Hebrews – Part 7: Confidently Endure Persecution

The writer of Hebrews exhorted his readers to endure persecution confidently awaiting the promise of Christ’s return.

Prologue

“Confidently Endure Persecution” is part 7 of a 10-part study on the Book of Hebrews. You may view any of the previous parts by clicking one of the links below.

Scripture

Hebrews 10:32-39 (NASB)
32 But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, 33 partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated. 34 For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one. 35 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36  For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. 37 FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE, HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME, AND WILL NOT DELAY. 38 BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM. 39 But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, in this sinful world, persecution is inevitable for Christians. Lord, please teach us how to confidently endure persecution and then grant us the strength and perserverence to follow through. We thank You for Your promise to never leave nor forsake us. We also thank You for the eternal hope we have in Christ Jesus, in whose name we pray. Amen.

Probing Question

Why should Christians endure persecution?

Transitional Sentence

Christians should endure persecution because…

Main Points

1. We Will Suffer Persecution

Hebrews 10:32-33 (NASB)
32 But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, 33 partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated.

States of persecution:

  • We are currently in a trial.
  • We are coming out of a trial.
  • We are about to enter a trial.

1 Thessalonians 2:14-15 (NASB)
14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, 15 who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men,

John 15:20a (NASB)
20 “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you…

2. We Know Our Relationship with Christ

Hebrews 10:34 (NASB)
34 For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one.

  • Joint Heirs with Christ

Romans 8:15-18 (NASB)
15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

  • A Heavenly Home

Matthew 6:19-20 (NASB)
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;

2 Corinthians 5:1 (NASB)
1 For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

Colossians 3:2-4 (NASB)
2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4  When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

1 Peter 1:3-4 (NASB)
3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,

3. We Have Liberal Access to God and His Favor

Hebrews 10:35 (NASB)
35 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.

  • Boldly Approach God’s Throne

Hebrews 4:14-16 (NASB)
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15  For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

  • God Will Reward

Matthew 5:11-12 (NASB)
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

1 Corinthians 15:57-58 (NASB)
57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not invain in the Lord.

Galatians 6:8-10 (NASB)
8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. 10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

 4. We Must Patiently Await Christ’s Return

Hebrews 10:36-37 (NASB)
36  For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. 37 FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE, HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME, AND WILL NOT DELAY.

  • We Must Be Patient

Hebrews 12:1-3 (NASB)
1  Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Romans 5:1-5 (NASB)
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Romans 15:4-6 (NASB)
4  For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5  Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

James 1:2-4 (NASB)
2  Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

James 5:7-11 (NASB)
7  Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. 8  You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. 9  Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door. 10 As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11  We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and ismerciful.

Conclusion

Christians should endure persecution because:

  • We will suffer persecution
  • We know our relationship with Christ
  • We have liberal access to God and His favor
  • We must patiently await Christ’s return

Hebrews 10:38-39 (NASB)
38 BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM. 39 But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, Christians around the world suffer from various levels and forms of persecution. We know that since they first persecuted You, our persecutions are sure to come. Even so, we know we can confidently endure persecution because of our relationship with You. We know we can come boldly to Your throne, that You have not limited our access to You. We thank You that You promise us grace sufficient for each day. Help us Lord to bring honor and glory to Your name during our persecution. May Your name be praised forever, for it is in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, that we pray. Amen.

Epilogue

“Confidently Endure Persecution” is part 7 of a 10-part study on the Book of Hebrews. You may view any of the following parts by clicking one of the links below.

Gospel Invitation

Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:

James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.

I am lost. I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Action

  • To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
  • If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I am saved; but, I have sin in my life that I need to confess and repent.

1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19  "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially confess the sin in your life and your desire to repent. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

I am saved; but, I need to rededicate my life to the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Action

  • In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:

Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expecttions for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

  • If you just rededicated your life to the Lord, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I benefit from this ministry and want to become a member and/or make a donation.

Praise the Lord. We are glad you find Saved by Grace edifying.

Action

  • If you would like to become a member, please click "Register" in the "Log In" section on the top right column of the page. Members are allowed to comment on posts and other comments and may also provide Feedback.

Malachi 3:10 (NASB)
10  "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.

  • If you benefit from this ministry and would like to support its efforts, projects, and missions, please consider making a tax deductible donation, of any amount. May God bless you for your generosity.




I need to discuss my situation confidentially.

James 5:16 (NASB)
16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially discuss the situation in your life that is troubling you. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

Contact Form








 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Hebrews – Part 6: Enter the New Sanctuary

The writer of Hebrews exhorted Christians to assemble together in faith, hope, and support of one another in Christ Jesus.

Prologue

“Enter the New Sanctuary” is part 6 of a 10-part study on the Book of Hebrews. You may view any of the previous parts by clicking one of the links below.

Scripture

Hebrews 10:19-31 (NASB)
19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. 26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES. 28 Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29  How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY.” And again, “THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.” 31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, may Your name be glorified throughout all creation. You encourage us to gather in Your name. Be with us now. Let us feel Your presence as we study Your Word. We humbly pray in the name of Your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Probing Question

Why should Christians assemble together in faith, hope, and support of one another in Christ Jesus?

Transitional Sentence

Christians should assemble together in faith, hope, and support of one another in Christ Jesus because…

Main Points

1. We Must Draw Near In Faith

Hebrews 10:19-22 (NASB)
19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled cleanfrom an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

We have boldness to approach the throne of God because of

  • The blood of Jesus Christ
  • The broken body of Jesus Christ
  • Our great High Priest: Jesus Christ

We are not to have a spirit of fear (FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real).

Romans 8:15-18 (NASB)
15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

2 Timothy 1:7-10 (NASB)
7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. 8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, 9  who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, 10 but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,

 2. We Must Hold Fast In Hope

Hebrews 10:23 (NASB)
23  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;

Our Profession of Faith upon Which Our Hope is Built

  • Fellowship with God through Christ
  • Resurrection of the body
  • Everlasting life

Profess without wavering…

James 1:5-8 (NASB)
5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

We can be sure/steadfast and not waver because He is faithful that promised.

Hebrews 6:16-19 (NASB)
16 For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute. 17  In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil,

3. We Must Stir Up One Another In Love

Hebrews 10:24-25 (NASB)
24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

 Let us diligently and attentively

  • Consider each other’s
    • Trials
    • Difficulties
    • Weaknesses
  • Feel for each other
  • Excite each other to an increase of love to God and man;

and, as the proof of it, to be fruitful in good works.

Hebrews 13:3 (NASB)
3 Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.

Romans 12:15 (NASB)
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

Romans 15:1-3 (NASB)
1 Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. 2 Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. 3 For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “THE REPROACHES OF THOSE WHO REPROACHED YOU FELL ON ME.”

Hebrews 6:10-11 (NASB)
10  For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. 11  And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end,

1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 (NASB)
12 and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you; 13  so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.

4. We Must Not Despise What Has Been Done for Us

Hebrews 10:26-31 (NASB)
26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES. 28 Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29  How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY.” And again, “THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.” 31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

We must not despise/reject what Christ has done for us

  • Christ was the last and perfect sacrifice for sin, there is (will be) no other
  • All who reject His sacrifice have only the judgment to look forward to

Conclusion

Christians should assemble together in faith, hope, and support of one another in Christ Jesus because…

  • We must draw near in faith
  • We must hold fast in hope
  • We must stir up one another in love
  • We must not despise what has been done for us

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, give us the strength to gather together in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ for it is in His name that we pray, amen.

Epilogue

“Enter the New Sanctuary” is part 6 of a 10-part study on the Book of Hebrews. You may view any of the following parts by clicking one of the links below.

Gospel Invitation

Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:

James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.

I am lost. I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Action

  • To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
  • If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I am saved; but, I have sin in my life that I need to confess and repent.

1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19  "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially confess the sin in your life and your desire to repent. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

I am saved; but, I need to rededicate my life to the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Action

  • In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:

Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expecttions for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

  • If you just rededicated your life to the Lord, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I benefit from this ministry and want to become a member and/or make a donation.

Praise the Lord. We are glad you find Saved by Grace edifying.

Action

  • If you would like to become a member, please click "Register" in the "Log In" section on the top right column of the page. Members are allowed to comment on posts and other comments and may also provide Feedback.

Malachi 3:10 (NASB)
10  "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.

  • If you benefit from this ministry and would like to support its efforts, projects, and missions, please consider making a tax deductible donation, of any amount. May God bless you for your generosity.




I need to discuss my situation confidentially.

James 5:16 (NASB)
16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially discuss the situation in your life that is troubling you. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

Contact Form








 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Hebrews – Part 5: Jesus: His Superior Ministry

The writer of Hebrews emphasized the superiority of Christ’s new covenant ministry over that of the old covenant.

Prologue

“Jesus: His Superior Ministry” is part 5 of a 10-part study on the Book of Hebrews. You may view any of the previous parts by clicking one of the links below.

Scripture

Hebrews 8:1-6 (NASB)
1 Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest , who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens , 2 a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle , which the Lord pitched , not man . 3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices ; so it is necessary that this high priest also have something to offer . 4 Now if He were on earth , He would not be a priest at all , since there are those who offer the gifts according to the Law ; 5 who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things , just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle ; for, “SEE ,” He says , “THAT YOU MAKE all things ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN WHICH WAS SHOWN YOU ON THE MOUNTAIN .” 6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, Creator of all that exists, open our eyes so that we may see the greatness of Jesus and His superiority over all things. We pray in His most holy name. Amen.

Probing Question

How is Christ’s new covenant ministry superior to that of the old covenant?

Transitional Sentence

Christ’s new covenant ministry is superior to that of the old covenant, because of…

Main Points

1. A Better Covenant

Inadequacy of the Old Covenant

Hebrews 8:7-9 (NASB)
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless , there would have been no occasion sought for a second . 8 For finding fault with them, He says , “BEHOLD , DAYS ARE COMING , SAYS THE LORD , WHEN I WILL EFFECT A NEW COVENANT WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AND WITH THE HOUSE OF JUDAH ; 9 NOT LIKE THE COVENANT WHICH I MADE WITH THEIR FATHERS ON THE DAY WHEN I TOOK THEM BY THE HAND TO LEAD THEM OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT; FOR THEY DID NOT CONTINUE IN MY COVENANT, AND I DID NOT CARE FOR THEM, SAYS THE LORD.

Adequacy of the New Covenant

Hebrews 8:10-13 (NASB)
10 “FOR THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AFTER THOSE DAYS , SAYS THE LORD : I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR MINDS , AND I WILL WRITE THEM ON THEIR HEARTS . AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD , AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE . 11 “AND THEY SHALL NOT TEACH EVERYONE HIS FELLOW CITIZEN , AND EVERYONE HIS BROTHER , SAYING , ‘KNOW THE LORD ,’ FOR ALL WILL KNOW ME, FROM THE LEAST TO THE GREATEST OF THEM. 12 “FOR I WILL BE MERCIFUL TO THEIR INIQUITIES , AND I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SINS NO MORE .” 13 When He said , “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.

2. A Better Sanctuary

Imperfection of the Earthly Sanctuary

Hebrews 9:1-10 (NASB)
1 Now even the first covenant had regulations of divine worship and the earthly sanctuary . 2 For there was a tabernacle prepared , the outer one , in which were the lampstand and the table and the sacred bread ; this is called the holy place . 3 Behind the second veil there was a tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies , 4 having a golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold , in which was a golden jar holding the manna , and Aaron’s rod which budded , and the tables of the covenant ; 5 and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat ; but of these things we cannot now speak in detail . 6 Now when these things have been so prepared , the priests are continually entering the outer tabernacle performing the divine worship , 7 but into the second , only the high priest enters once a year , not without taking blood , which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance . 8 The Holy Spirit is signifying this , that the way into the holy place has not yet been disclosed while the outer tabernacle is still standing , 9 which is a symbol for the present time . Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience , 10 since they relate only to food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until a time of reformation.

Perfection of the Heavenly Sanctuary

Hebrews 9:11-12 (NASB)
11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come , He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle , not made with hands , that is to say, not of this creation ; 12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

Illustration

St. Cyril, an early church father, says in a few words the following, what others have employed whole volumes on by refining, spiritualizing, and allegorizing:

“Although Christ be but one, yet he is understood by us under a variety of forms. He is the Tabernacle, on account of the human body in which he dwelt. He is the Table, because he is our Bread of life. He is the Ark which has the law of God enclosed within, because he is the Word of the Father. He is the Candlestick, because he is our spiritual light. He is the Altar of incense, because he is the sweet-smelling odour of sanctification. He is the Altar of burnt-offering, because he is the victim, by death on the cross, for the sins of the whole world.”

3. A Better Sacrifice

Necessity of Shed Blood

Hebrews 9:13-22 (NASB)
13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh , 14 how much more will the blood of Christ , who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God , cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God ? 15 For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant , so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant , those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance . 16 For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. 17 For a covenant is valid only when men are dead , for it is never in force while the one who made it lives . 18 Therefore even the first covenant was not inaugurated without blood . 19 For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law , he took the blood of the calves and the goats , with water and scarlet wool and hyssop , and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people , 20 saying , “THIS IS THE BLOOD OF THE COVENANT WHICH GOD COMMANDED YOU.” 21 And in the same way he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry with the blood . 22 And according to the Law , one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

Purification of the Heavenly Sanctuary

Hebrews 9:23-28 (NASB)
23 Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these , but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these . 24 For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands , a mere copy of the true one , but into heaven itself , now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 nor was it that He would offer Himself often , as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own . 26 Otherwise , He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world ; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself . 27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment , 28 so Christ also , having been offered once to bear the sins of many , will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.

Permanence of the Sacrifice

  • Inadequacy of the Levitical Sacrifices

Hebrews 10:1-9 (NASB)
1 For the Law , since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things , can never , by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year , make perfect those who draw near . 2 Otherwise , would they not have ceased to be offered , because the worshipers , having once been cleansed , would no longer have had consciousness of sins ? 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year . 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins . 5 Therefore , when He comes into the world , He says , “SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED , BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME; 6 IN WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE TAKEN NO PLEASURE . 7 “THEN I SAID , ‘BEHOLD , I HAVE COME (IN THE SCROLL OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME) TO DO YOUR WILL , O GOD .’ ” 8 After saying above , “SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS AND WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED , NOR HAVE YOU TAKEN PLEASURE in them” (which are offered according to the Law ), 9 then He said, “BEHOLD, I HAVE COME TO DO YOUR WILL.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second.

  • Adequacy of Christ’s Sacrifice

Hebrews 10:10-18 (NASB)
10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all . 11 Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices , which can never take away sins ; 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time , SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD , 13 waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET . 14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified . 15 And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying , 16 “THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM AFTER THOSE DAYS , SAYS THE LORD : I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEART , AND ON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM,” He then says, 17 “AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE .” 18 Now where there is forgiveness of these things , there is no longer any offering for sin.

Conclusion

Christ’s new covenant ministry is superior to that of the old covenant, because of:

  • A better covenant
    • Inadequacy of the old covenant
    • Adequacy of the new covenant
  • A better sanctuary
    • Imperfection of the earthly sanctuary
    • Perfection of the heavenly sanctuary
  • A better sacrifice
    • Necessity of shed blood
    • Purification of the heavenly sanctuary
    • Permanence of the sacrifice
      • Inadequacy of the Levitical sacrifices
      • Adequacy of Christ’s sacrifice

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, we thank You that You provided through Jesus, a far superior, perfect ministry, so that through His sufficiency, we could have life eternal. May we never lose sight of this fact. Thank You for loving us so much. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Epilogue

“Jesus: His Superior Ministry” is part 5 of a 10-part study on the Book of Hebrews. You may view any of the following parts by clicking one of the links below.

Gospel Invitation

Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:

James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.

I am lost. I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Action

  • To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
  • If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I am saved; but, I have sin in my life that I need to confess and repent.

1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19  "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially confess the sin in your life and your desire to repent. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

I am saved; but, I need to rededicate my life to the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Action

  • In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:

Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expecttions for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

  • If you just rededicated your life to the Lord, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I benefit from this ministry and want to become a member and/or make a donation.

Praise the Lord. We are glad you find Saved by Grace edifying.

Action

  • If you would like to become a member, please click "Register" in the "Log In" section on the top right column of the page. Members are allowed to comment on posts and other comments and may also provide Feedback.

Malachi 3:10 (NASB)
10  "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.

  • If you benefit from this ministry and would like to support its efforts, projects, and missions, please consider making a tax deductible donation, of any amount. May God bless you for your generosity.




I need to discuss my situation confidentially.

James 5:16 (NASB)
16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially discuss the situation in your life that is troubling you. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

Contact Form








 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Hebrews – Part 4: Jesus: The Great High Priest

The writer of Hebrews stressed Christians’ assurance and responsibility to boldly proclaim Jesus as the great High Priest redeeming them to God.

Prologue

“Jesus: The Great High Priest” is part 4 of a 10-part study on the Book of Hebrews. You may view any of the previous parts by clicking one of the links below.

Introduction

Hebrews 4:14-16 (NASB)
14 Therefore , since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens , Jesus the Son of God , let us hold fast our confession . 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses , but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin . 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

NOTE: The following information is quoted from Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament Explanatory and Practical, WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “Hebrews 4”.

  • Great High Priest
    • The object is to show that Christians have a great High Priest as really as the Jews had; to show wherein he surpassed the Levitical priesthood; to show how all that was said of the Aaronic priesthood, and all the types pertaining to that priesthood, were fulfilled in the Lord Jesus; and to state and illustrate the nature of the consolations which Christians might derive from the fact that they had such an High Priest.
    • The idea here is, not merely that the Lord Jesus was a Priest, but that he was at the head of all; in the Christian economy he sustained a rank that corresponded with that of the great high priest in the Jewish.
  • Passed Into the Heavens
    • The Jewish high priest went once a year into the most holy place in the temple, to offer the blood of the atonement. Paul says that the Christian High Priest has gone into heaven. He has gone there also to make intercession, and to sprinkle the blood of the atonement on the mercy-seat.
  • Jesus, the Son of God
    • Not a descendant of Aaron, but one greater—the Son of God.
  • Let Us Hold Fast Our Profession
    • This is the drift and scope of the epistle—to show that Christians should hold fast their profession, and not apostatize. The object of the apostle now is to show why the fact, that we have such a High Priest, is a reason why we should hold fast our professed attachment to him. These reasons-which are drawn out in the succeeding chapters-are such as the following:
      • We may look to him for assistance-since he can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities,
      • The impossibility of being renewed again if we should fall away from him, since there is but one such High Priest, and since the sacrifice for sin can never be repeated,
      • The fact that all the ancient types were fulfilled in him, and that everything which there was in the Jewish dispensation, to keep men from apostasy, exists much more powerfully in the Christian scheme.
      • The fact that they who rejected the laws of Moses died without mercy, and much more any one who should reject the Son of God must expect more certain and fearful severity,
      • By considerations such as these, the apostle aims to show them the danger of apostasy, and to urge them to a faithful adherence to their Christian profession.
  • For We Have Not an High Priest Which Cannot Be Touched
    • Our High Priest is not cold and unfeeling. That is, we have one who is abundantly qualified to sympathize with us in our afflictions, and to whom, therefore, we may look for aid and support in trials.
  • But Was In All Points Tempted Like As We Are
    • Tried as we are. He was subjected to all the kinds of trial to which we can be, and he is, therefore, able to sympathize with us, and to aid us. He was tempted-in the literal sense; he was persecuted; he was poor; he was despised; he suffered bodily pain; he endured the sorrows of a lingering and most cruel death.
  • Yet Without Sin
    • The importance of this fact, that the great High Priest of the Christian profession was “without sin,” the apostle illustrates at length in chapters 7 through 9. He here merely alludes to it, and says that one who was “without sin” was able to assist those who were sinners, and who put their trust in him.
  • Let Us Therefore Come Boldly Unto the Throne of Grace
    • A throne is the seat of a sovereign; a throne of grace is designed to represent a sovereign seated to dispense mercy and pardon. The illustration or comparison here may have been derived from the temple service. In that service God is represented as seated in the most holy place on the mercy-seat. The high priest approaches that seat or throne of the Divine Majesty with the blood of the atonement, to make intercession for the people, and to plead for pardon. That scene was emblematic of heaven. God is seated on a throne of mercy. The great High Priest of the Christian calling, having shed his own blood to make expiation, is represented as approaching God, and pleading for the pardon of men. To a God willing to show mercy he comes with the merits of a sacrifice sufficient for all, and pleads for their salvation. We may, therefore, come with boldness, and look for pardon. We come not depending on our own merits, but we come where a sufficient sacrifice has been offered for human guilt, and where we are assured that God is merciful. We may, therefore, come without hesitancy, or trembling, and ask for all the mercy that we need.
  • That We May Obtain Mercy
    • This is what we want first. We need pardon-as the first thing when we come to God. We are guilty and self-condemned—and our first cry should be for mercymercy. A man who comes to God, not feeling his need of mercy, must fail of obtaining the Divine favour; and he will be best prepared to obtain that favour who has the deepest sense of his need of forgiveness.
  • And Find Grace
    • Favour-strength, help, counsel, direction, support, for the various duties and trials of life. This is what we next need-we all need-we always need. Even when pardoned, we need grace to keep us from sin, to aid us in duty, to preserve us in the day of temptation. And feeling our need of this, we may come and ask of God all that we want for this purpose. Such is the assurance given us; and to this bold approach to the throne of grace all are freely invited. In view of it, let us:
      • Rejoice That There Is a Throne of Grace
        • What a World would this be if God sat on a throne of justice only, and if no mercy were ever to be shown to men! Who is there who would not be overwhelmed with despair?
        • In all times of our trial and temptation we may be assured that he is seated on that throne, and, wherever we are, we may approach him with acceptance.
      • Make Use of the Privilege of Coming Before Such a Throne
        • We are sinful, and need mercy; we are feeble, and need grace to help us. There is not a day of Our lives in which we do not need pardon; not an hour in which we do not need grace.
      • Observe the Propriety and Necessity of Prayer!
        • Every man is a sinner, and should pray for pardon; every man is weak, feeble, dependent, and should pray for grace. Not till a man can prove that he has never done any sin should he maintain that he has no need of pardon; not till he can show that he is able alone to meet the storms and temptations of life should he feel that he has no need to ask for grace. Yet who can feel this? And how strange it is that all men do not pray!
      • Ask For Forgiveness
        • All that needs to be done is to plead the merits of our great High Priest, and God is ready to pardon. Who would not be glad to be able to pay a debt in a manner so easy? Yet how few there are who are willing to pay the debt to justice thus!
      • Obtain All the Grace That We Need
        • We have only to ask for it-and it is done. How easy then to meet temptation, if we would! How strange that any should rely on their own strength, when they may lean on the arm of God!
      • If Men Are Not Pardoned, and Fall Into Sin and Ruin, They Alone Are to Blame
        • There Is A THRONE OF GRACE. It is always accessible.
        • There is A GOD. He is always ready to pardon.
        • There Is A REDEEMER. He is the great High Priest of men.
          • He is always interceding.
          • His merits may always be pleaded as the ground of our salvation.

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Son, Jesus Christ and His sacrificial work on the cross. We rejoice that He now sits at Your side interceeding for us on our behalf. we rejoice that because of this, we are encouraged to come boldly to Your throne. Be with us now and enlighten us as we study Your Word. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Probing Question

Why should Christians be assured and take responsibility to boldly proclaim Jesus as the great High Priest redeeming them to God?

Transitional Sentence

Christians should be reassured and take responsibility to boldly proclaim Jesus as the great High Priest redeeming them to God because…

Main Points

1. Christ Is Superior to Aaron

The Priesthood of Aaron

Hebrews 5:1-4 (NASB)
1 For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God , in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins ; 2 he can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided , since he himself also is beset with weakness ; 3 and because of it he is obligated to offer sacrifices for sins , as for the people , so also for himself . 4 And no one takes the honor to himself , but receives it when he is called by God, even as Aaron was.

The Priesthood of Christ

Hebrews 5:5-10 (NASB)
5 So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest , but He who said to Him, “YOU ARE MY SON , TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU”; 6 just as He says also in another passage, “YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK .” 7 In the days of His flesh , He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death , and He was heard because of His piety . 8 Although He was a Son , He learned obedience from the things which He suffered . 9 And having been made perfect , He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation , 10 being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

  • Melchizedek vs. Abraham

Hebrews 7:1-10 (NASB)
1 For this Melchizedek , king of Salem , priest of the Most High God , who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2 to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth part of all the spoils, was first of all , by the translation of his name, king of righteousness , and then also king of Salem , which is king of peace . 3 Without father , without mother , without genealogy , having neither beginning of days nor end of life , but made like the Son of God , he remains a priest perpetually . 4 Now observe how great this man was to whom Abraham , the patriarch , gave a tenth of the choicest spoils . 5 And those indeed of the sons of Levi who receive the priest’s office have commandment in the Law to collect a tenth from the people , that is, from their brethren , although these are descended from Abraham . 6 But the one whose genealogy is not traced from them collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed the one who had the promises . 7 But without any dispute the lesser is blessed by the greater . 8 In this case mortal men receive tithes , but in that case one receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives on. 9 And, so to speak , through Abraham even Levi , who received tithes , paid tithes , 10 for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.

  • Milchizedek’s Order vs. the Levitical Priesthood

Hebrews 7:11-28 (NASB)
11 Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law ), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek , and not be designated according to the order of Aaron ? 12 For when the priesthood is changed , of necessity there takes place a change of law also . 13 For the one concerning whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe , from which no one has officiated at the altar . 14 For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah , a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests . 15 And this is clearer still , if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek , 16 who has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement , but according to the power of an indestructible life . 17 For it is attested of Him, “YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK .” 18 For, on the one hand , there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for the Law made nothing perfect ), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope , through which we draw near to God . 20 And inasmuch as it was not without an oath 21 (for they indeed became priests without an oath , but He with an oath through the One who said to Him, “THE LORD HAS SWORN AND WILL NOT CHANGE HIS MIND , ‘YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ‘ “); 22 so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant . 23 The former priests , on the one hand , existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing , 24 but Jesus, on the other hand , because He continues forever , holds His priesthood permanently . 25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. 26 For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest , holy , innocent , undefiled , separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens ; 27 who does not need daily , like those high priests , to offer up sacrifices , first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people , because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself . 28 For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak , but the word of the oath , which came after the Law , appoints a Son, made perfect forever.

2. Danger of Degeneration (i.e., Backsliding)

Immaturity

  • Rebuke for Immaturity

Hebrews 5:11-14 (NASB)
11 Concerning him we have much to say , and it is hard to explain , since you have become dull of hearing . 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers , you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God , and you have come to need milk and not solid food . 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness , for he is an infant . 14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

  • Encouragement toward Maturity

Hebrews 6:1-3 (NASB)
1 Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ , let us press on to maturity , not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God , 2 of instruction about washings and laying on of hands , and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment . 3 And this we will do, if God permits.

Apostasy

  • Warning Against Apostasy

Hebrews 6:4-8 (NASB)
4 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit , 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come , 6 and then have fallen away , it is impossible to renew them again to repentance , since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame . 7 For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled , receives a blessing from God ; 8 but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.

  • Remember God’s Promises

Hebrews 6:9-20 (NASB)
9 But, beloved , we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation , though we are speaking in this way . 10 For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name , in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints . 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end , 12 so that you will not be sluggish , but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises . 13 For when God made the promise to Abraham , since He could swear by no one greater , He swore by Himself , 14 saying , “I WILL SURELY BLESS YOU AND I WILL SURELY MULTIPLY YOU.” 15 And so , having patiently waited , he obtained the promise . 16 For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute . 17 In the same way God , desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose , interposed with an oath , 18 so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie , we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul , a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil , 20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

Conclusion

Christians should be reassured and take responsibility to boldly proclaim Jesus as the great High Priest redeeming them to God because:

  • Christ is superior to Aaron
  • Danger of degeneration (i.e., backsliding)
    • Immaturity
    • Apostasy

We must always remember God’s promises ultimately fulfilled through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, and great High Priest.

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, help us to recognize Christ’s superiority over all. Because we are encouraged to come boldly to the throne, help us to remember that fact and give us the courage to seek You. Keep us close to You. Protect us from apostasy. We pray this in the precious name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Epilogue

“Jesus: The Great High Priest” is part 4 of a 10-part study on the Book of Hebrews. You may view any of the following parts by clicking one of the links below.

Gospel Invitation

Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:

James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.

I am lost. I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Action

  • To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
  • If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I am saved; but, I have sin in my life that I need to confess and repent.

1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19  "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially confess the sin in your life and your desire to repent. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

I am saved; but, I need to rededicate my life to the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Action

  • In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:

Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expecttions for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

  • If you just rededicated your life to the Lord, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I benefit from this ministry and want to become a member and/or make a donation.

Praise the Lord. We are glad you find Saved by Grace edifying.

Action

  • If you would like to become a member, please click "Register" in the "Log In" section on the top right column of the page. Members are allowed to comment on posts and other comments and may also provide Feedback.

Malachi 3:10 (NASB)
10  "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.

  • If you benefit from this ministry and would like to support its efforts, projects, and missions, please consider making a tax deductible donation, of any amount. May God bless you for your generosity.




I need to discuss my situation confidentially.

James 5:16 (NASB)
16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially discuss the situation in your life that is troubling you. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

Contact Form








 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Hebrews – Part 3: Jesus: The Danger of Unbelief

The writer of Hebrews stressed the promise of God’s rest is fully realized through Christ whereas unbelief in Christ will meet the severest punishment.

Prologue

“Jesus: The Danger of Unbelief” is part 3 of a 10-part study on the Book of Hebrews. You may view any of the previous parts by clicking one of the links below.

Formats

This sermon is available in text, audio, and video formats.

Illustration

One great and fatal offense under the Old Testament was apostasy from the worship of Jehovah. This was punishable by death. It admitted of no repentance. The author strives to impress upon his readers that their danger was the same, their crime if they forsook Christ would be greater, and their punishment far more severe. It was greater, as much as Christ was greater than Moses, and His blood more sacred than that of bulls and goats. We need this caution and exhortation. – Source Unknown

Scripture

Hebrews 3 (NASB)
1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession; 2 He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house. 3 For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. 4 For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. 5 Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; 6 but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end. 7 Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, “Today if you hear His voice, 8 Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, As in the day of trial in the wilderness, 9 Where your fathers tried Me by testing Me, And saw My works for forty years. 10 “Therefore I was angry with this generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they did not know My ways’; 11 As I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ” 12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, 15 while it is said, “Today if you hear his voice, Do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me.” 16 For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 Sowe see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.

Hebrews 4:1-13 (NASB)
1 Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, “As I swore in My wrath, They shall not enter My rest,” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: “and God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; 5 and again in this passage, “They shall not enter My rest.” 6 Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, 7 He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, “Today if you hear his voice, Do not harden your hearts.” 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. 9 So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. 11 Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, through the corruption of sin in the world, we are creatures of unbelief. Help us to be ever mindful of Your love, mercy, and grace. Let us not forget the gift of Your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Thank You for Your longsuffering. Help us in times of unbelief. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Probing Question

How does belief in Christ determine receipt of God’s promised rest or the severest punishment of His wrath?

Transitional Sentence

Our belief in Christ determines our receipt of God’s promised rest or the severest punishment of His wrath because…

Main Points

1. Christ is Superior to Moses

Both were faithful

Hebrews 3:1-2 (NASB)
1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession; 2 He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house.

Builder vs. Building

Hebrews 3:3-4 (NASB)
3 For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. 4 For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.

Servant vs. Son

Hebrews 3:5-6a (NASB)
5 Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; 6 but Christ was faithfulas a Son over His house—whose house we are…

2. Danger of Unbelief

Hebrews 3:6b (NASB)  6 …whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.

Israel’s Unbelief in the Wilderness

Hebrews 3:7-11 (NASB)
7 Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, “Today if you hear His voice, 8 Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, As in the day of trial in the wilderness, 9 Where your fathers tried Me by testing Me, And saw My works for forty years. 10 “Therefore I was angry with this generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they did not know My ways’; 11 As I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ “

Warning Against Unbelief

Hebrews 3:12-19 (NASB)
12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, 15 while it is said, “Today if you hear his voice, Do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me.” 16 For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 Sowe see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.

Hebrews 4:1-2 (NASB)
1 Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.

Warning Against Not Entering God’s Rest

  • Necessity of Faith

Hebrews 4:3-11 (NASB)
3 For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, “As I swore in My wrath, They shall not enter My rest,” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: “and God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; 5 and again in this passage, “They shall not enter My rest.” 6 Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, 7 He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, “Today if you hear his voice, Do not harden your hearts.” 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. 9 So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. 11 Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through followingthe same example of disobedience.

The “rest” is not referring to Canaan or present salvation but future promise of God. For if they had already possessed the rest, then they would not need to be urged to enter the rest. Rather, it is an exhortation not to be complacent. We have not arrived yet; it is something that they (and we) should “strive earnestly to enter”.

If “entering the rest” is a reminder for us not to be complacent, then “today” is an urgent reminder for us to accept God’s promise, His invitation. His promise is still available; but, it won’t last forever. If we keep on delaying the opportunity to accept God’s promise, one day we will live to regret it.

  • The Penetration of God’s Word

In addition to being warned against unbelief, complacency, and procrastination, we are warned against self-deception. We often think sins committed in private are not sins or don’t matter. Here, we’re reminded that nothing can escape from the scrutiny of God.

Hebrews 4:12-13 (NASB)
12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

 Conclusion

How does belief in Christ determine receipt of God’s promised rest or the severest punishment of His wrath? Because:

  • Christ is superior to Moses
    • Both were faithful
    • Builder vs. Building
    • Servant vs. Son
  • Danger of Unbelief
    • Israel’s unbelief in the wilderness
    • Warning against unbelief
    • Warning against not entering God’s rest
      • Necessity of faith
      • The Penetration of God’s Word

Practical lessons to be learned:

  • Focus Our Thoughts on Jesus
    • Appreciate the esteemed position of Jesus in God’s household
    • If we associate with Him:
      • We are also accepted into the household of God
      • We enjoy the privileges Jesus gained for us through His sacrifice
  • Understand and Accept the Urgency to Repent
    • Do not to miss the opportunity to accept God’s invitation
      • God’s promise is still available, but it won’t last forever
      • If we keep on delaying the opportunity to accept God’s promise, one day we will live to regret it
    • Today Won’t Last Forever
  • Encourage Each Other Daily
    • This is why we come to
      • Worship together
      • Pray together
      • Study the Bible together
    • Even though we may belong to the minority group in today’s society, we should not and need not feel alone as we have the support and encouragement from each other
  • Take heart to Enter God’s Rest
    • Even when facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles
    • Let us hear the voices of Joshua and Caleb in our midst

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, may those who do not know You come to an everlasting knowledge of Your gift of salvation. May those who do know You grow in faith and obedience every day. Give us the courage, strength, and perseverence necessary to combat unbelief in our lives. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Use the audio player below if you are experiencing bandwidth problems with the video or would just prefer to listen to the audio only.

Use the video player below to watch a video of this sermon as it was delivered to Double Springs Baptist Church in Maben, Mississippi at their 11:00am Morning Service on Sunday, June 24, 2012. I pray it speaks to your heart.

Epilogue

“Jesus: The Danger of Unbelief” is part 3 of a 10-part study on the Book of Hebrews. You may view any of the following parts by clicking one of the links below.

Gospel Invitation

Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:

James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.

I am lost. I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Action

  • To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
  • If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I am saved; but, I have sin in my life that I need to confess and repent.

1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19  "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially confess the sin in your life and your desire to repent. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

I am saved; but, I need to rededicate my life to the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Action

  • In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:

Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expecttions for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

  • If you just rededicated your life to the Lord, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I benefit from this ministry and want to become a member and/or make a donation.

Praise the Lord. We are glad you find Saved by Grace edifying.

Action

  • If you would like to become a member, please click "Register" in the "Log In" section on the top right column of the page. Members are allowed to comment on posts and other comments and may also provide Feedback.

Malachi 3:10 (NASB)
10  "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.

  • If you benefit from this ministry and would like to support its efforts, projects, and missions, please consider making a tax deductible donation, of any amount. May God bless you for your generosity.




I need to discuss my situation confidentially.

James 5:16 (NASB)
16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially discuss the situation in your life that is troubling you. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

Contact Form








 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Rejoice in Suffering

Peter told Christians they are to rejoice in suffering for Christ because, in so doing, He is being glorified.

Scripture

1 Peter 4:12-19 (NASB)
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. 14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; 16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner? 19 Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, Creator of Heaven and Earth, hallowed be Thy name throughout all eternity. You gave Your only begotten Son, who willingly suffered, bled, and died and defeating death, rose on the third day so that we may have eternal life reconciled to You. Until that day of eternal rest comes, please lead, guide, and direct us through life’s sufferings. help us to walk in the light of Your righteousness for Your namesake. Help us to rejoice in righteous suffering we pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Probing Question

Why should Christians rejoice in suffering for Christ?

Transitional Sentence

Christians should rejoice for suffering in Christ because…

Main Points

1. They Are Sharing in Christ’s Sufferings

1 Peter 4:12-13 (NASB)
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.

There is nothing unique or strange about the trial or temptation you are going through.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NASB)
13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

So why do Christians suffer? Because Christ suffered.

John 15:18-20a (NASB)
18 “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. 20 “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; …

But, make sure you are suffering for righteousness’ sake.

1 Peter 4:15 (NASB)
15 Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler;

2. Christ Is Glorified

1 Peter 4:14 (NASB)
14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

Matthew 5:11-12 (NASB)
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Gamaliel, discussing what to do about Peter and John with the council:

Acts 5:38-42 (NASB)
38 “So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; 39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.” 40 They took his advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them. 41 So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. 42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

Paul reminds us:

Romans 8:16-18 (NASB)
16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

3. Christ Will Preserve Us to the End

1 Peter 4:16-19 (NASB)
16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner? 19 Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.

Paul encourages us through his encouragement to Timothy.

2 Timothy 3:10-12 (NASB)
10 Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me! 12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

God is faithful.

Isaiah 51:11-16 (NASB)
11 So the ransomed of the Lord will return And come with joyful shouting to Zion, And everlasting joy will be on their heads. They will obtain gladness and joy, And sorrow and sighing will flee away. 12 “I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies And of the son of man who is made like grass, 13 That you have forgotten the Lord your Maker, Who stretched out the heavens And laid the foundations of the earth, That you fear continually all day long because of the fury of the oppressor, As he makes ready to destroy? But where is the fury of the oppressor? 14 “The exile will soon be set free, and will not die in the dungeon, nor will his bread be lacking. 15 “For I am the Lord your God, who stirs up the sea and its waves roar (the Lord of hosts is His name). 16 “I have put My words in your mouth and have covered you with the shadow of My hand, to establish the heavens, to found the earth, and to say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’ “

Conclusion

Why should Cristians rejoice in suffering for Christ? Because

  1. They are sharing in Christ’s sufferings
  2. Christ is glorified, and
  3. Christ will preserve us to the end.

Colossians 1:12-23a (NASB)
12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. 13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. 21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, …

Revelation 5:6-14 (NASB)
6 And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. 7 And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. 8 When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang* a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. 10 “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.” 11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” 13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” 14 And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, our suffering on this Earth is for but a brief moment compared to the eternity of joy in which we will rejoice in Your holy presence. During those times in which we are suffering for Christ’s sake, please remind us that they are worthy of rejoicing too. Please set our eyes eternally fixed upon you we pray in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Gospel Invitation

Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:

James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.

I am lost. I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Action

  • To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
  • If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I am saved; but, I have sin in my life that I need to confess and repent.

1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19  "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially confess the sin in your life and your desire to repent. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

I am saved; but, I need to rededicate my life to the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Action

  • In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:

Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expecttions for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

  • If you just rededicated your life to the Lord, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I benefit from this ministry and want to become a member and/or make a donation.

Praise the Lord. We are glad you find Saved by Grace edifying.

Action

  • If you would like to become a member, please click "Register" in the "Log In" section on the top right column of the page. Members are allowed to comment on posts and other comments and may also provide Feedback.

Malachi 3:10 (NASB)
10  "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.

  • If you benefit from this ministry and would like to support its efforts, projects, and missions, please consider making a tax deductible donation, of any amount. May God bless you for your generosity.




I need to discuss my situation confidentially.

James 5:16 (NASB)
16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially discuss the situation in your life that is troubling you. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

Contact Form








 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Who Do You Say That I Am?

Jesus tested the conviction of His disciples’ belief in His true identity.

Scripture

Matthew 16:13-16 (NASB)
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” 15 He said* to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, as we open Your Word today, please reveal to us the truths You would have us receive. Please burn them into our hearts and minds that they would become an everlasting testimony of You imprinted on our souls for all eternity. We pray this in the precious name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Probing Question

What is your answer to Jesus’ question, “Who do you say that I am?”

Transitional Sentence

Who is Jesus?

Main Points

1) According to Some, a Good Teacher

Matthew 16:14b (NASB)
14 … “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.”

  • John the Baptist – great preaching ability
  • Elias/Elijah – miracles performed
  • Jeremias/Jeremiah – weeping prophet

2) According to His Disciples, the Son of God

Matthew 16:16 (NASB)
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

In response to Peter’s confession:

Matthew 16:17 (NASB)
17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.

3) According to Him, God Himself

In response to the Jews in the temple in Solomon’s Porch:

John 10:22-30 (NASB)
22 At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem; 23 it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon. 24 The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me. 26 “But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. 27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 “I and the Father are one.”

In response to Philip and the rest of the disciples:

John 14:6-11 (NASB)
6 Jesus said* to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. 7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” 8 Philip said* to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said* to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11 “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.

Conclusion

Illustration

C.S. Lewis observed:

“You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God.  But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher.  He has not left that open to us.  He did not intend to” – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (Macmillan, 1952, pp. 40-41).

Whom do you say Jesus is?

  • A good teacher
  • The Son of God, yea God Himself

Your answer to this question will dictate how you live the rest of your life here on earth as well as how you’ll spend eternity.

Closing Prayer

Dear Jesus, Lord and Savior, Son of God, and yea even God Himself, may we never doubt Your true identity. May we always be ready in season and out of season to defend our belief in who You are and Your importance to our very existence both now and in eternity future. May all creation rejoice in You. We pray this in Your holy name. Amen.

Gospel Invitation

Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:

James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.

I am lost. I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Action

  • To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
  • If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I am saved; but, I have sin in my life that I need to confess and repent.

1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19  "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially confess the sin in your life and your desire to repent. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

I am saved; but, I need to rededicate my life to the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Action

  • In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:

Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expecttions for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

  • If you just rededicated your life to the Lord, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I benefit from this ministry and want to become a member and/or make a donation.

Praise the Lord. We are glad you find Saved by Grace edifying.

Action

  • If you would like to become a member, please click "Register" in the "Log In" section on the top right column of the page. Members are allowed to comment on posts and other comments and may also provide Feedback.

Malachi 3:10 (NASB)
10  "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.

  • If you benefit from this ministry and would like to support its efforts, projects, and missions, please consider making a tax deductible donation, of any amount. May God bless you for your generosity.




I need to discuss my situation confidentially.

James 5:16 (NASB)
16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially discuss the situation in your life that is troubling you. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

Contact Form








 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Hope

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. (John 14:1-3 NASB)

Scripture

Illustration

  • Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary of American English

HOPE, n. [L. cupio.]

A desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable. Hope differs from wish and desire in this, that it implies some expectation of obtaining the good desired, or the possibility of possessing it. Hope therefore always gives pleasure or joy; whereas wish and desire may produce or be accompanied with pain and anxiety.

  • Holman Bible Dictionary

HOPE

Trustful expectation, particularly with reference to the fulfillment of God’s promises. Biblical hope is the anticipation of a favorable outcome under God’s guidance. More specifically, hope is the confidence that what God has done for us in the past guarantees our participation in what God will do in the future. This contrasts to the world’s definition of hope as “a feeling that what is wanted will happen.” Understood in this way, hope can denote either a baseless optimism or a vague yearning after an unattainable good. If hope is to be genuine hope, however, it must be founded on something (or someone) which affords reasonable grounds for confidence in its fulfillment. The Bible bases its hope in God and His saving acts.

Text

John 14:1-3 (NASB)
1 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, Creator of Heaven and Earth, we thank You for your love, mercy, and grace. Please block all attempts, by Satan, to distract us, as we learn about the difference of hope between the lost and the saved. Lead, guide, and direct us as we study your Word and please forgive us our sins, we ask in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, amen.

Probing Question

Why is Christians’ hope secure?

Transitional Sentence

Christians’ hope is secure because…

Main Points

1) If God can be trusted, Jesus can be trusted

John 14:1b-2a (NASB)
1 … believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; …

God’s character is unchanging and can be trusted.

James 1:17 (NASB)
17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

Numbers 23:19 (NASB)
19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

Jesus and God are one.

John 10:30 (NASB)
30 “I and the Father are one.”

Consequently, Jesus’ character is unchanging and can be trusted.

Hebrews 13:8 (NASB)
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

John 1:17 (NASB)
17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

2) Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us

John 14:2b (NASB)
2 … for I go to prepare a place for you.

Jesus makes intercession for us in the presence of God.

Hebrews 9:24-26 (NASB)
24 For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

3) Jesus will return for us

John 14:3 (NASB)
3 “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.

Jesus is coming back and will take us with Him.

Hebrews 9:27-28 (NASB)
27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, 28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.

John 17:24-26 (NASB)
24 “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 “O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; 26 and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

Conclusion

Christians’ hope is secure because

  • If God can be trusted, Jesus can be trusted
  • Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us
  • Jesus will return for us

Hebrews 6:10-20a (NASB)
10 For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. 13 For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and I will surely multiply you.” 15 And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise. 16 For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute. 17 In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, 20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever…

The security of this hope is what encourages and motivates Christians to press forward regardless of current circumstances.

Philippians 4:4-8 (NASB)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

John 14:27-29 (NASB)
27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. 28 “You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 “Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe.

This hope is foreign to the lost because they are unable to claim its benefits and promises without having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, Almighty God, hear our prayer. You are everlasting through everlasting, unchanging in your ways. You are the same yesterday, today, and forever. As such, we can place our hope and trust in You and not be disappointed. You tell us that You have prepared a place for us and that You will come to take us so that wherever You are there we will be also. Because of this we have a hope that is steadfast and sure. Unlike the world’s hope, which is based on the perishable, our hope is based on the imperishable. Lord, use us to display our hope to a lost and dying world, such that they would see the difference and desire to have our hope over theirs. Help us to bring honor and glory to your name. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Gospel Invitation

Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:

James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.

I am lost. I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Action

  • To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
  • If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I am saved; but, I have sin in my life that I need to confess and repent.

1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19  "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially confess the sin in your life and your desire to repent. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

I am saved; but, I need to rededicate my life to the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Action

  • In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:

Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expecttions for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

  • If you just rededicated your life to the Lord, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I benefit from this ministry and want to become a member and/or make a donation.

Praise the Lord. We are glad you find Saved by Grace edifying.

Action

  • If you would like to become a member, please click "Register" in the "Log In" section on the top right column of the page. Members are allowed to comment on posts and other comments and may also provide Feedback.

Malachi 3:10 (NASB)
10  "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.

  • If you benefit from this ministry and would like to support its efforts, projects, and missions, please consider making a tax deductible donation, of any amount. May God bless you for your generosity.




I need to discuss my situation confidentially.

James 5:16 (NASB)
16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially discuss the situation in your life that is troubling you. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

Contact Form








 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Following Christ’s Example: Suffering In the Flesh

A Christian must follow Christ’s example especially in the midst of suffering.

Make no mistake however. We’re not speaking of your everyday, run-of-the-mill example; but, an example that leads to and requires personal sacrifice.

Scripture

1 Peter 4:1-6 (NASB)
1 Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 3 For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries. 4 In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you; 5 but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God.

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for the privilege of being able to share your Word with people around the globe through the Internet. I pray that the message you have placed on my heart will, through the power of the Holy Spirit, touch the hearts and minds of those receiving this message. I pray the Holy Spirit will bring conviction, and through conviction, transforms our lives for your honor and glory. And may all praise, honor, and glory be yours forever more, for You are worthy of such praise. Amen.

Proposition

A Christian must follow Christ’s example especially in the midst of suffering.

Make no mistake however. We’re not speaking of your everyday, run-of-the-mill example; but, an example that leads to and requires personal sacrifice.

Illustration

Source unknown

On one occasion the great Paderewski came to London for a piano concert. Joseph Parker, a former pastor of City Temple in London, and an accomplished musician himself, went to hear him play. The minister was so moved by what he heard that he did a very strange thing when he returned home. Standing by his piano, he called to his wife, “Bring me an ax! Today I heard great music for the first time. By comparison, what I can do amounts to nothing at all. I feel like chopping my piano to pieces.”

Although Parker did not follow through with this threat, he realized that he could never be a Paderewski by simply following his example. To do so, he would need Paderewski’s hands – yes, the very soul of the great musician.

Illustration

Leadership, v. 4, #3, p. 108

If Christ was meant just as an example, He’s over engineered – i.e., a Porsche sports car engineered to do 150 m.p.h. that can only be driven at 55 m.p.h. A good example would be Mother Teresa. She was within reach. If Christ is an example, no one needs him. If He’s a sacrifice, we all need him.

Probing Question

So, how does a Christian follow Christ’s example in the midst of suffering?

Main Points

1. Arming Oneself with the Same Mind

1 Peter 4:1a (NASB)
1 Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose,…

Christ is our example, our pattern. We’re to have to the same disposition as He had, the same forgiving spirit, with meekness and gentleness.

Illustration

In his book One Hundred Prison Meditations (Middlebury, IN: Living Sacrifice Books, 1982, p. 3), Richard Wurmbrand, who spent 14 years in prison as a Romanian pastor, wrote,

I have accepted this proposal. Christians are meant to have the same vocation as their King, that of cross-bearers. It is this conscience of a high calling and of partnership with Jesus which brings gladness in tribulations, which makes Christians enter prisons for their faith with the joy of a bridegroom entering the bridal room.

2. Ceasing from Sin and No Longer Living in the Flesh

1 Peter 4:1b-2 (NASB)
1 … because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.

When we became Christians, we we’re born again, no longer slaves to sin, having instead accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. That rebirth began a process through which we are constantly being conformed to the image of Christ, partaking in His sufferings, not only ceasing from but in fact despising sin and instead seeking the righteous will of God.

Romans 8:28-29 (NASB)
28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

Romans 12:1-2 (NASB)
1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Illustration

Our Daily Bread

There’s an old story about a man who tried to save the city of Sodom from destruction by warning the citizens. But the people ignored him. One day someone asked, “Why bother everyone? You can’t change them.”

“Maybe I can’t,” the man replied, “but I still shout and scream to prevent them from changing me!”

Lot was a righteous man (2 Peter 2:7) who should have done some screaming. The record of his life reminds us of how our sense of moral indignation can be dulled by the world. Lot chose to dwell in cities where there was great wickedness (Gen. 13:12,13). When Sodom was invaded by hostile kings, he was captured. Even after Abraham rescued Lot, he was still drawn back to that wicked city (Gen. 19:1). And the last chapter of his story is an account of heartache and shame (Gen. 19). What a contrast – this nephew and his uncle! Abraham trusted God, prayed for the righteous, and lived a moral life. But Lot was “oppressed with the filthy conduct of the wicked” (2 Peter 2:7). Although the sin of his day bothered him, he apparently said little about it.

3. Leaving the Past Behind

1 Peter 4:3 (NASB)
3 For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries.

Before accepting Christ as our Lord and Savior, we were slaves to sin. Our lives were wasted in all manner of evil pursuits. However, having accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior, we can now leave that past behind and focus on the future. If we live in the past, we’ll be needlessly distracted by those things which burdened us with a hopeless future. By focusing on the present and God’s will for our lives, we’re able to remain fixed upon the hope we’ve been given through Jesus Christ.

Illustration

Christian Medical Society Journal, Winter, 1978, p. 2

One man said to his friend: “Say, you look depressed. What are you thinking about?”

“My future,” was the quick answer.

“What makes it look so hopeless?”

“My past.”

4. Not Giving in to Intimidation

1 Peter 4:4 (NASB)
4 In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you;

People you associated with prior to your spiritual rebirth (e.g., friends, family, loved ones) who have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will be confused that you no longer have the same sinful desires you once had. Still slaves to sin themselves, they’ll mock you, intimidate you, and speak evil of you, trying to return you to the person they remember. You must not succumb to this intimidation.

Illustration

Ben Carson, MD, Johns Hopkins University neurosurgeon who grew up on the streets of Detroit

Go down to the fish market and look into the crab barrel. They never have to put a lid on it because if one crab starts to crawl out, the others will grab onto him and pull him back down.

That’s what negative peer pressure does. And that’s what you must fight against.

Conclusion

How does a Christian follow Christ’s example in the midst of suffering? By

  1. Arming oneself with the same mind as Christ
  2. Ceasing from sin and no longer living in the flesh
  3. Leaving the past behind, and
  4. Not giving in to intimidation

1 Peter 4:5-6 (NASB)
5 but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God.

All will give account to Jesus Christ for their attitudes and actions, whether for the persecution of the elect or the elect’s response to that persecution. How have you responded to-date? How will you respond from this day forward? He provided the example that we as Christians are to follow; an example that leads to and requires personal sacrifice.

Illustration

Laurence Houseman, “Repayment,” quoted in Anthology of Jesus, ed. Warren Wiersbe

Thou the Cross didst bear: What bear I?

Thou the Thorn didst wear: What wear I?

Thou to death didst dare: What dare I?

Thou for me dost care: What care I?

If you’re a Christian, Jesus’ example is before you. If you’re not a Christian, if you don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in which you intimately know Him as your Lord and Savior, won’t you come to Him today? He endured horrible persecutions, bore your sins and the sins of the rest of the world upon His shoulders, and sacrificed Himself upon the cross for you. Why? Because, He loves you. Won’t you come to Him today?

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, almighty God, please hear my prayer. Lord, I pray that You have not allowed any of my shortcomings to be an obstacle in the delivery of your message. You promise your Word will not return void. I pray the Holy Spirit will lead us to meditate upon today’s message and will convict us of those areas in our lives that need attention and correction. Heavenly Father, I pray that we will always set our minds on You and that we will be like-minded in everything we do, especially in the midst of suffering. Lord, please forgive me of my sins and shortcomings. Lead, guide, and direct me I pray in the name of my Lord and Savior. Amen.

Gospel Invitation

Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:

James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.

I am lost. I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Action

  • To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
  • If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I am saved; but, I have sin in my life that I need to confess and repent.

1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19  "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially confess the sin in your life and your desire to repent. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

I am saved; but, I need to rededicate my life to the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Action

  • In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:

Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expecttions for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

  • If you just rededicated your life to the Lord, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I benefit from this ministry and want to become a member and/or make a donation.

Praise the Lord. We are glad you find Saved by Grace edifying.

Action

  • If you would like to become a member, please click "Register" in the "Log In" section on the top right column of the page. Members are allowed to comment on posts and other comments and may also provide Feedback.

Malachi 3:10 (NASB)
10  "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.

  • If you benefit from this ministry and would like to support its efforts, projects, and missions, please consider making a tax deductible donation, of any amount. May God bless you for your generosity.




I need to discuss my situation confidentially.

James 5:16 (NASB)
16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially discuss the situation in your life that is troubling you. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

Contact Form








 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

“I Can’t Help the Way I Am, I Was Born That Way. God Understands, Right?”

This is an all too common attitude voiced by Christians and non-Christians alike in an attempt to justify behavior they do not wish to address or correct. If the behavior we were born with were “understood”, that is to say acceptable, by God, we would have no need of a savior; God would simply accept us the way we are. However, this is clearly NOT the case.

This is an all too common attitude voiced by Christians and non-Christians alike in an attempt to justify behavior they do not wish to address or correct. If the behavior we were born with were “understood”, that is to say acceptable, by God, we would have no need of a savior; God would simply accept us the way we are. However, this is clearly NOT the case. What does the Bible say about it?

1 Peter 1:14-16 (NASB)
14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

Colossians 3:1-2, 5, 8-10, 12-15, 17 (NASB)
1 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. …
5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. …
8 But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him— …
12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. …
17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

God is holy and expects us to be holy. This is more than simply accepting His Son, Jesus Christ, as our Lord and Savior. It includes being conformed to Jesus’ image in the newness of life we have received from Him. We are a new creature. We are expected to “put off” the old habits and behaviors and “put on” the new habits and behaviors; honoring, glorifying, and giving thanks to Him. We may have been “born that way”; but, once we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we were “born again”. We are expected to live life His way (Romans 12:1-2). If we love Him, we will keep His commandments (2 John 6).

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)