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Author of Our Salvation (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
January 7, 2022 6:00 am

Author of Our Salvation (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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January 7, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the letter to the Hebrews


There should be no desertion of Christians in the face of struggle, knowing where God is leading us. We would be less prone to flee if we kept sight of these great things. How many of us remember very easily Jesus' words, I go to prepare a place for you.

If it was not true, I would not have told you. We are excited about that thought. We are to be more excited about it, even in the face of opposition and unpleasant things that are so often unimportant. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of Hebrews.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more about Cross-Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. But for now, let's join Pastor Rick in the book of Hebrews chapter 2 as he begins a brand new study called Author of Our Salvation. Open to Hebrews chapter 2 verses 1 through 9.

I will do the reading out loud just in case anybody has any ideas. Therefore, we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away, for if the words spoken through angels prove steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord and was confirmed to us by those who heard him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit according to his will. For he has not put the world to come, of which we speak in subjection to angels, but one testified in a certain place, saying, What is man, that you are mindful of him? Or the son of man, that you take care of him? You have made him a little lower than the angels.

You have crowned him with glory and honor. You set him over the works of your hands. You have put all things in subjection under his feet, for in that he put all in subjection under him. He left nothing that is not put under him, but now we do not yet see all things put under him, but we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that he, with the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. Giving a title to this morning's consideration, and the purpose of that is what are we zooming in on that is in this section of Scripture for us? The destiny of the saved. That's what the writer is talking about.

He's talking about a bunch of things, of course, but that is one that stands out. And knowing the origins of our faith, knowing the destiny of those who are saved by Jesus Christ and him alone, it is too bad that we Christians are too ready to retreat from contrary winds. I don't mean storms.

I mean just winds that are contrary to us, little things. For decades, as a Christian and as a minister in the church and as a pastor, I've watched Christians flee solid churches over insignificant and unimportant things. And, of course, it's unfortunate. I don't know that I've had any success over the decades trying to encourage Christians not to be this way. Hebrews tells us that we are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together as is the manner of some but exhorting one another and so much more as you see the day approaching. Well, that day approaching is the destiny for the Christians.

It's that glorious time. But until then, we are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves. That's difficult at times, but it's also wonderful at times.

It depends on the perspective of the individual. If he is a Christian, if she is a Christian, that perspective need match Christ's perspective and not their own. Would it be a good thing? Would it be nice? If an angel of the Lord stood in front of the church doors as Christians were fleeing because of contrary winds with a sword in his hand and said, get back in there. There'll be no retreat.

Get back in there. I think that would be very, very good. I think that would make the church stronger. But unfortunately, we are to walk by faith, not by the commandments of angels with swords in their hands.

And God puts it on us. This is a good thing. There should be no desertion of Christians in the face of struggle knowing where God is leading us. We would be less prone to flee if we kept sight of these great things. How many of us remember very easily Jesus' words, I go to prepare a place for you.

If it was not true, I would not have told you. We are excited about that thought. We are to be more excited about it, even in the face of opposition and unpleasant things that are so often unimportant. Well, that's the introduction to this section because the writer is saying to the Jews, don't flee Christianity and go back into Judaism. Not only will it not benefit you, but it will damn your soul because Christ has fulfilled those things and it would make a mockery of his death on the cross to go and behave as though the shedding of a goat's blood or lamb's blood is somehow equal with his. What if there were an angel in front of these fleeing Hebrews with a sword in his hand said, get back in there. There will be no desertion of Christ on my watch or anyone else's.

Well, again, it would be good, but it's not how it's going to be. It's by faith. It's by trusting what God says, then acting on what he has said. Faith is not just, okay, I believe it.

It is to act on what you claim to believe. And we struggle with this because of our sinful nature. Well, let's go to the first verse and develop all this. So that hopefully we could all not only be stronger personally in our walk, but that we can influence those who are not and those who are lost to be saved. That is why we do the things we do. Verse four, I'm not going to take the time to review verses one through three because verse four belongs with them, but we're going to just proceed forward and let the story tell itself. Well, I have to give some little introduction to keep it in place.

He's already told them. We have the Word of God, and the Word of God has a history of being infallible, that when God sent angels with a message, and that message was a judgment, that judgment happened. And so it would do us all good to trust what God has said, to be strong and to side with the Lord. And those who heard the Lord preach these very things, and if we neglect them, we bring upon our own selves a just judgment. And now on the strength of that, he says, God also bearing witness, both with signs and wonders, with various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit according to his own will. Now, here he is saying God gave spiritual proofs to back up the things that he was saying, the messages that he delivered through his people and even at times through angels.

He backed them up. Christianity is supernatural. Not only in the history, but its message is supernatural. A holy, righteous God, loving, not holy, not righteous, sinners. Who else does that? No one does it this way, except the Christ, the Lord Jesus. His message is to sinners. The most rank, the most foul of sinners can come to him. That is supernatural.

That is not normal. That is not something some creative writer thought up. And it is backed up in the history of the message and many other ways, but just the history. For example, the apostles, the martyrs of the church, the New Testament church, men don't die for fiction, not known fiction. When they said, we saw him dead and we saw him alive after that again and we will die upholding that truth. That's supernatural. And that is true.

No one makes this up, regardless of what the naysayers may say. The supernatural part of Christianity is the genuine part of Christianity. And in the first church, that first church of believers that we meet in the book of Acts, that is a darling church to us, we fall in love with that early church. At least, I think every Christian should fall in love with those first Christians and say, I want that. I don't want to be left out.

I want everything they had, not so much the bloodshed. But I'll take it if he sends it because he is worthy. There were wonders and signs and they never contradict the word of God. The word of God is always first. Satan will be granted lying wonders and lying signs and there will be signs and wonders that people will misinterpret because they have not the faith, because the carnal man cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God. They're foolishness to him, nor can he know them because they're spiritually discerned and that Spirit is the Holy Spirit.

And to not be right with him is not to understand what is right and wrong concerning the things that he has done. Pharaoh of Egypt, he just didn't get it, did he? Signs and wonders right in front of him. But limiting this to the New Testament church as the writer has done here, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders. Mark chapter 16 verse 20, the early Christians after the resurrection, they went out and preached. And then it says this, they went out and preached everywhere. That doesn't mean they put sandwich boards on and just went out and indiscriminately shouted the gospel to people, but it means they were so volatile with truth, so ready to go off in the face of a lie that all you had to do is nudge them and the gospel would come out.

It continues in Mark 16, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs and then Mark adds amen. That's true. You can trust that. Now the sin that so easily besets us often or all the time works to disqualify us from doing these very things. In the workplace we may start enjoying inappropriate jokes, coarse jesting, things like that. And all the while Satan is chipping away at our witness so that we become an incredible witness.

Not incredible in the sense of, wow, that's amazing, but incredible as I don't believe. I've heard his dirty jokes. I've watched him flirt.

I've watched her take this or do that. I'm not ready to listen to them about Jesus Christ. So we have to work. We work hard to keep that moment from happening.

And if it happens, we scramble to correct it. In the book of Acts again, Acts 14, speaking boldly in the Lord. This was that first church who was bearing witness to the word. See, the scriptures cannot be removed from signs and wonders.

And anybody that does make that attempt is an apostate, a heretic, something other than a true witness. He continues in Acts, Paul writes or Luke writes of Paul and Barnabas, bearing witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. So the early church had these signs and wonders. The writer is saying, this belonged to us.

It belongs to God, but he gave it to us. The miracles, that's the event. That's the power.

That's the big thing that took place. The wonder is the effect of the thing that took place, the event, the miracle. So you see the Lord do something that's not ordinary but extraordinary, that's miraculous, and creates a sense of wonder. And there are many of you here that have had this experience in life. You've called out to the Lord and he has reversed some collision course that was irreversible. And you're just amazed. Satan will come along and say, I wasn't God. Just to happen that way.

That's a lie. It was a sign that you are God's child, that he is never going to leave you or forsake you, and that even when he allows you to be chomped on a little bit, he's still there. He understands what it means to suffer and to die. The sign, that's the value of the wonder, of the miracle. So these early Christians, they saw these miraculous things. It created this awe, this wonder, and it was a sign. It meant something. It was not something random in creation. It was a word from God to them, often to be strong, to believe that indeed God is working with his ministers.

Well, what about today? Today the emphasis is on faith, in action, based on the scripture. God still does miracles. Sure, he does. But not on the level that he did with the apostles. In some ways, he has exceeded it, though. However, that he is doing them all over the world at one time. But in most civilized lands, where people are allowed to think and exchange thoughts, the emphasis is not on the miraculous powers of God, but the miraculous word of God.

Don't trivialize that. Don't demote it and say, I'd rather have a miracle than the simple truth, because many do that. He says here, given gifts of the Holy Spirit according to his will. That's the will of the Holy Spirit. All the gifts belong to God. Whether you have the gift of knowledge or discernment, speaking in tongues or interpreting tongues or miracles or helps or whatever it is, it belongs to God.

He is just entrusting you with it, and that is a gift. 1 Corinthians 12, speaking of the gifts, Paul, summing it up, says, But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as he wills, as God wills to do it. I don't want the gift of healing when I need the gift of teaching. I don't want the gift of teaching when I need the gift of healing.

Well, how will I always know these things? Well, it's up to the Lord to dispense as is needed. That's why he is Lord. Faith. Faith does not delight in the hysterical, in sensationalism, in noisy emotionalism.

Why do I even have to say that? Because there are many that do delight in hysteria in Christ's name, in emotionalism that is being led by their feelings, regardless of fact and faith and revelation, because it feels good to them on multiple tiers. It is wrong to magnify the Holy Spirit to contradict his own Bible, and there are those that do it. The Bible forbids this. Yeah, but the Spirit got hold of me. No, he didn't. You're saying he did. You're signing his name to a check that doesn't belong to you.

It's fraudulent. So we avoid emotional-driven religion, which always seeks for a sign, which always seeks for a wonder, which always demands God validate something instead of the still, small voice of his word that is like fire, that is like a hammer, that is like a sword. The power of the word of God is what saves souls and keeps them serving the Lord, growing stronger in Christ. And so, again, looking at verse 4, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to his own will, verse 5, 4, that joins verse 4 with 5, he has not put the world to come of which we speak in subjection to angels. Well, the world to come is the millennial kingdom, the kingdom age and beyond. That's just the foyer.

That's just the entranceway, the porch, the kingdom age. There's a whole eternity beyond that that is so glorious that God simply says this about it, I'll make a new heavens and new earth and the former will pass away. And he doesn't tell us much more.

He'd be so glorious. This world is not all we have. God has greater plans and we're in those plans if we want to be.

And we are in those plans so long as we want to be. He says in subjection to angels, for he has not put the world to come in subjection to angels. Now, he's contrasting his people with angels, angelic beings. Angels have superpowers. If you read the book of Revelation and you say these guys are incredible.

They make superheroes look weak, quite powerful. And yet, they, the angels, will be in subjection to us. They presently are ministers on our behalf.

That's not all they do, but that is part of their job assignment, their job description. Yet the believer's destiny will eclipse theirs. Read the book of Revelation, see these great angels at work, the power that they have, the thunder in their voices, and understand that we eclipse them.

It's quite, quite marvelous. We get that from the scripture. We have no promise in scripture at all that the angels will have authority to rule on earth, but we have it from scripture clearly that we will rule on earth, of course, under the Lord Jesus Christ, and rule over angels. 1 Corinthians 6, do you not know?

It's sort of a, are you that dumb, kind of a saying. Because the Corinthians needed to hear it that way. Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we will judge angels?

How much more? Things that pertain to this life. Christians don't believe this. Some do. Great many don't.

Psychologists and psychiatrists ought to be coming to us for advice, so we could save them. But instead, Christians hope, hands up, I surrender, and go to them. And Paul makes it clear that when you lose sight of your destiny, you lose power. In proportion to your lost sight of destiny, you lose power. The more you see what God has for you, the stronger you are. The less you see, the weaker you are. I'm not saying you lose your salvation, but you can have your salvation and lose your power. He says in verse 5, in subjection to angels as I've mentioned, then he goes on to verse 6, but one testifies in a certain place saying, and this is Psalm 8, verse 4, what is man that you are mindful of him, or the son of man that you take care of him?

What is man that you even care about him? David knew that. He could look up at the heavens. He could see the hills of Jerusalem. He could look at creation. He said, what is God designed this?

What am I that I can even talk to him? Humans have priority with God. Pets, secondary. That should not bother you.

That should excite you. That doesn't mean he hates the pets. He just keeps things in perspective. Do you know that humans are the only ones that are offended often and for nothing? What makes us different from the animals?

Well, I'll tell you. We get offended. That's what makes us different, and we get offended over nothing. A dog, he's not offended when you try to take his bone.

He's just angry, rightfully so, and instinctively he takes countermeasures, but we, human beings and Christians saved by grace with our eyes on destiny, how easily we're offended. Oh, they didn't say hello to me. Oh, they didn't look my way.

So what? Are you less of a person? Are you now shorter because of that?

Did you gain weight because of that? Everybody understands that. Listen, it's not your fault if you have a problem gaining weight.

It's refrigerators. Never mind. Let me go forward. Or the son of man that you take care of him. So he says, what am I that you think of me and not only me, but it goes on to the generation after me, my children.

You continued to do this. You don't just have your eyes on me, but others like me. Acts chapter 2, Peter was giving his great sermon. He said, it's time to repent.

The times of refreshing might come. And then he adds in Acts chapter 2 verse 39, for the promise is to you and to your children, to all who are far off, as many as the Lord will call. And the Lord calls many in any he can. Not willing that any should perish.

That call has been broadcast. But there are people on earth to this day that have never heard the name Jesus Christ. It's so difficult to get our heads around that. I think sometimes we lose more Bibles than other countries have ever had. The precious word of God.

And it is an eye-opening thought that the name of Jesus Christ and the knowledge of him does not exist in some places. In verse 7 he says, you have made him a little lower than the angels. You have crowned him with glory and honor and set him over the works of your hands. He's continuing to quote Psalm 8. He's going to the scripture. You see, the writer in Hebrews happens to value the scripture as being words from God's will. His mind, his heart. They belong to God. And they belong to us once they are spoken, once they are communicated. And so he sees the insignificance of man.

The writer is David, in this case, to whom he's quoting. Yet God is steaming man above the angels, above the animals. That does not mean he is against the angels or thinks less of them or the animals. It just means he's elevated man.

Man is limited for now. Now the angels are above us. They're not susceptible to pain and to death and to sorrow and to the elements and to known physics. We are.

They are not. And so in that sense they are superior to us for now. But the day will come when those things will belong to us, too.

But we'll have something else. Faith. We believed in the God they served, who they saw with their eyes, who they lived with. We believed in that God's sight unseen.

Physical sight. You've been listening to Cross Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. As we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast, today's teaching is available free of charge at our website. Simply log on to That's We'd also like to encourage you to subscribe to the Cross Reference Radio podcast. Subscribing ensures that you stay current with all the latest teachings from Pastor Rick. You can subscribe at or simply search for Cross Reference Radio in your favorite podcast app. Tune in next time as Pastor Rick continues teaching through the book of Hebrews right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-01 01:53:44 / 2023-07-01 02:02:59 / 9

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