Sermon #89 Hebrews Notes
Title: “See That You Refuse Not Him”
Text: Hebrews 12:24-25
Subject: Christ and Abel
Date: Tuesday Evening—
Tape # X-15a
Throughout this Book the Holy Spirit’s purpose is to show us the superiority of this gospel age to that of the Old Testament. A key word in these 13 chapters is the word “better.” It is used repeatedly.
(Hebrews 1:4) Christ is better than the angels. "Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they."
(Hebrews 6:9) Christ has given us better things, things that accompany salvation. "But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak."
(Hebrews 7:7) Christ, our Melchizedek, is better than Abraham. "And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better."
(Hebrews 7:19) Christ gives us a better hope, “a good hope through grace,” than the law could ever give. "For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God."
(Hebrews 7:22) Christ is the Surety of a better covenant. "By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament."
(Hebrews 8:6) Christ is the Mediator of a better covenant. "But 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."
(Hebrews 9:23) Christ is a better sacrifice. "It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these."
(Hebrews 10:34) Christ gives us a better, enduring, heavenly inheritance. "For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance."
(Hebrews 11:16) In Christ we are made citizens of a better country. "But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city."
(Hebrews 11:35) Christ gives us hope of a better resurrection. "Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:"
(Hebrews 11:40) God has provided better things in Christ. "God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect."
(Hebrews 12:24) Christ’s sacrifice and blood speaks better things than the blood of Abel and his sacrifice. "And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel."
As Paul comes to the close of this blessed Book, he seems to write as one who is running out of paper, or running out of time, as a man so excited about his subject that he cannot speak of it adequately.
In Hebrews 12:22, he tells us that we have come to Mount Zion, a better place than Sinai!—To the Heavenly Jerusalem, a better city than Jerusalem!—To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven, a better assembly than those who gathered at the tabernacle or temple of old, whose names were merely written on paper.—To God, who is infinitely better than all the types and pictures given of him in the Mosaic age!—The Judge of all, who is better than all the best judges Israel ever had.—To the spirits of just men made perfect, a better company than Israel ever enjoyed.
That brings me to our text for tonight (Heb. -25). Here are some more of those better things that are ours in this gospel age.
(Hebrews 12:24-25) "And (ye are come) to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. (25) See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven."
Coming to Christ
Faith is coming to Christ. All who are born of God and taught of him come to Christ. But coming to Christ is not at all what people imagine it to be. Coming to Christ is an act of faith. It is altogether something that is done in the heart. It is altogether a spiritual thing.
· Many came to Christ physically, touching him and being touched by him, who never came to him. – “It is the spirit that quickeneth. The flesh profitteth nothing.”
· Multitudes come to Christ outwardly, by profession, in the place of public worship, who never come to him.—Ananias and Sapphira!—Simon Magus!
· Faith is a heart work. It is coming to Christ with a sense of need.
· It is coming to him as the One, the only One, who has infinite fulness to meet our souls’ need.
· This faith is the gift and operation of God’s almighty, omnipotent, irresistible, efficacious grace.
· Faith is coming to Christ and no one else!—Coming to him alone for everything!
O needy soul, hear me. Come to Christ now! Poor, helpless, bankrupt, naked, needy sinner, come to Christ with no aide, no assistant, no mediator, no priest, and no sacrifice!—Come to Christ bringing nothing of your own to ingratiate you.—Come to Christ bring nothing but you…
· Filth for him to cleanse!
· Sin for him to forgive!
· Nakedness for him to cover!
· Need for him to meet!
Now hear his promise.—“Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out!”
This gift of faith is the great privilege of God’s elect. It is the blessing of blessings.
O gift of gifts! O grace of faith!
My God, how can it be,
That, Thou who hast discerning love,
Shouldst give that gift to me!
All who are given this great boon of grace are saved, safe, settled, secure, and at peace. They can want no good thing, for all things are theirs. We have free access to God through Christ, and a right to all privileges of the sons of God in him!
“Mediator of the New Covenant”
(Jeremiah 31:3) "The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee."
(Jeremiah 31:31-34) "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: (32) Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: (33) But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. (34) And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."
(Jeremiah 32:37-42) "Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: (38) And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: (39) And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: (40) And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. (41) Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul. (42) For thus saith the LORD; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them."
(Ephesians 1:3-7) "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (7) In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;"
A. The covenant of grace, we are told in Hebrews 8:6, is “a better covenant.”
· The covenant of works was conditional. The covenant of grace is absolute and unconditional.
· The old covenant was a covenant of law and works. The covenant of grace is all grace.
· The Mosaic covenant was broken and made void. The covenant of grace is established in Christ, and cannot be broken or nullified.
· That covenant revealed at Sinai was dark, shadowy, and fearful. The covenant of grace is light, clear, and delightful.
B. This new covenant of righteousness and grace was and is established upon better promises than that old covenant of works and law.
All the promises of that covenant were made to fickle men and conditioned upon their obedience. All the promises of this covenant were made to the God-man, our Mediator, upon condition of his obedience for us! And in him, all the promises of God are “yea, and amen.”
C. This new covenant of grace, and all the blessings and benefits of it, comes to us through the merits of Christ’s better sacrifice (Heb. 10:1-10).
; that being broken and made void, this continues; and not only better than the covenant of the Levitical priesthood, which was but a typical one, and is now ceased, but also than the covenant of grace, as administered under the legal dispensation; being better than that, as to the manner of its manifestation, which is more full and clear; and as to the extent of its administration, reaching to Gentiles as well as Jews; and as to the ratification of it by the blood of Christ, called from thence the blood of the everlasting covenant; and as to the promises of it, here said to be better:
D. The Mediator of this covenant of grace is “Jesus,” our Savior, the Son of God, the Christ.
· A mediator is a go-between, a daysman, a representative for two parties.
· A mediator is an advocate.
· A mediator is a reconciler.
There is only one Mediator between God and men, and that Mediator is Jesus, who came to save his people from their sins, as God’s appointed and accepted covenant Surety!—No wonder David sang as he did about this covenant on his dying bed (2 Sam. 23:1-5).
(2 Samuel 23:1-5) "Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, (2) The spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. (3) The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. (4) And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain. (5) Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow."
“The Blood of Sprinkling”
II. Now, watch this—“And to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling.”
The blood of Christ is called “the blood of sprinkling.” I am sure there is more in this than I have yet grasped, but what I’ve got is mighty good.—His blood is the blood of the true paschal lamb. He is Christ our Passover, who is sacrificed for us!
· His blood has been sprinkled on the mercy-seat.
· Like the blood of that first paschal lamb, his blood has been sprinkled upon the door of our hearts and consciences, declaring that judgment is passed, convincing us of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.
· As God said by the blood of that paschal lamb of hold, while Israel was yet in Egypt, the land of cursed darkness, death, and judgment, so he says to us, by the blood of his dear Son, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you!”
Now I’m getting ahead of myself; but I can’t help it. This just gets better and better. Read on…
“That Speaketh Better things”
III. "And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel."
The blood of Christ speaketh, ever speaketh, and speaketh better things than the blood of Abel.
· Abel’s blood cried for justice and vengeance. Christ blood cries for justice and mercy!
· Abel’s blood spoke for punishment. Christ blood speaks for pardon.
· Abel’s blood spoke against his brother. Christ’s blood speaks for his brethren.
· Abel’s blood demanded death. Christ’s blood demands life!
· Abel’s blood spoke effectually. Christ’s blood speaks effectually.
· Abel’s blood cried from the ground to God. Christ’s blood speaks in heaven before God.
· Abel’s blood cried out against Cain in his conscience. Christ blood speaks for us in our consciences.
· Abel’s blood continues to speak. Christ’s blood continues to speak!
(1 John 1:7-10) "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. (8) If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (10) If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."
(1 John 2:1-2) "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (2) And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."
Now, let me show you one more thing. Look at verse 24.
“Refuse Not Him”
IV. “See that ye refuse not him that speaketh.”
(Hebrews 12:25) "See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven.”
· What a tender word of mercy, grace, compassion and hope.—“See that ye efuse not him that speaketh!”
· What an awful word of warning!—“For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven.”
(Proverbs 1:23-33) "Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. (24) Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; (25) But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: (26) I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; (27) When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. (28) Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: (29) For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: (30) They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. (31) Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. (32) For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. (33) But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil."
I hear him now. Can you?
Did you hear what Jesus said to me?
“They’re all taken away, away!
Your sins are pardoned and you are free!
They’re all taken away!
They’re all taken away, away!
They’re all taken away!”
So I’ll praise the Lord for sins forgiven—
They’re all taken away, away.
While I’m onward pressing my way to heaven.
They’re all taken away!
They’re all taken away, away!
They’re all taken away!