III. Exhortations to Believers Hebrews 10:18-13:17 Message 36
A. Exhortation to Fearlessness. 10:19-39
B. Exhortation to Faithfulness. 11:1-40
C. Exhortation to Fortitude. 12:1-11
The final section we have been preaching through is the –
D. Exhortation to Fidelity. Hebrews 12:12-13:17
Paul gave us some characteristics which we can use to examine ourselves as he concluded this letter. We have described –
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 This good conduct took –
1). Commitment – to the right way. 12:13
2). Compassion – to help others. 12:13b,14
3). Conviction – to know and teach the Truth. 12:15-17
We concluded this part of the message with this question –
Is the Lord precious to you today?
Is the Lord’s church precious to you today?
We then moved on from The Meaning of Fidelity to –
2. The Motivation to Fidelity. Hebrews 12:18-29
What motivates you in your living out your faith for the Lord? Does God have priority over all things in your life? If you love God with all of your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind, how then is this love revealed to those around us? We must see what God says about –
3. The Manifestation of Fidelity. Hebrews 13:1-17
The believer’s fidelity to God is noted by his –
a. Reputation. Hebrews 13:1-6 We should be known for our –
1). Love. 13:1 The child of God should always be known for –
2). Hospitality. 13:2
Loving God and loving others, putting that love
into action through hospitality brings us to the discussion of –
3). Compassion. 13:3 Caring for others naturally leads to –
4). Faithfulness. 13:4 “…Marriage is honourable in all…”
Living out the will of God in love, hospitality, compassion, and faithfulness demands that we place in Him our –
5). Confidence. 13:5,6 We trust that He will supply all that we need.
This morning we move from our reputation to our stand for truth, our –
b. Resoluteness. Hebrews 13:7-14
1). Resolute in their belief. 13:7,8 Through the example of –
(a). Their teachers. 13:7 Pastors and teachers
Paul encourages them not only to keep in mind those faithful saints that he wrote of in chapter 11, but also those serving the Lord among them in their time. We do not need to look to the past for examples of faith – look around today! Look to those who are keeping the faith, not changing the faith! They should remind us of the Lord for He is our example –
(b). Their Lord. 13:8 Truth does not change!
Because they are resolute in their belief, they are –
2). Resolute in their behaviour. 13:9-14
The Law had been fulfilled by the Lord Jesus Christ. The offerings were done away with, the Holy of Holies on earth had been rendered useless, and Jesus led the way out of the camp, onto the cross, through the grave, and into the presence of the Father and the holy angels, to rule from His throne at the right hand of God the Father.
Those continuing to try and satisfy the justice of God through dead works have no place with Him, but those who through grace go unto Him always find life everlasting – looking forward to that city to come, the Heavenly Jerusalem. We who have the wonderful knowledge of the forgiveness of sin and the acceptance of God through His Son, the Lord, Jesus Christ should lead lives filled with –
c. Rejoicing. Hebrews 13:15,16 With the fruit of your –
1). Lips 13:15 “…giving thanks to His name.”
2). Lives. 13:16 “…but to do good and to communicate forget not…”
Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
The result of having an attitude of thankfulness and the practice of doing good brings forth the most wonderful result – “God is well pleased.”
d. Respect. (For Church leaders) Hebrews 13:17
1). Acknowledge their position through –
a). Obedience – Truth
b). Submission – Trust.
2). Appreciate their position –
Understand that the pastor and those in leadership positions must follow the instructions of the Lord – such as stated by Peter –
1 Peter 5:2-3 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
And that they are accountable to the Lord. They need prayer, which Paul request in this next verse: “Pray for us”.
As we have carefully presented the Word of God and seen His will for our lives, that we are to be Ambassadors for Him and represent Him as witnesses to a world who are ignorant of Him, we need to ask ourselves this simple question –“Do I represent the Lord to my family, community, and world in such a way that please Him”?
As we look back at the history of the Nation of Israel we should note an important announcement to the people by Moses in Deuteronomy chapter 1
Deuteronomy 1:1-6 These be the words which Moses spake unto all Israel on this side Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain over against the Red sea, between Paran, and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Dizahab. (There are eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadesh-barnea.) And it came to pass in the fortieth year …..saying, The LORD our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount:
After spending about two years at the mount receiving the Law from God, constructing the Tabernacle, organizing the camp, God told Israel that they had been there long enough – it was time to go into the land which was eleven days journey. Thirty eight years later, they entered the land. Why did it take them so long to receive the promise of God?
Because of their unbelief! What about you today? Have you received all that the Lord has for you?
Can you say that you have done all that you know God wants you to up to this morning?
Can you say –
I am what He will have me to be?
I am where He will have me to be?
I am doing what He will have me to do?
If not, get it right this morning. Do not allow your unbelief to keep you from obeying God!