Saturday, July 14, 2018

2018.07.14 Hopewell @Home ▫ Hebrews 13:13-17

Questions for Littles: Where does v13 say to go to find Jesus? What do we bear there? What don’t we seek here (v14)? What do we seek? What kind of “sacrifices” should we offer in our worship then (v15)? And what else are we to offer as “sacrifices” in addition to worship (v16)? In addition to remembering and imitating our leaders (from v7), what two things does v17 instruct us to do with them? For what are they watching out? Who must give account? What difference can we make in the manner in which they give account?
From the Scripture for this week’s sermon, we were reminded that when Jesus is the substance of our worship, unbelievers find it rather unimpressive. The Jews had their very visible, impressive temple. Even the apostles had been impressed with the buildings, and even their stones.

But we don’t have a city. We don’t have great buildings, made out of great stones, to show off to unbelievers. What we have is something yet to come. And the unbeliever, who does not have that biblical faith that treats the future as sure, responds to what we have by calling it, “Pie in the sky, bye and bye.”

Let the unbeliever despise it. Let him reproach it. It is the reproach of Christ, and we rejoice to have it fall upon us (cf. Rom 15:3).

We also don’t have very humanly impressive sacrifices. What sacrifices do we have to offer? In worship, we offer the sacrifice of the sound of songs coming off of our lips, praising and thanking God. Beyond the worship services, we have the doing of things that benefit others, and the sharing of ourselves and our things (the word in v16 is koinonia: fellowship, sharing).

Not impressive to man, but pleasing to God. And the leaders that the Lord has given us to speak the Word to us also watch out for our souls. It is apparent that one of the things that they do is persuade us of what we need to do, because we are to obey and yield to them. Both verbs occur primarily in situations where one is reasoning, and the other yields (submits) and does (obeys) what the one is reasoning with him to do.

So, Christ has entrusted the care of our souls to men on earth. In order to help us live lives that please Him, He has given us men who not only preach and teach in public worship, but have an active ministry of urging and encouraging us to do particular things—even and especially things that we are at first resistant to, but which here He commands us to give in to do.

That requires some humility from us doesn’t it? It requires trusting and obeying Jesus, whose Word this is—and from whose Word they are to be reasoning with us. And it requires our acknowledging that one way or another, this is Jesus’s plan for the care of our souls. We can either act in a way that their ruling over us is a grief to them or a joy to them—and the Lord puts it quite frankly to us: being a resistant pain hurts you too.
What kind of worshiping and living does God like? Who are your leaders who help you?
Suggested Songs: ARP131 “My Heart Is Not Exalted, Lord” or TPH131B “Not Haughty Is My Heart”

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