That was quite a warning in the last post about the perils of facing a just God! It is now followed in Hebrews 11-13 with a great encouragement that no one is beyond hope. When someone points out your sins and weakness, learn to balance that with the hope of the gospel and the comfort and strength that comes through grace.
The author of Hebrews was preaching a sermon to those who knew their Old Testament well. Now they were told that the Old Covenant shrinks in comparison to the New. In the New Covenant your sins are forgiven and will not be remembered or ever used against you. God’s laws will be in your heart and mind. You will want to please God. They all knew his quote from Jeremiah very well:
‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days,’ saith the Lord, ‘I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more’ (Hebrews 10:16-17).
This is so wonderful…forgiveness and a clean slate! In addition, the author told them that God would work in them what is well-pleasing to Him through Jesus Christ! (Hebrews 12:20-21). Not only would what pleases God be in your mind, but He would actually, through the power of Christ, give you the grace to change and grow. Why no one is beyond hope!
Once this is understood, the author lays out six ways to live (Hebrews 13). (It has a lot of similarities to “The Simple Life” from I Thessalonians 4.)
- Love others–even strangers, imprisoned, and those with troubles. Share and do good.
- Sex is exclusively between a husband and wife; no other partners before; none during the marriage (13:4).
- Be content with your life because God is with you!
- Watch how your leaders and teachers live and imitate and honor them, remembering that Christ is the ultimate unchanging example.
- Keep believing right doctrine without relying on rituals.
- Bear the disgrace of following Christ.
- God will work in you what is well-pleasing to Him through Jesus Christ and for His glory.
No one is beyond hope with this kind of forgiveness and help. We can live simply even during these fast- paced days of constant interruption and visual stimulations via our technology. It is a simple life (not a perfect one!) made possible by His grace and for His glory.
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:30-21).