Saturday, August 06, 2011

Think about it... spiritual drifting

Hebrews 3
“Think about it”

One of the themes of the book of Hebrews is “drifting.” It is how we drift and what to
do to prevent drifting.

As believers, we have a “heavenly calling.” Just like Israel escaping the slavery of Egypt
was called to the Promised Land; we are called to heaven. It is here for us to learn an
important lesson and heed a strong caution. This is the first fatal flaw of drifting… the tendency
toward “unbelief.”

I. Consider Jesus. [v 1]

A. What does it mean to consider?

1. Consider: "to think carefully about in order to make a decision" [www.dictionary.com]

2. What do we need to think carefully about?

a. In chapter one, we learn that Jesus is fully and eternally God.
Jesus is not a created being, such as an angel.

b. It chapter two, we learn that Jesus is also fully human.

c. The reason is so Jesus could share our struggles; suffer as we do,
so we can be offered salvation and sanctification.

d. We need to consider Jesus so we do not go off course in our daily
walk.

B. The idea of considering is to narrow our focus down to one thing and fix our
mind on it!

1. Israel in the desert wanted to turn back… for food.
(Meat and veggies)

a. They were not willing to depend on God.

b. When God miraculously provided “manna” for them, they were
not satisfied with it.

2. When Israel finally got to the Promised Land, they refused to enter.

a. Simply put, they were afraid of the giants.

b. They saw the giants as too big to defeat.
(Lack of trust/faith in God.)

***** When David faced his giant… he was able to depend on God… who had proved Himself
faithful against the lion and the bear. The giant was bigger than his other problems but God
was the same. *****

II. Consider the Caution [vv 7 – 17]

A. Don’t harden your hearts! [vv 7 – 11]

1. God speaks [v 7]

a. God spoke to His people in a variety of ways
(like this sermon)
.
b. What do you do when you hear a sermon?

2. The choices we make determine our heart
(and vice versa).

a. We can deliberately harden our heart against God.

b. That should be a terrifying thought!

B. This caution is to “brothers” NOT those who have never believed. [v 12]

1. We would like to think that “an evil, unbelieving heart” [v 12] is about
those who are not Christians or are false Christians.

2. “Context is king.” This is written to believers.

a. Israel is the example: [read vv 16 – 18]

b. BTW, what was the main symptom of their unbelief? It was
grumbling (expressing discontent, complaining).

3. The result of developing “an evil, unbelieving heart” is that it will lead you
to “fall away from the living God.”

C. We can be hardened by “the deceitfulness of sin.” [v 13]

1. Sin deceives us because it seems right…

a. It looks good, it feels good, and we want it to be right.

b. When right comes from the context of the individual rather than
God… it is sin.

2. The main mistake that Israel made was thinking they we secure in their
position.

a. Problem: they confused the institution of Israel, which was
secure, with the individual, who were not secure.

b. “They answered him, "We are offspring of Abraham and have
never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, 'You will become free'?" [34] Jesus
answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. [35] The
slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever… [37] I know that you are
offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you.” [John 8:33
– 35, 37]

3. It is sin to claim any sort of security outside a right relationship with God
through the broken body and shed blood of Jesus.

III. Consider our Confidence [vv 6, 14]

A. Our confidence is in Jesus, not ourselves.

1. When we grumble we are the center of our attention.

a. It becomes about us, not Jesus.

b. Notice in verse six there is a shift. We have been reading the
name “Jesus” but now shift to Jesus’ title: “Christ.” (It’s easy to take Jesus lightly when we think of Him as a friend. It is more difficult to take Him lightly as Almighty God.)

2. When we have a false confidence based on supposed position, we
become the center of our attention.

a. We are told to “hold fast” meaning “hold the course”

b. In the Greek this is clearly a contingency and a doubt. [Robertson]

c. In other words, our reaching heaven is contingent on us being
faithful, not developing an evil, unbelieving heart… and not grumbling!

B. Our confidence is our “original confidence.” [v 14]

1. What was our original confidence?

a. We were convinced we were under the condemnation of eternal
hell because of our sins.

b. We entered a right relationship with God broken, in repentance,
knowing we are absolutely wrong and sinful about everything.

c. God the Father, in His everlasting kindness and love, took the
initiative to provide the payment of our sin though the broken body and blood of Jesus Christ.

d. We have no hope other than the grace God has extended to us…

***** The woman who said the “even the dogs under the table eat the crumbs that fall from
their master’s table.” [see Matthew 15:27 and Mark 7:28] *****

e. Like the mutt under the table, we joyful receive what we are
given.

2. Our problem can be that we have become so used to our position of
grace that we don’t notice we have drifted.

a. What was once sincere has become outward and empty.

b. What we once clung to like the drowning man gasping for one
breath of air we now undervalue.

c. What we once were joyful to receive in repentance, we despise in
judgment of others.

RESULT: For Israel it was 40 years of the desert, waiting to die… praying the next generation
would do better.

LESSON: There is a point of no return. If you are moving that direction, you should be alarmed
and do everything possible to reverse that direction. If you are already there, this sermon has
gone “over your head” or “offended” you.

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