Exhort One Another Every Day

Hebrews 3:5-11 ESV

“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.

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
on the day of testing in the wilderness,
where your fathers put me to the test
and saw my works for forty years.
Therefore I was provoked with that generation,
and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart;
they have not known my ways.’
As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest.’”

If You Hear His Voice

This is speaking to those professing faith in Jesus Christ. We are God’s house, his body, his church, IF we hold fast to our faith in Jesus Christ, provided that faith is genuine God-persuaded faith which died with Christ to sin and lives to him and to his righteousness (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).

So, when he speaks to us through his Holy Spirit, we are not to resist him. We are not to harden our hearts as the Israelites of the Old Covenant did after God delivered them from their slavery in Egypt. We are not to go our own way and do our own thing, but we are to keep obeying our Lord.

We are to live the faith that we profess. We are not to be those who give lip service only but whose hearts are far from God. We are not to be those who are chasing after the passions of the flesh to do what evil hearts desire and plot and carry out in opposition to our Lord.

We are not to worship other human beings and give to them what we should be giving to God and to God alone. We should not make human beings our saviors and our answers to our problems. We should not be looking to them for our hope and for our deliverance from the evils of society.

And we should not be making sin our practice (habit, addiction), living to please ourselves, gratifying the sinful cravings of the flesh. And we should not be taking God’s grace for granted, either, thinking that his grace gives us free license to continue living in immorality and wickedness.

For, if we do that, it says we don’t know the Lord, and we don’t know his ways, and he says we will not enter into his eternal rest. For, if we walk according to the flesh, we will die in our sins. We will not inherit eternal life with God. But if we walk by the Spirit, we won’t gratify the sinful flesh.

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.”

Take Care, Brothers and Sisters

When this speaks of someone with an “unbelieving heart” it isn’t necessarily just speaking of those who make no profession of faith in Jesus Christ. For, there are many people today professing faith in Christ who have unbelieving hearts because they refuse to obey the Lord.

When this speaks of someone with an evil heart, the same applies. Many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ are workers of iniquity. They are liars and cheats, manipulators and tricksters, and haters and abusers who take advantage of others for their own sinful pleasure.

When we believe in Jesus Christ, Jesus sets us free from our slavery to sin, but we have to continue to walk in that freedom in his power and strength. For, we are still susceptible to giving in to sin, and that is why we have many warnings in Scripture to guard our hearts and minds.

And this, too, is why we have so many Scriptures instructing and warning us that we must continue in the faith, that we must remain in Christ and in his word, that we must continue in the Lord steadfast, persevering in the faith until the end if we want to have eternal life with God.

Thus, we must encourage one another, but not with false compliments or just with pats on the back, and definitely not by overlooking what we know is habitual, deliberate, and premeditated sinning against the Lord. For, to encourage is not just to make people feel good inside.

To encourage is to exhort, urge, inspire, incite, help, persuade and push others toward faithful obedience to the Lord and away from sinful practices. It is to speak the truth in love to one another in order to encourage one another to forsake sin and to walk in holiness in the power of God.

We are to help one another to not sin. We are not to coddle people in their sins or make excuses for them to continue living in sin. We are to be compassionate and forgiving, but we are not to pacify people in their sins or to ignore such sins in the congregations of the saints.

For, our faith rests in us continuing in Christ and in obedience to him, and in us saying “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly passions and in us living godly, self-controlled, and upright lives while we wait for Jesus’ return. For, if we continue living in sin, we will die in our sins, no matter what we profess.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 6:44; Jn 14:23-24; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15, 21; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8]

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer

Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

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