Sunday, October 22, 2017

Paul's Epistles – Hebrews – Part 22: Conclusion of Hebrews

Paul's Epistles – Hebrews – Part 22:
Conclusion of Hebrews
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
·        A Call to Preserve Faith
·        Faith in Action
·        God Disciplines His Children
·        Be Holy
·        A Tale of Two Mountains


TODAY’S SERMON
“Conclusion of Hebrews”


SCRIPTURE REFERENCE
Hebrews 13:1-19
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.”
So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?”
Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods, which is of no benefit to those who do so. 10 We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat.
11 The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.
15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
17 Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.
18 Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. 19 I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon.

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. HOW WE SHOULD CONDUCT OURSELVES
a. Love one another as brothers and sisters
                                                                 i. This type of love refers to our social actions in how we treat each other

                                                              ii. And do not forget to show hospitality to strangers
1. By doing so, some have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it

                                                           iii. Remember those in prison
1. This refers to Christians who were being imprisoned for their faith

                                                            iv. As if you were in prison with them
1. Meaning do not forget them, and pray for them

                                                               v. And those who suffer adversity, as you were suffering

                                                            vi. Basically, Paul is stating, whatever is happening to one member of the Body of Christ, is happening to other members as well.

                                                         vii. We should continuously pray for those in the Body of Christ who are suffering because of the faith


b. Marriage should be honored by all and the marriage bed kept pure
                                                                 i. for God will judge the adulterer and the sexually immoral

                                                              ii. Lawful sex is between a husband and a wife

                                                           iii. Any sexual conduct outside the marriage bed defiles the bed and will be judged by God


c. Keep your lives free from the love of money
                                                                 i. Do not chase money, chase God

                                                              ii. Do not covet money, for it is a form of idolatry
1. Colossians 3:5 “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”

                                                           iii. Be content with what you have, because God has promised He will never leave you, never forsake you, so we say with confidence; “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”



II.      REMEMBER YOUR LEADERS WHO SPOKE THE WORD OF GOD TO YOU
a. (Refers to Preaching and Teaching) Consider their lives, and imitate their faith
                                                                 i. Meaning, if they have proper faith, their lifestyle will reflect this


b. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever
                                                                 i. He will never change, this covers the entirety of time


c. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings
                                                                 i. This includes the doctrines of men, differing denominational teachings, other religions which may use the Holy Bible but pervert its teachings, cults, etc.

                                                              ii. Anything other than what is explicitly taught in scripture is to be looked at as opinion of man, and therefore is no more trustworthy than man himself
1. Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. “

2. Psalm 118:8 “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.”

3. Psalm 146:3 “Do not trust in princes, In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.”

4. Jeremiah 17:5 “Thus says the LORD, "Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind And makes flesh his strength, And whose heart turns away from the LORD.”


III.   THROUGH JESUS CONTINUALLY OFFER GOD SACRIFICE OF PRAISE
a. The fruit of the lips that openly profess His name
                                                                 i. His name is Jesus, which means savior, and speaks of His sacrifice on the cross which is our salvation


b. Do not forget to do good and share with others
                                                                 i. Such sacrifices please God

                                                              ii. Paul explaining that our praise MUST be followed by our works, which make our faith ALIVE


c. Have confidence in your leaders (church) and submit to their authority
                                                                 i. The focus being, not the pastor, but the Gospel he preaches, so “Have confidence in the Gospel your leader is preaching, and submit to its authority

                                                              ii. Because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account
1. They truly care for your spiritual welfare and must answer to God for their service

2. Every preacher will give and account for their ministry

                                                           iii. Do this (submit to the Gospel’s authority) so their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be no benefit to you
1. If people will not heed the true Gospel being preached, it is of no profit to them.

2. No matter how profitable it is to others

3. This brings “grief” to the preacher


d. Pray for us (leaders in the church)
                                                                 i. A common request by Paul
1. Romans 15:30; Ephesians 6:18; Colossians 4:3; I Thessalonians 5:25; II Thessalonians 3:1

                                                              ii. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way.
1. Speaking of this letter (epistle) to the Hebrews connecting the dots with the New Covenant and the Law of Moses

                                                           iii. I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon.
1. Some think this is a reference to Paul being in prison at the time of this epistle


CONCLUSION – benediction and final greetings

20 Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep,21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
22 Brothers and sisters, I urge you to bear with my word of exhortation, for in fact I have written to you quite briefly.
23 I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he arrives soon, I will come with him to see you.
24 Greet all your leaders and all the Lord’s people. Those from Italy send you their greetings.
25 Grace be with you all.


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