Ebenezer Baptist Church Ebenezer Baptist Church
Ebenezer Baptist Church is live
Noon Day Bible Study
Rev. Dr. Howard L. Woods, Jr.
Rev. Dr. Howard L. Woods, Jr.
Tuesday, October 5, 2021
Loading chat...

How Can I Strengthen My Church?
(Positive Attitudes Lead To Positive Actions)

Hebrews 10:34 for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.

They were not afraid to visit those who were prisoners for Christ, even though there was always the danger of guilt by association.

When their goods were confiscated by the authorities, they accepted it joyfully. 

They chose to be true to Jesus rather than to keep their material possessions. They knew that they had “an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away” (1 Pet. 1:4).

It was truly a miracle of divine grace that enabled them to value earthly wealth so lightly. What can we learn from this?

Hebrews 10:35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.

The second great consideration is this: the nearness of the reward should strengthen them. Having endured so much in the past, they should not capitulate now.

The author says in effect, “Don’t miss the harvest of your tears” (F. B. Meyer).

They were now nearer to the fulfillment of God’s promise than ever before. This was no time to turn back. What can we learn from this?

“Don’t throw away your trust now—it carries with it a rich reward in the world to come” (JBP).

Hebrews 10:36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:

What they needed was endurance, the determination to remain under the persecutions rather than escape them by denying Christ.

Then after having done the will of God, they would receive the promised reward.

Hebrews 10:37 “For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry.

The coming reward synchronizes with the Return of the Lord Jesus; hence the quotation from Habakkuk 2:3, “For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry.” In Habakkuk the verse reads, “For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”

Concerning this change Vincent says: In the Hebrew, the subject of the sentence is the vision of the extermination of the Chaldees.… As rendered in the Septuagint either Jehovah or Messiah must be the subject. The passage was referred to Messiah by the later Jewish theologians and is so taken by our writer. A. J. Pollock comments: The Old Testament passage and the altered quotation in the New Testament are alike verbally inspired and equally Scripture. The IT in Habakkuk refers to the vision— and deals with the coming of Christ to reign.

Then he continues in a more general vein: When an inspired writer quotes from the Old Testament he uses just as much of the passage quoted as suits the purpose of the Divine Mind, though never contradicting it; altering it often in order to convey, not the exact meaning of the Old Testament passage, but the fuller meaning intended to be conveyed by the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.… Now no one but God could so treat Scripture. The fact that it is done, and done largely, is another claim to inspiration.

God is the Author of the Bible, and He can quote His OWN words, altering and adding to them to suit His purpose. But if any of us quote Scripture, we must do it with careful exactitude. We have no right to alter a jot or tittle. But the Author of the Book can do this. It matters little what pen He uses, whether it be Moses or Isaiah, Peter or Paul, or Matthew or John, it is all His writing. What are your thoughts?

Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.”

A final incentive to steadfast endurance is the fear of God’s displeasure. Continuing the quotation from Habakkuk, the author shows that the life that pleases God is the life of faith: Now the just shall live by faith. This is the life that values God’s promises, that sees the unseen, and that perseveres to the end.

On the other hand the life that displeases God is that of the man who renounces the Messiah and returns to the obsolete sacrifices of the temple: But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.

Hebrews 10:39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.

The writer quickly dissociates himself and his fellow believers from those who draw back to perdition.

This separates apostates from genuine Christians. Apostates draw back and are lost. True believers believe and thus preserve their souls from the doom of the renegade.

With this mention of faith (“believe” and “faith” are the same root word in Greek), the groundwork is laid for a fuller discussion of the life that pleases God. The illustrious eleventh chapter follows quite naturally at this point.

The Great Faith of God’s People

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

This chapter deals with the vision and endurance of faith. It introduces us to men and women of the OT who had 20/20 spiritual vision and who endured tremendous shame and suffering rather than renounce their faith.

Verse 1 is not really a formal definition of faith; rather it is a description of what faith does for us. It makes things hoped for as real as if we already had them, and it provides unshakable evidence that the unseen, spiritual blessings of Christianity are absolutely certain and real. In other words, it brings the future within the present and makes the invisible seen.

Faith is confidence in the trustworthiness of God. It is the conviction that what God says is true and that what He promises will come to pass.

Faith must have some revelation from God, some promise of God as its foundation. It is not a leap in the dark. It demands the surest evidence in the universe, and finds it in the word of God. It is not limited to possibilities but invades the realm of the impossible.

Someone has said, “Faith begins where possibilities end. If it’s possible, then there’s no glory for God in it.”

There are difficulties and problems in the life of faith. God tests our faith in the crucible to see if it is genuine (1 Pet. 1:7). But, as George Müller said, “Difficulties are food for faith to feed on.”

Hebrews 11:2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.

Because they walked by faith and not by sight, the OT worthies received divine approval. The rest of this chapter is an illustration of how God has borne witness to them.

Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

Faith provides us with the only factual account of creation. God is the only One who was there; He tells us how it happened. We believe His word and thus we know. What can we learn from this?

McCue states: “The conception of God pre-existent to matter and by His fiat calling it into being is beyond the domain of reason or demonstration. It is simply accepted by an act of faith.”

Macdonald, Farstad Grady Scott, Hindson, E.E.