Among Catholics and Protestants exists the erroneous belief that the New Covenant abolishes the law rather than the truth that the epistle to the Hebrews provides: that Jesus Christ perfectly fulfilled His spiritual responsibilities and can now aid us in f. . .
God inspired the book of Hebrews to answer the difficult questions church members were struggling with during the tumultuous first decades of the church.
John Ritenbaugh avers that the Book of Hebrews is "must" reading for all members of God's church who ardently seek the key for personal spiritual growth through a meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ—the most important Being Who has ev. . .
John Ritenbaugh suggests that the Bible shows a clear pattern of how people leave the Church. The first step in the pattern is looking back, as in the case of Lot's wife. The second step is to draw back, motivated by self-pity, shrinking back as from somet. . .
Hebrews 10:9 does not say that God's law or the Old Covenant has been done away, but that the system of animal sacrifices has been set aside for now.
Hebrews was written to fulfill several needs of the first-century church. One of the most critical was to explain God's opening of eternal life to the Gentiles.
John Ritenbaugh, concluding the preparatory sermons on the Epistle of Hebrews, identifies a paradox widely extant in the First Century Church of God, namely that the early converts from Judaism claimed to accept the Law but had difficulty accepting Jesus C. . .
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on the description of the New Covenant in Hebrews 8:10, reminds us that, although God never intended the Old Covenant to endure eternally, the spiritual and immutable law (shared by both the old and new covenants) was to last fore. . .
If we understand the function of the Old Covenant as explained in Leviticus, we will better understand the New Covenant and not reject the law of the Savior.
John Ritenbaugh, in Number Eight of his series on the background of the Book of Hebrews, emphasizes that, although flesh withers like grass, the instruction (Torah) of God's Word is not "done away," but rather endures forever. Salvation comes thr. . .
The book of Hebrews provides reasons to recapture flagging zeal, focusing on the reason for our hope and faith, establishing Christ's credentials.
John Ritenbaugh observes that Hebrews is addressed to a people living at the end of an era, who were drifting away, had lost their first love or devotion, and were no longer motivated by zeal. Through lack of prayer, Bible study, and meditation, they had i. . .
John Ritenbaugh focuses upon the superiority of Christ and the Melchizedek priesthood, pointing out that in every way it is superior to the Aaronic priesthood because Christ tenure is eternal rather than temporal, guaranteeing both continuity and quality. . . .
Jesus Christ was not just an extraordinary man, but also possessed the massive intellect needed to create, design and implementing all manner of life—He was God.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that the tumultuous time recorded in Acts is analogous to the current factional secularism, where God's Church is operating in the shadow of religious structures claiming to be "faith-based," but in fact denying God's L. . .
John Ritenbaugh emphasizes the infinite superiority of Christ's priesthood and one-time sacrifice as contrasted to the repetitive Aaronic sacrifices, which were incapable of remitting sin, purging consciences, or providing access to God. The shadow image o. . .
The book of Hebrews systematically proves Christ's superiority to patriarchs, prophets, the Levitical Priesthood, and angels, establishing His credentials.
Richard Ritenbaugh suggests that the practical advice in Hebrews 12-13 fits our current condition like a glove. Like the recipients of this epistle, the greater church of God, having drifted away and given in to sin, we must also lay aside every weight whi. . .
John Ritenbaugh reiterates Christ's superior qualifications as High Priest. After the change from the Aaronic to the Melchizedek priesthood, it was also necessary to bring about a major change in the Covenant. The flaw in the Old Covenant was not in the la. . .
In Hebrews, we learn that Jesus is the only- begotten Son, creator and heir of all things, the express image of God's person, and has purged our sins.
John Ritenbaugh, examining the socio-cultural milieu before the writing of the Epistle to the Hebrews, explains the difficulties experienced by the new Jewish converts to the Gospel. The powerful testimony of the recently risen Christ, combined with the ap. . .
John Ritenbaugh, re-iterating that internal evidence substantiates the high probability that the Apostle Paul authored the Book of Hebrews, stresses that Christ's ultimate goal is to bring the entire creation under the Father's subjection when God will be . . .
John Ritenbaugh, suggesting that most of us resemble the Samaritan woman in our understanding of the value of our calling, maintains that our relationship with God is our sole protection from carnal human nature and the deadly pulls of the world. Whatever . . .
The modern church stands in danger of allowing salvation to slip away. Hebrews gives warnings to help us turn our lives around so we do not fall short.
John Ritenbaugh characterizes the spiritual condition of the recipients of the Hebrews epistle as dangerously complacent, drifting into apostasy through neglect rather than from any blatant sin or perversion. Losing their zeal and first love after the mann. . .
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that everything about the Priesthood of Jesus Christ is superior to that of the Levitical system, which was only intended to serve as a type (a forerunner, shadow, or symbol) of the access to God that Jesus would later fulfill. A. . .
Parts of God's law are not presently required, yet not 'done away." Paul took a vow that required animal sacrifice. Ezekiel 34-48 shows the sacrificial law observed.
We dare not allow a root of bitterness to spring up in us as a result of trials - those burdens intended by God to strengthen us and perfect us.
John Ritenbaugh stresses that without continuous maintenance and attention, it is difficult to maintain a spiritual mind in a carnal physical body. We, like Christ, were made a little while lower than angels to be made perfect through suffering. He has bla. . .
John Ritenbaugh emphasizes the importance of exercising faith and hope, patiently plodding along day-by-day toward our spiritual goal. Many of the pillars of faith had to wait many years (Abraham, for example, waited over 25 years before he saw the beginni. . .
God personally communicated with Adam, Eve, Abraham, Moses, the prophets, and to us through His Son. With the Scriptures, God teaches His faithful today.
John identifies Christ as co-eternal with the Father, equal in character, but subordinate in authority. Christ's sonship was unique; He was the 'only Begotten Son.'
John Ritenbaugh warns that the sheer variety of choices (distractions) available to us today (with their potential accompanying temptations and enervating time-wasting diversions) is extremely stressful because it automatically increases sin and lawlessnes. . .
Christians often spend so much time engaged in their present-day trials and tribulations that they fail to understand and learn from the experiences of Christians of the past. In the New Testament, God has supplied His church with multiple examples of the . . .
John Ritenbaugh, observing that Psalm 78 reveals Israel's intermittent fractured-and-restored-relationship with God, emphasizes that those who fail to learn the lessons of history are destined to repeat them. Israel has forgotten her unique position as the. . .
John Ritenbaugh focuses upon the proclivity of the ancient Israelites to nullify the power of the gospel, refusing to mix it with actual obedience, which stems from faith and belief. What they heard never became a part of their lives; "Egypt" nev. . .
John Ritenbaugh reflects that the book of Hebrews is perhaps the least understood, most complex and most scholarly of all the books in the New Testament. However, in terms of spiritual insight, it is a pivotal book, whose function is to bridge the purposes. . .
John Ritenbaugh, reminding us that Jesus handpicked the twelve apostles for a specific work, notes that there is a strong possibility that God has also handpicked each one of us to fulfill a particular role in the Body. Like an engineer on a building proje. . .
John Ritenbaugh affirms that Jesus Christ's sinlessness was not the result of being a programmed automaton, but instead as a result of volition or choice—actively struggling against carnal pulls and temptations, enabling Him to fully empathize and ha. . .
We must emulate Christ, who learned through suffering, preparing Himself for His role as High Priest. Giving in alienates us from the fellowship with God.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11 did not have a blind naïve faith, but one built incrementally by careful examination of the evidence- adding things up or calculating- from cumulative life experiences. From this acquired fa. . .
If church members are to grow in grace and knowledge and be zealous in producing fruit to God's glory, they need to have their priorities in the right place.
If we patiently endure, trusting in God's faithfulness to bring us to completion, there will be a time when we will attain the rest we desperately yearn for.
John Ritenbaugh examines the three levels of faith exercised by the roll call of the faithful in Hebrews 11: (1) Faith that motivates (2) Faith that provides vision, and (3) Faith that brings understanding- accumulated incrementally by calculating or addin. . .
All the signs point to Christ's imminent return, yet the Bible warns us not to let down! John Reid, using Hebrews 10, exhorts us to strive zealously to please God and finish our course!
Because of the confusion in the church of God, many have withdrawn from fellowship, implying they need fellowship only with the Head and not the Body.
As the book of Hebrews ends, the author—likely Paul—pens this benediction: "Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, ..."
The book of Hebrews teaches that our relationship to Christ as our Savior, High Priest, and King is the key to salvation. He shows us the way to the Father.
As Christians, we realize that God is not only powerful, but He is also the source of all power. How do we translate this understanding into practical action? John Ritenbaugh explains how we can tap into God's power to avoid slipping into apostasy.
Paul never taught any Jew to forsake the Law of Moses, but he did warn against Pharisaical additions for the expressed purpose of attaining justification.
The book of Hebrews resonates for the church of God at this time due to the strong parallels between our circumstances and those of the first century church.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the rather humble circumstances surrounding our calling, cautions us to avoid partiality in our judgments. Jacob, because of his favoritism of Joseph brought about untold jealousy and strife within his family. God judges impa. . .
The Law (including the judgments, ordinances, and statutes), far from being done away, shows us our faults and outlines the way of mercy and love—how to live.
Focusing on material and temporal things undermines faith. The Sabbath is holy time, created for building faith, energizing our minds for fellowship with God.
John Reid, reflecting upon our deadly carnal human nature, warns us to be on guard against our deceitful evil hearts. God wishes to replace this deceitful heart with a new heart, totally composed of God's Holy Spirit. Our carnal human nature has been compa. . .
Some of us, facing the stress of the times, may simply be going through the motions but losing every vestige of faith. We must strengthen our convictions.
John Ritenbaugh teaches that our spiritual transformation (conversion) gives us the capacity to see Christ and other people, the self, institutions (such as churches or governments) in their true light. Things we formerly deemed important (money, pleasure,. . .
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