Thursday, July 16, 2015

A question. A warning.

Directness. 
Don't know about others but I prefer being asked a direct question over one veiled in suggestions and innuendos. They usually go over my head and I miss them. So I appreciate the directness of the question posed in Chapter 2 of Hebrews.
                                                                                                                  "How shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation?"             (Link to read the chapter)
Salvation - forgiveness of sin resulting in peace with God.
As defined by God giving this message 
to John the Baptist before Christ's birth:
"for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for Him, to give His people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins,...to guide our feet into the path of peace." Luke 1:77-79
As defined by Christ:
"This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."
Defined by those who heard Him:
"...and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name..." Luke 24:47
"Therefore my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you." Acts 13:38
"In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace." Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace..." Romans 5:1

How shall we escape if we ignore the message presented by Jesus - God's Son and confirmed by those who heard Him?
Jesus to whom God has placed everything in subjection. (vs. 8,9)
Jesus with whom God made the worlds. (1:2)
If the past messages through the angels stood firm then we can be sure that the message given by His Son shall stand firm! His Words shall come to pass. How can we think we shall escape?                                                                                                                   We? Two categories: First as one who denies and ignores God. Do you think you shall escape the righteous judgment of the Holy God upon sin? Second as one who believes God and has accepted His salvation through Christ. Do you think you shall escape the responsibility of  sharing the knowledge you have with others?

Salvation is there for the receiving 
to anyone believing the Son.

The Son - The One who is the express image of God The Father and who is heir to all that is the Father's. (Heb. 1:2)
As heir to the Father all is in subjection to Him, though curiously at the moment we don't see all under His subjection. How can that be?
Because there was such a great need that required a great sacrifice! By which salvation may be obtained.
A perfect, sinless sacrifice on behalf of mankind lost in sin.

ALL MANKIND IS IN THE SAME boat when they come 
into this world - all are lost in sin
"There is no one righteous, not even one..." Romans 3:10
"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23
"Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned..." Romans 5:12

Jesus came as the sacrifice for sin and 'to seek and to save all who are lost." (Luke 19:10)
For to Him to become that sacrifice meant that for a time Jesus would be made lower than the angels. Jesus the exact likeness of God, this Son who is stamped with the very nature of God - would Himself become man that HE may be the perfect, sinless, final sacrifice for man's salvation. Forgiveness of sins resulting in peace with God.
He came to make right all that had gone wrong in the garden. He whose name is above all would for a time become lower so that by God's grace HE may taste death for ALL, every person!
Death? Extinction, annihilation, Re-incarnation, Karma...?
Death - Absence of Life.
"...and breathed into his (Adam)  nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul..." (Genesis 2:7)
 Death is separation from the source of life - God. 
FOR ETERNITY.


Jesus came to experience such separation that you and I would not need to.
"About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'Eli, Eli lema sabachthani?' (which means "My God, my God why have you forsaken me?") Matthew 27:46

By His death He destroyed the power of death and freed those held in slavery to death because of sin. (vs. 14,15)
"When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory." "Where O death, is your victory? Where O death, is your string? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." I Corinthians 15:54-56

And because He suffered that death for us - for me, for you, HE IS crowned with glory and honor. (vs. 9,10)
No angel could ever deserve or receive the glory due Jesus; no sinful man could every deserve or receive the glory due Jesus! 
Only JESUS!
Who through His death now reaches out to us as our mediator, our sanctifier. The perfect, sinless, eternal High Priest by whom ALL WHO BELIEVE are sanctified in Him and receive the same glory and honor as the one who sanctified them.
"Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. (vs. 11)
Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers/sisters who have become children of God as he is. (vs. 11,12) Imagine that! Kin to Jesus! Kin to God!
And DON'T forget it! Is the warning the author begins the chapter with. (vs. 1) Though there is a clear message of salvation for those who have not yet trusted in Christ this book of Hebrews is actually written specifically to believers. Believers who have allowed the busyness of life and the delay of the Lord's return to cloud their belief. They begin to slip back into old ways of doing things forgetting what Christ had done for them. Forgetting that there is more to life than what they see. There is an eternity to come still. Forgetting who they are in Him. Children of God. Brothers/sisters of Christ. 
Pay attention, be careful the author says to them. Do not drift into apathy. Remember. Live the truth you received.

Do not drift into the temptation of taking your salvation for granted. 
Until Next time...

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