Problem of Unrighteousness

Today’s Reading Romans 1-3

Two Christians were talking about the president of a corporation who died recently. The executive had been a moral man and a philanthropist, but an avowed atheist who had made no pretense of believing in Jesus Christ as his Savior. One friend mused, “It’s hard to believe he won’t be in heaven. He was such a good man, so thoughtful of his employees, so generous.” To which the other gently responded with the words of John 3:18, He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Perhaps you, too, have difficulty coming to gripes with the lost condition of sinful people… or with you own lostness apart from Christ. Read Romans 3 again thoughtfully, until the solemn truth of human depravity sinks in. Humanity’s only hope – and yours – is faith in Christ’s finished work. It’s simple as accepting God’s offer of “salvation to every one that believeth” (1:16). Will you in believing faith come to Jesus Christ right now?

Tomorrow we will be looking into Romans 4-5 “Provision of Righteousness”

Chapter 2 Christ is Superior to Angels

Chapter 2 “Greater Than Angels”
Hebrews 1:4-2:18
I.                   Angels were important to the Jewish religion.
A.      Deu 33:2  He said: The LORD came from Sinai and appeared to them from Seir; He shone on them from Mount Paran and came with ten thousand holy ones, with lightning from His right hand for them.
B.      Psa 68:17  God’s chariots are tens of thousands, thousands and thousands; the Lord is among them in the sanctuary as He was at Sinai.
C.      Act 7:53  You received the law under the direction of angels and yet have not kept it.”
D.     Gal 3:19  Why the law then? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise was made would come. The law was ordered through angels by means of a mediator.
Divided into three sections: an Affirmation, an Exhortation, and an Explanation
II.                Affirmation: Christ is Superior to the angels
7 quotations from the Septuagint (literally means the Seventy) (Tradition has it that the Septuagint was named so because it was translated from the Hebrew into Greek by seventy men. It is known as the LXX
A.      He is the Son vv. 4-5
Jesus is called the Son while the angels were called the sons of God (Job 1:6)
                                                            1.      First quote is from Psalm 2:7- I will declare the LORD’s decree: He said to Me, “You are My Son; today I have become Your Father.
                                                            2.      Second quote- 2 Samuel 7:14- I will be a father to him, and he will be a son to Me. When he does wrong, I will discipline him with a human rod and with blows from others.
i.        This is applied to Christ, the antitypical Solomon, who was, in an higher sense, the Son of God
ii.      The Greater Solomon- Matthew 12:42
B.      He is the Firstborn who receives worship. V. 6
                                                            1.      The term “first born” is meant in the sense of rank and honor
a.      Solomon was listed tenth in birth order but given the “rank” of firstborn. Ps. 89:27, 1 Chron 3:1-5
b.      Christ was “Firstborn over all creation”- Col 1:15
                                                            2.      The angels MUST worship Him
a.      Ps. 97:7 the angels were called Elohim (HB literally means “power”)
i.        “all the gods must worship him.”
ii.      The angels would never worship a mere creature.
                                                                                                                                i.      They were the highest of creation in rank
b.      The quote Weirsby uses is from the LXX and is not explicitly in the modern versions. The point was that the writer of Hebrews was familiar with the LXX and quoted from it.
C.      He is served by Angels v. 7
1.      Quotes Ps. 104:4
a.       Pneuma- translated “wind” could also be “spirit”
2.      After He fasted in the desert Mat. 4:11
a.       After He asked that the “cup be removed from him” Luke 22:43
D.     He is God enthroned and anointed vv. 8-9
                                                            1.      Quotes Psalm 45:6
a.       Angels do not sit on the throne but rather minister before the throne
                                                            2.      Jesus refers to Himself by quoting Psalm 110 (Mark 12:35-37)
a.      Interesting because whenever you see LORD capitalized in OT it refers to Christ, this is known as a Christophany
E.      He is the eternal creator vv. 10-12
                                                            1.      Quotes Ps. 102:25-27
a.      Ascribes that Christ is there at the beginning
                                                            2.      Jesus created everything and angels were part of that creation. John 1:3
F.       Christ is the Sovereign; angels are the servants vv. 13-14
                                                            1.      Quotes Ps. 110:1
a.      Christ is right now at the right hand of God. It is a place of honor.
                                                            2.      Angels are ministering spirits. They also minister to us who are heirs of salvation.
III.             Admonition: Heed the Word and Don’t Drift 2:1-4
A.      This is the first of the 5 mentioned in chapter one.
                                                            1.      Purpose is to encourage readers to pay attention to God’s Word and obey it.
                                                            2.      It was written to believers. The writer included himself.
                                                            3.      The writer said “neglecting” NOT “rejecting”
a.      He was encouraging Chistians to pay attention to the great salvation they received from the Lord.
                                                            4.      In OT times people who did not heed the Word were punished.
a.      This word was given by angels
b.      How much better is the word from Christ
c.       “transgression refers to sins of commission
d.      Disobedience refers to sins of omission
                                                            5.      Neglect of Word of God, and prayer is the cause of Spiritual Drifting
IV.             Explanation: Why Jesus Christ is not inferior Because of His Humanity 2:5-18
Angels have no “body”- Christ has a glorified body and it is the same body that was here on earth.
A.      His humanity enabled Him to regain man’s lost dominion v. 5-9
                                                            1.      Quotes Ps. 8:4-6
a.      The first man and woman were initially in charge of creation but failed.
b.      Jesus restores this “glory and honor” and shares it with us.
i.        Referred to as the Last Adam
c.       Angels cannot die nor can they save lost sinners and restore man’s lost dominion.
B.      His Humanity enabled Him to bring many sons to glory vv. 10-13
                                                            1.      Quotes Ps. 22:22
a.      Christ calls His church as His brethren
                                                            2.      Also quotes Isaiah 8:17-18
a.      Words of Christ calls us children of God
                                                            3.      If Christ had not taken on human form He could not have called us brothers and therefore we could not have shared in His glory.
a.      The incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection must go together
C.      His Humanity enabled Him to disarm Satan and deliver us from death vv. 14-16
                                                            1.      If angels cannot die and Jesus did not come to save angels but humans, it was imperative for Christ to take on human flesh.
                                                            2.      Satan is the author of sin. Sin brings death. So in this sense Satan exercises power in the realm of death.
a.      Satan uses the fear of death to gain control of the lives of people
                                                            3.      Jesus delivers us from this fear of death by His death, burial and resurrection. (So Great a Salvation)
a.      This gives significance to when it is said that He stooped lower than the angels and became a man!
b.      He stooped even lower by becoming a Jew, a despised and hated race.
D.     His humanity enables Him to be a sympathetic High Priest to His people vv. 17-18
                                                            1.      Angels cannot sympathize with human’s weaknesses and needs. But Jesus can
                                                            2.      Jesus “trained” to be a High Priest by experiencing  the infirmities that humans go through by;
a.      Being a helpless baby
b.      A growing child
c.       A maturing adolescent
d.      Experiencing weariness, hunger, thirst
e.      Being despised and rejected
f.        Being lied about and falsely accused
                                                            3.      Because He has defeated every enemy, He is able to give us the grace we need to overcome temptation.
                                                            4.      The word succor (2:18) literally means to “run to the cry of a child”
                                                            5.      Angels are able to help us but not able to succor us in our times of temptation. Only Jesus can do that because He became a man and suffered and died.
Questions for Personal Reflection or Group Discussion
1.  What kinds of jobs or roles do you think angels have in our world today?
2. If a child asked you, “How can Jesus be God and still be God’s Son?” how would you explain it?
3. In what ways do you, or people you have observed, neglect their salvation?
            Good book , So great a Salvation by Charles Ryrie
4. Why is it sometimes difficult to appreciate and pay attention to the Word of God as we should?
5. In what ways is being a human better than being an angel? In what ways do you think being an angel would be better than being a human?
6. In God’s infinite wisdom, He surely could have chosen a different way to redeem us. Why do you think he chose becoming a man and dying as a sacrifice?
7. Read Hebrews 4:15. What does it mean to you that Jesus actually experienced life the way you do?
8. Read Philippians 2:5-11. If your attitude is like Christ’s, what will our lives be like?
            

Be Confident Series

Be Confident, An Expository study on the book of Hebrews.
6/6/12
Agenda:
I.                   Welcome
a.       Introduction
                                                              i.      Send around a sign in with email and phone number
b.      Purpose for this Bible study
                                                              i.      What it is
1.      Be Confident book
a.       Just a guide
2.      Notes from Seminary and TTU
a.       Just a guide
3.      Examine the book for tidbits and
4.      12 weeks divided into each chapter from the Wiersby book
5.      Prayer Group/Accountability… etc.
6.      Talk Theology and Glorify God by looking at who Jesus is through Jewish eyes
                                                            ii.      What it is not
1.      NOT going to determine the author
2.      NOT a seminary course
a.       Although some seminary aspects will be there
3.      NOT to replace personal quiet time
a.       Use it as a supplement
c.       Schedule of reading
Date                Chapter from Be Confident                             Scripture Reading
6/6
Is Anybody Listening?
Hebrews 1:1-3
6/13
Greater Than Angels
1:4-2:18
6/20
Greater Than Moses
3:1-4:13
6/27*
Greater Than the High Priest
4:14-5:10
7/4*
Independence Day
7/11
Pilgrims Should make Progress
5:11-6:20
7/18
Mysterious Melchizedek
7
7/25
The Better Covenant
8
8/1
The Superior Sanctuary
9
8/9
The Superior Sacrifice
10
8/15
Faith- the Greatest Power in the World
11
8/22
Stay in the Running!
12
8/29
Pardon me, Your Faith is Showing
13
6/27 I will be absent, 7/4 there will not be any study for obvious reasons.

I.                   Introduction by Ken Baugh
a.       Hope- “It surprises me that hope helped survive the concentration camps. One would think it would be something more tangible like good health, food, warm clothing, and shelter; but, as Dr. Frankl discovered, it was the power of hope.
b.      3 principles of great faith
1.      I must remember that God is with me.
2.      I must remember the honor and rewards that await me in heaven
3.      I must remember that God will guide me when I am confused.
II.                Word from the Author
a.       The book of Hebrews was written at a time when the Stability of the “Old System of religion was passing away, and their faith was wavering.
                                                           i.      * The book of Hebrews was written to a community Jewish  (Hebrew) people, as is evident by the emphasis on the Levitical priesthood and on sacrifices, as well as the absence of any reference to Gentiles.
                                                         ii.      *The recipients are referred to as  believers (Hebrews 3:1, 12) and as “beloved Hebrews 6:9
1.      Possible that there were unbelievers in their midst- people who were attracted to the message of Jesus Christ but not yet personally trusted in Him.
                                                       iii.      The believers were immature, however; some of them need spiritual milk and not solid food (Hebrews 5:11-14
                                                       iv.      The believers were facing persecution and were wavering in their faith as a result.
                                                         v.      They were tempted to put aside any identification with Christ because of the persecution and because of their attachment to the Old Testament.
                                                       vi.      They were tempted to revert back to Judaism or to try to combine elements of Christianity with elements of Judaism.
III.             Is Anyone Listening?
a.       It is a book of Evaluation
                                                           i.      Better is used 13 times
1.      Used to show the superiority  of Jesus
                                                         ii.      Perfect is used 14 times
a.       Greek means “ a perfect standing Teleion
                                                       iii.      Eternal
                                                        iv.      The writer asked the readers to evaluate their current standing in Jesus.
b.      It is a book of Exhortation
                                                           i.      Writer called this epistle “the word of exhortation”
1.      Related to the word comforter
                                                         ii.      5 Problem Passages
1.      Drifting from the word (neglect) 2:1-4
2.      Doubting the Word (hard heart) 3:7- 4:13
3.      Dullness  toward the Word (Sluggishness) 5:11- 6:20
4.      Despising the Word (willfulness) 10:26 -39
5.      Defying the Word (refusing to hear) 12:14- 29
c.       It is a book of Examination
                                                           i.      Rectangular Callout: What is meant by the scaffolding?“What am I really trusting in? Word of God –Or- in the things of this world that are shaking and ready to fall away
1.      The book of Hebrews seems to indicate that the Temple in Jerusalem was still standing, and that sacrifices were still being offered there by the Levitical priests (see the use of present tense in Hebrews 5:1-4, 7:21, 23, 27-28; 8:3-5, 13; 9:4-9; 10:1, 3-4, 8, 11; 13:10-11
2.      Temple was destroyed in 70 AD gives evidence that the book was written around 65-69 AD
a.       Statements that persecution was becoming more severe (10:32-39, 12:4, 13:3, 23
3.      God wants us to be “established with grace” 13:9
4.      Key message of Hebrews “You can be secure while everything around you is falling apart” 12:28
d.      It is a book of Expectation
                                                           i.      The focus in the book is on the future
                                                         ii.      The world to come 2:5
                                                       iii.      God wants us to turn loose of the things of this world and stop depending on them
                                                       iv.      We are to “hang loose” and start living for the eternal values of the world to come.
                                                         v.      Jim Elliot- “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
                                                       vi.      This message is not for new converts but rather spiritual mature Christians
1.      But it can be used to motivate Christian babies
2.      Emphasis is not on what Christ did on earth (milk) but rather on what he is doing in heaven (meat)
e.       It is a book of Exaltation
                                                           i.      The book of Hebrews exalts the person of Christ
1.      1st3 verses sets the theme (hence the ones we are discussing tonight)
                                                         ii.      In His person – superior to the prophets
                                                       iii.      In His work
Questions for discussion and reflection
1.      What is the difference between hearing and really listening?
2.      In what ways do you agree or disagree with this statement: “In the Christian life, if you do not go forward, you go backward; there is no permanent standing still”?
3.      Wiersbe says, “God does not allow His children to become ‘spoiled brats.” What are some traits of a “spoiled brat” Christian?
4.      Name some things that we tend to trust in today rather than in God.
5.      Wiersby says that the book of Hebrews is a book of examination. It helps us discover where our faith is. What sometimes keeps us from examining our lives?
6.      Abraham understood a sense of values and delayed gratification. Lot on the other hand lived for the immediate. List examples of Abrahams and Lots on today’s world.
7.      Hebrews sets out to prove Christ is not merely a man. What difference would it make in your life if you discovered that Christ was indeed merely a good man or a prophet?
8.      Read Genesis 1:26, John 1:1-14, and Colossians 1:13-17. Then explain Christ’s role before the Incarnation.
9.      Tozer is quoted as saying, “Every man must choose his world.” What makes it difficult at times to choose the kingdom of heaven over the kingdom of earth?
Christ                                        the Prophets
God the Son                             Men called by God
One Son                                  Many prophets   

                          A final and complete message            A fragmentary and incomplete



Christ, Better than the Angels
Hebrews 1-2
Over view: God spoke in times past through the prophets, but He has reserved the greatest declaration of His glory for His Son. The Son of God is greater than any prophet. He is even greater than the Angels, through whom Moses’ law was communicated (2:2, Acts 7:53). In order to bring salvation He willingly became a little lower than the angels. And by His suffering and death He made it possible to lift mankind above the angels into the family of God. Because of His perfect humanity, Jesus is uniquely qualified to serve as High priest for Sinful mankind.
Daily Walk: The book of Hebrews opens with a penetrating statement: “God … hath… spoken unto us by His Son” (1:1-2). The heart and core of Christianity – and the reason for its superiority over the old Judaic system – can be summarized in a single word: Christ. The old system was built around precepts; the new centers around a person. The old was merely a shadow; the new supplies the substance.
            On what foundation are you building your life? It is easy to substitute man-made traditions and performance standards for a growing relationship with the Son of God. Evaluate the “religious rituals” in your own life. Are they advancing your relationship with God, or keeping you from getting to know Him and His word better?
            John summarizes this crucial issue as well: “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son hath not life” 1 John 5:12. Are you a have… or a have not? If the answer disturbs you, let John 1:12 point the way to a foundation that is unshakable!
Insight: Jesus Is Greater Than Angels, Isn’t He?
            Jesus’ superiority over the angels (Hebrews 1:4) may seem rather obvious, but to the Jews angels were highly exalted beings. They were present at the giving of the Law, God’s supreme revelation, to Moses at Sinai (Hebrews 1:4; Deuteronomy 33:2). Moreover, we now know from the Dead Sea Scrolls that some expected the archangel Michael to be the supreme figure in the messianic kingdom.
Tidbits:
“Religion is man searching for God; Christianity is God reaching down to mankind.

The Lord’s Locust Lesson Joel 1-3

A plague of locusts hits Judah with the fury of an invading army, destroying vegetation and turning the usually verdant countryside into a lifeless desert. Fields of grain disappear, grapevines are stripped bare, fruit trees and gardens are wiped clean. The prophet Joel seizes the occasion to preach God’s message to Judah: The present calamity is only a warning. An even greater devastation awaits those who continue to live in sin and rebellion. The day of judgement is coming, and only those who sincerely repent and return to God will be sheltered from the terrible force of His righteous wrath.
Question: What do these three activities have in common: Skydiving without a parachute, walking blindfolded across the freeway, and disregarding God’s Laws?
Answer They are all activities that, while perhaps momentarily exhilarating, lead to inescapable and deadly consequences.
Though he knew nothing about skydiving or freeways, Joel knew well the danger of disregarding God’s commandments. The terrible scourge of locusts became the perfect illustration of wrathful judgement to come- and the perfect occasion for Joel to warn his countrymen. Although it was too late to escape the bite of the locusts, there was still time to escape the “bite” of God’s chastening hand.
Learn a lesson from the locusts! Do your days pass without prayerful contact with God? Have your “little sins” ceased to bother you? Have you slipped away from teh daily study and regular weekly worship? (Can you hear the buzzing sound of the locusts?) The danger is real, but the shelter is as near as your Father’s “everlasting arms”  (Deut. 33:27). Wouldn’t that be a good place to rest… right now?

Conviction

If the title of this post doesn’t get you then the post on BWG will. Check it out. The passage comes from Joel and I think America needs to hears its message.

Upcoming news:
-This blog is changing/moving
     I’m doing this so that we can reach a larger audience and have the ability to do more with the site. I really want to sell items and have the ability to give to certain organizations.
     It’s also so that the team will be able to update better almost in real time.
– Online Evangelism classes are going to be available
– Online Accountability and Discipleship
– and more to come

Sour Milk and Sticky Fingers

Deuteronomy 5-7
The description of the Promise Land as “the land that floweth with milk and honey” pictures it as a land of prosperity and abundance. Milk was part of the Hebrews’ staple diet and honey was considered a delicacy.
The Israelites were hoping to have “instant” results when they were told about the Promised land. Instead God wanted them to savor the moments that He had with them.
Where are you hoping for instant results in your Christian life; victory over a habit… knowledge of God’s word… spiritual maturity? God’s way is not rush, rush , rush but little by little. Look for a small but significant step of growth you can take today: a verse to memorize, a command to obey, a promise to treasure.

Wonderful Things

Wonderful things about starting a new school year; everyone’s busy!

Check out the new post in BWG! (Breakfast With God) and look into the Prayer Group. Just look up and click on the page links at the top.

I am excited and look forward to seeing what God is going to do with this blog. If you want to submit an article please do so. Myself and my team of editors will be glad to review it for posting!

TTFN!

Consolation From Jeremiah (Jeremiah 30-33)

God’s promise of restoration begins a section describing both the worst of horrors (the time of Jacob’s trouble) and the best of blessings (God’s new covenant with Israel). God Pledges to reestablish the nation after it has been purified by the discipline of exile. As a sign of His promise, He orders Jeremiah to purchase a field that would soon belong to the conquering Babylonians. As surely as day follows night, that land would one day become part of the restored nation to be ruled by the Righteous Branch, David’s messianic descendant.

Imagine this: your five year old has just popped the question “Daddy, Mommy, what is God like?” Write down the first ten words that come to your mind. (Even if you don’t have a five year old, the exercise will do you good!)

If you had trouble describing God in simple terms even a child could understand, today’s passage might help you. Few passages of Scripture present such a complete picture of God. Here you can find the God who hates sin and judges it (30:12-15), yet loves and forgives the sinner (30:18-22). You see the God of wrath(30:23-24) and the God of love (31:1-9). Above all you find portrayed the saving God who regathers His scattered flock (31:10-22) and establishes with them a new covenant (31:23-34)- a promise that rests on the sure guarantee of His sovereign power (31:35-37; 33:19-22).

Now go back and change your initial answer to the question, “What is God like?” Using Jeremiah’s thoughts to help, can you express your answer in terms both simple and scriptural? Better still, find a five year old to try your answer on!

Broken Covenant Jeremiah 11-15

God instructs Jeremiah to take a linen girdle (a tight fitting belt or sash) and bury it by the Euphrates River. Later he is told to dig it up again. The result is predictable: one ruined girdle, unit to wear any longer. And the parallel is painfully clear. Selected by God for a place of intimate fellowship (just like the girdle), Judah would now be cast away in judgement for her corruption.
Moses, the servant of God and Samuel, the first prophet in Israel. What do these two great men have in common?
The answer may shock and disturb you. God declared that their combined prayers would not be suffiecient to avert the disaster soon to come upon rebellious Judah (15:1)
There is time to pray… to repent…to come to God on your knees. But there is coming a day when it will be too late to avoid Him, to acknowledge your need or sidestep the issue. Today many people may be praying for you: your spouse, children, parents, friends, minister. And you may choose to scoff at those prayers. But the alternative to getting right with God is getting  left– waking up to a day in which even Moses and Samuel could not move God in prayer on your behalf.
Isaiah 55:6 states, “Seek … the Lord while he may be found.” And when you obey that command, you’ll find a wonderful promise waiting on you in Hebrews 11:6!

For Fun-
Jeremiah was known for his visual representations for prophecy. The rotten girdle was just the first in a series of ten. Can you identify all 10? I’ll give the answer in the next series in Jeremiah 16-20.