Privileges of the New Covenant (Hebrews 8:3-13)

Pastor Anthony Bacino, March 17, 2019
Part of the Exposition of Hebrews series, preached at a Sunday Morning service


Dr. Karl Menninger was an American psychiatrist who founded the Menninger Foundation and Clinic in Topeka, Kansas. He believed that the number one reason that most people ended up in psychiatric hospitals was guilt. If they could just confess their guilt and know they were forgiven, 75% of them could leave the hospital that day, he said. The solution to guilt is to openly confess our sins to God and if one is saved they need forget and move on. Come clean. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. But since our greatest need was forgiveness, God sent us a Savior and with the finished work of the Christ came a new covenant a complete covenant. That is at the heart of this next passage. The writer of Hebrews anticipates the logical question: “If Jesus has made the once-for-all sacrifice for our sins and is seated in the throne room in heaven, what is He doing now?”

I Remember His purpose and promises (8:3-6).

1. Jesus is seated on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty (8:1) because there are no more sacrifices to make. ¬He has finished the work of salvation. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. (John 17:4)

2. Listen to Hebrews 10:11. It says this. “And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering often the same sacrifices which can never take away sins. But this man,” verse 12, “after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down.” The night before His crucifixion, Jesus pray, “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. (John 17:5)

No earthly priest could ever sit while he was ministering in fact there were no seats in the tabernacle. Therefore, every high priest continually had to of¬fer gifts and sacrifices (8:3a). Sacrifices were blood offerings for the cleansing from sin. Gifts were meal offerings given to represent personal dedication and thanksgiving.

Both had to be offered to God through a priest. In the same way we Christians have free access to Him. However, we cannot praise God, thank God, or dedicate ourselves to God apart from our High Priest, Jesus Christ. Colossians 3:17 explain this fact– And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

3. Even after we are saved we still need Jesus to minister on our behalf. We cannot even come into God’s presence to thank Him except in the name of the Lord Jesus. If Jesus were on earth, He wouldn’t be a priest because at the time Hebrews was written there were already priests to offer what was required by the Law (8:4). During His earthly ministry, Jesus never tried to serve as a priest because He was not part of the old Leviti¬cal system.

His ministry was not in the earthly tabernacle, which later became the temple. The priests of Jesus’ day served in a tem¬ple that, like the tabernacle, was only an example and shadow of the true tabernacle in heaven (8:5a). God’s holy place is heaven. And if you want another cross-reference, check out Psalm 102:19, which calls heaven God’s sanctuary. And so it is that God has a holy place in heaven, and that’s where Jesus ministers. Hebrews 8:5c re¬veals what God told Moses on Mount Sinai.

4. The word translated example means “copy.” So, the earthly tabernacle and Levitical priesthood were just copies of the real things in heaven. If I offered you the choice between a copy of a $100 bill and the real thing, which would you rather have? Why would anyone want a copy when they can have the real thing? The word pattern is the Greek word “tü’-pos” which means type or example to be imitated.

In the same way, we have Christ as our High Priest, who has a more excel¬lent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises (8:6). Why settle for a copy of the tabernacle and priesthood when we can have the real thing? We also have better privileges…

II Remember the privileges He provides (8:7-13).

1. The old covenant was not only a copy, but it also had its faults. If the first covenant had been faultless, then no place should have been sought for a second (8:7). There needed to be a new covenant, because the old one was faulty, or flawed, by human limitations and imperfections (8:8a).

Verses 8-12 are a quote from Jeremiah 31:31-34, which directly quotes God as He speaks of a new covenant. Through the prophet Jeremiah, God foretold that the new covenant would be something far superior to the old one. The old system was designed to change people from the outside in through the Law. However, the new covenant is designed to change us from the inside out. Therefore, God says through Jeremiah that He will write His laws on our hearts (Jer. 31:33 & Heb. 8: l0).

2. The problem with the old covenant was it was completely external; it couldn’t give inner power to live God’s way. The new covenant is based on love, which is the fulfilling of the law as written Rom. 13:10. God put His new law in our hearts? In Romans 5:5 Paul explains: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost given unto us.

3. We have the fulfilling of the entire law in our hearts. God also declares under the new covenant: For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more (8:12).

Under the old covenant, sins were never forgotten; they were covered by the blood sacrifices of animals until a better sacrifice would come. Therefore, every year an earthly high priest had to approach God on behalf of the people… In Christ, God totally cleanses us and remembers our sins no more. This is because of the truth found in 1 John 1:7-But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

The word translated cleanseth is “kä-thä-rē’-zō”, (cat-the-lead’-zo) means to “purify” or “purge.” That is where we get the word Catheter. An illustration of this is the Etch A Sketch® that children write on, turn over, and then shake. Every trace of writing disappears. God has a divine “Etch A Sketch” to cleanse our sins.

One of the simple but great inventions of man is the eraser. I learned this week that British engineer Edward Nairne in 1770 picked up a piece of latex rubber by mistake, he found it erased his error, leaving rubberized “crumbs” easily swept away by hand. Using and eraser or delete button acknowledges the fact that no one is perfect. One of our great privileges as Christians is that forgiveness of all our sins are just a prayer away. It also reminds us that there is hope and new possibility for those who mess up their lives and relationships

4. God forgives completely. God promises: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all un¬righteousness (1 John 1:9). What does the word all include in that verse? All our sins! One of the greatest promises in the Bible is what God says in the last sentence of Jeremiah 31:34. After we confess a sin to God, He will never say, “Remember that sin you committed, that bad thing you did?” God never brings it up again,

5. God forgives freely. It doesn’t seem fair to be guilty of sin and then to be freely forgiven. It seems like we should have to do something to pay for the bad things we have done. However, Romans 3:24 tell us we are… justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Because of the new covenant, the previous one was old and out of¬ date. It was ready to vanish away (8:13). Since its destruction by the Ro¬man general Titus in 70 A.D., the temple in Jerusalem has never been re¬built and sacrifices have not been made. God doesn’t change His mind. He didn’t abolish or annul what He promised people in the Old Testament. Instead, what Jesus declare in Matthew 5:17, Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

Jesus is not the replacement for the Law; He is the completion of it. He also clarifies the Law’s original meaning, which the religious leaders of His day had perverted. Jesus fulfills God’s original purpose for prayer. Now, in Christ, far more powerful prayer is possible as we remember His position, His purpose and promises, and the privileges He provides.
There is no sin that you have committed that cannot be forgiven through the death of Christ!
Hebr.10:10 says, “We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Christ once for all.” For all sin.

Chuck Colson tells of visiting a women’s penitentiary in upstate New York. Housed there were the worst criminals in the state. In a chapel service, Colson said the prison chaplain talked to these women about the forgiveness of God and how God had forgiven their sins at the cross. He handed to them a piece of paper and a pen and told them to write down the worst thing they had done. As they did that, the chaplain went out into the hall and dragged in a wooden cross and propped it against the wall. He then had each woman bring up their sheet of paper and nail their paper with their sin to the cross.


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Earlier: Same day: Later:
« The Perfect High Priest Forever – pt.2 None Examining the Old Tabernacle »

Hebrews 8:3-13

3For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. 4For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: 5Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. 6But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. 7For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. 8For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 9Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. 10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. 13In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. (KJV)

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