Stewardship of Discipleship of Others

November 12, 2005 Hebrews 5:11-14

Introduction:
1.  We’re continuing our study during Stewardship Month on the topic:  Stewardship of Our Service for a Living God
 Last week:  Nov. 6 – Part 1: The Foundation of Stewardship & Being Part of the Body of Christ
 Next Week:  Nov. 20 – Part 3: Stewardship of Proclaiming the Message of  Christ [1 Thes. 1]
*Emphasis: Living & speaking the message – Matthew 5:16 //  Urgency of the message
 Nov. 27 – Part 4: Stewardship of Thankfulness:  Recognizing Who God Is & What He’s Done and Doing in our Lives
*Emphasis: His blessing, patience, opportunities He gives us to serve (e.g. Calvary Chapel), His Word – the promises of His Word, for the Holy Spirit, His Son
2.  I want to remind you WHY we’re taking the time to do this series on Stewardship:
1) This is a very important subject in the NT – Jesus referred to it, and the epistles address it
2) Many are new to our church family and have never done a study of stewardship – we want our entire church family to be ‘on the same page’ and be thinking the same way
3) This subject/teaching has been an important part of the development of the ministry of FBC – we’ve done a lot of what we’ve done in an effort to be good stewards of what God has given to us
Example:  Building a Community Center – i our Property, Resources (dollars, people, and land)
#1:  DISCUSS the Stewardship Commitment Card – explain [everybody should have one – in your wall files or on the podium] – trying to raise an additional $200,000 toward the Community Center
- some have already pledged an amount, you may want to consider INCREASING it
- some are NEW to our church, and have not yet made a commitment
NOTE: Our emphasis is NOT equal giving, but equal sacrifice!
#2:  Discuss the Praise & Thanksgiving Service – November 20th – very important night – takes the place of our Stewardship Banquet [became very costly – over $20,000 to have a Stewardship Banquet!] – Calvary Chapel will be joining us – singing/baptisms – stewardship update – Children’s Choir [grade 1-6 on the platform singing praise to God!]– Adult Choir & Orchestra!
 Today: Nov. 13 – Part 2: Stewardship of Discipleship of Others [Hebrews 5:1-14]
*Emphasis: Personal growth/ / Reaching out // Communicating or admonishing ‘one another’ // Accountability // Examples of those discipling others
3.  * Quick Review:
 Stewardship = God-given responsibility with accountability!
 Steward = an administrator, a person who manages the domestic affairs of a family, business, or minor, a treasurer, a chamberlain of a city, a house manager, overseer.
“. . . We do not choose to become stewards, we are stewards!  The question is, ‘What kind of steward are you?’”
Q: What are the 4 Factors in Stewardship?
#1:  God Owns Everything, and I Own Nothing.
#2:  God Entrusts Me with Everything I Have.
#3:  I Am Responsible to Increase What God Has Given to Me. I May Increase It or
Diminish It.
#4:  God Can Call Me into Account at Any Time.
4.  With those things in mind, let’s READ Hebrews 5:1-14
v. 1-4 – explain the role of the priest – offering sacrifices for the people
v. 5-10 – Christ is our Priest ‘forever according to the order of Melchizedek’ :
- Remember Genesis 14 – Melchizedek was both the king of Salem and a priest
v. 11-14 – our focus this morning:
 Genesis 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. 19 He blessed him [i.e. Abraham] and said, "Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth; 20 And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand." He gave him a tenth of all.
- Contrast the graciousness and kindness of Melchizedek w/ the king of Sodom’s selfishness, etc. in his dealings with Abraham (look at Gen. 19 to see how God dealt with that city and ‘cursing those who curse you’ which was part of the LORD’s covenant [Gen. 12] with Abraham).
- In the same sense, Jesus is the KING and He is the PRIEST of the most High God – and in Him is our salvation!
4.  Make a couple of introductory comments: 
1) The book of Hebrews was written during a time of or immediately following persecution
2)  As a result, the audience of this book is facing some decisions:
a.  Those who had been converted from Judaism were tempted to return to the Old Testament way of life (sacrificial system, etc.) and . . .
b.  Those who were considering converting to Christianity (unbelievers) were rethinking the position – i.e. ‘maybe Christianity isn’t for me . . . look what happens to those who do convert, etc.)
5. Complete this sentence:  A Good Discipler is first a _________________! (Good Disciple)
- you’ll never be good at MAKING DISCIPLES unless you are first a GOOD DISCIPLE yourself!
- you’ll never get better at the DISCIPLING PROCESS unless you are 1st GROWING as a disciple!
- which means you 1st have to KNOW Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior!
6.  That’s what this passage is all about:
> people had trusted Christ as Savior, had acknowledge a degree of truth about Christ,
> but (probably due to the persecution – which has a way of revealing your faith [cf. 1 Peter 1:6-9]) had turned back or were considering turning back to the O.T. system & teachings that were actually pointing to the NEW Covenant!
* If we are going to be effective in our discipleship efforts, we first have to be a good Disciple – and that means being a good steward of the following areas:
Note: These individuals were NOT being effective in their discipleship because they were not being good stewards in the following areas!
1. Stewards of Your Hearing – 5:11
 Hebrews 5:11 Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
- this is not talking about your physical ears – although that is a part of stewardship
- when the Bible refers to ‘hearing’ – it’s not just talking about the physical process of the hammer, anvil, and stirrup (elements of the ear)
- instead, God is referring to ‘listening’ – i.e. it’s connected to the heart


Ill: A child who ‘hears’ what you might say, but doesn’t really ‘listen’

(i.e. hearing with a heart set on understanding and obeying what has been said!)


- here are a few verses in Proverbs to illustrate this:
 Proverbs 1:5 A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,
 Proverbs 4:1 Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father, and give attention that you may gain understanding,
 Proverbs 22:17 Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, and apply your mind to my knowledge;
- Like everything else in the Christian life – growth OR decline – is related to a process (gradual) – these believers started on their “backward journey” by . .
A.  Drifting from the Word (Read Heb. 2:1–4)
“One of the first symptoms of spiritual regression, or backsliding, is a dullness toward the Bible. Sunday School class is dull, the preaching is dull, anything spiritual is dull. The problem is usually not with the Sunday School teacher or the pastor, but with the believer himself.”
- Their drifting led them to . . .
B.  Doubting the Word (Heb. 3:7–4:13 – only refer to the passage)
- this process is repeated in other places – James 1 – the process of giving into temptation
 James 1:13-15 [turn & read]
- and as is the case with every area of life: Choices have consequences!
C. Result:  “dull of hearing” (Heb. 5:11)
dull = (lit. ‘no’ and ‘push’ = ‘no push’) lazy, sluggish; hard (of hearing)
> which means unable to listen to the Word, receive it, and act on it.
- When used of a person it generally meant intellectually numb or thick. In the context of this passage, however, it primarily indicates spiritual dullness.
- this was exactly the opposite of another church addressed in the NT (Thessalonians)
 1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.
Lesson:  Drifting leads to doubting – doubting leads to rejection – rejection leads to consequences!
- and one of the consequences of YOU not growing, is your inability to disciple OTHERS!
Point:  Are you ‘hearing’ the Word of God? – consider the words of a song by Mercy Me:  Word of God Speak
I'm finding myself at a loss for words // And the funny thing is it's okay.
The last thing I need is to be heard // But to hear what You would say!

[CHORUS]
Word of God speak // Would You pour down like rain,
Washing my eyes to see //  Your majesty;
To be still and know // That You're in this place;
Please let me stay and rest // In Your holiness;
Word of God speak
Input: What are some attitudes toward worship services, ABFs, Sunday nights, FBI classes, Point Man Groups, Women’s Bible Studies, that can contribute to our ‘dullness of hearing.’?
[taking things for granted, failing to obey the Word – being a doer of the Word, etc.]
2. Stewards of Your Spiritual Growth– 5:12-13
 Hebrews 5:12-13 [READ]
- Do you want to know how mature you are spiritually?
> evaluate you ability to share the spiritual truth with others – that’s a mark of maturity.
- don’t confuse this with the gift of teaching – “not all Christians have the gift of teaching, but all can share what they learn from the Word.” 
- and everyone of us have the responsibility of sharing that truth – that’s part of discipleship!
 Matthew 28:19-20 [READ]
Q: Why is this so important to the discipleship process?
A. To avoid having to be taught AGAIN! [that takes time – time away from maturing others]
- i.e. you didn’t get it the first time, so you have to go back to ‘elementary principles of the oracles of God’
“The recipients of this letter had been saved long enough to be able to share God’s truth with others. But, instead of helping others to grow, these Hebrew Christians were in need of learning again the simple teachings of the Christian life. They were experiencing a second childhood!” 
Point: You’ll miss the opportunities to have an impact on the lives of others! – that’s what a ‘teacher’ does – he/she teaches others, trains them, instructs them, explains truth to them because they get it!
B.  To move ahead to greater maturity vs. back to the ‘basics’
 elementary principles – means that which comes first – in reference to language, it meant the letters of the alphabet as the basic parts of words—the ABC’s.
 of the oracles of God = is NOT referring to the Gospel, but to the laws of God and the mind of God revealed in the OT
- John MacArthur’s statement summarizes this the best:
The Old Testament is the alphabet; the New Testament is the complete, mature message. “Before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith” (Gal. 3:23–24). The law was a tutor, a child trainer, that taught the first and basic truths about God. In the New Covenant we are not under the tutor anymore. We have grown up. That is the point being made here. Christ has arrived, the shadows are replaced with substance, the picture book is replaced with great writings that we can read. The alphabet is replaced with the full composition. The types have given way to the truth. 

Lesson: Get away from the milk and eat the MEAT of God’s Word!
Illustration: Use a sippy cup w/milk, baby food – compared to a STEAK – I’m going to get one from Mt. Jacks on Friday night and use it on Sunday!
C.  To ‘practice’ (obedience) to the Word leads to greater discernment
practice = from a Greek (gymnodzo) word where we get our word gymnasium – lit. exercise naked, train in gymnastic discipline; fig. in the NT, of mental and spiritual training and discipline control oneself, exercise self-control
- it’s the same word in . . .
 1 Timothy 4:7 . . . On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.
Q: What does that lead to? 
> The ability to “discern good from evil” (What is right and pleasing to God – what will glorify Him!)
Applications:
 apply this to ABF ministry – reaching out to others because you are growing
 apply this to men discipling men,
 women discipling women
Adult Bible Fellowships
Stewardship of Our Service for a Living God
Discipleship of Others—Hebrews 5:11-14
Introduction:
 Nov. 20 – Part 3:  Stewardship of Proclaiming the Message of  Christ [1 Thes. 1]
 Nov. 27 – Part 4:  Stewardship of Thankfulness Recognizing Who God Is & What He’s Done and Doing in our Lives [Psalms 107]
 Stewardship = God-given _______________ with _________________!
 Steward = an administrator, a person who manages the domestic affairs of a family, business, or minor, a treasurer, a chamberlain of a city, a house manager, overseer.
“. . . We do not choose to become stewards, we are stewards!  The question is, ‘What kind of steward are you?’”
#1:  God Owns ________________-, and I Own _______________.
#2:  God _______________- Me with Everything I Have.
#3:  I Am Responsible to ______________ What God Has Given to Me. I May ____________ It or _______________ It.
#4:  God Can Call Me into __________________ at Any Time.
* Complete this sentence:  A Good Discipler is first a _________________!
* If we are going to be effective in our discipleship efforts, that means being a good steward of the following areas:
1. Stewards of Your ________________ – 5:11
* God is referring to ‘listening’ – i.e. it’s connected to the heart


A.  ______________ from the Word (Read Heb. 2:1–4)
“One of the first symptoms of spiritual regression, or backsliding, is a dullness toward the Bible. Sunday School class is dull, the preaching is dull, anything spiritual is dull. The problem is usually not with the Sunday School teacher or the pastor, but with the believer himself.”
B.  _______________ the Word (Heb. 3:7–4:13)
 _________________

C. Result:  “dull of hearing” (Heb. 5:11)
dull = (lit. ‘no’ and ‘push’ = ‘no push’) lazy, sluggish; hard (of hearing)

Lesson:  Drifting leads to _____________ – doubting leads to _____________ – rejection leads to ________________!
Input: What are some attitudes toward worship services, ABFs, Sunday nights, FBI classes, Point Man Groups, Women’s Bible Studies, that can contribute to our ‘dullness of hearing.’?


2. Stewards of Your _____________ _____________– 5:12-13

Q: Why is this so important to the discipleship process?
A. To avoid having to be taught _____________!
“The recipients of this letter had been saved long enough to be able to share God’s truth with others. But, instead of helping others to grow, these Hebrew Christians were in need of learning again the simple teachings of the Christian life. They were experiencing a second childhood!” 
B.  To move ahead to greater ______________ vs. back to the ‘______________
 elementary principles – means that which comes first
 of the oracles of God = is NOT referring to the Gospel, but to the laws of God and the mind of God revealed in the OT
The Old Testament is the alphabet; the New Testament is the complete, mature message. “Before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith” (Gal. 3:23–24). The law was a tutor, a child trainer, that taught the first and basic truths about God. In the New Covenant we are not under the tutor anymore. We have grown up. That is the point being made here. Christ has arrived, the shadows are replaced with substance, the picture book is replaced with great writings that we can read. The alphabet is replaced with the full composition. The types have given way to the truth. 

C.  To ‘practice’ (_________________) to the Word leads to greater discernment
practice = lit. exercise naked, train in gymnastic discipline; fig. in the NT, of mental and spiritual training and discipline control oneself, exercise self-control
Q: What does that lead to? 
> The ability to “discern good from evil” (what is right and pleasing to God – what will glorify Him!)
Applications:
 



Adult Bible Fellowships
Stewardship of Our Service for a Living God
Discipleship of Others—Hebrews 5:11-14
Introduction:
 Nov. 20 – Part 3:  Stewardship of Proclaiming the Message of  Christ [1 Thes. 1]
 Nov. 27 – Part 4:  Stewardship of Thankfulness Recognizing Who God Is & What He’s Done and Doing in our Lives [Psalms 107]
 Stewardship = God-given _______________ with _________________!
 Steward = an administrator, a person who manages the domestic affairs of a family, business, or minor, a treasurer, a chamberlain of a city, a house manager, overseer.
“. . . We do not choose to become stewards, we are stewards!  The question is, ‘What kind of steward are you?’”


#1:  God Owns ________________-, and I Own _______________.
#2:  God _______________- Me with Everything I Have.
#3:  I Am Responsible to ______________ What God Has Given to Me. I May ____________ It or _______________ It.
#4:  God Can Call Me into __________________ at Any Time.
 Genesis 14:18-20
* Complete this sentence:  A Good Discipler is first a _________________!
* If we are going to be effective in our discipleship efforts, that means being a good steward of the following areas:
1. Stewards of Your Hearing – 5:11
* God is referring to ‘listening’ – i.e. it’s connected to the heart
 Proverbs 1:5 A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,
 Proverbs 4:1 Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father, and give attention that you may gain understanding,
 Proverbs 22:17 Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, and apply your mind to my knowledge;
A.  Drifting from the Word (Read Heb. 2:1–4)
“One of the first symptoms of spiritual regression, or backsliding, is a dullness toward the Bible. Sunday School class is dull, the preaching is dull, anything spiritual is dull. The problem is usually not with the Sunday School teacher or the pastor, but with the believer himself.”
B.  Doubting the Word (Heb. 3:7–4:13)
 James 1:13-15
C. Result:  “dull of hearing” (Heb. 5:11)
dull = (lit. ‘no’ and ‘push’ = ‘no push’) lazy, sluggish; hard (of hearing)
 1 Thessalonians 2:13
Lesson:  Drifting leads to doubting – doubting leads to rejection – rejection leads to consequences!
Input: What are some attitudes toward worship services, ABFs, Sunday nights, FBI classes, Point Man Groups, Women’s Bible Studies, that can contribute to our ‘dullness of hearing.’?
2. Stewards of Your Spiritual Growth– 5:12-13
 Hebrews 5:12-13
 Matthew 28:19-20
Q: Why is this so important to the discipleship process?
A. To avoid having to be taught AGAIN!
“The recipients of this letter had been saved long enough to be able to share God’s truth with others. But, instead of helping others to grow, these Hebrew Christians were in need of learning again the simple teachings of the Christian life. They were experiencing a second childhood!”
B.  To move ahead to greater maturity vs. back to the ‘basics’
 elementary principles – means that which comes first
 of the oracles of God = is NOT referring to the Gospel, but to the laws of God and the mind of God revealed in the OT
“The Old Testament is the alphabet; the New Testament is the complete, mature message. “Before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith” (Gal. 3:23–24). The law was a tutor, a child trainer, that taught the first and basic truths about God. In the New Covenant we are not under the tutor anymore. We have grown up. That is the point being made here. Christ has arrived, the shadows are replaced with substance, the picture book is replaced with great writings that we can read. The alphabet is replaced with the full composition. The types have given way to the truth.”

C.  To ‘practice’ (obedience) to the Word leads to greater discernment
practice = lit. exercise naked, train in gymnastic discipline; fig. in the NT, of mental and spiritual training and discipline control oneself, exercise self-control
 1 Timothy 4:7 . . . On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.
Q: What does that lead to? 
> The ability to “discern good from evil” (What is right and pleasing to God – what will glorify Him!)
Applications:
 ABF ministry
 Men discipling men
 Women discipling women