12 Hebrews Homiletics Chapter 12

AIM: Believers in Christ will be strengthened through discipline to help others realize God’s glory and grace

I. (1-5, 12-14) So that others may see God, pursue peace & holiness, strengthen self, walk straight path, be healed

1. Others are watching – shed weight of sin & endure
2. Fix eyes on Jesus: pioneer & perfector, cross to glory
3-4. Focus on Jesus’ suffering/endurance: yours =/= bloodshed
5. Don’t scorn God’s discipline or give up
12-13. Strengthen self + walk straight path, be healed
14. Pursue peace + holiness so that others see God

Truths:

  1. Others are watching
  2. Fix eyes on Jesus – how he ran the race
  3. Goal = finish the race = holiness
  4. Train, endure, pursue peace, be healed

 

Applications:

  1. Am I running the race (living out my faith) with the reality that others are watching?
  2. Who do I follow as my life coach?
  3. Am I training as if preparing for a race/marathon or resting?

 

II. (6-11) God disciplines His children to holiness as a father disciplines his loved ones

6. Lord disciplines those He loves and accepts
7. All fathers discipline their sons – God treating you as a son
8. If no discipline => not a son of God
9. We submit to discipline of earthly fathers => same w/ God
10. Earthly fathers disciple to make better, God disciplines to make holy
11. Disciplines is painful @ times but leads to fruit, peace, righteousness

Truths:

  1. Disciplines is done in love for growth
  2. Earthly discipline is for improvement
  3. Holy disciplines is for holiness
  4. There is pain in discipline but the reward is fruit of peace and righteousness

 

Applications:

  1. Is my view of discipline one of love or one of anguish?
  2. In discipline, do I learn and grow or just gripe?  Do look forward through the discipline to see the fruits of peace or righteousness or is my focus only on the discipline itself?
  3. Am I able to distinguish discipline from punishment or am I viewing discipline as punishment?

 

III. (15-29) Help other to not underestimate God’s full glory & grace – He shakes away heaven and earth’s “created things” as a devouring fire, only the unshaken remain.

15. See to it that others don’t become weeds
16-17. See to it that others don’t underestimate God’s blessing
18-19. Faith in God is not small or trite, it is large and powerful
20-21. Israelites could not approach God on Mt. Zion, even Moses trembled
22-24. But you can come directly to God through Christ
25. Take care: Do not refuse, if Israelites did not survive earthly warning, why think survive heavenly
26. His voice shook the earth, now shakes heaven and earth
27. Shaking = purification, but only once more
28a. We will receive an unshakable kingdom
28b. Give thanks, worship, devotion and awe to God
29. Our God is indeed a devouring fire

Truths:

  1. Believers have responsibility for others
  2. Our access to God is unprecedented in history
  3. Take care to not refuse or ignore the warning signs
  4. Heaven & earth will be shaken “once more” to remove that which is shakable
  5. The heaven we inherit is unshakable
  6. Give thanks, worship, devotion and AWE to God

 

Applications:

  1. Do I accept my responsibility as part of other Christians’ faith walk?
  2. Am I “taking care” daily?
  3. Am I unshakable?  Jesus is!

 

Summary: So that others may abide with God, the faithful must endure, be strong and not shaken

 

Additional thoughts:

There are a lot of metaphors in Hebrews 12: running, endurance, training, pioneer, discipline of fathers, bitter roots, shaking and unshakable and comparisons between our relationship with God and that of Abel, Moses and the Israelite nation at Mt. Zion.  But each is woven together in an attempt to adjust the thinking of the Hebrew audience (and ours today).

This life is not the competition to be won.  We don’t come out of it as the winner if we “do better” thank others.  We don’t achieve what God has in store for us by sitting back and taking it easy, taking life “as the sands through the hour glass.”

Life is training camp.  Life is where we accept the jersey to play on the team and train along side others.  Unbelievers are not our opponents, they are those standing on the sideline who have not yet accepted the call to be part of the team.

And like training camp, others are watching.  Other players.  Others on the sidelines.  Our coach and owner.  Training is hard.  And we aren’t training to just be “better”.  Our coach and our owner is training us to become perfect, to become holy.  We are part of a team.  It is not our own performance alone, but our example and leadership and compassion to others on the training field as well.

Our access to our coach, Jesus, is unprecedented in the history of the world.  The chosen people of God and even Moses trembled at the base of the mountain, but Jesus has walked among us and talked with us.  Our ability to see and know and follow His example is an amazing gift, but also one to not be taken lightly.

A time of shaking is coming.  Once more God will shake the heaven and the earth.  That which is shakable/impure, will be cast out, but that which stands strong will inherit the unshakable kingdom.

Train hard.  Train knowing that others are watching, constantly.  Train not as if it were a job, but as if it were your life on the line, and not just this life, but life for all eternity.  The harder you train, the harder the training, but the harder the training, the stronger the ability to stand with arms high.

 

11 Hebrews Homiletics Chapter 11

AIM: God’s plan is for something better for all the faithful of all time

I. Faith is the confidence in hope and assurance in the unseen

1. Faith: confidence in hope, assurance in unseen

Truths:

  1. Faith is confidence in hope
  2. Faith is assurance in the unseen

Applications:

  1. Do I have confidence in the hope of Christ?
  2. Do I live as one with assurance in the unseen or do I want “to be shown to believe”?

II. Bible is filled with many who lived by faith without receiving the promise

2. Forefather commended for faith
3. Believe in creation by faith
4. Abel’s faith in sacrifice, commendation, still speaks
5. Enoch’s faith: Pleased God, taken to heaven
6. W/o faith =/= please God b/c w/o faith would not approach God
7. Noah’s faith: built ark, heir to righteousness
8-9a. Abraham’s faith: Went to land, made home
9b-10. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob: Tent dwellers looking forward to City
11. Sarah’s faith: old, bore child
12. From this one old man came many descendants/nations
13a. These were living by faith @ death – did not receive Jesus
13b-16. Foreigners looking to eternal home: God prepared City
17-19. Abraham trusted God enough to obey: Isaac as sacrifice
20. By faith Isaac blessed Jacob & Esau
21. By faith Jacob blessed Joseph’s sons
22. By faith Jacob instructed his bones home @ exodus
23. By faith infant Moses was hid
24-26. By faith Moses chose life of Israelite over son of Pharaoh
27. By faith Moses left Egypt
28. By faith Moses kept the passover
29. By faith Israelites crossed Red Sea, Egyptians drowned
30. By faith walls of Jericho fell
31. By faith Rahab saved
32-38. By faith many many many more acts

Truths:

  1. Throughout the ages there have been the faithful
  2. All faithful were commended for their faith
  3. None received what was promised (before Jesus)

Applications:

  1. Is my faith like that of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham?
  2. They lived by faith without Jesus, how is the gift of Christ making me stronger in my faith?
  3. By faith, would I leave my home?  By faith would I shelter others?  By faith, am I giving and receiving blessings?

 

III. God’s plan is for something better so together all faithful “be made perfect”

39-40.Commended for faith – Together w/ us be made perfect

Truths:

  1. God planned something better
  2. Faithful – all together – would be made perfect

Applications:

  1. Am I gratefully accepting God’s “better plan” or am I trying to make my own plans?
  2. Am I yielding daily to God’s transformation of my life to “be made perfect”

 

Additional Comments:

How many times have we heard things like, “If I could only see Jesus, then I would believe.”  or “I just need some proof to have faith.”

But, Hebrews 11 explains that would not be faith.  Faith includes an element of trust.  Faith includes an element of choice.  We know that when Christ returns He will be recognized by everyone still living.  Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Rom 14).  Even the demons that there is one God (James 2:19).  But that does not mean these groups of people are living by faith – in fact we know from the scriptures that they are not.

But for the faithful, God has planned something better:  To take those who have been made holy (sanctified, set apart for a special purpose in the service of the Lord), and to make them perfect.

I don’t feel perfect.  I don’t live a perfect life.  But I recognize that God is transforming me.  Not just to make me a little bit better than what I am today, but for the ultimate goal of giving me a new life and a new body so that I can live with Him in his holy presence in the eternal city that He has build, forever.

 

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.