“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 10:22, KJV 1900)
One time I received a promotion from the position of plant engineer to plant manager in a large printing plant. Yes, I was honored to have been promoted and I was thankful for the raise in salary. Yet, with this promotion came some appropriate responses that I needed to take. I needed to move from one office to another, out of my engineering and maintenance area to an office nearer to the printing presses. I also needed to begin working on other things.
Here in this section of Hebrews, the author indicates that those who believe in Jesus as their Savior, have received some special blessings. Yet with these blessings come some responses. The first of these blessings listed is confidence to enter the true holy places in heaven (v19), through the way Jesus has provided (v20). The second blessing is that those who believe have a great high priest over the house of God (v21). Since we have these, there are three responses listed prefaced by the verb, katechomen, translated, “Let us.”
There are three expected responses to the blessings of having access to the holy places and having a great high priest (v22-25). The first expectation is that we will “draw near” to God (v22). The second is that we will “hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering” (v23). The third is that we will “consider one another to provoke unto love and good works” (v24).
Let us consider the first response. We can only “draw near” since Christ has paved the way for our access through His completed work on the cross for us. His death has taken care of every problem sin has caused in our lives. Moreover, as our eternal high priest He continuously mediates the New Covenant for us. As a result of all this, we do not draw near in a hypocritical way.
We who have trusted in Christ draw near with a “true heart.” He by the work of His Spirit has taken our old stony cold hearts and transformed them into hearts of flesh. Only God can transform the heart of man. In this He has transformed the desires of our hearts. Formerly we were ignorant, not desiring God, His ways, or His righteousness. Now He has completely changed the affections of our hearts towards Him.
He has also given us “full assurance of faith.” There is no need to doubt. Believers have the confident assurance that He who began the work in us will see it through to completion. He has “sprinkled” our hearts clean from an “evil conscience.” We no longer bear the guilt of our sin. Last, He through the working of His Spirit has sanctified us and continues in the work of progressive sanctification. All of these are the works that occur under the New Covenant (Ezekiel 36:25-27).
Since He has done all this for us, should we not draw near? There should be seen in every believer’s life a hunger and thirst for God that moves him or her to pursue God with a passion. This should draw the believer to read and study the word, to pray with fervency, and to love having time with God. If this passion is missing, perhaps it is time for a prayer of humility, repentance and for God’s grace to move in your life.