Jesus—A Fitting High Priest

<strong>Jesus—A Fitting High Priest</strong>

Jesus came to earth to fulfill the will of His Father and to accomplish all of the prophecies concerning Him that had been made in the Bible.  He has satisfied every one of those goals perfectly and completely, praise the Lord!  Thanks to Jesus, all believers are blessed beyond measure.

He, the very one who descended, is also the one who ascended above all the heavens, in order to fill all things.  (Eph 4:10 NET)

Jesus ascended into Heaven after the resurrection, and was seated at the right hand of the Father God.  Jesus has dominion, power and authority over all things; and He is the head of the church.

. . . which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.  22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.  (Eph 1:20-23 NKJV)

The point of the book of Hebrews is that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, has not just come to fit into the earthly system of priestly ministry as the best and final human priest, but He has come to fulfill and put an end to that system.  He came to orient all of our attention on His ministering on our behalf in heaven.   Hallelujah!

The Old Testament tabernacle and priests and sacrifices were shadows. They were indications of the truth that was yet to come. Now the reality has come to pass, and the shadows pass away.

For this next verse, we’ll look at two different versions of it:

Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.  (Heb 7:26 NIV)

It’s appropriate for us to have this kind of high priest: holy, innocent, incorrupt, separate from sinners, and raised high above the heavens.  (Heb 7:26 CEB)

As a High Priest, Jesus meets all of our needs and fulfills all of His spiritual and supernatural roles throughout eternity.  We serve a living, powerful, and loving God.

What We KNOW as Believers

What We KNOW as Believers

We, as Christians, don’t have to wonder or hope or try to get faith.  We need to stop and consider what we know.  Our key verse for this study is in 2 Timothy:

. . . for I KNOW whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that day.  (2 Tim 1:12b KJV)

For we KNOW JESUS, our Savior and Lord, with whom we have a living, vital relationship—Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God!  (Mt 16:16; 26:63; Joh 6:69) To KNOW someone means to have a relationship with, to comprehend, and to have experienced who they truly are as a person.

As a matter of fact, because we have received Jesus Christ as our Savior, Redeemer and Lord, we are now known as SONS OF THE LIVING GOD!  (Rom 9:26)  Hallelujah!

These are some of the vital things that we KNOW as believers:

  • That the Lord has set us apart for Himself; the Lord will hear us when we call upon Him!  (Ps 4:3) 
  • That because we are set apart for God (His anointed), He will answer us with the saving strength of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ps 20:6)
  • That the Lord is great, and He is above all gods.  (Ps 135:5)
  • That God’s works are marvelous.  (Ps 139:14)
  • That Jesus is the Holy One of God. (Mk 1:24c; Lk 4:34c)
  • We know the mysteries of the kingdom of God.  (Lk 8:10)
  • We know Jesus, our Good Shepherd.  (Joh 10:14)
  • We know the Lord, because He dwells with us, and He lives in us.  (Joh 14:17)
  • We know that Jesus dwells in the Father; we dwell in Jesus; and Jesus dwells in us.  (Joh 14:20)
  • That wherever we go, we carry the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.  (Rom 15:29)
  • That we have received the Spirit who is from God through whom we know the things that have been freely given to us by God.  (1 Cor 2:12; 1 Joh 4:12-14)
  • We are the temple of God and the Holy Spirit dwells within each believer.  (1 Cor 3:16; 6:19)
  • That we are in Christ because we keep His Word, and the love of God is perfected in us.  (1 Joh 2:5)
  • That Jesus was manifested to take away our sins and in Him there is no sin.  (1 Joh 3:5)
  • That we have passed from death to life because we love the brethren.  (1 Joh 3:14)
  • We know the Spirit of God because we confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, and He is from God.  (1 Joh 4:2)
  • That we are born of God and know God because we love one another, and love is of God.  (1 Joh 4:7)
  • We know that we have eternal life because we believe in the name of the Son of God and will continue to do so.  (1 Joh 5:13)

The Living Word

The Living Word

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  (Heb 4:12 ESV)

What does “living” mean?  It means:

  • alive [full of life];
  • animate [having life], or
  • sentient [aware; able to perceive or feel things].

This passage of Scripture tells us that the written Word of God is alive and active—even that it is able to recognize and to perceive the plans and objectives of our hearts.  That’s pretty amazing, isn’t it?  As we read God’s Word, His Word reads each one of us.

The Bible is the message given to mankind from the Living God, who is our Savior and Redeemer.  Jesus spoke of the life-giving characteristic of His Words:  “The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.” (Joh 6:63)

Other Bible verses showing that God’s Word is alive:

  • It sustains man. (Lk 4:4)
  • It gives faith. (Rom 10:17)
  • It is unlimited. (2 Tim 2:9c)
  • It produces spiritual birth. (1 Pet 1:23)
  • It abides in believers. (1 Joh 2:14)

We can see that the life inherent in the Word produces much fruit:

  • in the lives of sinners who have repented;
  • in removing sinful habits from people’s lives; and
  • in signs, wonders, and miracles.

Don’t take the Bible for granted.  Don’t relegate it to the background of your life, but keep it front and center.  Read it, study it, and enjoy it!  It is the veritable power of God in your life.

The Word of God

The Word of God

For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective].  It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart.  (Heb 4:12 AMP)

This verse of the Bible from the Amplified Version is quite clear on the penetrating, discerning power of the Word of God.  How often do we think about the truth that the Scriptures are imbued with God’s power?

Because they are, it is vital that we make use of the Scriptures as a tool, a medicine, a comfort, a basis for praising God, and as our weapon.

The Scriptures were fashioned by God to:

  • Accomplish their task (Josh 21:45; 23:14; Isa 46:10,11),
  • Stand forever (Isa 40:8; 46:10-11; Mt 24:35; Mk 13:31; Lk 21:33; 1 Pet 1:23-25), and
  • Never lie (Num 23:19; 1 Sam 15:29).

There are many mysteries connected with Christianity, but one thing that we can be sure of is that God honors and upholds His own Word.  Do a little studying into the various Scripture references cited above.  You’ll be impressed. 

The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations.  (Ps 33:11)

We do well to highly value the Scriptures. 

The God of the Living

The God of the Living

But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?  (27) He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living.  You are therefore greatly mistaken.  (Mk 12:26-27) 

Jesus is speaking with the Sadducees, who did not believe in resurrection from the dead.

In verse 27, the word mistaken correctly communicates deceived.  This indicates to me that there is an important point hidden in this verse that we need to investigate.

Jesus was discussing resurrection from the dead with the Sadducees, and the disciples were pleased with Jesus’ statement above in Mark 12:27, since they felt it was His verbal victory. 

We can see that the gospel of Luke echoes the main point:

 For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.  (Lk 20:38)

This verse reminds us that “all live to Him,” meaning that to the Lord, no human being is ever dead or will be, but all mankind sustain an abiding conscious relation to Him. (Source of italicized, bold type material:   Jamieson, Faussett & Brown)

The “all” who live to Him mean “those accounted worthy to obtain that world.”  (see Lk 20:35)  They maintain a loving covenant relationship with the Lord which will never end.   

How helpful is this to us in the here and now?  The Bible states that God made mankind in His own image.  (Gen 1:26a; 27; 9:6)  Because we’re made in the image of God, once a human being has been born on this earth, it means that their soul [the essence of their identity and consciousness] will live for eternity.

For we know that if our earthly house [our body], this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  (2 Cor 5:1, bracketed comment added)

We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.  (2 Cor 5:8, emphasis added)

That is why God provided our salvation through Jesus Christ, so that we could spend eternity with Him.  We live unto God while here in the flesh; and when we vacate our body, we go on to live with the Lord in Heaven. 

We serve the living God (1 Thes 1:9; Heb 9:14)—the God of the living.  Hallelujah!

The Living & Active Word

The Living & Active Word

For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective].  It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart.  (Heb 4:12 AMP)

I really appreciate this version of the above Scripture passage.  It amplifies our understanding of what the writer may have been thinking as this was written. 

It makes it clear that God’s Word is alive and powerful; that God’s Word can read us, and it can reveal us to ourselves!  Most of us keenly need God to do that for us, because we don’t truly know ourselves. 

This is why the Bible tells us that the Word is like a mirror.

For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;  for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.  But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.  (James 1:23-25)

Let us read the Word and allow it to introduce us to ourselves!  As we come to know the Word more thoroughly, we will come to know ourselves more honestly.  And we’ll experience the incomparable love of God, without which, we could not have been saved! 

Love the Word; read the Word; embrace the Word—and LIVE!

God’s Word in My Mouth, Part 1

God’s Word in My Mouth, Part 1

In my life’s experiences, I’ve discovered that God’s Word coming forth from my own lips builds my faith, attracts heavenly intervention, and brings about victory!  Glory to God!

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  (Romans 10:8, 9 NKJV)

It comes back to the question:  “Whose report will you believe?” 

I’ve made a decision to value God’s Word in my life more than anyone else’s—more than my own word, more than my loved ones’ words, more than my friends’ words, and more than the words of my extended family members!

Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: “That you may be justified in your words, and may overcome when you are judged.”  (Romans 3:4 NKJV)

God and His Word are inseparable because all of God’s power and might is invested in the Words He speaks.  His Words are creative.  The Words have power in themselves to bring themselves to pass!  That’s pretty awesome AND it gives me great confidence, faith, and trust in His Word.

Then said the Lord unto me, “Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten My Word to perform it.”  (Jeremiah 1:12 KJV)

For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  (Heb. 4:12 NKJV)

When I speak God’s Word and teach God’s Word—whether to myself or to others—it attracts all of the power of the Kingdom of God!  Hebrews 1:3 tells us that Jesus upholds ALL things by the Word of His power! 

Be bold and courageous and begin speaking God’s Word out of YOUR mouth with firm faith and expectation.