No turning Back
A) He is greater than
B) A warning
C) He sympathizes with our weakness
D) Dont be complacent
E) Press on!
Introduction: Hebrews was written to first Century Christians who were in danger of giving up because of fierce persecution, imprisonment, having their belongings convescated because of their faith in Christ. In particular Jewish believers were tempted to go back to their familiar practices. This is the reason why the book of Hebrews was written to tell the Jews, dont turn back
-- The opening chapter begins with quotes from the old Testament, chapter 1 1-13.
New International Version (NIV)
God’s Final Word: His Son
1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son,whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.
The Son Superior to Angels5 For to which of the angels did God ever say,
“You are my Son;
today I have become your Father”?
“I will be his Father,
and he will be my Son”?
6 And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God’s angels worship him.”
7 In speaking of the angels he says,
“He makes his angels spirits,
and his servants flames of fire.”
8 But about the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;
a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
by anointing you with the oil of joy.”
10 He also says,
“In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
11 They will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
12 You will roll them up like a robe;
like a garment they will be changed.
But you remain the same,
and your years will never end.”
13 To which of the angels did God ever say,
-- Then we see a warning Chapter 2 vs 1 & 4 , chapt. 3 vs 811 // 6 vs 4-8, warnings that say do not neglect so great a salvation.
Hebrews 2 New International Version (NIV)
Warning to Pay Attention
2 We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2 For since the message spoken through angelswas binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment,3 how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various acles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
-- Why? Because "Christ is" greater than, superior to, better than. Angels Ch 1 vs 6, Moses 3 vs 3, the law 1 vs 2, then Priests 1 vs 6, & ch 7 vs 23-28 than the old covenant, ch 8 vs 7-13
Hebrews 7:23-28New International Version (NIV)
23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely[a] those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
26 Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins,and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.
Hebrews 8:7-13New International Version (NIV)
7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. 8 But God found fault with the people and said:
“The days are coming, declares the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
9 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,
and I turned away from them,
declares the Lord.
10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel
after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds
and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
11 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
12 For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”
Or if you prefer for us today, better than our traditions, our denomination etc. Sometimes we feel like shrinking back.
Jesus, our high Priest sympathizes with our weaknesess Ch 4 vs 14-16, but we must hold fast, or as Churchill said "Never surrender"
Because of what Christ has done, and he sympathizes with us, we can come boldly to the throne of Grace! Thats good news! We come not in fear yet reverantly. We can find mercy, Grace in time of need, in time of persecution, in time of danger or being shunned by your family for ones faith
If I may add complacency is a great time of need when we drift away,,, note Hebrews 2 read the box on dangers of drifting.
No soldier gains ground by standing still, but by pressing on, and the rewards are many. So it is with the believer. We may be tempted to go back to drift away to complacency or whatever, but lets not do that. Let us press on!