Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at The New Covenant P18 (07-05-21)
Many times young people are taught to memorize scripture. I am not sure if they are even taught to read the bible on their own. So we create little smart-sounding people that get rewarded for how many verses they memorize. But the real question is, do they understand what they memorized, and in context? Otherwise, we have essentially trained a computer to spit out what is put in.
Other people have been trained that certain people who have special training, are the only ones that have the corner on truth. In some denominations, you are taught that only the Magisterium can interpret the bible, and talk of something called oral tradition as of greater value in knowing what truth is. The problem with denominations, whether Protestant, Catholic or anything else, people are taught denominational persuasions of men. How would you know if what you are being taught is true or not?
The word of God is the source of truth. But ultimately, the author of the bible, God Himself, has to reveal truth to men by the Spirit He has given. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. A person without the Spirit of God cannot discern the things of God. But to be born again, you have to hear information so God will make Himself known to you. You have to believe God exists and that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Through reading the bible, you hear that Jesus is God and about His death, burial and resurrection. At some point, you understand you are a sinner, and are spiritually dead. You then come to understand the meaning of the cross and His resurrection so you come alive in Christ by receiving by faith what Jesus came to give you, eternal life.
And if you are born again, you have to learn to rely on the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to you. When you are born again, you have the Holy Spirit living in you, and you have the mind of Christ, but are you relying on the Spirit to teach you? Or, are you relying on the denominational persuasions of men, and therefore repeating error you have heard? Are you communicating your ignorance? Are you communicating truth revealed to you by God?
There are obstacles to faith. The passages in Hebrews that most people are familiar with are Hebrews 6:4-6 and Hebrews 10:26-31. You will read things like, “It is impossible to be brought back to repentance”, and “if we deliberately keep on sinning, then there is only fearful expectation of judgment and raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.” Because people do not know the totality of the cross, forgiveness of sins provided at the cross, once and for all, the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant, and who is being spoken to in the context of these passages, there is not a framework in which to properly understand the meaning of the word of God. These passages have led to so much unnecessary fear and heartache in so many believers, when not properly understood.
So listen as Bob George unpacks the meaning of these scriptures in context, so you can be greatly encouraged. If you are confused about this, this is the day to settle that issue once and for all. On careful study of these passages, you will discover there is nothing to fear. These passages actually affirm that your salvation is secure and you can trust Jesus with your life.
If you had heard the truth, and understood the truth of the gospel, the death, burial and resurrection, your hearts should be overflowing with great gratitude and joy. If you were a Jew, you would not be going back to your day of atonement to get your sins forgiven. If you were a Catholic, you would cease going to a priest to get your sins forgiven. If you were a Protestant, you would cease confessing your sins to God to get back in fellowship. You would realize your sins were already forgiven before you were even born, and by receiving the life God has offered you by faith in Christ Jesus, you already have forgiveness of sins, and you have everything you need for life and godliness. You are no longer asking for what in Him you already have. You are always in fellowship with God, under grace, not under the law of sin and death, and you can go boldly to the throne of grace for help in time of need, not to ask for what you already have, but to get your mind renewed so you can walk in the new life God has given you.
The New Covenant is the most important subject to study. It explains in detail what Christ came to do and the extent of what He came to do. Many times we memorize scripture out of context. People ask me, “Is it good to memorize scripture?” It depends. Memorizing scripture the way I learned was taking these cards, memorizing a passage of scripture. After a while you have a whole stack of those memorized and you have no clue of the context. So, just memorizing the scripture is like punching you in the belly button and having you speak out a scripture. As far as knowing what it means, you have no context for it, unless you are memorizing it out of the totality of the book you are reading.
In our early days, when I started out on radio, and I got a question from somebody that I was not a hundred percent sure of, I would read the entire New Testament up to Revelation. I was not into the prophetic end of it but rather how you live your life. I wanted to answer the questions asked in the totality of the New Covenant. Then to narrow it down as to what it meant in the book that the passage was in. Those passages I memorized suddenly came alive because they were being memorized in context.
Many people are familiar with what is said, and maybe not sure where it was. “It is impossible to be brought back from repentance.” Where did they hear that from? From some legalistic pastor teaching legalism. Today, we will study Chapter 6: Obstacles to Faith.
We studied the New Covenant, where the Old Covenant did not work. The New Covenant was based on better promises. The old promises of God under an Old Covenant were predicated upon my obedience. That did not work. It did not work for the Jews and hadn’t worked for the Gentiles, and does not work for those teaching legalism today. They are just phonies. When you are teaching obedience to the law, when you yourself are not keeping it, is phonie.
20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
The New Covenant is based on a better promise. It is a promise of god. God kept us out of the equation in the New Covenant. The reason for htat, is if He kept us in the equation, we would have messed it up. The New Covenant is a covenant of God’s grace. It is a covenant of what Jesus came to do for you. A person can accept it or reject it.
It is based on a brand new priesthood. We do not have the Levites as our priests. Priests were to represent man under the law. This is why we still do not have a Levitical priesthood.
11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood – and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood – why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12 For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also.
Where there is a change in the law, there is a change in the priesthood. A change in the priesthood must also be a change in the law. The reason we do not have a priesthood today is because we do not have the law. The priesthood is to represent man before God in regard to violation of the law. We have a new priest, Jesus, an eternal priest.
23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.
Death prevents man from continuing in office. It is amazing how death will do that to you. But we do not have a priest who is in a grave somewhere. Our priest is Christ Jesus, who came out of the tomb. That is what you celebrate, the resurrection of God Himself, where He was raised from the dead, so that life that raised Him from the dead can raise you and me from our state of spiritual death, which we are born into, in Adam, dead.
That is based upon a new priesthood, and a better sacrifice of that priest. The Old Testament sacrifices were the blood of bulls and goats. But recall how John the Baptist identified Jesus.
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
Jesus came to do something far greater than atone for sin. The blood of bulls and goats atoned for sin. Jesus came to take it away, called propitiation, taking sin totally away from the eyes of God.
Now there are obstacles to faith. Really that is an obstacle to truth. Faith has to be based on information, on knowledge. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Hearing what? Truth. You can have faith in error as well. Many people have faith in their error, and they have a lot of faith in their error. If faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God, you do not stop there, for I could believe anything, and put faith there and believe anything. It is based on truth.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Your faith has to be based on information. If it comes by hearing, you have to hear information. The word of God is the source of our information. But it is not the ultimate. The source of information cannot be understood apart from the Holy Spirit of God who enables you to understand the meaning of it. So you have a source available to you. If you are born again, you have the ability to understand the meaning of it. Now, are you going to draw upon it?
2 Peter 1:4
4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
If you are out playing a game, and I am on the sidelines, and someone says, “Bob, come in and join the game.” I have a choice to stay on the sidelines and play the game. If I am going to play the game, then I am going to be participating in it. Faith needs to be participating in, not sitting on the sidelines looking in, but participating. It is not just going to say that the chair will hold you, but am I going to sit on it? That is where faith without works is dead comes in. That would be like the guy sitting on the sidelines, thinking it will be a lot of fun, but not getting in it.
There are hindrances to faith. I do not have knowledge to know what the word of God says. If I do know what a passage says, I do not know it in context so I will never know what it means. If I do not draw on the Holy Spirit to reveal to me what it means, I will never know what it means even though I know what it says. What God wants us to do is to be students of the word of God. To be Bereans.
11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
You look into scriptures with an open heart. I have heard people who call themselves Bereans, but are not Bereans at all. They go into the bible with a bias and then use scripture to try to substantiate their bias. That is not the way you interpret scripture. You interpret scripture by going into the word of God. I can say I am smart and I can know what the word of God says. Yes, Bob, but so can a computer. You go into the bible with this attitude, “if you told me my eye cannot see, my ear cannot hear and my mind cannot conceive of those things you have prepared for me, it must be revealed by the Spirit.”, I am going to believe that to be true, and approach the word of God with this attitude, “Lord, if you do not reveal, you, not myself, not my studies in seminary or knowledge of Greek, but if you, who lives in me, the Holy Spirit of God, who is the author of what I am trying to understand, do not reveal to me what this means, I am not going to know what this means. If you do not reveal to me what it means, then I will figure it out on my own what it means and I will teach error and ignorance. And I will spend the rest of my life doing so. But you promised to reveal to me what it means. On my end, am I going to live in dependency, and recognize I am not the most brilliant person walking around, and I will live in dependency on the one who has wisdom, and who says He will give you His wisdom if you want it. If you want your own wisdom, then that is all you get.”
1 Corinthians 2:9-10
9 However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”[Isaiah 64:4] – the things God has prepared for those who love him –
10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
It is like being in a driver education car with two steering wheels, and saying it is either me driving or yoy. I am not going to let you drive. I am going to drive myself. I am not going to fight you. And let go of the wheel that this is all Jesus and none of me. That will eliminate my thinking of how brilliant I am. How dependent has God enabled you to be? You learn this by faith. It is a process.
There are obstacles to that. The passages in Hebrews that most people are familiar with are Hebrews 6:4-6 and Hebrews 10:26-31. You will read things like, “It is impossible to be brought back to repentance”, and “if we deliberately keep on sinning, then only fearful expectation of judgment and raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.”
If you read that out of context, deliberately keep on sinning, and so you think about the nasty nine, the dirty dozen, and the terrible twelve, that is not what it is talking about. We will study that in detail in a moment and help you to understand that in context. If you read that for what it is, it seems to me ever since I was a Christian, every sin I can think of was deliberate. If I sinned then how am I going to be brought back to repentance when it says it is impossible to be brought back to repentance?So by that thinking, you are in some deep trouble, because if you are doing that, how are you going to be brought back?
Then people get into persistent sins as if you have been persistently sinning. I had a pastor’s wife talking about that, that if anyone continues in sin, is going to hell. “Let me ask you a question? How long have you been a Christian?” “Oh, 45 or 50 years.” “That is great. How long have you had a critical spirit?” “45 or 50 years.” “That sure seems like persistent sinning. You are condemning yourself by your own theology, because that is not what it means.” Is there meaning? Yes there is.
Hang in there. We will interpret two passages of scriptures, that a self-righteous legalist has been pounding you with. Hopefully you are out of there. They are putting you on a guilt trip, teaching you things that keep you in bondage and total fear. That does not come from God.
So this passage has been used to put fear of losing salvation in people. Either people live in constant fear, doing what they can to keep their slates clean before God, or they ultimately reject God, and see as a fickle unreasonable and impossible to please God. These passages are intended for the lost, not the saved. They are a reminder that God is not playing games with us. Either Jesus provided complete cleaning for sins and offer of eternal life or there is no such thing as eternal life. Our choice is to believe Him or to reject Him. If you do not believe Him, now is the time to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and accept the finality of His cross, once and for all, done, and accept what it means “It is finished.”, or “Paid in full”.
If you are confused about this, this is the day to settle that issue once and for all. On careful study of these passages, you will discover there is nothing to fear. These passages actually affirm that your salvation is secure and you can trust Jesus with your life.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
It is not faith in faith. Faith has to be based upon knowledge, and knowledge of Jesus comes from the word of God.
6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
In order to believe that He exists you have to read He exists and then believe it. And He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. What is faith? Being sure of the hope we have in Christ Jesus. What do we hope for? Eternal life that He has granted us. I am not hoping I am going to get it but I am waiting for the day it is ultimately realized, the day I am absent from the body and present with the Lord. Are you sure what you hope for and certain of what you do not see?
26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,
What are you sinning against in this passage, if you deliberately keep on sinning after you have received the knowledge of the truth? What are you sinning against? The knowledge of truth. In other words, these people, as well as people today, who are Gentiles, and there is no difference at all between an unbelieving Jew and an unbelieving Gentile. These are people who heard truth. A few passages earlier in Hebrews 10, tells us what the New Covenant is.
16 “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”[Jeremiah 31:33]
17 Then he adds:
“Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”[Jeremiah 31:33]
18 And where these have been [not will be] forgiven, there is no more sacrifice for sin.
“Will be” means you can get forgiveness. “Have been” means it is done, or it is finished.
To a Jew who is steeped in tradition, going to the temple to kill a bull and a goat to cover their sins, this was a violation of their tradition. If there is no more sacrifice for sins, there is no more day of atonement. There is nothing else to do in the temple. Quite frankly, there is nothing particular to do for these priests back there.
48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”
If we allow this man to continue, before long the whole world will follow him and we will lose our place. Why would you lose your place if there is still sacrifice for sins? If Jesus just died for the sins of the world but you have to go back killing a bull and a goat, those priests would still have the same job they had before. So they learned something that we evidently never learned. You are sinning against the knowledge of truth that Jesus says there is no more sacrifice for sin.
26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
That means you are going to hell, if you are going to continue with your sacrificial system or continually begging God for what in Him you already have, because it is a sign that you do not believe, have never put faith in the fact that you have forgiveness. You are still trying to get what you already have. If you are still trying to get what you already have it means you do not have what you want to get.
If that is true, it means you never accepted the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. You never accepted it. You have given lip service to it. There is no such thing as partial forgiveness. The forgiveness that Christ provided for you and me is total. Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more. And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins.
22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
So if you are still seeking forgiveness of sins, then God would ask you, “Where is your sacrifice?” because without a sacrifice, the shedding of blood, the forfeiture of life, there is no forgiveness. So where is yours? And if it is Christ Jesus, then when did He do it? Over 2000 years ago. How many of your sins were in the future when Jesus took them away? All of them, unless you are pretty old. And no one is that old.
I understand that Jesus died for my past sins but what about my future sins? How many of your sins were in the future when He died for them 2000 years ago? And how many did He die for? All of them, from now, back to Adam, and forward to eternity.
If you are going to keep sinning against that truth, and that is what you are sinning against. That is what gets me with these holier than thou people because they got all their sins confessed. Not only are they not holy, they have never been made holy because you are made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus. They never put their faith in the sacrifice of Jesus. They put their faith in a Jesus who is no greater than a bull and a goat.
I told people that you should take that cross down in your church and put an altar up there with a bull and a goat on there with the kind of forgiveness you are teaching. You cannot talk out of both sides of your mouth and not be double-minded. I am not saying this because I have a bias on this. I am saying this because you are on very dangerous ground. When you are going to a priest to forgive your sins, you have ignored the priest who took away your sins. That is the only conclusion you can come to. I am going to a man-made priest down here or have my sins forgiven when my priest is Christ Jesus, who took away my sins. So I have to discard one of them. If you have a brain in your head, then discard the one down here. The one down here is nothing. Jesus is your Father. Do not call anyone Father down here. Jesus is your high priest.
If you continually keep on sinning after you have received the knowledge of truth. You cannot sin against what you have not received. I am talking to some people today who have never heard this. Forget about feeling guilty about what you have never received. But if you have now heard this message and received this truth, that Jesus took it away. He did not cover sins. He took them away, never to be seen again.
No man will ever go to hell because of his sins, but only the sin of the rejection of the one who said “Your sins and lawless acts I will remember no more” and ”where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins”. So you say, “Jesus I believe that.” If you do believe that, then you are not going back to your sacrificial system. If you do believe that, then you will cease begging Him for what in Him you already have. The reason you are going to stop begging and asking Him is because you already have it. If you already have something, you do not keep asking for it. If you heard this truth, and you have put your faith in it, and you deliberately keep on going back to these systems that help you supposedly to keep your slate clean and keep yourself forgiven, it means you have never repented. A person who has never repented is not going to heaven. It is not good news to the rebel and to the self-righteous person.
28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” [Deuteronomy 32:35] and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” [Deuteronomy 32:36; Psalm 135:14] 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.