Sunday, September 17, 2017

Paul's Epistles – Hebrews – Part 17: A Call to Preserve Faith

Paul's Epistles – Hebrews – Part 17:
A Call to Preserve Faith
Pastor Bruce A. Shields


SERMON INTRODUCTION
The “official” writer of this epistle is unknown. However, I obviously believe it is Paul since I have included it in the “Paul’s Epistles” Sermon Series.

I believe there is enough evidence from early scholars to agree this was more than likely Paul’s work.

We have already seen in Hebrews so far;

·        Jesus is greater than angels
·        And that we are to pay the most careful attention to Jesus and His way so we do not stray
·        And how Jesus (New Covenant) is greater than Moses (Old Covenant)
·        Paul’s warning about unbelief
·        A Sabbath Rest for the People of God
·        Jesus the Great High Priest
·        Jesus the Perfect High Priest
·        Therefore, It is Time to Grow Up
·        The Certainty of God’s Promise
·        Melchizedek the Priest
·        Jesus like Melchizedek
·        The High Priest of the New Covenant
·        Worship in the Earthly Tabernacle
·        The Blood of Christ
·        Christ’s sacrifice, Once for All

TODAY’S SERMON
“A Call to Preserve Faith”






SCRIPTURE REFERENCE
Hebrews 10:19-39
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, 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. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 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.
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. 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? 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.
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. 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.”
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.
The overall message of this epistle to the church is;
The Cure for Lacking Boldness or Courage in your Christian Faith and Backsliding is a Right beginning for the Glory and Work of Christ”


I. THEREFORE (THE BLOOD OF CHRIST, ONCE FOR ALL) WE HAVE CONFIDENCE TO ENTER THE MOST HOLY PLACE
a. By the Blood of Christ
                                                                 i. The perfect sacrifice

                                                              ii. removed sin, not just a covering

                                                           iii. Opens the curtain revealing God to us through Jesus Christ


b. Jesus our Great Priest over the House of God
                                                                 i. Cleansed us of sin

                                                              ii. removed our guilt

                                                           iii. washed us in the Holy Spirit


c. Let us hold unwavering to the Hope we profess
                                                                 i. He is faithful to all He promised, let us be faithful to Him

                                                              ii. Let us also consider how WE may SPUR one another toward LOVE & GOOD DEEDS

1. It is believers responsibility to encourage, uplift, strengthen and build others in the church

2. Towards LOVE (I Corinthians 13)

3. Towards GOOD DEEDS

a. Not acts that save, but deeds that reflect we ARE saved!

II.      HOWEVER, IF WE KNOW THE TRUTH AND CONTINUE TO SIN, THERE IS NO SACRIFICE LEFT
a. If we deliberately keep sinning there is no salvation for us
                                                                 i. After receiving the knowledge of Truth there is no sacrifice for sin left

                                                              ii. Only fearful expectation of judgment and raging fire that will consume the enemies of God

                                                           iii. If you have received the knowledge of Truth (saved), and deliberately sin, you “become” an enemy of God

                                                            iv. Would God judge someone who was “saved” so harshly?


b. Anyone who rejected The Law of Moses died without mercy
                                                                 i. VS 29-31 “ 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? 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.”

                                                              ii. Paul wants believers to understand, you CAN walk away from Christ, and if you do wander, you are in danger of losing your eternal soul!


c. The Lord will judge His people
                                                                 i. Notice, “His People”, not “All people”, or “Those who do not belong to Him”

                                                              ii. But people who profess Him, who have the knowledge of Truth, believer’s who have wondered from Christ!


III.   REMEMBER WHEN YOU FIRST RECEIVED THE LIGHT
a. Great conflict, full of suffering, publicly insulted, persecuted
                                                                 i. The narrow path is difficult

b. You suffered along with those in prison
                                                                 i. Not just for you, but other believers as well!

c. So do not throw away your confidence, it will be richly rewarded
                                                                 i. When we first believed, we endured all that came our way
                                                              ii. But people get tired, wore out, weakened

                                                           iii. We need to lean on each other, and the strength of the Lord which can endure ALL THINGS

                                                            iv. If we surrender to trials, return to sin, we once again surrender our rewards, become an enemy to God, lose our rights to the Kingdom, and are lost to our sin.

CONCLUSION – paul has the answer to this

VS 36-39
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.”
38 And,
“my righteous one will live by faith.
    And I take no pleasure
    in the one who shrinks back.”

Who is the one who shrinks back? The one who willfully sins after having the knowledge of Truth.

We call them “backsliders”, or those who “wander off the narrow path”, or as Paul calls them in verse 29, the one “...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?”

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.



Galatians 6:1-10
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone elsefor each one should carry their own load. Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal lifeLet us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

James 5:19-20          
My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.



Next week we will look at the end of Hebrews 11 and the Faith in Action.


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