EQUIP YOU IN EVERY GOOD THING
TO DO HIS WILL: katartisai
(3SAAO) humas en panti agatho eis to poiesai (AAN) to thelema autou:
(KJV = "Make you perfect": He 12:23 Dt 32:4 Ps 138:8 Jn 17:23
Eph 3:16, 17, 18, 19 Col 1:9, 10, 11, 12 4:12 1Th 3:13 5:23 2Th 2:17
1Pe 5:10) (every: 2Co 9:8 Eph 2:10 Php 1:11 2Th 2:17 1Ti 5:10)
(to do: He 10:36 Mt 7:21 12:50 21:31 Jn 7:17 Ro 12:2 1Th 4:3
1Pe 4:2 1Jn 2:17)
Note the juxtaposition of God's
sovereignty (equip) and man's responsibility
(do His will).
[word study] from katá = with + artízō =
to adjust, fit, finish, in turn from ártios = fit, complete)
means to fit or join together and so to mend or repair. Katartizo
conveys the fundamental idea of putting something into its appropriate
condition so it will function well. It conveys the idea of making
whole by fitting together, to order and arrange properly. When applied
to that which is weak and defective, it denotes setting right what has
gone wrong, to restore to a former condition, whether mending broken
nets or setting broken bones.
Katartizo - 13x in 13v in
NAS = Mt 4:21; 21:16; Mk 1:19; Lk 6:40; Ro 9:22-note; 1Co 1:10; 2Co 13:11;
Gal 6:1; 1Th 3:10-note;
He 13:21; 1Pe 5:10-note. NAS =
complete(1), equip(1), fully trained(1), made complete(2),
perfect(1), prepared(4), restore(1).
Considering that because of sin, we
are all "spiritually broken" (even believers still possess the fallen,
anti-God tendency, the NT calls the
flesh), Matthew's use
of katartizo is interesting
Going on from there He saw two
other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the
boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He
called them. (Matthew 4:21)
Comment: In this passage
James and John were preparing their equipment so that they might catch
fish, which was their "good deed" as fishermen. If fishermen can't
function well without proper equipment in the natural realm, how much
greater is the believer's need for God's equipping in the supernatural
realm! The Gospel of the
grace of God (Acts 20:24) has "mended" us and by His Spirit has
made us whole
in Christ ,
our Source of the strengthening grace (2Ti 2:1-note,
we need His amazing, all sufficient grace continually in order that we
might worship and work in a manner pleasing to
Him in all respects. In 1Co 1:10 note the antithesis of "divisions"
with "be made complete" (katartizo, KJV "may be perfected").
One (divisions caused by men) tears down, while the other (equipping
caused by God) builds up. Will we ever learn?
To make fitted
or equipped for a duty or function.
To make someone
completely adequate or sufficient for something.
prepare something to meet demands.
To supply that
which is missing.
adds that katartízō
has in it the idea of equipping
something or preparing it for future use." (Wuest,
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans
says that katartízō
signifies to readjust, restore, set
to rights, whether in a physical or a moral sense." (Vincent, M. R.
Word Studies in the New Testament. Vol. 1, Page 3-317)
writes that the word
includes the thoughts of the
harmonious combination of different powers, the supply of that which
is defective, and the amendment of that which is faulty.
notes that katartízō can also mean
to bring to completion a process of
making whole already begun" as in Jesus statement that "A pupil is not
above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully
trained (katartízō), will be like his teacher. (Luke 6:40)
was sometimes used metaphorically of restoring harmony among
quarreling factions in a dispute.
was used in secular Greek to describe a trainer who adjusts parts of
the body, as a surgical term of the setting of a broken bone or
putting a dislocated limb back in place or of the repairing and
refitting of a damaged vessel (ship).
is used in other contexts of the strengthening or sustaining of a worn
down people, of the mixing of medicine or of politicians appeasing
factions and restoring unity (used by Herodotus for composing civil
Like a doctor
setting a broken bone, God will mend our broken lives and make
That God would equip believers so
they might be made ready to fulfill their purpose! Joshua was to do
his part by not letting the law depart from his mouth, but to meditate
on it daily and God would then do His part in equipping Joshua in
every good thing to do His will and to step out onto the territory
that was already his by God's promise (Jos 1:3).
is the same word the
writer uses to describe God preparing the world (He 11:3-note).
If God can
world out of things not seen by His spoken WORD, He is
certainly able to equip us whatever task He has for us to do (Ep 2:10-note). What God
requires He inspires and empowers!
Paul uses a related verb
exartizo describing the power of the Living Word to equip
the saint for service writing that...
All Scripture is inspired by God
and profitable for teaching, for reproof , for correction, for
training in righteousness so that the man of God may be
adequate, equipped (exartizo = to completely outfit,
furnish fully) for every good work. (2Ti 3:16, 17-note)
Newton writes that
is a common word in the New
Testament, variously translated as "prepared" (He 10:5-note,
"complete" (1Th 3:10-note),
and "restore" (Gal 6:1). It implies that something is lacking,
defective, or faulty and must be repaired or restored to usefulness.
The word was used for setting a broken bone and repairing a torn
fishing net. Equip" appeals to the God who has justified us through
Christ to provide everything necessary, in every area of life, to
follow faithfully in doing God's will. The "prayer-wish" (portative
mood) supplicates God, based on new covenant promises, to work in such
a way that the believer will be adequately prepared "in every good
thing to do His will...Think of what this meant to these weak,
struggling believers. While they felt themselves inadequate for what
lay ahead, they were now assured that God through Christ has come to
their aid. Like a broken fishing net that cannot hold its catch
without someone outside of it mending it, we stand torn, broken, and
demoralized by the world and our own weakness. But our God carefully
takes the needle and netting, and weaves it wisely into the torn
places of our lives, bringing us to wholeness and usefulness.
Are you weakened by the wear and tear of the world? Do you feel
yourself incapable of living unto the Lord and doing His will? Then
see that He meets you in your weakness, and equips you through the
Word of God, the sufficiency of the gospel, the ministry of the Holy
Spirit, fellowship of the Church, and the blessings of the ordinances
to do His will. " (Ed:
Brethren, is this not an excellent prayer we might pray frequently
for one another?) (Sermons
from the Epistle to the Hebrews)
><> ><> ><>
F B Meyer
- Our Daily Walk -
DISLOCATED LIMBS -
THE GREEK word here rendered
perfect (He 13:21KJV) really means "to put in joint, to complete." In his original
creation man's will was intended to register the Will of God, to say
Yes to it, and to pass the divine impulses and commandments to the
rest of our being. Sometimes on board ship, before the phone made it
possible for the captain to speak to every part of the ocean-liner, I
have heard Him quietly utter his orders to a subordinate officer
beside him, who in turn repeated them in a loud voice through a
speaking-trumpet or tube. That intermediary may represent the will
which was intended to receive its directions from the Will of God, and
pass them throughout the economy of our being. Such was our Lord's
attitude throughout His earthly life. He said: "My meat is to do the
will of Him that sent Me"; "I seek not My own will, but the will of
Him that sent Me"; "Nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt."
But in the Fall, the dominance
of God's will and the loyal response of man's will became disorganized;
and the human will instead of functioning in harmony with the Will of
God, began to obey the will of the flesh in its grosser or more
refined forms. Not what God wills, but what 'T' Hill, has become the
working principle of the great majority. Thus it has come about that
the will, by constant misuse, has become dislocated, warped, "out of
joint." Tennyson says: "Our wills are ours to make them Thine!" Just
so, but they are too stubborn for some of us to manage. Hence the
suggestion that we should pass the matter over to the "God of Peace,
who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus."
Sometimes at football (British
soccer), or on the ice, a player may lose his balance, or be tripped
up, and in the fall his shoulder may become dislocated. His arm is
still in the body, but out of joint, so that it hangs useless by his
side, until the surgeon by one strong wrench forces the bone back into
its proper place. Is not that true of us? We are in the Body of Christ
by redeeming grace, but we need to be set, i.e., to be brought into
articulated union with the Will of God in Christ Jesus.
Let us humbly ask the great Surgeon
of sods, by the pressure of His strong and gentle hands, here and now,
to joint our wayward wills with the Will of God, and then to work in
us and through us that which is well-pleasing in His sight!
Gracious Father! I yield to
Thee my will and desires, my members and faculties, the life of my
body, the thoughts of my heart, and the aspirations of my
spirit--perfect, I pray Thee, that which concerneth me. AMEN.
means intrinsically good, inherently good in quality but with the idea
of good which is also profitable, useful, benefiting others,
benevolent (marked by or disposed to doing good). Agathos
is that which is good in its character, beneficial in its effects
and/or useful in its action.
To do (4160)
(poieo) means to accomplish. The same verb is used below to describe
God's "working" (poieo) in us so that we can "do"
what pleases Him. Clearly He equips us and then He works in us,
enabling us to do His will. Mystery of mysteries which should evoke a
loud "Hallelujah! Amen!"
Vine adds that
this desire, which gathers up the
preceding exhortations throughout the chapter, could be fulfilled only
by the power of God in Christ. The wish stands in contrast to the
unfulfilled pledges of Israel who had said, “All that the Lord hath
said will we do and be obedient.” Under the new covenant the power is
bestowed with the will. Sinless perfection is not intended; katartízō
means to fit, to prepare.
W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson
from thelo = to will with
the "-ma" suffix indicating the result of the will = "a thing
willed") generally speaks of the result of what one has decided. One
sees this root word in the feminine name "Thelma." In its most
basic form, thelema refers to a wish, a strong desire, and the
willing of some event. (Note: See also the discussion of the
for comments relating to
says that thelema is the...
Will, not to be conceived as a
demand, but as an expression or inclination of pleasure towards that
which is liked, that which pleases and creates joy. When it denotes
God's will, it signifies His gracious disposition toward something.
Used to designate what God Himself does of His own good pleasure.
S. The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament. AMG
has both an objective meaning (“what one wishes to happen” or what is
willed) and a subjective connotation (“the act of willing or
desiring”). The word conveys the idea of desire, even a heart’s
desire, for the word primarily expresses emotion instead of volition.
Thus God’s will is not so much God’s intention, as it is His heart’s
Most of the NT
uses of thelema (over 3/4's) refer to God's will and signify
His gracious disposition toward something. God's will usually refers
to what He has decreed, but occasionally God's will refers to what He
desires but has not decreed (Mt 18:14). Of the remainder of the uses
of thelema twice refers to the will of the exalted Christ (Acts
21:14, Ep 5:17-note),
once to the will of the devil (2Ti 2:26-note)
and 12 times to human will most often in contrast to God's will (eg Lk
23:25, Jn 1:13, Ep 2:3-note).
Paul was an apostle only because it was the will (thelema)
of God - 1Cor 1:1, 2Cor 1:1, Ep 1:1-note,
Man is able to resist the will, the
thelema, of God, but whatever takes place God’s determinate counsel,
boulema, is never prevented from fulfillment. Thelema, when
used of God, signifies a gracious design (cp. Ro 2:18; 12:2; 15:32);
the similar word boulema denotes a determined resolve (see Ro 9:19).
To do the will of God, then, is to
yield ourselves to the accomplishment of His designs for us by obeying
Him in all that He has revealed to faith, cp. Ro 1:17; He 11:3. But
since neither the desire, nor the power, to do the will of God, dwells
naturally in the believer, God works in Him “both to will and to work
of His good pleasure,” Php 2:13, cp. He 13:21 and 1Co 12:6. This,
however, does not relieve the believer of his responsibility, for he
is to “understand what the will of the Lord is,” Ep 5:17, and
understanding it, he is to do it from the heart, Ep 6:6.
W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson
WORKING IN US
THAT WHICH IS PLEASING IN HIS SIGHT
THROUGH JESUS CHRIST TO WHOM BE THE GLORY FOREVER AND EVER AMEN: poion (PAPMSN) en hemin to euareston enopion autou dia Iesou Christou o e doxa eis tous aionas
(ton aionon), amen: (working: Php 2:13) (pleasing
: He 13:16 Ro 12:1 14:17,18 Php 4:18 Col 3:20 1Jn 3:22) (Through
Jesus Christ: Jn 16:23,24 Eph 2:18 Php 1:11 4:13 Col 3:17 1Pe 2:5)
(To whom: Ps 72:18,19 Ro 16:27 Ga 1:5 Php 2:11 1Ti 1:17 6:16
2Ti 4:18 1Pe 5:11 2Pe 3:18 Jude 1:25 Rev 4:6 Re 5:9, Re 5:13) (Amen:
Mt 6:13 Mt 28:20)
Working (poieo) means
doing or in this context accomplishing. The
God of peace is continually working in the believer's life. Bengel
phrases it this way "God doing, we will do. God fits us for doing...2Pe
Working in us
means the Christian life is not us living "like Jesus" trying to do
our best for Him but that it is the Spirit of Christ
living in and through us. This simple truth is the key to
understanding and appropriating the Christ Life. The idea is that we can't
live this Christian life but He did and He will live it through us.
That's supernatural life and is what the world needs to see, for when
they see us living that way, they will see Him, Christ in us the hope
The Spirit of Christ now
living in me enables me to do what He has commanded me to do. We must
come to the end of ourselves and realize that we cannot live the life Christ
lived unless He lives it through us, in His power, and for His
The trap we
often fall into is
trying to "clean ourselves up" so that we appear more holy. We stop
going to R-Rated movies, stop cursing, etc and think that because we have
abandoned a few behaviors we are "better". This behavior
borders on legalism, living by keeping rules or a set of do's and
don'ts. The Christian life is no
longer a matter of stopping some things and starting some others. Our
ability to sin or not is the result of the Holy Spirit in us creating
in us the desire and empowering us to be like Christ.
The "separation" from the world and who we present our members to
Ro 12:2-note) is a daily (Mk 8:34,35) even moment by moment
choice which is led and empowered by the Holy Spirit. With the discernment of
the mind of Christ (Php 1:9, 10-note) we
"cooperate" with the Spirit (filled with the Spirit like a "drunk"
man is controlled by what fills him). We have to
continually, daily die to the flesh (death to self), saying "yes" to
Jesus (Note the order in Jn 3:30-note He must increase and we must
decrease) and "no" to what the flesh strongly desires or lusts for and
then we begin to experience living His life through us.
[word study] from eu = good, well +
arestos = pleasing, desirable, proper, fit, agreeable from
arésko = to please or be pleasing/acceptable to) means that which
causes someone, in this case God the Father, to be pleased. It is
something which God well approves, which He finds eminently
satisfactory or extra-ordinarily pleasing (because it is done
in Christ ,
Jn 15:5 and for His glory Mt 5:16-note).
- 9x in 9v in NAS - Ro 12:1-note,
He 13:21. NAS = acceptable(3), pleasing(3), well-pleasing(3).
Amen is a Hebrew word. When
said by God it means “it is and shall be so”: when said by men it
means “so let it be.” The Lord Jesus often used it (translated
“verily”) to introduce new revelations of the mind of God. In John’s
Gospel it is always repeated, but not elsewhere. Once in the New
Testament it is a title of Christ, Revelation 3:14-note,
because through Him the purposes of God are established. (Ibid)
In His sight
(enopion from en = in + ops = face, eye,
countenance) literally means in the face of, in front of, before, in
the sight of, in context in front of God. This calls to mind the Latin
phrase Coram Deo meaning "Before the face of God".
This adverb is also used in Heb 4:13-note
("no creature hidden from His sight")
Phil Newton elaborates on
the significance of "in His sight"...
Here is the implication. God is so
working in our lives through his providential dealings in the details
of life that we might do the things that He finds well-pleasing before
His face. It is as though you were staring in the face of God, and He
finds great pleasure in what you are doing because He has worked it in
Now the key to this is found in the covenant keeping God "working
in us." I never cease to be amazed at the wonder that the
transcendent God saves us and continues working in us! In that same
vein, Paul exhorted the Philippians to work out their salvation, to
give zealous attention to it, but to remember, "it is God who is at
work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure" (Php
Both the desire-to will-and the ability-to work-is found in what God
is doing in the believer. So every detail of your life has some
bearing on the way God is working in you as a Christian so that you
might do the things that are pleasing before His face. He works
providentially in ways we see and cannot see, to enable us, strengthen
us, refine us, teach us, shape us, reform us, renew us, and refresh us
all for the purpose of doing "that which is pleasing in His sight."
How does the Lord do this? The Westminster Shorter Catechism
answers the question, "What are God's works of providence?"
"God's works of providence are, His most holy, wise, and powerful
preserving and governing all His creatures, and all their actions" [Q.
Because He has worked redemptively in your life, He continues to work
(cp Php 1:6-note)
to sanctify (Ed: He sets apart from the profane things of earth
and the pure things of Heaven) your desires, ambitions, motives,
delights, actions, and conversations so that all might be to His
pleasure and glory. (Sermons
from the Epistle to the Hebrews)
There is no time of day or night,
No place on land or sea
That God, whose eye is never dim,
Does not see you and me.
To know that God sees us brings
both conviction and comfort
(cp Pr 5:21-note,
Pr 15:3, 2Chr 16:9)
We see a similar "juxtaposition" of God's sovereignty and man's
responsibility in the following passages...
For this purpose (context = Col
= to present every man complete [~spiritual maturity] in
Christ ) also (First Paul describes
his responsibility, his effort)
[word study] = to the point of weariness), striving
(Now Paul explains how he is able to accomplish the work of
God for His glory) according to
[word study] ~ "divine energy"), which mightily
[word study] and
= God is continually
energizing His bondservant to accomplish that which pleases Him in His
sight) within me. (Col 1:29-note)
But by the grace of God I am what
I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but
even more than all of them,
yet not I, but
the grace of God with me.(1
Co 15:10) (Comment: Again we see this mysterious but very real
juxtaposition of man's responsibility and God's
sovereignty and sufficiency. There is no other way to live the
"victorious Christian life"!)
sums up this section writing that...
With such marvelous resources as
these, who can excuse any failure to become the man or woman God
intends you to be? We may well adopt for our own the words of J. I.
Packer: “My task is not to dizzy myself by introspecting or
speculating to find (if I can) what lies at the outer reaches of
consciousness, nor to pursue endless, exquisite stimulation in the
hope of new exotic ecstasies. It is, rather, to know and keep my place
in God’s cosmic hierarchy, and in that place to spend my strength in
serving God and men” (Your Father Loves You. Ed. and compiled by Jean
Watson. Wheaton, Ill.: Harold Shaw. 1986). (Hebrews 13:20-21 A Gathered-Together Prayer)
Though Jesus Christ (See a
simple study of
- Dods notes that it is "through Jesus, now reigning as Christ,
that all grace is bestowed on His people."
Charles Simeon discusses the
blessing upon his readers which the writer "solicits" from God (He
13:21) noting first that
Here also is a singular
accumulation of words to convey what might have been stated in a much
shorter space. But the (writer's) mind was so full, that he could not
but dilate upon the subject which so strongly engaged his thoughts.
His general request was, that God would make them holy, and enable
them to please Him who had so mercifully accepted them to his favour.
1. He first expresses the extent
of his desire for them—“This,” says he in another place, “is
my wish, even your perfection.” (2Co 13:9) He would have us “perfect
in every good work.”
The whole soul has been so
disorganized, in relation to all spiritual things, that it is
incapable of rendering to God the obedience due to Him. Hence he
prays, that we may be “fitted,” by a renovation and
concentration of all our powers, for the execution of God’s holy will.
He would not have us to render
any partial services, but an obedience perfect and entire.
He would have us engage “in
every good work,” of whatever kind it be; without regarding either
the difficulty of performing it, or the danger to which the
performance of it may expose us. We should know no authority but
God’s; no standard but God’s:
His will should be both the rule
and the reason of every thing that we do.
And who that views God as
reconciled towards him in the Son of His love would wish to curtail
any one duty, or to reduce the standard which is here proposed? I am
sure, that a knowledge of God, as a “God of peace,” cannot fail
to engender in us the desires here expressed by the (writer), or of
stimulating us to the attainment of a perfect conformity to the Divine
2. He next suggests the only
means by which that desire can be accomplished—It is “God Who
must work in us both to will and to do.” (Php 2:13-note)
Without the operation of His
Holy Spirit in us, we cannot even think a good thought. (Ed:
Do you believe that! There can be no doubt when one compares Jn 15:5!)
Hence the Apostle prays, that God
will “work in us that which is well-pleasing in his sight.”
In addition to holy principles
instilled into our minds, there must be powerful energies imparted to
for, as soon might a body, every
joint of which was dislocated, perform the common offices of life, as
we with our fallen powers effect the will of God in all holy
We must not hope “to
by any thing undertaken in our own strength.
Nor indeed, however it be wrought
in us, can anything come up with acceptance before God, except “through
Jesus Christ.” His blood must cleanse our very best actions from
the defilement that attends them; and His intercession must obtain for
them the favour of our God. Except as coming before Him in this way,
God could not look upon the very best action of the best of men: “He
is of purer eyes than to behold” with complacency any service that we
can render, till it has been purified and presented by Christ Himself.
And I wish you to notice how carefully the (writer) strives to impress
this upon our minds, where a common writer would never have thought of
suggesting any such idea.
You will notice, also, how full of
gratitude the (writer) is to that Saviour Who has thus reconciled us
unto God, and procured for us the acceptance of our unworthy services.
In truth, the (writer) can scarcely ever mention Christ without
expatiating upon His excellencies, and offering to Him some ascription
of praise. Here, apparently without necessity, the (writer) adds, “To
him be glory and dominion for ever and ever: Amen.”
And who amongst us has not his soul
attuned to this divine and heavenly strain? Who, in the view of Him as
reconciling us to God, and as executing towards us the office of a
Shepherd, and as procuring for us God’s favourable acceptance both of
our persons and our services; who, I say, does not add his “Amen”
to this; and desire, from his inmost soul, that all “glory and
dominion” may be given to Him by all His creatures, both in heaven
From the whole of this subject we
1. What we should aspire after—We
can scarcely conceive any thing more comprehensive of real holiness,
of holiness in its utmost possible extent, than the words before us.
This is what the (writer) desired in behalf of all the Christian
Church: and this is what every Christian should aspire after for
Beloved brethren, indeed
Christianity does not consist in notions of any kind. Doubtless its
foundation is laid on truths revealed by Almighty God: but it must
have a superstructure, a superstructure high as heaven itself; for “our
conversation must be in heaven,” (Php 3:20KJV, Php 3:20NASB-note)
whither our Saviour Christ is gone before. I pray you, do not attempt
to lower the standard of God’s requirements.
be for “every good work;”
“his revealed will;”
“whatsoever is pleasing in his sight:”
Desire nothing less than this; and
aim at nothing less: but seek to be “holy as God himself is holy,”
(1Pe 1:15, 16-note,
Lv 11:44, 45) and “perfect as God himself is perfect.” (Mt
2. How it is to be attained—It
is not by any worldly principles that such holiness can be acquired:
it is by a discovery and
reception of evangelical truth,
even by the
And the more fully that
is understood, the
more influential shall we find it on our hearts and lives.
It (an understanding of the Gospel)
banishes servile fear:
it establishes the dominion of gratitude and love:
it stimulates to high and noble exertions:
it renders suffering itself a ground of joy, when sustained in the
cause of our adorable Lord and Master.
It even assimilates us to Christ himself.
What was there which He did not do
to effect a reconciliation between God and us? And what will not His
followers do to express their love to Him? Behold St. Paul.
“For the knowledge of Christ, he
accounted all things but dung and dross.”
He was ready to die at any time,
and in any manner, for the sake of Christ. In like manner will the
saving knowledge of Christ operate on us also. Let this, then, be
remembered by us, that
Christian principle alone
will lead to Christian practice.
And in order to our advancement in
the divine life, let us seek to know Christ (cp Php 3:10-note,
for then only shall we be conformed to His image (Ro 8:29-note),
when we behold His glory (cp He 12:2-note),
and the glory of God the Father shining forth in Him. (Hebrews 13:20, 21 Christian
Principles Improved in Prayer)
F B Meyer - The Closing
"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord
Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the
everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his
will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through
Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever. Hebrews 13:20-21.
THROUGHOUT this Epistle, the inspired writer has been appealing to
man. Through successive paragraphs he has poured forth a burning
stream of argument, remonstrance, or appeal; now opening the full peal
of Sinai's thunders, and now the wail of Calvary's broken heart, and
finally summoning the most honored names in Hebrew story to enforce
his words. All this is over now. He can say no more. The plowing and
sowing and harrowing are alike complete. He must turn from earth to
heaven, from man to God; and leave his converts and his work with that
glorious Being whose cause he had striven so faithfully to plead, and
who alone could crown his labors with success. There are many splendid
outbursts of prayer beginning these Epistles; but amongst them all, it
is impossible to find one more striking or beautiful than this.
I. THE BURDEN OF THE PRAYER
Is that these Hebrew Christians may be made perfect to do God's will.
The word "perfect" means to set in joint, or articulate. Naturally, we
are out of joint, or, at the best, work stiffly; but the ideal of
Christian living is to be so perfectly "set" that God's purposes may
be easily and completely realized in us. There is no higher aim in
life than to do the will of God. It was the supreme object for which
our Saviour lived. This brought him from heaven. This determined his
every action. This fed his inner life with hidden meat. This cleared
and lit up his judgment. This led him with unfaltering decision into
the valley of death. This was the stay and solace of his spirit as he
drank the bitter cup of agony. Throughout his mortal life his one glad
shout of assurance and victory was, "I delight to do thy will, O my
God; yea, thy law is within my heart." And human lives climb up from
the lowlands to the upland heights just in proportion as they do the
will of God on earth as it is done in heaven. If every reader of these
lines would resolve from this moment to do the will of God in the very
smallest things-with scrupulous care, counting nothing insignificant,
shrinking from no sacrifice, evading no command-life would assume
entirely a new aspect. There might be a momentary experience of
suffering and pain; but it would be succeeded by the light of
resurrection, and the new song of heaven, stealing like morning
through the chambers of the soul.
God is love; to do his will is to scatter love in handfuls of blessing
on a weary world. God is light; to do his will is to tread a path that
shines more and more unto the perfect day. God is life; to do his will
is to eat of the Tree of Life, and live forever, and to drink deep
draughts of the more abundant life which Jesus gives. God is the God
of hope; to do his will is to be full of all joy and peace, and to
abound in hope. God is the God of all comfort; to do his will is to be
comforted in all our tribulation by the tender love of a mother. God
is the God of peace; to do his will is to learn the secret inner calm,
which no storm can reach, no tempest ruffle. God is the God of truth;
to do his will is to be on the winning side, and to be assured of the
time when he will bring out our righteousness as the light, and our
judgment as the noonday. Why will you not, my readers, who have
followed these chapters thus far to the last, resolve from this moment
that your will shall henceforth say "Yes" to God's will, and that you
will live out what be wills and works within? Probably, at the very
outset, you will be tested by your attitude to some one thing. Do not
try to answer all the suggestions or inquiries that may be raised
tumultuously within, but deal immediately and decisively with that
single item. Dare to say, with respect to it, "I will thy will, O my
God." And immediately the gate will open into the rapture of a new
life. But remember that his will must be done in every work to which
you put your hands; and then every work will be good. We cannot tell
how the mysterious promptings of our will are able to express
themselves in our limbs and members. We only know that what we will in
ourselves is instantly wrought out through the wonderful machinery of
nerve and muscle. And we are quick to perceive when, through some
injury or dislocation, the mandate of the will fails to be instantly
and completely fulfilled. Nor do we rest content until the complete
communication is restored. But in all this there is a deep spiritual
analogy. We are members, through grace, of the body of Christ. The
will lies with him; and if we were living as we ought, we should be
incessantly conscious of its holy impulses, withdrawing us from this,
or prompting us to that. Our will would not be obliterated, but would
elect to work in perpetual obedience and subordination to the will of
its King. Alas! this is not our case. We are too little sensible of
those holy impulses. On rare occasions we realize and yield to them.
But how many of them fail to reach or move us, because we are out of
joint! What prayer could better befit our lips than that the God of
peace, the true surgeon of souls, would put us in joint, to do his
will, with unerring accuracy, promptitude, and completeness!
II. MARK THE GUARANTEES THAT THIS PRAYER SHALL BE REALIZED
The appeal is made to the God of peace. He whose nature is never swept
by the storms of desire or unrest; whose one aim is to introduce peace
into the heart and life; whose love to us will not brook
disappointment in achieving our highest blessedness, he must undertake
this office; he will do it most tenderly and delicately; nor will he
rest until the obstruction to the inflow of his nature is removed, and
there is perfect harmony between the promptings of his will and our
immediate and joyous response.
He brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of
the sheep. To have given us a Shepherd was much; but to have given us
so great a Shepherd is marvelous. He is the great Shepherd who died,
just as he is the good Shepherd who knows his flock, and the chief
Shepherd who is coming again. He is great, because of the intrinsic
dignity of his nature; because of his personal qualifications to save
and bless us; because of the greatness of his unknown sufferings; and
because of the height of glory to which the Father hath exalted him.
The words "brought again" are very expressive. They contain the idea
of "brought up." More is meant than the reanimation of the dead body
of Christ. There is included, also, his exaltation by the right hand
of God, to be a Prince and a Saviour. And, surely, if our God has
given us such a Shepherd, and raised him to such a glory, that he may
help us the more efficiently, there is every reason why we should
confidently count on his doing all that may needed in us, as he has
done all that was needed for us.
He will certainly respect the everlasting covenant, which has been
sealed with blood. God has entered into an eternal covenant with us to
be our God and Friend. That covenant, which does not depend on
anything in us, but rests on his own unchanging nature, has been
ratified by the precious blood of his Son. As the first covenant was
sealed by the sprinkled blood of slain beasts, so the second was
sealed by the precious blood of Christ. "This is my blood of the new
testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." Thus
spoke our Saviour on the eve of his death, with a weight of meaning
which this Epistle was needed to explain. And is it likely that he who
has entered into such a covenant with our souls-a covenant so
everlasting, so divine, so solemn-will ever go back from it, or allow
anything to remain undone which may be needed to secure its perfect
and efficient operation? It cannot be! We may count, without the
slightest hesitation, on the God of peace doing all that is required
to perfect us in every good work to do his will.
III. THE DIVINE METHOD
Will be to work in us. It is necessary first that we should be
adjusted so that there may be no waste or diversion of the divine
energy. When that is done, then it will begin to pass into and through
us in mighty tides of power. "God working in you." It is a marvelous
expression! We know how steam works mightily within the cylinder,
forcing up and down the ponderous piston. We know how sap works
mightily within the branches, forcing itself out in bud and leaf and
blossom. We read of a time when men and women were so possessed of
devils that they spoke and acted as the inward promptings led them.
These are approximations to the conception of the text, which towers
infinitely beyond. Have we not all been conscious of some of these
workings? They do not work in us mightily as they did in the Apostle
Paul, because we have not yielded to them as he did. Still, we have
known them when the breath of holy resolution has Swept through our
natures; or we have conceived some noble purpose; or have been
impelled to some deed of self-sacrifice for others. These are the
workings of God within the heart, not in the tornado only, but in the
zephyr; not in the thunder alone, but in the still small voice. Every
sigh for the better life, every strong and earnest resolution, every
determination to leave the nets and fishing-boats to follow Jesus,
every appetite for fellowship, every aspiration heavenward-all these
are the result of God's in-working. How careful we should be to gather
up every divine impulse, and translate it into action! We must work
out what he works in. We must labor according to his working, which
works in us mightily. We must be swift to seize the fugitive and
transient expression, embodying it in the permanent act. It does not
seem so difficult to live and work for God when it is realized that
the eternal God is energizing within. You cannot be sufficiently
patient to that querulous invalid, your patience is exhausted; but God
is working his patience within you: let it come out through you. You
cannot muster strength for that obvious Christian duty; but God is
working that fruit in your innermost nature; be content to let it
manifest itself by you. You are incompetent to sustain that Christian
work, with its manifold demands; but stand aside, and let the eternal
God work in and through you, to do by his strength what you in your
weakness cannot do. The Christian is the workshop of God. In that
mortal but renewed nature the divine Artisan is at work, elaborating
products of exquisite beauty and marvelous skill. Would that we might
be less eager to give the world ourselves, and more determined that
there should be a manifestation through all the gateways of our being
of the wondrous in-working of the God of peace! Then we might say,
with some approach to the words of our Lord, to such as demand
evidences of his resurrection and life, "How sayest thou, Prove to me
the resurrection of Jesus? the words which I speak, I speak not of
myself; but my Saviour, who dwelleth in me, he doeth the works."
III. THE RESULT
Will be that we shall be well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus
Christ. Our good works can never be the ground of our acceptance or
justification. The very best of them can only please God through Jesus
Christ. Our purest tears need washing again in his blood. Our holiest
actions need to be cleansed ere they can be viewed by a holy God. Our
best prayers and gifts need to be laid on the altar which sanctifies
all it touches. We could not stand before God for a moment, save by
that one sufficient substitutionary sacrifice, once offered by Jesus
on the cross, and now pleaded by him before the throne. At the same
time, our Father is pleased with our obedient loyalty to his will. He
gives us this testimony, that we please him; as Enoch did, who walked
with him before the flood. And it should be the constant ambition of
our lives so to walk as to please him, and to obtain from him a faint
echo of those memorable words which greeted our Saviour as he stepped
upon the waters of Baptism: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well
To Him be glory forever and ever!
Directly the soul is right with God,
it becomes a vehicle for God; and thus a revenue of glory begins to
accrue to God, which ceases not, but augments as the years roll by.
And the time will never come when the spirit shall not still pour
forth its glad rejoicings to the glory of him to whom is due the
praise of all. If your life is not bringing glory to God, see to it
that at once you set to work to ascertain the cause. Learning it, let
it be dealt with forthwith. Hand yourself over to God to make you and
keep you right. And thus begin a song of love and praise, which shall
rise through all coming ages, to the Father who chose you in Christ,
to the Saviour who bought you with his blood, and to the Spirit who
sanctifies the heart; one adorable Trinity, to whom be the glory
forever and ever, Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21: The
Closing Prayer from The Way into the Holiest)
Steven Cole's sermon on
God Our Provider
One of the strange ironies of human
existence is that all of us are weak and needy, but we try to project
the impression that we’re strong and self-sufficient. I’m sure that
pride is at the root of this, but it’s still strange to observe. We’re
like the emperor in the familiar story, proudly strutting down the
street to show off our new clothes, when in fact we’re stark naked.
For example, every one of us is physically frail, but we act as if
we’re going to live forever. Even if you’re young and in good health,
there are many ways that you could die before this day is over. When
we visit Marla’s mother, who lives in a community of mostly retired
people, I’m always amazed at the way that all of the old geezers are
desperately trying to keep it all together. I’m quickly becoming an
old geezer myself, and I’m all for trying to stay in shape as long as
I’m able. But watching these people gives me the distinct impression
that they’re closing their eyes to the fact that they’re going to die
in just a few years.
Every one of us is financially frail and needy. Again, someone may
protest, “I’ve got adequate investments and properties that I own that
will more than meet my future needs. I’ve got a great job with
seniority.” I’m sure that Saddam Hussein had similar thoughts about a
year before we invaded Iraq! But his investments and job security
didn’t do him much good then. Jesus warned about the man who thought
that he had achieved financial security, but God demanded his soul of
him that very night (Luke 12:15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21).
Our bodies and our finances are only two areas, but pick any area of
life that you wish, and the conclusions are the same: you are weak,
vulnerable, and needy. Emotionally, maybe you’re doing great today,
but tomorrow a series of tragedies could hit you as they hit Job, and
you would be shattered. Nothing in this life is a sure basis for
security-except for God! He designed it that way so that we would be
driven to trust in Him for every need. But in spite of the obvious
truth of this, we madly scramble to find our security in other things.
The church of Laodicea thought that they had it together. They said,
“I am rich and have become wealthy and have need of nothing.” God had
a slightly different opinion: “you do not know that you are wretched
and miserable and poor and blind and naked” (Rev 3:17-note).
There could hardly be a greater contrast! How could a church think
that they were rich, wealthy, and in need of nothing, and yet God sees
them as wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked?
The irony is, when we see ourselves as God sees us, recognizing our
desperate need for Him, and cry out to Him, He is ready to flood us
with His abundant blessings. As Mary acknowledged, “He has filled the
hungry with good things; and sent away the rich empty-handed” (Luke
1:53). When we come hungry to God, He fills us. When we think we’re
rich and don’t need God, He sends us away empty-handed. This is great
news-that the only requirement for receiving God’s abundant blessings
is to come to Him as a desperate, needy sinner and ask for mercy. He
delights to provide for those who rely on Him.
The author of Hebrews has just acknowledged his need by asking his
readers for prayer (He 13:18, 19). Now, he returns the favor by
praying for his readers in this wonderful benediction. We can sum it
up by saying,
God, who has provided everything for our salvation through Jesus
Christ (2Pe 1:3-note),
through Him will also provide all that we need to live for His glory.
God has promised to do everything that is in these two verses, and yet
the author prays that it would be so. God has ordained that prayer is
the way for us to lay hold of His promises. Prayer acknowledges that
we’re needy and that God is mighty to provide. When He does provide,
He gets the glory because we know that He did it.
1. God has provided everything for our salvation through Jesus
Christ (He 13:20).
The author succinctly gives five aspects of our salvation:
A. God has provided peace between Himself and fallen sinners.
The author refers to God as “the God of peace.” People desperately
seek peace for their souls in many ways, but true peace can only come
through being reconciled to God. The Bible teaches that we are born in
rebellion against God. Our sins make us enemies of God, who is
absolutely holy. Paul writes of those who are outside of Christ, “the
mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject
itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those
who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Ro 8:7, 8-note).
James (Jas 4:4-note)
writes that “friendship with the world is hostility toward God.”
People who are God’s enemies often do not recognize their true
spiritual condition, because Satan has blinded their minds (2Co 4:4).
One of the first signs that God is at work in your heart is that you
begin to see your sin and guilt before God (2Co 4:6). You recognize
that there is no way that you can atone for your own sin. You wonder
if there is any way that you can have true peace with God. The great
news of the Bible is, Yes! That’s why Jesus Christ came. Paul wrote
(2Co 5:19) “that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself,
not counting their trespasses against them….” Before we explore how He
did that, note…
B. God has provided the great Shepherd of the sheep that we needed.
This is the only time in Hebrews that the author refers to Jesus as
our Shepherd, but that metaphor is used often of Him. Jesus
referred to Himself as “the good shepherd,” who “lays down His
life for the sheep” (John 10:11). Here, the author has just referred
to the leaders of the congregation as those who “keep watch over
your souls” (Heb. 13:17). But even the best of leaders are
imperfect shepherds at best. Jesus is “the great Shepherd,” who
does not lose any of the sheep that the Father has given to Him. He
said (John 10:28, 29, 30),
“I give eternal life to them, and
they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My
Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is
able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and the Father are
Phillip Keller, in his
A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23
[Zondervan], shows that domestic sheep are some of the
most helpless animals in the world. They literally cannot survive
without a shepherd. They need him to guard them from predators, to
lead them to pasture, to provide quiet sources of pure water, and many
other necessities. In fact, they can even get stuck on their backs,
with their legs flailing the air, and die in that position, if the
shepherd does not come along and set them upright! Someone has
humorously pointed out that domestic sheep disprove the evolutionary
dogma of the survival of the fittest! The Bible calls us “sheep” to
point out what should be obvious, but what we often deny, that we
cannot survive without the good Shepherd. God graciously sent His Son,
the Lord Jesus Christ, to be our good Shepherd.
C. God has provided by putting that Shepherd to death for our sins.
Our verse mentions “death” and “blood.” As the author
has shown, in His death Jesus fulfilled all that the Old Testament
sacrifices pointed toward. God instituted those sacrifices to provide
a temporary solution for the sins of the Jewish people. The wages of
sin is death, and because He is just, God cannot simply forgive sins
without the penalty being paid. “Without shedding of blood there is no
forgiveness” (Heb 9:22-note).
The blood of animals could never totally atone for sins (He 10:1, 2,
What those sacrifices could not do, Jesus did. As the eternal Son of
God, He took on human flesh, perfectly obeyed God’s law, and then
offered Himself as the just payment for the sins of His people. Isaiah
53:4, 5, 6 prophesied of Jesus’ death on our behalf:
Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we
ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted. But He
was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our
iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by
His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the
iniquity of us all to fall on Him.
Thus the God of peace has provided the way for us to have peace with
Him by sending the great Shepherd and putting Him to death for our
sins. But He did not remain in the grave:
D. God has provided by raising that Shepherd from the dead, thus
confirming His covenant.
There is a sense in which Jesus laid down His life and took it up
again by His own authority (John 10:18). But in another sense, the
Father raised Jesus from the dead by His mighty power (Acts 2:24;
3:15, 4:10, 26; 5:30; Ep 1:20-note).
The phrase, “through [or, by] the blood of the eternal covenant” is
connected with God’s bringing Jesus up from the dead. The resurrection
confirmed God’s acceptance of Jesus’ death as ratification of the new
covenant, in which He said, “I will be merciful to their iniquities,
and I will re-member their sins no more” (Heb. 8:12-note).
The covenant is eternal in the sense that it never will be invalidated
or superseded. Jesus’ shed blood is the final, complete sacrifice for
our sins (Heb. 10:14, 15, 16, 17, 18-note).
The bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the solid foundation
of the Christian faith. If you can disprove it, there is no basis for
Christianity, and you should live for all the pleasure you can get in
this life (1Co 15:12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 32). But the uniform
witness of the apostles, who were transformed from dejected and
disillusioned men after the crucifixion into bold witnesses, was that
Jesus is risen bodily. They saw Him, they touched Him, they ate with
Him, and He taught them for 40 days before He ascended into heaven. He
promised to return bodily. If these things are just the wish
fulfillments of a bunch of deluded men, then Christianity is false. If
these witnesses spoke the truth, then Jesus is the risen Lord.
E. God has provided Jesus, who is our Lord.
The last phrase of He 13:20 identifies the great Shepherd of the sheep
as “Jesus our Lord.” This shows both the humanity and deity of the
Savior. Jesus is His human name, born of the virgin Mary through the
power of the Holy Spirit. As a man, He could die on the cross as the
substitute for human sinners. “Lord” is a title for the sovereign God.
As God in human flesh, Jesus’ death could do what the death of animals
never could do: permanently take away our sins (He 10:10-note,
The author uses the first person plural pronoun, “our Lord.” The Bible
is clear that while Jesus is Lord of all, He is not the Lord of all in
the same way. He is the Lord of some in the sense that He is their
Judge, who will condemn them. He is Lord of others in the sense of
being their Savior. Those are the only two options. If Jesus is not
your Lord personally, because you have trusted in Him as your Savior
from sin, and submitted to Him as the rightful Sovereign of your life,
then you will face Him someday as the Judge who will impose the just
penalty of eternal separation from Him because of your sins.
Now is the day of salvation (2Co 6:2), when every sinner may find
mercy at the cross. At death or when Jesus returns will be the day of
judgment, when those who have not submitted to Jesus as Lord will cry
out to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the
presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the
Lamb” (Rev. 6:16-note).
So the first part of the author’s benediction shows that God has
provided everything for our salvation through Jesus our Lord. But, He
does not just save us from His judgment and then leave us to fend for
2. God will also provide all that we need to live for His glory (He
The verb, equip, is in the Greek optative mood, which ex-presses a
desire or wish. The sense is, “May the God of peace equip you….” There
are four facets to this:
A. God will equip us in every
good thing to do His will.
Imagine the parents of a newborn bringing their little bundle home
from the hospital. They carry him from room to room, explaining,
“There’s the refrigerator. Help yourself when you’re hungry. There’s
the bathroom. It’s all there for you: toilet, shower, sink. Your
bedroom is in here. Just make sure that you change the sheets each
week and make your bed. If you ever need anything, let us know. We’ll
see what we can do.”
Thankfully, no earthly parents would ever think of doing that, and God
does not do that, either. As Paul explains in Ro 8:32-note,
“He who did not spare His own Son,
but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him
freely give us all things?”
There is one sense in which evil
men killed Jesus. But in another sense, God put His own Son to death
for us (Ps 22:15; Is 53:4, 10; Acts 2:23; 4:27, 28). If God made that
greatest provision for us while we were yet sinners, won’t He now
provide all that we need to live for Him and serve Him for His glory?
“To do God’s will” is to be like Jesus, because He came to do God’s
will (Heb. 10:7). This is a lifelong process that is never complete in
this life. But the point here is that the same mighty power that
raised Jesus from the dead equips us to do God’s will and to live for
The King James Version translated equip as make you perfect, but that
conveys a wrong sense. The Greek verb is used of mending torn nets
(Mt. 4:21). It was used outside of the Bible to describe putting a
bone back into place. It means to restore something so that it can
realize its intended purpose. As sinners, we’re wounded and broken. By
our own efforts, we could never put our lives back together so that
they would be useful to the holy God. But what we cannot do, God does!
He mends the torn places in our lives. He sets the broken bones, so
that they will heal. He does not do this so that we can live for
ourselves, but rather so that we can “in every good thing … do His
will.” His Word shows us the things that “are pleasing in His sight,”
so that we can walk in them.
B. God will work in us that which is pleasing in His sight.
God equips or restores us, and then He works in us. But this does not
mean that we are completely passive in the process. Our text conveys
what Paul wrote (Phil 2:12b-note,
“work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is
at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” God
saves us by His sovereign grace, not by anything we do. Both saving
faith and repentance are His gift, not something that comes from
within us (Php 1:29-note;
Acts 11:18; 2Ti 2:25-note).
Having saved us, He blesses us with every spiritual blessing in Christ
He works in us, motivating and empowering us to do His will. And yet
at the same time, we must work in cooperation with Him. Ephesians 2:8,
puts it all together,
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of
yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that
no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus
for good works, which God prepared before-hand so that we would walk
God saved us by His grace, and He prepared the very works that we
should do for Him beforehand. But, we have to walk in them. Our aim
every day, beginning on the thought level, should be, “God, I want to
please You because of Your abundant grace that You have shown me.
Empower me today to do that which is pleasing in Your sight.”
Thus God will equip us in every good thing to do His will, working in
us that which is pleasing in His sight.
C. God works these things through Jesus Christ.
The author adds (He 13:21), “through Jesus Christ.” As we saw
in our study of 13:15, everything in the Christian life is “through
Him.” (See discussion of
= through Christ)
We are saved because “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the
world” (Eph. 1:4-note).
He “blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in
Christ” (Eph. 1:3-note).
Someone has added up the phrase “in Christ” (See discussion of
) or “in Christ Jesus” in Paul’s
writings and found that it occurs 169 times (cited by Kent Hughes,
Hebrews, An Anchor for the Soul [Crossway], 2:247). What a glorious
truth, that if you have trusted Christ, everything that is true of Him
is true of you! All of His riches are yours to enjoy!
Imagine that you were a poor orphan in Africa and the billionaire,
Bill Gates, adopted you and included you in his will as the only heir.
Suddenly, all of the riches of the richest man in the world are yours
because you are in his family. Far better than the riches of Bill
Gates, which will perish, are God’s riches in Jesus Christ, which
endure throughout eternity! And they are yours in Him!
D. God and the Lord Jesus Christ get all of the glory.
Grammatically, “to whom” may refer either to God or to Jesus Christ,
and scholars are divided over which is preferable. But since the
Father and the Son are one, they both get the glory in our salvation.
As Revelation 5:13-note
To Him who sits on the throne, and
to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and do-minion forever and
Salvation is not about us. The
Christian life is not about us. It’s all about God’s glory and the
glory of Jesus, the Lamb of God, who gave Himself for our sins. If you
are not living daily to glorify God for His great salvation in Jesus
Christ, you are living for an insignificant purpose. God created you
so that you would live to glorify Him by enjoying Him forever. “Amen”
means, “So be it!”
Conclusion - Someone has written (source unknown), Empty
hands I lifted to Him and He filled them with a store Of His own
transcendent riches till my hands could hold no more. And at last I
comprehended, with my mind so slow and dull That God could not pour
His riches into hands already full.
Has God opened your eyes to your need for Christ? If so, let go of
everything else and lay hold of Jesus Christ. He is that “treasure
hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy
over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” (Matt.
13:44). He is that pearl of great value for which a merchant “sold all
that he had and bought it” (Matt. 13:45, 46). In Him, God has provided
all that you need for salvation from His judgment. In Him, God has
provided all that you need to live in a manner that is pleasing unto
Him, for His glory. Make sure that your faith rests in the risen great
Shepherd, even Jesus our Lord!
1. Why are people who are headed for judgment blind to their desperate
need for Christ (2Co 4:4)? Other than prayer, how can we help them to
see the truth?
2. “Good” people are often the most difficult to reach with the
gospel. Agree/disagree? Why? (See Luke 18:18-27.)
3. How can we know the balance
between God’s power and our own efforts in serving Him (Phil 2:12b-note,
4. Why must pleasing God begin on
the thought level? See Heb 4:13-note;
13:20-21 God Our Provider)
WHAT HE WILL DO IN US
Andrew Murray - The God of
Peace - And What He Will Do In Us - Hebrews 13:20-21 from
"Holiest of All"
THE Epistle began by telling us
that in 'all that Christ is and does it is God speaking in us. The
great work of Christ is to bring us to God; His death and His blood,
His ascension and sitting on the throne, all mean one thing--our being
brought nigh to dwell in God's presence. And with what object? That
God may have us, to perfect us, and work in us that which is
well-pleasing in His sight. Let no one think that the entrance into
the Holiest is the end, it is only the beginning of the true Christian
life. It brings us into the right place and the right position, in
which God now, in His divine power, can work out His own power in us,
can make us in full truth one with Christ, can work the likeness of
Christ into us.
We have reached the close of the Epistle. The writer gathers up all
his teaching in the two verses of this beautiful closing prayer. As in
It he commits his readers to God, the mention of God's name calls up
all that he has said of God's work, and the first of the two verses is
a summing up of all that God has done for us to bring us to Himself.
Then follows, in the second the prayer, with its promise of all that
we can count upon this God to do in us, that we may live worthy of
Him. He points to the work God has done for us, as the ground and
pledge of what He will do in us. The Epistle has revealed to us God in
Christ; it seeks to send us out into life with the assurance that as
wonderful and mighty and perfect as was the work of God in Christ for
us, will be His work through Christ, by the Spirit, in us. Let each
one who has listened to the call Let us draw nigh, remember that he
has been brought to God, that God may now reveal Christ in Him, and,
as completely as He perfected Christ, perfect each one of us to do His
will. The more we look to what God has done in Christ, as the pledge
of what He will do in us, with the more confidence will our faith
accept and expect it. And the more our desire is set upon the
wonderful work God is yet to do in us, the more will our heart be
fixed in adoration on God Himself as our hope and our joy.
The God of peace. This is the name by which we are invited to
call upon and trust our God. Peace is the opposite of enmity, of war,
of care, of unrest. Where everything is finished and perfect, there is
peace and rest. God hath set the Holiest open for us, in token that we
may enter into His rest, and trust Him to perfect His work in us. The
peace of God, which passeth all understanding, can now keep our hearts
and minds by Christ Jesus. Peace, an end of all care and fear and
separation, has been proclaimed; the God of peace is now waiting to do
His work in us.
Who brought again from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep, in
the blood of the everlasting covenant. The Epistle has nowhere
directly made mention of the resurrection of Christ. But this was not
needful: all its teaching was based upon the fact that He who died and
shed His blood is now living in heaven. We have studied the Epistle in
vain, and we shall in vain attempt to live the true Christian life, if
we have not learnt that our salvation is not in the death of Jesus but
in His life---in His death only as the gate to the risen life. And so
the God of peace, whom we are now invited to trust in, is spoken of as
He who raised Jesus, the Shepherd of the sheep, who gave His life for
them, from the dead. Scripture ever points to the resurrection as the
mightiest part of God's mighty power; the God of the resurrection is
to be the God in whom we trust for the work to be done in us. He has
raised Christ, as the Shepherd, who watches and tends His sheep,
through whom He will do His work.
In the blood of the everlasting covenant. We know how the blood
has been coupled in the Epistle with the
redemption of transgressions,
the opening of the entrance into heaven, and the cleansing of the
heart from all conscience of sin. Were it not for that blood-shedding
Christ had never risen from the dead. In that blood, even the blood of
the everlasting covenant, which could only be made after there had
been a redemption for transgressions, God raised Jesus from the dead.
It was the blood that sealed the covenant, by which the covenant
blessings of perfect pardon, of the law written in the heart, and
direct fellowship with God were secured to us. It was the blood that
had conquered sin and death and hell, that could give the entrance
into heaven, and cleanse the sinner's heart for the reception and
experience of the heavenly life. And as those who are sprinkled with
this blood, the secret of resurrection power; we are invited to trust
the God of the resurrection to work in us.
The God of peace, who hath raised Jesus from the dead in the blood of
the covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will. The
God who perfected His Son through suffering to do His will, until He
raised Him in triumph over death to His own right hand--O soul! this
same God is waiting to do this same work in thee in the same power.
What He did in Christ for thee is all for Size sake of what He is now
day by day to do in thee. All that thou hast learnt Of the wonders of
His redeeming work, and His receiving thee into the Holiest, is that
thou mightest now confidently trust and expect Him to take possession
of thee and perfect His work within thee Oh, let us draw nigh and
enter in, in the restful, adoring assurance that God will perfect us
in every good thing.
1. Peace is rest. To know the God of peace is to enter the rest of
God. And until the soul rests in Him in Sabbath peace, God cannot do
His higher, His perfect work.
2. The work of the Father and the Son for us find their completion in
the work of the Holy Spirit within us. All the objective revelation is
for the sake of the subjective experience, the mighty power of God
working in the heart of His child what He longs to see. It is in what
God makes us, that the power of the redemption in Christ is proved.
3. By faith. Here more than ever this must be our watchword. Faith
that sees and accepts and dwells in all God has done for us in Christ,
and then counts upon His faithfulness and power to make it all real
within us in Christ through the Spirit.
4. As it was through the Spirit that god wrought that perfect work in
Christ by which fallen human nature, as He had taken it upon Himself,
was redeemed and raised up and glorified, so nothing can make us
partakers of that redeeming and quickening power but that same Spirit,
truly living and working in our soul and body, in the same manner as
it did in the humanity of Christ. (Andrew
Murray's - "Holiest of All")