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The Gospel Makes Things Better

Dr. Tom Walker

McDowell County

 

Our consideration in this study is how the Gospel makes things better.  We are going to consider verses in the Book of Hebrews to find the golden nuggets we are going to reflect upon. “Better” is the keyword in Hebrews used some 13 times in our King James Version of the Bible. The Greek New Testament word (kreisson) means far more advantageous or useful.

It is because of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that we enter into a knowledge and experience of the “better things” brought to our attention by the writer of the Book of Hebrews.

We are going to ponder seven different “better things” found within the pages of God’s Word in this one book.

It Produces a Better Hope

Hebrews 7:19 says, “For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by which we draw nigh unto God.” There was nothing wrong with the law God gave to man. The problem is with a man being prone to wander from and obeying the law of God. Man has sought throughout his history, by being as good as he could, to make himself acceptable unto God. Since man cannot fully keep the law, it cannot make him perfect and acceptable unto God. At his very best, mankind comes short

of keeping the laws of God.

The Bible says in Ephesians Chapter 2 that we were without hope when we were without God (Eph.2:12). That is partly because of our inability to perfectly and completely meet the standard God required for full

acceptance.

Our hope in the church age is the Lord Jesus Christ. We have a confident, good expectation for the future. According to 1 Cor. 19:19, our hope is in Christ. Our Lord met all the demands of the law and fulfilled it all.

We do not have to produce our own righteous, His is put on our account when we believe on Christ. Believers are made the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21). That is why our hope is better than the one under the law.

 

It Produces a Better Testament

Hebrews 7:22, “By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.” In the Old Testament, the high priest died and had to be replaced from time to time. The priesthood would have to change every few years.

The priesthood of Jesus is so much different. It is unchangeable because Christ ever lives to make intercession for the people of God. There must be a priest who is acceptable to God and who can stand as a Mediator between God and man. There must be a priest who can make God accept sinful mankind. His name is Jesus. Saints of God approach God through our Great High Priest Christ (John 14:6).

 

It Produces a Better Covenant

A covenant is an agreement between two parties. But note a significant fact: the new covenant of God is not of man. Man has absolutely nothing to do with the terms of this covenant. It is a covenant between God and man, but the terms are set exclusively by God.

In life, there are two kinds of covenants.

  1. There is a covenant where both parties set the terms and agree to them. 2. There is a covenant where one party sets the terms, but both parties agree to them. This kind of covenant is usually called a will or testament. The covenant of God is the latter covenant, a covenant of God’s will and testament. God sets the terms and conditions, and man accepts the covenant

or else rejects it.

The new covenant of God has now been established with man. It has been established and given to man by the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the Minister of the new covenant, and it is far, far superior to the old covenant. The new covenant, a “better covenant…established on better promises” (Heb 8:6), rests directly on the sacrificial work of Christ, according to Hebrews. The new covenant accomplished what the old could not, that being the removal of sin and cleansing of the conscience (Heb 10:2,22).

 

It Produces a Better Sacrifice

Heb 9:23 says, “It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.”

In the Old Testament sacrifices were offered year after year. If you look in verses 25-26, you will discover there is not a demand for another sacrifice because Jesus paid it all.  Because Jesus bore the penalty of judgment for man’s sin, no other sacrifice is necessary. It is one time for all sacrifice; it is all that is needed.

 

It Produces a Better Substance

Heb 10:34, “For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.”

The word “substance” speaks of wealth, possessions, goods, and property. What we have in Heaven cannot be taken away from us. It endures and will not disappear like wealth in this world may do so. Your inheritance and enjoyment of it will be forever if you are a genuine, born again, transformed child of God. What we have in the glory world will endure; it

will last forever.

 

It Points to a Better County

Heb 11:16 states, “But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.”

Heaven is described in Revelation Chapters 21 and 22. Whatever it is, the glory world yet to come is far better than anything we know here on the earth. The Apostle Paul spoke of departing to be with Christ and said of that departure it is “far better” (Phil.1:23). Socialism is certainly not an acceptable form of government, capitalism has flaws, but the society of the world to come will be far better than any system we have known in this present life.

 

It Produces a Better Resurrection

Heb. 11:35, “Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection.”  Many believers suffered according to Hebrews 11. Oliver Greene wrote when they were sawn asunder following   happened: “a person was put in a hollow log then someone sawed through the log and through the person.” Life became so difficult for them that it moved them to anticipate their death, resurrection and a world that is eternal, never-ending, and is with God and Christ forever.

All these better things are true because of the Good News that the Lord Jesus Christ became incarnate, lived a sinless life, died a vicarious death, and arose in a glorious resurrection. Thank God for the Gospel of Christ!

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Dr. Tom Walker is President of Foothills Bible College and Pastor of Zion Hill Baptist Church in Marion, NC.

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