We are going to begin our discussion today in the book of Hebrews. It was written to move us out of the Old Testament way of relating to God. Most Christians today seem to limit their relationship with God to the level that Old Testament believers walked.
The book of Hebrews presents a whole new relationship with our creator that was not available to Old Testament believers.
- Chapter 1: Jesus provides a superior way for us to approach God that trumps all angelic manifestations that have ever happened.
- Chapter 2: Draws a conclusion that since Jesus offers a superior way we should take heed to the things that we’ve heard through Jesus lest we should let them slip.
- Chapter 3: Jesus is the High Priest of our profession.
These three examples provide a picture of the tone the book takes. We need to remember that Hebrews was written to Jews that were grounded in the Jewish religion. There was only one High Priest in Judaism who descended in the line of Aaron. One of the major points that the author makes is that Jesus was not a descendant of Aaron.
There had to be a total change from the Old Testament way of relating to God. If our relationship was the same as what the Jewish people had then Jesus could not have been our High Priest.
For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. (Hebrews 7:13-17)
These statements don’t mean as much to us as they would to the Jewish people of the day Hebrews was written. The writer makes it clear that the Old Testament Law, the sacrificial system, and every other facet of the Old Covenant had been replaced by the New Covenant.
Most religious practices today with the label of Christian are Old Testament based. They focus on works like church attendance, Scripture memorization, etc. If our works could please God we would not have needed Jesus as our sacrificial lamb!
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. (Psalms 51:10-11)
I have been in church services and heard people sing songs based on these verses in Psalms 51. They sing things like “cast me not away from thy presence” and “take not your spirit from me”. These things were written to Old Testament believers. The contradict the following Scriptures:
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5)
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. (John 14:16)
Jesus told His disciples that the Holy Spirit would come and be with them forever. If we believe that this is true then why would we ask God to not take His Holy Spirit from us? Old Testament believers were not filled with the Spirit but today He dwells in the spirit of every believer.
I believe that this post has given us some things to meditate on. We will pick our conversation at this point but for now let me encourage you that it is time for us to stop acting like the war was not won by Jesus.
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