New Worshipers (Hebrews 10)

The truth of the purged conscience (Heb 9:14; 10:2) prepares the way for worship. Already the Apostle has spoken of the new sacrifice, and the new sanctuary; now he presents the new worshiper. In contrast to Judaism in which the offeror had no access to the Holiest, in Christianity the believer has “boldness to enter into the Holiest by the Blood of Jesus.”

Provision has been made to remove all that would hinder our drawing nigh to the Father (Jam 4:8) as worshipers. Sins have been met by the Blood of the Lord Jesus. He, having taken flesh, and become Man, has opened a living way for the believer to enter the Holiest. Our infirmities are met by our High Priest. Neither the sins we have committed, the bodies we are in, nor the infirmities with which we are encompassed, can hinder the believer from entering in spirit within the veil, into heaven itself.

Let us then, says the Apostle, draw near to the Father with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having the affections set free from a condemning conscience, and our bodies set apart from every defiling practice. Here we may pause and ask ourselves, how much do we know of this drawing near, of entering with the veil? We may, indeed, know something of that other exhortation of which the Apostle speaks in chapter 4, when he says, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

That is fleeing to a refuge to escape the storms of life; this is turning to our home to bask in the sunshine of His love. There is a vast difference between a refuge and a home. A refuge is a place to which we flee for a shelter in the time of storm. A home is a place where our affections find their rest. “Set your affection on things above.” We all know the Lord Jesus as a refuge to whom we flee in our troubles, but how little we know Him as the home of our affections.

The Lord Jesus is indeed “a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest . . . a great rock in a weary land” (Isa 32:2). And blessed indeed, as we pass through this world with its withering blasts, its barrenness and weariness, to have One to whom we can turn for shelter and relief. Let us, however, remember that if we only flee to him as a shelter in time of storm, when the storm is passed we shall have the tendency to withdraw from His presence.

Alas! This is what happens too often with each of us. We turn to Him in the storm, we neglect Him in the calm. But if our affections are drawn to Him where he is, if we see that His place is our place in heaven itself, then the place where He is will become the home of our affections where we can have fellowship with Him in a scene on which no shadow of death will ever fall, and where all is the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. The more we realize and rest in our position before the Father within the veil, the better we shall be able to face the path with its dangers, through the wilderness down here. Thus the exhortation, “Let us draw nigh,” is followed by the exhortation, “Let us hold fast the profession or our hope.”

- Hamilton Smith