Devotion to Fellowship (Hebrews 10:1-25)
Avoiding Cultural Christianity
The original recipients of this letter were in grave danger of giving into the culturally acceptable religion of their day. We are in the same danger today. Christ is often considered a mere convenient addition to our self-made religion, which produces a half-hearted Christianity. This tossing, turning, unsteady, loyalty-lacking version of Christianity fits so well into our culture. Many professing “Christians” take an aimless approach towards life and are headed nowhere, void of any steadfastness or endurance. Sadly, we are far too easily satisfied, content with knowing so little about Christ and His truth. On the other hand, others pack in truth and knowledge at amazing rates, yet never seem to actually live on and apply the truths they “appear” to be pursuing so diligently.
To sum up all of these situations, there is something besides Christ at the core of our culture’s version of Christianity, something other than His glorious Person and His saving work. He has been replaced with: morality, piety, intellectualism, ethics, religious zeal, clever ideas, trendy approaches, self-interest, self-help, psycho-analysis, social concerns, entertainment, etc. If Christ is not the focus and the center of our Christianity and our life, it is not Christianity!
Maintaining the Supremacy of Christ
The writer of Hebrews is making a wonderful argument against us giving into these cultural norms by arguing for the supremacy of Christ. Concerning revelation, He is better than the prophets and the angels. With regard to a leader, He is better than Moses. In relation to priests, He is better than Aaron and the Levitical line. As a sacrifice, He is better than bulls and goats. And, as chapter 10 makes clear, He has inaugurated a New way that is better than the Old—the reality is better than the shadow. Under the Old, the Law offers a reminder of sins. But Christ by His sacrifice offers a removal of sins.
Positional Change Produces Life Change
The removal of sins secured in the work of Christ is captured in verses 19-25, as well as the life change that is produced as a result. In Christ, we have bold confidence to draw near by His blood, access though His life, death, and resurrection, and representation in His priesthood. And a correct understanding of these truths regarding the Person and work of Christ will lead to certain effects in the lives of believers: we must draw near (through prayer), we must hold fast the confession (His word and promises), and we must stimulate love and good deeds in others (fellowship).
We are to strive after an ongoing, outgoing, sympathizing, empathetic, compassionate, caring, and loving consideration for each member of the body of Christ. The Bible knows nothing of church-less Christianity or individualistic, isolationist ideology (which is simply self-absorbed, self-centered, self-love). The solution for being obedient to the command for fellowshipping is to keep the cross in the forefront of our view.
- The early church was “continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread & to prayer” (Acts 2:42). As you evaluate your life, over the past week, what have you continually devoted yourself to? Over the past year? Reevaluating priorities and reinforcing foundations are both important aspects of our spiritual lives.
- What is the connection between our positional change in Christ, and our practical fellowship with other believers? Why must fellowship with other believers always be the result of our union to Christ and access to the Father through Him?
- Take time to consider how to provoke love and good deeds in others in the church this week.