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  1. Slip-slidding Away (Hebrews 2:1-4)

    January 28, 2013 by Pito

    Amidst the exaltation of Jesus by the author of Hebrews we find several warnings against apostasy. These warnings are not hypothetical but real warnings aimed not at unbelievers, but at the covenant community. “To whom much is given, much is required.”

    While recognizing that the Old Testament commanded tough sanctions against sin and idolatry, many religious leaders deny that the New Covenant has such sanctions. They think that God is now doing His grace thing and has put away all those “harsh” sanctions He required of Old Testament saints.

    However, this error comes face to face with many texts in the New Testament, especially in the book of Hebrews. In this vein our author asks the question, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” Of course the answer is, we won’t.

    The God who called us to salvation in Christ Jesus also calls us to persevere in that faith. Great unfaithfulness begins with small driftings. To receive a great salvation with less than the attention it merits is to be guilty of neglecting it, treating it with contempt. How many Christians treat the message of salvation with contempt?

    The Bible that plainly teaches that the elect cannot be separated from the love of God also teaches that there are Christians who have a covenantal attachment to Christ can and will be removed from Him because of unbelief.

    This truth should cause us to be eternally vigilant in the care of our own souls. We must never stop paying attention to the glory of Christ’s person and the worth of Christ’s work. To do anything else is the source of spiritual sloth, which God is not lax to judge.

    How do we keep ourselves from falling? We keep our eyes on the Lord Jesus, trusting Him to keep us from falling. We depend on His Holy Spirit to keep us on the narrow road. We saturate our minds and hearts with the Word of God. We trust Him to keep us even as we initially called on Him to save us.

  2. Murder No More! Exodus 21:22-25

    January 19, 2013 by Pito

    While the masses vainly opiate that the abortion of a child is between the “mother and her doctor,” we bring a charge against the fathers.  Fathers, who are supposed to provide and protect their children have been legally excluded from the decision and they are not sorry about this. Too many fathers have chosen to op out, wilting under the sneers of ridicule for actually being responsible for the children of their folly. Abortion is the most drastic form of fatherlessness. Until the church makes significant progress in the thinking of the fathers of our nation, through the preaching of the gospel, we can’t expect much change on the human level. Since God has not given the state the jurisdiction or the power to change hearts, God must do it through the Church.

    Since God is intimately involved in the actions of men in history, we can expect that He will turn the hearts of the kings as He wishes. We are assured in Scripture that no one will get away with anything.  God is not mocked. If men refuse to establish justice, God Himself will do it. We see this in the great redemptive act of the Exodus, as God relieved the oppressed and destroyed the oppressor, Pharoah and decimated Egypt. Through Christ, the Greater Moses, God crushed the head of the Serpent and set up a kingdom which shall never end, relieving the oppression of sin and death that hangs over all men. Our God will not ignore the shedding of the blood of innocents.

    As we battle those who sacrifice their children to Molech, we are to use the tools God has provided. Four such tools are prayer, for the promotion of life and imprecatory prayer, calling upon God to destroy these wicked murderers, not out of vengeance or bitterness, but out of a zealous heart for the glory of God. Third, we must give every effort to pollute their idols by showing pictures of aborted babies and such. We expose the “right to choose” into a disgusting thing, which it is. Truthful exposure of deeds of darkness is a strategy of defilement. Fourth, we must be willing to give of ourselves, our resources, our time and money, to promote life.  We can do this by supporting agencies that serve families in a crisis pregnancy situation. We can provide diapers, wipes, formula, etc. for women and their babies. We can offer truthful information and tangible assistance to women and their families who are facing a crisis pregnancy.

    Let us purpose to not be silent, to not be passive, to not be forgetful of the helpless little ones, that we will not stop defending life until all the unborn children are protected, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen!

    As we come before the Lord each week, we recognize that we have been delivered from the oppression of sin and death. We have been given life, twice over. Our King reigns. Justice will prevail. Of the increase of His government and of peace there shall be no end. Hallelujah!

  3. Jesus, God’s Final Word (Hebrews 1:1-4)

    January 3, 2013 by Pito

    Two pivotal characteristics of the book of Hebrews that command our attention are: 1) its use of type/anti-type constructions and 2) its dependence on the Old Testament as support for its arguments.

    While we are comfortable with many of the figures and devices of God’s Word, “types” give some Christians cause for pause. Because the Bible uses these devices, we must be willing to grow. Paul says that Jesus is “the head of the body, the Church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything.” Therefore it is good and right to believe that everything in the Bible is about Him, somehow, in some way.

    Our duty is to lift up the name of Christ and the book of Hebrews, with the supremacy of Christ being a central theme,  will instruct us how to do so. Our author quotes the Old Testament as his foundation and without the Old Testament Scriptures, it could have not been written.

    Abraham looked up in faith and forward to the fulfilling of the promise God made to him. We look back at the fulfillment of the promise and we look up in faith to “the author and finisher of our faith who for the joy set before Him endured the cross.”

    Jesus possesses all nations as Creator and by virtue of being nailed to the cross, He possesses all nations as Redeemer. Our author describes Jesus as the “…effulgence of His glory.” The Father is the Light and the Son is the Light Shining. He is sitting at God’s right hand, not resting, but ruling over all the nations, shining forth until the consummation of all things.

    His name is far above all angels, a name to be honored by elite authorities and lowly peasants. His name shall be called royal and majestic for He orders and establishes justice and righteousness throughout all the earth. Of the increase of His government and of peace there shall be no end.

    So who will bring all this to pass? Who will make every knee bow and confess that Jesus is Lord? Isaiah tells us. “The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”

    Jesus is the final Word of God and we have Him in the Holy Scriptures, made sure and certain by His Holy Providence. Looking for Him in any other place is futile, counterproductive, even idolatry. Let us think deliberately on Him as the author of our book leads us in the uncovering of ancient mysteries. May the Lord change us into His glorious, shining image as we are made over by the Spirit through the saturation of His Word in our lives.

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