Summary: A sermon on Hebrews 3:1-6 (emphasis on vs. 6)
Mercy Me is a Christian band (I Can Only Imagine) and recently they sang a song called, “Hold Fast.” Bart Millard tells the story of the inspiration for “Hold Fast”. “I was standing in the back of the bus going to our next concert. We were in a traffic jam and we passed a horrible wreck. I kept praying that the people in that wreck would just hold on until help would arrive.”
Guideposts sponsors an outreach on the internet through a web site called, “Our Prayer.” They post prayer requests on that web site and frequently I pray over those. This past week they had a desperate cry for prayer from a lady that stuck with me. She requested prayer that she get a job so that she could leave her mother’s house. She has been unemployed for several months and had to move back in with her mother. None of her family are Christians and they constantly belittle her for her faith. Her husband left her a few years ago. She frequently goes to her room at her mother’s house and cries. Being a new Christian she is trying to make friends with people at her church but has been unable. She is bankrupt financially and emotionally. Ever since she has come to faith in Christ, things have not been easy. The preacher at her church recently started a series on “restoration and reconciliation,” and this just seems to add salt to her wounds. She tries to be reconciled to her family but every move just seems to make things worse. She doesn’t feel restored at all because she has nothing. She asked the question, “I think I will go back to my old way of life. At least then I was on my own, and no one made fun of me.”
As I prayed for this lady, all I could think of was the words of “Hold Fast” from Mercy Me.
To everyone who’s hurting To those who’ve had enough To all the undeserving That should cover all of us Please do not let go I promise there is hope
Hold fast Help is on the way Hold fast He’s come to save the day What I’ve learned in my life One thing greater than my strife Is His grasp So hold fast
Hebrews 3:6 the NIV says hold on, the King James says hold fast.
This carries the picture of us gripping onto God. Some think that God is holding out his hand and we are the ones who have to hold on with all of our might. God does very little. I don’t think so. God does the greater work of holding onto us. We have to participate and hold fast.
In the plant world, there are plants who hold fast onto objects like rocks. Their root system is called a holdfast. Many people associate holdfasts with seaweed. If we have ever attempted to pull a piece of seaweed from a rock, we can understand the name of this plant structure; we will typically tear the seaweed apart before forcing the holdfast loose.
This is how we need to be. We are so holdfast to God that we cannot survive without Him.
Thesis: Let’s talk about 5 things we need to hold fast.
The Scriptures are comparing Jesus and Moses. Jesus is worthy of greater honor than Moses.
We can hardly criticize the Jews for holding Moses in the highest regard. Moses is certainly to the Jews as Mohammed is to the Muslims, and even greater.
Kent Hughes points our six identifiable characteristics by which the Jews acknowledged him as the greatest of all men. 1) He was divinely chosen for the task of delivering God people. 2) He was the deliverer of Israel by means of unparalleled displays of power. 3) He served as the greatest prophet, with whom God communicated directly. 4) He was the law-giver delivering the Ten Commandments to God’s people. 5) He served as Israel’s greatest historian recording the first five books of the Old Testament. 6) And in spite of all his accomplishments he was more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth (Num 12:3).
Moses was faithful in all God’s house. But the first readers of Hebrews needed to be reminded of the words of Moses and also the words of Jesus.
Words of Jesus- John 5:45-47: But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?
Words of Moses- Deuteronomy 18:15: The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. The Lord says in just a few verses after this in Deuteronomy 18:18: I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.