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HEBREWS-JESUS IS BETTER  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  59:08
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 Today Is The Day Hebrews 3:16-4:11 It’s resurrection Sunday.- this is a celebration of the greatest event in History, a way to connect God to His creation as redeemed people, with the characteristics of God that will be perfected in eternity future, are being worked on here in this life in Christ. I pray that today what you see in this church is a room full of people who are here NOT because we have it figured out, quite the opposite, but because we’re here to celebrate the God of creation who in is grace has communicated to His people lastingly through scripture and who calls us together in a lost world to encourage each other, to live together, and to be a beacon for the people we live among and with to the amazing loving God we celebrate and are joined to because of this JESUS we celebrate. Resurrection Sunday is a significant day, a significant celebration because it’s all about the pinnacle of God’s work, Jesus. Today is the day that we celebrate Jesus life extended to us. When I was a kid there were things I had to be careful of. When I went outside to ride my bike I was supposed to be careful, looking before I crossed the road. I remember a farmer stopping to sternly talk to me because I’d set up old tires and wood to make a launch ramp, but it was at the end of my blind drive way and straight into the road. There was no fear. Also, we were on this hugely long driveway - and I had to take the trash cans down to the end of that dark drive way through the woods. I remember I would bravely, as bravely as I could carry those cans down, but by the time I’d gotten to the end of that terrifying driveway I sprinted with everything in my body because of the fear of the dark and unknown - fear drove a real reaction in me. Today we’ll see God motivating us to real reaction, today, through fear. Hebrews 3:16–4:11 (ESV) 16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief. This ending of chapter 3 is a warning that shows the people of Israel were not able to enter the Promised Land because of their unbelief. These warnings project forward for us today and provide instruction. We’re encouraged as a Church family then to care for each other every day Hebrews 3:12-13 that we’re concerned for each other and encouraging each other. Because this world works to systematically pick us apart and draw us away from the faith. Haven’t you experienced that? This book of Hebrews is written to believers who started to think, maybe something is missing from my church experience. The believers experience in Jesus church is one with access to God, it’s a life of abiding in Jesus grace, knowing that you’re accepted in Christ. It could be easy to forget that God is present and that Jesus is Lord and that life dedicated to the same is richer. We need our brothers and sisters praying for us, encouraging us, and living together with us - because guys this life is a grinder. This life is designed to capture you and use you up, promise you more, however it always delivers less when it isn’t lived for God. Maybe you’ve experienced that - this life, life in this world, leaves us always wanting and so Jesus call to drink from the well that never allows us to thirst again in John 4:14 is so powerful. The most part is - life is so twisted it can masquerade as church and religious devoted life, and be about anything BUT God and so we need scripture and the local church. The first time I experienced true Bible study over emotional experience alone, over social interest, but simply God on display from his word, worship in truth together in community centered on God, was life changing. So the Hebrews are encouraged in believe. 1 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. NIV changes “fear” to “be careful”. Guys when you were a kid you were careful when you rode your bike (this of course included wheelies, endos, giving people rides on the handle bars and all kinds of other stupid things - you however feared the dark. And so if you had to take out the trash at night you sprinted, you seriously DIDN’T go in the basement alone - because fear of something doesn’t leave you flirting with you, it leaves you fleeing from it). God’s word which instructs us from truth instructs us to fear not reaching God’s rest - let us run from anything that would stand in our way, lets us avoid those things that draw us away from God. This passage starts off “therefore” connecting it to the warning of 19, what then do we fear, we fear unbelief. Hebrews 3:19 (ESV) 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief. There is a MAJOR difference between using fear and a manipulator and sharing with someone that they should be afraid of something, do you understand the difference. Did you ever see the 1939 film refer madness: It’s trying to manipulate fear and so the NIV perhaps tries to move away from that perception - but, if there is a genuine reason that I should fear something, I want to know those consequences so that my life saving guttural reaction is to fear that - and unbelievingness in God’s means of Grace, Jesus, is to be actually feared - today is that day. You’re going to see this chain, therefore, for, etc.. Linking one passage to the next: 2 For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. For, connects us to verse 1 and the reason we should fear, fear that our faith is joined to the message we heard - the good news. The good news is that promised rest, life with God, without the curse of sin in a broken world - a pure environment in all love. The writer is going to continue to compare the situation in sire’s wilderness who heard good news. So verse 2 expands on the reason for fear, why should we fear, why should we direct our lives towards belief… because if we stumble dumbly into unbelief we could misroute on God’s rest in Christ on connection to God. More than that the sense in verse 1: Hebrews 4:1 (ESV) Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. Is around “seem to have failed to reach it” Kenneth Wuest in his NT Greek word studies says “lest any one of you think he has come too late for it” - drawing on the context of the jews disbelief in the promised land of Canaan, so since the promise remains let us fear to distrust it. Let us fear to distrust God that the promise of rest to us in Christ is a available in the risen Jesus- Today is the day. 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, “As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest,’ ” Although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” 5 And again in this passage he said, “They shall not enter my rest.” 6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, 7 again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” Today is the day we celebrate Jesus resurrection back to life, the sign, and the symbol that his ability to defeat death is extended to us. That his life is given as an offering for us sot that we’d be mended to God. 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. 9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. 11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. This story and this passage has been drawing on the freeing of Israel from Slavery - their march to a promised land which Joshua entered but because of the nation’s unbelief they could not enter. Here we understand it as rest, tied to the Sabbath rest, God’s reset on the 7th day after 6 days of work - the Jews had that pattern of taking a Sabbath day of rest. To this day, when I was in Israel there is a Sabbath elevator that stops on every floor so you don’t push a button (not working, resting) there is a Sabbath mode on ovens so you can prepare your meal and the oven will just cook it on a timer (not working, resting) there are areas of the city, in fact our own city Harrisburg with an Eruv that connects with a physical cable to the temple making leaving your home being “in the temple” check out second street in uptown on Saturday inside the Eruv (not working, resting) but in the contest of being called to God in Christ, in the context of not disbelieving in God’s rest, the text calls on Joshua who came into the land - in verse 8 says if they’d received full rest in the land, in Canaan there would be no future from this arrival after slavery but there is a future and one was proclaimed, God DID speak of another day - so the rest isn’t complete. Do we need the Eruv, do we need the elevators, do we need the timer oven…. Verse 10: Hebrews 4:10 (ESV) 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Don’t disbelief God’s rest. Do you feel disbelieve creeping up? • Rest cannot be this easy certainly I have to work for it • Shouldn’t I keep a literal Sabbath • Should I do some good works to prove my worth These are the doubts we should fear these works cast a light on us, God’s glory is dimmed, and others aren’t attracted like salt to your works, they’re attracted to the flavorful glory of God’s true final rest, Jesus. That’s why we say of our Study in Hebrews - Jesus is better. Today is the day, don’t disbelieve, don’t even drift towards disbelief, be fearful of believing in your works, rest knowing that Jesus is enough for your salvation that Jesus is better than anything else - Jesus + nothing. And let the words of Hebrews 4:10 wash over as He was intended to be our rest from works, and worry and our way into newness of life - redeemed character of anger and covering by Jesus’ own of righteousness and love. Guys, I think it can be so hard to understand sin - and understand ourselves as sinners. However, it’s important to know and today is the day that we remember Jesus’ defeat of sin. Jesus says in Matthew 5 that if you’ve hated your brother in your heart your guilty of the sin of murder… Why is that helpful? Because it’s reveals two things: a) Something about God b) Something about me Maybe that sounds simple, but let’s think about it. We’re told to fear unbelief and you’ll be told the concept of sin is silly. Or the concept of peace with God is silly - remember we said that we should fear unbelief because it’s easy to stumble into. I want you to consider that statement of Jesus’ about hate of your brother. Jesus’ point here - is that our anger to the point of hatred reveals that our hearts aren’t loving, like God’s is. God IS love, he exudes love, he defines love - we don’t Jesus is our righteousness and in Him we’re joined to God and made righteousness though it’s not natural to us - this Is salvation. And so, fear of unbelief is fear of not being redeemed to the God of love. It’s a fear that’s heathy, it doesn’t mean I’m crushed and trembling in the corner all the time, but it ALSO doesn’t mean it’s not fear, it doesn’t mean it’s just “being careful” it’s actual trembling fear - not like the kid on the bike but like of the dark. And so, it’s not a constant fear, but it’s a recognition that when we get to those places that make us close to unbelief we should have a great concern, even fear, because we know the world is marred by sin, we can see the results of sin all around us. Today don’t turn from the gospel, turn to it. Be redeemed to God by the power of Christ who is Gods fullness, who is love and whose death is extended to you, as is His resurrected life. Possibly today you’re in unbelief but you can feel beliefs coming over you - don’t turn from that, and harden your heart - turn to God and be found in Christ. Then we’ll live free, and joined to God with a safety net of a community in your church and a healthy fear of unbelief like a kid of the dark. And today this resurrection Sunday we hear just like the early church of Hebrews, today is the day, Jesus is better. HEBREWS-JESUS IS BETTER Today Is The Day Pastor John Weathersby Transcend Church 6 of 6 Sunday 4/1/2018
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