A Call to Service - RR198M23
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|This transcript is unedited. It was:|
|Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library|
|Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules|
|Posted by with permission|
Let us worship God. This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He heareth us, having these promises; let us draw near to the throne of grace with true hearts in full assurance of faith. My voice shalt Thou hear in the morning Oh Lord, in the morning will I direct my prayer unto Thee, and will look up.
Let us pray.
Almighty God our heavenly Father, we come again in to Thy presence, mindful of how great our need is of thee. We need Thee every hour. Thou art our hope, our mainstay, our life. Thou hast oh Lord, called us to be Thy people, and we beseech Thee that the good work Thou hast begun in us, thou wilt complete. That Thou wilt make us whole in Christ, joyful in His service, and ever faithful to Thy word. Grant us this in Christ’s name, amen.
Our Scripture is Hebrews 10:19-25. Our subject: The Call to Service. Hebrews 10:19-25.
“ 19Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
20By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
21And having an high priest over the house of God;
22Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
23Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
24And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
25Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” [00:02:55]
Up to this point Hebrews has developed the doctrine
Up to this point Hebrews has developed the doctrine of Christ’s royal priesthood, His work as the great high priest, who replaces in His person, the temple, the priesthood, and the sacrificial system. Now, certain practical consequences necessarily follow. Because Christ redeems us by His atonement, abolishes the power and the penalty of sin over us, and pays our death penalty for us, Christians are in a privileged position. The privilege must be used, the duties must be discharged. Our faith is not for speculation, but for life.
Personal privileges require social duties; the atonement removes us from a world of rights to a world of service and duties. Whenever Christians have seen this requirement, a great expansion of the faith and its reorganization of society has always occurred. A Christian is now empowered we are told in verse 19, to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, and to do so boldly. In the temple rite, the Levitical High Priest could enter into the holy of holies only once a year, but through Christ every Christian has continual access to the throne of grace. It is the atonement, the blood of Jesus that makes this possible. This we do by a new and living way which He has consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, through His flesh.
Jesus Christ is truly God and truly man. He makes us members of His new humanity as our second and last Adam. Our membership in Christ is not in His deity, but in His body. His new humanity. Church after church has gone astray by feeling it has a membership in the deity of Christ, when it is in His humanity. Through His flesh, His humanity, of which we are made members by His atonement and His regenerating power, we now pass into the holiest place with Him as our federal head. This is the new and living way, a matter of life because we are now members of him who is our life, our new Adam, and our redeemer. [00:06:17]
He is the true high priest over the house of God
He is the true high priest over the house of God; the house of God refers to Christ’s people, His family, and it is a usage we find elsewhere in the New Testament, as in 1st Corinthians 3:16-17, 2nd Corinthians 6:16, and Ephesians 2:22. In our text in verse 22 we are told: “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” The reference to baptism is clear, this is the rite of admission into the messianic covenant, replacing circumcision.
The sprinkling refers to the blood of the covenant, as in Exodus 24:8 Being sprinkled over the people to ratify the covenant. We can only draw near to God in full assurance of faith, and with a true heart. There can be no clinging to the old temple as against the new temple Jesus Christ, the reference in verses 26 and 27 to “No more sacrifice for sin, but only judgement” refers to those who reject Christ’s priesthood, and cling to the now abolished Levitical priesthood. It is an evidence of the shallow reading of the Bible that many have taken that verse to mean that if you sin after you are saved you have had it. This at times has been a doctrine that has flourished, but it doesn’t refer to anything like that, it refers to the fact that if you reject the atonement and go back to the sacrificial system, you’ve had it. It does not refer to the Christian who knows the reality of the atonement, only to those Hebrews who left or plan to leave Christ for the Levitical priesthood.
Inverse 23 the readers and listeners are told: “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering, for He is faithful that promised.” The profession of our faith is better rendered by some as: “The confession of our hope.” Hope gives a definite shape to our faith, to the absolute confidence of faith. Faith reposes completely in the love of God, hope vividly anticipates that God will fulfill His promises to us in a very particular way. Where faith is lacking, there is no hope. And as faith has receded in the 20th century, men have lost faith in progress and in their future. Where there is no hope, there is no future. And modern man has become hopeless. [00:09:59]
In verse 24 we are told
In verse 24 we are told: “And let us consider one another, to provoke unto love and to good works.” We have a duty one to another to encourage each other in the faith, with love and to good works. More than a few churches have found it difficult to overcome the cynicism and indifference of a few members. I know one church that struggled for years with someone who was always cynical about everything, and it wasn’t until he left that they realized how much it had dampened the whole church.
The word provoke in our verse, 24, is an unusual one, in the Greek it is: Paroxismon. We get our word in the English: Paroxysm from it. It can be used in the original in a good or a bad sense, and here the meaning is good. It means to stimulate or to excite. We need to have a confident excitement and confidence in the faith. Our happy excitement can stimulate the faith of others. Excitement is very very important. If we don’t get excited about something, it doesn’t mean much to us.
I was very impressed in reading the manuscript of Doctor Ellsworth McIntyre’s forthcoming book, where he tells a story, having a number of schools, five for preschool children ages 2-5, in which he carries them all the way through grades 3 or 4. He has found that memorization of course is important, and they memorize a number of things, beginning with the Ten Commandments. And he has the children shout the Ten Commandments, and as a result it means twice as much to the children; they are excited about it, they think it’s something wonderful, and it stays in their memory. Well, one day if I may tell this story, he had the mother of one of his new little girls come and when she left the child at school ask him: “Doctor McIntyre, do you teach your children the Ten Commandments? And Max said yes, wondering where this was leading. “Do you teach them to shout the Ten Commandments?” And he said “Yes, it gets them excited about it, and it means far more to them.” By this time the woman was near laughter and she looked at him, and she said: “My husband was stretched out on the easy chair reading the paper, and our little girl came marching in, shouting the commandments, and the one that she shouted as she came in was: “THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY!” And she said: “My husband jumped up to his feet, and said ‘What’s that? What’s that all about?? Did you put her up to it?’” And she said, “Thank you Doctor McIntyre.”
Well, that’s what the word here means. Provoke, excite, incite. Our happy excitement about the faith can stimulate the faith of others. [00:14:20]
Then in verse 25 the council is, “Not forsaking the
Then in verse 25 the council is, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as ye see the day approaching.” Then as now many church members were very casual about church attendance, and they thereby showed their hesitation to make a full commitment to the faith. Rather they should encourage and exhort one another the epistle says, and the concluding phrase urges this all the more, ‘as ye see the day approaching.’ This is routinely taken to mean the second coming, but it must not be so limited. The day means much more. The judgement of God upon His enemies, the vindication of Christ’s people, the triumph of Christ’s kingdom over all His enemies, and much, much more.
All time draws us closer to Christ’s victory in all its facets, and we see many, many preliminary triumphs. For the readers of Hebrews, it meant that Jerusalem was going to be judged and fall. Then much later, Rome would be judged and would fall. So that day refers to every one of God’s judgment’s that deliver His saints.
Christ’s Priesthood of necessity gives His people a forward look, a substitution for a sin-bound past, by a grace empowered future. For this reason, the setting forth of Christ’s priesthood is followed in Hebrews 11 by a record of past over (?) to Christ’s future. If these persons persevered in the face of great trials, and without Christ coming, without His atoning death and resurrection, then we certainly should stand fast in the faith, and hold faithful allegiance without wavering. [00:17:06]
True, as verse ...
True, as verse 36 will tell us, we do have need of patience. But we are called unto victory and we must persevere. Let us pray.
Our Father, we thank Thee that Thou hast called us to a great and exciting faith and victory. Keep us ever zealous in thy service, ever joyful in the privilege which is ours to be Thy people, ever mindful that the future will bring us however great the trials and tribulations, great victories in Christ. We pray for patience, and for grace to stand in Christ’s name, amen.
Are there any questions now about our lesson?
[Audience Member] Provoke is a strong word, can you give us some examples of what is going a little too far? For example?
[Rushdoony] Well, I can give you a very homely one, I knew a situation once where this young man, an ex-marine, fresh out of the service, and he arrived and there was a celebration there at the community hall and he was in uniform, and a lot of the young fellows started to make fun of him, as a pretty-boy in a nice uniform. Well, he immediately went to work on them, and laid low about 6-7 before a police officer, who unfortunately was his father, got there and arrested him. Put him in jail. Well, the young man had a series of bad experiences, all of which led him to the faith. One of the first things after that that happened was, his little boy, about 18 months, a toddler, fell into a stream and drowned. And all this led him to the faith, he was so grateful for his faith that he immediately began to tithe and the tithe he felt was not enough for how much he was grateful to God for his salvation, and the immediate reaction of some of the members of the church was that it was kind of irritating to go to church with him there in the front row every Sunday, pulling out a wad of bills and putting it into the plate, for them then to pull out a 5 or a 1. It was embarrassing they said.
Well, it was a good embarrassment. Now that’s provoking to good works, and one of them finally who was taking the offering admitted he was ashamed after a while, and started to give more. That’s the general idea. Any other questions or comments?
We will finish this chapter next week, and then we will begin the great catalogue of the saints who had stood. And it’s a very important catalogue because it tells us that they felt that they had to stand for something, because they were the lords. Well, let us conclude now with prayer. [00:22:08]
Our Father we thank Thee for all Thy blessings
Our Father we thank Thee for all Thy blessings; we thank Thee that we have Thy promise that Thou wilt never leave us nor forsake us, so that we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper, I shall not fear what man may do unto me.” We pray our father that we may always yield unto Thee Thy due service, and always rejoice, and in everything give thanks.
And now go in peace, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, bless you and keep you, guide and protect you, this day and always, Amen. [00:23:08]