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Better Promise (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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February 22, 2022 6:00 am

Better Promise (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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February 22, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the letter to the Hebrews

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I'm still loving you. I don't like it. Paul said, We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed, perplexed, not in despair, persecuted, not forsaken, struck down, not destroyed, always caring about the sufferings of Christ. We go through all this junk, and we're not going away from Christ, and it rocks the house of hell when Christians perform that way.

We can't do it on our own, but we can want to do it on our own, Christ filling in the rest. 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 part two of his study called A Better Promise, in Hebrews Chapter 8. With Daniel, he did not allow it. But with Stephen, did not Herod's sword kill him? Not Stephen James.

Stephen died through the stones. So my point is, I just want to make sure we're clear on this, it's not your faith in your faith, it's the one whom you're trusting that has the power. He is the Almighty One.

We are not. And so this Jesus, the King who loves, the High Priest who serves, on our behalf, who would want anything less? Who would want anything else? Many do.

Somehow, most refuse him. Because there's an instigator at work. It is Satan, yes. It is the world's influence, that is, those who come together without Christ to do whatever they want to do for themselves.

And then there is the fallen nature, these three are hard at work to keep us away from Christ whenever they can. Verse 2, it says that he is a minister of the sanctuary, of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, not man. That Greek word there for minister, the second word of verse 2, he says, a minister. That's not the standard Greek word for minister.

For those of you who don't know, the New Testaments were written in Greek, a very rich language. They have multiple words. For love, for example. We really have one word, love. Well, we can use other words too, cherish and adore.

But they're just a little bit more rich, I think, in their expression. So when they talk about a servant, there's one that is a slave, whether willful or forced. There is one that is sent on an errand. So slave, a doulos, or a diakonos, where we get our word deacon, that is one that is sent on an errand. When Phoebe was sent to Rome with the letter of Paul in her hand, she was acting as a deaconess, as a servant. Don't think in your heads deacons are just the ones that seat you in this pews on a Sunday morning. Those are servants.

They are ushers. But anybody who serves is acting as a diakonos, in the Greek, a deacon, a servant in that sense. But here, laturgos is the Greek word.

And that is more of a public servant. But we look at, to get the idea of what is being said, we look at how the word is used by the writers in scripture. Say Paul, for example.

He uses this word as a public servant in his temple duties. Romans 15, 16, I'll read it to you. That I might be a minister of Jesus Christ.

There's that word, laturgos. That I might be a minister, a public servant of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles. Then he says, ministering, a different Greek word. That is the temple attendant, the gospel of God that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

So Paul teaches us about this word. He says, I want to be someone who is used by God to reach the lost with the message of salvation. I am a servant of Jesus Christ in this way.

I am a temple servant in this way. And so when the writer here in Hebrews eight uses the word, he says, Christ is our public servant ministering in the greatest temple of all. And that's why he says a minister of the sanctuary. So he's not ministering just to minister. He has a goal in mind.

He has people in mind. It's us. It's sinners, people who are not worthy. We have someone in heaven looking out for us who are not worthy.

We who are not worthy, but he is. And so he reigns as king, yet he serves as high priest. Now, again, when you think of high priest, you can't think of the Inca high priest, the Roman Catholic high priest of the Episcopalian or any other people on earth.

The closest you can get are the Jewish high priest, and he exceeds even that. And that's what he's trying to tell these people who want to go back to Judaism, wait, you got a high priest better than anything you'll find downtown Jerusalem. You have king of kings in the holiest place ever.

Now, he mentions the sanctuary. That is the holiest of all. Place of divine majesty, place of divine ministry. Those two go together, ministry and majesty. You have a king serving you.

It's not some, you know, just common person. So when we sing about Jesus Christ, we move into a whole nother level of expression and thought and experience than singing about anything else on earth. This is the name of Jesus Christ.

At that name, every knee will bow, every tongue will confess. The sanctuary was woven into the minds of the Jews even that this was God's safe zone. Jeremiah 17, 12, a glorious high throne. From the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. God's throne room is God's church in heaven where he presides because he is the king priest.

His throne room is also the place of worship. It is a reality. That's what he's trying to say. Here's my main point.

This is the real story. Eternity is more real than the present because it goes on forever and it goes on forever in the presence of God. So sanctuary is the place of refuge, spiritual refuge, holiness. Why were the saints burned at the stake singing hymns to God? Because they were in the spiritual sanctuary while their physical bodies were being destroyed. It is the place of holiness.

There's no place like it on earth. It is the place where we go away from the ideas of sin and its curse and unholiness, spiritual power and safety and peace because of the presence of this high king who ministers to us when the Holy Spirit makes his presence known. Now if you're going to mature in Christ, you've got to have personal experiences with him. He's got to speak to you. You've got to feel him. But then you also have to have times when you can't find him. And that is when you are living the life of the matured saint by faith. Now it won't always stay that way, but he will let you get to those places to prove your faith to yourself. Not to him.

He knows everything. We need to go through that. We need to say, Lord, I hate what is going on, but I'm still here.

I'm still loving you. I don't like it. Paul said we are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed, perplexed, not in despair, persecuted, not forsaken, struck down, not destroyed, always caring about the sufferings of Christ. We go through all this junk and we're not going away from Christ.

And it rocks the house of hell when Christians perform that way. We can't do it on our own. We can want to do it on our own. Christ filling in the rest, giving us the strength. So we become a royal priesthood under this high priest to serve sinners by serving them God's plan of salvation. That's how we become litogos, ministers, public ministers. We serve them the plan of salvation.

That's not all of the story, but that is a lot of it. He says the true tabernacle. Now he's talking about the one in heaven. It's not a real building like the one on earth. Those who worship God must worship him in spirit and in truth, but its emblems, its meanings, they are the reality behind anything physical.

Let me see if I can open that up a little bit more for us all. The true tabernacle, the place built by God where God meets man. There Christ is to intercede above creation because he is the creator of creation. Not one of the angels is doing this. Now maybe I'm speaking and there's someone who doesn't have, that can hear me, a relationship with Christ. You've never opened up your heart and said, I am a sinner, I have broken your law. That makes me an outlaw to heaven. And I am worthy of your judgment, which is eternal death for the sinner. Unless that sinner repents.

Unless that sinner comes to God and says, I broke your law, I asked you to forgive me, there is no one else who can forgive me and make me right with you except you and I'm asking for that. If you do not yield to God in that way, then there is also a throne for you, but it is not a sanctuary. It is a great throne.

It is white and glory and shine. It is the great white throne of judgment. We read about it in the Revelation chapter 20 verse 11, then I saw a great white throne and him who sat on it from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away and there was found no place for them. The them he is referring to are those who don't know Christ, who don't want him or who want him on their terms and not his. Ergo, did we not preach in your name?

Did we not prophesy? Did we not cast out demons and he says, get away from me. I never knew you. You were faking it all the time. You were using my name, but you didn't care for me.

You were not interested in me. So this is a serious verse. He says, the main point is this. We have a minister of the sanctuary of the true tabernacle, which the Lord has erected, not man. Well, that has never happened on earth. God has never built a building on earth. Men built the tabernacle.

The Levites carried it around with them, the portable one in the wilderness. When Solomon comes to the throne, he has slaves and other workers who get involved in building the house of God. But God never said, poof, there's your temple. So the temple, the sanctuary that he's speaking of here is the one in heaven. And so he says, which the Lord erected, not man.

No place on earth fits that description. They had the Shekinah for some time at the Jewish temple, but not the genuine presence of God. Verse three, for every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this one also have something to offer. Now in writing to the Jews, of course they understood this.

They needed this. He's bringing, he's setting up the background to make his points or continue to make his points and his main point. For us, we have to pause oftentimes and tell you what the things are involved here because they're not part of our culture.

It's not a reflection on one's character, just you have to learn things. Verse three, for every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices. Well, that of course, free will offerings, burnt offerings, sin offerings, trespass offerings, peace offerings, all these things were to keep the people of God in the presence of God, separate and distinct from all the other fake God people that were out there as it is to this very day. God has things for the church. God has things for you and me as Christians to keep us distinct, a separate people. We're not like everybody else.

We're not supposed to be. We have the scripture. We have the word. More importantly, we have the word that became flesh and dwelt among us. We have the Christ. So, without exception, each Old Testament priest and prophet and person faced God in need of a Savior.

Every single one of them, Abraham, Noah, Moses, Adam, Adam not originally but eventually, they all had to face God as a sinner. And the cross of Christ is all about taking that penalty away. That is what we want. That is where the life is.

If that penalty stays on us, we're doomed. Condemnation is all washed away by the blood of Christ. And that is done through one accepting what Jesus says. Should we have low opinions of all this stuff?

Should I tone it down? I will not. I cannot.

Neither can any believer. How do you tone down Christ and what He has done? You say, I love it when I come to the sanctuary and I hear a pastor preach, especially you.

Fun. And then I go out and I face the world. That's right. That's the process. That's the proving. That's what makes it real. And there are those that don't like it but they want to pretend nonetheless.

Those are the ones that are in great jeopardy. But the rest who are struggling, who are confessing and repenting and working as hard as they can to get it right, those are the soldiers. Therefore he says in verse 3, it is necessary that this one, that is the Christ, also have something to offer. He's saying God has given us a pattern and He's not going to abandon this pattern. And so the priests on earth who are sinners, who face God as sinners, when they come to the house of God they have to have some offering with them, some atonement. But he's saying, well Christ, the pattern in heaven, who established this is going to honor that system and He too is going to have something to offer, to present. This is the job description of the priest. And the priest in heaven brings the repentance of sinners before the throne of God. That is the incense altar in heaven, you could say. Today believers are to offer their lives, service.

That is what we're supposed to be doing. Saying Lord, I am your servant. Send me. And every Greek word for servant, I want to be that. I want to be the willful slave. I want to be the messenger, the errand boy.

I want to be the public servant. I want to be the co-servant. Every Greek word that we have for servant in the new scripture, I will take that Lord and be yours.

That is our ambition. And so we read 1 John chapter 3 verse 16, 1 John. By this we know love because He laid down His life for us and we ought also lay down our lives for the brethren. Yeah, that's pretty nice on paper until you meet some of them, brethren. Then it's like, I don't know how to lay my life down for Him.

It's not that guy. You know how much of a pain in the neck, you know how. That's not what the Bible says. That's the difference between a servant of God, a slave for the Lord, and a rebel.

A slave will say, yes Lord, I will do whatever you call me to do. And He gives us as much time as possible to teach us how to discern what to do. Otherwise, we're just groping around in the dark. We have the scripture to hold us steady so that when we don't, when we are perplexed, we're not in despair.

We've not given up. You see, a worldling could look at, or someone else could say, you know what, my faith doesn't work. I'm out of here. But the Christian says, well, things aren't working out the way I want them to. I'm praying, I'm trusting, and things are getting worse.

But I've met Christ. I have nowhere else to go. I'm not leaving. This is what happened when Peter, when Jesus asked His disciple, are you two going to leave?

And they said, where else are we going to go? We are perplexed at these things you're saying, but we're not giving up. We're not in despair over you. We know who you are. The demons can say that. The demons said to Jesus to His face, we know who you are, the Son of God. Have you come to send us to the abyss?

Well, Christ says, if the demons can get it, you can get it too. I want you to understand who I am, because that makes all the difference of knowing who Jesus is. So if someone says to you, hey, do you know Jesus without hesitation?

Yeah. Of course I know Him. Let me tell you about Him.

Let me tell you about all the wonderful things He's done for me. Going to church is not going to get you into heaven. Well, this church, yeah, to the exception, of course. Seriously, no church will get you into heaven in and of itself. It is that relationship with Jesus Christ. You can die in a church and go to hell if you don't know who Jesus is. And if you don't know, you've got to cry out and say, who are you?

Just tell me. I'll serve you. I'll do whatever you say. So all who are called to serve Christ have been given certain abilities to serve Him and to serve Him by serving others, like it or not. Serving God is not without difficulty. It is hard work on every level. And if you think serving God is just a walk in the park, you don't understand service. You don't understand your own flesh. You can want it to be that way.

Some do better and others are added, of course. Someone will let themselves be used by Satan to rob the sweetness of serving God in the church. You come into church, you want to serve, and there's a co-servant there, and they've got a mood on. And they're making your life miserable.

They're not doing what they're supposed to be doing and that is being solid in the faith. Or we hurt each other. Sometimes we hurt each other's feelings without even trying.

Unintentionally. Sometimes because we're in the flesh. We're still called to serve. And thus serving is not without sacrifice. Romans chapter 12 verse 1, I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God that you present your body as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. That's what John was talking about. He died for us. We should live to die for Him. That's a reasonable service. Unless you want to be a spiritual mooch. Just taking, taking, taking.

Never really even bothering to thank. We get these lessons from scripture all the time. Remember the man named Uzzah. He was a servant of the Lord.

We have a careful lesson from the life of Uzzah. They put the Ark of the Covenant that is this chest that represented the presence of God that was supposed to be carried on the shoulders of the Levites to the poles that were slid through the rings on it. They wanted to touch it.

They had to touch the poles and they put it on a cart where it didn't belong. And as the oxen stumbled, Uzzah, meaning well, reached out to stabilize it and was struck dead instantly. It was a mixture of ignorance and non-compliance on the part of the people of God that caused the death of a faithful servant. You see, God's people were not serving God the way He laid it out to be. And as a result, a faithful servant died.

My point is service is serious business. Someone might not die, but you are creating problems that shouldn't be there that are the devil's work that if not checked will cause spiritual death, will cause spiritual loss, will cause spiritual problems. King David, after he recovered from this event, he addressed it with the priest who should have gotten it right. What we're talking about is proper service, proper ministry for the Lord, presenting your bodies a living sacrifice. We have this high priest in heaven that has done the dying for us and asked us to do the serving for him, even if it costs our lives. When David addresses this issue of non-compliant service, he says, for because you did not do it the first time, the Lord our God broke out against us because we did not consult him about the proper order. So the priest and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord to Israel. So the point that I'm making is the priest said, we've got to get our act together. We have to comply. We have to go to the scripture and find out what God wants from us and then do it, lest there be an outbreak and we be the cause of someone else being wounded. And so much searching of the scripture was done in the second attempt that got it right.

And so we are not automatically fit for service simply because we're believers. You know how many believers don't like hearing that? You know how many? I don't know. 50 million?

I don't know the number. But I know a lot of Christians really think that simply because they are Christian, they are fit for everything in the church. And that is not true.

They may learn to be fit for many things, but it is not automatic. This is widely rejected by Christians to think because they love God. They can be carefree in serving him.

That's the lesson from Uzzah. Ecclesiastes 5.1, walk prudently when you go to the house of God and draw near to here rather than to give the sacrifice of fools for they do not know that they do evil. So when you have to serve on a day in church, maybe you're in the cafe ministry or the ushers ministry, the children, the music ministry, or whatever ministry, you take it seriously or are you suppressed by the fluster of it all? I got to get the kids right.

I got to get this done. And you lose sight that this is spiritual. This requires that you calibrate your heart, that you talk to the Lord. And you young servants, you should be asking yourself, where am I going to serve?

What place on the wall am I going to stand at? You should be asking the Lord, where can I serve? You get with one of the pastors. Where are the needs?

What do I need to pray for? The ushers need fresh ushers in their ministry. The children's workers always need people in their ministry.

The hair transplant ministry for the pastor is always looking for someone. Ask yourselves where you belong, serving, present your bodies a living sacrifice. We are here to talk about our King. And when we talk about our King, we are not excluded from the conversation. We are included.

It is about us in that sense. We have such a high King. What does he want? Who are you Lord? What do you want me to do?

Who said that? Paul, the apostle at his conversion, who are you? What do you want me to do? I'll do it.

And he did. 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 / 2023-06-01 17:53:18 / 2023-06-01 18:02:57 / 10

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