We are studying Hebrews in Sunday School. It has been a challenging book but the Holy Ghost has been faithful to guide our teacher week by week. This week we were looking at chapter 10. I like to study along before and after the lessons. I usually write out my notes in journals but I am working to put them on the blog to preserve them for later use and study. So these are just some notes from my study time….and one of my favorite worship/prayer songs at the end.
Hebrews 10 – Notes on the Perfect and Better Sacrifice of Jesus Christ
(in contrast with the imperfect sacrifices offered under the old covenant).
Why was the sacrifice of Jesus Christ better?
1.Christ’s sacrifice takes sin away
Man had need of a better sacrifice. While at times the Jewish people permitted their sacrifices to become empty rituals, many people were sincere in their offerings to God and were blessed. But the very nature of the old covenant sacrifice still made them inferior.
Animal sacrifices could never completely deal with human guilt. God forgave but the guilt was not removed from the hearts of the people. The nations sins were covered but they were not cleansed.
The blood of bulls and goats could not take sin away, but God provided a better sacrifice. It was God who provided the sacrifice, not man. The sacrifice provided was Jesus, His only Son! Jesus came to do the Father’s will. This will is the new covenant that has replaced the old covenant.
The better and perfect sacrifice was effective. Believers have been set apart or sanctified by the offering of Jesus body ONCE for ALL. No old covenant sacrifice could do that. An old covenant worshipper had to be purified repeatedly but a new covenant Saint is set apart, finally and completely!
2.Jesus’ sacrifice does not need to be repeated.
The ministry of the priests in tabernacles and temples was never done and never different. The fact that Jesus sat down after He ascended to the Father is proof that His work was completed.
Sat down – Psalms 110:1
“The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”
Believers are complete in him – Colossians 2:10
“And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:”
An old covenant worshiper could not say that he had no more conscience of his sin. New covenant believers can say that their sins and iniquities are remembered no more.
In the new covenant there are no more offerings for sin and no more remembrance of sin. When a sinner trusts Jesus Christ, his sins are all forgiven. The guilt is gone and the matter is completely settled.
3.Christ’s sacrifice opened the way (for us) into the very presence of God!
No old covenant worshipper could enter the Holy of Holies but the death of Jesus Christ tore open the veil and opened the way into the heavenly sanctuary where God dwells.
Holy of Holies – The inner sanctuary of the tabernacle where God dwelt.
In Verses 19 – 25 we are given an invitation to enter the Holy of Holies. The invitation was:
- Let us draw near
- Let us hold fast
- Let us consider one another
The priests went in only once per year but we are invited to dwell in the presence of God always.
Dwell – to live or stay as a permanent resident; reside
Let us draw near
- Come with a clean heart
- Fellowship with God demands purity
Let us hold fast
- Hold fast the profession of hope.
- When a believer has hope fixed on Jesus and relies on the faithfulness of God, then he will not waver.
Let us consider one another
- Fellowship with God must not be selfish. Fellowship with God must also include fellowship with others in the local assembly.
- Emphasis is not on what believers can get out of the assembly, but what he can contribute.
Sobering Words of Exhortation
Hebrews 10 ends with some sobering words of exhortation.
It tells us that one who drifts from the Word will soon start to doubt the Word. He will become dull toward the Word and lazy in his spiritual life. This will result in despising the Word. The evidence of despising is willful sin.
Under the old covenant there were no sacrifices for deliberate or willful sin. The people were generally executed. God does not always take the life of willful sinners, but He will always deal with them.
Are you sending willfully and deliberately? If your answer is yes, He will deal with you. Have you grown dull toward the Word? Turn to God for mercy and forgiveness!
One of the themes of Hebrews is this – God has spoken, how are you responding to His Word?
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it. ~ Amos 8:11-12
The prophet Amos warned that a day would come when there would be a famine in the land for the hearing of the words of the Lord.
Israel had repeatedly rejected God’s message and warnings and now they would get what they asked for. God would not send anyone to challenge them, warn them or even encourage them; they would receive no Word from God from His prophets. In other words, whenever they looked for God’s guidance during the coming calamity, they would find only silence.
There is no judgment worse than God giving a person over completely to his or her own sinful desires – and the consequences. When this happens, a person is left to fall deep into the corruption of this world.
We can see an example of God giving the Gentiles over to their own sin in Romans 1. The term in verse 24, “God gave them up to uncleanness” means that God allowed them to completely go their own way, experiencing the full effect of their sin.
Why would God give them over? I believe He has two purposes for giving them to their own sinful ways:
1. Judgment – To allow sin and its consequences to increase as part of his judgment on them.
2. Salvation – To bring them to a point of realizing their need for God’s mercy, forgiveness, and a right relationship with him.
Truly if you think about it though it is all for Salvation. Jesus wishes that none should perish but that all should come to repentance. Read it in 2 Peter 3:8-10!!! He wants us to believe in Him but when we do that He then wants us to know Him. We do that by knowing His Word. We show that by obeying His Word. One day it will be too late to repent and serve the Lord Jesus Christ. It will be too late to take up our cross and follow Him.
If we continue in our sin James 1:13-15 speaks of the ultimate consequence of sin:
“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
How important is hearing the Word…Life and death are in the balance.
Now, it is also worth noting that the famine Amos spoke of is not a famine of speaking God’s Word – but hearing it. Today we are blessed with many ways to hear the Word of God. We can get on the radio or television, we can get on the computer, on Facebook or YouTube, and have thousands of sermons at our disposal. There is preaching and teaching of the Word, Godly encouragement through songs and hymns and quotes; prophecy. People are out there speaking the Word. And these things are all good and serve a great Kingdom purpose. When people share what they have received from the Word or from God they are built up. In addition, when we listen prayerfully to God’s chosen vessels we are built up too – changed from glory to glory. Truly, hearing changes you and plants the Word in your own spirit so that you can fight temptation with that Word. I believe that speaking it then “seals” that change!!!
BUT to just casually listen to what someone else received from the Word, whether it is in person or through browsing Facebook or even casually browsing the Bible isn’t the same as digging deep for yourself, hearing for yourself and laying the foundation of your own life upon God‘s Word. Dig deep – it will make a difference.
May God bless your time in the Word today as He has blessed mine!
The following post from a Facebook friend in California really got my attention this morning, and it will get the attention of some of you as well because highlighted in it was the word, “Goshen.”
Last night a part of our county was under a tornado warning. One of the areas listed in the path was Goshen Grove. The thing though was no one that I knew had ever heard of Goshen Grove. Hmmm Well….
What is a Goshen? A land or place of plenty and comfort.
What is a Grove? Small wood or forested area, usually with no undergrowth.
What follows is the scripture associated with the word “Goshen,” the post by Amanda Shiflett of what the Lord said to her, and then what I feel the Lord said to me as I read her post and studied the Word of God.
Scripture and background
We read about the land of Goshen in Genesis 45:10. In Genesis 45, we see the account of Joseph who has been sold into Egyptian slavery by his brothers. He has since risen as a high official in the House of Pharaoh and we read here of him revealing himself to his brothers.
1Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren.
2 And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard.
3 And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence.
4 And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.
5 Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.
6 For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest.
7 And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
8 So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.
9 Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not:
10 And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children’s children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast:
11 And there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty.
From Amanda Shiflett
“I heard the Lord say, ‘I have called forth My Watchmen Prophets in this hour, out of mercy for My house and My people…to warn them, to keep them protected from the many things that are coming. Just as in the days of old, I have prepared a “Goshen” for My people, if they will listen and heed My true prophets. Do not be wise in Your own eyes, or think that You know My heart in its fullness. Many things are coming that My body has not been prepared for, but I am sending forth those that will help prepare them for the days to come. If you will listen and heed the many that I am raising up with the voice of a Watchmen, as one crying in the wilderness, they will prepare the way of the Lord for you, and you will walk in My Divine Protection. Now is not a time of fear, but of faith in Your God, for I will not leave You or forsake you, but you must follow Me, and heed My voice. You must listen, and follow the instruction of My Spirit. Now is the hour to listen to My watchmen!'”
What I heard the Lord say
I heard the Lord say, “I have prepared for my people a Goshen, but my people must prepare the Grove.”
I felt in my heart like He also said prepare the way to the Grove and prepare the Grove by getting rid of that undergrowth. The undergrowth is there because of years, days, even hours and moments of neglect. It takes up space and drains essential nutrients from the ground. He said to start the cleanup and you will be amazed at the quick transformation. And then He said most importantly after it is all cleaned out…do the work of upkeep!!!!
The undergrowth He highlighted was
- Any known sin (big or little). He said don’t list – as you already know what He’s speaking of.
- Distractions that are causing apathy. Distractions can be bad things that have happened, but they can also be good things taking you out of His presence and drawing you away from His call on your life.
- Sinful attitudes such as jealousy, bitterness, competition
This is the Word of God. Read it…and heed it!
I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;
And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.
Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.
Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.~ Proverbs 24:30-34
And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying,
“Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” ~ Matthew 13:3-8, 18-23
For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. ~ Hebrews 6:7-8