Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Hebrews 4:13-16
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Hebrews 4:13, 14
Verse 13: As this two-edged sword does its work God Himself watches to see how each person reacts. Nothing the sword exposes goes unnoticed, and it is to this all-seeing God that each of us will someday give an account. If anyone chooses to drift away (2:1), fall away (3:12) or throw away (10:35) their faith in Christ God will see the thoughts and intentions that took place in his or her heart and no amount of excuses, denials or arguments will change His verdict (Ro 14:10-12). This is why a believer who is wavering in faith should “fear” (4:1) lest, like the Exodus-generation, he too end up in a condition where he no longer has faith in Him at all. Verse 14: It is clearly the author’s hope that anyone who recognizes in himself an erosion of his loyalty to Christ will repent and again “hold fast” his confession of Him as the Son of God. And when he does so, he should not worry that God will be angry with him because he proved to be weak. That person will not find Him to be an angry judge ready to punish him for his disloyalty, but rather a compassionate high priest who will wash away his sins and welcome him home.

Monday: Hebrews 4:14
Verse 14 (continued): When Jesus ascended into heaven (Lk 24:50, 51; Ac 1:2, 9) He physically rose up into the air passing through our earth’s atmosphere and the starry expanse beyond until He stood before the Father in His heavenly throneroom. Just as Israel’s high priest would pass through the veil between the holy place and the holy of holies (Ex 26:33) on the Day of Atonement (Lev 16:12-17) in order to pour blood on the mercy seat, Jesus “passed through the heavens” (v 14) into the heavenly “holy of holies” (Heb 8:1, 2; 9:23-26) where He now stands presenting His once-for-all atonement (Heb 10:11-14).

Tuesday: Hebrews 4:15
Verse 15: Those who’ve been foolish or shamed themselves or caved-in to weakness will not find in Christ an angry high priest who accepts only strong, self-disciplined people and those who can remain undefeated when subjected to persecution and trials. Instead they will discover in Him an amazing level of sympathy because He too has personally experienced all our temptations and the trials of life. So rather than being frustrated with us, He welcomes us home and draws on His own experience with these trials to help us become overcomers.

Wednesday: Hebrews 4:15
Verse 15 (continued): We must not overlook the last words of this verse, “…yet without sin,” because this simple statement is one of the greatest marvels in the Bible. When the Son of God became a man, He became fully man and thus subject to the same temptations and suffering we all endure. He was spared nothing. The Greek in this verse literally says, “…but tempted (tested, tried, examined under pressure) in all ways according to our likeness (like us).” But unlike us He was able to overcome on every occasion. He never gave in, so in practice He endured far more suffering than the rest of us human beings because He refused to yield and thereby escape the full extent of that temptation.

Thursday: Hebrews 4:15
Verse 15 (continued): The question, of course, that arises when we realize that Jesus was without sin is, how was this possible? Given our own experiences of miserable failure we wonder how any human could have lived thirty-three years on this planet without once failing God’s standards. Though the Bible does not directly speak to this question the answer must lie in the fact that Jesus’ spirit did not originate from Adam and Eve but came directly from the Father Himself (Lk 1:26-35; Php 2:6-8). If we remember that the unavoidable compulsion to sin did not enter the human race until after Adam and Eve rebelled in the garden, then we will realize that sin is not an essential part of our humanity but instead has damaged us and left us “sub-human.”

Friday: Hebrews 4:15
Verse 15 (continued): When Christ became human His eternal spirit came from heaven to earth and was joined to human flesh at His conception in Mary so He did not begin life having been infected with the disease of independence and rebellion found in everyone else. He experienced temptation just as Adam and Eve did before they sinned. During that season while they were still innocent, Adam and Eve were fully able to obey God. They were not yet slaves to sin, nor cursed. Those horrors would come after they ate the forbidden fruit and would be automatically passed on to their children. Instead, at His incarnation, Jesus became like a second Adam; joined to our human flesh, but not corrupt in spirit.

Saturday: Hebrews 4:15, 16
Verse 15 (continued): Jesus was tempted far beyond anything Adam and Eve experienced, and like them, he could have sinned. Yet on every occasion He choose to submit to His Father. In this way He became our “spotless lamb” (Ex 12:5; Jn 1:29) and our compassionate high priest (He 2:10). The process left Him with a firsthand understanding of how strong the forces are that come against humans and how weak we are apart from God. Verse 16: Over and over again the author of Hebrews warns his readers against being disloyal to Christ (Heb 2:1-4; 3:12, 13; 4:1, 11; 6:4-8; 10:26-31, 35-39; 12:1, 2). To abandon the Son of God will lead to a fearsome accountability. But intermixed with these warnings he also repeatedly assures believers that they have nothing to fear when repenting and bringing their sins to Him. No one should allow shame or fear to prevent them from coming to Him. In fact, all are invited to boldly draw near because His is a “throne of grace” where we are certain to find mercy for our sins and divine help for our weakness.

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