Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at The New Covenant P21 (07-12-21)
Turn to Hebrews 10:19-25. As you do so, ponder over all that the first ten chapters of Hebrews just got through telling you. If you have not read the book of Hebrews before, read it again and again in its entirety, asking the Spirit to teach you what it means. When you understand God’s love for you, what kind of response should that produce in you?
Have you come to understand you are a forgiven person, that all your sins were taken away by one act of God in sending His Son to die on a cross for you, and that while you were still enemies of God in your mind, He died for you. You came to the end of the law for righteousness, realizing the law put you to death so that you died to the law, so you can live under grace. There is no more sacrifice for sin. It is finished.
You realized you had no righteousness of your own, hopeless and spiritually dead to God. So you received what God came to give you, His life placed in you. You are washed. You are cleansed. There is nothing you can do to cleanse yourself. God did it all for you. In Him, you received all that God wanted to give you, redemption, forgiveness of sins, His imputed righteousness, and indeed everything you need for life and godliness.
Knowing this, does that not stir your heart to want to stir one another on toward love and good deeds? The source of all that is God. We cannot produce love. But we respond to the love we received from God. And as we see the day approaching, whether the rapture or the day we depart this world, we are to build one another up in the faith. We have this confidence from God, a blessed hope, a certainty of the redemption of our bodies. We have a message far greater than any message from any man. We can enter into the Holy of Holies that no man before the cross could ever go. We can boldly go to the throne of grace for help in our time of need. We are not alone for God is with us just as He had promised us. I will never leave you nor forsake you.
When I have Christ, I have everything that I need for life and godliness. In Him, I have redemption. In Him, I have forgiveness of sins. In Him, in Christ, I have been made holy. In Him, in Christ, I am justified and I am sanctified. That is who you are as a child of God. Hold unswervingly to this hope. You all fall short and so do I. What do you do? I get up and claim who I am. I am a child of the living God. Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you took that sin at the cross for me. That is not an excuse for me to go live like the devil. It is for me to draw near to your heart, God, and to unswervingly hold onto the fact you have done it all. Many times in my unfaithfulness, you are always faithful. You are always there. You are always drawing me near to your heart. That is your job, and I thank you for it. So as born again believers in Christ, let us meet together, let us call one another up to encourage one another, to hold on unswervingly to the faith we profess, that God is faithful to all He has promised.
Turn to Hebrews 10:19-25. As a matter of review, we will cover some of that again. That verse starts off with a “therefore”. Whenever you see a “therefore”, you must ask what is it there for? A “therefore” is a conclusion that has just been stated in the first ten chapters.
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,
That is assuming that you understood what has been communicated in the first ten chapters. That you understood that you are a forgiven person, that you have understood that there is no more deliberately keeping on sinning against the knowledge of truth, which is our sins are no more. They have been taken away from the eyes of God and there is no more sacrifice for sins. You cannot go to the “therefore” if you have not settled this issue. If you plan on growing and maturing in Christ Jesus forget it if you want to keep holding onto the law. The law keeps you from growing in grace. Forget it if you think there is more forgiveness to be executed on behalf of God. Thereby developing systems of keeping yourself clean before God instead of accepting the fact He has done it all. He has washed you, cleansed you, forgiven you, and taken away your sins from the eyes of God. Do not plan on maturing if you do not settle that issue. That is the assumption, that that issue has now been settled. Therefore, we have confidence. If you do not have confidence, then do not continue reading.
20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body,
Not in the old way, for the curtain was still intact. No one could enter into the Holy of Holies under the Old Covenant. We have the ability to enter into the most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus. We now are able to enter into where no one else was ever able to enter except a Levitical priest. When the Levitical priest entered into the Holy of Holies with a rope around his ankle, in the event he died, you can pull him out. For no one was able to enter the Holy of Holies. At the death of Christ Jesus that curtain was torn from top to bottom, and being 30 feet in height, it was supernaturally torn. That enabled every born again believer to enter into the Holy of Holies, not by a Levitical priesthood, but by the blood of Christ Jesus. That is what this is talking about.
Do you have the confidence to enter the presence of God by the blood of Jesus? That is a new and living way opened up for us through the curtain, that is his body. Do you have confidence to do so? Or do you have to get all your sins confessed before you enter the presence of God, or before you pray, or before you take the Lord’s Supper. Is that what the scripture teaches us? No, the scripture teaches us we are to walk in confidence that this is already an event that has taken place and is sealed by God as a part of your possession. You are a forgiven, cleansed, living person in the sight of God. All of that was done for you by the death, and the resurrected body of Christ Jesus.
21 and since we have a great priest [Jesus, not Levitical priest] over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings,
God is not looking at the phoniness that is taking place in Christianity today. There is plenty of phoniness, especially in most media ministries you see in existence today. Lying out of their teeth with their so-called miracles, and blowing on people, slaying them in the spirit. All that stuff taught out there is contrary to scripture from phoney, insincere people.
A sincere heart is a relationship I have with God. I am not there to impress the Christian world. I am here to walk by faith in the living Christ. I am here to recognize that apart from Christ Jesus I am nothing. With Christ Jesus, I have everything I need for life and godliness. It is a sincere heart. It is a heart that has been changed, by showing you your own depravity and in so doing showing you the solution to that depravity, which is the righteousness of Christ Jesus, which has been given to you by Him. You draw near to God that drew near to you. You do so with a sincere heart, with absolute full assurance of faith, not a partial assurance.
You cannot walk in the presence of God with full assurance if you think you can lose salvation. That is another lie that has been taught for thousands of years. If you have salvation then you have life eternal.
1 John 5:11-12
11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
What kind of life did He come to give you? Eternal life. If you had life, and now you think you are going to lose it, the only way you could lose salvation is lose your life, then how are you going to do that when He says “I will never leave you nor forsake you”? How are you going to do that when He suffered and died to take away the eternal cause of death, which is sin. The reason you have eternal life today is because of the eternal consequence of the cross and the promise of the resurrected life, a life where He said “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” If I cannot walk in the presence of God with that kind of full assurance in my heart, then there is something wrong with me. There is something wrong with you if you think you can lose it. You have been taught error with people who do not have a sincere heart, trying to get you under a guilt trip, that if you do not watch all you do then God will throw you overboard.
It is like a person who is out drowning. What do you do? Well, he needs some information. You throw him a book. That will not work. Your good influence will take care of it. So you show him how to swim. That does not work. If a man is drowning, you pull up in a boat and reach into the water, you pull him out of the water and you put him into the boat. Well, that should be salvation. Yes, it should be. But there is a shore to go to. On the way to the shore, that guy cusses and asks for a cigarette. So what do you do? You just push him overboard. That is how many people perceive salvation. You are in the boat but if you do not watch your actions, then I will push you overboard. That is not salvation. That is a reprieve. That is getting you into the boat but to the other shore.
6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus
Salvation is getting you out of the water and safely to the shore. We are told we are already seated in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus. So this doctrine that you can lose salvation is a lie. It is not even the case of being a doctrinal issue but an insult to the doctrine of Christ. The reason I have eternal life is because of the cross of Christ. To deny eternal life is to deny the cross. I am not about to do any one of those.
So I come to God with a sincere heart. I had nothing to do with any of this. This has only to do with what God has done for me. If it was up to me, I could not pull it off, whether a Christian or a non-Christian. Either as a Christian or as a non-Christian, I cannot pull off a perfect life, from the way I came to Christ to the day I die. I must count on Him and Him alone because He is not grading on the curve. He is not going to say you are pretty good. In Christ Jesus, when you were saved, you were clothed in the righteousness of Him, not us. That clothing is the wedding feast you go into. You are not clothed in your clothes but in His. When God looks at you, He sees the righteousness of His Son. That is why I can walk in full assurance of faith.
having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
That is being washed with the water of the Word. That is pure water, not the stuff we drink or bathe in or dunk people in. The word of God is the pure life we live today.
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
Keep on a steady path. Do not go to the left or to the right. Go straight down the middle. I am a child of the living God. I am totally forgiven. I did not deserve any of this. I did not earn any of this. It is what God gave me. God gave Himself to me. When I have Christ, I have everything that I need for life and godliness. In Him, I have redemption. In Him, I have forgiveness of sins. In Him, in Christ, I have been made holy. In Him, in Christ, I am justified and I am sanctified. That is who you are as a child of God.
Hold unswervingly to this hope. You all fall short and so do I. What do you do? I get up and claim who I am. I am a child of the living God. Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you took that sin at the cross for me. That is not an excuse for me to go live like the devil. It is for me to draw near to your heart, God, and to unswervingly hold onto the fact you have done it all. Many times in my unfaithfulness, you are always faithful. You are always there. You are always drawing me near to your heart. That is your job, and I thank you for it.
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
How can I swerve unswervingly to the hope I profess? Because He who promised is faithful. That is exactly where your faith is. Faith is not in my ability to keep short accounts with God. My faith is not in my ability to live the Christian life. It is my faith in Him who lives in me to live the Christian life. Remember this. Jesus Christ died for you so that He could give His life to you so that He could live His life through you. He gave His life for you, to give His life to you, to live His life through you. You cannot live the Christian life. Only the Christ who lives in you can live the Christian life. It is not to imitate His actions because God has not necessarily told you what He told Jesus to do. Jesus said He did not do anything unless the Father told Him to do it and He did not say anything unless the Father told Him to say it. As the Father sent me, so I send you.
We are to imitate the faith of Christ Jesus, the dependency of Christ Jesus. Even though He is God, never anything less than God, but He behaved as a man. Why did He behave as a man? In order to show me how to behave as a man. I am not God so I cannot behave like God. If He tried to show me how to behave as God, He might as well be talking to a light post. I cannot even live as a good man let alone God. He came to show me how to live as a man. He did not have to. He put the prerogative of deity aside in order to show me how to live. He even became obedient to death to allow people who were His own, the people He created. He came to His own and own received Him not and His own put Him to death. He cried out in the midst of that, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”
When you have a God with that kind of compassion and unconditional love, why would you not want to hold unswervingly to the hope you profess? Why would you not come to understand the truth that this God is faithful? He keeps His promises. He is faithful. I may not be faithful but He is. He is faithful to me. Because of that faithfulness to me, my heart is inclined to draw near to Him because of His love for me. I am not initiating any of that, folks. I am merely responding to what I have learned about the faithfulness and the goodness and the purity of the Lord Jesus Christ, the one who accomplished everything for us.
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
All of this is a part of the “therefore”, that we have come to understand this confidence in Christ, all of Him and none of us, so let us spur one another on. Let us be an encouragement to other people. Let us spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together. In our vernacular today, we call that going to church. We do not go to a place. We are the church. But the church should go and meet. The church is the people. The people should not forsake getting together with one another. Why? To spur one another on toward love and good deeds. It talks about some are in the habit of not doing that.
We talked about that before, that we would rather go to the lake, go hunting, play golf, and think what a day. What a day! What have you done? Hit a ball. Sometimes you get it in a hole and sometimes you do not. What a day! I am not anti-golf, but there are times when your priority is to do what God told you to do instead of going out on a golf course on Sunday morning. I think you should at least take one or two hours out of the week and not forsake assembling together with others. You made a habit of playing golf. You made a habit of going out to the lake. What is wrong with making a habit of doing what God told you to do and for your benefit. He does not need you to be in church on Sunday. He is doing it so that if you have had any confidence and any comfort in what God has done for you, then go help others to grow in grace as well. Go be a blessing to somebody. I do not have anything to share. That is your problem. Start growing in grace and learning so you have something to share. He does not want you to stay on the delivery table. He wants you to grow.
12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!
Let us not be sitting and soaking. If we do not have a habit of continually getting together with other believers for the purpose of encouraging them, then get in the habit that God gave you. We are so prone to getting in a habit that man gave you, but get in a habit in what God gives you. That should be an encouragement to one another. A person says, “Encouragement to me is to go tell me to go to the lake to play golf.” That is man’s encouragement but is not God’s encouragement.
25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
To do these things all the more as you see the day approaching. What day is that? The day the Lord is coming back or the day you are going home to be with Him.
My dear friend, Erwin Berquist. He has cancer. He is like a brother to me. He is as close as my own physical brother. Erwin has been a friend of mine for years and years. When I was still in the floor covering business back in California, He was a customer of mine. After I came to Christ, I heard he was a Christian. I do not know what that meant at that time. But he was the first person I went to to share what happened to me in my coming to Christ. We became life-long friends. When I went to work in a full time ministry, He was our first supporter. Erwin is my age exactly. We are dear friends in Christ. He has cancer. He told me his wife was in an automobile accident a number of months ago, in which a person was suing. She went into the hospital for some minor work and died. She was a very strong lady. As Erwin said, this was not only my best friend, but my first and only girlfriend I have ever known. Thank God he has children with him. He was that kind of a guy that everybody loved him. “Bob, I heard you say in the past, to take a look at who you are sitting beside. If it is your wife or husband, one of you is going to observe another in the grave some day unless you have to be taken out at the same time. You never think in a million years that would happen. You see the body there in a coffin but they are not there. It will happen to you.”
As you see the Day approaching, do not just put that on the shelf, saying that is when the Lord is coming back, and He has not come back in some 2000 years. End times will come when end times will come. In the meantime, your end time is a lot sooner than you think. We are all going to die. If we have been allowed by God to live a longer life. I am 76 years old, almost 77. When I was a child, that age was ancient. These people should not even be walking. You never feel ancient inside. You always feel like a child. But my body tells me something different. The mirror really tells me something different. The issue is we are going to die. In my particular case, if an average life would be 80, it might be 10 more years, and 20 at the most. In that time frame, I know I am going to go. I have more of an idea when I am going to leave this earth than thinking about end times. I have no clue when the end times rapture is going to occur but I do know in my physical life, 20 more years would be a miracle.
As those days are approaching, we are all going to die. Not only that, old age prepares you for death. You are certainly not anxious to hang around in this body. It prepares you for death. Death can also occur early. We live on the 200 year plan as children especially. But you do not know when. You can step into your car and get killed in an accident. You do not know. When I was a teenager, a bunch of my buddies would hang out. I thank God for my parents. My parents were my excuse to let the guys know I did not want to do it. When I was in high school I would never drink, but there were some boys that would go to a place to buy beer. They would always ask me to go. I would really like to go but my parents would kill me if they knew that. That was always a great excuse. I did not want to drink. One day I got in the car with them. About a half mile down the road, I said, “Hold on a minute. I made a mistake here. Let me out here. I would love to go but I got to go.” Every one of them was killed. I look at those type of things, and I realize that those types of things can happen to you, young or old.
Get into a habit, guys, of fellowshipping with believers. Get into a habit of spurring people on toward love and good deeds. Do not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. Be an encouragement to people. Why should we always be in a position to discourage or to tear someone down instead of building them up. It is such a feeling of joy when someone comes and wants to build you up.
I gave a message not too long ago on the need for encouragement. I cannot tell you how many called to give encouragement and I appreciate that. That is what God wants us to do, to be a blessing to people, and all the more as you see the day approaching.