Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Hebrews: The Superiority Of Christ To Errant Religions
Part V: The Superiority Of Christ's Priesthood To Other Priesthoods, Hebrews 5:1-10:39
G. The Superiority Of Christ's Service, Hebrews 8:1-10:18
3. Christ's Superior Sacrifice
a. The Need For Christ's Superior Sacrifice
(Hebrews 9:16-22 et al.)
  1. Introduction
    1. Increasingly, some evangelicals are siding with Liberal Theology in claiming that God is not punative, that His love would never let a lost party spend eternity suffering His wrath in hell fire: evangelical Pastor Rob Bell's book, Love Wins that hit bookstores March 15th asserts the hotly debated idea that there is no "infinite, eternal torment for things (people) did in their few finite years of life.'" (Cathy Lynn Grossman, "Pastor-author's Love Wins' bedevils traditionalists," USA TODAY, March 14, 2011, p. 13B).
    2. However, taking Bell's position inadvertently creates a dilemma for those who suffer from guilt, for one who has a God Who never fully punishes sin can never be assured if God has ever fully forgiven him.
    3. Hebrews 9:16-22 answers such issues directly, and we view the passage for our edification as follows:
  2. The Need For Christ's Superior Sacrifice, Hebrews 9:16-22.
    1. Hebrews 9:15 claims that Christ is the Mediator of the new covenant, one that was necessary to provide a ransom to set people free from the sins committed even under the old covenant.
    2. Thus, the blood of animals under the old system was ineffectual in actually removing sins, meaning the death of Christ was necessary to deal with sin as explained in Hebrews 9:16-22 et al. as follows:
      1. As only at the death of the testator who makes the will do the will's beneficiaries receive the inheritance stipulated in the will documentation, so only upon the death of Christ do the recipients of God's promise of eternal salvation enjoy the benefits of that salvation, eternal life and forgiveness of sin, Hebrews 9:15, 16-17; Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament, p. 802.
      2. For this reason, even the inadequate first covenant of the Aaronic priesthood was not instituted apart from the shedding of the blood of animals that foreshadowed Christ's death, Hebrews 9:18. After proclaiming the provisions of the Law, Moses sprinkled the scroll, the people and the tabernacle furnishings with the shed blood of calves, using water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop in ratifying the covenant for Israel, Hebrews 9:19-21 NIV.
      3. The author of Hebrews noted the Law required nearly everything be cleansed with blood, for without the shedding of blood there was no "remission of sins" (KJV), no forgiveness, Hebrews 9:22a,b NIV.
      4. This claim about the shedding of blood for forgiveness implies penal substution, the substitutionary death of Christ to satisfy the demands of a perfectly righteous God that man's sin be fully punished:
        1. When man sinned, he violated the perfect righteousness of a perfectly rightous God, and God's infinite righteousness demands that the man who sins must die as punishment! (Romans 6:23a)
        2. However, in grace, as a gift, God sent His Son to die in the sinner's place as man's substitutionary atonement, that by faith in Christ the sinner is given Christ's righteousness, Romans 3:24-26.
    3. Accordingly, when one trusts in Christ, he is forgiven and assured of God's full forgiveness as surely as His Perfect Substitute on the cross, Christ, the sinless Son of God Himself, fully died, totally satisfying the demands of a perfectly righteous God Who was appeased of His wrath against our sin, Romans 3:25!
Lesson: A perfectly righteous God IS infuriated at man's sin, and, apart from Christ, the sinner will suffer God's eternal punishment in hell fire! However, Christ has perfectly atoned for man's sin as his Substitutionary atonement on the cross! That means that FULL forgiveness is available for the sinner who trusts in Christ as His Savior since Christ FULLY SATISFIED the wrath of God at the cross!

Application: (1) What the blood of animals under the old covenant could not do, Christ did on the cross, fully atoning for sin, that man might be saved from God's eternal wrath in hell. (2) That being so, once one is justified by faith, God's forgiveness of him is complete based on the cross, meaning we who have trusted in Christ can relax and rejoice in the complete, perfect forgiveness of Almighty God!