10:2. Then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

The fact that there was a lamb to be offered every morning and every evening, and that there was a great day of atonement to be observed every year, proved that there was sin still remaining, which had not been put away, sin that the worshippers needed to come again, and again, and yet again, with fresh sacrifices for their fresh sins. The apostle’s argument is unanswerable.

Hebrews 10:3-4. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

Your common sense tells you “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” Although rivers of such blood should continually be flowing, what efficacy could there be in them to put away the moral stain of guilt and transgression against God?

Hebrews 10:5. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, —

That great HE, — that Divine HE, — our Saviour and our God. “when he cometh into the world,”-

Hebrews 10:5-7. He saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

That will had not been done, although myriads of sacrifices had been offered. But Christ came really to do that will by offering himself as the one and only acceptable sacrifice.

Hebrews 10:8-9. 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; then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

An end was made of the types and shadows of the ceremonial law, that the real substance might be introduced by Christ. Never imagine, dear friends, that the old Jewish ceremonial law is to drag on its existence, and to be intermingled with the Christian dispensation. Ah, no! As the shadows of the night vanish when the sun arises, as the lamps in yonder street are put out when daylight returns, so was it with all the types and shadows of the ancient law when the great Antitype appeared.

Hebrews 10:10. By the which will —

That is, the will of God as done by Christ: “By the which will “ —

Hebrews 10:10-12. We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; —

Oh, what a blessed doctrine this is, — that the one offering of Christ has done what the tens of thousands of offerings under the old law never could accomplish! All the work of man is but the spinning of a righteousness which is undone as quickly as it is spun; but Christ has finished the seamless and spotless robe of his righteousness which is to last for ever. By his one sacrifice he has ended all the fruitless labour of the ages; and, now, as many of us as have believed in him have all the benefits of his perfect work. Having completed his great task, he “sat down on the right hand of God;” —

Hebrews 10:13. From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

“Expecting.” That was the subject of this morning’s sermon. We are expecting something better than we have yet seen. “We were saved in hope,” We are expecting that which is yet to be revealed; and our covenant Head is expecting, too. This is the age of expectancy. We have not yet come to the fullness of the blessing that is ours in Christ Jesus. The mercy of God is at present; only in the bud; the fully-developed flower has yet to be seen. Christ is expecting; his saints are expecting; the whole creation is expecting.

Hebrews 10:14-17. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 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; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

Oh, what a blessed covenant this is! Christ’s death has established a covenant of grace in which there is no flaw, and no possibility of failure, for the one Condition of the covenant has been fulfilled by Christ, and now it stands as a covenant of “shalls” and “wills” on God’s part from which he will never run back. It is not, “If they do this, and if they do that, I will do the other;” but it is all “I will.” “I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”

Hebrews 10:18. Now Where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

No more offering for sin is needed, for the work of atonement is fully done, and done for ever. As the sin of all who believe in Jesus is put away, what heed is there of any further sacrifice on account of it? The atonement is complete; let us therefore rejoice in it, and praise God for it.

Hebrews 10:19-22. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God; 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.


Verses 1-25

Hebrews 10:1. 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.

This refers to the old ceremonial law, under which the Jews lived so long. They always had to go on, year after year, offering the same kind of sacrifices, because the work of atonement was never done perfectly; men were not cleansed or saved by it, so the process had to be constantly repeated.

Hebrews 10:2. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

There would have been no need to bring another lamb to be offered if the one which was presented had put away sin; there would have been no need of another day of atonement if the sacrifice on the one day had really made atonement for sin.

Hebrews 10:3-4. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

Their blood was only a picture, an emblem, a type of far more precious blood, — the shadow of the real atonement which was afterwards to be offered.

Hebrews 10:5. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, —

That is, the true Messiah, the Son of God, Jesus of Nazareth, our Redeemer: “When he cometh into the world,” —

Hebrews 10:5. He saith, —

According to Psalms 40:6-8, —

Hebrews 10:5-9. Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. 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; then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

He takes away the type because the great Antitype has come. He abolishes the offering of bullocks, and goats, and lambs, because HE has come whom they all foreshadowed.

Hebrews 10:10. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Or, “once.” It can never be offered again. The presence of offering up the body and the blood of Christ in the mass is sheer profanity. It has been done once, and there is no need of a repetition. To suppose that it could be repeated, is to imply that it was incomplete on the first occasion; but it was not, for by it we are already sanctified.

Hebrews 10:11-12. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

It was done, wholly done, and done for ever; nothing was to be added to it, and, therefore, Jesus “sat down” in the place of honour and power “on the right hand of God”; —

Hebrews 10:13-14. From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

Or, “set apart.” He has fully saved all those for whom he died. His one sacrifice was so effectual that, by it, he has for ever put away the sin of the whole multitude of those that believe in him.

Hebrews 10:15. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us:

And what more veritable witness can we have? That to which the Holy Ghost bears testimony must never be questioned by us.

Hebrews 10:15-17. For after that he had said before, 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; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

What a wonderful covenant that is; — not that he will bless you if you keep the law, but that you shall be enabled to keep it, and that he will lead you to do so by putting his law, not on tables of stone, where your eye can see it, but on the fleshy tablets of your heart, where your soul shall feel its force and power, so that you shall be obedient to it. Meditate on those glorious words: “Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”

Hebrews 10:18. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

If the sins themselves have gone, and God will remember them no more, no further sacrifice is required for them. What need have ye of cleansing if ye are so clean that God himself sees no sin in you? O glorious purgation by the atoning sacrifice of Christ! Rejoice in it, and praise the Lord for it for ever and ever.

Hebrews 10:19-25. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God; 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. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 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.

Notice the practical teaching of this great truth. If you have been thus washed, do not defile yourselves again. If, by God’s rich mercy, you have been delivered from the transgressions of the past, let gratitude move you to holy living, and endeavor, not only to grow in grace yourselves, but to help others in the same direction, that so the abounding mercy of God may have from us abundant praise. God grant it for his name’s sake! Amen.

This exposition consisted of readings from Hebrews 9:18-28; and Hebrews 10:1-25.


Verses 1-39

Hebrews 10:1-2. 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. For then would they not have ceased to be offered”

If the sacrifice had really put away sin, surely it would never have needed to be offered again. If one sacrifice had put away the guilt of Israel, there would have been no need to bring another.

Hebrews 10:2. Because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

Once cleansed from sin, we are cleansed from sin; the great deed is done once for all,

Hebrews 10:3-5. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world,

You know who that is, there is but one great “HE” to us,-our blessed Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, the true High Priest.

Hebrews 10:5. He saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

By the work of the Holy Ghost within the Virgin Mary, the blessed body of Christ was “prepared” so that he ought be God and man in one person, and so might bring an offering acceptable unto God.

Hebrews 10:6-9. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither had pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

That he may bring in the real sacrifice of which the others were but types and prefigurations.

Hebrews 10:10. By the which will-

The will which Christ fulfilled in life and in death: “By the which will” —

Hebrews 10:10. We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once.

Only one sacrifice was required. The key-word here is that little word “once.” Let it not only sound in your ears, but be written in your hearts. Jesus Christ died once, he brought his sacrifice once, he put away our sins once.

Hebrews 10:11-12. And every priest stinted daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

Christ stands no longer to minister as a sacrificing priest, he is sitting down on the right hand of God. That is the posture of one whose work is done, and who is taking his rest: “He sat down on the right hand of God

Hebrews 10:13-18. From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 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 the minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, these is no more offering for sin.

Sin itself being no longer imputed to any believer in Christ, there is neither the occasion nor the need for the offering of another sacrifice for sin. Christ’s one sacrifice has for ever put away the sins of all who believe in him.

Hebrews 10:19-22. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God; 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.

The Jew could not personally go up to the mercy-seat; he had to go there through his representative, the high priest, and we have Christ as our “high priest over the house of God,” so we come to God through him. The Israelite could not pass through the veil which hid from public gaze the glory of the Shekinah, and Jesus Christ’s humanity was a veil which somewhat concealed the glory of his Deity; but the flesh of Christ having been crucified, the veil has been rent, and now we may come right up to the throne of God without trembling; nay, we may come even with holy boldness and familiarity, and speak to God without alarm. Having such a privilege as this, let us not neglect it. It was denied to prophets and kings in the olden time; but now that it is vouchsafed to us, let us avail ourselves of it, and constantly “let us draw near” unto God “with a true heart in full assurance of faith.”

Hebrews 10:23. Let us holdfast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

As he is faithful, let us also be faithful, and hold, as with a death grip, the faith which has been revealed to us and wrought within us by the Holy Spirit; ay, and the profession of that faith too, never being ashamed to own that we are followers of the Nazarene. And let us while we are thus faithful ourselves, endeavor to strengthen others.

Hebrews 10:24. And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

The Greek is, to stir each other up to a paroxysm of love. There is no fear that we shall ever go too far in our love to God; though it should cast us into a state of blessed excitement, yet would it be healthy for us so to live and so to work.

Hebrews 10:25. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is;

For Christian fellowship is helpful to us, and we are helpful to others by it. A Christian is not meant to be a solitary being. Sheep are gregarious, and so are the sheep of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us not be solitary pilgrims along the road to heaven, but join that glorious host of God’s elect who march beneath the guidance of our great Master.

Hebrews 10:25. But exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Does not every day bring us nearer to the coming of the Lord? Are there not many signs that these are the last days? Well then, so much the more let us stir each other up to love and to good works.

Hebrews 10:26-27. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

Here the truth taught is that, if a Christian apostatizes, if he renounces his faith, and goes back to the world, it is impossible to reclaim him. A backslider may be restored, but anyone who should wilfully, after receiving the truth, reject it, has rejected the only Saviour; he has rejected the only regeneration; and, consequently, he is without the pale of the possibilities of restoration. The question is, “Will any true child of God so apostatize?” That question is answered in this very chapter; but the truth here taught is that, if he does, he goes into a state of absolute hopelessness.

Hebrews 10:28-29. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment,-

Can there be any sorer punishment than to die without mercy? Yes, there is, for there is eternal punishment: “of how much sorer punishment,” —

Hebrews 10:29-31. 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? 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. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

With what terrible sentences does Paul hedge up the way of the believer! Leave that way, and there is nothing for you but destruction. Reject your Saviour, give up your hope in him, and there cannot be another name by which you can be saved, or another glorified by which you can be cleansed from sin.

Hebrews 10:32-33. But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions;-

Made a spectacle to be mocked at in the theater of the world; —

Hebrews 10:33-35. And partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. 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. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.

You must push on; you have already defied the foe, to turn back is certain destruction, for you have no armor for your back.

Hebrews 10:36. For ye have need of patience,-

Or, endurance, —

Hebrews 10:36. That, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

To hold on, to continue to do God’s will,-this is the task. To start, and to make a spurt now and then, is easy enough; but to keep on, is trying to every spiritual muscle; and only God can enable you to do so.

Hebrews 10:37-38. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

If there be a drawing back from faith, God can have no pleasure in us; but shall we draw back? That is the question, and here is the answer: —

Hebrews 10:39. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition;-

We who have believed in Jesus, we who have sincerely committed ourselves to his care, we who have been born again of the Holy Spirit, we in whom there is the real work of grace which God has pledged to carry on, — “we are not of them who draw back unto perdition:” —

Hebrews 10:39. But of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

What a blessed truth is this! O Christian, as you see the danger that lies before you if you did prove to be an apostate, bless that sovereign grace which will not suffer you so to do, even as Paul wrote to the Philippians, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

This exposition consisted of readings from Hebrews 9:24-28; and Hebrews 10.


Verses 19-39

Hebrews 10:19-22. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God; 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.

The place of the Christian is that of the nearest conceivable access to God for “the holiest” is “the holy of holies,”-that innermost part of the tabernacle to reach which the high priest had to pass through the outer court, and through the court of the priests, and then through the beautiful veil which concealed the mercy-seat. At the death of Christ, that veil was rent from the top to the bottom, so now there is nothing to keep us back from the mercy-seat. We, therefore, have boldness and liberty in that way “to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus;” where the high priest himself could only go once in the year, we may go at all times. The veil has not been merely lifted up for a while, and then dropped down again; it is not rolled up ready for future use; it is rent in twain, destroyed. Since Jesus has died, there is no separation now between the believer and his God except by means of such a veil as our base unbelief may please to hang up. The crimson way of Christ’s shed blood lies open to all believers therefore, “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,”

Hebrews 10:23. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering;

Not only hold it, but hold it fast without wavering. Let us never have a question about it. God grant that we may have an unquestioning, unstaggering faith! To hold fast the profession of our faith, seems enough; but to hold it fast without wavering, is better still; and so we ought to do.

Hebrews 10:23. (For he is faithful that promised;)

God gives us no cause for wavering, for he never wavers. If he were an unfaithful God, we might naturally be an unbelieving people; but “he is faithful that promised.” Therefore, “let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering.”

Hebrews 10:24. And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

I am afraid there are some who consider one another to provoke in quite a different spirit from this,-who watch to find out a tender spot where a wound will be most felt. They observe the weakness of a brother’s constitution, and then play upon it, or make jests about it. All this is evil, so let us avoid it; let us all seek out the good points of our brethren, and consider them, that we may afterwards be the means of guiding them to those peculiar good works for which they are best adapted. “Provoke unto love and to good works.” I do not know how we can do that better than by being very loving and very full of good works ourselves, for then will others be likely to say, “If these people are helped by God’s grace to love like this, and to labour like this, why should not we do the same” A good example is often better than a very proper precept.

Hebrews 10:25. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is;-

Yes; there are some who even make a bad use of what ought to be a great blessing, namely, the printing-press, and the printed sermon, by staying at home to read a sermon because, they say, it is better than going out to hear one. Well, dear friend, if I could not hear profitably, I would still make one of the assembly gathered together for the worship of God. It is a bad example for a professing Christian to absent himself from the assembly of the friends of Christ. There was a dear sister, whom many of you knew, who used to attend here with great regularity, although she could not hear a word that was said; but she said it did her good to join in the hymns, and to know that she was worshipping God with the rest of his people. I wish that some, who stay away for the most frivolous excuses, would think of this verse: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is;”-

Hebrews 10:25. But exhorting one another and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

It is not the work of the minister alone to exhort, but the brethren, and the sisters, too, should exhort one another, and seek to stir each other up in the faith and fear of God.

Hebrews 10:26-27. For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

This is a solemn text, containing a very terrible truth. If, after having been regenerated, and made children of God, we were willfully and deliberately to let the Saviour go, and apostatize altogether to the world, there would be no hope for us. What, then, is our hope? Why, that we shall never be permitted to do so,-that the grace of God will keep us so that, although we may fall like Peter, we shall not fall away like Judas,-that, though we may sin, there shall not be that degree of studied willfulness about it that would make it to be the sin unto death, a deliberate act of spiritual suicide. The doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints derives great glory from this other truth that, if they did not persevere, there is no second means of grace, no other plan of salvation. No man was ever born again twice; no man was ever washed twice in the precious blood of Jesus. The one washing makes us so clean that “he that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet,” for which Jesus provides by daily cleansing; but the one grand atoning act never fails. If it did fail, there would remain “no more sacrifice for sins.

Hebrews 10:28-29. He that despised Moses law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 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

For apostasy from Christ would amount to all this; and if that were possible, what grace would remain?

Hebrews 10:30. 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.

O professors, take this message home to your hearts! Let every one of us take it home: “The Lord shall judge his people.” God’s fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem. If a man tries nothing else, he will test his gold; and if no others shall be judged, yet certainly those will be who say that they are the Lord’s people. In that dread day, he will separate the goats from the sheep, the tares from the wheat, and the dross from the gold; his fan will be in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor; he will sit as a refiner of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi; he shall be like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap. Woe to those, in that day, who are a defilement to his Church, and an adulteration to the purity of his people!

Hebrews 10:31. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

What a terrible verse is that! It is a text that ought to be preached from by those who are always saying that the punishment of the wicked will be less than, according to our minds, the Word of God leads us to expect it to be:

“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

Hebrews 10:32. But call to remembrance the former days,-

The apostle is not expecting that any of them will ever go back to where they were before; he is persuaded that they will persevere even to the end. The very warning that he gives is a powerful preventive against apostasy. Now comes the exhortation: “Call to remembrance the former days.” Some of you can “call to remembrance” the time when you joined the church, when you had to run the gauntlet for Christ’s sake. Then, in your early Christian life, you feared nothing and nobody so long as you could glorify God. Then, you had great enjoyment, sweet seasons of communion with your Lord: “Call to remembrance the former days.”

Hebrews 10:32-33. In which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; partly, whilst ye were made a gazing stock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.

In your early Christian days, you were pointed at, and regarded as quite singular for being servants of Christ; or, possibly, it was not yourselves so much as your pastors, your leaders, your friends who were prominent in the church, at whom the arrows of the adversaries were aimed. They shot at you through them; and, sometimes, that pained you much more than when they distinctly attacked you. Altogether, it was “a great fight of afflictions” that you had to endure.

Hebrews 10:34. For ye had compassion of me in my bonds,

In those early days, the Jewish believers clung as the unbelieving Jews persecuted him, to Paul just as ardently

Hebrews 10:34-35. And took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.

Be like the brave Spartan who would never lose his shield, but would come home either with it or on it. “Cast not away your confidence.” You trusted in God in those early days, and nothing seemed to daunt you then. “Cast not away your confidence.” Rather, get more to add to it. Let there be no thought of going back, but may there rather be a distinct advance!

Hebrews 10:36. For ye have need of patience,-

Our supply of that virtue is often very short; it is an article of which there is very little in the market, and all of us have need of more of it: “Ye have need of patience,”-

Hebrews 10:36. That, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

There must first be the doing of the will of God, and then the reward will come afterwards. God will not give to his people their full reward yet. Patience, then, brother; patience, sister. Saturday night will come one of these days; your week’s work will then be over, and you will be more than repaid for anything you have done for your Lord.

Hebrews 10:37-38. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

The drawers back-the mere professors-those who say they have been illuminated, and who have tasted, in a measure, the sweetness of religion, yet who never received Christ in their inmost heart,-these are the people in whom God hath no pleasure.

Hebrews 10:39. But we-What a consoling end this is to the chapter!

It ought to comfort every believer in Christ who has been distressed by the earlier verses: “we”-

Hebrews 10:39. Are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

May that be true of every one of us, for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake! Amen.

 


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Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/hebrews-10.html. 2011.

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