Sunday, 24th April 6.00 pm Order of Service

Good morning,

Once again, apologies for this coming so late in the week.

I am attaching and appending the order of service for this Sunday Evening (24th April).

I hope you will make it out to the Evening Service this week.

Yours,

Hugh

U & G Sunday 24th April 2022 6pm

WELCOME

HYMN I’m not ashamed to own my Lord(At the Cross)

I‟m not ashamed to own my Lord,

or to defend His cause;

maintain the glory of His cross

and honour all His laws.

Chorus

At the cross, at the cross, where I

first saw the light,

and the burden of my heart rolled away,

it was there by faith I received my sight,

and now I am happy all the day.

Jesus, my Lord! I know His name,

His name is all my boast;

nor will He put my soul to shame,

nor let my hope be lost.

I know that safe with Him remains,

protected by His power,

what I’ve committed to His hands

till the decisive hour.

Then will He own His servant’s name

before His Father’s face;

and, in the new Jerusalem,

appoint my soul a place.

PRAYER

READING Hebrews 8:1-13

Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being.

Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.

For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said:

“The days are coming, declares the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.

9

It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,
and I turned away from them,
declares the Lord.

10

This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel
after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds
and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.

11

No longer will they teach their neighbour,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.

12

For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”

13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.

SERMON 8 New and Better

8:1-2 The High Priest of a New Covenant – The Aaronic Priesthood Superceded

That he has Sid up until now, and especially all that is in Chapter 7! The Aaronic priesthood giveswayto the one in the order of Melchizedek; the Old Covenant giveswaytothe New; the earthly sanctuary giveswayto the heavenly; temporary, token sacrifices givewayto the one great sacrifice that is both effective and eternal (8:1-2).

This is the true sanctuary at the right hand of God Himself in His glorious heaven. It operates in the realm where there is eternal rest (Chs. 3 and 4), the eternal city (11:10,16); the unshakable kingdom (12:28). It operates in the arena of God’s truth and reality; it is nota copy, imitation, shadow or sham, in any sense of these words.

8:3-7 A More Excellent Ministry – What Does This Great High Priest Actually Do?

The Aaronic high priests offered ‘giftsandsacrificesforsins’, which tend not to be distinguished from each other, but basically mean ‘offerings’. This is revealed in the case of Christ in His offering of HIMSELF (7:27; 9:14), an offering that is not, in any sense, repeatedorcontinual in frequency. It was onceonly!(8:3).

Jesus could never have carried out the old form of making offerings on earth, for there were others appointed to do that and they were not even from Jesus’ own family or tribe. Christ’s high priesthood was totally uniqueanddistinct – valid in heaven, by a perfect sacrifice, offered just once for all (8:4).

The earthly sanctuary was a mere ‘copy’ or ‘shadow’ or ‘replica’ of the heavenly reality, based on instructions given on Mount Sinai (Exod 25:9,40; 26:30; 27:8).

In other words, the Levitical order foreshadowedthe spiritualorderof the new age that would come with the work of the Jesus Christ (8:5).

Byhugecontrast, says our author in 8:6, Christ ministers in the heavenly dwelling-place itself and this ministry is therefore superior to any earthly ministry. It is superior also because of the superiorcovenant out of which the power is ministered, Christ Himself being the Mediator.

Christ does indeed rescue and reclaim sinners, but by offering Himself, through death, as our substitute. God’s holiness and justice demands that a price be paid for the penalty that wehave incurred. God’s call for justice mustbe satisfied, but Christ makes it possible by His sacrifice of Himself ‘to demonstratehisjusticeatthepresenttime,soastobejustandtheonewhojustifiesthosewhohavefaithinJesus’ (Rom 3:26).

This New Covenant, foretold in Jeremiah 31:31ff and mediated by Christ, was necessary because of the inadequacy and insufficiency of the Old Covenant. Our writer to the Hebrews will now explain this to his readers.

8:8-13 A Better And Superior Covenant

These verses came through Jeremiah in 31:31-34 but our writer’s main concern here is to stress that the pronouns ‘I’, ‘me’ and ‘my’ all refer to the Lord God Himself. Itisfromhim! Heb 8:8-9 records God’s covenant with Israel when He freed them from Egypt – recorded in Exod. 24:1-8; Heb 9:18-20; Jer. 7:23.But thepeoplerejectedthiscovenantand this sad and sorry state of affairs is outlined in Jer. 7:23-26.

Prophets tried to call the people back to their covenant loyalty (Jer. 11:6).

The promise of blessings for obedience and the warning of curse for disobedience attended these prophetic pleas.

There was an apparent revival and re-commitment to the covenant in 621 BC in Josiah’s reign, rooted it seems in the ‘bookofthelaw’ – probably Deuteronomy – and mentioned in 2 Kings 23:3; Deut. 29:1. The king’s turning back to God and covenant seems to have been genuine enough, but the re-dedication of others much less so, as evidenced in Jer. 3:10!

Shallowness and nominalism seemed to have been the order of the days, months and years that passed. Both Israel and Judah suffered very dark times and Jeremiah prophesied a covenantthatwasentirelynew(Jer. 31:31ff).

This new covenant was to have certain distinctive features that marked it out –

  1. The Setting of God’s Law in their Hearts (Heb 8:10) Deut. 6:6-9 had already laid down various ways in which God’s law could be remembered/ memorised. Much more than that, however, was needed to ensure an active and living obedience to that law and Ezekiel hit the nail on the head in this regard – Ezek. 11:19f.; Rom 8:1ff. The desperate need was for a new heart, indeed a new nature, plus the knowledge and power actually todohiswill! Many times, in Scripture comes the promise that God will be our God and we will be His people, but it is in the NewCovenantthat a new power, and therefore a new life, become a reality at last.
  1. The Knowledge of God by Personal Experience (Heb 8:11) There was a sense in which the Israel of old knew its God, but clearly, they very readily forgot their God and wandered away so easily to other gods – see Judges 2:10; Hosea 4:1,6; 6:6; Jer 22:15f. The writer here intends the idea of a personal knowledge of God, born of a personal and intimate relationship, through the possession of a new heart, by God’s Spirit at work. This is part of our ‘perfection’ as we grow into Christian maturity.
  1. The Forgiveness of our Sins (Heb 8:12) Forgiveness of sin had always been a mark of the divine character in the eras of Moses (Exod. 34:6f), Micah (Mic. 7:18f), Isaiah (Isa 43:25; 44:22). This pardon is a vital part of the very idea of a personal relationship with God.

These are therefore the ‘better promises’ on which the New Covenant is built. In this Letter to the Hebrews, the New Covenant did mean the abolition of the old sacrificial order by a perfect and unrepeatable sacrifice and the ministry of a high priest rooted in, and founded on, that one great sacrifice.

The promise of a transformed life under this New Covenant hasbeenprovedby many down the running centuries of time over these past two millennia – see Romans 8:3f. This is not just for the house of Israel and the house of Judah (8:8) but for all nations. Now obsolete are the old covenant of Moses, the Aaronic priesthood, the earthly sanctuary and the Levitical sacrifices (8:13) which had all been set up under that covenant.

8:13 might suggest that the Temple had not yet actually fallen and thus that the old era had not quite fully disappeared. The era of law and prophets is past; the age of the Son and the Spirit is here and will always be here in the new order inaugurated by that great High Priest, the very Christ of God Himself.

God has shown Himself to us in a new and living way – a lasting way – a loving way. Nothing and no-one can break the bonds between God and His beloved children. He is able and He is willing to take us all the way through this life – and into the promised life beyond the grave, to be with Him for ever and ever.

PRAYER

Hymn What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought

  1. 1.What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought
    Since Jesus came into my heart;
    I have light in my soul for which long I have sought,
    Since Jesus came into my heart.
  • Refrain:
    Since Jesus came into my heart,
    Since Jesus came into my heart;
    Floods of joy o’er my soul like the sea billows roll,
    Since Jesus came into my heart.
  1. 2.I’m possessed of a hope that is steadfast and sure,
    Since Jesus came into my heart;
    And no dark clouds of doubt now my pathway obscure,
    Since Jesus came into my heart.
  1. 3.I shall go there to dwell in that City I know,
    Since Jesus came into my heart;
    And I’m happy, so happy as onward I go,
    Since Jesus came into my heart.

Benediction

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