Posts by Burleson Church of Christ

Posts by Burleson Church of Christ

Hebrews 8: He Has Made the First Obsolete

The gospel of Christ is God’s final and for all covenant with man. After speaking specifically of the need to change the law (7:12), it seems the author wants to reassure his readers that the new covenant isn’t totally unrelated to the former. Continuing his discussion of the high priesthood, I cannot help but think of the dilemma facing the Jews of that day. The high priesthood had become diminished and tarnished by the politics of the Idumeans and their…

Hebrews 7: A Change in the Priesthood Requires a Change in the Law: Back to Melchizedek

When one thinks of all-time great Bible characters, I doubt Melchizedek comes to mind for most. However, given what Hebrews 7 tells us of this man, (and he was a man), we may need to rethink our estimation of this great character. The author begins by noting the marvelous titles of Melchizedek, “king of righteousness” and “king of peace.” I think we can see where he is going with this. Then the author continues with this statement: “Now consider how…

Hebrews 6: Those Who Were Once Enlightened

I read or hear very little about “those who were once enlightened” (v 4, cf 10:32). When I was studying Hebrews some years ago, the phrase intrigued me, in part because I was still using the King James Version at the time. In a parallel text, the KJV reads “after ye were illuminated.” I was somewhat familiar with the denominational concept of illumination, or at least what I had read or been taught about it. Such was always taught in…

Hebrews 5: I’d like to talk about Melchizedeck, but…

Having begun his defense of Jesus’ superior high priesthood in chapter 4, the author continues the same in chapter 5. However, as he introduces Melchizedek, he realizes his audience lacks the knowledge and discernment needed to receive said teaching. From this point in verse 11, the author transitions to a stern rebuke of his audience for their spiritual immaturity. I love this text, as I am one who speaks repeatedly (some might say incessantly!) on the need for discernment. As…

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…

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,…