First Baptist Church Laredo
8-7-19 - Wednesday Night Bible Study
- We are continuing in our study in the book of Hebrews. The writer of Hebrews has been making the case that the Messiah, Jesus Christ is superior in every way to the old ways and systems. His audience was probably under pressure and temptation to return to the Jewish ways of living. The text we are going to look at is a capstone and a transition point in the book of Hebrews.1. Draw near to God ()A. Jesus’ sacrifice makes it possible for us to draw near to God. ()19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus—20 he has inaugurated for us a new and living way through the curtain (that is, through his flesh)—i. Boldness - free and open expressions or conduct.In Jewish literature, this word was used of prayer. It is a rare word. We can go to God with confidence because of what Jesus has done for us by the offering of his blood.ii. New - previously unavailable.It is new. It is not like the old way. Jesus open a way for us that was previously unknown and inaccessible.iii. Living - it is an activity of the way we liveIt calls into constant activity in our spiritual life. It is not dead or stagnant. It is alive.iv. Curtain - the barrier which previously prevented the way to God.The flesh prevents us from being fully immersed in the spiritual world. Jesus pierced the veil and gave us access to the spiritual realm.B. Draw near because Jesus is our great high priest. ()21 and since we have a great high priest over the house of God,We have previously talked much about this. Jesus is our leader and and has established our position with God.We have previously talked much about this. Jesus is our leader and and has established our position with God.C. The manner in which we draw near is important. ()22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water.We must remember that God cares not only that we worship him, but how we worship him. He wants us to draw near to him, but he cares about how we draw near to him.We must remember that God cares not only that we worship him, but how we worship him. He wants us to draw near to him, but he cares about how we draw near to him.i. true heart - the inner motivations and commitments; real, genuine, and loyalii. full assurance of faith - clear-headed consciousnessToo many think that faith is contradictory to full assurance. However, our faith is based in God’s previous work; therefore, it is sure.iii. clean heartsthis goes back to the “clean hearts”iv. washed bodiesNo, this is not talking about taking a shower or a bath. It is not a reference to baptism. This is talking about purification. The Jewish people had elaborate washing rituals to make sure they were clean. They linked physical cleanliness with spiritual cleanliness. The idea is about being prepared. We should make appropriate preparation to entering into God’s presence.What are some things we should do before enter worship, either personal or corporate?What are some motivations we could have for drawing near to God that would be inappropriate?2. Stay faithful ()23 Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, since he who promised is faithful.A. Hold on - retainKeep a tight grip. Don’t let it slip away.How can we “hold on” to our confession of faith in Jesus?B. without wavering - that which does not bend; completely straight3. Encourage one another ()24 And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, 25 not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.A. by watching out - look at closely; pay attentionWe should be watching out for each other. There are people around us who need our encouragement.B. by provoking love and good worksChallenge each other to do good things. Ask people to serve with you.C. by getting together regularlySome people were abandoning getting together, maybe because of the threat of persecution. If we notice people are missing, find out why. This is not just the job of the pastor or deacons. We all bear this responsibility. Stopping these activities is fatal to the Christian. Christianity does not take place in isolation. We should be doing this “all the more” as we see the time of Christ’s return drawing closer.
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