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.
Were the clean and unclean laws abolished at the cross? A closer look at the pertinent New Testament scriptures reveals God's intent.
When Hebrews was written, the newly converted Jew to the Way encountered persecution from the established religion and culture similar to what we experience.
The book of Hebrews' audience consisted of converts from Judaism, suffering estrangement from family and community, excommunicated from the temple.
The conversion of Cornelius is nearly as pivotal as the original Pentecost because the Gentiles are given the same portal of salvation offered to Israel.
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.
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 …
We dare not 'do away' anything that is part of God's mind, or we will not be in His image. Acts 15 did not give Gentiles exemption from keeping God's Law.
John Ritenbaugh, describing an ongoing "bloodless coup" in which a major political party and a complicit propagandistic media are feverishly trying to high-jack the controls of governmental power, taking choices away from the individual and giving them to the government, maintains that we are reaping the consequences …
God, following a pattern, routinely calls the lowly and weak to guard against pride. God will transform the weak of this world through His Holy Spirit.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that the martyrdom of Stephen, largely instigated by Hellenistic Jews, actually had the paradoxical dramatic effect of spreading the Gospel into Gentile venues, enabling individuals like Cornelius and the Ethiopian Eunuch, upon repentance, belief, and baptism to be added to the fellowship. Even more …
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on Ephesians 1:13-23, reminds us that as God's Called- out ones, we are recipients of the promised seed made to Adam and Eve, the Holy Line, beginning with Seth leading through Noah, Abraham, Jacob, David, and Jesus Christ, the promises given to Abraham which include being a blessing to all nations. The …
After the change from the Aaronic to the Melchizedek priesthood, it was also necessary to change the Covenant. The flaw was not the law, but the heart.
Mechanically keeping the law is only the beginning of righteousness. By emphasizing principle, Christ came to magnify, not to destroy God's law.
Scripture takes a very stern view of sin because it is failure to live up to God's standard and destroys relationships, especially our relationship with God.
To destroy the concept of home is to destroy the nation or church. The centrality of the family or household is the heart of the church and the nation.
'Affluenza' describes the bloated insensitivity caused by trying to keep up with the Joneses, the stress caused by doggedly pursuing the American Dream.