We must go forward and not back. We must go forward in our life of faith. Here is the final instructions in this book of Hebrews.
Jesus' sacrifice e is sufficient.
Here are 3 final instructions.
1/. Stick with the word. 7 - 9.
Remember your leaders he reminds us. These were leaders from the past. These leaders from the past spoke the word of God. Any Christian leader should be expected to speak the word. These leader's lives lived out what they spoke. These leaders were faithful. The author exhorts us to imitate them. We are to remember, consider and imitate these leaders.
We are not to idolise them or worship them but we are certainly not to forget them.
In verse 8 you would think the author was changing the subject. But when we look on to verse 9 we see that he was talking about some strange teachings that the people were hearing. He is saying your leaders may have changed but verse 8 says Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever. Don't be carried away by teachings that vary from what they know to be right.
Beware of false doctrine. Beware of those who change Jesus.
2/. Stay with the altar. Verses. 10 - 16.
The readers of this letter were Jewish Christians. Non Christian Jews would have thought the Christians were cutting themselves off. Actually the true picture was very different.
We, the Christians were the ones who have the altar. Not the one in the temple. He is talking about the cross. He is talking about the death of Christ. This alar is so much better than all the temple sacrifices that are made.
On the day of atonement the high priest would make the sin offering sacrifice. Usually the priests would eat from the sacrifice but not with this sin offering. Instead the priest would take it outside the camp and burn the animal there.
This of course is a picture of Jesus. He was the ultimate sin offering who suffered and killed outside the city gate.
Jesus is still rejected by many and still outside the camp for many.
This world is not our permanent home. We are looking forward to a home yet to come.
So let us continue to offer God a sacrifice of praise. Praise is not just for sitting in church. It is for all our situations in life. The sacrifice for sin is done but not the sacrifice for praise. Not only do we praise with our lips but also with four hands and feet.
We are to do good and share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.
3/. Stay with your leaders. 17 - 19.
We heard earlier about the former leaders but now we are hearing about the present leaders.
He is speaking of their elders. The overseer. These men had God given authority. They were accountable to God.
He was saying here the people were to submit to their leadership.
When a teacher teaches the word of God they should be obeyed. We should submit to this kind of leader and therefore submit to God.
We are told these leaders will have to give an account for their responsibility and how they carried it out. Elders have been given an awesome responsibility.
We should obey their teachings so they can teach with joy and not sorrow. If we resist God's word not only will it be bad for us but it will also discourage the leaders.
We will not be people without problems but we can be people who can be counselled. About our problems.
Finally we are told pray for us. The testimony of a leader can be wrecked in a minute. Pray that God will be glorified through our leaders/elders.
We must stay with the word
We must stay with the cross
We must stay with our leaders.
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