The Priesthood of Christ

Hebrews 4:14-16

There is often vagueness found in the thoughts of many a child of God as to the priesthood of our Lord Jesus, as to what its place and proper action is, as well as what it is founded on what its relation to other truths, more particularly to redemption what it is that God secures to us by it what the portion that the saint enjoys in virtue of it, or consequently loses if he have it not. All these various ways in which priesthood may be examined will be found somewhat indefinite, I think, in the minds even of most real believers; and it is wise in general never to assume that a truth is known till we have proved it.

We often take for granted, finding the children of God happy together in fellowship, that they must know this or that truth; but it by no means follows. They may be using language beyond what they have actually learnt from God. The mass are apt to be carried along by others (and this even where their words would give little suspicion) by the faith of others. This is easily understood. They do not doubt in their own minds that it is all quite true, having the general sense and savour, and surely not without some enjoyment of it; but still they have not thoroughly sought out and realized the mind of God for their souls, receiving the truth distinctly and decidedly from God. If exposed to misleading influences they might soon and seriously be turned aside, at the least be perplexed and tried by questions easily raised, and often for the very purpose of confounding those whose general confession puts to shame such as are walking in the ways of the world. And these are days, brethren, when we need to have everything from God for our own souls.

No More Conscience of Sins

Heb. 10:2

It is not enough to believe that the atoning work is done, great a truth as it is. The Christian knows that Christ entered once and for all into the holiest, having obtained everlasting redemption. There and now He appears before the face of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, else He must often have suffered, which could not be. But now once in the consummation of the ages He hath been manifested for putting away of sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

Such is the Christian’s confession not of His person only but of His work. But the Holy Spirit follows it all up by declaring its revealed effect, in contrast with those under the shadows of law and its sacrifices which they offer continuously year by year, unable as they are to perfect those that approach. “Else would they not have ceased to be offered? because the worshippers having been once purged would have had no more conscience of sins.” This is the result for every Christian. So perfect is the cleansing of the worshippers one and all, that they have “no more conscience of sins.”

“Believest thou this,” my reader? It is revealed as the consequence of Christ’s work, not for some only but for all that believe. Do you believe it for your own soul? It is of the utmost moment that you should receive it as God’s mind about yourself; as the settled and continuous state Christ’s work has effected for you and every other Christian, that you may enjoy it by faith, honour Christ in it, bless God through it, worship and serve in the consciousness the indwelling Spirit gives of so great a privilege.

Covenant or Testament - Which?

An Address on Hebrews 9:13-17.

Hebrews 13

Next follow exhortations of a practical kind for holy brethren of a heavenly calling on the earth. And first the word is, “Let brotherly affection abide” (verse 1). This is very needful in the long run; and the Epistle was among not the early but the latest ones. It was easy enough in the glow of first love, and was strengthened instead of checked by prevalent persecutions for the sake of the faith. But when these trials do not so much press, the very nearness of the saints to each other...

Hebrews 12

The distinctly hortative part of the Epistle now follows, though we have had exhortation interspersed almost from the first. But henceforth it greatly predominates with weighty words of instruction also in both the closing chapters. The object throughout is to deepen the faith of those used to religious objects of sight, to establish souls in the unseen and heavenly through the word and Spirit of God, and to unfold Christ’s glory in person, work, and offices. He is here accordingly introdu...

Hebrews 11

The close of Heb. 10 leads naturally into the rich unfolding of the power of faith which follows in an order truly remarkable. It was the more in season here, as there had been defection through the absence of it; and its value for God’s pleasure as well as man’s salvation is evident and undeniable, as had just been pointed out. The Jew was peculiarly exposed to overlook its virtue, surrounded as he was by a ritual which appealed to his sight every day; and the Christian Jew had to watch...

Hebrews 10

The grand distinction between the legal economy and Christianity was set forth luminously in Heb. 9, with the facts which made the contrast clear, and above all His person, work, and place who closed the one and introduced the other. In the first half of Heb. 10 we have the truth triumphantly applied to the conscience in order to our enjoying the presence of God where Christ is gone. “For the law, having a shadow of the coming good things, not the image itself of the things, with the sa...

Hebrews 9

The apostle proceeds to draw out, in contrast with the principles of the first covenant, that which the prophet declared should take its place, or rather that which is the Christian’s portion now that Christ is dead, risen, and ascended. It is the way into the holies now made manifest; the conscience purged by the blood of Christ from dead works to serve the living God; and the eternal inheritance of which they that are called receive the promise. “The first [covenant] therefore also ...

Hebrews 8

The truth of Christ as high priest, most important for the Christian and especially for such as had been Hebrews, has thus far been richly unfolded accorded to the order of Melchizedek, but not without a glance at its exercise after the type of Aaron, yet even here immeasurably superior even to frequent contrast. This however demands further development, and first as connected with “a better covenant which was established upon better promises.” The contrast of the first or legal covenant...

Preface and Introduction

With a new version. Preface. Not a few works of less or more value have been written on the grand Epistle to the Hebrews. Nevertheless room seemed to be left for an exposition, not occupied with the discussion of details, and demanded more than ever by the unbelieving spread in our day of ritualism, which it was written to supplant by the exhibition of the grace and truth in Christ’s person, work, and office as Priest in the heavenly sanctuary. I therefore commend the work, notwithst...
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