Sunday School Material 10-23-16: The High Priest Forever





(Hebrews 7:1-3, 18-28; 10/23/16)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that Jesus is our great High Priest. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to live like we appreciate Jesus being our High Priest.

Body:

Read Hebrews 7:1-3

I. Priest of God. In our Sunday School material there is mention of Melchizedek. He was both a king and priest. Abraham was victorious in a battle. He brought a tithe (10%) of the spoils of victory to the priest.

Melchizedek means “king of righteousness,” and “king of Salem” means “king of peace. Melchizedek is compared to the Son of God.

Applications –

- King and Priest. Notice in vs. 1 that Melchizedek was both the king and priest of God. First, we should be careful about acting as if God has little to do with the political systems of our day. God is not only concerned with hearing our complaints about the world’s condition.

He is also concerned with His people being involved with making a positive impact. We should be open to God using us and others to carry out His will in the political arena.

Second, God is able to use people in multiple roles – king and priest. We should not compartmentalize God’s use of us, nor restrict what God can do through others. Let’s work on appreciating God’s ability to call us to serve in the political and religious systems of our day.

- Tithing. Notice in vs. 2 that Abraham tithed to Melchizedek – the priest of God. First, Abraham tithed to the priest before the Mosaic Law, which suggests that tithing is not restricted to the law.

Second, as believers our greatest reason for tithing is that we love and thank God so much for what He has already done for us. Abraham tithed out of what God had given Him, and we should do the same. Let’s work on tithing because of our love of God and His work.

Read Hebrews 7:18-22

II. Priest by Divine Oath. There is mention of former regulations being set aside in our Sunday School material. They were weak and useless. But through Jesus, a better hope is introduced. Jesus became priest with an oath. And He is the permanent priest.

Applications –

- From “good to great.”Notice in vss. 18-19 that God moved His people from “good to great,” by moving them from the law, which could not save anyone, to grace through Jesus.

First, we should always strive to be the best that we can be for the Lord. On one hand, we should do the best that we know how to do, in the moment. But on the other hand, as we learn better, we should do better.

Second, the idea of going from “good to great” should be practiced at both an individual and collective/church level. There are things that may have worked in the past, but when we learn of better ways, we should do better.

We must guard against falling in love with methods. Let’s work on being the best that we can be for the Lord – individually and collectively.

- The guarantee. Notice in vss. 19-22 that Jesus guarantees the better covenant. Jesus is not simply another Bible character. He is the one who guarantees the covenant of grace.

Let’s live like we appreciate Jesus’ ministry. Such living should include our making sure that we are saved and striving to live lives of loving God and others, as we love ourselves.

Read Hebrews 7:23-28

III. Priests Contrasted. There is a contrasting of human priests with Jesus in our Sunday School material. Human priest were known for dying, offering sacrifices for their own sins, and offering sacrifices for the people.

Jesus on the other hand, lives on. He had no sins to sacrifice for. His sacrificing of Himself satisfies all that is required because of the sins of His people.

Applications –

- Our limited lives. Notice in vss. 23, 27 that the human priests died and had only a limited time in their priestly offices. In like manner, we all have a date with death. Whatever office we hold, the day is coming that we will not be able to serve.

When a believer dies, we should thank God that being absent from the body means being present with the Lord. As we get ready for death (e.g., estate planning, relational lose ends, and most of all salvation), we should be thankful that we have somewhere to go.

Let’s do the best that we can with the realization that death is on the way.

- Our permanent High Priest. Notice in vss. 3, 24-28 that Jesus is the permanent High Priest forever. We should be thankful that Jesus has no personal sins to deal with. We should be thankful that Jesus’ term of office is forever.

Let’s live like we appreciate what Jesus has done and is doing for us. Again this comes back to making sure that we are saved and living by God’s will for our lives.

Conclusion: Let’s work on making sure that we are one of God’s people and living like we appreciate the ministry of Jesus. God has much for those who obey His will.

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