You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
22 Let us draw near [proserchomai] with [meta] a true [alethinos] heart [kardia] in [en] full assurance [plerophoria] of faith [pistis], having [rhantizo] our hearts [kardia] sprinkled [rhantizo] from [apo] an evil [poneros] conscience [suneidesis], and [kai] our bodies [soma] washed [louo] with pure [katharos] water [hudor]. KJV-Interlinear
22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. NASB
Unfortunately too many pastors, priests, and evangelists alike make a big deal about 'drawing near to God' but they leave out the content or substance of just how one is to do that. They just repeat the words because they sound cool, and leave it up to the person to get into some sort of emotional sphere, and 'feel' like they are drawing near.
But here the process is quite clear, if you take the time to figure it out.
Recently we studied the concept of two unchangeable things. Now we will look at two inseparable things that have a great deal of impact on our spiritual lives.
Actually we might think of it as three inseparable things, but the third is mentioned first here in our passage and that is our sincerity. And our sincerity or our attitude is really incorporated into the first two.
Sincerity simply means genuine, or genuineness of attitude. To often a persons sincerity is mixed with a phony attitude, or false motives, or some alternate agenda, or simply a pretense for the benefit of other people. But God can't be fooled and it is really He who will evaluate your spiritual life, not people.
10 'And yet in spite of all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to Me with all her heart, but rather in deception,' declares the LORD. NASB
The first and second things that are inseparable in the spiritual life are your cleansing of the soul and the cleansing of the body. These simply mean your salvation through faith in Christ, and your fellowship status throughout your daily function in life.
The sprinkling of blood such that your conscience may be cleansed refers to the work of Christ on the Cross. God looked at the work of Christ in our behalf and was satisfied. Our sins have been paid in full and that results in an expiation or atonement or a covering such that God no longer sees our sins.
As sinners we are guilty. And as one who is guilty, we are subject to the appropriate sentence for that guilt. In the case of sin, the sentence is eternal separation from God.
Christ however, came to our rescue and took that condemnation onto Himself in our place and He paid the price demanded by God. Borrowing from the ritual of the Levitical offerings, the sprinkling of blood from the death of the animal sacrificed, represents and teaches Christ's atoning work on the Cross.
The spiritual life cannot exist without the salvation work of Christ and the payment and removal of sin from our life.
5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, NASB
The second aspect of the spiritual life is the cleansing of your daily function in life. The Levitical Priests were constantly busy. They cleaned and they sacrificed, and they cleaned again, and again. Ones daily life needs a constant cleaning (washing) in order to function properly within the temple of the spiritual life.
26 that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word NASB
This is the picture of your constant diligence for reviewing your own life in order that you can recognize sin in your life, confess it, keep yourself in fellowship, continue your daily studies, and therefore grow up in your spiritual life.
A mouth full, yes, but if you are to function in your spiritual life, if you are to even have a spiritual life, then you have to do it Gods way. Salvation first by believing in Christ (sprinkling of the blood) and thus recognizing His work on the Cross in your behalf.
The conscience has to be clear of guilt before you can be set free. A prisoner is imprisoned and is not free. Your conscience is trapped in the prison of condemnation until you believe in Christ. Your faith (the subject of chapter eleven) results in the clearing of your conscience, of your guilt, and thus sets you free.
Your freedom is not something you have to come to terms with on some emotional level. Your feelings, your effort, your desire to do something have no place in Gods plan of salvation. God does all of the work. You do nothing. It is His gift. You are merely the recipient of that gift. You accept that gift by the single act of your faith in believing.
Then the daily spiritual function (washing with pure water) is your daily activity in your spiritual life while in fellowship. The entirety of your spiritual life exists only from inside of the fellowship sphere.
No unbeliever ever has a spiritual life. By definition they are not saved, therefore not reborn, therefore they do not have a human spirit, therefore they have no relationship with God whatsoever. A believer who commits sins in his life and refuses to confess them, is out of fellowship. He too is not functioning in his spiritual life. He merely imitates the unbeliever.
In order to have an effective spiritual life, you have to be in fellowship. You accomplish and maintain your fellowship status through your confession function. That is you constantly review your life, moment to moment, and you confess (in the silence of your own thoughts) your sins to God the Father.
God the Father is the recipient of all prayer. Confession is a form of prayer. We studied fellowship in great detail in 1, 2, 3 Jn. As a result of your confession, God forgives you your sins and restores you into your fellowship status. God is the only one who can forgive and make such restoration.
There is no penance, no deeds to perform for your failures in life. That is one of the biggest arrogant blasphemy's that exists. Christ paid the price for sin on the Cross and there is no further work required from Him or anyone. Certainly mankind can add nothing to His work.
29 But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. NASB
The pursuit of your spiritual life must be a genuine pursuit. You cannot fool God. You can certainly fool people and even yourself. And if your life is to get by in life on the sly, then you will learn at the end of your life, that you are the real fool, and you will have gained nothing.
The topic of the book of Hebrews is 'glories.' That is a very simple word, but it means that if you pursue your spiritual life legitimately in accordance with Gods rules, then your life, in this life, will be a much better life, and more important, your life in eternity will be beyond phenomenal.
If you try to play games with God. If you reject your spiritual life because you don't like someone, or because you just want to be stubborn about some aspects of your obedience to Gods mandates, or you are just indifferent to all of this Bible stuff, then you might as well start cutting off your own nose, because that is exactly what you are doing to your spiritual life.
Your life is not simply growing up, graduating from school, getting a job, buying lots of neat things, and then retiring to your hobbies. Your life should be your preparation or your next life - eternity. Eternity will last far longer than any life span that you might expect here on this earth. Even if you live to be a hundred.
One day you are going to die and after death you will have no further say in determining your eternal future.
So, get with a daily study program, advance to spiritual maturity (draw near to God), and secure the best possible future for yourself, both now, in time, and especially in eternity.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.