We are in the Church Stream reading from the International Standard Version.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
Thank you Lord for saving our souls, for making us righteous in your Covenant written and sealed in your blood. This is our rich salvation. Amen.
This is more notes on theology and issues that pertain especially to the Hebrews. They pertain to us as well for we are Judeo-Christians. Those who follow Christ Jesus must remain mindful of the fact that He was a Jew.
Did you ever realize that? Jesus was not a Christian. We are. We are to be learning what the Hebrews are to be learning. “So as for you Hebrews” … the book continues.
6 – The immaturity was an issue that needed to be addressed. Have you heard of people who live like the Devil all week, confess on Friday or sober up very late Saturday, get to church shabby and blurry-eyed but indeed go [out of guilt] yet consider it enough to clear them for another week of raucous mindless living? I’ve actually heard a church goer excuse some ungodly tendencies, “hey, relax, we went to church last weekend. We’ll go next weekend. The in-between is our time. We won’t go to hell for anything. We were baptized years ago. We’ll be all right.” This see-saw/yo-yo faith is not excusable. We are to grow in Christ, not vascilate in and out of Christ. Those who are endlessly jumping in the mud so to shower off so to jump in the mud, then shower off only to jump in mud infinite amounts of times all-the-while saying they are “busy for the Lord” are fooling themselves and themselves only. Repentance is so that we can turn our back on sin permanently, not so that we can feel fine about continually going back to sin. There are many facets of this concept and the unpardonable sin, sins that are mortal and lead to death, sins that are lesser or more. The arguments will never be finalized. It’s better to just hear the words of the apostle here in Hebrews, resolve to grow in our faith and service v.s. argue about how ungodly we can be and still be saved Those arguments are fruitless. Abandon them and grow with Jesus.
7 – The biblical character Melchizedek receives the best explanation in Hebrews. The Hebrew revered Moses, David, Elijah. Abraham got special honors from the Hebrews and since Abraham paid reverent homage to Melchizedek then this mysterious figure from 2,000 B.C. gets a ‘hat-tip” as well. The writer of Hebrews lays it out plainly that Jesus is the high priest we are to honor now. Yes, remember and honor all these biblical characters, especially Abraham and Melchizedek. But using them to rationalize that “we’re covered” and subsequently shun Jesus is not reading this right. It’s easy to guffaw what’s in front of you and say things were better way back when or way over someplace else. .Remember John/Baptist telling the illicit leaders visiting from Jerusalem, “don’t say ‘we have Abraham as our father’ (and think they can ignore the matters at hand and the fact that the grid for salvation was about to change). That was from Matt. 3:10 and Luk 3:9. The same ethic is being explained here. Jesus is the great high priest now. Crooning about the good old boys and/or the good old days is hapless. Jesus is the King of Righteousness and the matter is settled. We pray because of Him, by way of Him, and to Him now. Some posit that Melchizedek, the mysterious and glorious priest, was Shem, Noah’s middle son, the father of the Semitic peoples, who really was still alive in Abraham’s time. And some records maintain that he was the oldest man on earth at the time. Study that further if you wish but like The Book of Hebrews and Jesus so effectively remind us, don’t let older topics cloud your mind to what matters most now
8 – The New Covenant was given by Christ and in His blood and it is better; it is superior to the old covenant given through Moses. It had to start this way and be exercised as it was but it needed to be perfected by Christ Jesus. Therefore Christ’s ministry is superior. The old covenant was not enough to cleanse permanently. There’s an old story about a Catholic boy and a Jewish boy walking home from school and each was explaining their faith to the other. The Jewish boy was in awe after the Catholic boy finished his part. The Jewish boy exclaimed, “you just confess your sin and that’s it!? And your guilt just goes away? Why is it so easy? We have guilt in our faith too, but it never goes away!” The message of Jesus is that He is our permanent priest now – Great and high and powerful and perfect and permanent in His office wherein He serves on our behalf. Christ too now is better for covering us for glory’s sake. We see the word “better” 11 times in Hebrews – in the translation we used this week. That also applies to this New Covenant in Christ. It is better. It is superior.
9 – Many of the changes from old to new are told in this chapter. The Tabernacle and the animal sacrifices served an era and a purpose, but they never permanently saved and solved like Christ does now. The blood of the lamb was the symbol of forgiveness. Christ offered Himself as the sacrifice through His blood. And His sacrifice was once and for all and for all time. There are so many parallels and comparisons and the issue is that we see that Christ is better and only HE is sufficient now. Here it is told why the new covenant was needed and put in place. Read it again or play it again if you need to hear it again. This is very vital. Notice that the new covenant morphs into the New Testament. Our word, “new testament” comes from right here in Hebrews 9. A last will and testament goes into effect after a person has died. Christ’s death (resurrection) put the new covenant into effect as a testament; a testament that speaks to us still. A will and testament also transfers valuables to another person or persons. The New Testament in Christ transfers righteousness to us. It also transfers membership to a city of gold that is being prepared for us…it transfers the citizenship of that city to us also. The blood of goats and bulls cannot do this. The blood of Christ received by us in faith accomplishes all of this.
The Thread Through the Streams
Bring what you have to God. Bring your offerings, your errors, your questions, your earnings, your life. Bring it all to God.
-In Numbers 28-30 the offerings were brought to God – every season, festival, holiday, month, week, day – and it was a joyful regimen
-II Chr.5ff. The Ark is brought to God in the Temple and praises erupt. Solomon brings his prayers to God before the people and God displays His wonders in awesome fashion. [no magic – simply coming before the Lord!]
– Prov.5-8, in an antithetical manner, reminds people to not bring personal needs to a prostitute. And since we need to be learning as a people, be learning from the Lord, from godly parents. Come to God with personal
needs, financial needs (v.s. joining with hucksters,liars,hookers) You will go somewhere with these needs so in an illustrative sense, Proverbs is telling us to go to God with all this.
-Ezekiel 16-17 had some painful themes this week. He tells of how God has come to them like a bridegroom. In a sense, but Israel runs away, God asks “why will you go anywhere with anyone but you won’t come to me?”
And because you do not “bring yourselves to me, you will be plucked up and hauled away like what happens when an eagle snatches up a rodent.
-Zephaniah 1 is scathing, but the passage ends this week [Zeph.2:3] with a tender urging that the people humble themselves, seek righteousness – and come to God.
-In John 3 Nicodemus brings his questions to God Himself. Yes, he is coming to Jesus at night, but his questions drove him to do so even though it jeopardized his standing with the leaders.
I.e. come to God however you can, whichever way, and whenever you can. Do what you must, but come to Him tonight – today. Come to Him like Nicodemus did; now.
-Hebrews 6ff. urges to get off the metronome of “sin, confess, sin, confess” and come to God; grow in God. And as for the old way of coming to God, sacrifices and offerings (to Melchizedek), honoring Abraham, yeah yeah…
COME TO JESUS! That’s how we come to God from here on. The shady Samaritan woman found God and turned evangelist after talking it through with Jesus. Amazing week of stories, wasn’t it?!