Summary: Exposition on Hebrews 3. Have you been a Christian for a while? Are you wavering in your faith? The Hebrew believers can relate.
Introduction: What is it that is having you waver in your faith? When we first put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ and acknowledge our need for a Savior, we get filled with joy and confidence. We are “on fire” for the Lord. Many of us start wavering in our faith as time passes. We start thinking that we have to do all these things to be right with God. What is it, today, that you are relying on to make you right with God? A successful job? A good prayer life? Church attendance?
The writer of the book of Hebrews wants to portray Jesus Christ as superior to every other option to the readers. The readers of this letter are Jewish Christians who once lived by the law, but have confessed their faith in Jesus Christ. These readers have endured persecution for their faith. The readers are beginning to get discouraged in trusting in something that they cannot see. These Jewish Christians are questioning their faith and considering going back to the old ways of the law.
Let’s not forget that there were still many others around that were still living by the law. Bringing their sacrifices to the temple. They were trusting in the high priest to intercede with God for them.
Pay attention that all these things are very tangible. Very seeable. And so the Jewish believers at this time were having trouble with trusting in what they couldn’t see, when all around them, they saw others trusting in very tangible things.
The writer of Hebrews wants to remind them of the profession they once made and what it meant.
v.1 – “Holy Brethren…”: The writer wastes no time in reminding these Hebrews that their confession of faith in Christ, at once, made them members of a holy brotherhood and separated them from their unbelieving kinsmen. At the time, many believers were falling back to the law and forgetting that they are now “holy brethren.”
- “…partakers of a heavenly calling…”: Christians are people who have heard and believed a heavenly calling, and are therefore partakers of it.
- We have been gripped by this calling. The word of God broke through our resistance, took hold of us with the truth and love of Christ, and reconciled us to God, and is now leading us home to Heaven… “heavenly calling.”
- To be partakers of this “heavenly calling,” we need two things: A word from God and a way to God. We will learn more about these two requirements later in the study.
- “…consider Jesus…”: Although we are partakers of this “heavenly calling,” we must realize that we are still sinners. Hopefully not, but someone in this room might be a sexual sinner, a lying sinner, a stealing sinner. You see, our “heavenly calling” does not hang on our righteousness. Our hope and confidence hangs on Jesus. This is why v.1 continues on to say, “consider Jesus.” We must realize that nothing we do makes us right with God. Our heavenly calling hangs on only one thing and that is what Jesus Christ has already done!
- What’s amazing is that this is something that we often think unbelievers should do. “Consider Jesus,” we say to the seeker. There is nothing wrong with that, but this book of Hebrews is devoted to helping Christians “consider Jesus.”