Sermon + Bible Study Notes: Engage H.O.P.E. (Hebrews 11:13-16)

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But that little word eti applies to us too. The dying pastor got up and said something like this. Someone else has to do the work for us. Just this week I received a letter from a prisoner who read my book An Anchor for the Soul.

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She wrote to thank me and to say that she was pondering the words of a little poem that appears near the end of the book. I like that. Believing in Jesus means risking it all on him. Jesus is my only hope of heaven. Romans says that those who trust in Jesus will never be put to shame. Hebrews tells us something even more wonderful. God is not ashamed to be the God of very imperfect people who put their trust in him. He is not ashamed to be the God of those who trust in him.

When I typed those words, I started smiling because they give me so much hope. Why do we keep believing? Because there is no God like our God and no Savior like Jesus.

He does not judge us by what we are, but by what we will some day be. He has destined us for heaven, and no matter how many mistakes we may make along the way, his grace is more than sufficient to cover them all. He intends to take all his redeemed children to heaven—and not one of them will fail to make it.

Some of us will run triumphantly; others will stumble across the finish line. But by grace we will prevail because God is not ashamed to be our God today, tomorrow and forever. Do you have any thoughts or questions about this post? If you have a Facebook account, you may comment below:. Permissions and restrictions: You are permitted and encouraged to use and distribute the content on Keep Believing Ministries free of charge.

If you choose to publish excerpts from a sermon or article, please provide a link or attribution back to KeepBelieving. The content of KeepBelieving. If you wish to support Keep Believing Ministries, your prayers and donations are appreciated, and further enable this worldwide ministry to distribute all materials free of charge. The Blessing of a Believing Spouse Hebrews Hebrews Miracles Come in Many Varieties Hebrews We want to join together with pastors and Christian workers to equip the church in China, broadcasting translated sermons, providing ministry resources for Christians and pastors in China.

Subscribe to the weekly sermon from Keep Believing Ministries. Sign up for our emails and use it to grow in your faith as well as to encourage others. Listen to or download a digital audio version of one of these messages or receive them via our podcast and feed. The Bible contains many names of Christ. His names tell us who he is. His names tell us why he came.

His names tell us how he can help us. His names tell us why we worship him.

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In this devotional series you'll learn of these varied and meaning behind the names, titles and descriptions of Christ. Keep Believing Ministries is a registered c 3 charitable organization. There are no references to Jesus' parables or sayings, and it is not clear how much the author of Hebrews knew about Jesus' teachings. For the argument of Hebrews it is essential that Jesus lived, died, and rose, but the details of these events are not the focus of attention.

The attention given to the figure of Melchizedek in Hebrews has puzzled many interpreters. Melchizedek is an obscure figure, who is mentioned in connection with Abraham Genesis and again in Psalm , yet the author sees in Melchizedek many of the traits of Jesus, the eternal Son of God Hebrews Some have wondered whether the readers might have been familiar with speculations about Melchizedek's exalted or angelic status. There is evidence that the name Melchizedek was given to heavenly figures in a few ancient Jewish sources.

Nevertheless, the way Hebrews describes Melchizedek does not follow any other source very closely. A more likely interpretation is that the argument of Hebrews is based on a reading of the Old Testament. Early Christians frequently quoted Psalm "The Lord says to my lord, 'Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.

Therefore, if Psalm refers to Christ, the author assumes that the promise of a priest like Melchizedek in Psalm must also refer to Christ.

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Ponder this future worship service for a moment if you need to be excited and encouraged. The only hope for the success of our prayers, the acceptance of our praises, or the reception of our holy works, is through the ever-abiding merit of the atoning sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, the church is grounded upon the foundation of the Apostolic teachings, but these teaching must be understood correctly and in such a way that they maintain the centrality and supremacy of the Son of God. And Revelation tells us that God will bring about "a new heaven and a new earth. When we believe His Word, and when we practically confess this by our lifestyle, He is so happy to reward us v.

The author finds in the story of Melchizedek a foreshadowing of an eternal priesthood that will be fulfilled by the risen and exalted Jesus. Hebrews contrasts the Sinai covenant and Levitical priesthood with the new covenant inaugurated through the sacrifice of Christ. The author considers the new covenant to be better than the old one, which he says has become obsolete , Some have wondered whether this contrast downplays the importance of the Jewish tradition.

In response, it is important to note that much of the book's argument assumes a strong sense of continuity between the Old Testament and the work of Christ.

Hebrews expresses the significance of Christ using language and imagery from Israel's Scriptures. The great chapter on faith, chapter 11, tells the story of faith from Israel's earliest ancestors down to the time of the readers. The sharp contrasts are made when speaking about the Levitical priesthood and animal sacrifice. The author argues that Christ's death is the definitive means of atonement for sin and that the older practices of animal sacrifice are no longer needed.

The book has a strong sense of connection to Israel's heritage, as well as a sense that in Christ God has done something new. There are several points at which Hebrews warns that people who have fallen away might not be restored to repentance but will suffer eternal punishment ; ; These warnings are severe and have disturbed many readers, but they follow a certain logic. The author speaks of a situation in which people have been blessed by God with the message of salvation but then repudiate what they have been given.

Since grace and salvation are what they have rejected, the author points out that it makes no sense to think of them simply being given grace all over again. Grace is what they have rejected. The author likens the situation to a field that has been blessed with abundant rain only to produce thorns and thistles.

Pouring more rain on the thistles will not change the situation but will only encourage the thistles to grow more abundantly. In a similar way, giving grace to people who have rejected it will simply make sin grow more abundantly. Therefore, the author warns that God will bring fiery judgment on those who have turned away from God. These passages present sharp warnings, and it is essential to understand how these warnings work.

Warnings are given not to make people utterly despair but to make them grasp God's promises of salvation more firmly. For a warning to make sense, two things need to be in place: 1 danger is real and 2 danger can be averted. If there is no danger, no warning need be given. Yet if there is no hope, then a warning need not be given either, since disaster is inevitable. The author gives sharp warnings in order to alert people to the danger of divine judgment, yet promptly encourages them with the message that it is not too late.

God remains committed to promises to bring blessing Hebrews sometimes contrasts true heavenly things with their earthly representations or shadows. For example, the true sanctuary is located in heaven, where Christ ministers, and its shadow is the earthly sanctuary in which ordinary priests serve Similarly, the law is considered a shadow of the true sacrifice that Christ offered Some interpreters liken this to Platonic philosophy, which contrasts the eternal archetypes with their earthly copies or shadows.

There are similarities between the language used in Hebrews and in certain philosophical writings, but there are also many differences. Hebrews, for example, never uses the standard philosophical words archetype or paradigm. The way Hebrews communicates the message of Christ would have resonated with some currents in Greek thought, yet the author has unique forms of speech that do not exactly mirror the categories of any one philosophical tradition.

Hebrews frequently quotes, paraphrases, and alludes to the Old Testament. The author does not use the Hebrew form of the Old Testament, but relies on the Greek translation known as the Septuagint. The Septuagint sometimes reads a bit differently from the Hebrew texts on which our modern English translations are based. For example, the Hebrew form of Psalm speaks of one being made a little lower than God or the gods, but the Septuagint version of that verse refers to one being lower than the angels. This is the version used in Hebrews It is clear that the author understands many promises of God to be fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Jesus, for example, is the one who establishes the new covenant promised in Jeremiah Hebrews At the same time, the Old Testament provides the perspective from which Jesus' actions can be understood. The biblical descriptions of atonement, for example, give the author ways to speak about Jesus' crucifixion as a sacrifice. Throughout the book, readers find the author discerning new insights into the old texts by relating them to Christ and discovering new insights into the Christian message by relating Jesus to Israel's Scriptures.

Hebrews includes sharp warnings about the wrath of God. The story of the wilderness generation is a vivid example of how divine wrath works. God redeemed the people from Egypt and promised to bring them to rest in the land of Canaan, yet the people rebelled and refused to go, saying they would rather die. Therefore, God did not compel them to go any farther, but allowed their rejection to stand, and they died in the wilderness. God let their rejection take its course Similarly, Hebrews warns Christian readers not to drift away from the message of salvation.

God does not act arbitrarily but will let sinners experience the consequences of their own actions. Atonement is the restoration of a relationship with God that has been broken by sin. According to the Old Testament, atonement was made when the high priest offered the blood of a bull and goat on the Day of Atonement Leviticus Hebrews says that now Jesus the high priest has made atonement once for all by his sacrificial death and exaltation to heaven, where he intercedes on behalf of sinners ; ; Hebrews exhorts readers to hold fast to their confession of faith in Jesus, who is their hope for life now and in the future ; ; A confession is a statement of faith that is shared by a community.

And now a word about my last thought; and that is, what this name binds Christian people to seek. As long as he kept apart from them, he witnessed to the promise, and God looked upon him and blessed him. Translate that into plain English, and it is this. And as long as they do so, the world will know a religious man when it sees him, and, though it may not like him, it will at least respect him. But a secularized Church or individuals who say that they are Christians, and who have precisely the same estimates of good and evil as the world has, and live by the same maxims, and pursue the same aims, and never lift their eyes to look at the City beyond the river, these are a disgrace to God and to themselves, and to the religion which they say they profess.

Oh, dear friends! Bibliography MacLaren, Alexander. God is not ashamed ; because they place such confidence in him and desire such pure and elevated joys, he has prepared for them a permanent abode and unending bliss in heaven. God is ashamed of those who have no confidence in him and prepares for them no habitation in heaven.

He will not acknowledge them as his people, Mark , or bring them to his blest abode. Bibliography Edwards, Justin. American Tract Society.

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This digression is meant to shew that the faith and hopes of the Patriarchs reached beyond mere temporal blessings. Bibliography "Commentary on Hebrews ". Now —In accepting the inheritance of Canaan, they read a title clear to a better… a heavenly country. And outside of the fleshly Israel there have been faithful souls belonging to the true Israel.

God is not ashamed —The God of the universe condescends to be God to these immigrant pilgrims. All the stars of limitless astronomy, lifeless things as they are, are not as dear to God as one faithful human soul. Prepared… a city —The heavenly counterpart of which, the earthly is type and earnest. Bibliography Whedon, Daniel. But now the case is that, see chap.

Hebrews they desire a better, that is, a heavenly home ; wherefore God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God. Whether all this was foreseen by the patriarchs has been much questioned.

Sermon Notes: Ephesians 2:19-22 – Being Built Together

There may be a fulness of meaning here which the patriarchs did not reach; but in substance they believed that the promise given them was the promise of a future home, a promise connected in part with an earthly heritage; but their desire was for the presence and blessing of Him who was their trust, and with whom they hoped to be when their earthly pilgrimage was ended.

Less than that fails to explain the language of the Old Testament, as it fails to recognise the clear teaching of the New. Bibliography Schaff, Philip. The apostle hereon draws another inference, wherein he expresseth the true, real object of their faith and desires, with the great advantage and dignity which they obtained thereon.

Sermon Notes: Ephesians 2:19-22 – Being Built Together

Wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for he hath prepared for them a city. It was not a mere complaint of their present state and condition; nor,. Did it include a desire after any other earthly country, — not that in particular from whence they came, where were all their dear concernments and relations: wherefore,. It must be another country, of another sort and kind, that they desired and fixed their faith upon; which is here declared.

In the first, the apostle declares that in the midst of the world, and against the world, which contemns things future and invisible in comparison of those which are of present enjoyment and use, they lived in the hope, desire, and expectation of a future, invisible, heavenly country. And in this profession testimony is borne unto the truth and excellency of divine promises. Yea, —. To avow openly in the world, by our ways of walking and living, with a constant public profession, that our portion and inheritance is not in it, but in things invisible, in heaven above, is an illustrious act and fruit of faith.

If we love the world like others, use it and abuse it like others, we destroy our own profession, and declare our faith to be vain. In the first part of the words we may consider,. It is twice used by our apostle in his First Epistle to Timothy, and nowhere else. They had an earnest, active desire, which put them on all due ways and means of attaining it.

Slothful, inactive desires after things spiritual and heavenly, are of little use in or unto the souls of men. And this kind of earnest desire includes,. Here he expresseth where that city is, and what it is; namely, heaven itself, or a habitation with God in the everlasting enjoyment of him. The apostle here clearly ascribeth unto the holy patriarchs a faith of immortality and glory after this life, and that in heaven above with God himself, who prepared it for them.

But great endeavors are used to disprove this faith of theirs, and overthrow it. If we may believe the Papists, they were deceived in their expectation. For whereas the apostle teacheth that when they died they looked to go to heaven, they affirm that they came short of it, and fell into a limbus they know not where.

The Socinians grant a state of immortality and glory to be here intended; but they say that these holy men did not look for it, nor desire it, by virtue of any promise of God. But they are said to do so, because it was that which in the purpose of God would ensue; but they had no ground to believe it.

There is herein not only boldness, but wantonness in dealing with the Scripture. For this exposition is not only expressly contradictory unto the words of the apostle in their only sense and meaning, but also destructive of his whole argument and design. For if he proves not that their faith wrought in the desire and expectation of heavenly things, he proves nothing at all unto his purpose. Grotius and his follower would have the country intended to be the land of Canaan, and the city to be Jerusalem, — which yet in a mystical sense were typical of heaven, — for these were promised unto their posterity; than which nothing can be more remote from the mind of the Holy Ghost.

Certainly men follow prejudices, and are under the influence of other corrupt opinions, so as that they advise not with their own minds, who thus express themselves concerning these holy patriarchs. Shall we think that those who were testified unto to have lived by faith, to have walked with God, who gave themselves unto prayer and meditation continually, who denied themselves as unto all worldly accommodations, whose faith produced inimitable instances of obedience, rose no higher in their faith, hopes, desires, and expectations, than those earthly things wherein their posterity were to have no share comparable unto that of many of the worst enemies of God; the whole of it being at this day one of the most contemptible provinces of the Turkish empire?

I no way doubt, but on the promise of the blessed Seed, they lived in that faith of heaven and glory which some that oppose their faith were never acquainted withal. But we see here, that —. Faith looks on heaven as the country of believers, a glorious country, an eternal rest and habitation. They are born from above; there is their portion and inheritance. God is the one and the other. Thereunto they have right by their adoption; that is prepared for them as a city, a house full of mansions; therein they have their conversation, and that do they continually long after whilst they are here below.

For, —. In all the groans of burdened souls under their present trials, there is included a fervent desire after heaven and the enjoyment of God therein. So was there in this complaint of the patriarchs, that they were strangers and pilgrims, Heaven is in the bottom of the sighs and groans of all believers, whatever may outwardly give occasion unto them, Romans And this was the greatest honor that they could be made partakers of. He who is the great possessor of heaven and earth, the God of the whole world, of all nations, of all creatures, would be known, styled, and called on, as their God in a peculiar manner; and he distinguisheth himself thereby from all false gods whatever.

And whilst this name stands upon record, there is yet hope of the recovery of their posterity from their present forlorn, undone condition. This is the greatest privilege, honor, advantage, and security that any can be made partakers of, that God will bear the name and title of their God. The privileges and benefits which depend hereon cannot be numbered. Their honor and safety in this life, their resurrection from the dead, as our Savior proves, and eternal life, flow from thence. And sundry things are intimated in this expression; as, —.

Though it seems to be a thing infinitely beneath his glorious majesty, yet he is not ashamed of it. How much more doth he so humble himself in taking this title on him! So it was in the world; innumerable gods were set up in opposition to him, — idols acted and animated by devils; but all agreed to reproach and despise the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, three poor pilgrims on the earth.

But, —. If it be asked, how this title could be any glory unto God; I say, it was so, in that by virtue thereof, and to fill it up, he glorified his grace, his goodness, his truth, and power, above all that he did besides in the world. Therefore he takes this title as his honor and glory. Besides, in being thus their God, he doth such things in them and for them, that they shall be a glory to him. For until his own Son came in the flesh, he could not be more glorified on the earth by the obedience of his creatures, which is his glory, than he was in that act of Abraham which the apostle immediately instanceth.

Their graces, their sufferings, their obedience, were his glory. He will, by his Spirit and graces in them, make them his crown and diadem; which he will hold in his hand, to show it unto all the world. Divine wisdom hath so ordered the relation between God and the church, that that which is in itself an infinite condescension in God, and a reproach unto him in the wicked, idolatrous world, should also be his glory and honor, wherein he is well pleased. When God, in a way of sovereign grace, so infinitely condescends, as to take any into covenant with himself, so as that he may be justly styled their God, he will make them to be such as shall be a glory to himself.

And, —. We may see wherein the woful condition of them who are ashamed to be called his people, and make that name a term of reproach unto others. It is true, they were poor wanderers, pilgrims on the earth, who had neither city nor habitation, so that it might be a shame to own them; but saith the apostle,. And the word here used is constantly applied unto the preparation of heaven and glory for believers, Matthew ; Matthew ; Mark ; John ; 1 Corinthians And two things are included in it.

It denotes the fitting and suiting of that city unto them, as the means of their eternal rest and blessedness. This preparation, therefore, of a city denotes,. An eternal act of the will and wisdom, of God, in designing heaven and glory unto the elect. An act of his power and grace, in the actual producing and disposing of it of that nature as may be an everlasting habitation of rest and glory. Thus, —. Eternal rest and glory are made sure for all believers in the eternal purpose of the will of God, and his actual preparation of them by grace; which being embraced by faith, is a sufficient supportment for them under all the trials, troubles, and dangers of this life, Luke Bibliography Owen, John.

Only here, 1 Timothy ; 1 Timothy See Hebrews Add "of them". Figure of speech Tapeinosis. See Acts Bibliography Bullinger, Ethelbert William. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". Is not ashamed - Greek adds, 'of them. None remained dead in Christ's presence Luke The Lord of heaven and earth, when asked, What is thy name?

Faith Confessing (Hebrews 11:13–16)

Not only is He not ashamed, but glories in the relation to His people. He first so "called" Himself, then they so called Him. For - proof of His being "their God;" namely, "He hath prepared in His eternal counsels, Matthew ; Matthew , and by the progressive acts of redemption, John for them a city," that where He reigns their yearning desires shall not be disappointed Hebrews ; Hebrews A city. Compare its garniture by God, Revelation This is the general current of thought in these verses, presenting a very close analogy to the argument of Hebrews to Hebrews ; here, as there, words which otherwise might appear to have but an earthly reference are seen to have a higher and a spiritual import.

In Hebrews we have before us only the land of inheritance, but in Hebrews the heavenly rest; and in Hebrews words which as read in Genesis might seem to refer to a wandering life in the land of Canaan are taken as a confession of sojourning upon earth. And yet each of these servants of God recognised that relation to God in which lay the foundation of the promise to him to be personal and abiding.

If these two thoughts be united, it will be easy to see how each one for himself would be led to regard the state of wandering in which he spent his life as an emblem of a state of earthly waiting for an enduring home; the sojourning in the land was a constant symbol of the sojourning upon earth. Hence see the passages quoted in Hebrews the same language is used from age to age after Canaan is received as an inheritance.

Hebrews ; and see Exodus , and Matthew But now. Wherefore God is not ashamed. Because of this lofty desire, or rather, because of the faith and love towards Him in which the desire was founded, and of which therefore the longing for a heavenly country was the expression, God is not ashamed of them, to be called literally surnamed their God Genesis ; Genesis ; Genesis ; Exodus ; et al.

Matthew Bibliography Ellicott, Charles John. Bibliography Torrey, R. The heavenly country. Their faith pointed them to this heavenly country! See Philippians And so God is not ashamed. He might have been ashamed, if he failed to fulfill the promise. This proves the earthly Canaan was not the true land of promise! Bibliography Ice, Rhoderick D. College Press, Joplin, MO. This verse expresses the same hope mentioned of Abraham in verse God is pleased to own people who are trusting Him, and as a reward he will admit them into the heavenly city in the "sweet by and by.

Bibliography Zerr, E. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. In desiring a better country these ancient pilgrims wanted something heavenly, something that tasted of God, savored of God, smelt of God, and was given of God—a heavenly religion, a spiritual faith, a gracious hope, and a love shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Spirit—something which came from heaven and led to heaven; which gave heavenly feelings, heavenly sensations, heavenly delights, and heavenly joys, whereby the heart was purified from the love of sin, carnality, and worldliness by having something sweeter to taste, better to love, and more holy to enjoy.

It is these heavenly visitations, droppings-in of the favor, goodness, and mercy of God, which keep the soul alive in its many deaths, sweeten it amid its many bitters, hold it up amid its many sinkings, and keep it from being drowned while conflicting with many waters. A carnal mind has no taste for heavenly things, no sweet delight in the word of God; no delight in the Lord Jesus as revealing himself in the word; no delight in closet duties, secret meditation, searching the Scriptures, communion with God, or even in the company of God"s dear family.

There must be a "heavenly element" in the soul to understand, realize, enjoy, and delight in heavenly things. The Holy Spirit must have wrought in us a new heart, a new nature, capable of understanding, enjoying, and delighting in heavenly realities, as containing in them, that which is sweet and precious to the soul. They desired, therefore, a better country, that Isaiah , a heavenly, a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God; where pleasures are at God"s right hand for evermore; where the pure river of the water of life ever flows; where the tree grows on which are found leaves for the healing of the nations; such a city as John describes in the book of Revelation , where all is happiness, harmony, and peace.

Bibliography Philpot, Joseph Charles.

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Commentary by J. Philpot on select texts of the Bible. But now they desire a better country, that Isaiah , an heavenly; wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for he hath prepared for them a city. It is apparent from their history that they desired a better country, even an heavenly, and God had prepared for them a city. Here we are expressly taught that the attention of the patriarchs was directed to a better, even a heavenly country, and that God had provided for them a city, which is elsewhere described as having foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

This is illustrated by our Lord putting to silence the Sadducees, who denied that there was a resurrection, by quoting God"s declaration to Moses, in which He describes Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He would have been ashamed of describing Himself as standing to them in this relation had He bestowed on them nothing better than this world can afford.

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