THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 10-25-09
LESSON TITLE: “THE NEW COVENANT…THAT SPEAKS BETTER THINGS: A BETTER SACRIFICE”
What a wonderful Lord’s Day it is, as we again gather together before the throne of God to Worship our Maker! We are so happy that you have chosen to be with us today and to give this time to the Lord. In fact, it is our privilege to be with you every Sunday morning, as we consider together, God’s Living Word.
It is my hope and prayer today that we are all uplifted in our fellowship together. Furthermore, I pray that we will glorify and praise our Creator in these acts of Worship which we participate in collectively as those who love God.
As we begin our homage to God on this day, will you bow with me in prayer!
Let me take just a moment to bring to your attention a gospel meeting which will begin today in the Carthage Missouri area. I have been invited to speak in a gospel meeting which will begin today and go through Wednesday Night. Our main theme is: “Practical Life Lessons.” So I hope you will consider joining us today at the Carthage Church of Christ that we might worship God and grow together in the teachings of Christ.
Well, I hope everyone is ready to worship God in song at this time! So, won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, “This Is My Father’s World?”
(SONG # 1)
Isn’t it hard to be satisfied with what we have in this life? We all have certainly been blessed beyond our understanding; however, we all are still guilty of having a hard time being content.
Remember what Paul said in Philippians 4:11, “…for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:” Wow, that’s a tough one isn’t it. The reality is that if we could even learn to completely believe in God and fully trust in Him - God will always provide our needs. In fact, that is why Paul prefaced his statement above by saying, “Not that I speak in regard to need,”
Brethren and friends, there will always be thousands of things we want and desire in this life. But as Christians we have to learn to look more to God, to be thankful for what He has blessed us with, and to spend our time and energies on those things which pertain to eternal life. Instead of focusing on things in this life which are simply perishing. So, just how content in this life are you with the things God has provided?
As far as our study, we will be continuing our important discussion concerning the “The New Covenant… That Speaks Better Things.” The specific lesson of the day will deal with, “A Better Sacrifice!” So stay with us and after our next song together, I will be leading us in the main thoughts of the day. But for now let’s join together in our second song of the morning. The name of this hymn, “Amazing Grace.”
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
As we go through the New Testament we certainly are excited to find that we have a covenant that God has made with us, not with Israel of old or not with the patriarchs even before those in Moses day, but a covenant that through Jesus Christ we are able to enjoy and share in agreement with Him, an agreement that He has made that He will be our God and we shall be His people. And so this agreement and covenant, this testament has certainly been established for us and for our sakes.
Last week, we began to see within our new discussion of the concept of just what God has truly done for us as we are considering together the new covenant speaks of better things.
We know that the Hebrew writer challenged us to understand that and so last week we saw what the new covenant was all about and the fact the new covenant was authorized, commissioned, challenged and delivered by God and certainly was given to us that it might replace another covenant, a covenant that as we even go back to Hebrews chapter 8 and learn needed to be replaced because of fault. You know many times when we read about the old law needing to be replaced by a new law or a new covenant; we forget the real reason why when it speaks of this fault. It was not the fault of the covenant. But as we read there in verse 8 of chapter 8 in Hebrews, the statement is made because finding fault with them. You see He found fault with the people. God established a law that was perfect as God was perfect. But man was not willing to follow it! Was he able? Certainly he was able if he had chosen to, but man was not willing to follow God’s covenant.
And so today now that we understand the fact that there is a new covenant, that the old covenant (chapter 8 and verse 13) has, been replaced with a new covenant, and then the fact that you have a new covenant, it makes the first obsolete knowing as well what Jesus said that you can’t serve two masters. You cannot worship Moses or the Law of Moses and worship Jesus and the Son of God at the same time in His covenant. You have to choose! You have to choose this day, as even Joshua said, who you will serve based on the information that you have. So will you go back to Moses Law? Or will you serve the Law of Christ? Now I suggest once again today in our discussion that you serve the Law of Christ because not only do we have a better covenant as is clearly defined there within our text, but we have a better sacrifice.
If you’ll look with me there in chapter 9 again of the book of Hebrews, I think we have summed up for us very, very well what it is we need to discuss even this day that there was something better about our covenant even greater and better than the days of Moses or the days before Moses. Verse 23 says of chapter 9, “Therefore it was necessary that the copy of things in the heavens should be purified with these but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.” That’s what we want to talk about today, the better sacrifices!
What is it that has been given today that is far better, that is much more important and significant than has ever been done? That is why we want to continue our discussion in verse 16 of chapter 9. Notice there what is necessary first to have a testament and then to enact a testament. Verse 16 begins by saying this, “For where there is a testament there must also of necessity be the death of a testator for a testament is in force after men are dead since it has no power at all while the testator lives. Therefore, not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats with water and scarlet, wool and hyssop and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people.”
You find here what we learn about the Old Testament. As the covenant of God was given, notice in its entirety. Nothing was left out. In fact, every precept of God was delivered to the people by Moses and then it was sealed with an agent, blood. What blood? Look at verse 20 saying this, “This is the blood of the covenant which God commands you and likewise he sprinkled blood on both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry and according to the law almost all things then are purified then with blood and without the shedding of blood, there is no remission.”
You see Moses understood. Israel understood. All of those in that day and even before the day of Moses and the Patriarchal Period understood that blood was a cleansing agent. We can even go back to Adam and Eve. We can look at their sons and see the fact that some of them, at least Abel, was offering an animal sacrifice, blood, and offering an animal and the animal’s blood for the sake of God to His glory.
And so blood has always been that cleansing agent and that sealing agent. But notice here what blood we are talking about. He says, “A blood that is different from the blood today, a blood that is unique. Blood that is based on animals.”
If you’ll go with me over to chapter 10, notice what is spoken there in chapter 10 of Hebrews beginning in verse 3. “But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year for it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sin.” You see now we learn that the blood of the old covenant was the blood of animals, bulls and goats. That blood was not powerful enough to do as it states here, take away sins, or as we read back in verse 22 of chapter 9 that it could actually remit or give a remission of sins. So again, something greater was needed.
Now back up with me to chapter 9. There in verse 23 we read the fact that there are better sacrifices. What are the better sacrifices? Verse 24 continues, “For Christ has not entered the Holy place made with hands which are copies of the true but into Heaven itself now to appear in the presence of God for us, not that He should offer Himself often as the High Priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with the blood of another. He then would have to suffer often since the foundation of the world. But now once at the end of age He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, and as it is appointed for Him to die once, but after that, the judgment.”
How was it that God according to His plan chose that through a sacrifice an agent or the sacrifice could be worthy enough or valuable to actually not only push sin forward a year or to the next year, but to actually forgive that sin, to actually remember that sin no more. Isn’t that what we learned last week in chapter 8 and verse 12? That God says, “I will remember your sins no more.” How do I get rid of that sin? How do I be able to forget that sin and know that God has put it behind me? Through the blood of Christ, through the blood of Jesus Himself that was shed on the cross knowing that His blood was greater. How and why? Well because number 1, even if you believe He was just a man, then it was a man’s blood in comparison to an animal’s blood. A man is created by God, the breath of life given into him and a soul that is eternal is placed in man which is not placed in an animal. So man is certainly more valuable. But Jesus was God in the flesh. John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and was God.” You see there in the beginning, the very beginning, just as in Genesis 1:1, Jesus the Word (John 1:14) who came and dwelt among us was there with God and was God. No wonder He didn’t think it robbery to be counted equal with God. Jesus is God. He is the Son, the only begotten Son (John 3:16) of the Father. Therefore, to know that the blood of God Himself in the flesh in the name of Jesus is shed for our sins. Boy, certainly that is a great sacrifice. Certainly the blood of a man and the blood of God in the flesh Himself is great enough not only to push sins forward, not only to atone for sin, but to remit, forgive and remember sin no more. That is exactly the emphasis that we continue to see within the text here. That’s exactly the challenge that we find out in knowing that the blood of Jesus was far greater than anything of this world ever had been, ever could be or ever would be in the future.
I want you to back up with me now again into chapter 9. You might notice that we are reading a lot of scripture today, but certainly the best explanation for the answers to our question is found directly in the words of this inspired man. If we’ll read here in chapter 9 I want you to notice the comparison here made between the animal blood and the blood of Christ and how much more significant the one is than the other.
Continue with me if you will in verse 11. There of chapter 9 the Bible says, “But Christ came as a High Priest of the good things to come with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands that is not of this creation, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all having obtained eternal redemption, for if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ?” What are we talking about here? He is saying in the Old Testament and under the Old Law, if the blood of a bull or a heifer or a goat was taken and sprinkled on the altar or sprinkled in relationship to sanctification or purification, if it was able to cleanse by the law of God, how much more Jesus sacrificing Himself figuratively on the altar and how much more His blood being poured out as atonement on the altar for our sakes unto the glory of God?
That is what he is stating in verse 14. Therefore he says, “How much more shall the blood of Christ than the bulls and goats who through the eternal spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscious from dead works to serve the Living God.” There we have God’s work again.
And now we read about our work. God says, “I have offered My Son (John 3:16) that whoever believes in Him might (what?) have everlasting life. I have offered My Son and the blood of My Son.” Why was He worthy? He was perfect as God in the flesh, with out spot, without blemish (verse 14). Therefore who is Jesus? Verse 15 goes on to say, “And for this reason, He is the Mediator.” Who? Jesus! The Mediator of what? “He is the Mediator of the new covenant by means of death.”
What do we have? A new covenant. What do we have? A new testament. What is needed to have a New Testament? The same chapter said, “The death of a Testator.” Who brought the New Covenant? Jesus. Who died for the New Covenant? Jesus. Who then sealed the New Testament and the New Covenant? Jesus. And with what? The most perfect thing that ever could be offered, His own blood on the cross for you and for me. Oh what a beautiful though, what a wonderful and glorious concept because it goes on in chapter 15 also to talk about the fact that we have eternal life promised to us because of the shedding of His blood.
Another idea that we have brought out in this same section that we just considered in chapter 9 there in verses 11 and following is the idea mentioned in verse 11 of the High Priest. You might recall back in Hebrews in chapter 4 that it speaks of our High Priest Jesus Christ and it says, “One who has passed now through the Heavens.” “He is at the right hand of God,” as Hebrews chapter 1 verses 1-4 indicates. But He is the one now who holds fast our confession. Why? He lived on the earth. Verse 15 says, “He suffered as we suffered and now gives us the confidence that through His blood we might (what?) have eternal life.” We might have the glory to know that we have through God been lifted up, not because of ourselves, but because of God. God is glorified and therefore as His children, we are glorified in and through Him to His glory for His sake. When we live righteous lives, when we strive to be obedient.
There in chapter 10 again of Hebrews, we continue to see that emphasis there on this great covenant, on what the covenant will do and then he reiterates yet again in verse 17 the fact that, “The sins will be remembered no more under the New Covenant.” Why? Verse 18, “Now where there is remission, there is no longer an offering or need of an offering for sin.” What has been found through the blood of Jesus Christ? Remission of sins. No wonder in Revelations 1 and verse 5 we read, “We are washed in the blood of Jesus.” No wonder Revelations 7 and verse 4, we learn that “we become white and our robes are white as we are washed in the blood of the lamb.” No wonder as we continue to consider here that we find ourselves to be cleansed and purified and made holy through God Almighty because we have been given a better, a much more perfect and a satisfying sacrifice to meet all the needs and requirements not only of God but of man that we might not only be called children, but that we might also be forgiven in His name.
And so I might challenge us to think and to wonder, “Do we, as those who love God, know the perfect sacrifice that has been made, the perfect sacrifice that has sealed the perfect covenant, the perfect sacrifice that has come from a perfect God that we might strive to follow our God in a perfect and complete way?” You see, what we have through God is far better than has ever been; far better than will ever be because what we have in and through God, the blood of Jesus Christ, is perfect. Therefore through its perfection, we are given the chance to be seen in God’s eyes as those who are worthy, not only worthy today of the blessings of this life and those things that are promised to us as faithful children certainly by a loving and a caring Father, but also the promise and hope of eternal life that we have read of even this morning. Eternal life that is only ours because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the bloodshed that we might have life eternal.
Will you serve your God? Will you respond to the great sacrifice?
(SONG # 3 - “Be With Me Lord!”)
Thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in giving this time to God. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to all of us. We invite you back every Lord’s Day morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this offering for God!
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How wondrous it is to know that we have been redeemed with the most ultimate sacrifice of all – Jesus Christ our Lord. May we therefore respond in obedience to such an offering, that we might be found pleasing in the sight of God!