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October 16, 2021 1:00 pm
You pick up your Bible. Is there more here than meets the is there something here for me. I mean it's just words printed on paper right well it may look like just print on a page, but it's more than Inc. join us for the next half hour, as we explore God's word together as we learn how to explore it on our own. As we ask God to meet us there in its pages welcome to more than drive my driving teacher used to say you're going to go where you look at that's good advice because every time an account with X does where are we supposed to look find out today on Dorothy.
The book of Hebrews just really a very worthwhile thing to really come in close to the end. Out here, so he's so he's tying up a lot of loose ends, is getting to the point of the entire 11 chapters we've done and is only 13's are starting the chapter 12's words were really getting close to the end on Hebrews, but what what what a great thing it is and he is starting off today with with the word that always causes us to go backwards is the word therefore the first word in Hebrews 12, so it's worth asking the question here before move on. Why is there no right and and if you recall, he just went through all of Chapter 11 giving us bunch of examples of people from the Old Testament who preferred this city that is to come from God referred what what it you know that the best of life which is after this life, and heed any demonstrated force out all these people like weight way back all these people preferred to say no. I'll put up with a bunch of compromise living right now for the purposes of holding out for what God is going to bring right hand and that was the whole point of that whole parade of people that he put there and he says that the thing that allowed them to put their hope in what's to come, instead of what they see right now is this word faith. Faith.
Faith is believing God's promise.
He said he was gonna bring us to that and what they did.
They said okay I'm taken at your word. Even though things look better.
Right now I'm holding out for that and that actually is the bigger bigger message of all of Hebrews is this creator God wants us to have abundant life, but you gotta believe his promise for it or else you'll fail like the Israelites who didn't get the promised land because they didn't believe his promise right so Hebrews 11 begins that definition of faith and it's that that's settled confidence reality of God's promises even though you can't see them as completed yet and are often not seen there all right and having the whole point of faith that there is an unseen reality that is more concrete more real than what we are experiencing here and now and these people he just prayed before for people who are willing to put off what they could see for what they write and see and faith told him it was going to happen and you had to endure and to live in all kinds of unpleasant circumstances and to do difficult things to think of what they could not yet seen, but they knew was coming because guidance that was right. And that's not a unique message to Hebrews the Bible is like that the entire Bible. Well, we saw right in chapter 11 we saw him list everybody from the beginning of Genesis clear through until he just runs out of steam and says times for writing so he begins this chapter, I think there's this huge cloud of witnesses, and that's always starts chapter 12 if all those people were willing to put up with you. No hard living right now because they're putting their hope in their trust in what got going to bring, then how about us.
What strikes me that we so often get discouraged because we think we're alone, circumstances, and do we we just forget that we are standing on the shoulders of all those who went before this great cloud of people walked during in faith. And if we take the time to look back at their faith and how they came through what they endured tremendous encouragement to us and especially for Hebrew audience. In this particular case I mean right he's talking about his time at all these people who well there all Jewish right there Hebrew and you would be tempted to think at the time of Jesus around times was written that that they got their reward. They got to the promised land the same, but they didn't didn't and we are talking about people like Abraham and all those guys they didn't and that never was, well, they didn't in this life in this life exactly yeah and so so basically if you look at all your Hebrew ancestors talking Hebrew audience. They were waiting for something writes better. They were looking ahead, so we should do so that it's really it's a it's a grilling siliceous jump in the 12 so okay you want to start a song chapter 12 verse one okay therefore and I were Hebrews. Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight in sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Yeah okay so in classic ancient style. Again he gives us the point embellish at some but this is his point so so what's he saying this cloud of witnesses, all the people that just paraded in front of us in Hebrews 11 Springs check these people were waiting.
You know they were waiting in the in the so they ran with endurance there waiting for guidance come to promise to us. So if they did that we should do that to know what his practical advice about how to do that. How do you wait is interesting that he puts in the middle of this picture well and wait that new American Standard here says encumber an encumbrance, everything that holds you back and gets in your way. Yeah so like if you run run a foot race. I used to hate running foot races run a foot race. You don't carry extra weight and you make sure you your right are not all tangled, right, and he saying there is stuff that you're carrying that slows you down, and that tingles your feet and that thing is sin well understand the word for sin course here is missing the mark this item the wrong target. Not knowing where the finish line right right right. If you are running a long race and you don't know where the finish line is in you run real hard off course and finish lay aside all the things that are entangling you distracting you, weighing you down, and the sin that causes you to miss the mark at the wrong time. Yeah, and he doesn't he doesn't expound on what here the rest. The New Testament does right, but it basically says that sin is something that entangles you and keeps you here and I have talked about this a lot worse and basically promises you life and it really right doesn't provide life it's and it's an entanglement to you. Keeping your site at what's promised right in the so that that's exactly how he's using it here as well to what that stuff no way you down and all sin is a false promise, as opposed to the true promise, which is God saying I have a better life.
You know for you.
Well my nieces you don't run with endurance, little inheritance requires training and inquires keeping going on even when something attempts to entangle you yeah yeah and in fact this word endurance had to look it up is more often translated patients literally Greek it means to remain under something right so his what he saying right here's you need to stay on in this direction and remain under whatever it is that your lender and just stay under that and get to the end so so that's me saying and that's what you do in a race to get a foot recited through the 400 m I think I'm forced him to quit going to yeah I don't just remain under that into you get to the end but but and in a good good foot race metaphor, he says, looking to Jesus. You always look to write finish line and but in this particular case, Jesus isn't so much the finish line. He's the one that allows you to run the race. He's the founder and the perfecter of your faith and those who do both really good good words Jesus in Revelation says he's the Alpha and the Omega line yet what when it comes to your faith.
He's also the beginning the in the founder here is the is the is the first leader rounding first. He's the one that starts the process and you and the perfecter again afterward. Tell us knowing he's the end of it to so he's on the gets on the track and allows you to stay focused at the end goal because of faith. He does that, for he is the founder and the perfecter actually does harken back to chapter 6 when a writer says you know he is the forerunner one before us the holy of holies and anchored ourselves left the way open for us, or he was called what I called the captain is the first charge. He's out in front and we just follow him and in it says he's our example here to the end of verse two because for the joy that was set before him. He endured the cross, despising the shame, so he stayed under all that stuff. He may know he stayed under all that stuff because it was something much better at the end for the joy that was set before you knew that idea. Joy was where his attention was fixed so he went to the cross. But he went through the cross because he was fixed on what it would accomplish. That was his goal. What about what was right. Yes, it even though it was yet unaccomplished until he went through the cross yet. So Jesus didn't didn't set up shop to have wonderful wife in the world that he didn't. He was someone who is in transition through the world for something much, much better and he sure could have. That was one of the temptation Satan offered him right worship me and I'll give you all of this right here and now right right and he said no. I got different goals yeah using the race metaphor again Satan offered him you know cozy little mansion in the infield of the racetrack.
That's like it's a it's a great distraction. This is not the end of the promise of God's is still to come. Well, and this idea of looking to Jesus in the process of running it when I was learning to drive one of my driving teacher said now look where you're going to wind up going way you're looking right so it's just a great picture here where your I asked yes because we are on on track that God is laid out for our our our eyes fixed where God is no focus there and we get in trouble emotionally because we focus here yeah that's always the case.
Right we run our circumstances are on our self lien about the problem, I will come to the second but I think that's probably me. Will the most important thrust of the section diseases where your eyes point where you're aiming toward when we look at what your goals are you going through this place. Are you setting up shop right place. This world is not my home.
As we were before getting MS we demonstrated with all these people.
Hebrews 11 they were passing through clearly because they believed God's promise of something much, much better thing that he early in Hebrews called rest this wonderful place that got away, and then he adds to that metaphor, not to the place of rest and past year but he had to's idea of the city which is just a wonderful idea.
Great orderly rights of peace and joy in provisions asking to come up in the second half of this chapter. The next week. These are these are all this is the promises of God fulfilled so consider Kim. That means employee your mind right. That's the writing of verse three. Right. Think about it, fix your attention on this and I before you move on to verse three.
I want to.
This made me think of something Paul said in Romans 825. He says we hope for what we do not right. We wait for it with endurance for this word right here so we we hope for what we do not see. And the thing that allows you to do that is faith you look for in faith is as much you know where you're looking as much as anything right. See Billy to see what God's doing right because he said he was doing it assurance of things, how I yet hope for. So there we go. So let's move on to verse three okay am I reading I guess I'll consider him who endured from sinners. Also he do it yet. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted in your struggle against sin you've not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood and have you forgotten the expectation that addresses you as sons. Okay, so you can open this whole idea of remembering who we are your sons so here we go.
My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord everywhere he went were approved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son whom he receives is for discipline that you have to endure God is treating you as soon what son is there.
His father does not discipline. If your left without discipline in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them, shall he not much more be subject to the father of spirits, and live for they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them that he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment, all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who been trained by it all. We have to stop yet. It's a lot of stuff but he does he does address the fact that people during his time as audiences as well as the people.
Hebrews 11 as well as dealing with what or why say about the fact that my current situation is really bad right what how do I look at that to God stop loving me. Did God remain on his promise for good. I mean what what is that all mean and and he encourages us like Jesus not not to grow weary.
Don't be fainthearted about that you know you need to just push on, but have you ever thought about the fact he saying that the difficult times you're going through are in some way a sign of God, sort of trimming you up disciplining God's purpose for us is to become like his son Jesus.
And so all of this that we endure here is that training the disciplining process right that the root idea with discipline is training. Yeah and and you talk to someone who's been spoiled her entire life. The group in adulthood and their bitter about the fact that their parents never did that never actually trained never pruned the sense in me, and there left you. No one attended and so this this is what he saying you know a good father does this with his children. So if you're if you're in the middle of what are tough times, without question, have you ever considered the fact that this is just like a father disciplining his child and in a way pruning and trimming you up and in and then gradually disconnecting you from this world so that you be ready for you know the eventual promise to come true and this phrase that we may share his holiness stops me every time I read it through Jesus and through the process of making us holy are sanctification that the regular word God is making us ready to have eternal fellowship with him sharing in his holiness. That's mind-boggling, and we remind ourselves that holiness isn't just you know, purity, holiness is separate separation were not part of this place anymore and right in, which strongly implies not part of the influence and proximity of sin and the corrosive to seven so God saying I want you to be a part of that junk like I'm apart from it junk and so yeah so very clearly with that word. He saying that this discipline is hard step you're going through is actually preparatory for you being not part of this place anymore. You know that just suddenly brings to mind when Jesus prayed for us in John 17. He said father sanctified, you make them holy. The way I am holy. Rights set apart for God's purposes and that the unit prices. Father, I want them to be where I am. You see my glory. Yet we only way we can be where he is and see his glory is by being made holy in this discipline whole process as part of that whole thing speaks of our separated place. So the degree to which you are entwined with this place yet.
It'll be it'll be hard process.
Let go of this place. So I'm that whole sanctification and holiness process sounds just like it's making me a better person. But that's not at all making me disconnected right. It is from the front from this temporary place right and not just desk disconnected from something, but actually connected to him and his promise, which is yet to be for a perfect God's personal holiness and his glory to be seen, and it will in the end it will yield a peaceful fruit of righteousness.
I love that phrase beautiful fruit of righteousness to those who been trained by so so God in the process of bringing you to peaceful fruit to bringing to a place that's a much superior to this place right here that's the holiness process. So I sigh I would just remind our listeners every time you see the word holy think separated or apart from because that's your you're being set apart for something so much better so much better than this place. Don't settle for second best in this life is that second-best you can still be blessed by God here in great things can happen, but men like Paul says, you just haven't got a clue how much better it's going to be so set your sites that run the race to their endure, stay under Cooperman will stay under it and get to there. Because that's where your sites need to be well and the reality of the suffering of the difficulty here is not being devalued by his statement right right because we do live here for this assignment.
Nighttime and life will unfold as it unfolds.
And we must walk through it and it's very real and very concrete but there is a bigger reality is a big reality coming said so yeah it's like a theologian say it's it's already but not yet already in this position where you can have fellowship with God understand enjoy understand what that's all about but you still surrounded by the annoying presence of sin. So, look where you're going, going when you're looking at your eyes on the goal and I don't be distracted from that and stay under until the very end because the staying under process that endurance thing has great value in it and I think that's what we don't look at we say while God promised me good life, but I'm not having good life right now.
This is the fullness of his promise to you if you stay under you. Be prepared for the writer encourages us.
Therefore, in verse 12.
Lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees and make straight paths for your feet, so that's what's lame may not be put out of joint, but rather healed so that that discipline process is part of the healing making right what has been so wrong. Verse 14 strive for peace with everyone and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord see to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble and by many become defiled. We can talk about that along to verse 16 that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal for you know that afterward when he decided to inherit the blessing. He was rejected for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.
Okay, so that actually relates quite a lot to what we just were talking about when Esau was fixed on the here and now. Yeah, I'm starving, hungry, give me that bowl of beans and just now give you my birthright sure yet because if you remember his exact words were recalled exactly what I'm about to… To die. So what I have it for birthright writing his his of his horizon was his own death right wasn't the promise of God's horizon was his own appetite now.
Yeah so that that's where he really went astray when you talk when you talk about compare the two brothers Jacob and Esau, and we look at we look at all the scalawag table things that Jacob did Esau's problem wasn't really so much that his problem was.
He just didn't believe the promise he didn't believe value in it know and so is willing to to trade away from you one day so so yes it here at the end here from prayer for our today, at least from 12 to 16. He's really giving us from a corporate exhortation right you need to figure out how to strengthen one another's hands how to lift up how to keep the site monkey toward the Lord strive for peace with everyone it was, is, the bottom line explanations 20 says you know you shouldn't shouldn't put away your meeting together need in Christ what he had already said that back in chapter 10 and and encourage each other for the purposes of self talking about the problems that were going through and and how to keep our focus on right. The end promise and how to do that.
That's exactly what he said, lifting one another up making the paths straight right when you know what we do from going from here to there, which will do much more in chapter 13 right but see that you know you wanted to spend just a little bit of time since we do on this root of bitterness springs up this week come back to selectively see a lot of people who were – better utterly disabling and it has those little hair flying tendrils that penetrates so deep. And then suddenly something inflames them in the spring up and bitterness spews out all over everybody in your shot you will know what I'm talking about is you been this viewer is for. We such a vivid about a route it's hidden underground right all of a sudden it springs up at this point. You go man word that right when the conditions are right, exactly, comes not invisible but exceedingly visible. So there's the really is. I think there's one in the specific context assignment affected people have this expectation that God said, I'll bring you good life and the root of bitterness.
As you will not have it right now. So what what's going on LLC connects that to failing to grasp the grace of God rightly says see to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God so that no root of bitterness will space almost like that's an opposite to the yes it is the grace of God that heals our bitterness that allows us to forgive and to let go of the things that we bite down on that are so painful it's you we could spend a week we could maybe spend the whole show. Almost like he's is at the end of that phrase and 15 and by many become to be true. When you give vent to your own deep rooted bitterness and finally plop it out there that poison gets all over everybody and it incites others to own your bitterness. Then they feed their own facet bitterness is toxic.
It's not. And it is the root of the root of bitterness is ask you dissatisfaction right with God giving you what you thought he was going to get.
He didn't do what I expected it right you he didn't give me what I wanted and so I'm just getting chew on that suck on that bitter little girl I married this person who I thought was a gift from God. So what happened there, and then expectation just gets bashed in your I think this to this.
Is it right. This is what I signed up for and so you become bitter and then you start having weird expectations from God and then it ends up infecting most everything with relationships with others we could talk about this for days, but we do well. I think that's why the writer just implants.
This picture that root bitterness.
The root is hidden below the ground, but it's feeding life to something right. That's what bitterness do you counteract that by leaning on the grace of God, God will give to me regardless of my worthiness.
It's coming anyway. His promises are good all just cling to that. We probably need to say just a quick word about Esau not being find a place for repentance already.
Esau experienced genuine remorse and he was sorry that what he had done cause trouble in his life but he did not just now watching his having having wrong. God is against God. Go read about it in Genesis 27 square at a time when these babies address that at another time yes to work and I look at the rest of this chapter next week and will help you with this because he brings to such a great conclusion is pretty much a conclusion for you some practical tips from Jim Dorothy, so glad you with this. We hope you because this is this is profoundly central message of the entire Bible tension to join us next week on think that