Promise

>>>>Promise

“But when Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), he entered once for all into the Holy Place, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, with the sprinkling of the ashes of a heifer, sanctifies those who have been defiled so that their flesh is purified, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God!” (Hebrews 9:11-14)  We move this week from the nature of Christ’s priesthood to the nature of what he has accomplished.  Two thoughts stand out for me.  First, when I was a teenager and first beginning to take seriously my life as a disciple I was tempted to fall into the bad pattern of thinking that my salvation was only as good as my behavior.  So if I sinned during the week (which come to think of it, I pretty much always did) I was tempted to return to the front of the church and once again offer my life to Christ.  The problem with that theology is that it is a direct repudiation of the text before us here.  In other words, the “perfection” of Jesus offering, the “once-for-allness” of it was and is far greater than my (and your) failure to appropriate it fully.  Repentance of our sin is always in order, but doubting the completion of Christ’s work: No Way!  Second, this text (I think) helps us with the Sermon on the Mount.  I have in mind Matthew 5 and Jesus’ “You have heard it said” statements.  In those our Lord speaks of the reality that it is not simply overt sin that separates us from God, but also our inner thoughts and attitudes.  In other words, we don’t get credit for not punching someone we don’t like if we hate them in our hearts.  But again, our Hebrews text can help us because we see in verse 14 that Jesus work is sufficient for both our outer actions and our inner attitudes.  I have come to realize over the years that if I begin with trying to attain moral superiority, I am always disappointed.  However, if I begin with what God has accomplished in Jesus Christ, well, the sky is the limit.  John Wesley reminded us that we are called to read every command of Christ as a promise as to what his work can and will accomplish in us as we continue to yield our lives to him.  That is a word I need to hear repeatedly.  How about you?

By |2018-10-31T19:19:54+00:00October 31st, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

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