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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

HEBREWS 8:3-6

highlighting verses 5-6



"There are those who offer the gifts according to the Law;
who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things,
just as Moses was warned by God
when he was about to erect the tabernacle;
for, 'See,' He says, 'that you make all things
according to the pattern
which was shown you on the mountain.'
But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry,
by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant,
which has been enacted on better promises."


Oh, my!  Can you imagine saying to the Jews, there is a better covenant?
Them's fightin' words.
After all, Abraham was given the promise, "I will make your descendants as many as the stars..." After all, Moses brought down the Ten Commandments from the mountain.
So what if he broke the first ones.  He just hiked back up the mountain
and asked God for another copy. But actually, they broke the new ones too,
and so has everyone from all time, from then till now.
We can't take two tablets and go to bed and feel better in the morning.


Yep.  We need a new covenant, don't we!
You see, in the old covenant, The Old Testament, IF ONLY the people would obey, God would shower them with earthly blessings, health, wealth, prosperity and peace.  Somehow, that promise was not good enough to keep them from sinning.  However, it served the purpose of showing how much we needed a new covenant, a better covenant, The New Testament.  This is what is meant that it was just "a pattern," "a copy and a shadow of the heavenly things. Look at Romans 7:14-8:5...

"For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh,
sold into bondage to sin.
For what I am doing, I do not understand;
for I am not practicing what I would like to do,
but I am doing the very thing I hate.
But if I do the very thing I do not want to do,
I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good.
So now, no longer am I the one doing it,
but sin which dwells in me.
For I know that nothing good dwells in me,
that is, in my flesh;
for the willing is present in me,
but the doing of the good is not.
For the good that I want, I do not do,
but I practice the very evil that I do not want...
For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man,
but I see a different law in the members of my body,
waging war against the law of my mind
and making me a prisoner of the law of sin
which is in my members.
Wretched man that I am!
Who will set me free from the body of this death?
(Old Covenant living)
Thanks be to God through Christ Jesus our Lord!...
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus
has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
(New Covenant living)
For what the Law could not do,
weak as it was through the flesh,
God did:
sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh
and as an offering for sin. 
He condemned sin in the flesh,
so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us,
who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit."





Adam Clarke said, "His office of priesthood is more excellent than the Levitical, because the covenant is better, and established on better promises: the old covenant referred to earthly things; the new covenant, to heavenly.  The old covenant had promises of secular good; the new covenant, of spiritual and eternal blessings.  As far as Christianity is preferable to Judaism, as far as Christ is preferable to Moses, as far as spiritual blessings are preferable to earthly blessings, and as far as the enjoyment of God throughout eternity is preferable to the communication of earthly good during time; so far does the new covenant exceed the old."



Now just saying the word pattern is enough to make me cringe.  I don't follow instructions well, so following a pattern to sew was very difficult.  Now, don't get me wrong, I've done it, even managed to make a few tricky things, but I also preferred to just wing it.  Then I discovered stores and found out I didn't have to follow a pattern.  I could just go try clothes on and buy them!  No matter how good I was, or wasn't, it wasn't the same as ready-made.  Do you get the drift?  A pattern is not the same as a real thing.


Here's another illustration.  Does a groom like a picture of his bride or the bride herself?  The shadow and pattern to the better covenant is like comparing a painting or even a photograph to an actual person coming to life from that image.  No matter how well we capture an image, it cannot compare to an actual person suddenly appearing in real life. 



Okay, let's go over this one more times and look to the words of Andrew Murray...

"Israel began well, and accepted the covenant, and promised obedience. But they continued not.  There was no power to continue (Romans 7:14ff); no power to conquer temptation, or the evil heart; to remain faithful.  Against this the new covenant would provide, because it was enacted on better promises.  It would, by the blood of Christ, provide such an actual putting away and cleansing of sin that God would actually remember them no more for ever.  With this He would, by His Holy Spirit, so put His laws into their heart that they should delight in doing them.  God would Himself work both to will and to do.  And then, in this power of Christ's blood and the renewal of the Holy Spirit, they would no longer be dependent on men (high priests) for their knowledge of God, but have direct access and direct intercourse with Him...The whole provision of the new covenant is to fit us for continuing in it, for abiding continually."



So many Christians are living below the precious privileges and promises of God, living defeated lives because they do not believe the promises of God and the power of the Holy Spirit to live out these promises in their lives.  Leave the land of try harder and do gooder to keep the law, the land of failure. Reach out by faith and cross over to the new promise land.  Trust God to do what He sent His Son to do, to really take away sin.  Ask to be cleansing and filled with the Holy Spirit.  Being filled with His Spirit is not an outward work, but an inward work in the heart to make it pure and power to keep it pure and clean.


Andrew Murray goes on to say, "A heavenly sanctuary and a heavenly High Priest ask for a heavenly Christian and a heavenly heart.  And this is what the new covenant promises, and the Mediator of the new covenant gives indeed."








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