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.
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.
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 …
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.
After explaining the context in which Paul advocated going from house to house, John Ritenbaugh reiterates that Paul, who understands clearly that God alone calls (John 6:44), makes his initial contact with non-believers in public places (synagogue and forum), going later to private dwellings by invitation only. Chapter 15 …
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.
John Ritenbaugh focuses upon the topic of the resurrection of the dead (and the capacity of the earth to sustain the combined populations of all who have ever lived), examining pertinent scriptures on the resurrections. The scriptures suggest that massive land reclamation and landscaping efforts (coupled with dramatic climate …
At the beginning of chapter 18, Paul arrives in Corinth, befriended by Roman expatriates Priscilla and Aquila, devout individuals very important in Paul's ministry, both economically and spiritually. Paul's spirits are additionally revived and energized at receiving good news from Silas and Timothy, leading him to be more …
Martin Collins, reflecting on the martyrdom of Stephen, affirms that his martyrdom indicated that this wholesale persecution on Christianity, from the leaders to the rank and file, indicated that Christianity was a revolutionary idea whose time had come. The institution feeling the greatest threat was Judaism, with the Pharisee …
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.