Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO HEBREWS 10\\

In this chapter the apostle pursues his argument, showing the
weakness and imperfection of the Levitical priesthood, and the
superior excellency of Christ's, which he closes with suitable
exhortations to faith on Christ, as the alone high priest, and to a
constant profession of him. The imperfection of the Levitical
priesthood is proved, from the law by which it was established, being
only a shadow of good things to come; from the insufficiency of
annual sacrifices to perfect the comers to them, or to purge the
consciences of the worshippers from sin; and from the non-cessation of
these sacrifices which would have been, if the above ends could have
been answered by them, \\#Heb 10:1,2\\, but on the contrary, by the
annual return of these sacrifices, sins are afresh remembered, and
very good reason there is for it, since it is an impossible thing
that the blood of slain beasts should take away sin, \\#Heb 10:3,4\\
moreover, the apostle proves the insufficiency of such sacrifices, by
a divine testimony, out of \\#Ps 40:6-8\\ by which it appears, that
they are not agreeable to the will of God, and are rejected by him as
useless, \\#Heb 10:5-8\\ and this leads the apostle to discourse
of the excellency of Christ's sacrifice above them; that they are
taken away, and his is substituted in their room; that as they are
not agreeable to the will of God, his is a fulfilment of it; that
though they could not expiate sin, yet by the offering up of the body
of Christ, once for all, his people are sanctified, or their sins are
expiated, \\#Heb 10:9,10\\ and this is further illustrated by a
comparison between the priests under the law, and Christ; they were
many, he but one; they daily offered the same sacrifices, he offered
but one sacrifice; theirs could not take away sin, by his offering he
has perfectly expiated the sins of his people; they stood daily
ministering, their work being never at an end; he is set down at the
right hand of God, expecting his enemies to be made his footstool,
having done his work to perfection, \\#Heb 10:11-14\\ and that legal
sacrifices are ceased, and no more to be used, is proved by a
testimony of the Holy Ghost, out of \\#Jer 31:33,34\\ relating to the
covenant of grace, among the promises of which stands that of the
forgiveness of sin; from whence the apostle justly concludes, that
where remission of sin is, there is, and there needs no more offering
for it, \\#Heb 10:15-18\\ and from hence, the apostle passes
to exhortations to the exercise of grace, and discharge of duty,
which he strongly urges from the consideration of Christ's
priesthood, and the efficacy of it: and first, he presses them to the
duty of prayer, to draw nigh to God to the throne of his grace. The
manner in which he would have them approach to God, is in the
sincerity of their hearts, in a plerophory of faith, an high and full
exercise of it, and impurity of soul and body: the motives or
encouragements to it are taken from their having boldness and liberty
to enter by faith into heaven itself with their prayers, through the
blood of Jesus; from there being a new and living way opened for them
through, the flesh of Christ; and from their having such an high
priest over the house of God as he is, \\#Heb 10:19-22\\, and next he
exhorts them to a constant and steadfast profession of their faith,
to which he animates them by the faithfulness of a promising God,
who will never leave nor forsake his people, \\#Heb 10:23\\ and then
to consider one another in their church relation, and to stir up one
another to the exercise of the grace of love, and to the performance
of good works, \\#Heb 10:24\\, and also not to forsake their public
assemblies, as was the custom of some, but to exhort each other to
greater diligence in attending there, especially since they might
observe that a time of great tribulation was at hand, \\#Heb 10:25\\
and in order to deter from apostasy, which is expressed by a sinning
wilfully, after a man has received and professed the knowledge of the
truth, the apostle observes that the destruction of such is
inevitable; since there never will be another propitiatory sacrifice
offered up, and therefore there can be no other than a dreadful
expectation of an awful judgment, and of the wrath of God, which,
like a consuming fire, will destroy such adversaries of Christ,
\\#Heb 10:26,27\\ the justice of which is argued from the less to the
greater; that if the transgressors of the law of Moses had no mercy
shown them, but died when there were proper and sufficient witnesses
of their crimes, then such must be deserving of a far greater
punishment, who treat with the greatest rudeness the person of the
Son of God, and his precious blood, and with the greatest contempt
the person and grace of the Holy Spirit, \\#Heb 10:28,29\\, and such
persons have reason to expect the vengeance of God will fall on them,
since it is threatened them in the word of God, \\#De 32:35,36\\ and
a dreadful thing it is to fall into his hands, \\#Heb 10:30,31\\.
But in order to encourage these believing Hebrews to hold on and out
unto the end, the apostle puts them in mind of their good beginning,
how well they set out, and how bravely they behaved, by bearing
afflictions and reproaches themselves; by being the companions of
those that were afflicted and reproached; by having compassion on the
apostle when in bonds; and by cheerfully suffering the loss of their
goods upon this consideration, that they had in heaven a better and a
more enduring substance, \\#Heb 10:32-34\\ wherefore it would be
exceeding wrong and very unbecoming, after all this, to drop their
faith and a profession of it, which otherwise would issue in the
enjoyment of the great recompense of reward, \\#Heb 10:35\\ and as
patience is necessary, it is right to exercise it under sufferings
for Christ's sake, partly because it is doing the will of God, and
partly because that after that is done, such shall receive the
promised happiness; and what may serve the more to engage to the
exercise of it is, it is but a little while and Christ will come and
put an end to all the sufferings of his people, \\#Heb 10:36,37\\
and that faith should be in exercise, is proved from a divine
testimony, \\#Hab 2:4\\ and so must be pleasing to God, when the
contrary is highly resented by him, \\#Heb 10:38\\ and now, lest the
believing Hebrews should conclude from all this that the apostle
suspected them as going into apostasy, he declares his belief, that
he and they were not in the number of apostates, but of believers,
whose souls would be saved, \\#Heb 10:39\\