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Teaching

Persevering Faith (Hebrews 10:19-11:40)

1.  Keep On Believing (Heb 10:19-39)

a. Blessings, Responses and the Lord’s Return

1) The Blessings

a) Ever-open access to God

b) Never-ending headship over the Church

2) The Responses (“let us…”)

a) Drawing near

b) Holding on

c) Thinking of others

3) Do these all the more as the day of the Lord’s return approaches

b. Warning, The Former Days and an Appeal

1) The Warning

a) Parallel verses Heb 6:4-6 (less specific, less severe)

b) Sinning “willfully”

c) Sinning “after the receiving of the knowledge of truth”

d) OT reference to Numbers 15:22-31 (see also Lev 4:2 and Deut 17:2-7, 19:4)

i. Unintentional sin (sinning unknowingly, like manslaughter) – sacrifices were provided

ii. Intentional sin (sinning willfully, like first degree murder, “with a raised hand”, with solemn intent) – no sacrifices, punished without delay, corroborated by testimony, offender executed and evil removed

e) Apostasy in the NT is far worse. The Apostate has:

i. Trampled on the Son of God

ii. Treated the blood sacrifice of Christ as defiled

iii. Insulted, outraged the Holy Spirit, displayed contempt toward the Holy Spirit

f) With the payment of Christ rejected, there remains no sacrifice to atone for sin

g) Only a fearful expectation of wrath remains for the apostate

h) God will judge those inside the Church as well as those outside

Taken cumulatively, the three clauses in v 29 define persistent sin (v 26a) as an attitude of contempt for the salvation secured through the priestly sacrifice of Christ. Nothing less than a complete rejection of the Christian faith satisfies the descriptive clauses in which the effects of the offense are sketched. The magnitude of the affront displayed by apostasy clarifies why this offense is ultimate. Apostate are those who embrace worldliness in preference to the community. They have chosen to return to the world from which they had been separated by the blood of Christ. In their lives the sacred has been collapsed into the profane. Their denial of their need for the life of the community reflects a willful hardening of their hearts (cf. 3:12–15). Apostasy reaffirms the values of the world, which permit those who stand outside the community to regard Jesus Christ with contempt (cf. 6:6). Consequently, those who once were cleansed and consecrated to God become reinfected with a permanent defilement that cannot be purged (Johnson, “Defilement,” 416–17). They experience an absolute loss, which is deserved (cf. Moule, SEÅ 30 [1965] 31–32; Mora, La Carta a los Hebreos, 97–101).

2) The Former Days

a) The Hebrews had been faithful during hard times in the past

b) Recently they had lost their heavenly perspective

3) An Appeal

a) Look to the future and look upward

b) Reminder that the just shall live by faith

 

2.  One People, One Faith (Heb 11:1-2, 39-40)

a. One People

1) OT Saints obtained a good testimony

2) OT Saints will not receive a different salvation than us

3) Unity within the Church is not based on time period, nationality, ethnicity

4) Unity within the Church is based on Faith

b. One Faith

1) The Nature of Faith – “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”

2) The Activity of Faith (…by faith…)

a)  “By faith” = “through believing”

b) Deeds of faith done by the virtue of its power

Formula: Someone does something by faith resulting in something else

 

3. Real Believing (Heb 11:3-7)

a. Faith in History – Believing is historical – takes place on earth, in time and space

b. Faith and Reason – God made Heaven and Earth. No other could make either

c. Faith and Worship – Faith manifests itself in worship

d. Faith and Fellowship – Believing is pleasing God

e. Faith and Eternity – Believing involves condemning the world and becoming an heir of righteousness

 

4. Obtaining Promises (Heb 11:8-38)

a. Too much to say (Heb 11:32)

b. Abraham (Heb 11:8-22)

1) The Land – He and Sarah lived as strangers in tents in land promised to them

2) The Seed – Miraculous conception of Isaac

a) Sarah and Abraham old

b) Isaac “good as dead” as Abraham was prepared to sacrifice him. Abraham believed God would resurrect him

3) The patriarchs died without receiving what they hoped for, but believed in the “things to come”

c. Moses (Heb 11:24-31)

1) Patriarchs walked by faith

2) Judges and the kings had to fight by faith

3) Moses met every challenge and succeeded by faith

a) Refused the pleasure of royalty

b) Faced the wrath of Pharaoh

c) Kept the Passover (the Angel of Death)

d) Led out the Israelites

e) Brought the Israelites through the Red Sea

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