Radio Broadcast Wednesday 12/25/2019

Classic Christianity – Christmas P3 (12-25-19)

Synopsis

Hebrews give a panoramic view of God’s dealing with mankind and the final solution in Jesus Christ. When you think of the Old Testament, what thought come to your mind? Have you looked at it close enough to realize how patient and long-suffering God was with mankind? Do you think of God as an angry God ready to pounce on you when you sin? Then you have not properly understood the heart of God and the purpose for which he came.

As you read about the continual failures of mankind, do you think God was surprised at that? Man was already born dead, without the Spirit of God in him. God, knowing all that, had a plan to restore mankind back to a relationship with Himself. See man is hopeless and dead in his trespasses and sins. So out of great love for mankind, God sent His Son, at the right time, to enter this world. He entered this world to show us his righteousness so that we can see our unrighteousness, and see our need. When you see the contrast between Jesus and ourselves, it is quite a contrast! The Old Testament, with the laws of Moses, was for the same purpose, to help us see what sin is, so that we can see our condition of death. By seeing our condition, we are ready to turn to someone who can give us life. Yet men, strive and strive, thinking they are okay, or that they can obey the law and someday arrive at perfection that God would then accept them. Man thinks as if God grades on a curve. Unless you are a perfect as God, you cannot enter in. That is an impossibility with man.

Jesus ultimately came to die on a cross to pay the punishment that sin deserved, which is death. It is a price too great for any man to pay. Only the death of an innocent person, who has eternal life in himself, can take away the sins of the entire world, sins all the way back to Adam and sins of men yet to be born. But his death did not actually give us new life. It took away the cause of death so life could be given. His death prepared the way so life could be given. For you see, until sin is taken away, the next time man sinned he would die again. So while we were yet sinners, he died for us.

Then the most amazing event in all history happened. Jesus was raised from the dead, just as Jesus told his disciples would happen. On the third day, he said, I will rise again. Now, we read that Jesus told his disciples to wait in Galilee for the promised Holy Spirit. So they did. On the day of Pentecost, we read in Acts, that the Holy Spirit, for the first time in history, came to indwell men.

Now, today, there is no waiting to receive the Holy Spirit. Jesus has since ascended back to his Father and is seated at the right hand of God. So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, so, although this physical body will die and be buried in a grave, God will give us a new body suited for heaven. We will be changed like a twinkling of an eye.

But what about now, before we go to that place of heaven. We have a deposit, guaranteeing our inheritance. We have the Holy Spirit living in us, who is our life. We, who have believed the message, have already been made into a new spiritual creation. We have been born again spiritually. He renews our minds to function as God originally created man to function. See, God in the man is indispensable to the humanity of the man. God created man to function to relate to God in complete trust, in a loving relationship with Him. See, when Christ is in you, you can discern the things of God.

The Spirit of God living in you produces in you and through you fruit that you were never designed to produce on your own. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. By abiding in Him, as Jesus explained in John 15, the life of the vine produces fruit that is born on the branches. Jesus is the vine and we, the branches, who are in Christ, are the body of Christ.

So you see, the life that left Adam because of sin, has now been restored to mankind, offered as a gift to be received, by faith and faith alone in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus. Those who receive this precious gift of new life, who believe in his name, God says you have been given the right to become children of God. If you are not a child of God, this is the most precious gift you will ever receive. This is eternal life, to know God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Would you receive this gift of life today?

Transcript

For over 4000 years, beginning with Genesis and going through Malachi, we had the history of God dealing with man, with fallen man. After Adam and Eve fell, from that point forward, you had about 4000 years of God dealing with us, dealing with man, who in his fallen state, many times tried desperately to live a life that they did not have, and yet desperately trying to be right in the sight of God, especially as it was dealing with the Jewish nation. God gave the word of God to Noah and to Abraham. We know the stories of Abraham as to how he was called a man of faith. That is how people were basically saved in the Old Testament. They were saved as it were, on a credit card. They got to enjoy the furniture but it had not been paid for yet. But their salvation was credited to them as righteousness. It was not a salvation experienced by us today, following the day of Pentecost, when the Spirit of God came to live permanently in the hearts of man.

We have this 4000 years of God dealing with man’s failure, from Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, and David. You had all these heroes of faith, whom God dealt with in mercy and kindness, in the midst of their failure. Moses killed someone. David committed adultery and killed someone, yet was called as someone who was after God’s own heart. It is hard for us to understand that because we look for perfection in imperfect people. But in the entire Old Testament, from Genesis to Malachi, is a history of man’s failure and of God’s mercy and kindness and goodness in the midst of it.

It is a history. God gave us those 4000 years, in my opinion, for a reason, to show us, in all of that time that man cannot do it on their own, we are failures at that. Moses came down with the ten commandments. What did man say? We will do it. “You tell us God and we will do it.” What happened? They were building a golden calf before they ever got the ten commandments off the mountain. Moses did not go to the Egyptians to kill somebody, but he did. I do not think David went out on the balcony to lust after somebody, but he did. It shows us in and of our human flesh is no good thing. In and of our human flesh, we cannot carry out what we ourselves would like to carry out, can we? We are all together on that, I think, hopefully?

All through this, over 4000 years of history, is God’s dealing with man and man’s failure to be able to live a life that he himself would like to live. Then, after Malachi, 400 years or so of silence. We call them the silent years, where man, as far as they were concerned, did not hear from God. 400 years is a long time. Then, the plan was launched.

In other words, in God’timing, and that is his business, not ours. In God’s timing, he said you have had 4000 years to prove to yourself and to anyone else that you cannot do it. You cannot accomplish it. You have people today, who say they are ethical people. Then you fall on your face and come to find out that you are not as ethical as you thought you were. God looks on the heart and man looks on the outside. How are you doing on the outside? God looks at our heart. What is going on underneath the skin? That is why the law said “do not commit adultery”. Jesus said if you look lustfully at a woman, you have already committed adultery in your heart. That is where God sees. God sees inside the heart. We cannot live according to the standards of God.

God gave us the ten commandments. We thought they ought to be easy. Well, they are not easy. You fall on your face thinking you can do it. We got people deceived into thinking they can do it. People have called on the radio saying they do not sin. I say, “Let me talk to your wife”. I had a guy who was dumb enough to let me do it. We have to get into our heart that we cannot do it.

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It is a whole history of man trying to live a life without the Spirit of God living in you. Because the day that Adam and Eve were created, they were created totally alive bodily, soulishly and spiritually. When Adam sinned, he died. What is death? The absence of life, just like darkness is the absence of light. When Adam died, the life of God departed from Adam, leaving him dead spiritually, and from that point on, every child that was born from Adam, are born dead spiritually. (That is why we are all here, from Adam). That is why we bounce prayers off the ceiling.

Regardless of how successful you might become in business there is an emptiness there. I had a certain success in business but I was empty as a pork barrel inside. I was always wondering why I cannot live the kind of life I would like to live. That is an impossibility because God created man so that God in the man is indispensable to the humanity of the man. You are not totally human until you are indwelt by the Spirit of God as he created Adam. He created Adam indwelt by the Spirit of God. When Adam died, the Spirit of God departed from him and he was left dead. We cannot do it in our state of spiritual death. We can try but we cannot pull it off. We give it a good effort, don’t we? But some people give a lot more effort than others. But you cannot do it.

So, in the heart of God, was a plan. His plan was to redeem man, to restore man to true humanity, restoring in us what was lost in Adam, that being the Spirit of God in us. That was his plan from day one. It took 4000 years to pull it off, to prove to man he cannot do it. That ought to be enough time to prove to us we cannot do it.

We are told in Matthew 1 how the plan was unfolded. This is a plan for all humanity out of the heart of God who said, “I love you”. “I love you so much that I am going to send My only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life.” God demonstrated his love toward us in that while we were yet enemies Christ died for us. His plan was unfolded. That plan was, first of all, revealed to Joseph. So we pick up in the 18th verse of the first chapter.

Matthew 1:18-21
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

If there was any way, on God’s earth, to save people from their sin, prior to Jesus, then Jesus came for nothing. A sacrificial system could not save people from their sins. All that a sacrificial system could do was cover sins until the nest time. There was no way throughout 4000 years of history that man could be saved from his sins. No way, period. It was always before him. His guilt was always before him. The emptiness of the Spirit was always there for 4000 years. So he announced to Joseph that Mary is going to have a son, and you are going to calls his name Jesus. The reason is is because he will save the people from their sins.

Matthew 1:22-24
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Turn back now to the book of Hebrews, the 10th chapter. In the 10th chapter of Hebrews, we will pick up where we left off. We will learn how, through Jesus, how people are saved from their sins. If he sent his Son to save people from their sins, how did He do that? How did He pull that off? Now, we had the law that was given to Moses. The law was given and man could not keep it.

Hebrews 10:1-18
1 The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming – not the realities themselves.

So it says that the law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming, not the realities themselves. Those who want to worship under the law are worshiping a shadow. It make no sense to worship a shadow when the realty is here.

Hebrews 10:1-18
For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.

These were the sacrifices that were given to Israel to cover their sin, to ease their guilt until the next time, but it never ever satisfied. Every day priests stand and perform their duties again and again, but it could never take away their sins. It could atone for their sins, but it could never take them away.

Hebrews 10:11
11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.

In other words, to be complete means it is finished. When something is completed, it is over. It is finished. You are able to rest. Remember the Sabbath rest, as in the New Testament, is to be able to rest from our works just as he did from his. We have to realize the truth that when Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, there were about a million, one hundred thousand of them and how many of them entered the promised land? Two out of a million and one. Two, Joshua and Caleb, were able to enter the Sabbath rest, resting from their works just as God did from his.

Hebrews 4:9-11
9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.

In the Christian faith, we are told not to neglect the Sabbath rest. Quit trying to add to what God did. I got on the radio and someone said, “We have to be holy”. I said, “You have already been made holy and you cannot improve on that”. Yet people are trying to improve on that. People say, “God bless you”. The issue is you are already blessed. We ought to say, “God has blessed you”. People ask God to give to them what they already have. People ask God to be merciful to them. He has already been merciful to us. He is so merciful that he sent his Son to take away the sins of the world, and that means yours and mine.

Ephesians 1:3
13 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Hebrews 10:2
2 Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered?

So, it says that if those sacrifices could have made you and me complete, perfect for those who draw near to worship, if it could, would they not have stopped being offered? If those sacrifices could, you would not need them anymore.

Hebrews 10:2
For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. 4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

Now, guys, was it possible for the blood of bulls and goats to cover sins? Yes. What was that called in the Old Testament? Atonement. Atonement is not used in the New Testament. Atonement is a covering. Jesus did not come to atone for sins. He came to do something far greater than that. He came to take away sins, to take them away from the eyes of God, never to be seen again. Did we deserve that? No. Could we earn that? Can you deserve it? No. You just accept it be what is called faith. It is not faith in what I am doing. It is faith in Him, in what He is doing.

You have two objects of faith. In the Old Testament, God tells someone to do this, and they do it. Jonah and Noah are examples of that. But the true faith is putting your faith in what he has done and not putting our faith in what I have done. Until I put my faith in what he has done, how much benefit is that to put faith in what I am doing? We have to understand the fact that the emphasis is on God in what He is doing and not on what I am doing. What I am doing does not impress God much at all. I do not think he is real impressed with you and me. But who He is impressed with is His Son. He is impressed with you and me when we are impressed with who He is impressed with, and that is His Son.

Hebrews 10:3-4
For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. 4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

Cover it? Yes. Take it away? No.

Hebrews 10:5-8
5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:

“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings
you were not pleased.
7 Then I said, ‘Here I am – it is written about me in the scroll –
I [Jesus] have come to do your will, my God.’”[Psalm 40:6-8]

8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” – though they were offered in accordance with the law.

Why? The law was there to represent priesthood, to represent God to man, and that because of our sins. So it was required to be made.

Hebrews 10:9-11
9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.

Such sacrifices could never take away sins. Cover them? Yes. Take them away? No. Was it good for the Jewish people to have a sacrificial system like that. It eased their conscience. I do not think they could live without it. But it was not meant to be final. So a plan, a permanent solution, was launched the day Christ Jesus was born.

Hebrews 10:12
12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,

Why did he sit down? Because his work was over. That is called rest. His work is over. In other words, like creation, there is nothing else I am going to create. In salvation, there is nothing else I am going to add in salvation. There is no one else who could lay down his life for you and me except the only one who had a life to lay down. Adam is the first person created alive spiritually. Jesus is the only man ever born alive spiritually. He is the only one who is capable of laying down his life for you and me because he is the only one who had a life to lay down for you and me. It is not being narrow minded. It is just practical. When you are dead spiritually, and there is someone who was raised from the dead, who said “I came to give you life”, it is very practical to accept life rather than remain dead, which does not make sense. So he sat down. So since that time, to this day, he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool.

Hebrews 10:13-14
13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

How many of you know right now that you are holy in the sight of God? How do you know that? Because He made you that way. Does holy mean that you walk around, looking half sick to your stomach, with your head tilted a certain way? No, holy means you have been set apart. God has set us apart by what? His word. What sets you apart as a born again believer from the world is your knowledge of the word of God. The word of God living in you sets you apart from the world, where it does not live in them. What sets you apart is you have the word of God living in you. You have Christ living in you. You have the Holy Spirit of God living in you.

The most important day of the year is Pentecost. The greatest celebration we ought to be celebrating is the day the Holy Spirit gave me life. We talk about the day the physical life of Jesus was given to us, and we praise God for that. But as far as I am concerned, the fact that he was raised from the dead, so that on the day of Pentecost, he could give mankind life, and you and I are recipients of that, that should be the most exciting day of our lives, the day that Christ Jesus came to take up residence in our life.

Hebrews 10:15-16
15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:

16 “This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,

That is not the laws of Moses. Wherever you see “law” in the scripture, it always refers to the law of Moses. When this was translated in Hebrews, because this is a quote out of the Old Testament, where it says law, but it is translated “laws”. When it was written in the Old Testament, it said “law” but when translated in the New Testament, it says “laws”. Did he misquote it? No. God is saying, “I am not going to put the ‘law’ of Moses in you. You already know the law of Moses. No, I am going to put the ‘laws’ of Jesus in your heart.”

Matthew 22:35-37
35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Strange isn’t it? The only place translated “laws” is in the book of Hebrews, “laws”, plural, instead of “law”, referring to the law of Moses. These new laws are the laws of love written on the heart.

Hebrews 10:16-18
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 31:34]

18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.

What will they be saying to the Jewish people? No more sacrifice. Your day of atonement is a celebration but it was a foreshadowing of the reality that is going to take place in Christ Jesus. The day of atonement, the day that God passed over, and is related to Passover, another celebration of God. That was a foreshadowing of Christ Jesus. No more sacrifice for sins. No more shedding of the blood of bulls and goats because a human sacrifice replaced all animal sacrifices. Animal sacrifice, the blood of an animal, could never take away the sins of the world. But a human sacrifice took away the sins of the world. That is the sacrifice of the life and blood of God, of such value, that it was able to take away the sins of the entire world from the eyes of God throughout eternity! It is the plan, my friends, a plan of God, that after 4000 years of dealing with man to see his failure, ushered in a plan whereby He said, “I will do it for you. I will do for you what you cannot do for yourself. Now that I have made that final sacrifice, put the others aside. Put them aside. They are no longer in effect.”

To the people today, where we have been egotistical enough to go over and say to the Jewish people, you could not obey the laws, but we smart Gentiles will. What have we done? We have made even a worse failure than the Jews did. At least they were sincere in trying to obey the law. We were just talking about it. To the Catholics, God is saying “put down your confession booth. There is no more forgiveness of sins”. To the conservatives, whoever you want to call us, quit 1 John 1:9 yourself to death. Quit asking God to do what he has already done. That is not faith. That is presumption. You do not ask God to give you eternal life when you are born again. You already have eternal life. You do not ask God to redeem you every day. You already have redemption. Then why do you ask God to forgive you every day when he says in Him you have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. It is not faith. Until the Christian world learns to go into the Sabbath rest and finally say “it is finished”, you are going to be living in the desert for the rest of your life. I call it the Los Vegas religion. You are building your big building in the desert and saying “Yippee” until you rest in the finality of the cross and say, “It is finished. I am a forgiven person”.

Do you believe that? Jesus said it. Do you believe it? That is interesting. You say you believe in Jesus but you do not believe in what he said. What did he cry out on the cross? He said “it is finished”. Do you believe him? No, you don’t or you would not be asking Him for what He has already done. You have to put reality to what you say you believe. If Christ Jesus did what he said, which he did, and took away the sins of the entire world from the eyes of God, and cried out from the cross, “it is finished”., then guess what? It is finished.

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