May God Equip You

Hi, my name is Tyler, if you guys don’t know. But I’m here and I lead the singles ministry with my wife Molly. Yeah, but today is a really special day. So if this is your first time time and welcome. I want to introduce you to the conclusion of a series we’ve been doing. And when I say the conclusion, this is a longawaited conclusion. Since January, have been working on the book of Hebrews. So you can open your Bibles to Hebrews last time. It’s a little bittersweet, but I just want to say congratulations. You have done it. It’s an accomplishment, really, and it’s something to be proud of. It’s a lot of focus to stay just with your attention fixed on what God is saying to you in Hebrew says, pay attention and I hope you have. And today is the last time for that. But it has been an incredible journey and I hope you are better for it. Amen. But we’ve milked it as far as we can. And the author, he calls it in our text, we’re in chapter 13, and if you look here in the last section, he does call it quite brief.

And those are two funny, funny words when you even compare this book to the rest of the New Testament. This is a chunky kind of book. And what he means is he could have said a lot more. And I do want to say we could have gone on a lot longer. We could have done this series for two years easily. And I don’t know that would have been the best choice for us. But it’s cool that it comes at the end and we got the conference ahead and it’s just going to be a new way forward. But for us today we conclude and congratulations, reason to celebrate. But if today is your introduction, I also want to cater to you too. So for just a second, yeah, we’ve come a long way and this is just an outline of the book. This is where we’ve been and where we are today. So in case your memory is a little hazy, just for a second here, does anyone know or does everyone know the theme of the book yet? What is it? Jesus is better. This is 13 great chapters that just gush about Jesus and his greatness and his awesomeness.

And the author in the first section, he does a lot to just kind of compare Jesus to everyone you can imagine. The priests, the angels, the prophets, you name it. And then he goes into what Jesus does is better, right? The priesthood, he offers the New Covenant versus the Old Covenant, just all of that stuff. He intercedes for us. And then the last section here is about the life that Jesus calls us to follow his footsteps in. The better life. His ways are better, a better man has a better way. And today we’ve come all the way to the end of the journey. And just to wrap it up, I actually want to give you guys an opportunity to share with each other. So I’m going to open a discussion up for a few minutes here, and I’ll put the question up as I share this, but I want to hear what you guys have gotten from this book, like your takeaway. And so for our time in Hebrews, what something that has stuck with you that you’re going to carry out of these times? And I gave a few people a heads up. I know this is on the spot and this is a little irregular, but if you would like to share, would you mind just standing up so we could at least see you and maybe hear you better?

But what would be your takeaway? And I’ll try to reiterate if you guys can’t hear. So. Yeah, go ahead, Brian. To be clear, maybe in like 20 seconds or less. Okay?

Thank you guys for everyone who shared and on the spot too. But I do hope that with all the sermons and all the lessons and the deep dives really, that we’ve done, that you feel like you know Jesus better, that you know at least who he is and that you’re more amazed with him. I do think someone actually it was a younger person. I think it was like a preteen that said, I like what I’m learning, but they’re very philosophical and it’s like, okay. I hear what you’re saying, right? It’s like you got to stay with it. There’s a heady kind of part to who he’s telling you who Jesus is. But there’s more than that too. And as theologically lofty as this is, I just want to remind you guys here as we get in now to the next part, that this is actually a letter. You kind of lose that, right? Because the beginning has no introduction that’s at least personal.

It’s kind of just boom, Jesus, blah blah, blah, blah, all about Jesus. And there’s not a lot of introduction. But here at the end of the letter, which is where we’re at today, you’re going to see that this is indeed super heartsy. And you’ll see the personal touch. And if you glance at verse 19 right before our section here, you’re going to see him ask for prayer. He has a prayer request, right? Like, please, I want to be with you. I long to be with you, so pray that God makes that happen. It’s a really heartsy turn to this letter. He clearly loves them and he longs to for a blessing on these people. And so today we’re going to end with his benediction. Benediction, huh? Have you ever heard that word? Maybe not. Do you even know what it means? It’s a fancy word because it’s a fancy benediction. I thought I’d say but it’s basically a blessing. It’s a blessing for his people and a blessing basically meaning, like, as I conclude, I pray and I want to know that God would do these things in your life.

And this is also it’s just so appropriate for us. But benedictions are common in the Bible, like God in Numbers, chapter six, he actually taught the priest how to give a benediction, how to give a blessing to his people. And when they would part from meeting together, they would usually give a blessing to their people. Numbers 6:22, God says, May the Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord turn his face towards you and give you peace. First Thessalonians all the letters tend to have a benediction. Verse five, verse 23. May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, body and soul be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. And sometimes they come in the middle of a letter, right? Like Ephesians 320. This is a common one we’ve heard. Now, to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the Church and in Jesus Christ throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

So what is the benediction? After all this stuff about Jesus, what’s he gonna say? What is there more to say? Let’s just read here and we’ll read our text today. It says, now may the God of peace, through the blood of the eternal covenant, brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that great shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to Him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. So here we are. And he starts with the word now, right? It’s a signal word. He means get your landing gear out. We’re about to land this plane. Now, okay long gush about Jesus. Here we go. Let me just gush about Jesus one more time in this long sentence. But it’s a long and beautiful sentence and there’s a lot packed in there and it might kind of look a little confusing. I wonder if you just said it in one breath. But yes, that’s just one sentence. Yeah, but it’s a lot, and you might have to come up for air at the end. But it really is just a sentence.

There’s nothing intimidating about a sentence. It’s got a subject, a verb, maybe a noun. So if I could just help you out here and boil the sentence down to the simplest message. What he’s really saying here in the sentence’s skeleton is simply this: may God equip you. That is his blessing, that is his prayer. May God equip you. May God equip you the church. And so he decorates it with a lot of beautiful words, right? He talks about the who equips, why, how for what? Why does he equip? All these things. God and the amazingness that he is, he fits it all in somehow. But ultimately, at the core is a plea and prayer that God is going to equip his church. He wants to leave them empowered. Like, you guys, I’m leaving a prayer with you. And I know I’m ending this letter, but this is my prayer as I end my letter. With all that the first century church was going on, I mean, consider that in a few years, the temple would be destroyed. The Jews were definitely under Roman oppression. There was a lot of persecution. They really needed encouragement. And I’ve got a few of you do here today.

I don’t want to compare whatever hardships, even from pew to pew, but I do think that all of us need encouragement. We’ve all had challenging things, and we will have them in the future. But it’s cool to see that God has already done what he’s done in Christ to equip us and to provide for anything we’re going to go through, to sit with us through the storm and walk us through it. So he has a calling for us and a purpose for our life. And when he says equip, that word really, he wants to make you fit for something. He wants to complete you or prepare you, kind of bend you into shape, kind of like a chiropractor. One of the definition is to readjust you and to your full potential that God is doing for his calling in your life. And as he offers his blessing, he’s also reminding them of a lot of things about the greatness of our God. So I don’t want to skip these reminders, but I want to take a closer look. And this will be where we land here. But we’ll just kind of zoom through here, and the first reminder we come to is he says, now, may the God of peace. Let me pause. That He wants them to remember that they’re being equipped by a God of peace. That’s an identity. That’s his title. But that’s the essence of our God. He’s filled with peace. That’s his whole nature, and that’s also what he offers people. We need peace. No one can pretend we don’t. I bet if your AC went out the second you sat in your car, you’d lose a little peace. There’s all kinds of things that we’re just craving and crying out for peace. We need it every day. Even this week. I have two small kids in my house. My house can feel like this. I call this a screaming, poopy, pukey war zone. At any instant, that’s what my house can become. It doesn’t smell peaceful. There’s nothing peaceful on some moments in my house. And we gather it back together, but it’s fragile and I think even my phone, my phone is not peace inducing sometimes. I bet you look at your phone and you’re like, why did I look at that? It’s gone. And you’re like, where’s the peace go? And the news? Whatever. We need to stay in touch with the world. But if we are, we realize the world needs peace.

The world can’t find it. There’s war, there’s famine, there’s so many things going on. But peace only comes from the God of peace, the kind that you want, at least. The kind that lasts. God who is peace is also the giver of peace. And we get peace, the scriptures say, through Jesus. He gives it through Jesus. Romans five one. It says, therefore, since we’ve been justified through faith, we have peace through God, with God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Ultimately, we can trust that this God of peace is going to bring us into his rest.

Hebrews four talks about how don’t miss out on God’s rest. That’s like a summary of the gospel. I want you to know my rest. The God of peace wants that for us, and he wants to give it away. The second reminder you come to, he says, now may the God of peace who through the blood of the eternal covenant, we have a God of peace, but we have a God of promise. That we have a God who he has bound himself to us in a covenant, a promise. It’s like an eternal pinky promise. Unbreakable, forever binding. It’s eternal. We’ve heard about the covenant, but this word eternal here is inserted at the end of the book. It’s forever and it’s sealed by the blood of Jesus. It’s an expensive covenant, and it’s about our freedom. So we have a covenant saying we are his forever more. Forever more we are his. And this is really a great time to remind them of a faithful God, a God who promises them faithfully, and he wants to be joined with his people. And so when you think about a God who’s done all this, he spent that much, why would he not equip his people?

That’s what he wants to do. And so may God do it. May God do what he set in motion from the moment Jesus came to die equip you. And so essentially he’s saying, may God equip a covenant people, but not just the covenant people, covenant people that have this kind of power in their corner. We have a God of power. Third reminder. Now, may God who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus. Here he reminds them of the power of God above and beyond even death. In Hebrews two, he alludes to the resurrection, and that sure gives peace, right? But here he makes a direct aim at the resurrection directly saying, look, you have a man who raised from the dead, and that’s who’s in your corner. This is a foundational reminder. This is more than a reminder this is foundational to our faith. Because of Jesus’victory over death, that’s why we can have peace. And because of his victory over death, that’s why we can even trust his covenant, that it meant something that was good, that the check won’t bounce. He can back up his claim that we are in a covenant with Him.

We can trust the resurrection. The good news that we who would otherwise die are now those who have been rescued from the grip of death. Consider that the resurrection power. If God is going to equip us and give us the power for something, if he can resurrect a man, he’s giving us that kind of power. That’s high voltage. You don’t realize what you got in you, and you have it by God’s spirit. And that’s an awe-inspiring power. I don’t know how to really wrap my mind around that, but that’s what we would be equipped with. Other reminder here is that we have a wonderful shepherd. The scripture says a great shepherd. Now, may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant, brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep. This is a recurring theme, biblically. You’ve probably heard that God’s people are like sheep. Have you heard that? Everyone say “baah”. Yes, it’s true, you guys are like sheep. But you know why we’re called sheep? It’s because we’re dumb and we’re helpless and we’re prone to wander away from God. You should know that firsthand.

And you should realize we need our shepherd. We need Him. He says, Jesus is our great shepherd. That’s a wonderful adjective. Ever since we’ve wandered away in the garden with Adam and Eve man, since the beginning, our shepherd Jesus has been pursuing us to bring us back into his fold. I want you back. Come on. He’s in the business of finding lost sheep. He is our shepherd. In John ten, Jesus says I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. So as the good shepherd has died in our place, past tense, he has tasted death so we can taste peace with God and escape death. He’s already done that in the past. He’s a good shepherd who did that. But present tense the scripture says he’s a great shepherd because he hasn’t left us since then. He’s still guiding us. He’s still in us. He wants to lead us by his Spirit in a life that he wants to make only he could create in us. And if he did in the past, and he’s doing it today, you better believe he’s going to be shepherding us in the future.

First. Peter 5:4 says, when the chief shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. So we have a wonderful, great, good and chief shepherd. And so these four reminders, you can really see who this God is that wants to equip us. The author would pray, please equip them. But these are wonderful things to keep in mind of. Who is equipping us?

He’s a God of peace, of promise, of provision, of power. You can count on this great God to equip you. It’s a small thing.

Or to complete you. Or it might get more uncomfortable, to prepare you for something or to readjust you for his purpose. I don’t like the chiropractor I’ve been once, I’m scared to death to go back. But when he’s like, all right, just stay still. I need to crack you back into shape. God is doing something in your life too. He’s pushing you towards something because he has something prepared for you. And Scripture clearly shows that our growth as a disciple of Jesus though, it happens by his power, by Him working in us. Working in us what is pleasing to Him through Jesus Christ. As Andrew Murray, a great Christian from centuries past, he said this really well. He said, as little as you can reach to heaven with your hands, can you of yourself live such a heavenly life. You don’t have the kind of power you need to live this life, but it is possible with the help of the Holy Spirit. We’re talking about deeds right now. But doing the Christian life on your own, it doesn’t really work. It doesn’t. You need God’s power inside of you to do this. Even Jesus knew this.

Like he was dependent on God. John 15:19 the son can do nothing by himself. Those are Jesus’ words. He’s like, I can’t do it by myself. And if Jesus knew this to be true, then let me rest my case by saying Jesus is better than you. So you would do well to depend on God the way he depends on God. But if there is any part of this at all for you to do, it really looks something sort of like this surrendering yourself, trusting Him, yielding yourself, emptying yourself of your will so that he ultimately can work in your life. It’s a really passive thing, but it’s important. That’s what you need to do to be equipped to be ready to have God’s power work in your life. Because God has much to do thtrough you. He has so many great plans for you. I can’t imagine how the world would be changed. Every one of you guys would let God work his fullest potential in all of his power that he wants to through you. It’s Ephesians 3:20, like mind boggling what God can do through you. But we get in the way a lot.

We strive to kind of do things on our own and just have our own standards or ideas of what’s best, not what God has in mind here. He has a plan and he has a call on your life. He has a purpose for you. And Scripture shows that he is in the business here of working in you what is pleasing to him. It’s not about a superhero power, it’s not about finding out that you can shoot webs out of your ears or what does Spiderman do. But there are so many things that we could think this is about us doing something and it’s not about us. The emphasis here is on what God can do, not you. He’s doing the equipping by his Holy Spirit. It’s the highlight of his power for his progress and his purpose in your life.

That’s what he wants to do. And that might sound kind of selfish, right? Like the scripture here equipping you with everything good for doing his will. What about me, God? It might sound I don’t know. Are you consumed with yourself? I don’t know. That’s something to grapple with. But think about it. He just spent 13 chapters elaborating on how if anyone deserves glory at all, it is only God and not us. He’s the only one that deserves glory, every bit. It all belongs to him. And for you to know that our amazing God wants to do amazing things through you should humble you to the core. Humility, just awe like whoa. All you should be left to say those thoughts are really inappropriate. You should be like, here I am, Lord. Like Samuel said, right? Here I am, Lord. Do your will. What you want to do is what I am ready to do. And at the end of this book he’s laid out we come to the last line here, but he’s laid out in our site all the amazing things that God has done and is still yet to do in us.

And then he kind of ends this benediction with the phrase, Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

He’s at the end, what’s he going to do? And so here he is and I feel kind of like he’s just overwhelmed by the greatness of Jesus at this point. He’s made a massive case at every angle he could come at. Jesus is better and it feels like it’s like a submarine at ocean depth, just being crushed by the weight of the glory of Jesus. And he’s running out of time and he’s desperate and his heart swells with joy and bursting out and he says to Jesus Christ, be glory forever and ever. Amen. He finds relief in his cry, like what more can be said? Is anything more fitting than saying to Jesus, be glory forever and ever. And I think if you’re not convinced, read the end of Revelation and you’ll see that that’s all that happens in heaven. Maybe more, maybe God changes the subject. But if he doesn’t, all we can do is say Holy, holy. It’s all that’s fitting here. So I just ask where your heart is at this morning, does it say the same? Because the more you gaze at Jesus, his greatness, his power, his covenant, his kingship, his priesthood, his blood poured out for you.

It should always drive you just to your knees to worship and fall down before God. And so that’s how he ends. And as if he forgets he has something more to say, he closes also with a PS. The last section is a postscript. It’s a PS. And so we’ll read this too. It says, brothers and sisters, I urge you to bear with my word of exhortation, for in fact, I’ve written to you quite briefly. I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he arrives soon, I will come with him to see you. Greet all your leaders and all the Lord’s people. Those from Italy send you their greetings. Grace be with you all.

So he calls this letter he characterizes it as an exhortation, right? An encouragement. I just wrote you a big encouragement. It’s a call. I want to encourage you to do something. Go all in for Jesus. Case rested. And we know that it is indeed giving it its readers a lot of encouragement. If you’re on the fence, this book is for you. If you’re just getting in, read Hebrews. It will make the case that Jesus is no one to be on the fence for. It’s funny that he calls this letter brief, though. I mean, we’ve done 20 weeks of sermons. He’s done around 10,000 words. I wonder what his full, unabbreviated thoughts would have been if you would have let this man go. All right. How long would he have gone on? I don’t know. If someone got a cramp in their hand and they’re like, hold on, buddy, I can’t write anymore. Or maybe it’s like I’m out of paper and papyrus is gone. We’ve used all the papyrus in the town, who knows? But the truth is, we don’t know why he ended here. But we do know that he could have gone on and on and on and on.

And that’s clear, because truth be told, it really is a small and ridiculously brief letter. This is the smallest letter there could be compared to the infinite truths that this letter contains. Do you remember what the Apostle John said at the end of his Gospel? The last sentence he said was, Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose the whole world would not have room for the books that could have been written. And that’s really it. You can never, ever fully express the greatness of God. The greatness of Jesus Christ is inexpressible. You can give your best shot, but you’re not going to do it justice. That’s why holy, holy, holy goes on forever and ever like there’s more to be said, but are you, church, are you guys giving it your best shot? Our call is to show the world that Jesus is better, not just to know for ourselves, but to give it a shot, just like he did, and tell the greatness of the story of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s worth every breath we breathe. It’s worth every word we speak.

It’s really the call for us going forward. May God equip us to do that. So, friends, this is all we have. This is the end of the day. I don’t know what to say. I’m a little sad. It’s bittersweet. I’ve had a great time. But we’re going to land the plane here, and you land the plane. You go to baggage claim. You get your bags and you take with you what you can for the journey ahead. And I really ask you to consider your takeaway. But here’s your homework. It’s not over for you. It’s over for us here together. But I want you to read Hebrews one more time. I want you to get alone. If you can read it out loud, even better. Go into nature. Read this letter of Hebrews, spend a date with Jesus and read it and ask yourself this question are you making it the one aim of your life to glorify Jesus? That’s what it’s all about. So although this ends, I’m sure this writer kept speaking about Jesus and writing about Jesus in his own time, right? What more will we say about Jesus? There’s so many more stories about how he’s worked in our lives.

And as we remember Jesus, we’re going to take communion right now. It’s a time to remember Jesus, and I want our meditation to be today let’s just let it be how Jesus is better than anything that could compete with Him in our lives. Just ponder the greatness of Jesus together. Amen.

All right, we’re going to pray. Dear God, thank you so much for this morning. It’s been a long time to really hear the fullness, but we can talk about Jesus and listen about Jesus forever. And we look forward, God, in our walk with you, to getting to know Him deeper and deeper and deeper. May you equip this church, God and all of its people, with the ability to do what’s pleasing to you, to do the work you have set out for them. May you equip us God, god of peace and of power, our great shepherd. May you really just help us to be what you wanted us to be. All for the name of Jesus, and all for his glory. It’s in his name we pray. Amen.

Once For All

Hi, guys. This is my family. Welcome to Church, by the way. But my name is Tyler, and more important, I’m just glad to be back. It’s been a bit. I’ve been out for a bit. I’ve been in London, Birmingham, England, the UK, all over the place, and I think my family finally caught up on sleep. But it’s just good to be back. And we’ve missed you guys, so it’s just good to see all of you.

I wanted to share a couple of pictures because we went for my brother’s wedding, and it was a really great time. I don’t know how many trains, planes, and automobiles we took to get there, but it was a long trip with two kids, but it was incredible. And yes, we went on a double decker bus. We went on one of those red ones. I went into a red telephone booth. I tried to get my mom to fit in with me, but I was the only one that wanted to do it, but everyone wanted to eat the scones and drink the tea. And it was just a really fun time. In the Church there in Birmingham, they were just so welcoming to us. So we got to welcome my new sister. Her name is Chids. This is Brandon and Chids. And I think that they’re back from Greece. I think they went for their honeymoon, but it was one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve ever been to. And I’m really proud of my brother because I just think the way that they dated, he’s 30 and I mean, whatever. But I’ve been married for eight years, and I think when you’re so close to someone and he just is like, when is my turn?

I think he’s just a great example of waiting well and waiting well, laying a solid foundation that their marriage is really going to glorify God and really has. I remember at the end of the vows, the preacher was like, what you just heard is how Jesus feels about his Church. And so, it was really moving, and it’s amazing. I got to be the best man being so close to my brother. And one of the cool things was that we got to go to a Barber shop. And I’ve actually never been to a Barber shop before. My brother was always my Barber growing up, and we would just shave each other’s heads. We’ve been through countless buzzers, we call them. But they use the straight edge razor and was a little bit nervous with that. But what I thought was like, man, this is the real thing, a professional. Why does someone like me need to go to get a haircut?


But for a wedding, we did it, and I was hoping maybe it just wouldn’t grow back. Maybe this magical experience would just be once and for all and just done. But that’s just not the way hair works.

Maybe if Jesus was my Barber. It would be Once and for all, but that’s the way Jesus is. But I had a really great time. I miss him, and I think they’re just doing great over there. But our title today is Once for all, because Jesus is better. And when he does anything, it’s better. But our text, you should turn there. It’s Hebrews ten, verses one through 18.

So if you’re there with us online, it seems like there might be a few extra today that are with us online, that’s great.

But today we’re going to talk about how his perfect sacrifice was once and for all. And the journey through this book so far, it’s been really awesome. I wanted to kind of provide an outline of where we’ve been and where you are today. Being in the middle of chapter ten, we’re literally like in the middle of the book, even though the book’s got 13 chapters, this is kind of a shifting and turning point in this book. We’ve gone through in great detail how Jesus is better than anyone. Anyone you pit him against, he comes out on top all the time. Jesus is the best.

And in the last couple of chapters, chapters eight through ten, we’ve talked a lot about how what Jesus does is better than anything anyone does. He does it better. He does the priesthood better. He has a better Ministry. He has a better sacrifice. He provides a better Covenant, all of these things. And he’s kind of gone in circles around and around. And he said these themes again and again. So if you feel like these sermons are a little repetitive, we get it. He’s better. He said that for months. You can’t say it enough. And we’re saying it because this author wants to say it again and again and again. So today, though, is the reiteration. It’s a reiteration. It’s going to sound familiar, but it’s an advancement in the book, and it’s also the conclusion of kind of his thesis that Jesus is better and it focuses on his sacrifice. So we’ve gotten to this checkpoint, right? This is who Jesus is. And now we’re shifting towards next week, we’ll shift towards therefore, this is how it plays out for you.

What should your life look like? And if Jesus is a better everything, then he has a better way of living.

And we’ll have laid the foundation for all of that today. So this is where we’re going to rest our case right?

Today, the case will be made. Jesus is amazing.

He’s better in every way.

I love this Psalm. I know it’s a hymn, really, and it says it really well. We’ve sung this from time to time. If you’re younger, it’s just good to have the lyrics for you. But it says so eloquently I think what we’ve been trying to say with Hebrews. Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face.

And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and Grace. And I do hope that his glory and his Grace are weighing a little heavier in your heart as you think about Jesus. We can think, wow, Jesus like we’ve heard that name. But we can lose touch with the weight of his glory, the weight of who he is. And if you remember, biblically speaking, anytime someone approaches the presence of God, they don’t do it lightly when they come face to face with Jesus, like Peter in Luke, chapter five. What does he say? He’s like, Lord, Lord, go away from me. He says this begging on his knees in a boat, for I am a sinful man. And the more closer we get to perfection, the more we feel our flaws. And we just know we are not fit to be there, to be in that presence. Peter’s eyes are open to how great Jesus is. And I hope your eyes have been opened wider, if not anything.

How great, how Holy, how majestic is his name and his presence. It’s a fearsome thing. There’s a place for trembling and fear in the presence of a perfect God.

So if your eyes are still a little blind or just a little dim, may today be one last time and another opportunity that you can wake up to how Jesus is amazing. So let’s start reading, okay? In Hebrews chapter ten.

The law or the old way laid out in the Old Testament is only a shadow of the good things that are coming, not the realities themselves. For this reason, it could never by the same sacrifices, repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshippers would have been cleansed once for all and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. It’s impossible for the blood of Bulls and goats to take away sins.

We’ll pause here, but he’s basically saying like the Old Testament, it wasn’t sufficient. It needed, the way that they atoned for sins was an ongoing, continually inadequate. Okay, let’s do it again. We’re going back to the altar again and again and again. And I do think God with his plan, you see hints throughout the whole Old Testament that he had something better in mind. And so it does hint that there’s something more than this old system.

It’s just a shadow. It’s nothing more. It’s nothing substantive. And shadows really don’t do much, do they?

Right? They mimic. They have some good outlines that they give you a hint. Some shadows are awesome. Silhouette photos are beautiful, but they’re not the real thing. If it was freezing in here, you would want actual firewood to go around a bonfire. You wouldn’t want just the shadow of a log, right?

God set the system up to point to what actually works, because it was again and again this sacrifice maybe this would get the picture. The word for atonement, CoFAR, it literally meant to cover. So to cover, to make atonement for sins. It was like a bandaid. It was a covering, nothing more. It didn’t actually treat the infection or treat the wound. It just glazed over. It kept it okay for a bit.

Got soggy throw it away. It was a gross depiction, right? Blood is disgusting. But God decided that, man, all of this was going to point to something better because the problem was all of this bloodshed, all of this sacrifice, it really couldn’t actually take away the sin.

It just covered it.

It couldn’t remove it. It was again and again, kind of like just a treadmill. When does this end? When does this stop? Sacrifice after sacrifice. So what we really need and what we really have in Jesus is someone who takes away our sin.

And that’s the amazingness of his better sacrifice. Taking away his sin, it’s like just remove it completely.

And that’s what Jesus does. Let’s keep going.

So the point from the first few verses was it didn’t cut it. And the fact that it kept going meant we need something better.

Therefore, therefore, verse five, when Christ came into the world, he said, now and we’re going to quote from Psalm 40, Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me.

With burnt offerings and sin offerings you are not pleased. Then I said, Here I am. It is written about me in the scroll.

I have come to do your will, my God.

First he said, Sacrifice and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them, though they were offered in accordance with the law.

Then he said, Here I am. I have come to do your will.

He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ. Once for all.

He comes just as Psalm 40. And way earlier in your Bible prophesied about, he comes to replace the old way with a new way, God’s old will with his new will.

And there’s hints all along the Bible that God ultimately didn’t desire animal sacrifice. But what does it say? Rather, a body.

A body meaning Jesus body. This is what he wanted.

This is what he knew would be the real way forward. And Jesus, he’s a better man than me because he answers that call, doesn’t he? Would you answer that call if you knew? You’re sitting by God’s right hand in the throne room and he’s like, I want a body.

And Jesus is like, okay, I’m going.

To take up the call and I will be the body that will bring in this new Covenant. That’s a lot of love. That’s a lot of bravery. And I do think there was a surrender like the scripture is talking about two different Wills. There’s God’s will. And then Jesus aligning his will to God’s will. So they’re in line. And you can see it in the Bible when Jesus is about to go to the cross, remember when he’s in that garden and he’s just agonizing over like, Lord, I don’t want to go through all that the crucifixion represents, like the severing of me and you, the crucifixion, all of that God. Total abandonment, taking on the weight of the sin of the world. I don’t want to. But by the time he got up, that was what he wanted to do. He walked into it.

He said, Arise, let’s do this. Your what be done? Will. Yeah.

All the way to the point of saying it’s finished. Like it is done once and for all. And when he said it’s finished, it’s what he meant, it’s done. And because like the scripture here says, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. It really is finished. This is the good news. This is the good news.

If you keep reading verse eleven. We’ll finish our section here. Day after day, every priest stands and performs his religious duties again and again and again. And he offers the same sacrifice which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. And since that time, he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool.

For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made Holy.

The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First, he says, this is the Covenant I’ll make with them.

After that time, says, Lord, I will put my law in their hearts and I will write them on their minds.

Then he adds, Their sins and lawless acts, I will remember no more. And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.

And if you look closely, you’ll see the contrast between the better sacrifice and the less the better sacrifice, right?

That the priests of the old Covenant, it says that they stood because they were always busy. Someone was always up to no good. Even in their hearts they were sinning. We know this experientially like this is our experience. We’re so drawn towards sin. So they had to do this again and again and again. Always more to do. Always more sin to cover. So many animals, right?

Yet his better sacrifice was once he’s one and done. He’s over with. And it is effective even now.

It says for all time.

And it was even effective, it’s almost like this explosion that goes if you see the timeline, it’s like BC and Ad. Jesus blood covers. I don’t want to be too graphic, right. But it does cover retroactively. All those who were under an animal system of sacrifice we realized from the scripture it was a placebo, right?

It wasn’t really working, but Jesus’s blood is the magic sauce for all of that. Amen. All right.

So. Wonderworking power in the blood of Jesus.

This is the real cleansing. And it’s actually what we need to be in the presence of a perfect God. Because a perfect God requires perfect company. And his Holiness, it demands perfection. And here we see that Jesus is making a way for perfection. If you look closely, you’ll have seen this concern in the scripture with people being perfect. The word comes up quite a bit. More, maybe like the concern that people aren’t perfect.

That’s the concern.

And I want us just to meditate on that. That’s kind of a big theme here. We got to meditate on this word, because this word, like the reality of that word, it’s kind of lost on us. It’s only something we aim for, but we never get to in our lives. I mean, what even is perfect? The closest thing I could think of was, like the Hubble telescope. I remember when they made the mirror that could look billions of miles into the universe. They had to Polish that thing forever. I was just astounded at what it meant to make a perfect piece of glass, like a mirror. I’m out of touch with that. I didn’t expect to say that, so I’m probably wrong on all of that, but perfection is the point.

Imagine perfection even just looking at the man in the mirror.

We know so much of our life is aimed at chasing. Defined, it’s completely free from fault or defect.

Or as close to such a condition as possible.

And I think about how this is like this elusive bar of soap that you just can’t hold on to. You try. But perfection is kind of out of your grasp, and we want it. We’re trying. We want to at least cover and hide up over our weaknesses, right? At least we’ll paint over and decorate our blemishes. But just our whole lives. Even if you’re at whatever grade you’re in, you’re probably aiming for straight A’s, right? That’s the goal. That’s the standard. The president’s list. If you’re an art school, maybe the perfect circle. One time our teacher said, you got ten minutes to draw one circle. I was like. And then he said, they’re all bad. And it’s like, yeah, we can’t do it. Or your eyesight, I can’t see. I really can’t. Brush your teeth. Have the perfect teeth.

Just craft that perfect resume. You want that job, that perfect dream job. So you need the perfect impression. Sorry, there’s going to be a lot of that this morning, because the word perfect, I’m going to make it pop. I like that.

With the perfect wedding, perfect guy, perfect girl. Find the perfect home.

And I think about a perfect omelet. I sure can’t make a perfect omelet. It’s the most trivial things to the most serious things in our life.

We do aim for perfection, don’t we? We want to be a perfect dad. When you become a dad and you’re like, I got to be perfect for you. When you see that child, you want to be the best you can, and then you realize after they cry and cry and cry that you have a limit and you are not perfectly patient, and it just goes on. And you can’t come back from messing up once if perfect is what you want.

But we’re wired that we were designed for excellence, but we know we’ve blown it. So with our sin stained hands, perfection is just not in our grasp. It’s out of reach. That’s why we call it missing the Mark. That’s what sin is. It’s missing that Mark, the Mark of perfection.

And we know from the Old Testament that an imperfect person can’t stand in the presence of God without a covering for his sin, at least a bandaid right?

That’s why Jesus steps on the scene, and he gives us confidence that his perfection is going to count for us. As we approach this inevitable approach that we have to meet face to face with the perfect God.

We do have to meet face to face with God. And that’s a little scary, even if you’re like, all right, jesus’s blood. I’m trusting in him.

I have my faith in him, and that’S all I can bring. It’s still a terrifying thing to encounter.

And I hope that you feel that. And I hope from the scripture, you realize you can be ready for that. There’s just one verse I want to Hone in on today and focus on, and it gets to the heart of this section. It’s verse 14, and I just want to spend the rest of our time on that this morning, okay?

Verse 14. For by one sacrifice, he has made perfect forever those who are being made Holy.

This is your memory scripture this week and next week when Marcus comes back, he’s in the southwest region today, he can quiz you on it. But I do think you’re going to want to carry it with you this week.

Because it’s just mind blowing when you grasp this.

And there’s a couple of words I think that are going to be helpful to clarify, and so let’s do that. The first one is sacrifice.


One very specific sacrifice has been, it’s the reason that we’re perfect. One specific sacrifice. It’s bought our perfection.

It wasn’t a Bull. It wasn’t a sheep, a dove, a lamb.

No. Verse ten names it specifically. Says in verse ten, we have been made Holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

The body of Christ with all the blood in his veins, that was the sacrifice given to you. And that’s what makes you perfect.

And I will say this without being too gory.

Probably already used up too many tokens with that.

But I do think we’re out of touch with blood. And honestly, I’m kind of queasy with blood. I’ve developed this aversion of blood. It started with, like, nine months of wondering what pregnancy and what the birthday would be like. I think I worked myself into a frenzy. But to be truth be told, sacrifice was a very bloody, bloody thing.

It literally is lifeblood being given for someone else. And you just got to be in touch with the fact that this is actual blood we’re talking about. This is actual life exchanged one for the other, like a blood transfusion. If you’ve ever had one to save your life, you’re in touch with the reality that real blood needs to be shed for you to be okay or offered somehow.

And that is the case with Jesus. I think sometimes we can think of him as, like a piece of metal welded to a cross, and it’s just more of, like a theory because we see so much iconography and pictures. But this is real. This wasn’t just red paint on a painting. This was actual human offering for us in our place. And that’s a lot. So for by one sacrifice, it says he has made perfect. The other word I want to say is he has made perfect.

That’s one verb in Greek, it’s one word, and we get four here in English. But the one who is doing the perfecting is Christ himself. Like, it is his perfecting. His touch personally and completely. It’s not like an exchange has been made, now you’re going to be perfected on the side, or he’s bought that process. He has an active part in doing that process. Jesus’hands, his fingerprints are all over that. And in Hebrews twelve, we’ll get there soon. It calls Jesus our Perfector. And in Hebrew six, he’s already been called our Perfector. He is our Perfector. Finally, thoroughly, completely through and through, Jesus makes us perfect. 100% perfect, nothing less. Or we wouldn’t be perfect. That’s the status of those who are his.

You’re perfect now if you’re his.

So that’s kind of a weird thing to say, though. You’re like, Dude, you don’t even know how many curse words like, went through my head just like the hour getting here. You don’t even know what’s brewing in my heart. How can you say I’m perfect? I know I’m a Christian, but, man, I can hardly hope that I’ll get through my day without sinning, because that’s just our battle with sin.

So what does it even mean, perfect?

Do we ever sin? We know we do, but are we done sinning? Thank you, Tyler, for Hebrews 10:14. Now I know I’m done sinning.

That’s not really what I’m saying. You know I’m lying. You know you’re going to sin again.

I don’t even know if you think you’re ready to sin.

I know I’m running towards sin as soon as this is over. Who knows? But what I’m saying is, if perfection looks different than one and done with sin right now.

Okay, so verse 17 kind of gives us the idea. Verse 17, if you look there, he says, he elaborates. He’s like, I will remember their sins no more.

I will remember them no more.

He’s going to clear them from our record.

That’s what he has done. This is the present perfect tense.

He has perfected. He has cleared them from our record.

As he has already given the sacrifice.

They won’t be brought up before God. We will know that Jesus is with us. He’s going to be there in the presence of God, and they won’t be brought up. We will be free and perfected. Our sin is spoken for forever. It’s forgotten.

That’s an amazing reality. That’s what perfect means.

So the last thing is the question here is, who is made perfect by this offering? I want to expand on that. And one of the other words here is being made Holy. Also, one word, one verb. Is it you? Is it me? Who is perfect?

Who is perfect in God’s sight?

And the last word here, this word, hagiazomenos. Got it.

One word. When translated, it gives us these three words: being made Holy.

And the answer of who is made perfect with this offering is just read the scripture again for those for by one sacrifice, he’s made perfect forever those who are being made Holy.

Important to note the tense here. It’s the present tense. It’s an ongoing current reality.

Those who are being made holy right now. The NIV gets it right. Maybe some of your translations don’t put the emphasis that this is a current reality, but it is. In other words, he’s made Holy those who are now being made Holy.

Now maybe a bit mind boggling, but what I mean is that they’re being made Holy should be ongoing. It should be happening. It’s not a thing of the past. That’s not the once and for all of us being made Holy. That’s a process that’s never complete.

And it’s called sanctification. Maybe your version actually says those who are sanctified. It’s not something just happens when you’re baptized either. Yeah, it definitely is. You should be at a place where you’re man, I want Jesus is lord. That’s really the requirement. A true Jesus Lord experience for baptism. And that’s the beginning of a journey. But that is just a beginning of a journey. Being made Holy is happening day after day after day, and you encounter temptation and sin, and it’s like God is refining you right?

Year after year, on your first year as a Christian and on your 50th year as a Christian. I want to make it to my 50th year as a Christian. And I want to still be being made holy.

It’s not over. It’s a process. So here’s your question. That you got to look deep and dive deep and ask yourself, are you looking more and more and more like Jesus? Or less like Jesus as life goes on.

This is a good question to ask if you’re actually even actually a disciple, actually truly a Christian. It’s a process and it doesn’t end. Is your life rooted in abiding in Jesus that allows him to guide your way towards him? It’s not clarification. It’s not about being a good person in any sense.

Who cares? Good person.

That is not a biblical theme in any sense. But anyone outside of the Church context thinks Church is about being good. That is nowhere in the Bible. It’s about sanctification. It’s about becoming like a specific person, like about Jesus. Because a good person is just an arbitrary standard. And it does shift as culture shifts. Good is very different than good was ten years ago.

Good, it changes. It’s worldly ethics, right? Instead of trying to think, what am I supposed to do in the eyes of culture that is good to be on the top of that? Just look at Jesus.

He never changes. He’s the same once and for all. So this is about being made Holy.

And if it describes you today, I just want to encourage you.

You can walk out of here knowing that in God’s eyes, you are perfect. You are perfectly imperfect. Your reality it might be different than how God sees you.

I mean, even if you’re still wrestling with sin at this very minute, maybe you put hit pause right on that argument in the car with your wife or your husband or your friend or your roommate or whatever. Maybe you showed some disrespect and you still need to make that right. Maybe you’ve lied someone and you’re kind of holding it up and you need to come clean with someone. You really do. Maybe this has been an ongoing thing. I don’t know. And you need to come into the light. Or maybe you actually have pornography on your computer at home right now.

Just kind of tucked away on some browser hidden.

That could be the case where your heart is just selfish, man, I’m here. None of my friends are here. It’s kind of like, Where is everyone? I’m just leaving. And your heart just kind of poised selfishly. I don’t know what it is. I’ve given a big spectrum, but fill in the blank, please. Where your heart is at. There’s something that it could be anything. And there likely is something you’re wrestling with, right?

But I guess what I’m saying is it doesn’t matter where you’re at so much as if you’re on a trajectory, actually. Like, everyone starts somewhere different in their journey. But are you being made Holy? Is the scripture and God’s law, like the end of our verse here says, written on your heart so that you can are in touch with what God wants.

And are you responding in kind?

Wow. I need to do something about that. I need to be transformed because the Spirit is wanting to change me. No one has arrived at total Holiness.

No one has.

But if you’re merely on your way, on a trajectory that is aimed and propelled by the Holy Spirit, following his ways that are written on your heart, then you are perfect.

That’s what this is saying.

And if that’s not you, then ask someone to point you in the right direction. And we’re not asking for you to be flawless. You know you. But we can help each other to point each other towards Jesus.

And sometimes the Spirit uses a brother to nudge and point us that way. Are you responding to that?

Let Jesus be your Perfector.

So if you walk away with anything today, I want it to be this, that a perfect sacrifice has been given once and for all on your behalf.

And now, because of that, you are perfect. If you abide and follow Christ imperfectly yet persistently, this is how God sees you. It is.

And I think you do well to see yourself that same way and to see your brothers and sisters that same way through God’s eyes.

So as we close right now, we’ll just listen to how Paul puts his wrestling with perfection and imperfection into words. And it’s in Philippians chapter three.

I want to read as we close for Communion, verse twelve. Phillipians 3:12

I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection, but I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.

No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it. But I focus this on one thing. Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus is calling us.

And with that, let’s pray as we realize the perfection that Christ has achieved for us that allows us to enter the presence of a perfect God, even just in prayer. Amen. Let’s pray, Father in heaven, God, we are so grateful that you see us as perfect, that Jesus blood can cover all of our blemishes. Not only cover, but take them away.

And God, that they would be forgotten, Lord, even as they plague us all the things that I just wish I could forget. God, you will do that. And you will help me to do that myself. What a Grace to me that your blood would go so far. And I’m so grateful, God, for what that means for our life going forward. Help us to respond as you’re to your spirit as you prompt us and guide us and help us to step with you.

In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.

A Recipe For Rest

Hey. Good morning. Well, guess what? We’re going to open our Bibles to Hebrews again. So you can open your Bibles to Hebrews four. And our text today is versus one through 13.

We’ve been working through this book for a while, and the title this morning is A Recipe for Rest. And I don’t know about everybody, but it’s funny, the first two people I said Hi to this morning, I was like, how are you? They’re like, I’m so tired. What’s wrong? But then it happened again and again.

So I know at least those two need this message this morning, but I hope some of you guys got some good rest. A lot of the Miami people and your new bed might have been a little tough, but I just want to say I’m really glad you guys are here. Welcome, missionaries. That’s how I see you. I do.

I’m so glad you’re here. And there is much work to be done, you’ll see. But, yes, we’ve been journeying through Hebrews. And if you’re joining us now, I just kind of want to get you up to speed. And I’ll summarize so far that we’ve learned that the author of Hebrews has one agenda in mind, and that really is his main agenda is to say that Jesus is better.

Yes, it’s a sermon. It has little introduction. Within the first sentence, he kind of skips his name and who he addresses it to, but he just wants to talk about Jesus. And he does that very quickly. And he not only wants to talk about Jesus, but he wants to elevate Jesus above anyone and everyone he can think of. That Jesus is the greatest and most supreme being that there is. Jesus.

So this is our fourth week now doing this. In the last couple of weeks, yeah, the last couple of weeks, I’ll just summarize the first thing was that Jesus, he is a better word spoken to us from God that God used to speak in the past through prophets, but now God speaks through a better word, and his name is Jesus. And then we did a side tangent because he does this like five or six times in Hebrews, saying, Jesus is better. Let me actually give you a warning real quick. Jesus is better.

Jesus is better. And then so his first warning comes and he says very early on, you got to pay attention. Which that’s a good place to put that warning, because he has a lot of good stuff to say. Saying, pay attention to this better word spoken to us because you don’t want to miss it. So then he goes on to compare Jesus to Angels, all powerful, impressive Angels. And Jesus is better than those too. And then Jesus is better than all of humanity.

He gives us a way to escape the fear and the power of death, that he’s better than death, that he can overcome that like no man can. But more specifically, he’s better than the best of men, namely Moses, right? Moses. He was the great leader of God’s people early on. The great leader that was face to face with God.

Jesus is better than him. And if you’re a Hebrew, that is an impressive claim. And here we are at the end of chapter three. Before he enters chapter four, he wants to give a second warning and he wants to issue another warning. And he says, well, speaking of Moses, let’s think about how the Israelites responded to Moses. Right?

With Moses people, they did not respond to Moses when God would have them enter into Canaan, the promised Land, and enter into rest. Well, now we have Jesus and he wants to lead us to rest, just like Moses. And the warning, Eddie did a great job summarizing it and distilling it into these three words. Don’t miss out.

First, pay attention to this better Jesus, but don’t miss out on what he is offering us. That’s what he started in chapter three. And in verse twelve, I thought we could backtrack and read verses twelve up to chapter four. So flip your page and let’s begin. Chapter three, verse twelve.

Be careful, here’s the warning, be careful then, dear brothers and sisters, make every effort or make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day while it is still today so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. Remember what it says today when you hear his voice don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled. And so was it those who rebelled against God even though they heard his voice? Wasn’t it the people Moses led out of Egypt? And who made God angry for 40 years? Wasn’t it the people who sinned, whose corpses lay in the wilderness? And to whom was God speaking when he took an oath that they would never enter his rest?

Wasn’t it the people who disobeyed him? So we see that because of their unbelief, they were not able to enter his rest. So he’s talking about the Israelites, right? Long ago, God promised them the land of Canaan, a land of rest where the milk just flowed and the honey was there, but most of them never made it. Most of them missed out.

Do you see why they missed out? It says, because they were filled with unbelief and they were rebellious and their hearts were hard. Ultimately, beyond this land of milk and honey, he was actually pointing to a greater reality that today we also can enjoy this kind of rest. It was actually never about Canaan. We’ll see that as we look closer.

But yes, he wanted us to find rest. They craved rest, right? And they missed it. And so we, too, we should take warning. And our main message here in this text is that for us, the failure to believe or unbelief, we call it unbelief. That forfeits our rest.

Unbelief forfeits rest. And unbelief might seem like an extreme or a strong word for anyone that let’s say you showed up to Church. Congratulations, but I don’t think unbelief is beyond you. I know it’s not beyond me. It doesn’t take much in life honestly for our faith to be shook.

And then unbelief can start to settle in very quickly after that. The nations are raging right now, and that’s on a global scale. But then on a personal scale, I don’t know what your week’s been like. One bill can come in the mail and it can just rock your world. Like God, I thought you were going to provide.

You provided for me this week. Then you sent a bill. Like, I don’t know, it’s very real, right? Or any little thing can shake our faith and shake us towards unbelief. And I don’t want us to think that that’s beyond us.

In Hebrews, in verse twelve, where we started in chapter three, he describes unbelief symptom as turning you away from the living God. Right? That’s what it looks like when you’re turned away from God. You start to pay attention to other things as if God isn’t the best thing anymore. It’s a condition of your heart where other things get your attention and you’re like, more affection goes towards whatever that is than towards Jesus, instead of Jesus.

He’s better, but he doesn’t get the attention he deserves. He can become less than. He can start to become subpar to anything else. And all these idols, they can just creep into our hearts and they can easily capture spot number one rather than Jesus. So does this text is this something you think maybe we should entertain for a bit?

Is it beyond us to miss God’s rest? I don’t think so. So our main text today is chapter four. And with that in mind, with all of that in mind, I think you’ll know where we’re going, and you’ll be with me now. So let’s begin and open your Bibles to Hebrews four.

And what I see in verses four through 13, I call it The Recipe for Rest. That’s the title of our sermon this morning, the Recipe for Rest. Because if you want to distill what he’s saying so you don’t miss out on God’s rest, there’s three things that really stand out, and they’re right here. This is your main note taking slide here. Just write these down.

What you need to not miss God’s rest. You need fear, you need faith, and you need fight. Three FS. I want to make it so it’s so simple you can write on your hand if that’s what you like that. Fear, faith, and fight.

Rest. That’s what it takes. Our culture really doesn’t know how to rest.

We almost prize if we burn the candle at both ends. It’s almost a competition of who got less sleep right? There’s very few of us I bet about half the room got the appropriate amount of sleep, if we’re lucky here.

But honestly, we don’t know how to sit still. We’re restless. We fidget. We don’t know how to have peace. The ironic thing is we do spend a ton of money in our society on trying to get rest.

We spend $85 billion per year just on the sleep industry. That’s like mattresses that are perfectly soft, like those dehumidifiers or the apps that you subscribe to that have the most uninterrupted noise. Static, snow, all that kind of stuff. Blackout shades. We cannot make it happen.

We are a restless people. Does anyone actually have a sleep routine? I’m curious to help yourself. Oh, man. Even more like this.

You might consider it. Maybe you’re young enough in this crowd and not need it yet, but, man, if you actually have any, let’s say you have two small kids in your house. Actually, can you turn the slide twice?

But, yeah, you’ll see, these are, like, my most treasured possessions in life right now. Most valuable possessions, because without that supply, that hatch, that’s what we have. You touch it and the noise comes on and your kid just falls asleep. It’s like magic, but there’s a lot of variables. It’s not just that I have to have the temperature I think it’s 74 degrees. And the fan has to be on kind of touching the wal so it vibrates the wall and adds, like, a soothing vibration to the room. The blackout shades have to be. Molly wants me to put tints on the windows behind the blackout shades.

We do everything we can for our kids to fall asleep because our rest depends on it. We’ve found a recipe for rest in our home, at least on a physical level. Right? And I just think that that’s just how it is, though. Our rest is fragile.

It’s futile to chase it because it’s so fleeting. Like the three FS, right? Right now it’s fragile, futile and fleeting. But with fear, faith, and fight, we can overcome that because we are a chronically tired people. And I’m talking about spiritual chronic fatigue.

We long for rest, and God designed that we would rest in him. If you think about the garden, did they have to till the soil, like, for all the fruits to come? Was there sweat pouring out for them to make things happen? No. Cause that’s the result of the curse?

Right. And ever since we’ve broken our relationship with God there in the garden, we have been chasing after rest. And really, the whole story of the scriptures is God sending Jesus to redeem us back to the time when we’re in the garden in his presence, resting in his place. And so let’s actually read here verses one through seven. We’ll split it in half, Hebrews four, one through seven.

God’s promise of entering his rest still stands. So we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it for this good news that God has prepared his rest has been announced to us, just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn’t share the faith of those who listened to God. For only we who believe can enter his rest.

As for the others, God said, in my anger, I took an oath, they will never enter my place of rest. Even though this rest has been ready since he made the world, we know it is ready because of the place in the scriptures where it mentions the 7th day. On the 7th day, God rested from all of his work. But in the other passage, God said, they will never enter my place of rest.

So God’s rest is there for people to enter. But those who first heard this good news failed to enter because they disobeyed God. So God said, another time for entering his rest. And that time is today. God announces through David much later in the words already quoted, today, when you hear his voice, don’t Harden your hearts.

So you have the wilderness story in the background. That’s the backdrop of our story. And now we get to consider this warning as well as the amazing opportunity that is now yours. Did you hear the good news from verse one? This should be great news to you, right?

If you’re longing to rest in Jesus and experience it, you would hear this wonderful news. God’s promise of entering his rest still stands. The offer is still valid. It’s here and available to you today only. It really is a limited time offer.

It says, and it compels us to grab a hold of it today. Did you see that word today in there? Yeah, it’s actually in there many, many times. He repeats today only today only. Like there is a sense of urgency about this.

You should tremble at the thought. He says, you should tremble with fear that some of you might miss out. He’s saying the FOMO is real and it’s appropriate. You must fear missing out on this kind of rest. It’s the only thing worth fearing at this point, like give your full attention.

You’re paying attention, right? Don’t miss it. So how long is this offer good for? Look where we ended in verse seven. And God said another time for entering his rest and that time is today. Today, when you hear his voice. Today, do not Harden your hearts. Today is the only day it might be good for you. Consider that. It’s a real reality. It’s the only opportunity you can actually be certain of that you have today to enter God’s rest.

There’s a lot of urgency behind his warning here. Andrew Murray, a great theologian, said it this way. He said, God’s great word to us is today. And Satan’s favorite word is tomorrow.

So the first one is fear. Fear, that is first and foremost. And it’s quite motivating. It can be and is an appropriate motivator for you to get towards God’s rest. It’s a biblical motivator.

Find God’s rest. But in verses in chapter four, verse two and three, it’s really clear that the most essential ingredient is your faith. That’s the most important ingredient in this recipe. That it comes down to us hearing God in His Word, His Word to us, and believing what he says His Word to us, namely Hebrews has not said it’s the Bible in your hands, it said, the Word is His Son, right?

The word is expressed in Jesus. That’s who you need to take at his word. Your faith should be there. Faith is essential. And the Israelites just did not have it.

They had every reason to. They witnessed the miracles. This was the generation that saw the Red Sea part and all the Manna just come down from heaven. They saw God’s miracles and they didn’t believe Him. It is not beyond us to do the same.

Our belief in His Word, specifically His Word in the supreme and better Son, namely Jesus. That’s our access card to get to find his rest. Without faith, we will, it says, never enter. It’s very clear like we need it. And so where is your faith today? How is that?

It’s worth analyzing if it’s that important, don’t say, I believe, I’m good. And he did an amazing job connecting last week to faith to the way you live. Faith is displayed in how you live. So where is your faith today? Knowing that it’s more than just saying, I’m good, I believe.

What is your life saying? We need to get that right. And verse eight we’ll continue. We’ll read through the end, verse eight, chapter four. Now, if Joshua has succeeded in giving them this rest, I’ll just pause.

Joshua. We haven’t heard his name yet. We’ve kind of moved on from Moses. Now we’re moving on to a new character. You think they’ll compare Jesus to Joshua?

Let’s see now. If Joshua had succeeded in giving them this rest, God would not have spoken about another day of rest still to come. So there is a special rest or a Sabbath rest still waiting for the people of God. For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world. So let us do our best to enter that rest.

But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall. For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two edge sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God.

Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.

There’s a lot of good stuff in here, and we’ll get into all of it here. But sure, the older generation, they missed God’s rest. They just missed it. But eventually we say goodbye to Moses. All right.

Now a new guy comes on the scene, Joshua, the new leader of God’s people. And guess what? Joshua succeeded where Moses failed to deliver. He actually got to bring them into the promised land. He was the one that guided his people into Canaan and was filled with faith.

He’s the only one. Joshua and Caleb, their faith brought them in. And so Joshua did an amazing thing. He led God’s people. He was a wonderful leader.

In fact, at the end of Joshua’s life, if you look or write later, Joshua 21 44, it says that the Lord gave them rest on all sides. It’s kind of the conclusion of Joshua’s legacy that they entered in fought a bunch of battles, and God gave them rest. He did it. He was a great leader. So why do we need Jesus?

Why do we need Jesus if Joshua gave them rest? Well, let’s just be clear. He says ultimately that the rest that we’re talking about in Hebrews, it makes clear that God’s intention for us to have rest really was never just about Canaan. That was just something to kind of get us thinking about what God ultimately had in mind.

And that offer is the offer we have today. So Joshua, Joshua, oh, he’s a great leader for sure, but he is better than Jesus. He too. He bows before Jesus. And what’s super cool is this might be over our heads.

So sometimes Greek is great, sometimes that can still confuse us more. But I have to share that the Hebrew readers of Hebrews would know that as they look at the story of Joshua and they’re talking now about Jesus, they would know that the name Joshua in Greek was actually Jesus, that Jesus was just a Greek way to say Joshua. So we’re comparing two Joshua’s here. And I think it’s an interesting side note that Jesus took on a Greek name that says a lot. How his promise wasn’t just for his people. But the comparison is really clear.

A better rest is ahead, brought to us by a better Joshua. So the question here, metaphorically speaking, which Joshua are you going to follow? The one who gives temporary rest. It’s already expired. Just know whatever temporary rest you’re seeking, whatever Joshua you’re seeking, that too will expire.

But you have the option to follow the one who leads you to eternal rest. That’s the choice you have. And you should choose the better option, the better. Joshua. We do settle, though, for the shadow rather than the reality.

We settle for just the analogy rather than the substance. And there’s so many things in the scripture that are just he’s like everything has been set up to point to Jesus. Jesus Joshua points to Jesus. The Sabbath itself. You think that’s important?

We still do that. That didn’t expire in the Reader’s time. Well, the Sabbath also. It just points to Jesus. The Sabbath is a day of rest.

Jesus offers us true rest, and he refers to the Sabbath like three times in the text. We just read verses three, verse four, and verse nine. But the Sabbath, it was a day where they had to rest. They were forced to rest. They might have been restlessly sitting in it, might not have actually felt restful.

I got so much to do, I’ll be stoned if I do anything. They might not have actually felt rest all the time. But the Sabbath, it was instituted as a symbol of the true or incoming rest in Jesus. In Colossians two, verse 16 and 17, note this. It spells out a couple of things that were shadowplays of what was to come.

And it says, the Sabbath, the Sabbaths every week. They are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality where Christ is the substance. Everything is pointing to Jesus. Jesus, who wants to restore the rest we can’t find. In verse ten, as we keep going through the scripture, we see that he says, for all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their own labors, just as God did after creating the world.

And I think that the meaning of this verse in verse ten really strikes at the heart of the gospel. I love this. For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors. Like man, that means here is just that, sure, on the Sabbath, you got to rest from your works.

But we too, if we’re following Christ into his rest, we also have our own form of work to rest from. He wants us to rest, namely our works and our strivings and all of our efforts to just be good enough to enter God’s rest. Every culture, every religion is pointing to, how will I be good enough to find the rest in peace? Kind of rest in peace? How am I going to find that?

How’s that actually going to be a reality when my days are done. And so he’s saying, you can rest from all those strivings to be good enough. Because just face it, you know that no matter how hard you work at it, you’re never going to measure up. You’re never going to measure up to enter God’s presence and feel worthy because you can’t undo the things of the past. You can pretend that something can outweigh the other.

It’s really what Islam is a lot about, you know, like, how much points do I have on the good and how much on the bad? But we know deep down we need our account just wiped out. We need a clear slate. So trusting in his work in verse ten, on our behalf, we no longer have to put our stake and all our good works or our strivings to have access. The access card is now faith and God.

Jesus does all the work. It sounds kind of like a priest, right? Someone working on our behalf to clear our debts. Sounds like a priest. Well, you’re going to see next week.

He’s setting us up perfectly. The next subtitle in my Bible says Christ is our high priest, and he’s kind of setting that up. There’s a masterful, just eloquent way to talk about how amazing Jesus is. He meets every need, and he will meet that, too. I’m so glad we have someone that can bring us into true rest here, because every day I crave it, I need it, and it’s here in the last element of the recipe here, fear, faith.

It’s in verse eleven. And this is an interesting verse that follows verse ten, because verse ten, we just heard that for all who’ve entered God’s rest have rested from their labors. But then he says, So let us do our best to enter that rest, or let’s make every effort or let’s take the pains to enter that rest or strive. Sprint, right. Sweat, do what you need to do, just go after it.

And I think that’s interesting. That man a lot like my own recipe for rest. When I have to put my kids to sleep and I know what I need to do, I put a lot of effort into that. But I want to secure my rest. And it’s laying down your labors, but fighting and sweating, you won’t miss it because the danger is real and the loss, it would be a horrible loss if you missed his rest. So make it happen. And so there you have it, the recipe for rest. Fear, faith and fight by whatever it means necessary, fearfully and faithfully fight to enter God’s rest. That rest is available today.

We know that it’s not far off, meaning it’s not a rest in peace kind of thing. We have one of the only but when he says that, it really means that this is not just a generic kind of rest, like put your feet up, get your latte, or put on Netflix. He’s talking about a specific rest. That rest, meaning God’s rest only this kind of rest can be found and offered by God. He’s the only source of this kind of rest.

It’s his rest, and he gives it to us freely. But I think many times we do settle for a different enticing form of that rest. We, just like the Israelites, we think maybe I’ll be more restful if I go back to the things that I’m used to, the things early on, like back to Egypt. Maybe that means I’m going to go back to finding my escape in pornography.

We think that that’s going to give us rest, but it’s just a cycle. It’s a trap. It promises like, yes, you won’t have to worry. Right.

Like pornography. The message is everything in pornography says yes, yes, yes. Right. When the world like, it’s such a lie. And I think things like drugs, I’m just going to say there’s lots of examples, but lots of things, right.

Alcohol, things that we want to escape to that are just counterfeit forms of God’s rest. It might be materialism, maybe, like going out and buying all the things you want, thinking that’s going to make you feel at ease. Like, I’m good. Now we arrived. Like we got what we wanted.

It could be binging on entertainment or Netflix is just the easy example. But there’s so many forms of just numbing your mind out and you pick your form. But if you choose that rest, you are not choosing God’s rest. So that really does hit home. Like, you pick your form of counterfeit rest.

I don’t know what it is for you, but you do. And all of these lesser forms of rest, the effect they have is like three, verse twelve. They Harden our hearts when we hear his voice. The very thing we’ve been warned against. Today, when you hear it, don’t harden your hearts. That’s what these forms of rest do.

They Harden our hearts so that we won’t hear His Word, so that His Word won’t penetrate our hearts, so that Jesus voice doesn’t get through to us because we’re good and we’ve shut him off. And honestly, here, as you look at verse twelve, you see good reason why verse twelve is in there. And I’ll say Hebrews four, verse twelve, that is probably the most iconic scripture in all of Hebrews. Here it is.

I’ve read this scripture so many times in Bible studies and I’m like, God, what’s the context here? This is about entering God’s rest and not dulling and hardening your heart to his voice, because the voice of God is nothing to be trifled with. It’s nothing to take lightly or to dismiss. You might try today. You have today to do what you want, but you might only have today.

And so as we come to verse twelve, let’s see what he says regarding the voice of God that offers us rest, verse twelve. For the Word of God is alive or living and active and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two edge sword. Cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow, exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God.

Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable. So having just wrapped up a compelling warning to us to not miss his rest by rejecting His Word, he employs a really powerful metaphor and an impressive one regarding His Word. He calls it a sword, the sharpest of sharp swords, an instrument of judgment. Because just like a sword, God’s word it has the power to penetrate and uncover and lay bare our hearts. I might be fooling myself about whether I’m actually seeking rest in God.

I might be lying to myself. God’s spirit and voice is definitely speaking. It is speaking, but perhaps my heart might be hard. Maybe I’m aware and I’m lying to others as well. That’s not beyond possibility.

But what he’s saying here with this metaphor is God’s Word will penetrate your heart. He’s going to unwire you and lay you bare on the table every distinction he knows he sees. He’s searching your heart. And I rest so much with peace, knowing God knows my heart. And he offers me this.

I don’t always know my heart, but he does. And his word has it speaks to every part of my heart. He knows it all. He knows all. He knows if I have a mask on my heart or if there’s a charade going on, he knows all the twisted parts of my heart, and I’m so grateful for that.

He knows my thoughts, my intentions, my motives here. The raw me is seen by the word of God. Nothing it says here will be veiled from facing the music of God’s word that goes out and intends to have an effect on us. And it’s an interesting word, one more Greek word for us, the word in language here what we read as laid bare or exposed.

It’s the only time this word is used in scripture because it’s kind of a secular word, the word trachēlismena. And it really quite literally means to take someone by the throat, to take them by the throat, or to bend back their neck. And it’s a wrestling word. It’s the WWE of the Hebrews times. The word is going to put you in a chokehold, is what he’s saying.

It has that effect that it will bend back your neck so that you are locked in a situation with an opponent who has a sword and you will not be able to look away. Your gaze will be fixed straight ahead, and you will have to face the music of the word. What’s interesting, when you see, like the word of God or the Logos of God is living and active, to whom we must be accountable, he’s saying, to whom we must give our own Logos back to Him. We must give our own word back to the Word. So he has a lot to say and a lot to offer us.

May we not refuse it. May we not miss it. I see that we’re going to have to give our word back to God. Here, another context of this word is used a lot is in a criminal trial.

Back in the day, they would make sure that the person on trial would face the court. And the way they would do that is they would have a sword that pressed into their chin and they would not be allowed to look down. They would have to fix their eyes on those they were accountable to. And that’s the effect of the Word, that it goes out to us, and it’s a good word to us, but we will have to answer to it. Both of these situations are serious face to face moments.

And some day, sooner or later, we’re going to have to meet face to face with God, with the truth about His Word and the truth about ourselves. It’s a good word. So to conclude, just ask yourself this question. Are you fearfully and faithfully fighting to enter God’s rest? Or is your heart hardened to that?

All right. Is there God’s Word guiding you this morning? Whose rest are you pursuing? These are all one in the same question. They’re all from the same warning.

If you’re turned around and you just don’t know where to go, maybe even a lot of this Old Testament, Joshua, Moses stuff, that’s like a whole nother I never heard of that. That’s okay. The simple, plain and simple message is, follow Jesus. Just follow him. He is the Word.

He’s the one that we need to listen to and pursue. We need to follow Jesus. He’s the better Joshua, and he’s leading us into the real promised land. So spend time in the Word, see how Jesus lives and follow suit. That’s the practical.

Let him lead your life. Jesus is a better Joshua, and he’s going to guide us safely to a better rest. And I love about Jesus. We’re going to end with his words here. You can actually display the next slide.

He doesn’t make it hard or difficult or esoteric. He doesn’t use Greek to offer us rest. This is the most tender and beautiful invitation to enter his rest. And these are red letters. These are Jesus words.

Rest, all pointed to following Jesus. And Jesus himself says, Then Jesus said, Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Jesus wants us to find rest, but find true rest, and we know it’s found in him. Let’s pray that we might fight to enter his rest. Amen.

Dear God, thank you so much for this morning. And thank you, God, for the rest. That we can truly just know that you have us, God, that our strivings and our laborings can cease when we trust God, that you will do the heavy lifting in our life. May we take you at your word, God, that you are enough, but really that you are better. Better than anything.

And may we continue to have faith, God, that you will provide for us, whatever our needs are, but especially our rest. We can rest in you, and we just love that we are so loved by you. It’s an amazing reality, God, and I’m so grateful for it. Be with us here. We’re going to take Communion in your honor, in your memory, and in the hope God that you still are just awaiting a moment when you’ll bring us finally to heaven, which is clearing the enemies out of the land.

I know we have eternal life starting now, but there’s still enemies all around that are living in a spiritual sense. And I just pray God that you take the things out of our life and really bring us true to you in heaven where we can truly rest for our souls. In Jesus’s name we pray Amen.