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Wednesday, November 24 2021

Contributor: Adewale Abiona

INTRODUCTION

As we consider some of the few remaining verses in last chapter of the book of Hebrews, and as the author has encouraged us to show the love of Christ towards all, both Christians and strangers, and to remember show empathy to those in hardship. He goes further to remind us to honour marriage, to be content with such things as we have, and to remember those that help build the foundation in our Christian lives.

Today, we will consider the consistency of God’s word under the heading “Jesus Doesn’t Change”
As you rightly know that the motto for this mission is the verse 8 of this very chapter taken from KJV version “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever”

Verse 8: Jesus Is The Same
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever”

When we consider the world today, in comparison to few years ago, you will realise how things has evolved. The magnitude at which things has changed and the rate at which the society look forward to new things is very interesting. Things people once loved yesterday has become a thing of the past today. If we consider Nokia Phones in their time and todays mobile technology, you will agree that Samsung and Apple has make life easier through their technology.
In like manner people change from time to time. The person that liked you yesterday, no longer want to see you today. The level of inconsistency with man or desire for new things seem to be what we expected of God.
We everything is going well; we believe God must be smiling at us but when thing isn’t going our way, we think He must be angry at us.

But He is the same,

Mal. 3:6
"I am the Lord, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed. (NLT)
His decisions are constant"

James 1:17
"Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow." (NLT)

God is our rock - stable, unmoving, unshifting, unchanging.

2 Samuel 22:47
The LORD lives! Praise to my Rock! May God, the Rock of my salvation, be exalted!

Verse 9: Divers and Strange Doctrines
"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"

Because Jesus is the same, His teaching does not change either. It stays the same, generation after  generation. Although society changes, trends shift, and styles go in and out, however, the gospel, the message, the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ, remains the same.

In 2Tim. 1:13
"Apostle Paul told Timothy to “Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me—a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus.” (NLT)

"A Pattern" is some that is repetitive. It is something that doesn’t change, done over and over again.
Now this kind of repetition is not exciting enough for some people, especially as we get use to the dynamics of thing. Many are always on the lookout for the new thing, new method, style, New wave of glory, new outpouring of the Spirit, new revelation, new truth, new understanding, and new way to tolerate and accommodate (even iniquity?) They want more and go off in search of " Divers and Strange Doctrines."
The Bible warned that this would happen in the last days:

1Tim. 4:1
"Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons." (NLT)

2Tim. 4:3-4
"3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will reject the truth and chase after myths." (NLT)

We see it all around us today - Divers and Strange Doctrines surround us. They fill Christian world, all kinds of Christian TV stations, and Christian churches.
The Old Testament Law had much to say about which foods were clean and which were unclean and the early church observance of this becomes religious ritual on how to find favour with God. But did observing the food laws make a man any more holy or righteous?

Jesus said in (Mark 7:18-19),
18 “Don’t you understand either?” he asked. “Can’t you see that the food you put into your body cannot defile you? 19 Food doesn’t go into your heart, but only passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer.”

By saying this, he declared that every kind of food is acceptable in God’s eyes.

And in 1Cor. 8:8 Paul said
"It’s true that we can’t win God’s approval by what we eat. We don’t lose anything if we don’t eat it, and we don’t gain anything if we do."

A lot of people like to be religious and be bound by or make such a big deal about following food laws, and judge anyone who claims to be a believer, but doesn't follow those same standards.

The Bible tells us in Col. 2:16-17
"16 So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. 17 For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality."

The Grace of God, which is His love and favour given to us does more to make us righteous than following any religious believe. Because His love in our heart will guide us into all truth.

Verse 10: A New Altar, A Better Sacrifice
"We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat."

The priests that served in the temple ate from the sacrifices on the altar. They are the people with more restrictions placed on them regarding what and where to eat

Leviticus 10:12-15
12 Then Moses said to Aaron and his remaining sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, “Take what is left of the grain offering after a portion has been presented as a special gift to the LORD, and eat it beside the altar. Make sure it contains no yeast, for it is most holy. 13 You must eat it in a sacred place, for it has been given to you and your descendants as your portion of the special gifts presented to the LORD. These are the commands I have been given. 14 But the breast and thigh that were lifted up as a special offering may be eaten in any place that is ceremonially clean. These parts have been given to you and your descendants as your portion of the peace offerings presented by the people of Israel. 15 You must lift up the thigh and breast as a special offering to the LORD, along with the fat of the special gifts. These parts will belong to you and your descendants as your permanent right, just as the LORD has commanded.”

But this verse declares to us that we have a new altar that our sacrifice is on. Our sacrifice is Jesus on the cross." This is a once and for all sacrifice that isn't allowed to be eaten of by the temple priests. He goes on to explain how Jesus was a fulfilment of the sin offerings in the temple

Verses 11-12: Bearing the Suffering all Alone
"11For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. 12Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate."

Lev. 16:21-22
"21 He will lay both of his hands on the goat’s head and confess over it all the wickedness, rebellion, and sins of the people of Israel. In this way, he will transfer the people’s sins to the head of the goat. Then a man specially chosen for the task will drive the goat into the wilderness. 22 As the goat goes into the wilderness, it will carry all the people’s sins upon itself into a desolate land."

The scapegoat was an illustration of Jesus Christ. The goat had all the sins of the people transferred to itself. It alone would bear them all. The same is true for Jesus:

Isa. 53:6
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all.

Then the goat was taken outside the city. So too with Jesus, who was led out of Jerusalem to be crucified on Calvary.

Ps. 103:12
As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

This goes to show the consistent of God’s love for His children and how much he cares for us to the point of putting our sins away from us and laid upon His own begotten Son.

Verses 13- 14: Let Us Go Forth To Him
"13Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach.
Here we are been encouraged to leave the four walls of religion and go all out for Jesus bearing the pain and anguish that come with identifying with Christ. Establishing relationship with the Holy Spirit, who will guide us into the perfect will of God 14For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.
Knowing that our reward is not in this world, but of the new one to come. To forget about our comfort zone, our earthly Jerusalem, because the heavenly Jerusalem is waiting for us."

Verse 15: The Sacrifice Of Praise
"Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name."
The only sacrifice that is required of you and I continually praise the King of Kings and the Lord of lords for all that is has done to redeemed us from ultimate penalty of sin and has blessed us, making all grace to abound unto us.

CONCLUSION
Since the fall of Man in Genesis, God sought to reconcile man back to Himself. Though He was frustrated at first that he created man but His unique intention for creating man cannot be derailed or defeated. God took three tremendous steps to carry out His original plan of imparting His eternal life into us so we could share His life and express Him.
Step 1—God became a man named Jesus Christ (incarnation)
Step 2—Christ died on the cross to redeem us (crucifixion)
Step 3—Christ rose from the dead (resurrection)

While the burden appeared to be too heavy for Christ to bear, he stayed focused, submitting to the course of redeeming you and I and this gives me the assurance that he will never leave nor forsake me. He is dependable, reliable, unchangeable, unbreakable and ever constant friend
The question for you and I is
• Can you stick to Him till the very end?
• Can you trust Him with your life?
• Will you remain loyal to Him as He is to us?
Romans 8:38-39
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 03:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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