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Posted by Transcend Church Harrisburg on Sunday, July 22, 2018
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Find the unedited notes from our sermon below:
The Character of Salvation and Nature of God Hebrews 10:26-36 “Don’t be a Distraction” I’m going to ask you to do something for me today? Don’t be a distraction. Don’t be loud and talking – today is important. Don’t distract the person next to you; this may be the most important message of their life. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted, because you may need this so much more than you know. Today’s passage separates people from salvation – and today someone may be joined to God in Christ – today you may be joined to God in Christ, lets not distract from that. Our study today – and this is why I stopped it here last week – includes Hebrews 10:26 it reads like this: Hebrews 10:26 (ESV) 26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, We stopped be cause I’d planned to finish the entire chapter 10 last week, but doesn’t that statement deserve a pause, a dwelling, and some thought. There is a scene from Parks and Rec where Ron Swanson says – go get me all your eggs and bacon – then he stops the waiter and says, wait I think you heard me say I want a lot of bacon and eggs, that’s not what I said, what I said was bring me all your bacon and eggs. You. See what Ron did was check back, and say wait – are you understanding me rightly, so too does the writer of Hebrews with this passage and specifically verse 26. In this episode context matters our friend Ron’s character is very into meat, his favorite restaurant where he has enshrined pictures of himself eating annually has suddenly been closed down. He went to a previous coworkers house who tried to pass mushrooms as steak and if you know Ron he’s at the end of himself, and so here knowing him you KNOW he want’s all those eggs and all that bacon, but Ron checks the waiter. We have to check what we know about the character of salvation and nature of God in Hebrews 10:26, are we in-tune with God’s desire? And maybe you’ve struggled here if you’re a believer. Can God love me even though I’ve…? What’s the sin that traps you? Why is it important that the writer of Hebrews stoops us at the counter and says, wait – I think you heard a lot of eggs, or even – wait, did you hear me say call on the blood of Jesus to be spilled on your behalf and then drive on – unchanged. And so we need to stop and remember the character of God – when we do this sticky passage, this difficult passage, becomes instructive and precious so stick with me, this is important! Hebrews 10:26–36 (ESV) 26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. 32 But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. 35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. This entire passage dismantles any argument people would make from Hebrews 10:26 to make a redeemed Christian, found in Christ, believe if I sin I’m not really a Christian and I’ve lost my salvation. Lets go back through slowly: Remember we needed to KNOW Ron, to KNOW what he meant – scripture is no different, understanding God is similar, we have to know the character of salvation and the nature of God. Hebrews 3:14 told us: Hebrews 3:14 (ESV) 14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. Has that changed? Hebrews 10:14 told us: Hebrews 10:14 (ESV) 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. Has that changed? Has Hebrews 10:26 changed what’s JUST been said? Is there a single offering that perfects those being sanctified? Is there a confidence to stand firm to the end? We need to know the character of salvation and the nature of God. Maybe you’ve asked this: I participated in ________ I deliberately ___________ is there salvation for me? The writer of Hebrews makes a fork in the road here with one word deliberately. And when we know the character of salvation and the nature of God we can better understand this deliberately. We are creatures of habit. Folks are you sitting where you sat last week, if you were here? I know many of you are, you’re creatures of habit. When I leave my house in the morning, my phone creepily tells me how long of a drive it will be to the places I frequent (not sure how to turn that off, but I want to slip my aluminum foil hat on). We’re creatures of habit. I wake up in the mornings, make Briana and myself a cup of coffee – I’m a creature of habit, she may not even want that coffee. What about more significant things? Maybe you deal with stress negatively maybe you can’t even explain it. Maybe you get angry and shot with people. Maybe you get suicidal thoughts – maybe you turn to vices, alcohol, drugs, porn – easy outs, maybe these are long learned patterns for you. You can deliberately turn to those things meaning you weren’t forced; you just go there because that’s what you’ve always done. Is that the deliberately in Hebrews 10:26 that says: Hebrews 10:26 (ESV) 26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, That word deliberately is a bad translation. Not in the sense that they got the word wrong, its right, but in the sense that this ESV tries to be more literal with the translation and in some instances can lose the sense of the word. Let me show you what I mean: The ESV translates that one little word deliberately, the NASB willfully, the NIV, deliberately, the NRSV, willfully. The translators are feeling around the catch the sense of the word. Here is something odd, listen up, don’t be a distraction why – because this word that’s being translated is used TWO times in the entire New Testament. The word before, it sinning/sin 270 times. The word after it, literally the word after, is used 464 times – what’s so special and careful about this word translated deliberately, or willingly, or willfully? Lets look at the other single use: 1 Peter 5:2 (ESV) 2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; Did you find it? Willingly? And it’s a pastoral verse – shepherd the flock with all these responsibilities rolled up under oversight – how, now under compulsion (not forced, not by way of pattern, not grudgingly, but as God would have you eagerly. You can be willing yet not eager. You can be willing but just going through the motions. Stay with me this is the key, this is important – because we could get confused here with Hebrews 10:26. if we go on sinning deliberately – lets blow that word up with our new understanding: if we go on sinning eagerly because we absolutely love it more than we love God, driven to it, not by pattern but because the sin is what we’re after and the sin is what we want – THEN the character of salvation and the nature of God want’s us to know we’re NOT in salvation. But rather slipping into patterns of sin, sinning and coming to God; Lord why do I do these things, God change me that’s actually a sign OF a changed heart. Ron wanted them to know he really meant that he wanted all the eggs and bacon because they didn’t know his nature. The writer of Hebrews wanted them confident that their salvation is in fact: Hebrews 3:14 (ESV) 14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. And, Hebrews 10:14 (ESV) 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. We can cling to the end, we don’t burry and hide our sin, we share it with those we gather together with, Hebrews 10:24–25 (ESV) 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. We stir one another up, because we all have patterns and things we turn to, this does NOT mean we’re unsaved, it means we’re people – but be encouraged and praise God because we know the nature of His salvation is Christ and His character IS love – and so, Hebrews 10:26 is our encouragement to lean into him even more – salvation is His not ours. Imagine a salvation that you trusted not because you didn’t sin on purpose, but that because your natural instincts were sinful, Jesus’ blood was precious, His cross was your claim, that you cling to is with all your might rather than clinging to NOT sinning, rather than clinging to building a pile of works so tall you could find your way to God, but you trusted in faith Jesus once perfect sacrifice. Maybe this morning you cannot imagine that – turn today from trusting yourself, turn to trusting God. Do you need to do that – folks are upfront after service to pray with you, come up, take advantage of that – don’t distract people who need to come forward, is that you? We’ll pray in a moment to close, we’ll give a few moments for you to pray alone or come forward – but don’t ignore God’s calling to salvation today amen? Home-groups, this week before your group, spend time wrestling with the concept of willingness, of willfulness, of deliberateness and consider the two verses where this word was used, then discuss the rest of the chapter verses 27-36 and how they’re the important conclusion to verses 26? Ask these questions in your groups: Come Forward