Who has what altar?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by swaimj, Oct 21, 2002.

  1. swaimj

    swaimj
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    I'm working on a message for Sunday AM and I am stumped by a statement in the scriptures. I plan to go do some research on Wed AM, but, meantime, I thought I'd try to get some feedback on the BB. Hebrews 13:10 reads:
    Two questions:

    1. To whom does "we" refer?
    2. To what does "altar" refer?

    :confused:
     
  2. Aaron

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    John Calvin:

    This is a beautiful adaptation of an old rite under the Law, to the present state of the Church. There was a kind of sacrifice appointed, mentioned in the sixteenth chapter of Leviticus, no part of which returned to the priests and Levites. This, as he now shows by a suitable allusion, was accomplished in Christ; for he was sacrificed on this condition, that they who serve the tabernacle should not feed on him. But by the ministers of the tabernacle he means all those who performed the ceremonies. Then that we may partake of Christ, he intimates that we must renounce the tabernacle; for as the word altar includes sacrificing and the victim; so tabernacle, all the external types connected with it. Then the meaning is, “No wonder if the rites of the Law have now ceased, for this is what was typified by the sacrifice which the Levites brought without the camp to be there burnt; for as the ministers of the tabernacle did eat nothing of it, so if we serve the tabernacle, that is, retain its ceremonies, we shall not be partakers of that sacrifice which Christ once offered, nor of the expiation which he once made by his own blood; for his own blood he brought into the heavenly sanctuary that he might atone for the sin of the world.”
     
  3. Helen

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    Here's a bit more:

    NIV Study Notes: "We have an altar": Probably refers to the cross, which marked the end of the whole Aaronic priesthood and its replacement by the order of Melchizedek, of which Christ is the unique and only priest. "no right to eat." The priests could not eat of the sacrifice n the Day of Atonement, but we can partake of our sacrifice, so to speak -- through reception of Christ by fith (see John 6:48-58). He have a higher privilege than the priests under the old covenant had.
     
  4. mountainrun

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    I don't really know, but here is what John MacArthur says in his commentary on Hebrews.
    {Discussing 10-12}
    ========
    Verses 10-14 are among the most difficult in the book of Hebrews. They are subject to many interpretations and applications, and I do not want to be dogmatic in the views I present.

    Many Christians believe the altar mentioned here is literal, and that it refers to the altars at which believers today are to worship. These interpreters hold the right to eat refers to the Lord's Supper. But who then, would be "those who serve the tabernacle" who "have no right to eat?"
    And verse 11 speaks of "the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin."
    This can hardly describe Christian worship.

    Some believe the reference is to a heavenly altar, such as that spoken of in Rev. 6. But again, who would be those who had no right to eat there. And, in any case, there is no eating or sacrificing of animal at the heavenly altar.

    Others believe the altar is a figure of Christ, whose body we are to eat and whose blood we are to drink. But still the questions remain about who is not allowed to eat and about the sacrificial animals.

    I believe the best explaination is to consider that "We" refers to the writer's fellow Jews. that is , "We Jews have an altar. The priests serve at this altar in the Tabernacle, or the Temple. Ordinarily they are allowed to eat what remains of the sacrifices. But on the Day of Atonement, they are not allowed to eat the sin offering. The bodies of the animals used for this sacrifice are taken outside the camp and burned."

    In this view, an analogy is given for Christians.
    As the priest of old could not have a part in the sins of the people, so the believer should be outside the camp of the world, no longer a part of its system, standards, and practices. This is what Jesus did, pictured supremely in the crucifixion, which was outside the city gates.
    "Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own Blood, suffered outside the gate."
    I do not think the analogy can be pressed any further. It is simply a picture of Christians, following their Lord, separating themselves from the things of sin. As our Lord was crucified outside the walls of the city of fJerusalem, so we are to be spiritually outside the walls of sinning people.
    ============

    I don't know if this helps or not. I'm to tired to try to understand it tonite myself.

    MR
     
  5. Paul of Eugene

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    ??? Seems quite simple to me - "we" is obviously we of the christian community; the alter is obviously a reference to the sacrifice of Christ. All the sacrificial system, all the sacrifices of various kinds, they all are fulfilled in the one atoning act of Christ on the cross.

    Next time you are partaking of the Lord's Supper, think about this verse.
     
  6. Frogman

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    This would seem to me to be speaking in favor of 'closed' communion.

    The text taken in context seems to be speaking of the end of the law, earthly priesthood through Aaron, and Levitical sacrifices; (see 12.24); and the establishment of the 'grace' as spoken of in 13.9.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  7. Daniel Dunivan

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    The writer is making a direct connection between the sacrifice of Christ and the Day of Atonement sacrifice. He then leads this into an important point for the whole book of Hebrews: We should endure like Christ endured (v. 13); he sacrificed and provided both a way of redemption and an example of suffering.

    Good luck on the sermon!

    Grace and Peace,

    Danny
     
  8. swaimj

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    Thanks for the responses. I agree with what most of you have said: "we" refers to Christians and the altar is Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. I'm still not clear on the phrase, "we have an altar at which those who serve the tent have no right to eat." In the "tent" (OT system) they did not eat the bodies from the altar, they were burned. What is the food which we have a right to that they have no right to? Some might say "the communion table", but I have trouble considering that an "altar" since it memorializes Christ's sacrifice but does not repeat it (hey, we're all baptists right? [​IMG] ). It seems that there is a sense in which the altar is also where we present ourselves a living sacrifice to God (cf. vs. 15). This is the only continuing altar that we have where we continually offer ourselves to God. Given that, perhaps the food is is the "fruit of lips that honor His name" (vs. 15). That seems to be the closest thing in the context that fits.

    Well, I'm still digging into this. Any other thoughts would be appreciated.
     
  9. Frogman

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    I may be mistaken, but I believe some of the offerings were eaten afterward to signify that which was accepted of God.

    Perhaps the only exception being the burnt sacrifice. I will study this further and get back on this topic; however, I believe it depended upon the nature or reason of the offering.

    God bless.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  10. Jim1999

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    the "we" are the servants, the priests. of the sanctuary. "the altar where they have no right to eat". The literal altar where the sin-sacrifices were made. Without going into great detail, some sacrificed animals could be eaten and others could not. They were taken out of the camp and burned completely.

    I have mostly used this passage as a type of Christ....The one sustaining sacrifice He made for us from which the redeemed partake without exception.....Those outside the camp are banned. Not the Lord's supper in communion, but the ultimate sacrifice. Look back to Lev 16:27 for the historical account. In doing this we establish who is speaking to whom and in what setting,,,then we apply the theological principle to to-day.

    For what it is worth, my brother,

    Cheers,

    Jim

    [ October 25, 2002, 09:04 PM: Message edited by: Jim1999 ]
     
  11. Jim1999

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    Brother Swaimj:

    It would be lovely to see your sermon outline after it has been delivered.

    Cheers, and God's speed and blessings,

    Jim
     
  12. swaimj

    swaimj
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    The sermon is being delivered tomorrow on "Pastor Appreciation Day" at my church. I am polishing it up tonite and will try to post the finished sermon outline tomorrow. The sermon covers vss. 7-17. Thanks again for the replies.
     
  13. swaimj

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    The sermon is being delivered tomorrow on "Pastor Appreciation Day" at my church. I am polishing it up tonite and will try to post the finished sermon outline tomorrow. The sermon covers vss. 7-17. Thanks again for the replies.
     
  14. swaimj

    swaimj
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    OK. Here's the sermon. Any feedback is welcome. [​IMG]

    Honoring A Pastor
    Heb. 13:7-17

    Pastor Appreciation Day is a day for the congregation to think about how we should respond to a pastor.

    A church should...

    I. Remember those who who were faithful leaders in the Church yesterday. (7)

    They were spiritual leaders because they faithfully preached and taught God's Word.

    They were spiritual leaders because they faithfully modeled God's Word.

    Imitate them.

    II. Submit to those who are faithful leaders in the Church today. (17)

    A. A church should note two responsibilities a pastor has toward his congregation:

    1. He must uphold the true doctrines of Christ.

    a) This is true because of the particular word which is translated Obey:
    Note the way this word is translated elsewhere:
    Hebrews 6:9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.
    Timothy 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.

    We conclude that the word means: follow as a result of persuasion. Act on the basis of being convinced to believe something.

    b) This is true because of the statement about Jesus (8).


    c) This is true because of the instruction given (9-11)

    2. He must encourage the process of sanctification for each believer in his care.

    a) He is constantly watching over the souls (the lives) of his congregation

    b) This is true because Jesus' purpose in dying was to sanctify his people (12)

    c) Sanctification includes three practical areas:

    1)Living according to eternal values (13-14)

    2) Continually praising God (15)

    3) Practicing practical righteousness (16)

    B. A church should note the tremendous responsibility a pastor has before God

    He'll give an account for his faithfulness in reminding you of the truth

    He'll give an account for his faithfulness in caring for your soul.

    C. A church should respond to a faithful pastor with:

    Teachableness and Submission

    Because Jesus is gracious to you in giving you a faithful pastor, you should be teachable and obedient to the pastor and make his job easier.

    Is this congregation Jer. 9:1 (I hope not)
    Jeremiah 9:1 Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!

    or... Phil 1: 3-8? (I hope so).
    I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, 5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; 6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: 7 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, 8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you ye all are partakers of my grace.all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.

    Illustration:
    Allen Iverson and Larry Brown

    As a coach, Brown is comparable to a pastor--He teaches his players the fundamentals of the game and he cares about his players personally.

    As a player, Iverson is not very teachable and as a person he is not upstanding.

    Brown suffers for being Iverson's coach. Neck spasms and stomach problems.

    Yet Brown is recognized as a great coach

    Will Iverson be seen as a great player who reached his potential? Not likely unless he changes.

    Ultimately, by not being obedient and submissive, Iverson is the loser.





    Proposition: A congregation which receives instruction from their pastor and submits to him makes their pastor's task enjoyable and reaps great spiritual reward.

    [ October 26, 2002, 10:52 PM: Message edited by: swaimj ]
     
  15. Jim1999

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    Swaimj:

    I would gladly sit under that sermon. I like the way you showed how the pastor leads his flock and give direction by his own submission to God and righteousness, that they too should continue in perseverance unto holiness,,,,,and the responsibility of the pastor so give direction and leadership to this end.

    Full marks, my brother, and thank you.

    God bless,

    Jim
     

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