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Summary: The human tendency is to hate authority. The Bible, on the other hand, not only exalts God’s authority, but it also places its blessing on certain forms of human authority. God has also made every church member accountable to every other church member. Go

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Purpose: To explain how true fellowship happens.

Aim: I want the listener to see the benefits of being accountable.

INTRODUCTION: The human tendency is to hate authority. The Bible, on the other hand, not only exalts God’s authority, but it also places its blessing on certain forms of human authority. This includes government (see Romans 13:1-7), the husband’s authority (see Ephesians 5:23), and church leaders (see Hebrews 13:17 & 1 Peter 5:1-2, 12-13 & Colossians 1:28).

God has also made every church member accountable to every other church member. God want us to see that as a blessing.

We don’t like authority because by nature we don’t want to be held accountable for our actions. The problem is that our faults (sins) keep us from having a joyful relationship with Christ and with others. So, how can we overcome that awful tendency?

Our text gives us a clear outline. Notice: we have two explanations of a Christian’s relationship with Christ "since we have..." in verses 19 & 21. Then we have a threefold invitation based on our relationship with Christ: "let us..." in verses 22, 23, 24 which includes our faith, hope, and love.

Vs.19-21 I. How Can we Fellowship with God?

Here we see the phrase "since we have..."

Vs.19-20 A. Through the sacrifice of Christ "by the blood of Jesus...His flesh"

We must NOT approach God through formalism, tradition, hypocrisy, hard work, or religious ceremonies. We can only move from the Holy Place (Vs.19) into the Holy of Holies (Vs.20) through the bloody sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

This is what the book of Hebrews has been explaining up until this point. The only way to get to God is through the dreadful death of Jesus Christ. "Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says,[in Psalm 40:6] "SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME; " (Hebrews 10:5, NAS)

"By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD " (Hebrews 10:10--12, NAS)

The sanctuary is divided into two parts: the Holy Place & the Most Holy Place. If you were to enter the Holy Place you would immediately notice a strong smell. Burning frankincense is in the air which is mixed with the delicious aroma of fresh baked bread. By the flicker of the menorah candles you notice the floor: streaks of red blood stripe the floor which then disappears, under the veil into the Holy of Holies.

We can only move from the place of sacrifice, the Holy Place, into the place of intimate fellowship with God, the Holy of Holies, because of the sacrifice of Christ. Before we enter we must lay down anything we are clinging to and acknowledge our own nakedness before God. All my ambition, all my good works must go. It wasn’t until Adam and Eve felt their complete nakedness that God clothed them with animal skins.


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