Summary: Knowing for sure that we belong to Christ is vital to a healthy Christian life. This text shows us how we can know if our assurance is real or not.
Are You a Borderline Believer?
Purpose: To show that some who claim to know Christ are not really believers.
Aim: I want the listener to gain assurance of salvation if they are being faithful to Christ and I want them to fear being lost if they are not being faithful.
INTRODUCTION: Why is it that two people can read the same Bible or listen to the same sermon and one is thrilled and the other one is bored? The writer of Hebrews wants every person reading this letter to feel the same thrill of knowing that they are on their way to heaven. Look at Hebrews 6:11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end,(NAU)
Chapter six of Hebrews is one of the most controversial passages in the Bible. Look at Hebrews 6:4-6 4 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.(NAU) Some people think that it teaches that Christians can lose their relationship with God, and that it is possible for us to sin away our salvation. We will get to that question later, but for now it is important that we step back and get an accurate picture of what the entire book of Hebrews is all about. This will help us understand this misunderstood, but very important passage of Scripture.
✔The Reason For the Book of Hebrews
The one word that sums up the book of Hebrews best is the word “better.” ✔ Point to anything in this world and Christ is better.
✔1. Hebrews proves that the person of Christ is better
– Christ the God-man is better than angels (1-2) [Read 1:6-8]
– Christ the new prophet is better than Moses (3)[Read 3:1]
– Christ the new king is better than Joshua(4:1-13) [Read 4:8]
– Christ the new priest is better than Aaron (4:14-7)[Read 7:24-28]
✔2. Hebrews proves that the work of Christ is better
– Christ’s promises are better (8:1-13)[Read 8:13]
– Christ’s access to God is better(9:1-14)[Read 9:14]
– Christ’s sacrifice is better (9:15-28)[Read 9:27-28]
– Christ’s forgiveness is better(10:1-18)[Read 10:18]
✔3. Hebrews proves that faith in Christ is better
– Our reward from God is better (10:19 - 11)[Read 11:39-40]
– Our relationship with Christ is better(12:1-13)[Read 12:1-2a]
– Our reason to serve God is better(12:14 - 13) [Read 12:22-24][Read 13:20-21]
✔The Warnings of the book of Hebrews
Many of the Jews and even the Jewish priests had become convinced that Jesus was the Messiah, but they stopped short of a full commitment to Jesus. Perhaps they didn’t understand that Jesus fulfilled th OT ceremonies. Maybe they were afraid of being persecuted for leaving the sacrificial system. Even today a Jew who accepts Jesus as the Messiah is shunned by orthodox Jews and often disowned by their own families.
Many Jews insisted on hanging on to the shadows of the OT rather than the substance of what Jesus did in the NT. They clung to a pattern of religion, not the reality of religion; a visible religion, but not to the invisible God.
Many people make the same mistake today. They cling to the outward form of religion, even forms which may represent truth, but they don’t posses the reality of Christ. Too many people feel good just because they went to church and participated in the ceremonies and yet they miss God’s power to change them during the rest of the week.
For this reason, the writer of Hebrews sprinkled five great warnings in the midst of this book.
✔1. The danger of drifting from the truth(2:1-4)
The problem isn’t that they rejected the truth, but that they began to neglect the truth.[Read 2:3]
✔2. The danger of doubting the truth (3:7-14)
Here we see the danger of resisting what we know is right. This leads to a hardening to the things of God.
✔3. The danger of not displaying the truth(5:11-6:9)
This is where we will concentrate our attention for now. Those who don’t really know the truth generally don’t have a burden to share the truth with others.
✔4. The danger of drawing away from the truth (10:26-39)
This is usually caused by fearing what others may think about us or do to us more than what God may think of us or do to us.[Read 10:35,38]
✔5. The danger of denying the truth (12:25-29)