The end of Hebrews 4 informs us that Jesus is our Great High Priest and then the chapter ends. Hebrews 5 tells us why he is a better high priest than the Levitical priests of the Old Covenant. The high priests called by God to the priesthood were human beings and had the same shortcomings as the people they ministered to. They had their own sins to confess and be forgiven before they could attend to the sins of others. The Christ is God’s own Son and also a priest forever after the order Melchizedek. Abraham was blessed by Melchizedek in Genesis 14 and Abraham gives him a tenth of everything he has. This is centuries before the Law was given to Moses. The Levitical priesthood had not been established and there was no commandment, at least none recorded, to give a tithe. Genesis will not answer all of our questions. There is no recorded beginning nor ending of Melchizedek’s priesthood and this little detail is used to show what kind of high priest Jesus will be. There is no beginning and no end to his priesthood. He does not have his own sins to sacrifice for, and he is not called by God but is God’s own Son. Although he was the only begotten Son, through suffering in his mortal flesh he learned obedience.
The final verses of chapter 5 is a chastisement to an audience that should be eating “spiritual food” as mature believers but must still be given milk as infants. Hebrews will get to comparing Jesus to Melchizedek in a couple of chapters and list more ways in which he is greater.
Earlier today I started a Bible study on Hebrews. Here is a link if you need one. Would anyone be interested in listening to that Bible study? I’ve been working on this since last night and have edited this post several times in the process. Click the play button on the embedded audio player below to listen to the Bible study. The download button below will not initiate a download but rather link to Google Drive where the file is located. You can click the download icon at the top of that screen ( ) to save the .wav file to your device.
I thought about calling this post Thinking Out Loud because I want to jot down some ideas but that’s the title of Paul Wilkinson’s blog. The problem with mental notes is that the ink fades so quickly so I often tell people that if I don’t write down it didn’t really happen. These are some thoughts I need to get out there before it’s too late. So in no particular order:
Note 1: I spent some times on the 8 ft. ladder clearing our gutters this morning. They are the old fashioned, uncovered roof gutters and they have gone too long in between cleanings. Then I cleaned up myself, ate lunch, and discovered that The Christian Index had published this: Continue reading →
Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee is a half-hour daily radio program that takes the listener on a 5 year journey through the entire scripture. I discovered McGee more than a decade after he had passed, but through the miracle of radio broadcast his ministry lives on still. The full audio collection has been available for years on CD – or I should say many, many CD’s. The study notes and outline for the entire series makes a very large single volume.
Check this out – the entire audio series plus notes and outlines in pdf can now be purchased on a single 8GB flash drive. Click here for ordering information – the cost is a mere $35.
There’s an old saying about a little knowledge being a dangerous thing. The key to understanding scripture is context. If you quote half a verse to support any argument, the first thing I’m going to do is go find the whole verse, then read the whole paragraph. We need to know who is writing, to whom, and under what circumstances before applying any particular verse to our situation.
There are always critics of religion in general and of Christianity in particular that insist religion was invented or the Bible was written to control people. Roman emperors used religion to build an empire, Medieval kings used it to build wealth and add territory, and Christians today use scripture to justify everything from suppressing women to persecuting homosexuals. Sadly, to some extent, each of those arguments have some merit. Emperor Constantine made the switch from persecuting Christians to embracing Christianity in order to defeat the enemies of the Roman Empire. I think we should blame Rome for that, not Christ. The problem with the Middle Ages is that the vast majority of Europeans were illiterate. If the kings and knights of Medieval Europe could have read the Bible for themselves, they would not have been so easily manipulated. Thank God for Gutenberg, am I right? Which brings us to today. Continue reading →
I met Michael Spencer in 2003 when my wife and I visited the ministry he was a part of. After joining that ministry, I was introduced to an early morning small group, Men’s Morning with God. The poster said “bring your Bible and coffee.” I’m a big fan of both of those things. We met twice a week at 7 a.m. studying the scripture and praying before work. I have been involved with other small groups before and since, but I stayed with that particular group for the duration of our ministry in Kentucky.
I thought that particular situation was unique. There were about 150 people all living within a few miles of each other, ministering together, and all beginning the work day at basically the same time. Still, our men’s group was never more than 10 or 12 (and sometimes just Michael and I). I have been blessed to find an early morning men’s group once again. This morning there were 5 of us. From different churches, different vocations and with different schedules, this is a group of men that meet at 6 a.m. to read, discuss and pray. One of those men was a friend of my dad, and one of my teachers back in the day. Another member of the group went to high school with my brother. You gotta love small towns.
And I love finding a group of men willing to be up and dressed before they have to be, in order to pray with and for each other.
I will soon begin a series of posts that will effectively be a survey study of the Bible. I’ve been leading a study of Mark’s gospel since August, going verse by verse in each chapter. I have posted a couple of times from Mark, but shy away from creating a Bible study of Mark online. One reason is that the Internet Monk has been posting a study of Mark at Jesus Shaped Spirituality. My study would either be redundant of what he is posting, or everyone would realize that his was better than mine 🙂 Either way.
My next post will be on the creation week and the fall. Biblical Survey will become a new category, and perhaps down the line could become it’s own blog. I’m thinking in an ideal world (which this is not, but hypothetically) that posting 2 or 3 times a week could get one through the major points of the Bible in about a year or so. I plan to continue blogging theology on a regular basis, posting sermons and the such like, so the survey topics would be in addition to.