Take Your Stand
2 February 2020 AM – Hebrews 13:9-16 – Heb19 – Scott Childs
Introduction: An old proverb states, “You cannot have your cake and eat it too.” In other words if you keep your cake, you cannot eat it. However, if you eat it you cannot keep it. You must make a choice.
In our text today, God challenges people to take their stand and make their choice about Christ.
Transition: God gives us three challenges that we need to obey.
The first challenge is …
1. Do not be Doctrinally Unstable (v.9)
a. Turn from unbiblical doctrines.
1) We must not be carried away with diverse (various) and strange (foreign to the Bible) doctrines.
2) We must not be unsettled in doctrine; bobbing back and forth like a fishing bobber on the rough sea.
3) Those who are unstable doctrinally are easily swayed one direction and then another. Doctrinal instability will confuse you spiritually.
4) Why are so many professing Christians doctrinally unstable today?
a) It could be because they have not truly trusted Christ alone to save them from their sin. Without salvation in Christ, they have no solid doctrinal foundation.
b) It is normal for newborn babies to be unstable, but it is sad when one is spiritually immature though claiming to be a Christian for years.
c) It could be that they do not attend a doctrinally solid church that preaches sound Bible doctrine.
d) It could be that they only attend church on Sunday morning and they miss the doctrinal messages on Sunday night and Wednesday night.
5) God clearly commands us not to be carried away with various and foreign doctrines. We are to avoid all who teach wrong doctrines (Rom 16:17). We must not be tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine (Eph 4:14). We must not be deceived by vain words (Eph 5:6). We must not be beguiled with enticing words (Col 2:4). We must beware lest any man spoil us through philosophy and vain deceit (Col 2:8). We must avoid profane and vain babblings (1Ti 6:20). We must not believe every spirit (1Jn 4:1). We must earnestly contend for the faith (Jude 1:3).
b. Then establish your heart in grace.
1) We must establish or make firm our hearts in grace.
a) Here he clearly speaks of the grace of God that brings salvation as opposed to sacrificial meats offered on the OT altar. (Titus 2:11) “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,”
b) Jesus Christ graciously died on the cross in our place to offer us His saving grace of eternal salvation. (Ephesians 2:8-9) “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
c) The OT altar had never profited anyone. O, yes it covered sin temporarily, but it did not pay sin’s debt. Only Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God can take away the sin of the world (John 1:29).
2) HOW are we to make our hearts firm in God’s grace?
a) Be sure that you are trusting Christ alone to save you. (2 Corinthians 13:5) “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
b) We then are to do as Peter admonished. (2 Peter 3:18) “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” To grow in grace, we must study the Bible carefully for what God says about grace. (2 Timothy 2:1) “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
The second challenge is …
2. Confidently Side with Christ (v.10-14)
a. Christians have a new altar.
1) The Christian’s altar is the cross of Christ (v.10). Jesus paid our sin’s debt in full. When we sin, we can go to Christ and confess our sin and he is just to forgive us because of His cross (1Jn 1:9). Those holding yet to the Levitical offerings have no right to come to the cross.
a) Their altar had served to cover their sins. Now that Christ fulfilled the law, their altar was useless.
b) Our altar (the cross) offers complete cleansing, righteousness and daily forgiveness.
2) Just as the OT priests burned special sacrifices outside the camp (v.11), so Christ died outside of Jerusalem on the cross (v.12).
a) Christ shed His own blood not the blood of an animal.
b) Christ suffering outside the camp, He became our final sin offering. (Look at Hebrews 9:14, 26).
c) Christ so died that He might sanctify (make holy) all who repent and trust Him by faith.
b. Choose to side with Christ outside the city
1) Verse 13 is a call for decision. God is calling those who were still undecided to step up and join Christ outside the camp. Bear Christ’s reproach. Choosing Christ will change your life. Your sinful friends will reject you. Your sinful activities will grieve you.
2) The apostle reminds his readers that here on earth we have no continuing city. Jerusalem will not last forever. We seek a better city in heaven that is yet future.
3) God issues the same challenge to us today. If you are not positive that Christ has saved you from hell, then God is calling you to step up and join Christ. Be willing to bear the reproach.
The third challenge is …
3. Offer Pleasing Sacrifices to God (v.15-16)
Christ offered Himself as the final blood sacrifice. Never again will a blood sacrifice need to be made for sin. Now through Christ, we should offer other sacrifices that please Him. The very term “sacrifice” implies a cost to the giver. Though these sacrifices may not cost money, they do cost love, time and effort.
a. God desires sacrifices of praise to God.
1) He deserves our praise because He paid for our eternal hell, He forgave all our sins, He made us righteous, and He gave us eternal life in heaven.
2) God desires the sacrifice of praise continually. He deserves it in sunshine and in sorrow, in comfort and in pain, in joy and in grief. His grace is priceless!
3) The sacrifice of praise is the fruit of our lips. God calls our praise “fruit”. Fruit is what makes a gardener happy. Our praise must not just be in silent prayer and meditation. It must also be outward fruit from our lips so that God and others can hear our praise.
4) The sacrifice of praise is giving thanks to God’s name. We live in an unthankful world and if we do not diligently work at it, our lips will not give thanks to God.
b. God desires sacrifices of support for one another.
1) God also wants us to sacrifice to help fellow Christians. Many of the original readers were facing persecution and hardships for Christ. Christians must bond together during times of persecution and difficulties.
a) One sacrifice that supports is doing good. This is doing good to one another or helping one another for their benefit and God’s glory, not for personal praise. Gal 6:10
b) Another sacrifice that supports is communicating. This refers to sharing with other Christians in time of need. It may include working together or protecting one another for God’s glory.
2) With such sacrifices, God is well pleased.
Conclusion: If you do not know Bible doctrine very well, place yourself under sound Bible teaching, study Bible doctrine, and determine to grow in grace. If you have not yet sided with Christ and received His salvation, I urge you to do so before it is too late. If you know the Lord, then begin offering sacrifices of praise and support that please the Lord.
Song: I Am Resolved – 389