Share This Episode
Cross Reference Radio Pastor Rick Gaston Logo

Christ’s Perfect Work (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
March 9, 2022 6:00 am

Christ’s Perfect Work (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 968 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

March 9, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the letter to the Hebrews

Truth for Life
Alistair Begg
The Steve Noble Show
Steve Noble
Connect with Skip Heitzig
Skip Heitzig
Grace To You
John MacArthur

It makes more emphatic or it emphasizes a point, as it does here. So the Old Testament could not perfect us, could not finish the work, could not make us fit for heaven. And so we read in Jude 24. 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. But for now, let's join Pastor Rick in the book of Hebrews chapter 10 as he begins his message, Christ's Perfect Work. Chapter 10, and would you please stand for the reading of the word of God. For the law, having a shadow of good things to come and not the very image of the things can never with the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then, would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins, but in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. Therefore, when he came into the world, he said, sacrifice and offerings you did not desire, but a body you have prepared for me.

In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin, you had no pleasure. Then I said, behold, I have come in the volume of the book it is written of me to do your will, O God, previously saying sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings and offerings for sin you did not desire, nor had pleasure in them which are offered according to the law. Then he said, behold, I come to do your will, O God.

He takes away the first that he may establish the second. By that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all, and every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices which can never take away sins. But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, forever sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till his enemies are made his footstool. For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are being sanctified, but the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us. For after he had said before, this is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says Yahweh.

I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them. Then he adds, their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more. Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.

Please be seated. If you get nothing else out of that section, you understand the word sin is repeated, that it is being considered and dealt with by Jesus Christ. In the end, it is he who deals with sin.

Everything else was leading up to him. And so we are discussing this morning the perfect work of Christ. Christ's perfect work.

Perfect as in finished, as incomplete. And so we are shown the meaning and the depth of his death and all of its riches. Throughout Hebrews, the writer remains on subject. He doesn't forget, he does not lose sight of what he is doing in this letter. And it is a battlefield for the souls and the minds of those he is writing to. He is trying to demonstrate to them the superiority of Christ, because without that understanding, your Christianity is doubtful. His death, death of Christ, the perfect sacrifice. So for those of you who may not be aware of what is happening in this Hebrew letter, and those of you who are, please bear with me.

But just a quick review. The temple of the Jews is still standing. That means it is before 70 A.D. when the temple will be destroyed. There were Jews who had become Christians and were now thinking about either returning to Judaism or mixing in Judaism with Christianity. The writer to Hebrews finds this out and he writes this Hebrew letter that we now have to deal with this. And from the beginning, right up to this very point, he has been slamming such a notion. He has been telling them, if you go back to Judaism, if you try to mix Christ with anything else, you are done.

Your soul is doomed. He is going to pick it up after the 18th verse even more intensely. Or I should say, he will intensify his dealing with this behavior after the 18th chapter.

But we are going to get through chapters 1 through 18. And so that is the background as to what is going on in this Hebrew writing. Don't think Christ is inferior to anyone.

He is superior to everyone. There is no need for ritual in the blood of bulls and sheep or whatever else. If they were sufficient, then Christ's death would not have been necessary. So now we look at the first verse again. The law having a shadow of the good things to come and not the very image of the things can never with these same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year make those who approach perfect. Well, he says the law having a shadow of good things. We talked about this in earlier chapters, the shadow, but we are going to hit it again because the writer feels it is necessary. And of course, the writer is led by the Holy Spirit. Shadows are indicators of something greater.

A shadow is a real shadow and really that is it. But what it is pointing to is something that is more important. The Jewish sacrifices spoke of sinners separated from God, but they offered no solution. They were anticipating God resolving this issue of sin through the Messiah. Colossians, Paul writing and trying to deal with these very things with his audience, he says, Let no one judge you in food or drink regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths which are a shadow of things to come. But the substance is of Christ.

That's what Paul says. That's what the writer to Hebrews is trying to say. That whole Old Testament system was a shadow. It spoke of a greater thing. It anticipated Christ coming, but he is the thing.

He is what is all about. Even today, people struggle to be satisfied with faith and they look to make up trust in what God has said. They look to make up for a life that is not walking with him, with ritual and works and other forbidden practices, so they can feel secure with God when all the while they are distancing themselves from him. This was the temptation of the Jews at this time in history. They just wanted, they were raised with going down to the temple and offering the sacrifice, but Christ now fulfilled all that. That's not necessary, but something in their hearts that I still want to do it. And it was faithlessness. That was in their heart, telling them, Christ, really, you know, yeah, it's good, but I need more. I need to feel it this way.

I need to be in touch with my roots. And again, the writer is saying, don't you dare. Don't you dare suggest that his death on a cross wasn't enough, that you still can go back and do these things. And so, to retain that which is obsolete or to have that which is forbidden in practices of faith is to reject Jesus Christ and his perfect work. That's what this is all about. And as I mentioned, he's been hitting this throughout. He's almost saying the same thing every chapter we have discussed from Hebrews, because it was necessary.

If you've ever tried to dislodge something that was stuck, I mean really stuck, you have to hit it over and over, and you have to pry, and you have to work on it. Well, these folks, it was stuck in their heads that it was okay what they were doing. And he is hitting it over and over to dislodge these lies that they were falling for. And who's the mastermind behind all of this? Satan, and he finds the portal in the flesh, that part of the human being that is given to sin, that part of us that really is not interested in what God says, but what it wants. He says here in verse 1, these can never, can never with these same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year. So being the shadow of what was coming, they had to do it over and over.

He's talking about the Day of Atonement, we'll come back to that in a moment. But still on this shadow thing, that's why they had to do it year by year, it was just a shadow, did not satisfy it. A shadow of a key cannot unlock anything. It cannot get a prisoner out of jail. A shadow of a meal cannot satisfy hunger.

It can talk about the food, of course symbolic of it. The shadow of Calvary where Christ was crucified can redeem no one. And that's what the Old Testament is, a shadow of Christ, of a greater thing to come. But it could not save souls. It could not open the gates of heaven to sinners. Even if they were righteous in this life as sinners go. And so before Christ's crucifixion and his liberation of the saints and ascension to heaven, before that when a righteous person died, they went to righteous Sheol. They did not go to heaven. And it wasn't again until Christ was risen that he set the captives free or to be crucified.

And so the system of sacrifices were incapable of accomplishing what they symbolized. For that you had to have Christ. Try lifting a heavy burden off of yourself with your shadow.

Try having your shadow help you do anything. And you will find it is incapable of doing anything but speaking about you. So he says, it could never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. Now that Greek word for perfect is complete. That's the definition of the word, not perfect. When we think of perfect, we think without error. Well it does mean that. It does mean that without error and in this sense it has finished what it was supposed to do and that is unlock the gates of heaven for sinners.

The law couldn't do it. But in God's eyes, the work of Christ has made us complete, perfect. John's gospel chapter 17, Jesus speaking to the Father said, I have glorified you on the earth. I have finished the work which you have given me to do. That Greek word there, finish the work, finished is the same Greek word translated perfect.

You can do that. You have alternate translations or alternate words to translate it. It's going the same place. There's no contradiction.

Oftentimes it makes more emphatic or it emphasizes a point as it does here. So the Old Testament could not perfect us, could not finish the work, could not make us fit for heaven. And so we read in Jude 24, Now to him who is able, that is Jesus Christ, to keep you from falling, and here it comes to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. Only Christ does that. All of the writers of the New Testament are saying the same thing.

Jesus Christ and no other is worthy of our praise as the savior of our souls. Verse two, For then would they not have ceased to be offered. For the worshipers, once purified, would have no more consciousness of sins. Well, if the Old Testament sacrifices were sufficient, then you would only have to offer them one time it was done.

But they did not. Every year at the Day of Atonement, they'd have to offer again to cover their sins. And so that is, he is saying, your own religion preaches this. Now the writer is Hebrew, but he's no longer practicing Judaism. He's a Christian now. Ethnically a Jew.

Spiritually a Christian. And he is writing to those who are supposed to share. In fact, those who he's writing to, they were willing to suffer for Christ. But in time, other Jews were getting to them. You need to come down to the temple. Yeah, okay, I know you think Jesus was the Messiah, but you still need to keep up your offer.

And they would just peck at them and peck at them until they began to cave. The only defense against someone who is wrong is, no, you're wrong. I don't believe that. This is what I believe. And I think you're the one that needs to fix it.

And here is why I believe it. And you will, I promise, make enemies that way. But you will also make friends. You will probably make more enemies than friends. But because this is what they were not doing, they were succumbing to the culture.

How easy. How many Christians behave like the world does? How many Christians look to the world to see how should we behave? How should we raise a family? How should we do this? How should the church run? Let's ask the world how we should do it. Let's don't ask God. Don't go to the Scripture. That will make us different. I'm not questioning their sincerity or their love, but a person can love Christ and be sincerely wrong nonetheless about the things that Christ wants them to do. Otherwise, we would all be perfect.

And so, again, this is very real life. It's not removed from centuries ago. What we are seeing is the struggle here with the Jews before Christ goes on today in the church. There would have been no need for the crucifixion if the Old Testament sacrifices did the job. But they were not perfect.

They were not complete. So he says in verse 2, For the worshipers once purified would have had no more consciousness of sin. The consciousness, the awareness that the guilt is there, the whole guilt issue is not settled in the Old Testament. And so, John's Gospel, chapter 8, verse 36, Jesus says, If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. You're free from your sins.

Yeah, you will commit from time to time. You will stumble. You will cross the line. You will trespass.

You will be where you're not supposed to be. But that won't send you to hell anymore because the blood of Christ washes your sin. It does not applaud it ever. God doesn't think there's anything funny about a little sin. It costs the Son of God a gruesome death to have us forgiven. But the reality is we're still stuck in the flesh in this world. And until we are glorified and in heaven, we will be prone to stumble.

But he is still able to present us faultless before his throne with exceeding joy. And so, the writer is saying, there's proof of what I'm talking about, that they offered these offerings every year. They knew that sin was there on them and they could not enter heaven. Hebrews 9, verse 9, it was symbolic for the present time. It's all that Old Testament system.

In which both gifts and sacrifices are offered, which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience. Maybe I should say it this way. Well, I'll clear it up a little bit. We are not saying the Old Testament has nothing to offer us.

It has everything to offer us. It is equal with the New Testament because it is God's Word. However, there's been a development, a progression in God's Word. And the rituals, the things concerning salvation, these are now fulfilled, making those shadows obsolete.

And so, we have to separate that. When we go to the Old Testament, we look at the righteous lives, we learn from them, we admire them, we pursue to be like them, the characteristics of those characters that please God. But when it comes to salvation from sin, we do not use ritual. It is by faith we come to Christ.

He is the one that forgives us his blood, not the blood of bulls and goats and sheep. Leviticus 23 verse 27, the tenth day of the seventh month shall be a day of atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you.

In other words, a gathering of the nation. You shall afflict your souls and offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh. That was their day of atonement, a day of affliction to say before God, we're guilty. We are sinners.

We need to be saved. But Christ has fulfilled that now. And so, we Christians, we do not celebrate a day of atonement. We have been atoned for by Christ. It's a one-time deal.

It's done. The animal sacrifices could never cleanse. They could only cover it. They could not deal with it. And so we have a conscience, and a conscience is painful. It alerts us that something is wrong.

It says there's an urgent matter, there's an emergency, there's a moral emergency that you have to respond to. A conscience is meant to bother us. You can't convict them if you can't hurt the conscience. In other words, you have a sinner out there who is not a believer in Jesus Christ. How are you going to lead them to Christ unless you offend their position against Christ? Unless you say you have to confess that you are a sinner before a holy God.

That he is not judging you compared to some other man. He's judging you compared to his son Jesus, and he was perfect, and you cannot match that. So you must confess, and you must come, just as you are, and be changed, be cleansed by the Christ. And if you do not do this, you're doomed in your sin.

And so, conviction, it is supposed to alarm them. You who believe in Christ, did you come to Christ? When you came to Christ, did you not realize that you were headed to hell without him? Because that was not part of the turning point, that he is Lord God Almighty, and I have offended him, but he makes a way back for me, and I'm going to receive it. I cannot earn it.

I have to receive it. To say I can earn my salvation is to insult God. What do you mean you can earn it? You're not good enough.

You're not clean enough. If you could earn it, why did my son die? I'd just let you go ahead and earn it if that could happen. You must receive it. The flesh of many folks, or the flesh of all people, they don't like that.

They want to feel like they paid for something. There's something good about me. Well, maybe there is next to someone else, but again, we've been quoting this verse from Isaiah. All my righteousness, said the prophet, is like filthy rags. And so, I'm not good enough.

I need the Savior. It says in verse three, but in those sacrifices, there is a reminder of sins every year. Verse four. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. Animals, slaughtered animals, represented involuntary death of the innocent. The animal didn't say, when Adam and Eve sinned and realized they were nude, the animals did not say, you know what, maybe, Lord, you should slay us, skin us, and then you can cover their sin.

They had no choice. God being God is prerogative. He slew the animals, took the skins and covered Adam and Eve. Jesus Christ, in contrast to the involuntary innocent animals, is voluntary. He chose to come and to deal with this life and to be crucified. And not only is he innocent, but he is holy. He is pure and perfect. And he is the one that does not cover sins and he removes it. Thus, John's words about Jesus Christ. Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. The Jews understood sin was not taken away.

It was only covered, kophar. That's the word for their atonement, their yom kippur, the day of coverings. Now, there is no inbuilt power in animal blood. Voodoo and witchcraft may think so, but God has never thought so. In fact, the blood drops of Christ had no inbuilt power in them, in and of themselves, in this sense. The Roman soldiers, when they crucified him, no question got blood, his blood on them. They did not, oh, I'm saved now, the blood touched me. There's no magical feature to the blood. We speak of the blood, we speak of his sacrifice, his will, his power. The blood is the emblem of that. Otherwise, we'd all have to get that blood sprinkled on us. It's spiritual, it's not physical. And there's nothing like it.

When we say the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin, we mean what he has done and who he is and how he has done it. 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 / 2023-05-25 08:44:16 / 2023-05-25 08:53:28 / 9

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime