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.