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Jesus: The More Excellent Work #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
December 13, 2023 12:00 am

Jesus: The More Excellent Work #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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December 13, 2023 12:00 am

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Hello, my friend, and welcome to another episode of The Truth Pulpit.

We're so glad that you joined us. And I know that many of you have recently signed up for the podcast looking for the series that I told you about called Building a Christian Mind, and that series is going to start on February the 5th. February the 5th for Building a Christian Mind. Until then, here's the next episode of our teaching as we look to God's Word and as we continue our commitment to teaching God's people God's Word on The Truth Pulpit. What do you think is going to happen to you, my friends, if you reject Christ having heard of his great superiority over everything that preceded him? The lesser thing brought judgment.

If you reject the greater, what lies ahead is terrifying. Jesus Christ is a better high priest than those from Aaron's line in the Old Testament. He brings a better covenant that allows eternal access to the Father, and there are other comparisons as well. Pastor Don Green will address those today on The Truth Pulpit as he concludes our series titled The Wonder of Jesus. Hi, I'm Bill Wright, and as Don continues to teach God's people God's Word, he'll once again be turning our attention to the book of Hebrews for part two of his message, Jesus, the More Excellent Work.

You can see the evidence in yourself. If Jesus is your Lord and Savior, you have a renewed heart changed by the Holy Spirit from the inside. No animal sacrifice ever did the same. So friend, have your Bible open as we join Pastor Don Green now in The Truth Pulpit. The third point, Christ serves in a better tabernacle. He serves in a better tabernacle, a better sanctuary, you could say. The high priest, as we said, could only enter the Holy of Holies once a year, and that was the Holy of Holies here on earth.

Look at Hebrews chapter 9 verse 6, as again he continues the contrast, he extends the contrast between the old and the new ministry. He says now in verse 6, now when these things have been so prepared, the priests are continually entering the outer tabernacle, performing the divine worship. But into the second, only the high priest enters once a year, not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance.

What is the meaning of this? What is the meaning of the fact that only the high priest enters and only enters once a year? Verse 8, this is so significant, the Holy Spirit is signifying this, that the way into the holy place has not yet been disclosed while the outer tabernacle is still standing. The way into the presence of God had not yet been revealed, as shown by the fact that it wasn't free and open for access. It was restricted, there was a very, speaking metaphorically, a very narrow turnstile that only one person could go through into that presence.

That's what the old system was like. There was not free access to God for the people, not into his presence, and so there was this restricted area on earth that the old covenant pointed you to. What do we have in Christ by comparison? Oh, look at it in verse 11 with me. But, again, contrast, you see it?

But! But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, he entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation, and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood. Look at this. He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. What's the contrast that he's speaking about? The Old Testament high priest went into an earthly place once a year and he was the only one that could go. What has Christ done? He's in the greater tabernacle. He's in the true tabernacle.

He is in heaven, in the true presence of God, having entered in there forever on the basis of his completed work. Look at it there with me again in verse 12. Through his own blood, he entered the holy place, not the earthly tabernacle, once for all, not temporarily, having obtained eternal redemption. And so Christ represents us, Christ has saved us, and now is in the presence of God himself in the true tabernacle in heaven, not an earthly pattern that was recreated here on earth.

This is far better. It's a far better tabernacle in which Christ serves. And look at verse 24 as he expands on this theme of the greater tabernacle. Chapter 9 verse 24, he says, For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands. The earthly tabernacle was constructed with hands and human materials, not the heavenly one. Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one. The earthly tabernacle was just a faint representation of the glory in heaven. And he says Christ didn't go into the faint representation made with human hands and human materials.

He entered into heaven itself, into the presence of God where he appears for us. And verse 25, Nor was it that he would offer himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. If any of you are struggling with the remnants of Roman Catholicism, here is the end of any concept of a Mass where Christ is offered again and again and again. Christ offered himself once for all, it was complete, there was no further sacrifice to be made, which means that the Mass is a perversion, it is a figment of human imagination, it is demonic worship done in the name of Christ in complete violation of everything that the book of Hebrews teaches. You can leave that behind without fear of judgment or condemnation, leave it all behind and come to the true sacrifice, the one true sacrifice that Christ made at the cross, that is forever valuable, that had an infinite value to it, whose saving ability is never diminished. He goes on and says in verse 26, Otherwise if it had not been thus, if Christ's sacrifice hadn't been perfect, verse 26, he would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world. But now once at the consummation of the ages, he has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also. Having been offered once, once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin to those who eagerly await for him. Christ offered a one-time sacrifice that was absolutely perfect, there was no defect in it, it covered it all, it did everything that was necessary, there's no further sacrifice to be made.

To say that there is, is to rob the atonement of its meaning. And so what does that mean for us here today? Those of us that have protested as it were and left the Catholic Church behind and come to Christ, what does that mean? It means that we have found the one true sacrifice. It means that we can rest in that sacrifice with a certainty that our sins are fully forgiven. The sacrifice is done, it's been offered, it's over, the work is done, what did Jesus say?

It is finished, it is accomplished, paid in full. And we don't approach God now through counterfeit sacrifices as if we were trying to pay our mortgage with monopoly money. Oh, but I'm showing you a lot of money here!

It's all fake currency, it does no good. In Christ, we have a better high priest who has brought us a better covenant who now serves in heaven, which is the better tabernacle. Far better that Christ would be in heaven than an Old Testament priest would be here on earth. And that leads us to our fourth and final point that we've been alluding to all along is that Christ made a better sacrifice. A better sacrifice. So just by way of review so we don't lose sight of where we're at, he's a better high priest who brought a better covenant, who serves in a better tabernacle, and who does so by a better sacrifice.

The superiority of Christ also represented in his better sacrifice. Look at chapter 10 with me, verse 1, for the law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year after year make perfect those who draw near. He's showing and illustrating the inability of the Old Testament system to put away sin once for all. It didn't put sin away once for all as shown by the fact that it had to be done over and over again.

If it put it away, it'd be over. The fact that they kept doing it showed that it wasn't done. Verse 2, otherwise would they not have ceased to be offered because the worshippers having once been cleansed would no longer have had consciousness of sins. Verse 3, but in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. The mere repetition of the sacrifices showed that sin had not been fully dealt with, sin had not been fully atoned. Verse 4, for it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

You can't substitute the blood of an animal for the guilt of a man. Not to have it fully taken away, not to have it really do away with sin is his point. What can we say about Christ by contrast then? What about the sacrifice of Christ, the sacrifice that we're going to remember soon at the table? What did Christ do? Appreciated the way Andrew opened the service pointing us back to Hebrews chapter 1, the excellence of Christ, the deity of Christ, the creator of the universe, and what did he do?

You really start to run out of human language to vindicate the greatness of the themes of which we speak here today. What did Christ do? Remembering who he is, the eternal creator, the Son of God, what did he do? He didn't offer the blood of animals.

What did he do? He offered blood all right, what kind of blood was it? Well it was the blood of a man because Christ was God in human flesh, but it was the blood of God in human flesh. It was his own blood, there was infinite value, infinite merit to that blood that he offered on the cross. What did he offer? Not like an Old Testament priest offering a blood of an animal, he offered his own blood as the sacrifice for your sin.

Infinite precious value to the lifeblood of Christ, and that was the price of your salvation. Make the comparison in your mind and see it by contrast. A bull, an animal offered in blood under the Old Testament system compared to the blood of the eternal Lamb of God shed for sinners like you and me. There's no comparison, is there?

This is far more excellent. This is of another realm, this is of a greater consequence. He offered his own blood and its eternal value means he only needed to do it once. Look at Hebrews chapter 10 verse 10, and see the benefit that his sacrifice has brought to you. Verse 10, by this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Verse 11, every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices which can never take away sins, but here's the contrast again, but Christ having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time sat down at the right hand of God, sitting down because the work was done. Verse 13, waiting from that time onward until his enemies be made a footstool for his feet, for by one offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.

What's he saying? That the sacrifice of Christ was all that God required, it was all that was needed, it was sufficient to secure for you eternal redemption. That your sins would never be brought to your account again, that you would be welcomed fully and gladly into the throne room of heaven itself. Not with timidity, not with trembling and craven fear that perhaps God would cast you out. No, what Christ has purchased for you is this, what Christ has accomplished for you is this, is that Christ has purchased for you free and unhindered access to the throne room of God, to the holy immaculate presence of God in his name in a way that was utterly foreign to the mind of an Old Testament saint.

You have privileges that they could not have dreamt of as the animals were being offered again and again and the veil kept people out. In Christ what we have is the veil rent in two from top to bottom, thrown open and the access to God is free and available and graciously offered to you in Christ. And for those of you who have believed in Christ, who have put your faith in Christ, God accepts you, God receives you on the basis of the merit of Christ and there is nothing more for you to do, you can't improve that, you cannot diminish it. It is done in Christ.

That's a lot better, isn't it? He obtained a complete forgiveness for all who approach him and come to him in faith. And look at it in verse 17 where again he says, their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more. The things that you have vain regrets about, about your past, you look back and say, oh that I was so wrong and I was so that was so sinful and I can't believe I did that, I can't believe I thought that, I can't believe that I was like that. Understand that one of the aspects of the work of Christ on your behalf was to put those things away. God has, God is not holding them against you any longer because he satisfied his wrath when Christ was crucified on the cross. The whole purpose is to give you a sense of a clear and clean conscience because the debt against God has been paid in full on your behalf. And what does it say?

Look at the simplicity of the text there. Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more. Now where there is forgiveness of these things there is no longer any offering for sin. The excellence of Christ means that he has saved us to the uttermost. And so what do we do with that? How do we think about God in relation to this finished work of Christ? He shows us that in verse 19. Therefore brethren, here's your response, this is the exhortation that the writer of Hebrew gives in light of this presentation that he has made of Christ to us. Therefore brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which he inaugurated for us through the veil, that is his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God because all of these things are true, what do you do? He says, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith. Let us come through Christ and in Christ knowing that God receives us well, receives us fully, receives us completely, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. He says in verse 23, let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our assembling together as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the day drawing near. What he's saying is this, beloved, recognize what has been done by Christ. Recognize who Christ is and how much more excellent he is.

His life and death were predicted and have been fulfilled to the uttermost. He has done a more excellent work when he offered himself on the cross for you and therefore you should leave behind, you should put away any thoughts of turning away from Christ, of abandoning him and come with confidence in the promise of God that this is how he deals with everyone who believes in his son, that he does not hold your sins against you, that he will remember them no more and you are so perfectly reconciled that you have free, confident, available access to the most holy place where God himself resides. That's what Christ has done for us. But there's a side to it that we need to remember that he warns us against to which we must take heed and this brings each of us to the point of understanding and renewed commitment of our hearts.

All of these things are true. This is what Christ has done. He's purchased a perfect eternal redemption for us. But my friends, take heed, be warned, pay attention, consider this, that if you turn away from that in indifference, if you reject that, if you despise these things that have been presented to you by the writer of Hebrews, there are consequences of the most severe sort. Verse 26, he's exhorted us to come to Christ, to rest all of our confidence in him, but there's a warning of the consequences if that call goes unheeded, if you reject that call. Verse 26, he says, for if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins. If you turn away from Christ, there is no hope for your soul. There is no sacrifice that can save you. You can't go back into the Old Testament system and find another way to God. That's done.

It's over with. It is Christ or nothing. It is Christ or judgment.

And if you reject Christ, what is the consequence? Verse 27, all that is left for you is a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. Verse 28, anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Moses was lesser. That Old Testament was lesser compared to Christ as we have seen. Well, if you rejected Moses, you died without mercy.

Go from the lesser to greater. What's the consequence if you reject Christ? Verse 29, this is his point.

Look at verse 29. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled underfoot the Son of God and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified and has insulted the Spirit of Grace? What do you think is going to happen to you, my friends, if you reject Christ having heard of his great superiority over everything that preceded him? The lesser thing brought judgment.

If you reject the greater, what lies ahead is terrifying. And so the consequence that you have to settle in your own heart is this, I'm not going to walk away from Christ. Maybe you're here and you say, I've never been a Christian, I've never seen Christ like this, but now I come and I put my faith in him for my eternal redemption. I submit to him, I receive him, I rest in him as my all-in-all, as my Savior, as my Lord, as my King.

I give myself to Christ. That's the right way to respond if you're here and you don't know Christ, is to come to him. If you're not a Christian and you say, that's not for me, I'm not interested, I don't want that, let it be known that your blood is on your own head. Scripture has made it clear and has warned you. What do you think will happen? How much severer punishment those who have seen Christ, he's been presented to them and they say, uh-uh, depart from me.

The punishment for that is terrifying. And so we're brought to a place of decision. We're brought to a place of commitment. My fellow brother and sister in Christ, in Christ you have a complete, perfect Savior. Give yourself afresh to renewing your faith in him and trusting and believing him for that. You who are not Christians, here is Christ, come to him in faith, he'll save you just like he did me. Those of you who refuse him understand the consequences of that are great, they're terrifying, and they're eternal.

Why would you do that? That's Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, with the conclusion of his message, Jesus, the More Excellent Work. We've also come to the end of our series, The Wonder of Jesus. More powerful teaching is headed your way next time, though, on the Truth Pulpit, so be sure to be with us. Well, Don, what have been the highlights of this just-concluded series in your eyes?

Well, you know, Bill, if I could look at it from a satellite view, I would just want to consider a couple of things, I guess. One is just the way that God marvelously prepared the way for Christ through the prophets of old, and that their writings and their preaching paved the way for Christ to come, even centuries after they were there, and then to remember the life and the work of our Blessed Lord on the cross and how he loves us and gave himself up for us. Those are the takeaways of The Wonder of Jesus, he's the most wonderful one. Thanks, Don. And, friend, be sure to visit our website, thetruthpulpit.com, for important resources and to learn more about this ministry. That's thetruthpulpit.com. I'm Bill Wright. Thanks for joining us, and we'll see you next time, when Don Green continues teaching God's people God's Word from the Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-13 04:45:38 / 2023-12-13 04:54:28 / 9

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