Andrew Fountain - Hebrews Part 3 - The Test and the Rest
- See the whole Hebrews Series
Sermon notes - Hebrews Part 3 - The Test and the Rest
- Who has had any kind of test recently (including interview or medical test, or school test)?
- Who likes tests beforehand?
- Who likes it afterwards when you have passed?
Test and Rest
1. Adam was tested
Test and Rest
|Rest & Glory
- Adam tested and failed
- Eden: God gave a command
- pass: enter permanent rest/glory
- fail: cast out of garden
- So what was Adam’s problem: he didn’t pass!
- unbelief caused him to fail
The testing of Israel as a re-run of Adam
Test and Rest
- For which ones heard and rebelled? Was it not all who came out of Egypt under Moses’ leadership?
- And against whom was God provoked for forty years? Was it not those who sinned, whose dead bodies fell in the wilderness?
- And to whom did he swear they would never enter into his rest, except those who were disobedient?
- So we see that they could not enter because of unbelief.
- Israel: God gave them the commandments, the law of Moses
- pass: lots of blessings, enter into God’s rest—the promised land
- fail: destruction
- unbelief caused them to fail [3:19]
The Test and the Rest
- What about us?
- Think of a place where every dream you have ever had has come true. All your desires are a reality.
- No more tests, just relax and enjoy
- my story of “tractors in heaven”
- Therefore we must be wary that, while the promise of entering his rest remains open, none of you may seem to have come short of it.
- For we had good news proclaimed to us just as they did…
- Adam failed
- Israel failed
- Why should we be any different?
- So what did Israel do wrong?
- God was so incredibly good to them
- Parted the Red Sea to get them out of Egypt
- Provided for their every need
- Clothes never wore out, didn’t get sick
- But they constantly accused him of not caring
- Incident at Meribain Ex.17
- “Why in the world did you bring us up out of Egypt — to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?”
- Are you ever tempted to think of God like this—I’m sure we all are. It’s the main temptation.
- What does that feel like to God?
- Pastor in Mozambique (took a young man in as his own son)
3. The testing of Jesus
- Jesus came with a new command from the Father: love one another
- A re-run of Adam
- A re-run of Israel
Test and Rest
|All glory and honour
- he himself passed that command!
- The cross was perfect obedience 5:9–10 (+2:10)
- Jesus the first authentic man who passes the test
- Will bring many sons to glory (as Adam failed to do)
- So how does that help us?
- If we were given the test, who would pass?
- Christianity is usually portrayed as getting to heaven by being good
- So the test would be to see if you are good enough!
- But here is the difference: Jesus has already passed the test
- It’s not about never sinning. In fact Jesus has provided for this
- Jesus has turned the test inside out for us
in the house?
Image source: clipartfest
- But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house.
We are of his house,
if in fact we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope we take pride in.
- The person who fail to enter the house/rest/promises is the one who
- [2:1] drifts away to some other spirituality
- [3:2] Hears the good news, but does not truly believe it
- The Person who truly believes will not let go of Jesus
- For we have become partners with Christ,
if in fact we hold our initial confidence firm until the end.
- The door to the house stands open [4:1]
- [3:6] The people who are in God’s house are the people who hold firmly to Christ
- [3:14] True sharers in Christ are those who hold their confidence to the end [4:14] holding fast
3. The Problem of our Failures
- For we do not have a high priest incapable of sympathizing with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sin.
- Therefore let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help.
- For every high priest is taken from among the people and appointed to represent them before God, to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins.
- He is able to deal compassionately with those who are ignorant and erring, since he also is subject to weakness,
- Complete the line for me: “A good Christian...”
- Do we have any good Christians here?
- One of our main problems is that we are a mess as Christians
- We frequently mess up, and at the same time think that the essence of what God is looking for is someone who never falls
- what God is looking for is not someone who never falls, but someone who trusts him
- Illustration about being embarrased at having garbage in Tim Hortons—there are garbage cans provided, you don’t have to hide it under your coat in shame and embarassment!
- Although it’s not good that we sin, it’s actually expected that we sin
- What God is really interested in is that we trust him
- The only requirement in the book of Hebrews is that we hold on to Jesus
- Jesus understands every single temptation that you have
- priest, like us, sharing in our humanity
- Often our problem is weakness —we don’t want to sin. Jesus understands
- Often we don’t come to God because we don’t see him as being a God of compassion
- We see him as a stern disciplinarian
- He is standing there holding the wash-cloths ready
- -Jeopardy – raising the stakes
- -The stakes are very high (Parable of the tenants—God raised the stakes)
- -God has raised the stakes by sending his Son.
- -fail: you will lose very very badly —destruction
- -pass: to rule with Jesus, above the angels
- Are you in the house of Jesus [3:6]?
- The only people to be in the house are those who hold firmly to Christ, who have a trust in him that is never going to give up
Our destiny is to be with Christ in glory
- Heb 12:28 —we will receive a kingdom
- Our destiny is to be kings with Jesus, to rule over angels,
- Rev 3:21 —one of the most striking: “I will grant him to sit on my throne as I sat down with my Father on his throne”
- We are being called to give Jesus the exclusive authority and leadership in our life.
- Why do people need a message like this?
- Maybe you’re not sure if Jesus is trustworthy?
- If you are in the house, what you have in Jesus is beyond amazing.
- I’m just so excited about what is laying in store for us?
What we have to do
- It’s not about never sinning—Jesus has provided for this
- It’s not about being strong—Jesus has provided for weakness
- All we have to do is to be in the house (Heb 3:6)
- “We are of his house, if in fact we hold firmly to our confidence...”
- The door is open, but to be inside you must have a full faith, not half hearted and dithering (Heb 4:1,3)
- Therefore we must be wary that, while the promise of entering his rest remains open, none of you may seem to have come short of it...
- For we who have believed enter that rest
- We pray Lord that you will give us the faith to hold on.
- We don’t even have strength to hold on without your power, so we just ask now for the faith.
Updated on 2017-01-30 by Andrew Fountain