Scripture Reading: Heb. 8:2, 6; 2:10-12; 1:9; 3:6; 4:9; 7:22; 9:15; 12:22-24, 28; 13:1-19
I. The ascended Christ is a “Minister of the holy places, even of the true tabernacle” (Heb. 8:2):
A. Christ, as a Minister of the true (heavenly) tabernacle, ministers heaven (which is not only a place but also a condition of life) into us.
B. The present Christ, who is now in the heavens as our Minister, is ministering to us the heavenly life, grace, authority, and power and sustaining us to live a heavenly life on earth as He did when He was here (1:3; 4:14; 7:26; 9:24).
C. The heavenly Christ is ministering in the tabernacle “which the Lord pitched, not man” (8:2).
D. Whatever Christ carries out as the heavenly Minister, He applies to us as the Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45b; 2 Cor. 3:17).
E. In His heavenly ministry as the Minister of the true tabernacle, Christ is serving God’s people with the bequests, the blessings, of the new testament (7:22; 8:6; 9:15).
II. In the Epistle to the Hebrews, various aspects of the church are revealed:
A. The church is a living composition of the many sons of God, who are the many brothers of Christ brought forth in His resurrection (2:10-12; Rom. 8:29; John 20:17; Heb. 1:5; 5:5; Acts 13:33; 1 Pet. 1:3).
B. The church is a corporate partnership with Christ (3:14; 1:9).
C. The church, the enlargement of Christ, is the Sabbath rest (John 2:19, 21; 3:29a, 30; 1 Cor. 12:12; Heb. 3:6; 4:9).
D. To come to the church is to come to the new covenant and to the heavenly New Jerusalem (Heb. 12:22-24; 8:7-13; 11:10, 16; Gal. 4:24-26).
III. Hebrews 13:1-19 speaks of the virtues and the experiences needed for the practice of the church life:
A. As indicated by its content, this chapter was written with a view to a proper church life; nearly everything mentioned here, such as brotherly love and hospitality, is for the church life, not only for the Christian life (vv. 1-7, 16-18).
B. For a true and steadfast church life, we must hold on to the Christ who is the same yesterday and today, and even forever, and must not be carried away by various strange teachings (vv. 8-9).
C. The more we are in our spirit, enjoying the heavenly Christ, the more we will come outside the camp of religion, following the suffering Jesus (vv. 12-14).
D. Since in the church life we enjoy the unchanging Christ as grace and follow Him outside religion, we should offer through Him spiritual sacrifices of praise to God (v. 15).