This Sunday, Pastor Joey is going to be preaching on Hebrews 7. I would encourage you to read that chapter, as well utilizing the commentary written by John MacArthur that we have provided as you prepare to engage your heart and mind with this Sunday’s service.
To help you prepare for this Sunday, I would like to take a look at a few verses within this passage and highlight a theme that Joey will be preaching on.
“For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God” Hebrews 7:18-19.
In his sermon, Pastor Joey talks about the two primary purposes of the Law of God. First, the law of God reveals the character of God. God is holy. The holiness of God refers both to the absolute moral purity of His character and His being completely set apart from everything that is not holy. God is completely perfect in all of His attributes, and His law is a reflection of His perfection.
The second purpose is to reveal to us our sinfulness. God is holy, and will by no means clear the guilty (Exodus 34:7). This presents a serious problem for us, because we are guilty. We have all sinned and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). There is no one who does good, not even one (Psalm 14:3). The law of God tells us that God is holy, and we are not, and that’s a big problem.
Hebrews 7:18 tells us that the law is powerless to make us perfect. This does not mean that the law is a bad thing. Sin is our disease, and the law of God is our diagnosis. A disease cannot be cured simply by receiving a diagnosis, yet without a diagnosis, we would never know that we needed a cure. The law tells us that we are desperately sick and in need of a cure.
Verse 19 tells us that “a better hope is introduced; through which we draw near to God.” What is that better hope?
God has made a way for us to draw near to Him apart from our own obedience to the law. God can rightfully say to us that there is “therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” because He “has done what the law could not do, by sending His own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us” (Rom. 8:1-4). We can now “draw near with confidence to the throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:16) because Jesus has offered up Himself as the spotless lamb of God to be sacrificed in our place. Jesus had no sin, yet Paul says that God, by sending His Son, “condemned sin in the flesh”. How can Jesus be condemned for sin in His flesh if He never sinned Himself? The answer is that He was condemned in the place of His chosen people. He was “pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5). Jesus obeyed the law perfectly in our place, and was punished in our place. And when we place our faith in Him, our sin is imputed to Him and His righteousness is imputed to us. So when we stand before a holy God, we are not only seen as forgiven, but righteous. This could never be done by our obedience to the law. “Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ” (Galatians 2:16).
Christ is now our perfect High Priest. He has offered the once for all sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 9:26), and now daily intercedes on our behalf. Because of the person and work of Jesus Christ, we can now draw near to God with confidence. Commentator Matthew Henry writes:
“The priesthood of Christ carries in it, and brings along with it, a better hope; it shows us the true foundation of all the hope we have towards God for pardon and salvation; it more clearly discovers the great objects of our hope; and so it tends to work in us a more strong and lively hope of acceptance with God…We may now draw near with a true heart, and with the full assurance of faith.”
In this way, Jesus is greater than the law. He alone is our hope of drawing near to God. The law shows us that we are weak and that we are unworthy to call on God’s name. But because of His grace and mercy revealed in the person and work of His Beloved Son, we can now stand before His throne unashamed.
Order of Service
Before the Throne of God Above (Hebrews 5:1-10)
Memorial Day Video: The Sacrifice of One
Welcome and Announcements
Scripture Reading: Romans 10:9-11
This Confession (1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Hebrews 8:1-2)
Forever (We Sing Hallelujah) (1 Corinthians 15)
Behold Our God (Job 38-41)
Sermon: A Great High Priest (Hebrews 7)
Offertory and Closing Song: This Confession