Chapter 8

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The Letter to the
Hebrews
Chapter 8
Jan-Apr 2014 FXCC
Hebrews 7 and before
• Jesus is greater than
– Angels
– Moses
– Prophets
– Levitical Priests
Hebrews 8
• Jesus is our great High Priest
– At God’s right hand
– Ministering/mediating
• A new and better covenant
– Written on hearts, not on stone
– Better promises
Hebrews 8:1-6
•
1
Now the main point of what we are saying is
this: We have such a high priest, one who sat
down at the right hand of the throne of the
Majesty in heaven, 2 a minister in the
sanctuary (holy places) and the true
tabernacle that the Lord, not man, set up. 3
For every high priest is appointed to offer both
gifts and sacrifices. So this one too had to
have something to offer.
Hebrews 8:1-6
• 4 Now if he were on earth, he would not be a
priest, since there are already priests who
offer the gifts prescribed by the law. 5 The
place where they serve is a sketch and shadow
of the heavenly sanctuary, just as Moses was
warned by God as he was about to complete
the tabernacle. For he says, “See that you
make everything according to the design
(pattern) shown to you on the mountain.”
Hebrews 8:1-6
• 6 But now Jesus has obtained a superior
ministry, since the covenant that he mediates
is also better and is enacted on better
promises.
Hebrews 8:1-6
• The High Priest theme continues in this
chapter
• Chapter 7 ended with the thought of a perfect
High Priest
– One who has no need for forgiveness of his own
sins
– Our High Priest is also God’s Son
Hebrews 8:1-6
• This chapter begins with the “Main Point”
– Our High Priest atoned for our sins
– Our High Priest brought us into the presence of
God
– Our High Priest is in the eternal Temple
– Our High Priest is seated at God’s right hand
– Our High Priest is with God all the time, not just
one day a year
Hebrews 8:1-6
• Our High Priest is in the sanctuary (holy
places) in the “true” the “real” tabernacle
– Later in chapter 9 the Holy Place/Most Holy
Place/Holy of Holies refers to the earthly
tabernacle
– Here the true tent/tabernacle is Heaven
– The place where God really resides
– The place where God’s throne is
Hebrews 8:1-6
• The tabernacle built under Moses is a sketch/a
copy/a shadow of the the “real” tabernacle in
Heaven
– Exodus 25:40 “Now be sure to make them according to the
pattern you were shown on the mountain.”
– Like a seamstress uses a pattern to make a dress
Hebrews 8:1-6
• Jesus is now in a tabernacle not made with
human hands
– The earthly tabernacle would fade away/wear
out/be destroyed
• Jesus is in the tabernacle that will never be
destroyed
• A tabernacle without a curtain separating us
from God
Hebrews 8:1-6
• Jesus now mediates from the true (the real)
tent
• He is a minister of a New and Better Covenant
– It is new and better because it is
ordained/enacted on better promises
– Physical Israel was promised rest in the promised
land
– We are promised a rest in Heaven with God
Hebrews 8:1-6
• Jesus ministers/performs His priestly duties in
the presence of God Himself
– His priestly duties are the worship/liturgical rituals
Hebrews 8:1-6
• The Levitical system (priests, laws, ritual, etc)
was not legalistic or contrary to God’s
character
• Those rituals formed Israel’s identity as God’s
people, reminded them of God’s grace,
allowed them to experience God’s grace
• The problem was that system was not eternal,
not permanent
Hebrews 8:1-6
• The earthly tabernacle and priests were copies
of the real thing
• A copy is never exact, it is by definition
imperfect
• Jesus corrected/was the correction of all the
shortcomings in the copies
Hebrews 8:7-13
•
7
For if that first covenant had been faultless,
no one would have looked for a second one. 8
But showing its fault, God says to them, “Look,
the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will
complete a new covenant with the house of
Israel and with the house of Judah.
Hebrews 8:7-13
•
9
“It will not be like the covenant that I made
with their fathers, on the day when I took
them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt,
because they did not continue in my covenant
and I had no regard for them, says the Lord. 10
“For this is the covenant that I will establish
with the house of Israel after those days, says
the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and
I will inscribe them on their hearts. And I will
be their God and they will be my people.
Hebrews 8:7-13
•
11 “And
there will be no need at all for each
one to teach his countryman or each one to
teach his brother saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
since they will all know me, from the least to
the greatest. 12 “For I will be merciful toward
their evil deeds, and their sins I will remember
no longer.” 13 When he speaks of a new
covenant, he makes the first obsolete. Now
what is growing obsolete and aging is about to
disappear.
Hebrews 8:7-13
• The first covenant had its weaknesses
– People were the weakness
– The Law was good, but could not make people
perfect
– The Law kept God’s will before the people
Gal 3:15-29
•
15
Brothers and sisters, I offer an example from
everyday life: When a covenant has been ratified,
even though it is only a human contract, no one can
set it aside or add anything to it. 16 Now the promises
were spoken to Abraham and to his descendant.
Scripture does not say, “and to the descendants,”
referring to many, but “and to your descendant,”
referring to one, who is Christ. 17 What I am saying is
this: The law that came four hundred thirty years
later does not cancel a covenant previously ratified
by God, so as to invalidate the promise.
Gal 3:15-29
•
18 For
if the inheritance is based on the law, it is no
longer based on the promise, but God graciously
gave it to Abraham through the promise. 19 Why then
was the law given? It was added because of
transgressions, until the arrival of the descendant to
whom the promise had been made. It was
administered through angels by an intermediary. 20
Now an intermediary is not for one party alone, but
God is one.
Gal 3:15-29
•
21 Is
the law therefore opposed to the promises of
God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that
was able to give life, then righteousness would
certainly have come by the law.22 But the scripture
imprisoned everything and everyone under sin so
that the promise could be given – because of the
faithfulness of Jesus Christ – to those who believe.
Gal 3:15-29
•
23
Now before faith came we were held in custody
under the law, being kept as prisoners until the
coming faith would be revealed. 24 Thus the law had
become our guardian until Christ, so that we could
be declared righteous by faith. 25 But now that faith
has come, we are no longer under a guardian. 26 For
in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith.
27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have
clothed yourselves with Christ.
Gal 3:15-29
•
28 There
is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither
slave nor free, there is neither male nor female – for
all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong
to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs
according to the promise.
Hebrews 8:7-13
• The Law (of Moses) was 430 years AFTER
God’s promise
• Our inheritance is based on the promise, not
the Law
• The Law was a guardian
– Convict us of sin
– Show us our need for a Savior
Hebrews 8:7-13
• The end/offspring/goal of the promise was
Jesus
– He had to come to fulfill the promise
• Law heightens our awareness of sin and brings
death
– Death, because we CANNOT keep the Law
• God’s promise is LIFE in Christ
Hebrews 8:7-13
• Law/works do not justify us, cannot justify us
• As with Abraham it is our faith in God’s
promise that justifies us
• Because we sin and cannot keep the law
perfectly we needed something else
• The new covenant makes the first one
obsolete
Jeremiah 31:31-34
•
31
“Indeed, a time is coming,” says the Lord, “when I
will make a new covenant with the people of Israel
and Judah. 32 It will not be like the old covenant that I
made with their ancestors when I delivered them
from Egypt. For they violated that covenant, even
though I was like a faithful husband to them,” says
the Lord. 33 “But I will make a new covenant with the
whole nation of Israel after I plant them back in the
land,” says the Lord. “I will put my law within them
and write it on their hearts and minds. I will be their
God and they will be my people.
Jeremiah 31:31-34
•
34
“People will no longer need to teach their
neighbors and relatives to know me. For all of them,
from the least important to the most important, will
know me,” says the Lord. “For I will forgive their sin
and will no longer call to mind the wrong they have
done.”
Hebrews 8:7-13
• The New Covenant
– Israel belonged because of birth, not by choice,
not by decision
– We belong due to a personal choice, based on
personal knowledge
– Only believing penitent people are baptized and
enter the covenant with God
• Just FYI, this is why infant baptism is not theologically
sound
Hebrews 8:7-13
• Any ceremony that emphasizes the external
and ignores the internal is just as problematic
as infant baptism or circumcision of an infant
– Assuming that just because one has gotten wet,
even as an adult, that they are now a Christian is
equally false
Hebrews 8:7-13
• God authored both covenants
• The law/ethic is the same in both
– One was on stone
– The other is on our hearts
• The promise is the same
– God dwells with His people
– The promised rest
Hebrews 8:7-13
• In the old God dwelt among His people in a
provisional way using an earthly tabernacle
– Provisional (existing or accepted for the present
time but likely to be changed)
Hebrews 8:7-13
• In the old God dwelt among His people in a
provisional way using an earthly tabernacle
• In the new God dwells among His people by
His Spirit in our hearts
• We are the temple of the Living God
– I Cor 3:16-17 & 6:19-20
– II Cor 6:16
Hebrews 8:7-13
• The old covenant could not secure/provide
forgiveness through the blood of animals
– The sacrifices were inferior and insufficient
– The sacrifices were not complete nor eternal
• Again Jesus corrected all these shortcomings
Priesthood
Mosaic
• Weak
• Temporal
• Levitical
• Sinful
Messianic
• Powerful
• Eternal
• Melchizedek
• Holy/sinless
Sanctuary
Mosaic
• Copy/shadow
• Earthly
• Infrequent entrance
• Only a few
Messianic
• Reality
• Heavenly
• Frequent entrance
• Universal
Sacrifices
Mosaic
• Animal, insufficient
• External cleansing
• Annual
Messianic
• Human, all sufficient
• Full cleansing
• Once for all
Hebrews 8
• Which do you prefer function under? Law or
grace?
• God remembers your/my sins no more. Do
you/I believe that?
References
• F.F. Bruce, “The Epistle to the Hebrews”, The
New International Commentary on the New
Testament, Eerdmans, 1967
• Edward Fudge, “Our Man in Heaven: An
Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews”,,
Baker, 1974
– Available on-line for free
– http://www.edwardfudge.com/written/omihtext.
html
References
• Edward Fudge, “Hebrews: Ancient
Encouragement for Believers Today”,
Leafwood Publishers, 2009
• John Mark Hicks, Hebrews, Word Doc
– http://johnmarkhicks.com/wpcontent/uploads/sites/10/2009/03/hebrewsedited.doc
References
• Referenced in John Mark Hicks, Hebrews, Word Doc
are the sites for a sermon series (Strength for the
Journey) by Rubel Shelly and John York on Hebrews
– http://www.rubelshelly.com/content.asp?lShow=20&ListS
G=316&Start=121&SortAlpha=
– http://www.rubelshelly.com/content.asp?lShow=20&ListS
G=316&Start=101&SortAlpha=
– http://www.johnyork.org/content.asp?lShow=20&ListSG=2
60&Start=161
– http://www.johnyork.org/content.asp?lShow=20&ListSG=2
60&Start=141
References
• Bobby Valentine’s “Stoned-Campbell Disciple”
blog
– http://stonedcampbelldisciple.com/2013/08/20/p
aul-and-the-unquestioned-authority-of-the-oldtestament/
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