Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20110907.htm
THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Hebrews: The Superiority Of Christ To Errant Religions
Part VI: The Response Of Faith To Christ's Superiority, Hebrews 11:1-13:19
H. Living By Faith Applied, Hebrews 12:1-13:19
9. The Hope Of Ultimate Spiritual Victory Amid Present Personal Struggles
Lesson: Regardless of even temptations to sin under great pressure from formidable spiritual foes, to which pressure we may have even already previously partly yielded, by way of our Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ, we can overcome and actually do what is wellpleasing in the eyes of a perfectly holy God.
- All believers in Christ in mortal bodies still have sin natures, and we all have thus sinned, 1 John 1:8, 10.
- However, neither God nor the conscientious believer is satisfied with him living in sin in spiritual defeat, so many times the believer needs encouragement that he can still gain spiritual victory over sin by confession of sin (1 John 1:9) and relying on the Holy Spirit's power for godly living (Galatians 5:16-23).
- Hebrews 13:20-21, one of the Bible's great benedictions, in its extended context, offers great hope of victory over sin even if strongly pressed by others to commit acts of sin, and we view it for out edification:
- The Hope Of Ultimate Spiritual Victory Amid Present Personal Struggles, Hebrews 13:20-21.
- The author of Hebrews began to conclude his remarks with a benediction to readers we know from Hebrews 13:9-10 and 10:32-36 were being pressured to abandon Christianity and return to dead Judaism.
- Some of the readers were seriously tempted to yield to such pressure as noted in their failing to continue to meet as Christians to worship (Heb. 10:25) and in tending to stop doing good works (Heb. 6:10-12).
- Thus, the Hebrews 13:20-21 benediction addresses people facing this persecution pressure, offering an affirmative hope for spiritual victory in the face of such temptation (as follows):
- The God of peace brought again from the dead the believer's Lord Jesus Christ, Hebrews 13:20a. Though Jesus had been put to death by opposing leaders in Judaism, acting thus as the persecuted believer's example in handling such persecution (Hebrews 12:2), God gave Jesus this ultimate victory over His foes, and will act to give the believer spiritual victory in the end as the God of peace!
- This Jesus Whose death formed the everlasting covenant is thus the believer's Great, everlasting High Priest, which truth is expansively treated in Hebrews, Hebrews 13:20b with 3:1-6; 5:1-10; 7:1-10:22.
- The author of Hebrews then expressed the hope that this Great, eternal Shepherd of the Flock of God might "make you perfect in every good work," Hebrews 13:21a, a phrase of important insight for us:
- The Greek verb for "make you perfect" is katartizo, to "put in order, in proper condition, complete, prepare, make, create," Arndt & Gingrich, A Grk.-Eng. Lex. of the N. T. , 1967, p. 418-419.
- Since the context of the epistle pictures people who struggle with temptation under persecution pressure to revert to dead Judaism from the Christian faith, the author of Hebrews was seeking to encourage his readers that regardless of the strength of the persecution they faced, and regardless of their own personal weaknesses or problematic history in dealing with it, the Lord Jesus Christ was able to shepherd them to the point where they would have everything put in order or in the proper condition so that they would be made complete and prepared to do every good work, Heb. 13:21a!
- In so doing, these people would be able to complete the will of God, performing what was even wellpleasing in a perfectly holy God's sight through Christ's equipping, Hebrews 13:21b!
- Of course, all the glory for such amazing achievement under persecution pressure would forever go to Christ, the everlating, Great High Priest Whose work on the cross and current intercession for the believer makes it all possible, Hebrews 13:21c! Yet, it is possible for struggling believers through the spiritual provisions of their Great Shepherd, the Lord Jesus, not only to counter formidable persecution pressures of their foes, but even to function as wellpleasing before a perfectly holy God!
Application: May we rely on the High Priestly ministry of our Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ, in faith overcoming temptations to sin that arise from godless persecutors to the point that we live lives that are actually wellpleasing in the viewpoint of our perfectly holy God!