“Since then we have a great High Priest Who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.”
This is the transitional verse for the book of Hebrews. This is one of the first times the word “priest” is mentioned, and when the word priest is mentioned it applies to you and me. Every believer is a priest in this dispensation and therefore the life of every believer is to have meaning, purpose and definition. The purpose of the book of Hebrews is to bring every believer into occupation with the Person of Jesus Christ. The objective is to bring everyone to a true love for the Lord Jesus Christ based upon Bible doctrine in their soul.
The word since indicates we have now come to the most important part of this passage. If Jesus Christ is not number one in your life, it means one or more things: 1) that you are negative toward doctrine 2) that you are minus doctrine or 3) that you not benefitting from the doctrine because you aren’t applying it. If this is the case, then you will react negatively to circumstances, which will lead to discouragement, disillusionment, self-pity, loneliness, frustration, emotional revolt and many more mental attitude sins.
The Cross is the beginning of Christ’s strategic victory over Satan. Until the time of the Cross, Satan’s objective was to keep Christ from getting to the Cross. But once Christ died for our sins, rose again, ascended, and was seated at the right hand of the Father, the strategic victory of the Angelic Conflict was complete. And as a result Jesus Christ was appointed our High Priest. (Colossians 2:14)
The words Son of God refer to Christ’s deity. He is just as much God as the Father and the Holy Spirit. He is coequal and coeternal with them. But at the same time He is a human being. He has a body, He has a soul, and He has a human spirit. As the God-Man He came into this world to accomplish the strategic victory. His deity couldn’t die on the Cross. So He became a human being minus a sin nature, minus the imputation of Adam’s sin and avoided any personal sin. So through the Virgin Birth He accomplished the first two and through living without personal sin by means of the filling of the Holy Spirit, He accomplished the last. So when Jesus Christ came to the Cross, He came as a perfect man. When we believe in Him for salvation we have the potential to win the tactical victory.
We live in the dispensation of the Church which is an intensified stage of the Angelic conflict. Up until the ascension of Christ He was the major target for Satan’s activities. But with Jesus Christ glorified and at the right hand of the Father, the major target is now His representatives on earth. We live in a time when the life of each one of us has great meaning, purpose and definition. As never before in history the emphasis is now on the individual believer, the emphasis is on you as a believer priest. As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ you are a priest, you are an ambassador, and you are very important to God’s plan. You are therefore in full time Christian service and the weapon for the tactical victory over Satan in the Angelic Conflict. The tactical victory depends upon your attitude toward Bible doctrine. If you are positive toward doctrine and you are consistently learning and applying it, you will eventually reach spiritual maturity and occupation with the Person of Christ, which is part of the tactical victory over Satan.
The issue therefore is who is willing to be a part in the tactical victory over Satan? In the rest of the book of Hebrews we see the principle of tactical defeat over Satan. There is a difference between strategy and tactics. Strategy is planning, tactical is execution. God has already laid out the plan for victory, now we need to execute it. You are already on the winning side. With the session of Christ, Operation Footstool will be the next part of Christ’s strategic movement. In Operation Footstool Christ will come back to the earth, we will accompany Him and He will defeat the Armageddon armies seeking to destroy Israel. He will also at the same time eliminate from the earth all unbelievers, He will begin His Millennial reign, and He will fulfill the Davidic Covenant. So don’t ever say, no matter how you have failed, no matter what you have done, that there isn’t a purpose for your life. Don’t ever say that your life is meaningless, because it is very meaningful to God.
If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ you are a believer- priest and God has a purpose for your life and that purpose is tactical victory. It is no accident that you were appointed a priest at the point of salvation and it is no accident that God’s Word has challenged us with the importance of that Word in our lives. It is no accident that God has set up a principle for this dispensation that His Word must be shown to be true and this occurs in believer’s souls as they apply doctrine to the circumstances of life.
Let us hold fast means to seize or to take possession of something. Let us hold fast here means to take possession of what we have from God. We need to take possession of our priesthood, take charge of our own spiritual lives, take charge of everything God gave us at salvation and execute the Christian Way of Life.
Our confession means our acknowledgement of the fact that at the point of salvation every believer was appointed a priest and all that entails. However, you will never fully and properly function as a priest until you reach spiritual maturity. Spiritual maturity is reached only by the consistent intake and application of Bible doctrine.
“For we do not have a High Priest Who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One Who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.”
There is nothing that you and I have gone through but what Jesus Christ also went through. The only difference is that during His life on this earth Christ never succumbed to any sin. Jesus Christ our High Priest has personally endured every affliction, every testing, and every pressure we will ever face. God knew ahead of time everything we would ever face or suffer. Weaknesses are the pressures of life.
The Greek word for tempted is “peirazo,” which is used in a good sense for being put to the test to discover what a person is like. It is used in a bad sense for temptation in the sense of solicitation to sin. Here it is used in the sense of any kind of testing or pressure. Nothing that you have suffered or ever will suffer was unknown to Jesus Christ. Christ received both the testing and the temptation during the period of His incarnation and not once did He sin. Whatever your temptation or testing has been Jesus Christ has already been through it. In the areas of temptation Jesus Christ never succumbed.
“Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
One of the many privileges of being a believer-priest is prayer, which is what this verse is about. Draw near is in the present tense and it denotes what habitually occurs or may be expected to occur. In other words, when you reach a certain point in your life, when you have taken in a certain amount of doctrine, even before you reach spiritual maturity, you can have an effective prayer life. Therefore, this particular present tense means that when you reach this point by the intake of Bible doctrine then you are going to be able to walk into God’s presence boldly, with confidence, and know that you are going to be heard. Prayer is a great tool, a great privilege, and it is one of the most misunderstood and abused doctrines.
You can approach God with confidence only when you are advancing toward spiritual maturity. The throne of grace is analogous to God the Father’s throne room in Heaven. Therefore we can see from this phrase that we are to approach God the Father and address Him in prayer. Once you reach spiritual maturity, you are ready to use prayer properly. Up until that point, Jesus Christ has been making intercession for you at the right hand of the Father, waiting for you to begin utilizing prayer. We then see a benefit of a proper prayer: receiving grace in action (mercy) and finding the grace we need to help us.
Prayer is the grace system of communication with God for the believer. The purpose of prayer is to communicate with our Heavenly Father. God communicates with us through His Word. We communicate with God through prayer. God, therefore, expects all believers to use prayer. We are actually commanded to pray without ceasing, which means to have a consistent prayer life. Prayer can be a powerful tool in the hands of a believer that knows how to use it. There are principles and procedures for praying, and it is important that we learn and use these principles and procedures. (I Thessalonians 5:17; Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 4:6; Hebrews 4:16)
There is tremendous power in a proper prayer. It is the privilege of every believer to have a part of another person’s life or ministry through prayer. We all need the prayer of others. Therefore, it is important that we all develop a consistent prayer life. In James 5:16 it tells us that the effective, continuous prayer of a righteous person has great results. It is impossible to pray effectively without knowledge of specific and essential needs. Keeping an updated prayer request list is a tool we can use to pray effectively for others. Therefore, not only is it a privilege to pray, it is a responsibility that we each share as believers in Christ. (Acts 12)