Whereas there is none that doth good and sinneth not, and the best of men may, through the power and deceitfulness of their corruption dwelling in them, with the prevalence of temptation, fall into great sins and provocations; God hath, in the covenant of grace, mercifully provided that believers so sinning and falling be renewed through repentance unto salvation.
INTRO: There is one matter that makes me question whether it was someone other than Paul that wrote this letter. It is that the great catching up is not mentioned, since it occurs before the millennial kingdom. So, I look forward to what I might yet learn in this book.
The book of Hebrews is a book of warning. There is always a section of teaching and then a warning follows. Chapter 1 was 14 verses of teaching and then 18 verses dealing with a warning. Now we have 6 verses of teaching and 29 verses of warning. This warning begins in verse 7 and verses 7-11 are a quote from Psalm 95. The warning begins like this: "Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion."
The writer then shows that all those who came out of Egypt could not enter the land of rest. I have viewed the land of Canaan, not as picturing heaven, but picturing the millennium. The Hebrews had started their faith in Christ on fire for the Lord. They had suffered the plundering of their goods and persecution. They were looking for deliverance, just like the children of Israel were longing for rest. But Israel of old failed through disobedience, which is nothing but a lack of faith.
Now the writer warns these Hebrews that they too may fail of entering the kingdom they were waiting for. They longed for deliverance from the dominion of Rome. But the writer is warning that if they go back to Judaism, they will not enter that coming kingdom either. So he said, "Today, if you hear His voice do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion." And because of their rebellion God ended up saying, "You will not enter my rest." And so, they did not.
Today we want to begin to look at what it means to have good ground in our heart. We want to learn how we can bear fruit to God, and bring fruit to maturity. Where does this begin? It begins with self-examination. Do I know Christ? Am I in the faith?
Thorns Must be Removed by all Professed Christians from the field of their heart. The thorns, according to our passages of scripture are – 1) The cares of the world, 2) the deceitfulness of riches, 3) the pleasures of life, and 4) the desire for other things. These choke the word, and no fruit is born. What must be done about them? Jeremiah 4: 3 – "For thus says the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: Break up your fallow ground, and do not sow among thorns."
We now want to turn our attention to the 3rd Type of Ground, (or heart) in this Parable of the Sower and the Seed – The Seed among the Thorns.
A Description is Given of this type of soil in the parallel passages of the Synoptic Gospels.
Verse 7 – "And some fell among thorns and the thorns sprang us and choked them." In the Gospel of Mark it says – "it yielded no crop".
Verse 22 – "Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful."
Mark 4: 18 says – "Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful."
Luke 8: 7 – "And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it."
Luke 8: 14 – "The now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity."
"cares of the world" — concerns, worries, anxieties ("anxieties of the age" "worries of the times") They could all be neutral or good. Concern for our health, our reputation, our property, concern for education, concern to be liked, concern to have enough food or money, worries about our loved ones, anxiety about tomorrow, etc. concern for one's retirement, concern to get ahead in our career, concern to get a house, a spouse, one's children, one's welfare, that next phase in life, etc. JFB: "unrelaxing attention to the business of this present life"
"the deceitfulness of riches" — wealth or riches are not sinful in themselves. The love of money is the root of all evil. This is something that can trip us all up. We all want more money, more wealth, more riches, etc. Wanting it per se does not necessarily lead to sin, lead to choking the word. But that wanting can turn to craving and it can deceive us in our pursuit.
"desires for other things" — It may not be riches for this person but he desires something else. A car, a house, an ideal cabin, that perfect room in the house, or simply more stuff from Amazon or Walmart, etc.
These may be "innocent" things and wanting them may not be wrong but whatever the other things are — they choke God's Word in his life. No attention to God's word but whatever it is, it has taken up your attention, affections, and aspirations.
The indefinite expression, ' lest any of you, implies that all of all sorts, even the best, were subject to this decay and to this hardening of their heart. In this respect they ought all of them to be careful in
practicing the fore-mentioned duty mutually one to another among all sorts of them.
My subject this morning is SIN, particularly THE DECEITFULNESS OF SIN, but in general, SIN. This may not be an appealing subject, but it is very applicable and necessary. The truth and reality is that sin is the worst enemy you and I have, it is always present with us ("I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me." - Rom. 7:21), and it will be not only the death of every one of us, but the eternal death of every one of us, if we are not saved from our sins by Jesus Christ.
Jeremiah experienced a crushing grief over the damage of deceit in the people.
Jeremiah grieved that no help could be found for the people's deceit, idolatry and pain. (8:18 -22).
Jeremiah could not stop grieving, because they heaped deceit upon deceit. (9:1-6).
God Himself joined Jeremiah in grieving at the widespread damage of their deceitful speaking. (9:7-11).
Applying: What harm is caused by lying?
What is duplicity and why is it dangerous? Psalm 55:20-21
Why more hurt when a brother deceives? Genesis 27:36
Who else weeps when foretelling the destruction? Luke 21:5-24
This is a study of the many ways that the deceptions of the world, the flesh, and Satan have taken the whole world captive. It is a vast subject to be sure, with many warnings about how easy it is to be deceived.
This is a look at the warnings of God's Word concerning two major areas that assault us on a daily basis. The first is the deception of our own hearts and the second is the deceitfulness of the sin that so easily entangles us. It is so important that we recognize we are deceived by not only the world itself, but also by, Satan the ruler of this world system, and then by our own hearts which we wrongly consider to be secure and safe.
The Law of God is both beautiful and beneficial! It is beautiful, in that it reveals the nature of God; it is beneficial, in that it reveals the need of man. God's Law is truly "holy and just and good!"