Warning Signs | Don't Reject Christ, Day 1
When God is the builder of the family, we will be known for our courage and hope in Jesus Christ.
VERSE OF THE DAY
'For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. ' Hebrews 3:3
What was one of the most rebellious times in your childhood? What did you do, and why did you choose to act that way?
Did anyone try to intercede in your life during that time? What difference do you think encouragement and accountability would have made?
Think about your spiritual life. What was one of the most rebellious times in your relationship with God? What resulted from it? Who (or what) helped to bring you back?
As we live as families on mission, it’s important that we have a strong foundation because storms will come our way that test our faithfulness to God.
When our lives and our families are built on a solid foundation of God, His Word, and Christ, then we have the roots needed to weather the storms without falling into unfaithfulness.
In this week’s study, we will give families some practical ways of building up our families through encouragement and positive outlooks.
Read Hebrews 3:1-6
'Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house. For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope. ' Hebrews 3:1-6
What do you read in these verses that describe the family of God?
What is the “heavenly calling” that we share as God’s family?
The writer of Hebrews encouraged the believers, “fix your thoughts on Jesus.” How and why does one do this?
What example did Moses set for us if we want to be individuals and families who live on mission for God?
Moses was faithful to God as a servant, and in verse 6, we read that Jesus was also faithful as God’s son. How does Jesus’ faithfulness as God’s Son inspire you to be more faithful to Jesus?
Christians were addressed as “holy brothers”, reminding us we are all family in Christ.
We are called to be different, set apart by God, and live separated from sin.
We share in the “heavenly calling”;
Heavenly Calling: God given tasks to help complete His spiritual purposes, and to inherit salvation and glory in Christ
NKJV translates 3:1 as “partakers of the heavenly calling”, which translates “partakers” as “companions”, meaning companions whose heavenly calling is to inherit salvation and future glory in Christ.
“Consider Jesus” in ESV is translated “fix your thoughts on Jesus” in NIV, calling on us to focus on Christ and recognize His significance in God’s plan
Apostle identifies Jesus as God’s representative
High Priest identifies Jesus as our representative before God
Jesus was God’s perfect revelation of Himself to us, and the perfect picture of how we should respond to God
Moses faithfully carried out God’s appointed duties with God’s house by remaining obedient to the tabernacle.
'But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. ' Numbers 12:7
Jesus was faithful in His representation of the Father to His people, and through His obedience established the new House of God, the Church.
'I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. ' John 17:4
Although Moses and Jesus were both faithful representatives of God, Jesus receives greater honor as the builder and founder of the House of God while Moses was part of the House itself
God is the builder of everything, and created all things through Christ. Therefore, Christ is worthy of all honor because He is Creator of the House and the Law
Moses was a servant of God, while Jesus is the Son of God, again identifying that people are not superior to Christ
His House and Family consists of those who remain faithful, holding fast to the confidence of our hope in Him, living with Christ as our example
What indicates that believers are remaining faithful?
What are specific examples of faithfulness set by Jesus that we need to remember and follow?
Read Hebrews 3:7-11
'Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years. Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.’ As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.’” ' Hebrews 3:7-11
We are warned not to follow the same disobedience as the Israelites in the Wilderness
This part of Hebrews is reiterating Psalm 95, which begins with praise and ends with the same warning based on the story in Exodus 17:1-7, while the “wrath” is referring to Numbers 14:20-38
'But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?” Then Moses cried out to the Lord , “What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.” ' Exodus 17:3-4
'not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. ' Numbers 14:23
“As the Holy Spirit says” is the author’s recognition that these words come from God, adding to the intensity of the warning
He used the Psalmist’s word “today” to clarify that this applied in present times as well as it did back then
We are warned not to harden our hearts, which happens when we choose to disobey God or reject our calling or instructions from Him.
Hardening our hearts leads to a habit of disobedience.
One noteworthy speculation is that the authorship of Hebrews is said to be around AD 70, placing it around 40 years after the death of Jesus. Therefore the point of the Isrealites wandering for 40 years may have been a warning that Christians receive the same 40 year probationary period in which they must change their ways and turn to God.
“In my wrath” - God’s anger is always just, righteous and a response to sin.
God’s anger is different from human anger in that human anger is selfish and does not produce righteousness.
What examples of unfaithfulness are mentioned or implied in these verses? What were the Israelites’ priorities at that time in the wilderness?
What is the lesson for us to learn from the Israelites’ example?
The Israelites who rebelled against God in the wilderness are an example of unfaithfulness and disobedience to God.
We need to be careful not to follow their example, and instead be living examples of the faithfulness of Christ, and remain obedient to Him.
What consequences occur today to Christians who are unfaithful to Christ?
Why is setting an example of faithfulness to Christ important?
What example of faithfulness are you setting for your family?
Read Hebrews 3:12-15
'Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” ' Hebrews 3:12-15
What does it mean to fall away from the living God (v. 12)? What are the consequences for doing so?
Do you think there are any observable signs or indicators that a person is developing a rebellious heart? If so, what are they?
What role does the Christian community play in keeping each other true to God (v. 13)?
Fellowship is an essential part of a Christian’s daily life.
We are called to be an encouragement to one another, helping to keep one another accountable to our faith and as living examples of Christ in all we do.
How do you express your relationship with Christ?
What will be the outcome of faithfulness?
When we are in relationship with Christ we remain faithful and obedient to Him.
If your initial commitment to Christ is genuine, there will be evidence of this faithfulness in your life and you will bear the fruit of the Spirit and grow in spiritual maturity as you continue to focus on Christ.
How do you keep watch over your heart throughout your life?
How can we keep each other accountable within the community and our families?
What does daily encouragement in the faith look like and how can you encourage someone in the faith this week?
Pray for the families at our church and for our church family as a whole. Pray that we would be united in our purpose and mission as we serve Him and disciple our families.