Introduction: How many religions are you acquainted with? Every one that I know about involves a sacrifice of some kind. That sacrifice is an offering to the god of the religion or some sort of penance for sin. Something that belongs to you is given up.  Christianity is different in that we do not earn our salvation by our works. Giving up our property does not bring eternal life. We do, however, have a sacrifice. But our sacrifice turns all the other religions on their head. Our God is sacrificing Himself, we are not sacrificing to Him. Let’s dive into our study of Hebrews and learn more!

  1.         Cleansing Blood

  1.         Read Hebrews 9:11-12. Let’s understand the setting. What is the “more perfect tent?”

  1.         What is in this “tent?” (“Holy places.”)

  1.         Who made this tent? (It was not of this earth, and it was not made with human hands.)

  1.         What is the purpose of this tent? (This tent sounds like the tabernacle on earth that was built during the exodus from Egypt. Like the tabernacle on earth, its purpose is to remove the sins of the people, to secure “an eternal redemption.”)

  1.         Notice that the ESV translates as “tent” what other translations say is “tabernacle.”  The Hebrew literally means a cloth hut or a tent. Because this is a place to live, some translators think it fair to call it a tabernacle. Why would the temple in heaven be called a “tent?” (The wilderness tabernacle built during the exodus, and created following the instructions of God, was literally a tent. This reference ties what was done through Moses with what is going on in heaven.)

  1.         Read Hebrews 9:13-14. What does Jesus’ blood shed on our behalf do for us? (It will “purify our conscience from dead works.”)

  1.         What does that mean?

  1.         Are “dead works” our efforts to earn salvation?  Are they evil deeds? Are they both?

  1.         Notice that verse 14 says that the blood of Jesus is offered “through the eternal Spirit.” What is this “Eternal Spirit?” (The Holy Spirit.)

  1.         Notice the end of verse 14 says that we are purified from dead works “to serve the living God.” What is the goal of Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf? (To serve Him.)

  1.         If these “dead works” are our effort to earn our salvation, what kind of service does God desire of us?

  1.         Do you recall our discussion of Hebrews 6:1? God has in mind “maturity” for us, which means understanding the spiritual battle between good and evil. We go beyond looking at our self all the time to correct our deficiencies. How would you say the Holy Spirit fits in on this battle?

  1.         Salvation is Done

  1.         Let’s temporarily jump ahead and read Hebrews 10:9-10. What does the will of Jesus, the will to die on our behalf, do for us? (It has “sanctified” us, “once for all.”)

  1.         Read Hebrews 10:14. This is an amazing promise. Does this text say that Jesus has made you “perfect?” (Yes, you are “perfected for all time.”)

  1.         Is your behavior what it should be? Are you the perfect Christian? (No. This verse also says that we are “being sanctified.”)

  1.         How can you be “perfect” and still in the process of being sanctified? (We are declared perfect because of what Jesus has done for us on the cross. But, our lives are a work in progress.)

  1.         Let’s go back to Hebrews 9 and read Hebrews 9:26. How do you understand the statements that Jesus has “appeared once for all” to “put away sin?”

  1.         Sin is alive and well two thousand years later. How do we explain this? (Your condemnation based on your sin is over. It has been put away by Jesus. You are still working on the sin problem in your life, but not to secure your salvation. You are perfect right now.)

  1.         Read Hebrews 9:27-28. What is Jesus goal for us? (To save those who eagerly wait for Him.)

  1.         What does this teach us about the attitude of the saved?

  1.         Salvation Attitude

  1.         Read Romans 3:21-22. Who is entitled to rely on what Jesus has done at the cross? (“All who believe.”)

  1.         Read Romans 3:23-24. What kind of attitude should we have toward other Christians? (We are all given a gift. We are not superior to each other. There is “no distinction” (v.22) with regard to our salvation.)

  1.         Read Romans 3:27-28. Who is entitled to boast about their salvation? (No one! Jesus did it, not us.)

  1.         Read Romans 3:31. Does this mean that obeying the law is no longer important? (Not to our salvation. But the fact that Jesus died to satisfy the requirements of the law show that it is important.)

  1.         Go back and re-read the last part of Romans 3:21. What does it mean that the Law and Prophets bear witness to God’s righteousness? (If the law was not important, God would have disregarded it rather than dying for it. We need to have that as part of our attitude.)

  1.         Read Ephesians 3:14-16. Paul is suffering when he writes this. What should be our attitude toward God when we face difficulties? (We need to turn to God and He will give us His Holy Spirit to strengthen us.)

  1.         What does the “riches of His glory” have to do with this help? (God has died for us. Jesus has saved us. With this track record, can we trust Him to do the right thing? Of course.)

  1.         Read Ephesians 3:17-19. Whose love is described here? (The love of Jesus. Paul teaches us that in all times, but especially times of need, we need to contemplate Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. That contemplation changes us. It fills us with love. It gives us the right attitude.)

  1.         Read Ephesians 3:20. What is the “power at work within us?” (The Holy Spirit.)

  1.         Is the power of the Holy Spirit limited?

  1.         Notice that what we ask of God is limited by the power of the Holy Spirit. What does that teach us about our requests? (There is no limit to what God can do for us.)

  1.         Notice also the language that refers to what “we ask or think.” What does this say about what we would like God to do for us? (It says that our goals are too low. God has more in mind for us that we have imagined.)

  1.         Is this your experience? (It is mine. Almost twenty years ago I decided that I wanted to turn the focus of my life to teaching. I had in mind teaching at the college level in a church-affiliated school. God opened the doors for me to teach in a Christian law school on the subjects I’ve been litigating! It was perfect, and more than I imagined.)

  1.         Friend, Jesus has assured your salvation. He has done what you could not. Jesus did this because He is filled with love for you. Will you accept His offer of salvation? Will you trust His love for you? Why not make that commitment right now?

  1.         Next week: Jesus Opens the Way Through the Veil.