Letter to the Hebrews Message 33
D. Exhortation to Fidelity. Hebrews 12:12-13:17 We learned –
1. The Meaning of Fidelity. Hebrews 12:12-17
We noted the definition of fidelity is accuracy, preciseness, correctness.
An example of fidelity in the believer is found in the church in Antioch –
Acts 11:26 And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
Paul told them to present Jesus to the world in their lives by being an example through –
a. Courage. Hebrews 12:12 Being strengthened, they were to have good –
b. Conduct. Hebrews 12:13-17
Last week we noted the –
2. The Motivation to Fidelity. Hebrews 12:18-29
We endeavoured to discover ‘What motivates you in your living out your faith for the Lord.’? We should –
a. Regard our position in Christ as being better. Hebrews 12:18-24
Comparing the Old – (God’s power produced fear) with the New – peace and faith with the blessed anticipation of seeing God the Father and Christ Jesus, God the Son.
Today, we will review His Word that we may reinforce the instruction given to believers based on the truth that Jesus is –
Better than all things.
He has given His life, shed His blood that we might have life everlasting.
He is the only way to life in the Father.
No God exists but God – The Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit.
In simple terms, no life is presented to anyone in any way except by God through Jesus Christ.
Paul is stating here that since God has all authority, we had better listen to Him!
We must –
b. Remember these truths that we have learned –
1). We must not think about turning back to our old life.
Hebrews 10:34-36 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
2). We must remember those that did not turn back, even though they faced great hardships. Hebrews 11
3). We must run the race. Hebrews 12:1,2 “Run with patience…”
4). We must keep going, knowing we may suffer, even to giving our lives.
“Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.”
5). We must be strong, having a firm grip and a strong gait, helping others.
“lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees…”
6). We must not put any confidence in the dead Law.
Colossians 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
7). We must thank God for His grace and His blessings – the city of God.
“…ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem…”
8). We must rejoice in our great God the Father and His Son, Jesus.
“…and to God the Judge of all …And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling…”
Knowing this, we must –
c. Respect His Word. Hebrews 12:25-27
1). Experience based on His performance. 12:25,26a
Hebrews 12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
We should always remember that consequences will follow disobedience.
Paul reminded the Hebrews how their forefathers sinned against God by forgetting His Word so quickly.
a). They feared to listen to God as He spoke. Exodus 20:19
b). They failed to take His Word seriously. Exodus 20:23
‘Ye shall not make me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold”
c). They forsook the Words of God and rebelled against Him.
Exodus 32:1 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.
Exodus 32:4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
They needed, as we do, to believe God, trust Him and refuse to turn back and stop serving Him.
We need to clarify again that the Lord is not speaking of His children losing their salvation. He is speaking of them being corrected while they live, and if they would not accept the correction, (1 John 5:16 “…there is a sin unto death…” ), He would simply kill them and take them to be with Him. Do not be afraid of losing your salvation – be afraid of wasting it!
You see, our problem is fear of giving our all to the Lord. To completely invest ourselves with Him in His will. We are afraid to “get on board” and go “all out” for the Lord. We want to control our lives and so we give Him a little at a time, making sure we can pull back when we are unsure of what will happen.
I remember when I was a teenager I went a number of times with my brother and his friends to an amusement park called Glen Echo, just outside of Washington, D.C. I enjoyed many of the games – trying to knock down bottles with a softball, throwing wooden rings over prizes, shooting moving targets with a rifle. It was fun to play the games that I was in control of. My brother and his friends loved riding the roller coaster. It was an old wooden trestle coaster. This was long before most of the safety devices we know today. I never went with them on the coaster. It was loud and the wood creaked as the cars roared down the hills and around the curves. I stood and watched as they laughed and screamed, having a great time. One of the biggest thrills was on the longest drop. It began at the very highest point with the cars circling slowing, approaching the drop, and then flying down the incline. Dave and them would stand up and put their arms in the air, screaming at the top of their lungs. As the cars came to a stop at the end, they would jump off, run out to the booth and buy tickets to ride again. They had the greatest time, and I watched, afraid to commit myself to something I could not control. How sad that I missed so much. Now, I did not do anything wrong – except the wrong in robbing myself of opportunities and not being an encourage to others to go all in with their lives.
Most Christians live their lives much like my time spent in the park – enjoying some small things but missing the greatest opportunities of all. If we are to seek the greatest blessings of God in this life, we must see our –
2). Expectation based on His promise. 12:26b,27
God is preparing us to live with Him forever in the place that will never change.
This earth is cursed by sin and needs to be remade, which it will be in the end time, an everlasting perfect home for God among His people.
And because of these truths, we should –
d. Resolve to serve. 12:28,29
God has a plan for us and we should determine that we will serve Him, beginning now!
Ephesians 2:4-10 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
God helps us to choose to do right by reminding us of the consequences of doing wrong.
“For our God is a consuming fire.”
Hebrews 10:30-31 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Are you obedient or are you telling God “No, I want to do my will, not yours”.
Are you saved?
Are you serving?
Are you all in, giving yourself over completely to God?