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Showing posts from September, 2020

The New Covenant Completed - Hebrews 10:1 - 18

  Wednesday, September 30 – We have come to the last day of September, and from where I write, Autumn is in full swing.  We continue reading thru the book of Hebrews, reading 10:1 – 18.  Please return to read some more after you’ve finished reading the passage. The beginning of Chapter 10 is a bit of a flash-back on what he said before in chapter 7.  The problem was simple, “the law was only a shadow, and it made nothing perfect.”  Why?  Two main reasons follow.  First, the law could not provide a permanent solution, which is proved by the necessity to repeat the sacrifices every year - “For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.  Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins?  But in these sacrifices, the

The Tabernacle and Jesus' Finished Work - Hebrews 9:1 - 28

 Tuesday, September 29 – We are continuing our reading in the New Testament in Hebrews 9:1 – 28.   We will be reading about the Old Testament Tabernacle system of worship, so take your time, and please come back that we might walk through what he is saying together. We must remember that the writer is making an argument to Jewish Christians that Jesus is superior to the Old Covenant and its Levitical Priesthood.   To this end, he begins to describe – from Exodus 25-26 – the Tabernacle. “Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary.  A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand and the table with its consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place.  Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place,  which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant.  Above the ark were the

The Old and The New Covenant - Hebrews 8:1 -13

Monday, September 28 – We come to another week, and continue our reading through the New Testament in Hebrews 8:1 – 13. After you’ve finished reading the text of Scripture please come back and we’ll look at it again. The Old Testament represents a Covenant God made with the nation of Israel. It was established by God for a distinct group of people, and for a distinct period of time. The passage reminds us that it was never meant to last forever. The Old Testament itself made that clear, and in a quote from it, the author of Hebrews reminds us that a New Covenant would one day replace the Old one. This passage builds off the previous one reminding us that Jesus has become “ the guarantee of a better covenant ” (7:22). It is a Covenant that is superior to the Old in every way – “Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the

Jesus and Melchizedek - Hebrews 7:1 - 27

  The Weekend, September 26 – The weekend means we have one reading over these two days. Today we pick back up in the book of Hebrews reading 7:1 – 27. After you’ve read the passage, please come back that we can look at it again. He had ended the last section with an encouragement to the struggling believers to hang on to their faith in Jesus Christ – “where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek” (6:20). It is the third time this intriguing man – Melchizedek – has been referred to. We had made a couple of notes about him previously but now all of chapter 7 reflects on Jesus and Melchizedek. We are entering into foreign territory, which looks back to a historical section of early Genesis. Melchizedek is not a prominent character in Genesis but enters into the scene during the time of Abraham. The author of Hebrews brings the story out to make the case that Melchizedek is a type of Christ. Typology is seldom

Going On to Maturity - Hebrews 5:11 - 6:20

  Friday, September 25 – We continue our reading through the New Testament and our reading in the book of Hebrews.   Today’s reading is from Hebrews 5:11 – 6:20. After you’ve read the passage, please come back, and we’ll look at it a second time. The writer of Hebrews had just finish extolling Jesus, first as the Son of God, but then appointed by the Father to the role of King and High Priest.   In a sudden shift, he pauses that conversation, and once again, issues a warning to the Jewish believers who were stuck in doubt.   The writer expresses his disappointment at the level of maturity they have stayed at – which is, they were not progressing, but standing still.   “ About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.  For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word

Our Great High Priest - Hebrews 4:14 - 5:10

  Thursday, September 24 – We are continuing our readings through the New Testament, and we are in the book of Hebrews.   Today, we read Hebrews 4:14 – 5:10. After you’ve finished reading the text, please come back, and we’ll walk through it together one more time. The letter of Hebrews was addressed to Jewish Christians in the first century – many of whom were struggling with their faith because of family, village, and synagogue opposition, as well as Roman persecution.   The natural question that arose was, “If following Jesus is supposed to be God’s will, why are things so terrible?”   It is a principle we discover in God’s word, that God often puts people in tough places to test their faith and expose their insecurities and weaknesses. The book Pilgrim’s Progress is an allegory story that follows the line of discovery in the book of Hebrews.   God keeps bringing Christian back to the truth found in his word, because, “…the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any dou

Entering Into Christ's Rest - Hebrews 3:1 - 4:13

  Wednesday, Sept 23 – Sorry for being tardy in posting was supposed to be posted yesterday.  We are in the last quarter of this year as we keep reading thru the New Testament in one year.   Today’s reading is the first of several readings that will disregard chapter divisions.   We’re reading Hebrews 3:1 – 4:13. Please come back to take some time to think about all he’s saying to us today. If you haven’t noticed, I want to draw your attention to a simple observation.   The writer of Hebrews uses the name “Jesus” over and over instead of other designations such as “Christ,” “Lord,” “Son of God.”   He wants us to make sure we see that Jesus is identified with us in our humanity.   It’s not to say that Jesus is not more than human, even as we read in the opening of this passage - “Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession,  who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was f

A Great Salvation For Us - Hebrews 2:1 - 18

  Tuesday, September 22 – We continue our reading thru the New Testament today by reading Hebrews 2:1 – 18. After you have finished reading the passage, please come back, and we’ll walk through it together one more time. Hebrews is – probably – the most theological book in the New Testament. One can argue that Romans is either ahead of it or alongside it, but Hebrews is full of Theology.   Good theology leads to practical theology.   For example, now that we know that Jesus is the same as God and superior to Angels, we cannot help but ask, “so what”?   The answer is in the second chapter – “So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it.  For the message God delivered through angels has always stood firm, and every violation of the law and every act of disobedience was punished.  So what makes us think we can escape if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus himself and then delivered to us by those who he

Jesus, God's Final Revelation - Hebrews 1:1 - 14

 Monday, September 21 – Welcome to the beginning of a new week, and as we begin it, we also start a new book in the New Testament – the book of Hebrews.   Today, we’ll read Hebrews 1:1 – 14.   After you’ve finished reading the passage, please come back as we begin to tackle this marvelous book. The book of Hebrews has been argued as Paul’s thirteenth letter, but it has also been argued that Paul never identified himself in this letter. Since all of his other letters contained his greeting and conclusion with his name, many do not think Paul wrote Hebrews.   In fact, there is no name that is ascribed to the letter of Hebrews, which leaves it wide open to much speculation as to the writer.   What we do know is that the writer of this letter knew the Old Testament very well, and not only was he steeped in Old Testament knowledge, but he also wrote in fluid Greek.   We also know that the writer was well known to his readers (10:32-34), and was probably either the Apostle Paul or someo