The Life of Faith

This was the message I preached last September 15, 2013 at San Pedro CRC:

Hebrews 10:26-31

26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[a] and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”[b] 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Redemptive/Fallen Man Focus:

Live by Faith or Shrink Back Due to Fear or Weariness

Intro: Not Giving Up :

Zamboanga… Syria- battes…some religious, some political..but always ..it is the civilians that is much to suffer

693252-130822-syria-gas-attack

Have you participated in a 3 or 5 or 10 km run? I have at one time with my office team- 5 kms. Nung 3 kms na ay parang gusto ko nang umupo o lumakad na lang …kaya lang di pwedeng magpaiwan at ako nagyaya nuon…at may kasama tayo kaya…let us see how others encourage us to go on…

Marathon-exhaustion

We started this series -so that I can define Faith in Heb 11:1 -but we need to read the whole chapter 10-so that we can understand why and how it was defined there

Hebrews 10:24-25

24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Last time we tackled the Once and For All Time Atonement-Sacrifice of the Lord Jesus -and that His blood really cleanses our conscience from the reminder of sins -and therefore we have full access to God not like the Levitical priesthood

 altar_burnt_offering

But since  Jewish believers in the 1st and 2nd generation after the resurrection of Jesus are getting fearful and weary of being different- The Jewish religion is protected and much of the public life revolves around-stopping to attend the Temple services and altar offering -you will be marked as different and might be persecuted.. Loss of family, friends, job and connections  Some are really tempted to fall back to their old ways and old religion.

How do you know that your church is really to big..to be harmful to individual believers? When no one can encourage you anymore personally to be faithful and to be Christ-like anymore…so it is not the numbers..but when we are not known to at least one Christian friend inside the church.

Much like Christians  in Communist North Korea or Muslim Saudi or Hinduist India- you can lose your family and your life- actually

But there is something bigger at stake here…

I. Sinning v 26-32

26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[a] and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”[b] 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

leaving-the-church

>Is this the group that the Apostle Paul thinks will turn away permanently ? See verse

39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.

But they need to be warned that a living faith is a faith in the Lord Jesus Christ…

It is not mere sins that will bring us to destruction and judgment –but it is the UNBELIEF- the SIN of NOT believing that Jesus is the Son of God and the only atoning sacrifice for our sins.

A high-handed sin (the one mentioned in the law of Moses) is condemned to death by two or three witnesses -but how much more if you deliberately goes against what you already know-which is :

a. Jesus is the Triune Son of God

b. The the blood of Jesus at Calvary is the only one that can atone for our sins-not the blood of sheep or goats

c. And that there is a witnessing done by the Spirit of Grace to every believer

What will happen to those – 1st and 2nd generation (before the Fall of Jerusalem AD 70) believers who fall back to unbelief?

Judgment and raging fire that will consume the enemies of God- Hell!

“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”

In Matthew 10:28- it is said that “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

What did these supposed Jewish believers do -when they fail to attend the worship services and instead are going back to the Temple worship?

29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned l the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?.

It is a sin against the Person and Work of Jesus wrt Salvation and the convicting work of the Holy Spirit- He is telling them that they are liars…God lies…

1 John 5 also repeats these triple testimony –

6 This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.

Unbelief in the Person of Jesus and His work at the Cross and Resurrection -that will condemn you to hell…

This is the deliberate sin…the one that professing Christians will be guilty if turn back away…especially in the face of future persecutions…

j44775wgkiy2. Remembering v.32-34

32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.

It is good to be reminded … How we endured -beyond our own capabilities ..and the triumphed in he midst of suffering.

Yes -there are heartaches and nightmares after the suffering… but we become strong afterwards .

However -others become disheartened because of the repeated loss of income and comfort-they have a tendency to forget the former things.

natl-disaster-destruction

Bro- “alam ninyong higit na mabuti at nananatili ang kayamanang nakalaan sa inyo.”

Don’t Forget that- a crown of righteousness coming from the Lord Himself…

Paul reminds them that the did something in the past. Endured , Shared and sympathized…

Some versions translated the first two as “Stood your Ground and Stand Side by Side ” and I am reminded by the war stories like those of Blackhawk down- no one is left behind or by the movie 300…they stood their ground and side by side with fellow soldiers they triumphed in the end-at the cost of their lives.

Sympathized means to be with others-in the same siituation- sometimes I think kaya nandyan pa rin ako sa Camella -para may baha ay may nagtetext para yugyugin ang langit kasama ng iba pang kapatiran na tumigil na ang ulan.

But being with them -eating what they are eating…working the same work…crying as they cries.. Burying their dead…losing material things as others too…

Parang Edsa Uno palagi ang Kristiyanong samahan…o yung nangyari sa Luneta kamakailan lang.

Kaya Bro- “alam ninyong higit na mabuti at nananatili ang kayamanang nakalaan sa inyo.”

 “because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions”.

3. Believing v. 35-39

35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For,

“In just a little while,   he who is coming will come  and will not delay.”

38 And,  “But my righteous[d] one will live by faith.    

And I take no pleasure  in the one who shrinks back.”[e]

39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.

hretreat

A life that starts by Faith in Jesus -is maintained by Faith in Him as well…and you think that this act is easy?

Christian will both persevere and will be saved- preserved… that is a truth of the 5th Point of Teachings regarding Sovereign Grace-i is not mere -eternal security -which is contained by the doctrine…but it is also means that we start with Faith. We live by Faith..then in the end -we will behold…see Him face to face…

We will be rewarded in the end…

Our ever present confidence -being worked by the Holy Spirit in our hearts -is not mere suggestion or conjecture

but a definite certainty -an assurance – that as if the future (the hope) is now a present possession.

The quotation about the Just shall live by Faith is already used by Paul in Romans -about Justification by Faith alone -but now Paul also takes out another principle from it -that the Just will also live by Faith- a life of trusting and believing and following what Jesus is and what He had done -and what He is doing and He will do in the future. Jesus- Yesterday, Today and Forever. Yun  ang Christian Life.

And He believes that the truly born-again -with seed imperishable – will not fall away but ” But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.’ 

It is in the midst of exhorting, warning, encouraging and reminding that the saints of God are preserved from harm.

So should every preacher or minister of the Word- should be -if he is worthy of his salt.

Do you know how an army looks like that has no reason anymore to fight? It is a picture of an army in retreat…humiliating and discouraging.

No commander wants to be one in an army of losers… they already lose hope, lose their hearts.

And you know what happens to those shrink back and remain within the Jewish religion? in AD 70 -they were destroyed at the Fall of the City of Jerusalem -and the precious Temple was destroyed to the ground… many lose their lives-others became slaves in foreign land…and in the end…they will perish also in Hell…

destruction_temple

Pero hindi tayo ganyan… Ngunit hindi tayo kabilang sa mga tumatalikod at napapahamak; kundi sa mga sumasampalataya sa Diyos at naliligtas.

Epilogue:

Read Hebrew 11:1-2

11 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 12 This is what the ancients were commended for.

 So we now come to the end ..now we can define Faith…as we already did… It is believing -because we know Jesus is God …and that His sacrifice at Calvary cross is decisive for the forgiveness of sins-and that it already replaced the Temple sacrifices and any ritual that man may devise …and that thru Him we have access to God the Father…and because of that -we will persevere..remain steadfast in our life of faith in Jesus… because we know by Faith that we will see Him face to face to reward us -with His presence and fellowship.

What we do not see.. we Hope for -since through the Spirit of  Jesus -it is a living reality.

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