Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Marsha's Musings: No Longer an Offering for Sin (Hebrews 10:15-18 NKJV)

But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord : I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin. (Hebrews 10:15-18 NKJV)

A prophecy come true.  All men know in their hearts that it is wrong to kill another human.  All men know in their hearts that it is wrong to steal, lie and commit adultry.  All men know in their hearts that it is wrong to take God's name in vain.  This is truth.

The wonderful news is that Christ died and shed His blood for His people and God will not remember our sins any more against us.  There is no longer any need for ritual to gain merit with God and forgivenss of sins.  Jesus took care of all of that on the cross.  What wonderful news this is and what peace it brings to my soul!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Marsha's Musings: Compelling Arguments Against Earthly Priests (Hebrews 10:11-14 NKJV)

And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. (Hebrews 10:11-14 NKJV)

The author of Hebrews keeps emphasizing the fact that Jesus is superior to all earthly priests, that earthly priests sacrifice the same sacrifices repeatedly and that their sacrifices can never take away sins.

It couldn't be any clearer.  Priests are not necessary since Christ is now in that office.  All those religions that employ priests are clearly usurping the place of Christ.  We have direct access to God through Jesus Christ.  Yet earthly priests are seen as intermediaries between the people and God.  The author of Hebrews makes it clear that Jesus made the only sacrifice that can take away sin and that He is an effective priest where all others can not do anything to take away the sins of the people.  Theses are compelling arguments in Hebrews.

I'm so thankful I am free to come directly to God through Jesus Christ.  This part of the freedom that comes in knowing the true Jesus Christ, the true God.  

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Marsha's Musings: Jesus' Work Is Sufficient (Hebrews 10:5-10 NKJV)

Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come— In the volume of the book it is written of Me— To do Your will, O God.’ ” Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them ” (which are offered according to the law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:5-10 NKJV)

Here we see the phrase once for all again.  Jesus was the sacrifice for our sin once for all.  That means there is no need for repeated ritual, to take away sin or to earn merit with God.  Jesus did it all, once for all.  His sacrifice was sufficient.  There is no more need for burnt offerings and sacrifices.  There is no need for candle lighting, penance, mass, baptism for the dead, priests, ritual of any kind that is designed to gain merit with God.  It's all useless and needless because Jesus took care of all that on the cross once for all.  In fact, all that stuff is saying in effect that His sacrifice on our behalf was not sufficient.  

Wow!  I'm so thankful that Jesus' sacrifice IS SUFFICIENT for forgiveness of sins.  It brings such peace knowing that it's not my efforts and works that make me right with God. How can one ever know how many good works and rituals to do to reach that goal? What if you were just one short and didn't know it?  What an eternal disaster that would be!  But Jesus has taken care of all of that. There is no question.  He did it all on our behalf.  So our job is only to trust Him.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Marsha's Musings: Can Ritual Save or Forgive Sin? (Hebrews 10:1-4 NKJV)

For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. (Hebrews 10:1-4 NKJV)

Modern day religions in the civilized world don't as a general rule have blood sacrifices today. Of course there are exceptions to this.  When I lived in Skagit County it was known that there were some covens up river that did blood sacrifice and the Sheriff was constantly keeping them on their radar.  

Most religions in the civilized world do various rituals that they believe absolves them of sins committed and gains them merit with God.  At best, it gains them temporary relief from guilt. At the worst, it blinds them to the fact that Jesus' sacrifice on their behalf is the only
sacrifice that will cleanse them of the penalty of sin, which is eternal death forever separated from God. 

You see, man can't stand the idea that he has no control over how God forgives sin.  Man wants to do something to earn his way to God's favor. It hurts his pride to have to admit he is helpless before God and so he participates in all these religious rituals make him feel better. None of these things have any power to save him or forgive sins. It is not possible.  The sacrifices of old (Old Testament) were only shadows of the perfect, once for all sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf. Since He came and offered Himself there is no more need for the vain repetition of ritual and sacrifice. We only need to trust in Him to save us and believe God's Word on the matter.  This is true freedom!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Marsha's Musings: A Verse to Refute All Sorts of Bad Doctrine (Hebrews 9:27, 28 NKJV)

And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. (Hebrews 9:27, 28 NKJV)

This verse refutes all sorts of bad doctrine.

1. Reincarnation-if man dies once he can't keep coming back in some other form because he has to die each time before he comes back as something else.

2. Roman Catholism- man dies then the judgement not purgatory.  Man doesn't get a chance to better himself after death. It's straight to the judgement.

3. Experiences where people say they died and saw and spoke to their loved ones in heaven and then came back.  That is unbiblical.  Experience should never trump God's word. The devil is a great counterfeiter.

4. Mormonism- those who have died go straight to the judgement and either to heaven or Hell. Being baptized for a dead person isn't going to change that. Nor can those who are dead have a chance to better their lot before God. Death is the final nail in the coffin.

I'm sure some who read this can think of others. Put them in the comments below.

I'm not picking on the religions mentioned above just because I want to be mean. But it's important that we weigh doctrine against what God's inspired word has to say. It's a matter of eternal life or eternal death and people need to know so they aren't caught up short on judgement day.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Word Study on "Once"

He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. (Hebrews 9:26 NKJV)

By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:10 NKJV)

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jude 1:3 NKJV)

What was the faith that was once delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3)?

Hebrews 9:26 and 10:10 tell us:
Christ appeared once to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself and we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

This is the faith that was once delivered to the saints.  Anyone who adds to that by saying you have to do certain rituals to be forgiven of your sin or to earn merit with God, or take part in rituals that are said to be offering up the body of Christ repeatedly, is not contending for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.  They teach a false gospel.

Marsha's Musings: A Once for All Sacrifice (Hebrews 9:25, 26 ESV)

Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (Hebrews 9:25, 26 ESV)

Earthly priests had to repeatedly offer sacrifice for the sins of the people.  Modern day priests of various religions have their rituals they go through regularly in an effort to "cleanse" their church members of sin and gain merit with God.  

Yet, this is an affront to God Almighty because Jesus offered Himself once, a perfect sacrifice that puts away sin.  His sacrifice was a one time deal, not to need repeating and some religions vicariously sacrifice Him repeatedly over and over.  This is sad because it is vain repetition that does nothing to effect salvation or merit with God for those who participate in it.

Putting away sin is not saying that God's people gain a sinless perfection on earth, meaning that they come to a place where they no longer sin.  The Bible never teaches this.  We do still sin and will struggle with sin as long as we are on this earth. Christ has put away the eternal consequences of sin for those who are His people.  This does not give us license to sin either.  As Christians we are called to be a holy people.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Marsha's Musings: Wonderful News! (Hebrews 9:23, 24 ESV)

Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. (Hebrews 9:23, 24 ESV)

Key Verse:
For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.

This is great news!  Christ is in heaven appearing before God on our behalf!  He is our go-between.  He paves the way for peace with God!  This is wonderful news. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Marsha's Musings: Without the Shedding of Blood there is No Forgiveness (Hebrews 9:18-22 ESV)

Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.” And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. (Hebrews 9:18-22 ESV)

The key verse here is the last one. 

Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. 

This is the whole reason Jesus shed His blood and died on the cross.  It was so that we could have forgiveness of sins.  Our sins had to have a perfect, unblemished sacrifice to satisfy God's wrath.  Jesus was that perfect, unblemished sacrifice.  

It is a shame that we so often take for granted the price that was paid for our forgiveness and flippantly sin with no thought to the price that Jesus paid on hour behalf.  Should we sin that grace may abound?  No!  We should never trample under the sacrifice Christ paid for our forgiveness by sinning knowlingly.  How often have I been guilty of this!  

Friday, April 11, 2014

Marsha's Musings: The Mediator of a New Covenant (Hebrews 9:15-17 ESV)

Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. (Hebrews 9:15-17 ESV)

At first glance I focused on the phrase " that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance". While this is something to grab hold of and look forward to, it loses sight of what should be the focus here. 

What Christ has done to make it possible for us to have the promised inheritance is the bigger focus. He had to die for that to happen. His death redeems us from the transgressions we have committed.

This makes that promised inheritance all the more precious!

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Marsha's Musings: How Much More (Hebrews 9:11-14 ESV)

But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. (Hebrews 9:11-14 ESV)

Notice the argument from the lesser to the greater. Christ is greater.

Key phrase:

...how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. 

What Christ did/does
1.  Offered himself as our sacrifice
2.  Shed His own blood
3.  Without blemish~perfect
4.  Purifies our conscience from dead 
      works

What we are saved to do:
1. Serve the living God

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Marsha's Musings: The Only Answer to This Madness (Hebrews 9:1-10 ESV)

In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. (Hebrews 8:13 ESV)
Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly place of holiness. For a tent was prepared, the first section, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence. It is called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was a second section called the Most Holy Place, having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant. Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail. These preparations having thus been made, the priests go regularly into the first section, performing their ritual duties, but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people. By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing (which is symbolic for the present age). According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation. (Hebrews 9:1-10 ESV)

This is a description of how things worked when the tabernacle and temple were still standing.

The last paragraph (verse 10) is the key to this whole section.  None of the rituals, either past or present in any religious system, be it so-called Christian, Catholic, Mormon, Hindu, Buddist or any other religion, can perfect or wipe clean the consciences of the worshippers.  It is all hopeless ritual done over and over again and serves as little else but a bandaide to make people feel good that they have done some meritorious work to earn them the good graces of God.

The only answer to this madness is here:

how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. (Hebrews 9:14 ESV)

Sad so many people miss this and continue on in their dead works thinking it will change their eternal destiny when in fact it does them no good whatsoever.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Marsha's Musings: I Will Be Merciful (Hebrews 8:8-13 ESV)

For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. (Hebrews 8:8-13 ESV)

Two phrases that stand out to me:

"...declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. "

"For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more."

These phrases speak to me of God's love and tenderness toward those who are His people.  It gives me a sense of security to know that I am one of His people, His possession, and that he is my God. Knowing that he is merciful and that He will not count my sins against me gives me a sense of freedom from the chains of guilt that Satan would like to bind me with.  There are so many Christians who struggle with guilt from past sins. If only they could lay hold of this truth!

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Marsha's Musings: Jesus is The Fulfillment of the Shadow (Hebrews 8:3-7 ESV)

For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. (Hebrews 8:3-7 ESV)

Here is the first key phrase in this passage:
"They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things."

The earthly priests were only copies and shadows of what was to come.  Since Christ has come, there is no longer a need for priests to serve as shadows and copies of what was to come.

The second key phrase is this:
"...Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises."

What Christ came to do is far more excellent and better then what the earthly priests did or do.  Again, there is no need for them.  Christ is the fulfillment of what they were forshadowing.

It is such a comfort knowing that I have a Priest Who is always available.  I don't have to go to a building to confess my sins or have intercession on my behalf.  Jesus Christ is always available no matter where I am at, always interceeding on my behalf before the Father.  

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Marsha's Musings: The True Priest (Hebrews 8:1, 2 ESV)

Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man. (Hebrews 8:1, 2 ESV)

It can't be much clearer than that.  Jesus is superior to all earthly priests. Earthly priests simply are not needed and actually usurp the place of Jesus as intercessor between us and the Father.  Our Priest resides in the true holy place set up by God not men.  We can receive true forgiveness for our sins through Jesus Christ. No earthly priest can honestly offer that which he himself does not possess. Only Christ possesses the power to forgive sins and offer eternal life. Earthly priests offer a counterfeit forgiveness that puts a bandaid on the problem but never brings true or lasting peace between man and God. They will have much to answer for on judgement day. Sad.