Faithfulness (Hebrews #7)

Text: Hebrews 3:1-12

Faithfulness is the basis for God’s rest and continued blessing.  Paul is going to highlight the faithfulness of the Lord Jesus Christ as a faithful builder and steward of his own household.  And in doing so, Paul compares Jesus Christ to Moses in faithfulness, but only to show Christ’s superiority over Moses.  Just as he compared Jesus Christ to angels to show the superiority of Jesus Christ over angels.

Notice how the audience is described as holy brethren and partakers of the heavenly calling.  These are Hebrews, not Gentiles.  But notice also that Paul is recommending Jesus Christ to them, so they are not yet saved Hebrews, but as a people are particularly special to God.  And had been given advantages that the heathen, like you and me, hadn’t been given.

Standard of faithfulness (vss 1-3)

  • The Lord Jesus Christ is God’s standard of faithfulness.
    • Apostle is someone who is sent out by God.
    • High Priest ministers in preparing offerings to God.
  • Jesus Christ is compared to Moses because they were both faithful in their appointments.
  • Jesus Christ is counted worthy of more glory because Jesus Christ built the house that Moses served in.

Defining faithfulness (vss 4-6)

  • First of all, God defines faithfulness differently for different people in different situations
    • It depends what the job is according to God.  Moses is faithful with the types and the foreshadowing God laid out in the tabernacle and the ministry.
    • You’ll see that in Hebrews 11.
    • Hebrews 11 individuals are highlighted because of how they displayed faithfulness.  Hebrews 11 primarily puts Jews on display for their faith.
    • The common thread of faithfulness is that the flesh must be ignored and God must be trusted.
  • Second, faithfulness describes your response to the vocation God has given you.
    • Moses was considered faithful and Moses made mistakes.  And sometimes Moses didn’t know what to do.  And sometimes Moses took bad advice.  But none of that changed the fact that Moses accepted the appointment God gave him.  And God called Moses faithful in the house.
    • Faithfulness is not defined as being sinless and without error.
  • Third, faithfulness describes the end of a period of time, not someone’s life.
    • Specifically speaking, when the Lord speaks of the end He’s not talking about the end of a person’s life, but the end of the world (Matthew 24:13-14).
    • The Holy Ghost likens the end to the wilderness experience (3:7-11).  That was unique to the nation of Israel.  The end of the wilderness journey was what God was trying to get the Jews to.  Not the end of their lives.
      • God’s clock is Jerusalem.  God’s timing in the book of Hebrews is the last days (Hebrews 1:2), so this is going to be the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7).  The end deals with the end of that time period.  Daniel 12:8-9, 13.
      • Multiple times in the book of Hebrews you find that the Hebrews must hold fast unto the end if they are to enter into God’s rest. (3:6 if we hold fast…unto the end, 3:14…stedfast unto the end).
    • Faithfulness describes the end of a period of time, not someone’s life.  That period of time is defined by what God is accomplishing.  Daniel 9:24 gives a period of time in order to accomplish six things in Jerusalem.

Warning about unbelief which is the opposite of faithfulness (vss 7-12)

  • an EVIL heart of unbelief…
  • Principle is this: Unbelief is immoral
    • Immorality is based on not trusting God.
    • 2 Thessalonians 3:2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.
  • Unbelief is not about evidence, but about hiding sin
  • The example Paul gives here is the evil report brought by the spies.
  • Numbers 13:30-33
  • If you were to believe what you hear and see and read today, Christianity, specifically the Bible, is a bondage, an hallucination, an immoral outrage on human rights and altogether stupid.  Education assumes creation is a fiction dreamed up by religious zealots and that true science has nothing to do with God.  We are always pitched this idea that unbelief is objective and scientific.  Unbelief is a heart problem.
    • The fool hath said in his heart there is no God.
    • Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
  • Evidence in creation
  • Evidence in conscience
  • Reasons people don’t want to believe
    • Isaiah 40:18-28 – People don’t want to be accountable to God
    • Isaiah 43:14 – People don’t want to be told what to do by God
    • Unbelief is always about protecting sin.  In the evil report brought by the spies in Numbers 13, they were trying to protect their fears.  But first had to ignore what God said about it.
  • Unbelief has no moral boundaries
    • Look at the reaction in Numbers 14:1-10
    • How hypocritical it is to say God’s people are outrageous while you are willing to kill them for your own pleasure.
    • 2 Timothy 3:1-5 describes perilous times.  What makes them perilous?  It’s brought on by fiercely selfish people.  And it’s capped off with the insidious description that these people are cloaked in religious garb.
    • If you ignore what God tells you about the flesh and listen to the flesh, there are no boundaries which you won’t cross.  There is no level of immorality and perversion that you will stop at.  Unbelief is immoral and it’s seen in how it acts.