Tuesday, February 19, 2019

2019.02.19 Hopewell @Home ▫ Hebrews 3:7-19

Questions for Littles: Whom does Hebrews 3:7 tell us spoke the words in Hebrews 3:7-11? What did the people in 7b hear? What did they do with their hearts (Hebrews 3:8)? What did God think of that (Hebrews 3:10a)? What did God swear (Hebrews 3:11)? What should we watch out for about our hearts (Hebrews 3:12)? Who else helps us resist being hardened (Hebrews 3:13)? Of whom have we become partakers already if we hold our confidence (Hebrews 3:14)? What do those who are partakers of Christ continually hear in this life (Hebrews 3:15)? What people heard God and rebelled (Hebrews 3:16)? With whom was God angry for forty years (Hebrews 3:17)? To whom did God swear that they would not enter His rest (Hebrews 3:18)? Why didn’t they enter (Hebrews 3:19)?
This week’s Call to Worship, Prayer for Help, Song of Adoration, and Confession of Sin all came from Hebrews 3:7-4:5. Here, we see what Scripture says about itself: “as the Holy Spirit says.” It is the Holy Spirit who has spoken Scripture. The very words of Psalm 95, in Hebrews 3:7-11, are the words of God the Holy Spirit.

And, when these words are properly opened in preaching, it is the Lord Jesus who addresses us. We have already seen in Hebrews 2:12 that it is Jesus who declares God’s name in the gatherings of the church. Now, Hebrews 3:12 makes it clear that Psalm 95 has a current application to us in Christ’s New Testament church.

We need to bring soft hearts to the preaching of the Word. If the people who saw God’s salvation from Egypt could still fail to enter heaven because of unbelief, then just knowing about salvation in Jesus does not mean we will be saved (Hebrews 3:16).

We must soften our hearts, when we hear God’s Word (Hebrews 3:13). The Holy Spirit gives us an immediate clue about what that looks like, when He warns that hard hearts come “through the deceitfulness of sin.” He gives us another clue, when He points out in Hebrews 3:17 that those who had perished did so because of sin; and, again in Hebrews 3:18, when He points out that they did not obey.

So… if we want to be saved, we just need to obey?

Not quite. Obedience is what comes out of the heart, but look at Hebrews 3:12 and Hebrews 3:19 to see where the disqualifying disobedience came from: unbelief. Those who fell in the wilderness (verse 19) fell because of their sin, but that sin was the fruit of unbelief. So, what verse 12 warns us against isn’t just disobedience.

Rather, verse 12 warns against having an evil heart of unbelief. This is the greatest problem with our disobedience; it says: “I don’t trust, You, Lord, that You have my best interests in mind… or, perhaps, that You know how to accomplish my best interests.” That is the sound of an “evil heart” that “departs from the living God.” In other words, obedience doesn’t save. Clinging to God in Christ is what saves!
How does a soft heart during preaching show that you are clinging to God? What are some things that get in the way of our listening to preaching with a soft heart? 
Suggested songs: ARP184 “Adoration and Submission” or TPH152 “Safely through Another Week”

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