We will now look at the Doctrinal Argument for the Superiority of Christ:
Christ and Aaron (Heb 7:11-25).
Having clearly established the historical foundations for the superiority of Melchizedek over Aaron, the writer now shows that Melchizedek is also superior from a doctrinal point of view. Here he uses the quotation from Psa 110:4 as the basis for the argument, “The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”, and he presents three facts:
- Aaron was replaced by Melchizedek. (Heb 7:11-19)
When God said to Christ in Psa 110:4, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek,” He was actually setting aside the Levitical priesthood founded in Aaron.
It is impossible for two divine priesthoods to operate side by side. (E.g., the Levitical Priesthood and the Royal Priesthood founded in Christ.)
The fact that God established the new order proves that the old order of Aaron was weak and ineffective; and it also meant that the Law under which Aaron functioned was likewise set aside: “The Law made nothing perfect” (Heb 7:19). Consequently, the priesthood made nothing perfect (Heb 7:11), and the sacrifices these men offered made nothing perfect (Heb 10:1). They did not realize that their own personal priesthood was greater than that which they were following.
The Hebrew word for “perfect” is tamiym – תָּמִים (taw-meem’) means, “complete, whole, entire, sound, healthful, unimpaired, innocent, having integrity.”
The Greek word for “perfect” is teleiosis – τελείωσις (tel-i’-o-sis) which means, “the act of completion, of prophecy verification, or of expiation absolution, perfection, or performance.”
So, here it comes to mean, “having an entirely completed and innocent standing before God,” and has nothing to do with sinlessness (positional sanctification).
Aaron was made priest by a carnal commandment (imperfection), but Christ’s Priesthood functions are “after the power of an endless life.” (Heb 7:16)
Unlike Aaron, Christ will never die (perfection accomplished).
- Aaron was not ordained by an oath. (Heb 7:20-22).
While God acknowledged Aaron and his successors in the elaborate ceremonies described in Exo 28-30, we have no record of a Divine oath that sealed their priesthood. In fact, God would not seal their order with an oath, because He knew that their work would one day come to an end.
But when He ordained Christ to be a Priest, He confirmed it with an unchanging oath.
- Aaron and his successors died, but Christ lives forever. (Heb 7:23-24)
The Law was holy and good, but it was limited by the frailties of the flesh. Aaron died; his sons after him also died. The priesthood was as good as the man, and the man did not last forever.
But Christ lives to die no more! Christ has an unchanging Priesthood, because He lives by the power of an endless life. He “continues forever” to make intercession for God’s people and thus is able to save them “to the uttermost.”
We often apply Heb 7:25 to the unbeliever, but its main application is to the saved, those for whom Christ intercedes daily.
Yes, He saves from the uttermost, and any sinner can be forgiven. But the point here is that those whom He saved are saved forever, for eternity! (Heb 7:25)
So, Christ is not only a greater person than Aaron is, but He had a superior priesthood. Because the Son’s Priesthood was of a different order, He could be both King and Priest, which was never possible for Aaron. Moreover, He could abide as a Priest continually, because He would not be hindered from continuing by death, which affected the Aaronic priesthood. Because of this fact, the Son has an unchangeable Priesthood.
And finally, The Practical Argument: Christ and the Believer. (Heb 7:26-28)
“Such a High Priest was fitting for us” (Heb 7:26)—that is, suits us, meets our needs. We need a perfect and sinless sacrifice to satisfy the justice and righteousness of God the Father to be the substitution for us. What the Justice of God demands, His righteousness satisfies.
No descendant of Aaron could fit the sinless perfection description given of Christ in these verses. These men were not “holy, harmless, undefiled.”
Aaron made a golden calf and led Israel into idolatry! And Eli’s sons were guilty of gluttony and immorality, 1 Sam. 2:12ff.
But we have an impeccable High Priest: He is Holier and Higher than any priest on earth is. He is ministering in the heavenly Tabernacle in the very presence of God.
Aaron and his sons had to offer daily sacrifices, for themselves first and then for the people.
Christ is sinless; He needs no sacrifices. Jesus Christ as greater than Aaron has no need, as did the earthly high priests, first to offer up sacrifices for His own sins, then for those of the people.
“The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)
By offering Himself as a sacrifice for sins to satisfy the holiness of God against the penalty of your sin and mine (sin of unbelief), He made provision for our redemption. And the one sacrifice that He offered settled the problem of sin and sins for all eternity.
Furthermore, He offered Himself, not the blood of bulls and goats, as the sacrifice.
1) Even Abraham (i.e. Levi) paid him tithes.
2) He blessed Abraham (the lesser is blessed by the greater).
3) He is the type of a Priest who is eternal; (no father, no mother, and without end).
4) The permanence of his Priesthood in Christ implied the abrogation of the Levitical system; He was made Priest not without an oath.
5) His priesthood can neither be transmitted nor interrupted by death: “this man, because he continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.”
The point, Christ is superior, has been proved historically, for Abraham honored Melchizedek above Levi; and the lesser is blessed by the greater.
It has been proved doctrinally, Psa 110:4 states that God created a new order of priesthood in the Law.
And, it has been proved practically, for no man could ever qualify to be the High Priest except Jesus Christ.
This ever-living Priest is able to save to the uttermost those who come unto God by Him, seeing that He ever lives to make intercession for them.
We are saved and kept by His priestly power for all eternity. The work of Christ as High Priest is superior to that in Judaism, the proposition proved!
He is the King of righteousness and peace. There is no need for anyone to look beyond Christ—He is all that they needed and all that we need.
And after these, the writer makes the propositional statement in Heb 8:6, “The New Testament in Jesus’ blood is superior to and supplants the First Testament in animal blood.”
So, all of that was the first argument of the proposition by the writer of Hebrews, “showing the relative merits of the founders of the testaments (prophets, angels, Moses, Joshua, Aaron), arguing that a superior workman turns out a superior product.”
Now, in the second argument to prove the proposition, Hebrews Compares the Relative Merits of the Testaments Themselves. Heb 8:7-10:39
The New Testament was prophesied to be better. (Heb 8:7-13)
Heb 8:8 – One day, according to Jeremiah, a restored Israel will dwell again in Judah and Jerusalem, secure in the ancient Promised Land. Then Israel too will recognize her Messiah, and the spiritual benefits you and I now enjoy will belong to this people whom God chose to love with an everlasting love.
Heb 8:9 – The day refers to the entire time of the Exodus generation (Flight from Egypt to entrance into Canaan.).
Heb 8:10 – The law shall be written in their hearts by the finger of the Spirit, as formerly written in the tablets of stone.
2 Cor 3:3, “being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of human hearts.”
So, what kind of letter do you want to be, a short story or “War and Peace?” Your story will be recorded in the Historical record section in heaven for all eternity. Do you want to be a snippet for a full-length major motion picture? The choice is yours and its between you and God.
This is the Grace Apparatus for Perception with the difference of the indwelling of all three members of the Trinity.
The will of God as expressed in the law under the Old Covenant was presented externally to the people, while under the New Covenant, it is to become an internal principle of life.
In the Old Testament, it was commanded in the Law to circumcise the heart (right lobe) and love God with all your heart and soul. (Deut 6:5; 10:12, 16)
What was commanded and applied to the heart in the old is given in the New, and the new is but the completion of the Old Covenant.
The commands of the law cannot be fulfilled by sinful man.
The law can only humble sinful man and cause him to beseech God to blot out his sin and create in him a clean heart.
(Psa 51:11 ff)
Psa 51:11, “Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.”
Psa 51:12, “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And sustain me with a willing spirit.”
The law can only awaken man to what sin is but cannot blot it out.
The forgiveness of sins is a work of grace, which annuls the demand of the law.
The law with its requirements is the impelling force: Grace shown in forgiveness of sins is the aiding power by which man attains life with God, which the law sets before him as the great problem of life.
Heb 8:11 – Under the Old Covenant economy, generally, access to the Lord was denied to individuals, and His grace was only obtained by the intervention of human mediators. This has been abolished under the New Covenant.
Eph 3:12, “in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.”
Heb 4:16, “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
The New Covenant offers inner spiritual renewal and transformation.
“10and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him— 11 renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.”
Eph 4:23, “and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,”
Col 3:11 – In a New Covenant relationship, the believer knows God in a personal way.
He is taught through the Grace Apparatus for Perception and the Divine power of the Holy Spirit.
John 6:45, “It is written in the prophets, ‘AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.”
1 Joh 2:27, “As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.”
Heb 8:12 – God did not “overlook” sin; its penalty was paid for by a Substitute. (Isa. 53:4-6)
His death on the cross was the institution of the New Covenant. (Matt. 26:28; 1 Cor. 11:25)
As announced by Christ in the upper room and latter reiterated by Paul…
Mat 26:28, “for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.”
1 Cor 11:25, “In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
Forgiveness of sin would be part of the New Covenant only, because God provided a Substitute to pay the penalty required of man.
Heb. 10:16-17 applies the central promises of the New Covenant to believers today.
God forgives the sins of those who believe in Jesus now, and He begins His transforming work in every believer’s heart. Through faith in Christ, we enjoy a New Covenant relationship with God. So clearly, we see that the New Testament Covenant is better than the first. (Heb 8:7-13)
Then Hebrews shows us that the New Testament is actual, the First Testament was typical. (Heb 9:1-15)
Vs. 7 – The fact that only the high priest could go into the Holy of holies and that he had to go each year signified that no final offering for sin was made in Old Testament times. The offerings that were made could not cleanse the soul.
The New Testament is made effective with better blood. (Heb 9:16-10:39)
Heb 10:5-9 – It’s not His blood that saves us; it’s what He accomplished on the cross.
Heb 10:15-18 – Reiterates that, based on the better blood, we can have a personal relationship with Him.
Heb 10:19-23 – Based on that better blood, you should have all confidence in your relationship with Him.
Heb 10:22– compare with John 13:5-10
“3You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.”
How can you edify your soul and glorify Him through spiritual growth if you are unsure about your salvation?
- Keeping steadfast to ensure your eternal salvation is working under fear of loss.
- Keeping steadfast to have a closer relationship with Him is working under love; His love which He pours out on you.
Heb 10:24-39 – Then the writer goes on to exhortations and warnings to not go back to the weakness of the Law.
So, the two arguments to prove that Jesus’ blood is superior to and supplants the first Testament animal blood are shown by:
- The person and work of Jesus Christ as a superior workman.
- Contrasting the two Testaments.
Then Hebrews shows us that building your Edification Complex of the Soul (ECS) through faith, not works, is the way of accomplishing your Personal Sense of Destiny. (Heb 11:1-12:2) Hall of Fame–Visible Heroes.