Hebrews Lesson 42: By Faith, Pt. 3: :: By Sean Gooding

Hebrews Lesson 42: By Faith, Pt. 3: :: By Sean Gooding

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God Is Not Ashamed of Us

Chapter 11: 13-16

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”

Millions, maybe even billions, of saved Old Testament and New Testament saints have died over the past 6,000 years since the fall of man. Notice verse 1, ‘these all died,’ but none of them got to see the promise of the Messiah in the Old Testament, and none of the New Testament saints got to see the redemption of the whole earth. Yet, they all lived by faith, looking forward and focused on the PROMISES OF GOD. These were accepted and taken by faith. We explored last week that faith was not just believing but also action based on the belief.

These folks patterned their lives and the lives of their children in a way that showed that they always looked toward the future that God had promised.

Just this morning, I was reading Genesis 50; Joseph made his brother promise to take his bones out of Egypt when they left. Joseph was about 37 or so when the whole family moved to Egypt. He died at 110, so the next generation, for more than 300 years, had to pass on the belief that they would be leaving Egypt and charge them to take Joseph’s bones. They patterned their lives around the promise that one day God would give them their own land. A promise He made to Abraham (in Genesis 12:1, 7) changed Abraham’s life so much that he taught it to Isaac, Isaac to Jacob, and on and on for generations. They built their entire heritage around the leaving of Egypt, so much so that they could pack and move in one night.

  • They Embraced and Confessed the promises, verses 13-14

This is so important and why we encourage the people in our churches, and in truth, anyone who is saved and looking for the return of Jesus, to constantly review the promises that were made in the Bible. Read them, repeat them to each other, repeat creeds, and sing songs that teach these doctrines. One of the major problems that a lot of our modern ‘Christian music’ faces is that there is a lack of doctrinal teaching in them. The best way to teach is by song; Sesame Street has been doing this for decades. This is how we teach our children, by embracing the promises of God and then confessing them to our kids, our friends, and our church family.

My ‘life’ verse is 1 John 3:1, Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore, the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. When I get down, get broken, get beaten down by my own sin and flesh, get tired and feel unappreciated, I turn to this verse. I say it, repeat it, go over and over it in my head, and it reminds me that God has called me His child. He has bestowed His love on me; I did not earn it or buy it; He gave it to me. This is just one example. Maybe you have an example of your own – a verse that keeps you, focuses you, and comforts you.

These patriarchs and matriarchs embraced the promises of God; they held them close as if they were precious and cherished. We should be the same way. God’s promises to us are precious, paid for in the blood of Jesus, His only Begotten Son.

  • They Embraced Being Aliens, verses 13-15

They left their home; Abraham left his people and all that he knew. He left all that he had, tangible things, and traded them for a promised land. He gave up what was secure and seen for the promised and the unknown. He had to accept and then teach his kids that they had a home here, in this wilderness, and then in an even greater place that God had made.

His kids stayed: Isaac was a tent dweller, and Jacob left to find safety from Esau, but when God called, he willingly came back and dwelt in tents. Abraham was a resident alien, a sojourner here on earth. Peter tells us that we are resident aliens as well (1 Peter 1:1, 2:11), called to understand that this world is not our home. We, like these stalwarts of the faith, wait for a homeland whose builder and maker is God. I believe in aliens; we, the children of God, are the aliens.

  • God Embraced Us, verse 16

God embraces us, and we embrace Him and His promises. He embraces us, and we serve Him and look for a place that we cannot see, a place that we cannot touch, and a place that is as real to us as the ground we walk on. God, the scriptures tell us, is not ashamed to be called our God. He identifies with us. We are His, and He welcomes us to call Him ‘Abba,’ the common name for Dad in Hebrew. ‘Our Abba’ who is in Heaven. I am as much His, and He mine. We are united in a Promise, paid for in the death and sacrifice of Jesus, our Savior, eternally secured in the power of His resurrection.

God embraced these sinful men and women: adulterers, murderers, thieves, schemers, liars, and on and on we can go. He embraced men and women just like us – sinners saved by grace, secure in the Promise of eternal life that we have from God. The reciprocal love we have is from God the Father; He embraced us, He loved us, He endowed us with great promises and hope, and we, in turn, embrace His promises and confess them to one another. This way, we help each other to be secure in our faith, strong in our hope, and comforted by His hand.

John 10: 28-30, I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them out of My hand. My Father who has given them to Me is greater than all. No one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.

God bless you,

Dr. Sean Gooding
Pastor of Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church

How to Connect with Us

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MississaugaMissionaryBaptistChurch
Online: https://mmbchurch.ca/
Email: seangooding@mmbchurch.ca; support@mmbchurch.ca

The post Hebrews Lesson 42: By Faith, Pt. 3: :: By Sean Gooding appeared first on Rapture Ready.

1 Comment

  • Reply June 27, 2024

    Charles Hopper

    How do we know?

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