Read: Hebrews 7

During the tumultuous civil rights era of the 1960's a number of leaders would speak to their dedicated followers—closing their rallies with the words, “Keep the faith, baby!” It was a rallying cry, urging the tired and weary to persevere! Yes, their struggle was hard and without any end in sight. But they had to continue, so someone would shout to the departing masses, “Keep the faith, baby!” 

And let it be affirmed again that perseverance is not only a necessity for issues of liberty and freedom for people everywhere. Perseverance is especially important for Christians. After all, life doesn’t always work, as we would like. All sorts of physical and material disappoints can impede our walk with Christ. And the enemy of our souls encourages us to quit instead of continue. So where is our motivation to persevere, especially when our sin and failure seems so constant?

Hebrews 7 is an important text to read and remember when our hope is waning. The preceding context reminds the reader that our encouragement is not in our possessions or our personal successes. Our hope is in Jesus the Messiah, who is also our high priest (6:19-20). Those of us in the Protestant tradition do not think much about having a priest to aid us in our spiritual journey. But the Jewish people under the Old Covenant understood the high priest as their primary advocate before God. He was the one who would take the sacrifices into the Holy of Holies, and then intercede on behalf of those sinners who stood at a distance from the tabernacle. They depended on the priest to “defend them” before a holy God. 

But what if the priest was just another sinner? What if he was vulnerable to disease, aging, sin, and death? What possible hope could he provide for those of us who are weighed down with all sorts of spiritual frailties? Quite honestly, his advocacy and help would be limited. However, Hebrews 7 introduces us to a superior advocate—Jesus! Read the chapter again several times and then make note of the following:

  • Jesus isn't a temporary priest. He is eternal, always existing as a priest in the lineage of Melchizedek (7:1-3) 
  • Jesus also has superior authority over every other human priest, since He was the One who preceded the Levitical priesthood (7:4-10). 
  • In addition, Jesus is also the One who inaugurated a “new” covenant, since the Mosaic Covenant was never able to make anyone perfect in God’s sights (7:11-22). 

So what does all of this mean for us, especially when it comes to persevering in the faith? What hope do we have when our sin and failures seem so overwhelming? Let me put it this way, and in the spirit of Hebrews 7: keep the faith (sinning saint), since Jesus is our eternal advocate! 

And just what would we be doing if we were to keep the faith in conjunction with our great High Priest? A couple of things emerge from our text. First, we would be wise to read Hebrews 7 over and over again, perhaps even putting verses 23-25 to memory. Jesus is “always able to save” those who come to Him. What a comforting thought! What great hope! 

In addition, we would also be wise to stay in conversation with our Advocate. He is not shocked by the things we do and the things we encounter in life. He is interceding for us right now! So talk to Him. Confess your sins. Call on Him to deliver you from the transgressions that weigh you down. 

Yes, life is hard at times! Quitting the faith may seem like the logical thing to do. But it is not the way of King Jesus and those who follow Him. So dear saint…KEEP THE FAITH!

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