by Mike Ratliff
22 προσερχώμεθα μετὰ ἀληθινῆς καρδίας ἐν πληροφορίᾳ πίστεως ῥεραντισμένοι τὰς καρδίας ἀπὸ συνειδήσεως πονηρᾶς καὶ λελουσμένοι τὸ σῶμα ὕδατι καθαρῷ· Hebrews 10:22 (NA28)
22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)
Let us continue our thoughts on Hebrews 10:22 (above). Drawing near to God first means having a sincere desire for truth.
Second, drawing near to God means having absolute confidence in God. The words, “full assurance” translate πληροφορίᾳ (plērophoria), which means “entire confidence, full assurance.” To be near to God, then, means that we have total confidence in His promises, absolute assurance of His provision and full trust in His sovereignty. The more we doubt Him, the more we question Him, the farther away from Him we drift.
Third, drawing near to God means having a desire for holiness. The imagery in the words, “having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience” is distinctly Old Testament, referring to the sprinkling of the blood of the sacrifice for the cleansing of sin. But not only are we saved by this blood, but we are constantly brought back to it for daily cleansing. As the apostle John declares:
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (NASB)
We are forever coming back to the Cross, for it is there that our sin was dealt with and our conscience was cleared.
Fourth, drawing near to God means having a desire for His Word. While the first principle was one of attitude, we see here the action. Some interpreters view the words, “our bodies washed with pure water” as a reference to baptism. However, that is clearly incorrect because baptism is not a washing away of sin, but rather a symbol of identification, a public testimony of what has occurred in the heart. This phrase means that God’s Word is the commodity that is going to keep us clean by our constant “bathing” in it. Paul meant this when he wrote to the Ephesians:
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, Ephesians 5:25-26 (NASB)
Drawing near to God means that we are constantly involved with His Word, constantly “immersed” in it.
Soli Deo Gloria!