Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23)
The 10th chapter of the book of Hebrews has been referred to as “The lettuce chapter,” because in the space of four verses (22-25), you encounter the powerful phrase “Let us . . .” five times. Each rich leaf of “Let-us” is an ingredient in the supernatural salad that is designed to both challenge and comfort you right where this message finds you today.
One of the most important things we should digest from this salad is a truth that I speak from the pulpit on a regular basis: Christians are saved individually, but we are saved to community. The Bible knows nothing of the solitary saint. When God in Christ saved us, He placed a new obligation on us— to love one another (John 13:35) and to engage with the family of faith.
The word us in “Let us” makes it clear that there is a mutual responsibility for members of the body of Christ—each member ministering to the other. Perhaps the best explanation of this idea is found in the “one another” principles put forth in the Scriptures. I’ve included just a few of those here. In addition to the command to love one another, we are to —
- Spur one another on toward love and good deeds – Hebrews 10:24
- Encourage one another – Hebrews 10:25
- Care for one another – Galatians 6:2
- Accept one another – Romans 15:5
- Serve one another – Galatians 5:13
- Confess our sins to one another – James 5:15
- Submit to one another – Ephesians 5:21
- Comfort one another – 1 Thessalonians 4:18
- Carry one another’s burdens – Galatians 6:2
So . . . have you been feasting on the supernatural salad that our Lord has set before you? Remember that Jesus died to make you a member of His family of faith. He wants us to live as a community of believers who incarnate the Gospel—that is, who put the Gospel on display—in such a way that unbelievers begin to ask us, “Why are you so different?”
The answer we give them, of course, is that the grace of God saved us and is now in the process of sanctifying us. Without the grace of God, we would still be as selfish and self-centered as we were before God opened our hearts to understand the Gospel. Even after salvation, we must appropriate the grace of God in order to live out the “lettuce” commands.
Living in community is not only God’s desire for every believer, it is the clear and present sign that we are growing in our faith. As we mature in our relationship with Jesus vertically, we are also to be growing in our relationship with others horizontally.
The book of Genesis tells us that in the beginning everything was good . . . except for one thing: It was not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). So God created Eve, and the first community in this world was formed.
Christian, you are part of the most important community in the world today—the church. But in order for the church to truly be the church, we must do our part and commit to community with one another.
Children of God, don’t forget to eat your salad!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!