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Scripture and Our Great High Priest (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
January 27, 2022 6:00 am

Scripture and Our Great High Priest (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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January 27, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the letter to the Hebrews

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I'm going to address it.

There's a such thing as accountability. This doesn't have to be frightening. This can go very nicely. Or it can go very badly.

It's up to you. Don't blame God. But thank you Lord, and we'll close this up when we get to the end of this, that God is merciful.

He is big on mercy. But don't think that that mercy excuses that slothfulness is sin. And so not only does God see it all, but He remembers it all except with His children.

Today, Pastor Rick will continue teaching through the book of Hebrews chapter 4 and his study called Scripture and Our Great High Priest. How many Christians believe it's more of a pocket knife than a sword? How many people are in pulpits this very moment who simply don't believe that? They may claim to have respect for the Bible. They call themselves churches.

They have a cross here or there. They don't believe it. They don't believe that the Word of God is living and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword. And so they don't preach it. They preach what the universities tell them to preach. They preach what the culture is telling them to preach.

They preach what they think the people in the pew want heard from the pulpit. I have no idea what you want to hear overall. Those of you I know that love the Lord, I know you want to hear the Word.

But I don't know what applications to make. I ask God, what do you want me to say? And He unfolds it. He impresses it.

The next thing I know, it's there. And that's how we conduct the ministry one way, the ministry of the Word. Another thing about a sword, especially a double-edged sword, is that there is very little, if anything, humorous about it, especially when it is unsheathed.

It is a serious tool. The facts of Scripture are just like that. They are a threat to everything evil in me and outside of me, in the Spirit and in the flesh. The Word of God goes against those things. The Word of God, as a sword, is both offensive or defensive. You can use it to shield an attack or you can use it to make an attack.

It is necessary for both, and we should learn to do both. Those who use the Word of God can also be cut by the Word of God. It is double-edged. It speaks of the church militant, that the church militant will be the church victorious if she has her sword. It speaks of a holy war, not physical violence, never that.

Spiritual violence to destroy the works of principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places, to come against them. Psalm 149, verse 6, let the high praises of God be in their mouth and a two-edged sword in their hand. The psalmist may have been speaking about violence also, saying, let us praise the Lord and defend the land of the Lord.

And under the Old Testament economy, that was totally permissible. But in the New Testament, we are not looking to cut people with a sword of violence, except to say violence to those ideas, to the lies of hell, to those ideas that are contrary and offensive to God. Taking every thought into captivity, to the obedience of Christ Jesus, Paul said in 2 Corinthians 10. So the enemies of the church are not flesh and blood, but wickedness. Wickedness out of the mouths of the lost, wickedness in the hearts of the lost, wickedness of our own flesh. We take a sword to it, a scripture.

Where would we be without it? Where would you who are saved be without God's word? Now maybe, maybe there is someone here who is not a Christian, and you think this is just rhetoric.

You think it's just an alternate view. I hate for you to find out the hard way that you're wrong. You have an opportunity to find out the sweetest honey way or perish in your sin. The enemies of the church, there have never been a shortage of them. There won't be until Christ returns and purges the world of them. But for now they are here, and our primary weapon is the sword. You can have people that are into praying and into doing good things, but if they have departed from the expressed will of God, which only comes to us through His word as the final authority, then you have a problem. You can find people in other religions that want to do humanistic things or goodness towards humanity that can pray, that can cut themselves and flog themselves in this way or that, but are totally disinterested in the word of God that cuts, that is powerful. Proverbs tells us that Satan has a double-edged sword too, and he's looking to cut you with it also. Speaking of the immoral woman, it's just the immoral person. But in the end she is bitter as wormwood sharp as a two-edged sword.

Proverbs 5 verse 4. It is piercing. That means it gets in there. It penetrates. You know, the three wounds, the puncture, the laceration, and the abrasion. The puncture is the worst one.

It gets in. And well, of course, by degree, but the soul and the spirit are pierced. That's where our life resides.

Well, for some. Some just have a soul. The only part of them alive other than their flesh is that part that interacts with other human beings, but they have no interaction with God because their spirit is dead. And if they think they do, it's a false god because they're not rightly related.

They are not born again. That's offensive to those who object to the gospel. It's all offended you will be. And God is offended in return. You know, those people who act like they're offended at everything, are they that dense?

Do they not understand that they too can be an offense to someone? But it's all about them, right? Well, it's not.

It's all about me, as it should be. The part of us that deals with God is the spirit, and if you're not born again, the spirit is dead, and you are dead in your sin. But when God, when you're born again, when God touches you from above, you come to life. Your spirit is alive now, and he divides these things.

He separates them. They're very detailed and complex to us, but not to God. People are, even Christians, the best of us, are very complex at times, but not to God. We were created, as I mentioned, from the dust, and then God breathed into us his life. He gave us life that he has, and he offers to us the identical eternity going forward that he has, and he invites all to come and get it, and those again who don't are judged. He says of the joints and the marrow.

There are the intricate details. His scripture finds no part of us unreachable. We're talking about the Bible. And the writer is saying to the Jews, therefore be diligent to remember your scripture as I've been quoting to you, to you who've been thinking about going back to the temple to offer sheep when Christ was crucified for you.

You better pay attention to the word of God, because therein are the blessings and the judgments. It is a discerner. That Greek word, critikos, it means it is a critic.

We get our English word, critic, from that Greek word. There are those who think that they are criticizing the scripture, but in the end, the scripture is criticizing them. It is the supreme critic, and that's how it penetrates. The Bible says, out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks, and what is in the heart defiles the man. You read those words, and you can't help but saying that is true.

I don't need a scientist to tell me that. I don't need a preacher to tell me that. I know it's true from my own experience, from my own heart. God's word judges men.

No matter what they say or think, God's word judges them, and in that, it is living and it is powerful. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, pierces even to the division of the soul and the spirit and of the joints and of the marrow. It cuts all the way through if necessary. It will sever limbs if necessary.

Verse 13, and I'll pause here a moment. Remember we said, there's nothing humorous about a sword unsheathed. When someone pulls a pistol on you, it's not haha, that's funny. A sword and a pistol, the only difference between the two really is distance. One can cut a thousand feet away, the other cannot.

Well, maybe a thousand feet. I mean, Derringer wouldn't be able to do that, but still has a greater reach. Verse 13, well, let me close that up in case, huh, what were you talking about? Scripture is serious business, just as serious as someone pulling a weapon on you. God's word is a weapon on sin, and if you are enjoying sin, if you have not repented about it, if you are careless about a relationship with Christ, that sword is drawn on you. Just as the cherubim that stood to make sure Adam and Eve did not stay in the garden forever, but he chased, he barred them, he had his sword out, he meant business, and it turned in every direction.

Verse 13 of Hebrews now, chapter 4. And there is no creature hidden from his sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. God misses nothing, it is exposed.

People dream, have nightmares about going outside naked. Exposed, nothing's shielded. There's nothing shielded from God, no matter what you have on. Revelation 2, speaking of Jesus, or Jesus speaking, says, I am he who searches the minds and the hearts.

That's all of you, there's nothing left. When the Bible talks about the heart, it is talking about all of you. That he adds minds just gives us a little bit more detail, because man is made up of more than a mind and a heart, he has a will, he has a soul. That soul will live forever, but where will it live if the spirit is dead in this life and the man dies with that dead spirit? He won't live in heaven. If the spirit is alive in this life and that man dies, that soul will go to heaven. Well, he says, I am he who searches the minds and the hearts, and I will give to each one of you according to your works. God is speaking to the church in Revelation 2, and he's saying to those in the church, I see what you're doing in the church, I see it all. And I'm going to address it. There's a such thing as accountability.

This doesn't have to be frightening, this can go very nicely, or it can go very badly. It's up to you, don't blame God. But thank you, Lord, and we'll close this up when we get to the end of this, that God is merciful. He is big on mercy, but don't think that that mercy excuses that slothfulness and sin. And so not only does God see it all, but he remembers it all except with his children, because the blood of Jesus Christ washes the sin away, and whatever sin was there is now not admissible in God's court.

Jeremiah put it this way, he says, God's speaking through the prophet, for I will forgive their iniquity and their sin, I will remember no more. I will forgive their iniquity and their sin, I will remember no more. But you have to be redeemed. You have to be saved. Mankind is redeemed in the sense that the price has been paid, it is finished.

All he need do is go claim it. I don't mean the silly, go claim it, you know, blab it and grab it kind of, you know, God wants you rich, just claim it, that's blasphemy. But I mean, Christ died for sinners, and any sinner that would come and receive on his terms, his salvation, that sinner is saved. And so, when he says that I will remember their sin no more, he is speaking to those who want it.

The Jews in Israel at the time that Jeremiah spoke those words, who were engulfed in treachery and blasphemy and idolatry and violence, they would not benefit from Jeremiah's words, quite the opposite. Well, he continues, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Accountability, we must give account.

Get it in your heads. It's all right. I mean, if it were an unrighteous judge, it would be very bad. If God were just sovereign, as some parts of Christianity tend to exaggerate, not that you can exaggerate his sovereignty, but you can so focus on his sovereignty, you have no love left. You have a tyrant. Yes, he is sovereign.

We got that. But if that's all he is, I'm doomed. And thank God he is not. Thank God that John the Apostle says, point blank, God is love. Do we think as though God were blind? Do we think as though he can't see what we're thinking?

He doesn't see what's inside my head. Do we think that only x-rays can see what's inside of us, but God can't? Well, if you have a genuine understanding or a right understanding of God, you know he's, of course, he can do anything, but are you mindful of this?

Are you conscious of it enough to live this way? Do we talk as though God is not deaf? Now, speech, do we treat others as though God is ignorant? He doesn't see what I just did to you. Do we realize that unbelievers, they are not aware that God sees like we are aware? They think he doesn't hear.

He doesn't keep a list. Every idle word of man is remembered by God. Mankind is absolutely vulnerable to God. Therefore, it is in man's best interest to be friends with God. So this is the part of the sermon that someone may say, who is a believer, may say, yeah, I need that. I have someone who God is letting me minister to.

That's what I was looking for. Or maybe it's just a point that resonates. You say, I want to write that down for later. But we all are aware of those things if we are friends with Jesus. Verse 14, seeing then that we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. Now, from this verse through the end of the next chapter, he is going to show that Christ is superior to the Levitical priesthood. And that is important to the Jews because so long as they esteem the Levitical priesthood and not see that Christ has made it obsolete, you can say suspended it because parts of it will be revived in the millennial kingdom. But if they do not see that Christ is over it all now, then they will cling to a defunct system and let that which is alive and beautiful die on the vine, you could say. And so he says, seeing then that we have a great high priest, a title bestowed on no other person in Scripture, the great high priest. He is great. There's none greater.

There's none that could even come close. A priest is one who is to stand between God and me. And that's what we are a royal priesthood, the Bible tells us, we who believe. We stand between the unbeliever and God on their behalf in that sense. We stand in between in the sense that we can stop God from getting to them, quite the opposite. We are part of the process of getting them to God and getting God to them. We are the go-between. We have been entrusted with this office.

We have been deputized. And so you have an unbeliever who knows nothing about Christ whatsoever. God sends us over there. And he uses us as a mediator in that sense. We share the gospel. We live the life before them. And people get saved that way.

It is a better system. And so to confess Jesus as their great high priest would be the same as leaving Judaism. And that is what he is trying to get them to do. Let's look back now at Hebrews 4 verse 1 because here's the consequence of their denial of Christ. He says, Let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. There's something to worry about as not making it across the finish line with Christ because you swapped him out for something else. He says, who has passed through the heavens. That refers to his resurrection, his ascension into heaven, and his seat at the right hand of the Father. The high priest once a year of Israel on the Day of Atonement would go into the holy place. And then after burning incense on the golden altar he would go behind a veil that separated the holy place from the holier place. And there in that holier place was the ark of the covenant, the mercy seat of God. Originally inside that ark was the word of God, the tablets that God had written for Moses in the wilderness. There was a pot of manna that spoke of God's provision for man. Not only for his provision in the word for the spirit, his provision for man in the flesh through the food, the manna. And then there was the rod of Aaron that budded.

It was a stick, a walking stick, long since dead, but it bore ripe almonds instantly. And that speaks of authority. The authority of God and the authority of men given by God to men over his people. And on top of that chest where these articles were was a cherubim, the angels. But it was called the mercy seat of God that lived.

Over the word, over the provision, over the authority is God's mercy. And the writer here is telling them that we have a priest that doesn't go behind the veil on earth, but he has gone behind the veil in heaven. He is at the throne of God. He is sitting on a throne himself next to the Father. So when he says he has passed through the heavens, our great high priest is on the throne. Therefore, whenever we draw near to Jesus, we draw near to the Godhead, all of it. So let's just imagine, visualize, not in that mystical sense of the word, but if you're in a throne room and there's a king on the throne, and next to him is his son. And if you draw near to the son and you speak to the son, well, the Father's going to hear you. Also, it's one and the same.

You cannot separate the two. So to draw near to Jesus Christ is to draw near to the Father. You're drawing near to the Father and the Son, and this is done through the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, and that is the Godhead we call the Trinity. And so we conclude that when we conclude our prayers, we say, in Jesus' name, because he is the one that has penetrated the veil in heaven. He is the one on the throne, and through him we are accepted. Now I'll take two verses from Hebrews. Hebrews 8, now this is the main point of the things we are saying. We have such a high priest who is seated at the right hand of the throne of majesty in the heavens, then Hebrews 9-24. For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.

That's what it says, Hebrews 9-24. And so there we have the holy scripture, living and powerful, making it clear how this process of access works to God for us. He's going to go on to say, therefore, because of this, without shame, with courage, without impudence, you can freely go and access this throne. I'll make these statements now, and I won't have to repeat them when we get there in a minute, but you could not go to Caesar's court and just sashay into his courtroom, or even respectfully walk in there, or Herod, but God Almighty, God Almighty says, you come. I've already lifted the scepter.

I've already given you permission to come to me at any time, with anything, any place. And so, we believers, we have two intercessors. We have Christ Jesus on the throne, pleading on our behalf for our sin. That's what recurrent grace is all about. You see, God will continue to forgive His people.

And then we have the Holy Spirit in us, and He pleads the case of Christ to us. You know this is not right. Don't do it. You know this is right.

Do it. You know Christ loves you. You know, and that is the Holy Spirit ministering within us, teaching us what to say. Have you ever prayed and said to God, maybe not with these words, but the same idea, I don't know what to say about this.

And then you all of a sudden it starts coming out. Where do you think that came from? You think it was manufactured in your heart?

The heart is deceitful, desperately wicked, above all things. That's God the Holy Spirit ministering, sometimes in groans, other times articulation. What do you think David got the words for his psalms? God found a heart that he could write on.

And out of the abundance of the heart of David, we have the psalms. You've been listening to Cross Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. As we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast, today's teaching is available free of charge at our website. Simply log on to That's We'd also like to encourage you to subscribe to the Cross Reference Radio podcast. Subscribing ensures that you stay current with all the latest teachings from Pastor Rick. You can subscribe at or simply search for Cross Reference Radio in your favorite podcast app. Tune in next time as Pastor Rick continues teaching through the book of Hebrews right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-17 01:57:11 / 2023-06-17 02:06:45 / 10

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