Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Jesus Christ our Sanctifier

Hebrews 2:11 – 18

Jesus Christ our Sanctifier

I. Jesus became our “brother.” [v 11]

A. Jesus Christ is the source and power of our sanctification.

1. BEFORE we became a Christian:

a. We are condemned under sin to physical and eternal death.

b. We lived in sin, alienated from God.

c. We were without God’s light and life.

d. We were outside the benefits of God’s love and blessing.

e. We were in a “continuous, active, self-developing state of misery and corruption” that theologically is called “death.” (As opposed to the “death” that is end of physical existence.)

2. If we are to be brought to glory [v 10] then we must be delivered and separated from sin’s guilt, pollution, and death.

a. The process is called “sanctification.”

b. The idea is that we are brought to holiness.

B. (As brother) Jesus Christ is our sanctification.

Sanctify – “separate to God for holy use.”

1. How it works:

a. God the Father planned it, authored it, and invites us to be holy.

b. God the Son paid for the ways and means for us to be holy.

c. God the Holy Spirit provides the power for our cleansing and purification.

2. How do we attain this holiness?

a. Through EXERCISING faith. *Faith is an action verb.*

b. By the Word of God. *Obedience is key.*

c. By the indwelling Holy Spirit. *Surrender, trust, and rest.*

***** As our brother Jesus is standing with us in our time of need. *****

II. Jesus became flesh and blood. [v 14]

A. Jesus shared our humanity...

1. Jesus became “weak” (flesh)

“But made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. [8] And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” [Philippians 2:7 – 8]

2. Jesus became like us in every way. [v 17] (Jesus had to grow up like us.)

(Describing Jesus growing up:) “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.” [Luke 2:52]

Other things the Bible describes about Jesus’ earthly existence: hungry, thirsty, tired, sleep, loved, astonished, angry, and grieved.

3. Jesus needed to exercise faith: read Scripture, prayed.

4. Jesus suffered when tempted. [v 18]

a. This means that temptation was a reality with the real possibility of failure.

b. This means Jesus felt the weight and pressure of the temptation.

c. This means Jesus felt the real pain and torment of resisting temptation.

“And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” [Luke 22:44]

5. Jesus never yielded to temptation... Jesus never sinned!

“Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because he was tempted in every way that we are. But he did not sin!” [Hebrews 4:15 CEV]

B. This was all for the ability to “help” us [v 16]

1. Jesus did not appropriate the nature of angels... He became fully human (while being fully God).

2. Remember humans were created in the “image of God.”

a. We were supposed to reflect God, be like God.

b. Jesus humbled Himself and left all the “God-things” to share in our weakness.

***** As our fellow human, Jesus is helping us in our time of need. *****

III. Jesus became our “merciful and faithful high priest.” [v 17]

***** Hebrews is the only place the image of “high priest” is used of Jesus. *****

“The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, "You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” [Psalm 110:4]

A. The High Priest did two things:

1. Presents us to the Father.

a. Holy and without blemish.

“So that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” [Ephesians 5:17]

b. However, we have a responsibility to be blameless.

“Do all things without grumbling or questioning, [15] that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” [Philippines 2:14 – 15]

2. Presents the Father to us.

a. Blessing, grace, and strength.

b. Jesus showed us the Father.

“I and the Father are one.” [John 10:30]

Wesley explained “one” in will, power, and nature. “Therefore is he was not God he must have been the vilest of men.” [The word for “one” here is similar to the word used in Deuteronomy 6:4. It does NOT mean “one” as singular rather than as plural.]

B. Notice that as High Priest (God-Man) that Jesus is able to sympathize with us and not just pity us.

“Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because he was tempted in every way that we are. But he did not sin!” [Hebrews 4:15 CEV]

1. Think about it this way:

a. He knows what is in us. Knows the icy grip of sin.

b. He fully understands our sorrows in resisting the strength of our temptations.

c. He died so we can have victory and suffer no more injury from sin.

2. In other words, Jesus is working FOR us.

***** [Summary] *****

1. As our brother, Jesus is standing with us.

2. As our fellow human, Jesus is helping us.

3. As our High Priest, Jesus is fighting for us.

Key: Christ is in us and for us!

IV. Now what?

A. Consider Him (Jesus).

1. Think...

2. Ponder...

B. Humble yourself before Him.

1. Give Jesus glory for what has happened in your life.

2. Admit when you yield to temptation. (Confessing sin has a way of shattering our distrust, disappointment, and our despondency.)

3. Remember you stand by grace through the blood of Jesus shed for sinners.

C. Rest in Him.

1. You stand only in Jesus righteousness... you cannot add to it.

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” [2 Corinthians 5:21]

“And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” [1 Corinthians 1:30]

2. Put “no confidence in the flesh” (see Philippians 3:3)

3. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” [Philippians 1:6]

D. This is going to mean yielding to the indwelling control of the Holy Spirit.

“You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.” [Romans 8:9]

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