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Better Promise (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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February 23, 2022 6:00 am

Better Promise (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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February 23, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the letter to the Hebrews

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They had little goats, the kids.

The kids had the kids. Anyway, has nothing to do with sacrifice today. If I offered that goat as a blood offering to Jesus Christ, I would be anathema. I would be cursed. I would be saying your death on the cross wasn't enough.

We need some animal blood up here. That's what it and this is what he's trying to say to them. He's trying to say, listen, you can't do this. You cannot serve Christ and anyone else as Christ. 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, Pastor Rick will continue his message called A Better Promise in Hebrews Chapter 8. How do you tone down Christ and what he has done? How can you say, you say, well, 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 and 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. And therefore, he says in verse 3, it is necessary that this one, that is to 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. And 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, verse 3, 16, 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. And it's like, I'm not laying 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 think. 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 body as 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-compliance 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.

So much searching of the scripture was done in the second attempt that got it right. 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 café 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. Verse 4, if he were on earth, he would not be a priest since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law. Well, Jesus wasn't a Levite.

And he's making that clear. He wouldn't violate the law. Only the Levites on earth could approach that tabernacle. They were delegated by God to do this. However, the priestly duties in heaven, no Levite can serve there, nor tribe of Judah, nor anybody else. Only Jesus Christ can serve in heaven on our behalf.

The Aaronic priesthood, the descendants of Aaron who were only to be priests in Israel, they have no authority to serve in heaven. This is the order of Melchizedek. And you might remember from chapter 7 of Hebrews talking about Melchizedek, saying he has no beginning, no end, he just shows up. And it's a type, at the very least, a type of Christ. And here it is, fulfilled. He is an eternal priest. That is the idea. He says there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law.

Now that's present tense. They offer gifts. That means the Temple of the Jews was still in operation, still functioning.

The Jews could still take the offerings down to the Temple, and they were. The other day I was walking through a mall and they had a little portable petting zoo with portable pets. And there were goats. Llamas are the goofiest looking thing you've ever seen.

I just look goofy. I just want to smack them. But they wouldn't let me get near. Anyway, the goats are there. They had little goats, the kids. The kids had, the kids, anyway, has nothing to do with sacrifice today. If I offered that goat as a blood offering to Jesus Christ, I would be anathema. I would be cursed. I would be saying, your death on the cross wasn't enough.

We need some animal blood up here. That's what, and this is what he's trying to say to them. He's trying to say, listen, you can't do this. You cannot serve Christ and anyone else as Christ, as the Son of God. Verse 5, he says, those priests, he says, serve the copy and the shadow of heavenly things. As Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle for, he said, see that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain. The Aaron, the Aaronic priests, the priests on earth, they served a replica of what was communicated from heaven. That is what he's saying.

They serve a copy. Theirs is a shadow. Again, not actual buildings, but spiritual realities symbolized through the altar, the temple facing the east. I'll come to that in a moment.

We'll just touch on those. But the shadows of Judaism, they found their substance in the reality behind those rituals, those actions. They found the reality in Christ Jesus. You cannot have a shadow unless you have light. Jesus is the light. First John chapter 1 verse 5, God is light and in him there is no darkness at all.

That is emphatic. The shadow is not the substance. The item which the shadow pictures, that is the substance. So everything that these symbols of the Jewish priests had to offer before God were all symbols.

They were not the thing. The reality is God. If you take a picture, and this is for those who still put so much into emphasis, you know, I like stained glass too, but I don't have to have it. But if you have a picture of a loved one and the loved one standing there, but you choose to talk to the picture and ignore the loved one, that's ritualism.

The substance is the actual person, not the actual picture. And so all the things concerning Judaism and her service before the Lord through the priesthood, all symbols, all pictures. But when Christ comes, those things no longer have the meaning that they had prior to his approach, to his arrival. Paul said to the Colossians, these things are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.

Colossians 2.17. And so Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. Moses never made anything up concerning God. He did what God told him. God said, I want it done this way. Moses went and did it that way. And that's what the writer is saying here because Moses was a servant of the Lord every step of the way. For he said, verse five, bottom part, see that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain. This is Exodus 25.40 that he's quoting. So Moses, when he was going to set up the tabernacle, God gave him a vision in heaven of the arrangement in heaven. And he's saying, you see this, Moses?

That's what I want you to mirror on earth. I'm showing you these things because I want these things to be pictured on earth to speak of the work that I'm doing on behalf of sinners. The entrance facing east of the temple, always facing east, that's the direction that God would come from. That was the direction they were supposed to look for the Lord. That speaks of approach, the brazen altar. Once you came in that eastern gate, there was that altar that spoke of sin. You have to deal with sin right away with God.

That's the first thing, actually. Then there was the laver that spoke of cleanliness. It was just like, we would call it a birdbath.

It's this basin filled with water. All those blood sacrifices there, the priest would wash and rinse and dry off there. The holy place, it spoke of holiness. The beautiful lampstand as you came into the holy place, which only the Levites and the priests could do, spoke of the revelation of God. The showbread, which would, as you walked into the temple, would be right to the right hand, on the right hand side, on the little table and its utensils. It spoke of the provision of God. You have the enlightenment of God, the cleanliness that gets you there, the holiness, the place that you're in, and you have this showbread that says, God says, man shall not eat by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

Give us this day our daily bread. The manna from heaven, it spoke of these things. These are all symbols in the temple. The golden incense altar. Only the high priest could offer on that at the time of atonement, and that spoke of the prayers of the saints, that God is listening to us. Then there was the holy of holy place. You go into the holy place, there was a curtain.

You'd walk through that curtain. Only the high priest would do that once a year on the day of atonement, and he would be in the holy of holies. And that spoke of the real presence of God, the very presence of God, the point of contact with his people. And there sat the ark of the covenant. That was a chest, and in that chest were the terms of the covenant, the word of God, the provision of God in the manna, and the rod of Aaron that spoke of the authority of God's anointed servants. And then on top of that chest was the mercy seat of God, which spoke the loudest, the grace of God. Without that mercy seat, nothing mattered.

You have nothing. And so Paul said in 2 Corinthians 3, for if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious. That's Christ. The old system's passing away.

The new system, which those things pointed to, is much glorious. And we'll finish verse 8, and we'll be done. Pardon me, verse 6.

Scared you. But now he has obtained a more excellent ministry inasmuch as he also, he is also mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. There again, the superiority of Christ. Inasmuch as he is also mediator of a better covenant. That word mediator in the Greek is the go between. He's the go between. He's the bridge.

You don't get from one end to the other without the go between. And this is the role, one of the many roles of Christ to get us to heaven. He stands between the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man.

And we are very glad about that. It also speaks to us, this package, this paragraph, this packaged paragraph, it says to us that my king is my friend. He is king. He's high, he's holy. I'll never be as great as him.

But he's also my friend. That's how noble he is. Paul said that, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, pure, lovely, of good report, meditate on those things. How many Christians do not behave as though they are noble? They have no spiritual class.

They're like goats more than sheep. That is a reminder for us to be kind and gentle, to think about the things we do and the things we are about to say before we say them. God is always calling us to the next level up. You climb up a ladder, God says keep coming. Don't stop there. Keep going. But I keep failing.

Well, keep failing again by trying to get off of that. But anyway, he is my king and he will bring me to this sanctuary, this place of refuge. He, Ephesians 2 17, came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. He is a friend. I won't go into all the verses that I have.

Time won't permit. We'll close it up with the bottom part of the verse. He says, inasmuch as he is also a mediator of a better covenant which was established on better promises, the promises of the word of God. Every time you see a rainbow, you have to be reminded God sees it too. God sees it, you see it. God sees what you do with the rainbow. For instance, we have twisted sick groups out there that want to hijack the rainbow.

They can't even get all the colors right. That's their business and that's their judgment. They can't have my rainbow. It's not theirs to take.

They can fake it all they want, but it's not theirs. It belongs to God and God gave it to those who would appreciate it to understand that his promise has power. Genesis 9 13, God speaking to Noah, I set my rainbow in the cloud and it shall be for a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. So God is saying, and then he goes on to say, when you see the rainbow, you're seeing my prom, paraphrasing, you're seeing my promise and you're either on the right side of that promise or the wrong side. So the only purpose, Israel's replica temple and elaborate services associated with it, the only purpose was to illustrate what Christ would mean to sinners, who he was.

All of this rolled in together. All of their worship is connected, is joined and is intended to be a shadow of the reality of Christ fulfilling it. Those Levitical ritualists they are meaningless without Christ. Again, not only are they meaningless, they're harmful.

You have the knowledge of Christ and you want to offer a bowl for your sins, you are insulting God. And so they're meaningless and that's what the writer is saying to the Hebrews. Don't go back.

And he says to the Christian, the Gentile, he says, you came out of whatever junk you came out of, whatever swamp you crawled out of when you were converted. Don't go back. Your life will be meaningless if you go back. And not only will it be meaningless, it will be doomed and it is unnecessary.

I offer you a better way. We have a better hope built on a better person, on a better promise. And our high priest who ministers to us before the throne of God is the one who sits on the throne of God. May we accept it, may we believe it, may we move forward in his authority. Every Christian, no matter how weak you are and every one of us is weak. Every Christian needs to be encouraged.

You get another day to be a little bit stronger, take advantage of 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 / 2023-06-01 01:29:15 / 2023-06-01 01:39:10 / 10

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