Hebrews: The Majestic Christ
Hebrews: The Majestic Christ
The book of Hebrews links the Old and New Testaments, and shows how Jesus is the ultimate fulfilment of all that God has been doing in biblical history. In a world that has relegated Jesus to just another figure of history, we need to recognise who Jesus really is… the divine Son of God… fully equal with God. In a world that wants to believe there are many different ways to God, Hebrews emphasizes that Jesus alone can save people from their sin through the sacrifice of Himself on the cross. And when we come to know Jesus personally as our Saviour, then we begin to “live by faith”, as we learn to trust Him through the daily ups and downs of life. That’s the message of Hebrews, and what the Christian life is all about!
There is a real place for meaty doctrinal teaching (and there’s plenty of that in the book of Hebrews). But sometimes we need to hear what God says about things like: how to relate to church leaders, and being willing to suffer disgrace and humiliation for the sake of Christ, and what “worship” 24/7 looks like. When it comes to the crunch, you have to live the faith you profess. Join us as Pastor Murray unpicks these verses and challenges us to put them into practice personally.
God never intended faith to be a set of mental beliefs, isolated from real life. To be genuine, faith has to work in real life. As the writer of this letter starts to wind things up, he challenges his readers to put his teaching about faith into practice. Join us as Pastor Murray extends the challenge to us today in four particular areas of life – 1. how we relate to strangers, 2. how we care for prisoners, 3. how we preserve our sexual purity, and 4. how we stay content in a materialistic world. Whoever said the Bible isn’t relevant to the 21st century!
Listen as Pastor Dave continues our study into the book of Hebrews focusing on what God has done for us and how we might live in response.
How do you respond to hardships in your life? Listen as we consider the exhortations of the writer to the Hebrews, as he urges his readers to remember the encouraging word of God and the good purposes of God, even when we face hard times. And then, let us resolve to press on.
In the Bible the Christian life is often compared to a long distance race. But as we all know, many runners in these races don’t make it to the finish line. Sadly, that is also true of some who claim to be Christians today. For a variety of reasons they lose heart and give up. It seems that the book of Hebrews had these sorts of people in mind, and today’s passage is a word of strong encouragement to these people. Whatever difficulties you may be facing, and they are an unavoidable part of life for every Christian, it’s *always* worth it to run the race of life with perseverance and to keep fixing your eyes on Jesus. This is the faith that gets every genuine believer triumphantly to the finish line.
Listen as Pastor Dave looks at how God empowers, sustains and rewards people of faith.
For most people the whole matter of faith has a mysterious, even scary, element to it. Can I trust the parachute to open when I jump out of the plane at 2000 metres? What factors inform decisions like these? The Christian life is a life of faith and this fact is graphically illustrated again in our passage today as we look at the experiences of Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Jacob, Moses and Rahab. In many different ways they were all challenged to “see Him who is invisible” (verse 27). They were called to intentionally choose to put their hope and confidence in the promises of a God whom they could not actually see. And that is exactly what we are being asked to do today… to believe in the God who has given us Jesus Christ and invites us to put our trust fully in Him.
The Christian life is a journey… a journey of faith. And perhaps no one models this better for us than Abraham. He was far from a perfect man (thankfully!), but his continual dependence on God over his lifetime still speaks powerfully to us today. Here was a man who implicitly believed the promises of God and clung to those promises year after year. Some of them were fulfilled in his lifetime. Some were not. Yet his unwavering faith that God would one day fulfil those promises enabled him to live and die a contented man. Even today those who have faith in Jesus Christ are called ‘children of Abraham’. The entire Christian life, ’from first to last’, is a journey of faith as we learn in daily life what it means to love, obey, trust and serve our faithful God.
Hebrews 11 is the best known chapter in the Bible when it comes to the subject of faith. And in this chapter we encounter numerous examples of people from the Old Testament who actually lived by faith in the circumstances they faced. Today we look at two of these people – Enoch and Noah. Despite much sin and godless opposition from the world around them, their faith shone through by the way they continued to trust God and live for Him. In many ways there are parallels for Christians today as we face growing antagonism. As it was then, the answer is to focus on God’s promises (now seen in Jesus Christ) and keep walking by faith in Him.
Whether we realise it or not, we all exercise faith on a daily basis – the chair we sit on, the plain we catch, the tablets we take etc. Likewise, Christian faith is something we exercise as a natural part of our day-to-day dependence on God. In this message Pastor Murray helps us understand what this means in practical terms as it affects our view of the future, things we cannot see or touch, and creation. Ultimately, faith in God, true life-shaping faith, causes us to worship Him, which we see exemplified in the life of Abel. All faith leads us to God whose promises to us find their fulfilment in Jesus Christ.
Bad things happen! What’s more, bad things happen to Christians! They happen because of our own sinfulness, because of the sinfulness of others, and because we live in a world seriously damaged by sin. So how does the Christian cope when bad things happen in life? In today’s passage the readers are encouraged in two specific ways to keep themselves from losing heart and falling away from Christ. Real faith is persevering faith. It actually becomes stronger when the going gets tough. Faith rests in the certainties of Christ when circumstances seem hopeless. What are you facing today? Look up: “The righteous person will live by faith”!