Hearts and Minds
Lord, thank You for all that You’ve done. May I live in the light of all that You will do.
Read Hebrews 10:11-18
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Some Christians are in trouble because of the proclivities of their personalities and not because of their faith. Sometimes Christ gets blamed for our sour personalities” (Lloyd John Ogilvie).
These verses conclude the multi-layered argument we have been following since 7:1. The work of the temple and the Levitical priests was no longer necessary. It has been superseded by the work of Christ. Christians now live between Christ’s finished work (the “for all time one sacrifice for sins,” v. 12) and his return (9:28). In the meantime, he “sat down at the right hand of God” (12), the place of authority in heaven. The decisive battle has been won and is being worked out in human hearts, minds and lives. Sins have been forgiven (18). Now Christ waits for his victory to have its full effect, for “his enemies to be made his footstool” (13). The victory is won, but the battle has not yet ended. This was anticipated in ch. 2: “… At present we do not see everything subject to them. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death” (2:8,9).
The new covenant promise of God’s law in our hearts and minds (16) has to be lived in cultures where many other hearts and minds are committed to very different values and aspirations. There are ways of thinking, with their resulting lifestyles, which are enemies of Christ. Neither the church which received this letter, nor believers today, should be surprised that it is costly to be a public disciple of Christ. Were these believers to turn back to old covenant Judaism, their religion would come under the protection of Roman law. The temptation to go back may have been powerful because the cost of perseverance seemed too great. Our author has sought to convince them of the folly of turning back to an interim arrangement that merely foreshadowed the reality they had now entered.
In what ways is it costly for you to be a public disciple of Christ? How can you be strengthened to resist pressures to hide your faith?
Father, I lift up my brothers and sisters in other places who suffer fierce opposition for their faith. Sustain and strengthen them, I pray.
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