There's a danger in the church coming from pulpits and pews that is very subtle. It is the verse-by-verse teaching of the Word with no attempt to uphold what you just preached.
I don't get it. I don't know how a man and a congregation could be exposed together to the precepts of Scripture and then go out and not do anything about it when they find gross and blatant violations. 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. Today, we join Pastor Rick for the conclusion of his study called Our High Priest Forever in Hebrews chapter 5. Genesis 14, 18, then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was the priest of God Most High, the priest of Elyon, God Most High. And here he brings out bread and wine. Every Christian knows what that symbolizes, the bread and the blood, the body, the body and the blood, the bread and the wine, the bread and the cup. And so Melchizedek was acting as priest and Abraham subjected himself to that. And what does Abraham do in return? He gives an offering, a tenth to Melchizedek for the Lord. And so there's this beautiful picture in Melchizedek of a symbol, a type of Jesus Christ. And Christ has fulfilled these. And so the writer to Leviticus is saying Christ is superior in his priesthood over the Aaronic line. Now again for those of you who have not been following, the whole letter of Hebrews is saying to the Hebrews, do not mix Christianity with Judaism. And it says to the church, don't mix it with anything. You don't paint gold. That which is already perfect needs no improvement.
And to try to do so is to ruin it. And so this, we continue. Verse 7, who in the days of his flesh when he had offered up prayers and supplications with vehement cries and tears to him who was able to save him from death and was heard because of his godly fear. Now he's talking directly about Jesus Christ in Gethsemane. His humanity faced it all. The humanity of Jesus Christ did not cry out to his personal deity and say, you know what? I'm God the Son. I don't have to go through this and excuse himself.
He did not do that. He knew who he was and he knew what he was going to go through in his humanity in the flesh while he walked on earth. So he subjected himself to the betrayal which probably hurt just as much as the lashes from the scourge, the horror of the cross. Three times in scripture do we see Jesus Christ in his humanity weeping on earth.
Each one is a classroom. Each one is a lesson for us, or many lessons. First there was his weeping at the grave of a friend, Lazarus. And Jesus wept, the Bible told us, as everybody else was boo-hooing because they lost this young man.
They weren't ready to let him go. And Jesus brought him back. He wept at the sight of a doomed city, the doomed city Jerusalem. There the Greek word for his crying was heaving, his chest was heaving as he was bawling away this full-blown cry out for the city and the doom that awaited them because they rejected him. And then in the garden where it's not explicitly stated in the gospels, it's implied in his sorrow, but it is explicit here in verse 7 that with vehement cries and tears he is facing sin for us.
He is bringing before us the severity of God's judgment and the wonder of his pardon for all those who would take it and what he had to go through. See, this is the problem with anyone who says, yeah, I think Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and also you can come in by. No, you can't. There's one way. And to make the suggestion that there are other ways of salvation is to mock the cross, is to mock Christ, is to say, well, if he was dumb enough to do it, then that's his business, but you could have come in this way. There is no other way. And this vehement cries is the scripture of the Holy Spirit saying, you see, there is no other way. This is serious.
There is nothing more serious. To see God the Son agonize over the salvation of those who don't deserve salvation is fraught with instruction, with invitation, with power, with something that we can't, you know how we lose sight of this? Self-pity. It's been said that self-pity and faith can't stay in the same room together.
I don't know, I'm still testing that one out. Because sometimes in my self-pity I actually feel justified. I know my place, I know God is right always without exception, but I still have to process that. And in my prayers I say, God, I know you're right, but I'm not seeing it, I don't feel it, I don't like it. And here are my protests, subject to you. Well, I'm not going to stand before God and lie to him and say, oh, this is good, I'm fine with it. Go ahead, take another limb, I don't care.
That would be insane. I have to be honest with him. There are things that I don't like, that he allows or disallows, that he gives or withholds.
Sometimes it just irritates me that someone who doesn't deserve it gets more than I should be getting. Well, that's not really my problem, but I know some of you are struggling with it. This is what I mean when we take our sin to the Lord, we don't sweep it under the rug so someone can trip over it.
We tell him right out, he's not going to gossip. God's not going to go tell your enemy, you know what he just asked me for? It will develop your prayer life, it will keep you balanced in your walk. Jesus faced the cross, he never, never thought to escape it, but he lays out the drama of it for us as I just said I try to do in my prayer life and I'm sure some of you do too. You have to lay out the drama of life before God. Jesus said in John's Gospel 1227, now my soul is troubled and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour, but for this purpose, I came to this hour. This is what it's all about.
I hate what's going to happen to me in just a little while, but I'm going to take this. And the martyrs have done so through the centuries, many of them burning at the stake singing hymns to the Lord. And so this verse 7 is about Christ in the garden, highlighting for us what he went through for us. He says here, to him who was able to save him from death, now to catch this part, he was not asking the Father to save him from dying. He was bringing to the front that this crucifixion and resurrection is all about being saved from eternal damnation and separation from God. So he's death, death without salvation, is eternal separation.
For the righteous, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, but for those outside of Christ, there is no salvation. The serious business is Christianity, and that's why the world under the influence of Satan, as though they were under the influence of some narcotic or drug, the world does not understand. And they hate the system of Christ and they don't even know why. If you say, why do you hate the Christ?
Why do you mock his servants? Why do you think it's so strange that God should be able to talk to people? Then you would be peeling back the layers of influence of Satan.
Some are too far gone for us to do anything with, others are not. We just don't know who they are until that moment comes. But this is what is happening to him who was able to save him from death. This is submission to the processes that God is absolute and submission to him from Christ was absolute.
Matthew 26 53, or do you not think I cannot pray to my father and he will provide me with more than 12 legions of angels? So he could eject any time, but he faced it. He faced it for me. Remember that the next time you're going through something miserable and you think God's forgotten you, remember that he faced for you and me something that we really have to wait till after life to truly enter into. And so we can, and was heard through his godly fear. And that is the resurrection. And of course without that, his Hebrew audience at any time could say, well we are going to change religions. Christianity is not good enough, but he doesn't let them go. He keeps this in front of them as any good child of God would keep in front of anyone who might be losing sight of it. Verse 8, though he was a son, yet he learned obedience by the things which he suffered. Well he went to the cross without excusing himself. He's not shielded from suffering nor obedience simply because he was the son of God, but he laid down the example. Now this learned, again, God cannot learn.
He is perfect in every way. He cannot be improved. If he can be improved, then there's, he's disqualified from our God. So when the Spirit speaks this way, he's speaking on our behalf, so we understand this, that Christ in his humanity did experience these things. But he didn't need to know, to go through these things so that he could learn something.
And here's the one proof of that. He would have to subject himself to every single hurt ever known to man so that the individual could say, oh okay, now I know he understands. See, he went through a divorce, now he understands my divorce. He went through a lost child, you know, to the cults or whatever, and now he doesn't have to do that. He knows it already. But his humanity did suffer it.
He did experience it. And it's very important that we understand that Jesus Christ was not figuring things out. When the Bible says from the foundations of the world, this is already done. From God's perspective, here's something to think about, we're already in heaven. From God's perspective, this is all done. But we have to live it out. As Christ had to go to the cross, we have to still, as we would say, play the game.
But this is not a game. And so God did not need to suffer to know suffering. That would limit him to have compassion only on his experiences. God has ways, Jesus Christ has ways of knowing, I should say, that we cannot. And his way is this, he's always known it. Verse 9, I hope I've communicated that. If you've had any doubts, if you're a little foggy on who Christ is, his humanity and his deity, I hope you get the bottom line is that he's never been anything but superior. Verse 9, and having been perfected, and finishing the process that is, he became the author, or the cause in the Greek, of our eternal salvation to all who obey him.
God is the author and the solution, and he sealed this on the cross to all who obey, those born again. This doesn't mean that if you disobey God in doing something, you've sinned, you've messed up, maybe you yell at somebody on the road. I've never done that, but I know you have. Maybe you've just irritated with another driver and you say it, and you know that's wrong. Maybe you've gone deep into it. Well, that's not going to land you in hell, unless I'm the other driver.
No. Anyway, back to this. Those who love the Lord want to obey him. And that's why there's no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. If we sin, we have an advocate with the Father, we have a high priest, a great high priest with the Father. But, on the other hand, you have those Christians that trivialize, trivialize, and I got the Spirit, brother, and they're immoral, oftentimes. They're not obedient to the faith, but yet they want to claim they have the Spirit and everything's fine and you cannot correct them. I speak in tongues, you can't rebuke me. Acts chapter five, we are his witnesses to these things, said the apostles, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him. You don't obey him?
The Spirit's not with you like you think he is. Verse ten, called by God as high priest, speaking of Christ, according to the order of Melchizedek, which we'll get back to in the coming. Interesting, Melchizedek must have been an extraordinary character for Jesus Christ to associate himself with him the way he does. Jethro and Job, they both did not, they do not enjoy this distinction in the New Testament, but Melchizedek does. I mention those two because they're not Hebrews, Jethro, Job, and Melchizedek. Yet, they were dynamos in the faith. Who got to give advice to Moses?
Jethro did. And Job, God said, does none like him? How would you like God to say that? Have you seen my righteous servant? There's none like him.
How powerful is that? Verse 11, of whom we have much to say and hard to explain since you've become dull of hearing. Well, they didn't see that coming, did they? He's just talking about religion and the high priest and Melchizedek and the Lord loving me and being gracious and then he says, but you are dull in the head. Well, he has much to say about Melchizedek connected to Christ because these are things pertaining to God.
Since you have become dull of hearing, you're not getting it. Those today who refuse to stand for correction, they fall into this category. They're free to not stand under church correction. They're just not free to choose the consequences of making such a foolish move.
And unfortunately, there are many who won't let you. It should not make you feel smaller. If the pastor, if a pastor says, listen, we got to deal with this and you're guilty of something, it shouldn't make you feel teeny.
I mean, the natural process is wood. I put it in my own self and someone corrects me and I know I'm wrong. I don't feel like it's the best day I've ever had or the best moment, but I take my licking if I deserve it. And as a pastor, sometimes I get one.
I'm not telling you when and how because then you'll be launching them at me for fun. Dull of hearing, slothful. Hebrews 2, he said, therefore we must give more earnest heed to the things we have heard. That would be scripture.
Lest we drift away, that would be serious. They could not bear the word. You know how many Christians can't sit under verse by verse teaching? They want their ears tickled. They want to be told something since they, no, give me a story that's, oh, that's so touching. Oh, I was so moved by that. Tell me about how you got in your truck and God did these miracle things and, well, God did. I drove in this morning and nothing happened.
I got here safe and sound. That was miraculous enough for me and I'll take that any day. But there are those that's not enough for them and it's boring preaching to them. If you point out what scripture says in verse 12, for though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God.
And you have come to need milk and not solid food. And remember, these are Christians. These weren't new Christians because he says by this time they've been around for a while and yet they were stunted in their growth. They were starved.
You need someone to teach you again. Satan had been stealing from them territory, territory that they should own Satan was sitting on, not them. Imagine you have a house and you go away for a while and you come back and other people are living in it.
Unauthorized squatters. That's what was happening to them. That's what happens to many today.
He says the first principles of the oracles of God, the basic rules of the faith, the precepts and the doctrines of the New Testament epistles. They didn't want to hear that. He says you have come to need milk and not solid food. You've got no teeth to chew. You can't process the word. You get the word, it's too much for you.
You eject it instead of receiving it. A.W. Tozier says this soft breed of Christian that must be fed on a diet of harmless fun to keep them interested.
Tozier just knew how to slap people around from his desk. He could, a soft breed of Christian, who wants to be that? Well, I'm in Tinseltown. Please don't ask me to do anything. Okay, I shouldn't use that voice. But it doesn't sound right if you say, well, I'm a little, you know, snowflake, don't I? Verse 13, for everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. He says for everyone, that's without exception, who are partakers of milk, baby food, predigested food. That's what milk is.
I like milk. It does a body wonder. But you need more in the word. Growth and development in the faith did not excite them. To learn scripture for some, it's only so they can argue against others. But the purpose of us learning scripture is to subdue the flesh, to have something to say to the world, to stiff arm the enemy, and to draw closer to Christ. That's why we come to the scripture and value it so much. Maybe you've been cheated for decades. You should be irked.
If you're sitting here saying, I love the word of God, and I'm not, I haven't been getting this as a Christian. Well, a part of you should say, well, that's not going to be the case anymore. This, well, let's move on.
We can hit, we'll hit this again next week. He will continue it into the next chapter. He says they are unskilled in the word of righteousness. He did not say that they were utterly ignorant of righteousness, but they were unskilled because of neglect. It's a perishable skill. You can get it and lose it if you don't keep it. We understand this with other areas in life. We have requalifications.
Get our license, you know, you go down to the motor vehicle again and check your eyesight and make sure it's just as bad as it was before you got there. There's a danger in the church coming from pulpits and pews that is very subtle. It is the verse by verse teaching of the word with no attempt to uphold what you just preached.
I don't get it. I don't know how a man in a congregation could be exposed together to the precepts of scripture and then go out and not do anything about it when they find gross and blatant violations. I have another Toja quote here. He's quoting Finney and he's commenting. Charles Finney, for those of you who don't know, was an evangelist over 100 years ago, a great man of God. Toja says this, Charles G. Finney, believed that Bible teaching without moral application could be worse than no teaching at all and could result in positive injury to the hearers. I used to feel that this might be an extreme position, but after years of observation I have come around to it or to a view almost identical with it.
Exposition must have application. To just learn the Bible and not do anything with it is not good enough. It is harmful. It is an insult to God. To other Christians, you will be an irritant because you should know better and you're not doing better and it's willful. And so he says to Timothy, Paul says, till I come, give attention to reading and exhortation to doctrine. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine.
Continue in them for in so doing this you will save yourself and those who hear you. In another place he says there are those always learning and never coming into the knowledge. They're always at a Bible study. They've always got a CD on.
They're always reading a book. They're just never doing anything with what they've been exposed to. And when sin shows up, they excuse it.
Because after all, Christ died for nothing. I'm not saying you have to be perfect. God knows I'm not and you do too. I can prove it, but I'm not.
And so we're almost, we are almost done with the first half of this morning session. He says for he is a babe. He's not a grown up.
He's stunted. You try to mix Christianity with another system, then you get what you get. Something that's not Christianity. This is the shepherd not sparing the rod on the flock.
He's appropriately, he's using it appropriately. Train up a child in the way he should go or train up a congregation too and they will not depart. Verse 14, but solid food belongs to those who are full of age. That is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Inability to tell right from wrong is not an asset. Discernment is necessary, but you can't develop discernment if you're not working it, if you're not around those who know how to use it.
It greatly increases vulnerability and harm and potential for harm. So I close with this verse. It's the entire book of Leviticus. Second Peter 3.18, grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Grow in it. They were not. We can. 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 / 2023-06-13 19:59:46 / 2023-06-13 20:09:07 / 9