No Permanent City

The Old and New Covenants are not just two different covenants or commitments between God and His people, they are two different relationships.

What separates them is the motivations they are based on. The first—the Old—acceptance was based on obedience to the Law of Moses. The second—the New—acceptance by God is based on God's grace given to us through Jesus.

Following Jesus means we are to move forward by faith because of our relationship with Him. Living by faith helps us see beyond life in this natural world. Because we trust in Jesus personally our hope is not tied to our life on the earth.

Just as Abraham and his descendants by faith before us, we seek the Lord and the life He promises that extends beyond our life on earth. No place or city on earth is a permanent home for us. Our permanent home is with Jesus in eternity.

Scripture

Remember your leaders who have spoken God’s word to you. Think about how their lives turned out, and imitate their faith.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. [vss 7-8]

Don’t get carried away by all kinds of unfamiliar teachings. Gaining inner strength from God’s kindness [grace] is good for us. This strength does not come from following rules about food, rules that don’t help those who follow them. Those who serve at the tent have no right to eat what is sacrificed at our altar. [vss 9-10]

The chief priest brings the blood of animals into the holy place as an offering for sin. But the bodies of those animals were burned outside the Israelite camp. That is why Jesus suffered outside the gates of Jerusalem. He suffered to make the people holy with his own blood. So we must go to him outside the camp and endure the insults he endured.

We don’t have a permanent city here on earth, but we are looking for the city that we will have in the future. [vss 11-14]

(Hebrews 13:7-14 GW) [Context– Hebrews 13]

Key phrase—

We don’t have a permanent city here on earth

Digging Deeper...

Review the Scriptures above as you answer the following questions

  • What are we told about our "leaders"? Why are we to imitate their faith and example?

  • What are we told about Jesus? How is it related to what is said before and after this statement?

  • Where are we not to gain our strength from and where are we to gain it?

  • Where did Jesus suffer? Why did Jesus suffer and why is this important?

Reflection...

The Christian life is often portrayed as moral goodness and good will towards others. But this is not what the Lord Jesus called His followers to do. He called us to surrender our lives—even our selfish wills—to Him and live by faith (Matt 16:24).

Christian believers ought to live in a morally upright way and have good will towards others. Jesus said that to love God and your neighbor was good and summed up the Law and the Prophets (Matt 22:37-40).

But Jesus calls believers to a higher calling (Phil 3:8-14). He calls us to put our trust in Him rather than anything tied to this earthly life.

When we are heavenly-minded, we can still do good on earth because our hearts are filled with a heavenly confidence and hope. Our confidence and hope are in Jesus Christ alone—who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Make it personal...

Read through the Scripture text again as you consider and answer these questions

  • Why are we to follow the example and faith of our spiritual leaders and how could this be taken the wrong way?

  • Why do you think the statement about Jesus being the same yesterday, today, and forever directly follows the exhortation to imitate the faith of leaders?

  • Do you understand how grace is related to those who live and serve God by faith?

  • Does your trust in God help you see beyond your immediate life needs on earth?

©2017—Word-Strong


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