Sermons

Shadows - Shining the light on Hebrews

Shadows - Shining the light on Hebrews
Feb 2021 - Aug 2021
A Study of Hebrews

Sermons in this series

Christ, the New Covenant, and Better Promises
Sun, Aug 08, 2021
In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. - Hebrews 8:13 (ESV) Jeremiah the prophet speaks astounding words to those in exile - there will come a day when God will make a new covenant with his beloved people. When something new comes, the old is obsolete. It is no longer valid or effective. The newness of the new covenant is so astounding and final that it gives us an unwavering hope in the faithfulness of God to save, redeem, transform, and usher us into his eternal presence at the end of this age. Join us this Sunday at 10am either in person or online as we return to our study of Hebrews (Chapter 8) and meditate on the incredible promises of the new covenant, secured for us in Jesus Christ.
Finding the Perfect Priest
Sun, May 16, 2021
For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. Hebrews 7:25–26 (ESV) Nothing lasts forever. To say it another way, nothing is constant in this world but change. These are truths that we know but don't like to admit to ourselves. Most of us are creatures of habit. We live in and even thrive in the routine. But when things change we can become unsettled and anxious. This is especially true when it comes to those who lead us. When a boss or politician or pastor changes, we wonder how our life will be affected. We might even long for the old way of doing things. We might miss the old person's methods or experience. This was, at one level, the fear of the recipients of Hebrews. They were familiar with the routine of sacrifice. They knew the traditions and methods. But they also knew about change. Priests served and then died. Another took his place. The new one might not have a heart for God. Some new priests even turned to alternative Gods. There was change. Enter Jesus. He shows up and changes things. He was outside of the prescribed law. However, as we saw last week, He was actually connected to a much older law and promise, and He eliminated one important thing - change. This week we will look at the rest of Hebrews 7. I want to encourage you take a few minutes to read through the chapter and consider the nature of Christ's intercession for you.
A Different Kind of Priest
Sun, May 09, 2021
For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever. Hebrews 7:1–3 (ESV) I admit it. I'm a sucker for the 'new and improved'. You throw tech into something and I'm likely to give it a second look. Put a touchscreen on it and there is a good chance it's on my 'buy list'. There is just something about the shiny, glassy screen that draws me to it like a bug to a zapper. Newer doesn't always mean better though. Take for instance a toaster. You can now buy a techie toaster with a touchscreen for $300. (Yes, that's really a thing). What if instead you bought an indestructible toaster? It would not be flashy. In fact, it would be older tech, but bulletproof and would last for your whole life. Which would you get? Newer isn't always better. This week we look at the oldest priesthood in the Bible. We finally get the scoop on this guy Melchizedek. We will find out why he is so important and what he tells us about both the Old Testament and Christ. We will begin to see what kind of priest we really have! Take a few minutes to read Hebrews 7. If you have time, take a peak back at Genesis 14 to find the beginning of the story.
An Anchor for the Soul
Sun, May 02, 2021
We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 6:19–20 (ESV) I don't have sea legs. I seem to get seasick fairly easily. I've only gone deep sea fishing a few times, but the last time I did more feeding the fish than catching them. I guess I'll have to give up my dream of being the star of 'The Deadliest Catch'! The waves are a biblical metaphor for the nature of life. David in Psalms uses them as a picture of the unstable and dangerous ebbs of life. We seem to live in unsafe waters. The writer of the book of Hebrews has been warning us of our the danger to our souls while we navigate through. But now he says, there is an anchor. There is something that holds in the middle of the turbulence. There is something that keeps us from shifting. What is it? Who is it? Take a few minutes and read through the warning and comfort found in Hebrews 6 to prepare your heart and mind to worship with us on Sunday.
Apostasy and the Perseverance of Faith
Sun, Apr 25, 2021
Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Hebrews 6:9–12 (ESV) How do you get someone to move forward in life? Leaders, mentors, and parents often are working on a delicate balance of help, encouragement, and punishment. If you help and encourage all the time you risk never showing the danger and difficulty in error and the growth that failure brings. However if you punish and chide all the time, you risk discouragement and bitterness from those under your care. How you figure out the balance is part of the delicate art of leadership. This week we continue in the third warning passage from the writer of Hebrews. He is poking at the recipients to consider their life and pursuit of Christ and he is calling us to consider the same. We want to encourage you to take a few minutes to read through Hebrews 6 to prepare your heart and mind.
Grow UP
Sun, Apr 18, 2021
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:12–14 (ESV) The development of a child is amazing. Think about for the milestones in a the first year of a child's life. They come into the world knowing nothing and being able to do nothing. Over the course of time their abilities and skills multiply at an amazing rate. As a parent of an infant it can be an exhausting and hard process, but looking back, it seems like it all goes by so fast. When we don't see our kids developing mentally or physically we get concerned. When they lag behind we try and get them help for that deficiency. But what about our spiritual life? People come to Christ and then at times they seem to get stuck. They don't seem to mature. Their knowledge and their practice seems shallow. It reflects a minimum understanding of scripture. If they have crossed the line of faith, is it important to go further? This week in Hebrews we are confronted with another one of the writer's warnings. In simple terms he says, 'Grow up!' Take a few minutes to read through Hebrews 5-6 to listen to his warning.
Finding a True Mediator
Sun, Apr 11, 2021
For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. Because of this he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins just as he does for those of the people. Hebrews 5:1–3 (ESV) As a pastor there are certain expectations that come with the job. In a public gathering, I'm usually the one asked to pray. Sometimes people will ask random Bible questions. Other times people ask me to 'put a good word in with the man upstairs.' There is a general feeling that if anyone is close God, it must be the pastor. So while the concept of a priest may seem like a distant concept, there still seems to be echoes of it in our cutlure. We have a sense we are separated from a holy God and we need help to restore our connection and relationship to Him, but who and how seems to be fuzzy. This week we head back to Hebrews 5. This text will give us a clearer picture not only of who and what a high priest did, but it will also help us see that a high priest now exists that is greater than Aaron or those that followed. This one is far superior to any modern priest or pastor. Take a few minutes to read through Hebrews 5. See if you discover this One who stands between God and men.
A Sympathetic High Priest
Sun, Mar 28, 2021
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:12–13 (ESV) As a Sunday school kid, we had 'sword drills'. They were the churchy equivalent of a playground game. A group of kids would sit in a row, Bibles at the ready, and a Bible reference would be called out. It would be a race to find it first, then stand up and read it. You had to know your Bible cover to cover, have quick hands, and a sense of the relative placement of the books. Tabs and bookmarks were cheating. Honestly, I was not very good at it and more than a few pages of my Bible were ripped in my failed attempts at speed. The above verses were the inspiration for the title. After all, you want to be quick with a sword. A sword is used to slice and dice. It's not a very comforting image and it's not meant to be. God's Words are true and piercing. They speak truth to us and cut through the darkness even the darkness we try to hide. That's what the law does. The writer of the book of Hebrews wants us to not just know the place and purpose of the law, but something (or someone) who meets that law with a comforting and glorious reality. Take a few minutes to read through Hebrews 4.
God's Sabbath Rest
Sun, Mar 21, 2021
So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. Hebrews 4:9–11 (ESV) I have a confession. I'm bad at resting. I can't sit still. Work and projects are a regular part of life. When the writer of Hebrews begins to talk about rest, I know that I need it but I'm honestly not sure how best to get there. After all the nation of Israel wandered around for 40 years trying to find it. What hope do I have? This week Carson will be opening up Hebrews 4 and we will discover that this rest is not a vacation or some time off or even a Sunday afternoon nap (as great as those are). It's something that is far more important and permanent. Take a few minutes to read through Hebrews 4 to prepare your heart and mind to find this permanent and ultimate rest.
Greater than Moses
Sun, Mar 14, 2021
Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house. Hebrews 3:1–2 (ESV) We have all had heroes. Early in your life your hero might have been your parents. As you grow up you, it might have been someone you wanted to be like - the brave fire fighter or the brilliant scientist or the skilled athlete. To the nation of Israel there was no greater hero in it's history than Moses. He was God's instrument to birth a nation through the Exodus. He was the conduit for God's Law to come to the people. He was the leader that took them to the edge of the Promised Land. But the history of Moses was not meant to paint him as the ultimate hero of the story. There was someone beyond Moses. This week we venture into Hebrews 3. It sets this and other stories in the Old Testament into the greater narrative of redemption. And it helps us to more clearly consider how we might fit in this grand story that is still being written. Will you take a few minutes before Sunday to read through Hebrews 3. And allow the ideas and truths there is sink into your heart and mind.
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