Helps for the new and young Christian

20170120_212453Welcome to another new year and another new season in history as another new president has come into office in the United States.

As this year begins, many changes are happening in our family as well. I have recently accepted a new position in Wisconsin and will be moving in the next few weeks.

The one thing I want to do this year is to personally encourage, challenge, strengthen and warn the new and younger Christians – the old believer as well. I want to encourage you to grow greatly in your walk with God, challenge you regarding mere easy believism and personal beliefs that are not biblical, strengthen you in the warfare that will come against you, and warn you against pitfalls, complacency, false conversion and trusting in the flesh.

If you are not following this blog, please sign up below. If you have a question, please feel free to connect with me on the contact page. If you have not shared my page, please do so. Who knows what ‘seeds’ the Lord will use in the eternal life of a loved one or friend on social media.

Peace and blessings to you this year.

And may we grow in our authentic reality of the Christian faith; both in simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. May the fallow ground be worked, our humility be real, and may we boast upon God alone! Amen.

I would love to hear from you and stay posted for much more to come.

Sincerely,

Jerebg-blogger-badge-350x350-e1387301563797my Strang: Christian. Husband. Father. Author.

Stay In The Boat / Foothills of True Grace / Realities of a True Christian / and more…

 

Lacking Mercy Before A God of Great Mercy

The post below is from Greg Gordon, friend and founder of http://www.sermonindex.net.

Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into human hands. – 2 Samuel 24:14

mercy-of-GodIt is a simple truth yet very important and David recognized this when he failed before the Lord. The truth is that God is more merciful then his creation is. David knew himself and how ruthless we as humans can be to each other, judging, condemning and thinking others deserve judgment without mercy. David knew that men’s mercy was not great and abounding. The hebrew word for “great” in this passage speaks of abundant, exceedingly, and full. God’s mercy is over-abounding and exceedingly yet men’s mercy at times towards others is lacking. A similar passage in the Epistle of James says, “The Lord is full of compassion and mercy” (James 5:11). He is full of pity and very kind and full of tender mercies. See God’s mercy all over the Scriptures, see it in his very Son who came to this earth. It has been a testimony of those who grow and mature in their knowing the Lord they exhibit and revel in God’s mercy. I remember sitting in an older pastors home and he kept quietly saying how wonderful God’s mercy is. Once I was sitting in a conference where a brother was speaking very hard words to believers, and when I looked down at the pew I saw a name tag with the name mercy. God spoke to my heart that though hard sayings are in the Scriptures we must always still have mercy.

When we are close to the heart of God and in his presence we also share his mercy towards others. Are you full of the Holy Spirit? Then you will be full of mercy, kindness and love. We are prone to judge and quickly condemn others for attitudes, sins, and teachings when we do not consider ourselves. Our Lord said, “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31). We do not have commands to show no mercy but rather all corrections, rebukes, must be filled with mercy and a willingness to relent and forgive an offender. We should look for the good in others, and build each other up. If we just look to tear down others, and not show mercy then we are asking God to treat us in the same way. When we have been transformed by the Lord from our own self-centered lives we will be full of mercy towards others and have joy in doing so. Thomas Watson said, “God is more willing to pardon than to punish.” John of Kronstadt says, “Your Lord is a God of mercy and bountifulness: be a source of mercy and bountifulness to your neighbours.” Let it be something you look at in yourself daily and ask the question: How merciful am I towards others? Am I growing and abounding in mercy?

Men, You Don’t Need A ‘New Cart’

man prayingIn this day of thin-skinned-narcissistic-feel-good-consumerism-churchianity that has become so evident in the culture of relevant talk, fear driven political correctness and the tidal wave of sin-embracing-Christ-denying-God-enmity, men especially have neglected their posts. The day of God fearing men of humility, prayer and meekness has almost been removed. If we have ever lived in an age when men of God need to arise, it is surely now. Read More

Fighting Luke-Warmness

Fighting Luke-Warmness

 

Intro

lukewarmThe first thing I must ask is this, is there even a need to do such a thing in the professing Christian church today? Is there a need in the individual, those of us who make up the church? The answer for us in the Western World is all too obvious.

My problem is not found to be with governments, those who are unconverted, politicians and such, but mine is with those who take the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and sit as if they were deaf, blind and ignorant, as if Christ never really took upon Himself the wrath of God, the wrath we deserved. It is my opinion, and the fruit that seems to be so very apparent (Luke 6:44), that many people are more related to John 3:36 than truly understanding of John 3:16. Because of this, my prayer and my concern is heavy that we would wake-up and embrace the realities, the power and the person of Christ – authentically.

Whether it is because many are unregenerate or because so many are “back-sliding,” a term not found in Scripture, or purely lazy, only the Lord really knows. I firmly believe we have a great many who have never truly come to embrace the Jesus Christ of the Bible, but make a personal profession to a concocted form of a “cheap-christ” that was formed in the personal beliefs of one’s own mind. Whichever be the case, it is not my intent to make this case and point, but rather to call us all out of the paths of superficiality and luke-warmness unto a life of passionate pursuit of Jesus Christ and the will of God.

Thoughts to Consider

Before moving forward, let me pose something to think about. Let’s say you are going to set out onto the battlefield today. Would you go out on a horse with a musket and bayonet from the Civil War? Would you not want the latest gear, the latest weapons, the fastest transportation and the most stealth way of fighting? In fighting spiritual battles, would we not want all the armor of God? Do we not want the entire armor and fight apparel – the belt, the breastplate, the shoes, the shield, the helmet, the sword – and with this all an alertness, perseverance and prayer?[1]

Let me take this a bit further. When we want to beat a certain sin in our life, we do not say, “Let me go out and commit more of this sin so that I can beat this sin.” Do you see the absolute insanity of such a thought? If we are going to fight our sin, should not Christ and His true grace be the bow we pull back, Romans 8:13 be the arrow we grasp and our sin be the bull’s eye? Yet I submit to you, when it comes to luke-warmness in the Christian life and in the professing church, we are doing exactly the opposite; this most certainly is the case in a great majority of people’s private lives and without a doubt from the pulpit week in and week out. But what do I mean that we are doing this both privately (inwardly) and from the pulpit (corporately)? Give me room to explain.

 

“To merely read, study or become a scholar of the Bible to gain knowledge is one thing, but to have the Scriptures ravage the old man that still tries to live within, to break him, and to be remade by the true Gospel of grace is entirely another thing – I much prefer the latter.”PBOOK001

 

No Wonder Why

Today, there is no wonder why the individuals who sit in churches of various denominations are luke-warm, it’s because so many of the teacher’s and preacher’s only arsenal against luke-warmness is by using various methods of luke-warm, pragmatic, humanism, and they then struggle to no end to find a new method, a new way, a new strategy, a new sermon series, a new approach, or a new business model. When I read of the Apostle Paul deciding “to know nothing among” the very carnal and very young Corinthian church “except Jesus Christ and him crucified,”[2] I see a far difference from the centering and passion of most sermons and messages of today.

If we want to see people lit on fire for a passion for Christ, we don’t preach messages about passion. If we want to see people come to intimately know and walk with Christ, we don’t present them messages about how to have a better life. If we want to fight against luke-warmness for the people in our churches, then we don’t present a luke-warm messages built on text book preaching/teaching that is based in pragmatic humanism. Here is what we ought to do, give them Christ! Christ in all His power, His deity, His beauty, His reality; Christ in the power of His Gospel, scandalous in appearance, impossible in human thought – we need to give Christ – impossible to do if you don’t have Him. What did the disciples give the beggar at the temple in the book of Acts?[3] Jesus Christ!

Now for a minute, let me say this about being pragmatic. Pragmatism,[4] or pragmatic messages, that are birthed for the purposes of developing a message or merely to help or better a person most often are powerless, spiritless and futile, leaving no eternal value towards heavenly things. They leave the listeners amused, entertained, ear-tickled and luke-warm. These never do more than temporarily move fleshly emotions. On the contrary, messages that are truly in the power and demonstration of the Spirit of God are always pragmatic in that the Holy Spirit brings about conviction, the need for repentance and further sanctification. In this way, the way of being centered on God’s glory, His honor, His Son and preeminence, these messages are pragmatic as they are birthed of God and for the eternal best for the hearers, thereby bringing about deep rooted change in the soul of men and outflows of passionate Christian behavior. (I highly recommend listening to a message entitled, Ten Shekels and a Shirt by Paris Reidhead.)

And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”[5] Again, we see Paul was not concerned with “plausible words of wisdom” but that men might place their faith in God and His power and nothing of the “wisdom” of man. Mere teaching alone, whether gifted to be a teacher or not, is not enough for the church; hence why there are many gifts in the body. We need not only biblical and solid teaching, but we need a healthy mix of exhortation, admonishment, correction and discipline as well. We need men who are gifted by God to be preachers and especially humble men gifted to be true, notice I said humble and true, prophets.[6] In this day especially, we do not need any more boys with their little degrees[7] who think they are relevant communicators. We need men of God who have been mulled over and ravaged by God, this through His Word, the convictions of His Spirit and in the early morning hours[8] of privately walking with Him.

We put men into pulpits because they have degrees. But you can have 32 of them and still be frozen!

-Leonard Ravenhill

Some Statistics

Look below at some of these statistics. Notice the date that these studies were released; how much worse are we now?

“Here is a report of a survey of 10,000 Protestant ministers conducted by Sociologist Jeffrey Hadden; 7,441 responded to the questions. Here are the horrifying statistics. Read them, then wonder why God is grieved with our spiritual life. (I am indebted to Christ for the Nations, May 1982, for this information.)”[9]

Bible – inspired Word of God?

82% of Methodists said “No”

81% of Presbyterians said “No”

89% of Episcopals said “No”

57% of American Lutherans said “No”

Jesus the Son of God?   

82% of Methodists said “No”

81% of Presbyterians said “No”

89% of Episcopals said “No”

75% of American Lutherans said “No”

Physical resurrection of Jesus?  

51% of Methodists said “No”

35% of Presbyterians said “No”

30% of Episcopals said “No”

33% of Baptists said “No”

13% of American Lutherans said “No”

 

 

“The August 1982 issue of Pulpit Helps contains this statement: ‘In a recent survey of one of the large, well-known theological colleges of the United States, 93% of the students studying for the ministry stated: “I have no devotional life.”’ What a crop of future preachers! How can a man speak for God if he does not walk with God?”[10]

 

love not the thingsIf we have a desire to overcome luke-warmness in our own life or within the church at large, we must fill our eye, our ears, our minds, our desires with that of Christ. We must fix our attentions on the Author and Perfecter of our faith,[11] we must be transformed by the renewal of our minds,[12] and we must set our minds on things above and not of the earth.[13] As long as our eye is fixed upon entertainments of the flesh, the news and social media, games, sports, TV and the like, we will never, I mean never, come out from the land of Egypt, come out of the darkness of the day, and come out of our luke-warmness. We may just prove that many of us are looking back, with lustful thoughts and intentions, just like Lot’s wife and find that we are turned to a pillar of salt and given the words from our Lord, “Be away from Me, I never knew you.”[14]

Choose this day whom you will serve. “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,”[15] but turn, in full surrender, to the Lord of glory. Let Him take you out of the sure death of luke-warmness and into a deep, passionate and authentic walk of reality with Him.

 

But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”[16]

But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.”[17]

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”[18]

 

Our Real Problem

Our real problem all comes down to this, what are we doing with Jesus Christ? Do we bench Him on the sidelines while believing there is someone better to occupy our time with? Do we shelf Him for all the silly little doctrines of men, philosophies and imaginary feel good quotes? Christ truly is a “stumbling block to the Jews and folly to the Gentiles.”[19]

Let me ask you, What does light have to do with darkness?[20] What does Christ have to do with false idols, false gods, and the darkness of this world?[21] May we continue to sit in our luke-warmness, indulging the flesh with continuous pleasures of this world, using grace as a means to sin – may it never be![22]

Come out of Egypt; come out of the shallowness of weak, powerless and convictionless lifestyles. Turn, whole heartedly, with full submission, to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Run, Run, Run.

 

My Prayer

My prayer for my church congregation, the local church, and the church at large. “Lord, I beseech Thee, shew forth Thy glory more and more; and grant that much people in this place may be enabled to believe on Thee. Oh that they may not only received the Word with joy for a season, but bring forth fruit unto perfection.” (George Whitefield, 1739)

whitefieldcrowd“I’ll tell you a story. The Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 1675 was acquainted with Mr. Butterton the actor. One day the Archbishop . . . said to Butterton . . . ‘pray inform me Mr. Butterton, what is the reason you actors on stage can affect your congregations with speaking of things imaginary, as if they were real, while we in church speak of things real, which our congregations only receive as if they were imaginary?’ ‘Why my Lord,’ says Butterton, ‘the reason is very plain. We actors on stage speak of things imaginary, as if they were real and you in the pulpit speak of things real as if they were imaginary.’ “

“Therefore,” says Whitefield, “I will bawl, I will not be a velvet-mouthed preacher.”

~George Whitefield

 

Realities New Cover

 

[1] Ephesians 6:10-18

[2] 1 Corinthians 2:2

[3] Acts 3:6

[4] 1. character or conduct that emphasizes practicality. 2. a philosophical movement or system havingvarious forms, but generally stressing practicalconsequences as constituting the essentialcriterion in determining meaning, truth, or value. Webster’s Online Dictionary

[5] 1 Corinthians 2:3-5

[6] 1 Corinthians 14:1

[7] Not saying pursuing a degree is wrong, but for many it is nothing more than this, a degree.

[8] Time truly does not matter, just this author’s timeframe

[9] Revival God’s Way, pg 145, Leonard Ravenhill, Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group, 1983, used by permission. This can also be found in the book Realities of a True Christian pages 17 – 18.

[10] Leonard Ravenhill  – Revival God’s Way, pg. 148, Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group, 1983, used by permission. This can also be found in page 29 of Realities of a True Christian

[11] Hebrews 12:2

[12] Romans 12:2

[13] Colossians 3:1, 2

[14] Matthew 7:21-23

[15] Hebrews 3:15

[16] 2 Corinthians 11:3

[17] Revelation 2:4

[18] Revelation 3:15, 16

[19] 1 Corinthians 1:23

[20] 2 Corinthians 6:14

[21] 2 Corinthians 6:15

[22] Romans 6:15

Realities of a True Christian – Reader Reviews

Realities New Cover

Realities of a True Christian – Reader Reviews

As many of you know, Realities of a True Christian has been out now for almost 2 years on eBook ($0.99) and in print ($12.59)for just over a year. You can also download via PDF for FREE here.

You can get more information about Jeremy’s books at Time2Stand or on this blog. Some of Jeremy’s other books include:

 

 Below are some of the things people are saying.


 

Realities of a true Christian, discusses the topic of Christian conversion. Something that is close to my heart because, it seems in my perspective that many Christian conversions are really not a true Christian conversion at all, just a mental decision and when a little trouble comes along most flee from the faith. This is preached by Jesus, in the book of Mathew beginning in chapter 13, titled the Parable of the sower. Realities of a true Christian, taps into this truth and expounds upon every modern aspect as stated in the parable of the sower. Read more here… (Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7366720)

 


 

“It’s a powerful book and Strang doesn’t pull his punches. The business of our souls is serious business and that becomes quite clear as you read. I also couldn’t help but sense A.W. Tozer in the book. Strang has a deep love and devotion to God, a strong relationship and fellowship, and that clearly is what he wants each of us to seek.” Read more here…


 Reviews from Amazon

5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for serious Christians, June 4, 2014
“This is a great book for a serious Christian that really wants to dig deep into God’s word. You gotta read this book.”
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5.0 out of 5 stars Current, May 14, 2014
“A good read IF you care to hear the truth about current or nominal Christianity. We who do believe Christ is who He said “I AM” is then we need to turn to our scripture; and take the words as they are meant to be taken is a pretty good summary of what this book is about. It’s worth a read many times over IF needed.”
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, November 13, 2013
 This review is from: Realities of a True Christian: Beginning Realities of True Christian Conversion (Kindle Edition)
“Excellent book written by a God Fearing man! There is much wisdom from God in every word in this book! All should read this!”
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5.0 out of 5 stars Right on Jeremy!, September 12, 2013
“Great writing for those who seek a deeper walk with the Lord in honesty and truth…not ‘hype’ or seeker friendly falsehoods. For those already on the right path this book is letting you know that are others in Christ that join you on your walk.”
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 1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Test Your Life in Light of God’s Word, August 19, 2013
“Realities of a True Christian is a book in the line of many others that have come out recently, that give a clarion call to the professing church with the message of true salvation. Many a church member will do well to test their life according to some of these things written. May our Christian lives excel in the area of piety by the careful reading of this needful book.”
– Greg Gordon, Founder of SermonIndex.net
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jeremy B. Strang Keep Up the Good Work!!, July 23, 2013
By Ruth Proctor (Kentucky) – See all my reviews
This review is from: Realities of a True Christian: Beginning Realities of True Christian Conversion (Kindle Edition)
“This book is a must read for every person that calls themself a Christian. So many people call themselves a Christian and live like the devil. It is an insult to the true Christian.”
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The Modern Church and Repentance

Sackcloth and Ashes
I want to introduce to you all a new book by a good brother and friend in the Lord, Billy Witt of http://www.GospelFellowshipsTN.com. This dear brother has a burden that is true, humble and deep for everyone who professes to be a Christian to see the deeper truths of Scripture, and more importantly, a right and authentic regeneration that actually walks with Christ and submits to His will. The proceeds of this book will go to the ongoing needs of another fellow brother and laborer for Christ in the Lord who reaches out to the outcast, homeless and poor.

It has been my privilege to work with this brother on this project (date not yet set, but soon). I was asked to write a chapter for this book. I thought I would share this with you, regardless of what part makes the final cuts (see below).

May the Lord work mightily in this wicked day we live in. Even more so, may He make us usable vessels of honor for His glory and lead us to live a life marked by the cross of Christ with a humble heart, a contrite spirit, and a lifestyle marked with true repentance. May we all spend far more hours on our knees in deep and passionate prayer than all the technology of this day.

 

The Modern Church and Repentance

By brother Jeremy B. Strang

P

Peppered across the landscape of North America are church buildings of all types, shapes, sizes and names. Within this sea of metal, wood and plaster lies an obscure and poorly defined picture of the word church. Whenever we talk about the church in this day and age we must be diligent to clearly communicate what we are talking about. Therefore, I find it important that we bring to the surface, at least briefly, what we mean by the term, modern church, and its need for repentance.

What is meant by the term modern church?

A

Almost anything in our pampered age of self-pleasure and worldly prosperity has taken on the name christian[1]and has been welcomed by the masses. We have books, book stores, music, teachings, t-shirts, etc, of all kinds, whether biblically based or not, that have been tagged as christian. Very little of the said above has been weighed against the Bible before being openly accepted and labeled as such. People especially, have taken on themselves the wording, christian faith, and masqueraded under the verbal umbrella with mere Sunday attendance. It seems to be that few are found deeply rooted in the Word of God and fewer yet have a desire to be transformed deep within.[2]

With so much having been labeled under such a shallow mask, much of which is driven for monetary and selfish benefits of the flesh, it is difficult for many people to clearly see what is real and what is not; what is the redeemed remnant and what is being stored up to be burned.

The term modern church could most certainly be summed up by the word, Christendom,[3] meaning, the totality of that which has been labeled christian, including those individuals and groups who take any form or claim of being Christian. Modern church, really relates to the whole of the christian labeled society today. Here is where we must go forth and bring clarity to the meaning of the true church.

The Bible and the true Christian church.

T

Today the foundation of biblical Christianity, especially in North America and Europe, had been white washed to accept any and all people, regardless of repentance or biblical thinking. Although we welcome all people to hear the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and be saved, we should not call everyone who makes a verbal profession to the faith or shows up on Sunday a member of the church. We need to constantly be reminded that the Bible was inspired by God[4] and Jesus was the fulfillment of the Scriptures.[5] Therefore, if anyone calls himself or herself a Christian, they are accountable to what God has already declared to be true in His Word and are judged accordingly. Having said this, let us examine who is the head of the Christian church and who are the individuals of the true Christian church?

 

The Head

A

At the very head of the true church is found the Author and Perfecter of our salvation,[6] and head of the church, namely Jesus The Christ.[7] Jesus Christ, the only way, truth, and life,[8] shares His authority and headship with no other. He alone is the Great High Priest.[9] There is no longer any need for a mediator of men, for it’s by Christ alone that we may enter boldly into the throne room of God.[10]

It is Christ alone as head of the church. No priest, no pastor, no elder, no preacher, not Joseph Smith, not Charles Taze Russell, not any of the damned false prophets today, nor Mary herself, can intercede for us – it is Christ alone, “who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”[11] He is the head of the church and sits interceding for those who are His.[12]

The Body

T

The true church is made up of individuals who have been born again.[13] They are saved from God’s wrath,[14] regenerated by God’s goodness, loving kindness and mercy,[15] have received His true grace,[16] and authentically live under the propitiation[17] of Jesus Christ’s love that was carried out upon Calvary’s hill. It is those who enter by way of the sheepfold’s door that are His. “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved.”[18] The sheep, those individuals who make up the bride of Christ, the true church, hear the Master’s voice and follow Him.[19]

Merely making a profession to the faith by twisting Romans 10:9, 10 into a purely humanistic decision, with no deep workings of God in the heart, means absolutely nothing. Attendance at some local building with a name, a door, and a 501C3, means absolutely nothing!

We must ask ourselves, if judgment begins with the house-hold of God,[20] shall we not see if Christ has truly been formed in us?[21] Are we willing to be examined in light of Scripture as to the validity of our profession to the Christian faith?

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test![22]

The true Christian church is made up of people, not perfect, who have surrendered unto their Lord, turned from their lifestyle of sin and embraced the true grace of God.[23] The true believer does not use their privilege of God’s grace nor their liberty in Christ as an excuse to continue in willful sin.

Why do we need repentance?

L

Let us move onto the matter before us, do we need repentance? I answer this with another question: Has the label, christian, in this modern church age, deviated from the Scriptures? Even more so, have you been living your life under the mask of Christian verbiage and yet void of the power of God in recreating the stony heart that lies deep within?[24]

As I look across at Christendom today, I see a great deal of christian labeling that is not in alignment with God’s Word. In addition, I see many people on one side of the pendulum using grace and the love of God as an excuse to continue in sin, and whenever confronted regarding their sin, they cry out saying they are being judged. On the other side of the pendulum I see numbers of people who claim to hold to a deeper theology or reformed doctrine, yet demonstrating little to no love and just as little piety.

Some people are self-proclaimed evangelists, many of whom, spread nothing more than pure hate, void of deep rooted love, spend little time in prayer and rarely, if ever, flow tears of sorrow over the souls they wish to reach. Others yet, carry proclamations, boasts and devotions to groups, self-agendas, buildings and methods. When I read many professing Christian’s online social media websites, I read of unjust weights and seriously unbalanced comments having only one argument and adopting only parts of the Scriptures. Although I believe most people are not intentional, regardless, the message comes across very lopsided. Obviously this is not an accurate description of everyone.

So what is the way out? Where is the pathway to repentance? What shall we do? Do we remain loyal to online media while wasting valuable time that could be utilized in the Word, in prayer or in verbal communication with others? Do we run from online media while so many can be reached via this useful tool? Where is the balance in all of this?

We must be ever so careful. Professing Christians, listen up, when our style of life does not match the verbal profession of our faith, then our message is made void of all its power, souls are not saved, and Christ is not honored. Let us examine ourselves – 2 Corinthians 13:5.

 

Where shall we turn? How shall we repent?

T

Today there are countless numbers of people who have identified the ongoing problems in Christendom. We must remember, there is nothing new under the sun[25] and God is sovereign. Just because we are able to identify the problems and sins of today does not mean we are going to bring about godly sorrow and repentance.

“For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.”[26]

We must realize that many people who are labeled christians are truly unregenerate. Simply using teachings or discipleship will be to no avail. Only the regenerating and working power of God Himself will do. So what shall we do?

Yes we must recognize, be convicted, confess, and turn from our sin, but we must have our homes swept clean and be filled with the Light of Christ.[27] For us to wage a war against sin and yet continue looking at our sin will not bring about a sanctified godly life. We must turn our gaze and fix our eyes upon Christ alone. We will never gain any real victories when we rely on the flesh for our strength. Our eyes and our ears need to be locked firmly onto Christ, especially when in the midst of stresses and trials.

I bear witness, through varied trials and many failures, that most of us are unable to praise God, truly praise Him, during and for our times of stress because we get distracted, taking our eyes off of Christ and place them on ourselves. We forget that it is God working all things out for our eternal good and sanctification in Christ.[28] Only when we fully trust Christ and believe Him for all strength will we patiently endure hardships and authentically praise Him in truth.[29]

In Christ there is incredible balance. As I grow in Him, I am often reminded that godliness is a mystery.[30] We are told that we must repent and believe the Gospel,[31] yet we must remember that no one comes to Christ unless the Father draws them.[32] So what shall we say? As long as today is today and we have breath to breathe, we must remind ourselves and preach to others: God is calling all men to come and surrender their minds, their abilities, their hearts to Christ, embrace the finished work of Christ’s grace, enter into His rest, deny the self-life, pick up their cross and follow the way of Christ outside the camp.[33]

If we will set our eyes on Him, the Light will enter, darkness will flee, and our burden of sin and judgment of wrath will be removed. If we remain self-centered, self-seeking, self-driven, not only will we never see victory this side of heaven, but we may find that we are the fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy, “be away from Me, I never knew you.”[34]

What then shall we say? Shall we live as whitewashed tombs[35] having only the outside of the cup cleansed?[36] Shall we continue further in our self-professions to the Christian faith having begun by the Spirit and made null by the flesh?[37] Never! May it never be!

 

 

Absolute surrender is what we must be,

If we desire to live unto thee.

 

 

“For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit,and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.”[38]

 

 

[1]Profession of faith means nothing if a transformed life in Jesus Christ is not evident – remaining in willful habitual sin is not a sign of a person being born again – for this very reason and to reduce further confusion, I will use a capital ‘C’ whenever I relate to the true church of Jesus Christ and I will use a small ‘c’ whenever I relate to the so called church in America today. The same capitalization of the letter ‘C’ in regards to true Christianity verses ‘c’ for a false Christianity. This was taken from, Urgency to Rise – a call to the American ‘church’ and Christian – A Dangerous Title to Claim. Also see Realities of a True Christian.

[2] Romans 12:1-2

[3] The territories, countries or regions inhabited by Christians, or those who profess to believe in the Christian religion. Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary

[4] 2 Timothy 3:16

[5] Matthew 5:17-19; Luke 4:20-22, 24:43-45

[6] Hebrews 2:10, 12:2

[7] See Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:22, 5:23-25[here relating to husbands], 5:32[relating to marriage & the church]

[8] John 14:6

[9] Hebrews chapters 2-5

[10] Hebrews 10:19, 20

[11] Hebrews 12:2

[12] Hebrews 7:23-28

[13] John 3:5

[14] Romans 5:9, John 3:36

[15] Titus 3:4-6

[16] Titus 2:11-14

[17] Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17; 1 John 2:2, 4:10

[18] John 10:9

[19] John 10:3, 4, 16,27

[20] 1 Peter 4:17

[21] Galatians 4:19

[22] 2 Corinthians 13:5, ESV

[23] Again, see Titus 2:11-14

[24] Ezekiel 36:26 (context see 36:22-32)

[25] Ecclesiastes 1:9

[26] 2 Corinthians 7:10

[27] Matthew 12:43-45

[28] Romans 8:28, 29

[29] James 1:2-8

[30] 1 Timothy 3:16

[31] Mark 1:15

[32] John 6:44

[33] Hebrews 13;13

[34] Matthew 7:21-23

[35] Matthew 23:27, 28

[36] Matthew 23:25, 26

[37] Galatians 3:3

[38] Hebrews 6:4-6

 

 

 

Hebrews Seven & Eight

Hebrews Interactive Online Bible Study

Hebrews Seven & Eight

hebrews - bible

~ a walk through Hebrews ~

~ for the edification of the bride of Christ and centering on Him in these last days ~

*rules of engagement

Welcome:

Welcome to the online Hebrews Bible study. We welcome anyone who wishes to engage with us during these thirteen days and even go through and/or post after the study has ended. Want to learn more about this study, be sure to check out the Hebrews Bible Study Page here for more info.

Guest Commentary:

Today’s commentaries come from brothers Matthew Horne, Jeremy Strang and Bill Wilson.

 

A prayer from Hebrews 7
by brother Matthew Horne – Missionaries to Uganda, Africa (Wyoming, USA)
“Jesus my unwavering high priest, who at this very moment is interceding, thank you! I am coming as a selfish lust filled sinner to you who is able to save me to the uttermost. Forgive me and have mercy on me. Thank you for the sure hope I have in you, and a new life because of your sacrifice. Today I enter the unknown, and I pray you would be glorified in what I say, think, and do.”

 

Our Great High Priest

by brother Jeremy Strang – Oklahoma, USA

facebook / Time2Stand

 

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure an steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as  a forerunner for us, having become a high Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”

Hebrews 6:19-20

Melchizedek, “priest of the Most High God,”(7:1) this “king of righteousness and of peace,”(7:2) having no mother, father or genealogy (7:3), received tithes, as it were, from the “father of the faith,” Abraham (Genesis 14:17-24). Before the priesthood was established, nor born for that matter, an offering was made to Melchizedek, a type of pre-incarnate Christ Jesus. Offerings of the yet to be Levitical priests was made by Abraham unto the future Great High Priest – King Jesus. Only God can orchestrate in such unimaginable ways.

Years later, the Psalmist penned Psalm 110.

110 The Lord says to my Lord:
“Sit at My right hand
Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
The Lord will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying,
“Rule in the midst of Your enemies.”
Your people [a]will volunteer freely in the day of Your [b]power;
In [c]holy array, from the womb of the dawn,
[d]Your youth are to You as the dew.
The Lord has sworn and will not [e]change His mind,
“You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek.”
The Lord is at Your right hand;
He [f]will shatter kings in the day of His wrath.
He will judge among the nations,
He [g]will fill them with corpses,
He [h]will shatter the [i]chief men over a broad country.
He will drink from the brook by the wayside;
Therefore He will lift up His head.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 110:3 Lit will be freewill offerings
  2. Psalm 110:3 Or army
  3. Psalm 110:3 Or the splendor of holiness
  4. Psalm 110:3 Or The dew of Your youth is Yours
  5. Psalm 110:4 Lit be sorry
  6. Psalm 110:5 Or has shattered
  7. Psalm 110:6 Or has filled
  8. Psalm 110:6 Or has shattered
  9. Psalm 110:6 Lit head over

 

The saying for this chapter, the book of Hebrews and the entire New Testament is fitting:

In the old,

the new concealed;

in the new,

the old revealed.”

Oh that we would look to our King of peace. Not that we should look as one who passes by a window and merely looks in, but that we with confidence in Christ, would run boldly to the very throne of God itself – that our minds would be fixed and locked on to Him, with a singular and pure devotion (see 2 Corinthians 11:3), in deep fellowship, onto the King, Savior, Redeemer, Healer, Forgiver, our Lord. Oh to be given fully over to Him, His will and to His service – this should be the beat of our heart, the motivation to reach the masses, the breath we take in, the service unto our wives and our children. Oh to simply be obedient where He has called us and to not create works by which we may boast, but rather to walk in what He has laid before us and to boast only in that we know Him (Jeremiah 9:23-25).

 

 

Change of Priesthood, Change of Law

by brother Bill Wilson – Oklahoma, USA

As I write this commentary, it is Friday, and the sun has set. It is the Jewish Sabbath now, until sundown tomorrow. But not just Jews are “keeping the Sabbath”. A growing number of “believers in Yeshua” feel they (and other Christians) should do so as well. They say things like, “You’re a Christian, aren’t you? You believe in the Bible, don’t you? So then you believe the 10 Commandments, right? Well you know the fourth commandment says you shall keep the seventh day holy as a Sabbath to the Lord. Why aren’t you doing that?” Sadly, most Christians at this point don’t have a very convincing and true Biblical answer. Oh how they would be benefitted by understanding chapters 7 & 8 of the book of Hebrews.

The last word of the 6th chapter of Hebrews is “Melchizedek”. The writer now dives down deeper into the significance of this obscure and mysterious individual whom the Hebrew readers would have remembered from only two references in their Jewish Bible, what we call today the Old Testament. Hebrews interprets those passages as follows:

7 “1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth part of all the spoils, was first of all, by the translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace. Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually.”

Who was this priest/king who had no father, mother, or family tree, and was “made like the Son of God”, and, having no beginning to or end of his life, remains a priest perpetually? Sounds to me like another pre-incarnate appearance of the Lord Jesus in the time of Abraham. In fact, in v. 8 below, the writer says that Melchizedek lives on, and that his priesthood is greater than the priesthood of the Levites who would be installed centuries later. The following (7:4-10) is the basis for the “main point” (see 8:1) of the book of Hebrews:

4 Now observe how great this man was to whom Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth of the choicest spoils. And those indeed of the sons of Levi who receive the priest’s office have commandment in the Law to collect a tenth from the people, that is, from their brethren, although these are descended from Abraham. But the one whose genealogy is not traced from them collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed the one who had the promises. But without any dispute the lesser is blessed by the greater. In this case mortal men receive tithes, but in that case one receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives on. And, so to speak, through Abraham even Levi, who received tithes, paid tithes, 10 for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.”

Now if this one is so great, what are we to think of Melchizedek as mentioned in Psalm 110? The writer here continues to build his case:

“11 Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron? 12 For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also. 13 For the one concerning whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord was (descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests. 15 And this is clearer still, if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek, 16 who has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is attested of Him, ‘You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.’”

Wow, are you seeing this through the eyes of a Jewish person who has become newly acquainted with Jesus? Coming out of your Torah observant background, is your world being rocked yet by this writer’s assertions in this paragraph? For the sake of clarity, let’s list some main points being made so far in chapter 7:

  • Melchizedek’s priesthood continues on perpetually (and his life appears to have no beginning or end). [7:3]
  • The Levitical priesthood (and the law establishing it) is inferior to that of Melchizedek. [7:4-10]
  • The Levitical priesthood (and the law establishing it), being imperfect, necessitated the rise of another Priesthood according to the order of Melchizedek. [7:11]
  • “when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also.” [7:12]
  • The new priesthood comes from a different tribe (Judah) than the Levites appointed under the Law of Moses. [7:13-14]
  • The new Priest is established, not on the basis of a law commanded by Moses, but “according to the power of an indestructible life.” [7:15-17]

Wow and double wow! Did you notice that part about a change of law? Brothers and sisters, you are not under the 613 commandments of the Law of Moses (including the 10 commandments). Don’t worry, though, for those of you looking for commandments to keep, there are over 1,050 commandments in the New Testament, variously called “the law of Christ”, “the law of liberty”, “the Royal law”, and my favorite, “the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus”, for we do not labor to keep a list of laws (the letter) but we trust the Spirit of God to lead us moment by moment and live the life of Jesus in us.

I’ll let the writer conclude this Part 1 with this summary statement from 7:18-22:

18 For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. 20 And inasmuch as it was not without an oath 21 (for they indeed became priests without an oath, but He with an oath through the One who said to Him, ‘The Lord has sworn And will not change His mind, “You are a priest forever”’); 22 so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.”

 

Hebrews 7 & 8: Change of Priesthood, Change of Law

Part II

Yesterday, we saw that Jesus was appointed our High Priest forever, not on the basis of a law or commandment, but on the basis of “an indestructible life”. Praise God for the resurrection of Jesus that proved that His High Priesthood for us continues on forever, and cannot be invalidated by any sinfulness of an earthly high priesthood. So the writer makes two key points about Him before stating His main point of the book:

  1. He saves forever!

7: “ 23 The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, 24 but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. 25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Emphasis mine)

  1. He cleanses forever!

26 For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever. (Emphasis mine)

On the basis of everything the author of Hebrews has presented so far about Jesus, the main point of the whole book is now given to us:

8: “ 1 Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man.” and “ … now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.”

Are you confused about the relationship of the “Old Testament” and the “New Testament”? Both are the Word of God, and both are extremely valuable for us as believers to understand today. But confusion (and division) will reign in the body of Christ, if we fail to recognize that God gives different commands at different times for different situations and for peoples. Under Jesus, we have been given a “better covenant” than that which was given to Moses. Why? Because, as our passage continues…

For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second.”

God had a problem. He gave commandments to people, but He knew they wouldn’t be able to keep them. God’s solution: those commandments, as we learn in Romans and Galatians, would reveal our sin, and help us to see our need for a Savior, Jesus Christ His very own Son. At various places in the Old Testament, God even says to the people, “I hate your sacrifices!” God reveals to us that the big problem is not as much outward performance as it is an inner change of heart. Change the heart and you change the outward manifestation. So now this writer of Hebrews draws from that great prophecy in Jeremiah chapter 31:

For finding fault with them, He says, ‘Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, When I will effect a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; not like the covenant which I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; for they did not continue in My covenant, and I did not care for them, says the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and I will write themon their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.’” (Emphasis mine)

Proponents of the “Torah Observant” movement today try to mislead New Covenant believers by interpreting this passage to mean that the laws God would put on the hearts of New Covenant believers would be the laws of Moses that they should keep. Beware of this fast growing new sect that is increasingly dividing families, believers and churches. This passage makes clear that the New Covenant would be “not like the covenant which I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt. (v. 9) You can summarize the difference between the 613 Old Covenant commandments and the 1050+ New Covenant commandments fairly simply: the former primarily say “Do”, while the latter primarily say “Be”. It is the difference of doing certain things vs. being a different kind of person altogether.

So this chapter ends with a single verse that ought to be as memorized and familiar to every New Covenant believer as John 3:16, for it speaks to the whole foundation of how we actually live out our new life in Christ:

13 When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.”

The Old Covenant, the Law of Moses, God says is now obsolete. This book, written prior to AD 70 (the Temple sacrifices were still going on) evidences that a transition was taking place, the old passing away having been replaced by the new. It would take time for more and more Hebrews to embrace this fact, that the old is now obsolete. Therefore many of the warnings of the book of Hebrews are likely directed to the temptation of Jewish believers to go back to the Law of Moses and so “again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.” (Hebrews 6:6)

Brothers and sisters, “hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end…”! (Heb. 3:14)

Hebrews Six

Hebrews Interactive Online Bible Study

Hebrews Six

hebrews - bible

~ a walk through Hebrews ~

~ for the edification of the bride of Christ and centering on Him in these last days ~

(*rules of engagement)

Welcome:

Welcome to the online Hebrews Bible study. We welcome anyone who wishes to engage with us during these thirteen days and even go through and/or post after the study has ended. Want to learn more about this study, be sure to check out the Hebrews Bible Study Page here for more info.

Verses of Impact:

Let us seriously heed and think upon:

Hebrews 6:4-6

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.

Special Note:

Any one who desires to be our guest commentator for Hebrews chapters 7, 8, or 9, please email me be the end of the day. Would love to add you into the study. Reminder, feel free to leave any comments at the bottom of the page.

 

Guest Commentary:

by brother Billy Witt – TN, USA *added video at the bottom of the page

facebook / GospelFellowshipsTN (blog page)

The Severity of Ignoring Christ

  1. Adventuring beyond the Basics in Dealing with Christ

Hebrews 6:1-3 Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. And this we will do, if God permits.

The author encourages the Hebrew Christians to press on with him, meaning to move forward, leaving behind the basics in dealing with Jesus Christ, and onto more mature truths in Him, and thus in their relationship with Him. Illustrational he wants them to put the baby bottles down, take off those diapers meant for toddlers, and instead start acting like adults in Christ.  O brothers and sisters let us also move on from mere diapers and baby formulas in our knowledge and relationship with Christ Jesus and instead start growing in Him.

 

  1. Adventuring into Complexities in Dealing with Christ

Hebrews 6:4-6  For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.

 

Now on leaving the elementary teachings of Christ we are at once pushed into advanced truths to hard for many to comprehend, and to tough for others to acknowledge. However let us bravely move on seeking the Holy Spirit to reveal His word to us. For it is significant to note that point one: these were enlightened ones the author speaks of.  Meaning Christ had opened their eyes up so they could see Him. Point two: that they had tasted of the heavenly gift. Meaning they partook or accepted Christ. Point three: that they had been made partakers of the Holy Spirit. Meaning they had been born of the Spirit, born anew. Point four: that they had tasted the word of God. Meaning understood it through the empowering of the Holy Spirit. Point five: that they had tasted the powers of the age to come, meaning the fruits of the Spirit, and the empowering of the Holy Spirit for ministering into the lives of others. However hearers beware! For if one thus born of Christ falls away, meaning abandons, strays too far from, or willfully transgresses to far from Christ. “It is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.”

 

  1. An Illustration

Hebrews 6:7-8 For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.

 

After the author gives what certain groups label “the most controversial passages in the entire New Testament.” The author then gives us and the Hebrew Christians an illustration to help us understand it clearer. Note will use the illustration for two different plots of ground which both received and drank of the same water that fell from heaven. Both were also tilled, that they would bring fourth vegetation for others, and both did bring fourth plants. However one brought forth vegetation while the other brought forth thorns and thistles. So one was profitable and received a blessing from God, while the other was not, “and ends up being burned.” Let us strive to stand firm, or abide in Christ that we are useful to our master instead of useless, or worthless. Which will result in our being cursed instead of blessed or, damned instead of saved.

 

  1. Hopful your not Ignoring Christ

 

  1. Hopefulness Concerning the Hebrew Christians

Hebrews 6:9-10 But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way. For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.

 

Moving on from such tough consequences we see that the author and others were convinced of better things to come concerning the Hebrew believers. That instead of them being unprofitable and only offering thorns to others and Christ. That they would instead produce profitable things pleasing to the Lord, and edifying to others, as they had already been doing. I pray the same is true of each of you. That by the empowering of the Holy Spirit you are, and will continue to minister to the saints, continually as you abide in Christ Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.

 

  1. Exhortation and Warning

Hebrews 6:11-12 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

 

The author desires their affections to be directed towards Christ with all diligence, zeal, speed, haste or earnestness. Thus they and we are called to be imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit eternal life, among the other promises we are given in the word through Christ Jesus. However let it be noted that the sluggish, slothful, or dull, meaning, slow-moving or inactive lose out concerning the promises in God’s word. This is why we are constantly called to stand firm, be diligent, abide in Christ, and encourage one another in the faith towards good works. Let us be sober minded dear brothers and sisters, and if you have been slacking in your walk with Christ, cry out in repentance seeking grace to go back to abiding in Him. For as Christ stated, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

 

  1. An Example

Hebrews 6:13-20 or when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself,  saying, “I will surely bless you and I will surely multiply you.”  And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise. For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute. In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil,  where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

 

Dear brothers and sisters are you abiding in Christ, obeying his commands, and patiently waiting to obtain the promises to come? The author here gives us an example in Abraham to follow concerning such things. For it is God who has given His great and unbreakable promises to us, not mere men, so you who have taken refuge in Christ be encouraged and continue in the hope which is set before us. For Christ Jesus our high priest directs each one of us to follow Him, and to bring our every need we have to Him as well.

After Thoughts:

 

Looking unto Jesus

 
Look steadily at Jesus on the cross, if you want to feel inward peace. Look to anything of your own, and you will never feel comfortable. Your own life and doings, your own repentance, your own morality and regularity, your own church-going, your own Bible-reading and your prayers, what are they all but a huge mass of imperfection? Rest not upon them for a moment, in the matter of your justification. As evidences of your wishes, feelings, bias, tastes, habits, inclinations, they may be useful helps occasionally. As grounds of acceptance with God they are worthless rubbish. They cannot give you comfort; they cannot bear the weight of your sins; they cannot stand the searching eye of God. Rest on nothing but Christ crucified, and the atonement He made for you on Calvary. This, this alone is the way of peace.
– J. C. Ryle

Finding your identity – brother Billy GospelFellowshipsTN

Hebrews Four-Five

Hebrews Interactive Online Bible Study

Hebrews Four/Five

hebrews - bible

~ 13 day walk through Hebrews ~

~ for the edification of the bride of Christ and centering on Him in these last days ~

(*rules of engagement)

Welcome:

Welcome to the online Hebrews Bible study. We welcome anyone who wishes to engage with us during these thirteen days and even go through and/or post after the study has ended. Want to learn more about this study, be sure to check out the Hebrews Bible Study Page here for more info.

 

Today’s Study:

I have decided to combine chapters 4 and 5. It is good for us to remember that the Scriptures never had the numbers and breakdowns as we have today. We must never throw out context. I hope this study is edifying for you all.

 

Guest Commentary:

Guest commentary today is from sister Kayla Horne, brother & sister David & Linda Mann, Joshua Olivia and brother Sebastian Ombima.

 

“Entering God’s Rest”

by sister Kayla Horne – Missionaries to Uganda, Africa (Wyoming, USA)

facebook / Homemade Imperfections (Kayla’s blog) / Matt’s blog

I had just set our baby down in her crib and sat down on the couch to put my feet up and rest when our toddler walked out from his snug place in bed, requesting, “Please mommy ‘ay’ down me.” One day my children will all be out of that house but for now I will take the sleep however interrupted and the minutes of quiet in my day.

Hebrews 4 describes the God’s rest in much the same way. If we have put our faith in Christ we have the Holy Spirit the guarantee of our future rest (Eph 1:13-14) but we are also persevering to enter that rest today (vs 7). What is rest? There is a huge industry that answers that question for us. The sell the best mattresses, televisions, game consoles, junk food, spa experience, and the list goes on. The book of Hebrews is showing us that Christ is greater! He is greater than grabbing a snack and sitting on a comfy couch to watch the latest movie. He gives greater rest than even the best mattress or spa treatment. He is the one who calms the winds of the tornado of my day and ultimately the one who will put an end to all sin, pain, and death.

True rest, true Sabbath rest is to be in the presence of God. The Israelites acted in unbelief and wandered, but the promised land is only a shadow of the true rest to come. In the whirl wind of today we must strive to enter that rest (vs. 11), we will only find true rest in the person, Jesus Christ. We come to Him by the living and active word and in prayer and the throne of Grace. The Word of God will pierce, cutting the sin that so easily entangles (Heb 12:1-2) and freeing us to run in the wind of today looking forward to the return of Christ. Prayer connects us with our High Priest who can sympathize with us giving us mercy and grace (vs14-16) in perfect timing just in the measure that we need it (Eph 4:7) So today when the whirl wind comes, and it will with deadlines or spilled juice, look to Christ who is greater than any other thing in which we could find temporary rest. The television, potato chip, magazine, and mattress will pass away. When the children are all asleep for the night look to the Word of God in faith trusting that a day is coming when we will perfectly be in His presence but that even today we may come before the throne of grace. He will give rest for today and hope for a perfect future rest enjoying Him forever.

 

 

Hebrews Chapter 5 

Brother and sister David and Linda Mann – Colorado, USA

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Hebrews Chapter 5

Through humble and broken hearts we see our own weaknesses, being always aware of the sin we ourselves are capable of we exercise compassion and gentleness towards those who are ignorant and in sin.   We should grieve and weep because of their sins.    As we pray for the sins of others we repent of our own sins especially.

Verse 7  shows that we should always pray to God for all our needs (never being self sufficient) with an understanding we are absolutely nothing without Him.  Knowing that it is Him saving us from death.   We are heard by God as we are reverent and obedient to Him.  The righteous live with a Godly fear and of being separated from Him.

Consider the sufferings sent from God as the true blessings which are not as the world thinks of blessing- relationships, houses, jobs, status;  but are crosses sent to us from God (being rejected, hated, reproached, and considered as nothing, physical sickness, problems with family, etc.).  These sufferings teach us obedience and bring us into a freedom from pride and selfishness.  He is the Salvation to all who heed and obey him in these sufferings as well.

Those who have learned to eat of “solid food” know and understand the importance of obedience and righteousness.    Understand that obedience and righteousness is not “works” as false professors say, but it is showing our love and thankfulness  to our Lord Jesus Christ.

David and Linda Mann
Aurora, Colorado

 

Hebrews 5:12 – 6:3   Milk vs. Solid Food

by brother Joshua Oliva – Louisiana, USA

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Someone once said the Bible is shallow enough for a child to wade across, but deeper than an elephant can traverse. It has also been said that the scriptures are shallow enough for a babe to come and drink without fear of drowning, but deep enough for theologians to swim in without ever reaching the bottom. The interpretation that I get from the set of passages in Hebrews 5:12 through 6:3 is that the Word of God can be both milk (shallow water) and solid food (the deep).  The difference is in revelation, growth and application. This can be achieved only by the study of scripture through the Holy Spirit.

All believers need “milk”, the fundamentals and elementary teachings of God’s truth or the basic surface messages (5:12). It is easily digested by a believer making it ideal for infant Christians. Infant Christians need to be fed and taught by more mature believers. They can only handle the basics (5:13). Yet as those babes in Christ begin to grow and apply what they are being fed and are learning, they begin to mature themselves. As they mature, they are able to start chewing on and digesting “solid food”, or deeper meanings of those truths.

As more growth and maturity take place, the believer begins to understand more. A little at a time, he begins to wean off of the dependency of having to always have someone who is more mature spiritually feeding him. Eventually the growing believer begins to develop a much better discernment allowing himself to more accurately determine the difference between right and wrong, of good and evil (5:14). They can now make better health choices as to what is good for them, or what is not good for them (what glorifies God, or what doesn’t). As a believer matures, and has a healthy balance of milk and solid food, he eventually grows into not only a stronger student, but a teacher as well.

When we are physically born, we automatically thirst, causing us to desire milk. As we begin to grow, we cannot survive off of milk alone. Eventually we hunger for solid food in which we need for proper nourishment to live. It should be the same spiritually. If we are truly born again, then we will thirst and eventually hunger for the truth that nourishes us spiritually. Although, too much food without enough exercise can hinder our healthy growth. We need to apply what we learn so we can blossom into strong adolescents, eventually becoming spiritual adults eating more solid food along with the milk. This is where ‘the rubber meets the road’ in the Christian faith, and a believer truly begins to grow in sanctification and wisdom. Just as when we become adults in the physical world, our spiritual growth and maturity will bring about more responsibilities.

The writer in Hebrews (5:12-14) is rebuking a group of fellow believers for neglecting their responsibilities. They were hindered from growing past the infant stages in their faith by staying complacent in the milk. Enough time had passed that they ought to be teachers, yet they are still such infants in the faith that they can’t even feed themselves. The writer states that the baby believers must move on from the fundamentals and into searching the deeper messages of the Lord (6:1-3). Stagnant Christians make stale Christians. We must consume the Word and trust the Lord as a desire to be obedient. Otherwise we are all just big babies. Let’s eat!

Note: Other scriptures to consider in this study are 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 and 1 Peter 2:1-3

 

Hebrews 4 is a great chapter

Brother Sebastian Ombima – Kenya, Africa

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The author talks about REST. The revelation I get is about SPIRITUAL rest. In the old testament under Mosaic Laws there was rest under the Law- e.g People resting in the seventh day. Revelation that I get here is about spiritual rest: rest from sin, struggles of this world, temptations etc. What do you think?

 

After Thoughts:

This quote is found a good brother in Christ’s website called LoudVoice. You can go to the direct link here.

“If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink,” Jesus cried out in the temple – a temple that was little more than a shrine to the glory days of Israel, a temple with no Shekinah presence and no prophetic word. Today Jesus stands and cries out the same words to a church that has no the prophetic word and no manifest presence of the Spirit. Verse 39 explains why: “the Holy Ghost was not yet given because that Jesus was not yet glorified.” The Holy Spirit is not given when Jesus is not glorified and His Lordship not recognized. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the coronation of the Lord Jesus in the heart of the believer. Revival is the coronation of the Lord Jesus in His church.