Call to Perfection

Key Verse: “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 8:6

Selected Scripture:
Hebrews 8:6-12

IN WRITING TO HIS HEBREW BRETHREN, the Apostle Paul focused their attention on the significance of their Tabernacle rituals. Referring to Jesus as fulfilling the type of the high priest, he says, “We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” (Heb. 8:1,2) He calls attention to the use of the earthly Tabernacle as a picture of heavenly things and of better promises and blessings. Our theme text explains that Jesus has obtained a better ministry, and has become the mediator of a ‘better covenant, … established upon better promises.’

Moses was the mediator of the old Law Covenant. Both he and the covenant were limited in what they could do for the people. Also, as Jeremiah so clearly explained, they broke the covenant. (Jer. 31:32) Being imperfect men they couldn’t keep that covenant. As Jeremiah also explains, “The days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah.” (vs. 31) This ‘new [law] covenant’ would do for them what the old Law Covenant could not do, that is, give them life.

This prophecy from Jeremiah is quoted by the Apostle Paul in Hebrews 8:8-12. In chapter nine of Hebrews, Paul explains how the old Law Covenant had ordinances and rituals as performed in the services of the Tabernacle. The Atonement Day sacrifices were pointing to the better sacrifice of Jesus which would redeem not only Israelites, but all of mankind. He says, that if the blood of bulls and goats had a sanctifying affect in purifying the flesh, “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”—vss. 13,14

It is by means of the sacrifice of Jesus that a New Covenant is made possible. It will be part of the ‘more excellent ministry’ that Jesus obtained. He has delayed starting that ministry until he first redeems, trains, and develops those who will assist him in this ministry of reconciliation of mankind with God. The Apostle Paul alludes to this task when he says, “He [God] has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant.” (II Cor. 3:6, New International Version) When the selection of this class is complete, the New Covenant will go into effect, and be made first with Israel and Judah.—Jer. 31:31

Then, as the covenant is made with all mankind, the prophecy of Jeremiah will be fulfilled. God will write his law upon the hearts of all men, and none will have to say to another, “Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.” (Heb. 8:11; Jer. 31:34) Through the benefits of the ransom sacrifice of Jesus it will be possible for God to say, “I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” (vs. 12) This is why Paul was able to say that God “will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”—1 Tim. 2:4

Dawn Bible Students Association
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