Posts from November 2020

Posts from November 2020

Hebrews 4: The Word of God and Our Perfect High Priest

God had called Israel out of Egypt (Matt 2:15) and led them by a mighty hand, making a distinction between His people and the nations round about (Ex 8:23). But this did not ensure their security. Only through continued faithfulness to God’s word would they enter the rest He had prepared for them. Moreover, it was God’s word that revealed their unbelief (Heb 4:2). The same goes for us. While we may appear to be separated from the world, we…

Hebrews 3: Warnings Against Apostasy

While the theme of Hebrews is “Jesus is better,” the whole point of the book is to admonish Christians of Hebrew descent not to return to their former religion. To do so would be to desert Christ and abandon all hope of salvation. The very fact that so much time is spent in Hebrews and elsewhere throughout the New Testament warning against apostasy is proof in and of itself that such is possible. Many of these warnings are couched within…

Hebrews 2: Jesus is still better

Pardon the lack of creativity with this title, but the more I read Hebrews 2, the more impressed I am with the author’s theme. Chapter 2 opens with this admonition and warning, “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest we drift away.” In keeping with our theme, we see the reason for this “more earnest heed.” If the condemnation was severe for those who disobeyed the word given by angelic…

Hebrews 1: Jesus is Better

“Jesus is better” is the theme of Hebrews. Written to all Jewish converts, its message was given to help them remain faithful to Christ rather than return to the inferior former covenant. The authorship of this great epistle continues to be a source of great speculation and little confidence. There are several great truths found in this first chapter. Among them: God has spoken (v 1). The author affirms the inspiration and former authority of the Old Covenant, noting that…

Philemon: The Bible and Slavery

One attack against the Bible, and one that disturbs and perplexes many Bible believers, is that the Bible does not condemn slavery and in many cases appears to condone it. One should remember that slavery was ensconced among every society in Bible times. While we could write at some length regarding the Mosaic Laws regarding slavery contrasted with the worldwide practice, we will focus our attention on Paul’s little letter to Philemon. Paul’s letter to Philemon provides insight regarding the…

Titus 3: The Washing of Regeneration

One of the most overlooked passages pertaining to the means of salvation is Titus 3:4-7: “4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace…

Titus 2: A Truly Sound Church

“Qualities of a Sound Church” is the heading above Titus 2:1-10 in my Bible. Titus 2 opens with the following admonition: “But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine.” To be “sound” is to be well, in health, and without corruption. I heard William Woodson tell a story about N.B. Hardeman boarding a train for Nashville. Before it departed, a man walked alongside the train, striking each wheel with a metal hammer. Not knowing the…

Titus 1: Appoint elders in every city

One of the most fundamental differences between the churches of Christ and all other religious institutions can be seen in the matter of church organization. In Titus 1:5, Paul left specific instructions for Titus to appoint elders throughout the island of Crete. Given what the New Testament says concerning elders and local congregations, we understand that Paul here speaks of each city having a single congregation, and not of a hierarchy overseeing a multiplicity of congregations. From the earliest days…

2 Timothy 4: Preach the Word!

2 Timothy 4:2 might be rightfully called “The Preacher’s Mantra.” Every faithful gospel preacher knows it and strives to live by it–“Preach the word!” After my Uncle John died, my Aunt Leitha set up a scholarship at Freed-Hardeman for young men who were training to be gospel preachers. I vividly recall seeing her at the lectureship one year as she was speaking to one of the recipients. With that twinkle in her eye, she reminded the lad, “Whatever you do,…

2 Timothy 3: Every scripture is given by inspiration of God

The idea of Inspiration means different things to different people. Some speak of gifted artists as being inspired. Some think of inspiration as a sudden or brilliant thought or solution. But these are not the idea Paul intends to convey in the text. When Paul spoke of inspiration, he used a Greek compound meaning “God-breathed.” Paul believed that in reading the Scriptures, one should hear the voice of God as though God were speaking directly to him. This is true…
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