Friday, December 2, 2011

Hebrews 4-6

Hebrews 4:14-16 – Jesus’ Work as the High Priest

Jesus was appointed as our “great high priest”.  He is able to identify with us, because He was tempted in every way.  As the Son of God He has sympathy for us and understands us.  He has the desire and ability to help through anything we face.

How are you struggling?  Are you trying to resist temptation to rebel or to lose control in anger?  Then read Hebrews 4:15-16 - “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way just as we are - yet was without sin.  Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”  To “have” means to receive, accept, and the assurance of Jesus.  We have a relationship with Jesus.  To approach the throne of grace is to take all our problems and concerns to God with confidence that He will help us to overcome them – not only the big one, but the small ones as well.

Jesus was qualified more than anyone to become our high priest.  He was called by God, He submitted to God’s will, He was without sin, He offered up prayers and petitions to God for others, He learned obedience through suffering and He became the source of salvation for all who believe.

Is He your great high priest?  Is He your savior?  Everyone has a cell phone these days and also with it you have limited calling plan.  Jesus is our unlimited plan.  He gives us His unlimited attention and complete access to Him.  He is talking to God the Father about you and He knows what you need. 

Jesus knows the pain and grief.  He knows our hearts.  He knows exactly what we are fighting to remain obedient.  God’s way is costly, but guaranteed to transform your very being.  There is another way – your way.  It’s less painful and may make you feel better, but it doesn’t honor God and doesn’t impact others for God.  Trust and obey or go your own way.

            Jesus the Great High Priest helps His people in times of weakness and temptation.

What problems do you need to take before the throne?
What causes you to doubt?
How confident are you that He hears your prayers? 

Hebrews 5:11-6:12 – Jesus’ Word Demands Spiritual Growth

We are grateful that churches teach the basics, but it won’t sustain you in life.  Solid food is for the mature (Heb. 5:14).  It is important that we grow spiritually.  We are spiritual infants and will remain so if we are in intentional.  Maturity just doesn’t happen.  It takes study and real work.  Our thinking needs to be trained.  Jesus didn’t demonstrate emotional thinking.  We need to keep going passed elementary truths.

“It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers to the coming age, if they fall way, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to public disgrace.” (Heb. 6:4-6)  He is not saying that it is impossible for God to forgive them if they fall away.  God will forgive all who repent and believe.  The problem is with those who don’t repent.  It is possible to get very close to genuine faith and still not actually repent.  If you are willing to go back, perhaps you haven’t truly accepted Christ as Savior.
“Enlightened” is part of the process of salvation, being taught the truth before we believe.  “Tasted the heavenly gift” refers to those who understood the freeness of God’s gift and have even had the Holy Spirit convicting their consciences; however they find it too difficult to leave their way of life, change their minds, repent and go on to true saving faith in Christ.  True Christians cannot fall away and be lost.
“Impossible” here mean that having rejected the Holy Spirit who has brought them along knowing the gospel, but they cannot now simply turn to God.

            Christian maturity involves knowing and doing what God Says.

Knowing must be joined with faith, trust and obedience.  Indifference is our greatest enemy. What indifference do you need to lay aside?  If you are feeling weary in spirit, dig deeper into His word.  Churches have people in pews that need to know.  Are you willing to share the solid food?  Will you share with those who are spiritually hungry?

Hebrews 6:13-20 – Jesus’ Character Anchors Our Hope

There are two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie – His character and His Word.  Believers’ anchor is Jesus Christ and keeps us secure.  Nothing on earth can anchor you securely – only Jesus.

            God’s word and His character are grounds for confidence in His promises.

He is a Promise Keeper!  What makes you feel secure?  Is it your job, money, family?  As we submit by faith and believe the living Word and in His unchanging character, we grow.  Then the world around us will see Jesus.

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