Israel 2016

Israel 2016
Roman architectural influence in Bet Sean, Israel

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Dec 22, Heb 11-13

Today's readings are Heb 11-13. Tomorrow's are 2 Tim 1-4.

Heb 11 starts out with the classic definition of faith being the assurance (confidence) of things hoped for and conviction of things unseen. Faith is confidence and conviction, not a blind hope grounded on wishful thinking, but a complete trust and confidence that God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do.

The writer goes on to give an impressive array of examples of what faith looked like before the arrival of Jesus. Each one of the people listed trusted God completely, obeyed Him to their best ability and had confidence in His word. They saw only a preliminary glimpse (Heb 11:13) of what was promised but anticipated a future hope (Heb 11:16). They, like us. will be perfected by the work of the Son (Heb 2:10, 5:9. 7:28).

None of these people were thinking, "Some day, I will be saved by Jesus." They did not have the full revelation of who the Messiah was and how He would save. There were echoes of it in Scripture, but God's plan was still in a process known as "progressive revelation." Their belief and trust in God to be good for His promises was counted to them as righteousness This righteousness was not counted to everyone who was Hebrew. In other words, they were not saved just because they were born Jewish (Rom 9:6). The ones who are saved are those who trusted in God. In every way, they were saved by the sacrifice of the Son. They were not familiar with all the details of how this would work out. They merely trusted God.

Heb 12 expounds on this by making it clear that Jesus is the founder and perfecter of faith for all people throughout all time (Heb12;2). Because we as believers have been given the gift of faith, we are encouraged to endure, as He did, working toward the reward we are promised. God may chastise us at times, but it is just an expression of His love, meant to produce righteousness in us, drawing us closer to Him. 

Hebrews ends with a practical application of our faith. Notice that the writer has established Jesus as the way to salvation, through faith which comes from Him and the outward evidence of that faith being expressed in how we live our lives. Our behavior is the outward evidence of our salvation. 

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