A New And Living Way

Posted by on Nov 11, 2007

By Pastor Mike Withem

First Baptist Church of Ranson, WV

November 11, 2007

Sunday Morning

“A New And Living Way”

Scripture Text: Hebrews 10:19-25

Introduction:

 

A.   The Internet, like a lot of other things, can be a either a curse or a blessing.

1. It can be a curse if it is not used properly.

2. However, it can also be a tremendous blessing to those who have enough self-discipline to avoid the garbage that is oftentimes accessible with just one click of the mouse.

3. (Illus.- Let me illustrate. I love to read other pastors’ sermons that are posted on the Internet. All I have to do is go to Google, type in the particular subject or book of the Bible in which I’m interested, then type in the words sermons and Baptist, and almost instantly it will give me the link to many Baptist church web sites that have their pastors’ sermons posted for others to read and to enjoy. I do this all the time. Sometimes the sermons are not that helpful, but other times I am greatly blessed by what I read.)

4. I have discovered one thing, however, as I have searched the web for sermons, and that is there are not a whole lot of sermon series on Hebrews posted on Baptist church web sites, which leads me to believe that many pastors avoid the challenge of preaching through this wonderful book.

5. I believe there are at least two reasons why this is true.

6. First of all, it is true because the book of Hebrews is a difficult book to understand, especially when it comes to the five “warning passages.”

7. The second reason is because the book of Hebrews is extremely heavy on doctrine.

8. Now you know, as well as I do, that in many churches today, even some Baptist churches, there is a trend to avoid (shy away from) preaching on doctrine.

9. Why? Because some find doctrinal preaching boring!

10.   Let me just stop here and say this: Even though some will find doctrinal preaching boring, it is vitally important if believers are to become rooted and grounded in their faith.

11.   One of the reasons that there are so many “shallow” (immature) believers is because all they ever get when they go to church is the “milk” of the Word (they never get any “meat”)!

12.   And so, the second reason that many pastors avoid the challenge of preaching through the book of Hebrews is because it is extremely heavy on doctrine.

 

B.   However, having said that, please understand the book of Hebrews is not just a doctrinal book, it is also a very practical book.

1. Our text, this morning, is a perfect example of this.

2. The first thing that we see in our text is…

 

I.       A Call To Prayer.

 

A.   Notice again Vrs. 19-22 of our text, “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,…By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;…And having an high priest over the house of God;…Let us draw near.”

 

 

B.   Notice, first of all, the privilege that we, as believers in Christ, have.

1. We have the privilege of entering “into the holiest.”

2. Notice again Vrs. 19, “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest.”

3. What is “the holiest”?

4. It is another way of saying “the presence of God.”

5. As believers in Christ, we have the privilege of entering into the very presence of God.

6. You know, in Old Testament days, there was only one human being who was given this privilege, the high priest of Israel, and he could only enter the presence of God once a year (on the Day of Atonement).

7. While the average Israelite could enter the courtyard, only the priests could enter the outer sanctuary of the tabernacle, and only the high priest could enter the inner sanctuary (Holy of Holies), and that only once a year.

8. However, we as believers in Christ, can enter into the presence of God any time that we desire, day or night, and we can do with “boldness” (confident in our right to do so)!

 

 

C.   Why do we have this blessed privilege, when the saints of the Old Testament did not?

1. We have the privilege because of “the blood of Jesus.”

2. Notice again Vrs. 19, “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus.”

3. You see, something happened when Jesus died on the cross, the veil of the temple was rent (torn, divided down the middle) from top to bottom. (Mat. 27:51)

4. Why was the veil rent?

5. God was making a statement.

6. This was God’s way of saying that anyone who would place His faith in the blood of Jesus, no matter how sinful his life had been, could now have access to the very presence of God.

7. We notice in Vrs. 20 that the writer of Hebrews refers to this blessed privilege as “a new and living way.”

 

 

D.   Why do we need to take advantage of this new privilege?

1. First of all, we need to take advantage of this privilege because prayer produces intimacy with God.

2. Notice again Vrs. 21 and the first part of Vrs. 22 of our text, “And having an high priest over the house of God;… Let us draw near.”

3. (Illus.- A couple of months ago a brother in Christ said this to me, “Pastor, I just don’t feel like I am very close to God. I know I’m saved, I know He is my Heavenly Father, but I just don’t feel very close to Him. How can I achieve greater intimacy with Him?” Immediately I began questioning him about his prayer life? Why? Because prayer produces intimacy with God.)

4. If your prayer life it not what it ought to be, I’ll guarantee that your walk with the Lord is not what it ought to be either (these two things are tied together).

 

E.   Another reason we need to take advantage of this privilege (of entering into God’s presence in prayer) is because prayer strengthens us for the Christian life.

1. (Illus.- Someone says, “Pastor, I just feel powerless when it comes to living the Christian life. I feel powerless when it comes to resisting temptation. I feel powerless when it comes to taking a stand for right. I just powerless when it comes to sharing my faith with others!” Say no more! I know what your problem is, at least part of your problem. Your prayer life is lacking. How do I know that? I know that because prayer strengthens us for the Christian life.)

2. Look back at Heb. 4:15-16, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin….Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

 

F.    And so, first of all, we see a call to prayer. We also see…

II.      A Call To Purity.

A.   Notice again Vrs. 22 of our text, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”

1. I believe this verse is talking about two kinds of cleansing.

2. When the writer of Hebrews referred to “having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience,” I believe he is talking about the positional cleansing that takes place the moment a sinner places his faith in the blood of Jesus to save him.

3. You might remember that when the high priest entered the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement, he would sprinkle blood on the mercy seat as an atonement for the sins of Israel.

4. That blood, of course, was a picture of the blood of Christ.

5. Those of us who have trusted Jesus as our Savior have been totally cleansed with His precious blood.

6. This is an inward positional cleansing that takes place the moment a person is saved.

 

B.   However, this verse also speaks of a practical cleansing.

1. When the writer of Hebrews referred to having “our bodies washed with pure water,” I believe he was talking about the practical cleansing that takes place in a believer’s life as he applies the principles of God’s Word to his life.

2. You might remember that the priests who ministered in the tabernacle and temple were continually washing themselves with water.

3. This was a picture of the daily cleansing that should take place in a believer’s life as he reads the Word of God and then applies its principles to his daily life.

4. Paul referred to this cleansing in Eph. 5:25-26, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;…That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.”

 

C.   The psalmist David wrote about this daily cleansing process in Psa. 119:9-11.

1. He begins by asking a question, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?” (Vrs. 9)

2. In other words, “How may a young man make his way clean?”

3. He then answers the question, “…by taking heed thereto according to thy word.” (Vrs. 9)

4. In other words, “By reading the Word of God and then applying its principles to your life (by living it).”

5. David then went to say in Vrs. 11, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

6. One can definitely see the connection between the Word of God and practical holiness (purity).

 

 

D.   This is why people don’t get saved, then immediately start living a model Christian life.

1. Practical holiness takes time.

2. Practical holiness is a process that begins the moment a person comes to Christ, then continues throughout his life.

3. Practical holiness comes about as we learn God’s principles for living as revealed in His Word, then begin putting those principles into practice.

4. The more principles we learn and put into practice, the more like Christ we become!

5. (Illus.- Every now and then someone will ask me, “Why do some people get saved [or at least make a profession of faith], but their lives do not change significantly?” It could be that they never got saved in the first place. But it could also be that they got saved, but afterwards they didn’t get into the Word. The Word is what cleanses us. The Word is what purifies us. The Word is what transforms us into what God would have us to be.)

 

E.   And so, we see a call to purity. Finally, we see in our text…

 

III.    A Call To Perseverence.

 

A.   Notice again Vrs. 23 of our text, “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering;”

1. This is a call to perseverence.

2. He said, “Let us hold fast.”

3. In other words, “Let us persevere. Let us remain faithful to God. Let us remain steadfast as we give our lives to God in service to Him!”

4. As we have seen throughout this study, the Jewish believers to whom this letter was written were seriously considering going back to their old system of worship.

5. The writer of Hebrews admonishes them not to do that!

 

B.   This admonition is for us, as well.

1. Now this raises a question.

2. How can we persevere?

3. How can we remain faithful?

4. How can we remain steadfast in our service to God?

5. Our text gives us at least three clues.

6. First of all, we can persevere by reminding ourselves that God has persevered for us.

7. Notice again the latter part of Vrs. 23 of our text, “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)”

8. Why should we be faithful? Because He is faithful.

 

C.   We can also persevere by aligning ourselves with people who will encourage us to be faithful and not discourage us.

1. Notice again Vrs. 24 of our text, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:”

2. The word “provoke” here is a very interesting word.

3. It literally means “to incite.”

4. And so, we as believers in Christ, are to incite one another “unto love and to good works.”

5. One of the reasons that many believers have a hard time remaining faithful to God is because of the people with whom they associate (align themselves).

6. We need to associate people who will encourage us to be faithful to God, and we need to encourage them.

 

D.   Finally, we can persevere by attending church on a regular basis.

1. Notice again Vrs. 25 of our text, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

2. It’s interesting that this admonition to be faithful in church follows immediately on the heels of the admonition to “hold fast” (persevere).

3. The reason being that one of the keys to holding fast is attending church on a regular basis.

4. Why?

5. Primarily because of the encouragement that we receive by coming together with other believers.

6. In fact, I believe this is the primary reason we are admonished to attend church regularly.

7. Not so we can pray (we can pray at home).

8. Not so we can worship God (we can worship God at home).

9. Not so we can hear good Bible teaching and preaching (we can hear good Bible teaching and preaching at home on the television).

10.   The primary reason we are admonished to attend church is so we can encourage one another to live for Jesus.

11.   (Illus.- Alcoholics have AA. Christians have church. Church is a large support group. Not a showcase for saints, but a hospital for sinners. A place where we can come to find help to remain faithful to God.)

Conclusion:

 

A.   And so, Hebrews is not only a doctrinal book, it is also a very practical Book.

1. This morning, we have seen three things.

2. First of all, a call to prayer.

3. Secondly, a call to purity.

4. Finally, a call to perseverence.

 

B.   How’s your prayer life?

1. How’s your purity (personal holiness)?

2. How’s your perseverence? (Have you been consistent in your Christian life?)

 

C.   (Prayer & Invitation)