Hello Project Ezra! This week’s suggested reading is from Hebrews chapter 10. This is a great chapter, and the message if vitally important. It talks about the law of God, not as legalistic rules to be imposed on ourselves or others, but as a foreshadowing of something to come, specifically, the death and resurrection of Christ. I have found, as I’m sure many of you have, that the majority of professing believers really have no knowledge of the true gospel, and in this area in particular. When I ask someone I meet on the street how to get right with God, the answer almost always involves good works, following the laws of God. But Hebrews 10 shows the necessity of Christ’s righteousness rather than our self righteousness as the basis for true salvation. And that is the purpose of the law. A man or woman should look at God’s law and despair of ever being able to fulfill it. It is then that they will see their need for a foreign righteousness, for the salvation only found in the perfect righteousness, shed blood, and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. I pray that this reading, and the outline below, will help you in communicating this amazing truth this weekend.
All for His glory,
INTRODUCE YOURSELF AND PROJECT EZRA
READ HEBREWS 10
The message of this passage is vital to understand.
It shows that the most common understanding most people have about getting right with God is absolutely wrong
It tells us that it is impossible to be saved by our own goodness
Many people see the Bible, God’s word, as little more than a book of laws
People believe that by obedience to those laws, or even by their best efforts to follow some of those laws, occasionally, if they agree with them, they will be seen as good enough to be let into heaven
But Hebrews 10 shows us that this is not the case.
In fact, it shows us that is not the purpose of the law
The purpose of the law is to show us ourselves in truth, to show us our sin
The passage says, “The law has but a shadow of the good things to come”
Many, if not most, of the ceremonies God instituted in the Old Testament were not for their own sake, or for the sake of the people of that time, but to point to a future, greater truth, the truth of Christ.
It also says the law “can never, by the same sacrifices continually offered, make perfect those to draw near”
We cannot be saved through obedience to the law. The law cannot make us perfect, and indeed it is perfection that God requires.
Jesus said “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48 ESV)
It tells us “In these sacrifices there is a reminder of sin every year”
The law is a reminder of sin, and brings us the knowledge of what sin is
For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. (Romans 3:20 ESV)
Jesus Himself is seen many times in scripture using law to call people to repentance
With a rich young ruler, who thought he had kept God’s law from his youth, he showed him that His god was his money
In the Sermon on the Mount He reminded the people that sin was not only a matter of action, but of wicked thoughts as well.
With a foreign woman he met at a well, He reminded her that she had five husbands, and was then living with a man who was not her husband. He used the law to remind her of her sin, and her need of forgiveness
Like those Jesus spoke to, if we look at ourselves in truth we will see the depths of our own sin.
GO THROUGH THE LAW TO BRING CONVICTION OF SIN
Because we have broken God’s law, we all deserve His wrath. And God’s wrath will be poured out in place called hell, which He created for the devil and His angels.
Hell is not a place where you can enjoy the pleasures of sin, but a place where all pleasure ceases, where every good thing God has created is stripped away.
There the lost will suffer in darkness and fire and pain for all eternity, as they, and we, deserve for our sins against God’s holiness
There, God’s justice will be satisfied
But though we deserve hell because we could never fulfill the demands of the law of God, Jesus Christ could
Only Jesus fulfilled the law perfectly, in thought, word and deed.
Jesus Christ is the final and complete sacrifice for sin, for your sin and for my sin. Hebrews 10 tells us:
Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said,
“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
but a body have you prepared for me;
in burnt offerings and sin offerings
you have taken no pleasure.
Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God,
as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’”
(Hebrews 10:5-7 ESV)
It also tells us “We have been sanctified through the offering of the Body of Christ, once for all”
It tells us “Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins”
It says that “By a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified”
And it reminds us to “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful”
Does that describe you? Are you holding fast to the hope of Jesus Christ?
If so, it will be evident in your life.
Though we can never be saved through the law. Jesus said if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. (John 14:15)
If you clam faith, walked an aisle, prayed a prayer, but your life didn’t change, you have reason to fear
For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:26-31 ESV)
If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice
the truth. (1 John 1:6 ESV)
So today, while God has given you time, take your trust off your own works, and your own ability to obey God, and put your trust in Christ alone.
Only by repentance and faith in Christ alone can we be born again, made new creatures.
Only through God’s power will our hearts be changed, and only when our hearts are changed will be able to obey Him.
Cry out to God today, and He will change your heart. Cry out to God today, and be saved!