Jun 9, 2024. Hebrews 13:7-9

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HOLDING ONTO ETERNAL TRUTH. Hebrews 13:7-9. 6/9/2024. #48.

7 Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9 Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.

1. Leaders indeed

                a. One of the great issues in the Bible is good leaders versus bad (a King Josiah versus King Ahab)

                b. Godly leaders are worthy to honor and follow

                                a1. Not followed for own sake, but for the sake of the spiritual wellbeing of the body

                                a2. Choosing godly leaders in a church is of paramount importance

                c. Leadership in the church

                                a1. Established by God (pastors, elders, deacons)

                                a2. The selection process of leadership, along with the qualifications are of God (Titus 1,

                                        I Timothy 3)

                                a3. Leaders govern (lit., have hegemony or authority) over the church

                d. Remember the outcome (ekbasis) of these leaders

                                a1. Usually refers to ones who have passed away

                                a2. Remember what was taught by faithful leaders who have gone before you

                e. There is a tendency for new leaders to change church

                                a1. Faithful leaders set a pattern to follow and any deviation from sound doctrine and practice must be resisted and overcome (vs. 17 and 24)

                                a2. The consistent link from one generation of leaders to the next is important in spiritual truth

2. The ever-consistent Jesus

                a. This may seem to be a random thought, but it is not

                b. The basis of truth in the church is Jesus

                                a1. He does not change ever

                                a2. We depend on the Lord being unchanging as a foundation on which we can stand

                c. Deteriorating churches have drifted away from the standard set by the Lord (Rev. 2-3)

                                a1. Many have selected love as their theme to embrace loving evil (perversion, lawlessness…)

                                a2. Others have denied the inerrancy of the Word

                                a3. Many churches compromise biblical standards

                                a4. Some churches add their own rules to doctrine

3. Avoiding error

                a. Warning against being carried away by errant doctrine

                                a1. Many cults and clever false teachings exist that promise secret exclusive knowledge and power

                                a2. Only be knowing and staying with the Word and sound teaching stops error (II Timothy 2:14-19)

                b. 2 types of error to guard against

                                a1. VARIOUS (diverse, lit., multi-colored) = many different ways to fall into error (nature of the Word, Christ, the church; practice, spiritual gifts, prophecy, salvation, leadership…)

                                a2. STRANGE (alien, foreign) – those things not taught in scripture (adding to or contradicting what is taught by the Word)

                c. The Jews were holding onto the Old Testament dietary laws

                                a1. These laws were part of the restrictions placed on the Jews under the Mosaic Law

                                a2. The food laws did not grant holiness, but were a mark of obedience (as was circumcision, offerings, the feasts, and the Sabbath)

                                a3. To add the dietary laws or any other regulations to grace is to cheapen and deny grace

                                a4. Salvation is by grace through faith in Christ alone

                d. Heb. notes that no one ever profited spiritually by keeping dietary laws (or any other manmade rules)

                e. Guarding one’s beliefs is challenging

                                a1. II Corinthians 11:14-15 false teachers present themselves as spiritual godly servants of the Lord

                                a2. Often, errors are subtle and mixed with truth

                                a3. Any teaching that calls sin good, a work grace, an ordinance power, or a believer mystical is evil and not of the Lord

                f. Today there are no prophets, apostles, miracle workers

                g. Today the Word of God is still in effect and Jesus is Lord

Key Passage:  II Timothy 2:14-19

14 Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. 17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, 18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”