Hebrews Homiletics

10 Hebrews Homiletics Chapter 10

AIM: Christians are called to persevere in Christ, whose sacrifice has brought forgiveness

I. Christ’s one sacrifice makes those being made holy, perfect

1a. Law was only a shadow
1b-2. If law could make perfect =>would have stopped
3. Law sacrifices were an annual reminder
4. Impossible for animal blood to take away sin
5-7 Christ in Ps 40: Animal sacrifices insufficient, Christ took a body to do God’s will
8. Although ordained by law, God not pleased by animal sacrifices
9. Jesus, ‘Here I am to do your will’ = Replace 1st covenant with 2nd
10. “And by that”, We are made holy through Jesus’ sacrifice
11. Priest stand daily offering insufficient sacrifices
12. Jesus offered one sufficient sacrifice for all time and sat down
13. Jesus: waiting for enemies to be his footstool
14. By 1 sacrifice He made those being made holy, perfect
15-17. H/S and Father testify to this, too: the New Covenant
18. Where there is forgiveness => no more sacrifice

Truths:

  1. OT sacrifices could not bring perfection
  2. Animal blood could not pay the price of sin
  3. Heavenly Jesus took the body of an earthly man to sacrifice
  4. Jesus sat down, but is waiting for final triumph
  5. We are made holy through Jesus’ sacrifice
  6. Those made holy are seen as perfect souls in heaven through Jesus
  7. Where there is forgiveness, there is no more sacrifice

Applications:

  1. How am I trying to negotiate with God by offering to make sacrifices?  What am I giving up to earn favor as opposed to abstaining from to show love, honor and respect?
  2. Am I living as “one made holy”?  Am I still carrying around the guilt of my forgiven sins?
  3. Do I long for Jesus to come again and right the wrongs of this world, making His enemies a footstool, or would my heart have longing for those wrongs in which I partake?
  4. How does knowing the fact that Jesus as part of the Eternal Trinity chose to step down from heaven and take on the body of a man for the purpose of sacrificing that body change my view of Jesus?  How does it change the message of good news I tell others?

 

II. Call to Christians to bond together with God – warning to those who choose sin instead

19-22. Since have confidence to enter with God => Draw near to God
23. Hold unswerving to faith
24-25. Meet with & help others: encouraging, love + good deeds
26-27. If choose path of sin after offered salvation => fearful expectation of judgment + damnation
28. With 2-3 witnesses violators of Mosaic law were killed
29. How much worse for those who trample Jesus
30-31. Dreadful thing (for tramplers) to fall into hands of the living God

Truths:

  1. If confident to be with God, then draw near to Him
  2. Faith is a straight path to God
  3. Call to help others, meet together, encourage, love and do good deeds with and for each other
  4. Woe to those who choose to reject Jesus: trampling God’s only Son

Applications:

  1. I’m confident in my faith – why am I still standing on the sidelines or standing at a distance from God instead of running into His arms?
  2. Do I have my hands on the wheel of my faith journey, living an intentional daily walk, or is my faith swerving all over the road because I’ve let go of the wheel?
  3. There are only 2 choices, accept the new law and live under it or reject it.  There are eternal consequences.  How fervently am I praying for those I love who have not made the right choice or are living like there is a 3rd choice?
  4. If someone trampled my child, as a parent what would be my response?  Why would God’s response be any less?

III. Call to Christians to persevere and receive God’s promise

32-35. You have endured as Christians – do not throw away confidence
36. Persevere and receive the promise of God
37-38. Jesus is coming again without delay to judge
39. We belong to the faithful, not those who shrink back in fear

Truths:

  1. Perseverance leads to receiving promise of God
  2. Called to stand side-by-side with the persecuted, regardless of immediate cost, eternal reward is better
  3. Jesus is coming again to judge
  4. Faithful are not shirkers, Faithful are saved

Applications:

  1. What persecution do I face?  Who am I standing with who is facing persecution?
  2. Do I ask God to strengthen me through difficulty or am I happy just being parked where I am rather than face challenges ahead?
  3. Am I living with confidence or living with fear?  With God what is there possible to fear?

 

Additional comments:

I’m struck by the depth of these verses as we dive into them word by word.  There is so much here to encourage and challenge those of us who have accepted the new covenant of Jesus’ sacrifice.

We are called to bond together with each other and with God, but how often do I take the perspective of I’ll go my way and you go your way – to each his own?  And the whole persecution thing – it is so tempting to be thankful for not facing persecution instead of seeing the righteousness in persecution and choosing to stand with others.

But mostly, I was struck by this visual image of God, the Trinity in heaven, and the Son of that Trinity choosing in love to step down and take on the body of a lowly man in this sin filled world, for the purpose of making a sacrifice of that body and all that goes with it.

In that I see the image of a soldier, who for the love of his children made the sacrifice of going off to distance lands to fight against evil oppressors and then coming home.  I picture that soldier with his arms open wide to his children… and then I think about the response of those children.  Do they run to him in love and thanks or do they wave and stay at a distance or do they see him, but choose to turn and walk away?  That is the choice that we have been given to make – how will we react to the open arms of Jesus?

 

About these ads
Standard
Hebrews Homiletics

09 Hebrews Homiletics Chapter 9

AIM: Jesus’ blood sacrifice consummated the new covenant of forgiveness

I. 1st covenant carried specific but symbolic regulations, structures and appointments for the High Priest

1. 1st covenant: regs for worship and sanctuary
2-5a. Tabernacle: structure, appointments, specifications
5b-7. Priests enter continually, High Priests enters annually with blood
8. Holy Spirit makes clear: No holy place entry by common man while temple stands
9-10a. Gifts & sacrifices were symbolic – could not perfect
10b. External regulations until new order came

Truths:

  1. Regulations and structure of the tabernacle were part of the 1st covenant
  2. Only High Priest could enter inner sanctum annually with blood
  3. Gifts and sacrifices of the temple were symbolic

 

Application:

  1. How well do I understand the structure and holy intent of God’s regulations?  Do I see it as legalistic or do I see it as symbolism that helps bring me closer to God?
  2. Do I try to enter the inner sanctum without repenting and being cleansed by the blood of the lamb?
  3. Have I praised God for creating a “new order”?

 

II. Jesus, the High Priest of Good Things to Come, entered the Heavenly temple by His own blood

11a. But Now: Christ is High Priest of Good Things to Come
11b-12. Jesus Christ entered Heavenly Holy of Holies once for all by His own blood: secured eternal redemption
13. Blood of animals provided ritual purity
14. Blood of Christ, through Holy Spirit, purifies our conscience to worship God

Truths:

  1. Christ is the High Priest of Good Things to Come
  2. Blood required for High Priest to enter Holy of Holies, Jesus by His own blood
  3. Blood of Jesus, through H/S, purifies our conscience to worship

 

Applications:

  1. Are my thoughts mired in the problems all around or is my focus on “the Good Things to Come”?
  2. When I think of heaven’s doors open, do I see the price of the blood offering that was given for them to be opened?
  3. Have I prayed for not only a clean heart and renewed spirit, but also a purified conscience so that I can truly worship God?

 

III. Jesus, the mediator of the New Covenant, shed His blood, died, appears to God in Heaven & will return bringing salvation

15. Jesus is mediator of the new covenant – paid price for unfaithfulness (violation of old covenant)
16-17. To execute a will – death certificate is required
18-20. 1st covenant: inaugurated by Moses with blood
21-22a. All temple spaces & utensils purified with blood
22b. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness
23. Earthly tabernacle purified with animal blood + Heavenly required more
24. Christ did not enter earthly temple but heavenly + appears to God for us
25-26a. Jesus does not repeat sacrifices like earthly priests
26b. One appearance for consummation of the ages: defeated sin
27. We die once => face judgment
28. Jesus offering once (bearing sins of many), appearing again to bring salvation.

Truths:

  1. New covenant (like a will) is an inheritance
  2. Death & blood required to execute a will
  3. Without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness
  4. Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient / complete
  5. Jesus died once, bearing the sins of many and He will appear again to bring salvation

 

Applications:

  1. Am I living as and adopted child of God?  Have I accepted the inheritance that Jesus died to provide for me?
  2. Do I take responsibility for my sins and the death and blood that they require for forgiveness?  What is my view of blood: negative or the essence of life being sacrificed for my sin?
  3. Do I try to earn salvation or do I fully accept that Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient and complete?

 

Summary:

Jesus fulfilled the symbolism of the 1st covenant by entering the temple of heaven through His own blood to mediate the new covenant of salvation.

 

Additional Comments:

The life is in the blood.  We can think of blood as gory, dark, something negative, but it is life.

God gave life to man.  He made man in His image and it was very good.  He gave one restriction, one thing that drew a distinction between creator and created: Do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  But man chose sin and disobedience.  Man chose to put faith in our own discernment instead of in the word of God.

When we chose that path, we were obligated to give the 1st and foremost gift that we received from God back to God.  In other words, we had to give back the gift of life.

But God chose a substitution instead of what was really due.  It wasn’t sufficient.  Giving the life of an animal was symbolic only and could not truly recreate perfection.  That would require the life of a man who did not sin (so that the shedding of blood would not be simply the requirement of restitution for his own sin).  In other words, something no man could ever possibly do – Until Jesus.

Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.  But with the blood of the lamb or God, Jesus Christ, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, the conscience of believers is purified to enter into true and direct worship of our Creator.  Jesus provided His perfect sacrifice once, bearing the sins of many.  Jesus will also come again to bring salvation – the Good News of the New Covenant of Good Things to Come.

 

If I ever start a church, I’m calling it “The Church of Good Things to Come!” Amen.

Standard
Hebrews Homiletics

08 Hebrews Homiletics Chapter 8

AIM: Jesus is the signatory for man and the executor of the new covenant of God’s forgiveness

I. Everything about the earthly priesthood is but a copy/shadow of Jesus

1. Summary: Our High Priest sat down @ the Right Hand of God
2. And He serves in God’s sanctuary
3. High Priests offer gifts & sacrifices
4. Jesus would not be just another earthly priest
5. Earthly sanctuary is a copy/shadow of the heavenly
6. New covenant is better => Jesus is better in every way

Truth

  1. High Priest Jesus sat @ right hand of Throne
  2. High Priest Jesus also serves in heaven’s tabernacle
  3. High priests offer gifts and sacrifices / Jesus offers His gifts and His sacrifice
  4. Priesthood & sanctuary are copies/shadows of heavenly holy place
  5. Jesus is superior in every way

 

Applications:

  1. I will praise Jesus for His sacrifice and renew the offering of His gift to me
  2. I will thank God for making a new covenant
  3. I will pray for Jesus to remove the burden of my sins and to fill me with the spirit of righteousness

 

II. Man, through unfaithfulness, did not execute the old covenant – God made a new covenant through the Christ Man, Jesus.

7. The old covenant was not perfectly executed by sinful man
8. “Time coming for a New Covenant
9. Not like Exodus covenant: Man failed: unfaithful
10. New Covenant: laws in heart & mind, they My people, I Am their God
11. All will know God
12. God will forgive”
13. New = Old is obsolete & will disappear

Truth:

  1. God found fault with man in the covenant
  2. Man’s unfaithfulness diminished the covenant
  3. In the New Covenant, all will know God
  4. The New Covenant is a promise of forgiveness
  5. The New makes the Old obsolete

 

Application:

  1. How am I living as a “people of” God?  Would others see the colors of my flag in everything I think, say and do?
  2. How do I continue to try to provide for my own justification before God even though I know that any good acts of mine are but copies/shadows of the ultimate act of my Lord?

 

Summary: The old covenant (the law and priesthood before Jesus) are a copy/shadow of God’s New Covenant: Jesus Christ

 

Additional comments:

In comparing old vs. new there are 2 main approaches: “break/fix” or “new/improved”.  Was the old broken and thus a new one is needed or is a newer/better version available as an upgrade/improvement.  The writer of Hebrews has anticipated both interpretations of the Old vs. New Covenants of God and seeks to shed additional light and clarity.

The Old Covenant, the covenant of the law from God through Moses was a perfect covenant.  There was no imperfection in the design or writing of the covenant of the law.  There were no “manufacturer’s defects” in its design.  The problem with the old covenant was that man, having received the covenant and having committed to it, turned around and immediately broke it.  The breaking of the covenant wasn’t because God’s craftsmanship of the law was imperfect or that God was imperfect, but that man chose sin over faithfulness.

In this regard, the writer of Hebrews paints the picture that it is right to think of the Old Covenant as broken and the New Covenant as the replacement/fix.

But the New Covenant is not just a re-do of the Old Covenant.  It is not a warranty replacement.  It is not even an incremental improvement.  The author of Hebrews explains that in every way the “replacement” covenant is so much better than the old covenant that the old is but a shadow.  It would be like comparing the stone wheels of our earliest ancestors to modern transportation (while understanding that is still an inadequate comparison to the order of magnitude that Jesus provides).

Looking at this highlights how amazing God’s love is for us.  No human would provide you with something perfect, watch you break and trample it in his presence and then not only replace it, but replace it with something so much better as to be incomparable.  Not only that, but to prevent the same issue from arising again, God provided His only Son to become a man to sign the new covenant as a man for all mankind and then to perfectly execute our side of the covenant through His blood.  He then to ascend to heaven and returned to the throne, while also continuing to serve on our behalf in the temple of heaven for as long as heaven and earth continue.

Standard
Hebrews Homiletics

07 Hebrews Homiletics, Chapter 7

AIM: God’s oath is to bring us back into a perfect relationship with Him through Jesus

I. Precedent: “Order of Melchizedek” priesthood preceded Aaron and Levitical priesthood

1.-2a. Abraham tithed to Melchizedek after rescuing Lot
2b. Melchizedek = King of Righteousness and Peace
3. Like Son of God, Mel had no beginning or end, remains priest forever
4. Mel is great, Abraham gave 10%
5. By law, Levites collect 10% from Isrealites
6a. Melchizedek not a Levite, Abraham still gave 10%
6b-7. Melchizedek blessed Abraham, greater blesses lesser
8. Levitical order = many & mortal; Melchizedek order = singular & perpetual
9-10. Unborn Levi tithed to Melchizedek through Abraham

Truths:

  1. Abraham gave 10% to Melchizedek
  2. Melchizedek = Priest & King of Righteousness and Peace
  3. Melchizedek blessed Abramah
  4. Greater blesses the lesser

Applications:

  1. I will tithe
  2. Am I seeking from my King an easier path through life or am I seeking righteousness and peace?
  3. Am I “set in my ways” of elementary instruction and tradition, or am I seeking more enlightenment to have a deeper relationship with my Lord?

II. Insufficient: Levitical priesthood & Law were insufficient to cleanse perfectly

11. If perfection were possible through Aaron/Levites/Law => no need for Order of Melchizedek priest
12. Priesthood change = Law change
13. Jesus was not a Levite
14. Jesus born through Judah, not a Mosaic ordained priestly line
15-16. A priest like Melchizedek appearing, by power not ancestry, proves the point
17. Prophecy in Psalm: Jesus=Priest forever, Order of Melchizedek
18. Rule that only Levites can be priests was set aside
19. Law was insufficient, now there is better hope – to God

Truths:

  1. The Law and the sacrifices by priests were and are insufficient
  2. God wants us to become perfect
  3. Jesus received the priesthood through His power, not His mortal ancestry
  4. There is now a better hope

Applications:

  1. How do I show thanks for the better hope?
  2. Am I seeking perfection through Jesus or am I accepting of my own persistent sin?
  3. Am I trying to reach a better relationship with God through legalism and personal sacrifice or by submitting to Him through my High Priest, Jesus?

III. Perfection: God’s oath made Jesus the perfect, eternal High Priest in heaven

20-21. Jesus is priest by the oath of God – not true of all Levitical priests
22. Through oath: Jesus=guarantor of better covenant
23-24. Mortal priests were many, but Jesus is our eternal priest
25. Interceding always = saves completely
26. High Priest Jesus meets all needs: holy, blameless, pure, set apart, exalted
27. Jesus sacrifice for us: One and Done.  Not needed for His own perfection.
28. Law appoints weak priests, God’s oath appoints His perfect Son.

Truths:

  1. Jesus is a priest by the oath of God
  2. Jesus is the guarantor of God’s new/better covenant
  3. Jesus saves completely

Applications:

  1. How will my thoughts and actions today praise my exalted, holy, pure, set apart and blameless High Priest?
  2. How have I seen God’s new and better covenant change my life?
  3. Knowing that I am saved completely, what bold act can I take today?

Additional Comments:

The end goal is to live in perfection forever in the presence of God in perfect unity with Him: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

We aren’t there, yet.  That time has not yet come.  We still live in a fallen world, contaminated by sin.  The land is contaminated, the seas are, the rivers, all life has been contaminated by the sin of man.  To ultimately reach that state will require a change in us.  A new body and a new earth.  That day will come.

But in the interim, are we abandoned to sin?  Not at all.  God is a loving God who provides the best for His people.  In Exodus, He gave the covenant of the Law to His people.  He sealed it in Exodus 24:8, “This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”  Through Christ, God brought us a step closer to Himself through a new covenant, Matthew 26.28, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

God’s covenants and oaths are perfect and perfectly reliable.  Each has brought us a step closer to the ultimate place, perfect unity with Him for all eternity. We know from Revelation 5 that no additional blood must be shed for the final steps in God’s plan and promise.  The Lamb is worthy to open the seven sealed scroll and redeem this fallen world and fallen people because of the sacrifice He, Jesus, has already made.

 

 

Standard
Hebrews Homiletics

06 Hebrews Homiletics: Chapter 6

AIM: God’s Promises to faithful followers to certain

I. Those fully offered salvation who reject it are in danger of being cursed and will be burned

1-2. Elementary foundation: repent from sin, faith in God, cleansing rites, healing, resurrection, eternal judgment.
3. Moving on
4-6a. If “fully get” gift of salvation and reject it => impossible to be brought back to repentance
6b. Rejecting gift of salvation = crucifying Jesus all over again
7. Land that produces fruit is a blessing
8. Land that produces thorns is in danger + will be burned

Truths:

  1. Elementary Foundations: repent, faith, cleanse, heal, resurrect, judgement
  2. Rejecting salvation is crucifying Christ again
  3. Rejecting the Holy Spirit has eternal consequences

Applications:

  1. How am I giving thanks for the rain and crop God enables in my life?
  2. Do I have a firm foundational understand that I can easily explain to others?
  3. Do I heed the warnings against falling away?

II. Faithful followers have assurance

9. Fear not – sure of “better things”
10. God is just and knows your work + love
11. Be diligent = assurance of hope
12. Don’t be lazy – model faithful followers

Truths:

  1. God is just
  2. God knows our love and our work
  3. Be diligent, not lazy

Application:

  1. Am I diligent and not lazy to the very end?
  2. Who do I imitate?
  3. Am I living a life that other faithful followers should imitate?

III.God’s word is true and reliable

13. God swore to Abraham
14. “blessing + children” for Abraham
15. Abraham received as promised
16. oath = sworn statement
17. God’s oath: Purpose is unchanging
18. God doesn’t lie + His name is greatest = Hope held
19-20. Hope = anchor to inner sanctum/Jesus, High Priest Order of Melchizedek

Truths:

  1. Hope is anchored in the inner sanctum w/Jesus
  2. God is unchanging
  3. God doesn’t lie
  4. God’s name is greatest
  5. God’s oath is absolutely reliable

Application:

  1. Do I live my life as one with assurance in God’s promise or do I worry and beg?
  2. I will give thanks today to Jesus for being the anchor of my hope.

Summary: Woe to those who reject salvation, but “better things” to faithful followers because God’s promise is reliable

Additional comments:

I was particularly struck by verse 12 and the idea of imitating those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.  There are a number of books that talk about the concept of disciplining or mentoring.  Many of these refer to Paul and his relationship with Timothy. But verse 12 made me look at that relationship in the opposite way: Timothy’s relationship with Paul.

Do I look to imitate other followers or do I think I am above being taught?  Do I subject myself to the teaching of other Christians or am I a “know it all.”?

Part of being diligent and not lazy is in continuing to have the desire to grow and learn.  The elementary foundations of the faith are critical, but do we stop there or continue to seek additional growth and light?  Am I basking in the light and drinking in the rain to produce fruit, and, as importantly, do I subject myself to be weeded by the example of other believers?

Standard
Hebrews Homiletics

05 Hebrews Homiletics: Hebrews 5

AIM:  Obedient followers seek continued revelation of Jesus’ righteousness and that He is the God appointed source of salvation.

I. God designated Jesus to be the perfect priest and the source of salvation to the obedient

1. Role of Priest: appointed to represent, offer gifts and sacrifices
2. Empathizes w/ ignorant & weak going astray
3. Sacrifices for both people and himself
4. Like Aaron, honor of being priest is from God
5-6. God appointed Jesus as High Priest: OT references (order of Mel)
7. Mortal Jesus prayed and was heard
8. Christ obedient through suffering
9. Perfect Jesus = Source of Salvation to obedient
10. Designated by God to be High Priest Order of Melchizedek

Truths:

  1. Priests are appointed
  2. Priests empathize
  3. Priest offer gifts & sacrifices to God for us
  4. Jesus prayed and was heard
  5. God designated Jesus as Priest
  6. Jesus was obedient in suffering
  7. To the obedient, Jesus is the source of salvation

Applications:

  1. Have I thanked Jesus, today, for the work he has done and continues to do (intercession) for me?
  2. Do I picture Jesus as the High Priest in heaven and as a King when I think of Him?  Do I have that picture in mind when I pray?
  3. Am I growing in obedience?  What is my obstacle to being more obedient today than I was yesterday?
  4. When I face suffering or difficulty do I ask God to make it go away or ask Him to show me how He is using it to shape me more into His image?

II. Learning about Jesus’ righteousness is a continuing revelation and maturing

11. Hard to teach you – stopped listening
12.Your learning is not progressing – still on infant formula
13. “infants” not able to understand righteousness
14. Solid food for those who have learned to correctly distinguish good/evil

Truths:

  1. We have an obligation to keep learning about Jesus
  2. Understanding righteousness comes from maturing in faith
  3. To know God = to learn and adopt his definition of Good/evil

Application:

  1. How do I define good and evil?  Is it based on what I think, what society says or what the bible says?  Do I read the bible to reinforce my thinking or to transform my thinking?
  2. Am I seeking more revelation or have I settled in my understanding of Jesus?  Am I asking God to help me grow and mature, or am I happy as an infant or toddler?
  3. When are the times in my day that I have stopped listening?

Summary:

Seek Jesus, the perfect, appointed priest and source of salvation to the obedient.

 

Additional comments:

I was convicted by the fact that I am the biggest barrier to continuing to grow and mature as a faithful follower of Christ.  There are numerous times that I have stopped listening or taken a break.  During those time I continue to listen to and learn other things, things that do not yield eternal benefits, when my time would be better spent continuing to listen to the Word of God.

These verses also made me think about the mental image I carry of Jesus.  My image is of Jesus as a teacher and coach.  That isn’t wrong, but would I pray differently if I was thinking about Jesus as the high priest who offered sacrifices and gifts on my behalf or as Jesus as the priest who is also a King.  I’m remiss in thinking of the fact that I and those around me need to be saved and that there is only one source of salvation.  What kind of person am I to grab ahold of the life raft, but not reach out to others who are just as in need as I have been?

Standard
Hebrews Homiletics

04 Hebrews Homiletics: Hebrews 4

Aim: You are invited “Today” to join the people of God and have eternal, Holy rest

I. The invitation is open again today to enter eternal Sabbath rest w/ God

1. Rest promise still stand, don’t fall short
2. We and the exodused both have heard the good news – they lacked faith & obedience
3-5. God rests from creation work, believers joint that rest, disobedient don’t
6a. There are some still to enter rest
6b-8. The exodused  didn’t enter w/ Joshua. New invitation from God through David – Enter Today.
9. Offer remains: Sabbath rest for people of God
10. Enter God’s rest = rest from work
11. Make every effort to enter rest, not perish like the exodused.

Truths:

  1. Some will enter Sabbath rest
  2. Some will not because of unbelief and disobedience

Applications:

  1. Who do I know who has not heard the good news like I have?  Today is the day to tell them!
  2. How have I heard God’s voice today?  How have I witnessed his “good news” today?
  3. Do I want rest? (BTW: The answer is yes!)  If so, what is my strategy for receiving that rest?  Do I try to earn it?  Do I blindly hope it will just appear?  Or, am I putting my  efforts into obedience and belief – not to earn rest, but out of love and respect for the one who created rest and paid the price for entrance for me?

II. We all must give an account to the Word of God: Alive, active, sees & knows all, is the Judge.

12-13. Must give account to Word of God: Alive, active, penetrated body/soul/spirit, judges through/attitudes, sees all.

Truths:

  1. All will be judged by the Word of God
  2. Nothing is hidden from the Word of God
  3. The Word of God is Alive
  4. The Word of God is Active

Applications:

  1. Am I preparing for my “eternity” review?  Am I prepared to give an account to the Word of God?
  2. Do I treat the Word of God as “then and there” or as “here and now”?
  3. Do I read and pray the Word of God as something Alive and Active?
  4. How has the Word of God penetrated my body/spirit/soul – is it evident to others?

III. Approach the Throne with confidence and receive blessings because of your empathetic Great High Priest (GHP), Jesus

14. Hold firm to faith – Jesus = GHP in Heaven
15. Jesus can empathize – Tempted but no sin
16. Approach with confidence => receive mercy, find grace = help in time of need

Truths:

  1. Jesus is our GHP
  2. Jesus was tempted but did not sin
  3. Hold firm to faith
  4. Approach Throne with confidence

Applications:

  1. Do I approach the Throne of God with confidence?  Am I confident in my prayers?  Am I confident in being welcomed?
  2. I will take time today to recognize the many ways I have received God’s mercy, God’s grace and God’s help in times of need through Jesus – And I will say thank you!!!
  3. In times of need – my own and others – is my first action to approach the throne of God with confidence to receive His mercy and grace?

Summary Statement:

All will be judged by the Word of God – Believers can have confidence in an eternal Sabbath rest with Jesus.

Additional Comments:

Is it too late to become a Christian?  I think some people may think that way.  They didn’t grow up in the church or they did and had a bad experience or fell away.  Faith didn’t take for them.  Or maybe they’ve done things they don’t want to confess, they don’t believe there is anyway they could forgive themselves, much less receive forgiveness from “God”.  Some look at the wrath God poured out on the disobedient and unfaithful and decide they don’t want any part of “that kind of God” who directed the killing of entire groups of people, including their men, women, children and livestock. Some see the evil in the world, the Hitlers and Sadams and the terrorists and child abusers and murders and they haven’t seen enough of God’s wrath in action.

All of that looks to the past. For example, this chapter specifically addresses one such event from the past – the exodus.  Jeremiah 31 helps shed further light on this from God’s perspective.  God made a covenant with these people.  He would bring them out of bondage.  They would be His people and He would be their God.  Jer 31:32 tells us that God viewed this covenant as a marriage.  “I was a husband to them”.  But they rejected God and broke the covenant.  What would you see as being the right response to an adulterous spouse who rejects their vows and promises and rejects their spouse?  God did the only just thing – he became angry and denied them participation in His holy rest.

But that anger and rejection of those people of that day does not mean the door is closed.  The writer of Hebrews explains the words of the Psalm that the invitation is open Today. It is not that the past is not important, but we are not tied to the past – Today is Today.

Through Christ, God created a new covenant.  This is also prophesied in Jer 31, “I will forgive their sin and their iniquity I will remember no more.”  Christ’s suffering and death was payment of all for all.  It is sufficient to cover every sin ever committed or that will ever be committed.

The accounting we must give on judgement day starts with the selection of 1 of 2 boxes on the one question entrance exam.  Do you choose to be judged based on your works or base on the work of Jesus?  The invitation to chose is offered today.  As long as today is today you can choose.  But, don’t be fooled – every day is not today, and on that final day, the choice will not be offered on that day.

Choose this day whom you will serve.  As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!

The key questions are (1) do you want rest or not and (2) are you prepared to give an account to the Word of God?

Standard