Hebrews 13:10-16

Hebrews 13:10‑16  •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 9
The Holy Spirit is not content with repudiating various and strange teachings, and such ordinances of flesh as He had already shown to characterize an imperfect system and a provisional time (Heb. 9:9-109Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; 10Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. (Hebrews 9:9‑10)) when the way into the sanctuary had not yet been made manifest. He affirms for the Christian the positive realities which the Jews might have thought non-existent. So He had shown throughout the Epistle. What Judaism had in form and shadow, in an earthly measure, those who are Christ's even now possess as heavenly truth in unfailing and abiding virtue, while ample scope was still left for the power of hope. The purification of sins was already made (Heb. 1:33Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; (Hebrews 1:3)), the great salvation confirmed unto us, by most ample and excellent witness, God Himself deigning to testify in the powers of the Spirit (Heb. 2:3-43How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; 4God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? (Hebrews 2:3‑4)). He even declares that, though we see not yet all things subjected to Jesus, the Son of Man, as we surely expect, we do behold Himself, because of the suffering of death too, crowned with glory and honor (Heb. 2:8-98Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. 9But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. (Hebrews 2:8‑9)). We are invited to consider the apostle and high priest of our confession, Jesus indeed (Heb. 3:11Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; (Hebrews 3:1)), but Jesus already shown to be unique, Son of God and Son of Man (Heb. 1-2), passed through the heavens (Heb. 4:1414Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. (Hebrews 4:14)), a high priest after the order of Melchizedek (Heb. 5:1010Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec. (Hebrews 5:10)).
Oh! the folly, if we have Him, of hankering after a blasphemer like Caiaphas, or a Sadducean persecutor like Ananias. Nay, was there to be ever so ideal an heir of Aaron, “such a high priest became us” (said He, Heb. 7:2626For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; (Hebrews 7:26)), “holy, harmless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and become higher than the heavens.” For He has sat down on the right of the throne of the greatness in the heavens, as befits the surpassing glory of His person and His office, thus proved incontestably superior to Aaron's at his brightest; as He is become surety of a better covenant, which the prophets declared was to supersede the first and faulty one of which the Jews boasted (Heb. 8). Now only was the work of God done by the Son, and witnessed by the Holy Spirit (Heb. 10). Truly, God provided for us some better thing (Heb. 11). So He speaks now:
“We have an altar of which they have no right to eat who serve the tabernacle.” So run the words, not only because the Epistle ever looks at the wilderness way and its accompaniments, but because they were to know that “these great buildings” had no longer glory but shame, and that shortly should be left not one stone upon another. What altar can compare with Him through Whom we draw near to God and approach boldly even unto His throne?
Let them understand better the figures of the true. “For the bodies of the beasts, whose blood is brought for sin into the holies by the high priest, are burned without the camp.” It is only in Christianity that the two-fold truth is realized; in Judaism it was unknown, still less enjoyed. The two extremes meet in the true sin-offering, which points to the blood which fits for the holiest, and to the body burnt in the place of rejection outside. The Christian has access into the sanctuary, but along with this he shares the place of scorn here below. So it was with the Master and Lord. “Wherefore also Jesus, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered without the gate.” Here is not type only, but fact, the ground of the exhortation, so needed then by the Jewish confessors, so needed at all times by the Christian: may we not add urgently now, when men revive Jewish elements?
“Therefore let us go forth unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach; for we have not here an abiding city, but we seek after that which is to come.” We are not of the world, as our Lord was not; and as He never sought its ease or honor, but accepted its shame, so are we called to follow His steps “outside the camp,” the scene of religious respectability; as Heb. 10:1919Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, (Hebrews 10:19), &c., sets forth our boldness to enter the holies by the blood of Jesus. We are now constituted meet to draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith. The Jewish system by its nature not only offered no such privilege but denied it to all, even to the high priest who could approach but once a year its figure, and then with awful fear lest death should avenge any failure on his part.
And where are God's children now as to all this? Are they not in general, as far from availing themselves in practical ways of approach to the holies, as they run after man's mind and the world's honors? In fact, as in doctrine, the two things are closely tied together. And as grace makes us first free of the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus, we are the better strengthened next to obey the call to go forth unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach.
Soon the unbelieving or half-believing Jew had to learn that here he had no abiding city. But this should be ever true to Christian faith, if he dwelt in Rome or in London, as then in Jerusalem. Like Abraham we look for the city which rests not on sand, but “hath the foundations.” But it is “to come,” and will never be built of human hands, let men vaunt as they may. Its architect and maker is God; and Christ has prepared us for it. “Through Him therefore let us offer sacrifice of praise continually to God, that is, fruit of lips making confession to His name. But of doing good and of communicating be not forgetful, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased'' (Heb. 13:15-1615By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. 16But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. (Hebrews 13:15‑16)).
However serious our souls may well be, as we justly estimate the enmity of the world to God, His grace, truth, word and ways, as well as our own danger of compromise or of sin in any form, we are exhorted to offer sacrifice of praise continually to Him. It is through Christ. This explains and accounts for it. For He is the same yesterday, and today, and forever; and our blessing through Him is as complete as it is everlasting: salvation (Heb. 5), redemption (Heb. 9), inheritance (Heb. 9), and covenant (Heb. 13), all everlasting. No wonder we are called to praise God, not as Jews now and then, but “continually.” So in 1 Thess. 5:1818In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) the apostle bids us “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Here it is appropriately said to be a sacrifice of praise which we offer to God continually. Is it, can it be so, where souls are under law? Are we not under grace? It is making confession to His name, and in no way our own righteousness any more than a form. But the Holy Spirit carefully reminds “of doing good and communicating” (i.e., of our substance to others in need). It is a real exercise of love and in faith, that it be a sacrifice, if of a lower sort than praise to God. “Forget not"; for there was danger of overlooking. These acts were also acceptable: “with such sacrifices God is well pleased,” although those of praise have the higher place.