The Book of Hebrews – Claiming Our Inheritance

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“For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.  Therefore, not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood.” Hebrews 9:16-18 Obtaining a family inheritance only comes after the death of the family member and after the will is read. The will provides the guideline for how the inheritance is to be dispersed. The will’s originator is the one who dictates this by creating a last will and testament so that their wishes are known and honored. This is a legal binding contract and it is never put into effect before the death of the individual, although it exists in legal form before death. The same is true of both the Old and New Covenants. They were put into effect after death, and always with blood. This is the truth about the Covenant we enjoy through Jesus. His death put the will of God into effect and made it legally binding and in operation. It is important for us to know what this Last Will includes so that we will understand what we have inherited through Jesus. To do this we must look at what Jesus said His mission, or God’s will for His life was. Luke describes this perfectly. “The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor […]

The Book of Hebrews – Jesus Gives Us Freedom

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“That is why he is the one who mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them. For Christ died to set them free from the penalty of the sins they had committed under that first covenant.” Hebrews 9:15 Jesus has set me free. “So, if the Son sets you free, you are truly free” (John8:36) Some forty years ago a miracle happened in my life. I realized that I could not handle my life anymore, and I asked Jesus to be the Lord of my life. Just what does this mean? It means that I gave the control of my life over to Jesus Christ. I had made a mess out of my life and I needed help. I no longer wanted to handle my life. I am a servant now, an underling. I am just a follower that takes instructions and relied on the master’s power to see that the orders are carried out. Jesus gave me freedom. It is the freedom to just trust Him and follow His leading. I don’t always follow Jesus in all that I do. At times I get the feeling that I can handle it own my own. Then everything falls apart and I come back trusting in God. You would think that I would have learned in the past forty years that God knows the best for my life and He will provide just what I need when I need it. The benefits of letting Jesus Christ lead your life is too many to number. The best benefit of following Jesus is the freedom from the penalties of sin. We have the eternal inheritance that God has promised us. Not only do we have this wonderful freedom […]

The Book of Hebrews – Jesus Gives Life

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“Under the old system, the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer could cleanse people’s bodies from ceremonial impurity. Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.” Hebrews 9:13-14 Jesus came to give life. This is an amazing truth. We once were dead, but Christ came to give us life and the life He gives is abundant. As I read this scripture, I feel the presence of God. I am so thankful that Jesus came to give me life. I do not know how I made it without Jesus in my life. I have trials and tribulation in my life, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ is in control. If the blood of bulls and goats sanctified the Israelites for the purification of the body, just think how much more surely the blood of Christ cleanses us. The Israelites only experienced a momentary cleansing and this was only for the outside of the body. However, Jesus’ blood works from the inside out. It purifies the heart of man, eliminating the eternal effects of sin and purging the conscience of the guilt and shame that results from sin. This was possible because Jesus’ blood was unblemished by sin. He was perfect and sinless. He fulfilled the letter of the Law which qualified Him for being the perfect sacrifice. He became our sin so that we could have His righteousness. “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” (2 […]

The Book of Hebrews – Jesus the Perfect Sacrifice

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“So, Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world. With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.” Hebrews 9:11-12 One of the most amazing truths throughout the entire Bible and a marvelous theme in the book of Hebrews is that our sins are completely paid for, eternally forgiven, forgotten and removed from all records. Jesus has obtained eternal redemption for those who put saving faith in Him.  We have been redeemed; it is important for us to understand what it is. In the Old Testament redemption was the process of buying something back. For instance, if a person sold a piece of property to another, by law, the seller or a family member could redeem their land so that no family would be without their inheritance. If they didn’t have the means for redemption, then everything was returned to them in the Year of Jubilee. This principle applied to land, people and possessions.  The Law made it possible for the next of kin, also known as “kinsman redeemer” to rescue a person or property. The term “Redemption” refers to the mystery of God’s deliverance of mankind from the evil of sin and His restoration of man to the state of grace by an act of divine power and merciful love. Mankind was sold into slavery in the Garden of Eden. Adam, God’s representative for mankind, had been given full authority and possession of the earth. Everything belonged to him. He transferred this birthright to Satan when he ate from the tree that […]

The Book of Hebrews – Rituals will not Save us

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“This is an illustration pointing to the present time. For the gifts and sacrifices that the priests offer are not able to cleanse the consciences of the people who bring them. For that old system deals only with food and drink and various cleansing ceremonies—physical regulations that were in effect only until a better system could be established.” Hebrews 9:9-10 The old covenant was a list of rituals that had to be performed before you could be forgiven of your sins. A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, actions, or objects, performed in a sequestered place and according to a set sequence. Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions of a community, including a religious community. Ritual has its roots in religion, and life’s fundamental passages are often traditionally accompanied by religious ritual. There is nothing wrong with rituals. We all have rituals that we do every day; most of them out of habit. We have rituals in the church that we perform. Communion is a great example of this. As we symbolically partake in the body and blood of Christ Jesus, we remind ourselves of the sacrifice God the Father and his son Jesus made on our behalf. We remind ourselves that His body was broken so that we may be whole. We remind ourselves that His blood was shed so that we can be forgiven. In the same way, the Israelites experienced and celebrated certain rituals that were aimed at looking forward to the time of Christ Jesus. They were by no means an end unto themselves; they served as an illustration of the new order, the institution of Jesus’ eternal High Priesthood. These rituals were carried out day after day, month after month, year after year. If this system of rituals could have worked, […]

The Book of Hebrews – The Holy Place

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“When these things were all in place, the priests regularly entered the first room as they performed their religious duties. But only the high priest ever entered the Most Holy Place, and only once a year. And he always offered blood for his own sins and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. By these regulations the Holy Spirit revealed that the entrance to the Most Holy Place was not freely open as long as the Tabernacle and the system it represented were still in use.” Hebrews 9:6-8 To understand everything that Jesus completed for us as our High Priest we have examples from the earthly Levitical priesthood to guide us in our understanding. Hebrews 9 uses examples from this system to show us how Jesus performed the very same acts on our behalf in the presence of God the Father in the heavenly tabernacle. We can glean so much wonderful truth from these passages of Scripture. The writer is showing how entrance to the Holy of Holies was not accessible under the Old Covenant. The priests were able to enter into the outer portion of the tabernacle to carry out their daily duties. However, only the High Priest could enter into the Holy of Holies and he could only enter once a year. The High Priest wore bells around his ephod so that the sound of bells could be heard when entering before the presence of the Lord. “The gold bells and the pomegranates are to alternate around the hem of the robe. Aaron must wear it when he ministers. The sound of the bells will be heard when he enters the Holy Place before the LORD and when he comes out, so that he will not die” (Exodus 28:34-35). Bells were worn to give off sounds […]

The Book of Hebrews – Worship

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The Book of Hebrews – Worship “That first covenant between God and Israel had regulations for worship and a place of worship here on earth. There were two rooms in that Tabernacle. In the first room were a lampstand, a table, and sacred loaves of bread on the table. This room was called the Holy Place. Then there was a curtain, and behind the curtain was the second room called the Most Holy Place. In that room were a gold incense altar and a wooden chest called the Ark of the Covenant, which was covered with gold on all sides. Inside the Ark were a gold jar containing manna, Aaron’s staff that sprouted leaves, and the stone tablets of the covenant. Above the Ark were the cherubim of divine glory, whose wings stretched out over the Ark’s cover, the place of atonement. But we cannot explain these things in detail now.” Hebrews 9:1-5 Worship as directed under the first covenant was very detailed. Everything was laid out according to the pattern Moses was shown on the mountain. Everything included in the temple worship had special meanings and significance. Even the items themselves which were placed within the Most Holy Place represented God’s supernatural ability to care for and lead the Israelites. Behind the second curtain was the Ark of the Covenant, where God dwelt with the people. Inside the Ark was the gold jar of manna, a reminder of the bread that fed the Israelites for years while wandering through the desert in disobedience, Aaron’s staff, which God used after a rebellion to show that Aaron and the Levites were His chosen priests. And lastly, the Ark contained the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments to remind the Israelites of their Covenant. Guarding the ark and the Most Holy Place […]

The Book of Hebrews – Old Covenant is Out of Date

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“When God speaks of a “new” covenant, it means he has made the first one obsolete. It is now out of date and will soon disappear.” Hebrews 8:13 The intent of the New Covenant was to completely replace the first because it was aging and obsolete. After all, God found fault and set about to establish the new one based on better promises. We are not to live under both Law and grace. We solely live in the Covenant God instituted through Jesus Christ. The New Covenant is a covenant of grace. We need an understanding of grace. There is a teaching going around that because we live in a covenant of grace that we do not have to change anything in our lives when we come to Jesus. Everything can just remain the same. There are two types of grace; cheap grace and costly grace. Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, without the cross, without Jesus Christ. Costly grace is the New Covenant. Costly grace is costly because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it cost a man his life and it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin. It is costly because it cost God the life of His Son. It is costly because it compels a man to submit to the yoke of Jesus Christ and follow Him. This is an exciting and amazing truth! We are truly blessed to be a part of this wonderful covenant of grace based on better promises and guaranteed through Jesus Christ. God saved the best for last. The first is ready to disappear but our covenant will be a lasting and eternal memorial to our […]

The Book of Hebrews – A Covenant of the Heart

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“But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, ‘You should know the Lord.’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already. And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.” Hebrews 8:10-12 “We are eternal beings experiencing a human journey. The course we choose to take can be driven by our minds based on our life experiences, or it can be one that unfolds from our hearts as we walk closely with the Creator, the One who is Love. We were created to know and experience this Love in relationship with Him, with each other, and within our own hearts. Our hearts are the centerpieces of leading a life filled with love, joy, and meaning – they are the place where Jesus chooses to live in us. Unlike our minds, our hearts contain the essence of who we are. The Creator has deposited His DNA – Love – within each of us, and our connection with Him affirms our value and worth and enables us to love ourselves and others. His diverse nature is revealed in that no two people are alike, yet we often settle for becoming false images of our fellow man’s handiwork rather than discovering and embracing who He really made us to be. Every one of us have wounded and broken parts of our hearts…and I mean everyone. It doesn’t matter how good our childhood was because no parent is […]

The Book of Hebrews – A Better Covenant

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“But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises.” Hebrew 8:6 Jesus is the mediator or guarantor of the Covenant of grace. This covenant is far superior in every way imaginable to the Covenant of Law. This is because it is founded on better promises and backed by an oath between God and Jesus that it will be lasting and eternal. The covenant of the law was that you were keeping the law so that it was a covenant of works. The new covenant is a covenant of grace. You do not have to do anything except accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. In this chapter we see how this is a better covenant.  First, He put his laws in our hearts and minds so that we can be familiar and intimate with His ways and precepts. Secondly, He makes us His people, declaring that He will be our God. Third, He reveals himself to us so that we do not need someone to tell us about God, we can experience Him for ourselves. Lastly, He has forgiven our sins and goes a step further declaring that he will also forget them entirely. We have these amazing things as New Covenant believers, which is why our covenant is far superior than the previous one.