https://www.facebook.com/TranscendChurch/videos/1787281731349443/?t=930

Due to Audio Issues the Podcast link below has the audio:

https://sermons.faithlife.com/sermons/291573-hebrews-jesus-is-better:-faith-changes-everything

 

HEBREWS-JESUS IS BETTER

Faith Changes Everything

Pastor John Weathersby

Sunday August 5, 2018

Hebrews 11:4

 

We looked at the concept of faith last week being the great conclusion to the book of Hebrews.

 

The book of Hebrews by the Author-Pastor of this book, name unknown, writes to these ethnic Hebrew people in the first generations after Jesus life an earthly ministry. These are believers, Christians in Jesus way and members of His church on earth. In that way, we are exactly the same as the people the author writes to.

 

These people had been raised Jews, we said they’re ethnically Hebrew people but have converted to Christianity – and that changes everything.

 

The writer has spend 10 chapters writing to them about who Jesus is, that he is NOTHING new, rather he is the fulfillment of all God had promised from the beginning of time, the end of all the things their Jewish rituals and ceremonies had pointed to.

 

Jesus is the lamb promised to take a way the sins of the world – in chapter 10 the Author-Pastor leapt at the conclusion saying, the priests stand and work, Jesus sits and rests – because. The way of Jesus is His finished work on the cross – the priests offered daily sacrifice that made a temporary way – Jesus busted down the gates.

 

Hebrews 10:18 says where there is forgiveness there is no longer any offering for sin; and so Jesus said, “it is finished” as recorded in John 19:30 – that is the work of payment for sin, it is finished he has paid the way, and so last week in verses 1-3 of Hebrews we looked at this concept of “faith”, mentioned 24 times in the 11th chapter of Hebrews or 2.5% of al the words in Hebrews 11 being, faith.

 

The Author-Pastor wants us to see faith. In fact, he’s like my daughter, who lives in a distracted world, but isn’t letting you get away with it, who’ll grab your face make your eyes look at hers and THEN talk – the Author-Pastor will get your attention with faith, because it’s changes everything.

 

And so he’ll start with this guy named Abel…. Lets read our passage for today and then we’ll start.

 

Hebrews 11:4 (ESV)

4          By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.

 

We see this Abel mentioned “by faith” and “through faith”. If you have any questions about what or how this Able did what he did remember; before we even start it was “by faith” and it was “through faith”.

 

So lets first get a grip on Abel – turn so Genesis 4:3-5 (while bible page 2), early in the story. And as you’re opening up your Bible I’ll say this, the Author-Pastor is writing to a people the Hebrew people, raised in Jewish homes and communities who’d studied their scripture. They knew Abel, they knew Cain, and they knew Adam and Eve – and so this entire book is graceful. It corrects them softly, because he could come in unlovingly and yelling at them – you believed in Jesus, why are you going back to works of the law and ceremony?

 

Right that’s likely what’s happening. They saw Jesus and His ministry, they were convicted of it’s truth, they turned to Him in faith then he was gone and they were used to doing certain things and trusting that he’d paid for their sins didn’t fit what they were used to, maybe they thought that they should be doing something and be bringing something to their faith – and so that’s why I think its important to see that what Abel did he did “by faith” “through faith”, because faith changes everything.

 

So he lovingly bring them back every step of the way in this book of Hebrews back from what they knew in the scripture, and up through their own history through scripture to Jesus to show him as fulfillment.

 

As we outlined the book we saw it in sections the show Jesus as the superior person (based on his sonship), as the Churches institutions (based on his Priesthood) and Jesus life a the superior life (because it’s the way) and each of those points finds their backing in Old Testament themes and passages and moves forward into fulfillment – this book is a graceful walk to calling the Hebrew people forward and demonstrates that faith changes everything.

Genesis 4:3–5 (ESV)

3          In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground,

4          and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering,

5          but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell.

 

Genesis is the beginning of the Bible, the word genesis means beginning or beginnings; and so we start here. Adam is formed of the ground, Eve out of the rib in Adam’s side – they’re in the garden tending it and in God’s presence, however the serpent comes in and injected doubt in two things:

 

1) God’s intentions and goodness

2) His word

 

That is evil’s basis.

 

Doubting God’s intentions and doubting God’s word.

 

That is still the basis of evil today.

 

Adam and Eve – doubted God’s intentions (Satan suggested that God didn’t want her to be like Him, have their eyes opened and know good and evil) Genesis 3:5. He suggested they doubt God’s intentions and His word, did God really say you’d die surely you won’t die. Doubting God’s intentions and His word was the fall, it was a step a way from trusting Him and so the world was not safe – humanity as sinful beings bent away from Him, not trusting Him as opposed to Him knowing evil – could not co-exist with God and so, they were removed from the garden, blocked from re-entry, assured a way back (Genesis 3:15) in the seed that would bruise the serpent’s head then explains the nature of separation between God and man, all while providing, by His grace, a way back.

 

Only by faith, can we trust that way back – undoing the lack of trust in God’s intentions and His word.

 

God’s grace and faith have always been the means back to Him – and now we have the ultimate object of faith, Jesus. The superior life of Jesus, the superior institutions of Jesus, and the superior person of Jesus – all displayed against the scripture.

 

Genesis 4:3–5 (ESV)

3          In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground,

4          and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering,

5          but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell.

 

Cain and his brother Abel were the first people outside the garden – so brothers, person 3 and 4 on earth. Abel raised livestock and Cain farmed – they knew God and worshipped God, but Abel’s offering was brought by faith. Note they both brought an offering – often people look at the volume of offering brought and maybe there is something there, but not really, it’s the faith behind the act. Why was it brought – simply to appease God I’ll bring some stuff here – no the act of worship, the act of offering is a way to see where we are with God, is it by faith – then it’s celebration and it’s joy if not its simply more work.

 

Faith changes everything – even giving becomes Joy because now we do not trust ourselves and doubt God, were fully given over. Abel was fully given over to God, and that’s why his offering was acceptable, this made his brother so angry to see he killed him and the first murder happened between person 3 and 4 on earth. Look at what sin and separation from God brought about, not only murder and evil intentions but also heartbreak for the parents – could you imagine?

 

Lets go back now, with a picture of the story the Hebrew people are remembering from the Author-Pastor, he’s bringing them back to the beginning, but more that that to this scene of offering.

 

Do you see why this is graceful, he’s saying Guys, you’ve seen Jesus, you’ve seen his way, but you’re back to ceremony that was dead religion – we have the living Christ at the right hand of God, we live by faith – remember Abel?

 

Hebrews 11:4 (ESV)

4      By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.

 

Want to know why Abel’s was better? Was it volume of sacrifice – like God put them on a scale and gave a weighted average between veggies and meat and said sorry Cain you really didn’t sacrifice AS much as Abel?

 

See the break down through the passage:

 

By Faith

Abel offered a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain

Through which he was commended as righteous

God commended him by accepting his gifts

Through his faith, though he died he still speaks

 

Faith made it happen and so Abel still speaks THROUGH his example of faith.

 

Here is how Abel speaks still today to you and you’re Android iPhone having self, with all the answers at the push of a button – he shows that the way to be joined to God is Trusting His Word and Trusting His Intentions.

 

He looks to you, who may be prone to think, bring MORE offering (and maybe it’s not meat and vegetables and money) but maybe its an offering of good works, good behavior, not doing things that you’re drawn toward but your pretty sure God doesn’t like you to do…

 

He looks to you and says Abel’s offering was accepted by faith and speaks through faith – and the encouragement is to see Jesus better way and trust it.

 

How should you trust it, ALL THE WAY? He’s a superior person to the priests and anyone who lived before Him, His institution in the Church is superior to anything else to temple worship or to living out on your own trusting yourself, and His life was superior, more than anything you could do or live, and so you can trust Him by faith with everything.

 

Our faith in Jesus undoes the curse of the fall, the lack of trusting God’s intentions and Word, because by faith, Jesus becomes Lord of our lives, our way, our truth and our life.

 

Over these next weeks we’ll see other examples of faith but I want to leave off with two things:

 

If you’re a believer this week – look at the story of Cain and Abel more in the fall and ask:

 

  1. Read Genesis 3:1-7 and think or in groups discuss – how does my faith in Jesus look like the un-doing of this?
  2. Read the example of faith in Hebrews 11:4 and ask – how does Cain’s faith speak today? What replaces His offering in my life – what are tangible ways I see my offering of faith to Christ play out in life?

 

And ask, how does seeing the example of faith in Hebrews 11:4 add to what we learned about faith in Hebrews 11:1-3?

 

By Faith, Through Faith, That Changes Everything.