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JESUS SUFFERED TO SAVE
Hebrews 2:10-18

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For the past couple of weeks, I have chosen a Christmas song to be part of our corporate worship, even though we are still in September. I have done this for a couple of reasons. First, as I shared last week, the theology in our Christmas hymns is too good to only sing once a year. Second, the author of Hebrews teaches about the incarnation of Jesus in Hebrews 2. Just as the first chapter points to the deity of Christ, so the second chapter points to His humanity. The author demonstrates how Jesus became a human and fulfilled God’s role for humanity which is outlined in Psalm 8 (see 2:1-9). At the end of his exposition on that Psalm, the author states that Jesus is crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone (v. 9b). Jesus became a man and suffered in our place on the cross. But we might ask at this point: Why was that necessary? Why did Jesus have to become a man and why did He have to suffer and die? Why do we celebrate His incarnation each year in December? The author goes on to answer these questions in our passage this morning by giving us several descriptions of why Jesus took on flesh and suffered at the cross. Let’s consider these together.

Last Updated ( Friday, 30 September 2016 )
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Hebrews 1:5-2:9: Jesus Is Greater Than Angels Print E-mail

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Yesterday’s faith will never be enough to save us. No one who fails to persevere in their belief in Jesus as Savior and Lord will make it to glory. Heaven will not be populated with people who ‘had a religious experience’ when they were young and lived the rest of their lives for themselves and for their sin. These are statements that make us uncomfortable. Yet, they are at the heart of the message of the book of Hebrews. The author is writing to some Jewish Christians who are being tempted to return to Judaism and abandon their faith in Christ. Over and over again he warns them to not make that horrible mistake. Why? We must persevere in the faith because it is necessary for salvation. One of my commentator’s writes: “The NT nowhere teaches that an initial acceptance of the saving message is sufficient without perseverance in faith. We must not drift from the faith or neglect our great salvation.”1

Last Updated ( Friday, 30 September 2016 )
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Hebrews 1:1-4: The Greatest Revelation Print E-mail

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Jesus Christ is better than anything or anyone in all of creation. Nothing compares to our Savior. No one is greater than Him. If I offered each of you two gifts this morning, in the first was a dollar bill and the second contained a check for one million dollars, which would you choose? What if I offered you two cars, my green truck or a new Lamborghini, which would you want? Or maybe two vacations, one a week in a tent out behind the Church or one on a beach in Hawaii, which would you choose? It is not hard to figure out which one of those is better than the other. We see the value of a million dollars over one dollar, or a Lamborghini over my old green truck, or a trip to Hawaii over sleeping in a tent out back. One is clearly greater than the other. The author of Hebrews wants us to see that Jesus is greater than all. He is better than anything or anyone.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 September 2016 )
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Psalm 61: A Prayer from the End of the Earth Print E-mail

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We are exiles on the earth, longing to finally and forever dwell with our God. We don’t always feel like exiles. We can get pretty comfortable in our life here on this planet. But then suffering hits, maybe through a battle with sin or death of a loved one, and we are painfully reminded that this is not our home. We are not meant to dwell in enemy-occupied territory. We are meant for God. We are meant to dwell with Him forever, sheltered by His glorious presence (Revelation 7:15). But until the Lord returns and takes us home to dwell with Him, we continue in our exile here on the earth.

Last Updated ( Friday, 09 September 2016 )
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Psalm 60: Divine Rejection Print E-mail

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The feeling of being rejected by God can tempt us to look around for better options. When it seems like God does not care about us or has forgotten about us or worse has actually set Himself against, we can find ourselves in search of other comforts. ‘Maybe we have been wrong about God’s goodness or God’s sovereignty,’ we might think. ‘Maybe we were foolish to think that He would always satisfy. Maybe we should look for joy elsewhere.’ Our Christian friends will remind us: ‘God will never leave us or forsake us.’ But is that true? It sure seems like God does forsake us at times. So which is it? The truth is, the Bible teaches that God will ultimately never forsake His people. He is committed to saving His people and dwelling with them forever. Yet, that does not mean that there will not be times of ‘temporary forsaking’ or ‘divine rejection.’ The people of Israel experienced this on several occasions. Job faced this in His trials. And we see David going through this as well in Psalm 60 (and other psalms).

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 31 August 2016 )
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Psalm 59: The God Who Laughs Print E-mail

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My family has enjoyed watching the Summer Olympics in Rio this year. We sat amazed on Thursday night watching Michael Phelps win another gold as an olympic swimmer. He is impressive. He has won like twenty-five gold medals and few of those other kind when he was only fifteen. He is so dominant in the pool. In fact, I doubt there will be another athlete in my lifetime that is so dominant in his/her sport. He is just that good. But you know, I started swimming this year. As I talked about a few weeks ago, I go swim laps three maybe four times a week. I even invested in some goggles ($10 at the front desk of the YMCA). So as good as Phelps may be, I think I could take him. He doesn’t scare me. Sure, he’s a foot taller than me and has been swimming his whole life and is probably the greatest swimmer of all time, but I could take him. Just give me a shot and he would go down!

Last Updated ( Monday, 22 August 2016 )
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