Introduction: Two weeks, ago we discussed that everything has
changed. Instead of having a physical temple on earth where God lives
and humans approach God only through a priest, our bodies are now
temples ( 1 Corinthians 6:19-20) and God’s Spirit lives in us (Romans
8:9). If everything has changed, then why does Hebrews extensively
discuss Jesus’ current work as our High Priest? Let’s dive into our
study of the Bible to find out what we can learn about what God is

  1. The Order of Melchizedek

    1. Read Hebrews 7:1. What do we immediately notice is
      different about Melchizedek? (He is both a king and a
      priest. In Israel, the king and priest were separate.)

    2. Read Hebrews 7:2-3. To whom is Melchizedek compared?
      (Jesus, the Son of God.)

      1. How is Melchizedek like Jesus?

    3. Read Hebrews 7:4-8. We can see that the writer of Hebrews
      is constructing an argument. What do you think the writer
      is arguing? (He is asking the Jewish people familiar with
      the sanctuary system on earth to consider that something
      greater exists, something that pre-dated the sanctuary on

    4. Read Hebrews 7:11. Why is the Melchizedek system better
      than the Levitical system? (Perfection! Perfection could
      not be attained through the human priesthood.)

      1. Perfection for who? (Us! Praise God.)

      2. Let’s contemplate this a bit. Did we change? (No.)

        1. What changed? (The system. That means that
          perfection does not depend on us.)

    5. Read Hebrews 7:12. What has changed along with the
      priesthood? (The law.)

    6. Read Hebrews 7:13-17. What aspects of the law changed?
      (Hebrews says the rules about the priesthood changed.
      Melchizedek and Jesus are not priests because of
      regulations about ancestry, but because of “the power of
      an indestructible life.”

    7. Read Hebrews 7:18-19. How does this say the law changed?
      (Recall that we decided a few minutes ago that the pursuit
      of perfection is the difference between the new and old
      priesthood. Hebrews tells us that the law is “weak and
      useless” for making us perfect.)

      1. These are powerful words. What do they mean as a
        practical matter for our daily living? (They mean
        that we will never become prefect by trying to obey
        the law. Such an effort is useless because it is too
        weak to accomplish the goal. “Part-perfect” is an
        obvious problem.)

    8. Read Hebrews 7:23-26. How does Jesus meet our need for
      perfection? (He is “holy, blameless, pure, set apart from
      sinners” and “He is able to save completely those who come
      to God through Him.”)

      1. How then, do you become perfect? How do I become
        perfect?(Through Jesus.)

    9. Let’s step back a moment. We started out saying that
      everything is new. We are temples, and God’s Spirit lives
      in us. Is what Jesus is doing also new? (Yes! This tells
      us that Jesus’ priesthood is new and improved, but it is
      not without precedent. The precedent is the Melchizedek

      1. If precedent is important, how can you fit precedent
        into what is happening today? (The precedent is that
        the forgiveness of sin was never through human
        effort. It was through the death of an animal. The
        precedent is that the sin transfer process was
        handled by the priests. Now, Jesus died on our behalf
        (we died with Him), and He is the one who now deals
        with the sin transfer process. The precedent is that
        God meets with humans in a special place. Now, God
        meets with us – but He wants our temple to be a
        special place.)

  2. Intercession

    1. Read Hebrews 8:1-2. Have you every heard someone say, “Now
      here is the point?” The writer of Hebrews is saying, “Now
      here is the point!” What do you understand is the point?
      (We have this fabulous, wonderfully superior priest who is
      serving right now in heaven on our behalf!)

    2. Read Hebrews 9:24-26. In what way is Jesus our fabulous,
      wonderfully superior priest? (He is in heaven, not earth,
      He sacrificed once, not many times. He did away with sin
      and appears on our behalf before God!)

    3. Read Romans 8:32-34. We noted in our discussion two weeks
      ago that the Most Holy place in the sanctuary was a
      “danger zone.” People died if they entered the presence of
      God at the wrong time in the wrong way. What do these
      verses in Romans suggest about God’s attitude toward us?
      (He loves us so much that He gave us Jesus. God will
      graciously give us “all things.”)

      1. Who brings charges against us? (This suggests that no
        one is sufficient to bring charges.)

      2. Read Revelation 12:10-11. Who is the accuser? (Satan.
        He is defeated by the blood of the Lamb and the
        testimony of believers.)

      3. Do you feel guilty about past sins? Sins you have

        1. If the answer is, “yes,” what do these texts
          suggest about this? (That it is the work of the
          evil one to accuse you. No one is sufficient to
          accuse you when Jesus is interceding on your

    4. Read Romans 8:26-27. Wait! Do we have a second
      intercessor? (Yes! The Holy Spirit also intercedes for us!
      This makes perfect sense in light of the doctrine of the
      Trinity. All three Members of the Godhead are pulling for

      1. What, exactly, is the Holy Spirit doing for us that
        is different than what Jesus is doing for us? (The
        Holy Spirit “helps us in our weakness.”)

        1. What weakness is this? (Jesus takes away our
          sins, but the entire sanctuary system shows
          that sin is the enemy. Thus, we need to
          determine to live a life in accord with the
          law. Our attitude and our acts are our
          weakness, and the Holy Spirt helps us with
          these. Again, our actions never save us, only
          Jesus’ work on our behalf. But, what saved
          person wants to be an agent of Satan?)

      2. Romans 8:26 contains some strange language: “the
        Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that
        words cannot express.” What kind of intercession is
        this? (A close relative of mine may have a serious
        medical problem. Have you had so desperate a prayer
        need that you do not know how to put things into
        words – words that will describe how much you need
        God’s help? That is another kind of human weakness.
        The Holy Spirit intercedes for us to express the
        deepest emotions – so deep we really cannot
        adequately put them into words.)

      3. Romans 8:27 brings to mind another aspect of
        intercession. Have you ever faced a need and were
        uncertain about God’s will in the matter? How can you
        know God’s will? (The Holy Spirit “intercedes for the
        saints in accordance with God’s will.”)

    5. Re-read Romans 8:34 and read Romans 8:35-37. We have two
      main problems in life. We are sinners, deserving death,
      and we live in a sinful world. Jesus cured the death
      problem and He continues to intercede on our behalf in
      heaven. How do we deal with the living in a sinful world
      problem? (This is the intercession of the Holy Spirit. The
      Spirit helps us, guides us and directs us.)

      1. What do these two intercessions show? (God’s great
        love! You can decide to leave God, but nothing
        external can take away Jesus’ sacrifice for you and
        the Holy Spirit’s daily help to you! Praise God!)

    6. Friend, would you like Jesus and the Holy Spirit to
      intercede for you? Would you like them to remove the
      condemnation of the law, and give you comfort and guidance
      in day to day problems? If so, why not invite Jesus into
      your life right now? Why not confess your sins and accept
      His sacrifice and the power of His Spirit?

  3. Next week: The Pre-Advent Judgment.