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April 30, 2020 4:00 am
The Bible makes it clear that Jesus is more than a prophet or a good teacher. He is God the same time is also fully human.
And today on Truth for Life.
Alastair Begg wants us to reflect on the amazing reality of the incarnation and how it relates to Jesus role as our great high priest in the book of Hebrews chapter 5 verses 11 to 14 just in the same way as we should not be unsettled by this notion of the phrase there in verse five.
Today I have become your son, as if somehow or another was calling in question, the eternal son ship of Christ. So in the same way. I don't want you to be put off by this notion of Christ being referred to as one who has learned obedience. The find of the matter is that we tend to learn obedience by facing the unpleasant consequences of our disobedience, and as parents we will sometimes say to our children well if you can learn on the basis of my positive instruction then you're going to learn on the basis of the negative input that you receive. And so when we come to a phrase such as this were tempted to believe then that it would be that Christ moved from disobedience to obedience, but clearly that is not the case and I think quite obviously when you think about it, it means nothing more than this, that the Lord Jesus, alarmed by his sufferings. Just what obedience to his father involved in practice, that he who was obedient by his very nature learned the significance and the implications of that obedience as he walked the path of his everyday life and in the conditions of his earthly pilgrimage. It was true to say that there was this learning of the significance and the implications of his obedience. Similarly, in verse 19. That is another potentially unsettling phrase when it refers to the Lord Jesus as he who once was made perfect in becoming perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation.
In each case the answer is largely the same.
We should not think that he was not our son, and became a son because the Bible teaches is clearly his eternal son ship. We should not think that he was moving from disobedience to obedience since he walked the very path of obedience all through his life. Nor should we think that he was moving in any sense from imperfection to a fraction new experience of perfection. One commentator puts it like this. There is a perfection that results from having actually suffered and it is different from the perfection that is ready to suffer so Christ was possessed of the perfection that was ready to suffer, and he then entered into a perfection that resulted from having actually suffered.
I find it helpful to think of this notion of perfection in terms of being perfectly fitted to the office of high priest, and in the path that he wants to walk throughout his life he was entering into the discoveries of the implication of his obedience, and in this experience, he became fully qualified to be the Savior and high priest of his people and that is the emphasis of the writer here in these verses, and as a result of that.
It tells us in verse nine in the second half that he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him. It's interesting although not surprising in light of what we have already seen the writer should describe the believers in terms of their obedience because after all he has been laboring to make the point that it is by our obedience and by our removing ourselves from unbelief that we reveal the reality of the change that has been performed in our lives.
As a result of God's grace. It is not to say that buyout obedience. We are saved because we know that Christ alone is the author of salvation, but it is to say that the reality of our salvation is attested to by our walk of obedience and Jesus himself made that clear. John 1415 if you love me you will obey what I command, so that our obedience will give testimony to know when you think about this in relationship to the 11th verse of chapter 4. You can see how important it is.
Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of what that example of disobedience. So the writer issues a compelling challenge to the individuals who were beginning to waver in their profession. Now if you look at verse 10 and then look forward to verse 11. You can see two things one that were going to come back to this matter of Melchizedek and to an honest statement in verse 11 we have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you're slow to learn. The problem is not so much in the realm of the explanation as it is, as it has to do with the laziness and waywardness of the listeners and that's where were going, but let's not just backtrack to the final little paragraph here in chapter 4. Assess the writer. Therefore, since in Jesus we have this great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess the background to this, you see is surely that some people were saying what is this Christian thing it doesn't see much of a religion.
After all, you don't seem to have very much you don't have any of the necessary requisites of what would make up a bona fide religion you see in people's minds are so programmed by external and earthly things when it comes to the experience of religion that it is deeply unsettling for many of them to have nothing really very much at all except a Bible and the indwelling power of the spirit of God, but that was the experience of these first century Christians. The church grew in the first 400 years without any form of mass evangelism and without any church buildings is not to say that you should have mass evangelism or vision of church buildings, but it is simply to acknowledge what was the case well says the writer. We had a great high priest, and while the athlete priest is were going to see may have gone through the curtain and into the most holy place our great high priest Jesus has gone through the heavens, verse 14, and has appeared on our behalf before the father. So instead of being upset at the apparent absence of the great high priest. The implication is, we ought to be absolutely thrilled at his absence is apparent absence. That is because he is physically absent from is now in order that he might be experientially present with us by the Holy Spirit and in order that he, as the risen and exalted high priest may bear in our needs before the father at his throne in heaven itself.
He is dealing with God on our behalf. That's why we love to sing the song Jesus is King and I will extol him and given the glory and honor his name and those lovely lines that we sing we have a priest whose they are interceding pouring his grace on our lives day by day. While many of us have not fully understood the implications of that we song the words were said well I'm sure that is probably true.
Otherwise we wouldn't be saying it once we get a few more verses and chapters in the Hebrews. Every time we sing it. You say I got that one nailed. I understand that now I know about this Jesus, he is not only my profit and my King. He is my great high priest and the very greatness of his priesthood lies in the fact that he is offered himself for our sins once and for all. That's in verse 27 of chapter 7 we need simply to anticipated in order to make the point.
There's just so much wonderful stuff to which were coming and if you needed to get from verse 23 of chapter 7. Now that I've been many of these priests since death prevented them from continuing in office and one diet and another wanted to be put in his place.
I look at this in verse 24, but because Jesus lives forever because of his eternal son ship. He has a permanent priesthood.
Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him. Why, because he always lives to intercede for them such a high priest meets our need one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heaven unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his sins and then for the sins of the people. Why will he tells us he sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.
In other words, any earthly priesthood is rendered obsolete on account of the work of Christ our great high priest, and that is why you see Christian ministry, and those who of us who have been called of God and set apart to the privilege and responsibility of the gospel ministry have not been set apart as an order of sacrificing priests as he doesn't make any sense to set apart an order of sacrificing priests. Once you understand that our great high priest has offered up the one great sacrifice for sin. Christ's priesthood leaves no room for any sacrificial offering for sin, either in heaven or on earth. Therefore, those who are called to be ministers of the gospel make the offer of propitiation, not to God on behalf of man, no, for Jesus is our great high priest upon the cross, has offered one propitiation for sin. Therefore, what we do what we actually come from God, and we offer to men and women propitiation on God's behalf was totally the reverse is these are not two parallel tracks. These are two totally opposite ways of doing business. If you pardon me in one system. The man stands to offer something to God on behalf of the people in the other he stands before the people to offer them something on behalf of God is all the difference in the world loved ones what the writer is doing here is establishing the supremacy of Jesus. He is the great high priest is not a mere mortal.
He is Jesus the son of God. Verse 14 and also he is making clear and enabling us to derive encouragement, not simply from the supremacy of Jesus, but also from the sympathy of Jesus. This is the wonder of verse 15, when Christ took upon himself human nature, he became subject to its limitations in its trials. We saw something of that in verse 17 of chapter 2. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God and so his sympathy with the sinner in his trial does not depend upon the expedience of sin clearly and cannot because Jesus is without sin is the writer tells us, but it depends upon the experience of the temptation to sin, which the sinless, and which only the sinless can know in its full intensity, so the sympathy of the Lord Jesus is not a sympathy from a distance. It is a sympathy from the immediacy of his having walked out errantly road having experience the intensity of temptation. Many of us are discouraged, simply that we face temptation.
Some of us come to the Lord's day like this and were frankly embarrassed because of the magnitude of the magnetism of the pool of temptation in our own lives and we need to realize at least two things.
One, that it is not wrong to be tempted. That temptation in and of itself is not sin, that the experience of being tempted is not sin, for Christ was sinless, still enjoyed the reality of temptation. It is in the yielding to temptation that we said we see this is not an honors course in theology. If you need an honors course in theology to understand temptation and to be able to stand back from where would most of us be in a worse state than we are tonight, but it is enough for the child to understand Jesus is able to sympathize with us because he's been tempted far more than we are.
We don't ever feel the strongest pool of temptation. The reason is we given to certain we've never known what temptation is like an ultimate strength because we given long before it reached his intensity.
Only he who has never responded to his intensity has known the amazing magnetism of temptation and that is when Jesus lived with all his life. Temptation took him to the very brink on every occasion such that none of us have ever known. Because we capitulated long before the fires were turned faced with the temptations that we face. He yielded to none of the.
Therefore, on the basis of this truth. The writer urges action on two fronts.
Let me point them to you and we are conclude. First, he says, in light of all of this material. One verse 14. Let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. Isn't it interesting how he uses the plural here is is not an exhortation to them, but he includes himself in it he says now we all should be doing this.
This is a pattern he does it all the time. Verse one of chapter 4 led us to be careful that none of you be found or fallen short of it. He said were all in this together in the same way as were about to see in verse 16 he says let us then approach the throne of grace in chapter 6 and in verse one. Therefore let others leave the elementary teachings and you can go through the hole in the book looking for the times that he says let us all the lettuces if you like the for those of you who are into gardening.
There are number of lettuces in in Hebrews and you can go through and you can find now the implication is simply this, that if we are to ensure that we do not slip away as a result of laziness or neglect.
We must hold firmly to the faith we profess.
What is the faith we profess. While that Jesus is our great high priest.
So the fact of the high priesthood of the Lord Jesus is vital to ensuring that we do not drift away. That's why it's so very important for me to spend the day underpinning for each of us the significance, the nature and the necessity of the priesthood of the Lord Jesus because this truth will help us love ones.
Let us ask God to write these truths in our hearts so that we might hold firmly to the faith that we profess. That means more than simply holding firmly to the truth of who the Lord Jesus is and is priesthood. It means holding on to what the Bible teaches about all of the world. It means going into the book of Genesis and saying here is, it is God's explanation of the origin of the universe and though the world may laugh at it and people made is dated. I believe it means understanding and believing all that God has said regarding sin and death and eternity and salvation and saying you know what I'm going to hold firmly to the truths in this book and then finally let us not only hold firmly to the faith we profess. But in verse 16 that is approach the throne of grace with confidence. I don't know that I've ever been before the throne. In actuality, I suppose traveling around.
I've seen one or two that had to do with historical factors, but I've never gone before the throne. I have a sneaking suspicion that if I were to get the summons to go before her Majesty's throne.
I would be not sure that I would go with confidence. IVI would go with fearfulness, but he says here's a way to come before the throne of grace with confidence in the Old Testament the high priest represented sinful and weak human beings before a holy God.
And now he says Jesus is representing us and making it possible for us to go forward with confidence because it is a throne of grace. It speaks of God's riches at Christ's expense and what happens at that throne while he says that that throne. We can receive mercy which we badly need to deal with the sins of yesterday and we can find grace which we sorely need to meet the deed and the needs of today that is then approach the throne of grace with confidence we see when we are most aware of the trouble that faces us when I am most aware of my weaknesses when I am embarrassed and ashamed by my failures where my going to call and quite honestly, where you going to go, irregular psychiatrist, University of friends depend on how they're feeling, they may condemn you. They may cajole, he may be like Job's comforters amazing wall with the reason you're in the predicament urine because you're a lousy center and if you clean your ragtop and sorted a few things out.
You drag your sorry Taylor their same boy, I wish I'd never gone in there to talk to her.
We should never gone there to talk to him who you going to go out to go to the great high priest standing somewhere in the shadows, you'll find Jesus and he's the only one who cares and understands. Standing somewhere in the shadows you will find, and you will know him by the nail prints in his hands.
Do you think that you would feel confident enough to go before one who die in order that we might hold firmly to the faith we profess.
And in order that regularly and humbly and confidently, we might come into the presence of a God who welcomes us by means of a Christ who understands us but a wonderful thought and eventually in eternity.
There will be nothing else to plead except when we stand before him. We will be able to say I, on the basis simply of the promise of your work that in resting and believing in the provision of your son, the Lord Jesus Christ is my great high priest. He has borne my sin.
He has carried my punishment.
His stripes have made me whole. And I'm glad that you are a God who welcomes me and I thank you Lord Jesus that you are Christ who understands me and I pray that you will help me then to dispense the same kind of welcome the same kind of understand to my brothers and sisters who struggle with me on the journey through life fixing our eyes on Jesus, our great high priest at our goal today on Truth for Life with Alistair Begg back.
That's our goal as we continue our spiritual journey. The only way to be a follower of Jesus is to fix our eyes on him that that image the Christian walk following Jesus.
That's the basis of one of the most beloved and enduring Christian books of all time. The classic, the Pilgrim's progress for centuries. This book is resonated with believers as they have seen their own trials and victories reflected in the story of a man named Christian who is on a journey to the celestial city. If you're looking for encouragement to persevere in your journey of faith. We want to recommend this book were excited to make a beautiful, newly updated edition available to you today is our way of saying thanks for your support of this ministry today is the last day you can request your copy so don't wait. You can give and request the book online at truthforlife.org/donate or mention the title, the Pilgrim's progress.
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This daily program features the Bible teaching of Alistair Begg and it's furnished by Truth for Life Learning is for Living