sermon: Hebrews as a Sermon (Part Two)
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 16-Jan-21; Sermon #1579; 65 minutes
The metaphors describing the elect as being "in Christ," include a part of a temple, a member of a household, and an appendage of His Body. Hebrews serves as an exhortative sermon (although it has some characteristics of an epistle and a treatise), warning God's people not to drift or stagnate, but to bear spiritual fruit to glorify God. It is important that God's people do not regard their calling as a reward for righteousness they possessed when they were yet uncalled. As part of Christ's Body, we must work to support the whole, refusing to show partiality. Oneness in Christ is not limited to doctrinal beliefs but also in being one in heart with the other members of Christ's body. Like father Abraham, whom God put through rigorous trials, we do not see immediate results. God designed the exhortative sermon in the Book of Hebrews to encourage and motivate God's people, who are going through the same turmoil as those living in 65 AD, facing harassment and persecution from the surrounding Satanic society. As Nero blamed God's people for setting Rome ablaze in 64 AD, the plight of saints living today will be similar, blamed falsely for insurrection, as the government of modern Israel has shamelessly rejected God and His laws. Those who love God today are in the same danger as those living in 65 AD, desperately needing the message of Hebrews.