December 2, 2000
I would love to teach through the entire book of Hebrews, but I know better. So we will just look at a few points that is, what did Christ accomplish with His work on the cross.
I will not give an introduction to this book, other than to say that it was written to the Hebrew Christians. These people were hung up with the doctrine of the Old Testament Aaronic priesthood. This book was written to prove to them that Christ's priesthood not only replaced the Aaronic priesthood, but was far better than that old priesthood, and that the Aaronic priesthood passed away with Christ.
Though the book was written to Hebrew Christians, we are clearly told that the redeemed in Christ are now part of that old Hebrew inheritance, Ephesians 2:11, 12, 13.
11 ¶ Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
In other words, this book, though named and written to the Hebrews, is just as much for the Church to the end of time as it was for that Hebrew race of people.
It is interesting to note that the book is not named, "Jews," for there is no such thing as a "Jewish" race of people. Jewish is a RELIGIOUS term a religion as is Mormon. Note today that no one claims to be Hebrew, but Jew.
I will give these points till I run out of time. It would take a lengthy series of messages to cover all the things Christ accomplished in His work here on this earth.
1) 1:3, He purged us from our sins. Purged cleansed, or ritual washing. Christ, by His sacrificial offering, cleansed us from the guilt of our sins.
2) 2:9, He tasted death for every man who will come to Him in simple faith and trust in His atoning work.
You say, "But it says, for every man."
Look at the next thing Christ did:
3) 2:10, His work brings many sons unto glory.
Notice also that Christ was made perfect through the suffering He endured. How could the perfect Lamb of God be made more perfect? The term is complete, or wholly fitted to be the Saviour and faithful High Priest before God the Father.
4) V. 11, sanctified us and brought us to the place where He boldly calls those He redeemed by His own blood, brethren that is, members of the same family. We are now called brethren of the Son of the Most High God.
5) V. 14, He destroyed him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.
Luke 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
In some unexplained way, Satan had sway over the realm of death, which started with the fall. Christ broke that power of Satan.
We do know from Romans 5:12, that death entered the world through one man's sin, and the redemptive work of Christ removes us from the realm of sin and death.
6) V. 15, Christ's work delivers us from bondage, the bondage to the fear of death. That fear keeps man from doing what he aught to do. Moreover, I have seen both saved and unsaved die, and there is no fear of death in the saved.
Paul said it like this:
1 Corinthians 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
7) V. 17, Christ's work equipped Him to be a merciful and faithful high priest. His work here on earth equipped Him to be able to identify with men their sorrows, pains, needs, weaknesses, afflictions, griefs and sufferings, even death.
He became like men, not like angles. So He can plead our cause before God the Father as someone who has endured in all points as we endure.
Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
His work equipped Him to be a compassionate mediator between God and man.
I must say now that as I work with those who are sick or who lose a loved one, I can certainly now identify with them. Christ suffered in all points as we suffer, so we now have a Mediator who stands before the Father, a Mediator who has been through whatever situation we might be going through.
Faithful high priest. In other words, He can be depended upon to faithfully represent us before God the Father. In fact, He represents us as though we were in the Father's presence, representing ourselves.
Paul said it like this:
Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
To here, 12/3/2000 Have not used rest
8) 3:14, His work made us partakers of Christ. That is, His work made us united to him by faith, and it entitled us to His favor, and to the enjoyment of the rest provided for His people.
9) 3:18, His work enables His people to enter into His rest. The verse is a negative verse, and the positive is in 4:1 & 11.
The rest here is based in obedience, v. 3 & 11. Faith in Christ and His finished work also provides the faith to rest in His promises.
The problem with His people was that they did not believe the promises of God concerning His giving to them the "Promised Land," Canaan. So they could not enter into His rest.
V. 11, it is just as much "work" to enter into our rest in Christ as it was for Israel to enter into His rest in Canaan. There are many enemies to conquer before we can rest in Him and His word.
10) V. 14, as we have already seen, Christ's work equipped Him to be a faithful high priest. Note the added words, let us hold fast our profession. In other words, we have confidence that He is faithfully representing us by name before the Father, so that should encourage us to remain faithful to our profession of Christ.
To put it another way, no matter what comes our way in this life, we know we are not abandoned to face our situations alone. I MUST ADMIT, HOWEVER, THAT AT TIMES IT SURE SEEMS LIKE I AM ABANDONED; but my confidence that I have a FAITHFUL HIGH PRIEST pleading my case before the Father permits me to continue on, resting in Him to faithfully present my case to the Father, and then for DIVINE PROVIDENCE to work all things for my good and His glory.
11) V. 16, Christ's work provides boldness to come before the Heavenly Throne for the grace, or divine enabling, to see me through my time of need.
12) 5:9, His work provides eternal salvation for those who obey him. Now, that is a strange thing to say when we say we believe in eternal security, but that is what the Word sais.
What is meant here? I believe you will find throughout Scripture salvation and obedience to the Lord tied together. In other words, the separation of salvation from obedience to the word of God is unknown in Scripture.
There was a song many years ago that went something like this:
"Love and marriage, Love and marriage, they go together like a horse and carriage. You cannot have one without the other." Of course, there were many other words that tied the verses together, but you get the point.
In other words, Christian salvation or conversion goes with obedience to the word of God. You cannot have salvation without the spirit of obedience, for the Spirit of God indwells the believer. And He is a Spirit of obedience, the same as He worked obedience to the death in Christ.
12) 7:21, His work made Him a High Priest forever. The book of Hebrews proves that Christ's priesthood was not like Aaron's, for Aaron's had to pass from father to son, and finally passed off the scene. But Christ's priesthood is an everlasting priesthood. The Priest who stood up and interceded for the great Apostle Paul before the Holy Heavenly Father is the same Priest who is representing me before the same Heavenly Father.
Note v. 25, he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
13) V. 25, Christ's work saves His people to the uttermost. Meaning He does not go half-way with our salvation. He does not start something He is unable or unwilling to finish.
Again, Paul said it like this:
Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
14) V. 27, Christ's work was and is the sacrifice for the sins of His people.
Starting in Chapter 8, the author sums up what he has said to this point.
V. 1, We have a representative sitting on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. That is, Christ is now sitting in His place of power and rule over all of creation.
V. 2, He is the minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle.
First, Hebrews 8:5, the earthly sanctuary (9:2) where the tribe of Levi, Aaron and his sons, served was only a pattern of the heavenly sanctuary Moses was warned to faithfully build the earthly sanctuary after the pattern of the heavenly sanctuary as he was shown by the Lord God. Thus, Christ ministers in the heavenly sanctuary.
The sanctuary built by Moses was only a shadow, or earthly example, of what was in heaven and of what was to come in Christ. (The sanctuary built in the wilderness makes a very interesting study.)
Second, Hebrews 9:11, Levi ministered in a tabernacle made with hands, but Christ is the true tabernacle, made without hands.
Galatians 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: 14 And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.
The manner of worship that had been shown to Moses in Exodus had been badly corrupted by traditions. It became known as the Jews' Religion. This religion is also active today in Judaism the popular radio speaker, Dr. Laura, practices the Jews' Religion. And sad to say, those involved in the false cult religion of "Christian Identity" are also trying to revive the old Jews' Religion by saying that the Anglo-Saxon race is the literal descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and therefore should keep the feasts and holy days of that religion.
The author of Hebrews is showing how foolish it was for the Hebrews to hang onto the old manner of worshiping God through the earthly sanctuary at Jerusalem. He is showing how much better Christ is than the Old Testament Hebrew way was.
He his showing how wrong it is to trust or even acknowledge any other way to the Heavenly Father than through the finished work of Christ Jesus.
8:6, Christ is better in every way. He has a more excellent ministry than the Levitical priests. He gives a better covenant than what was given with Israel at Sinai. He has secured better promises, or greater blessings for His people than were secured at the Mount.
THE GOSPEL DISPENSATION IS THE LAST DISPENSATION in the history of the world, and those of us who live under it have better promises from God than what God's people had before Christ.
Christ's covenant with His people is a covenant of grace God's laws and power written in the heart.
9:1-11, the author of Hebrews shows the marks, ordinances, laws and services of the old covenant. All of these were done away with because they all pointed to the better, Christ. They were a heavenly pattern.
Vv. 11, 12, Christ took His own blood into the heavenly sanctuary, where he obtained eternal redemption for His people NOT FOR THE WORLD.
He Hebrew religion required a yearly offering for the sins of the people. But Christ offered Himself once for all as the sacrifice.
V. 14 gives us an important phrase: purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Through faith in the finished work of Christ, our conscience is purged from the guilt and pollution of sin; we are made spiritually alive, and we are enabled to offer the spiritual living sacrifice that is pleasing to God, Romans 12:1.
The only way our minds can be renewed is with the power of the indwelling Spirit of Grace, the Spirit of God.
The old Jewish or rituals that were done away with in Christ, yet we study those old rituals to show us the evil nature of sin, the way of salvation through faith in Christ, the goal of His death as an atoning sacrifice, and the safety and blessedness of all who trust in Him:
Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
The context of Galatians requires that the primary law spoken of here was the old temple laws of the sacrifices and offerings.
(Edited to here; only copied notes from here on.)
V. 15, Christ's work:
1) makes Him the new mediator, so His people do not need vv.
1-11 any longer.
2) gives redemption of the transgression of sin, as defined by the first testament, the ten commandments.
3) gives his people God's promise of eternal inheritance.
Vv. 22, 23, the Old Testament sprinkling of blood was a picture of the blood of Christ in heaven for His people.
V. 24, Christ appears in the presence of God for us.
V. 26, His work puts away sin.
V. 27, He prepares the way for us for the final judgment. Note only one judgment to come.
V. 28, bears the sins of His people ONLY.
10:1, 2, the Father had no pleasure in the old sacrifices themselves, but His pleasure was in what they represented that is, the coming work of Christ.
10:12, Christ offered one sacrifice for sin, and sat down on God's right hand, representing the place of God's power and authority.
V. 14, He has perfected us, so that we are set apart.
V. 16, again, the new cotenant is the writing of His laws in our hearts, and separating our sins from us. He did this through his sacrifice for our sins.
V. 18, our sins are remitted.
V. 19, we have boldness through Jesus our high priest.
V. 21, we now have a high priest to represent us before the holy and righteous God the Father.
V. 22, we can draw near to God with a clear conscience:
1) assured of forgiveness through repentance.
2) assured of victory over sin.
V. 23, because of this confidence/access before God the Father, we are urged to "hold on" to our profession. Christ did not give up.
Vv. 24-31, the laws of Moses, Ten Commandments, are not done away with in Christ, as Galatians 3 can be miss interrupted to mean. See my notes there. Rather, a more sever punishment under Grace than under the old covenant as given through Moses, v. 29. We have the continually indwelling power to obey that the old covenant did not have.
12:2, our standard is the One who obeyed God the Father to the death.
V. 3, if we do not keep our eye on Him, we will grow weary and faint.
V. 23, our names are written in heaven.
V. 24, His blood sprinkled for the new covenant.
13:5, 6, He will never leave or forsake His own; He is our helper.
Vv. 11, 12, His blood sanctifies us.