Archive for February, 2013


Those who draw near to God will know His holinessWe must re-visit the incident with Nahab and Abihu. We still have much to learn about the Blood of Christ and presumptive worship of God.

Lev. 10:3 Moses then said to Aaron, ‘The *LORD spoke about this. He said, “I will show myself to be holy among those people who come near to me. Everybody will see that honour comes to me.” ’ But Aaron was silent. v4 Moses ordered Mishael and Elzaphan to come. They were the sons of Aaron’s uncle Uzziel. (Moses) said to them, ‘Come (here). Carry your cousins’ (bodies) outside the camp. (Take them) away from the front of the *meeting tent.’ v5 So they came and carried them away outside the camp. This is what Moses had ordered them to do. (Nadab and Abihu) were still wearing their (priests’) clothes. v6 Then Moses said (this) to Aaron and to his (other two) sons, Eleazar and Ithamar. ‘Do not make your hair untidy and do not tear your clothes. (If you do,) you will die. Then (the *LORD) will be angry with all (the *Israelites). But your relatives (and) all the *Israelites may *mourn because of the fire that the *LORD sent. v7 Do not leave the entrance of the *meeting tent, or you will die. (This is) because of the *LORD’s *oil that *anointed you. It is still on you.’ So they did what Moses said.

Nadab and Abihu were the oldest of Aaron’s four sons. Their names are in 1 Chronicles 6:3. A censer was a flat pan that carried fire. What they did was not legal. It was wrong, for several possible reasons.

  • They should have put fire into the censers from the altar, Leviticus 16:12. But perhaps they did not take their fire from the altar.
  • Perhaps they tried to enter the most holy place. Only the chief priest could do this. He could only do it once a year on the Day of *Atonement, Leviticus chapter 16.
  • Perhaps they decided to do this in order to oppose Moses and Aaron. Perhaps Nadab and Abihu thought that they themselves should be the chief priests.
  • Perhaps Nadab and Abihu had drunk too much wine. So the LORD gave Aaron another rule in verse 9.

Priest ministers in the TabernacleWe can perhaps understand better the reasons for their deaths because some other people died in a similar manner (Numbers chapter 16). Those people decided, on purpose, to oppose the LORD (Numbers 16:11). Moses warned them severely about their actions. But they still decided to approach the meeting tent, with fire in their censers that God would not accept. Fire came from the LORD and it killed 250 men (Numbers 16:35). In both instances the Holiness of God consumed people who thought they had a right to draw near to God the way they presumed. They were putting themselves before God.

God has a Design for Man. That design dictates how we worship, how we relate to others, how we live. When we presume we can do whatever we want, we oppose the holiness of God. God said that all those that come near Him will know His holiness. To know His holiness is to be aware of our sinfulness. To approach Him without reverence is to presume upon His acceptance. I believe there is too much presumption in our worship of God today. You hear evidence of that presumptive “God Loves Me no matter what” philosophy in Christian music, movies and sermons. Tha Marican God is a Blessing God no matter what. The Lesson of Hebrews is that there is still a specific way we must approach God, and if we learn that, we will enjoy His presence and His power, and our faith will grow, and His works in and through us will grow.

Questions answered by Hebrews 10I am hopeful that at the conclusion of Hebrews 10 we will be ready for Hebrews 11. Hebrews 10 will allow us to answer questions such as these:

  • „Is God more tolerant of sin today?
  • How can we presume that such a Holy One would favor us with His presence & blessing?
  • How can we have confidence and boldness before such a Holy One?
  • Is there a precise way that we must follow to honor such a Holy One and not incur His wrath because of our sinfulness?
  • What happens when we deliberately disregard the holiness of Jesus Christ?

The Major Point of Hebrews 10

Hebrews 10_1 The Law contained shadowsFor since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices which are continually offered year after year, make perfect those who draw near. Hebrews 10:1

Review of Hebrews 8 & 9

1. Christ is our Heavenly Minister (Heb 8:2)

  • Christ is our MinisterHe is the one who ministered to the Holy Righteous demands of Jehovah God.
  • Through His sacrificial death, He allowed the Mercy of God to come to man from His Holiness and Glory.
  • He sits in the dwelling place of the Majesty and ministers to all those who answer the call and draw near to God.
(A.) Christ is Uniquely Qualified to Minister to both God and Man (Heb 8:6)

Our Problem is our Conscience

    1. The Eternal Value of the Covenant secured by His Blood
    2. The Better Promises which are the Foundation of this Covenant.
    3. The Promise of changed hearts and minds
    4. The Promise of eternal presence of the Holy Spirit
    5. How can we approach the Holines of God
    6. How can we be sure our works are pleasing to Him
    7. How can we be forgiven for not doing enough?
    8. How can I have God’s blessing even when I keep sinning?
    9. Purifies our concience
    10. Cleanses us from sins of omission and commision
    11. Allows us to serve the Living God with Living Works
    12. Christ is our Mediator (Heb 9:15)
(B.) Only Christ Ministers to our Great Need (Heb 9:9)
(C.)  Christ’s Ministry is Through the Power of His Blood (Heb 9:14)

Christ is our Mediator

2. The Blood empowers Christ to be our Mediator

(A). Who is He a Mediator to?
    • Mediator to those who answer the call
(B). What Does our Mediator Offer?
    • His mediation allows the called to receive the promises (eternal inheritance)
(C). What makes His Mediation so Powerful?
    • His mediation is based upon the power of His death to redeem us from the transgressions which separate us from Holy God.
    • He mediates from the very presence of God on our behalf.

Hebrews 10 is about Pumping up or shrinking backHebrews 10 explains the impact of our Minister and our Mediator upon our lives. If you accept His ministry and mediation, you will never shrink back, you will always be going forward to Him and in Him!

All because of the Value you place on the Blood of Jesus, you are either drawing closer or shrinking back.
The Law was but a shadow of good to come. (10:1)
  • Never perfect those who draw near.(10:1)
  • Never clear conscience of sin.(9:9)
  • Never produced Living Works.(9:14)
The Law reminded you of your sin. (10:3)
  • Sin focus rather than freedom focus
Christ came to do the Will of His Father (10:7)
  • No pleasure in sacrifices and offerings (10:5,6)
  • They had no provision for mercy justice and righteousness (Jer 9:24)
  • Had no way to deal with the power of the sin of the flesh (10:4)

How Did Christ Open the Father’s Will to us?

Christ came to do the Will of GodJesus offered His body once and for all, opening the Will (Presence) of the Father to us (10:10)

“I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; John 14:30

  • God was totally satisfied with His Son
  • He has sanctified us (have been-it is our permanent state) (10:10)

What is the Father’s Will?

  • That we be justified, righteous, sanctified and COMPLETE in Jesus Christ!
  • having translated us from a state of unholy alienation into a state of consecration to God, having “no more conscience of sin” [1]

We are Now Perfected in Christ

God's Will is that We enjoy His PresenceWe are now perfect and forgivenHis sanctification has perfected us for all time and is based upon our sanctification accomplished by His once for all sacrifice. (10:14)
  • The word “perfected” is the translation of teleioo which means “to bring to a state of completion.”[2]
  • Them that are sanctified—Τους ἁγιαζομενους· Them that have received the sprinkling of the blood of this offering. These, therefore, receiving redemption through that blood, have no need of any other offering; as this was a complete atonement, purification, and title to eternal glory[3].

The What (Way)

The What of Hebrews 10This sanctification allows the covenant of God’s law being written on our hearts and minds (10:16)
God will remember our sins and deeds no more (10:17)

The So What (Truth)

This Sanctification Gives us Confidence to enter the Holy Places by the Blood!(10:19)

Liberty, full access to the entrance of the holy place[4]

  • A New and LIVING Way (10:20a)
  • Through His broken Flesh (veil) (10:20b)
The So What of Hebrews 10Keep Confident!
  • Confidence in our priest (10:21)
  • Confidence in our clean heart (10:22)
  • Confidence in a clean conscience (10:22)
  • Confidence in clean flesh (10:22)
  • Confidence resulting in f.a. faith (10:22)

The Now What of Hebrews 10The Now What (Life)

HOLD FAST the CONFESSION of YOUR HOPE for He is FAITHFUL! (10:23)
LOOK for ways to Stir one another Up! (10:24)
  • Love and good works
  • Meet together
  • Encourage one another
  • Look for the DAY!

Be Careful…Just Because the Veil is Torn…

Just becasue the Veil is torn-never presumeYou must never, never presume that you are free to worship God any way you chose. Just because the veil was torn you may believe you have free access to God, that He is at your beck and call, at your disposal for whatever need you may have. There is only one reason that the veil was torn…God was satisfied with the blood sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ! We must always approach God in the one whose blood tore the veil!

Understand the Altar…We Must Never Presume…

 The Cross of Christ rose from the ashes of the Brazen Altar of Sacrifice. Habakkuk says that

The Cross is based upon the brazen altar

“his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand…Habakkuk 3:4 The reference of the horns in his hand is a prophetic reference to the Cross. The four points of the Cross correspond to the four horns of the altar. In his hands refers to the scars that he bears from the crucifixion. We must always approach God through the horns of the altar,  for they are in the hands of His Son!

 

 

 

 


[1] Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset, David Brown, A Commentary: Critical, Experimental, and Practical on the Old and New Testaments, (Toledo, OH: Jerome B. Names & Co., 1884), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “HEBREWS”.

[2] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies – Volume 2: Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1973), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 176.

[3] Adam Clarke, A Commentary and Critical Notes, (New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1826), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “Hebrews 10″.

[4] Adam Clarke, A Commentary and Critical Notes, (New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1826), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “Hebrews 10″.

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nadab and abihuFor us to gain insight into the power of the blood of Christ, we must first grasp what happened the first time the Priests presumed they could worship God as they wanted. Examine what Moses said in response to God’s reaction to the worship of Nadab and Abihu, who were dressed in their priestly garb, and acting as priests of Jehovah:

Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu each took his own firepan, put fire in it, placed incense on it, and presented unauthorized fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them ⌊to do⌋. Then fire came from the LORD and burned them to death before the LORD. So Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD meant when He said: I will show My holiness to those who are near Me, and I will reveal My glory before all the people.” But Aaron remained silent. Leviticus 10:1-3

Anyone who approaches (worships) God will know the holiness of God. We can never approach God as if He is common or accepting of sin or the flesh. He will always show His holiness to sinful man. And as He reveals His holiness, all will see His glory!

Aaron in the Holy of HoliesAfter this, Aaron is given by Moses exact instructions for observing the Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). Do you think Aaron was careful to do exactly as God said? Leviticus 16 details what the High Priest was to do to allow God’s glory to be revealed to sinful man. That glory could only be revealed after man’s sin was dealt with, for all who draw near to God will know His holiness, and His holiness demands that our sin be dealt with!

Notice in verse 16, “…and because of their transgressions in all their sins.” Then in verse 22, “And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities…” and in verse 21, “…and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel….” He will make atonement for all their transgressions, all their iniquities, all their sins! This was the best that the Law had to offer until Christ should come[1].

On the Day of Atonement, the Blood was sprinkled not only on the Mercy Seat, but throughout the Tent of Holiness. It was sprinkled in the courtyard, upon the altar. When it was sprinkled on the Mercy Seat, who was observing.

darkness covered the crucifixionWhen Jesus shed His blood on the cross, many were watching, but at about noon, something happened that continued for three hours. What was it? (Mt 27:45)

  • The world was covered by darkness from noon to three.
  • Why did God do this? I’ve heard multiple preachers say it was because God could not look upon His son as He became sin. Yest Scriptures says otherwise.

“For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, And He ponders all his paths.” Prov. 5:21

“The eyes of the Lord are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good.” Prov. 15:3

“For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity hidden from My eyes.” Jer. 16:17

“And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” Heb. 4:13

So, the question we must answer – What was Jesus doing in the darkness, obscured from man but seen by His Father, and does it relate to the offering of the High Priest in the darkness of the Holy of Holies?
value the blood of JesusThe darkness surrounding Christ as He bled out upon the Cross was to reinforce the truth of the importance of the blood sacrifice-it was first and foremost for the eyes of God!
You may think it was for man’s sin, and you would be partially correct. But the truth is that the blood was for God. God’s holiness demanded cleansing and purification. And darkness fell upon the earth as Christ offered His Holy blood for His Father. Christ’s offering on the Cross was for His Father, so that His righteousness and holiness could be satisfied! God found eternal satisfaction in the offering of His Son!

Do you Value the Blood of Christ the same way?

  • What is the difference between the Priests sacrifice and Christ sacrifice? (Christ offered with the strength of an indestructible life)
  • What is the difference between dead works and living or eternal works? (Living works are done through the one who has Life-Jesus Christ)

REVIEW-Our key passages which are the foundation of understanding the value of the Blood of Christ

  • Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man. Hebrews 8:1-2
  • But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. Hebrews 8:6
  • Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly place of holiness. Hebrews 9:1
  • (which is symbolic for the present age). According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation. Hebrews 9:9-10
  • For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Hebrews 9:13-14

Jesus Christ is the Mediator

  • Therefore, he is the mediator of a new covenant

And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. Hebrews 9:15

MInistry to the Majesty1.  Is Jesus Christ Your Mediator?

  • For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 1 Timothy 2:5
  • But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. Hebrews 8:6

The word mediator is from mesites, which in turn comes from mesos which means middle, the midst. Thus a mediator is one who intervenes between two, either to make or restore peace and friendship, to form a compact, or ratify a covenant[2].

Can you name an example of an Old Testament mediator?

so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance,

  • For the Benefit of the Called
  • To Deliver the Promised Eternal Inheritance

since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. Hebrews 9:15

  • Death that redeems
  • Voids the penalty of the first covenant
    • The first covenant promised blessing or cursing
    • Blessing was based upon obedience
    • It set people up to fail, Romans 3 being the conclusion – all have sinned
priestly_blessing_pix_2Our mediator guarantees our blessing
Our mediator guarantees our presence before the majesty
Our Mediator allows us to live in the LIGHT!

Are you living in the Light? Are you Living in the Presence of the Majesty? If not, then you are not allowing Christ to be your mediator! You are not valuing  His blood the same way God does.He can only be your mediator if you give Him your Heart and Life! For where He mediates, there is the Presence of the Majesty of God!

Questions for Discussion
  1. Why does this mediator guarantee the presence of God?
  2. Why does Jesus guarantee our blessing?
  3. What light does this shed on your efforts for blessing?
  4. What can you do to warrant God’s blessing?
  5. What brings Life and Blessing to your dead works? (refer back to vs 13, 14)
  6. What requirement must you and I meet to enjoy this guaranteed blessing?

He is our Mediator ONLY when we answer His Call! (Hebrews 9:15)

2. Is Your Name in His Will?

new-covenant-written-in-blood1A New York writer, wanting to will his body to science, selected Harvard as the recipient – because…I quote…“my parents wanted me to go there & this is the only way I could get in!”

A wealthy French Industrialist(capitaine Furrer) being disturbed by the impatience & greed of his heirs adopted a blood-sucking leech & bequeathed his fortune to it!

For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. Hebrews 9:16-17

Are you named in His will?

Have you heard of a Holographic Will (from law.com a dictionary of terms) – a will entirely handwritten, dated and signed by the testator (the person making the will), but not signed by required witnesses. Under those conditions it is valid in about half the states despite the lack of witnesses. A letter which has all the elements of a will can be a holographic will, as can a will scratched in the dust of an automobile hood of a person dying while lost in the desert.[3]

Here Jesus writes a holographic will for us, not in the dust, but with his own blood! It is recognized as legally binding in the greatest court of all time-Heaven!

Jesus writes in bold crimson letters across our lives…Forgiven!

last will and testamentWhat Must be involved for a Will to Be Empowered?

  • There is only one way for a will to be in effect-the one who made the will must die.

There is only one way for you to know the power of this will…you must die to your own will. Do you want to be named in this will, this will that promises you the blessing of God for all eternity? Then die to your will at the Cross, grab hold of the feet of our crucified Savior, and let His blood be sprinkled upon you.

This Will is in effect now…the testator has died…You can live in His will even today! Even better, His will can become your will! You can work to leave this will with others…

3. Are you Living in the Power of His Blood?

Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, 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, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.” And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. power of Jesus BloodIndeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Hebrews 9:18-22

“ALMOST”

The apostle says almost, because a very poor person could bring an offering of flour instead of an animal. (Lev 5:11-13 But if he be not able to bring two turtle-doves, or two young pigeons, then he that sinned shall bring for his offering the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering; he shall put no oil upon it, neither shall he put [any] frankincense thereon: for it [is] a sin offering. 12 Then shall he bring it to the priest, and the priest shall take his handful of it, [even] a memorial thereof, and burn [it] on the altar, according to the offerings made by fire unto the LORD: it [is] a sin offering.

Inanimate objects: because in some cases certain vessels were purified by water, some by fire, Numbers 31:23, and some with the ashes of the red heifer, Numbers 19:2-10, but it was always understood that every thing was at first consecrated by the blood of the victim.

Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Hebrews 9:22

(Exodus 24:6-8 KJV) And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. {7} And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient. {8} And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.

priest covered in blood Kent Hughes maintains that, “During the thousand plus years of the Old Covenant, there were more than a million animal sacrifices. So considering that each bull spilled a gallon or two of blood and each goat a quart, the Old Covenant truly rested on a sea of blood.” During the Passover, a trough was constructed from the Temple down the Kidron Valley for the disposal of blood – a sacrificial plumbing system.”(5)

4. Do you know the Full Power of His Blood?

Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Hebrews 9:23-24

A.   God required His Blood in Heaven

“The earthly tabernacle, as God’s dwelling, might have been supposed to be hallowed by His presence and to need no cleansing, but being also His meeting-place with men it required to be cleansed. And so our heavenly relations with God, and all wherewith we seek to approach Him, need cleansing. In themselves things heavenly need no cleansing, but as entered upon by sinful men they need it. Our eternal relations with God require purification[6].

B.   His Blood only need be applied once.

Minister_of_true_tabernacleNor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Hebrews 9:25-26

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:7-8

No need to be washed in the blood. We need to say thank you for the blood, for the power of the blood will continue as we walk with the light giver!

5. Are You Aware of How Late it is?

A.   The Power of the Blood is Your Only Hope

hebrews-9-27-appointed to die and face judgment“it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” Hebrews 9:27

(1)  Men/women/children need to be reminded of their appointment with God…their date with Eternity!

    • Put it on your calendar…IT IS ON GOD’S!

(2) “He is the Great Divider, & He does not divide men horizontally (high-class, middle class, low-class) – but vertically, to the right & to the left.”(7)

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. Hebrews 9:27-28

B.   Is Your Life Focused on Jesus Christ? 
    • A Past appearing for our Salvation

(26b) “He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.”

    • A Present appearing for our Sanctification

(24b) “now to appear in the presence of God for us”

    • A Future appearing for our Glorification

(28b) “To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”

6. Are you Still Defeated by Your Sins?

You will be if you do not learn to value the Blood of Christ the same way that God does. Your conscience will continue to nag at you, and you continue to drown out its voice through your default escapes-alcohol, drugs, pleasure, music or what ever you do.

So, how do we value the Blood the same way that God does?

The Gospel is the Way Truth and Life(1) What? (WAY) What about this passage has drawn us into the mercy and love of God?

  • My worse sins are forgiven through the blood sacrifice of Jesus
  • My best sins are forgiven through the blood sacrifice of Jesus
  • I am in the presence of the Majesty through the ministry of Jesus made possible by His blood sacrifice.
  • I do not have to focus on my sins. I do not have to let my conscience drag me down
  • Do not focus on your sin, Focus on His Blood and His coming for you!
  • I don’t have to do works for the sake of doing works. Dead works are produced by people still focusing on their sins. Their conscience is clouded, evil or seared.
  • I can do Living Works by living in the power of the Blood. They are living in the Minister, enjoying the Mediator and eagerly waiting for Him.
  • To build the Word into my life, I must die to my will, and submit my will to my minister, and enjoy living works held by Him!

(2) SO WHAT? (TRUTH)How is this to build this Word into my life?

Learn to apply the Blood of Christ to those sins that haunt you, those regrets that eat at your soul. Daily thank God for the Blood of His Son, and profess your faith in the value of His sacrifice. Imagine God looking upon your life as though He was looking upon HIs Son as He bled out upon the Cross, and know that He values you as much as He values Jesus. Confess your feelings to Him, but assure Him , Father, not my will, but thy will be done! Thank you for the blood of Christ that makes me white as wool before your eyes! I place my sins and my regrets and my failings under that blood, and know that because you value His Holy blood, because you are satisfied with His blood, you see me in Him, forgiven and pure, righteous and justified. I lay everything at the Cross and confess my need for Christ to be my Life!

High Priest sprinkled blood upon mercy seatYou must daily value the Blood of Christ as much as God values it! Learn to see the power of His blood over your sins and failings. Focus on Him and His provisions for you! Change that ‘stinkin-thinkin’ that causes you to focus too much upon your sins and failings. They are continually forgiven, and you are continually cleansed, so live like it and walk in the Light!

(3) NOW WHAT? (LIFE) How does this empower me to live righteously this week?

1)  Take your pulse. Are you alive or are you dead?

2)  Look above you. Is your name written on the Will?

3)  Look behind you. Do you see your dead self lying on the ground?

4)  Look at your clothes. Is there any blood sprinkled on them?

5)  Look at your hand. Is it being held by your heavenly minister?

6)  Look in front of you. Can you see the Majesty?

7)  Look all around you. Is there anything that you hold more dear than the coming of your Savior? Get rid of it and eagerly look for Him!

8)  Focus on His coming and get excited!

9)  Commit your life to living works!

The Power of the Brazen Altar

The fire of the brazen altarWalking into the Tabernacle, you immediately see the Brazen Altar. You smell the flesh, the blood. You are reminded of death and the awfulness of sin. We must all begin there. We must realize God’s Holiness and hatred of sin. Sin is awful, a blight upon our soul and conscience. But we must not dwell there. The Cross of Christ rose from the ashes of the Brazen Altar. It must daily touch our lives, but we must go on, for we belong in the Holy of Holies. We belong in the presence of the Holy One! That is where our High Priest is. That is where He ministers and mediates. If we dwell at the altar of sin, we will never know the beauty of the majesty.

Just as the fire of the Brazen Altar was used to light the candles and burn the incense, we must take that fire with us, and go into the Majesty. The fire of the Holy Spirit burns only when we have first laid at the Cross. We are to be “living sacrifices,” with the fire of the Holy Spirit burning within our souls, drawing us into the Light of the Majesty!

You will not see the Holiness of the Majesty unless you first go to the Cross. This is God’s way. The Cross is Glory to Him. If you approach Him any other way, He will reveal His Glory, but only as you learn His Holiness the hard way. You will learn that the flesh must be burnt away if you are to know God. It is so much better to learn the proper way to approach the Holiness of God, rather than learn the hard way, because you acted presumptuously.

Go to the Cross, be washed in the Blood. But take the fire from the altar and light the candlestick, light the fire of the incense, but go into the majesty and take your ministers hand. Focus on Him, walk with Him, and you will be continually cleansed through the power of the Blood! 


[1] J. Vernon McGee, Thru The Bible with J. Vernon McGee, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1983), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “Chapter 16″.

[2] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies – Volume 1: Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1973), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 106.

[3] Law.com; Holographic will definition.

[4] Adam Clarke, A Commentary and Critical Notes, (New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1826), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “Hebrews 9″.

[5] R. Kent Hughes. Hebrews: An Anchor For the Soul. Vol 1 (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 1993) pp. 233-234

[6] “Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies – Volume 2: Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1973), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 167.

[7] Vance Havner; Day by Day Oct.6th.

[8] Vance Havner; Day by Day Oct.26th.


tide-blood-stain-shirtHebrews 9_the _power_of_the_bloodJerry Seinfeld poked fun at laundry detergent commercials in one of his comedy routines. He’s particularly amazed at the commercial that boasts in the power of Tide. Tide is so powerful it can remove even the toughest of bloodstains – to which Jerry Seinfeld responds, “Hey, if you’ve got bloodstains on your clothes, laundry detergent isn’t your biggest problem”.

Lets’s review a bit about Hebrews 8 and then examine what questions we will answer in Hebrews 9.

1. Our High Priest is a Minister – to God first, then to Man

Main Point of Hebrews 8That is the main point of Hebrews!

2. He Delights in Bringing Us into the Majesty

His delight is to bring man into the Majesty. As we will see, God’s desire has always been to dwell among men in righteous fellowship. While He cannot do that until this world is finally redeemed and transformed, Jesus makes it possible for us to dwell with God in righteous fellowship. Jesus Christ brings us into the presence of the majesty. He doesn’t just bless us like the old Priest did. He places God in us! In the Majesty, we enjoy God’s concern and blessing. All because of our Minister. His ministry is founded upon better promises and a better covenant.

MInistry to the MajestyNow to Hebrews 9:1-14. However, in order to better understand Hebrews 9, we must look at verses 13 & 14 first.

The practical & powerful effect of Christ’s “better ministry” is given in these words, “to purify your conscience from dead works”. The problem that is faced in this passage, therefore, is how to handle a guilty conscience.

3. WHAT IS OUR PROBLEM?

Our problem is the effect our sin has upon our conscience. You may think the conscience is:

  1. “That still, small voice that makes you feel smaller still.”
  2. “It is that which feels bad when everything else feels good.”
  3. Conscience is that internal voice that sits in judgment over our will.

Our Problem is our ConscienceHowever, God reveals the power of our Conscience in the New Testament. Just how important is our Conscience? The vitality and power of our Christian walk depend upon a Good Conscience!

Conscience is described in the New Testament as Good, Clear, Evil or Seared:
  • Pure Heart & Sincere Faith is anchored by a Good conscience (1 Tim 1:5)
  • Your conscience can shipwreck your faith (1 Tim 1:19)
  • Faith flows from a clear conscience (1 Tim 3:9)
  • Seared conscience produces liars (1 Tim 4:2)
  • Clear conscience is foundation of honorable behavior (Heb 13:18)
  • Good conscience is the best defense against slander (1 Peter 3:16)
  • Our conscience bears witness with our heart when we transgress God’s moral law (Rom 2:15)
  • Our consciences can sense the truth of a minister (2 Cor 4:2)
  • Pure conscience is power in prayer (2 Tim 1:3)
  • Someone with a good conscience sees the good. An evil conscience produces unbelief and agnosticism (Titus 1:15)
  • A Conscience can’t be cleared by gifts or sacrifices or good works (Heb 9:9)
  • Only the blood of Jesus can clean us of an evil conscience (Heb 10:22)

Clearly God designed our conscience to be much more than what we normally think it is. I believe that our conscience is key to our mental health, our depression, even some conditions such as bi-polar and other psychoses. The world attempts to deal with our conscience through pills, drugs, music, sex and possessions. However, nothing works with the power of the Blood of Christ!

The sad truth is that our conscience can be conditioned, which the Bible describes as becoming “seared” and even “evil”.

4. How Does Christ Deal With Our Problem?

how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Hebrews 9:14

Only the Blood can purify our conscience
The problem with the Hebrews is not wrongdoing, but dead works
. They know how to confess their sins. That aspect of a troubled conscience can easily be taken care of by Christians as they accept the forgiving grace of God. But the problem here is a conscience plagued with guilt over good left undone – not sins of commission, but sins of omission. They have launched a program of intensive religious activity, which may range from bead counting and candle burning to serving on committees, passing our tracts, and teaching Sunday school classes. But as anyone who has become super busy in churchy activities, they never really satisfy, and indeed, they can leave us wanting more. We may even find ourselves wondering what did it accomplish, what good was done.

but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people. By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing (which is symbolic for the present age). According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation. Hebrews 9:7-10

The Entrance to the Tabernacle

What difference is there in a pagan who crawls endlessly down a road to placate God, and an American Christian who busies himself in a continual round of activity to try to win a sense of acceptance before God?

“I don’t know what the matter with me is. I do all I can to serve the Lord but I still feel guilty, and then I feel guilty about feeling guilty”

It is discouraging to think that much of our activity is “dead works” and that such effort is not acceptably serving God. The problem is not what we do; it is not the activity itself, because under the Law, there was a God authorized place of activity.

5. How Shall We Worship and Work for God?

a.  Look Beyond the Fleshly Substitutes!

tentofmeeting-480The Diagram of the TabernacleIn the tabernacle everything points to the holiness of God & the sinfulness of man! – In fact, no one could enter God’s presence without the shedding of blood! The very first thing you saw as you entered the court of the Tabernacle was the Brazen Altar, with the continually burning fire, the smell of burning flesh, the copious amounts of blood. To enter the Tabernacle was to be confronted with your sinfulness!

The 1st part (The Holy Place) – Lampstand (menorah); Table of showbread. (also the golden incense altar). Behind the 2nd veil (the Holy of Holies) – Ark of the Covenant. Inside the Ark was the

  • Pot of manna – God’s miraculous loving care to feed them in the wilderness for many years. God’s (Hesed) Steadfast Love!
  • The Stone Tablets of the Law – God’s (Mishpat) Justice!
  • Aaron’s rod that budded – God’s (Tsedaqah) Righteousness that brings Life!

In the Ark was Testimony to the three things that God Practices here on Earth (Jeremiah 9:24)!

Tabernacle Articles-crop_lampstand (1)

b. Every Part of the Tabernacle Breathed Jesus Christ!
  • Tabernacle (And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us);
  • Lamp stand (light of the world);
  • Showbread (I am the bread of life);
  • Veil (which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh);
  • Mercy seat (redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation);
  • Manna (I am the bread of life);
    • Loving provision from God-Mercy
  • Tablets/stone (perfectly fulfilled) – Justice God’s Way
    • Word of God
  • Aaron’s rod (Jesus the High Priest); – Righteousness
    • Life from death
    • Ark stepping into the Jordan River

The Tabernacle and the CorssAll of these objects and activities were God-designed and God regulated, but they were only shadows of the REALITY of CHRIST!

6. Realize there can be no faith in works to clear your guilt (6-10)

What an endless repetition of sacrifices & ritual. Every day, & year by year…which meant nothing permanent was ever accomplished!

a. We see limited access & limited efficacy (effectiveness!)
    • Regulations only benefited the body-no change in the inner man.
    • Regulations are of no value to God. God has no delight in rituals-Heb 10:6
    • Result was continual labor in search for peace.
      • Like a man who buys new clothes every time he needs a bath.
      • Total Worthlessness of Outward observances.
      • David saw it in Ps 51:16-17 (Man after God’s Own Heart)
b. (vs 9) Their consciences would know no relief!

„ “Many people have only their bad memory to thank for their clear conscience!”

„ “The disease of an evil conscience is beyond the practice of all physicians of all the countries of the world.”

Adolf Hitler verleiht Albert Speer Fritz-Todt-RingAlbert Speer was once interviewed about his book on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Speer was the Hitler confidant whose technological genius was credited with keeping Nazi factories humming throughout WWII. In another era he might have been one of the world’s industrial giants. He was the only one of 24 war criminals tried in Nuremberg who admitted his guilt. Speer spent 20 years in Spandau prison. During the interview, Speer was asked, “You have said the guilt can never be forgiven, or shouldn’t be. Do you still feel that way?” The look of pathos on Speer’s face was wrenching as he responded, “I served a sentence of 20 yrs, & I could say, ‘I’m a free man, my conscience has been cleared by serving the whole time as punishment.’ But I can’t do that. I still carry the burden of what happened to millions of people during Hitler’s lifetime, & I can’t get rid of it. This new book is part of my atoning, of clearing my conscience.” The interviewer pressed the point. “You really don’t think you’ll be able to clear it totally?” Speer shook his head. “I don’t think it will be possible.” – For 35 yrs Speer had accepted complete responsibility for his crime. His writings were filled w/contrition & warnings to others to avoid his moral sin. He desperately sought expiation. All to no avail.   (Charles Colson; Who Speaks for God”; pg.76, 77)

7. Step into Guilt Free Worship and Service – through the Power of the Blood of Christ  (11-15)

The Good News of Christ means the need for copies is past! We are to embrace the “reality” that the Holy Spirit points us toward-full forgiveness of sins through the New Covenant. This results in intimacy with God, the Majesty, for we are in Jesus Christ! This guilt-free worship is dependant not upon my works, but the works of Jesus Christ!

  •  Activity adds nothing to our acceptance before God.
  • „ God Loves us because He is Love and He loves His Son!
  • „ God accepts you only if you are in His Son!

„ SERVING IS NO MORE DUTY, IT IS DELIGHT!

8. ACCEPT THE FACT THAT THE BLOOD OF JESUS COMPLETELY SATISFIES GOD ABOUT YOU!

„ When-I-see-the-Blood-Jesus-on-the-CrossWhat was the contrast between Jesus Christ & the old system?

  • What He offered! – His own blood (12).
  • Where He offered it! – In Heavens Tabernacle (11, 12).
  • How often? – Once & for all (12).
  • With what Results? – Eternal Redemption & Eternal Inheritance (12, 15).

His Blood provides 3 Eternals! – Eternal Redemption! – Eternal Spirit! – Eternal Inheritance!

It was so with Jesus Christ. It was his death on Calvary that made him the master of our souls. “There is power in the blood.”

Jesus Christ is both our Passover Lamb and our Scapegoat. He has satisfied the Holy and Righteous demands of Jehovah God through HIs sinless sacrifice. He also took upon Him all our sins, as our scapegoat!

9. So NOW, How does the Blood impact our Worship and Service?

Continually cleanse your conscience – in the Blood of Jesus.

You only be cleansed once, because He only offered ONE sacrifice. After your initial justification, you need only live in the power of the Blood of Christ. All you need do is acknowledge the truth of God’s Word and the truth of your failure to obey, and know that the you Minister Jesus Christ is faithful to continually forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness, for that is the Power of His Blood!

Instead of constantly focusing on our failures, we should focus on Jesus Christ, as we walk with our Minister. As we walk with Him, we will find continual cleansing through the power of His blood!

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:7-9

Your conscience acts as a barrier to God’s presence. Satan uses it to accuse you and diminish your confidence in God. Your conscience cannot be nullified by your will or your efforts.„ You can muffle it for a time.„ But it can only be silenced with Christ’s cleansing! Satan is speechless in the presence of the Holy One!

Scapegoat HuntWe are meant to be the dwelling of God…the Holy of Holies!

„ Rev.21:3, 4 “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Today…Lay your hands on Jesus’ head as your scapegoat! Confess your sins. He will take them away today! He will continually take them away, because He is your Minister and His delight is to bring you to the Majesty!

Jesus Christ took the impact for our sin, and his blood now permanently covers our lives.[2]

[1] John Stott

[2] Jeffrey Ebert in Fresh Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching (Baker), from the editors of Leadership.



Hebrews-this-is-the-main-point
What is the Main Point of Hebrews? Hebrews 8 is the pivotal chapter in this “Better Book.”

Now the main point of what is being said is this: We have this kind of high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister …Hebrews 8:1-2a

    • We have (this kind)
    • of High Priest
      • Right hand (Place of honor)
      • Throne
      • Majesty
      • Heaven
    • a Minister (vs 2)Main Point of Hebrews 8

The important thing for us to take away this morning, is not that we have a high priest, not that the High Priest is Jesus, not that He is indestructible, not that He is even beside the Majesty in heaven. The important thing we must see is that He is THIS KIND OF HIGH PRIEST – a MINISTER!

How you see Jesus Christ will determine your success as a disciple, as a Christian and as a Kingdom subject. If we can view Him as He is for us, then we will see that He places us (in all our humanity) in the very presence of the Majesty!

The Minister of the Sanctuary

holy tabernacleHebrews 8:2 describes Jesus as the “minister of the sanctuary” It further describes this Sanctuary as the “True Tabernacle”

Minister (liturgy) = Service to God and to Man

We Need to grip into our hearts “What is that Service?” and fully see “What is His Ministry?”

Sanctuary = True Tabernacle

  • Sanctuary is “hagion” meaning “holy place”.
  • It could refer to the Holy of Holies, but in this context, it has a bigger place in view-because we see the throne of the “Majesty of the heavens”

Holy Place = True Dwelling of God

  • Jesus is the minister of the true dwelling
  • His ministry involves providing for the majesty
  • His ministry involves providing for man

Minister_of_true_tabernacleJesus Christ is the Minister at the very Center of God’s Creation.

  • „ He alone provides what God’s Holiness required.
  • „ He alone provides what man requires.

„ He alone increases the “Majesty of the Heavens” by bringing increase to man.

Jesus is at the throne of the Majesty, serving as a minister to God and to Man. As a minister, He is providing something that is life changing. His ministry magnifies the Majesty by providing for you and me. If the Holy Spirit brings this truth into your heart, it will literally stop it in awe. This goes far beyond what we normally see.

  • Do not get caught up in the shadow.
  • Do not limit your faith to the physical.
  • Do not fall in love with the building,
  • You will miss the Majesty!

Verse 9: For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. (KJV –regarded them not).

They were given a covenant, a means of living with the Majesty and Power of God, yet they chose not to continue in it. So God showed no concern for them.

The important thing we need to take away is what Jesus is doing as MINISTER and how understanding that will change the way you live your life! Chapter 8 has an impact that will change the way you view Christianity.

This morning, the Holy Spirit wants to show you something that will bring vitality and power to your life, as well as open your eyes to the Majesty, and will reveal to your heart how you can always know He regards your life with concern!

But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. Hebrews 8:6

More excellent: to be superior, better[1] (Heb. 1:4; 8:6).

What was the result of the ministry of the earthly High Priests?

Purpose of Minister (1)God could put His Name on the people and Bless them…

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. “So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.” Numbers 6:22-27

Result: They shall put my name upon them and the people would be BLESSED!

  • The Old Covenant administered by the Priests resulted in what?-God’s Blessing!
What was the problem with this?
  • You could lose God’s Blessing
  • God’s blessing was conditioned upon your obedience.
  • God’s concern and care was conditioned upon my continuing to be in right standing with the Priests.
  • People started elevating the Priests and the Place of Worship
How do we know this?
  • More concerned about where to worship rather than who (this was what the woman at the well brought up to Jesus)
  • More concerned about beauty of building than the beauty of the one you worship (The Pharisees screamed blasphemy when Jesus said he would build the temple again after three days. They thought He was referring to their beautiful Temple)
  • Allow the Priest to do whatever he wants, even if it corrupted the worship (This is mentioned in Malachi)

What did the Old Law and High Priest fail to provide the People?

Christ ministers a New HeartA New Heart

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. Hebrews 8:10-11

Two Betters – the Basis of his “more excellent” Ministry.

A. Better Covenant

Window to the MajestyBasis of better Covenant – blood of God’s Son, sinless sacrifice, God Himself was torn asunder.

Read Genesis 15 - With Abraham, God guaranteed His Word with His Strength and His Promise, that He would be torn asunder just like the animal sacrifice if He failed to perform. Jesus proved His power by allowing Himself to be torn asunder to satisfy the Holy demands of His Father, therefore proving to us there was nothing left to be done. The promise would stand for all eternity, for Jesus had already been torn asunder.

  • The basis of a Covenant is the ability to deliver! Christ’s Covenant is not subject to ‘Act of Terrorism’ or ‘Act of Nature’ clauses.

B. Better Promises

Basis of a promise-strength, ability, what that promise cost, trust in the ability to deliver!

1.    Is your Faith in Christ resting in His Better Promises?

    • The Promise of the Holy Spirit

And look, I am sending you what My Father promised. As for you, stay in the city until you are empowered from on high.” Luke 24:49

    • Promised in the Old Testament

until the Spirit from heaven is poured out on us. Then the desert will become an orchard, and the orchard will seem like a forest. Then justice will inhabit the wilderness, and righteousness will dwell in the orchard. The result of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quiet confidence forever. Isaiah 32:15-17

    • The Holy Spirit will teach you all things

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit—the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you. John 14:26

    • He is our Seal

When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13

2.  Are You In Constant Connection with our Minister?

He is constantly calling and encouraging, but you must see Him by faith! You must answer His call by faith! Do not make excuses, for you have a NEW HEART! If you fail to respond to His calling, then perhaps you do not, and your Christian Life is fake, devoid of His ministry!

The Result – HIS SURPASSING MINISTRY!

The True Meaning of His Better Ministry

MInistry to the Majesty1.    Provision for Us

  • They will “Know me in themselves

And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.

2.    Provision for God

God’s Holiness was never compromised as He showed sinful men mercy and forgiveness, for the Better Ministry of Jesus Christ meant that the righteous demands of His holiness could be met and satisfied, thus allowing His Glory to be maintained even in mercy!

For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” Hebrews 8:11-12

So What Does His Surpassing Ministry Mean for You?

As long as you abide in Christ, you are in the Presence of God even NOW! If you turn to yourself and rely on you flesh for righteousness, you are settling for your own glory, and missing out on the majesty! This is why we must apply the truth and message of Hebrews 8 to our lives, so that we may continue to abide in the power of the Blood!

1. The What

of Hebrews 8 is that we now have a Minister, a very powerful minister who has the power and ability to bring us into the presence of the Majesty through His better covenant and promises. (This is the Way of Jesus)

2. The So What

that will bring backbone to our Christian walk in the form of the Truth is that we are in the very Presence Of The Majesty in Jesus Christ! This is truth that defies our rational thought, our sighted walk. This is truth that only Faith can visualize and touch! (This is the Truth of Jesus that sets us Free)

  • Through Christ and His ministry to us,  God can shower us with care and concern, even when we sin!

3. The  Now What

We now live with a clear vision of the Ministry of Jesus Christ, that He brings us into the presence of the Majesty even when we fail, even when we are diseased, even when we are down and distressed. The Majesty is where we live and breathe! In Jesus Christ! This is the Life of Jesus-that we have His Life regardless of our circumstances!

What do we count on when we are in the presence of the Majesty?

  • Know that in His presence, He regards you and He is concerned for you. He cares for you! Just as He cares for His Son!
How do you actuate the Promise of the Holy Spirit in your life?

Be Diligent to experience Him no matter the Circumstance!

  • Know Me in the majesty
  • Know me in the tragedy
  • Know me in the mediocrity
  • Know me in your family

We must keep the windows of our Heavenly Minister clean, so that we may always see that we are living in the presence of the Majesty! We must focus on the Better Promises rather than the world, and we must focus on His body and blood as our righteousness!

Do not let this be the epithet of your Christian Life:

HE DID NOT CONTINUE IN MY COVENANT, AND I DID NOT CARE FOR HIM, SAYS THE LORD. Hebrews 8:9

´


[1] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1993), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “diaphoros”.


“Sourness in apples is no mark of maturity”

SourAppleWhen I was younger (a long time ago) I thought that old people were supposed to be curmudgeons (a bad tempered or surly person). When I saw old people in movies or TV they were sour, cane-wielding people that got their way because they forced their way upon other people. And people let them. I looked forward to that day when I could raise my cane and say “Outta my way” and push my way to the front of the line.

old-man-with-cane1As I grew and matured, I realized that such behavior was not really appreciated. However, I did observe that older Christians seemed to take on a “sour apple” type of behavior similar to those movie characters that I thought typified old people. Many seemed to look down on the behavior of younger folks (especially teens) and even used their “canes” to force concessions from the church leadership. I am fearful that Jesus had old sour apple Christians in mind when He warned us about not causing little ones to stumble.

Sour apple Christians are not mature Christians. They are the furtherest thing fom maturity. Paul paints a picture of true maturity in Galatians 5:13, “through love be servants one to another.”

Older folks should set the example for the younger followers of Christ. Ripe (mature) apples are sweet. Instead of growing sour like we’ve been stewing in vinegar, mature Christians should be the sweetest servants because they have been drinking that sweet water of the Savior longer than anyone else.

If you find yourself becoming a little sour in your old age, take the Cross and apply it to your life. Just as Moses discovered, the wood of the Cross will turn poisoned water into the sweetest, most refreshing drink!