Jesus and Us - Hebrews 4
Jesus and Us - Hebrews 4
So far in Hebrews, Jesus has been identified as the Christ, the messenger of God who is better than the prophets, the Son of God who is better than the angels, the creator of the world, worshiped by the angels, crowned with glory and honor, the author of our salvation, the victor of Satan and death, the propitiation for our sins, our High Priest. Thus, we are admonished to ‘consider Jesus’ (3:1). The writer will now draw some conclusions to all of this with the little phrase “let us”.
Let us FEAR (1). It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of God IF one has sinned. The warning to the Hebrews is that they may develop an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God” (3:12), Such a heart would be disobedient and unbelieving (3:18-19). Though once believers (i.e., brethren (vs. 12), yet ‘faith’ is not a one-time event but is to be a life long trait. Israel of old ‘believed’ (Exod. 4:31, 14:31), but became guilty of unbelief (Exod. 14:11, Deut. 9:23). Thus, ‘they were not able to enter because of unbelief’ (Heb. 3:19).
Let us BE DILIGENT (11) In light of such warning, we are not to despair, but rather to be diligent! This admonition is given some 14 times in the NT! It means “to do something with intense effort and motivation—‘to work hard, to do one’s best, to endeavor” (Louw Nida). The life of faith is a life of diligent obedience. Such is an active, energetic trust in the Lord that immediately and continually responds in obedience to His teaching.
Let us HOLD FAST (14) Thus we are to ‘hold fast our assurance (3:14). While the first generation of the exodus of Israel did NOT enter into God’s rest but rather became disobedient and unbelieving, we are entering that rest. Again this is not a one-time event, but a course of the life of faith. Such faith is built not upon our doing, but upon our relationship with Jesus.
Let us DRAW NEAR (16). The ESV Study Bible remarks concerning such: “approach, go to, draw near to”) is used consistently in Hebrews to represent a person approaching God (7:25; 10:1, 22; 11:6; 12:18, 22; cf. Ex. 16:9; 34:32; Lev. 9:5; Deut. 4:11), which is possible only when one’s sins are forgiven through the sacrificial and intercessory ministry of a high priest (Heb. 7:25; 10:22).” Such demands a heart of love, fear, respect, awe, devotion – a heart dedicated to worshiping the LORD.
Brethren, while the Lord’s rest remains open for us, let us labor to enter that rest! Do these admonitions describe YOUR life of faith?
· Diligence: Rom. 12:8, 11; 2 Cor. 8:22; Eph. 4:3; 1 Thess. 5:12; 2 Tim. 2:15; Titus 3:13; Heb. 4:11, 6:11; 2 Peter 1:5, 10, 15; 3:14