Sunday October 23, 2016 “Hebrews Highlights The High Priesthood of Christ”

An Overview of The Book of Hebrews

  1. Convince Them The Old Way Is Better
  2. Keep them from their Future in Christ

The Cultural Pressures Produces These Spiritual Symptoms:

Hebrews was written to christians, who are addressed in ….

 More Specifically – Hebrews was written to Hebrew/Israeli/Jewish Christians because.

Hebrews Historical Overview 

Christians always are challenged to keep Christ first and not let the culture curve the direction of our discipleship to…

  1. Convince us the old way is better!
  2. Keep us from understanding the past in the context of our future in Christ.
  3. In other words, the culture wants us looking backwards in the wrong way. The culture wants us to have the wrong interpretation of our past.

The first readers of Hebrews were probably in Jerusalem where Christian persecution first began in Acts 7:54 – 8:3, which records the stoning of Stephen, which Saul approved, as held the cloaks of those who did the stoning, and then used the emotional momentum of that day to start 8:1a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 8:2Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. 8:3But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.

Note that Saul who we know as the Great Apostle Paul was converted by the steadfast, immovable testimonies he heard from the people who accepted imprisonment, rather than lie to him about their faith, and Who God and Christ truly are! So in Acts 9, when Paul is knocked off his horse, he willingly accepts Jesus is the Lord, Christ – because he had heard it again and again from the people he persecuted.  

Hebrews Historical Overview:  The Culture Attacks Christianity Heb 10: 32-39

Heb 10: 32 tells us the enlightened endure.

Heb 10: 35-36 tells us confidence in Christ has a great reward to receive what is promised. 

Heb 10: 38 tells us righteous one (“just” – KJV) shall live by faith, which echoes Habakkuk 2:4, and means: Those who have been justified by faith in Christ, and who have Christ’s righteousness imputed to them – must continue living in that faith, because there is a warning for those who shrink back. 

Heb 10:32  32But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. 35Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. 37For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; 38but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” 39But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

Heb 12:4 ESV In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

KJV – Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.  

Following Culture Rather Than the Bible Stifles Spiritual Growth Heb 12:12 -17 

Heb 12: 12 – 17 12Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. 14Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; 16that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. 17For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.

Heb 1: 12-17 informs us that we all are the walking wounded who can be made alive in Christ. 

We all …

  1. are lame but can be healed (vs.13 )
  2. must strive for (take care to diligently pursue) peace and holiness without which no one will see the Lord. (vs.14) Peace = eirenikos  akin to A, “eirene” 1) “the harmonized relationships between God and man, accomplished through the gospel. 2) It denotes the “peaceful.” fruit of righteousness, because it is produced in communion with God the Father, through His chastening that connects us to “the wisdom that is from above,” Jas. 3:17.
  3. Culture says, “Get even – never forgive and move on.” All gov’t initiatives of women’s rights, black rights, sexual rights – all are subtly designed to keep us pitted against each other in ever spiraling circles of unforgiveness, blame and guilt.
  4. can fail to obtain the grace of God; and let a “root of bitterness” spring up that causes trouble, and by it many become defiled. (15)
  5. must guard against being sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. 17For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears. (16) we (Some things just can’t be undone – so God warns us, “Don’t do them!”)

All the above keep us from effectively carrying Christ into the culture.    

Culture Impedes Education Leaving Us At An Elementary Knowledge of Christ Heb 6:1-2 &19 -20

Christians are Challenged to move beyond the basic, elementary truths expressed in Heb. 6: 1-2 to move forward into discipleship that is focused on daily obeying the Holy Spirit’s guidance – so we become and do our part in the Body of Christ

Heb 6: 1-2 1Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

Yes God wants us to repent and leave the dead works of our past. Yes God wants us to understand correct doctrines of baptism, resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. but… God expects us to move forward into discipleship that is focused on daily obeying the Holy Spirit’s guidance – so we become and do our part in the Body of Christ.

19We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.  (Gen 14:18  Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. And Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High, brought Abram some bread and wine.

Heb. 13: 8 – 15 indicate the marks of maturing discipleship are…

  1. a heart strengthened by grace (vs. 9)
  2. the ability to live outside the camp and bear the reproach Christ endured. (vs. 13)
  3. the capacity to continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. (vs. 15)

Heb 13: 8 – 15 8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 9Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them. 10We have an altar from which those who serve the tenta have no right to eat. 11For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. 12So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. 13Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. 14For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. 15Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.

The Culture Seeks to Cripples Our Efforts to Carry Christ Into A Changing Culture

Matt 22:36-38 

Liberty Christian Fellowship is striving to show the world’s cultures the Supremacy of Christ by

  1. what Christ did for them on the Cross
  2. what Christ did through America’s Founding Fathers to inspire and nation built on the application of Biblical Christianity to civic life – which produced Western Civilization – that though it is not perfect, is the closest thing to Heaven on earth the world has ever known, and reflects how God wants US (pun intended) to live, as we each individually 1st self-govern under the 10 Commandments and 2ndly apply God’s Bible blueprint to harmonize your civil society under His law of love and grace.

Summary: overcoming culture to live for Christ is a marathon, not a sprint Heb 12:1-2

Heb 12: 1-2 1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Our victory in our marathon requires endurance and looking to Jesus

COMMUNION: 

What we must look at is Jesus our high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek   Heb 6:19 – 20

Heb 6: 19-20 19This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, 20where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

THE FIRST COMMUNION RECORDED IN SCRIPTURE

Gen 14: 17 – 22 Abram Blessed by Melchizedek  17After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). 18And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) 19And he blessed him and said,“Blessed be Abram by God Most High Possessorb of heaven and earth; 20and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!” And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

Heb 7:1 1For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. 3He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever.

To view the recorded message on YouTube, go to:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaU03Fzx9VY

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