Just as the child of the flesh persecuted the child of promise, the spiritual children of God can expect persecution from those living according to the flesh.
Under the best of times, God's people are not immune to persecution. Persecution for righteousness' sake is evidence that God's people have Christ's Spirit.
Jesus Christ perfectly fulfilled His spiritual responsibilities and can now aid us in fulfilling ours, which includes keeping God's commandments.
We often spend so much time engaged in our present-day trials that we fail to understand and learn from the experiences of Christians of the past.
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.
The socio-cultural milieu before the writing of Hebrews created difficulties for the Jewish converts to the Gospel, who were deemed to be traitors.
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.
Paul's insistence that a relationship with God could not be established by keeping the law did not lead to the conclusion that the law had been done away.
Paul demonstrated inner peace during turmoil, showing consistency in times of instability and faith in God during persecution, fulfilling the role God gave him.
Some Jews among the early converts believed that Jesus Christ did not qualify to be the church's High Priest, considering angels to be greater and holier.
Acts 15 focuses upon the Council of Jerusalem, discussing the controversial subject of circumcision and its relationship to salvation.
The Cretan people had earned the reputation of duplicity. Church members faced the consequences of being tarred with the same brush—sometimes deservedly.
The frightful conditions during the 1st century are typical of the times ahead. To weather these circumstances, we need the encouragement of Hebrews.
Paul's success at promoting the Way started to undermine the prosperity of vendors promoting the worship of Diana, leading to a riotous assembly in her temple.
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.
Had Paul not appealed to Caesar, Agrippa (moved by Paul's testimony and convinced of his innocence) would have set him free. But God had other plans.
Paul encountered persecution but also saw his work bear fruit. He was driven from the synagogue, but paradoxically won over its leader, Crispus.
The scattering of the early church strengthened it, allowing fresh seed to be scattered in new fields. The 'bad' thing actually increased the church's power.
Corinth was at the crossroads of trade routes, abounding in religious syncretism. Paul's letter to the Corinthians instructs us how to live in a wicked society.
The phrase 'first day of the week' is used 8 times in scripture, but none does away with the Sabbath nor establishes Sunday as the 'Lords Day.'
Ups and downs, blessings and trials, have characterized every era of the church. God's people are always battling something negative between the brief highs.