Hebrews

Transition - Acts

I was given the opportunity to be the guest preacher at Trinity Memorial Baptist Church in Marlin, TX. There previous pastor, Terry Johnston, had accepted a call to another church, and I was preaching the first day that he was not there.

I felt led to preach on Transition (no fancy titles or anything), and preached from several passages from the first 2 chapters of Acts. It was quite helpful to have recently gone through a transition at our home church in Houston, Wilcrest Baptist Church. And then recently to have had such a transition from the suburbs of Houston to the rural area east of Elm Mott, TX.

It was a well received message and I got many affirming words from the congregation. I had the opportunity to share a bit about SONlight and hand out some CDs and literature.

I pray that the church will prayerfully follow the Lord and be led to their next pastor in the proper time.

Trinity Memorial Baptist

Transition
For this sermon I am preaching on several passages from Acts.

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7791 - Rest Not Possessed

We continue our study in chapters 3 and 4 of the book of Hebrews.

Let’s investigate verses 6 through 8 in chapter 4. It says:

It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience. Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts." For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day.

In this short passage the word “rest” is applied to three different generations of people, and their particular relations to the word “rest”.

Historically, the first generation spoken about here is that generation which we have studied before. It refers to that former generation of Israel, which had the promise from God of the land of Canaan as their land of heritage. God had told these people that he was giving them the land of Canaan. This meant that he would direct their efforts and energies to accomplish the possession of this land as their very own. God had promised it to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob many centuries in the past.


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7790 - Canaan Rest

In our last study we mentioned at least three applications of the term “rest” used several times in the third and fourth chapters of the book of Hebrews.


Today let’s look at Hebrews 4, verses 3 through 5.

Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, "So I declared on oath in my anger, `They shall never enter my rest.'" And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: "And on the seventh day God rested from all his work." And again in the passage above he says, "They shall never enter my rest."

On a time line, the first “rest” mentioned is the rest with which God distinguished the seventh day of creation. This seventh day is very different from day one through six. The opening passage of Genesis gives a summary account of what God brought forth on each day.

The word used for create was the word ‘bara’ which means to make from nothing. So each new act of creation brought forth something new, which was visible for the first time to the human eye.

The distinguishing verse for day seven (Gen. 2:1) tells us “...God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.”


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7789 - Faith Rest

In our study of the book of Hebrews we have noticed the word “rest” being repeated many times in the third and fourth chapters. Let’s give some attention to the meaning carried in that word.

Let’s begin by reading Hebrews 4, verses 1 and 2:

Therefore, since the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.

The word “rest” implies at least three ideas in these two chapters.


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7788 - Unbelief


With this program we complete our study of the third chapter of Hebrews. Listen to Hebrews 3, verses 17 through 19:

And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.

This study continues discussion about the Israelite men who came out of slavery in Egypt under the leadership of Moses.

In the third month after the Israelites had left Egypt, God gave this message to Moses to pass on to the people.

(Exod. 19:4-6) `You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole world is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation...'

God’s relationship with these people extended back through history to the man called Abram, who was later named Abraham. God had promised Canaan to the descendants of Abraham. This had been reaffirmed to his son Isaac, and his grandson Jacob.


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7787 - Lost Generation

Our Bible study is now focused in Hebrews, chapter 3. Today we talk about a lost generation.

First, listen to Hebrews 3:15-17:

As has just been said: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion." Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert?

These verses are talking about the Israelite men who were twenty years old and older who came out of slavery in Egypt. They were led by Moses. They were a stubborn group who resisted Moses many times as they journeyed to the land God had promised them in Cannan.

We have recently reviewed how as they were camped in the Desert of Paran, the Lord instructed Moses to send men to explore the land of Canaan which He was giving to the Israelites. A man from each of the twelve tribes of Israel was chosen, and instructed to go and see what the land was like. They were also to take notice of the people in the land, and the towns in which they lived, the crops and the fruits of the land.


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7786 - Assurance

We are now studying in Hebrews, chapter 3. In this chapter we find against accepting an attitude of unbelief in our inner being — this is an attitude of resistance or scoffing at God’s work, particularly toward the truth and reliability of His promises.

In the midst of these verses is one verse, which relates to assurance in the life of a believer about his faith being relative and reliable.

Listen to Hebrews 3:14:

We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.

Many people wonder in their heart where they stand in regard to their final destiny. This is unnecessary agony. The Word of God, the Bible, is intended to chart the course of righteousness so clearly that every child of God may be certain that they have eternal life.


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7785 - Encourage Others

In Hebrews, chapter 3, is the second warning which the Lord’s Word passes to those who attend the Christian church. That second warning is: (Heb. 3:12) “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.”

Then linked to this warning is an exhortation which applies to all who are a part of the body of Christ –– which is the Church. Listen to what the Lord’s Word encourages us to do in Hebrews 3, verse 13:

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “today”, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

Notice that such words of encouragement minister to at least two people –– the one to whom encouragement is given, but also a blessing to the one the Lord chooses to voice the message of inspiration and hope to a brother or sister. Both parties end up receiving a blessing from God when this act of encouraging a brother takes place.

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7784 - Unbelieving Heart

Today we will discuss the second of five warnings for people in the church –– the body of Christ. This warning is found in Hebrews 3, verse 12. Listen:

See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.

The first warning to the believers found in the book of Hebrews is in chapter 2, and warns against apathy or indifference –– just drifting away. Both of these warnings are directed to people who have hearts, which are unresponsive to God’s plan and purpose for life.

This second warning regards unbelief about God. The original Greek speaks of a heart which is evil and which is evidenced in unbelief. The word translated by the English word ‘evil’ in the original speaks about an active apposition to the good of God. This same word is used to refer to Satan. He is in active opposition to God’s plan for good, and is seeking to destroy the good things of God.

The person to whom reference is made in this verse is not a passive individual who is willing to quietly perish in his own evil. That would be a terrible termination for an opponent of God, but this evil person is one who is not content unless he is actively corrupting as many others as possible. He is eager to drag others into the same pit of destruction to which he himself is heading.


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7783 - God's Anger

In Hebrews, chapter 3 is a review of how the people of Israel provoked God by their stubborn refusal to believe that God would in fact overcome the strong people who lived within walled cities in the land of Canaan.

Listen to Hebrews 3, verses 10 and 11:

That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, “Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.” So I declared on oath in my anger, “They shall never enter my rest.”

Let’s review some history to prepare for today’s study.

Abraham had been directed by God to come to Canaan from Ur where he had grown up. In Canaan Abraham entered family life and was blessed by God. God promised Abraham, his son Isaac, and his grandson Jacob, that he would give this land of Canaan to their descendants. Later Jacob and his family took refuge in Egypt because of a famine in Canaan.


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7782 - Warning Against Hardness

Today we check out the second warning for believers in the book of Hebrews. Listen to Hebrews 3:7-9:

So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did.

The book of Hebrews has many backward glances about events which affected Israel in their early years. Today’s passage refers back to an experience which the Israelites faced after they ended 430 years of slavery in Egypt, and were on their trip to Canaan.

The Israelites had evidenced stubbornness and unbelief many times as they journeyed toward Canaan. Often Moses fell on his face before God pleading for forgiveness for the people.

When they reached the Desert of Paran, the Lord instructed Moses to send men to explore the land of Canaan. A man from each of the twelve tribes of Israel was chosen, and instructed to go and see what the land was like. They were also to take notice of the people, and the towns in which they lived, the land, crops and fruit of the land


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7781 - Over God's House

Today we continue in the early verses of Hebrews 3 so we again see the name of Moses as it relates to the house of Israel, and the name of Jesus as it relates to the house of God, or literally to the family of God throughout eternity.

Listen to Hebrews 3, verses 5 and 6:

Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to what would be said in the future. But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and hope of which we boast.


These verses are speaking about Moses and Christ giving service in some part of the house of God. In context Moses is commended as being a faithful servant in the house of God as relating to the Israelite people here on earth, particularly during the last forty years of his life, during which he was God’s chosen instrument to shepherd Israel from Egypt to the promised land of Canaan.

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7765 - Heavens to Perish

Since our lives are so finite in God’s vast eternity we are stretched when we are challenged to consider that any part of God’s creation may have limits; but such is the situation for today’s study.

Listen to Hebrews 1:10-12:
[God] says, "In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end."

Here Father God is speaking to His Son, as He affirms that the Son was the One who laid the foundations of the earth and the heavens at the beginning of time. Genesis 1:1 tells us: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

Throughout Scripture the act of creation is ascribed to The Son. As we have shared previously, everything, which is matter as well as all the unseen dynamics which govern the interaction of these things were brought into being through the spoken command of The Son. The law of gravity and the laws of nature; the law of centrifugal force; entropy, magnetism, aging and all such controls were put into operation by the Son of God, the Christ.

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7780 - Greater Than Moses

Today we consider Hebrews 3, verses 3 and 4. Listen as I read:

Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.

God had a purpose in bringing the book of Hebrews to be written. It seeks to convince all seekers that the sacrifices under the Law were only the type of sacrifice which was required by God, and which became a fulfilled reality through Jesus. Thus a new covenant of Grace was introduced through the crucifixion of Jesus, which is superior to and supplants the first covenant of animal blood under Law.

These verses point out that Jesus is worthy of greater honor than Moses.

Let’s note that Moses was perhaps the most respected person to any and all of the Jewish readers of this letter.


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7766 - Ministering Spirits

As we come to the end of Hebrews, chapter 1, we receive some revealing information pertaining to the relationship of angels and those who are chosen to be God’s children.

Let me read Hebrews 1: verses 13-14:
To which of the angels did God ever say, "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet" ? Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

These verses are additions to the Lord’s revelation that Jesus Christ is superior to angels in His authority over the affairs of mankind.

Can’t you just hear Father God saying to those who will read this book, “Did God ever say to any angel, here, sit down beside me, and let me make your enemies a footstool for your feet?” Of course, the answer is “No way.” In fact, where do you find that any angel sat down in God’s presence? I haven’t found a single such incident. Angels are ministering spirits, so they are busy in their task of service.

These words from Father God are an affirmation of His Son Jesus. He is the only One in eternity who has been invited to share the holy, eternal throne of God.

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7767 - Pay Attention

We enter chapter 2 of the book of Hebrews in our study together today. This begins the first of five warning given to us by God through this book of the Bible, so lets “Pay attention”.
Listen to Hebrews 2: verses 1-3a:
We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?

In this passage is a reference to the occasion of God’s passing of the Law to Nation Israel on Mt. Sinai. This is one of the principal events in the book of Exodus.
The spiritual status of the societies of the world was very wicked. Idolatry and witchcraft, and perversion were accepted daily activities in the many cultures.
God said to Moses before He gave the Law to Israel: “...tell the people of Israel: you yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession... You will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. (Ex. 19:3-6).”
God’s desire was that Israel be a missionary nation to the world as His chosen people.
With awesome display of God’s power and holiness, the law was passed to the Hebrew people.

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7764 - Eternal Throne

As the writer of Hebrews is telling about the superiority of the Son of God to various beings, he speaks about the throne of the Son, which will last forever.

Let’s consider Hebrews 1, verses 8 & 9 today.

But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy."

Notice that in this passage Father God is speaking to God-the-Son, so the Father is authenticating that the throne of your kingdom will last forever.

Since the Father & the Son predate all created things, the throne of the Son was established before the heavens & the earth were created. That means that as we look back we never see a time when the throne of the Son did not exist. It is obvious that the term throne here denotes the rule or kingdom of the Son.

This statement also looks forward forever; therefore, past the end of time. This means the rule of Christ over his kingdom always has been and always will be.

The comparison being made in this greater passage is the enduring nature of the rule of the Son, whereas the angels have a limited expectation.

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7763 - Angel Characteristics

Before continuing our study through the book of Hebrews let’s consider a close look at a few more characteristics of angels.

A few people have asked: “How powerful are angels?” As one studies various incidents in which angels are involved we may conclude there is no limit of what they can do. Have you noticed how seldom is more than one angel sent on a service mission by God? This fact enhances the thought that, generally speaking, only one angel is necessary.

Let’s first look at a scene from the history of Judah. When Hezekiah was king in Judah, Sennacherib, King of Assyria, invaded Judah and captured many cities. He sent the leaders of his army to threaten Jerusalem. King Hezekiah & the leaders of Judah humbled themselves and prayed to God.

The prophet Isaiah notified King Hezekiah that the Lord God had given positive, assuring words regarding the King of Assyria. The Lord Almighty had said, “he will not enter this city; I will defend this city and save it for My sake and the sake of David my servant.” (2 Kings 19).

As the people of Jerusalem slept that night, the angel of the Lord, just one angel, went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. When the people of Jerusalem got up the next morning the surrounding tents of the enemy were filled with dead bodies. All of the fighting men and the leaders and officers in the camp of the Assyrians had been annihilated by the Lord’s angel. Scripture tells us King Sennacherib broke camp and returned to Nineveh.

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7762 - Angels Part 3

As we are studying in the book of Hebrews we notice the emphasis in much of chapter 1 is the superiority of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, over the angels. Today we learn more about the angels.

Hebrews 1:7 says: In speaking of the angels, he says, “He makes his angels winds, his servants flames of fire.”

The emphasis here seems to be the variableness or changeability of the angelic ones as they are called upon to be ministers of God.

Let’s look into some of the services in which one or more angel has been called upon to accomplish a task for God’s.

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7761 - He Created Angels

Our Bible studies are now focused upon the book of Hebrews. The early verses in this book have many references to angels, but there is not much explanation of these heavenly beings; so we want to pause and catch a glimpse into these figures called angels.

Where did angels come from? How many are there? These are things we would like to know as we talk about angels.

Did they exist before the Biblical record began?

Let’s examine the Scripture and get some answers to our questions.

Colossians 1:16, speaking about Jesus Christ, clearly declares: “By him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.”

The Gospel of John (1:3) says: “Through Him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”

Revelation (4:11) adds: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.

These verses clearly teach us that everything which exists in the heavenly realms or the realm of earth had its beginning under the creative power and understanding of the Son, Jesus Christ. So, angels were created by the Son. There is nothing in existence, other than the Father & the Son, which can claim a beginning outside the creation of the Son.

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7760 - Angels Worship Him

The book of Hebrews opens with a radiant testimony of the splendor of the Son of God. One of the comparisons is with angels.

Let’s look at Hebrews 1; verses 4 and 5:

So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father”? Or again, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son”? And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.”

That opening sentence requires some investigation. How did the Son become superior to angels?

Since the Son created the angels it would be obvious that he is greater.

And some ask, why the fascination with angels?

The main message in Hebrews is directed to those in the Jewish community. Their view of angels was very much more elevated than with other people. Angels had played important parts in the history of the Jews.

Angels had been used by God to interface with the Jewish people on many occasions. The angel of the Lord appeared to Moses with instructions for delivering Israel from Egypt; and the angel of God protected Israel in their exodus. Angels also were instrumental in delivering the Law through Moses

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7759 - On His Throne

In our study of Hebrews we now come to one of the premier truths about the ministry of the Son, Jesus Christ.

In Heb. 1:3 we read, “After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”

The first phrase of this sentence tells about the very purpose for the Son’s coming to earth.

When Adam sinned God’s Spirit, which resided in Adam departed the throne room in Adam’s human spirit.

Omniscient God knew this would occur; therefore, Precious, loving God had already formulated a plan in heaven whereby mankind would be ransomed from sin and given an opportunity to willfully chose to invite His Spirit to return and take up residence in the human spirit of man.

This was the eternal, redemption plan of Trinity God for humanity. The details were to remain a mystery through the ages, but insight into the plan is contained in most every book of the Old Testament.

Peter relates that the prophets searched intently and with great care, seeking to understand the time and circumstances to which God’s Spirit was pointing in predicting the suffering of Christ and the glories that would follow.

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7758 - The Sustainer

In our past few studies we have been carefully examining each powerful statement about the Son given in the early verses of Hebrews. God is calling our attention to certain facets about His Son in ways we do not often consider.

Today we want to examine the statement found in verse 3, which tells us that the Son is, “sustaining all things by his powerful word.”

Several thoughts about this phrase deserve consideration.

We have previously commented about the use of the title “Son” in this early part of Hebrews. Of course, this is reference to the Son of God, the glorified Lord Jesus Christ.

These verses give penetrating attention to the position and work of Jesus in His reestablished authority and glory, after completing his servanthood for humanity here on earth.

We have focused some attention upon the Son’s task of creation, which occurred long before he came to earth in human flesh. He Himself is declared by Scripture to be the One who created all things from nothing. There was nothing in the material realm before he created it. The Hebrew uses the term ‘bara’ which is to make from nothing for all of creation, until he made man.

When describing the creation of man three different Hebrew words are used to describe this act. Those words are “bara” - to create from nothing; “Asah” - to make from something; and “yatsar” which means to shape or form. God formed the body of man from the dust of the ground (Gen.2:7); but the intricate inner being of man was created from nothing after the very image of God.

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7757 - Exact Image

The book of Hebrews opens with several affirmative, descriptive statements regarding the exalted superiority of Jesus Christ, Son-of-God.

Today let’s focus on two phrases in verse 3 relating to the Son.

“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being.”

These words give assurance that Jesus Christ is God himself. The verb tense is present tense, dispelling the false rumor that Jesus never rose from the dead, which was circulated by the Jewish leaders in an attempt to destroy the truth of the resurrection.

“Son” is a title of reference, which often is applied to Jesus Christ. Jesus used the title “Son of God” as well as “Son of Man” in reference to himself while on earth.

“Son of God” expresses the deity of the Lord Jesus, whereas the “Son of Man” distinguishes Him in the days of his earthly humanity. The use of the term Son is an inference of His oneness with God in the glory, which he enjoyed with Father God even before the world existed.

It is a mystery for man to understand but Jesus, The Son, declared, “I and the Father are One.” One reason the Son came to earth clothed in human flesh was to declare the very nature of God in visible form to people of flesh. John’s gospel tells us (1:18): “No one has ever seen God, but God the only Son, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.” Thus, the Son demonstrated the very nature and form of invisible God, so that we could gain more understanding of infinite, exalted God.

Hebrews declares the Son is the radiance of God’s glory.

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7756 - Heir and Creator

In the opening paragraph of Hebrews are splendid declarations of the superiority of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as compared to the prophets of old and to the angels of heavenly realms.

Let’s look today at chapter 1, verse 2:

“but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.”

Our last study focused on how God has spoken to mankind by His Son. This, of course, refers to the message given to the people of earth in and through the Son of God. In His birth, life, death and resurrection, Jesus is the only One ever to experience life as Son-of-Man and also as Son-of-God.

The verse we read told us that Father God appointed Jesus as heir of all things. To us, the word ‘heir’ carries the idea of one who becomes inheritor of an estate upon the Father’s death. This definition has no meaning for Jesus because Father God is eternal and will never die. That word also describes one who is possessor, sovereign, or lord. Notice, this is something resembling a title, and so it could be with Jesus.

This title does not relate to His ‘begotten’ state as the Son-of-God. Rather, this title ‘heir’ relates to the Father’s recognition of Christ’s service as the Son-of-Man. In becoming the Son-of-Man, Jesus was unique. He was fully human, in which form he alone qualified as the sinless lamb to be sacrificed for the sins of the human race.

Another important point: while in flesh, Jesus had laid aside the use of his divine powers for his entire human life on earth. He was fully God, but He never used His personal divine powers during His earthly life. He lived in total dependence upon Father God, and He always obeyed the Fathers instructions. He told people He did not come to earth to do His own will, but to do the will of the Father. This truth was emphasized in that last night with the disciples when he declared to them that it is the Father living in me, who is doing his work, and anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.

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7755 - God Spoke

Today we want to explore the idea expressed at the beginning of Hebrews that “God spoke.”

Listen to Hebrews 1:1-2a:

In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son...

Prophets were men chosen by God to speak out the counsel and message of God to mankind. They were the mouth piece of God as they spoke forth the many messages which God had for people throughout Old Testament history.

God spoke at many times and in various ways, showing that God is not an impersonal, hidden God who only speaks occasionally to people.

From the very first, God’s desire was that He would have a personal relationship with His people creatures. Adam was made with a body and soul and human spirit. This human spirit is the place in man, which was designed by God for communion and fellowship with Himself. God’s Spirit would reside there and the relationship was meant to be mutually enjoyable and beneficial.

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7754 - Five Warnings

As we begin our study of the book of Hebrews we call attention to five forceful warnings from God to the believers in the newly founded Church there in the first century.

But these warnings equally apply to Christians of all centuries so let’s look at them in outline form before we dig into our verse by verse study of this book.

The first warning appears in chapter 2, verses 1-3:

We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?

Here is a clear and sobering warning that believers must not drift away from the gospel truth. Our primary focus should be to obey Jesus and do what pleases Him.

The second warning is found in 3:7 through 4:13. Let me read 3:12-14.

See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.

The warning here is against an unbelieving heart which turns away from the living God. As believers we should be encouraging other believers to likewise hold to the truth, and do not let the sin of unbelief rob us of knowing and serving Jesus.

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7753 - Hebrews - Introduction

Today we open our Bibles to the book of Hebrews as we begin a study of this important book in God’s plan for redemption and reconciliation of His human creatures back to Himself after our relationship was broken by the sin of Adam.

Hebrews points us to the truth that the Old Testament account reveals the Law as a preview type of sacrifice, which became the reality in Christ Jesus on the cross.

Hebrews binds together the Old Testament and the New Testament in the person and work of Jesus Christ. The emphasis is upon the superiority of Jesus Christ over all competing options.

The deity and humanity of Jesus are amply authenticated.

No other Biblical work so clearly answers the reasons for the sacrifice of Christ, and reveals the extensive blessings derived through His sacrifice.

This book is crimson with the precious blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God, the fulfillment of the required Levitical sacrifices according to God’s plan and schedule, throughout the ages. Furthermore, Christ is fully established as the High Priest for all believers.

There is a clear emphasis upon the privilege of the believer in relationship to Jesus Christ, and a strong challenge upon the believer to mature to a vigorous faith.

The inferred conclusion of Hebrews is that Christ Jesus meets the spiritual needs of all people, of every tongue, and of every nation.

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7779 - Faithful In Appointment

One of the strong testimonies of inner character in a person is faithfulness in completion of a task, which has been assigned to you.

Let’s talk about the faithfulness of Jesus as the Son of Man on earth. Listen to Hebrews 3:2:

He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house.

Some points deserve attention in this passage, which is talking about Jesus as the Son of Man: about his faithfulness in completing the assignment for which he came to earth.

We notice the comparison between Jesus and Moses. Why are they mentioned in comparison? We will look more closely at this in our next discussion; however, we will point out that they were both assigned a task by God, which was to be completed on earth.

Moses lived about 1500 years before Christ. His life’s story is recorded in Exodus through Deuteronomy in the Bible. Moses was called upon to be God’s man in leading Israel out of slavery in Egypt and into the land, which God promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

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7778 - Think On Jesus

We continue in our study of the book of Hebrews. At the end of chapter 2 is a full explanation of how Jesus went through suffering as a human being in order to qualify to sacrifice his body for sin on the cross. By completing this mission he became the faithful high priest in service to God in behalf of sinful humanity. The sacrifice of the body of Jesus on the cross was the only means to reconcile holy God with sin stained people. The death and resurrection of Jesus brought hope, and a single means by which a sinner could be reconciled with holy, pure God.

Now any individual who in faith relies upon the works and person of Jesus Christ, is born again. Trinity God enters their human spirit and takes up Lordship residence. This means they have new life — eternal spiritual life. And because of the resurrection of Jesus they have confidence of glorification in heaven with God and all his family.

In chapter 3, verse 1 of Hebrews, we find one provision which is made for every believer to be growing in preparation for future glorification.

Listen as I read:

Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.

Notice that every holy brother, that includes every human being who has placed their faith in Jesus Christ, is exhorted to fix their thoughts on Jesus.

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7777 - He Was Tempted

Today let’s talk about how Jesus suffered because of temptations while here on earth.

Let me read Hebrews 2: verse 18:

Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Some people shrug their shoulders in unconcern when they think about the temptations of Jesus. After all, if he was the perfect Son of God, would he not be impervious to temptations? Would he not be able to just shrug them off?

True, if Jesus were operating in the power of his heavenly might, then temptation would not even scratch the surface. They would bounce right off.

The truth is that Jesus had laid aside the use of his mighty power before he came to earth as a baby boy. The Holy Spirit tells us through the apostle Paul in the book of Philippians, that Christ, “emptied himself” as one feature of taking on human flesh. During His life here on earth, as the Son of Man, Jesus was committed to rely totally upon Father God for anything that was required beyond human effort. He said, “I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me;” and he told his disciples that it was the Father, living in Him, who was doing his miraculous work.

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7776 - High Priest

We have come to the first of several references to Jesus as the high priest. Let’s explore what that means.

Listen to Hebrews 2:17:

For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.

We again call attention that the book of Hebrews exalts Jesus Christ as the author and founder of the New Covenant of grace, and pronounces Him superior to all of the previous figures who have stood before God in behalf of the people of earth.

The priesthood to which usual reference points, is the Levitical priesthood instituted as a part of the Law. The high priest was the chief figure in the order of priests. He has special duties in standing between God and the people.

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7775 - Freedom

Join us as we look at another facet of the marvelous work of Jesus Christ as he died on the cross.

Listen to Hebrews 2: verses 15 and 16:

and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels He helps, but Abraham’s descendants.

The consequence of the sin of man brought fear of death to be a cloud, which hovers over humanity; so many questions surrounding death.

Mankind was created to have fellowship with God. This capacity was built into the fabric of man. Both God and people were to enjoy the relationship with each other.

After the devil deceived Eve and she ate the forbidden fruit from the only tree in the Garden from which they could not eat, and Adam willfully followed her actions; a great change came into the inner being of both. The purity and simplicity of innocence was destroyed in their beings; and for the first time in the Bible we find fear within the people God had created.

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7768 - Great Salvation

In Hebrews, chapter 2 the writer calls attention to the great salvation which was consummated on the cross by Jesus Christ.

Listen to Hebrews 2 verses 3 and 4:

How shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

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7774 - Devil Overcome

Our study in the book of Hebrews has brought us to Hebrews 2:14. Here’s what it says:

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death — that is the devil...

Let’s review what the Bible tells us about the devil, this one whom the Bible declares holds the power of death. The devil is referred to by many various names in Scripture. He is called Satan, the dragon, prince of the power of the air, the accuser of the brethren, the evil one, the prince of this world and other titles and names.

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7773 - Brothers

We’re told God’s Word is sweeter than honey and drippings from the honeycomb. Together let’s taste a portion of His Word today.

In Luke 15, as the Lord Jesus was teaching, he came to the climax of the parable about the lost son. This son which was dead in relationship to his father had returned. In humility he had repented of his sin and failure. But even as he spoke the father was pouring out acts of love upon him. There was reconciliation. A celebration followed this joyful reunion.

Then Jesus continues with the parable by telling about the eldest son who had remained on the home place which now belonged to him.

Let me read Luke 15:25-32 and then we’ll talk more:
"Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. `Your brother has come,' he replied, `and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.'

"The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, `Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!'

"`My son,' the father said, `you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'"

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7770 - Rulership Forfieted


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7769 - Man's Intended Rule


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7771 - Now Crowned

In our study in the book of Hebrews we have been brought to see how the author emphasizes the superiority of the New Covenant of faith in Jesus Christ to the covenant of Law, and how it has superseded that old covenant. Much is said about the superiority of its Founder, Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

We want to talk about how Jesus is now crowned with glory and honor after his sacrificial service here on earth as a human being.
Listen to Hebrews 2:9:
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

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7772 - Author of Salvation

Join us as we hide God’s Word in our heart that we might not sin against the Lord.

Today let’s explore the title “author of salvation” which is ascribed to Jesus in Hebrews 2:10. Listen:

In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of salvation perfect through suffering.

In this greater passage Jesus is exalted as being the atoning sacrifice for sin, the Son of God who willingly became human flesh in order to accomplish the very task of salvation.

Think for a moment: Jesus Christ, the Messiah, is the figure in whom all the Old Testament saints had faith, while all those since the cross have faith in Jesus for salvation. So the statement “without Jesus there would be no means of salvation.” is very true.


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