Jesus Christ is Lord of All

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Faith and Hope: the Anchor that Enters Within the Veil

Faith and Hope: the Anchor that Enters Within the Veil
4/10/13 Audio Transcipt

Let’s start with prayer.

Dear Heavenly Father,
I praise You for Your love that You have shown to us and we need no greater proof than the cross and Your life that You poured out for us there to know how much You love us. Your loved Your own to the point of death even death on a  cross and I pray that You would help us today to learn about faith, the gift that You have given to all of us, Your people and the perfect gift that comes from You, the Father of lights who does not change like the shifting shadows and I pray that You would reveal Yourself to us today and have mercy on me that You would give me the right words to say, words full of grace and truth and that Jesus Christ, that we would see You, a glimpse of who you truly are today and that You would remove from us our false notions of who Christ is and that we would see Him as though the veil over our eyes has been removed b/c if we have truly turned to Christ, the veil has been removed and we are able to behold Your glory and be transformed into the same image. I pray that You will surround this room with Your presence and that Your Spirit will be poured out on all of these girls and all of these people here in this building.
In Jesus’s Christ’s Name, I pray, Amen.

There are a lot of things that I wanted to talk to you girls about today and as I was thinking about it yesterday and praying, God brought to my mind the idea of faith. What do you girls think that faith is? How would you define faith?

Yes, Mara.

When you believe in Christ Jesus

That is right. Yes, Ally

Putting your trust that Jesus is our Savior

Yes, imagine that you have a hammock. You know what a hammock is? And there are two trees in a park and you have your hammock and you are trying to decide if the trees are strong enough to tie your hammock to so you can take a nap. So you go over to those trees and you see that those trees are very very strong and they are about this big around and they are like the California trees that are really really tall and look unshakeable. Do you think that you would believe that those trees are strong enough to hold up your hammock? You believe that right? So, because you believe that what is your next step? What are you going to do? You would tie it up right? But what if instead of those big trees you saw some little trees like those ones outside of this church, the trunk is only about that big? Would you hang your hammock on that tree? No, because you do not believe that it is strong enough right? So based on what you believe about those trees, you are going to decide whether or not you hang your hammock on it. That’s literally like hanging your life on it b/c if you fall out of a hammock more than 20 ft off the ground, perhaps you could die. And in the same way, when we look at God’s Word, we know that faith is, as Mara said is, believing in Jesus Christ and it is believing that He is who He says He is in His Word and believing that He will do what He says He will do in His Word and if we truly have believed in the Words of Christ, you will base your whole life upon Him and His Word. You will hang your soul on Him. It is like you are banking all of your emotions and all that you do, all your attitudes, and all of your hope on Christ. And today I pray that God helps us understand from His Word what faith really means. If you have your Bibles please open to Hebrews 11. It is in the New Testament.
We are going to camp here in this chapter for most of the time but I am going to be reading some other passages in between. For the sake of time, I am going to begin reading with verse 1.

“Now faith is the [a]assurance of things [b]hoped for, the [c]conviction of things not seen. (Heb 11:1)”

   So there in that verse we see what God is telling us that faith is. We know that we are saved by grace through faith and God’s Word is telling us that faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen. So can we see God, as a physical person? No, right? Do we see sin as if it is like a substance like water or fire? Can we see sin? No. Can we see love? Can we see it as though it a physical thing that we can actually hold? No, right? But, you all do believe in Jesus and in sin and in love? You are certain that they exist right? You are assured in your souls that there truly is a Christ, and there truly is sin, and there truly is love? There truly is righteousness. So many of the things in the Scriptures and the Word of God that you will read about, if you are reading those Words and you are not relying on God to teach you, they may seem so far from you like something that has nothing at all to do with what you are planning to do today and what is on your mind and the thoughts that you have. But faith, the faith that God wants us to have, is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction, that is, the strong belief, of things not seen. So, our whole Gospel that we have been talking about all year that Christ, the Son of God, God Himself, has come in the form of a human to the earth, lived a perfect life, been crucified by sinful people like you and me and He was the substitute for our sin, all of His blood was shed, His Father showed Him the righteous anger that He should have shown to us, He finished the work on the cross and rose to life on the third day showing that He is the Son of God and that He had satisfied the Father’s justice, and now the veil is opened for us to approach God through Christ, because His Body was broken for us and His blood was shed to forgive our sins, have we seen any of that? But, if we have faith, we are assured of those things. We are banking our life on those things. And I am going to read a verse from Hebrews ch 6. You do not need to turn there, I am just going to read it. Okay

In verse 19 it says,

 19 [o]This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters [p]within the veil, 20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. Heb 6

So our hope in our Gospel that we surely do have a Christ who is alive, who has paid for our sins, that hope is an anchor for our souls. Do you know what an anchor is? Yes, what is an anchor?

The thing that hold a ship down in place

Exactly, so the thing that hold our life is our hope in the heavenly things and our Gospel and our Christ, that He is who He says that He is. And this hope is sure and steadfast. If we truly have this type of faith and hope that saves, it is sure and steadfast and it enters within the veil. Before we came to Christ, we had a veil over our eyes and that veil was unbelief because we did not believe in Him. Our unbelief was sin. We did not believe b/c we were sinful and we were sinful b/c we were did not believe. And all of that unbelief and sin together were the veil that was in front of us that prevented us from seeing God and from beholding His righteousness and seeing any of the goodness of God. And when we come to Christ that veil is removed b/c just as Christ’s body was torn, was broken for us, the veil that separated us from God was broken. It was removed when we came to Christ and now the hope that we have enters within the veil to the very heavens. It says that it enters within the veil where Christ has entered as the Forerunner. A forerunner is someone who runs before us. Up in the heavens, Christ has ran before us as a Forerunner. He is our High Priest forever. A High Priest is someone who offers sacrifices to cover over the sins of the people and Christ has become our High Priest, the only High Priest, the highest of High Priests for us b/c He has ran before us into the heavens and in the heavenly tabernacle He offered His blood there and it is b/c of the Blood of the Lamb that we are saved. Some of you have had ppl come to your door in the Name of Christ and tell you a false Gospel that tells you that you are saved by your baptism or you are saved by your own goodness or any other thing or they may tell you that Christ is not truly God. But that is not true. If you stand before the judgment throne and God asks you why He should let you in, your answer from the bottom of your heart must be only “because of the Blood of the Lamb who was slain to cover over my sin, because of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” He is the only One that we can put all of our hope and faith in. We are tying our hammock, so to speak, to Christ. We are not tying it to anything else but Christ. That is what true faith is, it is a hope that enters within the veil to the heavens. Christ is seated at the right hand of God, and is interceding for us, praying for us and is, on the basis of His own blood, He is pleading for us before the Father.

Okay, I am going back to Hebrews chapter 11. Verse 2

For by it the men of old [d]gained approval. (Heb 11:2)

So the way that we gain approval before God is to have this faith.

By faith we understand that the [e]worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. (Heb 11:3)
So by faith we know that God created the world. Many ppl will tell you that they believe that God did not create this world, but by the faith that God has given us as a gift, we know that the unseen God has created the world.

By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying [f]about his gifts, and through [g]faith, though he is dead, he still speaks. (Heb 11:4)

God had told Cain and Abel to offer a blood sacrifice to Him to show that they were trusting that someday Christ would come to be their Savior. Cain did not obey but Abel obeyed. In faith He obeyed. He had faith that one day God would send the Messiah to save him from his sins. And though Abel is dead right now, he still speaks to us because his faith is an example to us.

Do you all know that story about Cain and Abel?


Cain had offered a sacrifice of his crops. But that does not work right? Because without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins and God wanted them to offer a blood sacrifice to shown that they understood they were sinners and they needed the Messiah to save them. Verse 5:

 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. 

There was a man in the OT named Enoch and he had faith, so much so that God took Enoch to heaven. He was such a righteous man that God was pleased with his faith and he never died. Verse 6.

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Heb 11

Girls, hear this verse. It is so important:

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Heb 11

If we do not have that hope that enters within the veil, that assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen, we cannot please God. So may we plead with Him to give us more and more faith and to help us when we have unbelief in our hearts. And this chapter goes on. When you girls go home will you try to commit to reading this chapter this week? Ask God to help you have some time because this chapter goes through a history of so many ppl in the Bible who had faith, the type of faith that pleased God. They could not see God physically, but they had faith in Him. And their faith affected the way that they lived. They gave up everything in their lives for this Christ that they were putting their faith in. I am going to read from verse 32 to the end of the chapter.

32 And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon,Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire,escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong,became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women receivedback their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their [u]release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; 36 and others [v]experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, [w]they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated 38 (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes [x]in the ground.
39 And all these, having [y]gained approval through their faith, did not receive [z]what was promised, 40 because God had [aa]provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect. Heb 11

You see what kind of a life that true faith leads to? The true faith that causes you to bank your soul on Christ. You have no other hope that the words in this book. It will affect everything. It is not just something that is confined to some small part of your life. The true saving faith is something that you become a slave to Christ if you have this faith, if you have this assurance of Christ. You become a slave to Christ not a slave to the world or anything else in the world. I am going to read some verses from James chapter 2:

17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is [p]dead, being by itself.
18 But someone [q]may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” 19 You believe that [r]God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.

Girls, the demons believe God but they shudder b/c they have judgment awaiting them. You see, there is a judgment coming and there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And if you lose your soul you lose everything. The suffering you go through when you get hurt, there is an end, but in hell where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, there is no end. And if you neglect the great salvation through Christ, who is so glorious, so precious, the Forerunner who has gone in to the heavens on the basis of His own blood to cover our sin. If you neglect that put that aside and just live for yourself without any faith, there is only destruction that awaits. You should shudder like these demon who believe but shudder.

 20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith was working with his works, and [s]as a result of the works, faith was [t]perfected; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. James 2

Girls, if you have faith in Christ, it is credited to you as righteousness and you will be called a friend of God just like Abraham

24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. James 2
This does not mean that we are saved by our woks but it means that true faith is evidenced and authenticated by works. It is not that you will be perfect girls. We have talked about this before. But the good works that are a result of banking your life on Christ and His Word, it just inevitably results in a life lived for Christ, and you living as a bondservant for Christ.

25 In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. James 2

I want to close by telling you some things about our Christ, because Christ is so glorious and I want you girls to just get a little glimpse from these verses about what Christ is truly like:

Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse,

And a branch from his roots will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and strength,
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
And He will delight in the fear of the Lord,
And He will not judge by what His eyes see,
Nor make a decision by what His ears hear;
But with righteousness He will judge the poor,
And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth;
And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,
And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.
Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins,
And faithfulness the belt about His waist. Is 11

And finally in Revelation 1:

17 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last,18 and the living One; and I [l]was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades. Rev 1

And here are some verses that describe Jesus:

13 and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like [j]a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. 14 His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. 15 His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. 16 In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun [k]shining in its strength. Rev 1

Girls, do you believe in Jesus, that this Jesus that I just read about, that He really exists and that He is at the right hand of God right now and that He is coming back to bring all of us who have trusted in Him, who have banked our life on Him, who have believed that it is His blood alone that saves us. We have no other hope that the hope that is the anchor for our souls. Jesus said that if our right hand causes us to sin, cut it off and if our eye causes us to sin, take it out. For it is better to be inured that to lose your soul. It is better to go the heaven with earthly injury that to lose your soul. Of course Jesus is not saying that you should cut your hand off, but He is saying that if you are banking your life on Christ, you have got to give up everything for Him. You see, the salvation, the eternal life that is a gift of His grace, it is not just a free ticket to heaven. I hope you understand that because Christ gave up for you, He gave up His life for you that you would no longer live for yourselves but for Christ, who loved you and gave His life up for you. Eternal life means being a royal priesthood, a holy nations, a ppl set apart from the world. You must be se apart. There are many tribulations and trials and with much patience and endurance we will inherit the promises of God. But you must bank your life on Christ, you must put your hope entirely on Christ. Do not forget the words of the Gospel and the words of the Scriptures. You must pay much closer attention to them so that you do not drift away from Christ. You must remain in the faith. And if you are not sure if you are saved, cry out to God to save you, to give you a new heart and spirit, to give you the true gift of faith, the faith that is the conviction of things not seen, the hope that is that anchor for the soul that enters within the veil where Christ is the Forerunner. Would someone like to close in prayer…

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