Monthly Archives: March 2013

Bible study notes: The Jesus Supremacy, Part 2

Last week we had a great bible study on the first chapter of the book of Hebrews. It was heavy in discussion, which unfortunately we can’t replicate for you effectively, but in this post we will give you a look at what we were talking about. If you missed it, don’t forget to check out part 1 .

This passage gives us a great hint to the nature of angels.

Hebrews 1:14 NIV

Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

They’re spiritual beings who are, by the accounts we read of people’s encounters with them, pretty fearsome. But here they’re described as servants. And we know that one of the ways they serve is as divine messengers.

Hebrews 2:2-4 NIV

For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

In this culture, when a messenger delivered a message, it was as though the originator of the message was speaking. That’s why you will sometimes see references to “the angel of the Lord” speaking, and sometimes it will just say “the Lord said.” Based on this passage, the Law was delivered through angels; that is “the message spoken through angels.” We can tell that from the context, and through at least one reference in the Old Testament.

Most of chapter one is devoted to demonstrating that Jesus is not just a mere messenger. This is really important when you consider the message. The beginning of chapter one sets Jesus as superior to the prophets—and as we discussed, His message is the culmination of everything the prophets said.

What is the author saying about the Law and the Gospel here?

Remember how strict the punishments were for breaking the Law? God will be just as strict with those who reject Jesus. The Gospel is the new standard. Don’t ignore Jesus.

Application: Are you trying to save yourself?

Really, the Law just demonstrated the fact that we couldn’t save ourselves with self-effort. That’s why God instituted a system of sacrifice; we needed cleansing. Are you drowning in shame every time you make a mistake? Are you striving to prove yourself worthy of God’s love, worried that you won’t get it otherwise? Are you judgmental of yourself and others? Don’t ignore Jesus. We’re saved by grace. Accept that, and act like it. Make peace with it, and you will begin to leave fear behind and move toward love.

Application: Are you spreading the Gospel?

How will the people around us escape if they ignore so great a salvation? This message is for all of us. Jesus has commissioned us to be His messengers, to use the gifts the Holy Spirit has given us in order to bring the world to Him—and maybe even to go and do signs, wonders, and various miracles. What is your part? We know this is God’s priority; listen for Him, and He will show you.

 

Please feel free to join us for bible study on Wednesdays at 7pm at Crossroads Christian Fellowship (5501 Dewey Drive, Fair Oaks, CA 95628).  We hope to see you there!

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Bible Study notes: The Jesus Supremacy, Part 1

Last night we had a great bible study on the first chapter of the book of Hebrews. It was heavy in discussion, which unfortunately we can’t replicate for you effectively, but in this post we will give you a look at what we were talking about.

Hebrews 1:1-2 NIV

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.

Who is the author comparing Jesus to in these verses? What is the implication?

The author is comparing Jesus to the prophets of the Old Testament. Think about it: this is written to the Jews. The author is comparing Jesus to other people that had revelations from God. These were men and women inspired by the Holy Spirit, who delivered God’s messages to the people. They performed incredible miracles. They were heroes, and are still revered for their faith in and service to God.

Who are some of the prophets of the Old Testament? What did they do?

Elijah called down fire on the sacrifice on Mt. Carmel, debunking the existence of Baal and proving God’s power to an idolatrous people. Moses parted the sea to lead Israel to safety, led them through the desert, and talked with God face to face. The prophets predicted the rise and fall of nations. They faced death and emerged victorious. And they predicted that a Savior would come. As great as they were, the prophets were looking forward to the coming of someone greater than them: the Messiah, the Anointed One.

Application: Do we treat Jesus’ words with the proper reverence?

It’s easy to treat Jesus as one voice among many. We often give more weight to our own desires, beliefs, opinions, and deductions than we do to Jesus’ words. We don’t give Jesus the authority in our lives that He deserves. What influences do you allow to overpower Jesus in your life?