CHRIST IN THE BOOK OF HEBREWS
The New Testament book of Hebrews draws many striking contrasts between Moses and Christ, the law of Moses and the gospel of Christ, the old covenant/testament and the new covenant/testament, the Jewish tabernacle/temple (physical structures) and the church (a spiritual house), and Judaism and Christianity. Key words and phrases used throughout this book are: “better,” “greater,” “more than,” “more excellent,” “greater and more perfect,” and similar terms of comparison. In every instance, the purpose is to show the superiority of Christ and Christianity to Moses and Judaism. Continue reading
The cross of Christ was in the center of the three crosses the day Jesus was crucified (John 19:17-19), but it’s not because Jesus was self-centered (Mark 15:27-28).
From his birth to his death, Jesus led a life of self-denial (Philippians 2:5-8). This self-denial wasn’t denial for the purpose of denial in-and-of-itself. Nor was Jesus’ self-denial for purpose of making himself the center of attention (John 14:10). Jesus’ self-denial was for the purpose of helping others and glorifying his father in Heaven (Acts 10:36-38; Matthew 5:16).
Self-centeredness must be cast aside to follow Jesus. Look at the context of Paul’s, “Let this mind be in you…” statement in Philippians 2:5. The context is getting rid of self-centeredness (Philippians 2:1-4). It’s then that Paul proves his point by using Jesus as an example as to why the church at Philippi (and us today) should look beyond their own circle of self when it comes to dealing with others.
But in case you have some unreasonable reason that causes “Paul’s words” to carry no weight with you – keep Luke 9:23 in mind and get over yourself.
“We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.” For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.” (Romans 15:1-7 – NKJV)
Without the God of the Bible, no one can explain:
1) The Creation: Of world-wide oceans, God “fixed My limit for it, And set bars and doors; When I said, ‘This far you may come, but no farther, And here your proud waves must stop!’” (Job 38:10-11 NKJV); 2) The Bible: After all efforts to ignore or destroy it, “the word of the LORD endures forever” (1 Peter 1:25 NKJV); 3) Jesus Christ: God in the flesh, “humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:8-9 NKJV); 4) Christians: “who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:19 NKJV). Can “atheism” explain these?
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.
Do you know the day that Calvary’s crown was made? Continue reading
There must have been no greater exclamation among the Jews of the first century than that which Andrew declared to his brother Simon and what Philip told his friend Nathaniel: “We have found the Messiah!” Jn 1.41, 45. One can feel the excitement in those words. The NET Bible rightly ends it with an exclamation point. Continue reading
Our focus should be on loving and serving God. Our aim should be that of going to heaven when we die.
Many are focused on material things. Even in religion the focus is on entertainment, show and fun; instead of on God the Bible, truth and service. Continue reading
“And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;” (2 Peter 1:19)
The interesting Greek word (at least to me) that is translated as “morning star” in the NKJV, BBE, ESV and NET, and as “day-star” in the KJV and ASV is φωσφόρος, and in the New Testament it’s unique to 2 Peter 1:19.
Now, in case you can’t read Greek, spell the word out in English and it would be something along the lines of, “phōsphoros.”
And in case you don’t remember anything about phosphorus from your High School physical science classes, phosphorus does a couple of things very well; one of which is that it burns brightly! Such is the reason why the Greek word “phōsphoros” literally means, “light bearing or light bringing.”
The Greek word in 2 Peter 1:19 can also refer to the planet Venus due to the planet’s orbiting characteristic in relation to the Earth which causes Venus to appear brighter in the morning than in the evening.
Either way, the apostle Peter’s point is clear – Jesus (who is the topic of the context’s confirmed prophetic word) is the bright and morning star whose light will cause our hope to become a reality regardless of how dark it may be before the dawn. Perhaps this thought is why the song writer of “He’s the Lilly of the Valley” follows up that reference with the proclamation of Jesus being the fairest of 10,000 to our soul.
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” (Revelation 22:16)