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Greater - Sermon 2

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Jesus is greater than Moses and the Law

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GREATER
SERMON 2
INTRODUCTION:
I WANT TO INVITE YOU TO TAKE YOUR BIBLE AND TURN TO THE BOOK OF HEBREWS, CHAPTER 3.
AND LET ME REMIND YOU WHILE YOU ARE MAKING YOUR WAY OVER THERE ABOUT OUR WEDNESDAY NIGHT SERVICES HERE AT FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH.
WHEN WE GATHER ON WEDNESDAY NIGHTS FOR OUR ADULT BIBLE STUDY, WE ARE LOOKING AT PASSAGES RELATED TO PRAYER AND WALKING THROUGH THEM VERSE-BY-VERSE IN A VERY OPEN, DISCUSSION-FRIENDLY FORMAT.
SO IF YOU ARE NOT ATTENDING ON WEDNESDAY NIGHTS, I WANT TO ENCOURAGE YOU TO JOIN US THIS WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT 6:15 RIGHT HERE IN THE SANCTUARY.
IF YOU HAVE FOUND YOUR PLACE IN HEBREWS CHAPTER 3, LET’S READ VERSES 1 THROUGH 6 AS A STARTING POINT FOR THE MESSAGE THIS MORNING.
HEBREWS, CHAPTER 3, BEGINNING IN VERSE 1.
READ – PRAY
IF I WERE TO TRY TO GIVE YOU A BRIEF STATEMENT THAT CAPTURES ALL THE TRUTH IN THIS 3RD CHAPTER OF HEBREWS, I MIGHT SAY SOMETHING LIKE THIS…
JESUS IS GREATER THAN MOSES, SO THE GOSPEL IS GREATER THAN THE LAW. THEREFORE, WE SHOULD OBEY THE MESSAGE OF THE GOSPEL, SO THAT WE DO NOT SUFFER THE FATE OF THE WILDERNESS GENERATION, WHO WERE NOT ALLOWED TO ENTER GOD’S “REST.”
AS YOU READ THROUGH THIS BOOK, IT ALMOST SEEMS AS THOUGH THE WRITER IS SAYING TO THE PEOPLE HE IS SERVING, “WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO RETURN TO AN INFERIOR RELIGION WHEN YOU HAVE HAD THE GREATEST TRUTH KNOWN TO MAN REVEALED TO YOU?”
AND THE SAME QUESTION COULD BE ASKED OF THE CULTURE IN WHICH WE LIVE TODAY.
WHY WOULD WE SETTLE FOR THE THINGS THAT WILL NOT LAST, WHEN WE HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO THE ONLY TRUTH THAT WILL LAST FOR ALL ETERNITY?
AND YET, WE SEE THIS HAPPENING ALL THE TIME.
PEOPLE SETTLING FOR A LIFE WITHOUT GOD, OR PEOPLE WHO CLAIM TO KNOW CHRIST, LIVING AS THOUGH THEY HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO KNOWLEDGE OF HIM AT ALL.
THERE ARE THREE TRUTHS THAT WE FIND HERE IN THE 3RD CHAPTER OF HEBREWS THAT ARE IMPORTANT FOR US TO BE REMINDED OF THIS MORNING.
THERE’S A FOUNDATIONAL TRUTH REVEALED, A FACTUAL TRUTH REVEALED, AND A FUNCTIONAL TRUTH REVEALED IN THIS PASSAGE…
1. HERE IS THE FOUNDATIONAL TRUTH OF .
a. THE PERFECT SON IS GREATER THAN THE FAITHFUL SERVANT.
i. IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THE CONTEXT OF THE BOOK OF HEBREWS.
ii. IT WAS, MOST SCHOLARS BELIEVE, A SERMON PREACHED TO JEWISH CHRISTIANS WHO, BECAUSE OF INCREASING PERSECUTION, WERE CONSIDERING TURNING AWAY FROM THE CHRISTIAN FAITH AND RETURNING TO JUDAISM, OR TO THE PAGAN GODS OF ROME.
iii. IT’S THIS IDEA OF INFERIORITY VERSUS SUPERIORITY.
iv. THE GOOD VERSUS THE BEST.
v. THE PRECURSOR OF THE TRUTH VERSUS THE REVEALED TRUTH.
vi. THEY WERE CONSIDERING WALKING AWAY FROM THE FOUNDATIONAL TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL…
1. WHICH IS THE ONLY TRUTH THAT SAVES A PERSON…
vii. FOR THE SAKE OF CONVENIENCE AND COMFORT…
viii. WILLIE MCLAURIN, WHO IS ON STAFF AT THE TENNESSEE BAPTIST MISSION BOARD…
1. IN HIS SERMON TUESDAY NIGHT AT THE ANNUAL MEETING…
2. TALKED ABOUT THIS ISSUE…
3. HE POINTED OUT ONE OF THE GLARING DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE EARLY CHURCH AND TODAY’S CHURCH.
a. HE SAID THAT TODAY’S CHURCH IS FOCUSED ON PROSPERITY, PERSONALITY, AND POPULARITY, AND IT HAS CAUSED US TO LOOK FOR COMFORT…
b. WHEREAS THE EARLY CHURCH WAS FOCUSED ON PRISONS, AND POVERTY, AND SUFFERED PERSECUTION, AND IT CAUSED THEM TO LOOK TO THE CROSS!
c. WE NEED TO GET BACK TO LOOKING TO THE CROSS OF CHRIST!
b. A LIFE IN CHRIST FAR OUTDISTANCES A LIFE WITHOUT HIM, YET MANY CHOOSE TO LIVE AND DIE WITHOUT HIM IN OUR CULTURE.
c. THERE IS A MOVEMENT IN OUR NATION RIGHT NOW THAT IS COMMITTED TO REMOVING EVERYTHING CHRISTIAN FROM THE FABRIC OF OUR NATION.
i. I READ AN ARTICLE IN THE TUSCALOOSA NEWS SEVERAL YEARS AGO THAT SPOKE OF A NEW DEVELOPMENT IN ATHEIST CIRCLES.
1. IT SEEMS AS THOUGH ATHEISTS ARE GATHERING IN MANY OF THE MAJOR CITIES IN THE UNITED STATE FOR “SUNDAY GATHERINGS” IN AN EFFORT TO FIND “LIKE-MINDED” PEOPLE WITH WHICH TO FELLOWSHIP.
2. SOUNDS LIKE A RELIGIOUS GATHERING TO ME, UNDER THE AUSPICES OF “NO RELIGION.”
ii. AND WHAT IS REALLY UNSETTLING ABOUT THIS MOVEMENT IS THAT MOST CHRISTIANS ARE NOT BOTHERED BY IT…NOT CONCERNED AT ALL.
d. BUT IF WE EMBRACE THE TRUTH THAT JESUS IS GREATER, IT WILL DO SOMETHING TO US.
e. IT WILL SPUR US ON TO FAITHFULNESS AND GOOD WORKS…IN HIS NAME…FOR HIS GLORY.
f. THE ALTERNATIVE IS TO BECOME LIKE THE WILDERNESS GENERATION, WHO DESCENDED INTO UNBELIEF AND DISOBEDIENCE.
g. LOOK AT VERSES 7-11.
2. HERE WE FIND…THE FACTUAL TRUTH OF .
a. READ 7-11
b. THE FACTUAL TRUTH OF IS THIS…UNBELIEF LEADS TO DISOBEDIENCE.
i. DISOBEDIENCE IS THE EXPRESSION OF UNBELIEF.
ii. DISOBEDIENCE STEMS FROM UNBELIEF.
iii. WE DON’T BELIEVE THAT GOD WILL DO WHAT HE SAYS HE WILL DO.
iv. BUT IF YOU NOTICE THE EXAMPLE OF THE WILDERNESS GENERATION HERE, YOU WILL NOTICE THAT GOD CARRIES THE PUNISHMENT THAT HE STATES.
c. THE WRITER OF HEBREWS MAKES IT VERY CLEAR THAT THIS IS AN UNWISE APPROACH TO THE LIVING GOD.
i. HE TELLS US HERE THAT THEY HEARD THE WORD OF GOD.
1. “TODAY, IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE” IS NOT A QUESTION, BUT IT IS A STATEMENT OF FACT.
a. IN OTHER WORDS, YOU HAVE HEARD HIS VOICE…BUT YOU HAVE IGNORED THE VOICE OF GOD.
ii. THERE MAY BE SOME OF YOU HERE THIS MORNING WHO HAVE RECEIVED A CLEAR WORD FROM THE LORD ABOUT SOME SITUATION, WHETHER IT BE SOMETHING THAT YOU NEED TO DO OR SOMETHING THAT YOU NEED TO STOP DOING.
iii. AND YOU KNOW THE LORD HAS SPOKEN CLEARLY TO YOU ABOUT IT, YET YOU CONTINUE TO IGNORE HIS VOICE.
d. THAT’S A VERY DANGEROUS PLACE TO BE, FRIEND.
e. BUT NOT ONLY DID THEY IGNORE HIM, BUT THEY HARDENED THEIR HEARTS.
i. THAT PHRASE “HARDEN YOUR HEARTS” IS A PHRASE THAT MEANS TO BE STUBBORN OR TO CAUSE TO BE STUBBORN.
f. FOR THE WILDERNESS GENERATION, THEY STUBBORNLY REFUSED TO ENTER THE LAND THAT GOD HAD GIVEN TO THEM AS A POSSESSION.
i. THEY KNEW IT WAS RICH AND FERTILE.
ii. THEY KNEW THAT IT FLOWED WITH MILK AND HONEY.
iii. AND THAT THE FRUIT OF THE LAND WAS INCREDIBLE.
iv. BUT IT WAS OCCUPIED BY GIANTS…AND THEY DID NOT BELIEVE WHAT GOD PROMISED…THEY DID NOT BELIEVE THAT THE GIANTS COULD BE DEFEATED.
v. AND WE GET THAT WAY SOMETIMES…BELIEVING THAT OUR GIANTS ARE TOO BIG TO BE DEFEATED.
vi. BUT THE GOD WHO SPOKE THE UNIVERSE INTO EXISTENCE IS THE SAME GOD THAT HAS YOUR BACK, AND HE IS TELLING US TO FACE OUR GIANTS.
g. BECAUSE THERE IS GREATER DANGER IN FACING THE LIVING GOD THAN THERE IS IN FACING THE GIANTS OF THE LAND.
i. NONE OF THE PEOPLE WHO REFUSED TO ENTER THE PROMISED LAND EVER GOT TO SET FOOT THERE.
ii. GOD WAITED UNTIL THE LAST ONE OF THAT GENERATION HAD DIED BEFORE HE ALLOWED THE REST OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL TO ENTER THE PROMISED LAND.
iii. WOULDN’T IT BE SAD TO DIE IN THE WILDERNESS WHEN GOD IS OFFERING THE PROMISED LAND?
h. THESE PEOPLE FORFEITED THE BLESSING OF GOD, BECAUSE THEY WERE UNWILLING TO FACE A CHALLENGE, EVEN WHEN THEY HAD HEARD THE WORD OF THE LORD.
i. YOU SEE, THE FACTUAL TRUTH OF IS THAT UNBELIEF LEADS TO DISOBEDIENCE.
j. BUT THERE’S MORE HERE…
3. NOTICE THE FUNCTIONAL TRUTH OF .
a. FAITHFULNESS LEADS TO BLESSING.
b. READ
i. I READ A GREAT QUOTE THE OTHER DAY.
ii. IT SAID THAT BELIEVERS ARE TO BE CHANNELS OF BLESSING, NOT A RESERVOIR.
iii. IN OTHER WORDS, THE BLESSINGS OF GOD ARE TO FLOW THROUGH US, NOT JUST INTO US.
iv. HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CHANNEL AND A POOL?
v. THINK OF IT IN TERMS OF A RIVER AND A POND.
vi. HOW SUCCESSFUL DO YOU THINK A BOTTLED WATER COMPANY WOULD BE IF THEY FLASHED A PICTURE LIKE THIS ON YOUR TELEVISION SCREEN AND SAID THIS…
1. OUR WATER COMES FROM THE STAGNANT PONDS OF WEST TENNESSEE!
vii. NOT VERY SUCCESSFUL.
viii. IT WOULD BE BETTER IF THEY PUT THIS PICTURE UP AND SAID SOMETHING LIKE THIS…
1. OUR WATER COMES FROM THE FREE-FLOWING FRESH WATER STREAMS OF APPALACHIA…
ix. ISN’T THAT BETTER?
c. THIS IS THE FUNCTIONAL TRUTH OF .
i. GOD REWARDS FAITHFULNESS.
ii. HE SAYS “WATCH OUT”
iii. STAY SHARP
1. DON’T LET THE WORLD AND ALL ITS DEVICES ENTICE YOU.
iv. BECAUSE THAT CAN LEAD TO AN EVIL, UNBELIEVING HEART.
v. AND AN EVIL, UNBELIEVING HEART LEADS TO THE ABSENCE OF GOD’S PRESENCE IN YOUR LIFE.
d. SO ENCOURAGE EACH OTHER.
e. SO THAT NONE OF YOU IS HARDENED BY SIN’S DECEPTION.
CONCLUSION:
JESUS IS GREATER THAN MOSES, SO THE GOSPEL IS GREATER THAN THE LAW. THEREFORE, WE SHOULD OBEY THE MESSAGE OF THE GOSPEL, SO THAT WE DO NOT SUFFER THE FATE OF THE WILDERNESS GENERATION, WHO WERE NOT ALLOWED TO ENTER GOD’S “REST.”
THIS MORNING, I WANT TO INVITE YOU TO RESPOND IN ANY OF FOUR WAYS.
FOUR INVITATIONS
A GOSPEL CALL – YOU MAY BE HERE THIS MORNING AND YOU HAVE NEVER RECEIVED CHRIST BY FAITH AND COMMITTED YOUR LIFE TO HIM, THIS CALL IS FOR YOU.
CHRIST WENT TO THE CROSS AND TOOK YOUR SINS UPON HIMSELF SO THAT YOU MIGHT BE REDEEMED FROM THE PENALTY OF SIN AND RECONCILED TO GOD.
IF YOU NEED TO RESPOND TO GOD’S CALL TO BE SAVED, I WANT YOU TO COME FORWARD DURING THE INVITATION.
A CALL TO COMMITMENT – MAYBE YOU ARE HERE THIS MORNING AND YOU SENSE IN YOUR SPIRIT THAT THE LORD WOULD HAVE YOU TO UNITE WITH THIS BODY OF BELIEVERS. WE BELIEVE STRONGLY IN THE IMPORTANCE OF CHURCH MEMBERSHIP HERE AND WE ACCEPT MEMBERS THROUGH SALVATION AND BAPTISM, THROUGH TRANSFER OF LETTER FROM ANOTHER SOUTHERN BAPTIST CHURCH, OR THROUGH STATEMENT OF FAITH, PROVIDED YOU HAVE BEEN SCRIPTURALLY BAPTIZED.
MAYBE THIS MORNING, THIS IS WHAT GOD IS CALLING YOU TO DO. IF SO, I WANT TO INVITE YOU TO COME FORWARD DURING THE INVITATION.
A CALL TO SERVICE – YOU MAY BE HERE AND YOU FEEL THAT GOD IS CALLING YOU TO A SPECIFIC PLACE OF SERVICE. WE WANT TO WALK THROUGH THIS DECISION WITH YOU AND CELEBRATE GOD’S MOVING IN YOUR LIFE.
IF THIS IS YOU, I WANT TO INVITE YOU TO COME FORWARD DURING THE INVITATION.
A CALL TO RESPOND TO THE MESSAGE – OR YOU MAY BE HERE AND GOD HAS SPOKEN TO YOU THROUGH THIS MESSAGE. AND YOU KNOW YOU NEED TO RESPOND IN REPENTANCE AND RENEW YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. I WANT TO INVITE YOU TO COME FORWARD DURING THE INVITATION.
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