Benedictions

By Joe Boot/ November 24, 2013

Series  Hebrews and the High Priesthood

Context  Westminster Chapel Toronto

Topic  Salvation

Scripture  Hebrews 13:20-25

Our cosmic calling is to be ministers of reconciliation through Christ's cross, serving His worldwide kingdom, and working toward the reign of the Great Shepherd.

Scripture:  Hebrews 13:20-25 

Sermon Notes:

  1. Our God is the God of Peace who has taken the initiative to restore us to wholeness (Romans 15; 1 Thessalonians 5).
  2. The Great Shepherd of the sheep has given us peace with God.
  3. The covenant with Christ is a renewed covenant, with a new blood type and a new location for the law: written on our hearts (Isaiah 55:1-3).
  4. All people are either covenant keepers or covenant breakers. 
  5. God establishes and expands one everlasting covenant with Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, etc.
  6. This one great covenant is explained and expanded on until it is complete when Christ makes full restitution at the cross. 
  7. Through all of history, the only way sinners can be reconciled to God is by faith in Jesus Christ (cf. Isaiah 24:5).
  8. God has called out a people for Himself to covenant status and privilege in Jesus Christ.
  9. God’s purpose does not change.  By the blood of the covenant God will call a remnant and fulfill His purposes in our time.
  10. Christ paid our sin debt in His blood according to an eternal agreement with God the Father.  Therefore, Christians may rest in the security of God’s unchangeable nature.
  11. In Christ justice was satisfied, the law was fulfilled, and in Him we are given all we need for life and godliness.
  12. The nature of Christ’s shalom is that His covenant people enjoy total wholeness and deliverance from guilt and fear.
  13. By the atoning work of Christ, a legal fact is established:  if we know Christ we are declared justified and thus we are free from guilt and fear of punishment (Romans 4:24-5:1).
  14. How we conceive of God impacts all our relationships.  Doctrine is not for intellectual satisfaction; it gives us peace with God.
  15. If Christ has made atonement for my sin, I do not need to make atonement for my own sin.  I am freed from that burden. 
  16. Outside of Christ, people are guilty, and seek atonement by sadomasochistic activity, either punishing themselves or others.
  17. No matter how much we punish ourselves or others, we cannot atone for our sins.
  18. Our culture is breaking down because of efforts at self-atonement.
  19. In our culture, acts of “freedom” and rebellion are actually efforts at self-atonement: e.g., promiscuity, hostility, self-hatred.
  20. Apart from God, people are looking for someone to bear away their guilt.  Self-pity is a self-punishment that ascribes the greater sins to other people.  We are concerned about collective injustices done to us.  “I’m the victim.  It’s God’s fault.”
  21. All these efforts fail to achieve peace with God.  Apart from Christ, people seek deliverance by sin, not from sin.
  22. The Christian is released from guilt into faith, grace, joy, and hope; we are made free to work and to serve the living God.
  23. We alter the present and future in terms of God’s Word.
  24. Leaders can burden people with guilt to better control them.
  25. The epistles end with a benediction: pronouncements of God’s grace and peace to His people. 
  26. The Great Shepherd of the sheep leads us in His pasture to accomplish His purposes.  He works in us all those things that are pleasing in His sight.
  27. The church is called out by the blood of the covenant.  We are God’s mighty army with a cosmic calling to be ministers of reconciliation through the cross.  We serve His worldwide kingdom, and work toward the reign of the Great Shepherd.

Application Questions: 

  1. How has God accomplished peace for us?  
  2. What does the Peace of God mean for us?
  3. What is the one way of salvation in God’s eternal covenant?
  4. How does God’s unchangeable nature impact our security?
  5. What false forms of atonement does our culture seek after?
  6. Why should we accept our vocations as holy callings?
  7. In what ways can we serve Christ this week, accomplishing what is pleasing in His sight?

Sermon Notes