Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hebrews 7-10

Hebrews 7 – Superior Priest

Melchizedek is just a man and his features shadow the one to come, Jesus Christ.   Jesus and Melchizedek have some similarities as high priest.  They are:  both are kings, high priests, kings of righteousness, kings of peace and kings forever.  Their differences are:  that Jesus is the Son of God, He lives forever, has a permanent priesthood and is able to save completely.   He is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens is unlike any other high priest and does not need to offer sacrifices day after day for sins.  He is the perfect High Priest – forever!

Not all people have someone praying for them like a mother or a grandmother, but everyone has Jesus praying for them continually.  He’s thinking and talking with God about you right now.

Principle:
            God cares enough to send man His very best Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 8 – Superior Covenant

The definition of a covenant is an agreement, a contract, a pact, a treaty.  The first covenant had many regulations for the tabernacle and for worship.  Only the high priest could enter the inner room once a year to offer sacrifices for the sins for himself and for the people.  These sacrifices were not able to cleanse the peoples’ consciences.  It was only a temporary fix.  God said He would make a new covenant and put His laws in the minds and hearts of the people.  He would forgive them of their wickedness and remember their sins no more (Heb. 8:12).  This new covenant was Jesus.

How can an all-knowing God forget?  - He chooses to.

Principle:
            God’s new covenant promises believers a new life and new nature with His sufficient, sustaining grace.

Hebrews 9:11-10:18 – Superior Sanctifying and Sacrifice

There were many regulations and limitations with the old covenant.  There were regulations as to worship and also there was an earthly sanctuary.  The tabernacle was built in particular way with an inner room called the Most Holy Place.  No one could enter the inner room but the high priest.  He could enter only once a year and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins of the people.  This had to be done over and over each year to cleanse their sins.  The earthly tabernacle was inaccessible to people.

The New Covenant is heavenly not earthly.  It is free from the ravages of time.  When Christ became the high priest, He entered the Most Holy Place once for all by His own blood having died on the cross for our sins.  The curtain was torn and now people have access to God.  The curtain is Jesus.  His blood cleansed our consciences and through Him we have obtained eternal redemption.  By the shedding of His blood we are set free from our sins and have the promise of eternal inheritance.  

He had to be what he was to do what he did.
He had to do what he did so that we might have what he is.
We must have what he is in order to be what he was.
We will be what he was when by faith we allow him to be what he is.
                                        -Major Ian Thomas
                             
Why was the shedding of blood necessary?  It’s the way the Sovereign God ordained it.  God cannot tolerate sin.  Without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness of sin.  He cannot just forgive sins because He is just.  Blood makes atonement for sin.  (Leviticus 17:11) “For the life of a creature is in the blood and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.”

He was our substitution.  He stood in our place.  This is the love of God.  When we see God, he sees the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

How do you know with certainty you are in perfect standing with God?  - By His Spirit.  Romans 8:1 “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Principle:
            Jesus Christ’s sacrifice of His own blood provides our access to God.

How is it changing your motives?  What does that mean to you?  Are you serving Him?  He died so that you would.  If we really believed these truths then it will effect our lives. 

Hebrews 10:19-39 – Since Superior

We now can enter the Most Holy Place, because of the blood of Jesus our Great High Priest.
How can you apply this confidence to your life?  
       Draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith.
       Hold unswervingly to the hope you profess for He who promised is faithful.
       Consider how you may spur others toward love and good deeds.
       Don’t give up meeting together with others.
       Encourage one another all the more as you see the Day approaching.
       Do not throw away your confidence when exposed to insult and persecution.
       You need to persevere and do the will of God so you will receive what God promised.
       Don’t comprise your beliefs.

There is one sin that cannot be cleansed by blood.  That is the sin of rejecting Jesus as Lord and Savior.  When a person rejects Christ and His cross, he will face God’s judgment and spend eternity separated from God.  He will be in eternal Hell.  (Heb. 10:30-31) “… It is mine to avenge; I will repay, and again, The Lord will judge his people.  It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

Principle:
            God’s promises are sufficient and superior and worthy of our preserving the truth.

Do you know He’s gone through extreme measures for you?
Have you placed your trust in Jesus?
Is your conscience cleansed?
Is your hope secure forever?

______________________________________________
How can you be sure you are going to heaven?
There is only one way to heaven. 
John 10:29b – Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.”
John 14:6-7a - Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well.” 

If you are unsure of your relationship with Jesus, take you Bible some place quiet where you can be alone.  Ask God to speak to you and to reveal Himself to you.  Take time to listen as you read the words.  Know that God created you and is always with you.  He decides what is right and wrong because He is holy, perfect, and pure.  God has authority over your life.  He watches over and provides for you.

His simple plan:
ACKNOWLEDGE God as Creator of everything, and accept our humble position in God’s creation.
Revelation 4:11 – You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”

ADMIT to yourself and God that you are a sinner.  You have ignored God and wanted to do your own thing leaving God out completely.    
Romans 3:23 “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death.” (because you are a sinner, you are condemned to death – eternal separation from God in Hell)
Romans 5:12 “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death come to all men, because all sinned.”  (that one man was Adam)
1 John 1:10“If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives.”
CONFESS your sins (try to name them specifically – don’t forget pride and self-righteousness).  
Psalm 139:23-34 – “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting”.
1 John 1:8-10 – “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives”.
Romans 10:9 – “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”.

REPENT

Luke 13:5 – Jesus said: I tell you, no!  but unless you repent, you too will all perish”.
Acts 17:30 – “…. He commands all people everywhere to repent.”  (repent means a change of mind that agrees with God you are a sinner and agrees with what Jesus did for us on the cross)
Acts 20:21 – I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.”
BELIEVE that Christ went to the cross for you, taking your guilt upon Himself and enduring God’s judgment in your place.  He took God’s judgment of our sins on Himself.  This means that God has pardoned and cleared you from any guilt.  
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.
Romans 10:13 – “for, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
John 5:24 – I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life”.

Sinner’s Prayer

If you realize you are a sinner, right now lift your head to God in prayer.
“Oh God, I know I am a sinner.  I believe Jesus died on the cross as my substitute.  I believe His death, burial, and resurrection were for me.  I want to receive Him as my Savior.  Thank you for the forgiveness of my sins – the gift of salvation.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Can it be that simple?
It’s hard to believe it’s that simple, but it is.  Don’t trust your feelings.  They change.  Stand on God’s promises.  They never change.  After you are saved you should be baptized in obedience to the Lord Jesus as a public testimony of your salvation, and then unite with a Bible-believing church.  Other Christians will be there for you with encouragement and will pray for you as you walk closer with God.  Remember - don’t judge other Christians, because they are not perfect.  If they were, they wouldn’t need to go to church.  Only God and Jesus are perfect.
Then there are three things to practice daily for spiritual growth:
          Pray – you talk with God
          Read your Bible – God will speak to you
          Witness – you talk for God telling others about Him

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