In a couple of chapters, the writer of Hebrews will encourage us to “run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). It’s a concept that we can consider sooner in light of the warning we read in Hebrews 10:26-31.
The race we are running with Christ is far more important than anything else that we could possibly compare it to. What is ahead of us is the most glorious, wonderful, amazing, and eternal. What is behind us is the most horrendous, awful, torturous, and also eternal. So be encouraged and exhorted to keep running the race with Christ—no matter what! If not for the glory of what’s ahead, then for the terror and holy fear of what is behind.
Here’s the hard truth in the warning of Hebrews 10—you can’t quit the race and return to ritual based religion. The Old Covenant sacrificial system is over. There are no more sacrifices for sin now that the lamb of God has come. There is nothing left to return to. So it’s not just quitting—it’s not just turning around and returning to the selfishness of sin or the sleepiness of a ritual based religion. It’s much worse—it’s trampling the Son of God underfoot and counting the blood of the covenant a common thing (Hebrews 10:29).
If at some point you feel like quitting and slow down or even stop and start to turn around, there is Someone there saying, “Over my dead body!” Why? Because of His great love for you! So in order to turn your back on Heaven and walk the other way, you have to trample the Son of God underfoot as He tries to do all that He can do to stop you.
Brothers and sister, we are almost home! Keep running the race! If nothing else, you have Jesus and we have each other—we will run this race together, pressing on for the prize.
O happy band of pilgrims,
If onward you will tread
With Jesus as your fellow
To Jesus as your Head!
O happy band of pilgrims,
Look upward to the skies,
Where such a light affliction
Shall win you such a prize!
When we began our study in Hebrews, we said this book would be full of worship and warnings. Worship that encourages us to behold the glory of God in the face of Christ. Worship that results in us being transformed by His Holy Spirit. This book has certainly encouraged us to view Jesus and the glory of God in Jesus in a way that we aren’t used to.
But it is also a book of warnings. We need those warnings because there is no middle ground in following God–there is either hot or cold. Throughout the book so far, we have read a series of warnings that caution us against falling short of God’s best for us. The first warning we read in Hebrews 2:1-3 is repeated in various ways and intensity throughout the book—but none with more intensity than the warning we considered this past Sunday.
Watch the replay of our live stream or listen to the audio of our message as we carefully considered this important warning in the book of Hebrews.
“For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.”
The blood of bulls and goats can never take away sin. The best that the sacrifices in the Old Covenant could ever do is cover sin. And yet, those sacrifices were a constant reminder of the existence of sin (Hebrews 10:3)! Remember—the purpose of the Old Covenant was to point us to the fulfillment of the reality in the New Covenant. Only The Lamb of God would take away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Millions of sacrifices in and under the Old Covenant could never cleanse the conscience—only cover sin until Christ came.
So why would we retreat back to religion when a relationship with God has been made possible through Jesus? Why would we settle for rules and rituals that can only remind us that our sin still remains? Now that Christ has come and offered one sacrifice once for all time, the ceremony of the rules and rituals of religion have lost significance.
God never wanted just ceremony without significance. God never wants just your obedience or your compliance. God always wanted you—just you! He wants a relationship with you. That was what all the significant ceremonies and meaningful models were to lead you to—a relationship with Him! And once you are in a relationship with Him, all the significant ceremonies and all the meaningful models need to go. He doesn’t want you to cling to the things that remind you of Him—He wants you to cling to Him.
In Him and through Him, your sins are removed, not just covered: “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” (Hebrews 10:17) And because of that, you have “boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus…” So be bold, brothers and sisters, to enter into an intimate relationship with God—not by anything you have done or could do but simply by the blood of Jesus.
Nearer, still nearer, while life shall last,
Till safe in glory my anchor is cast;
Through endless ages, ever to be
Nearer, my Savior, still nearer to thee.
As we continue our study in the book of Hebrews, we need to remember that this text was a letter to the Hebrews. The writer, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, was writing to Hebrew Christians—those who grew up under the rules and rituals of the Old Covenant. At some point, these individuals were born again—saved by grace through faith.
But when the ropes of religion were removed, only grace was left. This was scary for some of them, who chose to retreat back into the ritual of religion under the Old Covenant. Out of fear and uncertainty, they were turning their backs on the New Covenant (and even on Christ Himself). So the writer of Hebrews is addressing them and calling them back to Christ. He does this by constantly comparing the Old Covenant and the New Covenant.
Watch the replay of our live stream or listen to the audio of our study as we considered how the rules, regulations, and rituals of the Old Covenant pale in comparison to the righteousness and relationship we have by grace through faith.
For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
In Hebrews, we see how the Old Covenant is obsolete. It was a meaningful model, but it was not the real deal. Jesus is the real deal! He is everything the meaningful model was pointing to. He is the all-sufficient substitutionary sacrifice once for all. That is why the New Covenant tabernacle is superior to the Old.
What’s more—the New Covenant tabernacle is in the will of God for you. Hebrews 9:16-17 says “Where a will exists, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will is valid only when people die, since it is never in effect while the one who made it is living.” God gave the meaningful model while still living. But God died to give you the real deal—because the real deal was in His will for you!
The only way He could give it to you was to give His life for you—to save you from your sin. Jesus died to give you the real deal—an all sufficient substitutionary sacrifice once for all time. A sacrifice that completely cleanses the conscience. A sacrifice that provides eternal security with full access to God the Father.
And because of what He accomplished, and because it is finished, and because in Him you have forgiveness from your sin, you can now boldly and eternally enter into the Holy of Holies—full and complete access to God and full and complete fellowship with God…forever!
Not all the blood of beasts
on Jewish altars slain,
could give the guilty conscience peace,
or wash away the stain.
But Christ, the heavenly Lamb,
takes all our sins away,
a sacrifice of nobler name
and richer blood than they.
The value of a model, no matter how detailed or how intricate, can ever reach the value of the genuine article. That is the point the writer of Hebrews makes in chapter 9. The Old Covenant—specifically the tabernacle—was merely a model of the real tabernacle of the New Covenant.
The Old Covenant tabernacle was meaningful and valuable because it was given by God in incredible detail. But its purpose was to point to the real tabernacle that God was going to give one day. So now that we have the genuine article—the real deal—why would we continue to meddle with the model?
This past Sunday, we worked out way through Hebrews 9. Watch the replay of our live stream or listen to the audio of our study as we reviewed the reasons why the real deal is superior to the meaningful model.
The apex of all that we have studied this far is found in Hebrews 8:1—“We have such a High Priest…” This High Priest is none other than Jesus. He is a reality to be realized; a Savior to be received; the Heavenly High Priest.
Gracious and compassionate, He serves sinners better than the angels, better than Moses, Joshua, or Aaron; and better than the collective ministry of over 300 High Priests over the span of hundreds of years. He did not come to condemn but came to save by substituting Himself. And once He had offered Himself as the single sacrifice for sins forever, He sat down at the right hand of God. There He remains—seated and serving as our Advocate forever by the power of an indestructible life!
Where Jesus sits is significant—“the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens” (Hebrews 8:1). The Jewish Supreme Court at the time when Hebrews was written was the Sanhedrin—70 elders who would hear accusations and make acquittals. Among the 70 was a primary judge who sat and heard the arguments. Seated to his right would be someone who would write down all the acquittals—judgements rendered not guilty.
It paints the picture of a courtroom scene where we find the accuser (Satan) making his argument, recounting every sinful action and word and thought we have ever committed. Under the Old Covenant, a High Priest could only cover our sin. But in the New Covenant, the High Priest takes away our sin. If you have such a High Priest, God the Father looks to His right, where our High Priest sits with the scars of His sacrifice still on his hands and renders His judgement—not guilty! And then Jesus has the joy of writing your name in His book of life—you are acquitted!
Once this security is settled in your heart and mind, you will cease from trying to serve God just to earn His favor. You will cease from seeking God just for what you can get. You will simply stand in awe of the Lord, beholding His glory, and worship Him. And as we behold the Glory of God in the face of Christ, God promises that the Holy Spirit will transform us and lead us on from strength to strength.
Jesus, my great High Priest,
offered his blood and died;
my guilty conscience seeks
no sacrifice beside.
His powerful blood did once atone,
and now it pleads before the throne.
Under the Old Covenant, over 300 High Priests serve in succession, offering millions of sacrifices over and over and over—the same sacrifices again and again and again which could never cleanse the sinner, but only cover their sin.
Until…one High Priest under a New Covenant offered one sacrifice—Himself. This sacrifice was unlike any other before—perfect, sufficient, and substitutionary. And then…He sat down, because it was finished.
And now, this High Priest sits and serves as High Priest forever. “He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25)
If you’ve been studying the book of Hebrews with us, you know by now that this High Priest is Jesus. Watch a replay of our live stream or listen to the audio of our study as we behold His glory as our Great High Priest!
The heart of the book of Hebrews is the necessity and superiority of the New Covenant. Everything in this first century letter to Hebrew believers points to Jesus as the “author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). He is supreme.
We’ll continue to see this in Hebrews 10—but what’s there is just too good to wait to share! “And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God…” (Hebrews 10:11-12)
Jesus laid down His life, and it was DONE! By offering one sacrifice of Himself, He has (as High Priest) perfected forever those who are being sanctified. And then, He sat down. Now that might seem like a minor, insignificant detail—but it communicates so much! In sitting down, Jesus was proclaiming that His work was finished. He also sits down because the scars on His body—the evidence of His sacrifice—end all arguments. When you stand before God and the accuser points at you and screams, the scars of Jesus end all of the arguments. He is the redeemer—He paid the price to buy you back from the power of sin and death.
And now He sits and serves as High Priest forever. Jesus—The King of Peace, The King of Righteousness, has an everlasting kingdom. The High Priest of the Most High God saves completely those who come to God through him, since he always lives to intercede for them.
Have you come to God through Jesus? Is He your High Priest? All other priests and all other sacrifices are insufficient to save you. Only Jesus can because only Jesus is King and Priest. Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead. The Bible says that if you do this, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). Trust Him as your Savior and follow Him as the Lord of your life today!
Great advocate, almighty friend--
On Him our humble hopes depend:
Our cause can never, never fail,
For Jesus pleads and must prevail.
In our previous study in the book of Hebrews, we considered the man Melchizedek. First introduced in Genesis 14, the writer of Hebrews references him as he points to Jesus. But why? What comparisons exist between this mysterious man and the Messiah? Plenty!
We know that this mystery man is named Melchizedek and called the King of Salem. His name means “King of Righteousness” and his title means “King of Peace”. Jesus is the King of Righteousness and the King of Peace. In the cross of Jesus Christ, the righteous judgment for sin was dealt out—which brought peace & reconciliation between sinful man and Holy God.
But there was something more about this man that we learn about in Hebrews—he was priest of the Most High God (Hebrews 7:1). Melchizedek was not only a king, but also a priest. Those were two roles that no mortal man could have at the same time…unless he was more than just a man. Like Jesus—both God and man, both King of kings and the Great High Priest.
There is a message in this man Melchizedek and Jesus is the key to understanding this message—because Jesus is the message! Watch the replay of our live stream or listen to our study as we continue to decipher the message in Melchizedek.
Who is Melchizedek—this man we first meet in Genesis 14. He had no father or mother, he had no genealogy, and his days had no beginning and his life had no end.
By now, we hope you have listened to the study from this Sunday in which we set out on our king’s quest to search this matter out. And by now, based on the clues in Hebrews 7 and the cues in other Scriptures, we hope it’s plain to see that Melchizedek is an Old Testament appearance of Jesus!
What is the message hidden within this man Melchizedek? In our study, we see the eternal ministry of Jesus as our High Priest. The Scriptures describe Jesus as a “priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” by the power of an indestructible life. Therefore, He alone is able to save us to the uttermost because He alone ever lives to intercede for us…according to the order of Melchizedek.
The order of Melchizedek was not the same as the order of Aaron under the Old Covenant. For under the Old Covenant, the High Priests would come from the lineage of Aaron. In Aaron’s order, over 300 High Priests offered millions of sacrifices under the Old Covenant that could never cleanse men and women of their sins.
Looking ahead just a little, we read of the contrasts between these two priesthoods in Hebrews 10:11-14--
“…every priest [under the Old Covenant] stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.”
One High Priest under the New Covenant offered one all sufficient sacrifice. And then He sat down because His work was finished. And now He serves as High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
Is Jesus your High Priest? Have you trusted Him and His sufficient single sacrifice to take away your sins forever (and not just cover them up until another sacrifice)? Simply confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead. The Bible says that if you do this, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). Trust Him as your Savior and follow Him as the Lord of your life today!
Hebrews 7 opens with the writer mentioning Melchizedek. It’s not the first time this name has come up in this first century letter written over 2,000 years ago. Before that, he was mentioned 3,000 years ago in the book of Psalms (Psalm 110), and 4,000 years ago in the book of Genesis.
So what about this mysterious man did the writer of Hebrews want us to know? Who was he? Why does it matter? And why is any of it important for us today?
To answer these questions, we need to go all the way back to Genesis 14 and meet this man for the first time with Abram—who was tired and bruised from a battle that was his fault. That’s when we meet Melchizedek—a man that seems like more than just a man. The King of Righteousness (that is what his name means) and the King of Salem (Peace)—that was his title. A King…and a priest.
Watch the replay of our live stream or listen to the audio of our study as we took a closer look at this mysterious man named Melchizedek.
“…we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.”
Strong consolation paints the picture of someone coming alongside you to comfort you by forcibly, powerfully, and valiantly giving you truth.
Have you ever had someone do that for you (especially in the midst of a difficult time in your life)? Maybe you’re starting to lose it, starting to relax your grip on God’s word—and a friend comes to you and starts shouting truth in your life. You receive their strong comfort and come to your senses. You renew your grip and continue to hold fast to God’s Word.
Believers in Jesus hold fast. We hold fast to hope. We hold fast to God’s Word. We hold fast to God.
Why? Because it is impossible for God to lie. He has given up thousands upon thousands of great and precious promises to hold fast to. These promises shout truth into our lives and give us strong consolation. Immoveable, unchanging, and immutable promises of God which gives us a sure and steadfast, immutable, immovable, and unchangeable hope in Jesus.
And so we, who have fled for refuge, lay hold of the hope that is set before us and hold fast to hope.
How? We cling to God and we cling to God’s Word. Every chance you get, let the Holy Spirit through the Word of God shout truth forcibly, powerfully, and valiantly into your heart and soul.
Blessed hope that keeps the soul
Safe from harm tho’ billows roll!
‘Tis fastened firm within the vail,
No storms against it can prevail,
Blessed hope that keeps the soul.
“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul…” (Hebrews 6:19)
In the open sea, an anchor is essential for stability and security. Without it, the ship is adrift—rocking to and fro, moved by the whim of the wind and waves. It’s the same in life. When we find ourselves in the storms of life, it is vital to stay grounded, stable, and immovable.
In Hebrews 6, we’re told we have such an anchor—an anchor for our soul. We have a source of stability that will keep us unmoved by the wind and the waves. And yet, this passage tells us that we have far more than that! This chapter is full of incredible encouragement, timeless truths, and strong words—words like immutable, strong consolation, steadfast, refuge, and hope. Hope that we hold on to as we wait out the storm. Hope that is only found in God—in His word, His promises, and His testimony.
Watch the replay of our live stream from Sunday or listen to our study of Hebrews 6:13-20 as we were encouraged by the hope that is found in God.
There is no neutral in your walk with the Lord. If you are not fighting to move forward by faith, you are sliding backwards. If you are not maturing, you are regressing. The length of time that you have known the Lord is not a guarantee of spiritual maturity. This is what the writer of Hebrews communicates when he writes:
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe” (Hebrews 5:12-13).
Even more intriguing and convicting is that Scripture seems to say that you can grow—and then regress in your spiritual maturity in Christ. These verses seem to say that some believers mature in Christ and then for a variety of reasons not only slow down, but slide back in their spiritual maturity.
That is why we need to fight to move forward in our faith. We need to fight to add to our faith “virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love” (2 Peter 1:5-7). The elementary principles outlined in Hebrews 6:1-2 isn’t an exhaustive checklist for the Christian—it is a foundation on which to build and grow.
So how do we fight to move forward? Practice—a lot of practice. There is grave danger in merely listening to the Word and not doing what it says to do. When we do what God tells us to do and obey with a willing heart full of faith, we grow and mature and move forward.
Help me, my Lord, to grow more like Thee,
Thy wondrous love to know, Thy face to see.
Lord, fill my soul with light, dispel the gloom of night,
And make me through Thy might more like Thee.
In our study last week, we saw a particular component of the Old and New Covenants compared and contrasted—the ministry of the High Priest. In our study this past Sunday, the writer of Hebrews wanted to carry that comparison further, but he didn’t. He wrote that it was difficult to explain—not because of the subject matter, but because the original readers had become “dull of hearing.” Even though they had found life and salvation in Jesus—they had grown and matured in the Lord—now, for various reasons, they had stopped advancing, stopped growing, and stopped maturing. They started to slide back.
While the letter of Hebrews was originally written to Hebrew believers, we know that the Word of God is living and active. So when we come to a portion like this, we pause and ask ourselves, “Is it I?—Am I moving forward in my faith, or am I sliding back? Are there things God wants to share with me but can’t because I’m dull of hearing?”
These are sobering questions we asked of ourselves this past Sunday. Watch a replay of our live stream or listen to the recording of the study as we worked our way through an initially challenging and eventually encouraging portion in Hebrews.
Jesus is our High Priest. Did you know that? If you are a follower of Jesus, you have a High Priest—an eternal and heavenly High Priest.
That’s a bold and true claim to make. To a Hebrew, that claim would need to be backed up with specific proofs and critical identifying characteristics. And so, beginning in chapter 5, the writer of the letter to the Hebrews does just that—he breaks down and offers proofs for Jesus being not just a high priest—but THE High Priest.
In order to be a high priest, Jesus needs to be fully man—and He is (see Philippians 2:6-11). In being both God and man, Jesus is able to mediate between God and mankind (see 1 Timothy 2:5).
In order to be a high priest, Jesus needs to be called and appointed by God—and He was (see Hebrews 5:5-6). God the Father called and appointed His only begotten Son as a priest forever.
In order to be a high priest, Jesus needs to have compassion on those He ministered to—and He does (see Hebrews 4:15). Jesus was tempted the way we were are tempted and suffered the way we suffer…and yet He was untainted by sin. He is able to sympathize with our weakness and have compassion on us.
In order to be a high priest, Jesus needed to offer a sacrifice to God on our behalf—and He did (see Hebrews 5:9). But unlike the priests who came before Him, His sacrifice was sufficient—once and for all time (see Hebrews 9:12).
Yes, Jesus is the eternal heavenly High Priest.
But is He your High Priest? Or are you attempting to gain God’s favor on your own? The truth is you need a High Priest—we all do. You can ask Jesus to be your High Priest today—simply confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead. The Bible says that if you do this, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). Ask God for forgiveness. Believe that Jesus died for your sin and that God raised Him to life. Trust Him as your Savior and follow Him as the Lord of your life.
“Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea
A great High Priest, whose name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me”
As Christians, we know Jesus was appointed by God to be the mediator between God and man. We know of His compassionate ministry. And we know that He offered Himself as a sacrifice for sins.
But what we might not appreciate is the fact that these are the aspects of the ministry of a high priest. To a Hebrew, certain questions would come up with claims of a new high priest. Questions like:
When was he appointed by God? How can he have compassion on those to who he ministers? What sacrifice does he offer to God on your behalf?
In the letter of Hebrews to the Hebrews, the writer understood these questions and how Jesus uniquely fulfilled the qualifications of the High Priest. So beginning in chapter 5, we see proof from the Scriptures that Jesus is not only a high priest, but the Great High Priest with a ministry superior and preferable to the ministry of the high priest under the Old Covenant.
Watch the replay of our live stream or listen to our study as we took a deeper look at Jesus – Great High Priest.
As the leader of the New Covenant, Jesus not only brings us to the rest promised in the covenant—He Himself is the promised rest. He is the promised place where we cease from striving and where we find rest for our souls.
Jesus spoke of this rest—the rest only He can give. In Matthew 11:28-29, He made an invitation to be received, a command to be obeyed, and a promise to be believed:
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Jesus can lead you all the way in to God’s promised rest. It’s closer than you think—this promised land, the promised rest, the place where we cease from striving is not Heaven. It is a place and a Person to be enjoyed now. It is only found in Jesus.
Where are you today? Are you still in Egypt—captive to sin? Is your soul still striving to earn God’s favor? Jesus can set you free—ask Him today! Or are you in the wilderness—liberated from sin, but wandering around, looking for the promise land in your own strength? Is your heart unsettled with anxiety, discouraged and defeated, painfully aware of just how far you need to go as you wander? Jesus can lead you—ask Him today!
“Will you come, will you come, with your poor broken heart,
Burdened and sin oppressed?
Lay it down at the feet of your Savior and Lord,
Jesus will give you rest.”
As we work though the book of Hebrews, the writer continues to contrast the Old and New Covenants for us. In chapters 3 and 4, he specifically looks at the leaders that God chose to lead His people to rest. Moses in the Old Covenant and Jesus in the New Covenant.
In our comparison of these two leaders, we see quite a few differences:
Moses was a servant in God’s house. Jesus is a Son over God’s house. Moses was a butler in God’s house. Jesus is the Builder of God’s house. Moses was unable to enter God’s rest because of disbelief and disobedience. But Jesus extends an invitation to those in the New Covenant to come to Him, to learn of Him, and to find rest for their souls.
If we hold fast to the confidence of our confession and come boldly to the throne of grace, we will find that rest and we will obtain mercy and grace to help us in our time of need.
Watch a reply of our live stream or listen to our study from this past Sunday as we considered the leaders of the Covenants and which one leads us to find rest for our souls.
In light of all we have learned about Jesus in the first two chapters of Hebrews, the writer encourages us to consider Jesus. Observe Him. Understand Him. The original word used in this verse means to consider attentively, or to fix one's eyes or mind upon.
Just consider what Jesus did and who Jesus is. He lived a full life on earth—successfully AND sinlessly. Even after diving into death itself, He made it through alive!
But he wasn’t unaffected by the human experience—He was tempted in every way that we are today. He was familiar with suffering and sorrow. He knows what it’s like to be born to broke teenage parents in the midst of controversy. He knows what it’s like to grow up in a neighborhood of which people would say, ”Nothing good can come from there.”
He knows what it’s like to be singled out, misunderstood, and falsely accused. He knows what it’s like to be broke, hungry, and homeless. He knows what it’s like to be betrayed and deserted—to have all of His friends turn their backs on Him in His greatest time of need.
Consider Jesus—who sympathizes with your weaknesses so He can say to you, ”I am familiar with what you are going though.”
“Consider Him,” and as you run the race,
Keep ever upward looking in His face;
And thus transformed, illumined thou shalt be,
And Christ’s own image shall be seen in thee.”
That’s how chapter 3 of the book of Hebrews begins. And if you’ve been studying the Bible with us, you know that when we come to a “therefore” in our study, it is important to find out wherefore the ”therefore” is there for!
Which is something we could do a lot of in the book of Hebrews, given that there are 28 ”therefore’s” in this book. That’s significant, since the Bible often builds upon what was previously written. In order to understand a particular idea, we can simply read what was written before.
That’s exactly what we did this past Sunday as we began our study of Hebrews 3…and only studied the first verse—but what a verse it is! Watch the replay of our live stream or listen to the audio of our study as we discover wherefore the ”therefore” is there for!
In the second chapter of the book of Hebrews, the writer compares and contrasts the Old and New Covenants—the ministry of angels and the ministry of Jesus. As awesome as the Old Covenant was, the writer of Hebrews asks, “how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation…”—how will we escape sin and death if we disregard the New Covenant?
The Old Covenant (which came by angels) could only cover sin with an endless stream of sacrifices. The New Covenant (which came by Jesus) completely cleanses sin with one sacrifice.
This salvation and this Savior give us reason to wonder with hope. Hope that Jesus not only rescues us and redeems us from sin and the destructive effects of sin, but also that He is going to restore us for what we were made for.
Only Jesus can do this because only He has done what no angel could. He alone is our worthy substitute. He is the Author of salvation. He is the One who sanctifies us. He is the Conqueror of Satan. And He is the One who sympathizes with our weakness.
Do you have this hope? Are you filled with wonder as you look to Jesus? Is He the captain of your salvation? The Bible states that today is the day of salvation—right now! You can have this hope, now and for all eternity. Simply confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead. The Bible says that if you do this, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). Ask God for forgiveness. Believe that Jesus died for your sin and that God raised Him to life. Trust Him as your Savior and follow Him as the Lord of your life.
The book of Hebrews is filled with warnings and with wonder. Warnings against neglecting so great a salvation. And wonder that encourages us to consider how great our Savior is.
Warning and wonder are coupled together throughout this book. And that’s not by accident. We need to heed these warnings as we continue to look at Jesus with wonder so that we don’t fall or fail on the battlefield of faith. The more careful attention we give to our salvation and our Savior, the more confident we will be in knowing that the battle belongs to the Lord.
Heeding the warning and enjoying the wonder, we continued our study in the book of Hebrews this past Sunday. Watch a replay of our live stream or listen to the audio of our study of Hebrews 2.
In English, this word means “of a more excellent or effective quality; preferable; superior.” In Hebrew, better means “more useful, more advantageous, more excellent.”
Better is a word we’ll encounter regularly in our study of Hebrews. And that’s exactly how Jesus is described when compared to…well, everything else! He is preferable. He is superior. He is more excellent.
In the first three verses of the first chapter of Hebrews, we read seven reasons why Jesus is more excellent. In the rest of the book of Hebrews, we’ll read of the many ways Jesus is better than the angels, the law, Moses, the Old Covenant, and anything or anyone else in all of creation.
Jesus is better. He was sent to save you. And He did this by laying down His life for yours—by paying the price for your sin…all of it! He did that so you could enjoy fellowship with Him and glorify Him forever, not as a servant, but as a son or a daughter. Oh, beloved of God—do not ignore or neglect so great a salvation!
This great salvation is available to you right now! Simply confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead. The Bible says that if you do this, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). Ask God for forgiveness. Believe that Jesus died for your sin and that God raised Him to life. Trust Him as your Savior and follow Him as the Lord of your life.
From Pastor Dom...
When I first gave my life to Jesus, there were friends in my life who helped me to grow in my understanding of God, through His word, and for those friends