Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience…
I. THE DUTY HERE ENJOINED. To draw near to God, in the sense of our text, is to seek Him in the use of the appointed means of grace, that we may be restored to His favour and image, and enjoy a heartfelt sense of that restoration.
1. We draw near to God when we engage properly in the solemn exercise of public worship.
2. Again, we draw near to God when we engage properly in the exercise of social worship.
3. We also draw near to God, in a peculiar sense, when we engage properly in the exercise of secret devotion.
II. How THIS DUTY MAY BE ACCEPTABLY PERFORMED. TO draw near "with a true heart," means to worship God with sincerity, which is an indispensable ingredient in Christian piety. But do not confound sincerity with worthiness: that is another thing altogether. If we wait for a blessing at the hand of God till we are worthy of it, we shall die unblessed, and be lost for ever. We have nothing to plead but the worthy name of Jesus, and we need no other; and while we pray in His name, we may know ourselves sincerer however unworthy. The "assurance of faith" is a firm persuasion, a satisfactory evidence, that God does accept, pardon, save, and bless us, for Christ's sake; and this firm persuasion, this satisfactory evidence, arises, not only from the exceeding great and precious promises of His Word, but chiefly from the direct influence of His Spirit, bearing witness with our spirit that we are His children. "Having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience." There are some evils from which a man may escape; but shall a man flee from a guilty conscience? As well might he endeavour to escape from his shadow when the sun is shining. Wherever he goes, or whatever he does, he feels self-reproach and a sense of the displeasure of the Almighty. Now let us accept the call of grace, be sprinkled from an evil conscience, and restored to the favour and image of God, that, like the apostle, we may "have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men." "And our bodies washed with pure water," in Christian baptism. Water baptism is an outward sign of the inward grace of purification.
III. A FEW BRIEF, PRACTICAL INFERENCES.
1. The first inference from the whole subject is, whoever neglects the means of grace, deprives himself of religious enjoyment.
2. The next inference is, they who use the means of grace will profit thereby.
3. Finally, we infer from this text, what is elsewhere plainly declared, "Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you."
(T. A. Morris, 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.