Summary: This is the 5th sermon in the series "Jesus Is Better- The Better Priest". There is something God cannot do.
Series: Jesus Is Better- The Better Priest [#5]
SOMETHING GOD CANNOT DO
There is at least 1 thing God cannot do. It is not within His power, character, or nature to do it. It is impossible for God to lie. God cannot falsify His Word. We learn the truths of God by trusting Him and trusting what He says. God revealed Himself to man through His Word and God stands by His Word. Man receives God by faith. Man trusts the integrity of God. If you can’t trust God, then He is not your God.
Hebrews 6:13-17 (NIV)
“When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, "I will surely bless you and give you many descendants." And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.”
1. God’s confirmation.
If we want to make a promise binding, we confirm it with an oath. We may swear on a Bible (like in court). We use the Bible for this because it is a power greater than our own character. By using a power greater than our own words we say, “I am swearing by something greater than myself, thus confirming that what I say is true.”
In our text, God provides confirmation that all He says and does is the truth. When God made a promise with Abraham, He made an oath. Since He could find no greater witness to confirm His oath, He swore by Himself. The promise that God made was not simply that Isaac would be born. As Abraham was standing over his son to sacrifice him, God stopped Abraham and provided a ram for the sacrifice. Immediately thereafter God swore by Himself.
This promise didn’t simply have its fulfillment in Isaac, or even in his children. If something is promised and delivered upon immediately, an oath is not necessary; but if something promised is to be given away sometime in the future a pledge or oath is given as a guarantee that the promise will be fulfilled.
In Isaac, God’s new promise was only partially fulfilled and the full promise was not realized until Jesus Christ came. The writer was trying to encourage those Hebrews Christians who had been pushed around, abused, and were very discouraged. Many of these Christians were asking themselves if Christianity was even worth it. They knew Jesus was coming again, but why had He not yet returned?
There is encouragement in God’s promise even today. Jesus has not yet come again but He will. God’s Word is true and God cannot and will not lie to us. Jesus is coming again. Also notice that Abraham had to patiently endure before he obtained his promise. He had to endure the difficult test there on Mount Moriah when God commanded him to sacrifice his only son whom he loved with all of his heart. Whatever the test God has placed upon you whatever He has allowed to come into our lives to test our faith; we need to patiently endure because we will come out of it stronger for the Lord.
Hebrews 6:18 (NIV)
“God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.”
2. God’s counsel.
Following His confirmation to us, God also provides His counsel. God’s counsel is true and it is unchangeable. God confirmed His promise by 2 unchanging facts:
When God counsels us to do something, we know that it is right. God is not a taker- He is a giver. He doesn’t tear down- He builds up. God brings blessing, peace, comfort, satisfaction, and happiness into our lives. That is His counsel. If we will take it and live by it, we will never go wrong. Some of us are unhappy because we have not followed God’s counsel.
Hebrews 6:18-20 (NIV)
“God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”
3. God’s comfort.