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Hebrews

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Confident In Christ's Mediation

Hebrews 8:1-2

How do we know that we are accepted by God? This is the universal religious question.

A Better Covenant With Better Promises

Hebrews 8:3-6

The general pattern of religion is a sort of contract with God – 'if you do 'x' for me then I will do 'y' for you. That was the style of the Old Covenant – the Law of Moses. Obeying God brought blessing (Deuteronomy 28:1-2), and disobedience resulted in being cursed (Deuteronomy 28:15).

A New Covenant For Covenant-Breakers

Hebrews 8:7-9

If something is not broken there is no need to fix it. But the old covenant was replaced because it was incomplete – intentionally. God's Law given through Moses identified sin and provided a system of sacrifices so that guilty people could have their sin covered (Psalm 32:1).

A Promise Written On People's Hearts

Hebrews 8:10-13

Laws, the rules which restrict wicked behaviour, are written down – in Bible times they were engraved in stone, impressed into clay, or written on papyrus scrolls or animal skins. These documents allowed the rules to be read, transmitted, learned and stored; but they could not change anybody's inner desire to do right instead of wrong. The rules could only describe the crimes and their punishments; they had no power to make anybody righteous.

A Model To Explain How To Come to God Through Jesus

Hebrews 9:1-5

What, for us, is the point of the old covenant, the law given to Moses for God's people? Certainly it could not save or change people's hearts, only Jesus could do that. But it did provide multiple pictures of what Jesus would do through His incarnation and atoning sacrifice. Even though the writer did not want to elaborate on the symbolism contained in the tabernacle, just mentioning it gives an opportunity to understand the work of Jesus better.

Yesterday's Story; Today's Message

Hebrews 9:6-8

Some have suggested that the symbolism contained in the Old Testament law, especially the regulations for worship, is more in the mind of the interpreter than from God. Certainly, it is possible to invent some fanciful explanations for Old Testament narratives; but today's verses remind us that God provided a model for us to understand what He would achieve through Christ. Also, that the tabernacle was intentionally incomplete and inadequate.

The Dilemma Of Change

Hebrews 9:9-10

Some people wonder why the writer of this letter goes into such detail about why the old covenant was obsolete - and how Jesus is at the centre of the new covenant. But for some 1st century Hebrew-background believers, whose families had, for generations, scrupulously observed the Jewish law, it must have seemed a betrayal of everything they were.

The Perfect Worship-Place

Hebrews 9:11-12

Most people, if you say 'worship place' will think of a church or other religious building. We ask where is God worshipped? Our eyes habitually look around us and we look for a place on earth where God will meet with us. For the Old Testament 'church', the answer was the tabernacle and the temples which superseded it. For the earliest Christians, who were all Jews, there was some confusion. The temple was still standing, sacrifices and purification ceremonies still took place.

The Way To A Clean Conscience

Hebrews 9:13-14

God has made us in such a way that there is an echo in our consciences regarding God's assessment of our sin – if it is still outstanding and needs to be paid for (Romans 2:15); or if it is paid … in which case we know that our conscience

A Mediator And Ransom

Hebrews 9:15

These two words are both a description of Jesus Christ. Yet they are embedded in the old covenant law, showing that the law's great purpose is to bring us to Christ (Galatians 3:24). Under the old law, the priests were God's appointed mediators. They alone had the right to approach God, with sacrifices, to intercede on behalf of sinful people.

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