This is the second Sunday before Easter Sunday and I want to continue our look at Jesus. Even though the Reverend Billy Graham is gone from this earth and now resides in the presence of the one who had died for him, Billy Graham none the less leaves an incredibly rich legacy of faith and service behind him. I want to remind you of what Timothy Beougher from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary wrote regarding Billy Graham;

7 Things that every Christian can learn from Billy Graham.

  1. Billy Graham believed in the authority of Scripture.
  2. Graham knew the power of prayer.
  3. He knew the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
  4. Billy Graham focused on the cross.
  5. Graham promoted personal evangelism.
  6. He prepared for the future.
  7. He lived a life of holiness.

Let’s do a little review from last week and look at Hebrews chapter 2 verse 10; “For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”

When you look at verse 10 you discover several things. One; It was fitting for him, or in some translations it says it became Him.  What was fitting or became Him?  It means that this was what was intended for Jesus Christ in His person and purpose. Coming to earth in human form to live life as a perfect example for others, then to be sacrificed for all the sins of humanity so that we might have a way to return to fellowship with God the Father, this is what is meant by it was fitting or became Him.

And that would lead you to the next part of verse ten; “for whom are all things and by whom are all things,” and we know that all things were made by and for Jesus Christ. Jesus was the builder of all Creation, up to and including us. 

We would next learn that it was God’s intention from the beginning to provide a way for a return to fellowship with him and a sinful humanity.  When Adam and Eve sinned, God did not smack His forehead and exclaim “Oh Snap!” We see in  John 3: 17 God’s plan for the sins of  Adam and Eve and all humanity… “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” And by doing this, we have the next step in verse 10 ;” in bringing many sons to glory,”

God’s goal through Jesus was and is to bring as many to salvation as want to believe and partake in this incredible gift of eternal life

What follows in verse 10 after Jesus brings many sons to glory?  “To make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” As we discussed last week, the Greek word translated here as Captain also means a chief leader and Jesus was just that, as the leader of salvation through his death on the cross. But unlike all others, Jesus died, but he what?  Jesus rose  and saw the victory. The victory over sin, the victory over death, and the triumph of eternal life for those who would give themselves over to the Savior, Jesus Christ. 

That moves us forward to verses 11 through 13, as we continue to call Captain my Captain, Jesus my Jesus, but we also need to learn about the Supremacy of Christ. The first chapter of Hebrews shows us that Jesus is above the prophets and the angels, why, because the Creator is greater than the created. Let’s look at verses 11-13 here in chapter 2;

“For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying: "I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You." 13 And again: "I will put My trust in Him." And again: "Here am I and the children whom God has given Me."

 Well the He who sanctifies is obvious, it is Jesus Christ, but who are those who are sanctified? The sanctified are only those people who are in Jesus Christ, who have accepted Him as their Savior and have therefore been justified through faith and have been regenerated. Not only that, but because of Jesus’ perfect work on the cross, His sacrifice allows us to be seen by God through Him. John Phillips in his commentary on Hebrews puts it like this; “No doubt, as far as our state is concerned, there is much of which we need to be ashamed. But as far as our standing is concerned, it is perfect. Such is the magnificence of Christ’s work that He can bring us into the presence of the angels, into the presence of the Father Himself, and say, “These are my brethren.”

But let’s take a step back and look at what is Sanctification? Is it a one and done type of event like Salvation?  Well, once we are saved, we are saved. But that in no way means that we can continue on in life as we did.

True Salvation should lead us to a new way of life as we put off our old sinful ways and put on our new life, and that is where Sanctification comes in.

Sanctification is a personal event in that it is not corporately shared amongst a group, it is something that each one of  us who are saved must work at and grow in. This is not something that is imputed to us like righteousness.  Matthew Henry in his Commentary on verse 11 says; “True believers are those who are sanctified, endowed with holy principles and powers, separated and set apart from mean and vile uses to high and holy uses and purposes; for so they must be before they can be brought to glory.”

 The Reverend Billy Graham was a great example of what we are discussing here regarding Sanctification because he lived a life of holiness.  Pastor Greg Laurie shared after Billy Graham’s death that he was so honored to have gotten to be friends with Billy Graham and said that Billy Graham was just the same in public as he was in private.  Loving his Savior and working to portray that message in life each and every day. As Matthew Henry said; “True believers are those who are sanctified, endowed with holy principles and powers, separated and set apart from mean and vile uses to high and holy uses and purposes;

In the growth of our sanctification, we are to grow more and more holy and more and more useful to the Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:30-31… “But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God — and righteousness and sanctification and redemption —  31 that, as it is written, "He who glories, let him glory in the Lord."

While God is the author of Sanctification, and Jesus is the deliverer of Sanctification through his sacrificial death and resurrection, it is the Holy Spirit that is our personal Sanctification trainer if you will.  The Holy Spirit is the one who is in touch with us daily and guides us in what we are supposed to do, including growing more holy on our Sanctification path.  This is a journey that does not end until we are made perfect in our heavenly form. However, we are commanded to grow in our holiness, how? By regular spiritual workouts with our personal spiritual trainer the Holy Spirit,

Here are some basic spiritual workout tips; called L.O.R.P.

  1. lift…lift up the Bible in your hands.
  2. Open… open the Bible.
  3. Read… read scripture on a daily basis and through that learn and grow.
  4. Pray…pray daily, for yourself and your growth in the Lord, pray for others, pray for our nation and the unsaved here and around the world.

This daily workout like a physical workout will help you to build and strengthen your spiritual muscles. If you are serious about growing in your sanctification, then you need to stop being a 90-pound spiritual weakling and get buffed in the spirit.

“For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, Who is this one? It is God from whom all things flow. Salvation is from God, Justification is from God, Mercy is from God, Grace is from God, and Sanctification is from God and that is how He (Jesus) who sanctifies and we who are being sanctified become one in the family of God. And because of this, what happens in verse 11; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,

 You might remember the story of Joseph, so loved by his brothers that they sold him into slavery to a caravan headed to Egypt. From there Joseph goes through many trials but eventually ends up as second only to the Pharaoh in command of Egypt. When Joseph is reunited with his brothers who were all shepherds, a job that was disliked and looked down on by Egyptians, Joseph was none the less proud of his brothers and took them and introduced them as his brothers to the Pharaoh himself.

 In the movie Crocodile Dundee, yes I am dating myself a bit, there is a scene where Mick is explaining to the reporter about how he had survived the crocodile  attack and if he thought he was going to die and if he was afraid of dying;  “I read the Bible once. You know God and Jesus and all them apostles? They were all fishermen, just like me. Yep. It’s straight to heaven for Mick Dundee. Yep. Me and God... We be mates.” Now as far as understanding salvation, Mick is a bit off, but I used this quote in that Jesus being not afraid to call those who are saved and sanctified brethren, he is our mate. Now I am not saying that we are to get chummy with Jesus, because He is our Lord and we owe Him the respect He deserves, but from His viewpoint  we certainly could be mates with him in the family of God.

In fact we see that not only is Jesus not ashamed to call us brethren, He goes even further in verse 12; “saying: "I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You."  This is a quote by the author from Psalms 22 which is considered to have Messianic importance. Listen to verse one in Psalm 22 and see if it might be familiar; “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Yes, these are the same words uttered by Jesus on the cross. All of Palm 22 though written by King David has nothing to do with his real life and can only be prophetical in nature alluding to the Messiah. The quote used in Hebrews verse 12 is from Psalm 22 verse 22;  “I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.”

 The author has harkened back to Psalm 22 to make a connection for their listeners and readers, those being primarily Jews/Hebrews showing them the connection of Jesus from the Old Testament prophecy of David to the actual event here in New Testament times, but the message was the same. David in his joy proclaimed the name of God, to the Jews of his day, and Jesus in His turn proclaimed the Name of God to those believers primarily Jews but also some Gentiles after his death and resurrection.

However, the author of Hebrews wants to solidify his point regarding Jesus and His relationship with those who believe and have been saved through faith in Jesus Christ. So the author moves on from Psalm 22 to either Psalm 18 verse 2 or Isaiah:8 verses 17 & 18 depending on which Biblical commentator you read, but for the first part of verse 13, whether from Psalm or Isaiah, the point is that the believer is putting their trust in God, which is what the Author of Hebrews is saying of Jesus.

Look at the first part of Hebrews 2 verse 13; “And again: "I will put My trust in Him." The conjunction here in verse 13 translated “and again” basically means furthermore.

Look at verse 12 and the beginning of verse 13 with the Greek meaning; “saying: "I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You."  13 Furthermore: "I will put My trust in Him."

 Through a variety of verses in the New Testament, we find that Jesus was obedient to and trusted God the Father.

So Jesus here is not only willing to call those of us who are saved and sanctified His brethren, He is also telling us that He and so should we place our trust in God the Father. In Fact, how much did Jesus trust His Father? He submitted to his own sacrifice, the reason He was here on earth in human form, remember verses 9 & 10;  “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. 10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”

 It was fitting for Him/Jesus to come to earth, to live on earth, to teach on earth, and to die and be resurrected on earth in order to provide the sacrifice needed by humanity to be forgiven by God, but in all these things,

Jesus always had trustin God the Father and by His example, so should we.

Look at the second part of verse 13, “and again or furthermore; "Here am I and the children whom God has given Me." In Isaiah chapter 8 verse 18, the Prophet is saying that he will wait for and trust the Lord while waiting with those that the Lord has entrusted to the prophet’s ministry, the God believing remnant of Judah. But here in Hebrews, the author is using the quote from Isaiah to show the New Testament Jews that Jesus, the crucified and risen Messiah stands with those who have believed on Him and those who believe have been given to Jesus Christ by the Father as Jesus is the head of the family of believers.

What we have here in verses 11 through 13 is Jesus who sanctifies the believers who are all in the family of God and because of that,

Jesus is not ashamed to call us brethren and not only that, Jesus will declare God’s name to the believers of the family of Christ; furthermore Jesus will place His trust in the Father as we should additionally, Jesus is here amongst the family of believers that God has given to him through their deliverance and sanctification.