That's part of the universal church, but they are in local churches. It's a concept that Christians don't like, because it holds them accountable. And they don't want to be held accountable. Christians don't, many Christians don't even want to, they're SBS. They do not want to be covenant people.
They do not. This is a problem and hopefully if you are guilty of it, you are mindful of it to the point where you are taking it to the Lord and you are saying, Lord, I want to resolve this with you. I want to fix this.
I want to fix this. And so the writer is saying, our Christ has removed that barrier. No longer is there a keep out sign before God.
Now we can enter into his presence with thanksgiving in our heart. As the Jew again came to the temple, even though they could not go into the temple itself, they were confined to the altar area. They knew that there was a barrier there. That gateway, that barrier was the gateway. And some very interesting things from scripture about that, that God teaches us, because it teaches us about God and ourselves and our relationship to him.
Because the most important thing about a human being from God's perspective is what that human being thinks of Jesus Christ. The veil was made of three colors. It was made of blue and red and purple. Exodus 26 verse 31 and 33, I'll take that too. You shall make a veil woven of blue, purple and scarlet thread and fine woven linen. Then you shall bring the ark of the testimony in there behind the veil. The veil shall be a divider for you between the holy place and the most holy place, which was symbolic, the most holy place of the throne room of God, what we know also as heaven. The blue represents Christ from heaven.
The red represents Christ on earth, where his blood was shed for us. Again, he volunteered to come here. Knowing what we know about this life, is there anybody here who would volunteer to come here?
If you lived in heaven, where there is no war and sorrow and treachery and all the things that make life unpleasant, to say the least. Who would do such a thing? What would cause him to do that? Love, love, love, that is it. A love that we try to follow.
We fail miserably, but it is so valuable, so special, we pursue it nonetheless. That red represents his blood shed for us, not for him. Purple, purple is the blend of the God from heaven who became a man, his humanity, took on humanity. It is the blend of the son of God, the son of man on earth.
Were you to take enough blue paint and enough red paint and pour them into a bowl and to mix them until you couldn't tell where the blue and the red were any longer, you would have purple that blend together. In Jesus Christ, his deity is perfectly blended with his humanity, so much that you can't tell oftentimes where the humanity begins and the deity begins or ends, or if you could want to say it that way, because it really has no ending, but the point that I am making. And so when Christ, when Christ walked to the fig tree looking for fruit, for example, that was his humanity.
He was hungry, the Bible tells us. So he went to the fig tree. The fig tree used to have leaves. That fig tree, when it had leaves, promised fruit and it had none. Now, of course, there's much more to the story, but I want to stick to the point I'm making. We're seeing his humanity. I am hungry. The tree, of course, symbolic of Israel and her rejection of Messiah, and this is why he cursed it and to demonstrate that faith makes destruction unnecessary, but that's, I've digressed.
Back to my point. When he cursed the tree for not having fruit, that was his deity. We saw his humanity.
I am hungry. We saw his deity. He reigns. It is a prerogative over the tree to do with it as he pleased being the creator. When he was on the cross and he said, I thirst, that was his humanity.
When he gave up his spirit, that was his deity. Because no one can do that. No one can just turn themselves off.
You can be a turn off, but you can't turn off. Not unassisted. He did it hands free.
It was no effort. It was his will. And the statement is, no one takes my life.
I lay it down. Man is not big enough to kill the Son of God. And so there we see the temple veil spoke of Jesus Christ, spoke of the entrance way through him. And so when he says, through the veil that is his flesh, in verse 20, it is speaking about his death on a cross. Jesus Christ said, I'll become one of them yet without sin to deliver them.
All who would take it. Jesus will take you as you are, but he will not leave you as you are. Verse 21, and having a high priest over the house of God.
We have to take that clause just like that because there are two outstanding features to this. The high priest, well to the Jew they knew what the high priest meant, but they also knew these Jewish Christians that Jesus was the high priest. 1 Timothy chapter 2, speaking of the role of the priest. Now don't think of a priest as you think of one today. You have to keep it confined to the biblical example of the priest. The priest in the biblical times was a mediator, the go-between. I'd have to go to the priest to get to God. That's why I had the high priest who would go once a year on the Day of Atonement and go behind the veil. For there is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Jesus Christ. Mary's not a mediator. I know, again, you may be offended by that if you're a Roman Catholic, but we're not Roman Catholic. We preach what we believe. We believe what the verse just says. There's one mediator. Now we can intercede on behalf of another, but it goes to the mediator who is Christ without him. That's why we say in Jesus' name.
We're saying without him it's not possible. And we are hated for this in many circles. We are despised because we will not appease, we will not bend. We don't mean to be offensive, but when you don't appease, you offend. Even Christians. Christians will come here to this church. They don't like something.
They're offended by it because we wouldn't appease them. There's no way around it, but you can be blameless by not intending to harm someone. 1 Timothy talks about him, the house of God. That was the high priest, the mediator. 1 Timothy 2.5, there's one mediator. Now, the second part of this verse 21 that I'm commenting on, the house of God. Having a high priest over the house of God. 1 Timothy 3.15, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God.
There's a lot of Christians that don't want to read that, but then there are a lot that do. It continues, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and the ground of truth. He's not talking about the universal church only. We're always talking about the universal church. That's the church that's everywhere. As I'm speaking now, there are other pastors elsewhere preaching in their pulpits, not doing such a good job as I am, but that's because I'm humble. I know, I know.
I do that all the time because I like it. That's why. But anyway, there are other great men of God, seriously speaking, in pulpits now preaching. That's part of the universal church, but they are in local churches. It's a concept that Christians don't like because it holds them accountable, and they don't want to be held accountable. Many Christians don't even want their SBS.
They do not want to be covenant people. This is a problem, and hopefully, if you are guilty of it, you are mindful of it to the point where you are taking it to the Lord, and you are saying, Lord, I want to resolve this with you. I want to fix this. He will help you. Anyway, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and the ground of truth, and we have failed there so often, but we must pursue it.
So this work, it is not automatic. We must respond to Christ. We want to benefit from his being our high priest.
If we want to benefit from him being over the house of God, we must respond. We must receive. We must remain. That's what he's telling them.
You've got to stick with this. Do not retreat. And so, three times in three verses, he is now going to say, let us. We look at the first of three in verse 22 now. Let us draw near with a true heart and full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Well, once again, sin prohibits man, mankind from drawing close to God.
If you are a sinner only, and that's the whole story, there is a barrier between you and a holy God, and it has to be dealt with. And that's what the veil of the temple represented. Grace, that torn veil, represents the invitation. You come, let's deal with this. You and me, God said, one on one.
I and you, you and I. Mark's gospel, returning back to the veil of his flesh that was torn for us to give us access. And Jesus cried out with a loud voice and breathed his last.
And what he cried out is, Father, into your hands I commend you my spirit. Then the veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom. That veil in the temple that Herod had built was thick.
It was thicker than any curtain will come across, more than likely in our lifetime. And it was torn from top to bottom as you would tear a piece of paper, as you would tear a judgment against you, rendering it void, top to bottom. And there, the priests that were in the temple at the time, they're ministering all of a sudden this giant curtain tears from top to bottom right down the middle, and the Ark of the Covenant is right there in front of them.
They're not supposed to see that. It must have been a panic on that day. But it was a grand invitation. It was God saying, come, come to me. So he did what no high priest could do. He opened the way to heaven. Revelation 19 speaks about, gives us this imagery that he says in Revelation 11 19, then the temple of God was opened in heaven and the Ark of his covenant was seen in his temple.
The Ark of the Covenant again speaks of the presence of God. It's open. We are invited, but not on our terms. What is so difficult about that? You practice this whenever you go to some stranger's house or a cafe, wherever, restaurant. You don't set the terms.
You abide by them. And so we are invited to come with a true heart. That means it's got to be real. Being fake with God is irrational. And unless your concept of God is teeny, if you think he doesn't know it all, if he's not all sovereign, all loving and total control, if you don't understand him. And then you are going to push back against him. Is that way?
Not now. With a true heart, as true as we can be. Matthew's Gospel makes this frightening statement because Jesus is saying, keep it real. Jesus said, then I will declare to them, I never knew you. Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness. But didn't we cast out demons? Didn't we prophesy? Didn't we dine with you? How can you say to us, take a hike? Because you are fake.
I never knew you because you weren't interested in me. That's the lesson. You cannot isolate the verse from the rest of the New Testament. If you want to understand what that is saying, you've got to take all of what it is saying. So you know the one that is saying it, what he is about and what he is doing.
You still scratch your head. You know what Satan does? What did they call Jesus? A deceiver. That deceiver. That's what Satan does. He accuses the righteous of what the wicked do, as though the wicked don't do it. And yet it is Satan who is the one that is the deceiver, that is the liar. And when Christ holds a person accountable to it, the best thing that person can do is submit. And thus he is Lord. He says in full assurance of salvation at the bottom, well midway through verse 22. Faith is action. It's based on knowledge enough. Faith is never blind. God doesn't say, well just trust, that's all. That's why we have a Bible this thick.
Especially if you have large print. It's very big. He does not want us to just blindly rush into things. He's given us a brain.
He wants us to use it. It does no honor to God to be brainless, even though we are accused of such. In full assurance of faith.
Acts chapter 10 verse 20. This is Peter. Peter had, you know, racial issues. All the Jews did, pretty much, until Christ came and began to deal with that. And I don't even think they approached it, well I'm going to just not like other people. It was more complex than that.
It always is. It was a part of their culture. They were raised this way. They thought, many of them, they were doing the right thing, and they were not. It had come a point where God had opened up the faith to, for the Gentiles, and he didn't need them to become Jews in order to be saved. He needed them to become Christians, just like he needed the Jews to become Christians. And so in Acts 10, when the Lord starts this process with Peter, he says to Peter, Arise, therefore, go down with them, doubting nothing, for I have sent them. These are the Gentiles that had come to Peter to bring him with them.
And Peter didn't, you know, want any parts of them. And the Lord says, doubting nothing. And when Peter retells this story, because other Jews are going to, you know, hey, what were you doing?
What do you think you are? He's retelling the story. He says, then the Spirit told me to go with them, doubting nothing.
Okay, so maybe you know, I'm emphasizing that point. Doubting nothing. Our text says, in full assurance of faith, which means doubting nothing. Nothing what?
You mean just anything? No, of course, there are many things to doubt, but not that which has been settled. 1 Timothy 2, verse 8, I desire, therefore, that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands without wrath, without doubting. James 1, 6, let him ask in faith with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. In other words, don't doubt what's proven. To doubt what is not worthy of doubt is faithlessness. When God has established it with you, don't look back. It's a done deal.
It should be. And that's what they are encouraging. I mean, we all have doubt. Doubt comes very easily to us.
Without effort, we doubt. Pressure pushes down on us, we begin to doubt. Where's the Lord? If he is God, if he loves me, we've talked about this in other sessions. That his delay in answering prayer is not because he doesn't care, but he wants to show. If you will cling to him in love, no matter what, and so faith is a leap into the light, out of the darkness. Faithlessness remains in darkness because it doubts what it's been shown. Even though the evidence may be astounding, is astounding, that is the criteria. Colossians 1, 1.
Oh, actually it's 1, 11. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the son of his love. Well, the ones that he was writing to in Colossae, the city of Colossae, they knew this. And John writes in his first, in his gospel, in the first chapter, in him was life, and the life was the light of men. So faith, in full assurance of faith, how many of us have full assurance of faith? How many of us get very weak when we hear the roar of Satan? Because he is a formidable opponent, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience. Now he is addressing the inner life of the believers. Still the imagery is Levitical, the people in the altar and the mercy seat. These were sprinkled with blood by Moses at the very beginning. So he says having our hearts sprinkled, because he's writing to Jews who understood this. In other words, he's saying when he says sprinkled from an evil conscience, one's heart must experience the effects of this great salvation through the sacrifice of Christ personally. And so I go back to my own conversion.
What was the deciding factor? The voice of Christ. I am the one.
I am he. Each Christian may have a different experience or a modification thereof, but still it comes back to you met him, you saw him, your soul spiritually, not physically. You sensed that pardon, that grace, the truth, the divinity of Christ, his love in an instant above everything. It's like everything else was drowned out except him.
And what he was bringing. And that's why you turned your back on an old life. Look forward to the new life, the fresh in the living way that was before you. For those who are in Christ, whatever impurities still exist, they will be washed away by the blood of the lamb.
Ultimately, our pardon will be thorough. He says in our bodies washed with pure water, now the outer life. Well, conversion is supposed to show up in the way we live, but it's a struggle because we're still sinners. In this lifetime, we will always have this fallen nature.
And that is where, of course, the conflict goes on. But the thoroughness of God and his cleansing process for all who surrender themselves, free will, no other way, body, soul, mind, and spirit. For all who surrender to Christ, the cleansing processes begin. So, Romans 12, verse 2, Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable, perfect will of God. Those who come to Christ have come from outside the world and into Christ. We know what we've left behind, and we know what we're reaching forward to. We know what we have received. And when he says, be transformed, our problem is that transformation is a very slow process in this lifetime.
It will be instant when we leave here, but for now, it is quite difficult. And yet you look back and you say, but I've covered a lot of ground. Christ has been far more patient with me than others, far more patient with me than I've been with myself. He never leaves me nor forsakes me, but he does pull back for his purposes, and they are always right, pleasant or not. So the blood and the water together, they speak of our justification by the blood of Christ and our separation by the work of the Holy Spirit, the separation from the world and who we were. It is a statement. I side with Christ about my sin.
That is the transformation, the renewing of my mind. I now side with him. If he says it's wrong, I say it's wrong. Because I know, I know him. Not because someone's told me to. It's very personal, very personal.
Otherwise, it's not genuine. It's been said, God has no grandchildren. You're either his child or you're not. It has to be personal, and he has to be treated as God. As you've heard it said, God is God.
He's not applying for the job. He either is to you or he is not. And so I side with Christ about my sin personally, me, my sin. My views must conform to his views. And if I don't understand it, he will reveal it if I come to him.
In time, he will reveal it. But often, it's a process because he's got to shave off so many influences that have caked up on my life and blinded me. And so he receives me as his own. My sin is washed away in his blood. Verse 23, then the second, let us. After having used the first one in verse 22, where he says, let us draw near. Then he says, let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. Well, this is the faith that when he's saying, let us hold fast to the faith that they were considering abandoning or mixing, leavening, weakening, destroying. What should he have said? Let us abandon our faith. Let us accommodate anybody's view, even if it's contrary to what Christ has said.
Of course, he's not going to say that. He says, hold to it, cling to 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 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 / 2023-05-22 07:00:35 / 2023-05-22 07:09:51 / 9