This was the strange way God was going to inspire their faith, and often, it is the strange way God brings you and me back to center as well.
When you and I believe in and look for the supernatural goodness in ourselves and in other believers that God has personally put there, as well as gently help each other back into the way when we notice that someone is off the path, we are living into sanctification.
The seraph touched my mouth with it and said, “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.” Isaiah 6:7 (NRSV)
Whatever we are going through can feel like it will last for the rest of our lives, without escape. Sometimes, some aspect of that really is true. But so much more often, now is only now, the middle of the story, and what the Lord has in store is unknown.
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.
The Hebrew Christians were not growing. Filled with feelings of doubt, tempted to go back to their old familiar ways instead of forward in faith, they were failing to thrive.
Healing means saying yes to God, trusting God, taking that next step with God, knowing it will be hard, but it will also be good.
Here is where many people reading Hebrews can find themselves in a dilemma. If by “rest” the writer meant “eternal salvation,” then the example of the rebellious Israelites who could not enter the Promised Land becomes gravely problematical.
Once saved, always saved. The people remained delivered from their bondage and suffering. But God would bring them back to their beginnings, and for the rest of their lives they would have only the hope of the Promised Land for their children
If Christus Victor was a primary doctrine in the early church, how did penal substitutionary atonement move to prominence in recent centuries?