Faith and Theology: Dr. John MacArthur Q&A


How do we draw near to God?

“Let us draw near with a true heart” (Heb. 10.22). Based on what had been written, this was the heart of the invitation to those in the assembly who had not come to Christ. The same invitation is found in the first New Testament book to be written (James 4.8), where James reveals the corollary of drawing near to God. God will draw near to you. Asaph taught that it is a good thing to draw near to God (Ps. 73.28). The full restoration of Israel to God’s blessing is dependent upon their drawing near to Him (Jer. 30.18–22). In other words, it is an eschatological invitation coming to them in “these last days” (Heb. 1.2). This verse describes the prerequisites for entering the presence of God (Ps. 15). sincerity, security, salvation, and sanctification. The Greek term behind “true” carries the ideas of being sincere, genuine, and without ulterior motive (Jer. 24.7; Matt. 15.8). This one thing these particular Hebrews lacked. genuine commitment to Christ.

“In full assurance of faith.” Utter confidence in the promises of God is intended by the phrase. Such confidence will result in heartfelt assurance or security which will allow them to persevere through the coming trials. This is the first of a familiar triad. faith, hope (v. 23), and love (v. 24). “Having our hearts sprinkled…with pure water.” The imagery in this verse is taken from the sacrificial ceremonies of the Old Covenant, where blood was sprinkled as a sign of cleansing, and the priests were continually washing themselves and the sacred vessels in basins of clear water. The “washing with pure water” does not refer to Christian baptism, but to the Holy Spirit’s purifying one’s life by means of the Word of God (Eph. 5.25, 26; Titus 3.5). This is purely a New Covenant picture (Jer. 31.33; Ezek. 36.25, 26).