Memphis Belle

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Hebrews 1:1-14
Hebrews 2:1-18
Hebrews 3:1-19 Hebrews 4:1-16
Hebrews 5:1-14
Hebrews 6:1-20 Hebrews 7:1-28 Hebrews 8:1-13
Hebrews 9:1-28 Hebrews 10:1-39 Hebrews 11:1-4 Hebrews 11:5-8
Hebrews 11:9-16 Hebrews 11:17-22 Hebrews 11:23-27 Hebrews 11:28-31
Hebrews 11:32-40 Hebrews 12:4-29 Hebrews 13:1-25 What is Faith ?

 

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Hebrews 5:1-14

 

“For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:  who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.  And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.  And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.  So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.  As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.  Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.”

 

The Contrast Between the Levitical High Priest and Jesus as Our High Priest

 

Hebrews 5:1-2, “For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:  who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also [as a physical high priest] is compassed with infirmity.”  Hebrews 5:1-4 describes the office of the high priest and then verses 5-10 briefly compare this to the High Priesthood of Christ, which is after anther “order” or linage and not the lineage of Aaron.  Verses 1-4 describe how the physical high priest of the lineage of Aaron mediates between the ordinary people of Israel and God, in a similar way that Paul described for us how Christ our High Priest mediates between God the Father and Christians (cf. Hebrews 4:14-16).  But the difference between Christ our High Priest and the way he mediates, described in Hebrews 4:14-16, and the way high priests chosen from the line of Aaron mediated, is that the physical high priests mediated between man and God by offering physical animal sacrifices for the sins of the people (as well as for himself).  Verse 3, “And by reason hereof he [every high priest” (verse 1)] ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer [“both gifts and sacrifices” (verse 1)] for sins.”  But now we see Paul showing us that the lineage of the physical high priesthood comes from the family line of Aaron, as seen in verse 4, “And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.”  And then in verse 5a Paul shows us that while living physically on earth, Jesus Christ did not try to claim the office of the high priesthood for himself, “so also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest,”  But we see in verse 5b as well as in Hebrews 4:14 that Jesus Christ after his death, burial and resurrection was given the position of a permanent High Priest.  Hebrews 4:14, “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.” and then Hebrews 5:5b, “but he said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.”  But the position of High Priest Jesus received from God the Father could not be from Aaron’s lineage, because Jesus Christ’s lineage was Jewish, of the line of David.  So Paul shows us that the special spiritual lineage of Jesus Christ under which he receives the office of High Priest comes from the line of this mysterious Old Testament priest “of the Most High God, king of Salem.”  Verse 6, “As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”

 

Jesus Modeled, Pioneered The Process of Salvation For All Who Believe

 

Verses 7-10, “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him who was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; though he was a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all they that obey him; called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.”  Verses 7 through 9 show us somewhat of the process Jesus went through, as explained in the expository study on Hebrews 4:14-16, Jesus’ enduring immense pressures of temptations to sin and yet never giving in to those temptations and sinning (see: http://www.unityinchrist.com/hebrews/Hebrews4-1-16.htm).  As the pre-Incarnate Christ, Yahweh, he had never been exposed to those pressures and temptation, ever in his prior eternal existence.  And Jesus Christ, in the flesh, succeeded in perfectly obeying God and his laws, where mankind never had, and he obeyed perfectly.  Verse 9 shows this, “and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;”  And then again Paul shows that Jesus Christ’s High Priesthood comes after the order of Melchisedec, verse 10, “called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.”  Now if ordinary Levites, members of the tribe of Levi, are priests of God underneath the authority of the Aaronic high priest, what does that make us as Christians, under the authority of our High Priest “which is passed into the heavens”?  That is a good question. 

 

Different Jobs, Same Church

 

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1st Peter 2:9)

“A chosen generation”:  In the Old Testament the nation of Israel was God’s “chosen people.”  Even the Jews today are often referred to as “the chosen people.”  God is saying through the apostle Peter here that the Church, Body of Christ, God’s called-out ones, are now “a chosen generation”, a chosen people, “which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God.” (verse 10a)  Since we’re not Levites, from the tribe of Levi, and we all come from various ethnic groups, some not even associated with the 12 tribes of Israel, we must come under Christ’s spiritual lineage of Melchisedec.  Because, look at our spiritual ethnic background.  Ephesians 2:1-5, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of the world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:  among whom also we all had our conduct in times past in the lusts of our flesh, and were the children of wrath, even as others.  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath he quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)”  Israel was an elect nation, a chosen people, chosen out of all the nations of the world to serve God, and represent God to the world, acting as God’s servants to the world.  We, the Church, Body of Christ, according to God through Peter here, have supplanted Israel in that assignment.  (Israel, the 12 tribes of Israel, will yet again assume that role, under the Church, Body of Christ, in the Millennial Kingdom of God at Christ’s return.  No replacement theology being taught here.)  God has chosen us out of this sinning world, to serve him and the world, by being a light to the Gentiles. 

“We are a royal priesthood”:  In the Old Testament, at first God had intended to choose all of Israel to be his royal priesthood to the world, a light to the Gentiles.  But Israel sinned and continued to sin.  They had God’s Law but no internal power to obey it.  So Israel needed a priesthood to minister to them.  So God chose out the tribe of Levi to be a priesthood tribe to serve God and the other 12 tribes of Israel.  They, including the Levitical priesthood, all failed miserably in their service to God, themselves, and in being a light to the Gentiles.  God through the apostle Peter is saying that we, the believers and followers of Jesus Christ, are now, present tense, that royal priesthood.  Not future tense, as Revelation 5:9-10 says, but Peter shows here that it is also present tense.  Does that mean we’re all ministers in our churches and can walk around usurping the proper authority of God’s pastors and elders he’s placed over his flock for their protection and spiritual nourishment?  No.  1st Timothy 3:1-7 shows we’re supposed to have that structure of pastors and elders over the Church, to provide spiritual nourishment and protection from heresies and heretics.  But does this verse show that we as individual believers can have separate ministries as the Lord leads and guides us, which utilize our individual talents?  Yes, it certainly does. And these ministries can be outside of the authority of one’s church.  Or else how could you be an individual ‘light to the Gentiles’ who live around you, folks you know in the world?  A pastor of a church, as such, is to be an enabler of those within his congregation, enabling them to go out and do good works, “being a light to the spiritual Gentiles” around them.  A pastor’s real job is to nurture and protect the flock of believers under him, a full-time job in itself.  He does not have the time and resources to run and/or oversee every single good works ministry all the members are capable of doing.  He may be able to bring some of the resources of the congregation, the local church, to aid and assist an individual’s ministry, and give timely advice.  But it’s the full-time job of your pastor to spiritually care for everyone within your congregation, and to prepare and research quality connective expository sermons going through the Word of God. That is his job.  Churches and denominations with Catholic-type hierarchal governments do not like this verse in 1st Peter 2, because they’re afraid of loosing their authority and the tithes of the people under them.  But these hierarchal forms of church governments that deny the proper interpretation of 1st Peter 2:9 are choking and limiting the growth, scope and outreach of their own ministries and churches and denominations.  Why?  A church congregation that is very active in good works ministries that are reaching out to the lost and hurting in this world, in the name of Jesus Christ, is a growing church.  It is a church that is both growing and maturing spiritually, and it is also a church that will end up growing in numbers.  We, through our individual ministries, can go out to the lost and hurting of the world, as lights.  It is the pastor’s job to turn up the intensity of our spiritual lights so that our ministries are more effective.  Different jobs, assignments from Jesus, same church, complementary jobs between pastor and member, they’re not the same.  But they complement each other.  There should be no struggle over power and authority, same church, same congregation, different jobs, which complement each other.  Under Christ we’re all in the priesthood of Melchisedec, as Jesus our High Priest is.  We’re not Levites, so we must be under the same order of Melchisedec as Christ, because Jesus dwells within each and every one of us who believes by the Holy Spirit which indwells each of us.  John 14:15-17, 23, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him:  but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you…Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words:  and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”    

 

Related links:

 

Good works ministries, our job.  See:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/wwcofg/wearesalt.htm

 

How to give a “connective expository sermon,” the pastor’s job.  See:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/wwcofg/ConnectiveExpositoryTA.htm

 

       

“Ye Are Dull Of Hearing”---What Does That Mean?

 

Verses 11-14, “Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.  For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.  For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness:  for he is a babe.  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”  Paul is talking about people who are real believers, they have accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour, repented, been baptized and received the Holy Spirit. But these Christians haven’t done much else to grow spiritually.  Studying the Word of God, the Bible, is sometimes referred to as spiritual eating, eating the Bread of Life (cf. John 6).  Prayer is you talking to God, and Bible study is God talking to you.  The dull of hearing Paul is referring to points to, equates to a very real lack of consistent Bible study in one’s life.  One who is not hearing God is one who is not spending much time in the Word of God.  We are admonished to be properly dividing (or interpreting) the Word of God.  2nd Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing [interpreting] the word of truth.”  This cannot be done without spending time in the Word of God, studying it, meditating on it, praying for understanding as you study it.  I have spent 43+ years in the Word of God, and the pastors whose sermon transcripts appear on this website have spent an equivalent amount of time in God’s Word, coupled to the inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit.  This website is the fruit of that time spent in God’s Word.  You simply cannot be sharp in the hearing of God’s Word, properly dividing, interpreting it, understanding it, without spending time in it, lots and lots of time in it.  The message from the apostle Paul in these four verses is: ‘If you ignore the Word of God by failing to study it and get into it, you’ll remain an immature babe spiritually.’

 

Milk For The Babes, Meat For The Maturing and Mature Christians

 

Verse 14, “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”  In the New Testament Epistles a pattern for spiritual growth is revealed, going from new-believer, the “babe in Christ,” to the mature Christian who is able to properly divide or interpret the Word of God in all areas.  The “babe”/new-believer stage is revealed in 1st Peter 2:1-2, “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.”  I can remember when God first called me.  I was hungry for Bible study, and learned all the major doctrines of salvation that the Bible teaches, all within my first two years of attending church.  This included:  the two resurrections (see: http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm ), Law & Grace (see: http://www.unityinchrist.com/whatisgrace/whatisgraceintro.htm and http://www.unityinchrist.com/newcovenant/whichcovenant.htm), what is prayer? (see: http://www.unityinchrist.com/prayer/bibleway.htm), God’s Holy Days and their symbolic meanings (see: http://www.unityinchrist.com/messianicmovement/Holydayshadows.htm  and http://www.unityinchrist.com/lamb/exodus1.html and http://www.unityinchrist.com/messianicmovement/Feast%20of%20Weeks.htm and http://www.unityinchrist.com/E-Mails/June%2014/FallHolyDays-short.htm); prophecies of Jesus Christ’s 1st and 2nd coming (see: http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/ ), and the coming Millennial Kingdom of God (see: http://www.unityinchrist.com/kingdomofgod/mkg1.htm).  A few years after I had thoroughly learned all these Bible doctrines (teachings) I came to a point when I literally asked myself ‘What else is there to learn?’  (A stupid question, but honest.)  Then God showed me, through some very good teachers (pastors, see they do have a place within the church structure) and continued Bible studies going through Paul’s more in-depth teachings (middle-school/junior high and high school level) in Romans (see: http://www.unityinchrist.com/romans/romans1-3_3.htm) and John’s teachings in 1st John (see: http://www.unityinchrist.com/1john/1john.htm).  And let’s not forget the four Gospels (see: http://www.unityinchrist.com/gospels.html).  Finally there comes the college and PhD level understanding of God’s Word, going into God’s Agape-love he wants us to have in our lives and applied to each other and those in the world (see: http://www.unityinchrist.com/Agape/Agape%20I.htm), and then how we can reach out to the lost, maimed and hurting of the world (see: http://www.unityinchrist.com/wwcofg/wearesalt.htm).  And then after learning about God’s Agape-love which we are supposed to develop and exhibit to others, each other and the world, even our enemies, then we can go onto (there’s more?  Stupid question) some really strong spiritual meat in the study of “the Ministry of Reconciliation” (see: http://www.unityinchrist.com/wwcofg/reconciliation/MinistryOfReconciliation1.htm).  Depending on where you are spiritually, babe/new-believer, teenage, mature Christian, go to the appropriate links given here and read up, with the Word of God open before you as you do.  And realize, it’s not an overnight process.  I’ve been at it for 43+ years as of this writing, and I’m still not all there in understanding.  I still feel like I’m just scratching the surface in God’s Word.    

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