Summary: We are called to hold on to hope

“Holding on to Hope” - Hebrews 10:19-25 - October 7, 2012

Join with me this morning in turning to Hebrews 10:19-25. We’ve been going through this book that is written to Jewish Christians, teaching them what it means to have faith in Jesus Christ. We no longer need to hold on to the old Jewish sacrificial system and dietary laws. Hundred and hundreds of OT laws are no longer held over our head. We have no obligation to worry about keeping them. Instead, the writer tells us that Christ has provided a far better arrangement for us. Christ has fulfilled the law and gives us complete salvation and forgiveness.

Hebrews 10 calls us to live boldly. Far too often we live apologetically, almost ashamed and embarrassed that we are Christians. We go through the day almost hoping no one finds out we are Christians. Instead, we SHOULD live boldly, being a very visible witness that we belong to Jesus Christ and that we are his servants. When we remember we are called to live out a bold witness, it changes everything we do. When we get cut off on the interstate, we don’t respond with obscene hand gestures. When we get too much change back or were only charged for one item when you bought two, we tell the cashier. When someone needs a helping hand, we make ourselves available, even though we already had plans to do something else. We live out our faith before the world so they can see what it means to follow Jesus.

Last week we saw that we looked at the first of five commands here in chapter 10, all beginning with “Let us” - if you haven’t already done so, I would encourage to you underline or circle these five commands. Remember that while this book is the word of God in printed form, the printing and paper is only a tool. It is not a sin to write in your bible! In fact, for thousands of years, Jews have written on their copies of the word of God with notes to help them as they read and studied God’s word. So highlight these five commands, so whenever you read this passage you are reminded to focus on these commands. The first we saw, in verse 22: we are called to have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place, to come into the very presence of God himself, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He has created a “freshly slain” way for us, by dying in our place on the cross. We have celebrated that sacrifice this morning as we took communion. As a result, we are encouraged to boldly Draw Near to God. God invites us into his very presence. We come confidently, with sincerity, with faith, with our sins cleansed. And we saw last week in James 4, when we draw near to God, He will draw near to us.

Today, we want to go on to look at the second call. Let’s read the passage responsively. I have the verses on the screen. I’ll read the first verse, you read the next.

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,

by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body,

and since we have a great priest over the house of God,

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.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds.

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’s pray!****

Today, we see the second call given to us in this passage - to Hold on to hope!

The first question we want to answer this morning is this:

What is our hope? It says we are to hold on to the hope we “profess.” The word literally is to hold on to the hope we “confess.” To confess is to “say the same thing.” So God tells us “have hope” and we confess, we say the same thing, we say “Yes, I have hope.” As Christians, HOPE is something we are to have. But what IS hope?

Far too often we think of hope as the idea of a “blind desire”, wishing for something to come true. I hope I win a million dollars. But that is not the biblical idea of hope. Rather it is just the opposite. Hope is the confident expectation that what God has promised surely will come to pass. It is as good as a cashiers check, guaranteeing us that the money is in the bank. It is like signing the deed on a property, knowing that we have full rights to inherit and inhabit the property. It is a sure thing. Having hope means that we live today like we are confidently assured that EVERYTHING God has promised us will come to pass.

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