Friday, March 8, 2013

Is Our Faith Genuine? Background To Our Study (Lesson #1)

In Hebrews 10:1-39, we find a text that is dedicated to warning professing Christians of their need to make certain they are the recipients of God’s grace.  Let us all take time to carefully study this passage and then apply these truths to our lives.   This could make the difference between spending eternity with our Lord and spending eternity in the Lake of Fire. 


We are to NEVER make uneducated, flippant assumptions about our spiritual condition….

Matt 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.





Hebrews 10:1-18




The Background Of Our Study – The Work of Christ: The Completion of Our Salvation  Heb 10:1-18…



For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.  (2)  For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.  (3)  But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.  (4)  For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. 


The OT sacrifices could not take away the sins of the people.  To clearly display this, the Lord commanded that the sacrifices be performed on a yearly basis.  In this way, the people would be forever reminded that the sacrifices were not sufficient to cleanse them from their sins. 


(5)  Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:  (6)  In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.  (7)  Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.  (8)  Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;  (9)  Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 


In God’s plan, the sacrifice of animals could not secure the forgiveness of sins, but it would only be completed through the sinless obedience and sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Because of this, the Father gave Christ a fleshly body so that He would be able to serve the Father during His earthly ministry.  With His body, Christ could teach the message that came from His Father; He could glorify His Father through acts of obedience to His will; and, most importantly, He could be physically abused, crucified and die on the cross. Finally, Christ was given a physical body so that this body could come forth after three days and nights in the tomb, to prove to all that the sacrifice of Christ had been complete and was found acceptable in the Father’s sight.


In doing all of this, Christ fulfilled the symbolism of the ceremonial law (the first) so that He might, by grace, secure eternal salvation for His people (the second).


(10)  By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.  (11)  And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:  (12)  But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;  (13)  From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.  (14)  For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.


Christ completed the work of our salvation “once and for all” and “forever”, permanently removing us for sin’s enslavement and placing us into the servanthood of Jesus.  Christ’s service to the Father was absolutely successful in redeeming His people, this is why the Father exalted Christ to a position of high authority placing Him at His right hand. 


(15)  Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,  (16)  This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;  (17)  And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.  (18)  Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. 


Another proof we have that the work of Christ was the complete sacrifice for our sins is found in the indwelling Spirit of God.  It is through the Spirit that we have the law of God in our hearts and minds. Also, it is the Spirit’s continuing ministry that reminds us of God’s desires for our lives. These are living witnesses within us of the completion of Christ’s work and our forgiveness and adoption into the family of God.


Our text so far has emphasized the inability of the law to save.  It then explained the the complete, eternal work of salvation has been secured through Christ as the sinless servant of the Father.  This is the context we must keep in mind as we enter into our study….


In our next study we will be looking at Hebrews 10:19-25 “The Study – Is Our Faith Genuine?”

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