Romans 2:1 – 11 — “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God.”
One of my favorite Christmas songs is “Mary Did You Know” by Buddy Greene. I was privileged to see my daughter’s school choir perform it this year, and as I think about it, the song is very fitting for a study in the first chapter of Hebrews. We would ask Mary, did you know this:
Hebrews 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 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.”
Romans 1:24–32 — “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, Who is blessed for ever. Amen.
“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”
This is the first in a study that I am beginning on the Epistle to the Hebrews. Before going straight into the study, I want to bring you into my understanding of the place and the context of this epistle. It has long been a controversial epistle in regards to authorship, audience, and intent.
It is no secret that the twelve apostles were all Jews, or better yet, men of Israel, Hebrews. In their ministry before the cross, they were sent to preach to the Jews. In Matthew 10:5 & 6, the Lord told them explicitly not to go to the Gentiles or to the Samaritans, but to go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. The Lord Himself said explicitly in Matthew 15:24 that He was not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. In Romans 15:8, the apostle Paul reminds his readers that “Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God to confirm the promises made unto the fathers”, and any reader of the four Gospels would have to conclude that His ministry was indeed to Israel. He did not come to take away that which God had promised, but to confirm it. Continue reading “God Hath Spoken”