Summary: #4 in the "Let Us" Series
"LET US HOLD FIRMLY TO THE FAITH!"
TEXT: Heb. 4:14-16; Matt. 4:1-11
INTRO: Starting off in faith is a good thing....staying in faith in also a great thing!
We need to be cautious that we don’t lose a firm grip on our faith, for if we do
we will find ourselves really floundering around unproductive.
There are two things that can help us to hold firmly to the faith:
(1. Christ as our high priest understands our weaknesses and is sympathetic
to helping us...we don’t have to be alone!
(2. Christ gives us His own example on how to find the various kinds of
temptations that Satan uses to draw us away from our faith being focused
If there is one thing the Bible is clear about, it is that faith has to be exercised
in order for us to stay firm in it! This will certainly be the case as we come
into the last days where the Bible states that many will be deceived, and even
elect of God must be careful that they are not deceived!
The one thing we can be sure of is that we will be tempted...if we yield, we will
not have firm faith. We need to understand the nature of human flesh, and
nature of holy faith!
PROP. SENT: The Bible teaches us that when we are tempted God is willing to help us, Christ faced temptation and beat it, and what He used is available to us
today too....."let us hold firmly to the faith"!
I. ENCOURAGEMENT TO KEEP FAITH FIRM! Heb. 4:14-16
A. Deliverance and Sympathy 4:14-15
1. People quit when they feel they are alone and no one understands!
a. No one likes the feeling that something can’t succeed
b. No one like facing something that seems overwhelming
2. So often we feel God doesn’t understand the pressures we go through, that
in His perfection He couldn’t possibly know pain and loneliness
3. This is where the incarnation comes in! Jesus came in human flesh as God
so that there would be a way for Him to "feel" and know our human weaknesses.
4. God did not stay out of harms way...He faced it squarely so He can help us
through the storms of life and when we feel our faith is slipping!
ILLUS: Joseph Mallord Turner, English painter, invited Charles Kingsley to his studio to see a picture of a storm at sea. In rapt admiration, Kingsley exclaimed, "It’s wonderful! It’s so realistic! How did you do it?"
The artist replied, "I went to the coast of Holland and engaged a fisherman to take me out to sea in the next storm. Entering his boat as a storm was brewing, I asked him to bind me to the mast. Then he steered his boat into the teeth of the storm.
"The storm raged with such fury that at times I longed to be in the bottom of the boat where the waves would blow over me. I could not, however. I was bound to the mast. Not only did I see the storm in its raging fury, I felt it! It blew into me, as it were, until I became a part of it. After this terrible ordeal, I returned to my studio and painted the picture."
It is written of the Savior, "For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted" (Heb. 2:18).
5. Christ can understand completely our struggle and pain, He has experienced it all.
a. He both shows us the way to hold on by His example...
b. as well as ministering to us because He also knows our human frame!
c. Christ sympathizes with us struggle...and He conquered using the same
tool available to us...God’s Word!
B. Door of Salvation 4:16
1. Knowing all this, we can come to the throne of grace with confidence!
a. where we will find "mercy" and "grace" to help us in our time of need:
(1. "Mercy" is NOT getting what we DO deserve!
(2. "Grace" IS getting what we DON’T deserve!
b. God’s desire for those who will come to Him is to help them!
2. The throne of God is available...we can even come boldly!
a. we are told we can come boldly even when we are struggling!
b. God is our High Priest who is touched by our experiences and struggle
to fight against temptation...He died to redeem us, not reject us!
II. EXAMPLE TO KEEP FROM FAILING! Matt. 4:1-11
A. Demand for Security! 4:1-4
1. The first temptation Jesus faced in the wilderness was the temptation to turn to material things to SATISFY His needs.
a. Ironically, this was basically Israel’s early tests as well...food and water.
b. Israel griped about the "heavenly bread" and wanted "flesh" instead.