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Summary: Part two of Symbols of the Covenants series. A brief look at the Heavenly and Earthly Sanctuaries as symbols of the old and new covenants as seen in Hebrews Chapter 8.

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Symbols of the Covenants II: Earthly and Heavenly Sanctuaries

Scripture: Hebrews 8:1-6

I. Introduction and Review

If you remember the last time I spoke I spoke on Abraham’s experience with Hagar and Sarah as Symbols of the old and new covenants. The experience with Hagar was being religious in a sense, trying to work out religious things but doing it your own way through the flesh, which was disregarded by God. The experience of Abraham with Sarah was having faith in God and doing it through his plan. Today I want to talk about two more symbols the Earthly and Heavenly Sanctuaries. I have decided to do a series on this topic. Since I am going to be here two weeks in a row I figured it would be a good thing to do. This is the second sermon in a 5 sermon series entitled Images of the Covenant.

II. Lets begin in Hebrews 8:1 (read 1-3) Here Paul is developing the concept of the two sanctuaries, the earthly and the heavenly sanctuary. (read 4-6) Now the old covenant has promises, they are not as good of promises but it does have promises. (read 7a) The old covenant wasn’t perfect, it had a flaw, something you catch up on.

III. (Read Hebrews 7-9) Just like he disregarded Ishmael. It is very important that we understand the covenant that was made with Israel at Mt Sinai. You remember that they built a fence around the mountain that no one was to cross and if they did they would be killed. But Moses went across and went up to the top of the mountain. Where God told him go down and prepare the people because in three days I will return and speak to them. Well he went down prepared the people and three day’s later they were awoken with thunder and lightning and the mighty voice of God issued the Ten Commandments. And you remember what happened the people got scared and said to Moses “you talk to God for us lest he destroys us.” They were afraid. So they told Moses to intercede for them and that whatever the Lord told Moses they would do it. “All that the Lord says we will do. Just don’t let him talk directly too us any more.”

IV. So the first covenant was based on fear. Fear of punishment or hope for reward. And God didn’t like that covenant. Because as soon as God was out of sight and Moses was gone up the mountain, what were they doing? They were doing what was in their heart. Worshiping the Golden Calf.

V. (read vs. 10) Too often in our lives the laws are just on the stones and we need to get them into our hearts. (read 8:11-13) Now what we are going to see next week and later in this series is the old covenant is ok in its place, but it is not where God wants us to be. It will not save us. And it will not truly make us happy. It is better to have tell your children don’t steal, and have them obey because they are afraid of the consequences then to have them out stealing. It is ok in it’s place but it isn’t where God wants us.

VI. (read Hebrews 9:1-4) He groups the tablets, the Ten Commandments right in there with the rest of the old covenant things. Because it is part of the old covenant. How many times have we gone into Bible study or gone into church and we lift up the law. And we say this is it either keep this or you lose eternal life. When we do that we only perpetuate the old covenant. We need to be careful of how we present the gospel message. It is Jesus Christ that needs to be uplifted and not the Law.


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