Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

Mining the Scriptures: Hebrews 3:12-15

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The writer here sounds a warning concerning a possibility that many religious people today deny. It is possible for a Christian to sufficiently lose his faith in God as to be described as departing from Him. This warning (and the very need for it) denies the Calvinists view that a child of God cannot sin as to be lost. The Hebrew writer says he can, and the warning indicates that some do!

So, how do we avoid losing our faith? “Beware!” The first step is to acknowledge the possibility. “Exhort one another daily.” This phrase points out the important responsibility each Christian has to edify and encourage his brothers and sisters in Christ. (See also Hebrews 10:24-25 to note the importance of our assemblies in delivering such exhortations). “While it is called ‘Today’” indicates an urgency the writer wishes to impart to his exhortation.

Steadfastness is necessary to enjoy the fruits of being “partakers of Christ.” Only those who continue their faithful service to God “to the end” will enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Mining the Scriptures: Hebrews 1:5-14

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The book of Hebrews contains a series of contrasts designed to establish the supremacy of Jesus Christ, and His covenant with mankind. The first of these contrasts consists of a comparison between Christ and angels.

  1. Verse 4 indicates that Jesus is superior to the angels because His Father granted an inheritance to Him as a Son.
  2. Jesus is superior to the angels because He is, in fact, God’s only begotten Son (5)
  3. Jesus is seen to be superior in that God declares we are to worship Him, where angels are not to be worshipped. Rather they serve as ministering servants (6-7). Jesus is, in fact, God, reigning on His throne in righteousness (8-9).
  4. Jesus is superior because He is the Creator of the universe. While the universe is temporal, and will one day cease to exist, its Creator is eternal and incorruptible. (10-12).

The angels are ministering spirits, appointed by God to serve us. In contrast God has exalted the Christ, and appointing for Him a place at His right hand, reigning in Heaven. He is not a servant, He is our Lord! (13-14).

Mining the Scriptures: Hebrews 2:5-9

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The Hebrew writer here shows the place of preeminence given to Jesus as God’s Son. In so doing, he establishes an order with God being first, angels second and man third.

In the beginning, the Word was God (cf. John 1:1). The Word then became flesh (cf. John 1:14), and this event is referred to by Paul as an experience where the Son of God was humbled, “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8).

Paul continued in that passage, “Therefore God has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name” (vs. 9). This passage in Hebrews agrees with that assessment.

Because of Jesus’ death, the payment for sin was paid. God ordained Jesus as Savior, and the proof of this choosing is found in the resurrection (cf. Acts 2:32-36). God has exalted Him. Jesus is at the right hand of the Father, ruling in the kingdom. He is above every name, both human and angelic. He is the Son of God. He has been crowned, and we are subject to Him alone.

Mining The Scriptures: Hebrews 1:1-4

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Hebrews 1:1-4

The first four verses of both the first and second chapters of Hebrews are similar in that they declare the superiority of the words of our Lord. However, while the second chapter points out the responsibility we have to heed and obey the words of Jesus, the first chapter keeps the focus on the Lord Himself.

The words spoken by Jesus are superior because of who Jesus is. He is the Heir of all things. He is the Creator of the universe (cf. John 1:1-4). He is the personification of God, and our blessed Redeemer. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords, and is presently reigning in His kingdom at the right hand of the Father. He is superior to the angels, and as stated by the writer, “has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they” (4).

These words serve as the premise of the Hebrew epistle. The Hebrew Christian should not place his trust in the Old Covenant. Rather, he should turn to the New. Salvation is in the words, sacrifice and mediation of Jesus Christ. All who have gone before are flawed, and unable to save. In these last days, God has spoken to us “through His Son.”

Mining The Scriptures: Hebrews 2:1-4

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Hebrews 2:1-4

The book of Hebrews contains numerous comparisons between God’s covenant with the Hebrews, and the covenant ratified with the blood of His son Jesus. The comparisons are intended to establish the superiority of the New (Jesus’ covenant) over the Old (Hebraic covenant).

One of these comparisons centers on the messengers God utilized under the Old covenant (described here as “the word spoken through angels [messengers]”), and Jesus Himself, the messenger of the New Covenant.

Since Jesus is Lord, His words carry the greatest authority. If God held the Jews accountable to the instructions He gave them through the agency of His servants, He will certainly hold us accountable to the instructions given to us by the Son of God himself.

So, we must “give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.” To fail in this is to forfeit our eternal standing before God.