SBTS chapel live blog: Matt Chandler — Hebrews 11

Communications Staff — November 12, 2009

Preacher: Matt Chandler, lead pastor of the Village Church in Highland Village, Texas.

Text/title: Hebrews 11.

It is important to be aware of Christian history. It is important because we know that there are those who have come before us and it helps us when we face failure.

There are two ways to preach the Gospel and you have to preach them both:

  • God, man, Christ, response.
  • Creation, Fall, redemption, consummation.

The triune God of the universe creates everything and it is good. Everything that God creates is meant to roll up in praise to God, not terminate in itself. Food, drink, marriage.

Then the Fall occurs. For food: gluttony and indifference are both wrong. For relationships, things are hard now.

Then God kills everyone, except for Noah and his family, because everyone was wicked. Then things went wicked again after Noah. Then God says to Abraham that He is going to reconcile people from the nations to Himself.

This theme is carried out through the Old Testament. The writers speak of the nations being glad. Then you have 400 years of silence.

Then along comes John the Baptist and he says, “It’s time.” But initially only Jews were believing. Then comes the story of Peter and Cornelius and Gentiles begin believing.

Chandler then traced the movement of Christianity from the time of the early church until now, attaching it to the work of God at the Village Church, a work Chandler attributed to God.

God is accomplishing exactly what He said he would accomplish to Abraham. This is what we are caught up in. And God is going to do exactly what He said He would do.

Hebrews 11

People read things about men of faith conquering kingdoms, escaping the edge of the sword and putting armies to flight. Guys think, “Yes: I’m called to ministry.” But no one wants to hear about people experiencing mocking, chains and imprisonment or being sawn in two. Nobody wants that.

And what we have with our podcasts, DVDs, books and conferences is guys see men who are shutting the mouths of lions and putting armies to flight and that is what they want.

And we have boiled everything down to technique. Technique is what makes the difference.

Do you think I would be here if I had called the Village Church back to orthodoxy and it shrunk instead of grew? No. But that is what is normative for pastors. Most pastors will be faithful and biblical and pastor in small churches. What I do, what happened at the Village Church, is not normative.

Hebrews 12:1-3

What I plead with young ministers is to be holy. To pursue holiness. We must confess and repent, regularly.

Let us throw off the sin that so easily entangles and everything that hinders us.

We categorize sin: There are some sins that are unacceptable and some that are acceptable (the one we do we view as acceptable). So, I’m not committing adultery, I’m not doing drugs. It’s okay that I can exegete the Bible, but not share the Gospel with my neighbor across the street. I’m going to teach people how to study the Bible: I don’t have to share the Gospel with them.

You must have a regular routine of repentance and confession in your life, or you can pretend and be a liar.

There are some morally neutral things that can entangle us and hinder us from the race. Some of you are more concerned about your favorite sports team than you are about the things of God. Some of you are more affected by whether or not a 21-year-old guy catches a ball than the things of God.

Throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.

Fix your eyes on Jesus. Cling to Jesus. Hold to Jesus. Your ministry will not be your sustenance in the midst of suffering. Jesus will be.

Some of you are not called to ministry. You are just here because you want to make much of yourself. You are here to use Jesus to make much of yourself.

Fix your eyes on Jesus. Make much of Him. Make much of God at every turn.

(I did not get everything in this live blog, because I was captivated and challenged by what Chandler said. I would recommend the video or audio).

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