Rooting Out Bitterness

By Scott Masson/ October 6, 2013

Series  Hebrews and the High Priesthood

Context  Westminster Chapel Toronto

Topic  Unity In Christ

Scripture  Hebrews 12:12-17

Sanctification is to be pursued along with peace. It is never loving to confirm people in their sin.

Scripture:  Hebrews 12:12-17

Sermon Notes:

  1. There is a great danger for those in the household of faith of irreparable loss through neglect of covenant privileges.
  2. Jesus Himself warns us not to be hearers of the word only, but also to be doers of it (Matt. 7:21-25; James 1:22).
  3. We are called to live under the Lord’s discipline; suffering is not a sign that God has abandoned us. 
  4. We are to take up our cross, enduring Christ’s suffering obediently, while trusting in His atonement alone.
  5. Persecution and suffering are used by God for our good.
  6. We are to turn our feet away from evil, stop limping on the edge of evil, and walk forward on the straight and narrow.
  7. After the fall there is a tendency to sinful conflict.  We are to strenuously pursue peace with everyone.
  8. Sanctification is to be pursued along with peace.  It is never loving to confirm people in their sin.
  9. Though conflict abounds around us, we must not let go of sanctification; holiness is the chain that binds us to God.
  10. If holiness were actually modeled in the Christian community, we would provide a light on a hill to the world.
  11. Those who hate God’s truth are violent against His people.
  12. Whatever people worship, that is what they become (Is. 6).
  13. The god of our day says:  Something can come from nothing; anything can become anything else.
  14. “Pomo-sexuality” is the idea that we can declare our own reality on gender and sexual identity.
  15. Our culture’s god is our choice; ‘choice’ is the highest good. Its morality is to declare unreal any value higher than choice.
  16. We are to be peaceable, and yet to hold firmly to godliness.
  17. We are to show compassion toward those confused.  But for those advocating evil, we are to stand firmly on truth.
  18. Grace is God’s character expressed toward sinners.  It is God’s unmerited favour toward those at war with Him.
  19. If we don’t hold onto grace, we will start to consider our own merit as the basis for our identity (self-righteousness).
  20. As soon as we start to rely on our own righteousness it leads to bitterness (Deut. 29:18-19).
  21. Do not bless yourself while defying God’s holiness. 
  22. The false joy of self-assurance can easily be substituted for the true joy of receiving God’s grace.
  23. When we give generously we demonstrate that money is a broken power in our lives.
  24. People often think their actions do not count when they are young. But today is the day of salvation (Matt. 7:8).
  25. You cannot have the Lord without making Him Lord.

Application Questions:

  1. What are the six marching orders given in Heb. 12:12-17?
  2. How can we avoid bitterness and a life of unholy living?
  3. What is the place of persecution in our lives?
  4. Where should we draw the line between living at peace with all men and upholding the truth?
  5. Do we ever think that God has pardoned our sins because we deserve it?  Why does He pardon our sins?
  6. Does money have a hold on me?  Why?
  7. What is the “bitter root” referred to in Deut. 29:18-19?
  8. What should our joy in the Christian life be based on?
  9. How is biblical truth challenged by the god “choice”?

Sermon Notes