Sermons by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder

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RADIATE JESUS: Faith

Gregory C. Magruder  Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 07/10/16
 
Faith
Hebrews 11:1-3
 
INTRODUCTION: We do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved” (Hebrews 10:39). The writer of Hebrews says we can endure and persevere because we are people of faith. He defines faith in Hebrews 11 and lists examples of the heroes of faith. Their example encourages us to persevere until we fulfill God’s purposes for us. People of faith endure to the end. So what is faith? Hebrews 11:1-3 tells us.
 
FAITH PROVIDES HOPE FOR THE FUTURE.
 
*Faith is not fantasy or a leap in the dark. It is based on content. Faith is the foundation of hope. In business terms, it is the “title-deed” or guarantee of what is hoped for. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for…” (11:1).
 
*The believers of old endured tremendous trials because they were confident in the promises of God. Their trust proved that God was faithful to his promises.  “This is what the ancients were commended for” (11:2).
 
FAITH PROVIDES COURAGE FOR TODAY.
 
*Faith is the “assurance about what we do not see” (11:1). The word “assurance” means proof or conviction. Our faith proves the reality of the invisible. We cannot see it with our senses, but we believe it as fact, and we experience it as a present reality. This gives us courage.
 
*Faith rests on the word of God. God reveals to us his truths through his word and we live our lives based on his truth. For example, “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible” (11:3).
 
*Faith must believe and act on the promises of God. Christians place their trust in Jesus Christ and God’s promises and experience peace. “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
 

RELIGIOUS LIBERTY SUNDAY

Gregory Magruder       Parkview Baptist     Gainesville, FL     7/03/16
 
“Religious Liberty”
John 8:31-36
 
INTRODUCTION: Americans have basic rights guaranteed by our Constitution: freedom of worship, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly and freedom of speech.  As Americans we assume the first freedoms found in the First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press: or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievancesAs Christians, we believe that true freedom comes through Jesus Christ who provides the basis for the freedoms we have as citizens of this world.  Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32 NRSV).  Religious Liberty Sunday celebrates that we are Free in Christ, Free to Worship and Free to Know.
 
YOU ARE FREE IN CHRIST.
 
            -Jesus used the image of slavery to describe you and me.  “Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples;   and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.   “They answered him, "We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, "You will be made free'?"  Jesus answered them, "Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin(v. 31-34).
 
            -Jesus has the authority to set us free from sin“The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever.  So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed(35-36).
 
            -You will find true liberty when you come to know Jesus as your Savior and Lord: “you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”  Truth is found in a Person, Jesus Christ.  “Jesus said to him, `I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’ (John 14:6).
 
Have you discovered the freedom found in Jesus Christ?

YOU ARE FREE TO WORSHIP.
 
            -Freedom in Christ assumes personal responsibility and dignity before God. “For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery(Gal. 5:1).
 
            -The First Amendment recognizes our right to full religious
Liberty: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof....”
 
You have the right under God to worship without coercion.
 
YOU ARE FREE TO KNOW.
 
            -Freedom in Christ assumes the right to know the truth.  Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6) and “you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free(John 8:32).   
 
            -Freedom of the press, speech, assembly and pursuit of justice are guaranteed in the First Amendment. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press: or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. 
 
You are obligated in Christ to tell the truth and speak your mind.
 
YOU ARE
           
            ...free in Christ
 
                        ...free to worship
 
                                    ...free to know!
 
 

RADIATE JESUS: Persevere

Gregory C. Magruder  Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 06/26/16
 
Persevere
Hebrews 10:19-39
 
INTRODUCTION: The writer of Hebrews has shown that the old religious system of sacrifice and ritual was inadequate and ineffective. It only pointed to a new and better way. Jesus Christ became the perfect offering for our sins. We are saved once for all through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus is in the presence of God as our perfect representative and High Priest. He defends us, prays for us, and empowers us by his Spirit. Therefore, we have the confidence to persevere and fulfill the mission God has prepared for us.
 
PEOPLE WHO PERSEVERE:
 
DRAW NEAR TO GOD IN FAITH (22).
 
*We have free access to God and complete forgiveness of sins through Jesus. “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water” (22).
 
HOLD ON TO GOD’S PROMISES WITH HOPE (23).
 
*Be confident because God is faithful. “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (23).
 
ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER IN LOVE (24-25).
 
*Look out for one another and worship and serve together because Jesus is coming soon. “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (24-25).
 
DO NOT REJECT THEIR SPIRITUAL DESTINY (26-31).
 
*Refuse to go back to the old way of living. Do not throw away your
witness and destiny. The reputation of Jesus is at stake. Sin has consequences“If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God…It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (26-31).
 
ENDURE TO THE END (32-39).
 
*Remember God’s faithfulness in the past. “Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering…So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded” (26-31).
 
*Receive God’s promises in the present.  “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised” (36).
 
*Rejoice in Christ’s return in the future.
 
“For,
“In just a little while,
    he who is coming will come
    and will not delay.”
 And,
“But my righteous one will live by faith.
    And I take no pleasure
    in the one who shrinks back.”
 
But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved” (37-39).
 
Have you come to God through Jesus?
 
Do you have faith in Jesus Christ and full confidence in your salvation through him?
 
If not, the way is open and free to God through Jesus. He invites you to draw near to him and be forgiven and accepted.

RADIATE JESUS: Once for All

Gregory C. Magruder  Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 06/12/16
 
Once for All
Hebrews 10:1-18
 
INTRODUCTION: Something better is coming. In fact, it has already begun through the finished work of Jesus Christ. “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves,” Hebrews 10:1 tells us. The endless repetition of animal sacrifices “can never…make perfect those who draw near to worship” (10:1). Animal sacrifices cannot ease a guilty conscience. They only remind a person of his or her sins (10:2-3). “It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (10:4). The old system was inadequate, external, temporal, repetitive, and ineffective. It only pointed to a new and better way. Jesus Christ became the perfect offering for our sins. We are saved once for all through the Triune God’s plan of salvation. We have a new covenant with God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
 
THE FATHER CONCEIVED THE PLAN OF SALVATION.
 
*God’s will was that he would send his Son into the world to become the sacrifice for sin. Animal sacrifices anticipated what God would do for us. God became a human being like us and took our sins upon himself so that we could be truly free from guilt and sin. “Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—I have come to do your will, my God’”(10:5-7).
 
*God provided a way to establish an eternal relationship with him. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
 
THE SON COMPLETED THE PLAN OF SALVATION.
 
*Obedience is the cure for sin. God doesn’t want outward sacrifices only obedient hearts. Jesus perfectly kept the law and obeyed God.
He willingly went to the Cross as our substitute. He took the
punishment for our sins and made us holy in the presence of God. First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all (10:8-10).
 
*There is no more need for sacrifice. Jesus our High Priest has satisfied all of God’s demands. His work is finished. He now represents us at the right hand of God. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool (10:12-13).
 
*We are made perfect in the sight of God by the sacrifice of Christ. We have been saved, we are being saved, and we will be saved forever through the completed work of Christ. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy (10:14).
 
THE SPIRIT CONTINUES THE PLAN OF SALVATION.
 
*We are not alone in the process of sanctification (being made holy). The Holy Spirit lives inside all who place their faith and trust in Jesus. Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit as the “one called alongside to help” (John 14:16-17). The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds” (10:15-16).
 
*The Holy Spirit reminds us that we are completely forgiven and gives us the power to obey God’s commands freely and willingly. Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary (10:17-18).
 
The Father, Son and Holy Spirit provide all that is needed to be made right with God. Have you accepted the free gift of salvation?

RADIATE JESUS: Why Blood?

Gregory C. Magruder  Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 06/05/16
 
Why Blood?
Hebrews 9
 
INTRODUCTION: The gift of blood is the gift of life. There is no substitute for human blood. It is estimated 4.8 million Americans would die each year without life saving blood transfusions. Blood has always been associated with life. Ancient peoples from many cultures sacrificed animals and even humans as an offering to appease their gods. Where did this tradition come from? The Bible tells us that after Adam and Eve sinned God killed an innocent animal and shed its blood so the couple could have clothes to cover their nakedness (Gen. 3). Later God accepted the offering of a slain firstborn lamb from Abel’s flocks (Gen. 4). From these small beginnings a whole system of sacrifice developed to make peace with God and find forgiveness for sin. God said: “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life” (Leviticus 17:11). Now the blood of Jesus Christ covers our sins and makes us right with God.
 
THE OLD SYSTEM OF CEREMONY WAS LIMITED AND INEFFECTIVE IN DEALING WITH SIN.
 
*The tabernacle represented God’s presence (1-5). The articles were symbols of God’s interaction with his people. The veil separated sinful people from a Holy God. The tabernacle was temporary and earthly.
 
*Sin separates from God. Sin must be punished and covered. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). The sacrifice of one living creature for another provides redemption and forgiveness (9:7). One life is given for another so the other can go free. The blood of animals was only temporary however and could not “clear the conscience of the worshiper” (Hebrews 9:6-10).
 
*The blood of animals only outwardly sanctified the unclean (9:13). A will only takes effect when someone has died. Likewise, the first covenant with God took effect when Moses killed calves and sprinkled the blood on the scroll, the people, and the tabernacle and its utensils (9:18-22). “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (9:22).
 
*The Old Covenant had an earthly tabernacle, sinful priests, outward ceremonies, the blood of animals, and temporary effectiveness. External regulations cannot provide internal transformation.
 
THE NEW ORDER IN CHRIST IS ETERNAL AND EFFECTIVE IN DEALING WITH SIN.
 
*Jesus entered Heaven’s perfect eternal tabernacle. We have a better sanctuary (9:11).
 
*Jesus offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for sins. We have a better sin offering. Jesus “entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption” (9:12)
 
*Jesus’ blood covers our sins and gives us a clear conscience so we can serve the living God. Jesus provides an effective inner and spiritual transformation.  “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!” (9:14).
 
*The New Covenant is ratified by Jesus’ death so we are free from sin and gain the eternal inheritance (9:15-17). “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance” (9:15).
 
*Jesus is our High Priest in Heaven and represents us before God. He once for all shed his blood so that we can have forgiveness of sins and eternal life. We have freedom from judgment and hope for the future (9:23-28). “But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many” (9:26-28).
 
*The perfect sacrifice and ministry of Jesus transforms us inwardly and spiritually forever. Now the blood of Jesus Christ covers our sins and makes us right with God.

RADIATE JESUS: A New Deal

Gregory C. Magruder  Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 05/29/16
 
A New Deal
Hebrews 8
 
INTRODUCTION: Jesus provides a better way to God. In fact the word “better” occurs more times in the Book of Hebrews than in any other New Testament book. The author has shown that Christianity is a better way in legacy, priesthood and High Priest. God has made a new deal with humanity through his Son Jesus Christ.
 
JESUS CHRIST REIGNS AS KING AND PRIEST.
 
*Jesus has a heavenly kingdom and a heavenly priesthood. “Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being” (8:1-2).
 
*Therefore, Jesus has a superior ministry and negotiates a superior contract with God. “But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises” (8:6).
 
JESUS CHRIST GIVES US A NEW COVENANT WITH GOD.
 
*Israel failed to keep the old covenant. God required a new covenant as promised in Jeremiah 31:31-34. “For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said: ‘The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah’” (8:7-8).
 
*God gives four promises to us in the New Covenant:
 
  • The Law of God will be internal and spiritual. “This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts” (8:10).
 
  • God will have a new personal and effective relationship with his people. “I will be their God, and they will be my people” (8:10).
  • All God’s people will become priests. “No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they
       will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest” (8:11).
 
  • God will give complete pardon and forgiveness for sins. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (8:12).
 
*Israel failed to complete her mission and God turned her task over to a new people, followers of Jesus. The Covenant mission we have is the same mission God gave to Israel. By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear (8:13).
 
 * We must not fail to fulfill our legacy. “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Peter 2:9-10).
 
*What is our mission? Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
 
 

RADIATE JESUS: Mystery Man

Mystery Man
Hebrews 7
 
INTRODUCTION: Christians claimed that the old system of laws and sacrifices did not provide complete access to God or full forgiveness. The question arose as to why Christians had a better way if they did not follow the Mosaic law and ceremony. Hebrews points to a mysterious man in the Old Testament as the basis of a better way for Christians. The mystery man Melchizedek was the archetype of our High Priest Jesus. Jesus provides a better way to God. In fact the word “better” occurs more times in the Book of Hebrews than in any other New Testament book. Christianity is a better way in legacy, priesthood and High Priest.
 
WE HAVE A BETTER LEGACY (7:1-10).
 
*God’s original priesthood came through Melchizedek. According to Psalm 110:1-4, the Messiah would be a King and a Priest in the line of Melchizedek not the line of Aaron. The Lord says to my lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”…The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”
 
*The history is based on the story in Genesis 14: This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything (1-2).
 
*Who was this mystery man? First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever (2-3).
 
*Jesus carries on the heritage of Melchizedek’s priesthood. Melchizedek has a better legacy than the line of Levi. Therefore Jesus has a better priesthood.
  • Melchizedek was a king of righteousness and peace like Jesus is.
  • Melchizedek has a permanent priesthood that lasts forever like Jesus.
  • Melchizedek is greater than Abraham because Abraham and Levi gave Melchizedek tithes (4-10).
  • Melchizedek even blessed Abraham. [He] collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater (6-7).
 
WE HAVE A BETTER PRIESTHOOD (7:11-19).
 
*The old priesthood and the Law of Moses did not achieve God’s purposes. A new order needed to come on the scene that provided a complete relationship with God. If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood—and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood—why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also (11-12).
 
*God established a new order that is better than the old Levitical order:
  • God created the new order from the tribe of Judah not Levi. He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests (13-14).
  • We have a heavenly priesthood that lasts forever not an earthly priesthood that is limited. And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. For it is declared: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek” (15-17).
  • The new priesthood enables us to draw near to God with confidence.
The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God (18-19).
 
WE HAVE A BETTER HIGH PRIEST (7:18-28).
 
*Jesus was sworn in as priest by an oath and other priests were not. Therefore, Jesus guarantees a better covenant than the old covenant. And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him: “The Lord has sworn    and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever’” Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant (20-22).
 
*Jesus lives forever, saves us and intercedes for us constantly before God. [But] because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them (24-25).
 
*Jesus is sinless and eternal and sacrificed his life for us once for all. Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens...He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself (26-27).

RADIATE JESUS: A Hope and a Promise

Gregory C. Magruder  Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 05/15/16
 
A Hope and a Promise
Hebrews 6:13-20
 
INTRODUCTION: God expects us to mature in our spiritual walk. He does not leave us alone in that process. He gives us his presence, his power and his promise. We can have hope because he has given us his word that he will keep us secure and moving forward through every trial. Abraham is our example of God’s faithfulness and Jesus is our anchor in God’s presence. Therefore, we can stand on God’s promises and have hope for the future. We can fulfill God’s mission of redemption.
 
WE HAVE A PROMISE THAT DOES NOT LIE.
 
*God gives promises based on his own character and divinity. “When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised” (6:13-15).
 
*God confirms the promise with an oath. “People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath” (6:16-17).
 
*God always keeps his promises. He cannot lie and is unchangeable and that gives us confidence. “God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged” (6:18).
 
*A promise requires patience. Abraham waited 25 years for the promise of a son to be fulfilled. He looked forward to the day when all nations would be blessed through him. “And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised” (6:15).
 
We can always trust God to keep his promises and fulfill his purposes.
 
WE HAVE A HOPE THAT SECURES LIKE AN ANCHOR.
 
*Hope encourages patience. We have a future hope and a present anchor in Jesus. “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” (6:19).
*Jesus is our forerunner. He has paved the way for us to enter into God’s presence through his death and resurrection. He became the sacrifice that took away our sins and gave us access to God. “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf” (6:19-20).
 
*Jesus is our anchor. Jesus is our High Priest that continually ministers in God’s presence for us. We are tethered to him and in direct relationship with the Father through him. We have security and hope in Jesus.
“He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek” (6:20).
 
We can face life’s storms because Jesus is an anchor that is firm.
 
We have hope because God has given us his word that he will keep us secure and moving forward through every trial.

RADIATE JESUS: Parenting Skills

Gregory C. Magruder  Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 05/08/16
 
Parenting Skills
Hebrews 5:11 – 6:12
 
INTRODUCTION: I saw a sign this week that is appropriate for Mother’s Day. The sign said that the Egyptian Pharaoh King Tut was raised by a mummy. Mothers have a unique and significant role in the development of children. Parents are given the task of helping their children grow toward maturity and independence. Parents expect their children to grow spiritually, emotionally, physically and intellectually. God does too. God expects us to mature in our spiritual walk. Our passage today speaks about parenting skills. It uses child development as an example of how we are to develop and mature in our Christian life.
 
PARENTS NOURISH THEIR CHILDREN.
 
*Parents feed and care for their children so they can grow strong and healthy physically.  “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52).
 
*Growing children move from baby food to more nourishing solid food. The writer of Hebrews says that his readers were spiritually immature and infants in matters of faith. “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness” (Hebrews 5:11-13).
 
*All Christians must move on with God in order to mature in their faith and fulfill their destiny. “But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:14).
 
PARENTS NURTURE THEIR CHILDREN.
 
*Parents also have the task of helping their children develop emotionally, socially, and intellectually. Nurture helps the child develop into the unique person God made him or her to be.  “Parents, do not treat your children in such a way as to make them angry. Instead, raise them with Christian discipline and instruction” (Ephesians 6:4 GNT).  The King James Version says “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
 
*Christians need to move on from the ABCs of the faith and become skilled in the deeper matters of the faith. “Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so” (Hebrews 6:1-3).
 
*What are the basics or foundations of the faith we need to build upon?
  • SalvationRepentance and Faith in God
  • Baptism and the Infilling of Holy Spirit - Laying on of hands
  • Second Coming – Resurrection and Eternal judgment
 
*The Christian faith requires perseverance and a desire to understand and complete God’s mission. “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact…by this time you ought to be teachers…” (Heb. 5:11-12). Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity…” (Heb. 6:1).
 
PARENTS NUDGE THEIR CHILDREN.
 
*The goal of parenting is to raise children to become independent adults.
Christian parents aim to lead their children to Christ so they can experience a life of blessing and well-being. Paul wrote to Timothy: I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also (2 Timothy 1:5).
 
Children who are nourished and trained grow into responsible adults. Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth” (Ephesians 6:1-3).
 
*Sometimes parents have to warn and prod their children into action so they will lead productive lives. The writer warns Christians that have become complacent in their Christian life that they are tarnishing the name of Jesus and disrupting his redemptive mission. They are in danger of falling short of their call, their mission and their destiny (Hebrews 6:4-8).
 
*But there is hope for us if we will repent and respond to God’s call to move on with him to complete our mission. “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him…We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised” (Heb. 6:10-12).

RADIATE JESUS: Fast Pass

Gregory C. Magruder  Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 05/01/16
 
Fast Pass
Hebrews 4:14-5:10
 
INTRODUCTION: The lines are long at Disneyworld. A Fast Pass allows you to skip the long line and have direct access into the event. No waiting. No standing. Just move to the front of the line, show your Fast Pass, and walk right in. Jesus is our Fast Pass to the Father. Jesus provides the way and the means for direct access to God.  Hebrews 1-4 shows that Jesus is greater than the prophets, the angels, Adam, and Moses. The author now shows that Jesus is a better High Priest than Aaron or the other High Priests. Why was this important? Because the High Priest represents the people and offers sacrifice for sin before God. We have hope and confidence before God because Jesus is our High Priest.
 
WHAT ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS OF A HIGH PRIEST?
 
*The Jewish people were required to come before God three times a year to offer sacrifices (Deut. 16:16). The High Priest represented the people before God and offered sacrifices for them. Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people. (5:1-3).
 
*The High Priest had to be chosen from among the people and he had to be appointed by God. And no one takes this honor on himself, but he receives it when called by God, just as Aaron was (5:4)
 
JESUS IS A BETTER HIGH PRIEST THAN OTHER HIGH PRIESTS.
 
*Jesus is fully human, tested, sympathetic and yet without sin. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin (4:15).
 
*Jesus has an on-going heavenly priesthood instead of a limited earthly priesthood. Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess (4:14).
 
*Jesus, the divine Son of God, was appointed by God to be king and priest. Jesus’ kingdom and priesthood last forever.
In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.” And he says in another place, “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek” (5:5-6).
 
*Jesus understands our weakness and suffering and continually intercedes in prayer for us before God. During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission (5:7).
 
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF JESUS AS OUR HIGH PRIEST?
 
*Jesus identifies with and knows our needs and weaknesses (Empathy Factor). For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin (4:15).
 
*Jesus gave his life for our sins and salvation (Eternity Factor). Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek (5:8-9).
 
*Jesus provides us with direct access to God (Confidence Factor). Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (4:16).
 
Jesus provides the way and the means for direct access to God.
 
Have you entered into God’s presence through Jesus or are you still waiting in line?
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