Feb 11, 2024. Hebrews 11:1-3

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THE SUBSTANCE OF FAITH. Hebrews 11:1-3. 2/11/2024. #35.

1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

1. The substance of faith

                a. This passage is not a definition, but a description

                                a1. If someone has faith, they will show it

                                a2. Christian faith is not in some unknowable object or entity

                b. Faith is the substance of things hoped for

                                a1. Substance (hypostasis) = “the which is stood on”, underpinned, foundational

                                a2. On what believers’ base faith is real, even if it is unseen (John 3:1-8)

                c. The substance (foundation) of faith is a real God who sent His real Son to die for our sins

                                a1. Belief and trust in the real Son grants the believer real eternal life

                                a2. Belief in the Son is not a hope-so trust without any real evidence

2. The evidence of things not seen

                a. Evidence = conviction or confidence (3:14), test, proof, assurance, certainty, or certitude

                                a1. God has not left us without solid confirmation that His Word and our salvation is sure

                                a2. Those who belittle our faith know nothing of the solid foundation on which we stand

                b. ch. 11 launches into a litany of heroic faithful men and their deeds and testimony

                c. God has left us a solid trail of prophetic proofs

                                a1. Micah 5:2 foretold where He would be born

                                a2. Isaiah 9:6-7 foretold His nature

                                a3. Isaiah 53 foretold His ministry

                                a4. Daniel 9:24-27 foretold the time of His death

                                a5. Isaiah 53 foretold the purpose of His death

                                a7. Psalm 22 foretold the method of His death, including precise events surrounding it

                                a8. Psalm 16:10 foretold His resurrection

                d. The ground on which faith stands is solid

                                a1. It gave the forefathers of faith a good testimony (witness) of that faith

                                a2. The example of the faithful who came before us, fortifies our faith and resolve

                e. The example of the faithful demonstrates that we also can be faithful

3. The invisible revealed

                a. Those things we now see at one time did not exist

                                a1. That which is real at one time was unreal

                                a2. The origin of the universe (lit., ages – aeons) was made out the invisible (things unseen)

                b. Genesis 1 God commanded everything into existence

                                a1. The Word of God framed the material cosmos (the seen world)

                                a2. Without an effective cause for existence, there could be no existence

                c. Since no one was present at the start of all things, we take the explanation of how all things began by faith (no other explanation makes sense)

                d. The components of faith:

                                a1. An effective explanation of existence

                                a2. Adequate evidence proving the tenets of our faith (proof is used of testing metals to see if they are real and pure – gold, silver,…)

                                a3. Acceptance of the Word of God that attests to the validity of our faith

                e. The author desires that the readers move from receiving Christ, to living for Christ

                                a1. To let go of all that hinders faith

                                a2. To lay aside divided loyalties

                                a3. To grow in both the knowledge and the testimony of faith in Christ

                                a4. To stand firm when faith is challenged

Key Passage: John 3:1-8

1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Feb 4, 2024. Hebrews 10:32-39

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LIVING BY FAITH. Hebrews 10:32-39. 02/04/2024. #34.

32 But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: 33 partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; 34 for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven. 35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: 37 “For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” 39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.

1. Confidence

                a. After issuing many warnings to his readers, Hebrews gives them some encouragement

                                a1. Chapters 11-12 deal with faith

                                a2. The writer expresses confidence in their faith and lists evidence for his confidence

                b. Heb. is confident in their faith

                                a1. They held true to the faith when they first believed and were under severe persecution

                                a2. They identified with those under persecution

                                a3. They suffered for their faith

                c. They were made a spectacle (gawked at; English word, theater)

                                a1. Put on display before the world

                                a2. Used of gladiators in the arena

                                a3. As a Roman conquering general displaying his war prisoners in a triumph parade, so Christ will make a spectacle of His enemies (Colossians 2:15)

                                a4. Used of the apostles being made a spectacle for Christ before the world (I Corinthians 4:9)

                d. Since they withstood reproaches and threats for Christ, Heb. is confident in their salvation

                e. The Hebrews joyfully allowed their possessions to be plundered for the sake of Christ

2. A better promise

                a. Even though their earthly goods were plundered, God promises far better possessions for eternity

                b. Hebrews warns his readers not to back away from faith

                                a1. Gal. 6:9 don’t wear out and lose your reward

                                a2. Endure (stand under) trials

                                a3. God has great rewards for those who endure to the end

                                                b1. Don’t give up right before the end

                                                b2. To endure briefly is to endure for all eternity

                c. A call for endurance (hupomeno, ”to remain under”)

                                a1. Perseverance is choosing to be faithful even in the midst of trials and obstacles

                                a2. Testing of one’s faith reveals what your true core values are (RM. 5:1-5)

                                a3. God gives strength to endure to faithful

3. Pressing on to the end

                a. Hebrews quotes Habakkuk 2:3-4

                                a1. The Lord is coming quickly

                                                b1. James 4:14-16 life is quite short

                                                b2. Romans 9:28 God will make a short work of the earth (Psalm 90)

                                a2. We are given power to endure (I Corinthians 10:13)

                b. To back away from Lord is to forfeit rewards

                c. The just will live by faith

                                a1. Not only believe and trust by faith, but live it!

                                a2. The just (righteous, spiritual) will live daily for the Lord (no hypocritical lifestyle)

                                a3. Daily life must be an exercise in living by trust, conviction, and purpose for the Lord

                d. Job 1 endurance in a tested faith speaks louder than a testimony during periods of tranquility

                e. Hebrews expresses a final conviction that his readers will indeed endure and gain the promises

Key Passage: Romans 5:1-5

1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, [a]we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces [b]perseverance; 4 and perseverance, [c]character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Jan 28, 2024. Hebrews 10:26-31

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A FEARFUL THING. Hebrews 10:26-31. 01/21/2024. #33.

26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

1. Rebellion in the ranks

                a. Hebrews 10:24-25 believers are admonished to gather together for edification

                b. Hebrews 10:26-31 believers are warned against sinning

                c. If we continually willfully sin, there is no more sacrifice for sin

                                a1. Jesus not only died to save us from sin, but also to empower us not to keep on sinning

                                a2. To continue to sin indicates either willful rebellion (apostasy) or that one is not truly saved (false brethren)

                d. To continue to sin is to trample Jesus’s sacrifice with His blood underfoot

                                a1. It is to treat it lightly or common (koinea)

                                a2. Jesus is treated as just another ordinary  man who died for a cause

                e. I Corinthians 3:9-17 the works of sin and rebellion are burned up like wood and straw (eternal loss of reward that could never be regained)

                f. The Lord will punish willful (stubborn defiance) acts with a fiery zeal (great indignation) – not fiery judgment

                                a1. God sent fire down on rebels in Wilderness

                                a2. God consumed rebels with a plague at Baal Peor (Numbers 26)

                                a3. 70 died at Beth-shemesh for opening ark

2. A greater offense

                a. If a Jew who violated the Law of Moses was executed, how much greater would be the punishment of those who trampled the blood of Christ underfoot

                                a1. I Corinthians 11:17-22 the Lord executed believers for taking communion in an unworthy way

                                a2. Acts 5 Ananias and Sapphira immediately struck down for lying to the Spirit

                b. Insulted (Eng. word hubris) the Spirit of grace (only use of this phrase in NT)

                                a1. The Spirit calls us to Christ (Jn. 16:8-15)

                                a2. The Spirit indwells and seals believers (Ephesians 1:13-14)

                                a3. The Spirit makes intercession on behalf of believers in prayer (Romans 8:26)

                                a4. The Spirit fills obedient believers with holiness, but if grieved when we sin (Ephesians 4:30)

                c. Not only is rejecting Christ a serious offense, but so is rebelling against Him

3. Judgment begins at the household of God

                a. Dt. 32:35 “Vengeance is Mine,” says the Lord

                                a1. God is offended at sin no matter who commits it (believer or unbeliever)

                                a2. Sinning believers grieve the God who saved them (Luke 12:48 more accountable)

                b. Dt. 32:36 God will judge His own

                                a1. Not for loss of salvation, but eternal reward

                                a2. Rebellion is an affront to God who loves us and sacrificed His Son for us (I Samuel 15:22-23)

                c. The attitude that salvation is enough, so I don’t care about rewards is an insult to our gracious God who wants to teach, guide, and use us for His glory

                                a1. God wants a vibrant relationship with us

                                a2. II Peter 3:18 God wants us to grow (Hebrews 5)

                d. It is a fearful (dreadful) thing to fall into the hands of a living God

                                a1. Fearful = frightening or terrorizing (only time this word is used in NT)

                                a2. Only awestruck reverence brings submission

Key Verse: I Corinthians 3:9-17

9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone [a]defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

Jan 14, 2024. Hebrews 10:19-25

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CONFIDENT and COMMITTED. Hebrews 10:19-25. 01/14/2024. #32.

19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled 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 one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

1. The torn veil

                a. The Holy of Holies could be entered only once each year by the High Priest

                                a1. There were specific tasks done in a precise order on the Day of Atonement

                                a2. No other person could enter the Holy Place

                b. Upon the death of Christ, the veil was torn from top to bottom by God

                                a1. No longer did the Holy of Holies hold any significance

                                a2. The Old Testament ministry was finished

                c. Now, all believers can enter the Holy Place boldly and with confidence

                                a1. Jesus has ushered us into the presence of God as a right given to all believers

                                a2. Jesus is now our High Priest, who makes intercession for us

                d. We are washed in the blood of Christ

                                a1. We have full confidence of our hope (not faith) of what the Lord has promised

                                a2. We are empowered and encouraged to draw close to the Lord as our right and God’s desire (opened door to relationship)

2. Hold on

                a. Due to Christ’s atonement, we should hold fast to our confession of hope without wavering

                                a1. If we were confident in our decision to receive Christ, we need to move on in full confidence to walk with Christ (Ephesians 3:14-21)

                                a2. Too many people profess Christ, but then back away from Him

                b. Unwavering confession in Christ demonstrates true faith and a regenerated heart

                                a1. The wavering believer might not be saved at all, since is not settled in His faith

                                a2. “Hold fast” (cling securely) = it is up to the believer to grow (it is not automatic)

                                                b1. “Put off the old man…put on the new”

                                                b2. “Put on the whole armor of God…”

                                                b3. “…be filled with Holy Spirit.”

                c. Jewish believers could not hold onto the confession of hope and the Old Testament law at the same time

                                a1. A full confession of trust in Christ alone

                                a2. We rely upon Christ’s promises and His faithfulness for our salvation and nothing else

3. Forsake not

                a. If we have full confidence in salvation in Christ, then we encourage and challenge one another to live a faithful life and grow in that faith

                b. Three important reasons to gather together:

                                a1. It is commanded by God (not an option)

                                a2. The assembly is where we teach, encourage, challenge, and help one another

                                a3. The Lord is returning (the Day Approaching) so there is an urgency to focus on Christ

                c. Hebrews bemoans the fact that there were believers who forsake the assembly

                                a1. Ministry is a corporate activity

                                a2. Challenge and growth come through the body of Christ (God’s design)

                d. It is easy to drift away from Christ when one stays away from the assembly

Key verse: Ephesians 3:14-21

14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Jan 7, 2024. Hebrews 10:11-18

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WRITTEN ON THEIR HEARTS. Hebrews 10:11-18. 01/07/24. #31.

11 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. 15 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, 16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” 17 then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” 18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.

1. Jesus sat down

                a. A contrast is made between the ministry of the priests & that of the Lord

                b. The priests ministered daily, making sacrifices

                                a1. The priests stood all day long ministering before the altars

                                a2. Since their ministry was never done, they never sat down while in the temple

                                a3. The fact that they never sat down meant that the work was never completed, for sin never was atoned for

                c. “Stands ministering” (leitourgôn; Eng. word liturgy) is in contrast to Jesus’s ministry

                                a1. Jesus finished His work of atonement & then sat down at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 1:3; 12:2)

                                a2. Jesus now makes intercession for the saints (Hebrews 4:16; Romans 8:34)

                                a3. Since Jesus sat down in contrast with the priests who never sat while ministering,

                                       He indicated that His work of atonement was done

                d. 1 Cr. 15 Jesus will minister on behalf of the saints

                                a1. After all of Jesus’s enemies are destroyed, He will turn everything back to the Father, who will be over all things

                                a2. Even though the work of salvation is done, the work of sanctification still continues

2. Forever perfected

                a. Believers are sanctified (set apart) upon receiving Christ, but are still being sanctified (Rm. 8:30)

                b. Perfection (telos) = to be completed

                c. 3 levels of sanctification:

                                a1. POSTITIONAL SANCTIFICATION = upon receiving Christ all believers are placed into the body of Christ forever (Romans 8:1)

                                a2. PROGRESSIVE SANCTIFICATION = believers are to grow in Christ, becoming more mature as saints (II Peter 3:18)

                                a3. PRESENTATIVE SANCTICATION = when we stand before God, we will be complete without sin, enticement, or flaws (I Thessalonians 4:1)

                d. “Are being sanctified” refers both to the progression of believers toward maturity & glorification and the fact that there are many more believers to be brought into the kingdom (harvesting is not finished)

                e. Once perfected, we are perfected for all eternity

3. Testimony of the Holy Spirit

                a. The Holy Spirit witnesses “to” or “with” us that the Gospel is true

                                a1. We are not left with a blind faith

                                a2. The Spirit witnesses through the Word of God (II Timothy 3:16-17) & within each believer (Ephesians 1:13-14)

                b. Hebrews now turns to the Jewish believer

                                a1. It is through Jesus Christ that the covenant promise of Jeremiah 31:33-34 is fulfilled

                                a2. God will write his law upon the hearts of the Jewish believer & remember their sins no more (Hebrews 8:17-18)

                c. We have ample witnesses to testify to truth of Word

                                a1. He awaits our full response

                                a2. Full sanctification is promised (confidence!)

Key passage: Jeremiah 31:33-34

33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

Hebrews 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the [a]author and [b]finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 1:3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had [a]by Himself [b]purged [c]our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Romans 8:34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who[a] do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

1 Thessalonians 4:1 Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God;

2 Timothy 3:16-17 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for [a]instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Ephesians 1:13-14 13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who[a] is the [b]guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

Hebrews 8:17-18 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 8 Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah