Hebrews 3:1-6 ESV
Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house. For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.
These thoughts are being addressed to the church, the body of Christ, believers in Jesus, who are followers of him. We share in the heavenly calling by faith in Jesus Christ. And, that heavenly calling is that we are to die with Christ to sin so that we might live with him to righteousness, for it was for this purpose that Jesus gave his life up for us on that cross. We are called to be holy, too, which means to be separate from the world because we are becoming like Christ. And, we are called to repentance, and obedience, and submission to Christ and to his will for our lives.
We are to consider Jesus, to take him into account, to reflect on him, to show him proper respect and honor, and to care about him and his Word, and to take him and his Word seriously, and to apply his truths to our lives. He should not just be considered our Savior, who forgave us our sins, but our Lord (owner-master) who bought us back for God with his blood. Thus, we are to honor him with our lives, because we are now his possession, that we might be for his praise, and that we might do his will. Our lives are no longer our own to be lived how we want, in other words.
We are his house, and we share in Christ, if we hold fast to our confidence and hope, firm to the end (vv. 6 & 14). And, what is our confidence and hope? It is not just that one day when we die, or when Christ returns, that we will get to be with him forever. Our hope, which is not wishful thinking, but confident assurance, is that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness, and that his grace set us free, not only from the curse of sin, but from our addiction to sin. Not only are we free from slavery to sin, if we are truly in Christ, but we are free to be under the control of His righteousness. This is hope, that we are no longer chained to our sins.
Hebrews 3:12-14 ESV
Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.
Belief in Jesus Christ is not just something we say with words. It is not belief in a religion or religious practices, either. It is not intellectual assent to who Jesus was and is, and to what he did for us in dying on the cross for our sins. And, it is not just acknowledgment of our sins and of our need for salvation and forgiveness of sins.
Belief in Jesus Christ is repentant, and it is obedient, and it is submissive to God’s will and purposes for our lives. It is transformational, too, for by faith in Jesus and what he did for us, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. The old has gone. The new has come. We have put our old lives of sin behind us, and now we are following Jesus Christ with our lives and we are walking according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh, to do what our sinful flesh desires.
Our lifestyle has changed. It has been altered by the power and working of God’s Holy Spirit and by God’s grace to us. We are no longer caterpillars crawling in the dirt, but we are butterflies flying free from sin’s chains. Our new lives in Christ Jesus have begun, and our old lives have been left behind. Now, instead of wanting to please our flesh, we want to please the Spirit. Not saying we never sin again (See: 1 Jn. 2:1-2), but that our hearts have moved away from a desire to please the flesh to a desire to please God, and that our lifestyle has changed, too, reflecting that change of desire.
So, having unbelieving hearts is not merely about a lack of acknowledgment of Christ as Savior of our lives. Even the demons believe, and they shudder, says James. And, the demons are not saved. So, the kind of belief which saves us is the kind that is God-given, and is divinely persuaded as to God’s will and purposes for our lives, and which submits to those purposes. It also daily, by the Spirit, puts to death the deeds of the flesh, daily dying to sin and self and following (walking in obedience to) Jesus Christ with our lives.
So, we need to be exhorting (urging, pushing, prodding) one another to walk in the ways of the Lord and to not live to fulfill the lusts of our flesh, for if we live to the flesh, we will die in our sins, not have eternal life with God.
As In Rebellion
Hebrews 3:15-19 ESV
As it is said,
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.
Again, belief in Jesus Christ is not just some confession of sin or profession of faith in him. Belief in Jesus Christ is death to sin and living to righteousness, in the power and working of God’s Spirit within us, as we yield to the Lordship of Christ in our lives.
Thus, unbelief is lack of obedience to Christ, lack of submission to his will for our lives, and it is choosing to live our lives our way without respect, honor or regard for Jesus and for what he did for us in freeing us from our sin addictions. This was true of the Israelites then, and it is still true of the religious today who honor God only with their lips, but their hearts are far from him. For, they are following after man-made religion instead of following our Lord in obedience; following after his will, in his ways, via his truth.
We harden our hearts when we refuse to believe what the scriptures teach with regard to our salvation from sin and our eternal life with God, or when we follow after a man-made gospel which gives us permission to keep walking in sin while promising us heaven when we die. Those who declare that they do not have to repent of their sins or obey the Lord and his word have hard hearts towards God, because God’s Word clearly declares that our eternal security depends on us walking according to the Spirit and in obedience to his word (Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
It does not say we will never sin or that we are lost if we do sin, but it does say that if we walk (in lifestyle) in sin and we make sin our practice, that we will die in our sins and not have eternal life with God. So, if you think that you can be saved and have heaven as your eternal home while you hold on to sinful practices and you live for the flesh, then you are deceived. We will reap what we sow. You can “take this to the bank,” i.e. you can count on it.
Seek My Face
An Original Work / June 10, 2011
Seek My face; hear My voice
Calling you, “Make the choice.
Won’t you hear Me just now?
Turn from sin; humbly bow.
Trust in Me as your Lord,
Walk in fellowship with Me.
I will enter your heart,
Give you life eternally.
“Won’t you sit at My feet;
Hear Me teach; daily meet?
Won’t you pray; share your heart;
Let My grace now impart;
Comfort you with My love,
Give you peace from up above?
I will tenderly say,
‘You are Mine, I’m yours always.’
“One day I will return
To receive you, My bride;
Relieve you from your fears;
Wipe the tears from your eyes.
Watch for Me; be prepared
To meet Me up in the air.
I will give you a crown,
And you’ll wear a pure white gown.”
Monday, April 9, 2018, 6:00 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for this teaching from Your Word. I pray that we all will take these words of yours to heart. Amen!