THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 11-8-09
LESSON TITLE: “THE NEW COVENANT…SPEAKS BETTER THINGS: A BETTER HOPE”
How wonderful it is to know God and to have the health, strength, and will-power to give this time to Him on this Lord’s Day morning. Thank you for putting God first today and choosing to commit this time of offering to His service.
Today, we will again be uplifted through our commitment to serving God as commanded, as we approach His almighty throne. How enjoyable it will be to worship our God through prayer, song and the study of His matchless Word. Won’t you do your part this morning to see that our worship together is acceptable so that our glorious creator may be glorified?
Now, as we begin our offering to God, will you bow with me in prayer!
Well, it’s time to join in our songs of praise. The first song of the morning is entitled, “Faith Is A Victory.”
(SONG # 1)
Do you ever say things you regret? Do you ever wish you could take something back that you have already blurted out? Well, if you’re like me - we all stick our foot in our mouth from time to time. And guess where it gets us - into trouble. Solomon understood this to be the case as well, as he made this statement in Proverbs 21:23, there we read, “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.” Wow, what a great lesson to learn - if only we could follow this great advice!
Let’s use another scripture this morning, which helps us learn to be in better control of the things we say. In James 1:19, God says, “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;” If we could only learn to think before we speak. If we could only learn to consider the impact our words will have. And if we could only contemplate whether our words will really do good and build up, or if they will harm and tear down. Brethren we all need to learn to control our words! But why? Well again this verse tells us that it keeps us from wrath. Because if we fall into wrath, notice what James says that does to us in verse 20 of the same opening, “for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”
Do you want to be like God? Do you want to have words that are pure, wholesome and edifying to the hearer? Then brother, sister and friends, learn to control your mouth! Therefore, showing forth God in all things!
As far as our topic of the day, this morning we will continue our series on, “The New Covenant… Speaks Better Things.” Our specific lesson of the day will focus on, “A Better Hope.” 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, “Farther Along.”
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
In Hebrews chapter 12 and verse 24 we read the Bible, “To Jesus the mediator of a new covenant and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.” Here and again lies the theme of our discussion after the past several many weeks of good considerations from the book of Hebrews considering together those concepts of a new covenant that God spoke of as well as what that covenant speaks about and specifically what we continue to see time and time again is better things. In this verse specifically we see the concept of even better than Abel, the concept of righteous Abel. We have seen even last week the concept of Jesus being greater than the angels or even Moses or all those that we read about even throughout all Bible times. Why? He is and was the Son of God. He is and was the Savior sent to accomplish great things for all of mankind and so today we continue to look at this new covenant of better things. What does it speak to us today? What does it challenge us with and help us with that we might know better our God and obey His Will?
In the book of Hebrews now and chapter 7 we find our main thought of the day. The idea of hope is discussed here. But I want you to notice with me first of all the context that is being dealt with. You and I know well again within the book of Hebrews as it deals with Jews and the idea of the Old Law that the Jews were very much those who were very much tied specifically to the Law of Moses, and they looked to the Old Law as really their supreme guide as it was from God to those people of that day. However, when Jesus came and lived and died and shed His blood and was buried and rose again the 3rd day, there was a better opportunity that arose. So how is it that we would see that God somehow could bring about a new covenant based on a better sacrifice and even a better High Priest than anything before?
Well you see that was all according to God’s plan because here in chapter 7 we are introduced to a man called Melchezadech, King of Salem. And we read about here how Abraham paid tithes to Melchezadech. If you’ll notice with me there within verse 4 of chapter 7 the Bible begins to say this. “Now consider how great this man was to whom even the Patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils, and indeed those who are of the sons of Levi who received the priesthood have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law that is from their brethren though they have come from the loins of Abraham, but He whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises.” What is it speaking about here? What it is trying to help us understand and what it is primarily trying to help the Jews with of that day is to see that Jesus is a fulfillment of the prophecy of the Old Law, but Jesus is better. Why? Because Jesus did not come from the Old Law. In fact, Jesus superseded the Old Law or the Law of Moses. In fact, we know John 1:1 tells us “He was God in the beginning.” Verse 3 says, “He was the Creator.” But in this text we learn that Abraham, as we go back before Moses, before the law, even Abraham was paying tithes to a man, a man who was known as the most High Priest of God, a man who was a king of Salem and a man who God seems to have chosen to be a servant in that day. Isn’t that exciting?
Isn’t it exciting to know that Christ and the priesthood that Christ comes from predates Moses, predates the Old Law? Now why again would that be so significant? Because the Jews just could not let go of the priesthood. They just could not let go, as it says here, the descendents of Abraham who through Aaron began to have the High Priest and his sons as priests and the organization of the Old Law. So the only way the Jews could possibly grab hold of something that was greater than the Law of Moses and the Law of Moses and its priesthood was by finding something that superseded it. Jesus Christ! And Jesus Christ falls after or comes after the priesthood that was even before the descendents of Abraham that was even before the establishment of the Old Law that was even before the establishment of the priesthood of the old Law starting with Aaron the brother of Moses. And so Jesus is a High Priest after the order of Melchezadech. That’s what verse 17 tells us.
But then I want you to notice with me what he goes on to state. Specifically let’s look at verses 18 and 19. “For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandments because of its weakness and unprofitableness for the law made nothing perfect. On the other hand, there is the bringing of a better hope through which we draw near to God.” Therein lies our main thought of the day as we again tie Jesus and the covenant and all of these things into something far greater and better. We now see what comes out of that: a better hope!
Think about hope. You know the idea of hope is an exciting concept and a better concept here through Jesus Christ than it ever was back in the days of Moses or before, and so a better hope is offered to us because of what has happened in relationship to the New Covenant sealed by the blood of Jesus Christ.
With that in mind, we might look at a few passages that tells us where true hope comes from. The Psalmist said there in Psalm 38 and verse 15, “For in you, oh God, I hope.” God is our hope! God is the one that we look to in hope and for hope, for He has established all things.
What about in Romans chapter 15? We again see a challenging thought about hope and where hope comes from. Verse 13 says, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope (by what?) the power of the Holy Spirit.” Did you notice what it spoke of? It spoke of the hope that we will abound in through the Holy Spirit, but from whom? The God of hope! Where does hope come from? God!
And so when we read of a God who offers hope to His people, we certainly see that God throughout that period of the Old Testament and during the Law of Moses. So what would it then mean that we have a better hope, even better than what God did in the past? Well we have begun to establish that through our lessons together, through looking at Christ and who Christ was and being a better sacrifice, a mediator, and a better High Priest. On and on and on we have looked at many of these ideas confirming that certainly we have a better hope because everything about the New Covenant is better. It is just better because it is based on things that are better. Centrally the thing which we know to be the greatest, Jesus Christ, the very Son of God, God in the flesh who gave Himself to not only purchase us, to forgive us of our sins, but to seal the covenant, as we read there even in Hebrews and chapter 8.
What does hope mean? One writer defined it as “an opening of the eyes.” But if we were to look into a dictionary, we would find a confident or favorable or desire or expectation, or even a happy anticipation of something that is to come. So hope is something that is out there, something that we look for, something that we long for that we want, we have expectation of and we desire and it brings us joy, but yet we haven’t experienced it yet. It might be like that birthday that is coming around and you think, “Boy, I’m excited and it is favorable, and I hope I get this, and I hope that.” You see, it has not happened yet, but all the thought is there. All the excitement is there. Well with God we have hope. What hope? The great hope and the great promises that are confirmed in and through His Will.
Turn back to the book of Romans once again with me in Romans chapter 8. Perhaps this is one of the better definitions we might say of hope within the scripture. There in verse 24 of chapter 8 you might notice with me what Paul says to the church at Rome. He says, “For we have been saved in this hope.” But notice what kind of hope he is talking about. “But hope that is seen is not hope, for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it and,” it says, “we have perseverance.” You see, hope is not something that, I don’t look or hope for something that I already have. If I have been looking at a car and hoping for it, and I finally buy that car and I own it and I’ve got it, there is no longer hope because it is mine. You see I have already accomplished the task. But here the idea it says is that hope is something that again is favorable. I am excited. I am looking for, and looking on to, but I have not yet received or accomplished it. It is based on things not seen rather than things seen.
Sounds like faith, doesn’t it? Sounds like faith is a big part of hope, knowing and believing and seeing that which has not yet been seen. Oh what an exciting thought to know that God has given us so many hopes, an abounding hope that we might have every confidence to know that what we hope for is real. Is that not the definition that we read of faith there in Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 1? “Faith is the substance of things hoped for,” but guess what, “the evidence of things not seen.” We’re hoping. We’re longing. We’re looking, but we have not yet got it.
So we need to know what hope is as we have now seen it in the Word of God, but then we need to see what hope is described as. What does it do for us? What does it accomplish in our lives? We’ve already seen the idea of the fact that it saves us. Because of time we can’t look at all of these verses and so I hope you have a pen and a paper handy and I hope you will write these verses down because I want you to note that there are hundreds of references to what hope does in our lives. What does hope do?
Well one such example is found there in Hebrews chapter 6 and verse 19. Since we have been looking together into the book of Hebrews we might look at this text together. There in chapter 6 and verse 19 the Bible says, “This hope we have as an anchor of our souls.” The hope that God can be trusted and be counted on and do what He says is what the context is dealing with. And so he says what? “This hope is an anchor.” You know if we think about an anchor, something that is counted on, that is established, that is dug into the ground, we have that hope through God.
We also know that, “hope does not put to shame.” (Romans 5 verses 4-5)
Hope also gives answers or is willing to give answers, (1 Peter 3:15)
Hope is that which motivates us to serve God and do His Will. (1 Corinthians 9 and verse 7)
Hope encourages us. (Proverbs chapter 10 and verse 28)
Hope gives us mercy. (Psalm 33 and verse 22)
Job said that, “Hope is that which we have security in through our God.” (Job 11 and verse 18)
The great love chapter speaks of faith, hope and love. “The greatest of these love, but hope is among those things,” 1 Corinthians 13 verse 13, “that abide.”
We also see that hope produces patience. (Romans 8:25)
Hope is that which purifies the life of an individual. (1 John 3:2-3)
You see on and on and on we could go because it is hope that as we have seen that through all things has given us the chance not only to know God but to believe and anticipate and look unto those things that we have not yet experienced. So therefore when we look at the idea of the hope of salvation, when we look at the idea of the hope of the new birth (1 Peter 1 and verse 3) no doubt we understand that God loved us enough to do whatever it took that we might have hope.
How many of you have been to heaven? Well not a one of us have been to heaven. How many of you have actually been and sat down and had a dinner with Jesus and asked questions that you have got? Not a one of us, but we hope and we know that what we have is true and real from a God who can be counted on.
A final thing that we want to look at together is: What do we have hope in ultimately? Well we have already looked at some ideas such as the concept that Jesus will come again and resurrect Himself there in 1 Peter 1 and verse 3, the idea that salvation is found through hope. But what about these concepts and ideas? We have hope in the righteousness of God. (Galatians 5:5) If we are to be children of God, even John tells us in 1 John that we are to be those (chapters 3 and 4) that we are to be those that show the love of God and who are righteous as God is righteous.
We also know that hope is that which confirms to us the second coming of the Lord that someday He will come again with His mighty angels. But why? Why is the Lord coming again? What hope do we have not only in that He will come but there is a benefit to us as those who await His coming. Well Titus is told by Paul in Titus chapter 1 and verse 2 that, “In hope of eternal life in which God who cannot lie has promised even before time began.”
What is it that we await for? We await for eternal life, the promise, the hope of it that God who Titus says, as is recorded by Paul, who does not lie will give us who are faithful in the end.
So you see the promises of God? Do you see the promises of God that are introduced to us here and that really we will continue to see even next week together through the book of Hebrews? Because guess what the book of Hebrews also deals with besides the hope of all these things we have seen including those things of this life that we hope for as blessings of God including the wondrous things that we hope for eternally as the home in heaven. Guess what He also mentions is better under the New Covenant. He says, “The promises of God.” “The promises of God are better through Jesus Christ our Lord.” And so what is it then that we should strive for? What should we want? What should we desire as those who hope? Well as we read earlier there in chapter 7 of Hebrews and verse 19 that “we might by hope, a better hope draw near to God.”
I challenge you to find hope in God and to draw near to God because the only way you can be a part of a better covenant, with a better sacrifice, with a better mediator, and with a better hope and gift and offering, with a better ultimate promise, a better reward is by not only knowing Jesus but in obeying Christ. Have you obeyed Christ? Have you done what the Bible says? Have you done what He requires that you might have hope of eternal life?
(SONG # 3 - “Footprints Of Jesus!”)
What a blessing it has been to join together in the things of God this morning. Thank you for doing your part in making all these things to be according to His Will. As always, we invite you back every Lord’s Day morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this offering for God!
But for now, let me ask if you have any questions or comments about today’s lesson? Maybe, you would like a free transcript or a cassette tape of this program? Possibly, we could assist you with free Bible materials or correspondence courses? No matter what your need is, please contact us at the following address:
The Living Word
2540 N. Kansas Expressway
Springfield, Mo. 65803
Many of these items are available on our website: www.thelivingwordprogram.com
Or if you prefer, you may call us at:
Thanks be to God for the hope we have unto salvation, through Jesus Christ. May we ever respond to this hope and use it as a motivation to serve God and to give Him our best. Have you reacted to this better hope?