Summary: What are the basic truths that a real believer must understand? Why does Jesus tells us to "be perfect?" What is the difference between real and false religion?...
Are you a Borderline Believer?
Purpose: To demonstrate that a lack of passion for God’s Word indicates an absence of a relationship with Christ.
Aim: I want the listener to see if their commitment to Christ is valid.
INTRODUCTION: Could I see a show of hands: How many here this morning are perfect? I thought so. Notice that I’m the only person with his hand up. I feel sorry for the rest of you.
Seriously, being perfect is actually very important. It must be possible because Paul said that he spoke to perfect people when he wrote the church at Corinth: 1 Corinthians 2:6 Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are [perfect]. . . (NAU) Paul also declared that his goal was to: Colossians 1:28 . . . present every man [perfect] in Christ.(NAU)
Before we can understand how to be perfect we need to be clear that Jesus is perfect. In fact, the whole book of Hebrews talks about how perfect Jesus is.
If we had to sum up the book of Hebrews in one word, it would be the word “better.”
Hebrews proves that Christ is better than angels, Moses, Joshua, and Aaron. This book shows us that Christ’s forgiveness is better than any other religious system, even the OT system of worship. We also learn that the benefits of following and serving Christ is far better than anything else.
We are looking at the third of five important warnings given in the book of Hebrews.
The warnings get progressively tougher and tougher. Drifting away from Christ leads to doubting Christ which leads to not displaying Christ which leads to drawing away from Christ which results in denying the truth about Christ
5:10-6:8 I. A Warning to Those Who Claim to Know Christ
Vs.10-14 A. Beware of acting like an unbeliever
Vs.10-11 1. Unbelievers are lazy learners “you have become dull of hearing”
Vs.12 2. Unbelievers avoid the Great Commission “you ought to be teachers”
➔Vs.13-14 3. Unbelievers neglect God’s grace
Let’s start by understanding what the word MATURE means. 5046 τέλειος [teleios /telios/] . From 5056; 8:67; 1161; 5455; 19 occurrences; translates as “perfect” 17 times, “man” once, and “of full age” once. 1 brought to its end, finished. 2 wanting nothing necessary to completeness.[Strong, J. (1996). The exhaustive concordance of the Bible : Showing every word of the test of the common English version of the canonical books, and every occurence of each word in regular order. (electronic ed.) (G5046). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.]
Here is the problem. God’s standards are too high for us. Jesus commanded us: Matthew 5:48 “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.(NAU).
Jesus also told a young rich man, Matthew 19:21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, [same word: perfect] go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”(NAU). We often focus on the part where Jesus tells this man to give up his money (which means we must be willing to forsake all to follow Christ) and we miss the important command to “follow Me.” Jesus was saying that perfection is only found in Him.
In both of these passages Jesus used the same word that is translated “mature” in Hebrews 5:14. It is impossible for us to be perfect. Everyone agrees about that. But, our tendency is to reject perfection (after all, nobody’s perfect!) and aim for “doing the best I can.”
Here is the solution in verse 13. The WORD OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. This is the message about the righteousness of Christ which is given to us through faith.
The WORD OF RIGHTEOUSNESS is about God’s glorious righteousness. 2 Corinthians 3:9 For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory.(NAU)
Why is God’s message of righteousness so glorious?
➔The Grace of God Displays Christ’s Righteousness
➔#1 Religion highlights our goodness, not Christ’s
Romans 1:16-17 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”(NAU)
➔#2 Religion highlights our work not Christ’s
Romans 3:21-22 21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;(NAU)
Christ took our sin and gave us His righteousness. 2 Corinthians 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.(NAU)