Text: Hebrews 13:8-25
Let’s start with verse 15 and 16, then we’ll look at the rest of this chapter piece by piece. Jesus Christ is the sacrifice for sins. And it is his blood that God was able to make a new testament in (13:20). So what are the sacrifices God is looking for now. Three are named: praise, good works, and giving.
Grace is God’s provision
- Paul is talking about the ministry of the altar and the temple. The priests and ministers in the temple were occupied with the sacrifices of the animals, but did not see them as God’s provision.
- Grace was found in the law in this way. God allowed an atonement to be made for the sin of a soul. God said, I will accept the body and blood of this animal for this soul. And therefore God would make provision so the soul that sinneth wouldn’t die.
- However, some would come to the altar to congratulate themselves for their sacrifice like the Pharisees did. They became occupied with the meats. It wasn’t long after that that the sacrifices became simply a business transaction.
- So God making provision at the altar under the old testament could be approached two ways: a self righteous way that said I’m righteous because I’m bringing a sacrifice. Or in a grateful way, thanking God for the opportunity to make atonement for their own soul through the life of this beast.
- Paul will describe the old priesthood as not understanding the significance of the altar.
- …they have no right… burned without the camp
- Are not allowed to partake of the heavenly altar and the body and blood of Jesus Christ. John 6
- The bodies of the sacrificed animals are likened to the body of Christ. This is the provision of God.
Sacrifice of praise
- By him… So Jesus Christ has secured somethings that I need
- Sacrifice is to bear his reproach with my mouth.
- Publicly praising Jesus Christ can be a sacrifice
- Look in verse 23. Paul is telling people to praise God while his companions are in and out of jail for the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Publicly give thanks to Jesus Christ like Paul and Silas in prison
- Giving thanks for and everlasting covenant that came at the cost of the blood of Christ.
- …same yesterday, today, and forever…
- On the other hand there is so much comfort to draw from the truth that Jesus Christ’s character does not change with the world, or the fashions, or with whatever way the wind blows. He’s the Rock of my salvation.
- Home in the Rock – And when I’ve strayed and need to repent back to the haven of rest the Lord is there just like the prodigal son’s father.
- Rock doesn’t weaken over time
- Rock doesn’t change positions – His ideas don’t change like science falsely so called that change with the political winds. Jesus Christ said he created everything after its kind and never changed that position because there is no need to change the position of truth.
- Treasure is found in the Rock – men are mining to find treasure.
- Water is found in rock – drill down or flowing from the mountain.
- Oil is found in the rock – Job 29:6 …and the rock poured me out rivers of oil.
- Rock is a foundation to build on.
- A rock will kill you if it falls on you.
- A rock will break you if you fall on it.
- Also means the reproach of Christ hasn’t changed either. …bearing his reproach… without the camp…
- We’re not talking about saying thank you. That’s great to have that attitude of gratitude, but that isn’t a sacrifice to say Thank you in a padded pew, in air conditioning, knowing you’ll go home turn on the TV and get right back to the routine of working hard to try to pay for our covetousness.
- What praise sacrifices are on your altar? When do you give thanks to God in a way that is valuable? And you know it’s valuable by the cost of it.
- Sacrifice because we’d rather complain about the bad stuff.
Sacrifice of good works
- …make you perfect in every good work to do his will…
- Sacrifice is to bear his reproach with my body
- John 10:32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?
- Romans 12… reasonable service
- Now this is the lie of you flesh and the devil that says you’re not equipped to do this good work or that good work. You’re not equipped to minister to anyone.
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
Sacrifice of communication
- Philippians 4:15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.
- Galatians 6:6
- Sacrifice is to bear his reproach with what I have
- No support, the work does not continue. (1 Corinthians 9:11)
- 2 Corinthians 11:7-9 – support had to come from somewhere else
- Everything is for the gospel’s sake (1 Corinthians 9:12)
- Levites (1 Corinthians 9:13-14)
- Old testament instruction found in the Levitical priesthood.
- Leviticus 6:14-18
- Christians low view of godliness, low view of spiritual work, low estimation of the work of God all lead to indifference to supporting the work of God. Malachi 1:7-14 showed how the Jews stopped caring about the ministry and began bringing leftovers or unwanted junk to offer God.
- Communication is defined in Philippians 4:15 as giving in exchange for ministering. Interesting Paul puts the sowing and reaping in this context. We typically use the verse to apply to sin, but in context Paul is talking about support for the work. Notice the cross reference in 1 Corinthians 9:11.