14 Mar Sermon Recap | Hebrews | Hardened Hearts
The author of Hebrews warns his audience to inspect their souls and be able to care for others. As believers, we are susceptible to hardening our own hearts and living in disobedience to God. It begins with drifting from our faith, and if we are not careful to examine our hearts and heed the warnings of other believers, we will become blinded and deceived by sin.
Center My Life | Austin Stone Worship | iTunes
Revelation 5:13, Matthew 6:19-23, Romans 12:1
The Greatness of Our God | Vertical Church Band | iTunes
Deuteronomy 32:1-3 • Romans 8:38-39 • Isaiah 40:26-31 • Jeremiah 10:6
Once For All | City Alight | iTunes
To the Cross I Cling | The Village Church | iTunes
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Ephesians 2:4-6
Seas of Crimson | Bethel Music | iTunes
Isaiah 53:4-5 • Matthew 26:28 • Revelation 12:11
This I Believe | Hillsong Worship | iTunes
1 Corinthians 15 • John 3:16 • Romans 1:16-17 • Hebrews 1
1. The audience of Hebrews wanted a level of comfort and control that God wasn’t offering. The people were both actively and subtly resistant to God’s teaching which lead to hardened hearts. Author and theologian Wayne Grudem defines a hardened heart as “adopting a fixed attitude of disobedience to God.” What are some examples of lies we believe that can lead to drifting from the faith and eventually lead to a hardened heart? Have you experienced a time when this has happened to you?
2. When we think carefully about our soul, we need to evaluate and diagnose the condition of our hearts. As believers, our first inclination is often to try to “get our heart right” before moving in obedience. However, our hearts are elusive and our ability to manage our hearts is not good. We need to trust and obey first, which will eventually lead back to a heart right with God. How are you demanding control or comfort from God instead of just obeying? What step of obedience do you need to take in an area of your life where you may be ignoring Him and in danger of drifting further?
3. Drifting characterizes all believers at one time or another. Having accountability and community in our lives is important in preventing us from moving even further away and becoming blind and deceived. We must love each other enough to speak the truth early and often. Warning others requires compassion and courage rather than self-protection and comfort. Have you ever been brave enough to warn someone of spiritual danger? Who in your life are you close enough to to care for in this way?
4. In caring for your own soul, you must empower those around you—being willing to be vulnerable and invite people into your life. Are you inviting others into your life in such a way that gives them the freedom to speak truth into you? How have you been defensive or critical of the way others have confronted you? In what ways can you humbly move towards them instead of rejecting criticism out of self-protection?
Thoughts to Consider
– We have a tendency to look outward at other people and what they should be doing. Instead, we should look carefully at our own heart. We are responsible for the condition of our own soul, and there are consequences to ignoring it.
– There are real consequences to hardening our hearts; don’t create a framework of self-soothing comfort that the Bible does not offer. Our attitude of disobedience, rebellion, unbelief, and hardened hearts bring judgment.
– We must remain faithful and allow God’s Word to evaluate us instead of evaluating His Word on our own terms.
“It is not our place to evaluate God’s Word; rather, allow God’s Word to evaluate us.”
“We must heed the warnings of others to avoid becoming blind and deceived.”
“The mark of the believer is to remain faithful to the end.”
“Discipline is at the intersection of responsibility and consequences.”
“Followers of Jesus should be marked by practical spirituality.”