Jesus is Our Better Sacrifice
(from 4/1/18 sermon - Spencer Teal)
See if there is anyone who wants to share a short testimony, or if there are there specific praise updates to begin CG.
Hebrews 10:11-14, 17-18 & 22 - 11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. 15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, 16 "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,"17 then he adds, "I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more." 18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. 19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Q - Sermon takeaways from those who were in attendance?
This past Sunday was Easter Sunday and we looked at the salvation that comes because of the One sacrifice of the One High Priest, Jesus. Afterward we were able to witness the visible expression of the death and resurrection of Christ and the working of that sacrifice in believers via the lenses of baptism. In today’s study we will consider both: the one sacrifice by Christ and the the purpose behind baptism.
Throughout this study in Hebrews we continue to be reminded that if the High Priest was perfect, and if the Sacrificial Lamb was perfect that only one sacrifice was needed to take care of our sins. Notice in verses 12 and 14 the terms “single sacrifice” and “single offering.” The Lord then goes on to say that we have been “perfected for all time” because of that sacrifice. Q - What comes to your mind when you see the word “perfected?” Discuss. Perfection is just that...perfection...without blemish...perfectly pure...free of flaws and defects. Discuss how that the “once and for all” sacrifice of Christ is truly able to declare you PERFECT in His sight if you will but believe. Q - Why is that so hard for us to believe sometimes?
Spencer reminded us on Sunday of two things that show that inwardly we are longing for something better than what this world has to offer. The first was in the fact that we have all experienced pain and loss of some kind and that pain and loss leaves us with a void that nothing in this world can satisfy. There has to be something more. Likewise, we each have certain sins and temptations that others may not see but that we see...and feel...way too frequently that have us longing for something more...something better...something eternal. We make an effort to overcome these struggles and try our best to perform at the highest level, but we can’t so we fail...over and over again. This is humanity in a fallen world with a sin-ridden DNA that leaves us searching for answers to this struggle and this longing. The answer? The answer is always the Gospel. The answer is to be identified with Christ and to have Him fill the void as He declares us forgiven, loved, and perfect in Him.
It’s easy to fall into this trap of religious performance. Many do so regularly and are exposed to the truths of the Gospel but never really believe these truths with their hearts and apply the finished sacrifice of Christ to their owns sins. One of the individuals who was baptized Sunday realized that he had been trying to rededicate something that he had never really dedicated the first time. Action item - Look of the following passages and read together paying close attention to what these verses say: Rom 3:10,19,23; Rom 6:23; Rom 5:8; Rom 10:9-10; Eph 2:8-9; John 3:16-17, 1 John 5:11-13 Q - When you read these verses do they confirm in your heart that you are a child of God that has believed the message of the Gospel, or do you find your heart recognizing that you’ve never really believed? If it is the former, then rejoice. But if it is the latter, then consider 2 Cor 6:2 “...now is the day of salvation.” (*As a side note, these are good verses to memorize and keep in your pocket as you practice sharing the Good News with others. The Word of God declaring the Good News of Christ is the most powerful tool for bringing people to the understanding that they are in need of a Savior.)
At the end of the church service we gathered to witness the baptisms of 6 individuals who have recently placed their trust in Christ and Christ alone for salvation. Baptism is the first step of obedience in following Christ and is a public declaration that you are a child of God. The mode in which baptism occurs is also a beautiful picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.
Consider the following two passages related to baptism: Colossians 2:12 “having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.” Romans 6:3–4 “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”
Q - How do these verses depict the Gospel? Why do you think God asks us to be baptized?
V. FURTHER APPLICATION -
We oftentimes struggle with this concept of Jesus’ death actually securing our salvation. For some reason, in our humanity we find ourselves wanting to contribute to our own salvation, but we can’t. Why? Because He is the only perfect sacrifice, thus His statement “It is finished.” “Finished...past tense. The transaction is complete. He can’t and doesn’t need to sacrifice again. What he did (past tense) has secured forgiveness for all of our past, present, and future sins if we believe in Him. But when we struggle it’s good to go back to passages like Heb 9 to be reminded that “once” is enough. Two other verses to read, meditate on, and commit to memory are that speak of the finality of the cross are Rom 5:1 and Rom 8:1. It’s good to commit verses like these to our memory bank so that we can go to them often to remind us that a) He paid for our sins (past tense) and b) it’s all about Him and not about us.
VI. CLOSE - Final thoughts?
VII. BE ON-MISSION -
You are encouraged to begin memorizing the passages we looked at tonight in order to be better equipped with sharing the Gospel with others.