Monday, July 9, 2018

2018.07.09 Hopewell @Home ▫ Hebrews 13:7-12

Questions for Littles: Whom does v7 say to remember? What have our leaders spoken to us? What are we to follow? What are we to consider? Who is the same yesterday, today, and forever (v8)? By what are we not to be carried about (v9)? By what is the heart to be established? By what is the heart not to be established? Who may not eat from the same altar that we do (v10)? What happens to the bodies of the animals whose blood the high priest offers for sin (v11)? So, where did Jesus suffer His “burning” (v12)? And what has He done with His blood?  
From the Scripture for this week’s sermon, we heard about how Christ works from heaven in the hearts and lives of His people who are yet on earth.

One of these ways is the elders who spoke the Word to us. Some of them are now in glory. And even with those elders who are still with us, the Lord has worked in their lives and grown them by grace.
Jesus’s work in elders’ lives has produced an outcome in their manner of life. And Jesus hasn’t changed. He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever. Therefore, we are to imitate their faith.

You can’t actually imitate their life by mimicking outward behavior. Rather, it is their faith—holding onto the Word of Christ, and responding to Him—that we must imitate. We are to take what “He Himself has said,” and turn it over into what “we may boldly say,” as we seek to live lives of love unto God and man. Sound familiar (v5-6)? Well, it should look familiar too (the lives of our elders).
So, Christ in heaven speaks His Word by means of men in whom He has already worked by that Word. And He uses His word on their lips to do similar work in us.

But here there is also a second way that He works in us: His sacraments. He feeds us from His table, and He sprinkles us with His blood. The altar on which Christ bore the fire of God’s wrath against our sin is the cross itself. And here, of the supper, v10 says that we have an altar from which tabernacle worshipers have no right to eat.

The implication is that we have been given a better meal. It’s not beef or mutton. And, it has 1500 years less tradition than the tabernacle meals. But the meal itself isn’t the bread and wine so much as it is the grace of Christ. And this is a meal which actually does establish the heart. Everyone who believes in Him has everlasting life. So the believer who comes to the table and feeds upon not dead flesh but a living Christ enjoys a union and communion with Him that always ends (or, perhaps better put, “never ends”) in everlasting life.

Jesus Christ has been establishing and keeping His people by Word and sacrament for two thousand years. And this is how He establishes and keeps us too!
How does Christ establish your heart? How does He produce the outcome of your conduct?
Suggested Songs: ARP19B “The Lord’s Most Perfect Law” or TPH271 “Blessed Jesus, at Your Word”

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