Thursday, October 21, 2010

Introduction to Hebrews

The book of Hebrews has many messages:  It is a book of evaluation, examination, exhortation, expectation, and exaltation!  It was written by an unknown author in the early first century, most likely before 70 AD. The purpose seems to have been to encourage Christians, and Hebrew Christians specifically, to stand fast in their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

This second generation of Christians, with whom the writer of Hebrews identifies, were under significant stress during that time period.  They were persecuted by the Romans, the Jewish religious leaders, and even their families.   Those Christians may well have been tempted to return to their old life, simply in order to exist in peace. Jewish converts may have been under particular pressure, as they would have been shunned by their Jewish family and friends.  They may have “looked back” to Judaism, and been tempted to return to it.

But the problem with looking back is that while doing so you cannot move forward!  If we as Christians look back to our old life (and we tend to only remember the “good times!”), our spiritual life can come to a standstill, and we even run the risk of going backwards.  So the writer of Hebrews exhorts these discouraged Christians, along with Christians today, to continue to be strong with Jesus in light of the complete superiority of who He is and what He has done for them, and for us. 

Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. Heb 13:20-21

Join us this Sunday as we open this powerful, sometimes misunderstood, book of the bible.

... till the whole world hears,

Pastor Clay

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