Sermon #16 Hebrews Notes
Title: Consider Christ
Always Consider Christ
Text: Hebrews 3:1-19
Readings: Paul Windrel and Bobbie Estes
Subject: Motives for Perseverance
Date: Tuesday Evening – April 18, 2000
Let me give you one phrase by which we should endeavor in all things and at all times to govern our lives for the glory of God. One phrase which ought to motivate and inspire, encourage and strengthen us, as we endeavor to walk with God and serve our generation by the will of God. I want you to write it down; and I pray that God the Holy Spirit will inscribe it upon our hearts. Here it is – Consider Christ, always consider Christ. That is the title of my message. This is clearly the subject before us in Hebrews 3.
Consider Christ, always consider Christ. Before you make any decision, -- Before you do anything, -- Before you go anywhere, consider Christ. Thoughtfully consider…
· who Christ is. – Your God, your Savior, your merciful and faithful High Priest.
· what he has done for you.
· what a debt you owe to him.
· what his will is.
· what is best for his glory, the interests of his kingdom, the service of the gospel. The welfare of his people.
As we go through this third chapter of Hebrews, let us consider Christ, heeding the exhortation here given to us by God the Holy Spirit.
Proposition: The purpose of the Holy Spirit in these 19 verses is to encourage God’s saints to persevere in the faith, ever looking to, trusting, and following Christ.
Divisions: There are three main divisions in this chapter. I want us to see, consider, and lay to heart these three things.
1. The Lord Jesus Christ is a faithful Savior, worthy of our implicit faith, confidence, and consecration (vv. 1-6).
2. There are many, very many, who while professing faith in Christ yet perish in unbelief (vv. 7-13).
3. If we would enter into heaven, if we would obtain eternal life, if we would at last enter into his rest, we must persevere in faith, we must go on trusting Christ to the end (vv. 14-19).
I. Here is the first thing I want you to consider. -- The Lord Jesus Christ is a faithful Savior, worthy of our implicit faith, confidence, and consecration (vv. 1-6).
Some of you are yet without Christ. You are yet under the wrath of God. You may have many excellent qualities. You may possess much. But you lack the one thing needful. You do not yet believe. You are yet without faith in Christ. Without Christ, you are…
· without life.
· without atonement.
· without righteousness.
· without God.
· without hope!
It is my heart’s prayer that you will now consider Christ for yourself, look him over, observe him fully, discover who he is, and trust him for the glory of God and your soul’s everlasting salvation. God help you, now, for Christ’s sake, to trust him.
But our text is specifically written to you who are here called “holy brethren.” You and I must always consider Christ, look him over fully, discover who he is, and trust him.
In these verses, the Holy Spirit shows us the glory and pre-eminence of Christ over Moses and the law represented by him.
A. Here is a description of God’s people (v. 1).
1. These Hebrew believers are called “holy brethren.”
Believers are holy, not because of their birth or because of any merit in them, but because of the sanctification of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:4; 5:27; Col. 1:22).
We are brethren because we have been adopted by one Heavenly Father, into one holy family, indwelt by one Holy Spirit, given one nature, and heirs of one great inheritance with Christ, the firstborn among many brethren (Gal. 4:6-7; 1 John 3:1). We are brethren of “one Lord, one faith, and one baptism.”
2. We are also partakers of “the heavenly calling” because we have been called to life and faith in Christ by the irresistible power and almighty grace of God the Holy Spirit.
This call of God is called “the heavenly calling” with good reason. It is issued from heaven. We are called to Christ, who is in heaven. And it is to heaven that we are called.
The Scriptures make it clear that there is both an effectual call and a general call. All men receive a general call (or warning) through nature (Rom. 1:18-20), by conscience (Rom 2:14,15) and by providence (Amos 4:6-12); but God’s elect, all who have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ receive an effectual, irresistible, almighty, saving call (Luke 19:5; Gal. 1:15; 2 Tim. 1:9).
B. Here is a description of our great Savior, too.
“Consider,” or take a good look at, “the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.” This is he whom we confess as our Lord and Savior, whom we profess to trust and follow. Let us ever consider him.
1. He is the Apostle, the Messenger of our faith, the Messenger of the covenant, the One sent of God to preach the gospel of redemption (Isa. 61:1; Luke 4:18) and to secure the salvation of his people by his obedience and death (Rom. 5:19; Heb. 9:26-28).
2. He is the High Priest because he has entered and resides in the holiest with his own blood atonement. There he intercedes for us with the Father (Heb. 9:11,12,24; 10:19-22).
3. The Lord Jesus Christ is Jehovah’s faithful Servant (v. 2).
The Jews esteemed Moses most highly, as the servant of God by whom the law was given at Mt. Sinai. But Moses was only a man, a sinful man. Christ is God’s perfect Servant, completely, perfectly obedient in all things. Moses was typical and representative of him. The point Paul is making here is the fact that Christ is far greater and more glorious than Moses.
Moses was faithful to the trust and responsibility put upon him by God. The whole house of Israel was committed to his charge and care. So, too, Christ, as our Mediator and Surety, had all God’s elect given to him, trusted to his hands from eternity (Eph. 1:12). As our Surety, he became responsible for us, to bring us to glory. This he shall do. “He shall save his people.” “He shall not fail.” The Lord Jesus Christ shall accomplish all that he was given to do (Isa. 42:1-4; John 6:37-39).
4. Now, look at verses 3-6. Because Christ is greater than Moses, he is worthy of greater glory than Moses.
Religion magnifies men, things, creeds, works, history, and rituals. This Book magnifies Christ!
Verse 3 -- Our Lord Jesus is considered worthy of as much greater honour than Moses because Christ is the Builder of his house, the church. Moses is just part of the house, like we are.
Christ and Moses are not to be compared, any more than the builder of a house is to be regarded on the same level as the house.
· Moses (the law) was but a servant. Christ is the Son, the Lord, the Heir (John 9:28,29; 5:45-47).
· Moses (the law) is of no value unless he is put in his proper place as Christ's servant.
Verse 4 -- A house does not build itself. Someone conceives the idea, draws the plans, and erects the building. The Planner and Builder of all things is our God. This is a plain declaration of Christ’s divinity.
The Holy Spirit here states, in the most unmistakable terms possible, that the man Christ Jesus is God! The reference here is to the building of the church and kingdom of God, or the body of believers (Matt. 16:18; 1 Peter 2:5). All God’s elect, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and even Moses, all the prophets, all the apostles, all believers are built by and upon Christ and receive all their gifts from him (1 Cor. 3:4-9).
Verse 5 – Moses, the Lord’s servant, was faithful. He served the Lord with fear, reverence and obedience, in all that God called him to do. Yet, his entire life and ministry was a prophecy and type of Christ. And all his writings spoke as a testimony to Christ. He wrote of Christ, he spoke of Christ and he erected the tabernacle, the greatest type and picture of Christ (Luke 24:44,45; 1 Peter 1:9-12).
Verse 6 – Christ, too, is Jehovah’s Servant, but not a servant like Moses. Christ is the Son, the Master and the Heir of all things. “Whose house are we!”
All who trust Christ (whether Jews or Gentiles) are living stones, built up a spiritual house in whom Christ dwells by faith and over whom he reigns (Col. 2:9,10; 1 Cor. 1:30).
“If we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.” These words are not to be understood as a condition of grace, salvation, and sonship. They do not indicate that the sons of God might, after all, depart from Christ. Not at all. – These words are written to distinguish between genuine believers, born and taught of God, and counterfeit professors. True believers will continue. False professors stones will fall (1 John 2:19; Matt. 10:22; Col. 1:20-23).
All is not gold that glitters; and they are not all Israel who are of Israel. Look at verses 7-13.
II. There are many, very many, who while professing faith in Christ yet perish in unbelief (vv. 7-13).
Here the Spirit f God identifies unbelief as the greatest of all evils and gives us a strong warning against it by example.
A. An Example of Unbelief (vv. 7-11)
· 1 Corinthians 10:11
These verses are a direct quotation from Psalm 95:7-11. These Israelites professed to be and were called God's people, but they were a rebellious, murmuring, unbelieving people.
1. They would not hear God’s voice as spoke to them by Moses. God speaks to us by his Son. This is my Son, hear ye him (Heb 1:1-2).
2. They hardened their hearts.
There is a natural hardness of heart with which we are all born, but there is an acquired, voluntary hardness of heart that comes through rejection of truth, light and warnings, and through continuance in sin (Matt. 11:20-24; Pro. 29:1).
3. They tried God's patience and longsuffering through their complaints, murmurings and rebellion, even though they had seen his goodness, provisions, protection and miracles for forty years.
4. God was grieved with that nation.
Speaking after the manner of men, this tells us that God was weary of the unbelieving Israelites, displeased and angry with them. He firmly declared that they could not enter into the land of Canaan, the promised land, the place of rest, typical heaven, because of their unbelief.
B. A Stern Warning (v. 12)
This warning is given to us It is a word of caution lest we follow the same path and miss Christ, who is our Rest and in whom alone rest is found. Unbelief was the first sin of man and is the mother sin.
1. Unbelief renders the Word unprofitable (1 John 5:10-13).
2. Unbelief shuts us out from the mercies of Christ (Mark 16:16)
3. Unbelief causes men and women to depart from dependence upon and confidence in Christ.
4. Unbelief closes the door of prayer (Heb. 11:6; James 1:6).
5. Unbelief sets up other gods, such as reason, human wisdom and human philosophy.
C. A Needed Admonition (v. 13)
Encourage one another, exhort one another, instruct and teach one another while the time of life lasts and while the grace of God is available. How can we do this? It is to be done daily.
1. By worshipping, praying and praising God together (Heb. 10:24,25).
2. By teaching, preaching and studying the Scriptures (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Tim. 3:14--17).
3. By talking together about divine things and less about foolish things.
4. By warning one another when we see signs of indifference and worldliness.
Now, look at verses 14-19. Here we are given an exhortation to perseverance.
III. If we would enter into heaven, if we would obtain eternal life, if we would at last enter into his rest, we must persevere in faith, we must go on trusting Christ to the end (vv. 14-19).
Verse 14 -- We participate in the blessings and benefits of Christ only by a genuine, persevering faith. No man is in Christ by a temporary faith or a false faith, or a second-hand faith. There are examples throughout the New Testament of faith that was not saving faith (John 2:23-25; 6:26; Acts 8:13, 18-21). Faith that saves is God-given, genuine and continues growing in strength and confidence (Col. 1:21-23; Heb. 10:38-39).
Verse 15 -- This is a repetition of verse 7 and 8.
Verses 16-18 -- These verses explain why the unbelieving Jews were shut out of the land of promise and stand as a severe warning to us in this day of mercy and grace.
· Who were they that heard and yet were rebellious and provoked the Lord God? Was it not those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? (v. 16) – (Not all, but most!)
· With whom was the Lord God irritated and provoked and grieved for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned by murmuring and rebelling and whose carcases fell in the wilderness? (v. 17)
· To whom did God swear that they should not enter into his rest but to those who listened to his Word and believed not? (v. 18)
What a solemn warning to us who are favored with a clearer revelation of his grace in Christ! Though they had many evidences of God's goodness and much light and truth, they did not believe.
Here is the summary of the whole matter. They were not able to enter into his rest because of unbelief. They were not willing to believe God, to trust God, to rely on God. Unbelief shut them out (Rom. 4:20-25; Heb. 2:1-3). Let us hear the warning here given, and tenaciously cling to Christ.