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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

August 1, 2012

Hebrews 10:19-39, 11:1-3

  1. Let us do a little recap from our last lesson. With the knowledge that Christ is the fulfillment of all the law and the perfect sacrifice, the writer gives his audience two choices, the first choice in in verses 19-25, and the second is in verses 26-31. In verses 19-25, the writer gives the only real faithful response to this knowledge, accept Christ as savior and Lord and draw near to God. The other choice is to reject the knowledge of Christ and act as if the sacrifice of Christ was nothing. One choice leads to salvation the other leads to judgment. The author teaches the faithful response in verses 19-25 by reminding us that we have two major benefits in Christ: 1) "We have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus" and 2) "We have a great priest over the house of God" (vs. 19-21). Since we have these two benefits, he says, we should respond in five ways:

    1. Draw Near: The right to draw near to God’s presence was at a great cost. The death and humiliation of Jesus Christ, God incarnate, opened our way. We need to comprehend this privilege. Before we approach God’s Holiness there are some steps we need to take.

      1. True Heart: We need to be honest and true. We cannot deceive ourselves.

      2. Full assurance of faith: We need to believe fully in God’s promises.

      3. Hearts sprinkled: We need to confess our own sinfulness, repenting from our evil thoughts.

      4. Body washed: We need confess and repent from bodily sins as well as sins from the heart.

    2. Hold Fast: We need to persevere in our faith, not giving up when trials or persecutions come our way.

      1. The confession: Our hope is Christ; we need to turn to Him.

      2. Without wavering: We must train ourselves to not be moved by circumstances. Many times God allows circumstances to test our faith, because through them He is glorified.

    3. Consider one another: Our relationship with God, is related to our relationship to those who are made in His image (I Corinthians 13). How can we serve God’s kingdom through his people. There are four ways mentioned here.

      1. Stir up love: Be an instrument, or as the Greek word paroxusmovß. Paroxusmos means, be an irritant for “Agape” or charity. Be proactive in charity.

      2. Stir up good works: Be also an instrument to cause the brethren to cause good.

      3. Assembling ourselves: Church, Bible Studies, Fellowship and service with others.

      4. Exhorting one another: Come along the side of others, help and encourage those who are struggling.

  2. Verses 26-27. The author has given the positive response to the knowledge of Christ, now he highlights the negative alternative to accepting Christ. If one is not going to follow Christ, they are going to reject him and continue in sin. To know the truth but reject it and do the opposite is to ignore the fact that Christ was the fulfillment of the law and the reality of the symbolic nature of all the animal sacrifices. If any of these Hebrews were to continue to make the animal sacrifices, they in reality were saying that Jesus is not the Savior of the world. This would be akin to rejecting Jesus because they don’t recognize him as the lamb that was slain to take away the sins of the world. If these Hebrews don’t accept the sacrifice of Christ, there is no other sacrifice that takes away sin. Thus they are leaving themselves open to suffer the judgment of God. It is the blood of Christ that shields us from the righteous justice of God, without that blood one is subject to the wrath of God’s righteous judgment.

  3. Verses 28-31. The law required 2 to 3 witnesses to put someone to death for violating the law of Moses. (Deuteronomy 17:7) Those who turned against the Law of Moses, faced God’s wrath, those who turn against Christ will also face God’s wrath. If there was punishment for rejecting the law which was just a symbol of better things in Christ, how much more would the judgment be for rejecting Christ and acting as the sacrifice of Christ was nothing more than something to be trampled on. Rejecting the law was bad, but rejecting Christ was an insult to the Lord. The writer warns that it would not be a good thing to insult God and think that severe judgment would not follow.

  4. Verses 8-9. God told Jeremiah this old system would pass away and a new and better one would come and supersede it. This was the promise Adam, Moses, and the Prophets looked forward to; now that Promise has come--Christ is here! As God took the hand of His people and led them then, He will do the same with us personally and now. He will write His law in our hearts and minds, give us His Word and Spirit so we will have all we need, and lead us with His Mighty Hand. He will be our God and we will be His people; we can know Him and He will empower us to make Him known to others too. New Covenant. God renews His relationship with His people and gives a renewed covenant; the law is still in place, but now we also have an age of grace in Christ by faith alone (Deut. 30:11-14; Psalm 37:31; 40:8; 119:11; Isa. 51:7). The Hebrews broke the covenant by their refusal to trust and obey God; they were not living for Him nor did they care for Him. God was not in their hearts and minds, so now God has to write it down--not in stone, but in our hearts (Rom. 1).

  5. Verse 39. The writer makes it clear that his audience is not in the group who has no faith and rejects Christ, but they are in the group that has true faith, true faith that will endure and are saved.

  6. Hebrews 11:1-2. Continuing from what was said in the previous verse about faith, the writer seeks to connect the faith of these believes to those that preceded them in faith. First the writer gives a definition that parallels the faith that they must have with the same faith that God recognized in the ancient believers. This kind of faith is confident in what we believe and operates from a hopeful expectation that trust the plan of God. This kind of faith believes even when it does not see.

  7. Verse 3. The writer makes a point to show that what we can all see in creation was at one point not visible, but is now clear to all. The universe started in an invisible state, but now exists in a visible state. If things that can be seen were once invisible, then our victory in Christ which is invisible will one day become visible. From this point through the rest of the chapter, the writer will give example after example of real faith.

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