Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience…
I. WHAT IS IMPLIED IN THIS, "Let us draw near."
1. Sin has set us at a distance from God (Isaiah 59:2).
2. Sinners stand at a distance from God till they be called, and that powerfully (John 6:44).
(1) Insensible sinners will .not (John 5:40).
(2) Sensible sinners dare not (Luke 5:8).
II. WE MAY DRAW NEAR TO GOD. Glad news this to poor sensible sinners! Come in, ye blessed of the Lord; why do you stand back? you may draw near to God. For —
1. God is on a throne of grace in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:19).
2. There is a way to the throne never trod, nor designed to be trod, by any but sinners such as you, and the like of you. This is no back entry, but the most glorious way to the throne. Adam had a way to it, but that is blocked up; there is a new and living way consecrated for us (ver. 20).
3. He is a friend of ours who is set over the house of God (ver. 21).
III. WE OUGHT TO DRAW NEAR: "Let us draw near." For —
1. It is the command of God (James 4:8).
2. If we do not draw near to God, we dis-honour His Son, and so dishonour Himself, in so far as we frustrate the great design of the mystery of Christ (John 5:23).
IV. PRACTICAL IMPROVEMENT OF THE SUBJECT, in an use of exhortation.
1. Come back, sinners, draw near towards God and duty. What have you gained by going from Him?
2. Not only draw towards God, but come forward, and draw near to Him as a God in Christ. You may get near to Him ere you come to heaven; in His ordinances in the lower house, there you may have access to Him. Particularly, let us draw near to Him —
(1) In prayer (chap. 4:16).
(2) In the holy sacrament of the supper. God is again coming to us in that ordinance: an ordinance appointed for the most special nearness out of heaven (1 Corinthians 10:16).
3. Let us draw near in these ordinances —
(1) As rebels accepting the King's peace, indemnity in the blood of His Son; draw near, and welcome (Isaiah 27:5).
(2) As petitioners to the King.
(3) As servants of the house, to serve our Lord, to wait upon Him, and behold His glory (Psalm 116:16).
(4) As friends; friends of God, to have fellowship with Him, who may freely converse with Him: to unbosom ourselves to Him, and to be let into the secrets of the covenant (John 15:15).
(5) As children to a Father in Christ, to receive the portion of children.
(6) As a spouse to a husband, for our Maker is our Husband. Let us embrace Him in the arms of faith, give the love of the heart to Him a full vent (Song of Solomon 8:6).
4. But how must the business of our drawing near to God be managed? The apostle here lays down four directions:(1) Draw near to God sincerely. Hypocrisy is a disease in the vitals of religion; it pretends one thing and intends another.
(2) Draw near in the "full assurance of faith." Faith's special object is the blood of Christ.
(3) Get your hearts beforehand " sprinkled from an evil conscience." Are you to come to His table? pray that all controversies be done away between you and Him. If you are to appear before the Lord, go, dip, wash, bathe in the fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness (Zechariah 13:1) that you may be clean.
(4) Let your outward conversation be blameless, free from scandalous sins (Psalm 24:4).
(T. Boston, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.