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HEBREWS-JESUS IS BETTER: Inspired Living

HEBREWS-JESUS IS BETTER  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  55:59
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 Inspired Living Hebrews 3:7-13 I hope, as we come here week-after-week we see this Bible, this Word of God, as something awe inspiring. It should be this Bible, this Word of God that inspires us to salvation - and then inspires us to inspired living. It’s tied together to proclaim one message - that God is above all things, holy, different, loving, father. We are His creation who His cares about carefully yet we’ve strayed from Him. In fact, because our original parents in the garden rebelled from HIs careful special care we too not rebel. We don’t seek after God. We question Him at every step - scripture shows a 6 day creation, we doubt it, in fact we mock it. Scripture says there are two genders, we have at least 49 others. Scripture says we have violence in our heart because we’re far from the creator God who is love, we say; no the problem is that we haven’t listened to children’s re-framed policy and law that will restrict access to the means of violence there by securing peace for all mankind. We live in aspiring living, not inspired living. We aspire to be like God rather than being inspired by God - and so we settle for life on earth. However, weekly. We gather. And the church gathered is to center on the living, breathing word of God found in these 66 books of the Bible and we’re to celebrate. Because church we aren’t here with aspirations of human ability - rather we’re here, inspired by the grace and love of God and so we celebrate Him, we worship Him, and we subject ourselves to Him. Let’s go straight to our passage for today - Hebrews Chapter 3. Hebrews 3:7–13 (ESV) A Rest for the People of God 7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice, 8  do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, 9  where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years. 10  Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.’ 11  As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.’ ” 12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Now remember as the Book of Hebrews started we see that the Hebrew people these early believers in Christ who came just after His earthly ministry - they’ve started to turn and think, there is more, there is something else. Now they weren’t quite to the 49 genders determination - but they likely weren’t far from it. Proverbs 16:25 (ESV) 25  There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. Possibly we’d have great ways to bring a believer back who’d turned back to law, maybe we’d remind them about grace, and salvation NOT being a work that we can purchase but rather being a gift only God can grant. However, the Hebrew’s were addressed in this letter - and subsequently all History from that point forward, was corrected through a fuller understanding of Jesus. As we’ve been through Chapters 1 and 2 it’s been through demonstrated that Jesus is the fullness of God’s character. In fact, Jesus would even say Himself: John 14:9 (ESV) 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? We’ve seen the writer of Hebrews argue that Jesus is Higher than the angels, and in fact, higher than even Moses, which to the Hebrew audience was a big deal. Last week we reiterated who Moses was. Born during the time of slavery over the Jews in Egypt - the Egyptian pharos was nervous at their rate of reproduction. He declared that all the male infants would be killed. Moses was to be one of those - but God had a plan for his life. His sister would sneak him into a basket and float him down the river to the daughter of Pharaoh who took on Moses as her own. Moses would grow up and desire that his people be saved from slavery - he’d try to make that happen attacking an Egyptian and he failed at saving the people, so he ran and God allowed him to hide away until the time God was ready to use him - then God would call him from the wilderness and use him mightily, though he was now less egger. Moses would lead the people out of slavery - he’d establish the law and settle disputes - all of life for the Jews during their days of wandering after slavery centered around Moses. And so saying that Jesus was higher than Moses was a huge statement this was the guy who saved them, who lead them, who gave them order and peace - … yet Jesus is higher. Consider again this passage: Hebrews 3:7–13 (ESV) A Rest for the People of God 7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, Therefore is our signal that we’re picking up from something else, here that something else is the previous week’s arguments - therefore because Jesus is higher than even Moses …. “As the holy spirit says”… this is interesting as what will follow is attributed to the Holy Spirit. This is recognition in the New Testament that scripture from the past was from the Holy Spirit, though it is from human authors it’s ultimately from God - God oversaw it, God used human writers and their personalities to pen it, but oversaw it and its transmission - so what we study isn’t simply stories, it’s what God desires for us to know - and so as the writer hones in on the point, here is why you should step away from law and ceremony and come back to Jesus - it’s God’s desire it’s God’s will… What then did the Holy Spirit say, it’s a quote from Psalm 95. If you were to read the Psalm, you’d find that it’s a Psalm of relief and worship, and celebration. Its starts out ascribed to the rock of our salvation, the Lord a great God. This Psalm is - not dissimilar from the tempo of our worship and the songs we sing, why - because we gather not as a people who deserve God, but as a people who’ve been far from God and needed a drastic re-joining. We’ve been a people part of the fabric of the world that resists God. Maybe you can recall a time when you were angry with God, maybe you hated God, and now you’re a redeemed worshipper. Possibly you can remember a time when you joined in with the cries of ridicule over a 6 day creation. Possibly you recall a time of resistance to God, mocking of this Bible we cherish and study so delicately - but now you’re gripped by it…. It’s from the Holy Spirit. It’s design is to break you apart - that’s it’s job as Hebrews 4:12 will soon remind us, it’s supposed to expose cracks in us, and then it mend’s us by the spirit’s power forgiven before a Holy God, in a moment. And so, to these Hebrew believers who’s been instructed on the person of Jesus, told that He is God that he is higher than angels and higher than Moses, they’re pointed back to the celebratory Psalm of salvation that comes with a warning: “Today, if you hear his voice, 8  do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, 9  where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years. This recalls to a story of Moses rule… remember the “therefore” linking us to Jesus being HIGHER than even Moses? Now we’re told to remember the time when we hardened our hearts and reminded not to do that. This was a time in the wilderness when Moses was leading the people, who’d been recently saved from their slavery - and tested God. The testing at Massah is reaching back to Exodus 17, the people had been driven away from slavery and were now walking through the desert lead by Moses, and they thought they’d be without even water to drink - God will supply it through a rock - because they’re learning God is able. Sometimes we need to learn that too - and this is the reminder to the Hebrews. Don’t start off full of zeal in the Christian life, then feel like God isn’t present. Do you know that God is present even when we don’t feel it? I feel badly for people with sensory issues. Like there are people who are constantly aware they’re wearing socks, they can’t stand the feeling whereas most of us are numb to it, we don’t even feel it - but there those socks are, whether we feel it or not. And so this Psalm, Psalm 95 starts out worshipfully and then takes a hard turn - but today if you hear him, don’t Harden your heart. The Holy Spirit continues in explaining this Exodus 17 generation that test God: 10  Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.’ 11  As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.’ ” That’s awful - going astray in their heart. Maybe you’ve been like that. Unsettled, never trusting God, Church I want to encourage you to submit your everything to God. Maybe you feel that some work, some action, some outreach, some prayer, some activity, some physical action will get you close to God and make Him be more present - it will not. We have His word, and whether we feel Him or not - the Omni present God is there. And so then, the writer reminds the Hebrews: 12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. It’s this a beautiful picture of the church? Exhort each other, how often, weekly, monthly … no, every day. When is the last time you exhorted someone? This is the same word as used in: Acts 16:40 (ESV) 40 So they went out of the prison and visited Lydia. And when they had seen the brothers, they encouraged them and departed. Paul writes to the Church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 4:16 that though they have countless guides they have only one father in Christ, him. And with the strength as their only father in Christ he URGES them, be imitators of Him. In 1 Peter 2:11 we’re URGED to battle the passions of our flesh, same word. It’s a powerful urge - Church, celebrators of the truth of the Gospel that Jesus is the messiah, the God man, the way the truth and the life, the only way for us to have eternal life, our forgiveness, our savior and Lord, higher than the angels, higher than Moses, we’re gathered in His church to celebrate the grace of God extended through Jesus - proclaimed by the Holy Spirit in the living word, our Bible. 12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. We don’t want to be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. We’re in a world that engulfs us saying, it’s OK. You can do what you want, you can be what you want. Boys can be girls, girls can be boys - and it’s simply wrong. It’s against God’s natural order of creation and His proclamation of truth, but the world has gotten so bent that even truth is offensive. And saying true things is considered hateful, we’re in a world where up is down and down is up, we’re encouraged to separate from God, we’re encouraged to sin - and it’s deceitful. We take a small liberty, then it’s easier and easier, no we defend it - and can get lost in it, Church we’re to encourage each other daily because we need it. We need each other, we need our church brothers and sister - we need each other. If today you hear the message of the Gospel, don’t harden your heart. That’s the message from the Holy Spirit from Psalm 95 through Hebrews 3, from Old Testament to New - turn to God. The Holy Spirit of God inspires us to living in God’s truth. Will you see it, and act because when we’re ready to abandon our aspirations and connect to God’s inspiration we’re truly living? If that is you - we want to talk you about baptism and new life in Christ, let’s make that happen, today. Inspired Living HEBREWS-JESUS IS BETTER Inspired Living Pastor John Weathersby Transcend Church 5 of 5 Sunday 3/25/2018
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