The Joy in Responsibility
(An In-Depth Study of Hebrews)
Full Assurance of Hope
After a hard word of warning comes a breathtaking word of encouragement. This reveals that the goal of the warning is to provide full assurance of hope to the end.
Beloved, a case study.
Though we speak this way…
With hard words of warning
We feel sure of better things…
Things that belong to salvation.
Things that are owned by salvation!
Things that belong to Christ!
For (reason for the confidence)
God is not unjust! (This speaks of God’s justice)
Justice – receiving what you deserve
Mercy – receiving what is best, despite what you deserve (Grace)
God’s justice does not forget:
Your work (service to the saints; 10:32-34)
Your love for God’s name (God’s Character)
Most Christians understand the Grace and Mercy of God working in their lives, but have little to no understanding of God’s justice in their lives.
How does the justice of God work in the life of the Christian?
The highest value in creation is God. (Holy, Perfect, Absolute, and Unchanging)
Isaiah 46:9 “for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me,”
Justice (perfect justice) only exists when the highest value in creation is honored as such.
Isaiah 42:8 “I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.”
God places His Name on His people and upholds it.
Ezekiel 20:44 “And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for my name’s sake, not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, declares the Lord God.”
God created us for His glory.
Isaiah 43:7 “everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”
Giving praise to the Highest Value in creation (Glorious God) completes us.
Philippians 1:20-21 “… Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
Philippians 3:8 “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”
There’s the key: we praise what we enjoy because the delight is incomplete until it is expressed in praise. If we were not allowed to speak of what we value and celebrate, what we love and praise, what we admire, our joy would not be full. Jonathan Edwards said, “Joy is a great ingredient in praise … Praise is the most joyful work in the world.” Therefore, if God is truly for us, if he would give us the best and make our joy full, he must make it his aim to win our praise for himself. Not because he needs to shore up some weakness in himself or compensate for some deficiency, but because he loves us and seeks the fullness of our joy that can only be found in knowing and praising him, the most beautiful of all Beings.
The justice of God always supports and maintains those who rest in the mercy of God.
Live in full assurance!
Imitate those who have faith and patience!
The book of Hebrews is written for our assurance.