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Ephesians; 1:4 – Election of church age believer, part 37. Seeking help.

EPHESIANS-1-190104
length: 49:43 - taught on Jan, 4 2019
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Friday January 4, 2019

 

After his warning about the dangers of disobedience, the writer now turns to the priesthood.

 

HEB 4:14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

 

Our high priest is superior to any who came before Him. The writer is going to prove this with five contrasts between Jesus and the Levitical priesthood.

 

There are ten times more stars in the night sky then there are grains of sand in the world’s deserts and beaches. Jesus has passed above them all and has taken you and I with Him.  

 

We need to take advantage of the kind of high priest we have.

 

Jesus, our high priest, has passed through the heavens, and so He is able to bring each of us, His elect, royal priests, into the very presence of God in the third heaven.

 

EPH 4:10 He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.

 

He takes us there with Him. Our position is with Him, seated with Him, and in the holy of holies that is in heaven. When we pray, asking for others, worshipping God, and seeking help for ourselves, we are drawing experientially right into that presence. Would we think such a privilege as trivial? And if we do, our prayer life is weak and our relationship with Him is not personal enough.

 

Every believer possesses the position of elect, royal priest. Having such a priesthood, “let us hold fast our confession,” that Jesus is the Messiah, and every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord.

 

No matter how much opposition (from others or your own flesh) or persecution, there should be no fear leading to compromise since our high priest has ascended to the throne of all authority.

 

HEB 4:14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

 

HEB 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.

 

Jesus suffered in exactly the same way as these Christian Jews did, He was persecuted by His family. He was mocked by them. They came out to “speak with Him,” which likely means they wanted to stifle His claims as Messiah.

 

As a Man He has suffered and so He can sympathize with our suffering. He was tempted in the same areas that all of us are.

 

But not only did He suffer in the way that these readers have, but He was tempted with everything. Every type of temptation we have face, He faced, but He did not sin.

 

HEB 2:17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

 

HEB 2:18 For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.

 

His ascendance did not alter His humanity. He continues to sympathize.  

 

This does not mean that Jesus was tempted with everything everyone has ever been tempted with. He was never tempted to spend all day on social media. He was never tempted with not loving His wife or exasperating His children since He didn’t have any of these things. However, He was tempted in all areas. If we take the areas that are in 1Jo 2, these are the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the boastful pride of life. Every temptation would fit into these categories, and in fact, the three temptations leveled against Jesus by Satan fit directly into those three categories.

 

Also, on the other hand, we don’t face all of His temptations. We will never be tempted to turn stones into bread. Yet, as hungry as He was, this was a temptation of the lust of the flesh, which He refused. He was shown the kingdoms of the earth, which is lust of the eyes. And, He was called to throw Himself down off the Temple, which was a temptation of pride. These are the ones mentioned. There had to have been many more.

 

Our high priest is sympathetic towards our weaknesses. This is a fact that gives us great comfort. It is also a fact that enables us to approach Him with boldness and confidence. We all need help to overcome the sin that so easily entangles us and:

 

If we thought we were going to receive judgment or condemnation when we approached Him with our weaknesses, then we would more likely than not choose not to approach Him.  

 

Jesus bled like we do. He hungered and thirsted. He was mocked and ridiculed. He was abandoned. He was alone. He was poor. He was weakened with pressure. He wept.

 

Being sympathized with is a great comfort. Being sympathized with by the Lord Jesus Christ who died for us is the greatest of all comfort.

 

2CO 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort;

 

2CO 1:4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

 

He had zero sin. He had no relationship with sin, but He knew the temptation of it in all points.

 

HEB 4:14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

 

HEB 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.

 

HEB 4:16 Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.

 

We need lots of help. When the believer comes to terms with the truth of his position and places his life completely in the hands of God, sin will bother him more than it ever has.

 

I say this, not so much from a theological point of view, but from a realistic application to our lives.

 

The reality is that the more you love the plan of God the more disappointed you will be in yourself when you violate it by sinning. You must not despair. You must hold on to grace. You are forgiven and there is no condemnation. Move on in grace!

 

With this love of the way of Christ, we must be careful, for we can despair. Despair leads to doubt and doubt to taking the sidelines in self-pity. This is a trap. There is a reason we are told so much about the grace of God and there is a reason that there is never really an adequate definition for that word, for it is unfathomable.

 

“Man’s definition of grace is always shallow and deficient. The best definition is still wanting. Grace is an inexhaustible subject. When we think we have a grip on it, we’re wowed all over again with another facet of God’s immense grace.” [Moses Onwubiko; Grace News Today, vol. 73]

 

ROM 7:24-25

Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

 

1JO 2:12

I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake.

 

Therefore, we must draw near to heaven as royal priests.

 

We pray to the Father and we draw near through the name of Christ, our high priest. We do so with confidence and we find grace and mercy to help us in our times of need. We must take full advantage of the fact that our high priest, the humanity of Christ, is far above the heavens and interceding for us. He alone can take us to this presence, the very throne of Almighty God where grace and mercy give us help.

 

Its type is the mercy seat.

 

It was here that the blood was sprinkled that made atonement for all the people. Yet, the Day of Atonement was a type. It did not propitiate God. Any Jew who thought his years’ worth of sin was actually redeemed by the blood on the mercy seat was terribly mistaken. The blood represented the seed of Abraham, the Son of David who was to come.

 

HEB 10:1 For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never by the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near.

 

HEB 10:2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins?

 

HEB 10:3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year.

 

HEB 10:4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

 

HEB 10:5 Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says,

 

"Sacrifice and offering Thou hast not desired,

But a body Thou hast prepared for Me;

 

HEB 10:6 In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin Thou hast taken no pleasure.

 

HEB 10:7 "Then I said, 'Behold, I have come

 (In the roll of the book it is written of Me)

To do Thy will, O God.'"

 

HEB 10:8 After saying above, "Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin Thou hast not desired, nor hast Thou taken pleasure in them" (which are offered according to the Law),

 

HEB 10:9 then He said, "Behold, I have come to do Thy will." He takes away the first in order to establish the second.

 

HEB 10:10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

 

HEB 10:11 And every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins;

 

HEB 10:12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God,

 

HEB 10:13 waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet.

 

HEB 10:14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.

 

But now, not in token, but in fact, and so we have a very real and constant available divine help in all that we need. Our greatest need is mature spiritual faith, and for this we must obey. He is not going to make us obey if we ask Him.

 

But we should know the things that make for obedience and disobedience, and these things, we must fully seek His help, and when we do, we will find it clothed with mercy and grace.

 

The royal priest must be clean in his thinking and conduct and he can only do this with the help of his high priest, Jesus Christ.

 

Because we have such a high priest, we have marched right into the holy of holies with Him, through His torn flesh.

 

HEB 10:15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,

 

HEB 10:16 "This is the covenant that I will make with them

After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws upon their heart,

And upon their mind I will write them,"

 

He then says,

 

HEB 10:17 "And their sins and their lawless deeds

I will remember no more."

 

HEB 10:18 Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.

 

Yet then, because we have so great a high priest, we as king priests keep right on going into the holy of holies.

 

HEB 10:19 Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,

 

HEB 10:20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,

 

HEB 10:21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God,

 

HEB 10:22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

 

HEB 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;

 

HEB 10:24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,

 

HEB 10:25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.

 

The priest in the holy of holies walks with God with a sincere heart full of assurance of faith, drawing near with confidence even though in practice he is not perfect.

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