According to Hebrews 10:22, one must fulfill four requirements in order to approach the mercy seat and the throne in the Most Holy Place. First, one must have a “sincere heart”; second, one must have a “full assurance of faith”; third, one’s heart must be “sprinkled to cleanse [him] from a guilty conscience”; and, fourth, one’s body must be “washed with pure water” (niv). Let’s look very briefly at each of these.
A sincere heart: We approach God with our hearts, not with our heads. God is not the answer to an intellectual riddle, but He will meet a sincere, longing heart. We must come without pretense, exposing ourselves to God just as we are without hiding anything.
Full assurance of faith: Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him [God], for he who comes to God must believe.” We must come with absolute faith in God’s faithfulness—not faith in our own abilities or righteousness.
Our hearts sprinkled from a guilty conscience: A guilty conscience results from committing wrong, sinful deeds. But through the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus, we have assurance that our evil deeds have been forgiven and that our hearts are pure from sin.
Our bodies washed with pure water: First John 5:6 says that Jesus came by water and by blood. In Hebrews 10:22, we see both these elements: the blood that sprinkles from an evil conscience and the water that washes our bodies. I believe that the water represents Christian baptism. In the New Testament, Christian baptism means sharing in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. So, the “new and living way” mentioned in Hebrews 10:20 is Jesus. We are to identify with all that He endured when He died for our sins and rose again.