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Hebrews 10:19-25 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,  by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,  and since we have a great priest over the house of God,  let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;  and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,  not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
A) Context is three exhortations based on our costly salvation
1) Let us draw near to God
2) Let us hold on tight to our faith in Him
3) Let us get together
B) Our focus today is on this final exhortation – Let's get together
1) Stimulate one another
a) to loving
b) to doing good
2) Continue to assemble together
3) Encourage one another
C) Since our time is limited we should increase our fellowship
|Analysis of Key Verses|
| and let us||The third exhortation based on our costly salvation.|
|consider||Give it some thought. Do not plunge into it recklessly; but carefully consider how to go about doing this.|
|how to stimulate one another||The Greek word paroxysmos translated "stimulate" is usually translated provoke, irritate, exasperate, aggravate, or incite. Two possible undestandings – it was to emphasize how hard we are to try and do it, or it was tongue in cheek suggestion that we are irritating each other anyway, why not do it for good purpose?|
|to love||The action of loving, not just the emotion or feeling of love|
|and good deeds,||The Greek word kalos translated "good" means more than just morally good or righteous, although it does include that. It also implies beautiful, handsome, excellent, useful, commendable, admirable, magnificent, genuine, praiseworthy, noble, honorable, comforting, and pleasant to think about.|
| not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some,||Continue to get together with other Christians. Do not abandon it as so many are today. Regular church attendance is falling in the United States today.|
|but encouraging one another;||The Greek word paraklete means so much more than just encourage. Entreat, instruct, admonish, beg, beseech, console, comfort, strengthen, and teach. It is the same word used to describe the Holy Spirit as our "Comforter," our paraklete.|
|and all the more as you see the day drawing near.||Our time is limited. The more limited our time the more we should do this.|
A Christian who had stopped going to church received a visit from his minister. They sat down in front of a blazing log fire. The man explained to the minister that he thought it was unnecessary to go to church or to ever meet up with any other Christians in Bible studies. The minister made no reply. He simply removed one of the burning logs from the fire and put it on the side of the fireplace. After the minister had left the man came back to his fire, saw that the log had stopped burning and put it back into the fire again. Then the man understood what the minister thought about the necessity of Christian fellowship even though he had not said a word about it. A log by itself does not burn. You can not be an effective Christian as a hermit. That does not mean there is not a need to retreat for meditation and prayer from time to time, but it does mean you need to come back down off that mountain and be with other Christians.
Geese flying in a V take turns being the leader, the leader breaks the air making it easier for the others flying behind. Flying as a team they can go 60% further between stops than one goose alone. Everyone must do their part, whether it is migrating geese or God's family.
Predators hunt down the weakest and the youngest of the herd. The first thing they do is separate their victim from the rest. 1st Peter 5:8 "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."
In our dealings with those caught in doing wrong, mercy is incomplete unless we do as Jesus did; call it sin. We have winked, giggled, made alibis, or ignored sin all too long. A friend in deed is one who says quietly, but firmly, “What you’re doing friend is sin. It is harmful to you and to others. It is destructive to God’s dream for you.
"One hundred worshipers meeting together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were they to become "unity-conscious" and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship." - A. W. Tozer, in THE PURSUIT OF GOD
The point is that if your fellowship is not about worship of the Lord, it is just a social club. Nothing wrong with a social club, unless they are calling themselves a church, when they really are not a church. It has to be about Him, not us.
"Acquaintances accept, friends encourage, brothers exhort." - Unknown
Example exhortation: "It is not pleasant for me to say these things, but I must tell you the truth while I still can, proving myself your friend by the most faithful counsel, trusting that sometime you will do my faith in you greater justice that you do it now. … The truest friend does not doubt, but hope." – from Jane Austen's Emma
Some other verses on this topic:
Matthew 18:20 "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst."
Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
Hebrews 13:1 Let love of the brethren continue.
Acts 2:42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Hebrews 3:13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
Romans 15:1-2 Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification.
1 Cor 8:12-13 And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.
1 Cor 10:33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved.
Galatians 6:1 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
Topic for post sermon discussion in small groups:
Verse 24 says, "…consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds…" How can we encourage one another to loving and doing good?
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