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Scripture and Our Great High Priest (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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January 28, 2022 6:00 am

Scripture and Our Great High Priest (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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January 28, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the letter to the Hebrews

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You said in your word that you would never leave me or forsake me and look at me. Okay, maybe you all are perfect and you don't have that kind of an experience. I should say, if you haven't had those kind of experiences, you're probably not serving. But if you're serving the Lord, you're going to get stripped. You're going to take hard hits. You have to, because that's why you have a sword.

A sword means there's a boogeyman out there. 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 the conclusion of his study called Scripture and Our Great High Priest. He's teaching in Hebrews chapter four today. 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. So 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'd 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. 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 with you. 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. 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 don't 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.

It's something to worry about. It's 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. 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 the 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, and 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, 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, without 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. Where 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, the sweet psalmist of Israel. So we look at Jesus Christ, our great high priest, and we see, well, in the past, he was a prophet when he walked the earth.

Absolutely true. Speaking to us. In the present, right now, he works as our priest.

The go-between. On our behalf, interceding for us. It's a way for us to get our heads around why we sinners have access and why those who reject Christ do not. They do not have the great high priest there. So when they want to get to God, there's no one.

There's no entry into the presence of God unless they are repenting of sin. And then he will eventually come as king. So we see Christ, even as he was on earth, but we see him over time as the prophet in the past, as a priest in the present, and as the king to come. Psalm 47, verse 7, For God is the king of all the earth. Sing praises with understanding. If you're singing a hymn and you don't know the words, well, you know the words, but you don't know what they mean, get a dictionary. We're to sing with understanding. We're not supposed to sing some of those old hymns and not know what some of those old English words mean. We are to get to the bottom of it. Well, we have to move on.

Jesus, the son of God, of course, a clear identification of who this great high priest is. Let us hold fast our confession. Let's not be deflected elsewhere to try anything else or to mix it in. He's encouraging them.

Let us stick to our faith. It's terrible that almost every commentator out there has to say, oh, but it doesn't mean that. It does mean that. Look, I don't believe a person can get their salvation, lose their salvation, get their salvation, lose their salvation. I don't believe that for one moment. But I do believe you can get your salvation. And I do believe that if you give it up, you say, I don't want it anymore.

You won't get it back. That's it. And Hebrews 6 is going to lay it out. And it's tiring listening to all the great men of God tell you why it doesn't mean that because they have to protect some doctrine instead of just saying, hey, it pretty much means what it says. Well, that's mainly for my radio audience because I know my physical audience should know this stuff by now from this pulpit. But anyway, verse 15, for we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses but was in all points tempted as we are yet without sin.

I have to pause and go back. Perhaps it is God saying, oh, you left out a point. We don't know when that point of no return is. But God does and it does exist.

And that's all we need to know. And God in His grace often gives wide margins, gives time for the sinner, the backslider, even the apostate to come back. But if they don't, they cross a line of no return. Should it be any other way? Should we be preaching, oh, don't worry about it.

Because I want to make you feel good. You just go do what you want to do, you're okay. May I never tell anybody. I don't want to feel comfortable in my own sin. Why would I want to comfort somebody in their sin of walking away from Christ? Now, back to verse 15.

Isn't it nice we don't have a word from our sponsor? For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses but was in all points tempted as we are yet without sin. So important is it that God wants us to understand that He understands that when He was risen again, what did He say to those first followers?

Peter was not among them. He said, make sure you go tell Peter. You see, he was sensitive. He knew Peter was agonizing over his denial. And so the great sweep of sympathy, he says, tell him. Tell Peter I will see him. And can you imagine when they got there, Peter, he's risen. We saw him and he said to you, he'll talk to you later. And he didn't have a frown on his face. His countenance was aglow.

We need to know this. God, remember, God can learn nothing. God does not have to have a disability to know what you're going through with a disability. God does not have to go through a divorce to learn what it's like for you to go through one. God does not need to experience anything to get it. He's got it already.

He's always had it and He always will. But we need to see that He sees. That's why it is penned this way. Because when I, even now, after all these years, there are times I feel slighted.

And I am tempted to say, but I put a hand over my mouth, but I want to say it, you don't care. Master, can you not that we perish? That's what they said in the boat. He's in the boat sleeping. And they woke him up.

Don't you care? We're drowning here. And he wakes up and stills the storm. And so we need to see.

We are the weak ones. We are the leaky vessels where you pour the Spirit in and we burn up some of it in service and ministry as we should. And then some of it leaks out.

All of it leaks out. And then we come back and we refill again through our devotional time, through fellowship, through time in the body with each other. And so, when we read of His experiencing things and learning obedience in His humanity, not His deity. His deity always got it. But was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Now there's more here, this without sin. Not only did He not sin, but He was not even attracted to sin. There was nothing inside of Him as there is in us.

There was no fall in nature. It's said, I like that. You young'uns, you know, your mom and dad tell you, don't do this. But you want to do it. And then you do it. Christ was not that way. That's you. And that's not right. It's part of, be ready for the consequences.

The way of the backslider is hard. But sinlessness is an exceptional feature. When the Bible finds an exceptional or not so ordinary feature about someone, it points it out. Goliath, how big he was, how big his bed was. The king that had six fingers on each hand and six toes, it points that out. If Peter were nine foot tall, do you think the Bible would tell us?

Absolutely it would tell us. So if anybody else was sinless in the Bible, which is a greater, extraordinary feature, exceptional feature, if anyone else was sinless, don't you think the Bible would say it? Don't you think the Scripture would say, Peter is without sin. Mary was without sin. But it doesn't say that about them. In fact, we find Mary saying she needs a savior. And so when we read Romans 3.21, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, it means all except God, which is Christ Jesus also. He was able to touch a leper without catching leprosy himself or any other contagious disease. Why is that? There was nothing in him for the sin to attach itself to.

There was no port. This is the God we serve. And any time you don't like what God is doing, understand he is right. That stabilizes me. If I did not have that, I would be a bitter Christian.

You said in your word that you would never leave me or forsake me and look at me. Okay, maybe you all are perfect and you don't have that kind of an experience. I should say, if you haven't had those kind of experiences, you're probably not serving. But if you're serving the Lord, you're going to get stripped. You're going to take hard hits.

You have to. Because that's why you have a sword. A sword means there's a boogeyman out there. And he's got one too. And he's going to use it.

And if you don't have one, the playing field is not level. And he wins. And so Christ has given us a sword. Instead of saying, don't worry about it, I'll send my angels. They'll do my light work for me. He doesn't always do that.

He does always do this though. Here's your sword. Here's your breastplate. Here's your shield. Here's your helmet.

Go work on these things. Make sure you know how. Don't say, it was okay for David to say, I have not tried the armor of Saul. It doesn't fit me.

But it is not okay for the Christian to say, I have not tried the armor of Christ. It doesn't fit me. We are to say, that's mine. And when I turn it in, it's going to be smoldering. It's going to have dents and singe marks on it. None of them that I wanted.

I wanted none of those. But if I got to be here, I'm going to wear it. So, verse 16, we're almost done. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

How beautiful is that? The throne of grace. Let us therefore come boldly. Now I made comments on it already, but the Greek word for boldness means frankness, openness, without paranoia. Not a brazen or shameless approach. Certainly a reverent approach.

Boldness does not extract reverence from it. Just in the sense of God saying to you, here are the keys. I want you to drive this around the block. And you do.

Not wreck it or act like it's yours. And so, years ago when I was in the service, I had a first sergeant that had a nice sports car and he didn't know me that well, but he felt that I needed to be reached out to as a young man, an older man to a young man. He was an older man. I mean, I was 19, maybe 20, and he was probably four or five hundred years old. I know that because his driver's license was a scroll.

But anyway, he had a weird way of talking. Corporal Gaston, here's my keys. Take my car around the block.

And those were big blocks where those barracks were. And I took that car and I said, this is nice. And I brought it back in one piece. And I was very grateful. I wrote him a letter when I got out. He was a man that I learned leadership from just like that. By comparing what others did not do and what he did. And he had a fruit bowl of ribbons. This was a man that had seen a lot of combat and yet he was still decent enough.

I wish I would have been able to stay in touch with him. I'm not digressing. I'm saying it's good to have heroes in life, but it's good to be reverent with the things that God gives us. And if God says you boldly come, then we come without hesitation.

And I don't have enough time to speak all the verses that I would like to use, except I'll do this one. When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed him, crying out, saying, Son of David, have mercy on us. You see, David is the king. And they recognized that Jesus was a prince. That he was in the line of David and they could boldly come to him for their need.

And so they cried out and they couldn't be stopped. Mercy, mercy involves the past and grace involves the future. Mercy is you did something wrong in the past.

Maybe two seconds ago, but it's past. That's you need mercy. Grace involves the future.

I'm going to give you something past too, but in the sense that I'm using it, the application here, you see it that way. We understand that God has a heaven for us and he's telling these Hebrews be diligent to stay the course of the faith, receive the grace and the mercy. He says to help in time of need in this life, in this life, we receive what we need from the Lord. 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 / 2023-06-16 14:14:45 / 2023-06-16 14:24:21 / 10

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