December 13, 2005

Read Hebrews 5

In Today's Reading:

Christ, the High Priest; appeal to believe; priestly order of Melchizedek; Aaronic priesthood inferior to Christ's priesthood

How thankful we are that mercy is the very nature of God. It is one of our greatest daily needs. Mercy is an undeserved expression of His willingness to forgive sinners and deliver them from eternal hell. Mercy involves love and is a practical demonstration of compassion.

Because God is also holy, He must enforce the penalty for sin, and the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). In the Old Testament, an innocent, sinless lamb took the place of an Israelite and was slain as a sacrifice in his place for his sin. The devout Jew was continually reminded that it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul (Leviticus 17:11). But, the need for numerous sacrifices ceased when Jesus, the innocent, sinless Son of God, died on the cross for our sins and became the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29).

He became the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him (Hebrews 5:9). By His own blood He entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. . . . How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot (flawless) to God, purge (cleanse) your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (9:12-14).

Since we so often fail to be all that we should be and thus deserve the judgment of God, it is His mercy that gives a Christian assurance of a continued relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ. In turn, the true believer will express mercy in his relationships with others because the Spirit of God dwells in his heart. We have His promise: Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy (Matthew 5:7).

Put on therefore, as the elect (chosen) of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies (hearts full of loving-kindness and compassion), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness (gentleness) . . . Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another . . . even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye (Colossians 3:12-13).

Cross References:

For Hebrews 5:5: See Psalm 2:7. Hebrews 5:6: See Psalm 110:4. Hebrews 6:14: See Genesis 22:17.

Word Studies:

6:17 immutability = unchangeableness; counsel = purpose, will.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by George S Williams and Mrs Ann W Reed · Staff: Ilene Wallace · Government Official: Gov. Tom Vilsack (IA) · Country: Belgium (10 million) in northwestern Europe · Major languages: Flemish and French · Religious freedom · 87% Roman Catholic; 3% Muslim; .8% Protestant; .5% Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: God wants to be exalted through you (Psalm 46:10).

Memory Verse for the Week: 1 Peter 1:23