In the spirit of a non-controversy...

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by ReformedBaptist, Jul 26, 2008.

  1. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
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    Here is a study I have started on Hebrews. Kinda long..but let me know what you think. Where could there be areas of clarification? See any error in it? Thanks.

    A Study in Hebrews

    Background. The book of Hebrews, it is said, was written very early in the life of the Church. Clement of Rome referrers to the Epistle with large quotes of it and so we can with reasonable assurance conclude that it was written before 96 A.D. and Dr. Lightfoot places the date around 62 A.D. Much has been debated regarding the who wrote the epistle. It has been ascribed to Barnabas, Apollos, Luke, and even to Clement of Rome. Clement of Alexandria (150 – 212 A.D.) ascribes authorship to the Apostle Paul and has been in the main the traditional belief in the Church. I think also the internal evidence of the epistle lends to Paul being the author, who was in prison in Italy at the time of its writing, making reference to Timothy, and ends the epistle in Pauline fashion as he claims he does in all his epistles, which is to be taken as the mark of his authorship. 2 Thess 3:17 I think the important fact to consider is rather than which human instrument was used, it is God who is the Author of the text. It is God-breathed and therefore infallible and of great importance for the Christian to give their time and effort to reading and studying it.

    The Text.
    Chapter 1
    1-4: God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being in the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high: Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

    These verses and the ones that follow up to Chapter 2:1 are given to set before our eyes and particularly to our hearing, Christ Jesus the Lord. “Therefore we ought give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard…” is the exhortation to the excellency and preeminence given to Christ in this first chapter. First, from these verses, we should take heed that God has and is speaking. God has spoken in the past, before the coming of Jesus, by the prophets. In these last days He has spoken to us by Jesus Christ and is speaking to us by Jesus Christ. I find it completely wonderful how the Apostle lays as the first thing in the reader’s mind that God has spoken and is speaking to us.

    At all times when we read the Bible the Lord wants us to recognize the truth that while we are receiving the Word of God by men, it is not the word of men, but it is the word of God. In 1 Thessalonians 2:13 we find the Apostle praising and thanking God for this. The Thessalonians received the word of God which they heard from the Apostles, not as the word of men, but as it is in truth; the Word of God. God has spoken at various times, in the past through prophets and in various ways; by vision or voice, dreams, or by the visitation of angels. In all these ways God has in the past spoken to His people Israel by the prophets, but now in the last of days, at the end of the present age, has spoken to us by Jesus Christ. How wonderful that this exhortation, to give more earnest heed to the things we hear in the Gospel of Christ, should be accompanied by such wonderful and beautiful doctrines of the preeminence and superiority of Jesus. Only the Holy Spirit could exalt Christ is such a magnificent manner. God our Father has appointed this One, the One whom He has spoken to us by in these last days, as heir of all things.

    An heir is someone that has something that is allotted to them, and usually by virtue of being the son of the father. Most appropriately, the Son of God is heir of all things, both in heaven and in earth, by right of His sonship to the Father. Which of the prophets has God appointed all things in such a manner? What angel has He so highly exalted? Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to Him. This same heir, God also made the worlds through Him. Christ Jesus is the One through whom God made the universe and all that is in them. It is through Christ Jesus that this age and the age to come is made. “God hath decreed in Himself, from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably, all things whatsoever come to pass…” says the confession. And all things are made by Christ, and through Christ, and for Christ. Our earnest heed then ought to be much greater to Jesus because a One greater than the prophets and of angels has come.
    This is not in any way to diminish the importance of the Law and the prophets, and their usefulness in our Christian walk. Indeed, because the things that were written before were written for our learning that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4 These things were written to the Hebrews who had a great regard for Moses and the prophets. Their esteem of them and of the Law was because it was God that spoke to them by them. And yet these are they that have “…received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.” Acts 7:53

    But now a greater than Moses has come. One much greater than Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has arisen. The Creator, the Word of God, has come into the world and spoken to us. He is the brightness of the glory of God. He is the express image of God the Father. He upholds all things by the Word of His power. He has purged our sins and is sitting at the right hand of God the Father on high. And how much greater should we be to listen to Him! And how much greater will be our punishment if we do not.
    There is great application we can make from these four verses. First, we can be careful how we hear. When we sit to read the Scriptures, or when we attend to the preaching of the Word of God, are we careful that we are hearing with reverence and awe? It is easy to listen to a sermon, or to read a passage of Scripture without acknowledging that we have heard the voice of God. John Owen once remarked, “First, everyone who devotes himself to the study of holy literature should keep it firmly before his mind, in all of his reading and meditation, that the all-holy God is, in an special manner, close to him as he works. Thus remembering that in His Holy Scriptures God speaks to the sinner no less directly than if He chose to employ a voice resounding from the heavens..” (Owen,Biblical Theology, p.699).
     
    #1 ReformedBaptist, Jul 26, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2008
  2. skypair

    skypair
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    Only two minor verbiage error I underlined.

    But then I underlined the passage from the "confession." You've given the stature of scripture to the words of a council of men who, IMO, cannot find authority for their proclamation in scripture (there is no such "decree.").

    Other than that, I'm sure it gives the requisite glory to God whilest setting that little "hook" -- and the other one where John Owens convinces us that, as we study "holy literature" (again perhaps aluding to the writings of men), it's God and not Calvin that will be close to us.

    Still, RB, it does an adequate job. You've managed to take Paul's intro amd make it slightly more exciting.

    skypair
     
  3. JDale

    JDale
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    Hmmm... We can at least agree that it was indeed PAUL that authored Hebrews, can we not?? :)

    I say that because no matter where I have taught or preached, I've always been in the minority on that!

    JDale
     
  4. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
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    I think it was Paul who was the human intrument, but God the Author :)
     
  5. JDale

    JDale
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    OKAY OKAY....Geez, you Calvinist guys always gotta have the last word![​IMG]


    JDale

    PS -- Sorry for the "fine print" below RB, but for some it's necessary!

    DISCLAIMER: The reply above was meant as simple humor, and was not meant to offend Calvinists in general nor any Calvinist in particular. If you have issues or complaints about the nature, wording or intent of the above reply, please PM the poster directly.
     
  6. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
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    JDale,

    I have no problem with humor. I do take the Word of God quite seriously though. But your reply makes me wonder about your views regarding Calvinists, not that it is that important anyway.

    My experience has been that those who are branded as Calvinists have a very serious view of Scripture.
     
  7. EdSutton

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    Pretty sure it was not Paul, personally.
    Paul definitely did author Galatians, even to the point of writing it personally. (Gal. 1: 1-2; 6:11) Gal. 1:11-12 and Heb. 2:3 do not seem to go together, as from the same author, IMO. The author is truly unnamed, but would seem not to have been an apostle of the twelve, nor Paul and probably not James the Just, as well, at least, based on Heb. 2:3, and my personal idea is that the author is Apollos, a man mighty in the Hebrew Scriptures, as the author of Hebrews clearly is. (Ac. 19:24-25)

    Oops! Did I just say something controversial?? :D

    Ed
     
  8. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
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    I don't think its controversial. The greater truth is Hebrews is God-breathed.
     

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