Information Point #1 Ø I am your servant in Christ Ø Illustration - Stevie Williams, Tiger’s caddie Ø If you need to pray Ø If you need

to ask follow up questions and would rather do that one on one Ø If you would like to discuss a life situation Point #2 Ø Russ and Carol are here this week to relax, restore and receive ministry Ø Background bio with Russ

Information Point #3 Ø Be Prompt Ø Start on time and End on time Point #4 Ø Notes to be handed out at the end of each session Ø There are no footnotes as these are my own study notes Point #5 Ø Interactive dialogue

Impulses for our Retreat Ø Getting people back into God’s word so the word can get back into God’s people Ø Building a solid foundation of Bible doctrine to learn and live the God-centered life Ø In depth teaching and discussion in concentrated time frame Excursus on Bible doctrine Ø Man-centered (a better life, Bible is a guidebook) Ø God-centered (a crucified life, Bible is authoritative) Ø See notes attached Ø To have fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer

Instructions and Ground Rules for Retreat Ø Pray and Prepare (see next page) Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø 1 John 1:9 Colossians 1:9-121 John 14:26, John 16:13-15 2 Timothy 2:15 Luke 12:48 - to whom much is given, much is required Matthew 10:8 - as you have freely received, freely give John 8:32 - you will know the truth and the truth will set you free

ØWhat is God teaching and revealing? Ø What verses do I need to study and/or memorize? Ø What truths do I need to share in my sphere of influence?

Retreat Books Ø God is the Gospel - Dr. John Piper ØAshamed of the Gospel - Dr. John MacArthur ØThe Cross Centered Life - C.J. Mahaney ØThe Gospel and Personal Evangelism - Mark Dever

God is the gospel means: “the highest, best, final, decisive good in the good news…is the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ revealed to you for your everlasting enjoyment”

Preparation for the Heart I – Incline your heart (Psalm 119:36) Incline my heart to Your testimonies And not to dishonest gain. O – Open my eyes (Psalm 119:18) Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. U – Unite my heart (Psalm 86:11) Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name S – Satisfy my heart (Psalm 90:14) O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness, That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

Exhortation in the Gospel Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Colossians 1:21-23 Col. 1:21 ¶ And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, Col. 1:22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— Col. 1:23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.

Turn to Hebrews Chapter 3 Hebrews 3:6 The “if” is conditional for us being something now The we are “God’s household” Hebrews 3:14 Hebrews 3:1 Illustration: If you say Albany then you are a southwest Georgia person Saying Albany doesn’t make you a southwest Georgia person but gives evidence that you are one.

You are “if” - Conditional statement that follows… But rather the writer is saying if you are in God’s household this will be true of you. Question Do you hold fast in hope? Do you hold fast in confidence? How can you know that you are part of His house? It is NOT that you prayed a prayer 30 years ago. It is NOT that you have walked an aisle. The important thing is “where is your confidence now” “where is your hope now”

If - conditional We hold fast to our hope we are His household This defines the members of the house Hebrews 3:14 We have become (perfect/active/indicative) The condition is future “if...until the end” The effect of the condition relates to the past The verse DOES NOT mean that one needs to hold fast to your assurance in order to become, at some point in time, a future a partaker of Christ But the verse DOES mean to hold fast to your assurance that manifests you have become a partaker in Christ

Ask the following question: In Hebrews 3:14 Ø If having become partakers of Christ (past-tense) is evidenced by holding fast to our assurance, Ø then what can we say if a person doesn’t hold fast to their assurance? It must mean… Ø A person who is not holding fast to their assurance in Christ has then never been a partaker in Christ. And it also means none of this assures salvation: Ø Raised a hand Ø Signed a card Ø Walked an aisle Ø Joined a church Ø Got baptized Ø Went down front at the Billy Graham crusade

Exhortations in the gospel continue through Hebrews Heb. 2:1 ¶ For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. Heb. 3:6 but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end. Heb. 3:14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, Heb. 6:11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end,

Exhortations in the gospel continue through Hebrews Heb. 6:12 so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Heb. 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; Heb. 10:25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. Heb. 12:1 ¶ Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

Exhortations in the gospel continue through Hebrews Heb. 13:20 ¶ Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, Heb. 13:21 equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Are you asking the question, well if I am going to have to endure until the end where is my security? And the answer - your security has nothing to do with you but everything to do with Christ. When you wake up in the morning as a Christian you will only do so on the basis of the Holy Spirit’s enduring grace in your life. Phil. 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. 1Th. 5:24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

Hebrews 3:7-19 is a therefore based on the “if” statement of Hebrews 3:6 Therefore is a WARNING How does the Holy Spirit continue to beset courage, endurance, confidence, assurance, and holding fast to assurance of hope Answer - through the word of God, Romans 10:17 tells us that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” If I am not constantly in the word of God then I’m in danger of Hebrews 2:1

In Hebrews 3:7-19 We are to take this as a warning because of what happened to the nation of Israel as they came out of Egypt And yet they did not make it to the promised land The analogy can be transferred over into our Christian lives: We make a decision Then we are in the wilderness Will we make it? Read Heb. 3:8 DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME, AS IN THE DAY OF TRIAL IN THE WILDERNESS,

Think about what the people of Israel had seen: They watched God bring the 10 plagues on the people of Egypt They saw God divide the Red Sea as they walked through it unharmed They watched as God completely defeated their enemies But they became hard and murmured in the wilderness Look at the action of God as it relates to His people Ø He does not say that it is enough to have faith to leave Egypt Ø He does not say that it is enough to walk through the Red Sea

The people started to function based on presumed grace or you could say Exodus mercies and the result was a hard heart If we today ignore God, and His word, stop depending and relying on Christ as Lord and Savior then the same result will occur in our lives, hearts will harden and there will be no entering the promised land Do not treat the grace of God with contempt or ever act in a way that presumes upon it. Don’t presume that it is enough to get out of Egypt, or just to walk through the Red Sea

How many “professing Christians” heard a message in which: Ø Their sins could be forgiven Ø They could stop having to feel guilt for all their past behaviors Ø There would be eternal life of glorious living forever and ever Ø There would be an escape from hell Ø And God would now be 100% on my side and not mad at me anymore Sounds like a deal and I am going to sign up even though there is no love for God or desire to be with Him 1 year, 5 years and 10 years later the life of this person looks no different then when they professed faith in Christ. However they are content to point to a time and place when they were saved.

So how does the enemy start to work on us when we hear these truths. He starts to say, you better start reading your Bible, praying, giving and serving. And we say that is right I need to fix my behaviors. But this text is all about the heart or you could say about a belief issue that the Israelites had in not trusting or not continue to trust in the goodness of God A person makes a “profession of faith” and then they discover there is NO WATER IN THE WILDERNESS“ Go to Habakkuk 3:17-19 - even though the fig tree is gone and no grapes on the vine we will still trust in God

Go to Num. 11:5 “We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic, Num. 11:6 but now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna.” If you could just go back to the world and the way things used to be instead of: Discipleship Bible Church Worship Giving Serving All this manna!

Exhortation If you have been a “professing believer” and you are just holding on by your fingertips then I refer you to Heb. 2:1 ¶ For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. DON’T HARDEN YOUR HEART A person with years of “luke warm” behavior in Prayer life Bible reading and study Serving Discipleship Giving and no sweet fellowship with God Then I am praying for you this weekend that the Spirit of God would breakthrough in such a powerful way that there would be a joy that hits you like never before in your life. And for those who are walking with the Lord I pray this will be like gasoline on a fire in which your fire will burn so much brightness and intensity that it will catch others on fire for the Lord Jesus.