Verses 1-4, The writer is pointing back to the truth that the O.T. sacrifices were shadows of what the sacrifice of Christ would one day provide for those that worship Him. As opposed to those who offered bulls and goats that could never deal with sin or cleanse their conscience. See Ps. 51:16-17
Verses 5-10, The writer now quotes from Psalm 40 to show that Christ’s sacrifice was greater than the O.T. sacrifices because His was a willing sacrifice. See Ex. 21:5-6; Mt. 26:36-44.
Christ offered His body as a sacrifice, becoming the perfect intersection of the heavenly and earthly, deity and man, sinners and saints.
Verses 11-14, The O.T. priests never finished working, but Christ is seen as seated, finished, and triumphantly applying His finished work as our High Priest until He returns as King of Kings!
Verses 15-18, Here the writer refers back to the quote of Jer. 31:31-34 and shows that Christ’s work has procured for us redemption from sin once and for all. Only His sacrifice could cause us to no longer need a sacrifice.
Verse 19, therefore encompasses all the arguments that the writer has presented since chapter 7. Since all of that–we can be bold as to the manner and pathway into God’s presence.
There is now no need to try and get God “on our side” because God has shown us through His Son that He wants us! We are to push into God’s presence and live out our whole lives there!
Verse 20, How do we know this? Have this access? By a new and living way. That which was previously inaccessible has been made open by this new way. The veil was the point of entry into God’s divine presence. That point is Jesus’ bodily sacrifice for us! There is still only one way, but it is now open. John 14:6!
Verses 21-22, So let us draw near, proving our confidence in the work of our heavenly High Priest. The language of sprinkling and washing may be picturing us as priests moving into the presence of God. See Ex. 29:4; 30:22-30; 1 Peter 2:5; Rev. 1:6.
Verse 23, The writer encourages and exhorts these believers to hold onto what they already believe of Jesus–4:14–and not to back down or give up.
Verse 24, How do we practically do this? By cultivating love and good works in our own lives, and then sharing them with others. By doing so we are loving the body. See. Rom 12:1-5; 1 Cor. 12; Eph. 4
Verse 25, This is not just speaking about missing a Sunday or Wed. night service. This is the person who is willingly making the concious decision to do without the community of worshipers gathering around Jesus Christ to come to God.
Verse 15, Here the writer tells us that Christ’s death has inaugurated the start of the New Covenant by which we obtain both forgiveness and an eternal inheritance. See Acts 20:32; 26:18; Eph. 1; Col. 1:12; 3:23-25; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 4:12-14; 5:1+10; Rev. 21:7.
Verses 16-17, In the O.T. you could make a covenant by striking hands, exchanging sandals or salt, or by blood. See Gen. 15 and the covenant God makes with Abraham by blood.
Verses 18-21, Read Exodus 24: 1-8 in reference to what the writer is speaking of.
Verses 22-23, Just like the earthly things were sanctified by the blood of bulls and goats, the heavenly reality of which they were pictures were sanctified by the greatest sacrifice–God’s Son. 1 Peter 1:18-19.
It is God’s plan that all things are sanctified with blood, think…Adam & Eve, Abraham, the passover, and 1 Cor. 5:7.
Verse 24, Here in verses 24-28 we have what someone has called the three appearings of Christ. First we see that Christ presently appears(His Advocacy) in God’s presence for us. See 1 John 2:1-2. The eternal life that Christ has given us is presently being worked out in us. Think of the picture of Lev. 14:1-9 and Jesus’ statement to Peter in John 13:8. Eternal life is never broken, but our communion can be.
Verses 25-28a, Here we see that Christ has appeared for us, to put away the issue of sin. Christ’s Atonement is here pictured, and can be seen as a picture in the two goats of Lev. 16.
Verse 28b, Here we see that Christ shall appear–His Advent. We should never forget this, and should always be looking and expectantly waiting for it! See Titus 2:11-14 and 2 Peter 3:8-14. Are you ready to meet Jesus?
I thought this was a great comparison, especially in our media crazed world!
- Heroes are admired for bravery, nobility, honor, and character. Celebrities are admired for beauty and talent.
- Heroes grow through suffering and we respect them for it. Celebrities flounder in dysfunction and we are amused by it.
- Heroes are followed; we want to learn from them. Celebrities are feted, we want to lounge with them.
- Heroes makes us feel unworthy when we are around them and not the best we can be. Celebrities make us feel special just to be near them.
- Heroes serve others with or without being noticed. Celebrities perform to be seen by others.
- Heroes don’t look for status, recognition, or payment. Celebrities look for the cameras and for lucrative compensation.
- Heroes desire to sacrifice for others. Celebrities enjoy others sacrificing for them.
- Heroes admit their faults. Celebrities flaunt their talents.
- Heroes deflect praise. Celebrities crave it.
- Heroes edify. Celebrities entertain.
Not trying to be cheesy, but we all know from Starting Five that Jesus is our Hero!
“You will certainly carry out God’s purpose, however you act, but it makes a difference to you whether you serve like Judas or like John.” C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain, p. 111.
This is for everyone who is out with us on Wednesday nights. As of October 19th we will be meeting in the CPAC and not room 41. So…next Wednesday night the 12th of October will be our last night in our present room before switching with the Jr. High. That is the scoop on the move!
Verses 1-5, The writer gives a short summary of his previous discourse. He shows Christ as our High Priest in heaven, not part of the earthly levitical line or ceremony, but of the heavenly tabernacle and heavenly gifts and sacrifices.
He then quotes Exodus 25:40 to show that the tabernacle was a temprorary type of the true reality in heaven. See Rev. 11:19; 14:17; 15:5+8; 16:1.
Verses 6-12, The writer now quotes from Jeremiah 31:31-34 to show that God intended the Levitical system and previous covenant upon which it was built to be temporary. That is why God spoke through Jeremiah that there would be a new covenant. See also Ez. 36:25-27 and Joel 2:28-29
This new covenant would have 2 distinct changes. 1) It would be written on hearts as opposed to tables of stone like the ten commandments. 2) It would include the once and for all forgiveness of sins.
Since this old covenant was now no longer the way that the Jews were to obtain God’s divine favor, to hold onto it was in fact to miss out on salvation and forgiveness! See. Acts 13:44-48; 28:25-28 and Gal. 4:8-11; 5:4 and 1 Thess. 2:15-16.
Verses 9:1-5, These ceremonies in the first covenant were worldly or temporal. See Lev. 16 and Ex. 25 and 30 for more detail of the instruments.
Verses 9:6-10, All the continuous action of the priests, and the high priest entering into the Holy of Holies only once a year, could never truly cleanse the conscience or heart! The way into God’s presence was obviously closed as long as the tabernacle stood. The writer is leading them to the conclusion that only Jesus is The Way! Jn 14:6 and Heb. 10:15-22.
Verses 9:11-12, As our High Priest Jesus has gone into the very presence of God to represent us like the high priest of old. He came–not with the blood of bulls and goats–but with His own blood. Jesus stands in God’s presence as the proof that the penalty for sin has been carried out.
Thus offering Himself, Jesus has now obtained eternal redemption for us–once and for all! God’s divine favor and forgiveness comes only through Jesus, the perfect sacrifice. What all of religion is aiming at–divine favor–we have through Jesus! God loves you as much as He loves Jesus! See John 17:23-24.
Verses 9:13-14, Christ was without spot, therefore we no longer rest on our own works, but the perfect life of Christ! The writer wanted the Jews to turn from their dead works. Which were any work that one did to cleanse their conscience or earn God’s favor. Instead he urges them to serve the Living God with spirit and truth.
Six Theological Foundations for Mercy Ministry
1. The rich are to be generous. 1 Timothy 6:17-18 “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share.”
2. We are not to get rich at the expense of the poor, nor are we to take advantage of the weak. Amos 8:12 “For I know how many are your transgressions and how great are your sins—you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and turn aside the needy in the gate.”
3. True religion consist in personal holiness and helping the helpless. James 1:27 “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
4. Christians have a special obligation to care for the needy brothers and sisters in their midst. 1 John 3:17 “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?“
5. Christians should have a positive impact on their communities. Matthew 5:14-15 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.”
6. Christians are compassionate. Luke 10:33-34 “But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.”
How to Get Mercy Ministry Off-Track in Fifteen Easy Steps
1. Participate just to assuage guilty feelings for being rich or white or suburban or whatever.
2. Feel superior to those who aren’t as involved as you are.
3. Pursue too many good ideas at the same time.
4. Love the “poor,” but not poor people.
5. Turn everything back into a discussion about politics.
6. Forget to pray.
7. Make evangelism and discipleship an afterthought (or worse, a never-thought).
8. Read books, complain, talk about stuff and never do anything.
9. Launch into a ministry program or ministry model that isn’t sustainable.
10. Rally the troops with guilt and shame.
11. Idolize the poor.
12. Demonize the poor.
13. Do everything for the people you are trying to help.
14. Believe that every problem can be solved by simple charity.
15. Be blind to your own poverty and need for mercy
Verses 1-3, The writer is now reintroducing the idea of Christ as a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. Read Gen. 14:18-24 and Ps. 110:4. Notice that Melchizedek is similar to Christ in that he is a priest and a king, of righteousness and peace. Both are chief characteristics of the Messiah’s reign. See. Isa. 9:6-7; 32:17; 48:18; Zech. 6:13; Rom. 5:1; Col. 1:20.
Also it is important to note that Melchizedek was noted as a priest of the Most High God which is El Elyon. A name for God that had not yet been known by Abraham in Gen. 14 and signified God’s rule over all Creation. See. Dan. 4:32+35; Lk. 1:32+35 and Satan’s boast in Isa. 14:14.
Thus Melchizedek was made like unto the Son of God. What Christ is in reality, Melchizedek was apparently.
Verses 4-10, The writer says that by two things it was evident that Abraham saw Melchizedek as greater than himself: 1) The giving of tithes. 2) The receiving of a blessing.
Tithes belonged to God, and were given to the priests of the levitical order because they represented God to the people. So if Abraham(the father of all Israelites let alone levites) paid tithes to Melchizedek, Melchizedek was obviously a greater representative of God. Thus verses 9 and 10.
Also the greater would always give the blessing to the lesser, verse 7. How amazing was this man Melchizedek who blessed Abraham, the one who possessed God’s promises to all Israel!
In these two points we see the reason for the writers encouragement of verse 4, to consider how great this man was…
Verses 11-14, The writer warns the Jews not to return to the Levitical priesthood because it was obviously temporary. Why would God have promised another priesthood in Psalm 110:4 if the Levitical line was good enough? He wouldn’t have!
Verses 15-17, Christ was of Judah, not of Levi, so if He was to be a priest it had to be from another order. And that order was eternal because of God’s oath in Ps. 110:4.
Verses 18-19, So if God had a new order, with a new High Priest that would be eternal and unchanging, obviously the old order, law, and priests were done with. The law never made anyone righteous anyway! See. Gal. 3:11-12+21; Rom. 10:4.
There was no longer any religous “action” that needed to be accomplished to draw near to God. What an idea for any Jew!
Verses 20-22, Jesus’ position as High Priest came by an eternal oath, while the levitical line had no such foundation.
Verses 23-25, Human priests kept dying, but Christ will be there for His people forever! 1 Tim. 2:5.
There is now a man in heaven who is the Son of God, who works on our behalf! 1 John 2:1-2. This is wonderful news for any sinner who wants to draw near to God the Father!
Verses 26-28, Notice the contrasts:
1) Christ’s work is finished vs. Priests work was unending
2) Christ is our single Mediator vs. Many priests
3) One offering for all sin vs. Continual offerings
4) A holy and eternal Man vs. Sinful and dying men
5) The way to draw near to God is open to all vs. The way to God is closed
No wonder the writer felt he had to address the immaturity of his hearers before moving into the wonder truths of Christ being a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek!
Just wanted to let you all know that this coming Wednesday, September 21st, we will be in the main sanctuary for communion. We will resume our study in Hebrews 7 on September 28th.
Verses 1-3, Therefore…let us go on… Because neglecting and ignoring God’s truth causes us to regress into babes when we should be mature. The writer is asking them to leave behind the partial revelation of O.T. principles of 1:1-2 and press on into the full revelation and life of Christ.
He names six foundational truths heavily relied upon in Judaism: 1) Repentance from dead works. 2) Faith 3) Ritual cleansings 4) Laying on of hands–relating to the sacrificial offerings. 5) Resurrection–See Job 19:25; Isa. 26:19; Dan. 12:2. 6) Eternal judgment–Ecc. 12:14.
Verses 4-6, The falling away is from the mature Christian life and experience as we saw in the warning of 3:16-4:11. This type of falling away is not an accident, but a deliberate choice to disobey and turn from God’s truth in unbelief.
Thus acting we can put Christ to shame. Why is it that we can trust Christ with our eternity but not our here and now? In every heart there is a throne and a cross, if we are on one, Christ is on the other.
Verses 7-8, Now the writer gives an illustration from nature. God’s provision and blessing(rain/sun) falls on both fields. In one it is used to produce good fruit, in the other it is used to produce weeds and thorns which are then burned. See 1 Cor. 3:10-15
Verses 9-10, Beloved, is used only here in Hebrews. The writer is convinced that these believers will pass on into maturity. The first reason is because of the love he sees in their lives for both God and other saints. See Mt 22:35-40; Jn. 13:34-35; Rom. 5:5-8; 1 Jn. 4:7-11 + 19-21.
Verses 11-12, Notice the importance of love, hope, and faith in these verses. The end would be of our pilgrimage through this world, and the hope is that of eternity and heaven.
How this can bolster our lives here! If we are saved, this is as close to hell as we will ever get. When this world reminds us of heaven we can receive it with joy, when it reminds us of hell, we can take hope in the fact that it is still just earth and heaven is before us.
Our problem with faith is how quickly sluggishness and lukewarmness set in. He exhorts the believers to hold onto God’s promises with both faith and patience. He then gives us an example of that in the life of Abraham.
Verses 13-17, Here we see that God promised something to Abraham and gave him an oath. See Gen. 12 and 15. In the promise we have God’s intentions made clear, in the oath we have God placing His character behind the promise.
Verses 18-20, That same God who was faithful to Abraham will be faithful to us as well. He has accepted Jesus into His presence as our forerunner. See 9:24.