Summary: Although I wrote this prior to the November 2008 election, this sermon can be adapted to fit anytime. It addresses the need for membership in a church.
True Christians Are Not Mavericks
19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,
20by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,
21and having a High Priest over the house of God,
22let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
23Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
24And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
On Tuesday, we will have the opportunity to elect a new President.
In the vice-presidential debate of 2008,
Sarah Palin, the Republican candidate, used the word "maverick"
to describe herself and her running mate, Senator John McCain.
At one point, she called John McCain "the consummate maverick."
Have you ever wondered what that term "maverick" means
and where it came from?
A political maverick mean: a person who shows independence of thought or action; a lone dissenter; a non-conformist or rebel.
Remember the TV western several years ago called "Maverick".
There really was a cowboy named "Maverick".
Here’s his story.
Samuel Augustus Maverick was a Texas lawyer, politician, land baron and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Maverick County, Texas is named after him. Samuel Maverick was born on July 23, 1803, the oldest child of a Charleston businessman. His early education took place at home. In early 1822, he traveled to Connecticut to study under a tutor. In September of that year he was admitted to Yale University as a sophomore. After graduating in 1825 Maverick apprenticed under his father to learn business affairs. In 1828, Samuel Maverick traveled to Virginia to study law and later became licensed to practice law. Maverick relocated to Georgia in early 1833, where he unsuccessfully ran a gold mine. In 1834, he moved to Alabama taking 25 of his father’s slaves to operate a plantation his father had given to him. Maverick did not enjoy running a plantation, primarily because he did not like supervising slaves.
More on the story of Sam Maverick a little later!
Our Bible passage today in Hebrews
was originally written to Jews who had converted to Christianity.
They had grown up
following the Old Testament ways for atonement of sin.
Those ways were no longer necessary.
God the Father had provided a new way through His Son, Jesus.
The Old Covenant had been replaced by a New Covenant.
However, these former Jews
were experiencing some spiritual problems.
For various reasons, they had become discouraged.
They had lost their ability to trust God.
They had become backslidden Christians.
As a result, many walked away from the church.
They still claimed to be Christians,
but they had become "spiritual mavericks".
God was not pleased!
So the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write to them.
His letter is known to us today as the Book of Hebrews.
There are numerous people today...
In the same spiritual condition as these former Jews.
There are many "spiritual mavericks" around us.
How does God want them to change things?
Point #1. Jesus wants us to draw near to Him. (19-22) Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water
See that word "boldness"?
What do you suppose that means?
Why should we be able to come with boldness to God?
On the Day of Atonement,
the high priest entered the holiest place of all
with fear and trembling.
If he entered that holy place with any unconfessed sin...
The Lord struck him dead.
That’s why they tied a rope around his waist.
But we can enter the Holiest with boldness.
Hebrews 4:16 says: Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
If we entered God’s presence as the Old Testament high priest did,
with the blood of animals,
we wouldn’t have boldness.
But with the blood of Jesus providing a new and living way
we really can come into the presence of God with boldness.
The veil separated the Holiest from the holy place.
To enter into the Holiest, you had to pass through the veil.