Month: February 2010

Hebrews Inductive Study (chapter 1)

Inductive questions on Hebrews 1

As Jessica is tackling an inductive study of Galatians at her group blog, let me invite you to join me in a study of Hebrews over here.  Our church family will be in this book for the next three months on Wednesday nights, 6:30 pm – covering a chapter a week.  Join us in person.  Or join us through internet.  Look at chapter one and think through these questions and notes.

Observations in your inductive study

  1.  With either different colors or markings, distinguish in your Bible text between the Father and the Son (names and corresponding pronouns) in chapter 1.
  2. What does chapter 1 reveal to you about the relationship between God and His Son?
  3. The Son (verse 2) is contrasted with what group of people in verse 1?
  4. The Son is contrasted with what beings in verse 4?
  5. How many O.T. passages does the author use in chapter 1 to support that the Son is better than angels?  What are those passages? (Look up and read your cross-references)
  6. The angels of God in verse 6 are named what in Psalm 97:7?
  7. Notice the Hebrews 13:8 commentary on Hebrews 1:12.
  8. Notice the Hebrews 10:11-13 commentary on Hebrews 1:13.
  9. What is one of the purposes of angels in verse 14?
  10. How would you summarize the theme of chapter 1?

Interpretive questions in your inductive study

  1. Acts 13:33 and Hebrews 1:5 quote Psalm 2:7.  What does “begotten” (v. 5) mean in light of what Paul says in Acts 13:33?
  2.  Did the Hebrews recognize other gods (elohim – the Hebrew word in Psalm 97:7 for gods) besides the LORD (Yahweh)?  So how important were angelic beings to the Hebrew people?
  3. As the author of Hebrews quotes Old Testament addresses to the LORD (Yahweh), who is the author unmistakably identifying as LORD (Yahweh) in Hebrews 1?
  4. So what is the relationship of all other heavenly angels (O.T. elohim) to Yahweh? (see Hebrews 1:6)
  5. So does not this opening chapter catapult the Son as the One incomparably supreme over all others?

Applications in your inductive study

  1. Using Hebrews 1, how would you share with your neighbor or coworker that Jesus is God?
  2. When has it been the last time that you have worshipped the Son?  What was it about Jesus’ person or work that caused you to worship Him?
  3. Why would you be more excited about Him than your most respected, religious scholars and experts?  Or even your favorite Bible teachers? 
  4.  Who are the biggest people in your life that you listen to and rely upon?  Could there be any temptation of allowing them to eclipse the glory of Jesus Christ in your life?  Can anyone else outshine Jesus?
  5. How do the truths of Hebrews 1 comfort you when watching the evening news and the events in American politics?

“Romney emerges for likely 2012 bid”

Yesterday, did you all see the title of this article in your local newspaper?

Mitt Romney says,

President Obama instituted the most anti-growth, anti-investment, anti-jobs measures we’ve seen in our lifetimes.  He called his agenda ambitious.  I call it reckless.

If this is the case that Romney will run again for President, “I betcha” (borrowing another Republican rival expression) that we will see Romney again in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

“Salvation” as shared by a Baptist

Dr. Klyne Snodgrass wrote,

Salvation is totally the work of God in which we are totally involved.

And by the way, many like impressive denominational statistics; but he doesn’t get too caught up in big numbers:

Southern Baptists–my own denomination, known more for its fights than its grace–have over fifteen million members, half of whom cannot be found.

(This was written back in 1996.)

New Liberalism

Francis A. Schaeffer wrote around 40 years ago something that we could meditate upon for a few moments today:

Liberalism in theology is one unified system.  In a most basic sense, it did not change with the birth of existential theology.  The new existential theology is no closer to the historic, biblical Christianity than is the old liberalism.  It is really further away.  At least the old liberalism affirmed the concept of truth and spoke in antithesis.

Having come this far in our study of the new liberalism, it is obvious that it should be judged more completely than on some peripheral point which it produces in the area of morals or doctrine.  It should not be judged, for example, because its universalism weakens evangelism but because as a total unity it is wrong.  Unless we see the new liberalism as a whole and reject it as a whole, we will, to the extent that we are tolerant of it, be confused in our thinking, involved in the general intellectual irrationalism of our day and compromising in our actions.

The new theology is simply modern thought using religious words.  It is under the line of anthropology, dwelling only in the world of men.  It is faced with a “philosophic other” that is unknown and unknowable.  The new theology is in the circle of the finite, and it has no meaning and no authority beyond the authority and the meaning which finite men can give it.

In other words, not having any propositional, verbalized communication from God to man, in all forms of liberal theology, old and new, man is on his own with only religious words rather than religious truth.  Historic Christianity has nothing in common with either the old or the new secular rationalism, and it has nothing in common with either the old or the new liberal theology.  Historic Christianity and either the old or the new liberal theology are two separate religions with nothing in common except certain terms which they use with totally different meanings.

The Church Before the Watching World (IVP, 1971), pp. 33-34