Summary: 1st message of 4 part series in Hebrews. There are 18 messages preached in 4 sections. This is 3rd section focusing on the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. This section was preached during the Easter season.
God Wants a Perfect People
My mom tells the story of a little neighbor boy who for Christmas received a cowboy outfit. It had a cowboy hat, vest, chaps and boots. As soon as he opened up his presents he put them on and then ran to the full length mirror in his parents’ bedroom. He stood there and looked at himself carefully for a long time and then he sighed and said, “It’s just perfect.”
What does it take to reach perfection in life? What does it mean to reach perfection? Is it about power? Might? Wisdom? All knowledge?
The lady must have been desperate. She decided to write a letter to Dear Abby. Her letter reads: Dear Abby, I am 44 and would like to meet a man my age with no bad habits. She signed her name, “Rose.” Abby replies: “Dear Rose: So would I.”
There’s more truth to Abby’s answer than her typical pithiness conveys. “So would I” – meaning that perfect people are not easy to come by. I think that you and I can relate to that.
At some level we know that perfection eludes us. What perfection? Why even the simple thing that Rose asked for: having no bad habits, eludes us.
Today we’re going start in Hebrews 7:11 and learn about perfection – what it is and how you can obtain it. Listen closely because what you will learn today is simple and powerful.
We begin with what does not bring you perfection – Religion.
Religion Does Not Make You Perfect
11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people), why was there still need for another priest to come—one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?
We are not made perfect through the work of imperfect priests. Imperfection produces… imperfection. This is invariable. There are no exceptions.
Even the most perfectly made robotic machinery that produces widgets by the thousand per minute will occasionally miss feed a part, press a piece incorrectly, load an ingredient partially, or connect a component loosely – and produce an imperfect product.
Why? Because the most perfectly made robotic machines are imperfectly made by imperfect people or machines.
Imperfection is contagious and pervasive – it’s everywhere and it’s catching!
Religious behavior is no different. People who try to attain perfection through religious activities will never make it. It is simply not enough…
But we keep hoping and trying – don’t we!
One of the struggles I have in life is dealing with my own imperfection in the context of people who don’t want to let me be imperfect. I live in a world that knows I’m not perfect but expects me to be perfect.
In fact, have had people upset with me when they find out that I’m not perfect.
Now, There is a tough set of expectations for being a senior pastor…
Expectations for Senior Pastor, Rick Stacy:
• Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
• Is more powerful than a locomotive.
• Is faster than a speeding bullet.
• Walks on water.
• Gives policies to God.
Expectations for Administrative Minister, Jamie Wetzel
• Is able to leap short buildings in a single bound.
• Is as powerful as a switch engine.
• Is just as fast as a speeding bullet.
• Walks on water because he knows where the stumps are.
• Is occasionally addressed by God.
Expectations for Worship Minister, Esther Hetrick
• Lifts buildings to walk under them.
• Can make the sound of a locomotive on her keyboard.
• Catches speeding bullets in her teeth.
• Swims well.
• Tells God which key to sing in.
Expectations for Children’s Pastor, Dave Costa
• Leaps small garden sheds with a running start.
• Can identify a locomotives 2 out of 3 times.
• Can shoot a speeding bullet.
• Knows how to use the water fountain.
• Talks with God if special request is approved.
Expectations for Youth Minister, Tyler Sherman
• Runs into side of small buildings.
• Plays with toy trains
• Is faster than a speeding BB.
• Uses a squirt gun.
• Mumbles to himself about God
Religion Does Not Make You Perfect
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
The Ministry is made up of imperfect people
Aaron – helped make the golden calf
Eli – raised two evil sons
Hophni and Phinias were corrupt priests who stole the best from the people
Annas and Caiphais were the priests who led the people against Jesus
No different today… We hear about the national evangelists who fail and fall and occasionally about a local minister who falls into sin or leads a church into division with arrogance and power.