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This week we are continuing our new series on Sunday nights titled “Jesus Christ as Our High Priest.”

The book of Hebrews isn’t the most popular book in the New Testament.

In many respects it is neglected.

The Jewish, or Old Testament, back ground that permeates every chapter has probably contributed to its neglect by many pastors.

The book of Hebrews portrays an exalted concept of Jesus Christ.

This week we are talking about,

Christ, The Apostle and High Priest.

Text

Hebrews 3:6 (ESV)

6 but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.

Scripture Reading

Hebrews 3:1-19 (ESV)

Introduction
The focal point of Christianity is Jesus Christ.

The author of Hebrews encourages the recipients to give consideration to this Jesus.

He identifies Him as both the Apostle and High priest of our profession.

Much of the letter emphasises Jesus as our High priest.

Chapter three stresses the apostleship of our Lord.

The word for “apostle” in the New Testament means “one sent forth with orders”.

Jesus Christ was sent from the Father with orders to secure salvation for lost humankind.

This chapter depicts Jesus as that great Apostle who is eventually rejected in unbelief (verse 3:12)

Take note of this Apostle.

What are the characteristics of the Apostle?

Hebrews 3:2-6 (ESV)

2 who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house.

3 For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself.

4 (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.)

5 Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later,

6 but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.

Four characteristics are given in this chapter regarding the Apostle of God that set Him apart from all other apostles

Faithful to the Father, verse 3:2.

Jesus was faithful to the Father, who had designated Him as the Apostle.

Even though the Son is a member of the Godhead, His ministry is still under the direction of the Father.

He had a responsibility to follow divine orders.

This He did, even as Moses did.

B. More worthy than Moses, verse 3:3.

The author of Hebrews is aware of the great loyalty the readers had to Moses.

He maintains that the subject of the new covenant, Jesus Christ, is worthy of more honour than Moses.

He implies that Christ, not Moses, is the builder of the house.

C. Creator of all, verse 3:4.

The writer expands the building concept as applied to the Apostle to include “all things”.

An outstanding biblical fact about Jesus Christ is His creative activity as declared in John 1:3 (ESV)
3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

And Colossians 1:16 (ESV)
16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.

D. Over His own house, verse 3:5-6.

In a discussion about the assembly of God’s people (His house), Moses was said to be faithful “in” his house, while Christ was faithful “over” His house.

These simple differences indicate the responsible positions held respectively by Moses and our Lord.

2. The challenges of the Apostle (Hebrews 3:7-14.)

Hebrews 3:7-14(ESV)
A Rest for the People of God

7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice,

8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness,

9 where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years.

10 Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.’

11 As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.’”

12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.

13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.

As the great Apostle of our faith, Jesus places several specific challenges before those who choose to follow Him.

These challenges summarise His basic appeal to the church.

The challenge to obedience verse 3:7-11.

The example of the wilderness disobedience was never far from the minds of those who knew of God’s dealings with Israel.

Repeatedly the appeal was made to avoid another “day of temptation in the wilderness”.

The readers are again reminded of God’s anger as He dealt with the Israelites and His consequential judgement when He said, “So I swear in my wrath, they shall not enter into my rest.”

One of the Apostles specific challenges is to obey God.

B. The challenge to belief very 3:12.

An attempt is made to remove all unbelief from the minds of God’s people.

This unbelief causes us to depart from the living God.

The implied teaching is that belief attracts us to the living God.

C. The challenge to exhortation, verse 3:13.

The apostles message emphasises the value of Christian fellowship.

The body of Christ should encourage individual members to grow spiritually.

This support must be maintained daily, it will help members to resist becoming involved in sin.

D. The challenge to steadfastness, verse 3:14.

Christ is the picture of steadfastness, the symbol of security.

As we live our lives in confidence and consistency, we actually emanate a major factor of Christ’s character.

3. The condemnation of the Apostle (Hebrews 3:15-18.)

Hebrews 3:15-18 (ESV)

15 As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses?

17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?

18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient?

The One sent to “speak for God” is portrayed as likening the present generation to the wayward children of Israel.

Hardness of heart, verse 3:15.
God warns people of the danger of hardening their hearts to His ways.

B. Provocation of heart, verse 3:15-16.

When people harden their hearts against God, the provoke God, causing Him to become angry with them.

C. Grief of heart, verse 3:17.

God’s anger always causes Him to be grieved with His creation.

He is hurt when people disobey His commands.

After all, God always desires the very best for His creatures.

D. Condemnation of heart, verse 3:18.

Those who harden their hearts and reject God’s way are condemned by their own actions.

God is grieved at their unbelief and declares that they shall not enter His rest.

Conclusion.

The conclusion is in Hebrews 3:19 (ESV)

19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

The fact that unbelievers are not able to enter God’s rest is not God’s fault.

The weight of the whole matter is not on the loving, uncompromising ministry of the Apostle, but on the unbelief of sinners.

Until next time

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.
Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

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