OUR CONSCIENCE (vs. 9 & 14)
Through much of this chapter our author continues to show us the differences between the old and new covenants. Something I would like us to focus on is the matter of our conscience. The conscience is the small “jimminy cricket” voice inside us that tells us if we have been naughty or nice. In the old covenant, with all it’s glory, pomp, and circumstance, the conscience of God’s people could never truly be made clean. …
People really get a kick out of playing video games. In fact, some spend more time on their computers and devices than they do in the real world. I’ve even read stories where people have added their virtual reality accomplishments to their real life job resumes in an attempt to prove their leadership prowess and work ethic. Unfortunately, people are not impressed with accomplishments that aren’t made in the real world. You can be a hero in a video game, but real life is more brutal when you look in the mirror and see a 35 year old man living in his moms basement with no job….
…Our author is now going to use the next 4 chapters to make 4 very specific points about how Jesus is better than the previous Judaic system…
Chapter 7: Jesus is of a better priestly order
Chapter 8: Jesus is priest of a better covenant
Chapter 9: Jesus is a better sanctuary
Chapter 10: Jesus is a better sacrifice
MELCHIZEDEK AND JESUS
We begin chapter 7 by looking at how Jesus is a better priest than the levitical order. Remember, Jesus wasn’t a Levite, but from the tribe of Judah.
…WELL DESERVED ENCOURAGEMENT
Our author knows his warning about falling away is sure to be unsettling to the struggling church. While looking deeply into our lives and working out our own salvation with fear and trembling is very healthy, even true believers who have been saved by God may fall into despair at these harsh words. For this reason, the rest of chapter 6 is an encouragement. The author, inspired by the Holy Spirit, now let’s God’s people know that He sees salvation for them in their future.
…WARNINGS HAVE TEETH
It has always seemed a bit strange to me how theologians and pastors trip over portions of Scripture like these in Hebrews. They seem to go far out of their way to convince us that the Bible doesn’t really mean what is being said. There are many flavors of interpretation one can choose from the internet to help them digest this portion of Hebrews. My suggestion to you is to interpret them as they are written without forgetting the context thus far in the book.
MOVING ON TO MATURITY
Why do we learn our ABC’s? We learn them not to simply complete a task or earn a gold star. The alphabet is an integral part of reading. We learn the basics of the ABC’s so that we can “move on” to reading picture books, comics, and eventually literary works of importance, like the Bible. The simple meaning our author is trying to communicate is that it’s time for our Jewish Christian audience to move on from the simple things into the mature understandings of who Jesus is and what He has done for us.
…YOU HAVE BECOME DULL
We have now come to the 3rd of 5 warnings our author gives his Hebrew readers. Remember that the Holy Spirit is using our human author and his warnings to encourage these early Christians, and us, to press on towards Christ without turning back to past ideologies and practices. The first warning was for us not to “drift away” (2:1). The second warning was for these Christians to not “harden their hearts” (3:7-13). This third warning bursts from the pages abruptly.
Hebrews 4:14 – 5:10
HOLDING FAST AND DRAWING NEAR
As Christians, we are given many ways to “experience” the grace of God. A common misunderstanding occurs when we replace our “confession” with our “experiences.” We are not commanded to hold fast to our “experiences,” regardless how beneficial they have been in our lives. However, we are commanded to hold fast to our “confession.” It is the confession from which the experiences are derived… not the other way around. …
A Better Rest
In chapter 4, the author turns our attention to the spiritual rest available to us through the finished work of Christ. He does this by pulling from several aspects of rest found in the Old Testament.
At the end of Hebrews 3 and the beginning of Hebrews 4, he references the Israelites who wandered in the desert and were not permitted to enter the Promised Land because of their unbelief (3:19)….