Saturday, May 19, 2018

2018.05.19 Hopewell @Home ▫ Hebrews 12:1-2

Questions for Littles: Whom are we to consider (v3)? What did He endure? From whom? What will considering Him keep us from becoming? Unto what point have they not resisted (v4)? Against what are they striving? 
In the sermon this week, we received a word for a situation that we all go through: weariness and discouragement of soul. What can we do to keep weariness and discouragement at bay?

Consider Him.

It’s important to see that this is a continuation of the instruction in v2: “looking unto Jesus, the pioneer and guaranteed completer of our faith.”

Last week, we heard from vv1-2, that as we look unto Jesus, by faith, sitting at the right hand of the throne of God, we see the One who is at work in us, and whose handiwork every case of true faith has ever been.

Now, vv3-4 remind us that this exalted One has been not only where we are, but lower. Not only are we to consider Him, but we are to consider Him

Who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself.

What sinners? The crowd that said, “His blood be upon us and our children”? Yes. But not just the way you might think. Because some of those people, fifty days later, cried out, “Brethren, what shall we do?” Since this is the letter to the Hebrews, some of those people were likely in the congregation that first received it.

But they went from “Brethren, what shall we do?” to repenting and believing, to putting to death the deeds of the body by the Spirit of God… the same Spirit that teaches us to call God our Father and testifies that we are the children of God. (cf. Romans 8:13-17)

So what we have, when we take all these Scriptures together, is that Jesus endured hostility from sinners to save them from more than just the penalty of their sin. He sat down at the right hand of the throne of God and kept on saving us from sin… from the power of our sin and from the presence of our sin.

Jesus is the Finisher of our faith, and that finish comes, sometimes, through pain. Since He is suffering through it with us, let us be all the more strengthened to suffer through it with Him!
What are you suffering through right now? Who suffers through it with you? Why?
Suggested Songs: ARP130 “Lord, From the Depths to You I Cried” or HB275 “Amazing Grace”

2018.05.19 Hopewell @Home ▫ Hebrews 12:1-2

Questions for Littles: By what are we surrounded (v1)? What two things should we lay aside? With what are we to run the race? Unto whom should we be looking (v2)? What has Jesus done with our faith? What was set before Jesus? What did He endure for that joy? What did Jesus despise? Where has He sat down?
In this week’s sermon text, we heard about the race that we have to run, and the difficult obstacles that hold us back—those weights and sins that we are to lay aside.

How are we to do this? It’s a “how” question with a … That’s right! A “who” answer! … “Looking to Jesus.”

Why look to Jesus? Well, in the first place (literally), because He’s the One who started our faith to begin with. The word that’s used isn’t just a word for getting the ball rolling. It’s a word for blazing a trail, cutting a path for the first time… He is personally and powerfully invested in your life!

And, in the last place (literally), we look to Jesus because when the last weight is laid aside, and the last sin is stripped away, it will be the Lord Jesus who has brought about every last bit of our sanctification.

Why? Because He loves to do it. Jesus went to the cross, considering it a small price to pay, because bringing glory to God was a large reward to gain. He rejoices to sit at the right hand of the throne of God. He rejoices to work faith in us, and to perfect faith in us.

And we should love to do it to. Don’t look to yourself, nor be discouraged by weakness. Look to Him, and be emboldened by strength. Don’t look to yourself, nor grieve over earthly enjoyments that you wish that you had. Look to Him, and be thrilled by the idea of experiencing His joy (cf. Jn 15:11, 16:24, 1Jn 1:4).

Finally, we should not only want to grow in grace for our own enjoyment. We should love to grow in grace for the Lord Jesus’s enjoyment. Don’t you love your Savior? Doesn’t it thrill you that He gets joy out of your running the race? Look to Him and to His joy!
What is the most difficult thing you’re going through? Is His joy bigger?
Suggested Songs: ARP73C “Yet Constantly I Am with You” or HB303 “Be Thou My Vision”