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Closing Encouragements (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
May 10, 2022 6:00 am

Closing Encouragements (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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If you just love Christ and not what He loves, you don't love Him. You're thrilled, you're moved, you're hungry to be saved from pain or suffering or judgment, but you're missing it. How can you not love Him and not love what He loves? So if Christ says, I love you.

Yes, thank you. And I also love this person over here whom you don't love. Now what do you do?

You better scramble to fix it. This is Cross Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel in 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 13 as he continues his message called Closing Encouragements. So this outburst over church rulers, don't be afraid of that. It does not mean that they are tyrannical or despots or totalitarians or anything like that. It means that they have total authority.

When it comes, somebody at some point has got to be able to have the ability to say this is the way we are going or this is not. This is also this being the same, this immutability of God. It is an exclusive attribute of God.

I mean, there are attributes that God has that we share into some degree, the ability to love, for example. But this, to be unchanging, only an uncreated being possesses this, no moods, steady, always consistent. We never have to wonder if God is in the mood to hear our prayers, if he is in the mood to love us.

He does not change, he is perfect. Verse 9, do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines, for it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them. Well, this do not be carried about with various strange doctrines, heresies, man-made teachings that contradict, that contradict what has been established in the scripture, strange ideas, things that do not belong because they are false and they are harmful at the same time. Now, if you go home, or if you just go out to your car after service, and there is an uninvited stranger in your car when you get there, you know instantly you got a problem.

Something is not right, especially if you go home, how did he get in, what is his motive. It's the same with false doctrine, it's strange, it doesn't belong there, it's not been invited, it comes in out of line. Now if you want to appease it, you go right ahead into heresy and do that. But if you want to serve the Lord, you will chase it out. There has always been those within the faith that call upon Christ who get tossed to and fro by anything that excites them emotionally, that they get it, ooh I like that. Whether you like it or not is not paramount, it's secondary.

What is primary, is it from God, is it true? Because the false teachings that Satan injects into churches are meant to seduce, they're meant to appeal. They are fashioned in such a way as you say, ooh that glitters, but it's not gold. When he wrote to the Ephesians he said that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the trickery of men in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting. So Satan comes up with some new thing that the world just adores and the Christians embrace it.

We love what they're doing, let's do it too, that's seduction. You say that hurts hearing it, well if you're guilty it will hurt, that's where the healing begins. But if you harden up, how dare you preach the word?

How dare you make that application? Your goose is cooked. So he says these things because he knows better, he knows what it's all about. When he says the pastors are watching over your soul, it's not just I'm going to include this because it just sounds good. James will come along and remember, start getting your heads ready for James. If we could say it like this, Hebrews is the good cop, James is the bad one. James is going to rip us all open. He gives no mercy to carnal ways, he keeps the spirit in front of us. When Jesus said be perfect for your father and heaven is perfect, James behaves like that's the only thing he heard.

It's going to be good for all of us. Well, back to this, where he says don't be carried about with various, there are many of them, strange doctrines. What is the alternative to sound doctrine? Harmful doctrine. It's not just bad. You can bite into a piece of fruit and say that's bad and it not be harmful. But you can poison.

Poison is harmful and it is bad for you. Jude, in his little letter that is a gigantic document, even in the early church when the apostles were still there, he says certain men crept in unnoticed. Long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men who turned the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

These guys have crept in unnoticed. Somebody was not discerning. Somebody thought everything is okay so long as Jesus' name is put on it.

They are wrong. We are made strong by hearing what is right, not by hearing what is wrong. You know, when the writer says bad company corrupts morals, he's saying spiritual scrubs will make you a scrub. Spiritual rejecters of Christ will make you reject the truths of Christ. You start settling for lesser things, for coarse things, for things that have no place on the table of Christ. Things that you'd never do or say in front of him, you begin to do and say and dismiss it under the guise of grace. And so 2 Timothy, Paul writing to the pastor says, for God has not given us a spirit of fear, but love and power, power to do right, to serve Christ and continue with him. And he adds this, and a sound mind. He's not given you the spirit of fear, but of love and of power and of a sound mind. And how many Christians behave as though they've lost their mind?

So we are on guard against these things. He continues in verse 9, for it is good that the heart be established by grace. Grace is undeserved kindness from God to you, and it is often undeserved kindness from you to others.

That's grace. Obedience is not legalism. Enforcement of God's commandments is not legalism.

Legalism is the enforcement of things that God has not commanded. Grace is obedience in the form of Christ's likeness, which is born out of love for him and love for everything that he loves. If you just love Christ and not what he loves, you don't love him. You're thrilled, you're moved, you're hungry to be saved from pain or suffering or judgment, but you're missing it. How can you not love him and not love what he loves? So if Christ says, I love you.

Yes, thank you. And I also love this person over here whom you don't love. Now what do you do?

You better scramble to fix it. And if you don't, when we get to 1 John, he opens that up. John writes as though he's sick and tired of Christians saying, oh, I love, I love you, Jesus loved me, and he just doesn't love anybody else. So obedience is not legalism.

Enforcement of the word is not legalism. Continues, he says, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them. Diet did not save Judas Iscariot. He followed the dietary laws of the Jews. So did the Sanhedrin who crucified Christ. We have Christians that, you know, back to Eden.

I wish we could, we can't even find the place. Food is not going to elevate your game. Well, I don't eat that stuff, so I'm better than you because you eat it. Diet does not elevate your faith unless you abstain from eating each other, biting and chewing and gnawing and nibbling with your criticisms and looks and things like that. Not you, not every single one of you, but anyone who is guilty of this.

Galatians chapter 5. But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another. Yeah, go ahead, chew on each other and watch what happens. You start chewing on him and he starts chewing on you. You just eat each other up.

No one left. Jewish ritual was a rival to grace and that's why he's bringing this up. You know the temple sacrifices they've taken there, they're offered, most of them are consumed in fellowship with God and they think that they're closer to God.

But with doing these things when God's son came, they did not see the truth, the righteousness and the way that he brought and they're not upset that he was crucified by their leaders. And so he's saying this Jewish ritual that you're thinking about going to will rival against you, it will work to your destruction. Galatians 2.21. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the law and Christ died in vain. He's not talking about law as in obeying God, he's talking about the rituals of Judaism or anything else. If some Christian said you have to go to Jerusalem and see the city or else you can't get saved, that's heresy, that's legalism, putting on someone a law that God does not put on them and then associating it with salvation, righteousness. In verse 10 he says, we have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat.

So he says, speaking of food, diet's not going to make you better but we do have something that we, that we go to. He's speaking about the communion table also, the place of sacrifice and death, worship and salvation all in one statement, the cross, the cross of Christ. Paul said I'll boast in my infirmities that the power of God would be upon me. Without the cross of Christ it would not be possible. Peter of course, we'll get back to this when we get to Peter, but the altar that they were going to that spoke of sacrifice and approach to God has been eclipsed by the cross of Christ.

It has been made obsolete by the cross of Christ. Our altar is Jesus Christ. He is our sacrifice. He is everything to us. He is all in all. That's why he could say from the cross, it is finished.

It's done. The gateway to God is wide open now. The sins that blocked sinners from coming directly to me has been removed. I can tell you, he alone transforms the blood of the sacrificial lamb into the blood of the lamb of God. He alone is the one that takes the sinner off the dung hill, makes him fit to sit before the throne of God. He says also in verse 10, from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. He's saying you can't go down to the Jewish temple, offer your sacrifices, and then come call yourself a Christian.

You cannot do it. He's been hitting them with this throughout. We said that at the very beginning of this letter, that he was going to pile drive this all the way through. It is that important. He did not leave this here for us to come along and say, oh no, he didn't mean that. He means every bit of it.

The Jews had to have that temple to enter into the fullness of their religion. C.S. Lewis makes this distinction.

If you don't know who C.S. Lewis is, he was a Christian defender of the faith and a prolific writer. Judaism, says Lewis, without the temple is mutilated, deprived of its central operation. Any church, barn, sick room, or field can be the Christian's temple. So we don't need a temple.

We don't need a building. Anywhere we are, the body is a temple that houses the Holy Spirit. Where two or more are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst. This church, we don't put an emphasis, we could have a shopping mall cathedral, we could have a glass cathedral, although I don't know who's going to do all that cleaning.

It doesn't matter, it's secondary to us. What is primary is pleasing the Lord. Fellowship with him. You know the word fellowship?

They continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine, in their fellowship. Fellowship includes serving the body. A lot of Christians reduce it, it seems, to just hanging out.

Some of that goes on and there's nothing wrong, but that's not all there is to it. You see that word in the Greek used for fellowship is koinonia. You have something in common with them.

What is that commonness? Well, it's Christ, yes. It is serving the Christ. How do we serve the Christ? You say, well, I stand out on the corner and I hand out tracts. Well, I'm not going to condemn that, but that's not enough.

That is not enough. We'll come back to that in a little bit. He says, verse 11, for the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin are burned outside the camp. The sacrifices from the altar, the sin offering that he is speaking about here, taken outside the camp, comes from the Day of Atonement for the Jew. The high priest once a year would enter into the holy place with the blood from the lamb that was slain, but that sacrifice that was slain was not then eaten. It was taken outside the camp and burned, disposed of. This has everything to do with where Christ was crucified.

We'll get to this a little bit. Verse 12, therefore, also that he might sanctify the people with his own blood suffered outside the gate. You see, he goes back. He says, remember the Jews in the wilderness? It was a large camp.

It was a temporary dwelling. They had not come into the land, but while they were there, God was deprogramming them from their slavery in Egypt. When you become a Christian, for those of you who lived in the world, you come to Christ, you have to be deprogrammed. And after that, you have to constantly have the world filtered out from rubbing up against it and it against you.

It is an ongoing process. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. And the Jews, when they came out of Egypt, they had to be deprogramming as a people.

It had to start and it started there. And they were given this day of atonement. And they were to take the remains of this sacrificed animal. The blood would go on the horns of the altar and then into the holy place, but the carcass, the body would be taken out and burned. And the writer is saying, our Lord Jesus was taken out of the gates of Jerusalem, likely that Damascus Gate, north of the city, all particular to filling the imagery given to Moses. You look on a map and you see the location, the believed location of the Calvary, the place where Christ was crucified.

You have two of them on most maps. There's the traditional Roman Catholic one. I can tell you that one's wrong right away. Anything they say pretty much about the Scriptures is wrong. And then there's Gordon's Calvary, which is very likely right because it's consistent with the Scripture, north of the city, outside the gate, and other identifying features that make that the most viable one.

Well, this is what the writer is talking about. Jesus Christ, when they crucified him, he was not crucified in the city of Jerusalem, he was taken outside the gate to the place called Calvary. And so he says, verse 12, therefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate, that he could save sinners. He had to suffer and die for us, though he never sinned and he never mind doing this. Well, he didn't like it.

He despised it, as a matter of fact. The Bible tells us that, the shame that accompanied it. The sin offering, the image of the Day of Atonement.

Well, we have been atoned for through his blood. Well, before I go away from that, John's Gospel, chapter 19, verse 20, for many of the Jews read this title. That is Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. For the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was called in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, and so on goes the story.

But he was taken outside the city, near the city. This outside the gate indicates that he carried my sins away from the dwelling of God. You see the city where the temple was, the dwelling place of God, the Shekinah was, he took my sins away from the presence of God. When you die, Christian, and you stand before God, your sins have been taken away from the presence of God by Jesus Christ. Here, he is saying that what Christ did is outside the framework of Judaism. He takes sinners beyond Judaism and Gentilism and any other ism you can think of. Christ brings us into an experience that can be found nowhere else except in Jesus Christ.

That's it. And it is an insult to God to appeal to Judaism's altar, that's what he's telling his audience, or anyone else's altar. We have no auxiliary places of worship and sacrifice. We go direct to Christ. You cannot say, well Christ's death really isn't enough, I have to express it in another way.

No you don't. That's idolatry. You express it the way it's been handed down to us from the apostles and the prophets who God himself. Verse 13, therefore let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach outside where the sin offering was taken. Outside of Judaism and everything else as I mentioned. In Christ, the world will put its disdain on you and you will feel it.

It will be sort of a burst of shame. Maybe you're out somewhere and someone says, what did you do Sunday? And you don't want to say I went to church to worship. This would be the more immature Christians.

I'm not saying this to hurt your feelings, but you've got to face it if you're ever going to overcome it. Whatever it is, it makes you reluctant to say I served Jesus Christ. You're not bearing the reproach of Christ.

And that's what was happening. And so he says, therefore let us go forth outside the camp, bearing the reproach. We'll take it.

You want to not like us? You want to try to shame us for worshiping Christ? Bring it.

Do it. I'm not going to stop because of you. I am not going to accommodate your disdain for Christ. I will accommodate him. I will honor him. I will glorify him.

Whether you like it or not. Whether you're more intelligent than I am as men go. Maybe you're more wealthy, in a bigger position.

Maybe you can hurt me physically, financially. I am not going to deny him to satisfy you. And so the reproach we bear for Christ, it is worth it. Verse 14, for here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.

I love this. He's saying constantly, we're not Jews anymore. Jerusalem is not all that to us anymore because Christ is better. Hebrews 10, he said this about Abraham. He waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Abraham saw beyond Jerusalem.

In New Jerusalem, there is no temple. Revelation 21, verse 2, but I saw no temple in it. For the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The dwelling place. A temple is a dwelling place. God himself is going to be our dwelling place. Revelation 21, 10, and he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. So he's saying, this isn't our home. We've got a Jerusalem. It's bigger. It's better.

It is awesome because God is awesome. 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 / 2023-04-21 05:47:15 / 2023-04-21 05:56:19 / 9

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