Letter to the Hebrews, Message Fourteen
II. Exaltation of Christ 1:4 – 10:18
The Word of God lifts up the Lord Jesus Christ, praising Him because He is worthy of all praise.
We have seen and I pray that we have learned that Jesus is –
A. Superior to the prophets. 1:1-3 and that He is –
B. Superior to the Angels. 1:4-2:18 And is –
C. Superior in Administration. 3:1-4:13
Moses was the administrator of the Law, but Jesus is the Administrator of Moses.
Moses was the messenger, God was the Author.
Moses presented the Law. God was the power of the Law.
Moses was subject to the Law. Jesus submitted to the Law.
Moses failed and was judged. Jesus fulfilled and was exalted!
Jesus is superior to all.
He is the head of the church
He is the head of our lives – some may say “I am not a member of a church”. They should be members because this is the Lord’s plan for us to follow, but if not, they are still subject to Him. “Know ye not that you are bought with a price…”
In other words, we need to understand this morning that He is the Owner, Architect, Builder, and Director of His House, Whose house we are!
Everything is created by Him and for Him.
Everyone is created by Him and subject to Him.
Everything answers to Him!
Paul is saying do not turn back to the servant (schoolmaster – works of the Law, religious activities) but stay with the Son! Rejoice and Worship Jesus. He is –
1. Superior in His position. Hebrews 3:1-4
2. Superior in His possession. Hebrews 3:5,6
And he is –
3. Superior in His prosecution of His will. Hebrews 3:7-4:2
Because of the Lord’s ultimate authority, Paul taught the readers of this letter, this includes us, a lesson that we had better learn –
a. From History. Hebrews 3:7-11 (quoted Psalm 95)
Again, consider Jesus. Remember, all of those who came after knew this truth –
1). His position. “…wherefore…” 3:7
2). His provision. “…saw my works forty years…” 3:9b
The result of their sin!
3). Their provocation. 3:8,9a
“Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me…”
But the Jews had hardened their hearts. They had rejected the counsel of the Word of God and they crucified the Lord Jesus!
4). His preparation. 3:11
The Jews knew that God had prepared a place which would be entered into by faith in Him, yet they did not believe and did not enter into “…my rest.”
We are warned to turn –
b. From Self-deception. Hebrews 3:12-15
They, and we, were to –
1). Examine their hearts. 3:12
2). Exhort one another. 3:13-15
And to turn to God –
c. From Unbelief Hebrews 3:16-4:2 Their unbelief –
1). Affected all. 3:16,17
While those 21 years and older died in the wilderness, their sin held the people in that same wilderness for 38 years longer than was needed! It is like a person convicted for a capital crime and imprisoned on death row – with all of their children and young family members kept in prison with them! We must learn a lesson – my sin does not just affect me! My sin brings consequences for all of those around me.
Remember, God does not hold my children responsible for my sin, –
Deuteronomy 24:16 The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.
– but they will have to endure the consequences of my sin in this life!
Note that the people did not desire to seek God’s leadership. When things went wrong, they blamed Moses for their problems.
God judged them –
Numbers 14:28-32 Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised. But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness.
Just consider this truth – think on it for a moment – of all of the people that came out of Egypt, how many were 21 years old or older? Out of the hundreds of thousands, only two crossed the Jordan River and entered into the Land of Promise. Does this seem incredible? How many people who claim to be Christians are still in unbelief today? Do you think that the people pointed out Caleb and Joshua saying that they did not understand what they were asking – to trust God over what they have themselves seen or heard from others? They did not go into the land, not because they did not believe Caleb and Joshua, but because they did not believe God. Look back at their words to the people –
Numbers 14:8-9 If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.
Paul is telling them and us that we had better examine our faith and that faith had better be in God! Also do not fear to ask those around us of their faith! At the border of Canaan, the unbelieving refused to enter into the land of rest that God was giving to them. As we read earlier, they despised it!
Numbers 26:63-64 These are they that were numbered by Moses and Eleazar the priest, who numbered the children of Israel in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho. But among these there was not a man of them whom Moses and Aaron the priest numbered, when they numbered the children of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai.
Paul pleaded with the readers of this letter not to follow these Jews in their unbelief. They should encourage one another in faith and grow each day – ‘today’, and enter into their final Rest.
In their unbelief, they –
2). Excluded themselves from the land 3:18.19
Their unbelief is an –
3). Example unto those who came after. 4:1,2 – no faith!
The Israelites believed a lie more than they believed God. The report they had received was wrong! It had obvious errors –
Numbers 13:32-33 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
If the land was not good, how is it that the men of the land were “all men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants…”. If the land would destroy the Israelites, why were the people in the land so healthy and huge! The argument made no sense. People are the same today – they believe things that make no sense!
We should follow Paul’s challenge –
2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
Jesus is the prosecutor, basing all judgment on righteousness. All of mankind will stand before Him as their Judge.
The saved are judged for their faithfulness – the judgement for rewards.
The unsaved will be judged for their faithlessness, their unbelief – the judgment unto eternal separation from God.
He told them to get on the right path and stay on it. As saved, we cannot lose our salvation but we can lose this life, whether it be our testimony or our physical life!