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Christian Privileges

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Christian privileges

 

INTRODUCTION:

1.     Illustration (privilege / blessing / etc.)

2.     Read text: Heb. 4:14-16.

3.     Regarding the text:

(1)         The recipients of this letter had “hands” that hang down and weak knees (12:12).

(2)         Hebrew writer is and has set forth the superiority of Jesus Christ as High Priest.

A.       Superior to angels (cf. 1:5; 1:8).

B.       Superior to Moses (cf. 3:5-6).

C.       Superior to Josha (cf. 4:8).

D.       Christians have a High Priest who has “passed through the heavens” (v. 14).

(a)       Jesus offered His own blood once and has forever sat down at the right hand of God (holiest).

(b)       Jewish High Priest approach to the “earthly” – throne of God’s grace (i.e. ark; holy of holies) was limited (i.e. Sprinkled the lid of the mercy seat with blood once every year).

(3)         Now, in summary fashion, the writer sets forth three superior blessings / privileges possessed by a Christian.

4.     We are human and prone to disappointment, disillusionment, depression.  But, Christians are blessed abundantly (Jn. 10:10), and we do well to count our blessings from time to time.  We shall notice three in this lesson –

DISCUSSION: HEBREW WRITER EXPOSES -- WE ARE BLESSED WITH THE PRIVILEGE OF --

I.            BOASTING – jESUS IS A SAVIOR WE CAN BOAST ABOUT (V.15).

1.      On our Christian journey of submissive, obedient faith, we must avoid the extremes.

(1)           We labor to obey – Cf. Phil. 2:12; Heb. 5:9; James 2:26.

(2)           We labor to remain balanced.

A.         Two extremes – [1] Continue in sin.  [2] I have done it perfectly.  Nothing to repent of.

B.         Shouldn’t we instead be in the middle.

a.         Recognizing need and desiring to obey God – He offers salvation by His grace.

b.         Walking by faith and not by sight (trusting and admiring God – Wanting to do his will).

c.         Realizing that we all fall short from time to time!

2.      We can boast about –

(1)           His sympathy – He sympathizes with us!

(2)           His steadfastness – Tempted in all points.

(3)           His sinlessness – (Heb. 4;15; 1 Jn. 3:5; 1 Pet. 2:22).

3.      We have a Savior we can boast about!

(1)           Jesus Christ the rightheous.

(2)           Jesus Christ the perfect High Priest.

(3)           Jesus Christ our Advocate (1 Jn. 2:1,2).

(4)           Jesus Christ the way, truth, and life (Jn. 14:6).

(5)           Jesus Christ – the perfect lamb of God (Jn. 1:29).

(6)           Jesus Christ – became flesh and dwelt among us (Jn. 1:14).

4.      Heb. 4:15 – Jesus knows!  Jesus Cares!  We boast!

II.          BOLDNESS – wE CAN freely approach God’s throne (v. 16).

1.      How can we possibly approach the place from which God’s grace and mercy are dispensed?

(1)           Do you see the picture painted by the writer here?

(2)           Do you see God on His throne?  Sovereign ruler of the universe?

A.         High Priest alone – but had to wait for day of atonement.

B.         High Priest alone – but not without blood of a victim.

C.         High Priest alone (O.T.) was allowed to approach, but not without trembling.

(3)           How could you possibly hope to approach God, Sovereign Ruler?

A.         Can you approach the president of the US?

B.         Can you even approach a federal judge in his courtroom?

C.         We can’t even get to the manager of Jack in the Box unless they approach!

2.      Not only can a Christian approach, he can do so boldly!

(1)           To our God and Father – willing to show mercy!

(2)           To our Creator – who knows our limitations!

(3)           To our God – perfect in holiness and purity!

(4)           How?

A.         Not by the sprinkling of blood of bulls and goats (cf. Heb. 10:4).

B.         Not by the merits of our conduct (Rom. 3:10).

C.         Not because God doesn’t care (Ezek. 18:20).

3.      How?  ANS. = the perfection of Jesus and the power of faith.

(1)           If you have these things, you have nothing to fear from God.

A.         1 Jn. 5:14 – “If we ask anything according to His will He will hear…”

(2)           If you do not have these things that you have everything to fear.

4.      We approach with confidence.

(1)           N.T. teaches in Christ is the place to be (Eph. 1:3; 1:7).

(2)           God can be approached (James 4:8)!

(3)           In spite of our sin and because of our Savior.

III.        BENEVOLENCE – Christians obtain  mercy and find Grace.

1.      Were it not for the perfect benevolence of God we would not even be having this conversation.  We would have no hope of salvation and heaven.

2.      I fear that the comforts and conveniences of living in this great country (another benevolent act of God) have twisted / dulled some folks thinking.

(1)           Forgetting there are plenty of less fortunate.

(2)           Ignorant of folks struggling hard just to survive in different cultures.

(3)           Failing to remember the mercy God shows us every moment of our existence.

3.      Does anyone in here deserve eternal salvation from sin, and to abide eternally with God?  Please raise your hand if you do.

4.      Would anyone in here die for your child?  Would you die for my child?  Would you allow your child to die for me?

CONCLUSION:

1.   Christianity is __________ in every way.  Are you enjoying the privileges freely granted by the grace of God, through active obedient faith in Jesus Christ?

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