Sermon # 94 Hebrews Notes
Title: “Established With Grace”
Text: Hebrews 13:7-14
Subject: The Purpose of Gospel Preaching
Date: Tuesday Evening –
Tape # X-23b
The preaching of the Gospel is ordained of God for many good purposes. As I prepare to preach to you, and when I stand in this place to preach the Gospel of God’s grace and glory in Christ, I try to keep these things ever before me.
· The Glory of God
· The Salvation of God’s Elect
· The Comfort and Edification of Your Souls
God has promised to give his church pastors/teachers, after his own heart to feed you with knowledge and understanding (Jer. ), to guide you in the old paths of Gospel truth, that you may constantly find rest for your souls in Christ. To that end I have come here again tonight, praying that God the Holy Spirit will speak by me to your hearts, that your hearts may be “established with grace.” You will find my text in Hebrews 13:7-14.
(Hebrews 13:7-14) "Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. (8) Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (9) Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. (10) We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. (11) For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. (12) Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. (13) Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. (14) For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come."
Proposition: If we would have our hearts established with grace, we must constantly set our hearts upon Christ, living in the pursuit of him (Phil. 3:7-14).
Divisions: In these verses we are given six important, pressing admonitions, admonitions we need to constantly heed. They are admonitions concerning…
1. Faithful Pastors (v. 7).
2. Our Immutable Savior (v. 8).
3. Our Hearts (v. 9).
4. Our Altar (v. 10.
5. Our Sacrifice (vv. 11-12).
6. Our Place (vv. 13-14).
I. First, the Holy Spirit here gives us an admonition regarding faithful pastors (v. 7).
(Hebrews 13:7) "Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation."
Christ’s church is a kingdom. He is King. Faithful pastors of local churches are his subordinates, his appointed governors over his churches. They are here called “them which have the rule over you,” because they are men appointed and gifted by God to rule his house, just as a husband is to rule his house for the glory of God (1 Tim. 3:4).
God’s servants do not rule his churches arbitrarily, according to their own wills, but according to the Word and Spirit of Christ. They rule his house faithfully, with prudence, exercising great diligence, seeking the will and glory of God, the good of his people, and the furtherance of the gospel.
God’s servants are not, and do not wish to be demagogs. They are not little tyrants and dictators over the souls of men. But they are not June-bugs on a string, controlled by men. They are God’s servants, men who watch over your souls, and serve the eternal interests of your immortal souls, for the glory of God.
The word “rule” could be rendered "guides" or "leaders." The meaning is that the gospel preacher is one who points out the way of peace, life, and salvation to men, directing sinners to Christ. He is one who guides men and women into the understanding of the Scriptures, and the truths of the Gospel, and leads them in the paths of faith, faithfulness, and true godliness, by Word and by example. The admonition here is threefold.
A. First, God admonishes his people to “remember" those men who serve their souls by the gospel. Own and acknowledge them, respect and obey them, submitting to the Word of God they deliver to you.
To remember them involves knowing them, making yourself acquainted with them and their labor for your souls.
(1 Thessalonians 5:12-13) "And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; (13) And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves."
Remember those who preach the gospel to you before the throne of grace.
(2 Thessalonians 3:1-2) "Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: (2) And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith."
To remember them is to treasure up, remember and heed the gospel they preach to you.
(2 Timothy 1:13-14) "Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. (14) That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us."
To remember them to to remember their needs and supply them with their needs.
The reason given for this admonition, the encouragement to heed it is the fact that faithful pastors are men “who have spoken unto you the Word of God.” Without question, this refers to the faithful exposition of Holy Scripture. God’s servants are faithful to God’s Book. But the word used here for “Word” is commonly used in Holy Scripture to refer to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the living, eternal Word, of whom the written Word speaks. More about that in just a minute. The singular subject of Holy Scripture is the love, mercy and grace of God in Christ, the sinners’ Substitute.
Now, watch the next line…
B. “Whose faith follow”—Here God’s people are urged to follow the faith of their pastors, as the pastors guide them in the way of life, and faith, and godliness.
Faithful pastors are faithful men, responsible to set before men an example of faith and faithfulness, so that they can say to those who hear them what Paul said to the Corinthians and the Thessalonians, “be ye followers of us” (1 Cor. 4:16; 11:1; 1 Thess. 1:6). Certainly, to follow a faithful pastor is to follow his instruction; but here Paul is urging God’s people to imitate those men who lead them by example. In verse 17 he speaks of obeying their doctrine. Be wise, my friends, and follow the examples of faithful men.
· In Their Doctrine.
· In The Faithful Discharge of Your Responsibilities.
· In The Worship and Service of Christ.
· In Faith and Patience.
· In Love and Good Works.
· In Steadfastness and Perseverance.
C. The third part of this admonition includes a reason for following such men. Paul urges believers to consider the end of their conversation, to consider the end, consummation, and glory awaiting such faithful men.
The end, the drift, the scope of such conduct is the glory of Christ, the good of men, and everlasting salvation. What a motive this is!
Now, look at verse 8.
II. Here the Holy Spirit focuses our attention on our immutable Savior.
(Hebrews 13:8) "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."
In verse 7 Paul exhorted us to respect, acknowledge and follow those faithful pastors the Lord has been pleased to give to us. Here he says, “Consider the subject and object of their ministry -- Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday, today and for ever.” All God’s servants say with Paul (and tell the truth when they say it), “We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.”
Faithful pastors preach Christ. The goal of his life and ministry is to know Christ. The glory of Christ is the object of his conversation and conduct. Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. What does that mean?
A. Christ is the same in his glory, his offices, his purposes and his work yesterday, it all times past. In the beginning of the world he was the everlasting I AM, the Lamb slain, the Surety of his people. In Old Testament times he was the substance of the sacrifices, the types and the promises.
B. Today (in this Gospel age) he is still the same. In his person he is the God-Man; in his offices he is Prophet, Priest and King.
C. And he is forevermore the same, because he is our unchanging, unchangeable, immutable God and Savior. See him, yonder, on his throne. He is the same Lamb of God who died for us at Calvary! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and his priesthood an unchanging priesthood. His love and care for his people can never change (Mal. 3:6; Rom. 11:29; Phil. 1:6).
III. Next, the Holy Spirit calls for us to remember and consider our own hearts (v. 9).
(Hebrews 13:9) "Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein."
Let your hearts “be established with grace.” Watch these three words.
A. “Hearts”—Conviction, repentance, faith and the knowledge of Christ are heart works, not just mental acceptance of facts and doctrines (Rom. 10:9,10).
(Romans 10:9-10) "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
B. “Established”—Let your hearts be convinced, persuaded and settled regarding the righteousness of God and the way to God.
C. “Grace”—We understand that salvation, justification and eternal life are the result of God's grace to us in Christ Jesus, not by deeds of the law nor works of the flesh (Titus 3:5-7; 2 Tim. 1:8-11).
(2 Timothy 1:8-11) "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; (9) Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, (10) But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: (11) Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles."
(Titus 3:5-7) "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (6) Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; (7) That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."
Let us not be unsettled, tossed about and carried way from the Gospel of the grace by the many winds of strange doctrine which come our way from the lips of men. They are called “strange doctrines” because they are things not taught in the Word of God, because they are doctrines inconsistent with the person and work of Christ, and because they are contrary to the doctrine of grace.
Those who are occupied with the ceremonial law, eating certain meats, keeping certain days or engaging in certain ceremonies have not profited in their souls by such conduct. These things cannot sanctify, justify, establish the heart, or give peace to the soul (Col. 2:16-23; Rom. 14:17).
(Romans 14:17) "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."
(Colossians 2:16-23) "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: (17) Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. (18) Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, (19) And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. (20) Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (21) (Touch not; taste not; handle not; (22) Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? (23) Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh."
IV. Fourth, we are urged, that our hearts may be established with grace, to set our hearts upon Christ our Altar (v. 10).
(Hebrews 13:10) "We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle."
The reference here is to the eating of the sacrifices of the Old Testament by God’s priests (Lev. 6:14-16). The sacrifice was offered, burned upon the altar and eaten by the priests. We, too, have an Altar; not the cross, or the Lord's Table, or a bench at the front of the church, but Christ himself. He is our Altar, our Sacrifice and our Priest. We have the right to come to Christ and, therefore, to eat of his flesh and drink of his blood (John 6:53-57). That’s what it is to live by faith.
(John 6:53-57) "Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. (54) Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. (55) For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. (56) He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. (57) As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me."
Those who seek salvation and acceptance with God by the works and duties of the law have no right to this Altar. They have fallen from grace. They have forsaken the Altar, Christ Jesus (Gal. 5:-4).
(Galatians 5:1-4) "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (2) Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. (3) For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. (4) Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace."
V. Fifth, The Altar at which we feed, upon which we must set our hearts is Christ, our Sacrifice (vv. 11-12).
(Hebrews 13:11-12) "For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. (12) Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate."
On the Day of Atonement the bullock and goat were slain and the blood was brought into the Holy of Holies and sprinkled on the mercy-seat to make an atonement. The bullock and goat were then taken outside the camp and burned (Leb. 16:15-17,27,28).
In order to sanctify us with his blood and to fulfil this type of himself, Christ was crucified outside the walls of the city of Jerusalem, represented by the camp of Israel in the wilderness. The flesh, skin and dung of the sin-offering were unclean before God and had to be carried outside the camp to be disposed of. Even the men who handled it were unclean. We see in this not only the suffering of our Lord for sin but he shame and reproach he endured as our sin-offering. Bearing our sins, he was unclean and must die outside the camp.
VI. Sixth, let us constantly have our hearts and minds focused upon our place (vv. 13-14).
(Hebrews 13:13-14) "Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. (14) For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come."
“Let us go forth unto him!” Christ is our sin-offering, our hope of redemption and our Redeemer. Where he is, there we must be (John 14:3). In his shame and reproach he suffered without the camp. So, being one with him, we must quit the camp of ceremony, legalism, human works, worldliness, and all that is opposed to him, to be identified with our Lord. Whatever reproach we incur from the natural or religious world is welcome, because we find in him all we need (1 Cor. 1:30; Col. 2:9,10).
The world and everything in it are unstable and temporary. The riches, honors, pleasures, the people in it and the fashion of it pass away. And though we are in the world, we are not of it, and when the will of God is done, we will be taken out of it to heaven where all is peace, perfect love and eternal (1 John 2:15-17).
(1 John 2:15-17) "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (16) For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."
In the light of these things, it is indeed a good thing “that the heart be established with grace.”