July 22-28-07 Hebrews 1 4 The Rest


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In 2007 the congregation read through "The Message" New Testament by Eugene Peterson. This lesson is taken from the assigned reading from July 22-28.

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July 22-28-07 Hebrews 1 4 The Rest

  1. 1. Hebrews 1:1-14 MSG Going through a long line of prophets, God has been addressing our ancestors in different ways for centuries.
  2. 2. Instead of the introductory greetings usual in an Epistle, the apostle plunges into the midst of his subject by a grand exordium. The Old Testament was give in "portions," not all at once, and at wide intervals.
  3. 3. Though prophets might be chosen as the instruments, the message was that of God. While God spoke through them, the prophets were only men.
  4. 4. 2 Recently he spoke to us directly through his Son. The importance of the message is shown by the messenger. No longer an inspired prophet, but, instead, the Son of God is the speaker.
  5. 5. By his Son, God created the world in the beginning, Through his agency or instrumentality. Christ, the Logos, is represented as God's medium in creation.
  6. 6. and it will all belong to the Son at the end. The Father delivered all things into the hands of the Son.
  7. 7. Acts 2:36 MSG "All Israel, then, know this: There's no longer room for doubt--God made him Master and Messiah, this Jesus whom you killed on a cross."
  8. 8. John 17:9 MSG I pray for them. I'm not praying for the God-rejecting world But for those you gave me, For they are yours by right. 10 Everything mine is yours, and yours mine, And my life is on display in them.
  9. 9. Hebrews 1:3 This Son perfectly mirrors God, and is stamped with God's nature. In Christ we have a tangible, visible representation of the substance of God. We see God in him. "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father."
  10. 10. John 14:9 MSG "You've been with me all this time, Philip, and you still don't understand? To see me is to see the Father. So how can you ask, 'Where is the Father?'
  11. 11. He holds everything together by what he says--powerful words! The Son hath all power, and his power was always manifested by his word.
  12. 12. He spoke and it was done, whether it was to still the winds or to raise the dead. So in creation, the word was spoken and it was done.
  13. 13. After he finished the sacrifice for sins, the Son took his honored place high in the heavens right alongside God, The Scriptures represent Christ at God's right hand.
  14. 14. The right hand was always the place of honor. His seat there indicates his glory, and also that the work of redemption has been wrought.
  15. 15. Hebrews 2:1 MSG It's crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we've heard so that we don't drift off. Because the message to us is spoken, not by angels or prophets, but by the Son of God.
  16. 16. what we've heard, To Christ's gospel, and to his words of instruction. so that we don't drift off, Lest we should let them slip from us because we drift away from them and refuse to heed them.
  17. 17. 2 If the old message delivered by the angels was valid and nobody got away with anything, Nothing is plainer in all Jewish history than that obedience to the law was rewarded and disobedience punished.
  18. 18. 3 do you think we can risk neglecting this latest message, this magnificent salvation? First of all, it was delivered in person by the Master, then accurately passed on to us by those who heard it from him.
  19. 19. do you think we can risk neglecting, How then, if this was true of the law, can we hope to escape if he neglect the message of the Son?
  20. 20. magnificent salvation, Not a temporal, but an eternal salvation, the salvation of the gospel.
  21. 21. delivered in person by the Master, More especially after his death and resurrection when he bade his disciples go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
  22. 22. accurately passed on to us, If Paul was the writer of Hebrews he places himself in the position of the church, for elsewhere he tells us plainly that he received the gospel from the Lord himself.
  23. 23. The apostles who had heard and seen the risen Christ first proclaimed his gospel publicly on Pentecost, an event evidently alluded to in this passage.
  24. 24. 4 All the while God was validating it with gifts through the Holy Spirit, all sorts of signs and miracles, as he saw fit. God bore witness to the truth of their words by the signs and wonders of Pentecost.
  25. 25. He also bore witness afterwards by giving them miraculous powers, and by the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit. Note that when he Law was given on Sinai God bore witness by signs and wonders.
  26. 26. Also when the gospel, the message of Christ, was given on Mt. Zion God bore witness with signs and wonders.
  27. 27. 5 God didn't put angels in charge of this business of salvation that we're dealing with here. 6 It says in Scripture, What is man and woman that you bother with them; why take a second look their way?
  28. 28. 7 You made them not quite as high as angels, bright with Eden's dawn light; 8 Then you put them in charge of your entire handcrafted world.
  29. 29. When God put them in charge of everything, nothing was excluded. But we don't see it yet, don't see everything under human jurisdiction.
  30. 30. 9 What we do see is Jesus, made "not quite as high as angels," and then, through the experience of death, crowned so much higher than any angel, with a glory "bright with Eden's dawn light."
  31. 31. In that death, by God's grace, he fully experienced death in every person's place. What we do see is Jesus, Jesus is the solution of the problem.
  32. 32. “ not quite as high as angels,” fully experienced death , but he, the Son of Man, who died as mortals die, the now glorified man, has "all power in heaven and in earth." Through him, the Son of Man, all things are subjected to glorified humanity.
  33. 33. 16 It's obvious, of course, that he didn't go to all this trouble for angels. It was for people like us, children of Abraham.
  34. 34. he didn't go to all this trouble for angels , He did not lay hold of an angel form in order to save angels, but the human form and nature, in order to be our Savior.
  35. 35. He chose people like us, children of Abraham , being the Son of Mary, a descendant of Abraham.
  36. 36. 17 That's why he had to enter into every detail of human life. Then, when he came before God as high priest to get rid of the people's sins,
  37. 37. 18 he would have already experienced it all himself--all the pain, all the testing--and would be able to help where help was needed.
  38. 38. It was for people like us, Hence, for the reasons given above, it was necessary that he take our nature.
  39. 39. he came before God as high priest, To be our high priest he must be in full sympathy with us, having experienced our trials and our sufferings.
  40. 40. to get rid of the people's sins, As our high priest he made atonement for us. Conscious of all our frailties he intercedes for us. In him, the Divine man, all who are found in him are justified before God.
  41. 41. Hebrews 3:1 MSG So, my dear Christian friends, companions in following this call to the heights, take a good hard look at Jesus. He's the centerpiece of everything we believe,
  42. 42. 2 faithful in everything God gave him to do. Moses was also faithful, 3 but Jesus gets far more honor. A builder is more valuable than a building any day.
  43. 43. 4 Every house has a builder, but the Builder behind them all is God. 5 Moses did a good job in God's house, but it was all servant work, getting things ready for what was to come.
  44. 44. The whole ministry of Moses was a "testimony" to what would follow after, a shadow of what was to come. This will be brought out more fully in subsequent chapters.
  45. 45. 6 Christ as Son is in charge of the house. Now, if we can only keep a firm grip on this bold confidence, we're the house!
  46. 46. We Christians, are Christ's house, and will continue to be Christ's house, if we hold fast, etc. The possibility of falling away, as Israelites fell away from God's house of Israel, is pointed out in the following verses.
  47. 47. 7 That's why the Holy Spirit says, Today, please listen; To-day if you will hear his voice. At that very time. So to-day, and ever, God wishes us to hear him, to-day, not to-morrow.
  48. 48. 8 don't turn a deaf ear as in "the bitter uprising," that time of wilderness testing! don't turn a deaf ear, To “ turn a deaf ear ” is to reach such a state that God's voice makes no impression.
  49. 49. 9 Even though they watched me at work for forty years, your ancestors refused to let me do it my way; over and over they tried my patience.
  50. 50. watched me at work for forty years, All his mighty manifestations in their behalf during all the period of their sojourn in the wilderness.
  51. 51. refused to let me do it my way, Not simply by making mistakes, but their hearts are wrong. tried my patience, The word more nearly means "disgusted."
  52. 52. 10 And I was provoked, oh, so provoked! I said, "They'll never keep their minds on God; they refuse to walk down my road." 11 Exasperated, I vowed, "They'll never get where they're going, never be able to sit down and rest."
  53. 53. Provoked, Exasperated, I vowed, A figure of speech which means that God, indignant at their unbelief and sin, declared they should not enter Canaan.
  54. 54. never be able to sit down and rest, Canaan, while the Israelites were yet in bondage, was promised as a land of rest. On the weary journey in the wilderness it was still looked to as the rest.
  55. 55. To prohibit from entering the rest was then to prohibit from entering Canaan. It is, however, a type of heaven, the land of eternal rest. Hence, the warnings that are pointed out in the next verses.
  56. 56. 12 So watch your step, friends. Make sure there's no evil unbelief lying around that will trip you up and throw you off course, diverting you from the living God.
  57. 57. So watch your step, They fell from unbelief, which led them to depart from God. So watch your step, lest you Hebrew Christians seeking the heavenly rest, should so fall.
  58. 58. 13 For as long as it's still God's Today, keep each other on your toes so sin doesn't slow down your reflexes.
  59. 59. keep each other on your toes, Continually stir each other to duty, lest you be hardened against God's voice by the deceitfulness of sin. How sin does deceive us by making false promises of happiness and of safety.
  60. 60. 14 If we can only keep our grip on the sure thing we started out with, we're in this with Christ for the long haul. we're in this with Christ, In fellowship with Christ, partakers of his benefits and glory.
  61. 61. keep our grip, etc. If we persevere to the end. The Israelites started well, but did not persevere. The only final perseverance of the saints is to persevere until the work of life is over.
  62. 62. 18 And when he swore that they'd never get where they were going, wasn't he talking to the ones who turned a deaf ear? To whom he swore , It was to them who sinned because of their distrust of God.
  63. 63. 19 They never got there because they never listened, never believed. So we see because they never listened, never believed, It was unbelief that kept them out of Canaan.
  64. 64. Hebrews 4:1 MSG For as long, then, as that promise of resting in him pulls us on to God's goal for us, we need to be careful that we're not disqualified.
  65. 65. God's promises are conditional. A rest is promised, but we must take heed that we do not come short of it by failing to keep the conditions.
  66. 66. 2 We received the same promises as those people in the wilderness, but the promises didn't do them a bit of good because they didn't receive the promises with faith.
  67. 67. We have the promises of the gospel, but they had the promises of an earthly land of rest preached to them. They broke the covenant on which the promises were based.
  68. 68. the promises didn't do them a bit of good, The reason was that it was not received in unfaltering faith. Hence they did not obey it. So unbelief would make the gospel to us of none effect.
  69. 69. 3 If we believe, though, we'll experience that state of resting. But not if we don't have faith. Remember that God said, Exasperated, I vowed, "They'll never get where they're going, never be able to sit down and rest."
  70. 70. God made that vow, even though he'd finished his part before the foundation of the world. Believers in Christ enter into rest; have the hope of the promised rest. To have the rest is conditioned upon a trusting faith.
  71. 71. 4 Somewhere it's written, "God rested the seventh day, having completed his work," In Genesis 2:2 There it is stated that "God rested on the seventh day from all his works."
  72. 72. The Sabbath rest was therefore established long before Israel was denied entrance into the rest. Hence it is not the rest .
  73. 73. 5 but in this other text he says, "They'll never be able to sit down and rest." Psalms 95:11 MSG Exasperated, I exploded, 'They'll never get where they're headed, never be able to sit down and rest.'"
  74. 74. This declares that Israel should not enter into God's rest. Though Israel had kept the rest of the Sabbath, they had not entered into God's rest, as this language shows.
  75. 75. The rest of the Sabbath is not then the promised rest, nor is Canaan below, from which nearly all Israel was once excluded, because David exhorts the people, though in Canaan, to enter into the rest.
  76. 76. 6 So this promise has not yet been fulfilled. Those earlier ones never did get to the place of rest because they were disobedient.
  77. 77. Since God has a rest for his people, and it is not made in vain, there must be some who enter therein. Those to whom it was first offered entered not because of their unbelief. Hence it remaineth to all who, like Joshua and Caleb, have faith.
  78. 78. 7 God keeps renewing the promise and setting the date as today, just as he did in David's psalm, centuries later than the original invitation: Today, please listen, don't turn a deaf ear
  79. 79. 8 And so this is still a live promise. It wasn't canceled at the time of Joshua; otherwise, God wouldn't keep renewing the appointment for "today."
  80. 80. Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew word Joshua. Joshua led Israel over the Jordan into Canaan, but that did not give them complete rest. If that had been true, David would not have exhorted them to seek to enter into rest.
  81. 81. Five hundred years after they entered Canaan this exhortation is given in the 95th Psalm . 9 The promise of "arrival" and "rest" is still there for God's people.
  82. 82. 10 God himself is at rest. And at the end of the journey we'll surely rest with God. 11 So let's keep at it and eventually arrive at the place of rest, not drop out through some sort of disobedience.
  83. 83. Since this glorious rest, the heavenly rest, remains for faithful believers, we should seek to enter upon it, and especially take heed that we do not come short through unbelieving disobedience as did Israel.