Let It Die Already

Hebrews 8:13 KJV

In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

 

Years ago I pastored a young lady who had a childhood friend who was battling what turned out to be terminal cancer. Since this lady and her family were brand new in our church, they were excited about our church and anxious to get their friends to come there with them. One of those friends, of course, was this woman with cancer. She never came to our church but we got regular updates on her declining condition from the family who had recently joined.

 

The battle with the cancer was brutal. At one point the friend in our church blurted out to me, “Why doesn’t she just give up and die already?” I knew what she meant. I knew she meant well and that death would end the unbelievable suffering her friend was enduring. Still, it struck me odd, almost cruel. As far as I could tell this new member in our church was about as gracious and compassionate a person as I have ever been blessed to know. But she wanted this struggle to be over.

 

The incident reminds me of the very emotional struggle of replacing Old Testament laws with New Testament faith.

  • There is no question that the new is here
  • There is little debate that it is better

But some refuse to let the fight die.

 

As strange as it may seem, the gracious and the compassionate position is to urge the old to simply “vanish away.”

  • It is not unkind or hateful to urge Jews, especially those who claim to have faith in Christ, to make a clean break from the Old Testament Law.
  • It is an act of love to push Christians who are Gentiles by birth away from Judaistic rituals and toward a Bible believing New Testament Baptist church.

 

God has a plan that will one day restore Israel’s holy and rightful place. But that is the business of the future. Today’s business is to lead all men, Jew or Gentile:

  • to Christ,
  • to baptism and
  • to common fellowship in a local New Testament Bible believing Baptist church.

 

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Baptist Hebrews 8:13

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at http://www.dubli.com/T0US1C6RE?mID=6311. This program is free to you. Receive a free one month membership upgrade after signing up by pasting the promo code PP153-ZYUPWKSNM in your redeem voucher area.

A New Priesthood

Hebrews 7:1-3 KJV

For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;
To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;
Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.

 

Melchisedec has been an underlying subject throughout chapters five and six but rises to the surface as the focal subject of this chapter. Though there is considerable debate as to exactly who he was, it is without question that both the Psalmist and Apostle meant him as a figure of Jesus Christ. Speaking of Christ as being a priest after the order of Melchisedec there are at least three things we know about this order:

It is not the after the order of the Old Testament priesthood

Thus, it precedes it and then replaces it. The modern Messianic Jews, as were the Judaizers of early Christianity, very much mistaken in attempting to marry the two.

It is better than the Old Testament priesthood

It is not merely an alternative. It us not intended that those who prefer to worship their Messiah may do so under a form of Judaism and those who understand Him to be Christ may worship Him in church. New Testament church theology is the perfection of the weak Old Testament law theology.

It is an eternal and not temporal priesthood

The Aaronic priesthood was given for a specific time. The Melchisedec priesthood existed previous to it and survives after it. The Aaronic priesthood was to be done away (though unbelieving Israel had yet to put it away) but the Melchisedec priesthood, like Melchisedec himself, has no end of days.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Hebrews 7:1-3

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at http://www.dubli.com/T0US1C6RE?mID=6311. This program is free to you. Receive a free one month membership upgrade after signing up by pasting the promo code PP153-ZYUPWKSNM in your redeem voucher area.

Perfection in the Gospel

Hebrews 6:4-6 KJV

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

 

Of this text John Gill writes,

“…such are meant, who are so enlightened as to see the evil effects of sin, but not the evil that is in sin; to see the good things which come by Christ, but not the goodness that is in Christ; so as to reform externally, but not to be sanctified internally; to have knowledge of the Gospel doctrinally, but not experimentally; yea, to have such light into it, as to be able to preach it to others, and yet be destitute of the grace of God…”

 

We would be wisest, I believe, to view chapters three through six, and perhaps further, as one unit dealing with the doctrine of eternal security. These are not isolated lessons, but progressive ones. Each piece builds upon another to describe the condition of the true believer versus that of the false professor. Though the author, whom I believe to be Paul, is convinced his audience is saved, he still gives warning that the end of the false professor is to be burned.

 

Perfection in the gospel is to, borrow from Gill,

  • See the evil that is in sin
  • See the goodness that is in Christ
  • Be sanctified internally
  • Know the Gospel experimentally and
  • Possess the grace of God

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Hebrews 6:4-6

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at http://www.dubli.com/T0US1C6RE?mID=6311. This program is free to you. Receive a free one month membership upgrade after signing up by pasting the promo code PP153-ZYUPWKSNM in your redeem voucher area.

The Author of Eternal Salvation

Hebrews 5:9 KJV

And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

 

Christ was never made in the sense of creation.

  • He has always been
  • He became flesh
  • He increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man but
  • He was not created

However, as a man, Jesus perfected the role of a man. He was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. He suffered in His flesh and, in that suffering, offered prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears.

 

And it was in this perfection He became the author of our salvation.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Hebrews 5:9 Jesus Christ is the author of eternal salvation

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at http://www.dubli.com/T0US1C6RE?mID=6311. This program is free to you. Receive a free one month membership upgrade after signing up by pasting the promo code PP153-ZYUPWKSNM in your redeem voucher area.

Work At Not Working

Hebrews 4:9-11 KJV

There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

 

One could view this passage as a kind of play on words. We are to “work at not working.”

 

This entire chapter is taken up with the doctrine of a spiritual rest that be longs to those who believe. This rest was rejected by the first people to hear it, those Jews in the wilderness, – carrying forth to those Jews who, looking the rest of God in the face in the person of Jesus Christ, crucified him rather than give up their religious traditions. It was once again offered to Gentiles of whom the Bible says, they would hear.

 

Apostle Paul writes to those believers here and warns them of “seeming to come short of it”. It is not that they could come short, for a believer can never come short of salvation, but that they might seem to come short of it by not enjoying the fullness of rest in Christ.

 

John Gill writes, “….is here meant, that rest which believers now enter into, and is at this present time for them, and though true believers are entered into it, yet their rest, peace, and joy in Christ, is not full; they enter by degrees into it, and by believing enjoy more of it: and this is to be laboured for by prayer, hearing the word, and attendance on ordinances…”

 

It would serve us well to see also that the remainder of Hebrews four offers at least four helps for entering into this full rest:

The Word of God

Which is able to cut deeply into our hearts and souls to remove unbelief and replace it with faith.

The watchful eye of God

Who sees our faith as well as our lack thereof. He knows we believe, if we are believers. He also knows we do not yet believe perfectly.

Our High Priest, Christ

Whose function it is, to minister towards our weakness. He serves as our advocate whenever we miss the mark of faith. When the weakness of our faith becomes apparent it is then that we best hold tightly to our profession of faith in Christ. He is the overcomer of our unbelief.

The throne of grace

To which we are invited to come boldly. When we lack faith, when our rest is less than full, when we struggle between our two natures of belief and unbelief, we are invited, urged even, to come without hesitation to the throne where we may obtain mercy cover our lack of faith and grace to help us strengthen our faith.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Hebrews 4:9-11Rest with God

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at http://www.dubli.com/T0US1C6RE?mID=6311. This program is free to you. Receive a free one month membership upgrade after signing up by pasting the promo code PP153-ZYUPWKSNM in your redeem voucher area.

It Is Impossible to be Unborn

Hebrews 3:6 KJV

But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

 

Hebrews 3:14 KJV

For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

 

There is, in my mind, no contradiction between the doctrine of eternal security and the lessons of these verses.  When a person is born again he or she may never lose that new birth. It is as ludicrous a thought, that one could lost there birth, as has ever been proposed. It betrays the possessor of such thoughts as never having associated salvation with new birth. They have “Nicodemus thinking”, “How can one be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”.

 

It is impossible for a person to be unborn, but it is not impossible for a person to have never been born. Here is the warning of these passages. Many professing Christians are more like a fairy tale character than a historical figure. Their relationship with God is only fictional. It is made up. It is the stuff of which novels are made. It is wishful thinking. It is dreamy. But it is not real. The lesson of the chapter is that the proof of or evidence of new birth rests in the continuance.

 

During the fourth century the Emperor Constantine made a profession of faith in Christ and proclaimed his rule to be Christian. It became not only fashionable but essential to profess Christianity and so multitudes did, but without new birth. Centuries of dark ages flushed out those whose professions were false through persecution of any who professed Christ some way other than the government’s prescribed way. (Even Catholics lost their lives for their faith when Protestants gained control of governments.)

 

America has been a wonderful place to live but it has also been a place where it was popular and even necessary to profess Christianity if one wanted to succeed. Multitudes did, but without new birth. It appears that we are entering s period when those whose professions are false will be flushed out through various forms of persecutions and disadvantages had by being of faith.

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Hebrews 3:6 Hebrews 3:14 Eternal Security

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at http://www.dubli.com/T0US1C6RE?mID=6311. This program is free to you. Receive a free one month membership upgrade after signing up by pasting the promo code PP153-ZYUPWKSNM in your redeem voucher area.

God’s Steps to Give Us His Word

Hebrews 2:1-3 KJV

Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;
How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

 

The context before and after has to do with the veracity of God’s Word. God has taken such steps to give us His Word;

  • sure
  • secure
  • pure and
  • preserved

 

God’s efforts in getting His Word to us should spur us to earnest study, comprehension and practice.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Hebrews 2:1-3 Bible is God’s Word

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at http://www.dubli.com/T0US1C6RE?mID=6311. This program is free to you. Receive a free one month membership upgrade after signing up by pasting the promo code PP153-ZYUPWKSNM in your redeem voucher area.

 

Loving Righteousness

Hebrews 1:9 KJV

Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

 

The testimony of God concerning Christ is, “Thou hast loved righteousness”.   The testimony goes on to say the Christ “hated iniquity”. Perhaps our hatred for iniquity, or sin, would be better received if we were known first for loving righteousness. How completely we ought to love righteousness:

  • In the practice of it
  • In the encouraging of others engaged in the like practice
  • In the study of and bettering ourselves in it
  • In the humble avoidance of making ourselves known for it (a true practice of righteousness will not seek to be known but will naturally become known)
  • In the prayer for it

 

Righteousness; God help us love it and to love it more.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Hebrews 1:9 Loving Righteousness

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at http://www.dubli.com/T0US1C6RE?mID=6311. This program is free to you. Receive a free one month membership upgrade after signing up by pasting the promo code PP153-ZYUPWKSNM in your redeem voucher area.

Successful Negotiation of Difficult Requests

Philemon 1:19

I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides.

 

Paul’s letter to Philemon has a pretty major subject. Perhaps we do appreciate the weight of it. He is pleading, essentially, for a man’s life. More importantly, he is pleading for spiritual victory in Philemon. He is doing so having already acted on the assumption that Philemon will respond as Paul requests. In making his plea Paul employs several triggers to lead Philemon to the appropriate response:

He mentions Apphia

She is presumed to be his wife. By mentioning her name he both assigns this letter to her as well as Philemon, and places part of the responsibility for his request upon her. Perhaps the feminine element will move Philemon to a more gentle response.

 

He reminds Philemon that he could expect his submissive response

But then chooses rather to ask than to demand. Whenever an authority is able to enlist the voluntary compliance to his leadership he is much better off than if he forces the mandatory one.

 

He submits himself to Philemon

There is a sense in which we are all to be submitted one to another. Those in authority are as equally accountable to those they lead as those they lead are to them. The soldier who is about to give his life on the field of battle does so expecting that his commanding officers will not waste his sacrifice. Paul recognizes this and submits to the authority of Philemon.

 

He makes Philemon his comrade and partner in the ministry

By appealing to Philemon as a partner he gives him fruit in the blessing of souls saved, including that of Onesimus.

 

He reminds Philemon of his part in Philemon’s salvation

Paul considered himself a debtor to all men to preach to them the gospel but in many respects those he lead to Christ were indebted to him. That he would ask this of him was reasonable.

 

He referred to Philemon as “brother” 

By doing so he invoked the bonds of family and blood. Men will do many things for family that they will not do for anyone else..

 

See in these tools of Paul clues for successful negotiations in difficult requests.

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Philemon 1:19 Successful Negotiation

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at http://www.dubli.com/T0US1C6RE?mID=6311. This program is free to you. Receive a free one month membership upgrade after signing up by pasting the promo code PP153-ZYUPWKSNM in your redeem voucher area.

May We Be Gracious

Titus 3:1-3 KJV

Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,
To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

 

The apostle gives a list of responses the Christian ought to have toward the lost world:

  • Be subject to principalities and powers
  • Obey magistrates
  • Be ready to every good work
  • Speak evil of no man
  • Be not a brawler
  • Be gentle
  • Show meekness to all men

 

The motivation for these responses is our own past. Those things God delivered us from should forever compel us to reach those yet to be delivered. We can never allow ourselves to think we are above others. We are only separated by the grace of God; undeserved and unmerited but given to us.

 

As we have received grace, may we be gracious.

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Gracious

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at http://www.dubli.com/T0US1C6RE?mID=6311. This program is free to you. Receive a free one month membership upgrade after signing up by pasting the promo code PP153-ZYUPWKSNM in your redeem voucher area.