Scripture Reading – Hebrews 10:19-25, ESV
Colossians 1:13-20 reveals how God’s plan for all creation revolves around JESUS. He is at the center of everything. Hebrews is a New Testament book that is all about JESUS also.
· The 1st half of the book is explanation: showing that Jesus is superior… preeminent!
· The 2nd half of the book is application: showing how the truth of His superiority works its way out in those who believe in and follow Him.
The pivot point between the two halves is the passage we’re focused on this morning. It is were truth crosses over into practice.
Truth #1: Access – VS19-20
We do not know with certainty who wrote Hebrews. Therefore, the author is often referred to as “The Preacher” by Bible Commentators & Scholars because the writing reflects a strong pastoral heart. The Preacher reminds us of some awesome privileges we have because of the “death” and “resurrection” of Jesus Christ.
1st = direct access to God, The Father.
Truth Point: Because of JESUS, we can come to God with confidence, knowing that He will receive and not condemn us, because the BLOOD of His Son has washed away all guilt for those trusting in Him.
Truth #2: Advocacy – VS21
Jesus has a continuing ministry for us who trust Him. Even now, He represents us before God’s Throne as our High Priest. Look at Hebrews 7:23-28.
Truth Point: The basis on which Jesus, our High Priest, advocates on our behalf is the sacrifice of His own body to God, which The Father received as eternally acceptable.
The proof that His sacrifice is acceptable is found in the raising of Christ from the dead… no other sacrifice was given new life.
JESUS, the once for all time, fully acceptable sacrifice for sin, is raised from the dead and serves as The Living High Priest, who continually represents Himself as the full satisfaction for God’s wrath over sin, for those whom He is saving.
At this point The Preacher begins to transition from truth to practice and we find 3 practices that are considered natural responses when this truth has been received into our lives.
Application #1: Draw Near To God – VS22
Truth Point: Christ-followers can draw near, literally snuggle up next to God, like a child does its loving Father, because the sin that once condemned has been taken away in Christ.
Application #2: Hold Fast (your confession) In Faith – VS23
See Romans 10:9
The confession of Divine Hope that The Holy Spirit planted in your heart, is FAITH in Jesus that He has redeemed you from sin and will present you to God eternally pure.
Truth Point: Jesus is FAITHFUL! He will sustain you to hold fast in faith and see His full deliverance over sin and death.
Application #3: Connect & Serve – VS24-25
24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
There are two ideas here “connecting” and “serving” that in most contexts can be separated as individual realties, but in this context they are intertwined so tightly that they aren’t easily separable.
The Preacher is concerned with Christ-followers systematically coming together… but the idea that they would just file into a big room, sit in rows, with eyes forward is NOT what he is calling them to.
The Preacher is concerned with Christ-followers systematically expressing love and doing good works… but the idea of them doing so exclusively on an individual basis is NOT what he is calling them to.
It’s NOT an either/or ~ but ~ a both/and proposition
The Preacher is calling Christ-followers to a connection where their lives are intertwined at a deeper level.
To “consider how to stir you up”… I must have access to who you really are… you must have access to who I really am.
· That means we must engage in a relationship.
· Relationship requires that we purposely give time to one another.
· Also, we must intentionally let down the “protective walls” we’ve built to guard ourselves from others intrusion.
There simply is no way around it… to show love to one another and engage in good-deeds requires an intimacy that demands more than the casual weekly greeting of… How are You? Fine!
God’s Word likens believers to a…
· A body… Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27
· A family.. Ephesians 1:5; Galatians 4:5-7; 1 John 3:1-2
· A spiritual house…. 1 Peter 2:5; Ephesians 2:22
Truth Point: The individual parts of a “body,” “family,” or “house” do not and cannot stand alone in isolation. They are carefully built together, each part mutually supporting other parts, so that the whole is strong, lasting and effective.
That is what The Preacher is calling for here
We are tempted, just as the saints were back in the day, to develop the habit of inconsistent gathering.
Truth Point: I can drop in occasionally and get something of value for myself… but if I am to contribute something of value to others, I must integrate myself into “the body” and purposely seek my place of contribution to the whole/
Summary:Connection & Serving go hand in hand and require consistency of presence to engage effectively.
Discipleship with Jesus Christ, leads to real connection with other disciples and a culture of love and service.