Summary: Hebrews 10 teaches us that with the foundation of a right belief, we can accomplish much.
Growing a Faith that Stretches
SICC 9/2/02 (Morning)
There are things in my Christian life that I have been struggling with literally for 20 years. I am not a bad person, even so there are sins in my life that I have a difficult time dealing with. Maybe you can relate. I have been thinking about that in my life and in your life. Not that I see a lot of rampant sins that you need to correct, but I would imagine that we are all very similar. Each of us has sins in our lives that we cannot easily overcome. I also think there are things endemic in a congregation, in our congregation that are difficult for us to overcome. The root of those things is sin. Knowing the root is sin and destroying that sin in our life are two different things. It is like cancer. Diagnosis is much easier than cure. This morning I want us to think about the diagnosis in our life. I don’t have to put any specifics to it for you to apply it in your life. You know what specifics apply to you. What I do want to do this morning is two things. I want to give you a solid foundation from which you can venture forth and overcome sin. I also want to give you one principle for overcoming sin that I think is important.
I. First, the foundation. (10:1-18)
A. Christ the Victor — the Battle is won.
1. Look at the contrasts
a. Sacrifices offered continually with no forgiveness of sins
b. Jesus offered himself once for continual forgiveness of sins.
2. Christ is waiting at the right hand of the Father for the His enemies final defeat.
ILLUSTRATION: If you will let me, I would like to use an illustration from the winter. Wishful thinking I guess. Imagine it will be a harsh winter. Snow starts in December – just after Christmas because it never snows on Christmas. It doesn’t end until early March. Everyday you are out there with one of those crooked-handled shovels and an ice breaker. Maybe you even buy a fancy dual-stage, never put your hand here, gas powered, electric starat snow thrower. I am not talking about a snow blower. I mean a snow-you better aim that thing away from small children and pets-THROWER.. The battle with winter is on. The war is won though. Snow will melt. Temperatures will rise. Ice will thaw. This is NY. Home of 95 degree avg temp. summers. Spring is certain. As certain as Spring is, Jesus’ victory is more certain. Spring may come early or late, but Jesus will come when the time is right.
We should not be dragged down too far by the battle; instead, we should see beyond the battle to the victory. How do we do that?
B. Four foundational things to do in response to the victory of Jesus within in the context of the church – The body of the victor here on earth
1. Draw near to God. (22). You’ve been cleansed by Jesus’ blood. Come to God sincerely – broken asking for the healing only he can give.
2. Hold unswervingly the hope (23) – we have that which cannot be taken away, because it is not yet fully realized: HOPE
3. Encourage one another (24) – we are not meant to go through this life on our own strength.
4. Meet together (25)
C. Realize the consequences of sin (26-31)
ILLUSTRATION: I learned to drive in Houston, TX. I-610 is the loop around Houston. It goes all the way around the city. I would be looking for an exit, and miss it. I was afraid to get off at the next one and turn around. I might get lost. Instead, I would just travel all the way around the city and get it the next time. If we miss out on the hope that is offered through Jesus. It is the only hope we have. We don’t have the promise of coming to it again. Some of you have heard the gospel and not responded to it. That is a dangerous place to be in.
TRANSITION: That is the foundation. Realize the victory is won. Get involved in a local body. Accept the grace offered through Jesus Christ. Let me give you one practical step. One stone to lay on that foundation. With this stone I think you can build a whole house. – as long as the above is in order.
II. From my love of football let me give it to you in these terms: the best defense is a good offense (32-39 speak about a faith that stretches.)
A. Live your faith in the market place.