Memphis Belle

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Hebrews 1:1-14
Hebrews 2:1-18
Hebrews 3:1-19 Hebrews 4:1-16
Hebrews 5:1-14
Hebrews 6:1-20 Hebrews 7:1-28 Hebrews 8:1-13
Hebrews 9:1-28 Hebrews 10:1-39 Hebrews 11:1-4 Hebrews 11:5-8
Hebrews 11:9-16 Hebrews 11:17-22 Hebrews 11:23-27 Hebrews 11:28-31
Hebrews 11:32-40 Hebrews 12:4-29 Hebrews 13:1-25 What is Faith ?

 

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Hebrews 10:1-39

 

"For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.  For then would they not have ceased to be offered?  because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.  But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.  For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.  Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:  in burnt offerings and sacrifice for sin thou hast had no pleasure.  Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.  Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offerings for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God.  He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.  By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.  And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:  but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.  For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.  Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us:  for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.  Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.  Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another:  and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.  For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.  He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:  of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?  For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord.  And again, The Lord shall judge his people.  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.  But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.  For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.  Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.  For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.  For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.  Now the just shall live by faith:  but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.  But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul."

 

"It Is Not Possible That The Blood Of Bulls And Of Goats Should Take Away Sins"

 

"Hebrews chapter 10, we have been journeying through, ah, I believe Paul's argument with these Hebrew believers, encouraging them onward, that Christ is superior to angels, to Moses, to Joshua, ah, to Aaron, and that the sacrifice of Christ is a superior sacrifice.  And we'll talk more about that this evening, that he is superior in every way than God's last revelation to man, and that the law certainly served it's purpose, but looked forward to the coming of the Messiah.  [Comment:  Hebrews 10, by context, is talking about the ceremonial laws contained within the moral law of God given to Moses.  It is not talking about the abrogation of God's moral code of laws, the 10 Commandments, as Jesus by example and his sermon on the Mount re-affirmed these more than ever.]  He begins in chapter 10 by saying "For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect." (verse 1)  The law was just a shadow, it tells us in Colossians that the law was a shadow, but Christ is the body that cast that shadow, as it were, into the Old Testament.  That the law was a shadow, it was a type, it was looking forward to the reality of the things that it reflected.  And is says, of course there was a problem in that it was just a shadow, and it could never make those who came to worship under it complete or perfect, because the sacrifices themselves were offered year by year, and there was in that a testimony that the law was not accomplishing, the sacrifices were not accomplishing what they were seeking.  [Again, by context of what Paul says, the entire 10th chapter of Hebrews is talking about the sacrificial or ceremonial part of God's law, and not the moral part, the 10 Commandments, and those laws and ordinances based on them.  The four Gospels and Epistles re-iterate the 10 Commandment moral laws of God, and make them more binding, in a sense, as in Matthew 5;17-48.  Paul was referring to what the Jews called "The Law of Sacrifices."]  Verse 2 says, "For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins."  If the Old Testament sacrifices were effective, and the believer, worshipper came, and was purged, cleansed internally, purged by that sacrifice, it wouldn't have to be offered over and over again.  "But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year." (verse 3)  In the morning and evening sacrifices certainly, but Yom Kippur, the Feast of Atonement that every year, year after year, the sacrifice was offered again, was a testimony of itself that the sacrificial system was not removing sin.  If it did, it would only have to be offered once, and never again.  Verse 4 says, "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins."  It's not possible, "Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:" (verse 5)  "when he" speaking of Messiah, and he's quoting Psalm 40.  So, 'sacrifice and offering you didn't desire, but a body you've prepared for me,' he said "he saith", that's through David, and that's 500 years after the law was given.  So, if the sacrificial system had the power to cleanse, why would David, their king, the Hebrews he's arguing with, 500 years later be saying 'Sacrifice and offerings, he didn't take any pleasure in that.' "Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body thou hast prepared for me:  in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure." (verses 5-6)  Now, he had pleasure in the worshippers, God, you know, challenged the Old Testament saints, he said that rebellion is like the sin of witchcraft, stubbornness is like idolatry, there was something he wanted in the heart of the worshipper, and he had pleasure in the worshipper.  But he took no pleasure in the blood of the bulls and of the goats they sacrificed, there was no pleasure in that.  There was pleasure in God's heart in the fact that there would be those who would come "in faith" in the sacrificial system, in faith, believing that they needed atonement, that an innocent substitute could die in their place.  But it says all the while, God was not taking any pleasure in the blood of that animal that was shed, because it wasn't taking away sin, but it was looking forward to the One who would come.  [Comment:  the blood of those sacrifices temporarily hid or covered their sins from God's view in the Old Testament, but it never removed them, nor healed the sin nature in the worshipper, which only the coming of the Holy Spirit could do, after Jesus Christ's sacrifice, providing spiritual empowerment and enablement for the believers after Christ's coming and sacrifice.]  So, "In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.  Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God." (verses 6-7)  Christ, in the volume of the Book, from Genesis to Revelation of course.  Not when the Psalms were written, but in the volume of the Book.  "Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein, which are offered by the law, then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God.  He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second." (verses 8-9)  He saying, 'In the fact that he says these two things, that God is not a God who takes pleasure in watching the blood of these animals spill all over the place, but rather a body you have prepared for me, lo, I come in the volume of the Book,' and so forth, 'to do thy will O God,' he's saying 'in that he's saying that, 500 years after the law,' "He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second." (verse 9b)  The first, that is the sacrificial system [i.e. the sacrificial or ceremonial laws within the moral law of God], "that he may establish the second."  He's replacing the first covenant with the new covenant, or he wouldn't bother to say that.  If the first covenant was effective, then Christ never would have said, 'Lo, I come, in the volume of the Book it is written of me, to do thy will O God.'  "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." (verse 10)  "we are sanctified", now it's interesting, it's 'by the will of God we are sanctified permanently,' and Paul's repeating this over and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, reiterating certain truths to these Jewish believers, because every day they saw the smoke of the Temple morning and evening sacrifice.  Every day they heard the stringed instruments and trumpets, every day they were surrounded with their families, every day that which would wear them down and take them away from the Faith, surrounded them, just like every day the world that we live in would do that same thing.  The media around us would do that same thing, the standards around us would wear us down and do the same thing.  So, he's over and over and over and over again making a point with them, because he wants to bring them to the love of God in Christ Jesus.  He wants to bring them to say 'This is superior to everything that the law [sacrificial law] only could reflect.'  He says, "By the which will we are sanctified" permanently is the idea, "through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." (verse 10)  He's going to make this point, look back in verse 2, if sacrifice and offerings were effective, he said, "that the worshippers, once purged, would  have no more consciousness of sins."  If it was effective, it would happen once and not need to be repeated.  Now down in verse 10 he says, 'but Christ, through the sacrifice of his body, has died once, and for all, and sanctified us permanently.'  Once, and that once is this effective, for all, every age.  "And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:" (verse 11) now King James, this is one of the "eth's" I appreciate here, "every priest standeth" when you see that in your King James it's pointing at a tense, "continues to stand," it doesn't say "every priest stands", which that would just be a fact, but when it says "standeth" or "believeth" it's pointing us to a present tense, and it's one of the verses, strong verses, that point to the fact that this is before 70AD, and the sacrifices were still being made in the Temple.  What it says is 'Every priest continually is standing daily, ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.'  He says that's the reality of what's going on in the Temple every day.  "But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;" (verse 12) they're standing every day (the Levitical priests at this time), and here it is the third or fourth time he tells us that Christ is seated.  Ah, there were no seats in the tabernacle or Temple, no benches, no seats, because their works were never finished, because it was only a type.  [Comment:  I believe the Jerusalem Temple built right after Jesus Christ's 2nd coming, the outline of which we have in Ezekiel chapters 40-48, will have benches, seats and tables, because we the saints will be ruling with Jesus over the whole world from that very Temple.  Exciting times coming.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/kingdomofgod/mkg1.htm]  But over and over he's telling us that Christ is now seated at the right hand of God, resting in his completed work, and the fact that he was able to sit down after sacrificing himself means it was offered once and for all, it never needs to be repeated.  The beauty of that is when you and I struggle, we fall short, Christ doesn't have to die again, Christ is not offered every Sunday in the Mass, that's over and over and over and over again in regards to a priesthood.  It's saying that he died once and for all, never to be repeated.  The beautiful thing for you and I now is we can go to him, we confess our sins, and he's faithful and just for forgive us, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  Because when he died, it paid for all sins, past, present and future.  The ladies that come to our church that are pregnant, their babies haven't been born yet, 2000 years ago on the cross Christ paid for the sins of those unborn children, he paid for sins past, present and future when he died on the cross, and the payment was completely sufficient.  This man, in contrast to the priests that were ministering (in the Temple at the time Paul was writing this), obviously then there's no need of any other priests, "this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool." (verses 12-13)  His work is done, he's seated, he's waiting for the consummation of all things, until Satan is crushed under his heel, and his enemies are made his footstool (cf. Revelation 19:1-21; 20:1-3). 

 

He's The One That Calls Things That Are Not As Though They Were, Where He Stands Is Timeless

 

Here it is again, "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." (verse 14)  Isn't that great news?  "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."  So when your wife says to you, 'You think you're perfect, don't you?' you can say 'Yea, it's right here, Hebrews chapter 10, verse 14, "by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."  Or wives when your husband says 'You think you're perfect?'  Those that are sanctified, that's where we get our word "saints", we're saints.  You can sit in here, you don't have to be on a dashboard, we're saints [laughter], perfected, on God's side of this equation he's imputed that to us, we're justified, sanctified, and glorified.  He's the one that calls things that are not as though they were, where he stands is timeless.  And he's outside of this Time-Space Continuum, and he sees his work complete and perfect in our lives, and speaks it to us, and wants us to appropriate that by faith.  It's hard, because this world is distracting.  This world plays so much to our flesh, in it's advertising, in the media, there's so much that plays to our physical appetites.  There's so much that's set around us in regards to standards that are in contrast to what the Scripture has to say to us, that we really as individuals have to settle ourselves before our own Lord and Saviour to receive some of these things.  He wants to implant them in us.  That he's died once and for all, that we're perfected, that we're sanctified, and that we can embrace that, we can take hold of that. 

 

What Is The New Covenant Really?

 

"For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.  Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us:" 'is constantly witnessing to us' is the tenses there, 'the Holy Ghost is constantly putting this on our hearts,' "for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put [be putting, progressively be putting] my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." (verses 14-17)  "And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more" that's emphatic, it's 'Their sins and their iniquities will I positively remember no more.'  And he of course, he quotes this from Jeremiah 31:31-34.  He says the Holy Spirit said this before, here he is speaking through Jeremiah, "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD. That I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:  not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, which though I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:  but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD:  for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD:  for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." (Jeremiah 31:31-34)  So he says, this is what the Holy Spirit is constantly trying to get over to us.  He said this is the truth of it in Christ.  [And we are in-process, the process of God writing his laws into our hearts and minds, which is constantly conforming us into the image of Jesus Christ.  The new covenant as defined here is not anti-Torah in the sense of God's 10 Commandment moral law (cf. Matthew 5:17-48), but it thoroughly involves God through his Holy Spirit actively writing his laws into our hearts and minds, it's a process he's thoroughly involved in, along with our puny efforts, yes, of course, but he's the potter, and we're just the clay.  The new covenant is far, far more than merely legalistic law-keeping, God is the one doing the writing of his laws within us, internally.  It is our job to be willing participants with the Lord in this process called salvation, which interestingly enough, he sees as a finished work.]  He died once and for all, and through that, you and I are perfected, we're sanctified.  He said this is the very thing the Holy Spirit is trying to tell you.  Now, remember, writing to these Hebrew believers, now he's saying 'Just sit quietly, and just look in the Scripture, read Jeremiah, read the Psalms, see how long after the law these things were said, and see, and you'll hear.'  You know, it's a subjective experience here that has to be real.  [Oxford American Dictionary, "Subjective: existing in a person's mind and not produced by things outside it, not objective."]  It can't be, 'You know, I heard this, ah, from somebody else,' or 'I grew up in the Church,' that doesn't make any difference, you can come to church all the time, that doesn't make you a Christian.  It has to be something that's real in your life, and part of what you and I believe is objective, there's truth that comes to us.  But part of what we believe is subjective, and it has to be real to us.  And he says this is the very thing that the Holy Spirit is constantly trying to communicate, and the Holy Spirit never gives up.  Because even in the ages to come, we're going to be learning about his grace and his mercy.  And Peter said 'Grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, he who has begun a good work in you is going to continue to do that.'  Paul said the Holy Spirit is continually telling, is continually taking us deeper. And it's in the first thing that we ever heard, and he's continually taking us deeper in that.  And that is that in Christ, we're forgiven.  That in Christ he will absolutely not remember our sins or our iniquities anymore.  It's never an excuse for us to compromise and live in sin, that's not the issue.  If the truth of that really resonates in our hearts, why would we go out and sin?  [i.e. that goes against the very thing God is writing in our hearts and minds through his Holy Spirit, writing his laws in our hearts and minds.  And as John defines sin, it is the transgression of God's law.]  You know, Jesus says, 'The one whom I've forgiven the most is the one who loves me the most.'  And the more we realize the reality of this, life is passing by, and the remarkable truth is, that God through his sacrifice of his Son, that he offered once and for all, has taken us and put us in a position spiritually where sin does not stick to us anymore.  But because there's that traitor that dwells within that we wrestle with it everyday, we constantly need to grow, and we constantly need that reassurance that he's made us his own, that he's put his law in our hearts and our minds, and that 'our sins and iniquities I will remember no more.'  What a blessing.

 

The Three "Let Us" Exhortations

 

"Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin." (verse 18)  When sin is gone, and dealt with, it doesn't need an offering anymore.  And that's why the offering of Christ once and for all.  "Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin."  He begins an exhortation (cf. verses 19-25) "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus," and it's, by the way, boldness of speech, he told us that we can come to his throne of grace in time of need (cf. Hebrews 4:14-16), we have boldness in speech in the sense that we can say, I'll tell you the boldest thing you can do is lift your head to heaven and say 'Dad, Father,' it still staggers me.  I can come here and play my role as Pastor Joe, and do everything I do in life, but when I'm quiet and alone with Almighty God, and I lift my head to heaven and I say 'Father,' since my dad's gone on to be with him, it means more to me than it's ever meant.  But for me to lift my head to heaven and say 'Father,' still staggers me, and it still blows my mind.  That I can be sitting in my car in traffic, and bow my heart, and say 'Oh Lord,' and go to the holiest place in the universe, right in traffic.  Or here in the sanctuary, in the song service, you can close your eyes, raise your hands, or just lift your heart, and enter into the holiest, with boldness.  You just fought with your wife on the way to church, your kids were driving you crazy, you walked in the front door and somebody said 'How you doing?' you said, 'Great!' you lied on your way in. [loud laughter]  And then you come and sit right here, and when we start to sing some of these choruses and worship songs and lifting our hearts and asking his forgiveness, that we can do that with boldness, we can come, because the sacrifice that paid for all that happened once and for all, it never needs to be repeated.  Oh, we should never take that for granted, it doesn't mean we can go out and sin.  But what it means is there's room [for growth], there's grace, we're growing, we're changing, and it's all been taken care of.  So we have this "boldness to enter into the holiest, by the blood of Jesus," notice,  "by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." (verses 19-22)  "now by a new and living way" now it's interesting, the translation is 'By a newly slain and living way,' very interesting structure here.  So we are able to enter in through the veil now.  Not the veil the high priest would enter behind on the Day of Atonement.  You remember, when God drove Adam and Eve, you don't remember, but it's in here.  And when God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, it says he put a cherubim there with a flaming sword to guard the way to the tree of life, lest Adam and Eve would partake and life forever in a fallen state, the cherubim, guarding the way to life.  When God constructs the tabernacle, the veil has the cherubim embroidered on it, guarding the way, once a year the high priest would go behind this veil.  You look at the camp of Israel from above, from a helicopter, and the four flags that were in the farthest corners were the face of a man, the face of an ox, the face of an eagle, the face of a lion, the four faces of a cherubim.  And when you count the tribes [twelve tribes of Israel], the number of the tribes given, you can actually see that is was actually shaped like a cross, the smaller three tribes, smaller three tribes, and the greatest number of three tribes, you had this cross camped around the tabernacle with the faces of the cherubim, all a picture.  And then again in the Temple, when Jesus died on the cross, the veil was torn from top to bottom.  That veil had the cherubim embroidered on it.  'We have a way now in beyond the veil, into the holiest, and the veil' he says, 'is the body of Christ, torn as it were for us, offered for us.'  That veil, you and I, we have "a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God;" (verses 20-21)  "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another:  and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." (verses 22-25)  Three responsibilities here, three exhortations, notice in verse 22 it says, "let us" in verse 23 it says "Let us" and then in verse 24 it says "let us."  OK?  And none of those verses say 'Let Pastor Joe, let Pastor Frank,' they all say "let us."  OK?  So this is for all of us, I'm always  relieved, we're all in this together.  The tenses are in all three places 'let us continually draw near' verse 22, 'let us continually hold fast,' verse 23, speaking of our hope, and lastly 'let us continually consider one another.'   So the exhortations are, 'Let us continually draw near in faith,' first exhortation, faith.  Second one, 'let us continually hold fast our hope [profession of our faith], faith, hope,' the last one, 'let us consider one another, to love,' so this exhortation, as it always is, through the New Testament, faith, hope and love. 

 

1. "Let Us Continually Draw Near, With A True Heart In Full Assurance Of Faith"---In Inward And Outward Purity'

 

First exhortation, "Let us continually draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water."  He's asking here, 'lets draw near, knowing there's inward, our conscience, our hearts, our bodies, inward and outward purity.  Let's do it with full assurance,' he says.  Why?  Because you look in the mirror and see somebody that's holy?  No, no, no, no, by faith, he's taking us to chapter 11, by faith, full assurance, by what has been accomplished once and for all on our behalf, by our High Priest, whose superior, who by his sacrifice is superior.  The fact that it took place once and for all, that our conscience then doesn't have to watch somebody every day offer a sacrifice for us, or every year on the Day of Atonement.  We believe the one who paid for us did it once and for all, and if we believe that, we know that it was encompassing, paid for our sins.  So the challenge is that we would grow in grace, and that we would continually then draw near.  Drawing near to him this week is different for me than drawing near to him last week.  It's the same, ultimately, but it's different in that hopefully this week I see more of him, I'm resting more in his love this week than I did last week, I'm growing in these things.  Paul says 'Forgetting those things that are behind, I press forward for the mark, the high calling of Christ, I have not yet apprehended that which I have been apprehended of,' we're all in this process.  The first exhortation, 'seeing that we have this boldness to come into the holiest place in the universe, in the presence of God, let us [continually] draw near with a true heart, full of assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled,' you know, 1st John, if we confess our sins, he's faithful and just to forgive us, we can make sure that our hearts are right, we can keep all of our accounts current, 'let's draw near, sprinkled from an evil conscience, with our hearts and our bodies cleansed in inward and outward purity.'  Important. 

 

2. 'Let Us Hold Fast Our Faith, Hope'

 

Second exhortation is in regards to our hope. King James says "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith", your translation might say 'let us hold fast the profession of our hope,' which gives us the idea of what it's saying in this verse.  'Let us hold fast, constantly be holding fast,' because if we don't, these things can slip, he told us that in chapter 2, that people let these things slip.  'Let us constantly be holding fast the profession of our faith, of our hope, without wavering,' that is, 'without bending,' literally, because there's going to be a lot of pressure on you to set aside the hope that you have in Christ and pick up some other hope.  What is our hope?  Is our hope we're going to make our first million and retire?  Some of you, maybe.  That guy on the TV show, the price is wrong or whatever, he passed a million bucks there, what's that show?  You're all watching, aren't you?  Everybody knows that.  I can't even remember the name of the show, I wouldn't go far with them.  What's your hope?  It boils down to some very tough things sometimes.  Is it that this is going to continue the way it is? [talking of our bodies, perhaps]  Because it isn't.  But we have a hope, immovable, that no one can take from us.  'Let us constantly hold fast the profession of our hope, without bending,' "(for he is faithful that promised;)" what a day ahead of us, our inheritance, undefiled, incorruptible, that fadeth not away, what a day. 

 

3. 'Let Us Be Considering One Another To Love'

 

And lastly, look at this, "And let us continually be considering one another to provoke unto love and to good works:" (verse 24)  Now I don't know about you, but I need that exhortation, because I'm continually considering myself.  When I'm tired and it's time to go to bed, I don't think about other people, I think about myself.  When I'm tired when I wake up in the morning, isn't that sad, I'm tired when I go to sleep, and I'm tired when I wake up.  And I don't want to get out of bed, and somebody needs a ride, I'm considering myself.  When I'm in traffic, of course I left ten minutes late, but if they would drive at the proper speed, I could make up for that.  I'm considering myself when I'm in traffic, because I'm a busy man, the world's coming to an end, and I have things to do, and I can't waste that ten minutes, because I wasted it getting out into the car on time.  But you know what I'm talking about, we don't have any trouble considering ourselves, we're made that way.  That's why Jesus says 'Love your neighbour as yourself.'  You know, people say 'Well I need to learn to love myself first,' what a bunch of nonsense.  If there's one person we're in love with it's our self.  "Let us constantly be considering one another' for this reason, "to provoke unto love and to good works:" to encourage one another.  That word "provoke" is used only one other time in the New Testament, and that's where it talks about the contention between Paul and Barnabas, because it was so great that they split up.  They were contending over something there.  'Let us' it says, 'constantly be considering one another.'  That's hard.  Isn't it?  But you know the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, meekness, temperance, faith.  The fruit of the Spirit will make us other-centered instead of self-centered, and I have a long way to go.  You know, at the end of the day 'Lord, I considered two people today,' [he laughs]  'Me, and somebody else.'  'Let us constantly be considering one another, to contend with one another, to provoke one another to love and to good works, to be an encouragement,' and that's of course within the fellowship of the saints.  And look, "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another:  and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." (verse 25)  These kinds of things, he's saying, flourish within the fellowship of the saints.  How can we provoke one another to love and good works if we don't see one another?  [And that's in the context of church, whether that be Sunday-observing or Sabbath observing, makes no difference, you can't fellowship with the brethren if you are a stay-at-home Christian.]  And it can't just be, you look at the model of the Church in Acts chapter 2, verse 41, and onward, those last few verses, they were daily with one another, breaking bread, house to house, fellowshipping, with thanksgiving and prayers, stedfast in the apostles doctrine.  [They initially were so excited to be called, and for what that represented, that they had an ongoing 7-day-a-week Sabbath.]  If you read, this koinonia we have is to be a lifestyle, it's not to be where we go out and we live like hell all week, and we do all worldly things, and we shoot in here once on Sunday [or the Sabbath] to get our golden star to put on the refrigerator for the week and we're out, you know.  That's not what the Body of Christ is, what would it be like if your arm did that?  All week you walked around without a right arm, and it showed up on Sunday morning for an hour, 'But come back!  Wait!' but we think the Body of Christ can function like that.  You know, it says 'not to neglect the assembling of ourselves,' it doesn't say 'the gathering of ourselves.'  You know, when my kids were younger, one of the things I didn't like about Christmas Eve, was we would get one of these toys that had a thousand parts, and it was like 25 pages of instructions, 'Take part A,' and there's parts all over, or you can flip it over and there's like a picture of it exploding and you can try to do it that way, and just figure out all the parts.  But I could take a rake and just scrape them all into a pile in the middle of the living room, that's gather.  That's not assembling.  It says not to neglect the assembling together of ourselves here.  Because every joint and every ligament supplies (cf. Ephesians 4:4-16).  If the Holy Spirit is challenging you to be regular in your fellowship, to attend a home-fellowship, to be part of a particular ministry here, and you don't yield to that, we're missing a part, standing around scratching our heads saying, 'How do these go together,' there is the assembling together of ourselves.  The eye can't say it doesn't have need of the ear, Paul says, and so forth, ah, the body, every joint and every ligament supplies, Paul says, the Body of Christ can't build itself up in love unless this is a fraternity that we're all committed to, we're brothers and sisters in Christ.  And there's an exhortation here, 'not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together,' "as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another:  and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."  Do you see the day approaching?  You know, it's like a runaway freight-train.  I can remember years ago when we first started to study at Arthur's, 22-years-ago, and you'd be reading Time Magazine or Newsweek or anything, if you could find a piece of the prophetic puzzle you were excited, 'Oh look! Do you think maybe this fits!?'  I can't keep up with what's going on now.  [me too, and I cut my teeth on prophecy, current events and world military preparedness, and things are happening so fast now, 10 years after he preached this sermon, that it's not funny.]  I can't keep up with the changes that are happening around us, that are telling us that we have to be in the days that Christ said would precede his return.  We should see the day approaching, all of us are Biblically literate enough to sense that, and to exhort one another, and so much the more as we realize where we're living.  We know where the world's going.  You know, I can't imagine some of what's going on.  You know, I read this article today, and I think it's in Virginia there's a judge there whose trying to uphold a nudist camp for kids 11 to 14 years old.  It's a summer camp.  And somebody got involved protesting, 'They should be able to do that nude if they want to.'  So they're not allowed to pray in school, but the people that are in the judicial system, the judicial branch of government, which has lost its mind, no wonder that lady is standing out there blindfolded, holding that thing up in front of the courthouse.  We want to give these kids the right to go to summer camp nude?  Every counselor in the camp will be a pedophile.  What are we talking about?  We've lost our minds.  The day is quickly approaching.  But Paul said in these days people would love pleasure more than God, they would be truce-breakers.  Look where we are.  So it's bitter-sweet.  In one sense you're sickened by it, it says Lot his righteous soul was vexed when he saw what was going on.  The other side of it is 'Hey, bottom line, Jesus is coming!'  Jesus is coming, he's going to get us outa here.  Then you don't have to listen to me, you should all be rejoicing.  The angels will be doing worship there, and your bodies, everybody's vocal cords, everybody will have perfect pitch.  Exhorting one another, building one another up in love and so much the more as you see the day approaching. 

 

Flip Side Of The Three "Let Us's"---The Three Despisings

 

"For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.  Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?  For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord.  And again, The Lord shall judge his people.  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." (verses 26-31)  Now some of you have probably read through these verses, and they're troubling, and they should be. If you are claiming to be a Christian and living in sexual sin and you're troubled by this, great, you should be.  Because, I'll give you my opinion, but I was a Hippie taking drugs, I was dropping LSD and I got saved, so I don't know if you want to bet your eternal destiny on my opinion.  Ok?  You better study the Bible and see what it says.  Paul said the Bereans were more noble because they studied the Scripture to see if those things were so that he taught to them and preached to them.  This exhortation, all this opportunity that's ours, everything that God's put in front of us, that through the single sacrifice of Christ, we're accepted, we can come boldly to his throne of grace, we have these privileges.  "For if we sin" present perfect tense, 'if we go on continually sinning, there's no change,' I don't believe these verses are talking about a backslider, I believe they're talking about an apostate, somebody whose turned their back and left the faith, and I'll show you why.  Then you have to decide, is an apostate someone who was saved, who turned their back and left the faith, or somebody who really wasn't saved.  And you can develop your own position on that.  "For if we continually sin wilfully" there's no mistake here, there's no ignorance or weakness, this is "wilfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins," the knowledge, epicknosis, it's not oedis, a divine knowledge, but it's "a complete knowledge", 'come to a complete knowledge of the truth,' "there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,"  Now this was particularly poignant to the Hebrew Christian in Jerusalem, who would come to Christ, and then for some reason, out of frustration, feeling, if they had unrealistic expectations, he says 'let us cling to the hope that Christ has given us,' what happens is a lot of Christians get another hope.  I have people come up to me and say 'You know, I was engaged to this person, and they broke up with me, and because they broke up with me I'm going back to the bars.'  I think, 'Wait a minute, Jesus didn't break up with you, you know, they broke up with you.'  People, you know, it's unrealistic expectations.  Even John the Baptist had them, he said 'Are you the One that should come, or do we look for another?'  Why?  He had unrealistic expectations, he expected the Messiah was going to come, and just set up his Kingdom and do everything, and sometimes we feel like 'ok, I'm a Christian, everything is going to be hunky-dory.'  And for these Hebrew Christians, a lot of them were being persecuted, a lot of them were going through very difficult circumstances.  And I've seen folks in the church go through a divorce, lose a child, lose a parent, lose a spouse, suffer some illness, suffer the loss of job, income, be betrayed by a loved one, one thing or another, and I've seen some of those folks just turn away, and go back to the world, try to drown their sorrows in a bar, or just go back to an addiction.  And I've seen some, more than not, I've seen very, very remarkable, heroic Christians who have laid hold of Christ and refused to let go, and have moved through some of the most difficult circumstances in life, his grace aiding them and upholding them, and manifesting in their lives.  And there's a challenge to these believers and particularly to us as we look at this.  "For if we continually live in sin wilfully after we have received the complete knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no sacrifice for sins," what else are you going to sacrifice?  "but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries." (verses 26-27)  Now verse 28, "He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:" so he's talking in verse 26 about those who sin wilfully are those who despise the truth.  And in verse 29 he's going to outline it by three points.  "He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:  of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy," who does three things,

 

1st Despising: 'Those Who Trod Under Foot The Son Of God'

 

number 1, "who hath trodden under foot the Son of God," 'who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, so he's talking about those who come to a knowledge of Christ, are they believers or are they not believers?  You decide.  They come to a complete knowledge.  Not a divine knowledge, epicknosis, an experiential complete knowledge of Christ.  And yet they go on wilfully, living in sin, there's no change.  And he says 'What that is, is that's despising what's been held out to them by God Almighty in Christ, and what they're doing is they're treading underfoot, they're just stepping all over Jesus Christ.'  Now I'll tell you something, you can hear it in the media today, you can see it in the news reporting, you can see it in the New York Times, you can see it in places that are so biased to me it's unbelievable, and they are trampling all over the Son of God, Jesus Christ.  And it's happening around us.  And there are people that know better.  So the first challenge, you know, that's what the first part of despising looks like. 

 

2nd Despising: 'Counting The Blood Of The New Covenant An Unholy Thing'

 

Secondly, "and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing," doesn't care about the blood of Christ, taking it for granted.  [Comment:  The Corinthians, in how they were observing the New Testament Passover in the early Church were unwittingly doing this, and the apostle Paul had to correct them, look up and read both 1st Corinthians 5:6-8 and 1st Corinthians 11:20-34.  1st Corinthians must have been written just after the Passover season, after Paul had heard about how they were observing it, based on his corrective statements in these two passages.] 

 

3rd Despising: 'Blasphemy Against The Holy Spirit'

 

And thirdly it says, "and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace" certainly the blasphemy of the Spirit, the Holy Spirit which has come to convict the world of sin, and righteousness and judgment.  This person coming face to face with the truth, and not caring, going on living in sin wilfully, trodding underfoot the Son of God, ah, not caring about the blood that was shed for them, and doing despite to the Spirit of grace that's trying to minister to them about what a great privilege that stands in front of them, and to be forgiven and cleansed and walk with the Lord.  So a three-phase description of what despising these things.  Now look, that stands in contrast with "let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,let us hold fast the profession of our faith, our hope,let us consider one another to provoke unto love and good works."  Is this the other side of people that have heard and been confronted with the truth of Christ, and just have walked away?  Or is it talking about those who had come to some knowledge and have turned away once and for all, never to look back again?  It's challenging.  I know this, it ain't describing my life.  Because if I go AWOL for an hour I'm miserable, I'm back again.  This is somebody who goes on and on and on.  "For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord.  And again, The Lord shall judge his people." (verse 30)  And he says, 'God doesn't need any little judgment-helpers,' ok?  Please remember that.  If you want to get even with somebody, you want to get back at somebody, God doesn't need any little ax-man helpers.  He says "Vengeance belongeth unto me," and it's 'to me alone, I will repay, I will recompense, saith the Lord.'  "And again, The Lord shall judge his people.  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." (verses 30-31)  So, that's the exhortation in regards to this.  Look, this is what we should do.  Christ is coming, the sacrifice has been made, God's love has been offered to us, we can come boldly before his throne with exceeding joy, we can come and we have a way into the holiest of all, that Christ made, that through his own flesh, his sacrifice, he died once and for all to pay for us.  So, let us draw near continually with a full heart of assurance, let us take hold of our hope and not bend under the pressure of this world, let us consider one another, constantly, to build one another up in regards to faith and good works, not neglecting the assembling of ourselves as is the manner of some, but especially as we see the day drawing near.  Because if we turn away, and if we do all of these things [just described in verses 26-31], and our heart is hard, and we do despite to the Spirit of grace, we need to remember the Scripture says 'Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, I will repay, that it's a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.'  That's good, sound advice. 

 

"You Took Joyfully The Spoiling Of Your Goods, Knowing You Have Something Better In Heaven"

 

Verse 32 says, now speaking to his readers again, "But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly whilst ye become companions of them that were so used." (verses 32-33) part of it was 'you were made a spectacle,' it's a word that means to be part of a theatrical show, you were humiliated.  Ah, Claudius, not long before this, expelled all of the Jews from Rome.  So there is a general persecution of the Jews that has begun at this point in time, and a general persecution of Christians in some parts of the Roman Empire that was beginning.  There was certainly a persecution of Hebrew believers in Jerusalem.  So how that would apply specifically I'm not sure, but the idea is, he says 'You've gone through hardship, you call to remembrance the former days in which you were illuminated, you endured such a great fight of afflictions, partly because you were made a gazingstock, both by reproaches and afflictions, and partly while you became companions of them that were thus used.  You were merciful, and you stepped in with those who were being persecuted and took the heat.'  "For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance." (verse 34)  Now it sounds like Paul.  Doesn't it?  Man, something changed their lives, didn't it?  I don't know the last time when I took joyfully the spoiling of my goods.  'You took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that you have something better in heaven.'  [i.e. the New Jerusalem, that city Abraham looked forward to.]  'You allowed difficulty in your own life, and did that the right way, knowing that you have an enduring substance, you have something real ahead of you in heaven, and you weighed them against each other, and it determined your behavior here.'  I tell you, that's a challenge.  I remember when Cathy and I were engaged, you know, she just was crazy about me.  [laughter]  And she still is.  But you know, we lived in a communal house, and we didn't have a lot of money, it was clean, there was no nonsense, but you know.  So when you had a treat, you know, we'd let people in off the street and everything, so some of the girls in the house were on W.I.C. you know, the W.I.C. program, and when people started to steal their cheese and their milk at night, we'd say 'OK, who was down there last night?' so we had to put a lock on the refrigerator, because you were taking people off the street, and they didn't care if women were pregnant, so we went through this.  But once in a while, you know, we didn't have much money in those days, if she would get like a brownie, she has a problem with chocolate [what self-respecting woman doesn't?], that is where the love ended, if I took a part of that brownie without, you know, to me that wasn't a big test, I had to do that test over and over, because I wanted her to pass that test. [loud laughter]  Isn't it interesting, how easily we can be irritated about certain things?  'Suffer the spoiling of your goods, knowing, you know the Kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.'  And I can tell you stories about myself too.  I'll let her do that during the women's study.  But how easily we forget, 'That donut really doesn't matter,' it's heaven, it's heaven [i.e. the Kingdom of God] that matters.  And that's mine.  These were bigger issues. 

 

'For You Have Need Of Patience, That After You Have Done The Will Of god, Ye Might Receive The Promise'

 

"ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.  Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.  For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise." (verses 34-36)  Notice, it doesn't say 'You have need of information.'  It doesn't say 'You have need of theological positions,' he says 'You have need of patience, hupomene, the bearing up under the pressures of life.'  You know, usually, you and I in our marriages or even in our child-raising, we don't lack for knowing, we usually lack for doing.  'You have need of patience,' he says, 'that after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise.' "For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry." (verse 37) and this is emphatic, the King James says "for yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry" speaking of Christ, this is the way it really reads, "And yet a little while, a very little while, and he that shall come will come, and not tarry."  [by God's timing, according to 2nd Peter 3:8, "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."  So in the Lord's timing, his coming was only two days away, prophetically speaking, two Lord-days.  What is two Lord-days compared to eternity thereafter?]  So our author is expecting Christ in his own day.  That's the way to live, expecting Christ.  You know, you read some of these guys who, whatever their theological position, I'm not going to mention their names, but they think that you're a buffoon because you believe, you know, Israel is the State of Israel, and the signs that are around us in the world are the signs that the Bible spoke of, and you believe that Christ could come at any time, and they think you're stupid and uninitiated, and what really bothers me about that is, ok, you can drum up your authors and your scholars, but to do that you have to set aside a long list of godly scholars and saints that teach in seminaries, that held pulpits that God raised up, that believe in the imminent return of Jesus Christ, and taught it and lived it, and evangelized under it.  And you know what, whoever wrote this says, "For yet a little while, a very little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry."  And we can say that tonight. 

 

"Now The Just Shall Live By Faith"---What Is Faith?

 

"Now the just shall live by faith:  but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." (verse 38) over in verse 26, 'if any man sin wilfully,' "if any man draw back my soul shall have no pleasure in him.  But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul." (verses 38-39)  So we're not these people in verses 26 through 31.  Now the just shall live by faith.  And now he's going to head into chapter 11, into this Hall of Faith, and tell us what faith is.  He's quoting from Habakkuk, "the just shall live by faith."  Habakkuk said, "Behold, the soul that is lifted up is not upright in him," speaking of pride and so forth, but he says, "but the just shall live by faith."  And Habakkuk ends by saying, "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall the fruit be in the vines, the labour of the olive shall fail, the fields shall yield no meat, the flock shall be cut off from the fold, there shall be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation."  He's quoting from there, it's quoted three times in the New Testament, Romans chapter 1, verse 17, Galatians chapter 3, verse 11, and here in Hebrews chapter 10, verse 38, "The just shall live by faith."  Ah, you break that down in the New Testament, of course it's interesting, because the Book of Romans, the emphasis is on "the just," in the Book of Galatians the emphasis is on "shall live," having begun in the Spirit, and of course here in Hebrews, it's "by faith."  That's where he's brought us, "the just shall live by faith."  'Well wait a minute, what kind of faith is this?'  He says back there in Habakkuk, 'I'm going to believe in the God of my salvation, though the fig tree doesn't blossom, though there's nothing in the stall, the vine's not producing, there is no evidence around me in life that says that God's hand and his love and his compassion is on my life at this moment.'  That is when your faith scrapes to the very bottom of the barrel and finds that underneath it are the everlasting arms.  When it goes all the way to the bottom, and you realize this is the God of my salvation.  I have need of patience, because he that has promised, is going to fulfill the promise he's made in a little while, he's not going to tarry, he's going to come.  And as I'm waiting here, and there's no evidence around me, of his love, of his blessing, of his provision, "the just shall live shall live by faith."  And faith, it's not faith in faith, it's not positive confession, confess this, confess that and then you'll have a Mercedes, you'll have a million bucks in the bank.'  No, no, no, this is 'though the fig tree doesn't blossom, though there's no calf in the stall, though the vineyard doesn't produce, that's the faith that God is extolling, it's the faith that says 'I will rejoice in my God, my salvation.'  And he's taken chapters here to develop, in these last days God has spoken in finality in, that through his Son, and Jesus Christ the Son of God, God manifested in the flesh, is superior to angels, to Moses, to Joshua, to Aaron, to any other priesthood, to any other sacrifice, and he's ours.  And in him all of his promises are yea and amen, God has given us everything in Christ, and what we have need of now is patience, because it's all going to be made manifest.  And for now, you and I in this world, I thank God every day for the blessings that wash over my life.  We live in America, we're surrounded by a thousand blessings.  But there are days when they seem very much stripped away.  But his is not stripped away.  And it is then that the just shall live by faith, because faith is only as valid as the object that it's placed in.  You have faith.  Every day, you're on your way to work, you're doing 50 miles and hour in a 35 mile and hour zone, the light changes red, you have faith that your brakes are going to work, as you step on the brakes.  You go shopping, and you fill your refrigerator with food, you've got faith that the electric company is going to supply all week and that food's not going to spoil.  We do a thousand things every day believing in something.  You get in that elevator and you believe that cable is not going to snap when you're at the 15th floor.  When you say to a dentist 'Go on, do whatever you want to do to me,' that's faith.  The value of our faith is the object that we placed it in, and that's in Jesus Christ.  It isn't faith in faith, faith in prosperity, faith in healing, our faith is in Christ, Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.  Thank God for his blessings here, thank God we can have a school, thank God we can have concerts, thank God we can have Over-50's and Career, and Fall Soccer for the kids, and church basketball leagues and outreaches, we have a thousand, thousand things that he blesses us with.  But when they are all stripped away, if we ever end up living like people live every day in Afghanistan, if what we know as government and order falls apart and we're still alive, what we believe in will not have been shaken in the least, in the least.  'We have need, yes, of patience, because he that has promised is faithful.'  And before we know it, we're all going to be standing there, we're all going to be standing there.  And then you'll be able to say, 'You wrote Hebrews!  I knew it.  I thought it was you.'  Read ahead.  "Faith then is the substance of things hoped for, it is the evidence of things not seen," please read ahead.  Faith, then, is the substance, hupostasis, what stands under, from the Latin, we get submarine, and stas substance, means 'faith is what stands under the things that we hope for.'  Are we insane?  We believe Jesus is coming.  I'm waiting for the blast of a trumpet, I'm looking forward to the return of Christ.  Am I out of my mind?  I'm very informed, faith is not blind, faith is not ill-informed.  I have a thousand prophecies that tell me that we're living in a time that I should have expectations in my heart.  'But faith is the substance, what's standing under the future things that I'm hoping, and it is the evidence' and that's a very interesting word, that is, 'the conviction,' and that's how it's used in the rest of the New Testament, 'it's the conviction of things not seen.'  So our faith is attached to the future, and to the invisible.  And it is objective in the fact that it's what stands under what we're hoping for, and it is subjective, because it is a conviction in our hearts about things that are not seen.  That's what changes in our lives when we get saved.  When I got saved, I knew that Christ was real.  I knew my sins were forgiven, I knew I was not playing with religion anymore, but that I had come into a relationship with the Living God.  Faith is both objective, it's the substance, it's the foundation, it's the underpinnings of what we're hoping for, and it is the conviction which is subjective, that you and I, in our hearts believe that there's another realm around us, and that this is the illusion, and that it's passing away.  Faith is the conviction about things not seen.  How wonderful.  'Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those who love him, but by his Spirit he's made those things real to us.'  We're not insane.  Our relatives might think we're insane, rightly so.  But we have a foundation that they don't have, we have a conviction they don't have.  We have laid hold on the future in the unseen realm, and it's been real to us.  Not with the physical hand, not with the physical eye, not with the physical ear, but by the new birth, by the Spirit, and that is as much a reality as the physical reality of what surrounds us,[transcript of a connective expository sermon on Hebrews 10:1-39, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]

 

 

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