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Chapter 1 of Hebrews is exciting and no nonense. It immediately begins by telling us that though God has spoken in the past it was not complete until Christ. His Word was progressive in revelation until the fullness of Christ dwelt among man and spoke.

In verses 1-3 of chapter 1, we see that God is saying what greater revelation could He give to us than His son, Jesus Christ? In Christ, God becomes fully personal with mankind. Man is no longer dependent on prophets to reveal God to man. God reveals Himself to us, face to face. This verse can be connected with John 14 where Jesus expresses that ” He who has seen Me, has seen the Father”. In essence Christ is the final and best word of and on God. There will not be a better updated version down the road. He, Jesus, is the last word spoken in these final days.

It is also interesting to note that before Christ, God spoke in many varied ways to reveal Himself. We had the burning bush, the pillar of fire by night and the pillar of cloud by day, the ten commandments, Moses, judges, prophets, kings, etc, but now…Christ has come and the many ways are no longer needed. Christ is the sufficient all expressive word of the Living God. The quality of Jesus’ message is superior than that of any former revelation, because of His status as Son of God.

Hebrews is a complex and challenging book to study. It consists of only 13 chapters, but those chapters brings the believer into new depths and love for Christ and God. To understand some of the context of Hebrews some intro material might be helpful:

Author: unknown > some suggest Paul, others Apollos, the suggestions are not few and in no way unimaginative. But since no one knows for sure, the best response would be probably Paul, but really unknown.

Audience: this book was written to Jewish Believers and to Hellenistic Greek Jews.

Purpose: It is layered in its purpose. (1) Show the superiority of Christ over all people and things (2) encourage believers to maturity in the faith (3) keep believers, especially the Jewish believers, from relapsing back into the customs and requirements of Judaism.

IHS,

KG

What beyond? There must be a handing over of the life just as it is, with its defilement, to Jesus Christ. Oh, but you say you are telling us to do what you tell people to do when they come to Him at first. Exactly! When the Church at Ephesus lost her first love, the great and glorious One, walking amid the seven golden lamp-stands, said, “I have this against thee, that thou didst leave thy first love.” What shall she do? This is what she shall do: “Repent, and do the first works.” Begin where you began, fall in line with the principles you have neglected and wandered from. Remember, when we come for purity we are to come exactly as we came for pardon. First, “Nothing in my hands I bring,” the cessation of my attempts to deal with the underlying impurity; second, “Here I give my all to Thee,” the utter and absolute abandonment of the life to Jesus Christ-not as a theory to be sung, but as fact. And then what next? Then, dear heart, trust Him for that very thing after which you have been sighing. Accept it as from Him, trusting in Him. The cleansing of the conscience comes whenever a soul ventures everything on Christ and trusts Him absolutely. If you will come now, just where you are and as you are, with your false consciousness, but in strong determination that you will cut every cord that binds you to the old life, burn every bridge behind you, stand out in separation to Him, and then trust Him, He will break the power of canceled sin. He will set the prisoner free. And so, by the way of this Cross, infinite and ever-increasing mystery of God’s love, there comes to men not merely pardon, but purity-that for which the heart, quickened by the Spirit, most profoundly seeks.

>> G. Campbell Morgan

Owen comments on the differences between the revelation of Law versus the revelation of the Gospel of Grace.

1. The Manner Law was given in many times and ways. It was progressive in revelation. The Gospel was given once and revealed through Christ only.

2. The Time/Season The Law was given in the past. The Gospel is for the present.

3. To Whom it was GivenThe Law was given to the forefathers. The Gospel was/is given to us.

4. Through WhomThe Law was through the prophets. The Gospel of Grace is given through Christ.

This should give us great peace and happiness, because Jesus is the very representative of God in character and nature.(1:3)  He is not any less God than God is. Therefore the revelation of the Gospel of Christ (Grace) takes precedence over the revelation of the Law and is the perfection of the revelation of God and the perfection of His will.

IHS,

KTJG

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I have begun to read John Piper. I have done this in the past, but did not take what he had to say all that seriously. Now though, I have come to see his wisdom and honesty. I have bought Desiring God and just began reading it today. His wisdom is already jumping off the pages and grabbing hold off me. Here are some of the highlights and reflections that grabbed me the most:

People lift their hand to rebel against the Most High only to find that their rebellion is unwitting service in the wonderful designs of God. Even sin cannot frustrate the purposes of the Almighty. He himself does not commit sin, but he has decreed that there be acts which are sin-for the acts of Pilate and Herod were predestined by God’s plan. (p. 26)

The hardened disobedience of men’s hearts leads not to the frustration of God’s plans, but to their fruition. (p. 27)

God’s sovereignty over men’s affairs is not compromised even by the reality of sin and evil in the world. It is not limited to the good acts of men or the pleasant events of nature. The wind belongs to God whether it comforts or whether it kills.

In the end one must finally come to see that if there is a God in heaven, there is no such thing as mere coincidence, not even in the smallest affairs of life: “The lot is cast into the lap, but the decision is wholly from the Lord” (Proverbs 16:33). Not one sparrow “will fall to the ground without your Father’s will” (  Matthew 10:29).

Therefore when I say the sovereignty of God is the foundation of his happiness, I do not ignore or minimize the anger and grief God can express against evil. But neither do I infer from this wrath and sorrow that God is a frustrated God who cannot keep his creation under control. He has designed from all eternity, and is infallibly forming with every event, a magnificent mosaic of redemptive history. The contemplation of this mosaic (with both its dark and bright tiles) fills his heart with joy. (p. 30)

IHS,

Keith

some resources on the book of Hebrews:

Hebrews Notes by Tom Constable

John Piper – Sermons / notes

Arthur Pink – Hebrews Verse by Verse

G. Campbell Morgan – Purity by the Cross: a Study in Hebrews

Sola scriptura

Last semester I was required to write a 30 page “mini” commentary on the entire book of First Corinthians. This semester the requirement is the same, but for the book of Hebrews. It was so enriching and inspiring to go through the entire book of 1st Cor. The lessons I learned are stored in my heart forever.

I am so excited about doing the same work for Hebrews. As I go through it this semester I plan on updating the blog with insights and reflections. My prayer is God will use this time for sanctification and molding of my imperfections and change them to match His Son’s.

Sola scriptura

My attempt for this year is to go completely through the Bible once. Of all the plans available I think the one I will go with is the one available from Discipleship Journal. It allows flexibility in the days each month, providing 5 free days per month for catch up and extra reflection.

IHS,

Keith

In starting the new blog I hope the greatest thing I will gain is the knowledge that I am the student and Christ is the teacher. Discipulus is latin for “student”. I can think of no greater description for a follower of Christ than that of student.

May the glory of God through Christ be the focus of my life. May my words and actions bring honor and glory to the One who deserves the praise forever.

IHS,

Keith

What I’m Reading

The Jesus Way: Conversations on the way that Jesus is the Way ~~Eugene Peterson _________________________________________ Let the Nations be Glad ~~John Piper _________________________________________

In the “Q”

Francis Schaeffer - True Spiritually ______________________________________

Bible Study / Devotional

Romans 1 ___________________________________________