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








 

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Rejoice! What Once Was Lost Now Is Found!

God is compassionate and forgiving and rejoices with His angels when people repent of their sins and return to Him.

Proposition

God is compassionate and forgiving and rejoices with His angels when people repent of their sins and return to Him.

Probing Question

If God and His heavenly hosts rejoice when people repent and return to Him, should not we repent of our sins, return to Him, and encourage others to do the same?

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, as we study today’s Scripture, may the Holy Spirit illuminate its meaning and encourage us to repent of our sins and return to You, the Author and Finisher of our faith. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Main Points

1. The Parable of the Lost Sheep

Luke 15:1-7 (NASB)
1 Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him. 2 Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” 3 So He told them this parable, saying, 4 “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 “When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 “And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 “I tell you that in the same way, there will be morejoy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

  • It may seem foolish for the shepherd to leave 99 sheep to go search for just one. But the shepherd knew that the 99 would be safe in the sheepfold, whereas the lost sheep was in danger.
  • Because each sheep was of high value, the shepherd knew that it was worthwhile to search diligently for the lost one.
  • God’s love for each individual is so great that He seeks each one out and rejoices when he or she is “found.”
  • Jesus associated with sinners because He wanted to bring the lost sheep – people considered beyond hope – the gospel of God’s kingdom.
  • Before you were a believer, God sought you; and His love is still seeking those who are yet lost.
    • We may be able to understand a God who would forgive sinners who come to Him for mercy.
    • But a God who tenderly searches for sinners and then joyfully forgives them must possess an extraordinary love!
    • This is the kind of love that prompted Jesus to come to earth to search for lost people and save them.
    • This is the kind of extraordinary love that God has for you.
    • If you feel far from God, don’t despair.
    • He is searching for you.

2. The Parable of the Lost Coin

Luke 15:8-10 (NASB)
8 “Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 “When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’ 10 “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

  • Palestinian women received ten silver coins as a wedding gift.
  • Besides their monetary value, these coins held sentimental value like that of a wedding ring, and to lose one would be extremely distressing.
  • Just as a woman would rejoice at finding her lost coin or ring, so the angels would rejoice over a repentant sinner.
  • Each individual is precious to God.
  • He grieves over every loss and rejoices whenever one of His children is found and brought into the kingdom.
  • Perhaps we would have more joy in our churches if we shared Jesus’ love and concern for the lost.

3. The Parable of the Lost Son

Luke 15:11-32 (NASB)
11 And He said, “A man had two sons. 12 “The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them. 13 “And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. 14 “Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. 15 “So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 “And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. 17 “But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! 18 ‘I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”‘ 20 “So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 “And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 “But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; 23 and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate. 25 “Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 “And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be. 27 “And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 “But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. 29 “But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; 30 but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’ 31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 ‘But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and waslost and has been found.’ “

  • According to Moses’ law, pigs were unclean animals.
    • This meant that pigs could not be eaten or used for sacrifices.
    • To protect themselves from defilement, Jews would not even touch pigs.
    • For a Jew to stoop to feeding pigs was a great humiliation.
    • For this young man to eat food that the pigs had touched was to be degraded beyond belief.
  • The younger son had truly sunk to the depths.
    • Like many who are rebellious and immature, he wanted to be free to live as he pleased.
    • He had to hit bottom before he came to his senses.
    • It often takes great sorrow and tragedy to cause people to look to the only One Who can help them.
  • Are you trying to live life your own way, selfishly pushing aside any responsibility or commitment that gets in your way?
  • Stop and look before you hit bottom.
  • You will save yourself and your family much grief.
  • In the two preceding stories, the seeker actively looked for the coin and the sheep, which could not return by themselves.
  • In this story, the father watched and waited.
    • He was dealing with a human being with a will of his own, but he was ready to greet his son if he returned.
    • In the same way, God’s love is constant and patient and welcoming.
      • He will search for us and give us opportunities to respond, but He will not force us to come to Him.
      • Like the father in this story, God waits patiently for us to come to our senses.
  • The sheep was lost because it may have foolishly wandered away.
  • The coin was lost through no fault of its own.
  • The son left out of selfishness.
  • God’s great love reaches out and finds sinners no matter why or how they become lost.
  • It was hard for the older brother to accept his younger brother when he returned, and it is just as difficult to accept “younger brothers” today.
    • People who repent after leading notoriously sinful lives are often held in suspicion.
    • Churches are sometimes unwilling to admit them to membership.
    • Instead, we should rejoice like the angels in heaven when an unbeliever repents and turns to God.
    • Like the father, accept repentant sinners wholeheartedly and give them the support and encouragement that they need to grow in Christ.
  • In the story of the lost son, the father’s response is contrasted with the older brother’s.
    • The father forgave because he was filled with love.
    • The son refused to forgive because he was bitter about the injustice of it all.
    • His resentment rendered him just as lost to the father’s love as his younger brother had been.
    • Don’t let anything keep you from forgiving others.
      • If you are refusing to forgive people, you are missing a wonderful opportunity to experience joy and share it with others.
      • Make your joy grow: forgive somebody who has hurt you.
  • In Jesus’ story, the older brother represented the Pharisees, who were angry and resentful that sinners were being welcomed into God’s kingdom.
    • After all, the Pharisees must have thought, we have sacrificed and done so much for God.
    • How easy it is to resent God’s gracious forgiveness of others whom we consider to be far worse sinners than ourselves.
    • But when our self-righteousness gets in the way of rejoicing when others come to Jesus, we are no better than the Pharisees.

Conclusion

God is compassionate and forgiving and rejoices with His angels when people repent of their sins and return to Him; therefore, we should repent or our sins and return to Him.

Isaiah 55 (NASB)
1 “Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk Without money and without cost. 2 “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance. 3 “Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, According to the faithful mercies shown to David. 4 “Behold, I have made him a witness to the peoples, A leader and commander for the peoples. 5 “Behold, you will call a nation you do not know, And a nation which knows you not will run to you, Because of the Lord your God, even the Holy One of Israel; For He has glorified you.” 6 Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the Lord, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. 8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts. 10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; 11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. 12 “For you will go out with joy And be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, And all the trees of the field will clap their hands. 13 “Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up, And instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up, And it will be a memorial to the Lord, For an everlasting sign which will not be cut off.”

Likewise, we should encourage others to repent of their sins and return to Him.

Hebrews 10:19-25 (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.

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us so much that You rejoice when we return to You. Please convict us through the Holy Spirit to repent of our sins, turn our hearts and minds back towards You, and encourage others to do the same. We love You Lord and it is in Jesus’ name we pray. 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








 

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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








 

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