Hebrews – Part 4: Jesus: The Great High Priest

The writer of Hebrews stressed Christians’ assurance and responsibility to boldly proclaim Jesus as the great High Priest redeeming them to God.

Prologue

“Jesus: The Great High Priest” is part 4 of a 10-part study on the Book of Hebrews. You may view any of the previous parts by clicking one of the links below.

Introduction

Hebrews 4:14-16 (NASB)
14 Therefore , since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens , Jesus the Son of God , let us hold fast our confession . 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses , but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin . 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

NOTE: The following information is quoted from Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament Explanatory and Practical, WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “Hebrews 4”.

  • Great High Priest
    • The object is to show that Christians have a great High Priest as really as the Jews had; to show wherein he surpassed the Levitical priesthood; to show how all that was said of the Aaronic priesthood, and all the types pertaining to that priesthood, were fulfilled in the Lord Jesus; and to state and illustrate the nature of the consolations which Christians might derive from the fact that they had such an High Priest.
    • The idea here is, not merely that the Lord Jesus was a Priest, but that he was at the head of all; in the Christian economy he sustained a rank that corresponded with that of the great high priest in the Jewish.
  • Passed Into the Heavens
    • The Jewish high priest went once a year into the most holy place in the temple, to offer the blood of the atonement. Paul says that the Christian High Priest has gone into heaven. He has gone there also to make intercession, and to sprinkle the blood of the atonement on the mercy-seat.
  • Jesus, the Son of God
    • Not a descendant of Aaron, but one greater—the Son of God.
  • Let Us Hold Fast Our Profession
    • This is the drift and scope of the epistle—to show that Christians should hold fast their profession, and not apostatize. The object of the apostle now is to show why the fact, that we have such a High Priest, is a reason why we should hold fast our professed attachment to him. These reasons-which are drawn out in the succeeding chapters-are such as the following:
      • We may look to him for assistance-since he can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities,
      • The impossibility of being renewed again if we should fall away from him, since there is but one such High Priest, and since the sacrifice for sin can never be repeated,
      • The fact that all the ancient types were fulfilled in him, and that everything which there was in the Jewish dispensation, to keep men from apostasy, exists much more powerfully in the Christian scheme.
      • The fact that they who rejected the laws of Moses died without mercy, and much more any one who should reject the Son of God must expect more certain and fearful severity,
      • By considerations such as these, the apostle aims to show them the danger of apostasy, and to urge them to a faithful adherence to their Christian profession.
  • For We Have Not an High Priest Which Cannot Be Touched
    • Our High Priest is not cold and unfeeling. That is, we have one who is abundantly qualified to sympathize with us in our afflictions, and to whom, therefore, we may look for aid and support in trials.
  • But Was In All Points Tempted Like As We Are
    • Tried as we are. He was subjected to all the kinds of trial to which we can be, and he is, therefore, able to sympathize with us, and to aid us. He was tempted-in the literal sense; he was persecuted; he was poor; he was despised; he suffered bodily pain; he endured the sorrows of a lingering and most cruel death.
  • Yet Without Sin
    • The importance of this fact, that the great High Priest of the Christian profession was “without sin,” the apostle illustrates at length in chapters 7 through 9. He here merely alludes to it, and says that one who was “without sin” was able to assist those who were sinners, and who put their trust in him.
  • Let Us Therefore Come Boldly Unto the Throne of Grace
    • A throne is the seat of a sovereign; a throne of grace is designed to represent a sovereign seated to dispense mercy and pardon. The illustration or comparison here may have been derived from the temple service. In that service God is represented as seated in the most holy place on the mercy-seat. The high priest approaches that seat or throne of the Divine Majesty with the blood of the atonement, to make intercession for the people, and to plead for pardon. That scene was emblematic of heaven. God is seated on a throne of mercy. The great High Priest of the Christian calling, having shed his own blood to make expiation, is represented as approaching God, and pleading for the pardon of men. To a God willing to show mercy he comes with the merits of a sacrifice sufficient for all, and pleads for their salvation. We may, therefore, come with boldness, and look for pardon. We come not depending on our own merits, but we come where a sufficient sacrifice has been offered for human guilt, and where we are assured that God is merciful. We may, therefore, come without hesitancy, or trembling, and ask for all the mercy that we need.
  • That We May Obtain Mercy
    • This is what we want first. We need pardon-as the first thing when we come to God. We are guilty and self-condemned—and our first cry should be for mercymercy. A man who comes to God, not feeling his need of mercy, must fail of obtaining the Divine favour; and he will be best prepared to obtain that favour who has the deepest sense of his need of forgiveness.
  • And Find Grace
    • Favour-strength, help, counsel, direction, support, for the various duties and trials of life. This is what we next need-we all need-we always need. Even when pardoned, we need grace to keep us from sin, to aid us in duty, to preserve us in the day of temptation. And feeling our need of this, we may come and ask of God all that we want for this purpose. Such is the assurance given us; and to this bold approach to the throne of grace all are freely invited. In view of it, let us:
      • Rejoice That There Is a Throne of Grace
        • What a World would this be if God sat on a throne of justice only, and if no mercy were ever to be shown to men! Who is there who would not be overwhelmed with despair?
        • In all times of our trial and temptation we may be assured that he is seated on that throne, and, wherever we are, we may approach him with acceptance.
      • Make Use of the Privilege of Coming Before Such a Throne
        • We are sinful, and need mercy; we are feeble, and need grace to help us. There is not a day of Our lives in which we do not need pardon; not an hour in which we do not need grace.
      • Observe the Propriety and Necessity of Prayer!
        • Every man is a sinner, and should pray for pardon; every man is weak, feeble, dependent, and should pray for grace. Not till a man can prove that he has never done any sin should he maintain that he has no need of pardon; not till he can show that he is able alone to meet the storms and temptations of life should he feel that he has no need to ask for grace. Yet who can feel this? And how strange it is that all men do not pray!
      • Ask For Forgiveness
        • All that needs to be done is to plead the merits of our great High Priest, and God is ready to pardon. Who would not be glad to be able to pay a debt in a manner so easy? Yet how few there are who are willing to pay the debt to justice thus!
      • Obtain All the Grace That We Need
        • We have only to ask for it-and it is done. How easy then to meet temptation, if we would! How strange that any should rely on their own strength, when they may lean on the arm of God!
      • If Men Are Not Pardoned, and Fall Into Sin and Ruin, They Alone Are to Blame
        • There Is A THRONE OF GRACE. It is always accessible.
        • There is A GOD. He is always ready to pardon.
        • There Is A REDEEMER. He is the great High Priest of men.
          • He is always interceding.
          • His merits may always be pleaded as the ground of our salvation.

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Son, Jesus Christ and His sacrificial work on the cross. We rejoice that He now sits at Your side interceeding for us on our behalf. we rejoice that because of this, we are encouraged to come boldly to Your throne. Be with us now and enlighten us as we study Your Word. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Probing Question

Why should Christians be assured and take responsibility to boldly proclaim Jesus as the great High Priest redeeming them to God?

Transitional Sentence

Christians should be reassured and take responsibility to boldly proclaim Jesus as the great High Priest redeeming them to God because…

Main Points

1. Christ Is Superior to Aaron

The Priesthood of Aaron

Hebrews 5:1-4 (NASB)
1 For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God , in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins ; 2 he can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided , since he himself also is beset with weakness ; 3 and because of it he is obligated to offer sacrifices for sins , as for the people , so also for himself . 4 And no one takes the honor to himself , but receives it when he is called by God, even as Aaron was.

The Priesthood of Christ

Hebrews 5:5-10 (NASB)
5 So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest , but He who said to Him, “YOU ARE MY SON , TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU”; 6 just as He says also in another passage, “YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK .” 7 In the days of His flesh , He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death , and He was heard because of His piety . 8 Although He was a Son , He learned obedience from the things which He suffered . 9 And having been made perfect , He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation , 10 being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

  • Melchizedek vs. Abraham

Hebrews 7:1-10 (NASB)
1 For this Melchizedek , king of Salem , priest of the Most High God , who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2 to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth part of all the spoils, was first of all , by the translation of his name, king of righteousness , and then also king of Salem , which is king of peace . 3 Without father , without mother , without genealogy , having neither beginning of days nor end of life , but made like the Son of God , he remains a priest perpetually . 4 Now observe how great this man was to whom Abraham , the patriarch , gave a tenth of the choicest spoils . 5 And those indeed of the sons of Levi who receive the priest’s office have commandment in the Law to collect a tenth from the people , that is, from their brethren , although these are descended from Abraham . 6 But the one whose genealogy is not traced from them collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed the one who had the promises . 7 But without any dispute the lesser is blessed by the greater . 8 In this case mortal men receive tithes , but in that case one receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives on. 9 And, so to speak , through Abraham even Levi , who received tithes , paid tithes , 10 for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.

  • Milchizedek’s Order vs. the Levitical Priesthood

Hebrews 7:11-28 (NASB)
11 Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law ), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek , and not be designated according to the order of Aaron ? 12 For when the priesthood is changed , of necessity there takes place a change of law also . 13 For the one concerning whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe , from which no one has officiated at the altar . 14 For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah , a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests . 15 And this is clearer still , if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek , 16 who has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement , but according to the power of an indestructible life . 17 For it is attested of Him, “YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK .” 18 For, on the one hand , there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for the Law made nothing perfect ), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope , through which we draw near to God . 20 And inasmuch as it was not without an oath 21 (for they indeed became priests without an oath , but He with an oath through the One who said to Him, “THE LORD HAS SWORN AND WILL NOT CHANGE HIS MIND , ‘YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ‘ “); 22 so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant . 23 The former priests , on the one hand , existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing , 24 but Jesus, on the other hand , because He continues forever , holds His priesthood permanently . 25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. 26 For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest , holy , innocent , undefiled , separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens ; 27 who does not need daily , like those high priests , to offer up sacrifices , first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people , because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself . 28 For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak , but the word of the oath , which came after the Law , appoints a Son, made perfect forever.

2. Danger of Degeneration (i.e., Backsliding)

Immaturity

  • Rebuke for Immaturity

Hebrews 5:11-14 (NASB)
11 Concerning him we have much to say , and it is hard to explain , since you have become dull of hearing . 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers , you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God , and you have come to need milk and not solid food . 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness , for he is an infant . 14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

  • Encouragement toward Maturity

Hebrews 6:1-3 (NASB)
1 Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ , let us press on to maturity , not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God , 2 of instruction about washings and laying on of hands , and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment . 3 And this we will do, if God permits.

Apostasy

  • Warning Against Apostasy

Hebrews 6:4-8 (NASB)
4 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit , 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come , 6 and then have fallen away , it is impossible to renew them again to repentance , since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame . 7 For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled , receives a blessing from God ; 8 but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.

  • Remember God’s Promises

Hebrews 6:9-20 (NASB)
9 But, beloved , we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation , though we are speaking in this way . 10 For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name , in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints . 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end , 12 so that you will not be sluggish , but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises . 13 For when God made the promise to Abraham , since He could swear by no one greater , He swore by Himself , 14 saying , “I WILL SURELY BLESS YOU AND I WILL SURELY MULTIPLY YOU.” 15 And so , having patiently waited , he obtained the promise . 16 For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute . 17 In the same way God , desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose , interposed with an oath , 18 so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie , we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul , a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil , 20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

Conclusion

Christians should be reassured and take responsibility to boldly proclaim Jesus as the great High Priest redeeming them to God because:

  • Christ is superior to Aaron
  • Danger of degeneration (i.e., backsliding)
    • Immaturity
    • Apostasy

We must always remember God’s promises ultimately fulfilled through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, and great High Priest.

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, help us to recognize Christ’s superiority over all. Because we are encouraged to come boldly to the throne, help us to remember that fact and give us the courage to seek You. Keep us close to You. Protect us from apostasy. We pray this in the precious name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Epilogue

“Jesus: The Great High Priest” is part 4 of a 10-part study on the Book of Hebrews. You may view any of the following parts by clicking one of the links below.

Gospel Invitation

Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:

James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.

I am lost. I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Action

  • To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
  • If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I am saved; but, I have sin in my life that I need to confess and repent.

1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19  "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially confess the sin in your life and your desire to repent. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

I am saved; but, I need to rededicate my life to the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Action

  • In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:

Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expecttions for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

  • If you just rededicated your life to the Lord, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I benefit from this ministry and want to become a member and/or make a donation.

Praise the Lord. We are glad you find Saved by Grace edifying.

Action

  • If you would like to become a member, please click "Register" in the "Log In" section on the top right column of the page. Members are allowed to comment on posts and other comments and may also provide Feedback.

Malachi 3:10 (NASB)
10  "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.

  • If you benefit from this ministry and would like to support its efforts, projects, and missions, please consider making a tax deductible donation, of any amount. May God bless you for your generosity.




I need to discuss my situation confidentially.

James 5:16 (NASB)
16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially discuss the situation in your life that is troubling you. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

Contact Form








 

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2011 Christmas Series Part 1: A Savior Needed – Mankind Falls From Grace

God created a perfect world.

Through mankind’s disobedience, sin entered the world and along with it, death.

Sin keeps mankind separated from God.

Unable to redeem himself, mankind needed a savior, whom God supplied, by His grace, in the form of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Introduction

Sin is disobedience to God and His Law.

1 John 3:4 (KJV)
4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

God created a perfect world.

Through mankind’s disobedience, sin entered the world and along with it, death.

Sin keeps mankind separated from God.

Unable to redeem himself, mankind needed a savior, whom God supplied, by His grace, in the form of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your many blessings You so richly shower upon us. We have done nothing to deserve them; yet, You love us still. In fact, You commendeth Your love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. We thank You for Your mercy and grace. Please help us to walk in Your righteousness that You might be honored and glorified. All the praise will be Yours forever more. Amen.

Main Points

1. When God Created the World, It Was Perfect

Genesis 1 (NASB)
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. 6 Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so. 8 God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day. 9 Then God said, “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. 10 God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them”; and it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. 13 There was evening and there was morning, a third day. 14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16 God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. 17 God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. 19 There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. 20 Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” 21 God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. 24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. 25 God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good. 26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; 30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. 31 God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Genesis 2 (NASB)
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. 2 By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. 4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven. 5 Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. 6 But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground. 7 Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. 8 The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. 9 Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10 Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers. 11 The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 The gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is Tigris; it flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. 15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” 18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” 19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. 22 The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. 23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” 24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

2. Mankind Fell From Grace Due to Disobedience

Genesis 3 (NASB)
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’ ” 4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5 “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. 8 They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” 11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 14 The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life; 15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” 16 To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.” 17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life. 18 “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field; 19 By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.” 20 Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living. 21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. 22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.

3. Mankind’s Disobedience (Sin) Keeps Him Separated From God

Our failure to obey God – to be holy – places us in danger of eternal punishment.

2 Thessalonians 1:9 (NASB)
9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,

The truth is, we cannot obey Him because we have neither the desire nor the ability to do so. We are by nature rebellious toward God.

Ephesians 2:1-3 (NASB)
1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

According to Scripture, everyone is guilty of sin:

1 Kings 8:46b (NASB)
46 …for there is no man who does not sin…

Romans 3:23 (NASB)
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

And we are incapable of changing our sinful condition.

Jeremiah 13:23 (NASB)
23 “Can the Ethiopian change his skin Or the leopard his spots? Thenyou also can do good Who are accustomed to doing evil.

That does not mean we are incapable of performing acts of human kindness. We might even be involved in various religious or humanitarian activities. But we are utterly incapable of understanding, loving, or pleasing God on our own.

Romans 3:10-12 (NASB)
10 as it is written, “There is none righteous , not even one; 11 There is none who understands , There is none who seeks for God; 12 All have turned aside , together they have become useless ; There is none who does good , There is not even one.”

God’s holiness and justice demand that all sin be punished by death:

Ezekiel 18:4 (NASB)
4 “Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine. The soul who sins will die.

That is hard for us to understand because we tend to evaluate sin on a relative scale, assuming some sins are less serious than others. However, the Bible teaches that all acts of sin are the result of sinful thinking and evil desires. That is why simply changing our patterns of behavior cannot solve our sin problem or eliminate its consequences. We need to be changed inwardly so our thinking and desires are holy.

4. A Savior Was Needed to Restore Mankind’s Relationship With God

Jesus is the only one who can forgive and transform us, thereby delivering us from the power and penalty of sin:

Romans 6:23 (NASB)
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Acts 4:12 (NASB)
12 “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Even though God’s justice demands death for sin, His love has provided a Savior, who paid the penalty and died for sinners:

1 Peter 3:18a (NASB)
18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for theunjust, so that He might bring us to God,

Romans 5:12-21 (NASB)
12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. 16 The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. 17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. 18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. 19 For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. 20 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Conclusion

God created a perfect world.

Through mankind’s disobedience, sin entered the world and along with it, death.

Sin keeps mankind (us) separated from God.

Unable to redeem ourselves, mankind needed a savior, whom God supplied, by His grace, in the form of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Those that believe in Him, through faith, will be saved from the consequences of sin, and reconciled to God, those who do not, will continue to live on death row.

One day, one day soon, God will restore the perfection of His creation. Those who have been reconciled to Him will enjoy it with Him in His presence. Those who have not will spend their eternity in Hell, forever separated from Him and the glory of His presence.

Where will you spend eternity? Do not wait until it is eternally too late to decide.

Closing Prayer

Most gracious Heavenly Father, Almighty God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, hear our prayer. Thank You for revealing our fallen state to us. Thank You for revealing our need for a saviour. But, thank You most of all for providing that saviour in the form of Jesus Christ, Your only begotten Son. Help us to believe upon Him so that we might not perish but, have eternal life in Your holy presence. All the honor, glory, and praise be Yours forever and ever more. In the precious, sweet, and holy name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Gospel Invitation

Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:

James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.

I am lost. I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Action

  • To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
  • If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I am saved; but, I have sin in my life that I need to confess and repent.

1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19  "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially confess the sin in your life and your desire to repent. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

I am saved; but, I need to rededicate my life to the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Action

  • In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:

Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expecttions for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

  • If you just rededicated your life to the Lord, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I benefit from this ministry and want to become a member and/or make a donation.

Praise the Lord. We are glad you find Saved by Grace edifying.

Action

  • If you would like to become a member, please click "Register" in the "Log In" section on the top right column of the page. Members are allowed to comment on posts and other comments and may also provide Feedback.

Malachi 3:10 (NASB)
10  "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.

  • If you benefit from this ministry and would like to support its efforts, projects, and missions, please consider making a tax deductible donation, of any amount. May God bless you for your generosity.




I need to discuss my situation confidentially.

James 5:16 (NASB)
16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially discuss the situation in your life that is troubling you. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

Contact Form








 

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Examine Yourself Rather Than Focus On Tragic Events

Jesus informed the crowd that rather than focusing on tragic events, they should consider their own repentance lest they perish.

Scripture

Luke 13:1-5 (NASB)
1 Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? 3 “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 “Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? 5 “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, Sovereign over all creation, thank You for this day. Thank You for yet another opportunity to reconcile ourselves to You. Your longsuffering is not without its limits though, so we beseech thee to teach us to focus our attention on those things which are beneficial and edifying. Instead of focusing on tragic events, help us to examine ourselves for any issues which stand between us and You so that we may repent and seek forgiveness before it is too late, lest we be found unprepared should tragedy befall us. We pray this is the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Proposition

Rather than focus on tragic events, we should examine ourselves and repent lest we perish.

Transitional Sentence

We should examine ourselves and repent rather than focus on tragic events because…

Main Points

1. There is no direct connection between the conduct of those who suffer and the suffering they may experience in life.

False Assumption: All tragic events are the result of people’s sin.

John 9:1-3 (NASB)
1 As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

  • Wrong questions and statements always lead to wrong answers and conclusions.
  • If you say all tragic events are God’s judgments…
    • You do not have history on your side.
      • Tragic events happen to both good and bad.Matthew 5:44-45 (NASB)
        44 “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
    • You make the secret counsel of God no longer secret.
      • To claim to understand these tragedies and the secret designs of God’s wisdom is to degrade His providence and bring Him down to the level of man.Romans 11:33-34 (NASB)
        33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! 34 For Who has known the mind of the Lord , or who became His counselor?
    • You commit an act of Pharisee-ism.
      • While thanking God we were preserved through His mercy, we may dangerously assume those who suffered the tragedy must be greater sinners or inversely that we are more virtuous than they.
      • Our being preserved is by His grace and His grace only.

2. There is something to be learned from every event.

We must ask ourselves, “What is God trying to teach us?”

  • Personally
    • Although there is no direct connection between sin and suffering in this life, there is clearly a connection between sin and suffering in things to do with eternal life – “unless you repent, you will perish.”Luke 13:5 (NASB)
      5 “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
  • Corporately
    • Luke 13:6-9 (NASB)
      6 And He began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. 7 “And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?’ 8 “And he answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; 9 and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’ “

      • In the parable of the fig tree, the fig tree represents the Jewish people.
      • The Jewish nation is the vineyard, which God has planted.
      • Ultimately, the fig tree
        • Needs to bear fruit
        • Needs to be useful
        • Will only get so many chances before it is cut down
      • So it is not only with God’s chosen people; but, of any nation.
    • Although there is no direct connection between sin and suffering in an individual, there is a connection between the sin of the people, the sin of the nation, and the consequences of it.
    • By the mercy of God we may get several chances; but ultimately, there is only one last chance.

Conclusion

Rather than focusing on tragic events, we should examine ourselves and repent lest we perish.

  • There is no direct connection between the conduct of those to suffer and the suffering they may experience in life.
  • However, there is something to be learned from every event.
  • We need to recognize that judgment is coming.
    • It is a wise decision.Luke 12:54-59 (NASB)
      54 And He was also saying to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming,’ and so it turns out. 55 “And when you see a south wind blowing, you say, ‘It will be a hot day,’ and it turns out that way. 56 “You hypocrites! You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but why do you not analyze this present time? 57 “And why do you not even on your own initiative judge what is right? 58 “For while you are going with your opponent to appear before the magistrate, on your way there make an effort to settle with him, so that he may not drag you before the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59 “I say to you, you will not get out of there until you have paid the very last cent.”
    • It is a serious decision.Luke 13:1-5 (NASB)
      1 Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? 3 “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 “Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? 5 “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

      • Every tragedy should remind us of the need to maintain a right relationship with God and to repent of our sins if we are not right with God.
        • We should treat every tragedy as a second and maybe final chance for us to get our lives in order.
        • Each of us should ask ourselves, “What if it had been me? Would I have been ready to stand before God?”
    • It is an urgent decision.Luke 13:6-9 (NASB)
      6 And He began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. 7 “And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?’ 8 “And he answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; 9 and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’ “

      • Jesus is using a parable here to illustrate that we do not have forever to make this decision.
        • There will come a time when the words, “cut it down” will be spoken about our lives.
        • The time of Judgment will come.
        • Now is not the time to procrastinate or delay getting right with God.
        • Repentance is an urgent issue!
      • The owner of the vineyard had waited patiently three years for signs of fruit and would not wait much longer.
        • Judgment was very close at hand!
          • God is very patient but you can wait too long even for God.
          • Repentance is an urgent issue because you do not know how much time there is before judgment.
        • If you have things in your life that are not right (Dishonesty, Impurity, Illicit Relationships, Thievery, etc.) then today is the day to repent and begin a changed life in God’s power.
        • Repentance is not something you put on your list of things to do some day.
        • Time is short!

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your patience towards us. Please give us the wisdom to realize that Your patience has its limits. Please give us the discernment to identify those things in our life that keep us separated from You. Please give us the strength to repent of those things before Your patience wears out. Thank You for Your lovingkindness. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Gospel Invitation

Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:

James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.

I am lost. I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Action

  • To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
  • If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I am saved; but, I have sin in my life that I need to confess and repent.

1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19  "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially confess the sin in your life and your desire to repent. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

I am saved; but, I need to rededicate my life to the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Action

  • In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:

Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expecttions for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

  • If you just rededicated your life to the Lord, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I benefit from this ministry and want to become a member and/or make a donation.

Praise the Lord. We are glad you find Saved by Grace edifying.

Action

  • If you would like to become a member, please click "Register" in the "Log In" section on the top right column of the page. Members are allowed to comment on posts and other comments and may also provide Feedback.

Malachi 3:10 (NASB)
10  "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.

  • If you benefit from this ministry and would like to support its efforts, projects, and missions, please consider making a tax deductible donation, of any amount. May God bless you for your generosity.




I need to discuss my situation confidentially.

James 5:16 (NASB)
16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially discuss the situation in your life that is troubling you. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

Contact Form








 

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