Let Us Encourage One Another

Hebrews 10:19-25 ESV

“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

Through the Blood of Jesus

Because of what Jesus Christ, God the Son, did for us on that cross – in putting our sins to death with him so that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness – we who are believing in Jesus Christ with God-given faith have been crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we have been resurrected (raised) with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

[1 Peter 2:24; 2 Corinthians 5:15,21; Romans 6:1-23; Ephesians 4:17-24]

The Spirit of God has come to dwell within us and now we are children of God. Before we believed in Jesus Christ we were dead in our sins, separate from God, and incapable within our own selves to be approved by God and to dwell in his righteousness and holiness. But now that we are believing in Jesus, and God’s Spirit dwells inside of us, we are empowered of God’s Spirit to live holy and godly lives to the praise and glory of God.

[Romans 8:1-14; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Romans 3:23; Titus 2:11-14]

Now, Jesus Christ did not die on that cross for our sins just to forgive us our sins and so we can go to heaven when we die. He died to change us, to transform us, to turn us from darkness (sin) to light (truth, righteousness), and from the power of Satan and sin, which had dominion over our lives, to faith in God/Jesus Christ, to walk in his ways and in his holiness. And this is the new and living way Jesus provided for us via his death and resurrection.

[Acts 26:18; Luke 9:23-26; Romans 12:1-2; Galatians 5:16-21; 1 John 1-3]

Let us Hold Fast

Again, Jesus Christ did not die on that cross just to forgive us our sins and to give us the hope of heaven when we die. By faith in him our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. So we are to no longer let sin reign in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions. For we are all slaves of the one whom we obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness and to eternal life (Rom 6:1-23).

And our salvation from sin is not a one-time experience that happens in our lives, and then we go about life as normal, and then one day we die and we go to heaven. Our salvation is progressive sanctification which will not be complete until Jesus returns to take his bride to be with him forever. And we will only go to be with him if we have remained in him, and his word has remained in us, and if we have ceased from walking in sin and we are walking in holiness and in righteousness, steadfast in faith until the end.

[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 14:23-24; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Not Neglecting to Meet

We often hear people quote verse 25, but just the first half of it, and independent of the context, as a whole. And they are usually using it to convince Christians (or professing Christians) that they need to attend weekly gatherings of the institutional church, regardless of what is going on there. For the part they quote says, “Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some.” So, if you have left the institutional church, and maybe (or probably) for good and biblical reasons, they will use this against you.

But the context of that snippet of Scripture is one of stirring one another up to love and good works, and of encouraging (exhorting, urging) one another in our walks of faith in Jesus Christ. And this goes along with Hebrews 3:13 which says, “But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” And how many institutional churches do you know which are doing this in their weekly gatherings, where Christians are urging one another to live holy lives?

What most institutional churches in America appear to be doing is to dissuade people from doing “good works,” which are to be the works of God which he prepared in advance that we should walk (in conduct, in practice) in them (Eph 2:10). And they are coddling people in their sins, rather than exhorting them, because they don’t want to offend them or make them uncomfortable. In fact, they are encouraging us to “stay in your own lane” so that we do not offend people with the truth of the gospel of Christ.

So, when we gather together with other Christians, it is so that we can encourage one another in our walks of faith in Jesus Christ. It is so we can warn our brothers and sisters in Christ against false teachers and false teaching, and so we can speak the truth of God’s word to one another in love to help one another to walk in holiness and in purity, and to not walk in sin, and to grow to maturity in Christ, as each one of us does what God has called and equipped us to do. So, do this, because time is running out.

[Eph 2:8-10; 1 Co 15:58; 2 Co 9:8; Gal 5:6; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:9-14; 2 Thess 1:11-12; 2 Tim. 2:21; Tit 2:11-14; Jn 15:1-11; Tit 3:8; Jas 2:17; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-27; Col 3:16; Heb 3:13]

‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus

By Louisa M.R. Stead / William J. Kirkpatrick

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise, just to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

O how sweet to trust in Jesus, just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me ’neath the healing, cleansing flood!

Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus, just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking life, and rest, and joy, and peace.

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee, precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me, will be with me to the end.

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Thee! How I’ve proved Thee o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus! O for grace to trust Thee more!

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