Even as Hebrews prepared the first century church for persecution, so it is also relevant to today's church as it faces an increasing assault on God's law.
When Hebrews was written, the newly converted Jew to the Way encountered persecution from the established religion and culture similar to what we experience.
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 explores the conversion of Cornelius, a Gentile. This event is nearly as pivotal a benchmark as the original Pentecost because the Gentiles at this point are given the same portal of salvation (repentance, belief in Christ, and receipt of God's Holy Spirit) originally offered to Israel. This portion of Acts …
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.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that the Sabbath Command (as well as all of the Ten Commandments) was made for both Jews and Gentiles (all of mankind). Throughout the book of Acts, Gentiles are faithfully keeping the Sabbath along with the Jews. Paul's insistence that a relationship with God could not be established by keeping the …
Early converts from Judaism claimed to accept the Law but had difficulty accepting the Lawgiver. Today, many claim to accept Christ, but will not accept His Law.
Paul established his identity and credentials as a Jew in order to build a foundation from which to provide a logical defense of his 'apostasy'.
Paul demonstrated inner peace during turmoil, showing consistency in times of instability and faith in God during persecution, fulfilling the role God gave him.
Using an analogy from the movie Remember the Titans, Richard Ritenbaugh focuses upon the difficulties of merging hostile or antagonistic perspectives, such as Jewish/Gentile animosity. Ironically, God made the gospel available to the Gentiles in order to provoke His chosen people to jealousy. The key to breaking down the enmity …
The Acts 15 decision did not do away with God's law, but solved the question of circumcision and the misconception that it was a recipe for salvation.
Circumcision was the sign God gave Abraham indicating that his descendants would ascend to greatness, acquiring physical and spiritual blessings.
Circumcision is a token, sign, or seal that one was the heir of Abraham. No physical sign has the power to transfer righteousness to the doer.
John Ritenbaugh focuses upon the intent or purpose of the scripture in Deuteronomy 23:2 prohibiting offspring from illegitimate unions (often carrying psychological baggage and irreversible physical damage) from holding offices of responsibility in physical Israel for ten generations. Acts 14 begins with the people of the …
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.
Even though the evidence from creation is overwhelming, people deliberately want to disregard it because accepting it would require submitting to His will.