Who is Jesus?
It took the church a couple of centuries to work through how to articulate the nature of Christ, and therefore the nature of the Godhead.
It began with the Christian Testament, the writer of Hebrews, the Apostle Paul, and the Apostle John all taking great care in describing and explaining the supremacy of the Lord Messiah Jesus.
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After the rough-and-tumble days of the Judges, came the time of kings. Notice the writer did not turn to Saul, Israel’s first king, or to Solomon, last potentate, wealthiest and most powerful of the United Kingdom of Israel. The writer turned to David, who would become—and remains to this day—the most beloved of kings found among the pages of the Hebrew scriptures.Keep reading
The writer of Hebrews had begun with the pioneers of faith, the patriarchs. Then, the writer had moved on to the one—Moses—who pioneered the nation. Now came those two who represented pioneering in the Promised Land. First was Joshua the Hebrew, and now came Rahab the CanaaniteKeep reading
The writer of Hebrews turned to the faith of the ancients in a passage often called the “Hall of Faith,” or “Faith’s Hall of Heroes.” These were of the believing remnant spoken of throughout the Hebrew scriptures, who persevered in faith against great odds, and chose to believe in God’s promises, though they would not be fulfilled in their own lifetime.Keep reading
The end of the chapter features a brief reprise of Chapter Six’s warnings, and reassurance that those who have read thus far in this epistle have not fallen away but are persevering in faith. This encouragement is necessary, for the readers would need courage to face fierce persecution.Keep reading
After delivering the astonishing declaration that the veil torn at the moment of Jesus’ death was nothing less than Christ’s body torn asunder, throwing open the gates of heaven to every person, the author offered five ways every Christian responds to the magnificent good news of the Gospel.Keep reading
This sprinkling of blood refers to a different action than having had propitiation made, or being cleansed by. Sprinkling was symbolic of cutting a solemn and sacred covenant, just as the first covenant had been cut between God and humanity, through the people of Israel.Keep reading
Scholars often divide the Epistle to the Hebrews into two parts. The first, chapters 1-10, teach on the supremacy of Messiah (chapters 1-8) and the new covenant cut in Messiah’s blood (chapters 8-10). The second part, chapters 10-13, is exhortation on how we are to respond to the truths found in the first part.Keep reading
It had taken two chapters to establish the superiority of the Lord Jesus Christ, as fully God the Son, above every earthly and heavenly principality.
Now, the writer was establishing Jesus’ work as also superior, pre-eminent, far above any human priest’s work, even of Aaron himself.Keep reading
The flow of Hebrews, then, so far, is to begin with Jesus and our right response, then to examine our need. Having pointed to Jesus as both fully God and also fully human, as uniquely able to pull off a God-sized rescue of all creation and also meet you and me right where we are, the writer would now address three great needs he saw among his readers, the Jewish believers.Keep reading
It is a better reading of the writer’s exhortation to see “God’s rest” as the process of sanctification in this life, a process that grants every believer peace from God that “passes understanding,” confidence in God, and a willingness to fully surrender to God’s will, guidance, empowerment, and word.Keep reading
The writer of Hebrews spent the second chapter saying “Because we see the superiority and preeminence of Christ, let us believe right doctrine,” and warned his readers to guard against their faith drifting.
In chapter 3, the writer had a second “therefore” followed by five directives for our response to right doctrine. The first two were
Follow Jesus as Preeminent Apostle and High Priest
Resist the Pull of the Past
Now comes the third directive: Help each other remain faithful
We all grow up with traditions and worldviews that go so deep you and I often do not even realize they are there. We also grow up with ways of processing and coping with what we experience that seem so true and right it goes without being said. These things can be so rooted within our hearts and minds that to consider turning from them and taking up a new way is in itself unsettling and distressing.Keep reading
Every now and then I read a book that reorients the way I think about pretty much everything. “Love God with All Your Mind” by J.P. Moreland was just such a book. In it, Moreland explained the five basic components of a belief, and as I read I realized this was a core teaching every Christian needs to learn.Keep reading
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My passion for the Bible began when I was eight or nine years old, somewhere in there, when on occasion my dad would take me to synagogue, where he sang. I remember watching the men in synagogue pray the words of scripture, murmuring and weeping, lovingly touching and kissing the Torah, and I wished I could read what they were reading.
Imagine, then, my wonder when I was given a Bible of my own!