Sunday, July 16, 2017

Paul's Epistles – Hebrews – Part 8: Jesus the Perfect High Priest

Paul's Epistles – Hebrews – Part 8:
Jesus the Perfect High Priest
Pastor Bruce A. Shields

The “official” writer of this epistle is unknown. However, I obviously believe it is Paul since I have included it in the “Paul’s Epistles” Sermon Series.

I believe there is enough evidence from early scholars to agree this was more than likely Paul’s work.

Last week we examined Jesus the Great High Priest.

This week, Paul will show Jesus is also the Perfect High Priest.

We have already seen in Hebrews so far;

·        Jesus is greater than angels

·        And that we are to pay the most careful attention to Jesus and His way so we do not stray

·        And how Jesus (New Covenant) is greater than Moses (Old Covenant)

·        Paul’s warning about unbelief

·        A Sabbath Rest for the People of God

·        Jesus the Great High Priest

“Jesus the Perfect High Priest”

Hebrews 5
For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed [to act] on behalf of men in things relating to God, so that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal gently with the spiritually ignorant and misguided, since he is also subject to human weakness; and because of this [human weakness] he is required to offer sacrifices for sins, for himself as well as for the people. And besides, one does not appropriate for himself the honor [of being high priest], but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was.
So too Christ did not glorify Himself so as to be made a high priest, but He [was exalted and appointed by the One] who said to Him,
You are My Son,
Today I have begotten (fathered) You [declared Your authority and rule over the nations]”;
just as He also says in another place,
You are a priest [appointed] forever
According to the order of Melchizedek.”
In the days of His earthly life, Jesus offered up both [specific] petitions and [urgent] supplications [for that which He needed] with fervent crying and tears to the One who was [always] able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission toward God [His sinlessness and His unfailing determination to do the Father’s will]. Although He was a Son [who had never been disobedient to the Father], He learned [active, special] obedience through what He suffered. And having been made perfect [uniquely equipped and prepared as Savior and retaining His integrity amid opposition], He became the source of eternal salvation [an eternal inheritance] to all those who obey Him, 10 being designated by God as High Priest according to the order of [b]Melchizedek.
11 Concerning this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull and sluggish in [your spiritual] hearing and disinclined to listen. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers [because of the time you have had to learn these truths], you actually need someone to teach you again the elementary principles of God’s word [from the beginning], and you have come to be continually in need of milk, not solid food. 13 For everyone who lives on milk is [doctrinally inexperienced and] unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a spiritual infant. 14 But solid food is for the [spiritually] mature, whose senses are trained by practice to distinguish between what is morally good and what is evil.

The overall message of this epistle to the church is;
The Cure for Lacking Boldness or Courage in your Christian Faith and Backsliding is a Right beginning for the Glory and Work of Christ”

a. The High Priest was chosen by God from among men to act on behalf of men
                                                                 i. For things relating to God
                                                              ii. Offering gifts and sacrifices for sin
                                                           iii. Offerings even for himself, because he was not perfect

b. Dealing gently with the spiritually ignorant and misguided
                                                                 i. Since he was also subject to human weakness

c. One cannot appoint himself, but must be called by God
                                                                 i. Man (churches, colleges, seminaries, websites) cannot ordain
                                                              ii. Only God can ordain and appoint or call one to the priesthood

a. Jesus was appointed High Priest (Ordained) by God
                                                                 i. Jesus fulfilled all the requirements and obligations of High Priest

                                                              ii. Chosen from men (this is why He chose to be born) to act on behalf of men

                                                           iii. Offered sacrifices and gifts

                                                            iv. Dealing gently with humankind because He too was subject to human weakness in the form of temptation, though He never sinned

1. Hebrews 4:15For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin.”

b. Appointed in the line of Melchizedek
                                                                 i. The order (ordained line) of Melchizedek is a perpetual priesthood
1. First mentioned in Genesis 14
2. Also in Hebrews 7, Psalm 110 and Hebrews 5

c. Melchizedek is the Son before He came as a man
                                                                 i. In Genesis He is referred to as “Melchizedek king of Salem

                                                              ii. Abram gave him a tithe, a tenth of everything he owned, therefore we know He was a priest
1. Melchizedek itself means “King of Righteousness”

2. He was also King of Salem, Salem (from which Jerusalem was named), means peace…So he is the King of Peace

                                                           iii. Scripture also states in Hebrews 7:3 about Melchizedek Without father or mother, nor ancestral line, without beginning of days {birth} nor ending of life {death}, but having been made like the Son of God, he remains a priest without interruption and without successor.”

                                                            iv. Melchizedek is Jesus before He came as the man Jesus

                                                               v. He is the THE High Priest from the beginning, and without interruption, and with no successor, He remains THE High Priest today!

a. Since you have become dull and sluggish in your spiritual hearing and disinclined to listen
                                                                 i. Paul wants to talk more about Jesus and the Priesthood, but has become frustrated with the ability of the church to understand Spiritual Truths

                                                              ii. They have become dull (dry, lacking moisture, such as the Holy Spirit!)

                                                           iii. And they have become sluggish (lethargic, slow, slothful, slow-moving)

                                                            iv. And they weren’t inclined to listen to Spiritual Truths!

b. By this time you ought to be teachers
                                                                 i. They had enough time already to learn these truths…but hadn’t

                                                              ii. They were not “new” to the faith

                                                           iii. They were not “new” converts, or “new” to the teachings of Christ

                                                            iv. They had simply chose to be infantile

c. You have come to be continually in need of milk
                                                                 i. You actually need someone to teach you again the elementary principals of God’s word

                                                              ii. You have come to be continually in need of milk, not solid food

                                                           iii. It is timed you were weaned

d. Solid food is for the Spiritually mature
                                                                 i. Everyone who lives on milk is;  
1. Doctrinally inexperienced
2. Unskilled in the word of righteousness
3. A Spiritual infant
4. Immature, undeveloped, not fully formed, juvenile, unripe

CONCLUSION – but solid food is for the mature

…whose senses are trained by practice to distinguish between what is morally good and what is evil

Are you still surviving on milk?

The mother cat refuses to serve her kittens once they reach an age where they should be eating solid food.

I have been witness to much spiritual immaturity over the years in the church, and know that God longs for all of you to stop “living” on milk, and begin to be Spiritually Mature.

It is time, after so many years of hearing the Truth of God’s Word to begin receiving the meat of it.

Become doctrinally experienced…read and study your bible! Listen to sermons online, on the radio, on TV, spend as much time in God’s Word as you do playing games, going out, hanging, doing your hobbies.

Become skilled in the Word of Righteousness by PRACTICE!

Instead of being dull, lazy and sluggish, take hold of EVERY opportunity to exercise the Word of God in your life, and in the lives of those around you!

In Philippians Paul describes Spiritual Maturity as;
·        Christian UNITY in the church to be maintained at all costs
·        They were to have more LOVE for each other
·        Being sincere
·        Having Humility like Christ
·        Killing their pride which destroys unity
·        Having a mind like Christ would CURE Spiritual immaturity

The spiritually immature are;
·        Like infants that are self-centered
·        They cry a lot, especially when they don’t think their needs are being met
·        They are messy, causing messes (spiritual, emotional, social) and not cleaning them up
·        They are impatient, they want what they want and they want it five minutes ago
·        They do not cooperate
·        Cannot submit to others
·        They cannot understand deep things
·        They are unable to apologize and resist sharing
·        They are explosive and can “go off” at anything
·        And spiritual infants are irresponsible; they’re great at expecting a lot from others and nothing from themselves. They always know who is to blame for all that’s wrong

When situations arise around you, ask yourself;
·        How can I help the people involved find healing?
·        How can I help the people involved find peace?
·        How can I help the people involved grow closer to God?
·        How can I help the people involved become stronger in their faith?
·        Am I contributing to the situation in a negative way?
·        Am I doing what God wants me to do, or am I simply living selfishly by following my feelings?

In the real world, you are either part of the solution, or you are the problem.

The Spiritually ignorant and misguided are the problem and the Spiritually Mature who are versed in the Word of God and live by it are called by God to be the solution.

Which are you?

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?   

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