Summary: Teaching Christ is teaching that anything but Christ is false and doomed for destruction. The Hebrew writer here in our text shows us that since the evidence is on the side of Christ, we have only one choice. We must follow after Jesus, the One Path
The One Path to Salvation
A Jewish man had a son who did not take his faith seriously. The father warned him that if his attitude did not change, he would send the boy to the Holy Land to become a good Jew. The son continued to refuse and true to his word, the father sent the son off to the Holy Land. Six months later the son returned, and to his father’s dismay, the boy had become a Christian. The father was absolutely dumbfounded, so he went to share his confusion with his best friend. His friend replied, "Funny you should mention. I too had trouble with my son. I too sent him to the Holy Land to become a good Jew, and he too came back a Christian. What DO we do?" After discussing it a while, they decided to go seek counsel from the Rabbi. They said, "Rabbi, what do we do? We both have the same problem. We both have trouble with our sons. We both sent them to the Holy Land to become good Jews. And they both come back Christians. What do we do?" With an incredulous look, the Rabbi replied, "Funny you should mention. I too have trouble with my son. I too sent him to the Holy Land to become a good Jew, and he too came back a Christian. What DO we do?" After discussing it for a while, they decided to pray. They said, "God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, what do we do? We all three have the same problem. We all three have trouble with our sons. We all three sent our sons to the Holy Land to become good Jews. And all three sons came back Christians. What do we do?" Then lightning flashed, thunder clapped, and a booming voice said, "Funny you should mention . . ."
Today it is not politically correct to speak in public about Jesus. You can talk about faith or God because in doing this you are not limiting yourself. But when you talk about Christ you are being selective. Teaching Christ is teaching that anything but Christ is false and doomed for destruction. The Hebrew writer here in our text shows us that since the evidence is on the side of Christ, we have only one choice. We must follow after Jesus, the One Path to Salvation.
I. Faith. Hebrews 4:14–15
A. There is one name through which man can be saved. Acts 4:12
B. Christ is our sympathetic High Priest.
1. He was tempted in every way.
2. He can help us in every way.
II. Grace. Hebrews 4:16
A. The Throne of Grace is where we receive mercy.
1. Mercy is not getting what you deserve.
2. In a Dennis the Menace cartoon there was a vivid picture of mercy. Dennis was shown walking away from the Wilson’s house with his friend Joey. Both boys had their hands full of cookies. Joey then asked, “I wonder what we did to deserve this?” Dennis delivered an answer packed with truth. He said, “Look Joey, Mrs. Wilson gives us cookies not because we’re nice, but because she’s nice.” The mercy that comes our way is not because we’re good but because God is so good.
Adapted from Houston Chronicle, July 13, 1995, p. 10A
B. The Throne of Grace is where we receive grace.
1. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve.
2. Shortly after sunrise on January 2, 2000, a noose was placed around the neck of seventeen-year-old Morteza Moqaddam. He killed a fellow Iranian in Tehran on December 13 after a quarrel. Now, the portable gallows was standing just thirty feet from where the crime had taken place and a large crowd was assembled for the execution. With hands cuffed and tears streaming down his face, the teenager waited for the final signal to end his short life. To his utter surprise, the victim’s father, Ali Mohebbi, exercised his privilege under Iran’s Islamic legal system and granted the boy forgiveness. Just seconds before being hanged, he was extended grace rather than justice. The killer’s mother collapsed under the strain and cried out, “I will never forget as long as I live how he gave me my son’s life back.” After receiving clemency, Moqaddam was ushered away from the gallows in an ambulance that was waiting to take his body to the morgue. State-run television ran footage of the teenager repeatedly thanking the father whose son he killed. Like this young man from Iran, we are all guilty of sin and worthy of spiritual execution. But God has “demonstrated his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
III. Obedience. Hebrews 5:1–10
A. Christ purchased our salvation through obedience. Phil. 2:4–13
B. Christ conveys salvation to the obedient. 1 John 2:3–6
“There is one body and one Spirit just as you were called to one hope when you were called Ephesians 4:4–6