Quest for Hope
Faithful in Belief 2-17-16 Conclusion
Our scripture passage guides us to wisely search our hearts (cardio is the center of one’s being) every day; we are to search for evil or unbelief hiding within us. If Jesus defeated sin and death, how does evil remain an issue for the believer? Evil exists in our world and we will always experience temptation. Fear comes to rob us of our trust in God.
If we have accepted by faith the work of Jesus on the cross and have asked him to cover our human weaknesses—forgive our sins by his pure sacrificial blood—are we always saved from the wrath of God or not? Are we saved to enjoy peace with God or not? God did everything to bring us salvation; we cannot take credit for any of it. He loves us and desires to enjoy a relationship with us. When we are disobedient we can hinder our intimacy with God. Life with God is a spiritual journey of growth and we live it out moment by moment.
The letter to the Hebrews explains that if we do not identify things like evil or unbelief within us it will lead us astray; it can make us unresponsive to the work of the Spirit. Our writer uses the Israelites as an example. The same people whom God heard crying and released from bondage in Egypt, are the same people who refused to listen to God and grieved the Spirit during their forty years in the wilderness.
How do we harden our hearts against the Holy Spirit who gives eternal life and “rest?” Our hearts are hardened through disobedience. We seem to be able to stop listening; selective hearing. We love God to tell us great and glorious plans he has for our lives, but we seem to have a way to disconnect our “hearing device” and listen for only the things that make our flesh feel good.
I have heard people say it is possible to lose your salvation. I have heard people say that once you have been saved you are always saved. What are your thoughts about either of those statements?
Scripture teaches we are sealed by the Holy Spirit; brought into the family of God. It is never about our work to earn salvation. But the author of Hebrews talks about the need for perseverance to remain faithful to God—enter His rest—in our receiving, living, and serving.
If we do not allow our hearts to be hardened and we maintaining a humble posture when considering God’s love we will be open to:
Receiving: To humbly take possession of God’s high purpose and to trust it as truth for our lives.
Mark 10:15 “I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”
John 1:12 “But to all who believed him and accepted (received) him, he gave them the right to become children of God.”
Colossians 2:6 “And now, just as you accepted (received) Christ Jesus as Lord, you must continue to follow him.”
Living: To come to eternal life.
Acts 17:28 “For in him we live and move and exist.
Hebrews 4:6-13 “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 set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted: ‘Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.’ 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 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 world of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two edged 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 b before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.”
1 John 4:16 “We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love and all who live in love live in God and God lives in them.”
Serving: To work for another
Romans 12:11 “Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.”
Romans 14:17-18 “For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God and others will approve of you, too.
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s masterpiece. he has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
Colossians 3:24 “Remember the the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.”
We are to give God our all as we experience this life of faith and rest. He is the surgeon and the Word is meant to bring healing to our image.