Yes, let’s do that!

The letter to the Hebrews presents Jesus as the perfect fulfilment of so many aspects of Israelite history and religious practices. The writer regularly pauses in his teaching to call his readers to respond in practical ways. And rather than issue commands, he gets alongside of us by using the phrase ‘Let us, therefore …’ a dozen times. Let’s review these exhortations in a progressively do-able order, paraphrasing them to help emphasise their intended impact. We’ll consider them in natural pairs.

  1. The ideal inspiration – an ethos of grateful adoration and godly ambition
  1. Let’s worship God with grateful awe‘grateful’ for his giving us a share in his unshakeable rule; and ‘with awe’ since he is ‘a consuming fire’ (Hebrews 12:28-29).
  2. Leaving the basic teaching about the Messiah, let’s be borne along to maturity of all-round understanding and full-orbed Christ-like character – not repeatedly talking of foundational truths (Hebrews 6:1-3). ‘Signs and wonders’ (Hebrews 2:3-4) will ultimately pass away (1 Corinthians 13:8-10), but worship and character are eternal.
  1. The ideal foundation – Sabbath rest
  1. Since the promise of sharing in God’s Sabbath rest is still on offer, let’s allow ourselves a stab of fear lest we – any one of us – miss out on this rest (as did Moses’ generation of Israelites who all died in the wilderness (Hebrews 4:1).
  2. Instead, let’s be eager, through consistent obedience, to enter that true rest of God’s finished work at Calvary (Hebrews 4:11). 
  1. The ideal location – within the Holy of Holies
  1. Let’s approach the Holy of Holies with a true heart, brimful with faith’s complete certainty, having been cleansed in conscience when sprinkled with the sacrificial blood of Christ and bathed in clean water in God’s outer court (Hebrews 10:22).
  2. Yes, let’s draw near with confidence to God’s throne of grace above the ark of the covenant, so that we may welcome merciful help when needed (Hebrews 4:16).
  1. The ideal confessionthat ‘Jesus the Messiah is Lord’ of all (Romans 10:9)
  1. And since we have a great high priest who has passed through the outer and inner courts of God’s heavenly temple and sat down within the holiest of all – which no previous high priest ever dared to do! – let’s grasp tightly that confession (Hebrews 4:14).
  2. And let’s retain our grasp of that confession unwaveringly (Hebrews 10:23).
  1. The ideal intention – motivational love of God’s spiritual family
  1. Let’s give close thought as to how we may motivate each other to beautiful acts of love (Hebrews 10:24). Praise is only one means of worship. So, too, is sharing what we have with those with needs in God’s family (Hebrews 13:15-16; Romans 12:1, 13).
  2. And let this brotherly love stay constant (Hebrews 13:1).
  1. The ideal dimensions – ‘go on’ [= time] and ‘go out’ [= space]
  1. Let’s strip off every encumbrance and besetting sin, so that we run our marathon without flagging (12:1).
  2. Let’s be willing to be unpopular as outsiders as was our Master (Hebrews 13:13).    
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