Friday, June 15, 2012

Hebrews 4

Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.
·         The command is to fear. The fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom
·         If you are alive then you have hope of heaven, although He could, God has not taken your hope away.
·         The kindness of God leads men to repentance

2For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.
·         Does Christ cover over the sin of unbelief? He must or else your previous unbelief would disqualify you from heaven. Why then do people go to hell?
·         What is the one sin that is not forgiven?  What is it? Many commentators yammer on and finally say that it’s a lack of faith. Why? Because it’s the Holy Spirit who applies faith to your account.
·         Faith is the requirement God has for men to be saved. Upon faith we are placed into a right standing with God.
·         The same gospel was preached to them. The same one. Then and now. Our is just a more full revelation.
Did they hear the same gospel? Is it the same message which saves men?  Yes.
VI. The justification of believers under the Old Testament was, in all these respects, one and the same with the justification of believers under the New Testament. Gal 3:9;  Rom 4:22; Heb 13:8

 3For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, "As I swore in my wrath, 'They shall not enter my rest,'"
·         Quote comes from Ps 95:11
·         The word rest like Sabbath rest. The Sabbath was intended to foreshadow our rest in Christ
·         My Yoke is easy and my burden is light.
·         We don’t think of Christ as having wrath, but He does indeed. 
·         So I’m justified and don’t have to do anything else? What did the writer of Hebrews warn you about?
Article 11 section II. Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and His righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification: John 1:12; Rom 5:1 yet is it not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but works by love. James 2:17; Gal 5:6 (Justification is by faith alone, but is not by faith that is alone. Those who do evil, such as resist faith, will not make it. (indeed are not justified))

although his works were finished from the foundation of the world.
·         This is a parenthetical to answer the charge above that Christ was not the one who had always done this. Christ has finished all His works before time began. He is eternally existent. 
Going to jump out of order here. When did God decide to justify the believers?
IV. God did, from all eternity, decree to justify all the elect, Gal 3:8; 1 pet 1:2,19,20; Rom 8:30 and Christ did, in the fullness of time, die for their sins, and rise again for their justification: Gal 4:4; Rom 4:25 nevertheless, they are not justified, until the Holy Spirit does, in due time, actually apply Christ unto them. Col 1:21, Gal 2:16, Titus 3:4

4For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: "And God rested on the seventh day from all his works."
·         God rested on the 7th day. Therefore Israel was to rest. The foundation is laid in Genesis for heaven, in that after working we are to be resting.

5And again in this passage he said, "They shall not enter my rest."
·         Here the Hebrew writer takes the same passage with a different emphasis, God has a rest ready. The key is the last part of that verse, they shall not enter the rest.

6Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience,
·         If they shall not enter and His rest is ready then there is a rest that some will enter.
·         We will enter! But the point is much more profound, we must not disobey, because that bars entry.

7again he appoints a certain day, "Today," saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts."
·         Ps 95:7-8
·         Again there is an appointment for us. The words are here for us
·         What must we do to be saved? Not harden our hearts. Atheism is a willful hardening of the heart.
·         The writer of Hebrews is now going to make a good argument: the original recipients were the children of Israel in the desert, but David applies the words later. That means that the fulfillment was not in Israel.
·         But David does so by establishing the principle that the words are timeless, therefore by definition they don’t end with him either.

 8For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. 9So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
·         This is the predominate sense of rest, ceasing from earning salvation.  What separates Christianity from every other religion of the world is that Christians are ones who cease from work.
·         When we trust Christ we quit our own righteousness. The quitting is repentance, the resting is faith.
·         By faith we enter, by faith we please Him. The writer of Heb. is going to become very concerned about showing the full meaning of faith.

11Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.
·         Should we fail to quit, we will face the wrath God has for us.
·         It is disobedient to ignore God’s pleading and commands to put our faith in Him.
·         Our righteousness is as filthy rags before God and He is not pleased with it.

12For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
·         This is a very stern warning for non-believers. They are going to face a God who can pierce to the heart and soul. To the marrow and bone. He knows your intentions better than you do. He knows you are evil. Don’t make Him cut you apart.
·         This is the teeth from the last part. Either be perfect while at the same time stop working or face judgment.

13And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
·         Now the writer of Hebrews is going to take a reminder that we will stand before God naked and alone on judgment day.
·         There will be a terrible reckoning to face.

14Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
·         Our confession as Him as Lord and Savior
·         Since we have a High Priest who is: sympathetic, with God, has endured everything, settled the matter with God, brought healing. Let us trust Him. Continue to rest.
·         Christ has passed through heaven, having ascended.
·         Paul says as much in 1 Tim 6
Now let’s go back to the confession for a moment, handed down to us by the Reformers.
I have two questions for you at this point. Does it mean that since we must have faith that we must work to keep it? And can we lose our salvation?
 Article 11 part III
. Christ, by His obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are thus justified, and did make a proper, real and full satisfaction to His Father's justice in their behalf. Rom 5:8-10,19; 1 Tim 2:5-6; Heb 10:10; Dan 9:24; Is 53:4-6,10-12 Yet, in as much as He was given by the Father for them; Rom 8:32 and His obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead; 2 Cor 5:21; Mt 3:17; Eph 5:2 and both, freely, not for any thing in them; their justification is only of free grace; Eph 1:7; Rom 3:24 that both the exact justice, and rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners. Rom 3:26; Eph 2:7

15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
·         Christ knows your weakness, not just He knows you, He knows what it’s like to be you. He too suffered and was tempted.

16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
·         At the throne God is waiting to grant mercy
Now, having been justified we cannot be unjustified. Does God ever go back on His pronouncements? Then you can never lose your salvation. What if I sin you ask?
V. God does continue to forgive the sins of those that are justified; Mat 6:12; 1 John 1:7; 1 John 2:1 and although they can never fall from the state of justification, Luke 22:32; Heb 10:14; John 10:28 yet they may, by their sins, fall under God's fatherly displeasure, and not have the light of His countenance restored unto them, until they humble themselves, confess their sins, beg pardon, and renew their faith and repentance. Ps 89:31

It’s my fear you will get lost in Chapter 6, so I wanted to prepare you for what’s coming. This is all really ABCs, very basic stuff.
I. They, whom God has accepted in His Beloved, effectually called, and sanctified by His Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved. Php 1:6; 2 Ppe 1:10; Jn 10:28,29; 1 Jn 3:9; 1 Pet 1:5

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