Summary: We must follow the example of Jesus and be faithful in all that God has called us to do.
A Call to Faithfulness
Text: Heb. 3:1-6
1. Illustration: According to a 1974 newspaper item, Leo Fortier had rung the bell of his parish church in Three Rivers, Quebec, every Sunday for 52 years. Quite a record of faithfulness.
2. Maybe God has not called you to be a bell ringer, but whatever God has called you to be, we need to be faithful.
3. Read Heb. 3:1-6
Proposition: We must follow the example of Jesus and be faithful in all that God has called us to do.
Transition: First, let us look at...
I. What We Are Called to Be (1a)
A. Called to Be Holy
1. The writer of Hebrews begins by saying "Therefore, holy brethren..."
2. The reference to "the heavenly calling" shows that the initiative comes from God. He has called them to be his own.
a. The word "Holy" means one who is set apart.
b. God has set us apart to be uniquely His own.
c. 1 Pt. 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
3. Illustration: When you think of the qualities of a good mechanic, you would think of someone who is knowledgeable, skilled, dependable, and honest.
4. When a person thinks about a Christian, the one characteristic that comes to mind someone who is holy.
5. 1 Pt. 1:15-16 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."
6. God has invested in us the dignity that is associated with His name, and it would be insulting to God for us to take that lightly (Bruce, NICNT, Epistle to the Hebrews, 91).
B. Called to Be Partakers
1. In addition, we are called "partakers of the heavenly calling..."
2. Not only are we called to be holy, but we are to be partakers of the heavenly calling.
3. In the NT times, the word partakers meant a companion to whom one related closely, such as a house mate or an associate in a business endeavor (Guthrie, NIV Application Commentary, New Testament: Hebrews, 126).
4. We are called to partake in a calling that comes directly from God, and to that calling, we must be faithful.
5. Being a part of God’s kingdom is not a passive thing.
a. People say to me "Well, my faith is just a personal thing."
b. Our faith cannot be just personal, because God has called us to fishers of men, not just warmers of the pew.
c. If we are going to be partakers of the heavenly calling, then we are called to be soul winners because that’s what Jesus commanded us to be.
Transition: Next, we see...
II. Who We Are Called to Follow (1b-6a)
A. Consider Jesus
1. The writer continues by asking us to "consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus..."
2. This is the only place in the NT that Jesus is referred to as an Apostle.
a. The word apostle mean "one who is sent."
b. Jesus had a mission and he never lost sight of it.
3. What we are asked to consider is that Jesus was faithful to the mission that was given to him by the Father.
a. He didn’t give in to temptation, but he went the last mile.
b. He didn’t quit at the bottom of Calvary, but He went all the way to the top.
c. He didn’t quit in the middle of the race, but He finished the course.
4. Jesus was faithful.
a. Faithful to the Father
b. Faithful to His mission
c. Faithful to us
d. He is the perfect example of what it means to be faithful.
5. If we are going to consider Jesus, then we have to strive to be like Jesus, especially when it comes to being faithful.
a. We cannot give up because things get tough.
b. We cannot give up because we are discouraged.
c. We cannot give up because Jesus never gave up.
B. Better Than Moses
1. Illustration: Before making Sony one of the most consistently inventive companies in the world, founder Masaru Ibuka suffered a number of setbacks. Remember the electronic seat warmer? Or the first electronic rice cooker? These were from the same mind that dreamed up the pocket-size transistor radio, the VCR, and the Walkman. But even Ibuka recognizes the limits of high technology: "We will learn that computers, amazing as they are, still cannot come close to being as effective as human beings. A computer isn’t creative on its own, because it is programmed to behave in a predictable way. Creativity comes from looking for the unexpected and stepping outside your own expedience. Computers simply cannot do that."