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Dale Lewis – Hebrews 6:13-20 “Trust Me!”- July 9th

Categories: News,Sermons

 

 

Hebrews 6:13-20

“Trust Me!”

  1. Introduction
  2. 13 His Person
  • 14-15 His Purpose
  1. 16-18 His Promise
  2. 19-20 His Priest

 

  1. Introduction

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Over the last several weeks our look has been at the third warning issued by the writer about the lack of spiritual maturity and it has been very sobering. The reality that the readers faced in reading this letter was that they fit into one of four groups and two of those groups were very dangerous to their soul. To me reading this section felt like going to a doctor and hearing the possibilities of your health could be grave or fatal if not immediately corrected. The concept we realized is that having received from the Holy Spirit those five advantages mentioned in verse 4 gave us a great OPPORTUNITY but they didn’t guarantee the OUTCOME! In spite of the pre-work of salvation given to us by the Holy Spirit it is possible that a person could have understood intellectually:

  • The work of Jesus on their behalf
  • Been excited about the possibility of heaven
  • Emotionally full of joy about the possibility of forgiveness

But there is NO SALVATION apart from TRANSFORMATION! If there has been NO permanent transformation as a result of those five advantages, then we are at very least stunted in our maturity or at worst not saved at all. As horrifying as the possibility is to our pride, I would much rather come to grips with the lack of my own spiritual growth while I still can do something to change then from Jesus own lips and realize that I needn’t have lived my life in the condition I had. I’m concerned that the modern evangelical church that has been busy with religious activities faithfully performed by people who continue to posses the same dispositions and attitudes, of people, who are not Christians. As I said prior there are two unmistakable evidences of maturity:

  1. Continual personal evaluation of our maturity and spiritual growth; the “Is it I?”, question.
  2. Consistent desire to help people for Jesus that is as much interested in WHY we are doing what we do as what we are doing!

With that said it is possible to be have those to evidences of the true Christian life and still have little if any sense of assurance, or security in our relationship with Jesus. We can be a Christian and still be full of doubts, fears, anxieties, and uncertainties about our relationship to Christ. That is what the writer addresses today. In the last section of the warning the writer put before some of his readers that they should “imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” There were among them in the Hebrew speaking church in Rome people who were true followers of Christ who through faith and patience were inheriting the promises. In theses verse before us the writer suggests another example in their ancestry who they can imitate, Abraham. The use of this patriarch is very revealing to me as it speaks of an underlining reason some of these Hebrew speaking church attenders were being persuaded to go back to the Levitical system of sacrifices, you see they just couldn’t TRUST Jesus at His word. So in this section, with the father of the faith as the example the author gives FOUR REASONS YOU CAN TRUST GOD:

  1. 13 His Person
  2. 14 His Purpose
  3. 16-18 His Promise
  4. 19-20 His Priest
  5. 13 His Person

Vs. 13 The readers would have immediately recognized this “spiritual giant” of their ancestry as Paul called him in Romans 4:16-18 the “the father of us all and the father of many nations”. The writer has carefully chosen a story from the life of Abraham that will encourage the reader who struggles with doubts, fears and anxieties and uncertainties concerning their own spiritual maturity and growth. The story is found in two sections of Genesis chapter 15:5 and chapter 22:17-18. What we learn by looking at Abraham’s example reveals that trusting in God’s promises has far more to do with what we learn about God and far less of about what we see in us. What makes our confidence strong enough to defeat even the most persistent doubts and fears is that our faith isn’t in our WORTHINESS inheriting the promises but in God being WORTHY in keeping them! The ground of our hope is what Paul wrote to the Philippians in Philippians 1:6 as he said, “Being confident of this very thing, that HE who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

To set up the illustration in Genesis 15:5 account we are told of God’s appearance to Abraham where He first made a statement “I am your shield, your exceeding great reward” Whereby Abraham focuses on the longevity of the reward seeing that he has no heir. That’s when the God promised Abraham in verse 5 “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them. And He said to him, so shall your descendants be.” The intervening six chapters to the immediate fulfillment of that promise Isaac’s birth (the ultimate fulfillment was Jesus) was 25 long years later in 21:2. Those 25 years were not filled with faith and obedience from either Abraham or Sarah as time passed without the fulfilled promise Abraham and Sarah took matters into their own hands as Hagar was employed to bare an heir to fulfill the promise as she gave birth to the middle east conflict in the birth of Ishmael. The important point the writer was making is that Abraham realized the promise not because he trusted in his work but in God’s oath which twice He confirmed. Two things stand out in this illustration:

  1. First, Abraham did not believe it because he saw immediate results.
  2. Second, Abraham didn’t believe because he was doing his best to accomplish it.

 

  1. 13 His Person: This brings us to the first of four reasons why Abraham could trust God: It wasn’t because Abraham saw the immediate results, he clearly began to waver in faith because of time and thought he had to help God out. And it wasn’t because Abraham was doing his best to accomplish it, after all he and Sarah’s best was Ishmael, and we all know how well that has worked out over the last 7000 years. Abraham was confronted with TRUTH about the character of God; He invented truth, it is the essence of God’s nature, everything He says and does is truth. Therefore, if God makes a promise, he not only will keep it, He has to keep it because He has no other nature then truth. In Romans 4:19-21 that we have the answer to the question: “Then why did Abraham believe God’s promise?” As Paul writes of Abraham, “And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God”. Faith must always rest on the character of God not the faithfulness of man. Abraham believed that God told the truth about Himself, and that God would always be true to his own character.

 

  • 14-15 His Purpose

 

  1. 14 His Purpose: The second reason Abraham could trust God was that God’s promise to him wasn’t aimless, it was a promise with a PURPOSE. It wasn’t Abraham’s idea to leave Ur of the Chaldeans and move to the land of Canaan, it was God’s leading that directed him. Through out God’s encounter with Abraham in His making a covenant with Abraham it was entirely God’s work. And when God established His covenant, it was He who established it with a promise and it was God who made it UNCONDITIONAL. God never told Abraham He would bless him IF he fulfilled certain obligations, requirements and certain conditions. The reality is Abraham wasn’t chosen by God because he had a certain quality or virtue, he was chosen purely on God’s will, just the same way Israel was chosen (Deut. 7:7-8). The ultimate purpose was to: Make known the true God, to reveal the Messiah, to be the preserver of the Word of God, to be a living demonstration of the faithfulness of God. The amazing thing is that Abraham was not a party to the covenant, He was only a witness to it and a vehicle for its fulfillment! You can trust God because He will NOT let His plan fail!

Vs. 15 Before we move to the third reason you can trust God in verses 16-17 the author deals with the proof of FAITH that it doesn’t come from our own experience; it is simply the demonstration of what we have already believed, because we believe Who said it. Albert Einstein didn’t come to the knowledge of relativity by performing a series of experiments that ultimately convinced him that relativity was true. Instead he gradually saw the concept of relativity, and being convinced, he performed experiments that demonstrated it to others. This is the way of truth, “believing is seeing.” The secret of faith: Is that it rests on the character of Jesus Christ. As far as we are concerned we must determine whether He is telling us the truth, and we can trust Him, or we must reject Him as a self-deceived impostor.

  1. 16-18 His Promise
  2. 16-18 The Promise: The third security deals with the oath that God made to Abraham. The truth is God didn’t need to make an oath to Abraham or any person for that matter. God’s word is good without a “promise” but to accommodate the people who have a continual problem with trust, God promised on Himself to keep what couldn’t ever be broken because of who He is, and the purpose He make the promise. What this reveals to us who have a problem with trust is that: God who can not lie, promised to never break what He can not break, to fulfill what was His idea in the first place that accomplishes His will! Just so that we all understand this it was NOT His promise upon Himself that made His promise more secure, He did this for us, not for Himself! The writer goes on to say in verse 17 that both of these things are without any possibility of change or variance. The word is used in the Greek of wills that once made are unchangeable and in this case even by God Himself! This promise is the most “secure” promise ever made and reminds us that our security is not based upon us never letting go of God but in God never letting go of us!

 

  1. 19-20 His Priest

 

  1. 19-20 The Priest: The final reason we can trust God is in the person of Christ that all Christian faith has an “anchor both sure and steadfast”. Jesus, not only made promises to us but he has himself demonstrated them. Since this is true, then our faith will be strengthened as we see more clearly the character of the One with whom we have to deal. This is why the author moves immediately to the matter of the high priesthood of Melchizedek. Again and again in this letter he has used this phrase, “a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” The sheer repetition of it indicates there is something very vital hidden here. Now we shall see what that is. What the writer is saying as the reason why we can trust God to keep His word is that Jesus alone is forever the Guardian of our soul. Jesus said in John 10:28 that He will, “give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” Paul wrote of this security because of Jesus our High Priest in Romans 8:31-35 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 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. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?