Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at The New Covenant P20 (07-07-21)
Have you understood what faith is? Faith must have an object. It is more than an intellectual assent to facts or some sort of faith in some mystery, that nobody knows what that mystery is. I can know that Abraham Lincoln died in Ford’s theater and by believing that, that does not have any impact on my life. I can even go to church, thinking that if I go to church then somehow God will accept me, or my good deeds will outweigh my bad. I can think that I can get all my sins confessed that built up during the week off my chest. I could be doing that whether I was going to a Catholic mass or even sitting in my own bedroom quoting 1 John 1:9, but all the while wondering if I missed confessing some sin. I could even think that I came to Jesus to get all my sins forgiven, and then still doing those confessing of sins as well. So it could be I did not have a proper understanding of the complete gospel in Christ Jesus. All of that is certainly a symptom of misplaced faith, of not understanding what Jesus accomplished for you by His death, burial and resurrection for you. You have either not heard the knowledge of the truth or are sinning against the knowledge of truth, stubbornly holding onto your false teaching and false religion and not grabbing a hold of the truth held out in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
That is what Hebrews 10:26-31 is talking about, and is talking to a non-believer who has heard the knowledge of truth from the apostles but is refusing to believe the truth, and instead going back to the day of atonement, to his tradition under the law of Moses, with sacrificing the blood of a bull and a goat, to get his sins forgiven. The answer back is quite severe, that there is no other sacrifice for sin that remains. Jesus already provided the sacrifice of Himself, by His own blood, and by so doing He set aside the Old Covenant system, which could never take away sin, but only cover sin. By His death, He is able to usher in a New Covenant where the curtain was torn in two from top to bottom, signifying that God alone accomplished this and now all can access the Holy of Holies, not just the high priest anymore, and that only once a year, but all can access the throne of grace, through faith in Jesus Christ.
So faith is trusting in God what He says is true. It is confidence in what we hope for and certain of what we do not see, not because we are deserving or are worthy of anything by what we do, but instead, in what Christ alone has done. Oftentimes, though we think of coming to Christ like a vending machine, to get forgiveness and healing when we need it. No, we come to Christ for Him. He initiated His love to me, and I responded to that love. There is an internal change in heart attitude concerning myself, a change from being self-righteous or that I am okay to a complete awareness of my wretched state, and then to an attitude of unbelievable mercy and grace of God, unconditional love and acceptance, recognizing God’s amazing grace and holiness. I came to realize that He died so that the sins, including mine, but of the whole world, could be taken away forever, and that even before I was even born and still a sinner, and then recognizing His resurrection from the dead, so that He can offer His life, Himself to me, so I may live forever with Him, in a dynamic relationship with the living God starting now and forever. Salvation is coming to Jesua for Jesus, and in Him you possess everything that is Christ’s.
Many people have no full assurance of acceptance with God because they are practicing a lie of false religious teaching contrary to what God says He has already done. You do not ask for what in Him you already have. Either you are in Him or not. According to Ephesians 1:7, if you are in Him then you have redemption and the forgiveness of sins. If you are in Him, are you not walking in faith in what God says He has already done? If not, then therefore, you do not experience peace because you are always wondering if you have done enough. Did I confess enough of my sins? All of that religious false teaching puts the emphasis on you and what you are doing. We had nothing to do with it. What pleases God is our faith in what He alone did for us. Sadly, false religion has left many a person on their deathbed in great fear, and not in expectation of being absent from the body and present with the Lord.
We are in Chapter 6: Obstacles to Faith in our study of A Closer Look at the New Covenant. The whole book of Hebrews is about faith. Why is faith important? Because without faith it is impossible to please 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.
Putting faith in God. Faith must have an object. Faith is like swallowing. You can say you have to swallow to live until you think about it. No, I can swallow food and live. I can also swallow poison and die. It is not swallowing that enables me to live. Swallowing food enables me to live. I could swallow poison and die, using the same mechanism that I used for food to live. It is not just faith in faith. Faith must have an object.
1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
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.
Faith must have an object. The object of our faith is Christ Jesus and His finished work. People say, “I came to Jesus?” “For what?” “For forgiveness.” “For what?” “I came to Jesus for eternal life.”, “I came to Jesus for help. I really needed help.”, or “I came to Jesus for healing.” What you have in your mind is Jesus standing here like a dispensing machine. You come and put your quarter of faith in and pull the knob, and out comes health, healing, gifts, forgiveness, but the machine is there and you are getting what it is producing. But you have no awareness at all that those things you are getting are in the machine.
In essence, you do not come to Christ to get forgiven or to get life. You come to Christ to get Him.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
1 John 5:12
12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
All of these passages are dealing with Him.
19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”
The issue is we let Jesus on the dispensing Himself and basically get enthralled with what He came to give us, and thank God for it, but do not realize that gift is in Him. You cannot separate that.
I use an illustration of a pencil and a bible. This pencil represents forgiveness and the bible represents Jesus. You say, “What did God do?” He put the pencil in the bible and said, “Here I come. Get the bible.” You say, “What do I get when I get the bible?” “Well, you get the pencil?” “Can I have the pencil without the bible?” “No. It is a two for sale.” There is no forgiveness outside of inside of the bible, using that as an illustration.
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
Where is forgiveness of sins to be found? In Him. You come to Him and you have redemption and you have forgiveness. People try to get forgiveness apart from Him, whether sacrificing bulls and goats, as in the Old Testament. There is no Jesus in the Old Testament. There is the prophecy of Jesus but there is no Jesus there. People want to hold onto the Old Testament like it is glue instead of realizing that if it worked, then why did Jesus have to come. Why when Jesus came, that He now He is our foundation, not the Old Testament. Jesus is your foundation. Everything is built upon Him who prophesied would come and save the nation and people from their sins.
2 Corinthians 3:6
6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
We are told in scriptures that we are to become ministers of a New Covenant, not of the old that kills, but of the new that gives life. We are to be ministering the teachings of Jesus. You will not find that in the Old Testament. You will find the prophecies. You can find Psalms and Proverbs and a lot of prophecy in the Old Testament but as far as how to live, there is nothing in the Old Testament about vine and branch (John 15), about abiding in Jesus and He will give you life, or walking in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).
What is there is man’s attempt to find righteousness in and of himself apart from Jesus because He was not there. It is not something to discredit. But quit living by it. You go to Him for comfort. If you want the peace of God that surpasses all understanding it says, “Come to Me. ” (Philippians 4:4-7)
We have to understand these truths. There are people who claim to be Christians and convert to Judaism and will not get out of it. I never hear such a person quoting from the New Testament. They are back in Zechariah, or some place, always quoting the Old Testament. What is the problem? They never received the knowledge of truth. If they have, they have turned their back on it. Hebrews 10:26-31 talked about that.
26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth
What are you sinning against? The knowledge of truth. If you have heard we are under a New Covenant, and it is a covenant of grace, and we are told that we are to be ministers of a New Covenant, not of the law that kills. That gets you away from the Mosaic law. It is not there for us who are Christian. We are to be led internally by the living God. If we understood that truth, and you keep on sinning against it and going back to the old instead of rejoicing in the new, it says in scripture, you are going to hell. I did not say that nor do I like that. But the issue is you do not like it.
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.
You do not have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what that is talking about. If you deliberately keep on sinning against the knowledge of truth, that Jesus took away your sins. Old Testament atonement could not do that. Old Testament atonement could cover sins but Old Testament atonement could never take away sins.
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!
That was a new thought because atonement could never take away sins.
When you come to understand, and those listening today, you have no excuse. You have now received the knowledge of truth. You have received. I know for sure now that you are receiving the knowledge of truth. When Jesus cried out from the cross, “It is finished”, meaning “Paid in full”, that is precisely what He meant, and also why Paul was able to say there is now, not used to, but now there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. Why?
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
The law of the Spirit of resurrection set me free from the law of sin and death. When you are born into this world, you are born under the law of sin and death. You are born dead. You are forgiven because God took care of that at the cross but that forgiveness is only received where? In Him. Not in the blood of a bull and a goat or being Jew or Gentile. Not in the Old Testament. But in Him. In Jesus. You cannot be in Jesus until Jesus came.
You are in Jesus. You are not saved by baptism. You are not saved by speaking in tongues. You are not saved by going to church. You are saved by coming to Jesus. We would rather go to church than go to Jesus. No, it is “Come unto Me.” It did not say come unto church. “Come unto Me.“ and “I am the way, the truth and the life. Come unto me.”
That is truth that will set you free. When you reject that message, what can you expect?
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?
What is the blood that sanctifies them?
“Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”[Jeremiah 31:34]
18 And where these have been forgiven, there is no more sacrifice for sin.
“Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more” and “where these have been [ not will be; not for just some of you ] but have been forgiven, there is no more sacrifice for sin.” Put aside your day of atonement. You should have never gone to your confessional booth. And you self-righteous ones trying to keep short accounts with God, you are trying to accomplish what He has already done. If you are thinking that pleases God, to ask God to do what He has already accomplished, then that is not faith. Faith in what God has accomplished is what pleases God.
You are treating as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them and insulting the Spirit of grace. You are insulting the Holy Spirit of God, insulting Him, because He is the Spirit who brought grace to you and me, not the law, but 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.
When you have truth, He wants you to put your faith in it. He does not want you to put faith in what points to the truth, but in what truth is. The pointers are fine. There are many pointers that pointed to the coming of the Messiah. But once you have come to the Messiah, the pointers are irrelevant. I do not need the pointers. When I came to Jesus, I don’t even know there were pointers. But I did know there was a Jesus, that He loved me and went to take away my sins at the cross, and loved me enough to give me resurrected life. And in Him is that resurrected life. I came to Him and when I came to Him all those possessions became mine.
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus
Since we have confidence. There is no confidence at all in this teaching that the way you get your sins forgiven is to go to a priest to get them forgiven, or to go to 1 John 1:9 to Jesus to get forgiveness, because what if you forgot one? What if you were not sincere enough when you gave your confession? What if you really only confessed the big ones, and left the others to yourself because you know you will go back to those? “I have got all my sins confessed. I am clean as a whistle, but when you go to bed at night, what if you have a dirty dream?” There is no confidence in that kind of message. Why? Because it is left up to me. I am the one who has to keep myself clean. I am the one who has to be sure that I have short accounts with God, to be sure all of my sins are confessed. What if you forgot one? What if you were so dumb that you did not know what sin was? The bible says that anything that is not of faith is sin. Quite frankly, you are living in unbelief when you are doing those things. You are not functioning in faith but in presumption. It is not faith to presume that if I do this God will do this. Go is the initiator and I am the responder, not vice versa. There is no confidence in that type of thing. I wonder if I have done everything that I needed to do to get to God.
3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh – 4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence.
If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.
I had a very good friend of mine, who was a very good teacher of scripture, but I do not think he ever understood or heard of the New Covenant we live under today. He was a psychologist and had a great influence on my life, and he was married to a wonderful lady. I heard at her death, that when I came to be with him, he said to me. “Bob, a strange thing happened when my wife was dying. She said, ‘I am afraid. I am very fearful.’ ‘Why is that?’ ‘I am afraid I have not been as good a wife or mother as I could have been. Or maybe I did not do everything I was supposed to do in order to be accepted.’” I asked, “What did you say to her?” “The solution to that is 1 John 1:9, that if we confess our sins. She confessed her sins, but she still died fearful.”
I said, “No wonder with that hair-brained theology you have been hanging on tenaciously all your life. How can you walk confidently when your acceptance to God is based on your memory and how well you have one. I have confidence that when I die I will go into the presence of God not because of what I have done but because of everything He has done. You gave her the wrong message. The message is that your sins have been taken away at the cross, not because of confessing them, not because you went to a day of atonement, but because of Him. It is Him. He is the one who did it all, not half of it, not some of it, but all of it. How in the world is anyone, you, me or anyone else ever going to die in peace if you are wondering if I did enough.”
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body,
We have confidence to enter the most Holy Holy Place by what? My confession? No. By the blood of Jesus. It is a new and living way. It is not an old way, folks. It is a new and living way. It is not the way of the Old Testament or Old Covenant. It is a way of a new covenant, a new and living way, that was opened up for us through the curtain, that is his body.
What does He mean by that? Remember when Jesus died on a cross, that curtain that kept all people out of the Holy of Holies except for the high priest for that year, and even he entered into that with a rope on his leg, so you can pull him out because no one else could enter the Holy of Holies. What happened at his death? That curtain was torn from the top to the bottom. It was probably 30 feet high. There is no way any man could have done that. It was not torn from the bottom up. It was torn from the top down. Why did it say that? So we will understand this truth. God did that. In tearing that curtain apart, exposing the Holy of Holies, now enables everyone of us to go into the throne of grace, calling Him, “Daddy Father”. No longer a high priest, no longer the Old Testament way of going in but a new and living way that was opened up for us through the curtain, that is his body. Now we can all enter in.
21 and since we have a great 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
We now can enter into the Holy of Holies, drawing near to God. That was impossible before. Draw near to God with what? A sincere heart. We do not have to go in with a phoney heart. We do not have to go in with, “Lord, you know Lord how much I have done.” No, you can go on saying, “I have not deserved anything. I have not done anything to deserve this. You are the deserving one. I am not holy. You alone are holy. I am not worthy. You alone are worthy. I come into your presence by your grace and by your mercy, kindness and goodness and your unconditional love toward me.” That enables you to draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith.
That is not a partial assurance, but a full assurance. When you are teaching people you can lose salvation, how are you going to have full assurance of faith? If you are teaching people you have not done enough, and you might not make it, how can you enter into the presence of God calling Him, “Daddy Father” is with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith? You cannot. Here is saying we can, and we can because our faith is placed in Him and not in you.
having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
This pure water is not water we have here.
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
We cannot be mixed. We are standing strong, holding on unswervingly the hope we profess. Why? He who promised is faithful. It did not say hold onto unswervingly to hope we possess because I am faithful. No, it says because He is faithful. Who is He? He is the one who promised that He made to give us Himself.
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,
Let us consider now, because this is what I know to be true, what has been given to me, and to you. Why don’t we consider and think through this, how I may spend my life spurring you along, and other people 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.
Friends, I know people who absolutely have no habit at all of meeting together with other believers. Every weekend they are at the lake or at the ocean, or every place except meeting together with other believers. No habit at all has ever been firm of meeting together with other believers. Sunday morning is just one day off where I can go do what I want to do; camp, fish, do nothing, go to the pool, or whatever it might be, and live totally apart from fellowshipping with other believers. There has never been a time where a person has said, and contemplated, this is all a part of who I am, a person able to walk into the Holy of Holies, and therefore, how can I spur others along to love and good deeds? I cannot do it when I am by myself at the lake. The only time I can do that is when we are meeting together. That is what Sunday morning is for, or Saturday if you happen to believe in that. Are you habitually meeting with people every week, to spur one another on with love and good deeds?