Sunday School Material 10-9-16: Building the House





(Hebrews 3:1-6; Mt. 7:24-29; 10/9/16)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God is the builder of His people and we are called to hear and obey His will. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to both appreciate God’s building us and obeying His will.

Body:

Read Hebrews 3:1-6

I. Faithful Builder. The author starts off addressing holy brothers and sisters who share the heavenly calling. They are urged to fix their thoughts on Jesus.

There is an explanation in our Sunday School material of Jesus being greater than Moses and the people of God being the house (i.e., household) of God.

Applications –

- Holy siblings. Notice in vs. 1 that there is a reference to holy brothers and sisters or siblings who share in the heavenly calling.

First, as believers, we are holy. We are holy (or belonging to God) because of our accepting Jesus as our savior by faith. Thus, we should strive to live according to God’s will.

Second, as believers, we are siblings. Claiming God as “our” Father makes us siblings, whether we like it or not. Thus, we should strive to get along with and love one another accordingly.

Third, as believers, we share the heavenly calling. “The heavenly calling” includes our living by God’s will, which places a high priority on loving God and others, as we love our selves.

Love responds to needs with what God has given us. Let’s work on living like we are holy siblings with a shared heavenly calling.

- Jesus is superior. Notice in vss. 1-6 that Jesus is our Apostle, High Priest, and greater than Moses. First, in this context, an Apostle was noted for his great authority. Thus, Jesus is our Apostle or one with great authority in representing God the Father.

Second, the High Priest was known for making the atoning sacrifice for God’s people. In like manner, Jesus offered Himself as the atoning sacrifice for those who believe. Third, Moses was good, but Jesus was great. Anyone who respected Moses should find it easy to respect Jesus.

Let’s live like we believe that Jesus is superior. This kind of living should be known for our obeying His will. It is contradictory for us to claim that Jesus is superior and then don’t give serious effort to obeying His will, in areas like Christian service, giving, and worship.

- God’s house. Notice in vss. 4, 6 that God is the builder, and believers are the house.

First, even though, in this context, “house” is more a reference to household than to a structure, God is yet the builder. This notion includes ideas like God has a plan, and He is carrying out His plan for our lives.

Second, believers are the house or household of God. This idea includes notions like we don’t belong to ourselves. We don’t just do what we want to do. We are called to be who God is building us to be for His glory.

Think about how many people don’t obey God’s will because “they don’t want to.” As the house/household of God, we are called to serve what God wants, not what we want. Remember that discipleship includes denial of self and daily dedication to following divine directions.

Also notice that there is one house/household, which means to a great extent we are not independent of each other. We are in this thing together. Let’s live like we appreciated being God’s house/household.

Read Matthew 7:24-29

II. Faithful Teacher. In this section of our Sunday School material Jesus talks about how those who hear and obey His word is like a wise man who builds his house on a rock.

But those who hear but don’t obey are like a foolish man who builds his house on sand. The crowd is amazed by Jesus’ authoritative teaching.

Applications –

- Wise building. Notice in vss. 24-25 that the wise builder hears and obeys God’s word as well as withstands the stormy weather. First, we should hear the word of God. Personal and church studies are great places to hear God’s word.

Second, we are to obey God’s word. Think about how much we have heard about being a church of evangelism, edification, love, worship, community involvement, and excellence.

And then think about how much we actually live by such values. Our wisdom is measured by how much we obey, not by how much we hear or know.

Third, no matter how wisely we build, storms are subject to come our way. Significant disturbances can come into our health, finances, circle of loved ones, our mindset, and/or our attempts to make a contribution for the glory of God.

The threat of storms should move us even more to be wise builders. Let’s work on being wise builders.

- Foolish building. Notice in vss. 26-27 that the foolish builder hears God’s word but doesn’t obey, and his house is destroyed in the storm.

First, as noted above, we should make sure that we are hearing the word. Some don’t even meet the criteria of being of fool, because they don’t intentionally hear the word of God.

Second, we should make sure that we are obeying God’s word, instead of only being a hearer. For example, it is foolish to hear about how our bodies are the temple of God and yet abuse them with poor diet and lack of activity.

It is foolish to hear that we are created to do good works for the Lord and yet do so little.

Third, since the storms destroy the house of the foolish, we should give extra effort to building wisely, instead of foolishly. We cannot control the storms, but we can control how we build. Let’s avoid being foolish builders.

- Authoritative truth. Notice in vss. 28-29 that Jesus spoke with great authority. He spoke as the Son of God. In like manner, we should prayerfully study God’s word and speak from it, as if it is authoritative truth (because it is).

On one hand, there are those who have very strong opinions but have not biblical foundation. On the other hand, there are those who study the Bible but treat their findings as if they are advisory, instead of authoritative.

Let’s work on studying and standing on the authority of God’s word.

Conclusion: Let’s work on both appreciating God’s building us and obeying His will. God has much for those who obey His will.

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