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Bible Commentaries
Hebrews 8

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

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Verses 1-13

  1. Intro: Title: God’s Justice was Swallowed by His Love
    1. Illust: Dog-do Duty!!!
      1. When a kid, one of my chores was picking up our dogs poop in the back 40. We had a metal bucket w/a lid that I would pretty much fill each week.
      2. Every time I opened it, the aroma was deadly. So bad sometimes in the summer, I wouldn’t want to lift that lid. So over the fence it went onto the local H.S. field (Monte Vista)
        1. I looked forward to trash day, to get rid of it for good.
      3. Historically, Sin was the same way: It was “covered over” for a time. But then finally it was “done away with”…at the cross at Calvary!
    1. ​​​​​​​Marcus Aurelius was was one of the greatest Roman Emperors. As an administrator he was unsurpassed. Died at age 59, having worked himself to death in the service of his people. His biographer Capitolinus tells us, “He was appalled rather than overjoyed, and when he was told to move to the private house of Hadrian, the Emperor, it was with reluctance that he departed from his mother’s villa. When the members of the household ask him why he was sorry to receive the royal adoption, he enumerated to them the toils which sovereignty involved.” Marcus Aurelius saw kingship in terms of service and not of majesty.
      1. Jesus shows us His unique example of divine Majesty & divine Service combined.
    2. HIS MAJESTY (1)
    3. By Jesus taking His seat at the right hand of the throne of Majesty in the heavens.
      1. This is the final proof of His glory. William Barclay, pg.86
      2. Seated – again, in the Jewish temple there were no chairs, no sofas, no bean bags, no recliners...like, modern day fire station, Ha! :)
        1. No chairs because the OT priests work was never complete...but Jesus finished the work of redemption & SAT DOWN! (10:11,12 expounds on this)
    4. HIS SERVICE (2)
    5. We hear in vs.2 that Jesus is a Minister/service of the sanctuary up in heaven.
      1. A minister of the True tabernacle – not in contrast with false, it means original, in contrast to that which was a copy.
    6. So Jesus is unique in both in Majesty & in Service.
      1. And get this, He knew He had been given this supreme position...not jealously to guard it in isolation, but rather to enable others to attain it & to share it.
    1. ​​​​​​​(3) This One also have something to offer – His sacrifice was not mere animal blood, but instead He offered up Himself. (7:27)
    2. (5) Copy & shadow – The Greeks had a basic thought about the universe.
      They thought in terms of 2 worlds, the real and the unreal. They believe that this world of space and time was only a pale copy of the real world. That was the basic doctrine of Plato, the greatest of all Greek thinkers. He believed in what he called forms. Somewhere there was a world where there was laid up the perfect forms of which everything in this world is an imperfect copy. Sometimes he called the forms ideas. (e.g. there is the idea of a chair of which all actual chairs are in perfect copies) The Greeks were fascinated by this conception of a real world of which this world is only a flickering, imperfect copy.
    3. Copies/shadows: [earthly temple/real Temple; earthly worship/real worship; earthly priesthood/real priesthood]
      1. Moses used the blood of an animal. Jesus, His own.
      2. Moses spoke of the covenant of the Law. Jesus, the covenant of Grace.
      3. Moses spoke of a partial covering. Jesus, the actual remission of sins.
    4. When you trust Christ, you enter a life of reality, & you are forever finished w/substitutes.
      1. Don’t all substitutes kinda seem bad: egg substitute? bacon substitute? perish the thought!
    1. ​​​​​​​(7-9) Faultless…Finding fault? – What was faulty with the Old Cov?
      1. Not the Covenant itself…but the people.
      2. Note: them (8) & they did not continue in my cov. (9b)
      3. The people did not fulfill the conditions. They were Covenant Breakers.
    2. Note it’s a New Covenant - 2 words for new in NT.
      1. Neos (new in point of time) & Kainos (both new in point of time & new in point of quality)
    3. Covenant - Ordinarily, a covenant is an agreement entered into by 2 people...on equal terms. Like, a marriage agreement, or contract between 2 parties.
      1. συντίθηµι [Sun·teeth·amee] only 4 times used in the NT [usually translated agreed]
      2. These covenants are dependent on conditions on which they mutually agree. And if either should break the conditions the covenant becomes void.
      3. But in contradistinction to that word...we have here in Heb.8 + 33 times throughout the NT, is διαθήκη (thEa-thay-kay) is what’s used the 33 times in the NT.
        1. It would be better translated as a will, not an agreement. Because the whole approach comes from God. Man cannot bargain with God. Man cannot argue out the terms of the covenant. He can only accept or reject the offer God makes.
        2. So, it’s made only by one person, the testator (person who makes the will).
        3. Thats why our relationship with God is described as ThEa-thay-kay, only 1 person is responsible, & based solely on the whole initiative & abundant grace of God. The terms are His & man cannot alter them in the slightest.
    4. So what are better promises of the New Covenant? - The author uncovers 4 from Jeremiah’s archive (Jer. 31:31-34)
    5. [1] A BETTER INWARDNESS (10a)
    6. I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts.
    7. Remember when you were 1st saved?…inner changes occurred.
      1. We were all of a sudden motivated to read our bibles, be in fellowship, praying, meditating, and reacting to evil.
      2. What once we enjoyed, now we were disturbed by it.
      3. We had a new inner understanding of both good & evil.
      4. 2 Cor.5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come. (NIV)
    8. [2] A BETTER RELATIONSHIP (10b)
    9. And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
    10. The OT echoes this over & over.
      1. This 2-fold promise says: you saint, not only Possess God; but you also become God’s possession.
      2. I will be their God (means, He gives Himself to us), and they shall be My people (means, He takes us to himself). Kent Hughes
    11. [3] A BETTER KNOWLEDGE (11)
    12. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.
    13. Old Cov: of Sinai was corporate as a nation, including many who did not know God personally.
    14. New Cov: brought by Jesus is only for those who are individually born into his family.
      1. So, everyone who is in the New Cov…all know God.
      2. Jn.17:3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
    15. If you’re on the outside the command comes to you, ‘Know the Lord!’ [a command that is meant to draw men & women, boys & girls, sexually immoral & the very spiritual]
    16. If you’re on the inside a natural result is...craving for more & more of knowing Christ.
      1. Ps.73:25,26 Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
    17. [4] A BETTER FORGIVENESS (12)
    18. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.
    19. Again, this is exactly what the Old Cov could not do!
      1. They were covered, like my metal trashcan, awaiting trash day.
      2. Or, like the Recycle bin(PC users)/Trash bin(Mac users) on your computer…sitting there just waiting to be emptied.
        1. Hey today is trash day, are you ready to bring it to the curb?
    20. I will remember no more - When he says this, note the emphasis is not on our depth of regret, nor our promise to do better. Instead on HIS provision that He has already provided in His Son, Jesus Christ. I will remember no more!
      1. The New Cov puts man into relationship with a God, who is still a God of Justice, but whose justice has been swallowed up in His love.
      2. Thus, man’s relationship to God, no longer is dependent on man’s obedience, but entirely dependent on God’s love.
    21. So good news, even if you were able to sneak into God’s dump you would never be able to find your old sins. 3 Things I learned from our local dump…
      1. ​​​​​​​[1] Signs are posted you can’t pick through the trash. [2] It is well protected. 1 man is paid to just fire shots into the air all day, to keep the seagulls & other scavenger birds away. [3] They are diligent there, to pack it, bury it & decompose it.
    22. God also has gone to greater lengths to do away w/your sin. They will not surface again.
      1. Job promises us, My transgression is sealed up in a bag 14:17, to which Isaiah adds, For You have cast all my sins behind Your back. 38:17
      2. Job also promises us, You cover(plaster over) my iniquity. 14:17b
      3. Micah chimes in & said, You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea. 7:19
        1. To which I like to add that the deepest place in our ocean is the Mariana Trench (near Guam) 35,813’ deep (approx 7 miles). Things are carried to the bottom where the tectonic plates shift & cause subduction, & the debris is carried toward the crust of the earth...to be burned up...never to be seen again!
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Hebrews 8". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/hebrews-8.html. 2017.
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