What is faith exactly? Is it a blind leap in the dark or is it something else? Today’s passage shows us that faith is a grounded trust in the promises of a faithful God that has proven himself in time and space. It is a simple trust in God’s word about life and all of reality. This was the faith of the saints in Hebrews 11, and it should be our faith today.
Suffering is a part of life that we all deal with to differing degrees. It will come inevitably to all of us. How are we to persevere? The author of Hebrews suggests that apart from real, faith-filled, Christ-centered, eternity-focused community, it is impossible. In community we suffer together and in community we persevere together.
Many today in independent, individualistic America have lost a vision for the church body gathered; we’ve lost why being together as a body is so important. Pastor Josh uses a common, regular, experience–the family birthday–to help us understand some of the reasons why God calls us to be together as a Christian body.
Under the Old Covenant the people of God were not truly made clean the system they put their faith in. Not so with the gospel under the New Covenant. The blood of this covenant (the blood of Jesus), actually has the power of forgiveness within it. What is more, we are made holy under the New Covenant as God writes his laws on our hearts and gives us his holy Spirit.
Everyone seeks happiness, without exception. But where can it be found? Wrongly, we think that happiness is found outside of God, but the Bible teaches us that happiness is found where God is. Hebrews 9 talks about how Jesus removed the things that keep us from God (sin) and made a way for us to be in the holiest and happiest place in the universe.
The Old Covenant was flawed because it could not perfect those who were under it nor did it promise to provide the enabling power to keep it. Not so with the New Covenant. This covenant not only has the power to perfect people through the blood of Christ, but it promises enablement to those with the Spirit. Pastor Josh uses the analogy of dishwashers to help us grasp these important and deep concepts.
Jesus is no Aaronic priest. His priesthood is of a different order, that of Melchizedek. Several important things separate this priesthood from the Aaronic, but the big one is that Jesus, the final High Priest, is able to save eternally and completely those who come to God through him.
As followers of Jesus Christ we have become descendants of Abraham through faith. The author of Hebrews urges us to imitate Abraham’s faith and inherit the marvelous promises (and oath) he gave to the patriarch thousands of years ago.
Unbelief was a deadly disease that kept Israel from believing God’s “good news” and ultimately kept them from the Promised Land. We too, like Israel, if we allow unbelief to go unchecked, can end up in all-out rejection of God (apostasy) if we are not diligent to preserve our faith.