Peace with God
Sermons & Articles
Over the last few weeks we have been looking at the biblical role of
our church members. The first week we looked at the Shepherd and the
role of the Pastor in church. We saw the Pastor has an equipping and
shepherding role in the church. Last week we look at the role of Elders.
We saw that this is a vital role in the health of the church. They
shepherd, teach, oversea, encourage, and serve us. We saw that it is a
high calling to be an Elder and we need to hold them in high regard.
This week I want to look at the role of the congregation or church
members. In saying this though, I am mindful that the Pastor is one of
the Elders, and the Elders are part of the congregation. So, in essence,
this message is for all of us.
The passage I want to look at as our main text today is
Hebrews 10:19-25. This passage looks at some key things that helps
us to stay on track as individuals and as we do them together it helps
us to stay of track as a church. I will also look at some other verses
to fill in the things we need to do.
19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most
Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,
20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that
is, his body,
21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of
faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty
conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who
promised is faithful.
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and
25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of
doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the
In this passage, it uses the term “Let us” four times. I am going to
use this as the main points of my message today. Hopeful this will help
you to remember and every time you re-read it, you will remember.
1. Let us draw near
Verse 22 – Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full
assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a
guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
Today’s text tells us because of Christ’s death on the cross for us
we can have confidence to enter the most holy place of God. In Old
Testament times the people had to sacrifice animals to be right with
God. And only the High Priest could enter the most holy place where God
was. After prayer, fasting and ritualistic behavior could he go in once
a year. He had to wear elaborate garments with bells and a large rope
tied around his waist. The other priests would stand outside and if the
bells stopped ringing they would drag the lifeless body out. Now we can
enter in because of Christ.
Ephesians 3:12 tells us, “In him and through faith in him we may
approach God with freedom and confidence.”
Hebrews 4:16 also says, “Let us then approach the throne of grace
with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us
in our time of need.”
We can approach God with freedom and confidence. Drawing near to God
is a key part of the Christian life. It is also a key component of
church life. We have direct access to the Father through Christ. We can
So how do we enter in? The main way is through worship. That is why
we have a time of worship each week. We are not just singing songs. We
are worshipping our God and Creator. We are bowing our hearts and lives
down to the One who deserves all of our love and adoration. Often in
worship I hold my hands up to God. Why do I do this? It is for two
reasons. Firstly, it is symbolic reaching out to God. I am lifting holy
hands to my King. Secondly, it is an act of surrender. When we
surrender, we hold our hands up. For me raising my hands is reaching out
in an act of surrender. It is my way of drawing near to God.
2. Let us hold unswervingly
Verse 23 – Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he
who promised is faithful.
Let us hold unswerving. The KJV uses the words hold fast. The CEV
uses the terms hold tightly. All of these ideas capture the meaning of
the Greek word Katecho. This means to hold down, keep, possess, retain,
seize on, or stay. All of these give us the thought of holding tightly
and not letting go.
What does the writer want us to take hold of? He wants us to take
hold of the hope and faith we have in Christ. We know Christ is with us
in this life and He helps us through. We also have a great hope that
Jesus is coming back for us. We have a great hope of spending eternity
in heaven with God. We have faith that all God says is true and correct
and will come to pass.
So how do we hold firmly and not waver? In
Hebrews 12:1-2 the writer gives us some clues.
Hebrews 12:1-2 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great
cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin
that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race
marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and
perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the
cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne
These verses tell us three things – throw off the sin that hinders
us, run with perseverance, and focus our eyes on Jesus. If we do these
things we will stay of track.
1 Corinthians 15:58 – Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let
nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord,
because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.
This verse gives us some more clues to holding fast. Intentionally
standing firm, let nothing move you or be determined, and giving
ourselves fully to the work of the Lord.
2 Peter 3:17 – Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this,
be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of
lawless men and fall from your secure position.
This verse reminds us that it is important to be on our guards. The
Bible says in the last days many will be deceived and turn away from
God. So we need to be on our guard at all times.
1 Peter 5:8 reminds us that the devil prowls around like a roaring
lion looking for someone to devour.
We need to be aware that the Devil wants us to trip us up and turn
from God. We need to stand firm in our faith. We need to hold fast. We
need to be unswerving in our devotion to Him.
3. Let us consider
Verse 24 – Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love
and good deeds.
This is the third let us in this passage. There are two things I like
in this verse. The first one is “let us consider”. The NLT says let us
think about ways. The Greek word for consider is kataneo. This means to
consider, perceive, behold, observe fully, discover.
We should think about ways in which we can be more inspired to serve
the Lord. Imagine if we all came to church thinking about how we could
encourage someone. It might be a kind word, a Bible verse, a nice card
or a prayer for someone that encourages them. I am encouraged by hearing
testimonies or praise reports of things that have been happening. I like
to hear about the impact people are making in their work for the Lord.
It inspires me on towards love and good deeds. Merredin Church has a
time each month in the service where people can share the good things
God has been doing in their lives. They call it God Talk and people
share of Bible verses God has encouraged them with, breakthroughs they
have had, and the impact they have made. It is not about big noting
yourself. It is about encouraging others in their journey with the Lord
and their service.
The second thing I like in this verse is, it uses the word spur in
the NIV. Other translations us words like provoke, stir up and motivate.
All of these capture the Greek word par-ox-oos-mos which actually can be
translated as provoke or incite. It has a positive outcome, but it can
have a negative sound. Just like a spur on your foot causes discomfort
or a small rock in your shoe motivates you to sort it out, the
encouragement from others can irritate us at first, but in time it might
bring fruit. I remember one of my Pastor’s told me I was spiritually
slack. I got so annoyed and I thought I am the most disciplined person I
know. I train six days a week in my fitness, sometimes twice a day. How
could he say that to me? After I settled down and realised I was
disciplined in my fitness, but he was right. I was slack spiritually. I
would pray sometimes. I would read my Bible sometimes. I would go to
church spasmodically. I would sometimes turn up for home group. I then
spoke to him and we prayed that my discipline in my exercise would
transfer over in to my faith life. It did and I never looked back. His
words spurred me on to love and good deeds. Like an archer who hits the
centre of the target, his work hit the mark for me.
So, what are the good deeds would should be inspired to? When we use
our gifts for the good of others. When we share our faith with others.
When we give people a helping hand when they are in need. When we are a
listening ear when someone is going through a hard time. When we help
others grow in their faith. When we provide Bibles and resources for
people who can’t afford them. When we take someone into our home who has
nowhere to live. When we provide food for someone in need. There are
endless things we can be inspired to do – things that are both practical
and things that are spiritual. If we do them in love and with a heart to
serve God, most good things we do would be considered good deeds.
4. Let us not give up
Verse 25 – Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the
habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you
see the Day approaching.
Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of
doing. Bad habits are easy to form and a lot harder to break. Good
habits are hard to stick too sometimes. Just as anyone who has ever
started a diet or started to exercise. It is much easier to fall off the
wagon, than get back on and stay on. Church attendance is a good habit
we need to have as Christians.
When I think about church attendance I think of Jesus. He is my Lord
and Saviour, but He is also my example. Jesus was raised a Jew and He
followed Jewish tradition. On the Sabbath, He went to the Temple or
Luke 4:16 tells us that, “He went to Nazareth, where he had been
brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was
Jesus, as the Son of God, saw attendance on the Sabbath as important.
I need to too. We all do.
Why is church attendance so important? Today’s text tells us that we
need to encourage one another. In a world that can at times be so
discouraging, we need encouragement regularly. We hear about wars,
earthquakes, famines, tornadoes, floods and people just treating each
other badly. We need a safe place to come to where we can see our
friends and our church family and just enjoy the Bible, prayer, worship
and fellowship. We need to fill up our encouragement tanks. Especially
as the text says with the Great Day of Jesus’ return approaching.
I read this story recently about a Pastor and his love of sports. It
I go to Aussie Rules Football in the winter. Basketball in the spring
and summer. Cricket in the summer. This Pastor has been an avid sports
fan all his life. But I’ve had it! I quit this sports business once and
for all. You can’t get me near one of those places again. Want to know
Every time I went, they asked me for money. It was like they expected
me to pay for my seats. The people with whom I had to sit didn’t seem
very friendly. The seats were too hard and not at all comfortable. I
went to many games, but the coach never came to call on me. The referee
made a decision with which I could not agree. I suspected that I was
sitting with some hypocrites — they cameto see their friends and
what others were wearing rather than to see the game.Some games went
into overtime, and I was late getting home. The band played some numbers
that I had never heard before. It seems that the games are scheduled
when I want to do other things. I was taken to too many games by my
parents when I was growing up. I don’t want to take my children to any
games, because I want them to choose for themselves what sport they like
Does this sound like some of the reasons why people don’t come to
church? I think it does. I have used some of them myself years ago as a
For us as Christians it is so vital to be here when we can. We need
to fill up our encouragement tanks and we need to love and support each
other. After all we are all in this together. That is how God wants it
to be. It is so vital that we don’t fall into the habit of not meeting
Today we have looked at
Hebrews 10:19-25. A great passage that calls us to love God, and to
love and encourage one another. We saw four main things.
As Pastor, as Elders and as members of the congregation we need to
commit to these things.
By Dave Quinn
Founder of PASSIONAustralia.org
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