Hebrews 3:7-19 ESV
3:7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice,
Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness, when your fathers put me to the test and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work. For forty years I loathed that generation and said, “They are a people who go astray in their heart, and they have not known my ways.” Therefore I swore in my wrath, “They shall not enter my rest.” -Psalm 95:7b-11
And he called the name of the place Massah[testing] and Meribah,[contention] because of the quarreling of the people of Israel, and because they tested the Lord by saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?” -Exodus 17:7
Numbers 14:11 “And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them?”
Hebrews 3:7, 12-13 “Therefore, [as the Holy Spirit says, Today, if you hear his voice] Take care brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today”, that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”
Evil, unbelieving heart that leads to falling away
Heb 3:15-19 “As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” 16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.
1. “A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.” 2. “God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.” 3. “The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about ones self.” 4. “God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.” 5. “Good people go to heaven when they die.” – Sociologist Christian Smith, Soul Searching on what American teenagers beliefs are
He coined the term for this belief as Christian Moralistic Therapeutic Deism
Moralistc because; “It teaches that central to living a good and happy life is being a good, moral person. That means being nice, kind, pleasant, respectful, responsible, at work on self-improvement, taking care of one’s health, and doing one’s best to be successful.”
Therapeutic because; “This radical transformation of Christian theology and Christian belief replaces the sovereignty of God with the sovereignty of the self. It is centrally about feeling good, happy, secure, at peace. It is about attaining subjective well-being, being able to resolve problems, and getting along amiably with other people. In this therapeutic age, human problems are reduced to pathologies in need of a treatment plan. Sin is simply excluded from the picture, and doctrines as central as the wrath and justice of God are discarded as out of step with the times and unhelpful to the project of self-actualization.”
The lie is that Jesus and the church exist to make you feel loved, significant, validated, entertained, and charged up. This gospel ameliorates distressing symptoms. It makes you feel better. The logic of this therapeutic gospel is a Jesus-for-Me who meets individual desires and assuages psychic aches.”
Hardened heart and the deceitfulness of sin
Atherosclerosis from the root words athero (artery) sclero (hardening). A build up of cholesterol plaque in the walls of arteries causing obstruction of blood flow. Plaques may rupture causing acute occlusion of the artery by clot. Atherosclerosis often has no symptoms for decades because arteries enlarge due to plaque build up and there isn’t enough effect on blood flow. But as a person continues to have abnormal cholesterol levells, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, family history and an unhealthy diet; plaque build up narrows the arteries limiting the flow of oxygen-rich blood to parts of the body until a plaque ruptures or the buildup is severe enough to block blood flow.
Thomas Watson, Puritan preacher describes sin like this “Sin first courts, and then kills. It is first a fox and then a lion. Whoever sin kills it betrays. . . Sin is like the usurer who feeds a man with money and then makes him mortgage his land. Sin feeds the sinner with delightful objects and then makes him mortgage his soul.”
“When sin lets us alone, we may let sin alone; but sin is always active when it seems to be the most quiet, and its waters are often deep when they are calm. We should therefore fight against it and be vigorous at all times and in all conditions, even when there is the least suspicion….Sin is always acting, always conceiving, and always seducing and tempting. Who can say that he has ever had anything to do with God or for God which indwelling sin has not tried to corrupt? This battle will last more or less all our days. If sin is always acting, we are in trouble if we are not always mortifying.” John Owen, Theologian
“Sin also carries on its war by entangling the affections and drawing them into an alliance against the mind. Grace may be enthroned in the mind, but if sin controls the affections, it has seized a fort from which it will continually assault the soul.” – John Owen
How does the author help his readers and us to see the application?
1. Hear His voice (v. 7, 15)
2. Take care, brothers (v. 12)
3. Exhort one another (v. 13)
Hebrews 10:22-25 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
4. Know the why (v 14)
Hebrews 3:14 “For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.”
John 15:1-11 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.