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May 4, 2021 4:00 am
Being called a disgrace is something we don't think of as a compliment but for believers, it is something we can consider a privilege today on Truth for Life. Alister Megan identifies several distinct characteristics that ought to be true followers of Jesus explains why we ought to embrace the privilege of disgrace. In our study in Hebrews verse five. Keep yourselves free from the love of money and be content with what you have.
This is a call to a radical lifestyle and it is a dramatic statement and this writer is urging the spirit of contentment upon his readers on the basis of the presence of God, and the provision of God. These first century believers buffeted by all kinds of trials aware of their own potential for mishap and failure are to be strengthened and encouraged with the promise of God's presence with the ability to affirm the truth.
The Lord is my helper.
Why should I be afraid such a call points again to the dramatic way in which the Christian church will be able to make its presence felt in an era of this contentedness and this matter of contentedness is I think a more pressing and urgent issue for many others, and we are even prepared to admit in moments of honesty when our lives are laid bare before the gaze of the Scriptures, then we are prepared perhaps to contend with this but most of the time many of us conceal it, even from ourselves.
The potential for this contentedness.
Seneca, the Roman statesman.
On one occasion said money has never yet made anybody rich money has never yet made anybody rich. I want to acknowledge a couple of things with you that the call to contentedness and to contentment with what God provides is not inconsistent with the reasonable desire to improve my circumstances and to use all lawful means to do so. One of the things that can emerge from this kind of proverbial statement is a sort of lethargy in approach to life and one of the questions that I'm constantly on the receiving end of when mentioning a principal such as this is well and what place does ambition have, if any, in the life of the Christian is it wrong for me than to seek to improve my lot in any way. The answer is no.
It is not provided that my desire to do my best to be a first rate worker is simply that and that I am leaving in the care of God. What me and marriage.
From that rather than lusting frightfully after promotion or advancement or money for its own sake.
Contentedness means not that I am unable to seek to advance but it means that winter I advance or not, I remain content with my lot were always asking how can I make an impact in my world, be content whenever analysis, groaning, griping, complaining, and is a miserable person. As a result of what's going on in terms of the bonus figures or whatever else it is, it is not that you are immune to that but it is that you have determined the Lord is my portion. What can a man do to me.
It is the Lord who helps me. I have food and I have close therefore I can be content to an immense challenge in the exhortation, and these quotes from the Old Testament will repay your careful study now. He then goes on in verse seven to address another matter. In Christian deportment there needs to be an understanding of the characteristics of leadership and of our subsequent submission to leadership.
After all, we are experiencing these events and these opportunities within the context of a living faith and so he says I want you to remember your leaders, notice the characteristic of these leaders, incidentally, that tends here makes it clear that the writer is reminding them of those who lead them in earlier days, but you have now completed their service and he points to three particular marks of this leadership and their these number one the word they spoke the word they spoke. He says when you think about those leaders remember them in relationship to the word of God which they spoke to you this above all things within the framework of the shepherding of God's people is an absolute essential. That is why it is wrong. The Bible says to a pointer leadership in the local church man who are in adequate with the Scriptures man who are unable to use the Scriptures for the guidance and encouragement of God's people. That is why they are to be at to teach so that they in turn will be able to be characterized by this very principal that they were men who spoke the word of God to you. How is it that God provides for his flock so that they will not be torn apart by various moves. It is by providing leaders who speak the word of God that far more than their own opinion far more than their own agenda. The people say that guy spoke the word of God to me as a shepherd feeds the sheep so the leaders feed the flock. So the word the spoke. Secondly, the life they live. Consider the outcome of their way of life is not urging them simply to observe their way of life but to see what the outcome has been on this kind of pattern of existence. They had run the race unwavering to the end and the implication was simply this, if you consider the way in which they have done this, you in turn may run the race right to the very end because after all, in Chapter 11 is already told us that these individuals were all living by faith when they die. What good is a lot of talk unless there is a life that backs it up. That's a great challenge. That's why Paul says to Timothy what your life and your doctrine closely, as if you're just a talker and you don't have a life that goes with it. Then you have no credibility amongst the people of God. Thirdly, simply the word they spoke the life they live by the faith that they displayed and imitate their faith. They went forward by faith. He's gone through a whole host of them and the readers would be adding to that number all kinds of name Moses was probably a frightening fellow to walk behind, but he certainly wasn't dull and it may be frightening at times to get behind visionary leadership, provided that they are man who will speak the word of God to you who have a way of life that is in accord with the word that the speak if they have vision and faith in anticipation then imitate that faith 20 says they are there as examples in order that you might follow them. And then, of course, in verse eight probably the best known verse in the will of Hebrews Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. And why do we find it here. Well, because it fits perfectly here, no matter how good these leaders where no matter how able they were with the word of God. No matter how good their way of life, no matter how compelling their faith.
They weren't always available for consultation. They weren't always perfect in their guidance and therefore it is imperative that we turn people always to the Lord Jesus Christ who is the same yesterday and today and forever.
His help is the same. His grace is power is guidance all permanently at the disposal of his people and it is ultimately the task of leadership to see those whom they lead attached not to themselves but attached to the Lord Jesus Christ. Now it is at that point that he then goes in verse nine to give this next striking exhortation don't be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings now.
Why does he say that Willie says that because they had the potential to be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings, and in the verse that follows. Indeed, versus the following becomes apparent just exactly what was going on he says is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods which are of no value to those who eat them. So what with the strange teachings while the strange teachings were sent. Essentially this people were coming around in teaching and this lingered from Judaism that adherence to an external religious code was the key to maintaining a close walk with God.
Now Paul refutes this and other places.
For example, in Galatians 3 verse three he says are you so foolish after beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort loved ones. It is very important that we as they understand this is a strange and perverted and unhelpful notion to think somehow or another that spiritual growth and maturity is that which comes about as a result of slavish observance of externals spiritual maturity comes along the pathway of understanding, appreciating, receiving and enjoying the grace of God's grace in the beginning. Grace in the middle and it is grace of the end. The beginning of Christian experiences grace the gospel is the sole channel through which the grace of God is mediated to men and women.
How was it that we came to know Christ. Did we air in God's favor. Absolutely not. What were we able to offer an order that he might draw us to himself. Absolutely nothing. So if our beginning was all. As a result of God's saving grace. Would it be any surprise that our continuing would be on the very same basis and it is a strange and devious endangering emphasis that leads us to externalism ceremonial foods and all kinds of man-made rigmarole grace.
Do not be carried away by all the strange teachings is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace and not by ceremonial foods that are of no value to those who eat them.
Let them go ahead need them. Paul says in Corinthians if they got a thing about that. That's fine weed.
I don't want to get stalled on that he said but it's of no value to the then he says while were at that. Let me just mention this matter of the altar.
We have an altar from which those who minister the tabernacle of no right to eat all the way through years been emphasizing the sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice for sin areas reiterating the same point as he draws his letter to a close.
We've got an altar, he says, from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat what is this on it is simply this, that those who remained committed to the strange teachings of ceremonial foods and X.
There are no rigmarole by themselves from participating in the offering of Christ.
For by their very activity they were denying the fact that Christ once and for all sacrifice had fulfilled what was foreshadowed on the day of atonement. If the sacrifice of Christ was a once for all sufficient sacrifice for sin. If the altar of the Christian is on a hill called Golgotha.
If the issue of redemption is settled in a moment in time, then those who demand of others.
The continuing sacrificial elements in order to receive grace, forgiveness, whatever it might be bar themselves from participation at the altar of Christ. I'm not saying that the Bible is saying that your sensible people. You cannot keep going to the altar again and again and again and again if if you understand that once on an altar on my own called Calvary, the issue of sin was dealt. And that's why people come to me all the time is what where is the altar and here you say that most you stumble and bumble.
I know here's the answer. We have an altar at which those who minister the tabernacle of no right to eat. You see the Jewish people were criticizing these individuals for their commitment to Jesus Christ, they were criticizing them as having no visible means of support. After all, the whole sacrificial system of the Old Testament are being turned on his head because the believer said over. Jesus said that this was all pointing forward. Jesus came he did it one sacrifice for sins were done we will celebrate communion.
The Lord's supper as a symbolic recollection of what Jesus did upon the cross, but we are going to continue to slaughter things and bring them around here with them all over the place. Why not because we don't need to do is you need to why you need to present you don't know that you don't of God. We as we do because you see, God has come in the person of Jesus Christ and he is made a once and for all sacrifice for sins, and he is now seated at the right hand of the father or not, he's gone right into the holy of holies please made it possible for us to come or I can understand that. I think I have to go to this man until my sins know you don't, why not because there is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, and if you meet a man Christ Jesus you never need to go to another man and tell them about your sins because once you tell him about your sins.
On the other guy's compliance. That's the whole point and that is grace you see that liberation is wonderful.
That's our revolution back to the gospel. The high priest. Verse 11 carries the blood of animals into the most holy Place is a sin offering by the bodies and burned outside the camp.
The people understood this, they do the bodies of the beasts outside of the camp because they were symbolic of all of the sin that had been laid upon, and so he says it is an account of this in Jesus also suffered outside the city gate.
Remember that his cross was raised outside the city wall what was going on out there, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting men's sins against them to Corinthians 59 but didn't God count men's sins against someone as he counted them against his son the Lord Jesus first Peter 224 he himself bore our sins in his own body in the tree.
That's why when Jesus cried from the cross, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me, the answer of heaven would have been because Jesus used stand in the place of sinners.
You bear the guilt of sinners, you absorb the punishment of sinners. You bear my raw. That's why we would urge people to come to the cross in repentance and faith so that they may be able to say all safe and happy shelter or rescue tried in suite overpricing place where heaven's love and heavens justice meet. Where does the justice of God that must punish sin and the love of God that makes a way of escape find its expression in a moment of time on the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ and those who have discovered the reality of grace at his cross. Know that there is nothing to be gained from ceremonial foods, external rigmarole's and all kinds of nonsense. Presumably, those who continue in it have neither had the message understood the message or embrace the message, they are more to be pretty. Now you will notice that Jesus suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. That's why through many dangers, toils and snares, we have come because he is conforming us to the image of his son. His purpose was to redeem a people that would look like Jesus. It is by means of the cross of Christ, says Paul in Galatians 6 that the world has been crucified to me and I have been crucified to the world and the world doesn't go away on its own. It clings to his like Olympic.
It seeks to draw out of us all of our spiritual juices is like the thorns in the parable of the sore just entangling us in squeezing the very life out of it as if it could, so the reminder is that the grace of God. Titus 211 brings salvation has appeared to all men teaching is to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age and then the expectation in verse 30 in light of this, he says, then let us go to him outside the camp bearing the disgrace, he bore that's why I called this evening the privilege of disgrace is a paradoxical statement as is and not everybody would regard his grace is disgraceful. How could disgrace ever be a privilege while Moses knew it was a privilege he chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God and to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, because he knew it was a great privilege to be named with God's people. Paul, I guy with a great background and a great mind and great degrees and great teachers and great influence is regarded as the scum of the air he said is a privilege to privilege and the writer says, listen, I want you to understand that it is a privilege. You see the June would have regarded this as the ultimate revolution because the Jewish mind thought always in terms of everything inside of the can as being kosher and sacred and everything outside of the camp as being profane and unclean and the writer says let us go to him outside the camp.
I can go outside the camp. She can and furthermore yes you must but inside the campus. Precincts are sacred and unhallowed in their familiar and I have all the things that are normal.
To me that you telling me I gotta go out here into this vulnerable environment that's exactly says what were saying why because in Jesus all the old values of been reversed and that he in verse 14 he says, by the way, here we don't have an enduring city but were looking for the city that is to come with all their mind so fastened and focused on Jerusalem their hearts clinging to what represented security to them. Apparently all of that old order was about to crash these things all were part and parcel of the things that were shaken at the end of chapter 12. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful God is going to shake the heavens, is going to shake the earth and all that will remain is the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God, and amongst the group read the letter, there would have been those like pliable, who said no way I like my security.
I like my comforts. I like my familiar stuff I don't like this, no newfangled nonsense and I am not going outside of the camp. I am not going to take my stand with Jesus Christ that is disgraceful. Stand up behind a Galilean carpenter with all these messianic claims frankly died on the cross and the Bible says cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree past disgraceful. Why can't I just stay with the nice religious stuff.
After all, I believe in God believe that he knows me and cares for me. I believe enough surely 2000 years later. What I'm saying to you is what I hear every single day. Why would I have to identify with Jesus Christ. Why can I just continue to believe in God in my own way and with my own stuff because God is not left that is an option. Why do you have to get dramatic and have all those people fully call go down in that water and do all I disgraceful stuff. I'm not going to get involved in the disgrace, let me tell you something until you do, you'll never amount to anything for Jesus Christ.
This worthwhile until you are prepared to embrace the privilege of disgrace. You will live with the disgrace of not knowing the privilege that is a challenging thought from Alister Bank embracing the privilege of disgrace listing to Truth for Life.
There are only a few messages remaining in our current study titled fix our eyes on Jesus, and as a reminder, you can on the complete series, which includes Alister's teaching through the entire book of Hebrews.
It's available on USB for just five dollars plus shipping. You'll find email@example.com/store. It's also available on the mobile app. Another item that complements our series on the book of Hebrews is a book or featuring today titled God's Bible timeline big book of biblical history. This is a colorful brightly illustrated book that explains biblical history through a series of unique timelines. Each timeline spans two pages and highlights key events and characters for my particular time. The book makes it easy to see how one.
Of biblical history rolls into the next God's Bible timeline is as engaging for children as it is for adults whole family will enjoy diving into these timelines as well as seeing the detailed maps and diagrams so request your copy of the book today. When you make a generous one-time donation to Truth for Life and give online. It's quick and easy to do. The Truth for Life.org/donate also call us to donate 888-588-7884 Bob Lapine thanks for joining us today and tomorrow as we hear about our spiritual duties and how our faithfulness to them is a way for us to express our gratitude to God, the Bible teaching of Alister bag is furnished by Truth for Life where the learning is prolific