Hebrews

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‘For it is witnessed of him, “You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.”’ (Hebrews 7:17 ESV)

November 5, 2016

Melchizedek, whose name means “King of Righteousness,” was the king of Salem (or “Shalom – Peace”), whom Abraham paid a tithe (Gen. 14). Quoting Psalm 110:4, the author of Hebrews spoke of the perpetuity of Melchizedek’s priesthood, showing that it predated the Levitical priesthood, and continues on after it to eternity. Though Jesus was born into the royal line of Judah and not the priestly line of Levi, His priesthood is superior because His priestly claim preceded Levi’s and is in every way superior to his. So then, what was the purpose of the Law and the Levitical priesthood? It was a foreshadowing and a tutor (Gal. 3:24) preparing the people of God for its fulfillment in Christ Jesus. In Him, the threefold office of Prophet, Priest and King are united. Christ is our Great High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, forever standing before the Father making intercession for us.

“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food” (Hebrews 5:12 ESV)

November 3, 2016

The author of Hebrews explained that the basic teachings about Christ had to be covered again with them, because they were not growing in their understanding of God’s Word. There are believers like this in every generation. They receive the Word, but don’t grow in it. Hebrews does not question their belief, but it does accuse them of spiritual dullness and failure to listen to God’s Word. People who don’t grow in God’s Word are subject to every wind of doctrine and false teaching. Like spiritual babes they only want milk and not the meat of Christian teaching. They are encouraged to grow up in their understanding, so that God’s Word affects their discernment of right and wrong.

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16 ESV)

November 2, 2016

Because of the mediatorial work of Christ, we are able to approach God’s throne with confidence. Christ is our Advocate and our Great High Priest, who continually stands before the Father on our behalf. We can have confidence that every prayer prayed in Jesus’ name is heard by the Father.

Joseph: A Persevering Faith

April 17, 2016 | Hebrews 12:1-2 | character study, faith

We begin our Faith Heroes series with Joseph the dreamer. As we study the life of Joseph, we see the commands of the book of Hebrews very clear in his life. Hebrews shows us three ways to have heroic faith like Joseph.

“to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel” (Hebrews 12:24 NKJV)

November 15, 2015

Not only is the “new covenant” sacrifice of Jesus better than the old one instituted under Moses, it is also “better” than the blood sacrifice offered by Abel. While Abel and Jesus have in common that both offered sacrifices acceptable by God and both were killed by their brothers, Christ’s sacrifice is better because both it and the One offering it are better. Jesus is the fulfillment of both Abel’s sacrifice and Moses’ mediation. Without His sacrifice, theirs would be without merit, for theirs is merely a check awaiting His deposit. It is this Jesus that you come “to” when you answer God’s call of salvation.

“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son” (Hebrews 11:17 NKJV)

November 13, 2015

Abraham proceeded to obey God’s instruction to sacrifice his son because he trusted in God’s promise concerning Isaac. He had faith in God’s promises and instructions over his own desires. He reasoned that since God had already promised that Isaac was the son by which he would receive the promised generations (Gen.21:12), then God would have to raise Isaac from the dead in order to fulfill it. Of course, God did not require Abraham to follow through with this test of faith. Yet, the quality of Abraham’s faith was revealed by his willingness. His faith led him to put loving God above his love for his son. Abraham’s faith was rewarded in that not only did God provide a goat to die as proxy for Isaac, He also provided His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for the sins of the whole world.

“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Hebrews 11:3 NKJV)

November 12, 2015

The assumption that the origin of the universe can be extrapolated from its present visible condition is here denied. The Bible teaches that God spoke the universe into existence, “ex nihilo” (“out of nothing”). We were not there when this happened, but God has revealed this to us through His Word. According to Hebrews, those listed in chapter eleven’s “faith hall of fame” had a faith that included this foundational truth: God created the universe and we are His creation.

“But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us…” (Hebrews 10:15 NKJV)

November 10, 2015

Not only did God send Christ to die for our sins and sanctify us, but He also sent the Holy Spirit to bear “witness” to us, so that the His righteous laws might be written on our hearts and minds. It is by believing in Christ Jesus that we are saved. And it is by the Holy Spirit that we are assured of our salvation. For the Spirit is the inner witness that gives us the awareness of our adoption as children of God, so that we call Him “Abba, Father” (Rom.8:15-16). It is through His inner witness that our hearts and minds are continually sanctified, so that we love God as Father and desire to do His will.

“It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience” (Hebrews 9:9 NKJV)

November 8, 2015

The Tabernacle with all its sacrifices and rituals was “symbolic” for the “perfect tabernacle not made with hands” (Heb.9:11), which is the Christ. It pointed to His fulfillment, which took place when He offered His own blood as redemption for our sins. The sacrificial system with its rules and regulations is no longer necessary. It has been replaced with Christ. The old covenant has been fulfilled and replaced by a new covenant. The old covenant which could not perfect the “conscience,” has been replaced with the blood of Jesus, which can.

“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil” (Hebrews 6:19 NKJV)

November 4, 2015

Our hope is like a rope, anchored in the historical resurrection of Christ in the past, taken hold of by our hands of faith in the present, and proceeding into the future beyond the veil of heaven where the risen Lord has entered on our behalf. This hope is not ethereal, but both “sure and steadfast.” It is not hanging unhindered, but anchored at both ends. It is drawn taut between Christ’s resurrection and return. We cling to this cord of hope with hearts of faith, trusting His promises and assured by His Spirit’s presence within. Our hope is made of sturdy stuff.