Full Text for Sermon Study on Heb. 10:19-25 (Text)

Qtnurnr~iu m4rningtral :!Inut41y Continuing LEHRE UND VVEHRE MAGAZIN FUER Ev.-LuTH. HOMILETIK THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY-THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY Vol. IX November, 1938 No. 11 CONTENTS Page A Course in Lutheran Theology. Th. Engelder _____ . _______ . __ .. __ ._. _____ .. _ 801 Was lehrt die Schrift ueber die iustitia civilis? G. Hnebener ... __ .. 821 The Lure of Biblical and Christian Archeology. P. E. Kretzmann ___ 828 Sermon Study on Heb. 10:19-25. Th. Laetsch .. _. _____________ .. _ __ _______ 834 Predigtentwuri fuer den ersten Adventssonntag _______ .. ____ .. ______ . ___ 846 Miscellanea _______ . . ________________ . ___ . . _________ . __________________ _ .. ____ . __ 849 Theological Observer. - Kirchlich-Zeitgeschichtliches ___ ___ .____ ._. __ . _ 852 Book Review.-Literatur -__ .... _. __ .. __ .. _.' _. _______________ .. ___ . .. __ . __ . _________ 873 E1n Pred1ger muss nicht al1eln w ei- den, IJlso dass er die Schafe unter- weise. wie sie rechte Christen Bollen sein. sondem auch daneben den Woel- fen wehTen. dass sie die Schafe nicht angreifen und mit falscher Lehre ver- roehren und Irrtum elnfuehren. LutheT. Es 1st k eln Ding. das die Leute mehr bel der Kirche behaelt denn die gute Predigt. - Apologie, A,.t. 24. If the trumpet give an uncertain sound who shall prepare himself to the battle? -1 COT. 14, ,. Published for the Ev. Luth. Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States CONCORDIA PUBLISHING ROUSE, St. Louis, Mo. 834 Sermon Study on Heb. 10: 19-25 Pictures of Peter go back so far at this time that several experts believe we have an authentic portrait of the apostle, just as we seem to possess a genuine portrait of Paul. The possibilities of systematic study in this field are prac- tically limitless, and they reach into every department of theo- logical information, exegesis, doctrinal theology, liturgics, art, and scores of related fields. How interesting to find a Roman Catholic writer stating, for example, that the early Church knew no differ- ence between the vestments of the laity and the clergy: "Liturgical garments were . . . originally nothing more than the good street clothes of the cultured gentleman but in the change of style gradually ceased to serve the ordinary way of living and were then, due to the conservative character of the Church, reserved for the liturgical use." (Kaufmann, op. cit., 565.) One is fascinated also by the very interesting discussions of the sacred vessels as used in the early Church. The chalice of Antioch, for example, has been the topic, not only of articles in professional magazines, but even of entire books, and the experts have not yet fully agreed as to its date, some of them insisting on placing it at the end of the first century, whereas others, like Kaufmann, would not make the date earlier than the end of the second century. But no matter which part of the field we investigate, we are bound to find information of particular importance, not only per se but with many possibilities for practical applications. In fact, history must be backed up by archeology and go hand in hand with it; otherwise its data will often prove inadequate and mis- leading. Biblical and Christian archeology should occupy a definite place in the study program of every pastor. P. E. KRETZMANN .. ~ Sermon Study on Heb.l0:19-25 Eisenach Epistle Selection for New Year's Day The lesson for New Year's Day consists of one long sentence made up of three exhortatory subjunctive clauses, introduced by a participle clause. In the introductory clause, vv.19-21, the writer sums up in two statements the contents of the preceding chapters. We have the assurance of a trustworthy entrance to the sanctuary, and we have a great High Priest. On these two facts he bases a threefold admonition, to continue steadfast in faith (22) and in hope (23) and in love (24,25). The pastor preaching on this text will do well to read the entire letter, for one cannot fully under- stand this passage without a knowledge of the preceding dis- sertation. Sermon Study on Heb. 10: 19-25 835 Having, therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, v. 19. "Brethren." This word serves a double purpose. It is a captatio benevolentiae in the noblest sense of the term. The writer addresses his readers, young and old, strong and weak, as brethren. He is not speaking to them as a stern judge nor as a carping critic but as a brother who like them is human, like them a sinner, imperfect, yet like them has found the assurance of the forgiveness of all his sins through the blood of the great High Priest. At the same time the position of this word serves to emphasize the word ltIlQQ'ljo"LIl, boldness. This term originally means "telling all," speaking one's whole mind. Such unreserved speech implies utmost confidence in Him to whom we lay bare fhe inmost secrets of our hearts. Hence the word has acquired the sense of free and fearless confidence, cheerful assur- ance, that boldness which without hesitancy, without doubt, goes about its business, joyfully sure of success. Such confidence we are "having." The present participle expresses linear, durative action. We have in our possession, we are holding it as our own. The manner of coming into possession of this boldness has been shown in previous chapters, by the Word spoken to us by the Son, 1:1, and by the messengers of Christ, 2:1--4, which Word is quick and powerful, 4: 12. We have boldness "to enter into the holiest." Instead of the verbal construction of the Authorized Version, the writer uses the noun. ELO"OI\O'; may mean the act of entering or the way of entrance. Here only the objective entrance can be meant. The phrase ltUQQ'ljO"LO. eL~ is in the New Testament invariably used of the foundation toward which the confidence is directed, never of confidence impelling one to do something, where the infinitive of the thing to be done is used. Cpo Philem. 8. Again, the Christian's confidence is not based on his own act of entering into heaven. That would be a very uncertain foundation. Cpo Mark 9: 24. Finally, whenever the place into which one enters is specified, it is designated by Et~ (cp. 2 Pet. 1:11) orltQo~, 1 Thess.l:9; 2:1. In Acts 13: 24 no place is mentioned. In our passage, the only remaining one in which this word is used, it is connected with the genitive, indicating that here the writer has in mind an entrance pertaining to, belonging to, the Holiest, the very same entrance or way called 0I\0e; in the verse immediately following and which had been called the way into the Holiest, 9: 8. In other words, the writer speaks here of a way whereby one can enter the Holiest. The word o:yw., the holy things, here designates, as in chap. 9: 8, 12, the Most Holy Place, the Kodesh Hakkodashim of Ex. 26: 33,34, etc., the Hakkodesh of Lev. 16: 2,3,16,17, etc., the place "within the veil," Lev. 16: 12, 15. There dwelt the Lord above 836 Sermon Study on Heb. 10: 19-25 the cherubim, Ex. 30: 6, above the Ark of the Covenant, in which were placed the tables of the Law, symbolizing the justice of the living Judge of all the earth, and which was covered with the mercy-seat, the symbol of the grace of the unchanging God of eternity. There was God's throne of grace and mercy. There was a way to this throne. Yet the throne was hidden from public view by a heavy veil, and the way through the veil was forbidden on pain of death to every Israelite and every stranger, Num.1: 51; 3: 10,38; 18: 3,5,22. Only on one day was the High Priest per- mitted to enter, Lev. 16: 13. That entrance to God's throne was a way that could never fill the heart of an Israelite with joyous assurance and confidence. It must instil dread fear and hopeless despair of ever being able to approach the mercy-seat of God by this way. All this has been changed "by the blood of Jesus." Compare what the writer has just told his readers, 9: 1 to 10: 18. By this blood, cleansing us from all sin and accepted by us in true faith, we have an approach to God. No longer is the way to the tree of life a forbidden way. No longer is the entrance to Paradise barred by cherubim and a sword of flame and fire. Every barrier is broken down; every prohibition has been abolished. The way is open; admission is free. "By the blood of Jesus." 'Ev, by means, because of this blood, we are in possession of joyous confidence in this entrance, or, as others translate it, we have a joyous confidence in the entrance by means of the blood of Jesus. The sense is not materially changed if we connect the last phrase with entrance or with boldness. By a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh, v.20. The apostle goes on to explain why we have joyous confidence in this gateway to heaven. It is so safe and sure a way, and it is open to all. A literal translation would read: which (entrance) He has initiated for us as a way, newly made and living, through the veil, that is, (through) His flesh. Needless to say, the "which" can refer only to entrance, not to confidence. Christ did not initiate confidence in the en- trance as the way to God. He is not an example of faith in His blood. He has initiated a new way for us through His flesh. 'E'V%aL'VL~o) means to innovate, not merely to renew, or repair, some- thing that has formerly existed but to introduce something alto- gether new. The use of this word already points out that Jesus inaugurated something that had never before existed; dedicated (in this sense the word is used quite frequently in the LXX; cpo Deut. 20: 5; 1 Kings 8: 63, etc.), consecrated, a way altogether novel. Cpo also Heb. 9: 18. This fact is brought out still more forcibly by the adjective "new." II Q60'