Hebrews 3 (New International Version)
Jesus Greater Than Moses
1Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. 2He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. 3Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. 4For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to what would be said in the future. 6But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.
HERE is Brian Moss singing a familiar hymn (although the tune is new to my ears) about “God’s house” — the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. “The Church’s One Foundation” was written by Samuel John Stone (the clergyman son of a clergyman in England) in 1866. He wrote it to illustrate the ninth article of the Apostles’ Creed: The holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints.
Warning Against Unbelief
7So, as the Holy Spirit says:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
8 do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion,
during the time of testing in the desert,
9 where your fathers tested and tried me
and for forty years saw what I did.
10 That is why I was angry with that generation,
and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray,
and they have not known my ways.’
11So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.’ “
12See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
Reflections on encouragement:
Fall down seven times, stand up eight.
One has to remember that every failure can be a stepping stone to something better.
~Col. Harland Sanders (founder of the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant chain)
The name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe.
14We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. 15As has just been said:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion.”
16Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? 18And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.
1 Corinthians 10:1-11 (NLT)
I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago. All of them were guided by a cloud that moved ahead of them, and all of them walked through the sea on dry ground. In the cloud and in the sea, all of them were baptized as followers of Moses. All of them ate the same spiritual food, and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ. Yet God was not pleased with most of them, and their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
These things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did, or worship idols as some of them did. As the Scriptures say, “The people celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry.” And we must not engage in sexual immorality as some of them did, causing 23,000 of them to die in one day.
Nor should we put Christ to the test, as some of them did and then died from snakebites. And don’t grumble as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the angel of death. These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age.
from Encountering the Book of Hebrews,
by Donald A. Hagner
It is sobering to think that those who were so highly privileged to be the recipients of God’s grace and power of deliverance could fall so easily into unbelief and disobedience. This is precisely the point the author of Hebrews wants his readers to see. What happened then can happen again; indeed, the original readers apparently were in very real danger of falling away from their Christian commitment. But this danger is one that every generation of Christians needs to ponder. Though our salvation derives from grace and is therefore free and unmerited, we dare not take it lightly. We are called to perseverance and faithfulness.
Here is another way to say the same message!
HERE is Tamara Lowe at Christ Fellowship. Listen fast!
Images courtesy of:
house and verse 4. http://www.christianmingler.com/wp-content/uploads/Heb34a.jpg
Jesus and Moses. http://oneyearbibleimages.com/jesus_moses.jpg
warning tape. http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/Third_Party_Photo/2009/02/09/iStock_warning_tape_CROPPED__1234281031_9929.jpg
The rock was Christ. http://hopedaniel.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/flowingwater.jpg