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Introduction to Hebrews (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
December 27, 2021 6:00 am

Introduction to Hebrews (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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December 27, 2021 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the letter to the Hebrews

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The Christians we all we often make the mistake of first reading the preface the Old Testament. Then, the new, but it should be the other way around.

Because Jesus Christ filters the Old Testament for us, thereby helping us not being entangled and losing our identity as Christians because the Old Testament so attractive so many ways so many levels. We begin to think were Jews want to honor the Sabbath. For example, this is cross reference radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of Hebrews. Please stay with us after today's message to hear more about cross reference radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching, but for now let's join Pastor Rick in the book of Hebrews chapter 1 as he introduces this book we are getting our study through Hebrews would you turn to Hebrews chapter 1 were only going to get to verses things work out well this morning all, do the reading will all do the heating God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets has in these last days spoken to us by his son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds document like Hebrews must have a an introduction and it's a very difficult introduction because there's so many things going on around this document and my original draft of notes, outline notes, over 8000 words, so I had to cut that down. Of course, you'll be glad that I did. I got it down to about 2396 words, I won't, of course used to recite the words there just touchstones for me but it gives it's an indication of the details that belong to these things and and why is that, while the devil delights in the spiritually dumb church loves unfortunately gets a lot of help from those who attend churches loves Christians who don't love Scripture. One of his favorite things in the world is another one goes at them enjoys meeting them on the battlefield. They without their sword, or if they have their sordid soul doll is more of a stick than a sword.

And of course, the Bible tells us that the word of God is our sword.

Isn't it a weapon to attack with so it is important that we get the word take it in so we can do something with it, not, not us. Whenever we try to do something with God words it doesn't work out well as well is when God does something with his word through us. So we have to take the time to give you some background on this and I hope I don't put you to sleep little bit sooner than I usually do the title to the Hebrews. While the author did not put that on that happened long after the document had been in circulation. Hebrews was a term that the Jews used to distinguish and identify themselves amongst the Gentiles through the ages the Jews the author seems to refer to this document as his word of exhortation get we get to that in the 13th chapter I've written this word of exhortation. This encouragement that is led some scholars to suggest that maybe Barnabas that servant of exhortation that he perhaps is the human author of this this masterpiece that is very much not likely. It is a letter because their personal touches within it, but it is more than the letter likely initially a sermon but it is a treatise.

It is a exposition, it has profound exposition in it as well as personal notes and I want to get to some of the personal notes because whenever we come across these personal touches they they offer us personally. They speak to us. They benefit us. They are us. They warn, they encourage their meaningful first one is in the fifth chapter and as we are going through the document we find again this is a sermon. It is an exposition. It is a teaching but it is also something that was given to people that the author knew about and so that makes it a letter and a book of Paul's letter to the Corinthians that the letter not a book. Hebrews. It's a book and it's a letter well in Hebrews 5 he stops and is is is momentum for a moment and he says, for though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God. You've come to need milk and not solid food. Your sword is dull. It's a stick won't work on the battlefield in your favor will work against you and you will let your comrades down in the process that's that's what that that comes out to be.

There are those that are listening to this message or will listen to this message. They need to receive that they need to hear that they should be teachers of the word, sharing it with unbelievers, but they're not there always learning and are never coming into the knowledge is not working and applying it, or other reasons why they need milk, not solid food. They're not maturing. They are stunted then in the 10th chapter he says for you had compassion on me and my chains stopped there for a minute you mean Christianity involves chains not talking about jewelry is talking about being shackled being placed under arrest made into criminal guys of the world. He says and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods. Knowing you have a veteran and enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.

So he knows these people he saying you've suffered persecution you had compassion on me when I suffered persecution.

They came in they plundered your good sleep. They talk what belong to you.

They stole from you because you believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. 13th chapter he says, pray for us very personal.

We are confident that we have a good conscience and all things desiring to live honorably how many Christians don't care about honor the care about self, but these, the desire to live honorably and he says, but I especially urge you to do this, that I may be restored to you sooner.

I want to see you again see again the personal touches in the letter. Do we have personal touches with each other. Is there something that's heartfelt when we think of other believers. Or maybe we are just irritants. Maybe we are just so self-absorbed we cannot cannot absorb the spirit of God.

Finally, to illustrate the personal touch to this document as we will get meant much of it as we move through it is going to be giving high octane truth throughout this document, but he says no that our brother Timothy has been set free, with whom I shall see you if he comes shortly not have another reason for bringing up these personal touches is because we need to try to identify who wrote this. That's how we think we should well will get to that momentarily, but you know the preface for this letter to deliver the preface for this document. Letter of the first five books of Moses that makes the preface larger than the article if you understand somewhat have this. The basic knowledge of Genesis through Deuteronomy and you get you get the gist of where the with the authors what is going to be talking about ministering. Incidentally the Old Testament is a preface to the New Testament again making the preface larger than the article. However, we don't read it that way. The Bible is not a natural book to library it as reference works is as well as various other exposition documents within it.

Letters within it. But when we come to the Scripture we read the New Testament first.

We are ministers of the new covenant. The Bible tells us this in a Christians they all we often make the mistake of first reading the part of the preface.

The Old Testament then the new, but it should be the other way around. Because Jesus Christ filters the Old Testament for us, thereby helping is not being entangled and losing our identity as Christians because the Old Testament so attractive in so many ways so many levels. We begin to think were Jews. One honor the Sabbath. For example, let's not us as the Jews, but I won't go there.

That's we will get to some of this as we go through the Hebrews through the coming weeks.

But the author and the date mean something to me too. It's not just boilerplate information is not just what you gotta put that in there was this done. I want to know what was happening because that will speak to the time that I live well was written before the destruction of the Jewish Temple say was also significant about that. That means the Pharisees and Sadducees were still at high speed still has something to say to the Jews. They still harassed the Christian Jews.

They had a lot of clout weight behind them simply because the temple was there that created so much confusion.

We live in a time of people, than in our culture with things that create confusion and we have to deal with it as the church is nothing new to Christians today we live in a time were men we have males and wannabe females. We have females that wannabe males this is of course we know it to be another offended by that that they be offended this how it is.

We believe this is satanic activity.

Satan is the one pulling the strings, not natural something that is spiritual is not to say that we are to hate those who are caught up in it. We certainly don't approve. So in our culture, we have things to deal with. They did also. Same God who was with them is the same God was with us, but we know that that this was written at a time when the church had been at it for a while. They had been at work trying to sort these things out. They still struggle the church didn't get it like that.

They were born at Pentecost add so much baggage. So many things to cut through over the decades and centuries was still cutting American Christianity is a train wreck on many levels. Sacred cows will create a slaughterhouse, just a bunch of them there all over the place. Things that have nothing to do with anything that could get in the way are mandated by Christians because they've gone sacred cows but that's that's it's just how it is not going to get away from it you but you do have to address it when it comes across your desk. Well anyway, even the great scholars men that I highly admire.

They make mistakes in their digging into the word we all do. You can't stop that is impossible.

So we encourage you to bring your Bible to fact check to go over it does not reduce the value of preaching and study.

It heightens it as we know what happens when it goes away when teaching of the Scripture goes away. We know what happened there plenty of countries with the teaching of the word does not exist and we know what's going on player towns in this country. Many of them close to the Pacific Ocean, but not close enough miles out better but so what.

One of them said well this document was written some before the temple was destroyed. We know that Hebrews 1011. Every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.

While he wrote that in the present tense with the time he wrote at the temple in Jerusalem was still there. No one knew what was coming for that was going to be destroyed shortly but one of the great scholars that was written between the ascension and the destruction of the temple. Well, that's not true is not accurate. I should say because he mentions Timothy.

Timothy did not join the church. Until maybe early 50s. Sometimes though, late 40s, and while before he came into the church when all was before Nero's great persecutions but the Jews were persecuting already so somewhere 30 to 37 years after Christ ascended to heaven is when this document was circulated likely written not long after it was first preached on my hunch is that it was first a sermon.

Well anyway, let's talk about the who wrote it. Was it Paul the apostle. Many scholars say it was not well they don't listen to me. Simple. Okay, let's move on.

Many great scholars in and then scholars this on the high, the higher they go up the easy and the more easily their entangled in their own arguments against each other in the eye I might take as they begin to lose sight of the trench warfare of the of the of of a reality that we must not lose sight of what they say. Well, the language, the Greek language which Hebrews was originally written in his too polished. It is the finest Greek and none of Paul's letters has this type of Greek well okay will give you that one but we will come back to it and explain why that's not a disqualifying feature. They say that the writing style is deliberate. There are no outbursts of emotion that characterizes Paul's letters, Not Negative Way in Nepal did not become emotionally unstable, but in his writings. It would be time to burst forth the be writing about something and then this emotional flare.

We love that he would do these things because he cared. He was not a robot servant of the high holy and living God. They also say will Paul used Greek and Hebrew, and other sources in his Old Testament quotations. Whereas this document sticks exclusively to what is known as the Septuagint, which is simply the translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into the Greek language the Hellenistic Jews.

Jews that were more influenced by the aggression culture not living in Jerusalem. They were the Hellenistic Jews and so they say well because he uses the writer to Hebrews 6 with the Septuagint is not Paul Letts, Lane, but there's a good one though is one that for a long time kept me from believing Paul was the writer should get the impression more sending signals that I believe Paul wrote this wasn't Paul. The only other option is being those goofy but back to this in Hebrews chapter 2. The authors suggest that he did not hear the word of salvation from the mouth of the Lord will that's a good one, but that's still not a disqualifying feature as Paul did hear from the mouth of the Lord, but he did not hear it at the time the Lord walked with his disciples, and so the objections to those who say well the Paul could not be the writer in this affiliated so cute they say. Clearly Paul is not the author will clear to who had clearly it's not clear well if not Paul Finn who would you suggest who at this time in history had the juice to produce such a document. Who else has such insights and ability, and yet remain anonymous. That would that would be cheating the church.

It would seem who would mention Timothy in this document without mentioning Paul unless it was Paul writing it. Who else possessed this caliber. This command of the word of Scripture over the church. In other words, when he spoke. Everyone listen.

Why is that because he was persecuted from Damascus to Rome.

It was not a place to be. Did not go to a did not stir up trouble, and everybody knew it was right because he did so in preaching the gospel unmitigated without apology and everybody admired Peter when he wrote to the Jews that was dispersed throughout the Roman Empire. He mentioned the fact that Paul had written to them. Second Peter he says consider that the long-suffering of old Lord is salvation also as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him as written to you and also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things in which are some things hard to understand which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction as they do also. The rest of the Scriptures so Peter says there are those that twist the Scriptures. No matter what the twist Paul's words, I don't know what they're doing their problem. What he said. Paul wrote to you, dispersed Jews, but he wrote deep things that are difficult for us to get that's Hebrews. You don't get your read Romans and in Corinthians in there things that a deep, no question, but you get the what if you're a Jew you've been raised with the temple you raise with the passel been raised with Aaron and Moses and Joshua as heroes and angels ministering spirits on behalf of the Lord and someone comes along and tells you all of those bow down to Jesus Christ. The temple is no longer necessary. You need to stop being Jews and start being Christians that that is quite powerful brought up earlier the American church with her sacred counts try to try to kill one of them, and watch what happens to you, not biblical is often very bad but it's become something that we identify with. I was raised this way was not poorly thought out and so were dealing with human beings, not cattle here so this is what the apostle in the early church was up against what was happening in their churches with the pastors had to deal with personally, and with others so Peter isolated this document.

I believe this is Hebrews. He may have been talking about nor the document of Paul other than Hebrews answers to his statements and if it was not Hebrews then we have other letters of Paul that fallen away.

That's quite possible. God had said that Paul would be administered to the Gentiles.

But not only to the Gentile to the Jews to read that out of acts, but the Lord said to him, go God is speaking to Ananias sending him to Paul when he was still Saul of Tarsus at his conversion and he saying this is what I want you to tell him go for he is a chosen vessel of mine to bear my name before Gentiles kings and the children of Israel, so there is great evidence. Paul is the writer to this my conclusion again is that he offered the words.

Perhaps again preach the first but because of the hostility of the Jews towards all personal. He omits his signature.

He wanted this document to circulate amongst the Jews, wanting them to get it without his name. His name would've made who wrote this up. That's it. I'm not interested that's how much hatred there was for him in Jewish circles. This is true to this day about the various things Zondervan. I'm not interested in reading anything that comes out of Zondervan, and on the last since they sold thousands of Zondervan family sold the company, interested in anything that the produce because it always tainted. They make great attempts to destroy Haley's Bible handbook and other things in the ecumenical and they push things that should not be forced of you say hey would you mind reading this book I flip it over and Isaac Zondervan on the back note not interested the same as a human, very human, of us to be this way and I think it doesn't take a lot of intelligence to understand that producing something is one thing marketing it, circulating it, getting it into the hands of people is another thing so it likely was a stroke of genius, we know the Holy Spirit that has the author of this document not attach their name to it and so the letter would've been circulated more freely in the Jews desperately needed to hear this. I also believe that while Paul did author on the human level. This document that it was edited under his oversight and that would explain why it's such a polished Greek someone said Paul this sermon you gave on on the Jewish culture Christian we got we have circular print this also is will I can't stop you from doing that we have this today.

Personally there are those that have taken some of the sermons that I've been privileged to preach and they have transcribed now when you speak preach. It doesn't always make it well into written form.

It needs to be edited that requires a lot of work and time why I don't have them produced is because addicts develop too busy doing my next sermon that I can't go back very easily to to work on them, but my point. My point is this is not all out of line with how we do things we produce them in speech. Then we have to edit them going to publish them in print so clearly to have someone edit the sermon put it into high Greek thought a stretch at all.

You've been listening to cross reference radio the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick asked Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. As we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast. Today's teaching is available free of charge at our website.

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