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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Hebrews 3

Verses 1-19

  1. Intro:
    1. Peter T. Forsythe was right when he said, “The first duty of every soul is to find not its freedom but its Master”. Which are you after? - Consider your Master...Consider Jesus
    2. The whole book of Hebrews focuses on Jesus.
      1. Last chapter: See Jesus (2:9). This week: Consider Jesus.
    3. Title: Consider Jesus
    4. Outline: Consider Jesus; Faithful vs Faithfuller; Obey Jesus; Believe Jesus.
    1. Consider - from the root of the Latin word for Star, originally means to contemplate the stars.
      1. It suggests the idea of the astronomer, & the quiet, patient, persevering, concentrated gaze w/which he seeks to discover all that can be possibly known of the stars.
      2. How do I do this? [1] Gaze upon the beauty of the Lord (Ps.27:4). [2] Concentrate on Him (Isaac Newton, “I keep it before me.”). [3] True reflection cannot happen w/2a glance (There’s a big diff between flying down the highway seeing the landscape & sitting still on the porch & soaking up the scenery).
      3. Unbelievers, consider Jesus as your Creator. Consider Jesus as Author/Maker of your soul. Consider Jesus as your Savior. Believers, consider Jesus in your present situation/circumstance. Consider Jesus in all you decisions.
  3. FAITHFUL VS FAITHFULLER (2-6) Moses vs. Jesus
    1. Greater than Moses…was this a big deal?
      1. Slide#26 Moses was the greatest hero of the Jewish nation. And if the writer can prove that Jesus is greater than Moses, then it will prove the superiority of the Christian faith over Judaism.
      2. Moses: Miraculously preserved at birth (basket in Nile). God called & ordained him at the burning bush. Displayed awesome power in Egypt (10 plagues). Had a staff that could part Seas & make water come from rocks. Moses had (diff. from other prophets) a direct communication from God, If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream. Not so with My servant Moses; He is faithful in all My house. I speak with him face to face, Even plainly, and not in dark sayings; And he sees the form of the LORD. Num.12:6-8. Moses received the 10 commandments, the Law, the Tabernacle plans, & authored the Pentateuch under divine inspiration. He was more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth. This sets the story…
    2. This is not to take anything away from Moses’ shining example of faithfulness.
      1. Picture the brightest light man can make…now watch it fade in comparison to the sun at noontime.
      2. Moses was very faithful…Christ was even more faithful.
        1. Jesus Faithfully became incarnate; faithfully underwent temptations; faithfully suffered a terrible scourging; faithfully yielded his hands to the nails; faithfully became sin for us; faithfully died for us; & now faithfully intercedes for us...He is faithful.
    3. The Builder vs. The Building (3,4)
      1. Which is greater? Michelangelo or the ceiling of the Sistine chapel?
      2. Moses is likened to a part within the house…Jesus made the house.
      3. My Air Conditioner is very important to my house (esp. this week), but it is not as important as the Contractor who built my house.
    4. Son vs. Servant (5,6)
      1. It is important to have a faithful servant in the house, but even more important is a faithful Son over the house.
    5. Hold fast…hope firm to the end – Until, hope becomes reality.
  4. OBEY JESUS (7-15)
    1. Now the writer uses the failure of Israel in the wilderness as a warning against a hard heart.
    2. The children of Israel started so well (7-11)
      1. It started on that unforgettable night, where the Jewish homes still smelled of roasted lamb (Passover), but the Egyptian homes now emitted the fragrance of death (10th plague). They were finally asked to leave (after 430 yrs) & were asked to do it quickly. They were even able to plunder the Egyptians before they left. They step out into the wilderness & there was God, eager to meet them in the cloud by day, & pillar of fire by night. Quick hick-up of faith when Pharaoh & his armies show up, but not to worry Moses parts the Red Sea. The Song of Moses is sung, “the horse & rider is thrown into the sea.” Well from Mnt. Sinai it’s only a 11 day journey (Deut.1:2) “So we ought to be in the promised land in no time,” “Oh sweet milk & honey!”…It began so well, but went down hill fast, then ended so poorly. Complaining, rebelling, & quarreling, left only 2 men over the age of 20 of about 600,000 men to enter Canaan.
        1. The lesson here is that it is possible to begin well & end poorly.
    3. (8) Many of the children of Israel seemed to have an inadequate faith in God...they asked in this context, Is the LORD among us or not? Ex.17:7...God was their fair-weather friend.
      1. ​​​​​​​They had faith until the 1st trial, where it dissolved like a dirt clod in a rain storm.
    4. (10) What kicked off the 40 yrs wandering was the 12 spies, 10 of which could only see giant problems rather than a giant God.
      1. The 10 were like Robert Fulton’s critics. When he tested his steamboat they stood along the shore yelling, “It will never start, never start, never start”! Then when it started they said, “It will never stop, never stop, never stop!”
    5. (12) Ray Stedman says this well, “A relapse from Christianity into Judaism would be comparable to the action of the Israelites when they turned back in their hearts unto Egypt. It would not be a mere return to a position previously occupied, but a gesture of outright apostasy, a complete break w/God.”
      1. Mt.13:20,21 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.
      2. Many professing Christians today, if you ask them about their faith, will tell you of their wonderful memory of their exodus, but have nothing to say about their present day faith…for their faith is dead.
    6. (13) deceitfulness of sin – Like all sin, there's a difference between the appearance and the reality, between the momentary feeling and the lasting effect.
      1. Like a mouse to the baited trap; like a bug to the dangerously hot light; like a deer to the attractive headlights; so are we attracted by sins deceitful magnetism.
        1. “The trouble with trouble is that it usually starts out as a whole lot of fun.”
      2. Sin whispers, “yes, the poison will hurt, but it sure tastes sweet going down!” And we say, “it does?”
        1. The beautifully attractive immoral woman, w/a wink of the eye, has led many like an ox going to slaughter.
        2. Many married women have fallen to the deceptive words of another man, “If I were your husband I would treat you much different.” Yet, she does not see he is in process of flirting w/a married woman at that very moment? How will he be trusted that this would be the last time?
      3. “Sin is deceitful. You think you are getting away w/it, but all the while it is hardening your heart & robbing your blessing.” (www)
        1. It is one thing to trust God for salvation, & quite another to surrender our wills & lives to Him for daily guidance & service.
    7. How do we avoid this heart of unbelief???
      1. Believers are to warn & admonish one another to hope & confidence in Christ.
      2. 3 specific responsibilities believers are to exercise until the coming of Christ:
        1. Warn your friends of the results of a sin they are flirting with.
        2. Help them to answer life questions as they arise.
        3. Aid them in tackling doubts when they come rolling in.
    8. Today – God’s offer has a limit…that limit is the duration of life.
      1. We easily speak about tomorrow but for us tomorrow may never come. All we have is today. God’s offer must be accepted today. Trust & obedience must be given today!
    9. (14) Partakers of Christ – God doesn’t bless us just to make us happy; He blesses us to make us a blessing. (www)
    10. Steadfast to the end –
      1. Many church members today are content to live lives that are essentially no different than the lives of non-Christians around them.
      2. We’ve all scene beautifully done taxidermy. Where the stuffed animal looks so real, even the eye of glass, looks life like.
        1. So in the churches of Christ, many professing believers are not living believers, but stuffed Christians. They possess all the externals of religion, and every outward morality that you could desire...yet, their spiritual life is absent.
    11. (15) Hard Hearts
      1. People w/hard hearts know the truth but resist it & refuse to obey it.
      2. They almost defy God to act. They think the can sin & get away w/it.
      3. How does one’s heart become hard? [By refusing His words, despising His works, & by ignoring His ways]
      4. I believe firmly that true Christians WILL persevere. If we have come to know Christ, we will hold firmly till the end, the confidence we had at the 1st.
  5. BELIEVE JESUS (16-19)
    1. ​​​​​​​Deliverance from Egypt doesn’t equal an inheritance in Canaan.
    2. 6 questions in 3 pairs (16-18) [Question. Answer. The Point]
      1. (16) The Point: Everyone who died in the wilderness began in the glorious exodus.
      2. (17) The Point: God was angry w/those who did not believe God would provide for them. Though they left Egypt with goes to show high hopes will not suffice…there must be belief.
      3. (18) The Point: Unbelief leads to action(not entering in)…as it always does.
    3. (18) Where does God swear an oath against any class of people? - Only against unbelievers.
    4. They did not obey – Obedience is necessary.
      1. It is just as if a doctor said, I can cure you if you obey my instructions implicitly.
      2. It is just as if a teacher were to say, I can make you a scholar if you follow my curriculum w/absolute fidelity.
      3. It is just as if a trainer said to an athlete, I can make you a champion if you do not deviate from the discipline that I lay down.
    5. The Key?...Hear & Obey (19)
      1. Believe in Him, but also walk with Him.
        1. Then the reward will be entering into His rest (ch.4).
      2. Hearing or Hardening…your choice.
    6. “The first duty of every soul is to find not its freedom but its Master”. Which are you after? - Slide#34 Consider your Master...Consider Jesus.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Hebrews 3". "Bell's Commentary". 2017.