Hebrews Sermon Notes


“Trust for the Future” series – Part 13 (11/17/19) (series conclusion)

Hebrews 13:7-25

“Active Trust”

Intro: Trusting a flight in the proven 747 jetliner compared to the new troubled 737 model

Today we’re looking at actively trusting while going forward…

Read verses 7-25

I. Active Trust is Being Leadable (v.7 & 17)

A. (v.7) “consider” – be an observer of both positive and negative outcomes

B. (v.17) “submissive” – be mindful of the accounting

C. (v.17) “unprofitable” – it’s in our best interest

II. Active Trust is Being Established (v.8-9)

A. The foundation is unchanging (Past-Present-Future)

B. Established by grace not food

  • Food represented Judaism past/present with Temple activities still happening as Hebrews was being written/circulated
  • “Food” still represents systems other than the Gospel of grace
  • “Past” – Old Testament is full of grace examples
  • “Present” – 1st Century and now represents grace examples
  • “Future” – Grace will still be present for those yet to be saved
  • The altar is now an eternal one that was satisfied once and for all

III. Active Trust is Being Diligent (v.10-16)

Re-read 10-16

A. “By Him” (v.15) – sacrifice of praise (remember to give thanks)

B. “By Him” (v.15) – sacrifice of deeds (doing good/sharing-Rom. 12:1 & Eph. 6:7)

IV. Active Trust is Being Humble (v.20-21)

A. (v.21) “complete” or “perfect” – Greek “katartidzo” – originally it was a word-picture of mending a wound, repairing fishing gear or outfitting a ship – we must admit the need for His mending and equipping

B. “His will” & “Well pleasing” –

  • Jesus modeled it by always yielding to the Father’s will (His will)
  • Jesus modeled it by always staying on task and not distracted (His will)
  • Jesus modeled it by the way He ministered to people (well pleasing)

V. Conclusion

Questions: “Are you actively trusting? Are you leadable? Are you established by grace? Are you diligent? Are you humble?


“Trust for the Future” series – Part 12 (11/10/19)

Hebrews 13:1-6

“Be Authentic”

Intro: Personal story about a genuine Rolex versus counterfeit

Last week we ended with verse 29 “Our God is a consuming fire.”

  • Refining fire for Israel
  • Judgement fire for idolatrous nations
  • Refining fire for us
  • Refined gold is precious…

Today we’re looking at living and being “authentic” …

Read verses 1-6

I. We are to be Authentic Examples of Brotherly Love (v.1)

A. Romans 12:10 – “preference to others”

B. Philippians 2:3 – “No ulterior motive and genuine esteem”

II. We are to be Authentic Examples of Hospitality (v.2)

A. Context – 1st Century customs/expectations (especially Jewish) during Jesus’ ministry sometimes revealed what was in the heart

  • Read Luke 7:36-47
  • Jesus pointed out the Pharisee (in contrast to the woman) didn’t even do the minimal courtesies of hospitality (water and/or servant for washing feet, towel, oil) which was a lack of common kindness and revealed a hard heart

B. Today – we are to have a general spirit of kindness with a grateful attitude

  • To our neighbors
  • To co-workers
  • To strangers

III. We are to be Examples of Authentic Solidarity (v.3)

A. Context – in the 1st Century”:

  • There was imprisonment for following Christ (considered subversives by Rome)
  • There was economic hardship (not allowed to do business sometimes and forced out of trade guilds
  • There was loss of homes as the result of leaving Judaism
  • There was loss of family relationships and family network advantages
  • They were encouraged to stay strong TOGETHER as a church family

B. Today:

  • There is imprisonment around the world for fellow believers
  • There is mistreatment because of faith around the world and even now in our country
  • There are growing economic, legal and social consequences in our culture for those living according to the scriptures
  • We are to stand strong TOGETHER as a church family locally and globally

IV. We are to be Examples of Authentic Fidelity (v.4)

A. Honorable conduct for married people (undefiled) (v.4a)

B. Honorable conduct for all other believers (fornication/adultery) (v.4b)

V. We are to be Examples of Authentic Contentment (v.5-6)

A. The “without” part (without covetousness) (v.5a)

B. The “with” part (v.5b)

  • Abiding in Christ is the source of contentment
  • Evil is ALWAYS restless which creates tension with the content spirit at rest in Christ

VI. Conclusion

Questions: “How about authenticity? Is there a need to get honest and real in an area? Relationship? Pursuit? Attitude?”


“Trust for the Future” series – Part 11 (11/3/19)

Hebrews 12:18-29


Intro: Personal story about stone and solid ground

Read 12:3-17

Today we’re looking at what “unshakable” means:

I. We are Members of an Unshakable Kingdom

A. Mt. Sinai represents the beginning of the Kingdom (v.18-21)

  • God made and fulfilled a promise to Abraham
  • God called a people group out to become His people
  • God established a covenant relationship with them

B. Mt. Zion represents the future of the Kingdom (v.22)

  • People listed in v.22-23 that have gone on before us and are now perfected in the glory of God’s presence
  • The significance of being firstborn in the ancient world-all believers are treated as a firstborn child

C. The new covenant is “the better” – Jesus as our Mediator

D. “The shaking” prophesied by Haggai (Hag. 2:6-9)

  • Glory and peace (Hag. 2:9) when Jesus was in the temple ministering
  • Shaking when the veil was torn
  • Shaking when the Romans destroyed the temple in 70 A.D.
  • Shaking today as the Lord corrects and guides His bride
  • Shaking in the future when the final days come
  • Glory and Peace (Hag.2:9) in the new Jerusalem and Temple

II. We Have an Unshakable Relationship (V.28)

Grace is the reason…

A. Mt. Sinai was by grace –

  • Deliverance from Egypt was not earned, it was an act of God’s grace
  • Revealed truth and Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai was an act of grace
  • Not destroying the entire nation after the golden calf was an act of grace
  • Provision in the desert was an act of grace

B. Mt. Zion is by grace – from the earliest references related to the physical hill in Jerusalem to the broader reference of the Kingdom, God’s grace is present

C. The “better things” (v.24) is by grace

D. The Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives and on Earth is by God’s grace

III. We Serve an Unshakable King

Re-read v.28-29

By grace…

A. By grace we are to serve acceptably – according to His expectations

B. By grace we are to serve reverently – with an awareness of His glory

C. By grace we are to serve fearfully – with respect for His authority

IV. Conclusion

Questions: “Is your life unshakable?

  • In other words, is your life firmly anchored to the unshakable King of Glory?
  • Yes, struggles and doubts come…but God does not faulter or abandon us.
  • Is your life unshakable?


“Trust for the Future” series – Part 10 (10/27/19)

Hebrews 12:3-17

Intro: Personal story about the benefit of guidebooks

Today, we are considering “Things to Know for the Race” concerning the endurance race of faith discussed last week. Let’s read on:

Read 12:3-17

According to the guidebook…

I. Seek Godly Adjustments

A. “Therefore” (as children) -verses 4-11 reinforce the bond of parent/child relationship with God-chastening if/when needed is done out of love and proper training leads to the fruit of righteousness (v.11)

B. Strengthen your hands that hang down – connect back to “weary” in v.3 – the picture of shoulders drooping, head titled down…look up and forward in Christ!

C. Strengthen your feeble knees – connect back to “discouraged” in v.3 – the picture of unsure steps and shaky knees…step confidently forward in Christ!

D. Make straight paths – the picture of a strained ankle…correct the path by removing the debris, adding what’s needed, tilling up and resurfacing so that the spiritual sprain doesn’t become worse so healing can begin

According to the guidebook…

II. Set the Right Goals (v.14)

A. Pursue peace with all people – most often will involve people who “don’t deserve” the effort but as recipients of grace we are to be “agents of peace” (horizontal relationships with people)

B. Pursue holinessproactive effort to be living in a way that is honoring to Christ (vertical relationship with God)

According to the guidebook…

III. Be Diligent (v.15-17)

“Looking carefully” is examining to identify and prevent…

A. Work to prevent people falling short of grace – there are those who get close to salvation but stop short of making a heart-decision for Christ or perhaps never hear the true gospel because the gospel was not articulated to them…speak the full gospel

B. Work to clear away the roots of bitterness

  • It will bring trouble to the one cultivating and allowing it to grow
  • It will bring trouble to the fellowship that allows it grow and mature
  • It must be dealt with at the early stages though the power of Christ

C. Work to avoid sexual immorality – proactive stance against the acceptance and normalizing of sexual things that are not of God (personally and within our influence)

D. Work to ensure there is no “profane” attitude like Esau had – he wanted the blessings of God, but didn’t want the relationship with God…wake-up call to not be of an entitled mindset

IV. Conclusion

Questions: “Is there a point “from the guidebook” that needs addressing in your life?”

  • Need for strengthening?
  • Need for path straightening?
  • Need for peace with others?
  • Need for a real relationship with God to not fall short of His grace?
  • Need for God’s help in the removal of the root of bitterness?
  • Need for confession, cleansing and change regarding sexual sins?
  • Need for change in attitude as to mature past the sense of spiritual entitlement?


“Trust for the Future” series – Part 9 (10/20/19)

Hebrews 11:35-12:2

Intro: (Personal story about dirt bikes, specifically “enduro” type bikes)

The race of faith has been described as a marathon in contrast to a sprint, but it is actually closer in comparison to an endurance race (on-road, off-road, trails, hills, valleys, wet, dry, cold, hot, day, night, etc.)

Today, we’re looking at three characteristics of running the race of faith:

Read 11:35-12:2

Before we get to verses 1 and 2 of chapter 12, there are a few things to point out

  • Verse 36 marks a transition to include those that were NOT miraculously delivered. Their stories did not end with them walking away, but their faith to the end is highlighted as a testimony.
  • Verse 39 is reminder of forward-looking faith
  • Verse 40 is a reminder that faith is a process where we (like those of old) are being perfected, sanctified in Him (we share a kindred connection to them)

I. The Method of Running (v.1a)

A. The precept -“since” – so much testimony of those gone before (testifiers not spectators)

B. The daily preparation – “the weight” is the stuff needing to be cast off, sinful things, worrisome things, distracting things

C. The resistance to quitting – “the sin” with its definite article in the original language and connected to chapter 11 is “unbelief”

II. The Mindset of Running (v.1b)

A. We’re racing as a team – “let us” (not just an individual effort)

B. Endurance is a frame of mind – best to break down large goals into smaller, achievable ones (as small as it takes; today, the next few hours, for this meeting, etc.)

C. The race is a marked path – “set” – there is purpose to the course

III. The Motivation of Running

Re-read verse 2 and Matthew 25:21

A. “Looking” is a continual focus, not a glance

B. “Author” and “Finisher” / “Originator” and “Perfecter” – Jesus is in charge of His team

C. Joy is in the privilege to run and represent Christ

IV. Conclusion

Questions: “How are you running?”


“Trust for the Future” series – Part 8 (10/6/19)

Hebrews 11:30-34

Intro: We live in the age of information and with so much knowledge there’s a tendency to believe that outcomes can be somewhat controlled…but reality has a way of pushing through that expectation. In a similar way, faith operates on a different axis than information and reasoning, it can be described as an “even if” approach.

First, let’s read Hebrews 11:30-34

Second, lets take a look at two of the stories mentioned in Hebrews for context (Daniel 3:8-25 and Daniel 6:1-23”

Today, we’re considering three common elements for those that were living the “even if” faith:

I. They Lived Their Faith Publicly

A. As foreigners (literally and figuratively)

B. They had different habits (of course dietary, but they also approached life different as ones living according to what God commanded as righteous)

C. They had specific standards such as worshipping God only, maintaining personal integrity, and serving in their positions with diligence

II. They Were Victims of Scheming

A. Daniel is described as honorable in his dealings, so it wasn’t a case of “bringing trouble on himself”

B. Trouble often comes uninvited and “unfairly”

C. The enemy is a lying schemer and works a plan – (Ephesians 6:11 – the original for “schemes” or “wiles” is “methodiah”, which means there is a method to the designed attacks)

III. They Remained Faithful Without Guarantees of Deliverance

A. The “if not” statement of the Hebrews reveals their mindset of “we’re still going to trust God even if” (Daniel 3:18)

B. There is often an audience

  • Their audience was very public, sometimes ours may be
  • More often our audience is private like co-workers or personal like our family

C. The results are God’s purposes

  • For the Hebrew three-King Nebuchadnezzar, for Daniel-King Darius
  • Each case resulted in a royal proclamation being issued that honored God
  • In our lives it is also for His purposes and He will orchestrate the outcome

IV. Conclusion

Questions: “What is your “even if” challenge right now?”


“Trust for the Future” series – Part 7 (9/29/19)

Hebrews 11:23-29

Intro: Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather silver and gold.” (NJKV)

When we come-of-age, there often is a struggle with who we are and who we’re going to be…Moses struggled with the similar questions:

Read Hebrews 11:23-29

I. Moses Chose to Identify with God’s Name

  • Moses had an identity crisis (of sorts)
  • He knew the stark contrast between the two worlds
  • He made a decision to identify with God’s people

A. His decision meant giving up personal status (v.24)

B. His decision meant giving up personal pleasures (v.25)

C. His decision meant giving up personal possessions (v.26)

I John 2:15-17 frames it well for us with an echo of what Moses gave up:

  • Lust of the eyes – personal possessions
  • Lust of the flesh – personal pleasures
  • Pride of life – personal status

II. Moses Chose to Observe God’s Instructions (v.28)

Read Exodus 12:13-14

A. As a sign – something visual

B. As a memorial – a sacred reminder of the cost of sin

C. As a celebration – joy and thanks for God’s salvation

III. Moses Chose to Follow God’s Leading (v.29)

Read Exodus 14:9-14

A. It was not logical or practical

B. People were immediately critical

C. It served a two-fold purpose

  • Destroyed Pharaoh’s army
  • Glorified God

D. It proved God’s faithfulness

IV. Conclusion

Questions: “Who are you going to be?”


“Trust for the Future” series – Part 6 (9/22/19)

Hebrews 11:8-22


Intro: It’s been said, “Faith is living on promises and not explanations.”

Today, we’re looking at promises in the life of faith.

Read Hebrews 11:8-22

I. They Saw the Promises (v.13)

(A visualization of future things)

Note: Dwelt w/ Isaac and Jacob, (Jacob was 15 when Abraham died, a passing on of faith if you will)

A. Firsts, personal promises – God has a plan for you personally

B. Second, believing in Him when things don’t make sense – For example, God changing Abram’s name (father is exalted) to Abraham (father of many people) may have seemed like a cruel joke given the years of silence without a child.

C. Third, believing that God is able to complete His plan (v.19) – Hebrews fills us in to Abraham’s reasoning, that God was capable of doing something unheard of to maintain the promise concerning Isaac.

II. They Embraced the Promises (greeted them) (v.13)


A. Abraham modeled contentment to stay in tents – Given his wealth and size of herdsmen, etc., he could have easily built a city named after himself as a legacy but chose to remain mobile.

B. Abraham worshipped and gave offerings to the Lord – Melchizedek

C. Abraham was imperfect

  • Fear in Egypt-lied to Pharaoh
  • Hagar-Ishmael
  • God still used him mightily

III. They Declared the Promises (v.13-14)

A. It’s living like this isn’t home (because it isn’t!) (v.13)

B. It’s living like the future destination is home (because it is!) (v.13)

C. It’s living like there is a preference for home (looking forward to it!) (v.14)

IV. Conclusion

Questions: “Do you believe God?”

– We live on promises not explanations!


“Trust for the Future” series – Part 5 (9/15/19)

“Pleasing God”

Hebrews 11:4-7

Intro: “Electricity”

Electricity is an interesting thing. It’s defined as:

“A form of energy resulting from the existence of charged particles (such as electrons or protons), either statically as an accumulation of charge or dynamically as a current.” – Oxford Dictionary

  • Electricity is not something you see, only the results of it
  • Hair being drawn to a balloon with static
  • Lightning in the sky
  • Arc from a welder
  • Tools, lights, appliances, etc.
  • Faith is a real connection and evidence of something unseen with the eye

Today, we’re looking at three individuals and how their faith gave evidence of what isn’t seen.

Read Hebrews 11:4-7

NOTE: The operative word is “please” (v.6). It is a consistent theme throughout chapter 11 and other places in scripture. Pleasing God should be the goal of every believer:

I. Pleasing God in What We Offer (v.4)

Abel-Genesis 4:1-7

A. There is a separation between the men themselves and their offerings – (respected Abel and his offering, did not respect Cain and his offering)

B. It’s possible to be technically obedient and not please God – it’s the heart

C. The “reward” or recognition is the validation of the real faith connection – Cain was jealous of it, brooded over it, and ultimately committed premeditated murder over it.

II. Pleasing God in How We Work (v.5)

Enoch-Genesis 5:24

A. BEFORE he died, he had a testimony (v.5) – we all do

B. God validated his faith

C. Enoch lived a normal life – not removed in a private sanctuary to avoid distraction and temptation, but providing for his wife, kids, etc.

III. Pleasing God in How We Respond (v.7)

Noah-Genesis 6:8-9

A. He moved forward in Godly fear (v.7)

B. His actions condemned the world BY DEFAULT – your humble righteousness (not self-righteousness) is a contrast to the world (as was Noah)

C. He became the “heir of righteousness” – (the continuing thread of Abel’s righteousness – v.4 & 12:24)

IV. Conclusion

Questions: “Does your life reveal a real connection?” A validated faith? Evidence of the unseen?


“Trust for the Future” series – Part 4 (9/8/19)

“The Description of Faith”

Hebrews 11:1-3

Intro: “Walking on Water”

Imagine a small lake in a far northern location (such as Canada). It’s February 5th and the temperature has not been above 10 degrees Fahrenheit since November the 30th.

  • The lake is snow covered
  • The edge of the lake is obscured by the snow
  • A local man walks from his nearby home toward the lake
  • Without stopping, he continues to walk out onto the lake, unpacks his gear, cuts a hole in the ice and begins to fish
  • His confidence to walk onto the lake is a “realization” of things KNOWN, the circumstances, previous experience, observation

Today, we’re looking at the description of faith in Hebrews chapter 11.

Read Hebrews 11:1-3

I. Faith is Real (v.1)

A. The realization of things known – it’s walking out onto the ice to fish or skate because of what we know to be true

B. The conviction of things known – such as God’s character, promises, love, instructions, prophecy of the future, etc.

C. The practical part of things known – faith is based on the reality of God and His revealed Word, not on feelings, emotions or circumstances

II. Because Faith is Real, We Obtain (v.2)

A. We obtain a good testimony – an expressed conviction

B. We obtain a personal relationship with God – what was promised to the generations of the Old Covenant

C. We obtain confidence in His presence – an abiding intimacy, conversation, guidance, encouragement, affirmation, correction, etc.

III. Because Faith is Real, We Understand (v.3)

A. We understand God’s supremacy – He is the ultimate authority

B. We understand the created world – it’s origin, purpose, fallenness, and future

C. We understand the reality of the unseen world – its agenda, activity and power

IV. Conclusion

Questions: “Is there a true realization of these things in your life?”


“Trust for the Future” series – Part 3 (9/1/19)

“The Direction of Trust”

Hebrews 10:26-39

Intro: “Trust the Map”

Personal story about reading a topographical map

In the letter to the Hebrews there are many “landmarks” for us to locate and trust. We have to trust the map!

Read Hebrews 10:26-31

I. Remember the Standard of Righteousness

A. O.T. penalty for willful sin was death, for example of David-no provision for restoration (v.26-28, Deut. 17:6,12-13, Psalm. 51)

B. If death was the punishment for flaunting the Law of Moses, how much worse for flaunting the grace of Christ?

Read verses 32-34

II. Recall the Goodness of Salvation

A. You were illuminated (privilege of the scriptures being brought to life in your mind by the Holy Spirit)

B. You had endurance (commitment to embrace the difficulty and keep going)

C. You had compassion (hearts that were tender/gracious toward people)

D. You were joyful (a spirit of good cheer and a positive disposition)

E. You had patience (knew that better was waiting and looked forward to it)

Read verses 35-39

III. Resolve to Look Forward in Faith

Note: remember the principle of “therefore”, “these things being true…”

A. Do not cast away those points of confident goodness listed in verses 32-34

B. You need that stubborn thought (v.36) (you need it!)

C. Resolve to “not draw back”

  • The enemy wants us to!
  • Look forward! Keep moving!

IV. Conclusion

Questions: “Do you trust the map?” It may not necessarily provide all the step-by-step details, but trust the landmarks and directions.


“Trust for the Future” series – Part 2 (8/25/19)

“The Nature of our Trust”

Hebrews 10:19-25

Intro: Misplaced trust in the Temple complex

Read Luke 21:5-6

History and assumption that all would remain as is, but was wrongly placed in a physical building, and a system that could be seen, touched and lived out through rules. Although 99.9% of the population had never seen the Holy Place or Most Holy Place, they relied on it and its ritual purpose to keep them in right-standing with God

Read Hebrews 10:19-25

I. It’s a Confident Trust to Approach (v.19-20)

A. By the blood of Jesus (specific worthiness of the sacrifice)

B. To the inner most sanctuary (The Holiest Place)

C. A continual dwelling – it’s a daily abiding, not a visit once a year

II. It’s a Personal Trust in our High Priest (v.21)

A. It’s not a rotating order of priests

B. It’s not subject to the limitations of a human priest on our behalf

III. It’s a Transparent Trust (v.22)

A. “Full assurance” (even though unseen)

B. “Heart sprinkled with blood/conscience cleansed”

C. “Bodies washed” (the daily preparation, living in His presence)

IV. It’s a Steadfast Trust (v.23-25)

A. Unwavering based on His faithfulness (not ours)

B. Edifying – glorifying God personal and corporately

C. Encouraging each other

  • It’s “How can I contribute?”
  • It’s not “What services/programs do you have for me?”

V. Conclusion

Questions: “What is the nature of your trust? Confident? Personal? Transparent? Steadfast?”

It can be all of them and more…in Christ.


Trust for the Future” series – Part 1 (8/18/19)

“Where trust is placed”

Hebrews 10:1-18

Intro: Story of tightrope walker Blondin crossing Niagra Falls in 1860

Read 10:1-10

I. The Need to Trust is Universal (v.1-4)

A. The presence of “ought” in our mind reveals what we know “ought” to be in ourselves and others

  • We see a disconnect in people do versus what they ought to do
  • We realize moments where we don’t do what we ought or where we do what we shouldn’t

B. From the ancient world until now, mankind has sought ways to address and transcend human limitations through worship of idols and systems of religion

C. In other words, we have a deep need to trust someone/something bigger than ourselves

D. Mankind also has an inclination to offer sacrifice and service to the someone/something bigger

II. Christ is Superior to all Others (v.10)

A. Four common elements of society and worship in the ancient world (including Judaism)

  • King (secular)
  • Priests (sacred)
  • Offerings/sacrifices (atonement)
  • Worshipper (participants)

Read 7:11-19

B. “In the order of Melchizedek” – Jesus combines 3 of 4, King, Priest and sacrifice

C. “Sufficient for all” (v.10)

  • Not another way among many others
  • The only way among no equals

III. Trust in Christ is Transformational

A. The heart has always been the issue

“We are not sinners because we sin. We sin because we are sinners.” (anonymous)

B. Trust in Christ changes the heart and mind

  • Heart – the values/standards
  • Mind – the thinking/decision process

C. Freedom from guilt (liberty) is the result of forgiveness

IV. Conclusion

Question: “Where is your trust placed?” “Really placed?”


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