In an earlier post we talked about threats to our faith. Real hazards that could keep us from reaching the land of rest that we are awaiting. (Read post here). It is important to recognize that we have threats to our faith. However, recognizing the threats to our faith is one thing. It is an entirely different thing to make sure that we are overcoming the threats to our faith. I want us to investigate the book of Hebrews now to show how we can overcome those threats.
Encourage One Another Daily
The author of Hebrews seems to have a favorite book, Psalms. Throughout the book he builds his arguments from selections from this book. He even interprets narrative passages through the lens of the Psalms. One important Psalm to our author is Psalm 95. Specifically, the writer focuses on verses 7, 8. Where he exhorts the readers to not “hardened their hearts.”
The writer makes it clear how we can help one another in this cause. He says we need to encourage each other daily. The way we ensure that we overcome threats to our faith is by encouraging and being encouraged. This is not some occasional occurrence either, rather it should be done everyday!
Provoke to Love and Good Works
In chapter 10 the Hebrew writer puts special emphasis on “the assembling of the saints” (Hebrews 10:24, 25). This is most likely referring to the Sunday Assembly, when the Saints gather together to worship God collectively. The reminder is that even in our assembling Christians are to “deny themselves” and live other focused. We focus on God in our worship and we focus on others when we meet together.
The focus on other people means that the assembly is a time to encourage people in their faith. This is why gathering together in the assembly is so important. We need the encouragement of others, if we are going to be faithful to God. If we are going to overcome our threats to our faith, then we need to both encourage and be encouraged when we assemble together.
Follow Good Examples
Chapter 11 is full of examples of faithfulness. The Hebrews’ writer defines faith in verse 1. To put it simply living faithfully means “living as if the promises of God have already occurred.” Then we have a whole chapter of examples. These examples are not feel good stories, but rather well crafted exhortations. Exhortations to faithfulness based upon good examples. The author of Hebrews wants us to realize that overcoming these threats means we must recognize and follow good examples. Three examples are given:
- Biblical Examples (Hebrews 11)
- Leaders (Hebrews 13:7, 17, 24)
When we follow these examples then we will overcome the threats to our faith and live faithfully toward God.
Obey the Word Daily
There is no magic bullet to faithfulness, rather it comes down to how you will respond to the “message of the SON” (Hebrews 1:1-4). Whenever the Son teaches there are two responses.
- We believe what he states and live accordingly. This is what we should do. We should hear the voice of the Son and respond in obedience.
- We harden our hearts. Not responding to the voice of Jesus is to harden your heart against God and not believe His promise.
If we want to remain faithful and overcome our threats, then we need to DAILY respond to the message of Jesus.
There are real threats to our faith. Our goal as Christians should be to live diligent and not lose our reward. The Hebrew writer gives us three ways we can do it. However, the question is whether we will heed His inspired advice!