Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 47
The Evil Heart of Unbelief – Part 2
It is such an encouragement when we realize how the Lord is opening His Word to so many. We thank you for your letters and your financial help, because after all, television time is not cheap.
Let’s get back into the study in Hebrews chapter 3. We barely got over halfway through verse 1 in the last lesson.
“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;”
Now we’re going to go into the word ‘profession.’ We are to consider, as I pointed out in the last lesson, with all the intensity of your ability to concentrate, on this One. After all, we should! He’s the Creator! This is what so many people fail to realize, that the One whom we serve is the Creator of the universe!! He’s not just the carpenter’s son. He is the Creator of everything! He’s the Sustainer of everything. And so indeed, consider!!
My, how many people in the world never give a second thought to Jesus Christ? Not even a second thought. How many even think in terms of eternity? Not many. I’ve said it before, as you travel up and down the highways and the freeways and the mass of people coming in out of stadiums and ballparks and so forth, do you ever stop to ask yourself, how many of them ever think about eternity? We don’t know, but I’m guessing, it’s a precious, precious, small percentage. People today have no time for anything but the things of this world. But for those of you and I who know better, who know this Creator as Lord and Savior, as the One Who suffered and died in our place, yes we can focus on Who He is. The Great Apostle, as well as the High Priest of our confession.
Now I said in the last lesson the word “profession” can be enlarged and made more understandable with the word “confession.” Because, after all, when we confess Him, what does it really amount to? We’re letting the world know that He is the One Who is the object of our faith. He is the object of our reason for living. Without Him, what are we? We’re nothing. Even though the world out there can be successful and they can make their millions, and they can make the headlines – but, when cancer strikes, they die like anybody else.
You know, I always have to think of the founder of WalMart, Mr. Sam Walton, with all of his billions, yet when he was stricken with cancer, I’m sure the family got him the best medical help that this world had to offer. But what happened? He slipped out into eternity. His billions could not cure his cancer. And so we have to constantly come back and be realists. This world is not our home; we’re only here for just a little blink of time, and eternity is forever. And this is the whole purpose of God giving us the Word, so that we can be prepared for eternity. We don’t have to shrink from death.
Even as the individual that I called in his hospital room. With tears in my heart and eyes, I could bid him goodbye. I knew he wasn’t on this world very much longer. But, I could also say, “We’ll see you again,” because this is the blessed hope that we have as believers. Death isn’t the end. It’s just a little stopgap, and then one day we’re going to be with our loved ones for all eternity.
Alright now, this is our confession. That our hope for eternity is not based on what I have done or what you have done – it’s not based on our works. It’s not based on what we’ve accomplished. It’s based on our FAITH in that accomplished work of the cross. In fact, let me use a verse that says it as plainly as anything in Scripture.
Now for a moment, come back to Ephesians chapter 2. Here Paul has just listed the appetites and things of this world that plagued us while we were still in unbelief. And while we were steeped in the old Adamic lusts of the flesh, and as he says in the closing words of verse 3:
“…and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” What’s the first word of verse 4?
What does that mean? The flipside, we’re no longer in the desires of the old Adam. It’s a whole new world for us, but not because of what I’ve done, not because of what you’ve done, but what God did. I think I could stand here by the hour and enlarge on those two words, But God, not but I, not but you, But God. He did it! You know I’m always referring to “Lord give us Lydias today,” because what did the Lord do with Lydia? Opened her heart, her understanding so that she would listen to what the Apostle Paul had to say. But God opened her heart. But God formed the plan of salvation, man didn’t. But God can go on and say I’ve done it all so that you can be saved by Faith plus Nothing. Now let’s read on.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, (He doesn’t deal with us according to what we deserve) for his great love wherewith he loved us,”
Now, I’m not going to take time today, but we’ve done it before, back in the chapter in John’s gospel where you have the account of Lazarus dying. Mary and Martha were rather shook up with the Lord that He hadn’t been there to heal him and spare his demise.
But, to me, the important part of that chapter is not even so much that He had the power to raise Lazarus from the dead, but you know what that chapter says over and over? How Jesus loved them! Not how much they loved him, but how He loved them. And, consequently, you ended up with the shortest verse in scripture. “Jesus wept.” Why did he weep? He loved them. And He saw their heartache, He saw their sorrow, and because He loved them, He could weep with them.
So here, Paul says the same thing. That that great love wherewith He loved us. We didn’t come into this place of salvation and the hope of Glory because we loved Him. We’re just like everybody else. What does it say in John’s Gospel? They hate the light. Why? Because their deeds are evil. Are we any different? I can remember as a kid, in fact, I can go back to when I was small enough to lie on my mom and dad’s lap and I can remember in my mind that just as soon as that preacher got up in the pulpit to preach I stretched out so I could go to sleep. And I’ll tell you, my little rebellious mind didn’t change for a long time. I didn’t want to hear it. Leave me alone. And listen, that’s typical. That’s most people. We don’t want to hear it. Our deeds are evil, But God! He loved us!! Alright, verse 5. When did He love us?
“Even when we were dead in sins,…”
That’s a spiritual position, but nevertheless, I’ll just make the point – how lovely are dead things? Now most of you don’t have an appreciation for it like I do with all my livestock because every once in a while something will die and we have to deal with it. And death is not pretty. I hate it. I’ll admit it. I hate it. If I lose a cow or baby calf I just get gut-wrenched. It just drives me up the wall because I hate death. Many of you have lost a pet and it just tears you apart. Why? Because death is not pretty.
Now I can bring that same analogy when God looks at sinful men – are we pretty? No! Sin is a dilemma, but God loves us anyway. Look at all of the ramifications of sin in the world today. It’s at the root of all our social problems. Sin, it’s at the root of everything. But in spite of it, God loves us. Even when we were dead in sin, now read on.
“…he hath quickened us (or made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (When He saved us by His Grace, He didn’t just leave us and say, oh well, I’ve done all that needs to be done. No, He continues with us.) 6. And hath raised us up together, (out of our spiritual deadness) and made us sit together in (what? The heavenlies! Not the Lincoln bedroom and I guess that must be a pretty nice place to spend the night. But listen, that is a pigpen by comparison and He has placed us in the heavenlies already. That’s our position and He has made us sit together in the) heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7: That in the ages (ions is the Greek word, which is beyond our human comprehension) to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (Now here’s the verse!). 8. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:“
I think I’m known from almost coast-to-coast now as the promoter of Faith plus Nothing!. Faith plus Nothing! And this riles a few people. They say, “Where do you get that?” Ephesians 2:8. Because when you read that, that’s what it is. For by grace are ye saved through faith. Plus anything? No! So then it’s plus what? Nothing. It’s the gift of God. And again, you’ve heard me explain it a hundred times. How long is it a gift? As long as you don’t pay for it. The minute you contribute to the cost of your gift, it is no longer a gift and the same thing holds true in the plan of salvation. Just as soon as people think they have to work for it, then they have canceled the gift aspect and it now becomes something that puts God in their debt.
Well, that’s our confession. That we have placed our faith in the Christ of Glory, the Creator of everything, the One Who took our place on that Roman cross, the One Who arose victoriously over sin and death. And by believing what He has said, He has done everything that needs to be done!
I had a lady call the other morning asking whether I had experienced a particular phenomenon and I said, “No and I don’t expect to.” And I know I shocked her. She said, “How then do you know?” And I said, “Because the Word says so! The Bible tells me that I’m indwelt by the Holy Spirit and I don’t need a signed certificate, I don’t need anything else. When the Bible says that you are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, I believe it, I trust it and that’s where Faith comes in. You don’t feel it. You don’t have some magnificent out-of-this-world experience. The Book says it.” And that’s our confession. What Christ has said and has accomplished, we believe it and so then it becomes by Faith plus Nothing.
Now lets get back to Hebrews chapter 3,and verse 2. We’re going to make a little headway today. You know what I hope? I hope the Lord comes back before I finish Hebrews. I really do!
“Who (Christ Jesus) was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.”
I’m not going to take the time to go back and look at the Scriptures. We could look at a bunch of them, but you all know enough about Moses that when God spoke to him at the burning bush; sent him back to Egypt for the purpose of delivering the children of Israel out of slavery, he was obedient to that and went through all the turmoil of the plagues and dealing with Pharaoh.
But then the culmination of it all was, he brought Israel out of Egypt and took them down to Mount Sinai. There at Mount Sinai, God gave the Law to Moses and Moses took it down the mountain and gave it to the children of Israel. He was faithful to everything that God commissioned to him. Never do we have a record that Moses himself failed. He was disobedient a time or two but he did not fail what God expected him to do concerning the Nation of Israel. And so he was totally faithful and every Jew that had any concept of all of their Old Testament heritage had a high esteem of Moses.
Of course, of Abraham as well, but I’m speaking now because the Scripture is, only of Moses. Their deliverer, the one who brought them out of bondage, the one who gave them the law, and the one who led them, as we’ll see a little later in this chapter, in that horrible 40 year period in the wilderness. But Moses was never found unfaithful. He was God’s faithful servant.
Consequently, when the Jews in Christ’s earthly ministry tried to pin Him down with some questions on doctrine or teaching, what did Jesus tell those Jews? Well, you have Moses, go back and see what Moses said. Because he was faithful and everything that Moses had instructed was according to God’s dictates. So Moses is set up as a prime example of someone who was faithful to the commands of God. There was not a point in Moses’ past where there could be any doubt that he was God’s man for the hour. He was always faithful.
But, what’s it building up to? You remember I showed you when we first started Hebrews this whole Book is a comparison of things that were good, but this is better. Absolutely, Moses was great. He was a man that God entrusted. He was a man who remained faithful to everything God commissioned him to do, but when it comes to the comparison, he pales next to the Lord Jesus Christ.
So here we come now, here’s another instance where we have the comparison in chapter 2 that He is higher than the angels even though He was lower for a little while. But Christ cannot be compared with the angelic host. His power is more than the multitudes of angels put together. So now then, verse 3:
“For this man…“
The word man has been added by the translators, but they’re still right in doing it because this is what we’re looking at. We’re looking at the God Man Christ Jesus. The One Who had walked the dusty roads of the land of Israel, the One Who had walked that way of the cross, the One Who had suffered and died for your sins and mine.
“For this man was counted worthy of (what’s the next word? More. See the comparison? As great as Moses was, this man makes Moses pale into insignificance.) more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.”
Now here we come back to an everyday experience. Whenever you see someone building a lavish home, when it’s finished, people probably drive by and admire it and that’s all well and good. But what has more esteem than the house? The guy who owns it, the guy who built it, the guy who had the wherewithal to bring it all together. This is exactly what we’re showing here. Moses was great. Moses filled a tremendous slot in human history as well as Israel’s history. But this One, this Jesus of Nazareth, this Man, this God Man, is not only the owner of everything, He made it!
This is why I’m fairly confident when I say the vast majority of professing Christians do not understand that Jesus of Nazareth was the Creator of Genesis 1:1. It just shocks them to even think about it. But He was! He was the Creator of everything! Now where does that put Moses? Moses is nothing when you compare it to that. Moses was a part of the creation. Moses was just simply, a faithful servant. This is the Creator we’re talking about!
I’ve used this analogy over the years. Look how the world will flock to famous people. Just a week or two ago, Tulsa experienced it with the golf tournament. And whom did everyone want to see? Tiger Woods. They probably came from miles around just to get a glimpse of Tiger Woods because of his fame and expertise as a golfer. Or if the Pope flies into some place, the highways will be chocked full. It will just literally put it into a traffic gridlock. Why? They want to see this famous man. Or any other famous individual, the people will flock just to get a glimpse of this famous individual. And yet, this man, He’s not just the head of a great number of people. He’s not just a famous athlete. He’s not just a famous politician. He’s the Creator of everything and why can’t get people excited about that?
We serve the Creator! The One Who called the universe into being. The One Who at the spoken Word one day, I think, will be able to just bring it all back to that zero beginning it came from and He’ll speak the Word and here will come a new universe. It’s the same One. Remember, as great as Moses was, he was nothing compared to the Creator whom you and I serve and Who was the Author or as it said back in chapter 2, the Captain of our Salvation. Verse 3 again:
“For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.”
Come back with me to Colossians chapter 1 because someone hearing me for the first time may say, “This guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” Well, if I don’t know what I’m talking about, then this Book doesn’t, because it says it as plain as English can make it. Colossians chapter 1 starting at verse 14. I’ll be looking at verses 12 –13 later on in Hebrews, so we’ll start here with verse 14.
“In whom (in the Son) we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15. Who (God the Son, the Man that we’re talking about in Hebrews) is the image of the invisible God, (He is the visible manifestation of the invisible God) the firstborn of every creature: 16. For by him (by the Son) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: (here it is) all things were created by him, and for him:”