Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
The church is a corporate body not a collection of individuals. Of course at one level it is the latter but if, having come together as individuals we continue to operate in that mode, it isn’t church!
Our focus from this passage today is therefore key to the working of the body.
Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
Both strands of this are vital because if we are honest both are hard!
The writer calls on his readers to be working together ‘how we (plural) may spur one another on’. We are part of the body and so we have responsibilities towards the body.
The body is not a static inanimate thing but a vital, growing entity made up of fallible people. Therefore we constantly need to be spurred on for it is easy in the pressures of life to lose sight of who and what we are as the body of Christ and to take the easy way. That way is to step back into comfort rather than putting our heads above the parapet and being involved, leaving it to someone else. To be bold, as we are called to be, means that we need to be spurred on. How good are we at that task? When did we last come alongside a fellow church member and spur them on toward love and good deeds?
We know that is what we are called to, but it is hard. It is hard to love those we are not naturally drawn to. It is hard to love those with whom we may disagree or those who do not respond to circumstances in the way we think they should.
It is hard to immerse ourselves in the good deeds even though God has prepared them in advance for us to do and to remember that we are God’s workmanship. (Ephesians 2.10)
So it is in these areas that we should be coming alongside to spur on our brothers and sisters in Christ.
If our Week of Prayer has meant anything it should have focussed us in this area, for those who have been involved have been greatly encouraged by meeting together and looking to what God has in store for us as we seek a Pastor/Teacher to lead us forward in our calling as CFC. As we step out into the, currently unknown, let us do so persuaded that we all have a crucial part to play in spurring one another on toward love and good deeds.