Friday, August 31, 2012

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday September 2, 2012

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(A call to persevere)
(Hebrews 10:19-39)

The, Old Testament imagery of the curtain in the Holy Place, which once served as a barrier to man, has now been erased by the sacrificial death of JESUS CHRIST. Prior to the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C., the “Ark of the Covenant” was kept in a room called the “Most Holy Place”, which was the most sacred area of the temple. At that time, only the High Priests were permitted to go beyond the veil that separated this area from the rest of the temple, and they could only enter it once a year, on the “Day of Atonement” (Leviticus 16).
JESUS now symbolizes, in the New Testament “Church Age”, just what the curtain represented in the Old Covenant. The rending of the curtain at the exact time of JESUS’ death (Matthew 27:51), lets us know that now, only JESUS stands between man and GOD. Now, only through JESUS, can a person hope to come into the presence of the only wise LIVING GOD in Heaven. HIS death gives believers the much-needed access to GOD that had been missing since the fall of Adam and Eve, way back during the infancy of creation.
We now have a great HIGH PRIEST in Heaven WHO can intercede for us, and enable us to enter into the presence of GOD with pure and true hearts, fully, and confidently, trusting in HIM. The evil conscience of the “Believer” has been sprinkled by the blood of JESUS to make us clean spiritually, and, our bodies have been washed with pure water, through a public profession, through baptism.
With unwavering confidence, we can now hold tightly to the “Christian Hope”, and know that GOD can be trusted to keep HIS promise. What we most need to concentrate on right now is assembling together, finding ways to encourage each other to love, and, to seek to do good deeds for one another whenever, and wherever possible.
In the New Testament Greek, the word used for “patience” is “hypomeno”, and it involves an overcoming of difficulties, and withstanding the pressures of life. It is, in fact, a “patient endurance”, or, perseverance that a Believer must go through, in order to successfully overcome the gravitational pull of this world like JESUS did. Here in Hebrews 10:19-39, the writer is calling for us to “persevere” as we walk in the newness of life that we find in CHRIST JESUS. We must stand strong for CHRIST, and we must also, both, encourage, and warn each other, that the second coming of JESUS in drawing near, and, will indeed occur, unexpectedly.
The writer of the book of Hebrews also tells us that if we continue on living sinful lives, after we have received the full knowledge of GOD’s word, there is no other sacrifice that can be rendered to cover such sins. The “defiant sinner”, for example, those who live the homosexual lifestyle, or, those who totally resist, and blatantly deny, the sovereignty and truth of GOD’s Word in other ways, has nothing to look forward to, except the sting of GOD’s judgment, and the terrible raging fires of hell that will ultimately consume them. For that is the price one must pay for insulting and grieving the HOLY SPIRIT, WHO brings GOD’s mercy to HIS people (Vs. 26-29).
We must also try and never forget the early days of our Christianity, and how we were determined to remain faithful through the persecutions and pressures of satan, who tries mightily to get us to turn back to the ways of the world. In other words, when the wave of joy that we experience when we first become Christians, has crested, and then, begans to level off, our waters must still flow in the direction of JESUS CHRIST. We must stay focused on GOD, eagerly awaiting the good things that are waiting for us in GOD’s promised “Place of Rest”. We must maintain the faith in CHRIST that, assures us of our salvation, through HIM, at all times.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

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