By Tyson Thorne

April 5, 2018
 

Hebrews 16 Large

In the final chapter we complete the lesson started in chapter 11, a word picture of what living Christianity looks like. In chapter 11 we learned that Christianity is faith in Jesus, his accomplishments on the cross, in the power of his resurrection, and in his promise of eternal life. In chapter 12 we learned that it is faith that will provide the very best for you, even if you do not understand the reason for your trials. Today we will discover the third lesson, that if one has faith in Jesus' leadership, he will have faith in Jesus' leaders.

God's leadership is total and complete. It cannot be usurped as can the leadership of man. God cannot be touched. God is a blazing fire, darkness, gloom, a tempest in a wind, a voice of authority that man cannot endure (12.18-20). God is a consuming fire, a quake the faithless cannot stand against, a God to whom the faithful offer worship with reverence and awe (12.25-29). His leadership is not to be questioned. Throughout this passage the author refers back to Exodus 20, the giving of the 10 Commandments.

God leads his people to love one another, to be hospitable, to relate with suffering members of Christ's body, to have honorable marriages, and to lean upon him rather than the conventions of the monetary symbols of our age. God's leadership causes us to rise up and shout, "The Lord is my helper, I will not be affraid. What can anyone do to me?"

Think back to the last time you experienced God's help. The longer its been, the less you are leaning on him. The farther back into your life you have to reach to identify a time God helped you, the smaller your faith. Lean not on your own understanding; trust in the Lord.

In the first eight verses of chapter 13 we learn that we need to have faith in oour leaders, those who speak the word of God into our lives. Not those who try to redefine the word of God. Not those who try to usurp God's grace. But those who suffer as Christ did and confess his name. These are people worthy of our obedience, for these are the people who watch over our souls. Pray for them. Prayer is the single most effective way to help your leaders and rekindle your faith. A lack of prayer leads only to a life of little impact and eventually doubt in the Father. Prayer is an important part of living a faithful life.

The benediction occurs in the last two verses, and is an excellent prelude to our own times of personal prayer:

Now may the God of peace who by the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep, our Lord Jesus Christ, equip you with every good thing to do his will, working in us what is pleasing before him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever. Amen.
 

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