Fred R. Coulter—March 13, 2010

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How could the one sacrifice of Jesus Christ pay for the sins of the whole world? You look at all the sins—which we can't, we can only look at what we see today—and all we can do is imagine what it was down through history. Coupled with all the catastrophes, earthquakes, storms, drought, volcanoes, premature deaths, abortions. Just as a side note, in Zimbabwe the sewers are plugged up with rejected fetuses. So it shows the brutality of man and woman. We saw how man had that nature given to him, because of the sin of Adam and Eve. With that, it's still possible also that a person following the right principles in the Bible—even without knowing the Bible, but better off knowing the principles in the Bible—if they train themselves in things which are right, they will have control over the evil of their own nature.

On the other hand, you can train evil, so to become more evil—both of those potentials are there. So the sacrifice of Christ has to cover the sins of all human beings. Now how is that possible? Let's first of all come to Romans 8. We're getting close to the Passover time, and, of course, it was on the Passover Day in 30A.D. that Jesus was crucified. That was the appointed time set by God.

We're going to see a couple of very important Scriptures here. So at the set time, also prophesied with many other prophecies—we will lot at some of those prophecies today—Jesus was offered as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. But how could that be? We know the Scriptures which tell us that 'in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and that He was made flesh.' We know in the account in Luke 1 that He was begotten in the womb of the virgin Mary and born as an infant and fulfilled the prophecies of Isa. 9 that 'unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given.' Then follow the names of God with that.

We see in Phil. 2 that the One Who became Christ, of the two of the Godhead, humbled Himself to be like a man and in fashion of a man, and to be a man. In order to do that, was He different in His existence than other human beings? Some people say He was different than other human beings. You've heard the saying, 'A hundred percent God/hundred percent man.' When you look at what God told Moses when Moses said, 'I'd like to see Your glory.' He said, 'No man can see My face and live.' So you have an incompatible situation, that hundred percent God could not take on a human body, because it would destroy it. Yet He did take on a human body, yet He was reduced to a pinpoint of life, and then developed in the womb of Mary and born, and He received His human nature from His mother. Now we know, as we have studied, that human nature is called the law of sin and death. The two things that human beings cannot control:

  • they can never live a life without sinning. 'All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.'
  • they all die

So Jesus, in order to become human, made like us, had to have a full portion of human nature.

Let's see how Paul described that, Romans 8:3: "For what was impossible for the law to do... [Everyone knows law, but do people break law? Yes! So the law cannot make you righteous, because it can't pay for sin. The law defines righteousness and what is right and wrong, but the law is just something that is written down.] that it was weak through the flesh... [Because human nature is deficient. Human beings are deficient. That's why in Rom. 7, Paul wrote about the things he wanted to do, the good things he couldn't do, and the evil things he didn't want to do, he ended up doing. He said that only God could rescue him from this.] (So here's what God did): ...God, having sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh..."

Now likeness in the Greek is a very important word. It comes from the word pronounced 'homoiomate.' That means in the exact sameness of sinful flesh. It's also interesting in the Greek, because it's phrased this way: 'in the likeness of sin of flesh.' So it's in the likeness of sin and the likeness of flesh, or the likeness of flesh with sin. In English you say, sinful flesh. "...and for sin... [As we will see in a little bit.] ...and for sin... [That is, as an offering for sin.] ...condemned sin in the flesh" (v 3). Now how was that done?

Let's come back here to Hebrews 5, and let's examine one part of the law of sin and death. We will ask the question, because this becomes very important for us to realize: Was Jesus subject to death? Let's see how He handled it. Let's see the struggle that Jesus had, to remain perfect and never sin. He had to have the law of sin and death within Him, because what God did, demonstrates His love. This will help you understand John 3:16 even more as we go through and see then how Jesus' sacrifice is the answer for the sin within.

Hebrews 5:5: "In this same manner also, Christ did not glorify Himself to become a High Priest... [Like the high priests that were at the temple.] ...but He Who said to Him, 'You are My Son; today I have begotten You.'" So that was a signal event in the whole history of eternity. That's spoken of back in Psa. 2. That's spoken of in Heb. 1.

"Even as He also says in another place, 'You are a Priest forever according to the order of Melchisedec,' Who, in the days of His flesh... [the same kind of flesh that we have] ...offered up both prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him Who was able to save Him from death... [So in order to die, He had to have the law of death in Him—correct? Yes!] ...and was heard because He feared God. Although He was a Son, yet He learned obedience from the things that He suffered" (vs 6-7).

Now you stop and think [about] The spiritual strength that Jesus had to have constantly from God the Father, so that He would not sin. Because as we're going to see, in taking the law of sin and death within Him, to condemn sin and death in the flesh, He had this personal struggle, because He could not dare sin once. Now what did this do for Him?

Verse 8: "Although He was a Son, yet He learned obedience from the things that He suffered; and having been perfected... [That's how God is perfected. How is He perfected? He had to overcome. 'Oh, Jesus had to overcome?'] ...having been perfected, He became the Author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him" (vs 8-9).

Let's come back to Revelation 3, let's see what Jesus said. A lot of people think that Jesus life was, since He was the Son the God, since He was begotten of God the Father, and other religions say, that it was impossible for Him to sin. If it was impossible for Him to sin, we're going to see in just a minute, how could He be tempted like we are? A temptation would have absolutely no relevance to Him.

Revelation 3:21—here we have where Jesus said He overcame. He was perfected in the flesh by overcoming the law of sin and death, plus He was also perfected in the spirit as God Who became flesh to be that willing sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. "To the one who overcomes will I give authority to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and sat down with My Father in His throne." A lot of people never thought about that, that Jesus had to overcome. That was necessary in order for sin to be condemned in the flesh.

Let's see how Peter explains a very tremendous thing that God did. Let's ask the question as we're turning to 1-Peter, the second chapter. Was Jesus the perfect human being? Yes, indeed! Since He was God before He became human, and since He was Creator of all mankind—we need to understand that, because as John said, 'Nothing came into being without Him of anything that was made or created.' Likewise in Col. 1, 'Everything was created by Christ.' That being the case then, when He took upon Him the law of sin and death to condemn sin in the flesh, then His death can be substituted for our death. His overcoming sin, though He carried the law of sin and death within Him and never sinning, then gives the perfect sacrifice for us who have sin.

Let's see it here. 1-Peter 2:21: "For to this you were called because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow in His footsteps, Who committed no sin... [So though He had to have the law of sin and death in Him, He committed no sin.] (Let's see what else He did here): ...neither was guile found in His mouth; Who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when suffering, He threatened not, but committed Himself to Him Who judges righteously, Who Himself bore our sins within His own body on the tree..." (vs 21-24). Now within from the Greek comes from the Greek word 'en'—I'll just use the English designation of the alphabet, and that means within.

So having taken the law of sin and death, and bearing that and never sinning, God looked upon that as carrying the sins of all human beings, carried it within. So that's how He became the perfect sacrifice. Now just put in your notes there, John 1:29. When John saw Jesus, he said what? 'Behold, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.' As we see in Rom. 5:12, because of the sin of Adam, death entered into the world. Because people have the nature of death, they have the nature of sin. So, therefore, that comes down to all of us. So the nature of the law of sin and death within us comes from Adam and Eve. So Jesus took that upon Himself and received human nature from His mother. He carried the law of sin and death in Him and never sinned. So, therefore, His death covers the sins of all.

Let's see some other Scriptures here. Let's come to Hebrews 10, and let's understand something that Paul wrote concerning the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Paul is explaining this in a little different way. As a matter of fact, if you haven't gone through the series that we have on the book of Hebrews—by the way, there are forty detailed messages going through every single verse and expounding every one of them. It'll take you quite awhile to go through it, but there's a lot in it. That's why on our website we have all of these in-depth Bible studies. Now on Church at Home, this is for new people and it is reaching new people, plus it's also doing something very interesting, that combined with the new Bible and people who have been scattered from the scattering of the Church, these two things—Church at Home and the new Bible—is helping them come back to Christ, as well as the second generation Christians which dropped out. So we're seeing the effect of that beginning to happen. Plus it's reaching out to brand new people.

Glenn Daniel called the other day and said that one couple who found out about us through Church at Home wanted to know where there was a church near Pensacola, Florida. He lives in Cantonment, right close, our elder down in that area, so I had them get in touch with him. They are now baptized. They had some personal problems they had to work out. They got those worked out, now they're baptized. And we are getting more new people asking, 'Where's the church?' Not a whole lot, but some. We can't handle a whole flood. So God going to give us growth and increase in the measure that He wants us to have.

Now let's understand this: One of the things that's important to realize is because the world has so confused Christianity, absolutely just buried it under a heap, with wrong teachings, and wrong interpretations, and so forth. Then they have buried the Old Testament under a heap of saying, 'Well, the Old Testament has been fulfilled and done away. We don't need to even read it today.' Between those two things, it's really quite difficult for new people to understand concerning Passover and Unleavened Bread. 'What's unleavened bread? You mean I eat tacos for a week?' And Pentecost and Trumpets, and Atonement and Tabernacles and Last Great Day, 'never heard of those things.' The only thing they know is Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day and Easter, and so forth. Everyone knows about Easter. You talked to them about Passover and you talk to them about the true Christ, and you talk to them about what Jesus actually did in demonstrating His love for His people, then that's another whole story. It comes as a surprise to them. It comes as, 'Well, how could this be? How could my church be wrong? How could my minister do these things to me?' Because, they don't believe God and they believe the Bible, that's why.

So let's read it here. Hebrews 10:4: "Because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins." Now let's understand this: During the time of the temple and tabernacle, when they brought a sin offering, that justified them to the tabernacle or temple. God never gave eternal life as the promise in the Old Testament except to the patriarchs and some of the kings and some of the priests, and all the prophets. Eternal life was not granted until Christ came to open the way for that to happen so there would be the true sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin. This is why that whole temple system had to be destroyed.

Verse 5: "For this reason, when He comes into the world, He says, 'Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but You have prepared a body for Me....[And what was that body for Him? As the sacrifice.] ...You did not delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin. Then said I, "Lo, I come (as it is written of Me in the scroll of the book)... [Now if you don't have the sermon, What is the Covenant Between God the Father and Jesus Christ, you can download in on site. I think that is Hebrews #27.] do Your will, O God"'" (vs 5-7).

Now let's see how Paul explains this. "In the saying above, He said, 'Sacrifice and offering and burnt offering and sacrifices for sin (which are offered according to the law) You did not desire nor delight in'... [What was it that God really delighted in when you read the Old Testament and especially the book of Jeremiah? Obey My voice! That's the first thing that God commended Abraham on, because Abraham 'obeyed My voice.'] ...Then He said, 'Lo, I come to do Your will, O God.' He takes away the first covenant in order that He may establish the second covenant" (vs 8-9). Which is the covenant that is pictured by partaking of the Passover. Jesus did not institute the 'Lord's Supper.'

Now notice, v 10: "By Whose will... [What was the will of God?

  • that Jesus come in the flesh
  • that He inherit the law of sin and death with Him from His mother
  • that He sin not
  • that His carrying that law of sin within Him when He died was the death penalty for all human beings who sinned.

However, they have got to come to God through the plan of God in order to have their sins forgiven, because notice here:] ...By Whose will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." You can interpret that two ways:

  • all people, then the requirement of it that they repent
  • all time

He draws the parallel here. "Now every high priest stand ministering day by day, offering the same sacrifices repeatedly, which are never able to remove sins; But He, after offering one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down at the right hand of God" (vs 11-12). So this is why the Passover's important. This is why the Passover is the renewing of the New Covenant for all of us every year. There are many other things we could go in, because this one day in the history of the world—the Passover day in which Jesus died—is the focal point of the whole Bible; all the things in the Old Testament. We'll read some of those prophecies, and then what God is doing in the New Testament and then on with God's plan as it's carried on out beyond that.

Verse 13: "Since that time, He is waiting until His enemies are placed as a footstool for His feet. For by one offering He has obtained eternal perfection for those who are sanctified" (vs 13-14). It is only through Christ that

  • we have life
  • we have forgiveness
  • we are sanctified
  • by the blood of Christ
  • by the Holy Spirit of God
  • by living by every Word of God

All of those things are there and—Christ through this process of us overcoming like He overcame—are perfected.

Now let's continue, v 15: "And the Holy Spirit also bears witnesses to us; for after He had previously said, 'This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days,' says the Lord: 'I will give My laws into their hearts, and I will inscribe them in their minds... [Now that's defining a converted mind.] ...and their sins and lawlessness I will not remember ever again."' Now where remission of these is, it is no longer necessary to offer sacrifices for sin.... [at the temple. God has given us a new way, but there has to come first, repentance and baptism and so forth.] ...Therefore, brethren, having confidence to enter into the true Holiest by the blood of Jesus" (vs 15-19). No longer do you need any man between you and God. You don't need a priest, you don't need a minister, you don't need a deacon. That doesn't mean that you do things without a ministry, but the ministry is to help perfect the brethren, not rule over them.

So when you pray and you say, 'Our Father,' and you're on your knees, humbly, coming before God, that prayer goes right up to God the Father, spiritually speaking. We all have cell phones today—right? You think nothing of cell phones. You can be sitting here and you're cell phone will ring, or if I had one, and Don Junovich over in Hong Kong, he's the one who sets up everything up and represents the company for the printing of the Bibles, and so forth, I could have that cell phone on me, I don't have a cell phone, but if I did it could ring, very little voltage is necessary for that call to come all the way from Hong Kong to here. The range would pick it up and say, 'hello.' It's not quite that way with God, but that serves as an example that because we have the spirit of man in us and the Spirit of God united with the spirit of man, when we pray, since we have that connection with God, that goes direct to God the Father in heaven above. Jesus said, 'Don't pray to Me.' He said, 'You pray to the Father, for the Father Himself loves you, but you pray in My name.' That's really a profound change. That's why if you haven't gone through the series, Why God Hates Religion, it might be good to do so, because people have all their religions and all the things that they go through, and that's to make them righteous before others.

Notice how this is called, v 20: "By a new and living way, which He consecrated for us through the veil (that is, His flesh), and having a great High Priest over the house of God. Let us approach God with a true heart, with full conviction of faith, our hearts having been purified from a wicked conscience... [And nothing can do that except the Holy Spirit of God united with the spirit of your mind, plus the growing and overcoming and the washing of the water of the Word. Nothing else can do that.] ...and our bodies having been washed with pure water.... [through baptism] ...Let us hold fast without wavering to the hope that we profess, for He Who promised is faithful" (vs 20-23). God will continue.

Let's see how Paul also explained this on how God took the sacrifice of Christ, and He looks at us and we repent and here we have 'the wages of sin is death,' and the wages of sin is eternal death. That's the death we're saved from. We all die in Adam. And He's taken the death of Jesus Christ and His shed blood to forgive our sins, so that we can have this kind of relationship with God. But it was necessary that Jesus come in the flesh, and condemn sin in the flesh by carrying the law of sin and death within him.

Let's come to 2-Corinthians 5, and let's see how Paul wrote of it here to explain the same thing. This is the simplicity in Christ. There are other things that are not quite so simple. It takes a little while to learn and understand. But this is how we begin, and that's why every year when it comes time for the Passover, we also understand that

  • we are to renew the New Covenant
  • we need to understand what God the Father did
  • what Jesus Christ did
  • our relationship with God
  • what the New Covenant is

—and all of that put together.

Now let's pick it up in 2-Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore, if anyone be in Christ... [What does it mean to be in Christ? Have the Holy Spirit of God, you love God, you keep His commandments, you are in covenant with Him.] ...he is a new creation... [a new creation in process of being recreated spiritually in the image of Christ.] ...the old things have passed away... [God has forgiven your sins, they are gone, because of the sacrifice of Christ.] ...behold, all things have become new."

  • a new way of thinking
  • a new way of understanding
  • a new relationship with God
  • a new way of living your life

Verse 18: "And all things are from God, Who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ... [Now again, every time I really think on this, this just absolutely blows my mind and it really ought to be for every one of us a tremendous, humbling thing to understand, which is this: God the Father, the great Sovereign of the universe has through Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit, established direct contact with us, a continuous contact through the Spirit of God. Now once you understand that, then you can see why God does not want a hierarchy, why God hates religion.] ...and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation." That's what the ministers are to do, to help the brethren stay in the state of reconciliation with God the Father and Jesus Christ.

And here's the reconciliation: "Which is, that God was in Christ... [Says there in Rom. 8, 'the spirit of Him Who was in Christ.'] ...reconciling the world to Himself... [Now that hasn't been finished yet.

  • We are just the firstfruits.
  • We are the ones who are called now.
  • We are the few in the world who are being prepared and trained so that when the first resurrection occurs at the return of Jesus Christ.
  • We then are going to rule and reign with Christ over the whole world.

What a glorious time that is going to be. So don't ever be discouraged by some of the trials or difficulties you go through, or what people think of you. Just understand this: Every political problem and religious problem you see in the world, you are going to have a part in correcting every bit of it.] ...not imputing their trespasses to them... [forgiving us] ...and He has entrusted to us this message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ; and God, as it were, is exhorting you through us" (vs 19-20). That's why we have to teach the Word of God.

When the Word of God is taught and you read it like we're doing now and what we're studying, this in effect—other than singing and praying—is the highest form of really worshiping God, because you're communicating with Him while you're reading the Word of God. God is communicating with you through His Spirit, so that when you read these words, a spiritual something happens in your mind that never happens when you read another book; this is the inspired Word of God.

"Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ; and God, as it were, is exhorting you through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, 'Be reconciled to God'.... [That's what the Passover is all about—reconciliation.] ...For He made Him Who knew no sin... [That is, He did not experience sin by personally sinning Himself. That's what the word knew is meaning in the Greek.] be sin for us..." (vs 20-21).

And how did He do that? By carrying the law of sin and death within Him to the cross. All through His life long He had that and as we read in Heb. 5, He had to pray in an attitude of love, and fear, and strong crying to God the Father, so that He would remain faithful. So the ministry and life of Jesus Christ was no nice little stroll through the world, so that we can all save mankind, because we're better than men. No, He came and became a man and took that upon Himself. He did it for all that He created and only He could do it, because He was the One Who gave that to mankind through the judgment of Adam and Eve after they had sinned and passed on to all of us. So only God could do that, no individual man could do that. Someone could die for another man, but that would only take care of one for one. But what do you do for the whole world?

...For He made Him Who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" That righteousness then is imparted to us.

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Come back again to the book of Hebrews. Let's see how Paul also explained it here in Hebrews 1, and what it was that God did. This also helps tie it together with John 1.

Hebrews 1:1: "God, Who spoke to the fathers at different times in the past and in many ways by the prophets, has spoken to us in these last days by His Son, Whom He has appointed heir of all things, by Whom also He made the world... [That confirms that He was Creator.] (Now notice what He was before He became a human being): ...Who, being the brightness of His glory and the exact image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His own power... [So when Jesus divested Himself and gave up His glory and gave up being God, this is what He gave up. It was given to God the Father to take care of while He was here on the earth as a human being.] ...when He had by Himself purged our sins..." (vs 1-3).

Jesus was only One, because He created mankind, to be able to take away the sin of the world, as John said, that is to become the perfect sacrifice to remove our sins. And He had to do it by Himself. A lot of people wonder, 'I wonder why it says back there'—as we'll read a little later in Psa. 22, and those were the prophecy of the words of Jesus when He was on the cross. 'My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?' because He had to do it Himself. The Creator Who made mankind had to die to save mankind and no other way could accomplish it. Now after that took place and He was resurrected.

Verse 3: "...sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Having been made so much greater than any of the angels, inasmuch as He has inherited a name exceedingly superior to them. For to which of the angels did He ever say, 'You are My Son;' this day I have begotten You'? [Never!] And again, 'I will be a Father to Him, and He will be a Son to Me'?…. [So you put together all the other Scriptures which show how God the Father and Jesus Christ worked this out.] …And again, when He brought the Firstborn into the world..." (vs 3-6). Now we'll just stop right here. Jesus Christ was the

  • firstborn of Mary
  • firstborn of God the Father (to pave the way for those who will be born again at the resurrection)
  • firstborn from among the dead (Rev. 1)

So Jesus was firstborn in the flesh and firstborn in the spirit when He was resurrected. Now when His firstborn was brought into the world, this is talking about when Jesus was born as a baby. He said, "Let all the angels of God worship Him" (v 6).

Isn't that something? What happened? You read there in the book of Luke. The two shepherds were out there and all of sudden heaven opened up and here were the angels singing, 'Glory to God, glory to God in the highest.' Then they said, 'You go to Bethlehem and you can find where the Christ is.' 'Let all the angels of God worship Him.'

"Now on the one hand, of the angels He says, 'Who makes His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire.' But on the other hand, of the Son He says, 'Your throne, O God... [So the Son was God, became a man, God in the flesh, manifested to take away the sins of the world, died for the sins of the world, resurrected from the dead, and now He is returned to His existence as God. So in both cases, before He became a man and after He became a man.] ...'Your throne, O God, is into the ages of eternity; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom" (vs 7-8).

Now during the break we talked about how God instructed Cain when he brought his offering and God didn't accept it, how that God told Cain that you have to rule over sin. Now here's how you rule over sin, right here, v 9: "'You loved righteousness... [That can include loving God the Father and Jesus Christ with all your heart, mind, soul and being. Everything that God does flows from His love, everything He does!] ...You loved righteousness and hated lawlessness... [Or as the King James would say, 'iniquity.' If you truly love God and love righteousness, you will despise and hate lawlessness.] ...because of this, God, even Your God, has anointed You... [So, here, what do we have? 'Your throne, O God,' referring to Christ. Then we have this, v 9, because of this, 'God, even Your God.' So what do we have in the Bible? Two that are God, never three.] ...because of this, God, even Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your companions.'"

The comment was made that for people in worldly Christianity, and even in some Churches of God, to say that—and I'm not saying it, I'm reading the Scriptures which verify it—the only way for Christ to be the perfect sacrifice He had to carry the law of sin and death within Him. Because how could He condemn sin in the flesh and bear our sins within Him if He didn't have it. Now we're going to see something else as to why that had to be.

Verse 10: "And, 'You, Lord... [Referring to Christ.] the beginning did lay the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain forever; and they will all grow old like a garment. And You will roll them up like a covering, and they shall be changed... [Now you can read of that in 2-Peter 3 and read of that in Rev. 20, 21 and 22, new heavens and new earth.] ...but You are the same, and Your years will not end.' But unto which of the angels did He ever say, 'Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet'?" (vs 10-13). They never said that.

Let's come over here and let's see the whole purpose in this. Hebrews 2:5: "For it is not to the angels that He has placed in subjection the world that is to come... [They rule the world now. God rules the world through angels and demons, but that's not going to happen when Christ returns. The resurrected saints are going to rule with Christ. Satan and the demons will be put away. No, He didn't give it to the angels.] ...But in a certain place one fully testified, saying, 'What is man, that You are mindful of him, or the son of man, that You visit him? You did make him a little lower than the angels..." (vs 5-7). Now that's what it's written in the Septuagint and in the Greek here, which is quoting the Septuagint. But in Psa. 8 where this is quoted, you can go back and read it, it actually says 'you made him a little lower than God.' The word there is Elohim, the same words used for God.

Why? So that we could be born into the Family of God at the resurrection. That's why we're made in the image and likeness of God. Verse 7: "...You did crown him with glory and honor... [You might add: gave Him the whole world to rule over—right?] ...and You did set him over the works of Your hands; You did put all things in subjection under his feet.' For in subjecting all things to him [man] He left nothing that was not subjected to him.... [That's why when you read Gen. 11, why did God have to scatter the people again after the Flood? Because now 'this they begin to do and whatever they imagine to do, they can do.'] ...But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him. But we see Jesus... [Because Jesus had to do it first!] ...Who was made a little lower than the angels... [made as a human being] ...crowned with glory and honor on account of suffering the death..." (vs 7-9). Now it's very interesting that in many places in the New Testament when it talks about the death of Jesus Christ, in the Greek it is the death. That's why I literally translated it that way here in the English. The death, because His death for all mankind and for all sin.

" order that by the grace of God He Himself might taste death for everyone…. [Now you see how the whole picture fits together. Now you see what a great thing that it was that God did. We are going to see the great love and the great humility of what God did to accomplish this.] …Because it was fitting for Him, for Whom all things were created, and by Whom all things exist, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings" (vs 10). If He was perfect, how could He made perfect, when He was in the flesh carrying the law of sin and death? He was not perfect as God is perfect. He was perfected through the suffering of overcoming the law of sin and through overcoming the law of death through the resurrection.

Verse 11: "For both He Who is sanctifying and those who are sanctified are all of one; for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren... [Now look at the family relationship that this brings us into]: ...saying, 'I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the church I will sing praise to You.' And again, 'I will be trusting in Him.' And again, 'Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me'" (vs 11-13). Now that statement will be fulfilled at the resurrection when all are resurrected are there on the Sea of Glass and He turns to the Father and says, 'Behold, all the children whom You have given Me.'

Now notice v 14 again confirms what we have been saying. "Therefore, since the children are partakers of flesh and blood... [With the law of sin and death.] like manner He also took part in the same... ['Homoiomate'—exact sameness] order that through death He might annul him who has the power of death—that is, the devil... [so that was the other part of the life and death of Jesus Christ, to overcome Satan the devil and the demons. Now for what purpose?] ...And that He might deliver those who were subject to bondage all through their lives by their fear of death. For surely, He is not taking upon Himself to help the angels; but He is taking upon Himself to help the seed of Abraham... [And who are the seed of Abraham? Gal. 3:29: 'If you are Christ's, then are you Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise.' Not just the children of Israel.] ...For this reason, it was obligatory for Him to be made like His brethren in everything... [Not in most things. Not in 90% of the things, not in 99%, but in allthings, in everything. And everything means in each and every way for the purpose of what?] ...that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, in order to make propitiation for the sins of the people" (vs 14-17).

In the world's way of looking things, and in the world's Christianity, they want the result of this, but they don't understand how God did it to get that result. They reject the very thing, the Passover of God, and Christ was the Passover Lamb, which then gives them understanding of it. Now here's another great principle that we need to always remember, which is this: We learn by doing. We understand by obeying. So when you first come across something and you find out that God says you ought to do this, you don't understand why, but when you start obeying, you will understand.

Let's see what Jesus went through. So not only does the book of Hebrews tell us the process that God used to accomplish what He accomplished through the sacrifice of Christ and through the very nature that He took upon Him, but also to let us know that Christ suffered. Not just the suffering that was at the time of His scourging and crucifixion, but all through His life.

Verse 18: "For because He Himself has suffered, having been tempted in like manner, He is able to help those who are being tempted." I've talked to Catholics and the Catholics say they have to go to the priest to confess their sins. They go in this little booth and there's a screen and the priest is back there, and some of them told me later they could tell he was drinking, and different things like this. So when they go in there, I ask them, 'When you went in there, did you really tell the priest all your sins and everything you thought?' They said, 'No, just enough so he would forgive me.' You don't confess your sins to a priest and a priest cannot forgive you, God can.

Hold your place in Hebrews, because we'll come back and let's go to 1-John 1. Let's see how we are to confess our sins and to whom we are to confess our sins. And also remember this: God knows everything you have done and it's recorded in your mind and it's recorded in the spirit of your mind, the thought and the process to come to that point, whatever the sin was. There are inadvertent sins, there are sins that are deliberate, there are sins that are planned, but remember Jesus said, 'Every sin that man does and 'blasphemy against Me,' shall be forgiven man, but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven.' Because the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is an absolute rejection of God, an absolute rejection of God's forgiveness and everything. They are in a state of complete hatred and denial of God. That is the unpardonable sin.

A lot of people when they are first beginning to understand about sin, they're worried, 'Well, have I committed the unpardonable sin, because I was tempted and gave in and I sinned.' No, you haven't committed the unpardonable sin, because if you had committed the unpardonable sin, you would have no conscience of being guilty of sin. You would absolutely reject with the hardness of your heart having any consciousness of sin.

1-John 1:6—here's how we come to Christ and God the Father to receive forgiveness of sin: "If we proclaim that we have fellowship with Him, but we are walking in the darkness..." What is walking in darkness? Let's answer it by saying: What is walking in the light? What is the light? 'Your law is a light, a lamp to my feet.' Jesus is the light of the world. We are to walk in His way. So if you're walking in darkness, you're walking in the way of the world—isn't that correct? If you're in a 'Christianity' of this world, you are still in darkness, because you haven't come to the point of loving God, to love Him and keep His commandments.

And by the way, during the Feast of Unleavened Bread on the Sabbath sermon that I gave, I go through and show that even keeping the commandments of God in the New Covenant is based upon grace. Maybe you've never thought of that, but you listen to the sermon.

"...we are walking in darkness... [and what are you doing?] ...we are lying to ourselves... ['The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.' People love to lie to themselves to give them justification for doing wrong.] (Notice, when you do that, here's the sum of it): ...and we are not practicing the Truth…. [What is the Truth? The laws and commandments of God! What else is Truth? Christ is Truth! What else is Truth? The Holy Spirit is Truth!] (On the other hand): "However, if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, then we have fellowship with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His own Son, cleanses us from all sin" (vs 6-7)—which we covered back there in Heb. 10—right?

So you have to be in the way of God in order to have your sins forgiven. You cannot continue in sin, as Paul said because there is grace. No! These are the qualifications for it. When you repent, you repent to God. When you ask forgiveness, you ask the blood of Christ to be applied to you.

Verse 8: "If we say that we do not have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the Truth is not in us." I had a man come up to me and say, 'You know, since I've been converted, I have no consciousness of sin.' I said, 'Really?' I should have said, 'You must be a spirit being. Why don't you show us how you can do this, and walk through the wall.' I said, 'Well, the Bible doesn't teach that.' He said, 'I have no consciousness of sin.' I said, 'You're just wrong.' He got mad at me. Was that not sin?

"If we say that we do not have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the Truth is not in us. If we confess our own sins... [to whom? God!] ...He is faithful and righteous, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.... [That's what the sacrifice of Christ is all about. And we're going to see that that means that He is there as a continuing, ongoing source of mercy and forgiveness for our sins, because we are weak in the flesh and weak in the mind. Even though we have the Spirit of God, we sin because we have yet to overcome the flesh—right? Yes!] ...If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us" (vs 9-10).

A lot of people do that, they call God a liar, many different ways—don't they? 'Oh, well, we keep Sunday, it was changed.' Liar! 'Oh, well, we can keep all these holidays because the Church sanctified them.' Liar! 'His Word is not in us.' What is the Word of God? The Word of God is truth—is it not? If it's in you, you're not going to be a habitual liar—correct? Yes! Once you stick with the Bible, it becomes very simple.

1-John 2:2: "And He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world." Because v 1 shows that we sin and Christ is our Advocate. But you can't have it for the sins of the whole world until the timing of God's plan to do it. Now is not the time. Now is the time of the firstfruits. The world's time is going to come when we understand how God is going to apply the sacrifice and make it available to the people of the world and that's understood through the Day of Atonement.

So that's why, also people who are just beginning to understand about the Sabbath and the Holy Days, and so forth, once you go through a whole year of Passover, Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day, then you will have a framework on which to understand these things.

Let's come back here to Hebrews 4:12. This defines again why the Bible is unique, because no other book in the world can penetrate the consciousness of man like the Word of God. No other book.

Hebrews 4:12 "For the Word of God is living..." Because it's inspired by the Spirit of God, and it comes from the living God. It's active all the time, just like the law of gravity. You need to look at it this way: God rules over all human beings all the time in this way:

  • He gives them life
  • He gives them breath
  • He provides for them with air and water and food and things to build homes, and so forth

When people sin the consequences of sin comes upon them sooner or later, because the laws of God are living and spiritual and always working. On the other hand, those who love God and keep His commandments are in covenant with Him, the Word of God is living; not only active in their lives, but also in their minds.

"...the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of both soul and spirit... [because they're two different things] ...and of both the joints and the marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart…. [No other book in the world can do that. That is to lead us to repentance.] …And there is not a created thing that is not manifest in His sight; but all things are naked and laid bare before the eyes of Him to Whom we must give account" (vs 12-13).

What was it Abraham Lincoln said, 'You can fool some of the people all the time, you can fool all the people some of the time, but you can't fool all the people all the time,' and you can never fool God at any time. Because that is so, you don't run around in cowering fear and say, 'Oh, God, knows everything.' True, He does, but you look to Christ.

Verse 14: "Having therefore a great High Priest, Who has passed into the heavens... [Because of what He did, how He lived His life, how He carried the law of sin and death within Him so that He could become the perfect sacrifice to forgive us our sins.] ...Jesus the Son of God, we should hold fast the confession of our faith. For we do not have a high priest who cannot empathize with our weaknesses... [He knows. That's why confessing to Him is the only way to confess your sins, not to human beings.] ...but One Who was tempted in all things according to the likeness of our own temptations; yet He was without sin" (vs 14-15). Now that's something to really grasp and understand. As we come to the Passover and we partake of the bread and the wine and the footwashing, and so forth, let's keep that in mind.

Verse 16: "Therefore, we should come with boldness to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." So that's how God condemned sin in the flesh, and that's why Jesus Christ is a faithful and merciful High Priest.

Scriptural References:

  • Romans 8:3
  • Hebrews 5:5-9
  • Revelation 3:21
  • 1-Peter 2:21-24
  • Hebrews 10:4-23
  • 2-Corinthians 5:17-21
  • Hebrews 1:1-13
  • Hebrews 2:5-18
  • 1-John 1:6-10
  • 1-John 2:2
  • Hebrews 4:12-16

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Luke 1
  • Isaiah 9
  • Philippians 2
  • Romans 7
  • John 3:16
  • Psalm 2
  • Hebrews 1
  • Colossians 1
  • John 1:29
  • Psalm 22
  • Revelation 1
  • 2-Peter 3
  • Revelation 20, 21, 22
  • Psalm 8
  • Genesis 11
  • Galatians 3:29
  • 1 John 2:1

Also referenced:

Sermon: What is the Covenant Between God the
Father and Jesus Christ? (Heb. Series #27)
Sermon Series:

  • Hebrews
  • Why God Hates Religion

Transcribed: 03-22-10
Formatted: bo—3-24-10