Sermon:  Disciplines for Strengthening


Know:  Because of the identify and work of Christ who purifies us inside and out and provides a way to God, we can find strength through making ongoing habits from the disciplines of drawing near to God through prayer with Bible reading, through the discipline of our confession of faith in every aspect of life, and through the discipline considering others for the purpose of stimulating and encouraging them in their love for God and others.


Feel:  The desire to be disciplined in both prayer and reaching out to others


Do:  Review the message of Hebrews concerning Christ up to this point.  Identify how it would have encouraged the Hebrew Christians to draw strength from God and not someplace else and would have motivated them maintain their loyalty to Christ and grow in their love and service.  Reflect on how drawing near to God, holding fast our confession, and consideration for one another all fit together in strengthening our faith.  Identify and commit to ways you can do each of these three things.


Text:  Heb 10:19-25


Scripture Reading:  Heb 4:14-16



1.  Used to have station wagon, had a very back seat facing back

            a.  Sitting back there, can see where we have been

            b.  Sometimes, good to see where we have been

            c.  The text does that here as a matter of quick review

d.  Text begins in the back seat then moves to the front in Heb 10:19-25

2.  (v.19-21) Call attention to three things

            a. Confidence to enter holy place

                        - By the blood of Jesus

                                    = Superior to the blood of bulls and goats, they a shadow

                                    = Cleanses conscience, not flesh, eliminate power of sin

                                    = Write law on the heart and mind, changes us

                                    = Obtain eternal redemption once for all

                        - By a new and living way he inaugurated through the veil

                                    = Not earthly tabernacle, it a shadow of true one and is

                                       littered with dead sacrifices

                                    = The living, resurrected Jesus went to tabernacle in Heaven

                                    = Became our forerunner to God

                                    = All of us can now approach God's throne

                        - His flesh

                                    = Jesus could not have done this unless he became flesh

                                    = Chap 2 reminded us he became like us in all things

                                    = Even though his is God, he shared in our flesh and blood

                                    = He offered up his own blood for us

            b. Since we have a great High Priest - Great, superior to Aaron

                        - High Priest like Melchezidek

                                    = No beginning, no end, no lineage

                                    = Not priest by requirement of law, but power of

                                       indestructible life

                        - New priest with a new covenant enacted by his blood

                        - Merciful and faithful because he shared flesh and blood

                        - Always lives to minister to us at all times

            c.  Has already given several exhortations and will continue to do so

                        - 2:1-4 - Don't neglect this great salvation, can't escape without it

                        - 4:1f - Don't follow Israel's example of disobedience, they did not

                          enter God's rest because of their disobedience

                        - 5:16f - Press on to maturity, or you may be in danger of

                           becoming sluggish and fall away

            d.  To sum up, Hebrews taught the following concerning Jeus

                        a.  Jesus is God and became flesh, faithful, merciful High Priest

                        b.  Forerunner into the veil, something no priest had ever done

                        c.  High Priest forever like Melchezidek, always lives to intercede 

                        d.  Offer his own blood, cleanses us inwardly once for all and

                             enacted a new and better covenant

4.  Result:  We can have confidence to approach God & find strength

3.  Do you ever feel weakened in your faith?

            a. When become unheathly, feeble, weak, in any area, what you do?

            b.  You do things that are going to strengthen you

                        - This is why you go to school and study, strengthen intellect

                        - This is why before competition you train, work out, run

                        - This is why before a concert, you practice, practice, practice

                        - This is why soldiers, law enforcement, drill, drill, drill

            c.  Can't wait until a crisis, must make it a discipline to strengthen self

            d.  I believe things in the text are matters of discipline, not one time acts

4.  With all of this, the text begins by giving us three strengthening activities:


I.  Draw Near (v.22)

            A.  We need to turn to God as our source of strength

            B.  Text says we can draw near with confidence, or boldness

                        1.  Do you realize how significant this is?

a.  People were not always able to approach God

b.  Dt 4:33 - They amazed heard God's voice and lived

                                    c.  Dt 5:22-30 - Amazed to be in God's presence and still live

                        2.  We are not talking just about a feeling of boldness

                                    a.  Korah had confidence, Num 16f

                                    b.  Felt any Israelite can approach God, they were all holy

                                                - Didn't feel it should be limited to priests

                                                - Felt Moses and Aaron had too much authority

                                                - Rebelled against Moses and Aaron's authority

                                    c.  God cause ground to swallow him and his followers up

                                    d.  Korah had no bases for his foolhardy confidence

                        3.  We do have a basis for boldness, Christ's work on the cross

                                    a.  We have been cleansed inside and out by Christ

                                    b.  Jesus paved a way for us to come to God

                                                - Not in an earthly tabernacle

                                                - But to God in Heaven itself

                                    c.  We can approach God to find help in time of need

                                    d.  This is something no other priest could do

4.  The alternatives to drawing near to God are unacceptable

                                    a.  One alternative is simply to give up

                                                - We can shrink back in our faith when challenged

                                                - May seem to make matters better

                                                - Mt 10:32 - If confess Jesus, he confess us to God

                                                - Mt 10:33 - If deny Him, he deny us before God

                                    b.  You can fake it, pretend that you are not worn out

                                                - This doesn't change the reality of things

                                                - Imagine pretend car full of gas when it is empty

                                    c.  When you simply rely on self, this is what you left with

                                    d.  Need help from the right place

            C.  ILL:  Not getting help from right place like calling tech support

                        1.  Ever called tech support, and they are reading from a script?

                                    a.  They have no idea what they are doing

                                    b.  They usually are of no help

                        2.  That is how it is when you rely on something other than God

                        3.  But, I remember calling, and the guy on the phone was expert

                                    a.  He knew the system inside and out

                                    b.  He knew all the back doors and such

                        4.  God knows the system, he knows life, he is the designer

                                    a.  If we draw near to him, he knows what to do

                                    b.  We need to go to him, not something else

            D.  How do we draw near to God?

                        1.  Needs to be a discipline, something you do regularly

                        2.  Pray regularly to God, Jesus did

                        3.  Read God's word, respond in prayer and obedience

                        4.  Through this way, the Spirit works in us

                                    a.  We pray in the Spirit, and read word inspired by Spirit

                                    b.  As we obey, we are filled with the Spirit

                                                - Spirit doesn't do this against our will

                                                - As we pray, read, submit, Spirit strengthens us

                                    c.  Spirit strengthens us inwardly

                                    d.  Spirit becomes rivers of living water in us


II.  Hold fast our confession (v.23)

            A.  Confession is not a one-time act when converted

            B.  Text tells us to hold it fast without wavering

                        1.  What does this say about our confession?

                                    a.  Holding it fast means it is part of us all the time

                                    b.  Holding it fast means it is a mindset

                                    c.  Holding it fast means it molds our life

                        2.  What do you confess?

                                    a.  Rom 10:9 - Confess the Lord Jesus

                                                - Doesn't say confess Jesus as personal savior

                                                - Confess the "Lord" Jesus

                                                - Saying he is my God, rules my life

b.  Acts 2:36 - God made him both Lord and Christ

            - Christ is "Messiah," our anointed priest and savior

            - Lord is master, God, ruler

                                    c.  We confess Jesus number one in our life, he orders life

                                                - My political views are Christian

                                                - My ethics are Christian

                                                - My goals are Christian

                                                - My life is guided by my Lord, Jesus Christ

                        3.  Hold confession fast without wavering

                                    a.  ie:  Be uncompromising, unapologetic, stubborn

                                    b.  In all situations of life, be Christian

                                                - When you are told it is only a private matter

                                                - When told it is not politically correct

                                                - When told religious people are intellectually stupid

                                                - When told religious people are dangerous

                                    c.  Even when it become more than words against you

                                                - When you are discriminated against

                                                - When you are intimidated

                                                - When you are persecuted

                                    d.  When winds batter you, do not waver

                                                - Don't be like a leaf tossed about everywhere

                                                - Be a rock in your confession

                        4.  Do not buy into Satan's lie - It is more honorable and

     enlightened to be secularized, keep religion private & separate

            a.  Put another way - Lack of integrity is better

                        - Integrity means consistency

                        - To be secularized means living by two sets of values

                        - Another word for this is "hypocrisy" - pretending

            b.  They would never say it that way, but is what they mean

            c.  Wavering in your confession is living a double life

            C.  ILL:  We do not accept a double life in other areas of life

                        1.  Is it okay and honorable to be a double agent?  No

                        2.  Is it okay for a person to have secret love affairs?  No

                        3.  Is it okay to pass self off as doctor and practice medicine?  No

                                    a.  Heard about a person that managed to do that

                                    b.  No medical credentials

                                    c.  Was found out and went to jail

                        4.  So where do we get idea that double life is okay in religion?

                                    a.  Secularism doesn't come from God

                                    b.  It is Satan's lie

            D.  So, hold fast your confession at all times, and don't waver in it

                        1.  It is not limited to church

                        2.  Church is not a time or a place

                        3.  You are the church, so be the church

                        4.  Be like a rock in your confession


III.  Strengthen One Another (v.25)

            A.  Text says -  "Let us consider one another for the provocation of love ..."

                        1.  Sentence literally begins with, "Let us consider one another..."

                        2.  Means our attention is not strictly vertical, on God only

                        3.  Our attention is also horizontal, on one another

            B.  Take a closer look at the text

                        1.  Says to stimulate, or provoke

                                    a.  Stimulate a softer word - Stimulate hair growth, healing

                                    b.  Provoke a stronger word, better translation

                                                - Means to incite, stir up, push someone's buttons

                                                - Can provoke to despair, anger, even violence

                                                - Almost can't help but react when provoked

                                    c.  This is a good choice of words

                                                - Need to provoke, almost can't help but react

                                                - But not push buttons to react in anger or violence

                                                - Says to provoke to love and good deeds

                        2.  Provoke to love and good deeds

                                    a.  Need to provoke to where can't help but react in love

                                    b.  Can't help but react with good deeds

                                    c. Two words for good in Greek

                                                - Agaqos - Good, upright, excellent

                                                - Kalos - Good, beautiful, pleasing, precious

                                                - Kalos is what is used here

                                    d.  Provoke people to kind, thoughtful, beautiful deeds

                                                - Not limited to don't steal, don't lie, etc.

                                                - Means stimulating to beautiful deeds

                                                - Text gives two obvious ways to do this

                        3.  Not making habit of forsaking assembling with brethren

                                    a. Can't stimulate or provoke if not connect with brethren

                                    b. You realize how much of our activity for each other?

                                                - 1 Cor 14 - All in assembly for edification

                                                            = Singing, a teaching, etc.

                                                - Eph 5:19 - Singing to one another

                                                - In this text, assemble for encouragement

                                    c. Need to make a habit of assembling

                                                - Sunday worship - Edification

                                                - Bible Classes - More edification

                                                - Life Groups - Even more edification

                                                - Other times - Even more edification

                        4.  Encourage one another

                                    a. Not by tearing down, ridiculing, beat up with bible

                                    b. See each other as God sees & remind each other

                                                - Redeemed by precious blood of Christ

                                                - Child of God, brother in Christ

                                                - Bride of Christ, precious to our Lord

                                    c.  Can't encourage if never assemble

            C.  ILL:  To encourage is saying to be thoughtful - "consider one another"

                        1.  If you can learn to be thoughtful as a habit, it great gift to others

                                    a.  Thoughtful people don't wait, but create opportunities to

     make life brighter for people around them

b.  Can be as simple as noticing an embarrassed parent with

     a loud, crying, baby, and complementing them on how

      cute the baby is

                                    c.  Can involve remembering the difficulty someone might

     have an anniversary of a tragedy, send a bible verse

                        2.  During a difficult time in my life, Scott and Ruth looked after me

                                    a.  I was a single parent with oldest son

                                    b.  They remembered to include me in things

                                    c.  He would call me just to encourage me

                                    d.  She would stop by, compliment me on how I was doing

     with my son

                        3.  Kept me from doing what so many do when difficult times come

                                    a.  So often, we retreat, distance self, clam up

                                    b.  They didn't let me do that

                                    c.  Their actions really influenced my view on God and life

                        4.  Because of their encouragement, I could encourage others

            D.  We all need to be like Scott and Ruth

                        1.  Stimulate, provoke, encourage one another to love and do good

                        2.  Doesn't say to sit and whine that no one is stimulating you

                        3.  Says to reach out, and stimulate others to love and good deeds



1.  Truly you can find strength from God through the brethren

            a.  Only possible if you have been purified and redeemed by Christ

            b.  If you have not accepted Christ, you do not have access to God

            c.  Do you want access to God now and eternally?  (inv)

2.  Are you feeling tired in your faith, worn out, thought about slowing down?

            a.  Don't become sluggish in your faith

            b.  If you do, you could be in danger of falling away

3.  Remember these things as a discipline

            a.  Draw near to God, pray, read, do as God instructs

            b.  Hold fast your confession of faith without wavering

            c.  Consider one another for provoking to love and good deeds


Sermon:  Disciplines for Strengthening


Know:  Because of the identify and work of Christ who purifies us inside and out and provides a way to God, we can find strength through making ongoing habits from the disciplines of drawing near to God through prayer with Bible reading, through the discipline of our confession of faith in every aspect of life, and through the discipline considering others for the purpose of stimulating and encouraging them in their love for God and others.


Open:  (pick one)

- Who has encouraged you most in the last six months?

- What are some habits or routines you have in your life?


Explore:  Heb 10:19-25


1.  Discuss the reasons the text can give the exhortations it does.  In other words, what does the text remind the readers about Christ?


2.  How do these things about Christ serve as a basis for encouraging Christians who were tired and worn out in their faith?


3.  Discuss the exhortation, "Let us draw near..."  What does it mean to draw near?  Why were they to do it?  What various ways could the readers draw near?


4.  What confession were they to hold fast to?  Why were they to hold this confession fast?  What might have happened if they did not?


5.  What were they to do in regard to one another?  Why were they to do this?  In what ways could they do this?  What is the significance of the word, "provoke?"




6.  What are some ways you personally can draw near to God?  What do you find difficult about this?


7.  What ways are you challenged to waver in your confession of faith?  How does this lesson help you in this challenge?


8.  What are some specific ways you can provoke or stimulate your brethren to love and good deeds? 


9.  How can you make these items in this passage a matter of discipline or habit and not a one-time act in times of crisis?