The Word of God

That’s deep!  The Word of God

Hebrews 4:12-16                   October 14, 2012

We heard last week that God speaks.  We want to be found listening to Jesus, God’s son.  It is through Jesus that we realize the good that God has for us.  This goodness is the fact that Jesus shares with us the same father!  As Jesus sanctifies us and we, the children of God, are being sanctified, we get to stand before God!  That’s deep!

 This process of being made holy is not done in an instance.  It takes time.  While we are being made holy, it is Jesus helps us to go through the tests that happen in life.  What does this mean for our lives here and now?  We are not living a solo life.  We have one who can and who is able to help us to live.  When we hold onto the word of God, then we can live now and in the future.  That’s deep!

We have to follow the author of Hebrew’s line of thought to understand how this works.  We find promises from the word of God.  We find confidence from the word of God.   Let’s start!

 

  1. God knows us completely (4:12-13)
    1. The word that God has for us (4:12)
      1. Jesus & the children – share flesh (2:14)
      2. Jesus frees us from slavery to the fear of death (2:15)
      3. Jesus came to help those who have faith like Abraham (2:16)
      4. One aspect of being high priest – he knows the troubles we have and make (2:17)
      5. He was tested when he suffered for us (2:18)
      6. We are partners with each other because of Jesus (3:1)
      7. Moses & Jesus were faithful (3:1-6)

–          Moses – a faithful servant

–          Jesus – a faithful son – we hold firm to him

–          Jesus is high priest – God appointed him as such!

  1. The Holy Spirit tells us: “Don’t harden your hearts!” (3:7)
  2. When we harden our hearts, we may not enter God’s rest! (3:7-12)
  3. We help each other not to harden our hearts (3:13-15)
  4. The Israelites let go of their faith & didn’t enter God’s rest (3:16-19)
  5. Let’s not fail to reach God’s rest (4:1)
  6. Unbelief keeps us from God’s rest (4:2-3)
  7. Sabbath rest (4:4-11)

–          On the 7th day God rested

–          Rest – a time to stop working – we haven’t reached that time

  1. God’s word is living and active (4:12) – are we?

–          It judges us – what will it find?

  1. That word is how we live (4:13)
    1. If we are found working in faith, we get rest
    2. If we are not found working in faith, we don’t get rest
  2. The word of God is what we need.  That’s deep!  As we realize what the word of God does, we can become fearful to stand before God.  When we give up on working our faith, then we have good reason to be fearful to stand before God.  So, to what do we hold?

 

  1. We hold to our confession (4:14-16)
    1. Jesus (4:14)
      1. Great High Priest –
      2. Passed through the heavens – like the high priest into the holy of Holies
  2. Our confession (4:14)
    1. 3:1 – Jesus is the apostle & high priest of our confession
    2. 10:23 – it is our hope
    3. Greek  – όμολογίά – literally means “one word”  
  3. High priest (4:15)

–          “He was as we are, (He lives in the flesh)

–          and therefore he will help; (He knows our trouble)

–           he was not as we are, (He did not sin)

–           and therefore he can.”[1] (He helps us overcome sin)

  1. We are able to go with boldness to the throne of grace
    1. Remember – Jesus’ enemies are his footstool!
    2. We can expect mercy & grace (because he is like us!)
  2. To what do we hold?  We hold to our confession.  What is our confession?  It is that because of our being baptized that God has a claim on us.  Our sins are forgiven by the blood of Jesus and by being baptized, we belong to God.  Jesus is the one sacrifice for all time, for all sins, for all people.  He is the word of God that is spoken to which we hold. 

That’s deep!  The Word of God helps us to realize God’s promise to us.  The Word of God holds us accountable.  The word of God knows how we live.

 The fascinating part about this word of God is that it is our confession.  Jesus is the one by which we live. Jesus knows how we are.  He knows we need help.  He is the one to which we find that help. 

 If we don’t want to be faithful to God, then we harden our hearts.  When we harden our hearts, we miss out on the mercy and grace God has for us.  You need not harden your hearts!  You can, however, keep faith with the one who knows you and has rest for those who remain faithful.  To what are you going to hold?

[1] The New Interpreter’s Bible, Volume 12, (Abingdon Press, Nashville: 1998), p. 58

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