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Category Archives: Hebrews 4

Twenty Questions about God’s “Rest” in Hebrews 4

1. What is that “rest”?
2. What is the “promise” of entering that rest?
3. How does one fall short of that rest?
4. How does obedience fit into this issue of God’s rest?
5. We who have believed enter that rest! (v. 3)
6. How does God’s resting on the 7th day relate to this topic?
7. There remains for some to enter that rest. (v. 6)
8. Some did not go in because of their disobedience.
9. How does “today” relate to this rest? (v. 7)
10. What is the rest that Joshua could have given them? (v. 8)
11. What is this Sabbath-rest for the people of God? (v. 9).
12. How does one “enter” God’s rest? (v. 10)
13. Does verse 10 show that this rest is salvation (= resting from one’s works)? (v. 10)
14. How is God’s creation rest a good metaphor for this salvation-rest? (v. 10)
15. What is the alternative to not making the effort to enter that rest? (v. 11)
16. What is meant by perishing in verse 11?
17. How are unbelief and disobedience related to one another? (v. 11)
18. What is the connection of this discussion of rest with the next few verses about the Word of God? (v. 12)
19. How does all this relate to Jesus as our great high priest? (vv. 14-16)
20. Is approaching God’s throne of grace with confidence another way of describing salvation — or the Christian life? (v. 16)

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2021 in Hebrews 4

 

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Got a High Priest? 
(A Look at Hebrews 4:14-16) Part 4 Conclusion

My friends and I have been reading through the book of Hebrews. This week we’re reading Hebrews 4 together. I describe our Bible-reading covenant here and recommend that you consider doing the same with a few of your friends!

As we conclude our discussion of the Lord Jesus as our great High Priest, we read the following in Hebrews 4 —

In our three posts we’ve seen that: (1) Jesus is our “great” high priest — and we need to focus on Him! (2) That He has ascended into heaven (v. 14) and is at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us! (3) That His role as our high priest should motivate us to “hold firmly to the faith we profess” (v. 14). (4) That we must notice what we don’t have! We don’t have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses!

(5) We also saw that our great high priest has been tempted in every way like we are — yet without sin (v. 15)! Our sixth observation was that (6) We have every reason to approach God’s throne of grace with confidence (v. 16)!

As we conclude this brief study today, I want to remind us of (7) what we receive when we approach God’s throne of grace. We receive not judgment or condemnation, but MERCY and GRACE.  And those two gifts are given to “help us in our time of need.”

Today’s Challenge: What a simple word — HELP! It’s just four letters’ long, but boldly proclaims our utter need for God in our lives! What NEED do you have that causes you to simply cry out to the Lord . . . “HELP!”? Don’t hesitate to do just that. And tell another believer of your situation.

 

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2021 in Hebrews 4

 

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Got a High Priest? 
(A Look at Hebrews 4:14-16) Part 3

My friends and I have been reading through the book of Hebrews. This week we’re reading Hebrews 4 together. I describe our Bible-reading covenant here and recommend that you consider doing the same with a few of your friends!

As we continue our discussion of the Lord Jesus as our great High Priest, we read the following in Hebrews 4 —

We’ve seen in our first two posts that: (1) Jesus is our “great” high priest — and we need to focus on Him! (2) That He has ascended into heaven (v. 14) and is at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us! (3) That His role as our high priest should motivate us to “hold firmly to the faith we profess” (v. 14). (4) and that we must notice what we don’t have! We don’t have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses!

Let’s make two other observations from our text. (5) We see that our great high priest has been tempted in every way like we are — yet without sin (v. 15)! Temptation is not sin. If you need a really good book on temptation and sin, well . . . I tried to write a good one a few years ago entitled When Temptation Strikes! (And I’ll send you a free copy if you ask me).

Our sixth observation is — (6) We have every reason to approach God’s throne of grace with confidence (v. 16)! How can that be? We are sinners who are tempted, who need to be told to “hold firmly” to the faith, who often fail. But His throne is a “throne of grace” — and that’s what I need.

Today’s Challenge: Do you ever find yourself thinking, “Jesus just wouldn’t understand what I’m going through right now!”? Well, with all the pastoral kindness I can muster, REPENT of that thought! And thank God for your great high priest who has been tempted in every way that you are tempted. And stands ready to help you with the grace that only He can provide!

 

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2021 in Hebrews 4

 

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Got a High Priest? 
(A Look at Hebrews 4:14-16) Part 2

My friends and I have been reading through the book of Hebrews. This week we’re reading Hebrews 4 together. I describe our Bible-reading covenant here and recommend that you consider doing the same with a few of your friends!

Let’s continue our discussion of the Lord Jesus as our great High Priest! Here’s what we read in Hebrews 4 —

We’ve made two observations in our first post: (1) Jesus is our “great” high priest — and we need to focus on Him! (2) The second observation is that He has ascended into heaven (v. 14). We have an ascended High Priest who is at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us!

Let’s notice this morning —

(3) His role as our high priest should motivate us to “hold firmly to the faith we profess” (v. 14). By “the faith” the writer to the Hebrews means the total content of the Christian faith. And we are to “hold firmly” to that. Two people that I love have chosen to abandon their spouses and have (even though they don’t think so) abandoned the Christian faith. Really. They’ve turned away from God’s teaching about marriage and faithfulness and suffering. And they think they are still in God’s will. Whenever you or I choose our own way instead of God’s, we are doing the same! We are to “hold firmly” to this faith we profess!

(4) Observation #4 is that we must notice what we don’t have! We don’t have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses! That’s a lot of negatives, isn’t it? In other words, our great high priest can sympathize, can empathize with our temptations and weaknesses and struggles. We dare not think otherwise.

Today’s Challenge: Are you holding firmly to the faith you profess? How can you tell? And are you grateful for your high priest who is with you in your challenges and trials? Praise Him this morning for Who He is.

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2021 in Hebrews 4

 

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Got a High Priest? 
(A Look at Hebrews 4:14-16) Part 1

My friends and I have been reading through the book of Hebrews. This week we’re reading Hebrews 4 together. I describe our Bible-reading covenant here and recommend that you consider doing the same with a few of your friends!

If you are at all like me, you hardly ever think of the Lord Jesus as your High Priest. We don’t live in a culture that requires a high priest (or so we think). But this concept, this blessed role that the Lord Jesus plays in our lives, needs to be examined — and embraced!

Here’s what we read in Hebrews 4 —

A proper exegesis (examination) of this text would require an extensive study of the Jewish priesthood and especially the role of the high priest. And that’s a study worth pursuing.

For our purposes I would like to simply make some observations and raise some questions in several posts on this passage. Your comments and reflections are always welcome!

1. The first observation: Jesus is our “great” high priest. When I focus on the world around me, the world that belongs to my Father and has been given for my righteous enjoyment, I can quite easily fail to focus on my Savior. I’m not making the case that we are to ignore or turn away from the beauty of God’s creation. My point is that Jesus my high priest is great — and I need that truth to receive my primary attention.

2. The second observation for today is that our great high priest “has ascended into heaven” (v. 14). I’ve heard very few messages on the ascension of the Lord Jesus, but that event is a cardinal doctrine in the Christian faith. His ascension indicates that the Father approved His atoning work and guarantees that He will return for His own. We have an ascended High Priest who is at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us!

Today’s Challenge: What in the world makes us think that we don’t need a high priest in our lives?! Thankfully our sense of what we need doesn’t limit God’s provision of what (Who) we really need! Praise Him for providing the Lord Jesus as our great High Priest!

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2021 in Hebrews 4

 

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