7. Practicing the Church Life under the Ministry of Christ as the Minister of the True, the Heavenly, Tabernacle
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Scripture Reading: Heb. 8:2, 6; 2:10-12; 1:9; 3:6; 4:9; 7:22; 9:15; 12:22-24, 28; 13:1-19
Heb 8:2         A Minister of the holy places, even of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man.
Heb 8:6         But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry inasmuch as He is also the Mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted upon better promises.
Heb 2:10       For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and through whom are all things, in leading many sons into glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
Heb 2:11       For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of One, for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brothers,
Heb 2:12       Saying, "I will declare Your name to My brothers; in the midst of the church I will sing hymns of praise to You."
Heb 1:9         You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of exultant joy above Your partners";
Heb 3:6         But Christ was faithful as a Son over His house, whose house we are if indeed we hold fast the boldness and the boast of hope firm to the end.
Heb 4:9         So then there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.
Heb 7:22       By so much Jesus has also become the surety of a better covenant.
Heb 9:15       And because of this He is the Mediator of a new covenant, so that, death having taken place for redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, those who have been called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
Heb 12:22     But you have come forward to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem; and to myriads of angels, to the universal gathering;
Heb 12:23     And to the church of the firstborn, who have been enrolled in the heavens; and to God, the Judge of all; and to the spirits of righteous men who have been made perfect;
Heb 12:24     And to Jesus, the Mediator of a new covenant; and to the blood of sprinkling, which speaks something better than that of Abel.
Heb 12:28     Therefore receiving an unshakable kingdom, let us have grace, through which we may serve God well-pleasingly with piety and fear;
Heb 13:1       Let brotherly love continue.
Heb 13:2       Do not forget hospitality, for through this some, without knowing it, have entertained angels.
Heb 13:3       Remember those who are imprisoned as bound with them, those who are ill-treated as being yourselves also likewise treated in body.
Heb 13:4       Let marriage be held in honor among all, and the bed undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
Heb 13:5       Let your way of life be without the love of money, being satisfied with the things which are at hand; for He Himself has said, "I shall by no means give you up, neither by any means shall I abandon you";
Heb 13:6       So that being of good courage, we say, "The Lord is my Helper, and I will not fear. What shall man do to me?"
Heb 13:7       Remember the ones leading you, who have spoken to you the word of God; and considering the issue of their manner of life, imitate their faith.
Heb 13:8       Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes, even forever.
Heb 13:9       Do not be carried away by various strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be confirmed by grace, not by the food of sacrifices, by which those who walk were not profited.
Heb 13:10     We have an altar from which they who are serving the tabernacle have no right to eat.
Heb 13:11     For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the Holy of Holies for sin by the high priest are burned up outside the camp.
Heb 13:12     Therefore also Jesus, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.
Heb 13:13     Let us therefore go forth unto Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.
Heb 13:14     For we do not have here a remaining city, but we seek after the one to come.
Heb 13:15     Through Him then let us offer up a sacrifice of praise continually to God, that is, the fruit of lips confessing His name.
Heb 13:16     But do not forget doing good and sharing with others, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
Heb 13:17     Obey the ones leading you and submit to them, for they watch over your souls as those who will render an account, that they may do this with joy and not groaning; for this would be unprofitable to you.
Heb 13:18     Pray for us, for we are persuaded that we have a good conscience, desiring in all things to conduct ourselves honorably.
Heb 13:19     And I exhort you much more to do this that I may be restored to you more quickly.
 
 
 
I.     The ascended Christ is a “Minister of the holy places, even of the true tabernacle”—Heb. 8:2:
Heb 8:2         A Minister of the holy places, even of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man.
A.     Christ, as a Minister of the true (heavenly) tabernacle, ministers heaven (which is not only a place but also a condition of life) into us.
B.     The present Christ, who is now in the heavens as our Minister, is ministering to us the heavenly life, grace, authority, and power and sustaining us to live a heavenly life on earth as He did when He was here—1:3; 4:14; 7:26; 9:24.
Heb 1:3         Who, being the effulgence of His glory and the impress of His substance and upholding and bearing all things by the word of His power, having made purification of sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Heb 4:14       Having therefore a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast the confession.
Heb 7:26       For such a High Priest was also fitting to us, holy, guileless, undefiled, separated from sinners and having become higher than the heavens,
Heb 9:24       For Christ did not enter into a holy place made by hands, a figure of the true, but into heaven itself, to appear now before the face of God for us;
C.     The heavenly Christ is ministering in the tabernacle “which the Lord pitched, not man”—8:2:
Heb 8:2         A Minister of the holy places, even of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man.
1. This tabernacle, this sanctuary, is in the third heaven, in which is the heavenly Holy of Holies.
2. The heavenly Holy of Holies, where Christ is ministering on our behalf, is connected to our spirit—4:12.
Heb 4:12       For the word of God is living and operative and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow, and able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
3. Christ’s ministry in the heavens takes care of our needs—v. 15:
Heb 4:15       For we do not have a High Priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all respects like us, yet without sin.
a. From the heavens Christ ministers Himself to us as food, as our life supply, in the way of dispensing.
b. As our Minister takes care of our needs, He carries out God’s economy— Eph. 1:10.
Eph 1:10       Unto the economy of the fullness of the times, to head up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth, in Him;
D.     Whatever Christ carries out as the heavenly Minister, He applies to us as the Spirit—1 Cor. 15:45b; 2 Cor. 3:17:
1 Cor 15:45b …the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.
2 Cor 3:17     And the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1. The supply we need comes from the Christ who is both the Lord in the heavens and the Spirit within us—Acts 2:36; Rom. 8:11.
Acts 2:36      Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you have crucified.
Rom 8:11      And if the Spirit of the One who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.
2. Now we may experience Him in all His functions as the ascended One— Heb. 1:3; 9:24; 12:2.
Heb 1:3         Who, being the effulgence of His glory and the impress of His substance and upholding and bearing all things by the word of His power, having made purification of sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Heb 9:24       For Christ did not enter into a holy place made by hands, a figure of the true, but into heaven itself, to appear now before the face of God for us;
Heb 12:2       Looking away unto Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down on the right hand of the throne of God.
3. As the heavenly Minister, He transmits what we need from God the Father, who is the source, into our spirit to supply and sustain us.
E.      In His heavenly ministry as the Minister of the true tabernacle, Christ is serving God’s people with the bequests, the blessings, of the new testament—7:22; 8:6; 9:15:
Heb 7:22       By so much Jesus has also become the surety of a better covenant.
Heb 8:6         But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry inasmuch as He is also the Mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted upon better promises.
Heb 9:15       And because of this He is the Mediator of a new covenant, so that, death having taken place for redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, those who have been called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
1. As our heavenly Minister with a more excellent ministry, Christ is carrying out the better covenant—7:22:
Heb 7:22       By so much Jesus has also become the surety of a better covenant.
a. He does this by making the facts of the new covenant effective.
b. Every fact in the new covenant is made effective by the heavenly Minister with His more excellent ministry—9:15; 8:6.
Heb 9:15       And because of this He is the Mediator of a new covenant, so that, death having taken place for redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, those who have been called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
Heb 8:6         But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry inasmuch as He is also the Mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted upon better promises.
2. Whatever is a fact in the new covenant is a bequest in the new testament; Christ, the heavenly Minister, is executing the bequests in the new testament—9:15-17; 10:16-18.
Heb 9:15       And because of this He is the Mediator of a new covenant, so that, death having taken place for redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, those who have been called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
Heb 9:16       For where there is a testament, the death of him who made the testament must of necessity be established.
Heb 9:17       For a testament is confirmed in the case of the dead, since it never has force when he who made the testament is living.
Heb 10:16     This is the covenant which I will covenant with them after those days, says the Lord: I will impart My laws upon their hearts, and upon their mind I will inscribe them,
Heb 10:17     He then says, "And their sins and their lawlessnesses I shall by no means remember anymore."
Heb 10:18     Now where forgiveness of these is, there is no longer an offering for sin.
 
II.   In the Epistle to the Hebrews, various aspects of the church are revealed:
A.     The church is a living composition of the many sons of God, who are the many brothers of Christ brought forth in His resurrection—2:10-12; Rom. 8:29; John 20:17; Heb. 1:5; 5:5; Acts 13:33; 1 Pet. 1:3:
Heb 2:10       For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and through whom are all things, in leading many sons into glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
Heb 2:11       For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of One, for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brothers,
Heb 2:12       Saying, "I will declare Your name to My brothers; in the midst of the church I will sing hymns of praise to You."
Rom 8:29      Because those whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brothers;
John 20:17    Jesus said to her, Do not touch Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brothers and say to them, I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.
Heb 1:5         For to which of the angels has He ever said, "You are My Son; this day have I begotten You"? And again, "I will be a Father to Him, and He will be a Son to Me"?
Heb 5:5         So also Christ did not glorify Himself in becoming a High Priest, but it was He who said to Him, "You are My Son; this day have I begotten You";
Acts 13:33    That God has fully fulfilled this promise to us their children in raising up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, "You are My Son; today I have begotten You."
1 Pet 1:3        Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has regenerated us unto a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1. God is our divine Father, and we are His divine sons born of His divine life with His divine nature—John 20:17; Eph. 1:5; Gal. 3:26; John 1:12-13; 2 Pet. 1:4.
John 20:17    Jesus said to her, Do not touch Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brothers and say to them, I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.
Heb 1:5         For to which of the angels has He ever said, "You are My Son; this day have I begotten You"? And again, "I will be a Father to Him, and He will be a Son to Me"?
Gal 3:26        For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
John 1:12      But as many as received Him, to them He gave the authority to become children of God, to those who believe into His name,
John 1:13      Who were begotten not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
2 Pet 1:4        Through which He has granted to us precious and exceedingly great promises that through these you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption which is in the world by lust.
2. As the many brothers of Christ, we are the same as the firstborn Son; He is divine and human, and we are human and divine—Heb. 2:11; 1:6; Rom. 8:29.
Heb 2:11       For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of One, for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brothers,
Heb 1:6         And when He brings again the Firstborn into the inhabited earth, He says, "And let all the angels of God worship Him."
Rom 8:29      Because those whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brothers;
3. The church is an organism with two lives and two natures combined and mingled together—Lev. 2:1-16:
Lev 2:1         And when anyone presents an offering of a meal offering to Jehovah, his offering shall be of fine flour; and he shall pour oil on it and put frankincense on it.
Lev 2:2         Then he shall bring it to Aaron's sons the priests, and he shall take from it his handful of its fine flour and of its oil with all its frankincense. And the priest shall burn it as its memorial portion on the altar, an offering by fire, a satisfying fragrance to Jehovah.
Lev 2:3         And what is left of the meal offering shall be Aaron's and his sons'; it is a thing most holy of Jehovah's offerings by fire.
Lev 2:4         And when you present an offering of a meal offering baked in the oven, it shall be of fine flour, unleavened cakes mingled with oil or unleavened wafers anointed with oil.
Lev 2:5         And if your offering is a meal offering baked on a flat plate, it shall be of fine flour mingled with oil, unleavened.
Lev 2:6         You shall break it in pieces and pour oil on it; it is a meal offering.
Lev 2:7         And if your offering is a meal offering made in a pot, it shall be made of fine flour with oil.
Lev 2:8         And you shall bring to Jehovah the meal offering that is made of these things and present it to the priest, and he shall bring it to the altar.
Lev 2:9         And the priest shall take up from the meal offering its memorial portion and shall burn it on the altar, an offering by fire, a satisfying fragrance to Jehovah.
Lev 2:10       And that which is left of the meal offering shall be Aaron's and his sons'; it is a thing most holy of Jehovah's offerings by fire.
Lev 2:11       No meal offering that you present to Jehovah shall be made with leaven, for you shall not burn any leaven or any honey as an offering by fire to Jehovah.
Lev 2:12       You may present them to Jehovah, as an offering of firstfruits, but they shall not be offered up for a satisfying fragrance on the altar.
Lev 2:13       And every offering of your meal offering you shall season with salt, and you shall not omit the salt of the covenant of your God from your meal offering; with all your offerings you shall present salt.
Lev 2:14       And if you present a meal offering of firstfruits to Jehovah, you shall present for the meal offering of your firstfruits new grain roasted with fire, crushed grain of the fresh ear.
Lev 2:15       And you shall put oil on it and place frankincense on it; it is a meal offering.
Lev 2:16       And the priest shall burn as its memorial portion some of its crushed grain and some of its oil, with all its frankincense, as an offering by fire to Jehovah.
a. The church is altogether a matter of life—the divine life and the uplifted, resurrected human life—Rom. 1:3-4.
Rom 1:3        Concerning His Son, who came out of the seed of David according to the flesh,
Rom 1:4        Who was designated the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness out of the resurrection of the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord;
b. The church has two natures—the human nature and the divine nature; thus, the church is both human and divine—Heb. 2:14, 11.
Heb 2:14       Since therefore the children have shared in blood and flesh, He also Himself in like manner partook of the same, that through death He might destroy him who has the might of death, that is, the devil,
Heb 2:11       For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of One, for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brothers,
B.     The church is a corporate partnership with Christ—3:14; 1:9:
Heb 3:14       For we have become partners of Christ, if indeed we hold fast the beginning of the assurance firm to the end—
Heb 1:9         You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of exultant joy above Your partners";
1. The goal of God’s operation in the universe is to accomplish a glorious expression of Himself—2:10; John 17:1, 5, 22, 24; Rev. 21:10-11.
Heb 2:10       For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and through whom are all things, in leading many sons into glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
John 17:1      These things Jesus spoke, and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son that the Son may glorify You;
John 17:5      And now, glorify Me along with Yourself, Father, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
John 17:22    And the glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, even as We are one;
John 17:24    Father, concerning that which You have given Me, I desire that they also may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory, which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
Rev 21:10     And he carried me away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,
Rev 21:11     Having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, as clear as crystal.
2. The firstborn Son is God’s appointed Heir, and we, the many sons, have been saved to be His joint heirs, inheriting not only salvation but also all things with Him—Heb. 1:14; Rom. 8:17; Gal. 4:7; Eph. 3:6; Titus 3:7.
Heb 1:14       Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth for service for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?
Rom 8:17      And if children, heirs also; on the one hand, heirs of God; on the other, joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him that we may also be glorified with Him.
Gal 4:7          So then you are no longer a slave but a son; and if a son, an heir also through God.
Eph 3:6         That in Christ Jesus the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the Body and fellow partakers of the promise through the gospel,
Titus 3:7        In order that having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
3. Since Christ as the firstborn Son of God is God’s appointed Heir and we as the many sons of God are His joint heirs, we are Christ’s partners—Heb. 1:9; 3:14.
Heb 1:9         You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of exultant joy above Your partners";
Heb 3:14       For we have become partners of Christ, if indeed we hold fast the beginning of the assurance firm to the end—
4. As Christ’s partners, we share in His anointing and cooperate with Him in His operation to reach the goal of God’s economy—the glorious expression of the Divine Being—1:9; 2 Cor. 1:21; Rev. 21:10-11.
Heb 1:9         You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of exultant joy above Your partners";
2 Cor 1:21     But the One who firmly attaches us with you unto Christ and has anointed us is God,
Rev 21:10     And he carried me away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,
Rev 21:11     Having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, as clear as crystal.
C.     The church, the enlargement of Christ, is the Sabbath rest—John 2:19, 21; 3:29a, 30; 1 Cor. 12:12; Heb. 3:6; 4:9:
John 2:19      Jesus answered and said to them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
John 2:21      But He spoke of the temple of His body.
John 3:29a    He who has the bride is the bridegroom;…
John 3:30      He must increase, but I must decrease.
1 Cor 12:12   For even as the body is one and has many members, yet all the members of the body, being many, are one body, so also is the Christ.
Heb 3:6         But Christ was faithful as a Son over His house, whose house we are if indeed we hold fast the boldness and the boast of hope firm to the end.
Heb 4:9         So then there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.
1. The individual Christ is God’s Sabbath (Matt. 11:28-29), and the church is the enlargement of Christ; therefore, the church is also God’s Sabbath rest.
Matt 11:28    Come to Me all who toil and are burdened, and I will give you rest.
Matt 11:29    Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
2. The church is God’s satisfaction and rest because in the church God has His habitation for His expression and representation—Eph. 2:22.
Eph 2:22       In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit.
D.     To come to the church is to come to the new covenant and to the heavenly New Jerusalem—Heb. 12:22-24; 8:7-13; 11:10, 16; Gal. 4:24-26:
Heb 12:22     But you have come forward to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem; and to myriads of angels, to the universal gathering;
Heb 12:23     And to the church of the firstborn, who have been enrolled in the heavens; and to God, the Judge of all; and to the spirits of righteous men who have been made perfect;
Heb 12:24     And to Jesus, the Mediator of a new covenant; and to the blood of sprinkling, which speaks something better than that of Abel.
Heb 8:7         For if that first covenant had been faultless, no place would have been sought for a second.
Heb 8:8         For finding fault with them He says, "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, and I will consummate a new covenant upon the house of Israel and upon the house of Judah,
Heb 8:9         Not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by their 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.
Heb 8:10       For this is the covenant which I will covenant with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will impart My laws into their mind, and on their hearts I will inscribe them; and I will be God to them, and they will be a people to Me.
Heb 8:11       And they shall by no means each teach his fellow citizen and each his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for all will know Me from the little one to the great one among them.
Heb 8:12       For I will be propitious to their unrighteousnesses, and their sins I shall by no means remember anymore."
Heb 8:13       In saying, A new covenant, He has made the first old. But that which is becoming old and growing decrepit is near to disappearing.
Heb 11:10     For he eagerly waited for the city which has the foundations, whose Architect and Builder is God.
Heb 11:16     But as it is, they long after a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
Gal 4:24        These things are spoken allegorically, for these women are two covenants, one from Mount Sinai, bringing forth children unto slavery, which is Hagar.
Gal 4:25        Now this Hagar is Sinai the mountain in Arabia and corresponds to the Jerusalem which now is, for she is in slavery with her children.
Gal 4:26        But the Jerusalem above is free, which is our mother;
1. The new covenant, the heavenly Jerusalem, and the church are one.
2. To receive the new covenant is to enter the New Jerusalem and come to the church:
a. Hebrews 8 indicates that the old covenant of law has been replaced by the new covenant.
Heb 8:1         Now in the things which are being said the chief point is this: We have such a High Priest, who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,
Heb 8:2         A Minister of the holy places, even of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man.
Heb 8:3         For every high priest is established for the offering of both gifts and sacrifices; hence it is necessary that this One also have something which He may offer.
Heb 8:4         Now then if He were on earth, He would not be a Priest at all, there being those who offer the gifts according to the law,
Heb 8:5         Who serve the example and shadow of the heavenly things, even as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to complete the tabernacle; for, "See," He said, "that you make all things according to the pattern that was shown to you in the mountain.'
Heb 8:6         But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry inasmuch as He is also the Mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted upon better promises.
Heb 8:7         For if that first covenant had been faultless, no place would have been sought for a second.
Heb 8:8         For finding fault with them He says, "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, and I will consummate a new covenant upon the house of Israel and upon the house of Judah,
Heb 8:9         Not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by their 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.
Heb 8:10       For this is the covenant which I will covenant with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will impart My laws into their mind, and on their hearts I will inscribe them; and I will be God to them, and they will be a people to Me.
Heb 8:11       And they shall by no means each teach his fellow citizen and each his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for all will know Me from the little one to the great one among them.
Heb 8:12       For I will be propitious to their unrighteousnesses, and their sins I shall by no means remember anymore."
Heb 8:13       In saying, A new covenant, He has made the first old. But that which is becoming old and growing decrepit is near to disappearing.
b. Hebrews 12 says that we have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, to the Mediator of a new covenant, and to the church—vv. 22-24.
Heb 12:22     But you have come forward to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem; and to myriads of angels, to the universal gathering;
Heb 12:23     And to the church of the firstborn, who have been enrolled in the heavens; and to God, the Judge of all; and to the spirits of righteous men who have been made perfect;
Heb 12:24     And to Jesus, the Mediator of a new covenant; and to the blood of sprinkling, which speaks something better than that of Abel.
E.      The church is the unshakable kingdom of God—v. 28:
Heb 12:28     Therefore receiving an unshakable kingdom, let us have grace, through which we may serve God well-pleasingly with piety and fear;
1. The unshakable kingdom that we are receiving is Christ with His enlargement:
a. The kingdom is actually the Lord Himself as the kingdom within us— Luke 17:20-21; Mark 4:3, 26.
Luke 17:20    And when He was questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, The kingdom of God does not come with observation;
Luke 17:21    Nor will they say, Behold, here it is! or, There! For behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.
Mark 4:3       Listen! Behold, the sower went out to sow.
Mark 4:26     And He said, So is the kingdom of God: as if a man cast seed on the earth,
b. Whereas the church is Christ’s increase in life, the kingdom is Christ’s increase in administration.
2. In the church, we are living in the kingdom of God today—John 3:3, 5; Rom. 14:17; Rev. 1:9.
John 3:3        Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
John 3:5        Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Rom 14:17    For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Rev 1:9         I John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and endurance in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
 
III.  Hebrews 13:1-19 speaks of the virtues and the experiences needed for the practice of the church life:
Heb 13:1       Let brotherly love continue.
Heb 13:2       Do not forget hospitality, for through this some, without knowing it, have entertained angels.
Heb 13:3       Remember those who are imprisoned as bound with them, those who are ill-treated as being yourselves also likewise treated in body.
Heb 13:4       Let marriage be held in honor among all, and the bed undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
Heb 13:5       Let your way of life be without the love of money, being satisfied with the things which are at hand; for He Himself has said, "I shall by no means give you up, neither by any means shall I abandon you";
Heb 13:6       So that being of good courage, we say, "The Lord is my Helper, and I will not fear. What shall man do to me?"
Heb 13:7       Remember the ones leading you, who have spoken to you the word of God; and considering the issue of their manner of life, imitate their faith.
Heb 13:8       Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes, even forever.
Heb 13:9       Do not be carried away by various strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be confirmed by grace, not by the food of sacrifices, by which those who walk were not profited.
Heb 13:10     We have an altar from which they who are serving the tabernacle have no right to eat.
Heb 13:11     For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the Holy of Holies for sin by the high priest are burned up outside the camp.
Heb 13:12     Therefore also Jesus, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.
Heb 13:13     Let us therefore go forth unto Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.
Heb 13:14     For we do not have here a remaining city, but we seek after the one to come.
Heb 13:15     Through Him then let us offer up a sacrifice of praise continually to God, that is, the fruit of lips confessing His name.
Heb 13:16     But do not forget doing good and sharing with others, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
Heb 13:17     Obey the ones leading you and submit to them, for they watch over your souls as those who will render an account, that they may do this with joy and not groaning; for this would be unprofitable to you.
Heb 13:18     Pray for us, for we are persuaded that we have a good conscience, desiring in all things to conduct ourselves honorably.
Heb 13:19     And I exhort you much more to do this that I may be restored to you more quickly.
A.     As indicated by its content, this chapter was written with a view to a proper church life; nearly everything mentioned here, such as brotherly love and hospitality, is for the church life, not only for the Christian life—vv. 1-7, 16-18.
Heb 13:1       Let brotherly love continue.
Heb 13:2       Do not forget hospitality, for through this some, without knowing it, have entertained angels.
Heb 13:3       Remember those who are imprisoned as bound with them, those who are ill-treated as being yourselves also likewise treated in body.
Heb 13:4       Let marriage be held in honor among all, and the bed undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
Heb 13:5       Let your way of life be without the love of money, being satisfied with the things which are at hand; for He Himself has said, "I shall by no means give you up, neither by any means shall I abandon you";
Heb 13:6       So that being of good courage, we say, "The Lord is my Helper, and I will not fear. What shall man do to me?"
Heb 13:7       Remember the ones leading you, who have spoken to you the word of God; and considering the issue of their manner of life, imitate their faith.
Heb 13:16     But do not forget doing good and sharing with others, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
Heb 13:17     Obey the ones leading you and submit to them, for they watch over your souls as those who will render an account, that they may do this with joy and not groaning; for this would be unprofitable to you.
Heb 13:18     Pray for us, for we are persuaded that we have a good conscience, desiring in all things to conduct ourselves honorably.
B.     For a true and steadfast church life, we must hold on to the Christ who is the same yesterday and today, and even forever, and must not be carried away by various strange teachings—vv. 8-9.
Heb 13:8       Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes, even forever.
Heb 13:9       Do not be carried away by various strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be confirmed by grace, not by the food of sacrifices, by which those who walk were not profited.
C.     The more we are in our spirit, enjoying the heavenly Christ, the more we will come outside the camp of religion, following the suffering Jesus—vv. 12-14.
Heb 13:12     Therefore also Jesus, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.
Heb 13:13     Let us therefore go forth unto Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.
Heb 13:14     For we do not have here a remaining city, but we seek after the one to come.
D.     Since in the church life we enjoy the unchanging Christ as grace and follow Him outside religion, we should offer through Him spiritual sacrifices of praise to God—v. 15:
Heb 13:15     Through Him then let us offer up a sacrifice of praise continually to God, that is, the fruit of lips confessing His name.
1. In the church we should offer up through Christ a sacrifice of praise to God continually.
2. In the church He sings in us hymns of praise unto God the Father (2:12), and in the church we too should praise God the Father through Him.
Heb 2:12       Saying, "I will declare Your name to My brothers; in the midst of the church I will sing hymns of praise to You."
3. Eventually, in the church He and we, we and He, praise the Father together in the mingled spirit—v. 12; 13:15:
Heb 2:12       Saying, "I will declare Your name to My brothers; in the midst of the church I will sing hymns of praise to You."
Heb 13:15     Through Him then let us offer up a sacrifice of praise continually to God, that is, the fruit of lips confessing His name.
a. He, as the life-giving Spirit, praises the Father in our spirit, and we, by our spirit, praise the Father in His Spirit.
b. This is the best and highest sacrifice that we can offer to God through Christ the Son.
c. This is greatly needed in the church meetings.
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