Hebrews - Part 11 - A New & Living Faith
THE NEW & LIVING FAITH HEBREWS 10:19-39 PART 11 Given by Craig Minke - June 28, 2020 * The book of Hebrews is a very practical book. * Often after a doctrinal explanation the author points out how believers should respond to the truth about Christ. * After several chapter of doctrine, verse 19 begins with a exhortation or admonition * This is one of the climactic points in the book of Hebrews. * 5 exhortations are given... "since the old covenant is done away, and since we are forgiven by Christ, what are we now supposed to do?" * Let's begin in verse 19 HEB 10:19-21 19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, * The author begins these exhortations by reminding us that we have two major benefits in Christ: o Firstly, we can now confidently enter the Most Holy place by the blood of Jesus (This was never possible until Christ's coming) o Secondly, we have a great high priest over the house of God o THEREFORE: since we have these benefits, he says we should respond in 5 ways. o Verse 22 goes on to say and begins the first exhortation. HEB 10:22 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. * We can now know God, really know Him. * We can commune and fellowship with Him and have His presence and power operating in our lives. * How? * 5 exhortations are given of ways we as believers should respond when we truly understand what God has done for us. 1. LET US DRAW NEAR TO GOD WITH A SINCERE HEART AND THE FULL ASSURANCE THAT FAITH BRINGS. (v. 22) * Our first responsibility is is to draw near God. * Jesus Christ has opened up the way into God's presence for us. * He has taken our sins upon Himself and bore the guilt and judgment of them for us. * He has freed us from sin, removed all sin off of us. * He is now ready to present us to God as being sinless and righteous. * Jesus Christ has made us acceptable to God. * He has provided a new and living way into the holiest place of all, into the very presence of God Himself. * We can now know God, know Him personally and intimately; we can now commune and fellowship with God, have His presence and power in our lives as we walk day by day. Therefore, let us draw near God (with a sincere, pure heart * It is important that we approach God with a "sincere (true) heart." * This means genuine, sincere, honest, meaningful, and without hypocrisy. o The sincere believer knows that Jesus Christ has opened the door into God's presence; therefore ... * he is thankful and appreciative * he is glad and joyful * he feels free and at liberty to enter God's presence * he is enthusiastic and excited about entering God's presence * There is no hypocrisy or insincerity, no dishonesty whatsoever in a sincere heart. o A sincere heart: * knows and understands what Jesus Christ has done for us. * knows that we can draw near God * knows that we can commune and fellowship with God * knows that we can walk in praise and thanksgiving to God all day * knows that we can have the presence and power of God looking after us and caring for us all day * knows that God will deliver us from all trials and temptations and give victory and triumph over all. * Too many times we are so wrapped up in the world that we forget to "draw near God." * We forget the wonderful thing Jesus Christ has done for us-that He has actually opened up a new and living way into the very presence of God Himself. * We must have "full assurance of faith." o Full assurance means unqualified assurance in Christ, * that He is the One Person who can and does give us access into God's presence * that Christ and Christ alone makes us acceptable to God. * Is being absolutely convinced that the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ is the what makes us acceptable to God. * Sometimes people may think that they are acceptable to God ... * because they are good people and they do a lot of good works. * because they belong to and attend church. * because they have been baptized. * because they have never done anything considered really bad. * All of these are good things, and everyone of us should live good and decent, moral and just lives. * But these are not what makes us acceptable to God. * Jesus Christ alone can bring us into the presence of God and present us to God. * We must have hearts and bodies perfectly cleansed and washed. * The point is this: we should accept the cleansing that Christ has given us, and use it for its purpose: that we draw closer to God. JN 10:9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. JS 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded HEB 10:23 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 2. LET US HOLD FAST (UNSWERVINGLY) TO THE HOPE WE PROFESS. (vs23) * Another responsibility we have as a believer is to to hold fast to our hope. * When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we believe two things: o 1) that Jesus Christ is our Savior, * who became the perfect sacrifice for our sins and * that His sacrifice for us makes it possible for God to forgive our sins. o 2) that Jesus Christ is the risen Lord, * our High Priest who is seated at the right hand of God where * He is our perfect Mediator and Intercessor * who makes us acceptable to God and presents us as perfect and sinless before God. * When we profess Christ to be our Savior and Lord, we are to hold fast to our hope without wavering. o The believers we tune out the prince of the power of this world o We tune out those things that are contrary to God's ways of life o We hold fast to the belief that Jesus died for us and rose again o The believer seeks not to let circumstances, trials, or temptations shake his faith in Christ. * Remember: Christ is faithful toward us, so we must be faithful toward him, keeping him central in our thoughts. HEB 10:24 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds 3. LET US CONSIDER HOW WE MAY SPUR ONE ANOTHER ON TOWARD LOVE AND GOOD WORKS (DEEDS) (v. 24). * Notice the focus: It is not that we should do good deeds, that is true but the focus here is on encouraging others to do good. o Not just exhorting others, but thinking about how we might help others do better o Our relationship with God is affected by our relationship with each other * We as believers have a responsibility is to stir up one another to love and to do good works. * Note the word "consider" (katanoomen). o It means to give attention to; o to fix our attention upon; o to give continuous care; o to watch over. o What an exhortation to believers! * Give attention to one another. * Fix your attention upon one another. * Give continuous care to one another. * Watch over one another. How different the church would be-how much stronger we would be in Christ and in life-if we heeded this exhortation! * And note: What it is that we are to give attention to: o to make sure that we are stirred up and living for Christ-that we are loving one another and doing good works. o This simply means ... * that we are considerate of one another. * that we show concern for one another. * that we meet one another's needs. * that we strengthen one another's weaknesses. * that we help one another through every trial and temptation. * It means that we love-love in act and not in word-that we ... * feed the poor * visit the sick and shut-ins * look after the orphans and the children of broken homes and single parents * become a friend to the lonely * helping the hurting the downcast, the broken. * give direction to the empty and those without purpose. * Being a believer is so much more than just going to church every week. Prov 27:17 Says it well "As Iron Sharpens Iron, So one person sharpens another" * we need to give attention to one another. o Why? o To make sure none of us are slacking -to stir one another to love and to do good works. o This is the duty of the new, living faith Jesus Christ given us. o It is not a dead faith. o It is a faith that stirs us to action-that stirs us to live, truly live, live in love and good works-for the sake of a needful and sick world. JN 13:34-35 A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if you have love one to another o We have a responsibility to carry out he one another commands of the new covenant. o There are over 50 of them. o There would be a good Bible study for all of us. HEB 10:25 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching. 4. Let us not give up meeting together (v. 25) * As a believer we have a responsibility to attend church to worship together. TO NOT NEGLECT THE WORSHIPPING TOGETHER. * We are never to forsake our assembling, not even for a brief time. This is the meaning of this exhortation. * During these time of COVID-19 we may not be able to meet together at church but we can connect with each other in our: o Online zoom services are available in many areas * We are encourage by what is happening on our zoom meetings * Before COVID-19 average church attendance was 40-50 not it is 65-70 people connecting. o Weekly online prayer meetings * We are encouraged by what is happening in our prayer meetings * From 3-4 to 15-20 o Our online community life groups o Our Friday night zoom games nights * Yet there are some in our church that have never logged into one of these meetings in the past 3-4 months. * You don't need a computer or tablet, you can do it with just a phone. * (Everyone has a phone, so we are without excuse) * I guess it comes down to what we value in life, our priorities? * Believers are to assemble together ... * for worship * for prayer * for the study of God's Word * for ministry and witnessing * When we read verse 25 more closely the word OFTEN IS STRESSED o we are to assemble together often and o never to forsake our coming together. o Believers need each other-the presence, fellowship, strength, encouragement, care, and love of each other. o But note: some had forsaken the church even in the days of the early church. o This has happened in every generation. o The need is just AS GREAT TODAY AS IT WAS IN THE FIRST CENTURY. o This verse says: exhort one another, and so much the more, as you see the day approaching. o What day? o The day of the Lord's return. o His return for us may be today if we get in car accident or have a heart attack. o Therefore, we must exhort one another so others don't fall away. o Love this slide, and it is so TRUE, HOW MANY FALL PREY TO SATANS SNARE WHEN THEY DECIDE TO GO IT ALONE. Christian writer William Barclay gives three reasons which keep a person from worshipping with other Christian believers. * "Some may not go to Church because of fear. * Some may be ashamed to show they are going to church. * Some live or work with people who mock them for going to church. * Some may have friends laugh at those who are believers * Some want to be a secret disciple; but that is impossible since * "the discipleship kills the secrecy, or * the secrecy kills the discipleship." * Remember that we demonstrate our loyalty by our attending a church. * Even if the sermon be poor and the worship so-so, the Church still gives us the chance to show to men what side we are on. * "Some may not go because of pride or status. * Some may dislike the common people at church since they may feel they are a step above others. * It is difficult to attend a church when we make fun of believers. * There are churches, even in this country, which are more like country clubs than churches. * "Some may not go because of conceit. * Some may believe and state that they do not need the Church; * Some may feel they are intellectually beyond the standard of preaching there. * Social snobbery is bad, spiritual and intellectual snobbery is worse. * There is no man who can live the Christian life and neglect the fellowship of the church. * If any man feels that he can do so let him remember that he comes to Church, not only to get, but to give. * We come not only to receive, but to make our own contribution to the life of the church. * If he feels that the Church has faults, it is our duty to come in and to help to mend them" * You have heard the saying if you find the perfect church -DON'T JOIN IT BECAUSE IT WON'T BE PERFECT ANY MORE. It seems that some first century Jewish Christians were no longer meeting together. * Perhaps they were pressured by the Jewish community * Perhaps they were disappointed that Christ had not yet returned. * They were more interested in their Jewish distinctives than they were in Christ. * So the author urges, "DON'T DROP OUT! IF YOU DON'T MEET WITH ONE ANOTHER YOU CAN'T SHOW LOVE. - YOU CAN'T PRACTICE THE ONE ANOTHER COMMANDS HEB 10:25 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching. 5. But encouraging one another (v. 25) * The first-century Jewish Christians needed to encourage one another, mutual encouragement helps everyone stay in the faith. * Many Christians in the 1st century were severely persecuted, many lost their live, lost their homes and became social outcasts in the community. * The needed the encouragement of one another, just as we do today. * We need to encourage one another in the faith, and in doing good - "all the more as we see the Day approaching." * Christ will return, and "bring salvation to those who are waiting for him" * Will be find faith on the earth when he returns. The remainder of Chapter 10 is a Warning of the Danger of Apostasy and of Withdrawing from Christ * The warning given in the last part of chapter 10 is the most severe warning ever given to Christian believers. It is the fourth warning given in the Book of Hebrews. APOSTASY * Refers to "a falling away" unlike backsliding which believers can do. * This is not talking about someone who sins of out of weakness * Apostates turn away because they were never born again. * They believe the gospel & join with believers for a time and appear to be legitimate, but they corrupt the truth and are ungodly and rebellious I JN 2:19 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remaineoing showed that none of them belonged to us. HEB 10:26-27 26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. * Here we see a warning to those who desire to keep sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth. * This passage refers to WILLFUL SIN? What is willful sin? o It is choosing to live a life of willful sin instead of living a life of godliness; o We are not talking about spiritual weakness here. o Those who willfully sin, do not accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. o HOWEVER: Christ's shed blood is the only sacrifice for sins that is acceptable to God. o Our salvation comes from accepting Jesus as our Savior and accepting his sacrifice for our sins. o It is only through the sacrifice of Christ that we can be cleansed and forgiven. * This passage ALSO seems to be written to the person who has received the knowledge of the truth and continually and willfully sins. o This is probably the most severe warning given in all of Scripture. o The apostle John talked about this attitude of wanting to walk in sin or in darkness. I JN 1:6-10 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. o We as believers are saved by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. o Willful sin breaks our fellowship with God and one another and renders Christ's sacrifice for us as ineffective o It is important to remember we will have to give an answer for how we live our lives. * Do we want to gamble with walking the edge of the cliff hoping we won't fall off the cliff. * Unfortunately many make very poor decisions when they leave God out of the picture. * It does not matter what we profess - BUT HOW WE LIVE OUR LIVES. * Does this mean that the man has committed the unpardonable sin and can never be forgiven-even if he repents and turns to Christ? o Note: That this passage does not say this-not in any place. o What the passage is saying is this: * the death and sacrifice of Jesus Christ has no effect upon a person who continues to sin and sin (willfully sinning) ... * Christ sacrifice cannot cover our sins if we refuse to turn to him and accept his sacrifice for our sins, and accept him as LORD OF OUR LIFE. HEB 10:28-29 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? * A person WILLFULLY SINS COMMITS SOME VERY SERIOUS SINS. o 1) He tramples God's very own Son underfoot. * The person who willfully sins knows that Christ is the Son of God but he/she: * rejecting Christ's sacrifice for his sins * refusing to obey God's commands * showing contempt for Christ by choosing to live contrary to his commands. o 2) He counts the blood of Christ an unholy thing. * The willfull sinner considers the blood of Christ as worthless and useless in saving a person. * Others may feel living a good life is all that's required, not realizing that does not remove the death penalty. (forgetting that our best righteousness is as filthy rags) * Others reject the blood of Christ because to them blood is repulsive and distasteful. They see Christianity as a bloody religion. * Yet Heb 9:22 tells us without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness of sin. o 3) A willfull sinner insulting the Spirit of grace, the very Person who showers the grace of God upon men, that is, the Holy Spirit. * The word despise means to insult and outrage. How does a person insult the Holy Spirit? * By sensing the inner pull of the Spirit to repent and change and follow Christ, yet rejecting and ignoring the conviction of the Spirit. * By professing that one is a follower of Christ, yet continuing to live in sin. HEB 10:30-31 30 For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people." 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. * God is the judge * God is the Sovereign Majesty of the universe who is holy, righteous, and pure. We also know that He rules and reigns and can do everything. * We know that God can judge and condemn sin and that He will. * God is also a God of infinite love, who gave up his very own Son for man who ignored him, rejected him, blasphemed him. * God is the living God. Therefore, judgment shall be executed. Absolutely nothing shall ever be able to stop it. Some are going to fall into the hands of the living God. o There is a penalty that has to be paid for sin o Sin hurts our relationship with God and others. o If we reject his Son, and the work of the HS in our lives can we expect his forgiveness. Heb 10:32-39 32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. * Here is an appeal to the drifters (a message my wife gave) * This is a much needed appeal for every generation. * An appeal is given to the person who is drifting away from Christ. o Remember your first love (v. 32-34). * Remember when God first called you * Remember how you suffered for living your faith * Remember how you were persecuted * Remember how you property was seized for being a believer. * You knew that you had better and lasting promises 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For, "In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay." o Do not cast away your confidence and courage and endurance (v. 35-37). * The verses state it well: endure and you shall receive the promise of God's reward. * The word "patience" (hupomones) means to endure, persevere, and be stedfast in doing the will of God. 38 And, "But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back." 39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. o We must live by faith and must not draw back (v. 38-39). * True followers of God will live by faith. * The belief also that Christ laid down his life for them and bore the penalty of sin and guilt for all * And that Jesus Christ has freed us from sin and made us acceptable to God. Next week Debbie will be talking about this living faith, that many had that have gone before us, as we get into Hebrews 11 CLOSING PRAYER DRAW NEAR TO GOD, DAILY WITH A SINCERE HEART DON'T LET GO OF THE HOPE WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN WHEN CALLED HELP US TO SPUR ONE ANOTHER ON TO LOVE AND GOOD WORKS * Helping one another NOT GIVE UP MEETING TOGETHER ENCOURAGE ON ANOTHER Help to follow the lead of you Holy Spirit to live Godly lives.