Hebrews Chapter 10 Wednesday, Apr 13 2016 

10.1-10 the author wants to nail down the finality of Christ’s sacrifice. This has been mentioned in chapters seven and nine beforehand. It now becomes the focal point of the argumentative proof. The Mosaic law was a repetitious system repeated yearly for centuries and millenniums. Those sacrifices were offered year by year continually. Now by Christ’s one time sacrifice we are sanctified (hagiazo-make holy), once and for all. We should have no more conscience (suneidesis- the consciousness of anything) of sin. The brilliance of the argument is the author uses the law to prove it is now replaced by greater law and truth. The argument is over in that Christ is the eternal Priest and King. Therefore every rival priesthood and kingship has ended.

10.11-18 one sacrifice for sins for ever. Christ’s death was a self immolation. His one sacrifice was sufficient for all ages and all people. The daily offering of Old Testament sacrifices proves their imperfection. By Christ only offering once it is eternal proof the sacrifice is perfect.

10.19-25 confidence versus condemnation. For thousands of years men approached God with trepidation and fear due to their sins. The writer is encouraging these wavering saints to see the difference Jesus Christ has made. Now we can approach God with boldness and confidence. The word used is parrhesia-confidence. Believers now have a direct access into the very Holy Place of God. We can draw near with a true heart in full assurance. We are to provoke (stir up) one another to good works. The final admonition of not forsaking the assembling together covers much more than just physical attendance. It involves opportunity to encourage one another and strengthen one another. It provokes us to good works when we assemble together. The church is the body of Christ interacting, getting fed, and lifting one another. Love and good works need to be stirred up because they do not just occur. The author does not use the usual word for church here, but rather a compound form of the word synagogue, which specifically means the local physical gathering of believers. This provided for the assembly of all New Testament believers of Jew and gentile alike. The coming day of judgment underscored the importance of assembling together. Ignatius says, “When ye frequently, and in numbers meet together, the powers of Satan are overthrown, and his mischief is neutralized by your likemindedness in the faith.” 

10.26-29 if we sin willfully. This verse has been a verse of consternation for many. Without stopping to understand the entire panorama of the author’s purpose it is easy to miss the whole point here. The sin here mentioned is not an individual act or failure by a person who is trying to live right. This sin (hamartano-to miss the mark), is referring to the whole problem that spawned the writing of the epistle in the first place. This sin was the walking away from the new way of Christianity and returning to the old way of Judaism. If a person willfully did that, there is no more sacrifice for sin, because Jesus Christ is now the only atonement. It is a strong appeal to these wavering saints to hold fast, stay true, because Christianity is better than Judaism. The return to Judaism was a death nell and they would be left on their own to face the fiery judgment of God. The return to Judaism threw away the advocacy of Jesus Christ and His atonement for our sins which is the only atonement now. To throw away the High Priesthood of Jesus Christ is worthy of greater judgment than the Old Testament judgment. The verb and participles used here speak of future judgment that is yet to come, not past judgment because of apostasy. By using the term we, the author demonstrates the warning is for all.

10.30-39 the severity and certainty of judgment. Some have said the judgment should be milder during the age of grace. These verses abrogate that false illusion. Rather, this passage harmonizes with the teaching of Jesus Christ. He who receives greater revelation receives greater judgment (Mt 11.20-24). To whom much is given, much is required (Lk 12.48). Greater knowledge should strengthen faith, not weaken it. The author encourages these wavering saints to recall their former endurance which occurred soon after they were illuminated and converted. They had been ridiculed for their faith, and sacrificed of their own goods for the cause of Christianity. They had believed with confidence they had an enduring substance in heaven. The author continues to lead up to placing them alongside the great heroes of faith he will present in chapter 11. He invokes confidence, patience, faith and persistence so they will not draw back into perdition (apologia-ruin or loss). No doubt when reading these verses those early Christians remembered their trials and early days of testing which they had experienced. The call here was, don’t throw it all away now. Stick it out. Don’t quit. Hang on. It won’t be long now until Jesus returns.

Oscar Monday, Apr 11 2016 

The story of Oscar.

Born deformed, twisted, a monster. Children of the village were afraid of him. Oscar lived alone by the river. He ate out of the garbage. He roamed the village like an animal. 

One night hearing singing and music Oscar went to the church. The ushers stopped him at the door. He resisted and a scuffle ensued. The pastor said bring him forward. The pastor laid his hand on Oscar. The Pastor felt Oscar begin to rise, taller and taller. Oscar was changing. His twisted limbs were being straightened. His cruel expression was being changing to normal. In a few moments he was whole, normal, free, delivered. 

The next day the missionary came to visit. The pastor told him he had something to show the missionary. They walked to the edge of a steep hillside and looked down at the river below. Far down the mountain was a shanty, a shack, a lean to. The pastor yelled. Out of that wild living place came a man. The man was tall, straight, and normal. The pastor yelled come here and the man ran and stumbled and climbed up the hillside. 

When the pastor introduced Oscar to the missionary, the missionary was shocked. The change was miraculous. It was then Oscar reached in his pocket and pulled out a picture of the old Oscar. It was a photo of him when he was disfigured and horrible. Some one had taken the photo and thrown it away. Oscar had found it in the trash while looking for something to eat. 

With a big Holy Ghost smile Oscar showed what he used to be before he met God.

Thanks for reading today.