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Partners in a Heavenly Calling
Bulletin: Bulletin October 17 2021
Newsletter: Weekly Letter October 17 2021
Scriptures: Hebrews 31:1-2, 3:7-4:2; Psalm 119:33-40;
Fall Sermon Series in James & Hebrews: Life Together in a Season of Hardship
Faith, Hope, and Love That Endures
Being a Christian is a way of life in the letters of James and Hebrews. God has given Christians a second birth, and therefore, to be a Christian means to live, to grow, and to reach maturity at the end.
This life is always a journey into a deeper relationship with God. Hebrews exhorts the listener repeatedly to approach God in prayer, not to hesitate or hold back but to enter and pass right into God’s very presence. This closeness to God is what Jesus came to bring about.
The Christian life is also always a life lived with others. Hebrews urges us to see that we are united with believers back in time and into the future and that only together are we saved.
As we listen to Hebrews, the picture begins to form of thousands of people of faith who have passed the faith on to us, and now our calling is to encourage each other to continue in love, hope, and faith so that we might, in turn, pass them on to the next generation.
Waiting For the City That Is to Come
Hebrews, like James, is written to a persecuted church. Suffering was a part of everyday life. As in James’ letter, the church appeared to be wavering in faith and practice. They were tempted to walk away from the church and not to make time for prayer.
Hebrews, again, like James, urged believers to take a longer view of salvation.
In their daily lives, God was redeeming their hardship by using it to produce holiness: lives of love, service, and prayer. However, Hebrews is full of warnings of real consequences if instead, a life produced only weeds, thorns, and thistles. Eventually, the only thing to be done with a field like that is to burn it.
Hebrews also called the church to look far into the future, as saints and prophets had been doing for centuries. The church had a better hope than anything the world could offer, a heavenly calling. They were waiting for a better country, that is, a heavenly one, whose architect and builder is God.
At the centre of all hope and love is Jesus. Jesus is the one who opened the way for people to enter God’s presence. Jesus is the one who created a way of life that leads to the better country. He became like us, was tempted, and endured suffering so that he could help us. Let us, therefore, approach Jesus with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help our time of need.