Hebrews 13:14-16 “For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. 15Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, acknowledging his name. 16And do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for God is pleased with such sacrifices.”
The singular word that binds these two verses (15-16) together: “sacrifice”
Two pre-requisites for sacrificial worship that pleases God:
1. Hearts must be set upon seeking the city of God to come (v. 14)
Our hearts set upon seeking the fullness of God, the One “who was, who is, and is to come” and the kingdom He ushered in and will complete in the renewal of all things.
2. Jesus is our High Priest and mediator enabling worship (v. 15a)
Two interconnected aspects of sacrificial worship that pleases God:
1. Worshiping lips: Confession (v. 15b)
Under the Old Covenant, the Jewish sacrificial system required sacrifices at specific times of the calendar year culminating on Yom Kippur or the “Day of Atonement” – the day of covering, cancelling, pardoning, reconciling – It was the only time when the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies and call upon the Name of God, offering blood sacrifices for the sins of the people. The life blood of a sacrificial animal was required in exchange for the life blood of the worshipers (Lev. 17:11).
However, according to Hebrews 9:9, these sacrifices could not perfect the conscience of the worshiper. They were imperfect sacrifices. As we read on in Hebrews 9:11-14, we discover that Jesus was a once for all sacrifice. So rather than worshiping at a designated time, at a designated place, with a designated animal sacrifice, we offer up a sacrifice of praise to God continually – all the time, everywhere – because Jesus secured our redemption with his own life, his own blood in exchange for our life blood – and our consciences are clear, we are set free from the shackles of sin and dead works, as we continually worship the living God!
2. Worshiping life: Compassion (v. 16a)
- Do – not – neglect to do good (Ephesians 2:10)
- Do – not – neglect to share what you have (1 John 3:17-18)
Below is the audio (mp3) of the teaching this excerpt was taken from…[audio:http://www.p4x.org/worship/Confession_and_Compassion.mp3]