Hebrews (02): Losing My Religion

Date: 10/14/2018
More audio from All Saints Church
Type: Sunday Sermon
Topic: Bible Hebrews
Organization: All Saints
Price: FREE

My Religion - [In my first sermon on Hebrews, I emphasized] The general theme of the entire book is the supremacy or superiority of the Lord Jesus Christ over old covenant forms of faith. We observed in the first four verses, a) The Supremacy of the Word of the Son: though there is diversity of time and kinds of OT revelation, “at the end of these days” God has spoken “through/by a  Son” and not by servants or stewards. There is a finality of revelation; the OT “has been surpassed and superseded by the new” (Attridge, Hermeneia). b) The second and pervasive theme is, the Supremacy of the Work of the Son. In the first two chapters (alone), Jesus “made purification of sins” (1:3), upholds the cosmos (1:3), brings many sons to glory (2:10), has rendered powerless the devil (2:14); and made propitiation for the sins of the people (2:17). This is in contrast to all that has gone before, including actions of angels, Moses, priests, and sacrifices. Christ’s accomplishment is the final cosmic basis for the removal of evil (2:17, 7:27, 9:12, 10:10). This is my religion. “When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (1:3). Christ accomplished all that was promised and then rested as supreme Lord in fulfillment of the hope of Israel. Is this your religion?

Losing My Religion - Hebrews is written a) at a time when the temple in Jerusalem is standing (prior to 70 A.D., cf. present tense priestly actions (8:5, 13:10). Surely Hebrews could hardly “miss” such a profound change if the temple had previously been destroyed. b) Hebrews warns of imminent (about to happen) judgment (esp. ch. 10, 12:25-27). c) Hebrews hints that this judgment will be temple related (8:13, 12:27; explicit in Mt. 24:1; Mk. 13:2; Lk. 19:43ff). “But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear (aphinismos, be destroyed)” (8:13). d) Hebrews finally calls for a separation: “So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come” (13:13-14). This may be call to leave Jerusalem, but is certainly a call to separate from unbelieving Israel, to “sever the emotional and social ties with the Jewish community” (Lane, WBC). Are you loosing your religion?

Heb. 2:3 "how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?"

Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more