Saturday, January 20, 2018

2018.01.20 Hopewell @Home ▫ Hebrews 7:17-19

Questions for Littles: What does Scripture testify (v17)? For how long is Jesus a priest? According to what/whose order is Jesus a priest? What happened to the former commandment (v18)? Why is the former commandment annulled (canceled)? What made nothing perfect (v19)? What did Jesus’s priesthood bring in? What do we do through this better hope?
In the Scripture for the sermon this week, we heard about how Jesus’s priesthood gives us final and full access to God in worship. That surer hope that last week’s passage (6:19-7:10) taught us about is the “better hope” through which 7:19 says we now draw near to God.

It is true that the tabernacle and the ceremonial law were great gifts—special provision through which sinful men could draw near to God in worship. But if these did not have Jesus to look forward to, they never would have worked at all.

In fact, 7:18 tells us why these had to be done away with: they were weak and unprofitable. In other words, our ability to enter God’s presence as sinners is more than a special tent (tabernacle) or house (temple) could provide, and the uncleanness and guilt of our sin is more than the holiness code or sacrifices could do anything about.

To put it bluntly with v19, the ceremonial law made nothing perfect. Just as the moral law could define morality perfectly but could not make us a single bit more moral ourselves, the ceremonial law could not actually give us forgiveness of sins, or make us holy, or obtain for us an eternal judgment verdict.

But, as we confessed with the elementary things of Christ (6:1-3), Jesus has done all of these things. And it is Jesus who is the anchor of our souls, the Forerunner who is most surely bringing us to glory (6:19-20).

Where the ceremonial law was weak, Jesus is strong. Where it could do no real good to those who followed it, Jesus does every possible true good to those who come to God through Him.

When we draw near to God through Jesus, as taught in His Word, we can be absolutely sure that we are finally and fully accepted, and that His work in us will most certainly be completed. This way of drawing near to God will never be annulled!
During what weekly activity does God’s congregation draw near to Him in Jesus? When else may draw near to God in Jesus? What does that look like?
Suggested Songs: ARP110B “The Lord Has Spoken to My Lord” or HB132 “All Hail the Power of Jesus’s Name”

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