May 28, 2023. Hebrews 2:1-4

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FOCUS ON FAITH. Hebrews 2:1-4. 5/28/2023. #5.

1 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?

1. Pay attention!

                a. Since Jesus is more important than angels and all other created things, both He and His message should be treated as paramount importance

                b. “Earnest heed” = lit., to have as first (priority)

                                a1. A chosen focus, allowing no distractions

                                a2. To make faith to top priority of life

                c. “That which we have heard” = to hear and accept the gospel message is to adopt a new life path

                                a1. II Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:22-24 to be a new creation is to adopt a new life in Christ

                                a2. Requires rejection of fleshly desires

                d. “Lest we drift away” = revert to old sinful life

                                a1. Not to lose salvation, but to live for self

                                a2. Must remember that sin is our default setting (not to live for Christ is natural)

                                a3. Jewish believers wanted to live like OT Jews under the Law

2. The higher word

                a. The words of angels came true

                                a1. The angel’s words to Lot about Sodom

                                a2. The angel’s words to Hagar

                                a3. Gabriel’s words to Daniel

                                a4. Gabriel’s words to Zechariah

                b. Christ’s words are far more important

                                a1. About salvation, judgment, future…

                                a2. Angels’ warnings had consequences

                                a3. Jesus’s warnings have greater consequences

                c. Can’t escape judgment if we ignore salvation

                                a1. Acts 4:11-12 only one way to be saved

                                a2. To neglect salvation is to lost forever

                d. For Christians to neglect salvation is to not to live as if one were saved (the Corinthians were prideful, lustful, envious, vindictive, stubborn…)

                                a1. To be more concerned about houses, things, entertainment, and image than about Christ is to neglect salvation

                                a2. To avoid gathering with God’s people in worship, serving, and prayer is to neglect one’s salvation and suffer loss (I Chronicles 3:12-15)

                e. Matthew 6:25-34 the world and concerns in our lives can be very distracting, pulling us away from our focus

3. Multiple witness to our faith

                a. Our faith is confirmed by many witnesses

                b. Verses 2:3 “confirmed to us by those who heard Him”

                                a1. Some teach that this eliminates Paul as the author of Hebrews since he heard Him

                                a2. All this could mean is that Paul was not one of the original disciples with Jesus on earth (an actual eye witness)

                c. God bore witness to his Son’s ministry

                                a1. Luke 3:22 God the Father declared that He was pleased with His Son at His baptism

                                a2. Matthew 17 God again bore witness of Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration

                                a3. John 12 the Father declared that he will glorify Jesus as He had done before

                d. After Jesus’s resurrection God gave signs through his disciples

                                a1. Acts 2 the miracle of diverse languages

                                a2. God healed the sick, lame, blind, and raised the dead through his disciples

                e. Through prophetic fulfillment, testimonies, and many signs, we have an abundance of evidence

                f. Coming to Christ and serving Him = top focus (anything less leads to loss of ministry, reward, and joy)

Key verse: Matthew 6:25-3425 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

May 3, 2023. Hebrews 1:13-14

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FOOTSTOOL THEOLOGY. Hebrews 1:13-14. 5/21/2023. #4.

13 But to which of the angels has He ever said: “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?

1. Angels on high

                a. Angels were created as servants of God

                                a1. Nehemiah 9:6 created on first day of creation

                                a2. Jeremiah 31:1-8 praised God throughout the creation process

                b. Angels were assigned certain estate

                                a1. Their assigned position was the highest of all creation

                                a2. Angels were privileged by the grace of God to abide in heaven as God’s personal servants

                c. Lucifer was not satisfied with his position

                                a1. Lucifer was the greatest created being

                                a2. Lucifer wanted to be equal with God

                                                b1. Isaiah 14, Ez. 28 in rebellion Lucifer led one-third of the angels against God

                                                b2. Revelation 12 Lucifer and the rebel angels were defeated and cast out of heaven

                                a3. Lucifer became Satan and his followers became the demons

                d. Lucifer tried to take the spot reserved for the Son of God (it was no Lucifer’s place)

                                a1. Genesis 3 using the same temptation he succumbed to, he tempted Eve, who fell

                                a2. Jude 1:5-7 the angels who left their proper domain are reserved for everlasting chains

                e. Only by staying in one’s proper calling can he serve well and fulfill his assigned divine purpose

2. At the right hand of God

                a. Jesus was assigned by the Father the position of Savior, ruler, and judge

                b. Psalm 110:1-4 Jesus is a priest out of the order of Melchizedek (priest and king: Gen. 14), and will rule until all his enemies are made his footstool

                c. I Corinthians 15:20-28 after all of Christ’s enemies are made his footstool, he will give everything back to the Father, who will be all and all

                d. Six times Psalm 110:1 is referenced in the New Testament (NT)

                                a1. It is quoted more times than any other OT verse, denoting its significance

                                a2. Matthew 28:18 all authority in heaven and earth have been given to Jesus

                e. Jesus’ function is multi-folded

                                a1. Colossians 1:15-18 creator of all things

                                a2. I John 2:1-2 sin offering for mankind

                                a3. John 3:16 Savior to all who believe in Him

                                a4. Hebrews 4:16 at right hand of Father interceding for the saints

                                a5. I Corinthians 3:12-15 judges works of believers

                                a6. Revelation 20:11-15 judge of all mankind

                                a7. Revelation 21 creator of the New Heaven and earth

                f. Only Jesus can sit on the throne as Lord and judge

                                a1. No created being can rule over creation

                                a2. The task of all creation is to exalt the Lord in His position as Lord of all

3. Everyone in his place

                a. The main tasks of angels now is to minister to believers (angels were sent to Elijah, Daniel, Peter, John, Joshua, Hagar, and Zechariah)

                                a1. We may never know how many times angels have protected us

                                a2. Angels know their estate

                b. The main job of angels and men is to praise God

                c. Each person also has his own position and tasking

                                a1. None of us are God

                                a2. We are called as people of faith

                                a3. Romans 12:4-6, I Corinthians 12 some are pastors, missionaries, teachers, administrators, musicians, supporters, comforters…

                d. Each person thrives in the estate in which he is called (not trying to be something else)

Key Verse: I Corinthians 15:20-2820 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27 For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

May 14, 2023. Mothers Day 2023

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WHEN A MOM’S HEART BREAKS. JOB 2:4-10. MOM’S DAY. 5/14/2023.

4 So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. 5 But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” 6 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.” 7 So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. 8 And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes.

9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” 10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

1. Job had a wife

                a. We often concentrate on Job’s unprovoked suffering and the strength of his faith

                b. In a way, Job’s wife suffered even more deeply

                                a1. She not only had lost her 10 children and financial security, but she watches her husband suffer with painful boils

                                a2. She does not have anywhere near the level of faith that her husband had

                                a3. Her husband could not comfort her and she had no strength to comfort him

                                a4. To her, Job’s declaration of faith must have seemed like empty platitudes

                                a5. There is no indication of friends helping her through her grief

                c. Women feel things more deeply than men

                                a1. The emotional makeup of a wife and mother are often more personal

                                a2. Men can more easily internalize their grief, working silently through pain

                                a3. Women often verbalize their anguish

2. The pain of a woman’s loss

                a. A mother who has lost her children is angry at the circumstances and often angry at God

                                a1. A feeling of undeserved punishment

                                a2. As bonds are broken, the soul is bitter

                b. Often is such situations, a wife will express her anger in ways she doesn’t really mean

                                a1. “Curse God and die” = curse (to sarcastically bless; an insincere invoking of God) – bless God in the same way He blessed you

                                a2. Job 19:17 in her frustration she disdain’s her situation and takes it out on Job (“even your breath stinks”)

                c. Often in frustration we take out our anguish on those nearest to us (ex., a wife mad at her husband because he died and left her alone)

3. A mother’s cross

                a. Moms bear many burdens of care, loss, lack of appreciation, toil, setbacks, insecurity…

                                a1. They deeply feel the pain of their husband losing a job or health

                                a2. The loss of a child or rejection by a child never leaves them (personal)

                b. It is difficult to be hard on Job’s wife

                                a1. Job’s response to her was spiritually correct, but emotionally insensitive

                                a2. Job was in no position to give care

                c. Job’s wife needed someone to feel her pain

                                a1. She couldn’t identify with Job’s faith

                                a2. She needed time to grieve and comfort

                d. God expects wives to have great faith and show great fortitude and patience (I Peter 3:1-6)

                                a1. High spirituality is hard and a struggle

                                a2. Compassion and grace for wives needed

Key Verse: 1 Peter 3:1-6

1 Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. 3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.

May 7, 2023. Hebrews 1:9-12

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THE CREATOR and HIS CREATION. Hebrews 1:9-12. 5/7/2023. #3.

9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.” 10 And: “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. 11 They will perish, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment; 12 Like a cloak You will fold them up, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not fail.”

1. Inherent righteousness and worthiness

                a. Continued proof of Jesus’s superiority to angels

                                a1. Jesus always loved righteousness (an inherent quality within his divine nature)

                                a2. Jesus always hated lawlessness (anything that is contrary to the will and nature of God)

                                a3. Since many angels fell, pursuing lawlessness, they were not inherently righteous (choosing to follow holiness is different than being inherently holy)

                b. God the Father anointed the Son with gladness

                                a1. Jesus describes the Father as “my God” (John 20:17; I Corinthians 15:28) – as the head of the Godhead, God the Father is superior in position to Jesus, so he is Jesus’s God, as well as ours)

                                a2. “Messiah” and “Christ” mean anointed one (anointed as creator, savior, judge; king)

                                a3. Gladness = only Jesus could accomplish creation, salvation, and judgment

                c. None of the angels were anointed

2. Beginning and the end of creation

                a. For the 3rd time Jesus is presented as the creator of all things (Colossians 1:15-17; John 1:1-3)

                                a1. He sustains all things

                                a2. Everything is intricately designed with irreducible complexity (no random chance)

                b. Genesis 1:3 everything was perfect at end of creation

                c. Genesis 3 after the fall of Adam, creation began to deteriorate (even the ground was cursed)

                                a1. Romans 8:18-25 all of nature is corrupted and groans, awaiting deliverance (Isaiah 11)

                                a2. The universe is wearing out

                d. II Peter 3:10-13 the entire universe will melt with fervent heat, utterly destroyed

                                a1. Jesus created all things and will destroy it

                                a2. Revelation 21 the destruction of the old cursed cosmos will give way to a new perfect one where sin and temptation cannot corrupt

3. The eternal constant

                a. Even though the universe is finite, having a beginning and ending, Jesus is the same forever (Hebrews 13:8)

                b. The universe = rolled up as a scroll (Revelation 6:12-17)

                                a1. Revelation 20 Jesus will sit in judgment over all

                                a2. Everyone will be reconciled in redemption or condemnation (Daniel 12:2)

                                a3. 1 Cor. 15 Jesus then turns all back to the Father, who will be all and all

                c. We depend upon the eternal essence, nature, faithfulness, and promises of the Lord

                                al. Everything depends on the power and trustworthiness of our Creator and Lord

                                a2. Because he lives, we will live (John 14:19-20)

                d. Everything around us is temporary (our bodies, the earth, the sun, stars, galaxies…)

                                a1. God is the only permanent reality

                                a2. He has promised to make believers a permanent reality living with him

                e. The truth of the Lord’s eternal faithfulness leads to certain core values that believers should embrace:

                                a1. ETERNAL HOPE – Jesus will never forsake or leave us and will fulfill all he has promised

                                a2. CONFIDENCE – no matter what challenges come into our lives, be will carry us through

                                a3. COMMITMENT – we should dedicate ourselves to worship and serve him eagerly

                                a4. PRAISE – eternal gratitude is owed Him

Key verse: Revelation 6:12-1712 I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. 13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. 14 Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. 15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

Apr 30, 2023. Hebrews 1:5-8

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BETTER THAN THE ANGELS.  Hebrews 1:5-8. 04/30/2023. #2.

5 For to which of the angels did He ever say: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You”? And again: “I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son”? 6 But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” 7 And of the angels He says: “Who makes His angels spirits And His ministers a flame of fire.” 8 But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.

1. The exalted position of angels

                a. Angels are heavenly beings created on day on

                                a1. Nehemiah 9:6 God created angels along with the hosts of heaven

                                a2. Angels did not exist before creation

                                a3. Job 38:1-7 the angels sang for joy as they watched God create the universe

                b. Angels were the highest of creation, but they were not eternal beings

                c. Jews held angels in high regard

                d. Jesus claimed to be higher than the angels

                e. 108 ref. to angels in OT and 165 in NT (most in Revelation where Satan leads 1/3 to rebel – Revelation 12)

                f. Angels can take human form and minister to saints

2. The humbling of the Son of God

                a. Jesus is eternally God (Isaiah 9:6; John 17:1-5)

                b. Philippians 2:5-11 when Jesus became a man he humbled himself (emptied himself out of

                     the privilege of his glory)

                                a1. Psalm 8:4-5 man was made a little lower than the angels (Jesus became a man)

                                a2. Colossians 2:9 Jesus never left off being God

                                a3. As man, Jesus was made lower than the angels, but as God, he is higher than them

                c. As man Jesus felt fatigue, hunger, thirst, pain…

                d. Jesus did his work in the power of the Father

3. Jesus is far better than the angels

                a. No angel has been called God’s Son

                b. No angel has been given a throne to rule all

                c. No angel is called the firstborn

                                a1. Firstborn = chief born (most important)

                                a2. Jesus is the most important person ever born, for he is the Savior (Psalm 2:7)

                                a3. Colossians 1:15-18 Jesus is both the creator of all things and chief born of all creation

                d. Ps. 97:1-7 no idol is to receive worship

                                a1. Matthew 4 Jesus told Satan that he was to worship God alone

                                a2. John 20:28-29 Jesus received worship from Thomas (“my Lord and my God”)

                e. Angels are great, but Jesus is far greater

                                a1. Psalm 45:6-7 it is Christ’s throne that lasts forever (Is. 6:1-6)

                                                b1. Jesus is referred to directly as God

                                                b2. He holds the king’s scepter forever

                                a2. Ps. 2:9-11 every knee shall bow before him (even those who are condemned)

                                a3. Angels are ministers and flames of fire, but Jesus is the king whose dominion is forever

                                                b1. Satan had usurped dominion over the earth (prince of this world)

                                                b2. Jesus takes the rule back from the great usurper

                f. If Jesus is far better than the angels, he is better than anything else as well (wealth, fame, pleasure, long life, comforts…)

                                a1. If Jesus is superior to all, he is the only one worth our devotion, focus, and service

                                a2. 1 Cor. 3:12-15 many will find out too late that they wasted time and effort on useless vanities (Ecclesiastes 12)

                g. One cannot embrace both the Lord and the world

                h. Hebrews starts out with the top (angels)

                                a1. Jesus is better than all else (Moses, Law…)

                                a2. Jesus is greater than what world offers

Key verse:  Philippians 2:5-11

5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but [b]made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.