Sermon:  Remember

Summary:  To keep us from going astray toward unbelief, we need to be 
reminded of who Christ our builder is, and who he has built us to be.  We 
need to remind ourselves of this and encourage each other regularly in order 
to strengthen faithfulness and obedience in our lives

Know:  We have a calling and purpose to be built as God's dwelling, and need 
to encourage one another to be true to it

Feel:  Encouraged and strengthened by remember our identity in Christ, which 
does not change in spite of challenges in life.

Do:  Discuss the titles, analogies, and descriptions of Christ, especially the 
ones that appear in Hebrews thus far, and the descriptions and identifications 
of who we are.  Discuss the example of Israel in the passage, and how the example 
can motivate us today.  Identify ways this lesson can encourage faithfulness.

Text:  Hebrews 3

Scripture Reading:  2 Peter 1:12-13

1.  Ever been just down in the dumps before?  Ever known someone that was?
2.  What do you do to encourage, or be encouraged?
	a.  Ever had friends that give you pep talk?  
	b.  Say things like "You can do it!"  You are strong!  You are great!
	c.  Yet you don't feel encouraged, strengthened?  Why?
		- Perhaps because you realize you are not great
		- Perhaps because you realize you really are not strong
		- Perhaps because you realize you can't do it
	d.  So, do we just lay down and give up?  Invest life elsewhere?
3.  No.  Need to focus on what we need to . . .
	a.  Focus on what is great, and it is not us
	b.  Focus on where strength comes from, not us
	c.  Focus on who can do it, its not us
	d.  Need to focus on our Lord, Jesus Christ
4.  This morning's tells us how we can truly be strengthened and encouraged

I.  Consider Jesus (v.1-6)
	A. Some translations say, "fix your thoughts on Jesus"
		1.  Synonyms for consider:  think over, meditate, ponder, 
 		    contemplate, mull over, muse, reflect, inspect, study, examine
		2.  Means to spend significant time examining and pondering Jesus
		3.  This is not just passing thoughts about Jesus
	B. So, who is Jesus according to this text?
		1. Apostle - May sound strange, think of only the 12 apostles 
			a.  Definition of Apostle:  From Greek, Apostolos
			b.  Refers to an official delegate, messenger
			c.  King would send a delegate with authority of king, that 
 			    person would be the King's "apostle"
			d. Jesus sent by God with all authority, he is apostle of God
		2.  High Priest of our confession
			a.  When we confess Jesus, we don't only do it at conversion
				- Confession is a lifestyle
				- He is the one who is our savior and our Lord
			b.  Calls him the "High Priest" of our confession
				- Majority of Hebrews deals with this theme
				- Chapter 4 through 10 deals squarely with it
				- Will talk more about it then
		3.  Son over the house
			a.  Text compares Jesus and Moses
			b.  Moses was faithful as a servant over God's house
				- Moses was a faithful servant
				- Received instructions for building and tending God's 
				- He served faithfully
			c.  Jesus was faithful as the son over God's house
				- Not a servant, but the son
				- More honor, more glory, more everything
				- Why, builder has more honor
			d.  Moses a great spiritual leader
				- Jews held him in very high regard
				- BUT Jesus is God's son - much greater than Moses
		4.  Jesus is the architect and builder of the house
			a.  What house are we talking about?  The church - us!
			b.  Said, Upon this rock I will build my church, Mt 16:18 
			c.  Bible often uses building analogy
				- We are living stones in God's house, Jesus the 
 				  capstone, 1 Pet 2:5
				- We are being built together as a dwelling of God, 
 				  Eph 2:22
				- Jesus is the foundation, 1 Cor 3:10
			d.  Text says to focus on the builder, architect, not a servant
	C.  ILL:  Reminds me when in the Air Force
		1.  Worked on B-52H.  WW2 technology and cutting edge together
		2.  Had just installed state of the art electronic equipment on it
			a.  Designed by defense arm of ITT
			b.  It was amazing the things it could do to enemy radar
		3.  Needed to be trained on how to use, maintain, and repair it
			a.  ITT send technical representatives to work with us
			b.  Brought the schematics, technical manuals, experience
			c.  They were the architects and designers
		4.  Would have done little good if we had tried to do it on our own
			a.  We were just the servants
			b.  They the experts, designers, engineers, architects
	D.  We need to focus on the engineer and designer as well
		1.  Our Lord is the one who designed and built the house
		2.  We need to learn his instructions, definitions
		3.  He is the designer, defines the purpose, how to tend to and 
 		    maintain the house he designed
		4.  **What did he design?  Brings us to next point...

II.  Consider who he built us to be (v.1-6)
	A. Passage reminds us who we are
	B. Who are we?
		1.  Holy Brethren, v.1
			a.  We all know brethren/brothers are relatives
				- Many of us have siblings
				- Brothers and sisters by blood, parents
			b.  But text calls us "holy" brethren
				- Holy means, "different, set apart, dedicated"
				- Different - Related by blood - blood of Christ
				- Set apart, dedicated to God - His family
				- Will last for eternity
		2.  Partakers of a Heavenly Calling
			a.  Been called by the Gospel of Christ
			b.  Means we have a purpose - honor God, serve him
			c.  Expresses this by calling us God's house
		3.  His House - We understand God not literally live in a house
			a.  God does not live in temples made with hands
				- 1 Kng 8:27 - When Solomon dedicated temple, 
				  declared that heaven cannot contain God, much less  
				  a temple
				- Isa 66:1 - God said Heaven is his throne and earth 
				  his footstool
				- Acts 17:24 - God does not dwell in temples made 
				  with hands
			b.  What was the purpose of building tabernacle & temple?
				- Teach people about holiness
					= Had to be built according to God's instruction
					= Finest materials went into it, honor God
					= Not just anyone could approach it
				- Demonstrate God has come near
					= Glory of God in the cloud settled in on it
					= The sanctuary was in the middle of the camp
					= God would meet with and dwell with his 
 					  people from above the ark of covenant
				- Place where people could go to meet God
					= Priests were there to minister to them
					= Helped the people to find God 
			c.  Now it says WE are God's house, we fill same functions
				- As a holy people, teach people about holiness
					= We have been set apart, dedicated to God
					= Our behavior, speech, etc. shows it
					= The way we love, show compassion, etc.
				- Show God has come near - He lives in use
					= We are a temple of the Spirit 1 Cor 6:19
					= The change in our lives demonstrate it
				- People find God through us
					= We are called a royal priesthood
					= We are called light of the world
		4.  Many other identifications in scripture
			a.  They are there to remind us who we are in Christ
			b.  Christ has set the agenda, given us our purpose
			c.  Remembering helps to keep us from losing our way
	C.  ILL:  I remember seeing movie Lion King in Searcy, AR in theater 
		1.  Boys loved it - walked around singing hakuna matata
		2.  Deeper meaning in the story
			a.  About a young lion, destined to be king
			b.  Chain of events, struggles, challenged, loses his way
			c.  Literally has strayed far away, another place, another life
		3.  Friends from his past remind him of his father
			a.  He thinking about what his father used to teach him
			b.  Phrase ringing in his ear - "Remember who you are!"
		4.  Finally, remember who he is, takes hold of his purpose
	D.  Our Father is telling us in this passage - remember who you are
		1.  You not biological accident, or random evolutionary process
		2.  You are created in the image of God
			a.  You are precious, worthy of dignity and honor
			b.  You are created like the very best there is
		3.  As a Christian, you being transformed into the image of Christ
			a.  Image of God corrupted, distorted, twisted by sin 
			b.  Jesus came to transform you back into image of God
				-  Set you apart - Holy
				-  Called you through the Gospel - Heavenly Calling
				-  You are God's house - fulfills purposes through you
		4.  **We need to be reminded of this regularly...

III.  Strengthen each other (v.7-19)
	A.  The purpose of reminding us of this is so we can strengthen ourselves 
            and each other
	B.  Several exhortations in this chapter
		1. Some come from conditional sentences v.6, 14
        		a.  v. 6 - If we hold fast our confidence and boast of hope
        		b.  v.14 - If we hold fast our assurance till the end
			c.  Encouraging us to perseverance
				- In the beginning, have confidence and assurance
				- Face challenges to your faith with confidence
				- Need to hold on to that confidence
		2.  Chapter also has some exhortations
			a.  v.12 - Take care of your heart
				- Make sure there is not a heart that falls away
				- Strengthen your heart
				- We need to take care of ourselves
				- Then we can take care of one another
			b.  v.13 - Encourage one another often
				- Don't hesitate to remind each other of these things
				- Do it now, don't wait.  If you wait, may be too late
			c.  Do this so not hardened by deceitfulness of sin
				- Sin is deceitful, full of disastrous empty promise
				- First example was in the garden with Adam and Eve
				- There was the promise of wisdom, become like God
				- They did wind up knowing good AND evil, backfired
			d.  Need to take care of self, and encourage one another
		3.  Israel as an example -God redeemed them to himself 
			a. They were to be God's treasured possession, kingdom of 
  			   priests, holy nation
			b.  But they did not focus on God or on their destiny & 
			c.  Kept wanting to go back, rebelled, God became angry
			d.  Don't be like those people who lost their focus
		4.  We need to take care of self, and of one another
	C.  ILL:  Kind of like flying.  Anyone ever flown on airlines before?
		1.  Always give demonstration of what to do in trouble
		2.  If cabin pressure drop, could pass out.  What do you do?
			a.  Put the mask on yourself first
			b.  Then you help the person next to you
		3.  If you pass out, you are no good to anyone else
	D.  We need to strengthen ourselves, and each other.  How?
		1.  Could just give motivational talk - You can do it!
		2.  But notice what the text does
			a.  Encouragement is grounded in who Jesus is
			b.  Encouragement is grounded in who we are in Christ
		3.  Our encouragement needs to be grounded in this as well
			a.  Remember who Jesus is
				- He is God, enemies become his footstool
				- He is God's apostle, sent to become human, one of us
					= Became merciful and faithful High Priest
					= He pleads our case before God
				- He is God's son, not just a servant
				- He is the architect, builder, designer
			b.  Remember who we are
				- We are holy, dedicated to God
				- We set apart for God's purposes, we have destiny
				- We are God's dwelling place

1.  Recently, I was down in the dumps, just tired
2.  A good Christian friend encouraged me.  Part of her encouragement involved a long list, 
reminding me of who I am in Christ, and what I have
3.  Part of that list is in the bulletin article this morning.
4.  This is how we need to encourage each other


Small Group Notes:  Remember

Summary:  To keep us from going astray toward unbelief, we need to be reminded of who Christ 
our builder is, and who he has built us to be.  We need to remind ourselves of this and 
encourage each other regularly in order to strengthen faithfulness and obedience in our lives

- What assorted titles or designations describe who you are? (For example: postal clerk, 
husband, dad, baby brother, Sunday School teacher, president of the Rotary Club, and coach of 
the little league football Eagles.)

Explore (Hebrews 3)

1.  The text says, "therefore, consider Jesus..."    How has Jesus been described and identified 
in this chapter and in the previous chapters thus far?

2.  In what way was Moses a great spiritual leader?  How are Jesus and Moses similar?  How are 
they different?  

3.  In what ways does this chapter describe or identify us?  What do these say about who we are, 
what our purpose is, and how we should live our lives?

4.  Discuss the ways Israel is a negative example for Christians today?  What lessons can 
Christians today learn from them?


5.  Christ is greater than Moses or any other spiritual leaders.  In what way is Christ greater 
than any so-called "spiritual" leaders or other kinds of leaders people may turn to today?

6.  What causes you to "harden your heart" or to drift away from Christ or from God's purposes 
in your life?  Identify ways to keep this from happening.

7.  Out of all they ways scripture identifies who you are or what you have in Christ, which is 
the greatest encouragement to you and why?  Which is the greatest challenge?

8.  What are some ways you can consider or fix your mind on Jesus?  How might this help you to 
encourage someone else?

Identify someone(s) whom you can encourage and strengthen.  Begin by praying for them, then 
encouraging them this week as the scripture challenges you to do.