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HEBREWS-JESUS IS BETTER: Saved Not Soothed

HEBREWS-JESUS IS BETTER  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  50:34
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 Saved Not Soothed Hebrews 6:1-12 American consumerism makes this message important to us. Here is why I say that, American for you the entire world bends to your desire. What are you into, the world offers an answer for that. Have you ever been to Bed Bath and Beyond? The perfect example of the world around us pandering for our attention, it will give us anything - even agree with us that it’s good for us just because, we want it. I watched an episode of Shark Tank the other day where a kid made some energy beverage up and the sharks asked if he’d gotten a Dr. to say it helps with concentration or a study to back it up. It’s snake oil or a band playing to soothe the people as the titanic sinks. Their question wasn’t, does this work, but is there a way to subtly say it works. That manipulation of a persons wants and needs to make a consumer first and possibly beneficiary second - threatened the church then - and now. This warning passage of Hebrews is about the purity of the Gospel and the purity of the church, with that in tact the Gospel is a saving message - however if purity of the Gospel isn’t intact it’s simply a soothing church. So the warning is to not taint the Gospel hope and message with experience and consumerism but rather allow the purity of the Gospel to bring about salvation. This passage has been pulled out and singled out for the argument over whether salvation can be lost time-and-time again, and there are sub-tones here about that, however the resounding message is one of Gospel purity and a warning against allowing a soothing message rather than a saving message. Lets get this right: Hebrews 6:1–12 1 Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, We can hear “elementary” and think unimportant - but lets not. The word translated “elementary” is the same in Hebrews 5:12 Hebrews 5:12 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, Basics, Elementary, the beginning of a process. Not something simple enough to be discarded, I think we can understand it in that way, something laughably simple - rather think foundational (in fact he foundational argument will come up) something that without you cannot move on. It’s elementary that the gas is on the right and the brake is on the left - but if you don’t know that foundational, basic, elementary truth; disaster is a head for driver, passenger, and pedestrian alike! The writer starts - therefore let us leave the basic foundational turrets of Christ and go on to maturity. What “therefore”. Remember last week, we sad the hearers had become dull of hearing; they had no push to know the things of God. He told them in 5:14 that they’d move on to solid food and have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice. And so here the writer says lets therefore understand the basics and move on, he’s encouraging them to have push. He wants them not to lay a foundation of repentance again. 2 and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. These are the foundational works, the washings which be realized more fully in the New Testament. Titus 3:5 says: Titus 3:5 (ESV) 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, Not ceremonial washings to cleanse just before worship, only to be repeated again before worship, but as Titus says they washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit. A Saving Faith not a soothing faith. New Testament salvation is built on the foundation laid on faith in God’s word, faith in GOD’s provision through works that matured into a fully realized plan where we now put faith in Jesus finished work that competed God’s plan - new testament faith is faith in Jesus finished word, not simply faith in God and works, but faith in God’s finished work and this is important. 3 And this we will do if God permits. 4 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. Lets take this section backwards first verse 6 then 3-5. Hebrews 6:6 (ESV) 6 and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. To this verse, verse 6 - lets ask a question. Why was Jesus crucified, maybe the answer there will help us understand why the potential actions of 3-6 would demand a SECOND crucifixion. Jesus crucifixion, staying in Hebrews was Hebrews 13:12 Hebrews 13:12 (ESV) 12 So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. To sanctify his people. To set them apart for God. What if I assumed everyone in the room was God’s and I said to set us apart from God. We begin to just assume if we’re in the room, we’re God’s. WE begin to benefit from the gifts of God in Christ - we’re like the person at Christmas time who walks around and takes packages off the porch - we have a gift, but it isn’t really ours, it’s not for us, it wasn’t purchased out of love for us because someone loved us we just kind of have it. Jesus when He was crucified did so to bring finality to the faith people had in God - they’d demonstrated that faith by participating in temple worship, but washing before ceremony, by works for worship, but now - they are saved by faith in the crucified Jesus. They’d seen their lives before God and known, I’m less than the Holy God, they’d seen that salvation in Christ was worth anything over the world’s offerings and they’d trusted Jesus with everything over their lives, they’d seen saving faith not simply soothing faith. So why would he have to be re-crucified lets re-read 3-6 3 And this we will do if God permits. 4 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. If you’ve been soothed by the things of God, tasting the gift of Christian fellowship, shared in the environment where the spirit of God is working among people, you’ve been instructed by the word of God and found the world to offer more - it’s impossible to be restored to repentance, why: because the gifts of the world are better to you. Now, does this mean if you’ve been in church, been saved, and been in fellowship and the word and sinned you’re out? No, it’s talking about a kind of finality, if you’ve seen the gospel experienced the church, and gone back into the world and continually are satisfied by it’s offerings and desire no part in Jesus - He’d have to be re-crucified to get your attention to win you back … and so maybe we’d think wait, I can be saved and slip away and so the text answers: 7 For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. 8 But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned. These two grounds (rain falls on and makes a crop, one that has thorns and thistles) describe varying responses to the gospel message of Jesus and different works. If someone hears the gospel and produces no fruit, faith was not in them - While this text is a significant warning it is still hope-filled - it warns you of the dangers of faithlessness then encourages you: 9 Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. 10 For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. 11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. So the point of this passage is warning certainly - but it’s not to settle (or even trigger) the can you lose your faith) argument - rather it’s to show us the point of the Gospel, the point of Christian community is to drive into us a faith that saves, not soothes. Then as we see in verses 11/12 it’s to give us a: 1. Desire 2. Earnestness 3. No be sluggish 4. Be imitators The point is to be a people of Gospel action, saved not soothed - and then trust God, not ourselves. When we trust God, we’ll go all in after our faith we’ll be described by verses 11/12 and if that’s not you this morning know this: Faith in Jesus faith that saves not soothes drives into you a desire and earnestness that will make you NOT sluggish and make you imitators of those who DO inherit the promises. This passage is not to make you afraid, it’s to make you go after God Imagine if you were someone saved not soothed not after snake oil but salvation - if you were full of earnestness and desire would people notice that in you, ask God for that. Pray this week God make me a Christian of Desire and Earnest Effort - give me a hunger for your people, your love and your word, and see what He does in your life! HEBREWS-JESUS IS BETTER Saved Not Soothed Pastor John Weathersby Transcend Church 5 of 5 Sunday 4/29/2018
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