Summary: True christians have seen their miserable condition and have fled for refuge in Christ.
SCRIPTURE: Hebrews 6:17-18 "Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have FLED FOR REFUGE to lay hold upon the hope set before us:"
PROPOSITION: to use this text and others to show that Christians are described in scripture as those who have "fled for refuge" by taking hold of the Lord Jesus Christ who is their hope. and to show that the reason they have fled to Christ is because they were awakened to their depravity and complete inability to save themselves. and also to show that they saw Christ as their only shelter "an hiding place from the wind, and a convert from the tempest..."
1.) Why have Christians "fled for refuge" in Christ?
A. Because they have seen themselves as being an unclean thing, from the crown of their head to the soles of their feet they have seen no soundness in themselves.
Romans 3:10-18 "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes"
B.) Because they have seen that any excuse they would give God for their wicked life would be a lie!
1. We cannot blame ignorance for our wicked life because everyone of us has a conscience, we have all sinned with knowledge, if we were ignorant we all know this would be a legitimate excuse, but we are not ignorant. (Agnostics pretend to be but this is a lie) Romans 2:15 "Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another"
2. We cannot blame others for our wicked life. Eve tried blaming the serpent for her disobedience, but she found that this did not exempt her from guilt. Genesis 3:13 "...And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat."
3. We cannot blame God for our wicked life. Adam blamed God for giving him a wife like Eve, he said "the woman that thou gavest me", he thought maybe by condemning God he could avoid condemning himself, but when he was driven from his beautiful home of paradise he found his scheme to be futile. Genesis 3:12 "And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat"
Romans 1:20 "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:"
C. Because they have seen that none of their righteousness, religiosity or contrition for sin could in any way offset the demerit of it, in short they can find no refuge in themselves, or virtue to take hold of outside of Christ.
Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
D. Because they by Gods Spirit have seen Christ, for who he is, what he has done, and suffered. They see Christ as their one way out, and because of this they have fled for refuge and have found him a to be a "covert from the tempest"
ILLUSTRATION: When the Israelite slaves had left Egypt and were "intangled in the land and the wilderness had shut them in" and the red sea was in front of them the Egyptians pressed hard behind them they found in themselves no way of escape, they found no deliverance in the arm of flesh, they cried unto God and took refuge in him and he delivered them and became their salvation by dividing the red sea so that they might escape. Exodus 14:10 "And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD"
CONCLUSION: A christian is one who has been awakened out of the slumber of spiritual delusion. he has seen:
- his depravity and his inability to save himself