SUBJ: The strong encouragement given
to believers that is derived from the promise of God and His oath
manifested in Jesus Christ our Lord.
AIM: That we might be encouraged in
the face of all that would destroy the faith of God's people.
INTR: We would see in this message how
the "heirs of promise" (v. 12) are encouraged to claim that promise as
it is found Jesus.
1. In verse 12 we saw that slothfulness was set
off in opposition to the perseverance in faith of them who through
patience inherit the promises. The Lord's people have always understood
that inheriting the promises would entail faithful perseverance.
Consider the eternal and enduring promise of God. Titus 1:1-3 Paul, a
servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith
of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after
godliness; 2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie,
promised before the world began; 3 But hath in due times manifested his
word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the
commandment of God our Saviour;
3. We would see, also, such examples
of the divine oath in: Isaiah 45:22-23 22 Look unto me, and be ye saved,
all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. 23 I
have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness,
and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue
shall swear. Let us be sure our knees are bowed!
THESIS: Jesus Christ is the promise of
God, and His work is the result of the eternal counsel of God. We must
be delivered from trying to claim the substance of the promise in
I. The example passed on to believers from the
encouragement of Abraham (vv. 13-15)
1. Consider the Old Testament
reference to Abraham: Genesis 22:16-17 16 And said, By myself have I
sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast
not withheld thy son, thine only son: 17 That in blessing I will bless
thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the
heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall
possess the gate of his enemies;
2. Consider that this oath is given
in the context of Abraham's faith, the sacrifice provided and promised.
Furthermore, we would note the significance given to this by the Lord.
3. We should and must be inspired by the thought that "He could swear by
4. The eternal nature of the oath. "...blessing I will
bless..." and...multiplying I will multiply thee." These speak of the
continuing force and application of the oath.
5. After patient
endurance Abraham obtained the promise.
1) He saw the birth of the
sons of Isaac
2) More importantly: John 8:56 Your father Abraham
rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
nature of the divine oath (vv. 16-17a)
1. That men swear to the
higher is seen today. They invoke the name of God and deny His power.
2. The belief then and now is that an oath confirms and settles all
3. What the "heirs" of promise have is given them on the
highest authority and confirmed by an oath.
III. The Two
immutable things (vv. 17-18)
1. Consider the immutability of His
counsel and see again: Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God,
that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
2. Then to consider
the personal affirmation by an oath that guaranteed the work of Christ
3. Thus, it is His counsel (which incorporates His promise
of salvation) and His oath that cannot be changed. "...God cannot l..."
4. The purpose of this revelation:
1) Is specifically addressed to
"we who have fled for refuge." (Remember the cities of refuge in the Old
2) That such might have strong consolation
3) And that encouragement is to "lay hold" on Christ
our Lord. Paul encouraged Timothy to "lay hold on eternal life."
IV. The personification of hope seen in Jesus (vv. 19-20)
illustration of the Anchor and how it applies to a ship. "We are in this
world as a ship at sea, liable to be tossed up and down, and in danger
of being cast away. Our souls are the vessels. The comforts,
expectations, graces, and happiness of our souls are the precious cargo
with which these vessels are loaded. Heaven is the harbor to which we
sail. The temptations, persecutions, and afflictions that we encounter,
are the winds and waves that threaten our shipwreck. [2.] We have need
of an anchor to keep us sure and steady, or we are in continual danger."
2. Who is the anchor and where is it anchored? It is
3. Jesus is the forerunner who has laid hold of salvation
for us within the vail.
4. And He is the High Priest after the order