Read through the lesson below (if you are in a group take turns reading). Then have a discussion, possible questions are included at the end. If you are alone, try to pair up with others in a small group though texting or even a phone call.
“Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another —and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:19-25 NIV).
We have seen these passages before in this book, they are used in other articles of faith teaching us about sanctification. Here, however, we look at them in a differing light as we see them now in the light of what the church is and should be. Take a minute to read them again thinking of what the church should be like.
Do you see it now? Do you see how the language is that of a family using brother and sister, and encouragement of spurring one another towards love and good deeds? That which the blood of Christ opened for us to the Holy of Holies, through the curtain, leads us to Himself, Jesus Christ.
The church is us, all of us, of every nation and every tribe that has the assurance of faith because our hearts have been cleansed with His blood. Our guilt no more, our love and hope for evermore. Our conscious, our bodies, our hearts once and for all cleansed and made holy. So, we may profess with all our hearts the hope we have in Jesus Christ. So, we may be filled with the Spirit that allows us to meet together and worship our God, the one true God, the creator and sustainer. So, we can boldly in confidence worship Him all the more as we see His kingdom come.
As a church, His church, we have the confidence to enter the place where priests would only enter trembling, because we have the assurance of faith brought by Jesus’ perfect sacrifice and cleansing. We should have no doubt, no hesitation, to enter into the presence of Jesus in worship and we should as a church encourage others to also have this same sense of faith and hope. As we read, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”
Questions 1. How do you live your life, full of past guilt or full of a clean heart?
2. What does your worship look like?
3. Why do you go to church? How do you see the church?
4. In reading these passages, how do you see the church?
Thank you, Pastor Perry