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A Better Hope – A Better Covenant (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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February 18, 2022 6:00 am

A Better Hope – A Better Covenant (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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February 18, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the letter to the Hebrews

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You see, flesh, sin, is a delicacy to the flesh. My flesh loves my sins.

People who, I'm going to show you, loves the flesh, loves that. That's the problem. It wouldn't be a problem if I could shut that thing up. But I can't always do that. But I have grace in the midst of it. I have one that says, yeah, I hate it too. And I hate that side of you that doesn't. That's why I'm saving the spiritual, man.

And that body of flesh, that tent, that's going to be dust. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher, Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of Hebrews.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. Now, here's Pastor Rick with his study called A Better Covenant in Hebrews, chapter seven. Concerning the Pharisees and the scribes, he said, they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders, but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. Because the law was too big. And so to sidestep it, they sort of had surrogate burden bearers. They enslaved others. In Acts chapter 15, Peter says, now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? They're talking about that Old Testament system of law. They say it was too heavy for us. All it did was condemn, condemn, condemn.

It never gave relief. Paul said, stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free. Free from what? Sin and judgment, yes, but he's talking about the law. And he says, and do not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Yes, sin is in that, of course. No way getting that out, but it includes that system next to the New Testament. And their risk in returning to that was as going toward the shadow of the thing and not the thing itself. Again, imagine, imagine, the Old Testament was a shadow of the New Testament. Imagine a loved one being away on a trip and coming home and you go to the airport to pick them up and you run over and greet their shadow and ignore them.

Or imagine the sign, you're driving toward the airport and you see the sign that says airport, so you stop at the sign and stay there. It's only a sign. It's not the substance. Well, that's what the apostles were trying to tell everyone. That Old Testament was the sign. It was the shadow.

It was not it. Christ is. He is the one. Once he comes, there's an abandonment of the sign and the shadow.

We go to him. God has never saved anybody through the keeping of the law. Everybody who kept the law, when they died, they did not go to heaven.

They went to righteous Sheol. And there's never been anyone that's able to keep the law except Christ. God saves on this basis, on this basis alone. Faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the cross of Christ, the blood-stained cross of Christ, which puts your sin and my sin in your face until it's repented of and washed away it is forevermore after that. By faith, we accept it, we love it, we believe it, and we know there's no other way. In the end, there is no other way for us to be with God unless he does something about our sin, the very thing the world does not want to hear. Verse 19, for the law made nothing perfect.

On the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope through which we draw near to God. So again, if they're not comfortable with this rearrangement, they're lost. They have to admit that his points are indisputable from scripture and reason. Logic. Righteous logic. The cold truth that they had to face.

All the law could do was pronounce men guilty. It could do nothing. It was like an x-ray, just an x-ray.

Here's the break. Can't do anything about it. Not the x-ray.

You'll need someone who's able to provide the cure or the solution. And so the law offered no remedy in that sense. It could not satisfy God.

It could not satisfy man. Verse 20, and inasmuch as he is not made priest without an oath. Now this, you know, we think of an oath. Raise your right hand.

Slap your neighbor. I mean raise your right hand. Do you solemnly? We think of an oath like that.

That's not how this is meant or used. This means the final word of God. When God speaks, it's an oath in the sense that it is full force.

It is pure, holy, and undefiled. And so he is saying, the scripture says, God says. That's how we would understand. The Bible says, that's what we would say. And he is saying, inasmuch as Jesus was not made a priest after Melchizedek according to Psalm 110, which is God's word.

That's the distinction he's making. Verse 21, now he, the contrast between the priest of Aaron, for they have become priests without an oath. But he, with an oath by him, who said to him, he's going to qualify it, the Lord has sworn and will not relent or back away from. You are a priest forever according to Melchizedek. The order of Melchizedek. Watch out the others.

They were put in power by God's word, but not forever. Whereas this priest, according, which is Christ Jesus, according to the pattern shown in Melchizedek, ratified by David, and now brought forth in truth and logic and contrast here in Hebrews, the writer is saying, this is a done deal. It's distinct. There's nothing like it. The Levites were not so sealed.

That's a little too many yeses there. The Levites were not established this way. Only Christ, only his priesthood has this with it. So what if there's present now, listening, someone who doesn't have this working knowledge of the Old Testament scripture and you're just completely lost. It is wonderful how you can be completely lost in God's house and God still finds his way of making his point to you.

You can listen and say, well, I have lost this, but I still understand what's going on overall. I understand that the sovereign hand of God is not only present but willing, that he is interested in me, that there's a lot to the Christian faith. I thought it was maybe just a bunch of people who sat down and wrote things about God on their own, you know, as some creative writer would do. But actually there's something more to this, something more powerful to all of this, and we know that as the Holy Spirit who, when Jesus said, I will not, well, we'll use this verse, where two or more gathered, there I am in the midst.

He's always here in his house. It belongs to him, so long as we don't chase him away with blatant and flagrant sin. Verse 22, by so much more Jesus has become surety of a better covenant. That by so much more Jesus, those five words, how much logic and goodness and emotion is built into that?

Just those five words, by so much more Jesus, how much would that have stood out in their heads, in their minds, as it was read, as they went and reread it, as it was being copied? A better covenant, he says, flat out, a better testament. You know, when we say New Testament, it's the same as saying New Covenant. Testament is covenant. Nineteen times that word covenant shows up in Hebrews, more than any other New Testament book. It is about the covenant, the agreement with God. It is about the New Testament. This, too, was baked into the Old Testament, not just with Melchizedek and Genesis and Psalm with David and Psalm 110, but Jeremiah. Now, I told you, I promised this verse, and here we are. We all should know this verse. Even if we don't have it memorized, we should know of the verse, Jeremiah 31, verses 31, 32. The prophet says, Behold, the days are coming, says Yahweh, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand and led them out of the land of Egypt. My covenant, which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says Yahweh.

And so, again, none of this is showing up mysteriously. The pastor is told to convince, to rebuke, to exhort with all long suffering and teaching because the time will come when they will give them, they will heap up for themselves teachers, Paul says, wanting their ears to be tickled. And so the pastor is to convince, rebuke, exhort. He is doing this in this writing. He is convincing them with logic and scripture. He is rebuking them for daring to turn away from it. And he is being gentle in his teaching towards them. The pastor can be very gentle in his teaching but if it gets to guilty and the guilty aren't ready to admit that they're guilty, it can seem brutal.

But that's on them. Matthew 26, 28, for this is my blood of the new covenant which is shed for many for the remission of sins. They knew about the Lord's table. These believers that are being written to here in Hebrews, they understood that by this time the gospels were already circulating except for John's gospel. But they had Matthew, Mark and Luke and I just quoted Matthew. They understood that Jesus said I'm the new covenant that Jeremiah was talking about. And I won't bring up Genesis and Psalm and Melchizedek just yet. I'll save that for the writer of Hebrews to bring it up at a critical point in time. Speaking of time, the temple was still up. That's important that we understand. Spoken of when he references the sacrifices and the altar, he's speaking in the present tense. He's not saying we used to have an altar, he's saying we have an altar. That is critical because that was the temptation and pretty soon God's going to take that all away from them.

Then they will be forced to come to a decision on even another level. The Romans soon would end their temple worship and their sacrifices which have been done with ever since. Hosea prophesied that this would happen. And in his little prophecy in Hosea, he points to so much behavior. Hosea 3, for the children of Israel shall abide many days without king or prince, without sacrifice, sacred pillar, without ephod or terephim. In other words, the day is going to come, you won't have a king, you won't have leadership, you won't even have a temple. But he points out in that little verse, he says, without ephod or terephim. You won't have priests and you won't have all the junk you've mingled with your religion.

Quite powerful because that's what they were doing at that time and they've been doing it all through their history. Verse 23, also there were many priests because they were prevented by death from continuing. Well, death has a way of doing that.

The priests grew feeble, they took their beds and they died. But the priest we have now, he is alive forever and he ever lives to make intercession for us and he's going to say it just like that in just one moment. Verse 24, but he, because he continues forever as an unchangeable priesthood, because it's better.

That's why. It's better because of him. That's why this Melchizedekian priesthood is so superior, because of Jesus Christ. Even though we're not Jews, we can appreciate all of this. Verse 25, therefore he is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for Rick.

You can put your name there. It's true. It is kind of funny, but it is more glorious than anything. He makes intercession for them.

Who is them? It's you and me who believe in the endless salvation. What is the range? What is the range on this weapon of salvation we have? It's eternal. It doesn't stop. What speed does it travel at? Infinity.

What kind of speed is that? Romans 3 29. This is for those who just don't understand grace. There are some Christians that don't understand recurrent cleansing. They don't understand that once you believe in Christ, and you abide, and you know him as Lord and Savior, that even though you get tripped up and stumble, that won't cast you to hell. Or don't die if you've sinned without saying you're sorry and repenting because then you'll go to hell. You don't understand the grace you have. It's not encouraged, but a true believer can lose their temper in sin and die and still go to heaven.

They can make a big mistake without having a moment to say, oh, I'm sorry. That was the case with Uzzah, Nadab, and Abihu, and so many sins. Here's one of the strengths for that. Nor any created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Here's another one. Where sin abounded, Christ did much more. We don't have, again, this little delicate salvation that, oh, don't breathe on it.

You'll kill it. Better hygiene may help on other topics, but not with your grace. Grace is, it frightens hell in that sense that hell cannot dismantle your salvation.

They just try to shut it up. He always lives, it says, He always lives and makes intercession for them to make intercession. Them is us. We all need it, but not all want it. John says this, we have an advocate with the Father, 1 John 2 verse 1. Well, I don't need an advocate unless I need an advocate.

I happen to need one. Every sinner does. That there is an advocate makes everyone guilty before God. Everybody needs this Jesus to intercede on their behalf, and that's what the priest does. The priest is a go-between from people to priest to God, from God to priest to people. That is why he is our high priest, and his ministry is endless, and it saves to the uttermost, not just to the some most, but all the way.

And that's why there is now no condemnation for those in Christ. How do you, how do you stay in Christ? Well, you don't sin.

Well, that's not going to work. You stay in Christ by choosing to stay in Christ, by giving him your will. I choose you. You see, flesh, sin is a delicacy to the flesh. My flesh loves my sins.

People who I'm going to show you loves, the flesh loves that. That's the problem. It wouldn't be a problem if I could shut that thing up, but I can't always do that. But I have grace in the midst of it.

I have one that says, yeah, I hate it too, and I hate that side of you that does it. That's why I'm saving the spiritual man. And that body of flesh, that tent, that's going to be dust and ashes. But you, you the ghost in the machine, you I'm taking home with me because you've come to me to my cross for salvation, and guess what?

I'm going to deliver. You come to me for salvation, you will get the salvation. You stay away from me because you don't want the salvation, you won't get it. What is so complicated about that? So we have to move on. And verse 26, when I got to verse 26, 27, 28, in my study times, I kept putting down and just going and doing something else. Why am I doing this? Because the verse is too deep to comment.

They just say it all, which kind of works out time-wise. For such a high priest, verse 26, was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens. Holy, that he is pure. Harmless, he is innocent without evil, but he has a wrath that is not harmless. Undefiled, he's not influenced by sin, to be as sin is.

He has contact without contamination. John records Jesus' words, he says, the ruler of this world is coming. That's Satan.

He has nothing in me. Dirty thoughts, impure ideas, those kind of things never were in Christ's head. They just couldn't, there was no place for them. There was so much holiness and light in him that darkness could not penetrate, could not enter. There was no port for it.

There was no dock for it to come by, as it is with us. He's not any person, any man. He's God's Son, the Son of God, and God the Son. And so, he was separated from sin, but not isolated from sinners. He made himself available. He could have done that. He could have said, I'm not going down there. But he came anyway, and his being separate from sinners did not stop him from being treated like a sinner. That's why they murdered him. This is what Paul says, for he, Christ, I mean the Father, made him, that is Christ, who knew no sin be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him. This is hard to get that. We don't earn salvation, we receive it. Better move forward, we're already almost over time, not yet.

I'm going to get every second out of it. Separate from sinners. No one anywhere ever has any right to say this about anyone else except Jesus Christ, separate from sinners. All humans, every single one except Jesus Christ, are born in sin. Psalm 51, verse 5, Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me. She doesn't mean his mother sinned and he was conceived. He means I was conceived as a sinner, and so was mom and dad, and grandpa and grandma, and all the way down the line back to Adam. Mary would be the first to insist that she needs a Savior.

In fact, she put it in writing. Luke chapter 1, verse 47, My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. The only person that needs a Savior is a sinner. Non-sinners do not need a Savior. Problem is there are no non-sinners. Isaiah 64, All we like an unclean thing, but let me reread, but we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousness like filthy rags, we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities like the wind have taken us away. That's what death will do in the curse of death, of sin is death. He says he's become higher than the heavens.

We're going to join him there. Adding to this a bit more, there are those that want us to look away when they do not want to follow scripture. They want us to not follow scripture with them or give them a pass or pretend that it's really not that bad of a deal.

We must guard against that. They want us to relax our scriptural beliefs so that they can feel comfortable disregarding scripture in the name of Christ, and we must learn how to gently and firmly let them know that that won't happen. People come from other denominations to a church service like this, and they get offended when we don't agree with them.

That doesn't make any sense. We preach what we believe here. We don't sidestep what we believe so that we can make you feel comfortable in the beliefs you have that we reject, and it's not meant to insult you. But I don't know, as Martin Luther said, I do not know how to not offend guilty people. If you're guilty, you're going to be offended, but it's not like, ooh, we're going to really get you with this one.

Okay, I've been gentle enough for one week. Verse 27, for who does not need, verse 27, who does not need daily as those high priests to offer up sacrifices first for his own sins, then for the people's, for he did this once for all when he offered up himself. And so Christ is unlike Aaron's priest who had to make a sacrifice for themselves. In fact, in Leviticus, if the priests sin, Leviticus 4.3, if the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, then let him offer to the Lord for his sin, which he has sinned, a young bull without blemish, a sin offering. Christ had no sin offering to offer, none that was on him, and so thus another distinction. Verse 28, for the law appoints his high priest men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the son who has been perfected. He is saying, you agree with me that the word of, order of, according to Melchizedek from David came after the law of Moses, but it's just as much scripture as Moses' word.

That is part of what he says here. So, it is by that cross of Christ in no other way that we are perfected, that we are saved to the uttermost. We have an altar, Hebrews 13, 10, from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. Those who serve the tabernacle, those who are still going down to the temple offering sheep, they have no right to claim Christ as Lord and they have no salvation, therefore that is the point when we get to Hebrews 13. So, I close with this verse, Jude 24, to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless, faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.

It is God's delight to forgive those who come to him. 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 crossreferenceradio.com. That's crossreferenceradio.com. 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 crossreferenceradio.com 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 / 2023-06-03 09:49:39 / 2023-06-03 09:59:02 / 9

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