Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Hebrews 10:11-14, 19-25 Three Imperatives for the coming Day

KEY TEXT: Heb 10:19-25 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus… LET US draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. LET US hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And LET US consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

KEY THOT: Since Jesus has cleared the way for us to enter the holy places by His blood, the writer of Hebrews issues three “let us” imperatives: (1) let us draw near with a heart in full assurance of faith and clean conscience; (2) let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering and (3) let us meet up together to stir up one another to love and good works. And this is especially important in view of approaching Day of the Lord. What the writer of Hebrews is saying is that having believed that Christ has opened the way for us into God’s presence, we are to press into the Holy of holies, to grow strong in our faith through all means of grace, particularly the word of God, and to meet up regularly with other believers in small groups that allow us to stir up one another to love and good works. As John Calvin has famously put it: “We are saved by faith alone, but faith is never alone.” Faith must produce good works for the Lord and this is not automatic—it is a result of making efforts to draw near to God in Worship, to grow strong in the Word and to meet up often with other believers to produce Works of service and evangelism. So, whether we meet as a congregation or as a care group, our goals must always be: Worship, Word and Works.

As church leader and pastor, my role is to encourage people to draw near to God in worship, grow strong in the word and to have fellowship with other believers as part of the small groups so that they can produce good works in the Gospel as a group. The goal of fellowship is not to eat together, but to serve together for the sake of the Gospel. When a small group meets only to have a good time, it is just socializing. It is only true fellowship (koinonia) when the group serve the cause of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you... for your FELLOWSHIP IN THE GOSPEL from the first day until now” (Phil. 1:3, NKJV). 

Care groups should always remember the three “let us” imperatives when they meet together: to draw near to God in worship (not just sing songs), to grow deep in God in word (some serious bible sharing), to consider how to be fruitful in service and evangelism as a ministry team. If a care group does not adopt these three imperatives, it will sooner or later lose its focus and die a natural death. For it has become as dead as the Dead Sea—all waters flowing in but none flowing out.

Father, renew our vision for meeting together, especially in our care groups so that we may stir up one another to love and good works, especially so in these troubled time as Your Day is fast approaching. Amen.

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