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Summary: Pentecost 22(B) - Believers hold firmly to the faith they profess because God’s Word is living and active and because Jesus is our great High Priest.

HOLD FIRMLY TO THE FAITH WE PROFESS

HEBREWS 4:9 (quickview) —16 OCTOBER 20, 2002

HEBREWS 4:9-16 (quickview) 

9There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. 11Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.

12For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

14Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. 16Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

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Dearest Fellow-Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:

As time passes by in our lives, we sometimes feel that maybe we are losing our grip on the past. In fact, sometimes we like to hold firmly to the past and we wish that sometimes things would not change ever at all. And yet the world keeps going on and changes are inevitable. We find in our text again that as the writer to the Hebrews writes to these believers, he’s reminding them that they are not to hold on to their past so tightly that they cannot live in the present. You may remember as we’ve been talking in the last few weeks, that that is what had happened. The people hung so tightly to the Old Testament laws and regulations that they could not find the sacrifice of Christ as something, which was believable. He encourages them in our text today. There are three different places of blessing that we are going to see besides the one that is our theme. The one that is our theme tells us: Let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. He wanted them not to be caught in the past but to live in the present and the future. To understand that Christ had died for their sins, they needed to hold firmly to that, to not give up that truth of scripture. In the letter that Peter wrote, he states: "Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed"(1 PETER 1:13 (quickview) ). That’s what we do this morning. We turn to the word of the Lord and we set our minds on the grace that God is going to reveal to us through His Word. He does it as we consider that theme—

HOLD FIRMLY TO THE FAITH WE PROFESS

I. God’s Word is living and active

II. Jesus is our great High Priest

I. God’s Word is living and active

The writer here wanted the believers to understand and to remind them once again that the Bible was different than any other book. The Bible, which they had, included the Psalms, the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) was indeed different because it was alive. He says in verse twelve: For the word of God is living and active. Then he goes on to describe what he means by that. What did it mean that the word of God was living and active? He says it means that God’s word is ‘Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow’. He described that word of God as being a finely sharpened sword—so much so that he could divide soul and spirit, joints and marrow.


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