Faithlife Sermons

Drifting

Greater Than  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  35:48
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Pastor Brenden speaks on the art of avoiding spiritual drift.

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Good Morning… Excited about this new Series we kicked off last weekend called Greater than
The book of Hebrews is a sermon written to second Generation Christians who are on the fringe of departing from their Faith - This was the “Next generation” that followed those who had seen and experienced Jesus personally… written somewhere after 60 AD.
These young Christians were living in a world where Christians were marginalized... and there were all kinds beliefs system, ideas and Philosophies that were previlant in the day… They were also close enough to Judaism where they could be tempted to turn back to former roots…
In someways ..we are facing similar challenges today in the modern world... We are living in times when…the church is marginalized...where there are a lot of ideas and philosophies out there…and the truth is that
The Up coming generations are simply not going follow what previous generations have done and believed… And this is not To be honest I think that this is not necessary a bad thing…
For example there is their curiosity and optimism about the future… … they are interested and willing to engage in conversation, discussion and debate… more importantly ---is that there is their sincerity… The challenge today is that we cannot only simply to know what we believe - bu we need to know Why We believe?
1 Peter 3:15 ESV
but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
If you have a reason you are going to continue… you are going to push through… If you don’t have the why you loose the point of the exercise..
… This is the message of the book of Hebrews —
Hebrews is a Sermon on Perseverance....It is why should we keep going… as Tim Keller says Hebrews is about the journey “from Isolation to the City of God… like any journey there are going be bumps along the way…and in order to get through you have to push through..
In the Book of Hebrews there are 4 major warnings… It is common pattern in Hebrews where starts with an Exhortation or Imperative - (or a warning) followed by supporting Reasoning and explanation..
Warning are needed information... it’s why you look both ways before you cross the road……There are some interesting Road signs around.. Check these out these signs..
(correctional facility Area… Do not pick up Hitchhikers)..Especially if they are waring orange jump suites...
(Caution Falling cows?) that kind of scary..
(Id turn back if I was you) This probably before the cow sign… that would make sense...
(This one is actually not that funny)...
The warning sign in Hebrews… is to be careful of drifting…
“Drifting”—is a gradual shift in position - We’re not usually aware of it until the change becomes great enough to notice. Then we suddenly wonder what has happened. .Everyone is affected by drift. We are all creatures of habit -- and habits are strong, powerful things. When you begin to make changes in your lifestyle, there will be a strong pull toward your old habits… what is needed is mindfulness..mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to your current experience, rather than dwelling on the past or anticipating the future. living in the now...
ingression
Hebrews 2:1–4 ESV
1 Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. 2 For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, 4 while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
T/S How do you avoid drifting?

1. Being Mindful of the Message of Salvation

Instruction
Chapter 2 Begins with the Conjunction... “Therefore”… That means that it is connected to chapter One… Preacher of Hebrews is making some applications...
In Chapter One - we are told that… In the past God spoke through the prophets and through the angels but in these last days... God has spoken through the the Son… or Son Revelation...Not only has God spoken to us through words… but through his person… He is the Radiance of the Father and the exact representation of God… This Son Revelation is far superior to angels and other messengers.
So Therefore…in light of the “Son Revelation” we ought to “Pay attention to the things we have heard.” -
The implication is that they HAD grown lax in their commitment to Christ and were neglecting the Christian message.
Have you noticed that The New Testament writers were never satisfied with theology alone. They are never two separate tracks… Faith and action ...Belief is always followed by living it out… pay attention to what you have heard...
These words encouraged the readers to listen very carefully so as not to lose their bearings....
The first warning is in Vrs 2-3 look it again.
2 For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? .’
The point that is being made — if the message delivered by angels often came with consequences .. disobedience came with just retribution… How can we escape if we neglect such great Salvation? Notice that it’s addressed to WE...
There has been a lot written on who the“WE’s” are in this verse because of the words just retribunion … if … are they are referring to believers dies it mean that they are in danger of loosing Salvation…so it presents a problem for those in the Calvinist camp… who believe in unconditional election… once saved always saved…therefore they solve the verse by saying this is addressed to non believers... now this is really not what this verse is about.
the word retribution… here means wages… Consequences… not eternal judgment. Also, we have to remember who he is addressing… he is speaking to believers… for example…
3:1 Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling....
Secondly… there is a difference between Rejecting and Neglecting…Salvation… You can neglect a relationship with out rejecting the person....
Neglect a Spouse without rejecting a spouse..…
We can neglect our relationship with Christ without rejecting Christ… they were in danger of neglecting faith..
This makes sense in context… because when when we neglect God’s Word, prayer, worship with God’s people (see Heb. 10:25), and other opportunities for spiritual growth.....we start to drift.
Over and over in the History of Israel we see what happened when people Disobeyed God— Israel as a nation wondered in the wilderness for 40 years because they disobeyed… Moses himself only saw the promise from afar… never entered into the promised land..
What the preacher of Hebrews is Saying
.. If you don’t pay attention to your Salvation… overtime you will slip away and fall into disobedience.. and therefore face God’s discipline… consequences... God disciplines those he love… Correction..
We have all experienced leaks… drive over a nail… you continue your life as normal and then… one day your tire is completely flat… how did that happen?… neglect…? is a slow leak! What the point of the sermon is this.....
How do we Avoid Drifting?
The word drift has nautical overtones.. the picture is that of ship drifting by the current beyond a fixed point.. It’s a vivid metaphor of the failure to hold onto truth… and how easily it is too loose your bearings...
The answer lies in Paying attention to Salvation… being mindful of Salvation..
A few years ago there was an article published in the Huffington Post about life lessons learned from white water rafting....The author Grace Bluerock tells of several valuable lessons she learned from white water rafting with her family...
1. Stay a float - Try to always keep your head above water. When you go under, you are no longer in control of your situation
2. Roll with the current… Going with the flow gives you momentum and keeps you propelling forward.
3. Realize that you will have obstacles..
4. Know you won’t always be uncomfortable..
5. Be willing to take risks..
6. Keep on paddling. When going through rough and rapid waters, it’s vitally important to keep paddling the boat in order to maintain stability.
When things get difficult and hard to manage, it’s more important than ever to keep moving forward. Otherwise, it’s easy to lose your direction.
When you stop paddling you are going to loose direction and start drifting… this is what
Our Preachers antidote for “drifting” consists of earnest heed, intense concentration, thoughtful clarification.
We Pay close attention to the Message of Salvation --- because the messager is reliable...
The Good News was hand delivered by God himself...
1. Message declared by Jesus -
When it comes to research… you have primary and secondary sources.. sometimes secondly sources are helpful but they sometimes make mistakes or misquote… misinterpret…
The message of Salvation came to them through the Lord Himself… The foundation of Christianity is the proclaimation of the Lordship of Christ.... His ministry was both in word and deed… Jesus word was not simply information about salvation… He embodied the word of God… the Word the message of Salvation came to them in a comprehensive way… through stages through proclamation, sacrificial death and exaltation.
In his book Seeing Salvation Macgregor tells us that Christianity is a religion of the image. They saw him first with their eyes. Later on they heard him speak with their ears. The words of Christ…God declaring the message of salvation guaranteed its accuracy… It wasn’t the disciples taking a stab at the message… Jesus came proclaim that kingdom of God is near… Further more the Gospel was
2. Attested too by witnesses and Miracles..
God demonstrated his power through his own ministry and it continued though the apostles minstry…These extraordinary events, thereby testifying to the truth of the great salvation that the apostles proclaimed---
Miricales in the Bible have confirmatory value, because they point to the glory of Jesus Christ
J.I. Packer
“A miracle is an observed event that triggers awareness of God’s presence and power
Belief in the miraculous is integral to Christianity... Jesus life came with miracles… both is arrival and departure were miracles… Jesus incarnation and resurrection, the two supreme miracles of Scripture,
There is nothing irrational about believing that God who made the world can still intrude creatively into it. Christians should recognize that it is not faith in the biblical miracles, and in God’s ability to work miracles today should he so wish, but doubt about these things, that is unreasonable.
The application is for us today… Pay attention to the message of Christ… it’s effect on us… the other is the things that we have witnessed… miracles we have experienced… Don’t loose sight of these things… someone coming to Christ… timing of a gift… The things that triggered our awareness of God… made us praise God..
T/S These Jewish Christians had the message of Jesus and proof of miracles… that attested to the Supremacy of Christ…they needed to be reminded their personal need of Jesus...
Hebrews 2:5–8 ESV
For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet.” Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him.
T/S How do you avoid drifting?
Being Mindful of the Message of Salvation

2. Being Mindful of the our Need of Salvation

When we think about saving something… think we have to think of the worth or the value of the item.. you may find a penny on the floor and ignore it… but if your saw a $100.00 laying on the street you may rescue it… why because of value… God did not provide a means of salvation for the angels… when Satan fell 1/3 the angels… no plan of rescue...
The first Century Jewish believed that Angels were above the creation of mankind....It was the belief by some that angels would be ruling in the coming Age… in the future… Jews had this high view…of angels messengers as intermediaries… They thought to have given the law to Moses on Mt.Sinai..
look at verse 5 again...
“For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking.”
So the preacher is setting the record straight…by going back to the OT and showing what weight it bear upon the character of Jesus.. Angels were never given the place of honor to reign… the invitation to sit at God’s right hand is only given to the Son.. it’s about the Supremacy of Christ… He is over all things..
It is not going to be angels who have dominion but it’s going to Christ and this will be people extended to the Children of God.
He makes a case for this ---going back to psalms 8:4-6…
What does psalms 8 say? What is man that you are mindful of him? that you care for him… made him lower than the angels. for a while this brief moment.... putting everything under his subjection…
This describes the destiny of man in God’s original plan.. He was intended be the object of God’s creation.. Created in God’s image, humans were entrusted with the cultural mandate to subdue the earth and to put everything in subjection to themselves.
The term “mindful” conveys the idea of being concerned — means to receive special care… episkeptomai was a medical term in Greek for a visit from a doctor… Privileged.. Crowned with glory and honor…
Man was had unrivalled dominion, with all the created order under his control, ‘everything in subjection under his feet… this is in reference
Genesis 1:26 ESV
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
There was nothing in creation that was not subject to mankind…This is the high view mankind ....being created in the image of God… People are valuable.. everyone matters.
David marveled that God would share His power and glory with feeble man!
One of my favorite Theologians is African named Augustine from Hippo.... He was one of the early Church Fathers the 3rd Century.… He tells of the wonder of mankind..
Men go forth to wonder at the heights of mountains, the huge waves of the sea, the broad flow of the rivers, the extent of the ocean, and the courses of the stars, and omit to wonder at themselves.
One of the greatest wonders in the world is that person sitting next to… incredible… God would go to the trouble of creation… so large that scientists b elive that we are not alone in the universe… other planets with people… We must be truly special!!
The bible teaches us that..
Man has be been crowned with glory and honor because of his place and role of man in God’s creation.... God place man over creation.
But because of the Fall — Everything turned upside down… we no longer had dominion over all things… there are still somethings that we have control over… but not everything..
In fact everything in creation is marked by frustration…we live in imperfect world… pain and suffering… sickness… things break… Driving down the highways a rock flick form a truck hit my windshield… I was minding my own business… now ha
Even though —there is frustration…The biggest issue is our own sinfulnesss..
We Express Frustration with ourselves.... The human experience has in it’s path lots of destruction… lots of broken places
Broken relationships..
The struggle with personal sin.
Remember Pauls struggle with sin… In Romans ...He realize that he kept on practicing the very things he wanted to stop doing… He found that their was a law of sin and death at work within his members… he came to the end of himself… Romans 7:23
“Who will rescue me from this body of death?”—
This is written in the future tense. Therefore, since the question is in the future tense, we must conclude that the answer should likewise be understood in the future tense, that is, not “Thanks be to God, who has rescued me through Jesus Christ,” but rather, “Thanks be to God who will rescue me through Jesus Christ.
The problem is that by design we were made to rule over God’s creation.. instead of ruling we became subject enslaved to sin… there are somethings that are subject to man but not all things.
Even though God gave mn the authority over all things — in Genesis. ..when sin entered the world and inhibited them from fulfilling this command...
Not everything is subject to Christ but all things will be subject to him… So in the moment we struggle…we are in process of being sanctified...
We will not experience perfection in this world.
Gregory of Nyssa held that Christian perfection in this life is simply being on the never-ending journey “towards what is better and never placing any limit on perfection;”
We are mindful that we needed rescuing...
T/S We needed someone to show us the way… God himself through the incarnation became the trailblazer of Salvation... Christ became ---and did what non of us to could do for ourselves...
Hebrews 2:9–15 ESV
9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11 For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, 12 saying, “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.” 13 And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again, “Behold, I and the children God has given me.” 14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
T/s How do you avoid drifting?
Being Mindful of the Message of Salvation
2. Being Mindful of our NEED for Salvation

3. Being Mindful of the Meaning of Salvation

The preacher of Hebrews tells us to keep you eyes upon Jesus… We see Jesus Crowned with glory and honor … because He suffered that by the gift (grace of God) He tasted death for each of us. Jesus became a trailblazer...There was a good reason for this....
Keep you eyes on the Founder of our Salvation...
Christ becomes our Founder… the word used is archegos.. it is the Greek word Champion in Salvation..
Do you know what a champion is? When two armies would get together and they didn’t want to actually kill each other, and they wanted to know who was going to win the battle, each would put forth their number-one warrior. If their warrior won, even though they didn’t lift a finger, the glory of that one warrior’s victory would accrue to the whole army. Jesus Christ was our Mediator, our Brother, our Representative.
Christ is our Champion… that went before us… that tasted of death before us so
God who is above creation came into his creation becoming a man… Paul tells us in Philippians 2:7… that Jesus who was God in every sense of the word… emptied himself by taking on the form of a servant— becoming obedient to the point of death...
Jesus made was lower than the angels. God humbled himself and took on flesh and came under the heavenly realm... Even though he never ceased from being God during his earthly ministry --- he laid aside his glory...(all that made him God) becoming fully man.. Peter tells us that the message of Salvation astounded the angels… 1 peter 1:12 that the good news that was given to us that even the angels longed to look upon...
What was incredible to the angels is that God took on the form of man.
Not only did Christ take on the form of man but he also experience suffering and death… went through the worst thing that everyone of us will face… and he conquered death....
Why Did God do All this???
To restore and put everything back into subjection to himself.. When we sin the image of God got defaced…Think about a great piece of Art work being damaged by vandals… devestating… but what with Christ’s being our Champion.. suffering.. on the cross… he made a way for total restoration.
His Incarnation actually repairs the defaced image of God that results from our sin. As Irenaeus suggests, God remakes us in his image.
Although people were commissioned to rule the earth, their sin kept them from the task. Jesus’ sacrifice brings his human brothers and sisters into glory that will one day be restored to people in the future Kingdom.
leaving nothing out of his control.... and bringing many sons into glory..
What did Jesus do...
He Suffered death Tasted Death for everyone...
- He brought many sons to Glory
Is the founder (trailblazer) of Salvation
. Making new humanity Perfect through suffering
- "Sanctifies those who are sanctified"
When we look at Jesus we will see ourselves not as we are but as we can be through Christ’s work we see him as he will be…
What does this all mean? Why did God do all this? What is the reason?
In Chapter One we are told that God never reserved the name sons to The Angels... but to this new community of believers - who have been Sanctified - He calls them brothers...He elevates them to . Sonship!! The reason is because we have been restored in relationship to the Father ---we have the same source of Sonship… God is our Father...
Tolstoy, the great Russian writer, was passing along a street one day when a begger stopped him and pleaded for alms. The great Russian searched through his pockets for a coin, but finding none he regretfully said, “Please don’t be angry with me, my brother, but I have nothing with me. If I did I would gladly give it to you.”
The beggar’s face flamed up, and he said, “You have given me more than I asked for. You have called me brother.”
Christ elevates us.... by calling us Brothers…
This is something to sing about..in the congregation -- Christ sing praises before the angels that we have been elevated to Sons and Daughters of God...
The revelation of position of Sonship brings us to the place of trust... Jesus identifies himself with the community of faith in his absolute trust and dependence upon God…
Willian Lane in His commentary says..this

The fact that Jesus’ confidence was fully vindicated after he had experienced suffering and affliction assured them that they could also trust God in difficult circumstances

The reason God lowered himself and sunk himself into humanity we might trust Him… He would restore in the new humanity what was lost in the garden… That he would nullify the of the Evil Tyrant who possed the power of death and that he might rescue those who had been enslaved...

God created man for incorruption, and made him in the image of his own eternity, but through the devil’s envy death entered the world, and those who belong to his party experience it”

Today Jesus is our Champion…through His Vicarious Death on the Cross he won the war....
Conclusion
if you really want to deal with fear and discouragement in your life (who doesn’t?), you need to see Jesus is King, Captain, and Brother. He’s the King who gets involved with us, he is the Captain who faces death for us, and he’s the Brother who is proud of us
It is easy get side tracked…and in danger of Drifting through neglecting the great Salvation… This is the great invitation of Scripture…
Jesus crossed social and religious barriers to proclaim this message.. to the woman at the Jesus met her in home town.. her personal Well… Simply offered her an invitation… That is a life that begins now and enters into eternal life.... living water..
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