Let Us Go Forth

Posted by on Apr 13, 2008

By Pastor Mike Withem

First Baptist Church of Ranson, WV

April 13, 2008

Sunday Morning

“Let Us Go Forth”

Scripture Text: Hebrews 13:10-16

Introduction:

 

A.   I want to begin this morning by stating emphatically that salvation is a gift from God that in no way can be earned or merited.

1. The Bible says in Rom. 6:23, “23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

2. The Bible also says in Eph. 2:8-9, “8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

3. Finally, the Bible says in 1 John 5:11-12, “11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”

4. And so, I want to begin this morning by stating as emphatically as I can that salvation is a gift from God that in no way can be earned or merited.

 

B.   However, having said that, I must also say that those of us who are saved (those of us who by faith have received the gift of eternal life) owe a debt to God.

1. But someone says, “Wait a minute, pastor! You just said that salvation is a gift from God, now you tell us that we owe Him for it. I don’t understand.”

2. When I say that we owe a debt to God, I am talking about a debt of gratitude.

3. In other words, we owe it to God to show Him and express to Him our gratitude for what He has done for us.

 

C.   Now this raises a question.

1. How do we pay this debt?

2. How do we show God and express to Him the gratitude that we feel for all that He has done for us?

3. Our text, this morning, answers this question, at least in part.

4. According to the verses that Bro. Earl just read, there are at least three things that we can do (and should do) to pay our debt of gratitude to God.

5. First of all, we should pay our debt by…

 

I.       Bearing His Reproach.

 

A.   Look again at Vrs. 10-14 of our text, “10 We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. 11 For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. 12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. 13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. 14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.”

1. Notice again the words found in Vrs. 13, “13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.”

2. The word “reproach” is translated from a Greek word that literally means “shame” or “disgrace.”

3. Now this raises a question.

4. We are admonished here to bear “his reproach,” that is, Christ’s reproach, but the question is, “What reproach, what shame, what disgrace did Jesus suffer?”

 

B.   Well, first of all, He suffered the reproach of being crucified ON A CROSS.

1. You have to understand that in Jesus’ day, death by crucifixion was a manner of death that was reserved for the worst of criminals.

2. You probably remember that when Jesus was crucified, He was not crucified alone.

3. The Bible says in Luke 23:32-33, “32 And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death. 33 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.”

4. The word “malefactor” means “criminal” or “evil doer.”

5. Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would one day pour “out his soul unto death,” and in so doing, be “numbered with the transgressors.” (Isa. 53:12)

6. Jesus certainly fulfilled this prophecy when He died on the cross.

7. And so, first of all, Jesus suffered the reproach of being crucified on a cross.

 

C.   But there’s more!

1. Jesus also suffered the reproach of being crucified OUTSIDE “THE CAMP,” in other words, outside the city.

2. The hill called “Golgotha,” upon which Jesus was crucified, was located just outside the walls of Jerusalem.

3. Someone asks, “Why was that a reproach?”

4. It was a reproach for several reasons.

5. First of all, it was a reproach because the city garbage dump was located outside the city.

6. Secondly, it was a reproach because all of the social misfits and rejects, such as lepers, lived outside the city.

7. Finally, it was a reproach because the carcasses of the animals whose blood was poured out in the sanctuary as a sin offering were disposed of outside the city.

8. Notice again Vrs. 11 of our text, “11 For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.”

9. When they took Jesus outside the city to put Him to death, it was like they were saying, “This man is garbage! This man is a social outcast! This man is no better than the dead carcass of an animal!”

 

D.   And so, Jesus not only suffered the reproach of being crucified on a cross (death by crucifixion), He also suffered the reproach of being crucified outside “the camp.”

 

E.   Now notice again the admonition that we are given in Vrs. 13 of our text, “Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.”

1. What does it mean to bear “his reproach”?

2. It simply means to be willing to suffer the shame and disgrace that the world will heap upon us as a result of our being identified with Christ.

3. Let’s face it, the world has no love affair with Jesus.

4. In fact, the world hates Jesus!

5. Do you remember what Jesus told His disciples in John 15:18? He said, “18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.”

6.  To bear our Lord’s “reproach” simply means to be willing to be the object of the hatred that the world naturally has for Christ.

7. (Illus.- Last Friday I was going over the reports that our “Spark Of Grace” surveyors filled out after going out on Thursday evening. One of our surveyors wrote a note on the back of his report stating that the person at a particular address was very “nasty” [his word, not mine]. While this does not happen very often, we shouldn’t be surprised when it does happen. This is all part of bearing our Lord’s reproach.)

 

F.    Not only should we be willing to bear our Lord’s reproach, we should do so JOYFULLY.

1. In fact, Peter wrote in 1 Pet. 4:14, “14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you:”

2. Do you remember how Peter and the other apostles responded to a situation which resulted in them not only being jailed, but also beaten?

3. Listen as I read Acts 5:41, “41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.”

4. And so, not only should we be willing to bear our Lord’s reproach, we should do so joyfully.

5. In other words, we should consider it an honor.

 

G.   This is one way that we should pay our debt of gratitude to God. We should also pay our debt by…

 

II.      Offering The Sacrifice Of Praise To God.

 

A.   Notice again Vrs. 15 of our text, “15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”

1. Let us not forget that the book of Hebrews was a letter written to converted Jews.

2. Under the law, these Jews had offered many animal sacrifices to God.

3. However, what the writer of Hebrews is saying here, is that God no longer wants us to offer up animal sacrifices to Him (Christ did that for us once and for all).

4. What God desires from us, instead, are sacrifices “of praise” to Him.

5. What are sacrifices “of praise to God”?

6. This question is answered in the latter part of this verse, it says, “…that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”

7. In other words, USING OUR LIPS to THANK GOD and to PRAISE HIM for what He has done for us!

8. The psalmist put it like this in Psa. 69:30-31, “30 I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. 31 This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bullock.”

 

B.   Now there are several ways that we can use our lips to thank God and praise Him for what He has done for us.

1. First of all, we can do it in our PRIVATE WORSHIP.

2. In other words, when we all alone with God, pouring our hearts out to him in prayer and worship.

3. I believe this is what Paul was talking about in Eph. 5:19-20, when he wrote, “19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;”

3. This is really where our sacrifice of praise needs to begin (it shouldn’t end here, but it most certainly should begin here).

 

C.   We can also offer the sacrifice of praise in our PUBLIC WORSHIP.

1. The songs and they hymns that we sing here were written for this purpose.

2. The psalmist wrote in Psa. 69:30, “30 I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.”

3. (Illus.- I sometimes look out over the congregation on Sunday morning while Bro. Bob is up here leading us in a hymn, and inevitably I will see a few people who, for some reason, are not singing. I don’t know why you don’t sing, but do you realize that when you don’t sing, you are missing a wonderful opportunity to offer unto God the sacrifices of praise?)

 

D.   We can also offer the sacrifice of praise in our PERSONAL WITNESS.

1. In other words, when we have an opportunity to talk to someone who does not know Christ.

2. One of the best ways that I know to open a door of opportunity to share the gospel with a friend or an acquaintance is to simply share with them what Christ has done in your own life.

3. In fact, the Bible admonishes us in 1 Pet. 3:15 to “15…be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”

 

E.   And so, we should pay our debt to God by offering the sacrifice of praise to God.

1. By the way, did you notice that we to told to do this “continually”?

2. Not just every now and then.

3. This should be a regular pattern (habit) with us.

 

F.    May I say, finally, that we should pay our debt of gratitude to God by…

 

III.    Doing Good And Communicating.

 

A.   Notice again Vrs. 16 of our text, “16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”

1. The word “communicate” here doesn’t mean what you might think it means.

2. What it means here is to give, to distribute, or TO SHARE with others that which God has given to us.

3. Let me tell you something, God’s people should be the MOST GENEROUS people in the world!

4. Do you know why?

5. Because God has given so much to us!

6. Do you remember what Jesus said in Luke 12:48?

7. He said, “48…For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required:”

 

B.   First of all, we should give to THE POOR.

1. Solomon wrote in Pro. 14:21, “21 He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.”

2. Then again in Pro. 19:17, “17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.”

3. And finally, in Pro. 22:9, “9 He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.”

 

C.   Not only should we give to the poor, but we should also give to OUR BROTHER in his time of need.

1. The believers in Macedonia are a tremendous example of this kind of giving.

2. Even though they were poor themselves, they opened their hearts and they opened their pocketbooks to help their fellow believers in need.

3. Listen to Paul’s words of commendation of these generous believers, “1 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; 2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.” (2 Cor. 8:1-2)

 

D.   Not only should we give to the poor and our brother in need, but we should also give to MISSIONS.

1. Giving to the poor results in the saving of lives.

2. Giving to missions results in the salvation of souls.

3. While both are important, the latter is the most important.

4. Why? Because the salvation of one’s soul has eternal benefits.

5. Paul wrote in 2 Cor. 4:18, “18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Conclusion:

 

A.   I want to go back now to a statement that I made when I began this message.

1. Those of us who are saved owe a debt of gratitude to God.

2. How should we pay that debt?

3. We should pay this debt in at least three ways.

4. First of all, we should pay this debt by BEARING CHRIST’S REPROACH (by willingly being the object of the world’s hatred for Jesus).

5. Secondly, we should pay this debt by OFFERING THE SACRIFICE OF PRAISE (by using our lips to thank God and praise Him for all that He has done for us).

6. Finally, we should pay this debt by DOING GOOD AND COMMUNICATING (by sharing with others what God has graciously given to us).

 

B.   May I ask you a personal question, this morning?

1. Are you paying your debt of gratitude to God?

2. Are you bearing Christ’s reproach?

3. Are you offering the sacrifice of praise to God?

4. Are you doing good and communicating?

5. If you are not doing these things, it is because you are not as grateful to God as you should be for the fact that He has saved your soul and given you a home in heaven.

 

C.   Perhaps you are not even saved!