Maybe you've met Christians or maybe you are one. You don't have a ministry of reconciliation. You have a ministry of condemnation. You just condemn others. You criticize them. They're never right.
You're always right. That's not a ministry of reconciliation. Now reconciliation doesn't mean you yield to that which is wrong.
It just means you're looking for the solution. You're looking to resolve the problems according to God. Where did Jesus die? Physically, of course, He died on Golgotha, Calvary. Spiritually, He died in the will of His Father, the perfect will of His Father. Where did He rise again? Well, physically, in the wine press just next to the Calvary, the place where He was crucified.
The wine press of Joseph of Arimathea. Spiritually and physically, He rose to the right hand of the throne of God where He is now. There's nothing about Him that's common or average or can be duplicated. He's in a class all by Himself and we want it that way and we want the lost to see it because it is true. It is true spiritually. It is true any other way. Far too often we have regarded the resurrection as a closing part of the story, an epilogue.
It is the story. Paul said if you have no resurrection, you have no faith. Your faith is for nothing.
It's everything. The whole Bible speaks of the resurrection, the victory over sin and death which is the consequence. The wages of sin is death. The only person that could destroy death, that could kill death is Jesus Christ.
You've got to die in most cases to enter into it. God locked it down. He locked down the road to salvation. There's two ways to salvation. Death and translation. To be translated, to be taken up like Elijah, like Enoch or like the church will be when she can do no more work here.
And that day is coming. So running throughout the New Testament is this emphasis running throughout the Bible. The anointed one would be the conqueror of God high above sin and anything that it could do. Otherwise there would never have been a New Testament and that's not all. This blazing certainty that was in the hearts of those who wrote the New Testament, who penned it for us.
That was the blazing certainty. Thomas said, I don't believe it. Peter was devastated. I don't know the man. It's all unraveling.
It's all falling apart. And then they saw him risen and he went to Peter. He sought Peter out. James, James, his brother, son of Mary and Joseph. He was raised in the same house of Jesus Christ and he didn't believe.
That is amazing and it's encouraging. You all know people raised in the house with Christians exposed to the word and yet they don't believe. When Jesus rose again, he sought James out. James became a believer and we're going to be analyzing the letter he penned to the Jews. So the mighty words and deeds of Christ are recorded that he conquered death forever and ever and thus who brought up the Lord Jesus from the dead. The resurrection is everything to us.
Take it away and you have nothing but you can't take it away. Those apostles died saying we saw him die. We saw him rise and we are not going to lie to you no matter what you do to us.
And they did no matter to them. And they still went out confessing that they were witnesses, they were martyrs, they were believers because they were seers of the Lord Jesus Christ risen. He says the blood of the everlasting covenant. Our salvation cannot be stolen from us. It's an everlasting covenant.
No one can snatch you out of his hands. 2 Corinthians chapter 1 speaking of the work of Christ who also has sealed us and given us the spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. John says I've written these things that you may know that you have eternal life. Stop doubting it. You believe in Christ? Yes. You believe in any other on his level?
Absolutely not. I believe in Jesus Christ and with that comes the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and these three are one. Listen O Israel, the Lord your God is one. It ties right into the Shema of the Jews in Deuteronomy 6.4.
It's prophetic and fulfilled or at least announced as fulfilled. Death, the wage of sin, our last enemy. He took the penalty of sin for sinners, for us.
It's incredible that sinners mock that they mock Christ in boasting about oh well I'm just a sinner. You see Hollywood productions put that out there just because understand the entertainment industry at least from the Second World War is a propaganda machine. So let the viewer beware of whose propaganda is being broadcast when you watch whatever. Just anything you watch, there's something in it that will strike a nerve with the Christian. With perhaps except those Christian productions and that is of course the rebroadcast of the gospel in media form.
Well I know we've got to get moving. So the blood of the everlasting covenant Christ killing the power of death to kill us forever to separate us from ever he killed that which would have kept us separate from God. 2 Timothy chapter 1 verse 10, our Savior Jesus Christ who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. Paul wrote that on death row knowing that Christ abolished the death that he was about to die. There's no contradiction. It's a paradox. There's more that can happen to a human being than die.
That's what he is saying. There's something else behind or after this life, after death. Man can give you a certificate of death for those who are still living but the one who has gone on.
Where are they now and why are they where they are? Hebrews 2 14, and as much then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, that would be us. We are flesh and blood, children of God. He himself likewise shared in the same. He took on the name Jesus because he took on humanity. That through death he might destroy him who had the power of death. That is the devil. We believe it. We know it's true and many have gone on before us doing the same thing and we look at their lives versus the lives of those who are against Christ and we say, I choose the righteous. I'll be with them any day and not with the unrighteous.
Verse 21, this blood of the everlasting covenant make you complete in every good word to do his will working in you what is well pleasing in his sight through Jesus Christ to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. Again, I probably should say I hope I don't sound angry. I love this stuff and I don't know how to temper my temper. I don't know how to monotone you. I can try if you like. You get a better nap that way.
Let's try it. Verse 21, make you complete in every good word to do his will. I can't because there's so much. I want to be complete.
What should he have said? May God keep you a mess. May you be fragmented and incomplete. May you be half-baked and half-finished.
Though we behave that way sometimes, but that's not the goal of God. In the Greek, that word complete is used by a doctor to mend a wound or it's used as sailors mending or making ready for sea or fishermen mending their nets or soldiers getting ready for war. It has the idea of repair and preparation rolled into one. So may God repair and prepare you. That is the idea of when he says make you complete.
Prepared and repaired. And this process is not a one-time thing. To do his will, that's what he's working in us for. This should be the controlling influence of every Christian's life, the will of God.
That is the controlling influence and you cannot find what that will is outside of Scripture or contrary to Scripture. It's so simple. We're here for him. He owns us. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he says your life is not your own. You belong to God now.
Before thinking you belong to yourself, you actually belong to Satan. Because it is his work that gets men to think they don't belong to God. And this God, this knowledge of him has been developed and we have this product in the sense of production produced from the Old Testament prophecies. We have the knowledge of Christ Jesus.
That's what the Old Testament, who it was pointing towards. Working in you what is well pleasing in his sight. What pleases God? We belong to him and we are to please him.
That would be a big problem if you told me that about Zeus or Jupiter or any other make believe God. But if you tell me that's the way with Jesus Christ after watching him walk in Israel, those three and a half years of public ministry in particular, then I'm excited to be his slave. I will enslave myself to him. I will be his bond servant. That is a willing servant. Not only do I want to be his servant, I love being his servant. That's what that bond servant means.
In the Greek it was a slave, but when it's used by the New Testament church that is built on the foundation of the Old Testament prophets initially, when you use the word slave for Christ, they connected it with a bond servant in the Old Testament and they knew that everyone who is Jesus' slave is one that is willingly so because he is good. Now that is an understatement of God and usually we do it in the negative, but here it is in the positive. When Jesus said no one is good but God, that good as he was using it could not be applied to anybody else, anywhere else at any time. And that's why he said, why do you call me good? Only God is good on this level. And what he was saying is, you got that right I'm good because I am God the son. Every bit of God as God the father. It's been arranged this way. And so Jesus said to them, my food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.
Well that's supposed to be our will too. That's what we live off of. My food, my sustenance, what sustains me, what pushes me forward. What happens when I don't eat physically? I begin to break down.
What happens when I don't eat spiritually? I begin to break down. Whether it's both here in the scripture, if I don't have scripture there's the word of God, the bread of life. And if I don't have a relationship with him where I'm doing his will. Galatians 2.20, I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me. In the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.
It's so personal. Paul was saying, I don't know what you think but I know what I think. One more, just a part of it. 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. Romans 12 one. He says through Christ Jesus to whom be glory forever and ever. So he's ending this letter to them and he's just, this benediction, he's pouring out the ideal, the blessings, what he wants for them.
What it's all about. Everything that he has been saying is based on this foundation through Jesus Christ in no other way. 2 Corinthians 5.18, now all things are of God who has reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. Maybe you've met Christians or maybe you are one. You don't have a ministry of reconciliation, you have a ministry of condemnation. You just condemn others, you criticize them.
They're never right, you're always right. That's not a ministry of reconciliation. Now reconciliation doesn't mean you yield to that which is wrong.
It just means you're looking for the solution. You're looking to resolve the problems according to God. And then he has this amen. That Greek word that he uses for amen is taken from the Hebrew and put into the Greek and now into the English for us. We find it in action in the days of Abraham. Genesis 15, it says, speaking of Abraham, and he believed in Yahweh, or if you prefer, the traditional Jehovah.
He believed in Jehovah and he accounted it to him for righteousness. That Hebrew word that is used to tell us about Abraham's belief in the Hebrew is amen. So it says, and he amen in Yahweh. It doesn't work well, of course, as far as speech goes, but that is the root of the word. So the point is, what does that word mean when Paul says amen?
What did Moses mean when he said Abraham, amen to God? It means these truths will support you. They will hold you up. They will support your weight.
Picture a train going over a bridge and that bridge supporting the train. That's what the truths of God do. They hold us up. And so when he says, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever, amen, he is saying this is truth that is unshakeable. And we believe it. And not only do we believe it, we want it, we like it, we love it, and we preach it. Verse 22, and I appeal to you, brethren, bear with the word of exaltation, for I have written to you in a few words. This is kind of comical, is it not?
I would be curious, what do you call a lot of words? Tolstoys, war and peace. It's kind of cute. So, you know, if you sit in a church like this one and you're here for 50 minutes under the word, don't worry, there were others who sat longer. Maybe that will help you feel better. Anyway, we're going to have Ottomans at the next building so that you can be even more comfortable.
No, we're not. Anyway, this verse contains the word exhort two times, appeal and exhortation, used in this verse 22 of the same Greek word. There's an emphasis there, and if you were speaking the Greek and reading this, you would catch that connection that he's emphasizing. He's cheering them on. He's calling this document, he's not saying it's a letter or a book, he says it's an exhortation.
But the way it came about and how it was delivered, it really is a letter, but its content becomes a document, a thesis on Christianity over every other religion in the world. And he cheers them on. He says, hey, take your medicine. I've been exhorting you. Take it. Don't turn on me. Don't say those were hard sayings.
We don't like them. We want our old childhood religion because it feels so nice. Oh, I have such memories of going down to the temple with God, I mean with my father, and it was just such a beautiful thing. I'm going back to that. I don't want Jesus anymore because he doesn't give me, you know, the cow being sacrificed and the fire and the altar.
I want those things again. That's what they were, some of them were doing there and that's why he wrote this. And so he says, I'm encouraging you to listen to what I said. He says, for I've written to you in a few words. Did they receive it?
What happened to them? Because it's not explicitly stated and everybody cheered. Not explicitly. John writes, I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. And then in 1 Thessalonians, Paul says, for this reason I thank God without ceasing because when you receive the word of God, which you heard from us, you welcomed it, not as the word of men, but as in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe. The way we know they accept it is because we have what's called the majority text. That is a collection of ancient manuscripts from the New Testament, over 24,000 fragments and whole books of the New Testament. Some have come along and said, well, that majority text is younger than some of the other documents we found. And so it's not reliable.
It's actually the other way around. The other documents that they found that are older and just about a hundred of those, there are few because they weren't kept in circulation. The majority text was so good that the church kept it alive by writing it. When the letter got to the Hebrews and they read it after service, they said, well, I want a copy of that. I want that CD.
I want that. And so they wrote the letter out. They copied it over and over and over until it circulated and spread throughout Christianity.
And so here we are almost 2,000 years later and we still have it. Yes, they accepted these things. They also would have died right there along with the messenger. Yeah, there may have been some that rejected it and left the church. That church would have been better off without them. Anyone with such disdain for the truth is a threat and would weaken the children of truth. We call it leaven and it's getting in churches everywhere more than ever.
And so, yeah, they received it all right and we have it and we're not dismissing it. Verse 23, know that our brother Timothy has been set free with whom I shall see you if he comes shortly. This is a timestamp indicating that these things occurred later in Paul's ministry. Timothy came to Christ through Paul. His father was a Gentile. His mother was a Jew. He would have been greatly received by the Gentile Christians and the Jewish Christians who were in Gentile areas. Not likely too well received in Jerusalem where there were the more uppity Jews. James, our brother who writes the New Testament, he struggled with Judaism and reconciling it. He prevailed, but we'll cover that.
I don't want to spoil it. But anyway, I started off not believing earlier in my walk that Hebrews was not written by Paul because it is the only document that doesn't, all of his letters has his name in the introduction. I, Paul. I, Paul the Apostle, except Hebrews. And so that has led some to say, well, he didn't write it. Well, what's the criteria for establishing whether he wrote it or not? Well, Timothy is one.
Who else was so bonded with Timothy? Who else had the ability to be used by the Holy Spirit and write such a document? So I believe Paul wrote this. In the early church, some older versions of the Bible would say the Hebrews of Saint Paul the Apostle.
Because the older saints looked at the evidence and said this process of elimination. It doesn't have to have his name. Some of the other documents don't have the names. We're coming to James and it doesn't outright say the brother of the Lord. But yet they know James wrote it. Verse 24, greet all those who rule over you and the saints, all the saints, those from Italy, greet you.
So he's likely, he's in Italy, likely in Rome. This is the third time he says that the pastors, they rule the church. And it has to be that way. We covered this. I'm not going to hammer it.
But this is something that is diabolical to many in Christianity, in this country in particular. You get over it and get lined up with Scripture. It's not going to cost you. We're not going to shave your hair and send you to Okinawa in a rowboat. You'll be alright.
You'll be better for it. And he finishes, grace be with you all. Amen. Again, grace. Without grace, God wouldn't touch us.
He would have nothing to do with us. What causes a holy, pure God to touch the impure? It's his grace. It is his goodness. And it is that very attitude and position we must adopt towards others. And so, where is the credit to Christ, to God, if a person's good works saves their soul?
Well, it doesn't exist. If you think your good works is going to get you into heaven, you're going to go to hell. It's the Scripture's teaching. It is by grace you are saved, and that not of yourselves. It is God who does the saving, and we do the receiving. And he says, again, the same word, amen.
Do we need a profound ending to Hebrews? Its content is profound enough. You've been listening to Cross Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Yastin 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 / 2023-04-17 21:35:10 / 2023-04-17 21:44:04 / 9