Jesus Is Better #4 -- Hebrews 3 -- Jesus Offers The Fullest Life

Introduction

  • Ancient Israel had a good life promised to them, but were held out of for a while because they did not trust God to be enough for them.

    • The Jewish Christians this letter addresses were dealing with a similar challenge.
      • For them, a societal and cultural pressure moved them to consider taking a step backwards in their devotion to Christ. They would still believe the gospel, but would slip back into law or ceremony, and therefore miss Christ's best for their lives.
    • Modern believers are also tempted to come short of Christ's best for their lives, to miss the promised land rest he has for them.
  • Theme: Jesus offers entrance into a full life of God's rest, so we must consider his superiority, watch out for creeping unbelief, and partake fully of him.

1 Consider Jesus' Superiority (1-6)

1a Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus,

  • 1 Holy brothers / heavenly calling: First of all, remember who we are, according to Hebrews.

    • Supposed to be crowned, with dominion over creation, we lost it due to sin (Hebrews 2:7-8).

    • Christ came as one of us, lived and died for us, to become the found of our salvation in order to lead us to back to glory (Hebrews 2:10).

    • That is the heavenly calling. He has made us his holy brothers.

1b consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession,

  • 1 Consider Jesus: To enter the fullest life, the first thing we must do is consider Jesus' superiority.

    • Moses background:
      • Introduce Moses to the church.
      • An absolute hero to Jews, and also Jewish Christians.
      • He was considered, by many, as above angels.
    • Keep on considering Jesus!
  • But how do we consider Jesus' superiority to Moses (and every other line of thought)?

    • 1 He is our apostle and high priest of our confession (1).

      • Jesus is the apostle of our confession.

        • Apostle: authority and ambassadorship.
          • Authority: he came with all of God's power, grace, love, mercy, and justice.
          • Ambassadorship: he came as the perfect representative of God.
        • The idea: Jesus came as the ultimate messenger with the ultimate message.
      • Jesus is the high priest of our confession.

        • The idea: sacrificial and human.

        • The one who can truly help us.

2 who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house.

3 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. 4 (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.)

  • Again, how do we consider Jesus' superiority?

    • 2 He is the builder of a house (the house of Moses) and is the builder of all things (3-4).

      • He built the house of Moses (3 more glory than Moses / more honor than the house itself).

      • He built all of creation (4 the builder of all things is God).

5 Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, 6 but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.

  • Again, how do we consider Jesus' superiority?

    • 3 He is more than a servant, but the faithful Son (5-6).

      • The Son who came to serve.

      • Jesus is faithful in God's true house (6).

        • He was faithful to him who appointed him (2).

          • Like Moses.
          • His faithfulness was to be a model for them (and us).
            • Them: Don't abandon the simplicity of the gospel. Keep going!
            • Us: Keep going! Aren't you thankful Jesus kept going?
              • Jesus kept going when temptation came.
              • Jesus kept going when society rebuked him.
              • Jesus kept going when people failed him.
              • Jesus kept going when the cross arrived.
              • He stayed faithful to his Father!
                • John 8:29 (ESV) — 29 "...I always do the things that are pleasing to him.”
        • We are the true house (6)!

          • Moses was faithful in a representative house (5).
            • Hebrews 8:5 (ESV) — 5 They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.”
          • 1 Peter 2:5 (NLT) — 5 And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God.

          • If indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.

            • Example: Levites who ignored their opportunity.

            • Don't drift and miss out on the fullest life Christ has for you!

2 Watch Out For Creeping Unbelief (7-13)

7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says [from Psalm 95:1-7], “Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, 9 where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years. 10 Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.’ 11 As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.’ ”

  • 7-11 Therefore: An example of those who did not hold fast the confidence - the Israelite generation God delivered out of Egypt.

    • They hardened their hearts by rebelling against God (8).

      • The day the 12 spies returned to the camp (Numbers 13-14).
    • They spent forty years outside God's rest (9, 11).

      • Wandering, dying, held hostage by their own unbelief.

      • God's synopsis: They always go astray in their heart (10).

12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.

  • How can we guard against creeping unbelief?

    • 1 By taking care to avoid the unbelieving heart (12).

      • The evil heart of unbelief in Numbers 13-14 was the unwillingness to believe God could take them into Canaan. In Hebrews 3 it is an unwillingness to believe that Jesus is enough.

      • It is a heart that leads you to fall away from the living God.

        • This is not referring to a loss of salvation -- the Israelites who lacked trust in God were still his people -- but loss of the life of victory and blessing.
      • Unbelief is not exclusively about intellectual belief, but more so about trust.

        • Don't get caught up in that halfway wilderness!

          • Saved, but overcome by career to the point it has replaced God.
          • Saved, but always "deconstructing" your faith.
            • 2 Timothy 3:7 (ESV) — 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
          • Saved, but constantly stressed and without Christian joy.
        • Listen: Galatians 5:22–23 (ESV) — 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin

  • Again, How can we guard against creeping unbelief?

    • 2 By exhorting one another every day (13).

      • Honesty required.

        • We must allow room for differences in our brothers and sisters in Christ, and approach one another with total humility, but we must also use tactful, yet frank, honesty.
          • Galatians 6:1 (NIV) — 1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.
      • Frequency required:

        • He refers to "today" eight times in our passage.
        • Exhort one another every day.
          • Encourage each other daily - HSCB
          • Community is not a convenience to fit in, but a commitment to stick to.
      • We need these relationships because sin is deceitful (deceitfulness of sin).

        • The Bible speaks of the "passing pleasures of sin" (Hebrews 11:25).

        • Sin is set to deceive us.

3 Partake Fully Of Christ (14-19)

14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.

  • 14 Share in Christ: To partner and befriend...

  • How can we partake fully of Christ?

    • 1 Hold our original confidence firm to the end (14).

      • Otherwise you'll live in the saved, but in the wilderness category.

      • Stay engaged to the very end of your life!

15 As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” 16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient?

  • How can we partake fully of Christ?

    • 2 Consider the possibility (15-18).

      • Three questions 16-18

        • 1 Who were those who heard and yet rebelled?

          • all those who left Egypt led by Moses
        • 2 With whom was he provoked for forty years?

          • those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness
        • 3 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest?

          • those who were disobedient

19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

  • How can we partake fully of Christ?
    • 3 Trust Christ (19).
      • Unable to enter: It isn't that they didn't enter, but that they put themselves in a position where they could not enter. Unbelief's inevitable outcome is inability to enter God's rest.
      • Next chapter deals with more fully.