Chapter Six


This morning we began learning how God uses Jesus to help the struggling, troubled Christian. We noted that Christians must know and understand that Jesus is our mediator and intercessor before God, and that we must understand what it means for Jesus to be our mediator and intercessor.

We noted that Jesus has always been the bridge between God and man. We examined Paul's encouragement to struggling Christians in Romans 8, and we began a careful understanding of the writer of Hebrews to the struggling Christians he addressed.

In Hebrews we learned the following things: In Hebrews 2:17,18 (1) Jesus came into this world and had the total human experience in order to be qualified to be our perfect high priest before God. (2) As the Christian's perfect high priest, he is at God's right hand to atone for the Christian's sins. (3) He understands perfectly how to help a Christian who is struggling with temptation because he also suffered in his temptations.

In Hebrews 4:14-16, (1) Jesus is touched by and can perfectly feel everything we feel in every weakness we have. (2) He has personally experienced every form of temptation we must face. (3) However, he did not sin, so our high priest knows how to win against sin. He knows how to help because he did not fall into evil. (4) Because he stands by God as our perfect high priest, God wants us to approach his throne boldly in the times of our greatest need. (5) For the person who is a Christian, God's throne is the throne of grace, not the throne of judgment. (6) When we need it the most, God wants us to come boldly to that throne in the full confidence we will receive grace and mercy.

Now let's understand even more perfectly and completely what Jesus is doing for us as Christians as our high priest beside God.

  1. Just how powerful, how adequate is Jesus as our high priest beside God?
    1. After explaining that Jesus' high priesthood is superior in every way to the Jewish high priesthood, the writer makes this statement in 7:23-27. Read.
      1. Jewish high priests died in office, so one of them were permanent representatives of Israel before God.
      2. However, Jesus will continue to live forever, his high priesthood is eternal, and his priesthood and its functions will never change.
      3. Because he is an eternal high priest, because his priestly service in representing us before God will never change.
        1. One, "he can save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him."
          1. NIV---he can save completely
          2. JB--his power to save is utterly certain.
          3. TEV--he is able to save now and always
          4. NEB--he is able to save absolutely
          5. RSV--he is able for all time to save those who draw near God through him.
          6. The writer says a Christian's salvation is not conditional as long as that Christian remains near God by staying in Jesus.
        2. Two, he can save completely, absolutely, now and always, for all time those who draw near God through him because "he ever liveth to make intercession for them."
          1. TEV--because he lives forever to plead with God for them.
          2. NIV--because he always lives to intercede for them.
          3. JB--he is living forever to intercede for all who come to God through him.
          4. NEB--he is always living to plead on their behalf.
          5. RSV--he always lives to make intercession for them.
      4. Next, the writer says that "such a high priest became us, holy, guileless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens."
        1. TEV--Jesus is the high priest that meets our needs.
        2. NIV--Such a high priest meets our needs.
        3. JB--To suit us, the ideal high priest would have to be holy, innocent and uncontaminated beyond the heavens...
        4. RSV--For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest.
        5. The only kind of high priest who could perfectly take care of our spiritual need was the very high priest Jesus is.
      5. Jesus does not have to offer a sacrifice for his own sins every day, and then offer sacrifices for the sins of God's people--as did the Jewish high priests.
        1. He permanently took care of the need for a sacrifice for sin one time for everybody by offering his own sinless body as a sacrifice.
        2. The Mosaical law appointed imperfect men to be high priest.
        3. God's oath appointed Jesus, the perfect man, to be high priest.
    2. After explaining the Mosaical system was just a symbolic shadow of heavenly realities, the writer states this in 9:11,12. Read.
      1. Christ is the high priest of all the good things that God intended to bring into being, the good things that now exist.
      2. He is serving as high priest in the perfect tabernacle, the heavenly tabernacle made by God, not by human hands, not a part of this world.
      3. He did not enter God's own heavenly tabernacle with animal blood, but with his own sinless blood.
      4. He has entered in the heavenly holy place with his atoning blood one time for all people.
      5. The redemption that he obtained with his own blood in the heavenly tabernacle is eternal redemption--it permanently buys a person back from sin.
    3. Now look at 9:24-26.
      1. Jesus did not enter into a man-made holy place which was just a human copy of the real holy place.
      2. Jesus entered into heaven itself to stand before God's own face to represent us.
      3. He does not have to offer his own body and life in sacrifice once every year as the Jewish high priest had to offer the sin offering for the nation each year on the day of atonement.
      4. If that were necessary, he would have to die over and over again.
      5. But to begin the last spiritual age, the age of perfect forgiveness, he sacrificed himself to create the means of permanently putting away sin.
    4. Look again in 10:10-14.
      1. The offering of Jesus body on the cross as the perfect sacrifice for sin to be offered one time for everyone has sanctified, made holy, we who are Christians.
      2. The Jewish high priest had to offer the same sacrifices for sin for God's people, Israel, over and over every day, and those sacrifices never destroyed the sins.
      3. Jesus offered the once-for-ever, the perfect, eternal sacrifice for sin, and having completed the perfect offering he sat down on the right hand of God (the Jewish high priest never sat down--the job was never permanently completed).
      4. Please note verse 14--Jesus has perfected forever them that are sanctified.
        1. TEV--With one sacrifice, then, he has made perfect forever those who are clean from sin.
        2. NIV--By one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
        3. JB--By virtue of that one single offering, he has achieved the eternal perfection of all whom he is sanctifying.
        4. NEB--For by one offering he has perfected for all time those who are thus consecrated.
        5. RSV--For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.
    5. In summation, what is it that Christ has done and is doing?
      1. He has done the following things:
        1. He offered his body on the cross as the perfect, sinless, eternal sacrifice for sin.
        2. That one sacrifice took care of the problem of sin eternally.
        3. He took his own pure blood into the heavenly sanctuary to atone for sin eternally.
        4. There will never have to be another sacrifice for sin.
        5. That sacrifice perfectly solved our problem.
        6. Because of that, he became the perfect high priest that we had to have who stands before God's face and represents us.
      2. As long as we continue in Jesus and his blood, he constantly intercedes for us before God.
        1. Our salvation is not conditional.
        2. We are constantly being cleansed by our high priest.
        3. As high priest, he is constantly serving before God to care for our sins.
        4. We are made holy by that blood, and that blood-not our perfection--keeps us holy.
        5. That blood permanently sanctifies us as long as we remain in Christ.
      3. So:
        1. Jesus offered the permanent solution for sin.
        2. Jesus became our permanent, perfect high priest.
        3. When we become a Christian by entering Christ, Jesus permanently destroys our problem of sin, and he begins endlessly representing us before God.
      4. Please remember this is what the writer of Hebrews told those struggling Christians who were at the point of renouncing Christ! This was his message to very weak Christians, not to strong Christians.
  2. If those Christians understood what the writer of Hebrews was saying, how would it affect them? What would they do? Read with me 10:19-25.
    1. These struggling Christians will boldly enter God's holy place by using the blood of Jesus.
      1. They are bold not because they are good, perfect strong.
      2. They are bold because they understand the power of the blood of Jesus.
      3. They enter by following the way Jesus created for them, the avenue he made by being the way, the truth, and the life. They go to God through Jesus. .
      4. They go before God with boldness because they have absolute confidence in their perfect high priest who is representing them.
    2. This is the manner in which they go boldly to the throne of grace.
      1. They draw close to God with sincere hearts and with the full assurance of faith in all Jesus is and has done for them.
      2. They go in the full confidence of the power of Jesus blood to cleanse the conscience and in the confidence of their baptism.
      3. They go holding firmly to their confession that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, not just made at baptism, but made continually as they live their lives.
      4. They go in full confidence of the hope provided them by the perfect sacrifice of Jesus.
      5. They go in the full confidence that God will keep every promise he has made to them as Christians.
      6. They go with the commitment to encourage each other to continue to love and to do God's good works.
      7. They go with the commitment that they will not neglect the fellowship of worship, and they will urge fellow Christians not to neglect it either.
      8. That is what the understanding of the perfect sacrifice for sins, the perfect high priest, and the eternal solution for your sins does.
    3. This emphasis on the Christian being bold in Jesus to go before God is a privilege that is emphasized in the New Testament.
      1. Hebrews 3:6--As Christians we are God's house if we hold fast our boldness.
      2. Hebrews 4:16--We are to draw near the throne of grace with boldness to receive mercy and help.
      3. Hebrews 10:19--Jesus' blood gives us boldness to enter God's heavenly holy place
      4. Hebrews 10:35--They were not to throw away their boldness.
      5. Ephesians 3:12--In Christ Jesus we have boldness and access in confidence through our faith in him.
      6. I John 2:28--And now, my little children, abide in him; that, if he shall be manifested, we may have boldness, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
      7. I John 3:21--Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, we have boldness before God; and whatsoever we ask we receive of him, because we keep his commandments and do things that are pleasing in his sight.
      8. I John 5:14--And this is the boldness which we have toward him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us ...
    4. We must understand that boldness is not:
      1. Brashness.
      2. Arrogance.
      3. Disrespect.
      4. Ingratitude.
      5. Demanding.
      6. The boldness given us by Jesus' priesthood and blood is the confidence to go to God himself and ask for grace and mercy when we know that we have failed.
    5. That boldness is never based on our goodness or deservedness.
      1. It is confidence in the Christ who represents us before God.
      2. It is full faith in the perfect blood of his eternal sacrifice.

Do you now understand what power you have available to you because you have been baptized into Christ and are God's Child?

transcribed by Christy Hesslen
Copyright © 1992, David Chadwell
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