sermon: Hebrews: Its Background (Part One)
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 03-Mar-18; Sermon #1421; 72 minutes
Although God never intended the Old Covenant to endure eternally, the spiritual and immutable law (shared by both the old and new covenants) was to last forever. God did not nail His holy Law to the cross, as major Protestant denominations mistakenly declare. Rather, God nailed the penalty for our past sins, paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ, to the cross. The wages of sin is death. When Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law, He not only provided a model as to how His called-out ones are to keep it, He magnified it and raised the standards of compliance, targeting not only behavior, but motive—the whole spiritual process which underlies any sin. To give His called-out ones the ability to reach these higher standards, He gifted them with the Holy Spirit, thereby empowering them to displace carnality with Godly character. God does not create such character by fiat. Rather, it grows steadily with our determination to participate and cooperate with God. The purpose of all of God's covenants with mankind is to create character and stop sin. The New Covenant, as explicated by Hebrews, contains "post graduate" responsibilities far beyond the letter-of-the-law instructions given in Leviticus. Unlike the faulty Protestant assumption that Christ has done all the work of salvation, Christ warns His people that they must soberly count the cost because of the vastly higher standards established in the New Covenant. Christ promises, through the means of His Holy Spirit, the power to do His will, thereby giving His people the necessary tools to achieve membership in the family of God.
Okay, we're going to begin this sermon by reading from Hebrews the eighth chapter I am going to read the first thirteen verses there, which is the whole chapter verse one now this is the main point of the things that we are saying we have such a high priest who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the majesty in the heavens minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle which the lower directed and not man for every high priest is appointed to offer both set a gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this one also have something to offer for if he were on earth, he would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law who served the copy ah and shadow of heavenly things as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle for he said, see that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mound. No the one who said that part was God to Moses. But now he has obtained a much more excellent ministry, inasmuch as he is also mediator of a better covenant which was established on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second because finding fault with them, he says, behold the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt because they did not continue in my covenant and I disregarded them says the Lord, for this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord, I will put my laws in their mind and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God and they shall be my people. None of them shall teaches neighbor and none of his brother saying no, the Lord for all shall know me from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their un righteousness and their sins, and they're lawless deeds I will remember no more in that he says a New Covenant has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away ? We are beginning with this verse or series of verses because the author himself tells us flat out that this is the major reason for all he has written in the book what is now the book of Hebrews to this point a summary is that Christianity listen carefully a summary of what he is saying here is that Christianity is the only religion on earth that operates led by a spiritually high priest situated at the right hand of the throne of God from heaven and that's spiritually high priest is also gone no within with such subject material of which the author has written are two major it points first and foremost are the qualifications for this great towering personage holding such an off ah important office, so that he is indispensable through the salvation of all of God's sanctified one indispensable absolutely Jesus Christ tells, is not us himself in John fifteen, and in verse five that in order for us to produce fruit that glorifies God without him, we can do nothing that high priest is so important that high priest that was they introduced to us here in the book of Hebrews is so important, we can't go anywhere spiritually without him making it possible. Now if we do not glorify god, tell me what good reason would motivate him to put us in his kingdom. Therefore Jesus Christ, as our high priest has much to offer, because without him we'll never be in the Kingdom of God, it's he's that important to us. And so this book is the voted to the ministry that he gives to us, and this book explains that ministry no the second major reason I said that there are two major reasons that he has covered in this, but in this book of Hebrews the second major reason for the epistle is not named here, but it is a major historical reality regarding why this epistle was written in the first place. Now there are two sub points that he does cover their these the first is that the Old Covenant and Judaism and all of their attendant features were never intended by God toe last forever I will show you this in just a little bit give you proof of that the Old Covenant and Judaism and all of their attendant features were never intended by God toe last forever. Well, that is perhaps one reason why the New Covenant is announced all the way back in Jeremiah's time long before Jesus Christ was born and preached and Christianity became a reality in the war on the world scene. The second sub point is that in the transition following the promised seeds, birth remembered Christ was the promise. See so in the transition transition following the promised seeds birth, his preaching, the beginning of the church, the crucifixion, the resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit church members needed clear uniform instruction from on high to confirm to them the direction Jesus the high priest wanted the daily religious operations off Christianity to proceed now that's what the book of Hebrews is about it's about the priest himself and how my priest once operations to continue on a daily basis and those instructions are given in the book of Hebrews that's why we are looking into it in detail off all of the covenants it is easily the most important to you and me, all the others pale and in to uh in comparison with the new cup New Covenant now even as the book of Leviticus contains detailed instructions for the daily spiritually operations under the Old Covenant so instruction was needful for daily spiritually operations under the New Covenant because of what had happened and was still happening in their world then and since now the epistle to the Hebrews contains that instruction so that those who made the New Covenant with God would make the necessary adjustments in order to maintain their lives living by faith, glorifying god, maintaining their relationship with Christ while preparing for the Kingdom of God. Now we have just finished a long series of sermons searching for helpful understanding on a number of covenants God made with his sanctified ones who at that time in history we're primarily Jewish. Now this time was immediately following Christ resurrection. The covenants are important to our spiritual well being God's overall intention regarding covenants is to give his sanctified ones some specific direction as to what he desires off those specifically within his purpose and living by faith. Now this is exceedingly important to us because we are already on the path to the completion off his purpose in our lives due to our being called let's understand he is not looking for qualities remember that series with I titled it leadership and covenants he is not looking for qualities the world extols and rewards people for he is seeking to continue the developing off personal leadership in qualities of character and attitude, motive and shaped in the image off his own within family and community life. Now as we begin this series on the epistle to the Hebrews I want to leave the previous series with a few basic reminders regarding covenants. Now this is because much of the Bible's recording of both biblical and worldly history were revolves around three covenants. Now though I am beginning this series on the epistle to the Hebrews he bruce is intimately connected to the New Covenant that's why I began the way I did I began by reading off to you a basic section off the New Covenant and the book of Hebrews is intimately connected to the New Covenant. Therefore this series is intimately connected to the leadership and covenant series as well. Now this transition that I am giving right now as we move toward these on epistles hey bri series this transition may take us a while before we actually get into the book of Hebrews. Now those ah of all the covenants that I gave some information on in that long series three are really important to us. Impact on us first is the covenant with Abraham. Second is the covenant made with Israel, commonly known as the Old Covenant, and third is the one commonly called even within the Bible itself a new and better covenant. Those three really impact on our lives on our relationship with god. Now a covenant using the terms simplest definition is nothing more than a formal agreement between parties to accomplish a goal together. And they are commonly used in business transactions throughout the world for stating ah, and therefore guiding the specific recent obligations off heat party involved in the covenants purpose covenants are the primary way in which the Bible formally assigns overall responsibilities in relationship between God in and his people and to a very limited extent. They also serve to guide humanity generally so that mankind has a big basic awareness off its obligations to the creator even though they don't know much in the way of the details of it it is guiding to them uh to a limited extent now for converted church members having clearly assigned and defined responsibilities within a covenant is a great advantage because then there is no doubt as to what our obligations are to God and to fellow man to accomplish the purpose that we have been called to and guided to join forces together to achieve now even without a formal covenant perhaps one would not even be necessary if we'd follow God by keeping his commandments even as Israel ah you as he does okay the first basic requirement is no covenant with God excludes this obligate absolute obligations covenants with God always require that we keep his commandments that is attached to every covenant with him. Now whether they are literally stated it matters not that is the commandments literally stated or the the obligation to keep those commandments whether it is literally stated so whether they are literally stated it matters not because God's overall purpose is to create character and stop sin regardless of what covenant is in effect at a time now is in his people this includes the New Covenant. However even the very best of us do not do this a cz well as we could. And so mankind has a has very clearly never shown the willingness the set such high standards as appear in the covenants that God makes with man only the converted those truly living by faith will set their minds to accomplishment accomplish this and this is serious business covenants made with God or serious business, and even as carnality is set on things earthly the converted mine must set itself on things heavenly for this to be accomplished that is what needs to be accomplished is the keeping of the commandments now a second always present standard every covenant with God all covenants made with God are between une equals I will explain God is the sovereign creator who initiates the covenants he makes our obligations clear and he also penalized when we break them what I am saying here is that God when he makes a covenant with people he is actively involved this is not a fun issue and it's not a mere business issue this is an eternal life issue therefore it is serious now whenever we read the language off any of God's covenants it gives the distinct impression it is being conferred even imposed upon mankind even though we have a voice to accept or reject it feels as though it's being confirmed or imposed upon matt mankind it is his voice that is transcendent there is no dickering with him he sets the obligations he sets the promises and rewards for obedience and those promises and rewards are always generous but also require serious faithful devotion to keep them know why through the obligations seem so demanding what's partly because of whom the agreement is with this is no ordinary human fellow and it's intimidating dealing by faith with him is daunting because there is no fudging whatever on anything he is always is aware do you understand what this means he is one with his creation nothing escapes him I think for me to think about a mind with that capacity and with that ability within it is daunting and if you are daunted by that you are thinking the covenant is with someone not only like him it is with him now directly attached to this fact is he almost overwhelming wonderment that helps produce the solid realization of purpose of this relationship well don't let this escape you I know you know it but I am repeating it as we glide into the book of Hebrews and it is we are then literally part ofthe gods personal family no wonder he is aware of what's going on in our life and he is aware all the time his mind never go by never goes black he doesn't suffer from Alzheimer's never forget though that standards seem very high on occasions they are never unreasonable God promises us that he always assigns us responsibilities that are within our capacities to achieve that makes us feel bad when we feel I could have done that I should have done that it's within my capacity because God overseas that he doesn't want to lose anybody and so he is cover never uh ever beyond the parameters that we are indeed able to accomplish because God is very sensitive about losing any of us no the sermon takes this transition the sermon takes a bit of a turn here and its principles here in this turn are reminders drawn from my September the sixteenth sermon that was just before the Feast of Tabernacles but it was part of the leadership in covenants ah series now I am giving this reminder because there are clear ties between those two series i'll turn with me from the book of uh Hebrews back too karelia the thirty first chapter and versus thirty one through thirty four Jeremiah thirty one versus thirty one through thirty four now you will recognize these words right away behold the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt my covenant which they broke though I was a husband too them says the Lord but this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those day, says the Lord, I will put my laws in their minds I will write it on their hearts and I will be their God and they shall be my people know more show every man teach his neighbor and every man his brother saying no the Lord for they all shall know me from the least of them to the greatest of them says the Lord and for I will forgive their iniquity and remember their sin no more I went back and reread that from the book of Jeremiah because most people calling themselves Christian associate the New Covenant with the New Testament totally unaware that the New Covenant's first mentioned in scripture is in the Old Testament now God reveals it here in Jeremiah so understand this point the New Covenant is not truly boy brand new even within Jeremiah's point in time it is new on lee in terms ofthe when it is being publicly announced the New Covenant openly reflects God's unchanging standards of judging and fulfilling his creative purposes purposes regardless of when he chooses to announce it nothing is changing regarding his purpose nothing is changes changing regarding his generosity his mercy his desire teo to give salvation this is the way he has been from the beginning he is still creating man in his image he is still reproducing himself his character is the model being followed to produce his children how can he change what he himself is ? He cannot do not forget he states I change not he is always the faithful God we must always carry this truth with us he is ever faithful to the covenant see imposes and the covenant and the purpose he continues to work work out I want you to to really get this blazed burned into your minds he has been the same from the beginning and the New Covenant illustrates what has been his purpose from the very beginning that's why I started by telling you God never intended the Old Covenant the last and Judaism I might add here toe last for all eternity he knew from the time that Adam and Eve were cruz created that the time was coming when he would introduce this covenant New Covenant to mankind but he chose to introduce it publicly to the world all the way back six hundred years before Christ really did that prophetically yeah so the people reading the Bible under the Old Covenant would know what was coming and it did not come until all the promise seed came I want you to go from here toe loop the fourteenth chapter Luke the fourteenth chapter this is something I believe I was in I i gave in the, uh my previous service but it is so important that we keep these things in mind look the fourteenth chapter versus twenty five two thirty five i'll remember the primary subject here is the New Covenant and Jesus was preaching these things when he was alive. Now first twenty five look at what he lays down here and this brother is also still tied to my sermon there in some on September uh the sixteenth now great multitudes went with him and he turned and said to them if anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother wife and children brothers and sisters yes in his own life also he cannot be my disciple he's laying done responsibilities that are New Covenant responsibilities and whoever does not bear his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple for which of you intending to build a tower here's an illustration does not sit down first and count the cost whether he has enough to finish it lest after he has laid the foundation and is not able to finish it finish all who see it begin to mock in saying this man began to build and was not able to finish he is illustrating a person who gets baptized not having contact costs handed the cost and is therefore un prepared for the difficulty off keeping the New Covenant keeping the New Covenant brother and I want you to get this burned into your head because this is not the were a way the world thinks about the New Covenant the New Covenant is tough its standards are high much higher then the old government there's no comparison and that's why Jesus is saying to these people you better count the cost no he doesn't say he's preparing them for the New Covenant but he is that's what his whole ministry was about for the introduction off the New Covenant look at the standards, he said. If anybody comes to me and hates not his father and mother wife and sisters you know children, brothers, sisters he cannot be my disciple those are terms for the New Covenant get to something else here in just a moment back to verse thirty saying this man began to build and was not able to finish or what king going to make war against another king does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand because another illustration or else while the other is still a great way off he sends a delegation and ask for conditions of peace so likewise whoever of you who does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple he is preparing people for making the New Covenant he goes on to with another illustration self is good but if salt has lost its flavor how shall would be seasoned ? What good is it ? It is neither fit for the land nor for the dung hill but men throw it out he who has ears to hear let him hear ok, I am reflecting back on that September sermon again where I went through these verses but not quite in the same way that I did just now well I purposely drew most of the biblical references in that sermon from the New Testament because almost all people calling themselves Christian in these end times have developed the opinion that by means of the New Covenant God has made salvation much easier to obtain those terms that I just let don't seem pretty it very easy he's warning people, you better consider what you're doing now. The central belief in this opinion seems to be that since Jesus kept the law's perfectly and he in addition is payment for the forgiveness of our sins that when one accepts his death as payment for our sins it's our obligation to meet the demands of the New Covenant is somehow magically reduced. Jesus did not say anything at all like that here in Luke fourteen no independent plane every day the language the general thought held by a high percentage of people believing themselves Christian is that the law is essentially done away. They believe that Jesus kept them for us, and while that thought is indeed somewhat true, it is twisted into a misleading concept. Well, listen carefully as we go through this the key statement there even though it's somewhat true the Jesus kept the law for us it is twisted into a misleading concept and that concept is that we don't have to be concerned about keeping them nothing could be further from the truth now why ? Because being created into the image of God is not a minor affair because our willing participation listen carefully are willing participation is absolutely necessary for this vital creation to occur that's the key statement there because being created in into the image of God is not a minor affair because here's, why our willing participation to make that creation occur is absolutely necessary for this vital creation to occur. I'm going to ask you to recall something it's a little bit closer than September the sixteenth now you might recall this is an illustration Kim Myers sermon of about a month ago in which he used the illustration showing the level of dedication necessary tow maintaining the purity of the incense offering do you remember him talking about that ? Now the incense offering may seem to us this is from back in Leviticus the incense offering may seem to us to have been a rather a minor affair, but as Kim showed it, it was not to God with Jesus as our guide perfection is our goal. Maybe you need to go back and read that about the incense offering again and see the care that God required of the people who are involved in that and what those demands by God made of us. He wanted that incense offering to be perfect as perfect as men could do it now apply that we're talking about the New Covenant here now the reality is the New Covenant establishes what we might call graduate level requirements regarding the keeping off the commandments and now the Sermon on the Mount makes this very clear let me add something here and it's important however God compensates by also providing us with the spiritually tools to reach those levels he does that when we make the covenant with him okay now listen to this Jesus did keep God's law for us no listen carefully that is for our benefit in that God mercifully is mercifully willing to accept Jesus righteous life and death to pay our debt to him for our sins because we do not have sufficient righteousness on our part the pay the cost of having the death penalty removed make sure that gets thoroughly understood the payment has to be made by Jesus because we can't pay it we're talking about the payment of the death penalty ok now the explanation goes on something is missing in people's misunderstanding off that reality the reality being that Jesus does keep the law for us and therefore in their trust in that reality which is twisted it's not the Jesus did not pay he did he did keep them for us but they have twisted that reality by a lie now what is missing is the rest of the story those of you are a little bit older you'll remember Paul Harvey now here is the rest of the story what is missing is the truth that godly character is not imposed make sure you get this what is being created godly character and we have to participate in the making off that godly character God does not just flip a switch and suddenly we have godly character it is not imposed he doesn't get his one dot and touches on the forehead and suddenly we have character like a God being it is built get this godly character is built, it is created God is a creator and the creation of that character requires our cooperation Jesus righteousness is in one sense imposed on us just in order to free us from the death penalty. Now listen to this like I said there's something missing in people's misunderstanding off that reality that is missing and so what is missing is the truth the godly character is not imposed it is built it is created with the assistance off the person being worked on that's you and made no what is missing in the world's flawed conclusion is that God's creation off each person is not reality of reality only the beginning at once forgiveness and the following baptism into the church and the family of God now why why is it that way ? Because each person has tohave godly character created with them one person at a time he just doesn't impose he just doesn't use a wand to make us created with the character of God now the result of this is that each person has to show God he is participating in its creation in his life as he lives his life someone else's righteousness besides Christ does not matter one bit after that creation begins now here's a serious question requiring sober, sobering consideration by anyone who is thinking of baptism now why is Jesus here in Luke fourteen beginning in verse twenty five ? Why is Jesus so solemnly stern in this admonition warning those considering following him of these high standards ? If we don't need to be concerned about keeping the law you see that's just it we do need to be concerned about keeping the law that's why he is so salam and stern as he's laying down these requirements so not being discussed in this tragically wrong belief at this point is that despite Christ wonderful gift and dying to pay our indebtedness to god, the reality is that the wages of sin remain please please understand this we are forgiven but the wages of sin is death continues right on not for us, not for those who are forgiven but if we sin afterward don't we need to seek God's forgiveness again and again and again and again that's what they're not telling people with this twisted, wonderful thing but that's what it is okay our sins were forgiven what indeed changes is that we are not just forgiven we are given the tools to fight and win the spiritually battles which will surely come after we air forgiven and there are some of them were not going to keep very well and we will need to be forgiven again. We are given the tools to go on to perfection, if we will believe them and use them. Let's, go to collage since chapter two Colossians chapter two and versus thirteen and fourteen Colossians to thirteen says this remember he is talking, writing to converted members of the collage in congregation, and you being dead in your trust passes and sins, and the uncircumcised trespasses, and the un circumcision off your flesh he has made alive together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the hand, but writing off requirements that was against us, which is contrary to us, and has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross, when we choose to be baptized, we come to Christ physically alive, but spiritually dead, because the sins still hanging over our head we are spiritually dead, because the death penalty hangs over our head, because the sins have been recorded. But this death ah, hasn't yet been paid. So God accepts Christ death, following our repentance as the means of redemption that is paying our debt in our stead. And this race is the death penalty against us from existence, but that a racer off the death penalty has not removed the laws we broke from the book on lee the penalty against us for breaking the laws the law's brother are still enforce do we get that don't forget it the world's twisted belief about Christ keeping the law for us is causing them motivating them to think that their sins are entirely paid for when they may be breaking the law over and over again continue a breaking bringing the death penalty on themselves because they're not using the powers that God gives us the tools to enable us to keep the laws why give us the tools if we are going to use them why does he give us the powers if we just ignore them are you seeing yes Christ keeps the law kept the laws for us not to do away with the laws but to do away with the death penalty hanging over our head but after we are forgiven we are required once again to keep the commandments and yet they believe the commandments are done away oh I used to believe that so I noticed this clear New Testament New Covenant illustration is it still possible to sin and experience the sting of death absolutely now let's go to I Corinthians chapter fifteen I Corinthians chapter fifteen and versus fifty five and fifty six this is it and toward the end of the resurrection chapter Paul says he asked oh death where is your sting ? Oh Hades where is your victory ? The sting of death is sin and the strength of sin is the law but thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ and we are given the victory by Christ paying the death penalty but that doesn't remove the laws from the book and the sting of death can still apply to us when we sin ok the term sting illustrates what is painful about sin now the painful element involved in sin is death and with death all hope is lost the sting that we feel before the death actually occurs is emotional in other words the sting begins before we actually die the sting is first emotional but sin along the way kills do we believe that sin is the cause of death now knowledge of sin is given by the laws of God that's the law's function so in order that we don't sin we have to understand what the law ah does it tells us what's it's right and a twelve tells us what is wrong and the law not being alive you know the way it doesn't feel anything it just keeps right on going for God's laws give direction they give us knowledge of what to do and what not to do whether you're converted or unconverted noaa converted person ought to be able to a stand understand a great deal more but it does that for everybody now interestingly by giving us knowledge of what not to do the law actually pay plays a role in arousing our carnal nature to taste of it to experience his excitement thus arising us to sin this can happen to converted people just arousing us the sin which we in turn must fight with all of our being now I want to read to remind you again tow about all Adam and eve, because this appears with them all the way back at the beginning this part where I said interestingly by giving us knowledge of what not to do, it actually plays a role by arousing our carnal nature to taste of it now just recall this that before Eve actually sinned by eating off the tree she was already very intrigued by the tree and even being warned beforehand she couldn't stop herself from eating from the tree the knowledge of what the tree wass worked on the carnality in her mind and she sin she wanted to be wiser that's why she wanted the fruit of the tree it actually produced in her a desire to sin now the problem wass she did not fight it. This is one of the things that we need to learn that the law can actually play a part in us sinning because intrigues the carnality within us and we want to experience it no, the problem was Eve did not fight it the God's laws I have never been against us, so they continue on giving guidance regarding what is right and wrong now according through that serious fact is the family relationship Jesus names are those with the most time let me let me I i skip something here I am going back to to Jesus teaching there in Luke fourteen versus twenty five through thirty five and some of the things that he said they're now add to that serious fact is the family relationships that Jesus names are are with those that we spend the most time with and generally want to please to the highest degree but also they prove that is the family members named remember was father, mother, sister, brother, son, daughter and whatever they also the family a proves to be the most influential regarding luring us into sin because we tend to let our guard down with them. Well, I wrote myself a note here recall Adam sin what family member lured him into sin ? She did not do anything except that he desired her and he wanted to experience his desire but the law said, don't do that, but he couldn't stop himself. Now our sins imposed the death penalty on us, and we're also imposed it on our savior in the first life and still does so to this day, and if we continue sinning after the debt is paid, the laws did not change the penalty for breaking them remains the same despite Jesus mercy full payment in our behalf and therefore the laws continue to define sin regardless of what Jesus accomplished in our behalf and if we continue sending his death for our benefit it is absolutely wasted specifically stated his death pays only for sins committed in the past do you know that we say that with every person we baptize we tell them that this is being done for forgiveness for sins committed in the past that baptism and forgiveness does not apply for what we do in the future when we are converted and what we have God's spirit and we still sin anyway the law is still putting the death penalty over our head and we've got to make sure that we are participating in the overcoming of those sins like God wants us to do and we are fighting a tooth and toenail which Adam and Eve did not do they knew the truth and they died and that can happen to us we'll go just a little bit further here because I am getting to a place where a break is fairly good to occur so what the Christ death absolutely accomplishes is that the means that it is the means it is the way that opens the door for completion of the perfection of our character into the image of Jesus Christ in preparation for the kingdom of God and the Holy Spirit which is then given upon baptism in the laying on of hands is the means for keeping his laws far far far more perfectly now sins committed in the present after accepting his shed blood can put one into the lake of fire because his death did not do away with our obligation to obey the law the New Covenant does not do away with the law it comes into effect for converted people after their repentance and after their baptism and after they have hands laid on them but we can still bring the death penalty upon ourselves by failure to really fight sin tooth antonio and this is because the law still exist and are still in force giving guidance as to the general way one should live and therefore also defining sin well since committed following baptism appleton absolutely must be repented off therefore they can have more serious consequences now what we're going to do here we're going to go to the er the Sermon on the Mount and I want to show you clearly what happened regarding sin they you know the world tries to tell people let me fables it embarrasses me I feel sick sometimes but I realize what they're saying ok I am gonna we're gonna look at some very familiar scriptures and in verse five beginning in verse seventeen epsilon chapter six now this is the sermon that in a sense began Christ ministry and he is setting the foundation stones for the way of life that he is going to give to the people during this period of time that he is uh preaching before ihsaa crucifixion so right at the beginning he says do not think that I come this is for seventeen to destroy the law or the profits I did not come to destroy but to fulfill most assuredly I say to you to heaven and earth pass away not one jot or one tittle will by no means passed from the law and that includes the New Covenant whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so shall be called leased in the kingdom of heaven but whoever does and teeth teaches them he will be called shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Now no, I did not have the Bible with me with the same Bible that it was when I was putting this together. And in that Bible this section of scripture was titled that Jesus fulfills the law. Now the sense people are using this term fulfilled is not really what he did that term fulfills does not mean in this case completes or does away with as judged against what he taught in what immediately follows because he taught us to keep the law fulfills in this case means phil's to the full or completes what conduct they cover or it can also be called an expansion to its fullest intent all of those definitions are correct not to prove that I want you to notice these illustrations that Jesus gives right here beginning in verse twenty one you have heard that it was said to those of auld you shall not murder and whoever murders shall be in danger of the judgment but I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment and whoever says to his brother raqqa shall be in danger of the counsel but whoever says you fool shall be in danger of hellfire therefore if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you leave your gift there before the altar and go your way first be reconciled to your brother and then come and offer your gift agree with your adversary quickly while you are on the way with him less you advent adversary deliver you to the judge the judge hand you over to the officer and you shall be ah ah be thrown into into prison assuredly I say to you you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penalty do you see what he is doing here ? This is just one illustration he is clearly showing here in this foundational sermon that he is raising the acceptable level of obedience far higher above what the people ordinarily considered as satisfactory behaviour he is raising the standard of the keeping obedience to God's law to the level off its intent not just doing the act but the intent behind or that motivates the act you have heard it was set of old time you shall not murder and whoever murders will be in danger of the death of the judgment. But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of judgment that's a great deal higher standard then murder verse twenty seven you have heard that it was said to those of auld you shall not commit adultery but I say to you that whoever looks on a woman to less lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart do you see that verse ? Ah, let me see I don't want to go any further than that there because I am showing you that Jesus himself not only said the law is not done away, he is raising the standards of the laws that exist he is making the keeping off them stricter and higher. No, I want I just want to go back to Revelation chapter twelve and in verse nine and we will conclude with this Revelation twelve and in verse nine makes this statement so the great dragon I was cast out that serpent of old called the devil and Satan who deceives the whole world he was cast to the earth and his angels were cast out with him and my comment for this is this what a cruel joke Satan has diluted the unconverted masses with no as we saw on September sixteen sermon being ah Christian obligates one to a great deal off say it's sacrifice so why do people make the sacrifices since the price one pays for forgiveness is one of devotion in obedience to the leadership of Jesus Christ who just elevated the requirements of the keeping of the commands of God exceedingly higher than they had been ? I ask this because this entering into the New Covenant will require the sacrifice of every function of one's body we have to become living sacrifices and so in body in mind in spirit to the way of God and it can be very costly it may cost one his employment because of sabbath work requirements it may cost one his family of attachments because the family may not accept one's membership with this strange group it may cost one his general acceptance within the community for the same reason but we commit for two basic reasons and the first is personal and somewhat self centered it is because we want out from under the burden of the beth death penalty combined with the awesome rewards of God's promises and eternal life sharing life in life's work with our creator and savior the second is because we are growing in love for God and the completion of his per person, er in us and therefore through baptism, we desire the means of expressing that love for him. And for others to, as God continues forward with his creative purpose, is preparing us for active participation in God's family kingdom. So don't ever let Romans five versus one through five slipped from your mind, because they are so encouraging. It remains as a brief but constant reminder that the newcomer that the New Covenant enables us. It empowers us in ways no covenant, even with God before has. It does not erase laws. Just the penalty we've incurred for breaking them. And it gives us his spirit to compensate.