Pastor Curtis A. May
Fifth Wednesday in Lent
Sermon for Wednesday March 29,2023
Hebrews 13:7 7Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we were given leaders who spoke the word of God to us. Well, in truth, we do have leaders who speak the word of God. The leaders I speak of are not the leaders who sit in the White House, or on a thrown, actually the leaders we have, reside in the Word of God. And all of these leaders imitate the one true leader Jesus Christ.
Find those leaders who spoke the word of God in the Old Testament and look at their actions that mimicked the action of Christ, our savior. Many of the leader’s faith in the Old Testament were tested and were triumphant through their faith. Some may have at first doubted what God was asking them to do. However, their doubts were overcome by God’s promises kept.
Faith through grace is an action by God not by man or woman; it is a witness of God’s promises kept. This is the time to trust in the word of God as we witness through His word the growth of faith given to those who led their people and even lead us with the word of God.
Hebrews 13:8-9 8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 9Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.
There are many people who are trying to be our leaders throughout this world. These worldly leaders have a self-serving agenda and know how to deceive you by preaching a false love for your neighbor. There really is a movement and mind set to say if we legalize everything, we can rid ourselves of sin. These worldly leaders took lessons from the serpent in the Garden of Eden. They sound like they are preaching love, but instead they preach anti-Christ.
There have always been those who practice various cult beliefs and want you to believe these practices are good, strong, and not evil. However, what is not from God should not be allowed to rule our lives. In every situation ask yourself, is what I am about to do going to be pleasing to God or the one who is against God? Who is truly the one who is forgiving, God or the one who is against God?
The world changes, but Jesus Christ does not change and will not change. The world wants to evolve into whatever the fad of time is especially when it embraces sin. Jesus Christ did not embrace sin, rather Jesus Christ took our sin and destroyed its power when He died on the cross.
What is important to remember is what it means to us that Jesus Christ does not change. Having a savior that is unchanging means that His means of grace and mercy does not change. Jesus forgave us for our sins, and He will not remove that forgiveness. Our salvation is the same when Jesus died on the cross, the present and in all of the future. We have a fixed salvation, now and forever.
Hebrews 13:10-11 10We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. 11For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp.
In everything written in God’s word, Christ crucified is the subject. The subject of Christ crucified is the works of Christ to bring us salvation, to all peoples. Christ was crucified outside the temple as was all burnt offerings for sin. Though Christ was not burnt as in a fire He was burnt as a sacrifice to many on the cross.
Jesus Christ came to be the one true sacrifice that brings true and everlasting atonement for our sins. So, we do not have to go back to what was, but go forward to what our Christ has prepared for us through His own sacrifice. Jesus is the high priest in the most holy of holy places on the cross, in the grave, and through His resurrection and ascension to sit at the right hand of the Father.
Hebrews 13:12-14 12So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. 13Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. 14For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.
Jesus justified us through forgiveness, and sanctified us through His Holy Spirit. We now can pick up our own cross and bear the weight of our sin because Jesus made our sin weightless. That is, sin is powerless against us. The cross of Jesus was weighted down with all of our sins which Jesus carried and then defeated while He was in the grave and descended to the depths of hell which He also defeated for us to give us, eternal life.
Hebrews 13:15-16 15Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. 16Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
This is living the gospel through the love of God as it is He who works through us. Amen.