Andrew Fountain - Hebrews Part 3 - The Test and the Rest

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

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1. Adam was tested

Test and Rest

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Rest & Glory
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  • 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

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Promised Land
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Hebrews 3:16–19

  1. For which ones heard and rebelled? Was it not all who came out of Egypt under Moses’ leadership?
  2. And against whom was God provoked for forty years? Was it not those who sinned, whose dead bodies fell in the wilderness?
  3. And to whom did he swear they would never enter into his rest, except those who were disobedient?
  4. 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

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Promised Rest
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  • 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”

Hebrews 4

  1. 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.
  2. 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
    1. “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

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All glory and honour
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  • 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?

in the house?

Image source: clipartfest

Hebrews 3

  1. 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
  1. 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

Hebrews 4:15–5:2

  1. 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.
  2. Therefore let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  1. -Jeopardy – raising the stakes
  2. -The stakes are very high (Parable of the tenants—God raised the stakes)
  3. -God has raised the stakes by sending his Son.
  4. -fail: you will lose very very badly —destruction
  5. -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)
    1. 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...
    2. 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