- A CLOSER WALK WITH GOD (2)
- BELIEVER'S AUTHORITY (35)
- BIBLICAL PROSPERITY-a Balanced Approach (36)
- BOOK OF ACTS OF THE APOSTLE (45)
- BOOK OF HEBREWS (41)
- BOOK OF REVELATION (35)
- FAITH (23)
- FIRST AND SECOND CORINTHIANS (45)
- FOLLOWING GOD'S PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE (42)
- HOLY SPIRIT (22)
- IN-DEPTH STUDY OF EPHESIANS (19)
- IN-DEPTH STUDY OF THE BOOK OF GALATIANS (21)
- IN DEPTH STUDY OF THE BOOK OF ROMANS (38)
- PROSPERITY (18)
- PROVERBS CHALLENGE (5)
- PROVERBS CHALLENGE 2024 (4)
- STUDY OF ISAIAH (39)
- THE GREAT SHEPHERD (20)
Wednesday, July 28 2021
Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
I. VERSES 1-4: THE SACRIFICES PRESCRIBED BY THE LAW COULD NOT COMPLETELY REMOVE GUILT AND SIN
“The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason, it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2 Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. 4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” (NIV)
In the first two verses, Paul argues that the Law was only the shadow of good things to come, and not the very form of things. For this reason, the repeated sacrifices could not make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, they would have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had a consciousness of sins. “To make perfect” refers to our standing in God’s sight. It includes total cleansing from sin, so that we have a clean conscience. If our consciences are aware of sins that have not been confessed and forgiven, we will hesitate to draw near to God. We see this same response with Adam and Eve. As soon as they sinned, they tried to hide from God’s presence. They didn’t want to face Him because of what they had done. As parents we would have had the same experience. You come home and your child avoids you. When you track him or her down, they won’t look you in the eye. They don’t want to draw near to you because of a guilty conscience.
Next in verse 3, Paul goes on to argue that the annual sacrifices (on the Day of Atonement) only provided a yearly reminder of sins. The fact that every year the people had to go through this ritual sacrifice again and again only showed that it had not completely removed their guilt.
Then in verse 4, he states plainly, “it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” Animal blood has no permanent efficacy for human sins. God designed that system of animal sacrifice to point ahead to His provision of the sacrifice of His Own Son. As eternal God, His sacrifice has infinite value. As man, His sacrifice atones for human sin in a way that the blood of animals never could.
II.VERSES 5–10: CHRIST’S OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S WILL AT THE CROSSSET ASIDE THE OLD TESTAMENT SACRIFICES AND PROVIDED PERFECT STANDING FOR US BEFORE GOD
“5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; 6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. 7 Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll— I have come to do your will, my God.’” 8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."
Apostle Paul started off with Jesus’ quote prophetically penned down in Psalm 40:6-8. These verses show us the pre-existence of Jesus Christ as eternal God. But not only this, from these last 6 verses of today’s reading, we learn three key points:
1. THE CROSS WAS THE DIRECT WILL OF GOD.
The cross was not an accident or an unforeseen tragedy that took Jesus by surprise. It was not a temporary setback that God figured out how to turn for good. Rather, the cross was God’s predetermined plan, before the beginning of time, to deal with our sin. The Son of God would come into this world as a man, would fulfil through His obedience the complete Law of God, and then would die as the sacrifice that the justice of God demands as the payment for sins.
There is a great mystery here that we must submit to: even though God ordained the cross, down to minute details (e.g. casting lots for Jesus’ clothing), He is not in any way responsible for the sin of those who crucified Jesus. As Acts 4:27, 28 puts it: “For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.”
2. CHRIST’S OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S WILL AT THE CROSS SET ASIDE THE OLD TESTAMENT SACRIFICES ONCE AND FOR ALL.
“He takes away the first [O.T. sacrifices] to establish the second [the will of God at the cross]” (Vs. 9). When the psalm states that God did not desire or take pleasure in sacrifices (Vs 5-6), it reflects a frequent theme in the Old Testament, that God did not desire sacrifices for their own sake. Rather, the sacrifices should reflect a repentant heart (1 Sam. 15:22; Ps. 51:16, 17; Isa. 1:11-13). God is displeased when people go through the outward motions of worship, but their hearts harbour sin that they are unwilling to forsake.
3. BY CHRIST’S OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S WILL AT THE CROSS, WE RECEIVE PERFECT STANDING BEFORE GOD ONCE AND FOR ALL.
In verse 10, the Apostle Paul uses “sanctified” to refer to “inward cleansing from sin” and “being made fit for the presence of God, so that …[we] can offer Him acceptable worship”. “Have been sanctified” is the Greek perfect tense, signifying a past action that has ongoing results.
Parts of this study was culled from:
Wednesday, July 21 2021
Contributor: Clem Roberts
Last week we studied how Jesus ratified the will of the Father, the differences and similarities between the will and the testament. How Jesus' death made God's Will valid, making it legally and heavenly binding in all manifestation and operation. We also, looked at how "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness." As we progress further in our study on the book of Hebrews, we will be looking the Hebrews 9:24-28.
Verse 24; For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; This verse elaborates the difference between the holy places.
Verse 25; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another”
Verse 26; He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.”
Verse 27; And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
Verse 28; so, Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”
This conclusion was culled from Mathew Henry’s commentary on verse 24-28 of Hebrews 9.
Wednesday, July 14 2021
Contributor: Isekhua EVborokhai
In last week’s study we saw how Christ Himself was the perfect sacrifice. Today’s study we will be looking into understanding the terms “will” and “testament.” The KJV uses the word testament in verse 16; interpreted from the Greek word used to represent covenant and testament. However, in context, it refers to a slightly different idea. The NLT and other versions use the word “will” instead which is less prone to confusion. The point being made here is that certain legal agreements only take effect upon the death of the one who wrote the will.
What is a Will?
What is a Testament?
There is no difference between a testament and a will these days. In recent times, the words “testament” and “will” are often seen together as “last will and testament.”
Verses 16-18: Jesus’ Death Made God’s Will and Testament Valid
“16 Now when someone leaves a will, it is necessary to prove that the person who made it is dead. 17 The will goes into effect only after the person’s death. While the person who made it is still alive, the will cannot be put into effect. 18 That is why even the first covenant was put into effect with the blood of an animal.”
Obtaining a family inheritance for instance only comes after the death of the family member and after the will is read. The same is true of the both the Old and New Covenants. They were put into effect after death, and always with blood. This is an amazing truth about the Covenant we enjoy through Jesus. His death put the will of God into effect and made it legally binding and in operation. It is important for us to know what this Last Will includes so that we will understand what we have inherited through Jesus. To do this we must look at what Jesus said His mission, or God’s will for His life was.
Luke describes this perfectly.
Jesus came to preach the gospel, free the prisoners (Mark 10:45, Hebrews 9:15), restore sight, (John 1:18, II Corinthians 4:6, Colossians 1:15;19, Hebrews 1:1-3), release the oppressed (Romans 6:6, Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 4:24), and announced the Lord’s favour to mankind (Luke 2:14). This was God’s will concerning the life of Jesus. He came to bring us into fellowship with the Father through the gospel. The good news is that our sins are forgiven and paid for through Jesus, and that we have been redeemed and purchased back by His blood.
Verses 19-22: Without the Shedding of Blood There is no Forgiveness
“19 For after Moses had read each of God’s commandments to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, along with water, and sprinkled both the book of God’s law and all the people, using hyssop branches and scarlet wool. 20 Then he said, “This blood confirms the covenant God has made with you.” 21 And in the same way, he sprinkled blood on the Tabernacle and on everything used for worship. 22 In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.”
Both the Old and New Covenants were put into effect by blood. The blood proved the death, thereby enforcing and enacting the will of the one who died (Heb. 9:17). Leviticus 17:11 explains why the blood was used, “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life”. So it was necessary for both Covenants to be ushered in by blood, because first it proved the death because the blood is the life force. And secondly, it was given for atonement. So without it, there could be no forgiveness for sins.
Verse 23: Jesus Entered Heaven Appearing Before God on Our Behalf
“23 That is why the Tabernacle and everything in it, which were copies of things in heaven, had to be purified by the blood of animals. But the real things in heaven had to be purified with far better sacrifices than the blood of animals.”
Every time the priest made atonement for the people, it was merely a dress rehearsal for the real thing. The High Priest was the “stand in” for the "star". They merely showed a glimpse of what truly would take place at the pinnacle of history when Jesus entered into the heavenly tabernacle, in full view of God the Father Himself to offer a perfect sacrifice for us. This was the means to bridge the gap and usher in the New Covenant founded on, and made perfect in His blood.
Jesus didn’t enter a man-made tabernacle, patterned after the heavenly one. He entered into heaven itself. His blood was the entrance fee (Hebrews 9:12). His blood was the cleansing agent (Hebrews 9:14), His blood sealed and ratified the New Covenant made by God on our behalf (Matthew 26:28; Hebrews 9:22). His blood took care of the sin issue once for all (Hebrews 10:10, Hebrews 10:12, Hebrews 10:14, Hebrews 10:18). His blood bought us eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12; Hebrews 10:12, Hebrews 10:14). His blood was the exchange that took our sin and bestowed on us His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). His blood made everything alright and since it was offered in the presence of God the Father it was a one-time deal (Romans 5:1-2). His blood undid everything that sin and death ever took, ruined or stained (Romans 5:15; Romans 5:17; Romans 5:21). And His blood gives us the confidence to approach God by faith so we can find grace and mercy just when we need it (Hebrews 4:16; Hebrews 10:19-22).
Parts of this study was culled from: https://www.jcblog.net/hebrews/9/23-24/jesus-entered-heaven-appearing-before-god-on-our-behalf