HEBREWS 3 – The Deliverer

The safety and rest that comes with home ownership is now ours in Christ.
We are his house.

WHAT MAKES SOMETHING A HOME?

The hotel business is battling against the universal experience of “home,” attempting to recreate the comfort, security and familiarity of home. But these are things that cannot be manufactured or purchased. Regardless of the high-tech security, the endless supply of clean towels and sheets, the convenience of a pool and gym just a down the hall, a hotel room will never feel like home.

When we realize just how rare this sense of home is, we will begin to see just how good the news of Jesus is when rightly understood.

JESUS IS SUPERIOR TO MOSES

Hebrews 3:1-5 – “Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house. For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses–as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later,”

  • “More glory than Moses” – In Judaism, Moses was the most important figure in salvation history. But the author of Hebrews reminds us that Moses was just a servant, while Jesus was the Son. How much more glory is due a Son that a servant?
  • “You who share in a heavenly calling”
    • To share in the heavenly calling is to become closely identified with the caller, God.
      • The idea of sharing recurs in Hebrews 3:14 – “For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.”
    • The word “heavenly” is seen quite often in this letter. The writer speaks also of the heavenly gift, the heavenly sanctuary, heavenly things, the heavenly country, and the heavenly Jerusalem. In all cases the heavenly is contrasted with the earthly, and in all cases the heavenly is superior; it is the real, while earthly is the shadow or copy..

TWO PARTS OF THE HEAVENLY CALLING

1. We are apostolic…

Verse 1 calls Jesus “the apostle and high priest of our confession”. This is the only time that the word apostle is used in the book of Hebrews, and it is the only time that the word apostle is used to reference Jesus. So what is the author trying to say?

“Apostle” is most often used to speak of the disciples who are specifically sent out by God to build his church. “Apostle” literally means “sent one.” Jesus says he is the original “sent one” by God, and then he sends his own disciples into the world with the gospel, thus making them apostles.

Now we (God’s family) are like The Apostle (Jesus) as we share in this same calling to be “sent out” into the world by God. Both locally and internationally, God is at work through his people.

2. “WE ARE GOD’S HOUSE”

I am a child of God. I am not a slave or servant of the house, but a brother or sister of Jesus.

A house is not a castle made of brick and mortar, but A PEOPLE…with

  • a shared bloodline
  • a shared mission
  • a shared hope

<< We are the HOUSE OF GOD, and his house is a MISSIONARY HOUSE >> 

We are called out by God to be a part of the House of God. To be in relationship with the head of the house (JESUS) and sent out by him to pursue the mission of the House.

CONSIDER THIS

Why does the bible seem to always ​exhort us to ​help the widows and orphans?​ Why does that people group seem so important to God? 

James 1:27 says: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

If God is establishing his “heavenly” house on earth through the his people The Church, then it makes sense that those without any “house” to call their own would be of particular concern to God, right? For most of human history, a widow was considered “house-less” because they no longer had the security, protection and means associated with their husband’s house. Orphans of course are the same… those without a family house.
By showing widows and orphans loving kindness and bringing them into our house, the church body, we share with them the profound reality, the name, identity, belonging, security and rest that comes from being God’s house.
“‘Charity’ now means simply what used to be called ‘alms’—that is, giving to the poor. Originally it had a much wider meaning. (You can see how it got the modern sense. If a man has ‘charity’, giving to the poor is one of the most obvious things he does, and so people came to talk as if that were the whole of charity. In the same way, ‘rhyme’ is the most obvious thing about poetry, and so people come to mean by ‘poetry’ simply rhyme and nothing more.) Charity means ‘Love, in the Christian sense’. But love, in the Christian sense, does not mean an emotion. It is a state not of the feelings but of the will; that state of the will which we have naturally about ourselves, and must learn to have about other people.​” — C.S. Lewis
​The hope is that Sideris, as a church community, might be a HOUSE to the house-less…not just givers of “charity” in the modern use of the word, but people of holistic love for those who lack the identity, name, belonging, and true love of a real “house.”
Psalm 68:5 – “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.”

WHAT HOLDS US BACK?

The default human tendency in times of crisis is to stop moving forward in faith and instead turn back to that which we have been delivered from. We long for rest, but when God tries to provide us with it, to deliver us, we fight back. We see this happening to the people of Israel in the Old Testament.

Numbers 14:1 – “Then all the congregation raised a loud a cry, and the people wept that night. And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, ‘Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?’ And they said to one another, ‘Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.'”

  • The people of Israel had seen God do miracle after miracle–delivering them from the plagues, the splitting of the sea so that they could walk right through, being fed in the wilderness by miraculous manna from the sky. But rather than trust in the His promises, proved trustworthy by the miracles of the Exodus, they would rather reject God’s deliverance and return to a life of slavery.
  • Of all generations, how was it possible for this group of people, who saw God perform more miracles than any other, to fall into such a deep distrust of God?
  • The preacher repeats his answer four times in chapters 3 & 4…“they hardened their hearts.”

HOW DO WE HARDEN OUR HEARTS?

Notice in the text, that the “hardening of heart” is always connected to “hearing the voice of God.”

  • Hebrews 3:7-8 – “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness,”
  • Hebrews 3:15-16 – “As it is said, ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.’ For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses?”
  • Hebrews 4:2 – “For 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.”
  • When you hear the voice of God; when you hear the gospel of Jesus Christ proclaimed… do you harden your heart?
  • Once you get good at hardening your heart, you might not even realize you are doing it. Has it become second nature?

NEXT STEPS

1. Apply these keys to wholeheartedly embrace the heavenly calling:

  • ZOOM OUT – In the midst of a crisis. Look at the constant message God has delivered over thousands of years through the prophets, the apostles and Jesus.
  • APPLY THE JESUS FILTER – Look at everything God has done and said through the lens of Jesus. Being the ultimate revelation of God, Jesus sheds light on all of God’s other communication. God never contradicts himself. Read the Gospels – MatthewMarkLuke, or John to learn more about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
  • TURN IT DOWN – Get into the right posture of hearing — clear the distractions. Turn down the music, give yourself space and time to hear from God, whether that is by prayer, reading the Scriptures, or by creating time in your schedule to worship and discuss Jesus in community. Join a Fellowship Group. We need to teach each other and practice together softening our hearts to the voice of God.

2. Converse about this topic with others:

  • How can we return ‘charity’ to its rightful, purposeful meaning?
  • In what ways can we support and remind each other that we are already members of God’s house?

3. Reflect personally on the condition of your heart:

  • Is your heart hardened toward God and his message?
  • Are you tempted in returning to a familiar past that once enslaved you, instead of trusting in God’s deliverance and continuing to move forward?
  • What unique passions has God placed in you as you seek to be His hands and feet in this world on mission for God’s house?

4. Listen to this week’s sermon on our website.

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