Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Hebrews: The Superiority Of Christ To Errant Religions
Part IV: Holding Fast Our Confidence In Christ, Hebrews 3:6b-4:16
C. The Victory Of Trusting And Obeying Christ
(Hebrews 4:11-16)
  1. Introduction
    1. Coming to trust and obey the Lord in the Christian walk brings great, blessed spiritual victory.
    2. However, such victory takes an awareness to two great realities, one that causes great fear and one that causes us great motivation to seek God's help, and we do well to consider both these focuses for gaining victory in trusting and obeying the Lord (as follows):
  2. The Victory Of Trusting And Obeying Christ, Hebrews 4:11-16.
    1. Resuming the thought initiated in Hebrews 4:1 of our need to fear lest we fail to enter God's "rest" from our own works and to trust and obey Him instead, the author of Hebrews noted that we really have no choice but to be actually afraid of God's punishment if we fail to heed Him, Hebrews 4:11-12:a: the word, "for" that introduces Hebrews 4:12 is translated from the Greek inferential particle, oun, that denotes that what it introduces is the result of or an inference from what precedes, U. B. S. Greek N. T., 1966, p. 754; Arndt & Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, 1967, p. 597.
    2. That inference is that we believers have much to fear from the God of Scripture, Hebrews 4:12-13:
      1. The Scripture that calls us to trust and to obey God is alive and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword that divides the soul and spirit of man's immaterial part, and the joints and the marrow of man's material part, and it acts as God's critic of the heart's thoughts and intents, Hebrews 4:12 ESV.
      2. Besides, not only are we ourselves subject to the power of God's Word, but there is no created entity that is not manifest in the sight of the God Who authored that Word: all are naked and open unto the eyes of Him, the God to whom we must give an account, Heb rews 4:13 ESV.
    3. However, having caused the reader to be afraid of his accountability to the Lord of Scripture, the author of Hebrews shifted his focus to the reader who truly reveres the Lord, but finds he struggl es with temptations to fail to trust and obey the Lord. The author addresses such a believer in Hebrews 4:14-16:
      1. For believers who revered God but struggle with temptations to disbelieve and to disobey Him, they must realize they have a Great High Priest Who is passed from this earth into the heavens of God's abode, this One being Jesus, the Son of God, Hebrews 4:14a.
      2. With this realization, such believers struggling with the temptation to fail to trust the Lord Jesus and, in the case of the original readers of Hebrews, to leave Christianity and return to Judaism (Hebrews 13:10-14), they are then to hold fast to their profession of faith, Hebrews 4:14b.
      3. This victory of trusting and obeying God is achieved for the weak as explained in Hebrews 4:15-16:
        1. First, believers struggling to trust and obey the Lord must realize Jesus Himself is empathetic toward our weaknesses, for He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin, Heb. 4:15.
        2. We know from the temptation of Jesus in Matthew 4:1-11, this meant Jesus faced the lust of the flesh (to turn stones into bread for food when He was an hungered, Matthew 4:1-4), the lust of the eyes (to fall off of the temple pinnacle unharmed to impress the Hebrew crowds as Messiah, Matthew 4:5-7) and the pride of life (to bow down to Satan to gain the world's kingdoms without going to the cross, Matthew 4:8-10). These were lures Satan used on Eve in Genesis 3:6 as clarified in 1 John 2:16 , lures typical of all Satanic temptations!
        3. Accordingly, we can come boldly to the throne of grace in heaven by prayer, asking the Lord for His help in facing such lures that pressure us not to trust and obey God and His Word, and thus to obtain His merciful help at such a time of great need, Hebrews 4:16.
Lesson: In gaining victory over unbelief and disobedience to the Lord, we must first FEAR that EVERYTHING in US is TRANSPARENT to the God of Scripture to Whom we must give an account! Thus completely unnerved, God calls us to CLEAVE to His HELP in times of temptation, for Christ is a fully adequate, empathetic Intercessor available specifically to help us in these specific circumstances.

Application: May we fear sinful failure and cleave to Christ's great intercession to trust and obey Him!