Hold Fast to Jesus

Hebrews Segment 9

Hold Fast to Jesus (Heb 10:19-10:39)

Structural Laws

Seg. starts with a causation (->/Therefore).
Prev seg. main thought = 9:23-25 (Heavenly things purified w/ a better sacrifice (& once and for all) & was Christ + v. 10:17-18 God remembers sin and lawless deeds no more, no more offering for sin.
1) have boldness to enter the holiest (the blood of Jesus gives us the boldness)
2) Let us draw near
3) w/ full assurance of faith

Cause -> Effect
God remembers sin and
lawless deeds no more,
no more offering for sin.
1) have boldness to enter the holiest
2) Let us draw near
3) w/ full assurance of faith


From 10:19 onward there is a shift in focus in Hebrews, from doctrine to practical/application.

We Have Confidence to Enter

-> Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, (Heb 10:19)

  • (Observation) Who is addressed this verse? “Paul” addresses his audience as brethren.
  • (Interpretation) Why does the author address his audience as bretheren? Other scriptures clarify that bretheren has to do with our spiritual family, “brothers in Christ”. Connotation: (sets the mood here) family-like, those we are close to and care about.
  • (Observation) How/With what attitude may we enter? With boldness
  • (Interpretation) What does it mean to enter with boldness? The boldness spoken of here is not arrogance. But rather, with confidence, “grounded on the consciousness that our sins have been forgiven.” (JFB)
  • (Observation) Where shall we enter? the Holiest (NASB: The Holy Place)
  • (Interpretation) What does it mean to enter the holy place? It means to walk in God’s presence. Some context about “Paul’s” audience’s theological framework: “The Most Holy Place in the Temple was sealed from view by a curtain (Heb. 10:20). Only the high priest could enter this holy room, and he did so only once a year on the Day of Atonement when he offered the sacrifice for the nation’s sins. But Jesus’ death removed the curtain, and all believers may walk into God’s presence at any time” (LASB)
  • (Observation) What allows us to (or why can we) have boldness to enter the holy place? the blood of Jesus, our sin has been purified, and remembered no more.
  • (Interpretation) What is the significance of the means by which we enter the holy place? The verse that follows combined with OT belief system knowledge (From Ex-Deu) answers this for us. A blood sacrifice was always required in the OT temple ritual to cleanse sin before approaching God. So the significance here is that animal sacrifices were no longer necessary to reach God, there is a new avenue that has been opened to enter God’s presence.

by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, (Heb 10:20)

  • (Observation) How are we instructed to enter the holy place? “By a new and living way”.
  • (Interpretation) What is the significance of this way being new? New, here, could be translated as newly-slain; this verse is the only place this specific term is used in the bible. “The word was used of one so recently dead as to retain the appearance of life: also, generally, of things which have not lost their character or appearance by the lapse of time; of fishes, fruits, oil, etc., which are fresh; of anger which has not had time to cool.” (VWS) Also, “Note that the contrast is not between a new and an old way, but between a new way and no way.” (Vincent’s Word Studies). This way of reaching God didn’t previously exist.
  • (Interpretation) What is the significance of it being a living way? “Christ is a “living way”; in opposition to the dead carcasses of slain beasts, and to the dead and killing letter of the law; Christ gives life to all his people; and all that walk in him, the way, live; and none in this way ever die; it leads to eternal life, and infallibly brings them thither ” (Gill)
  • (Observation) How was the new living way consecrated? Through the veil/His flesh.
  • (Interpretation) What is the significance of the veil? The veil was a seperation from God. Historical Context: “The Jewish high priest entered into the most holy place through the veil that divided the holy from the most holy place. That entrance was made by his drawing the veil aside, and thus the interior sanctuary was laid open.” (Barnes)
  • (Interpretation) What is the significance of the veil and God’s flesh being equated? “The simple idea which seems to have been in the mind of the apostle was, that the veil of the temple and the body of Jesus were alike in this respect, that they were the medium of access to God. ” (Barnes)
  • In short: v10:20, the new way is a LIVING way. Veil was a separation, now its Jesus’ flesh. new = newly slain.
  • (Observation) Who was the new and living way consecrated for? Us. Significance? …

and having [NASB: since we have] a High Priest over the house [NASB: household] of God, (Heb 10:21)

  • (Observation) Who do we see in this verse? a High Priest
  • (Observation) What (greek) word is used for “High Priest”? It’s not the usual term for high priest, but more literally the greek means great priest. (See Vincent’s Word Studies, which compares Lev 21:10 in LXX(greek) to this passage)
  • (Interpretation) Why isn’t the author using the “typical” word for High Priest here? He is emphasizing “Christ’s superior greatness as high priest” (Vincent’s Word Studies)
  • (Interpretation) What is the significance of the High Priest? Had access to God.
  • (Observation) How is the high priest described? He is described as being “over the house of God” or “household of God” (depending on the translation).
  • (Interpretation) Who is the house(hold) of God? The church. This spiritual “house” we’ve seen before in Heb. 3:1-6. This is a case where “scripture interpets scripture” quite nicely. Reading 1Ti 3:15, “…I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the house(hold) of God, which is the church of the living God.”
  • (Interpretation) What does it mean to be “over” the house of God? Presiding

“under the former dispensation it was regarded as a privilege that the people of God might have access to the mercy-seat by means of the high priest; so it is true in a much higher sense that we may now have access to God through our greater and more glorious High Priest.” (Barnes)

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. (Heb 10:22)

  • (Observation) What are we instructed to do? Draw near
  • (Interpretation) What does it mean to draw near?
  • (Interpretation) What are we to draw near to? … God …
  • (Observation) How should we draw near? (1) with a true heart (2) in full assurance of faith (3) hearts sprinkled (4) bodies washed
  • (Interpretation) What does a true heart mean?
  • (Interpretation) What does full assurance of faith mean?
  • (Interpretation) What does it mean for our hearts to be sprinkled from and evil conscience?
  • (Interpretation) What is the significance that our hearts need sprinkling?
  • (Interpretation) Why do our bodies need to be washed with pure water?
Cause(s) -> Effect
A new access to God

Jesus = Great Priest

Let us draw near
with a sincere heart
in full assurance of faith
w/ a cleansed concience


Let us… this paragraph speaks of privilege and responsibility. We have privilege to enter the Holiest because of Jesus’s work. Now to address our responsibilities of what we ought be doing as we enter into this privilege.

Draw Near to God

w/ a sincere, cleansed heart in faith


v 22 we come from the place of a false heart…now a true heart.
Before God asks us to give out to others, he first gives to us.

A true heart is required to enter the true sanctuary.

(Application) If you don’t like what someone is saying, maybe you should be praying for them.

v22 our hearts are sprinkled with the blood of Jesus.

in full assurance of faith – “Faith is the basis of all right relation to God.” (Vincent’s Word Studies)

MEMORIZE v. 23, 35.

What is the significance of washing/being washed (10:22)? Washing has to do with the dedication of the (levite) priests. Washing was a ritual to mark priests as ready for the service of God. (cf: wash by husband in word, eph 5:26) .

Let *us* draw near. We are members of the priesthood.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. (Heb 10:23)

Hold fast to our Hope

because he who promised is faithful


And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, (Heb 10:24)

  • (Observation) What word is used for consider? What does it mean? Consider = κατανοέω (katanoeō). According to Thayer’s lexicon, it has two meanings: (1) to perceive, remark, observe, understand (2) to consider attentively, fix one’s eyes or mind upon. In this case, the second makes mroe sense. Attentively consider one another.
  • (Interpretation) Who does “one another” refer to? The term ἀλλήλων (allēlōn) implies mutual action. It doesn’t say who the other is, but considering the historical context, at this time when the Jews were being “merged” with the Gentiles into one church, there may be an unsaid implication that it includes the gentiles that they weren’t keen on associating with.
  • (Observation) Stir up = to incite, stimulate, or provoke
  • (Observation) What word for love is used in this verse? Agape, “brotherly love” meaning benevolent or charitable love, an expression of goodwill. An action, not a feeling.
  • (Observation) What are good works? Something that is done, typically that takes work or effort to do, in this case ones that are “beautiful by reason of purity of heart and life, and hence praiseworthy”
  • Why should we consider one another? It should incite goodwill and good works.

v. 24 consider each other to stir up love and good works (encouragement)

Stir up or provoke = paroxusmos, with a view toward excitement.

Consider one Another

in order to stir up love and good works

So far we’ve seen three Let Us verses… Draw near in… Faith (toward God) hope (toward ourselves) and love (toward others). Drawing near in all directions.

not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (Heb 10:25)

  • (Observation) What are we instructed to do? Not forsake assembling together
  • (Interpretation) What did it meant to assemble themselves together? For what purpose? For purposes of public worship
  • What did it mean to forsake assembly? Apostatize from the church.
  • (Interpretation) Who was in the habit of forsaking assembling? It is not specified in the text. We could conjecture that it was groups who were deterred by fear of proscecution, those with lack of interest, those who didn’t feel it was important to meet together, or those with a gripe against a particular preacher or group, etc. Fear of persecution for following Christ seems likely in context, but isn’t certain as the meaning.
  • (Interpretation) What good does assmbling ourselves together do? We can exhort one another
  • (Interpretation) Why might “Paul” have given this instruction? Considering the (time) context of when this letter was written, was this perhaps looking forward to the destruction of the temple, as an exhortation to continue to meet together even after the meeting place itself is gone.
  • (Observation) What does it mean to exhort one another? .
  • (Interpretation) What is “the Day”? The day of Judgment. Why do we know this? We learn this in the following two verses. Immediately following this verse we see “for”, a substantiation. Thus what follows is evidence to support what has just been said, so we’re still talking about the same topic, and in these verses it talks about who should fear judgment. There are nine references to the day of Jugdment outside of Hebrews (eg: Matthew 10:15, Romans 2:5). all of which use the same greek words for day and jugdment as in these verses. “The day of Judgment” is the typical rendering when the words are together..
  • (Interpretation) Why would the day approaching cause us to need to increase these activities? .
  • (Interpretation) What do we miss out on if we forsake assembling ourselves together? Lack of encouragement, and lack of preparedness for Jesus’s coming.
  • (Application) What does this imply about fellowship? Fellowship is important. We should be going to church or a bible study or other gathering where we surround ourselves with those who can encourage us on a regular basis. Where are you getting your encouragement from? Are you guilty of forsaking assembly? Do you go to church regardless of whether you “feel like it”?
  • Is there a contrast with the previous verse here? Yes, If you’re not meeting together you’re not having the opportunity to provoke each other to good and to encourage each other.
Do Don’t Why
Provoke others to kindness/goodwill
Forsake corporate
assembly/worship of God
Christ will return
(and judge his people)
Provoke praiseworthy labors/works
Exhort or encourage one another

” The command, then, here is, to meet together for the worship of God, and it is enjoined on Christians as an important duty to do it. It is implied, also, that there is blame or fault where this is “neglected.”” (Barnes)

v. 25 don’t forsake assembling, exhort one another as the day gets closer (Christ’s return)


Overall, what’s been going on in this paragraph?


Judgment for Willful Sin

This paragraph starts with substantiation (<-/for), as it is giving evidence toward what has previously been stated. Structure matters here.

<- For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, (Heb 10:26)

v. 26 we start getting to consequences. Willful sin leads to fearful expectation of judgment, fiery indignation.

  • What are we substantiating (“for”)? What was going on in the previous paragraph… Confidence to enter the Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, drawing near.
  • Who is willfully sinning? Those who refuse to acknowledge this new way to approach God.
  • What is the truth referred to here? God opened up a new way to get to God
  • What is the willful sin referred to here? From the context of what is going on in the letter to the Hebrews, I would think turning one’s back on Jesus and sticking to the old covenant, disbelief, abandoning “the confidence [they] had at first” (Heb 3:14), seems the most obvious choice, but depending on what sources you consult you may find a variety of other opinions.
  • Where else in the bible do we see willful sin? Is this relevant? This appears to be related to an OT command whereby deliberate sin had more severe concequences (cf. Num. 15:29-31).

Even the law doesn’t punish w/o 2-3 witnesses, hear the other side.

Don’t insult the spirit of Grace who has given you so much you don’t deserve.


1) consider other people.

2) consider the spirit of God for we KNOW him.

If you know God it will cause you not to trample God and insult the spirit. If you want to not sin, get to know Him.

Danger of Despising the sacrifice for Sin 10:26 (to 39)




Continuing animal sacrifices = despising the sacrifice for their Sin that Christ gave, now it was willful sin (or rebellion) rather than obedience to make the sacrifices. There is no other sacrifice for sin still available today, except Christ’s.

but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. (Heb 10:27)

  • phoberos – translated “certain fearful”NKJV or “terrifying”NASB – inspiring fear, terrible, formidable (Thayer)
  • “Fire is often used in the Scriptures as an emblem of fierce punishment. The idea is, that the person referred to could expect nothing but the wrath of God.” (Barnes)
  • The contrast here? Sacrifice to cover sin vs fearful expectation of judgment, ie: those who “sin willfully” should expact the latter.
  • Adversaries = refers to those who are enemies of Christ and his church (Poole). Its only other bible use (Col. 2:14) it is translated as describing some decrees as hostile.

Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. (Heb 10:28)
Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? (Heb 10:29)

“That is, he who renounces Christianity ought to be regarded as deserving a much severer punishment than the man who apostatized from the Jewish religion” (Barnes)

  • common (koinos) = common, impure, unclean, unholy
  • counted (hegeomai) = regarded, considered, counted, deemed
  • Spirit of grace = the Holy Spirit, emphasizing his nature of Grace (undeserved kindness)
  • worthy = deserved
  • trampling the son of God = holding Jesus in low regard, ie: they despised or condemned Jesus
  • so the blood of the covenent, this person would have regarded as unholy, thus insulting the Holy Spirit

<- For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” [Deu.32:35] says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” [Deu 32:36] (Heb 10:30)

  • (Observation) What structure element(s) do we see here? This verse begins with “for”, a substantiation.
  • (Interpretation) What is being supported? That the punishment will be more severe for those Jesus’s law than those who rejected Moses’s law.
  • (Observation) Who is the “we” in this verse? Those who know God.
  • (Observation) Who is being quoted in this verse? God. Moses was speaking in the passage being quoted from Deuteronomy, however, what he was speaking was a “song” taught to him by the Lord (See Deu 31:16-19) for him to recite to and teach to the children of Isreal.
  • (Interpretation) What does it mean that Vengance is God’s? It is a reminder that God will certainly inflict punishment on those who deserve it, that those who do not listen/obey will face the wrath of God, it won’t be swept under the rug and forgotten. (Application) Do yo know anyone who has turned their back on God that you need to pray for?
  • (Interpretation) What does it mean that God will judge his people? The fact that they are God’s people does not excuse them from deserved punishment, and perhaps a higher standard of expectation instead.

Overall, in this verse, the author is reminding his audience that the certainty of punishment is assured by the word of God.

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

  • (Interpretation) What does it mean to fall into the hands of the living God? Falling into his hands is referring back to the previous verse, where we were reminded that vengance is God’s, it is referring to the horribleness of being subject to God’s wrath.
  • (Interpretation) What is the significance of God being “living” in this verse? A living God would be able to carry out these punishments (unlike, say, a dead God), making him worthy of fear.
  • (Observation) Who should fear falling into the hands of the living God? Based the context of surrounding verses and paragraphs, this isn’t everyone should fear God’s hand, but rather those who turned their back on the truth (“apostates”) that should fear God’s hand.
  • (Application) What effect should this verse have upon ourselves? We should have fear for God’s judgment if we choose to turn away from him. We don’t want to fall (like a fly) in the clap of God’s hands that span the universe.

Remember Chasing a More Lasting Reward

“In the remaining verses of chapter 10, the writer gives three strong reasons why the early Jewish Christians should continue steadfastly in their allegiance to Christ.
1. Their former experiences should stimulate them.
2. The nearness of the reward should strengthen them.
3. The fear of God’s displeasure should deter them from going back.” -BBC

(contrast) But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated (NASB: enlightned), you endured a great struggle with sufferings: (Heb 10:32)

  • (Observation) What is being contrasted? Their current lack of adherence (turning away from Jesus), to their former days where they endured sufferings to great reward.
  • (Observation) What does it mean for them to have been illuminated/enlightened? What it meant to be enlightened was explained in Hebrews 6:4, those who have tasted the heavenly gift and been made partakers of the Holy Spirit”, essentially enlightened to the truth and thus experienced the tranformation and the presence of the Holy Spirit.
  • What the great struggle with sufferings means is clarified in the next couple verses

v. 32 -> to get someone to endure, point them back to when they did endure and persevere, remind them.



Knowing… You Should… Because… So That… As…
you have an enduring
possession in heaven
not cast away
your confidence
you have need
of endurance
you may receive the promise
(after doing the will of God)
he who is coming will
come, and not tarry.

He who is coming quoted from Habakkuk 2:3-4


endurance you build by continual testing of endurance.

partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; (Heb 10:33)

  • Here we see examples of struggles and sufferings. They were made a specticale of/publically embarrased, as well as sympathizing with or idenifying with others going through the same.

<- for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven. (Heb 10:34)

“After they professed faith in Christ, they became the targets of bitter persecution: their families disowned them, their friends forsook them, and their foes hounded them. But instead of producing cowardice and fear, these sufferings strengthened them in their faith” (BBC)

  • Their faith was so strong that they were able to be in a joyful state of mind despite the loss of their personal property, they could take joy in the priviledge/honor to suffer for their Master. They did this by staying focused on the heavenly rewards of their faith rather than their material circumstances around them.

-> Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. (Heb 10:35)

  • What do we see structure-wise here? This verse has stuctural “arrows” pointing to it from both directions (therefore, and for), meaning it’s an important verse or key point. This is both a conclusion, and then substantiated with further evidence.
  • What do we learn about confidence here? It has great reward
  • What are we instructed to do with confidence? Not cast it away.
  • What type of confidence is meant here? Confidence in God, faith.
  • Application: consider in your own life whether you are/have been casting away your confidence. How has/will your confidence in God led to great reward? Are you confident in God?

<- For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: (Heb 10:36)

  • Why do they need endurance? They are going through sufferings. They need endurance to continue to stick to God and nto cast away their confidence in God.
  • What encouragement do they have to endure? They will receive the promise.
  • What is “the promise”? In Heb 3:6, we are told if we hold fast to our confidence we will be part of Christ’s house, the implication is we will take part in the heavenly inheritance if we endure.

<- “For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. (Heb 10:37)

  • Why else should we hold on to our confidence? The second coming, God will return without delay, we are expecting the return of God.
  • It is also an encouragment that there is a time-limit to their sufferings, that they are only for a “little while”
  • “These words and those that follow were adapted by the author from the Septuagint of Isa. 26:21 and Hab. 2:3-4. But they were used freely and were not intended as a precise quotation, since no words such as “He says” introduced them.” (BKC)

Now the just shall live by faith; (contrast) But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” (Heb 10:38)

  • Contrast: those who live by faith and those who commit apostasy/denounce Christ.
  • Which one does God’s soul have pleasure in? The one living by faith, enduring, not the one who denounces Christ.
  • “This also is a quotation from Hab. 2:4, but from the Septuagint, not from the Hebrew…The apostle has retained the general sense of the passage, and the idea which he expresses is, that the unbeliever, or he who renounces his religion, will incur the divine displeasure.” (Barnes)

(contrast) But we are not of those who draw back to perdition [NASB: destruction], but of those who believe [NASB: have faith] to the saving of the soul. (Heb 10:39)

  • “In this the apostle expresses the fullest conviction that none of those to whom he wrote would apostatize. The case which he had been describing was only a supposable case, not one which he believed would occur…what “must” happen if a sincere Christian should apostatize.” (Barnes)
  • Clarke interprets this verse as “We are not the cowards, but the courageous.”
  • Contrast between those who turn their backs to Christ, and those who hold on to their faith and are saved.


Interesting contrast of word usage: draw back in v. 38, 39 (contrast) draw near v. 22



James 1:2-4

**Rom 5:2-5**