When we began our study in Hebrews, we said this book would be full of worship and warnings. Worship that encourages us to behold the glory of God in the face of Christ. Worship that results in us being transformed by His Holy Spirit. This book has certainly encouraged us to view Jesus and the glory of God in Jesus in a way that we aren’t used to.
But it is also a book of warnings. We need those warnings because there is no middle ground in following God–there is either hot or cold. Throughout the book so far, we have read a series of warnings that caution us against falling short of God’s best for us. The first warning we read in Hebrews 2:1-3 is repeated in various ways and intensity throughout the book—but none with more intensity than the warning we considered this past Sunday.
Watch the replay of our live stream or listen to the audio of our message as we carefully considered this important warning in the book of Hebrews.
As we continue our study in the book of Hebrews, we need to remember that this text was a letter to the Hebrews. The writer, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, was writing to Hebrew Christians—those who grew up under the rules and rituals of the Old Covenant. At some point, these individuals were born again—saved by grace through faith.
But when the ropes of religion were removed, only grace was left. This was scary for some of them, who chose to retreat back into the ritual of religion under the Old Covenant. Out of fear and uncertainty, they were turning their backs on the New Covenant (and even on Christ Himself). So the writer of Hebrews is addressing them and calling them back to Christ. He does this by constantly comparing the Old Covenant and the New Covenant.
Watch the replay of our live stream or listen to the audio of our study as we considered how the rules, regulations, and rituals of the Old Covenant pale in comparison to the righteousness and relationship we have by grace through faith.
The value of a model, no matter how detailed or how intricate, can ever reach the value of the genuine article. That is the point the writer of Hebrews makes in chapter 9. The Old Covenant—specifically the tabernacle—was merely a model of the real tabernacle of the New Covenant.
The Old Covenant tabernacle was meaningful and valuable because it was given by God in incredible detail. But its purpose was to point to the real tabernacle that God was going to give one day. So now that we have the genuine article—the real deal—why would we continue to meddle with the model?
This past Sunday, we worked out way through Hebrews 9. Watch the replay of our live stream or listen to the audio of our study as we reviewed the reasons why the real deal is superior to the meaningful model.
Under the Old Covenant, over 300 High Priests serve in succession, offering millions of sacrifices over and over and over—the same sacrifices again and again and again which could never cleanse the sinner, but only cover their sin.
Until…one High Priest under a New Covenant offered one sacrifice—Himself. This sacrifice was unlike any other before—perfect, sufficient, and substitutionary. And then…He sat down, because it was finished.
And now, this High Priest sits and serves as High Priest forever. “He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25)
If you’ve been studying the book of Hebrews with us, you know by now that this High Priest is Jesus. Watch a replay of our live stream or listen to the audio of our study as we behold His glory as our Great High Priest!
In our previous study in the book of Hebrews, we considered the man Melchizedek. First introduced in Genesis 14, the writer of Hebrews references him as he points to Jesus. But why? What comparisons exist between this mysterious man and the Messiah? Plenty!
We know that this mystery man is named Melchizedek and called the King of Salem. His name means “King of Righteousness” and his title means “King of Peace”. Jesus is the King of Righteousness and the King of Peace. In the cross of Jesus Christ, the righteous judgment for sin was dealt out—which brought peace & reconciliation between sinful man and Holy God.
But there was something more about this man that we learn about in Hebrews—he was priest of the Most High God (Hebrews 7:1). Melchizedek was not only a king, but also a priest. Those were two roles that no mortal man could have at the same time…unless he was more than just a man. Like Jesus—both God and man, both King of kings and the Great High Priest.
There is a message in this man Melchizedek and Jesus is the key to understanding this message—because Jesus is the message! Watch the replay of our live stream or listen to our study as we continue to decipher the message in Melchizedek.
Hebrews 7 opens with the writer mentioning Melchizedek. It’s not the first time this name has come up in this first century letter written over 2,000 years ago. Before that, he was mentioned 3,000 years ago in the book of Psalms (Psalm 110), and 4,000 years ago in the book of Genesis.
So what about this mysterious man did the writer of Hebrews want us to know? Who was he? Why does it matter? And why is any of it important for us today?
To answer these questions, we need to go all the way back to Genesis 14 and meet this man for the first time with Abram—who was tired and bruised from a battle that was his fault. That’s when we meet Melchizedek—a man that seems like more than just a man. The King of Righteousness (that is what his name means) and the King of Salem (Peace)—that was his title. A King…and a priest.
Watch the replay of our live stream or listen to the audio of our study as we took a closer look at this mysterious man named Melchizedek.
“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul…” (Hebrews 6:19)
In the open sea, an anchor is essential for stability and security. Without it, the ship is adrift—rocking to and fro, moved by the whim of the wind and waves. It’s the same in life. When we find ourselves in the storms of life, it is vital to stay grounded, stable, and immovable.
In Hebrews 6, we’re told we have such an anchor—an anchor for our soul. We have a source of stability that will keep us unmoved by the wind and the waves. And yet, this passage tells us that we have far more than that! This chapter is full of incredible encouragement, timeless truths, and strong words—words like immutable, strong consolation, steadfast, refuge, and hope. Hope that we hold on to as we wait out the storm. Hope that is only found in God—in His word, His promises, and His testimony.
Watch the replay of our live stream from Sunday or listen to our study of Hebrews 6:13-20 as we were encouraged by the hope that is found in God.
In our study last week, we saw a particular component of the Old and New Covenants compared and contrasted—the ministry of the High Priest. In our study this past Sunday, the writer of Hebrews wanted to carry that comparison further, but he didn’t. He wrote that it was difficult to explain—not because of the subject matter, but because the original readers had become “dull of hearing.” Even though they had found life and salvation in Jesus—they had grown and matured in the Lord—now, for various reasons, they had stopped advancing, stopped growing, and stopped maturing. They started to slide back.
While the letter of Hebrews was originally written to Hebrew believers, we know that the Word of God is living and active. So when we come to a portion like this, we pause and ask ourselves, “Is it I?—Am I moving forward in my faith, or am I sliding back? Are there things God wants to share with me but can’t because I’m dull of hearing?”
These are sobering questions we asked of ourselves this past Sunday. Watch a replay of our live stream or listen to the recording of the study as we worked our way through an initially challenging and eventually encouraging portion in Hebrews.
As Christians, we know Jesus was appointed by God to be the mediator between God and man. We know of His compassionate ministry. And we know that He offered Himself as a sacrifice for sins.
But what we might not appreciate is the fact that these are the aspects of the ministry of a high priest. To a Hebrew, certain questions would come up with claims of a new high priest. Questions like:
When was he appointed by God? How can he have compassion on those to who he ministers? What sacrifice does he offer to God on your behalf?
In the letter of Hebrews to the Hebrews, the writer understood these questions and how Jesus uniquely fulfilled the qualifications of the High Priest. So beginning in chapter 5, we see proof from the Scriptures that Jesus is not only a high priest, but the Great High Priest with a ministry superior and preferable to the ministry of the high priest under the Old Covenant.
Watch the replay of our live stream or listen to our study as we took a deeper look at Jesus – Great High Priest.
As we work though the book of Hebrews, the writer continues to contrast the Old and New Covenants for us. In chapters 3 and 4, he specifically looks at the leaders that God chose to lead His people to rest. Moses in the Old Covenant and Jesus in the New Covenant.
In our comparison of these two leaders, we see quite a few differences:
Moses was a servant in God’s house. Jesus is a Son over God’s house. Moses was a butler in God’s house. Jesus is the Builder of God’s house. Moses was unable to enter God’s rest because of disbelief and disobedience. But Jesus extends an invitation to those in the New Covenant to come to Him, to learn of Him, and to find rest for their souls.
If we hold fast to the confidence of our confession and come boldly to the throne of grace, we will find that rest and we will obtain mercy and grace to help us in our time of need.
Watch a reply of our live stream or listen to our study from this past Sunday as we considered the leaders of the Covenants and which one leads us to find rest for our souls.
That’s how chapter 3 of the book of Hebrews begins. And if you’ve been studying the Bible with us, you know that when we come to a “therefore” in our study, it is important to find out wherefore the ”therefore” is there for!
Which is something we could do a lot of in the book of Hebrews, given that there are 28 ”therefore’s” in this book. That’s significant, since the Bible often builds upon what was previously written. In order to understand a particular idea, we can simply read what was written before.
That’s exactly what we did this past Sunday as we began our study of Hebrews 3…and only studied the first verse—but what a verse it is! Watch the replay of our live stream or listen to the audio of our study as we discover wherefore the ”therefore” is there for!
The book of Hebrews is filled with warnings and with wonder. Warnings against neglecting so great a salvation. And wonder that encourages us to consider how great our Savior is.
Warning and wonder are coupled together throughout this book. And that’s not by accident. We need to heed these warnings as we continue to look at Jesus with wonder so that we don’t fall or fail on the battlefield of faith. The more careful attention we give to our salvation and our Savior, the more confident we will be in knowing that the battle belongs to the Lord.
Heeding the warning and enjoying the wonder, we continued our study in the book of Hebrews this past Sunday. Watch a replay of our live stream or listen to the audio of our study of Hebrews 2.
The book of Hebrews is a letter written to the Hebrew followers of Jesus—believers who were born and raised under the old covenant. They once related to God through rules, regulations, and rituals until the new covenant—the better covenant—was made when the Lamb of God came to take away the sin of the whole world.
These previously religious people experienced the joy, strength, and freedom that came with this new relationship with God through Jesus. Religion—with its rules, repetition, and ritual—might seem safe, but as we’ll see throughout the book of Hebrews—Jesus is better.
What makes Him better? And what is He better than? It’s something we considered as we continued our study in Hebrews this past Sunday. Watch a replay of our livestream or listen to the audio of our study of Hebrews 1:4-14.
In the past, God spoke through the prophets many times and in various ways. He spoke through the prophet Jeremiah using vocal preaching. He spoke through the prophet Ezekiel using visual preaching. He spoke through the prophet Jonah using a human experience. He spoke through the prophet Hosea using a human relationship.
But in these last days, God has spoken to us! Our God—the same God that spoke to the prophet Jeremiah, to Ezekiel, to Jonah, to Hosea, and to many more—has chosen to speak to us, not through just a prophet, but through His Son Jesus.
This same Jesus wants to speak to you. This same Jesus wants to be with you. He not only wants to give you rest, He wants you to enter into that rest—that deep and abiding rest that settles your very soul. This Jesus wants to go on holiday—a holy day—with you.
This past Sunday, we started with the first three verses of Hebrews and looked at the rest that Jesus gives freely in these last days. Watch the replay of our live stream or listen to the audio of our study and discover the rest that we are encouraged to make every effort to enter.
David vs. Goliath. A fight for the ages. The heavy favorite: a blasphemous Philistine giant. The unlikely underdog: a faith-filled Israeli shepherd boy. But in this battle, weaponry had little to do with the outcome. There was something more behind the stone in the sling of that shepherd boy that day. “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel…” (1 Samuel 17:45).
The secret to David’s victory is no secret. It wasn’t in the stones he picked or the sling he swung. David fought in faith. He faced Goliath in faith. He didn’t measure the giant by himself or his ability. David was able to stand strong and fight in faith because He measured Goliath by God.
This kind faith is far too underutilized. And so, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the author of Hebrews picked up his quill to encourage believers to stand, and to walk, and to fight in faith.
So many times, we fight in our own strength and measure our Goliaths against our ability. But faith looks at our Goliaths and measures them against God. It gives us the grit and determination to run forward to fight, knowing and proclaiming that the battle belongs to the Lord.
So how do you increase in faith so you can fight by faith? It’s what we considered this past Sunday as we began our study of the book of Hebrews. Watch the replay of our live stream or listen to the audio of our study as we learned to lift our eyes off of the obstacles before us and look to the Lord.
In times of uncertainty, we can run to Jesus for safety and security. He is our refuge and strength. He is ready to help when we need Him.
But how? How do we find a strong and safe shelter in Jesus in the midst of the storms of life? How is Jesus our refuge and strength? How is He helpful in our times of trouble?
These are good questions for us to ask—and to keep asking until we find the answers. And so, we asked them of the Lord during our time of worship this past Sunday. And we found the answers in Psalm 46.
Watch a replay of our live stream or listen to the audio of our study as we considered the refuge we have in the Lord.
Last Sunday, we talked about the new heaven and the new earth. We imagined what our resurrected bodies would be like as we walked through gates made of single pearls and walked on streets made of pure gold.
As awesome as all of that will be, what will we be doing for all of eternity? This Sunday, we continued the description that the Bible provides of what our resurrected lives will look like.
Watch a replay of our live stream or listen to our final study in the book of Revelation as we imagine just a bit of what we’ll be doing forever, knowing that it will be so much more than anything we could ever imagine.
There’s a lie that’s been circulating for quite some time. It’s a lie that hinders the gospel and makes God appear unjust. It’s a lie that seems innocent and many believe, but when held against the truth of God’s word, it quickly unravels.
This lie says that humankind is basically good.
But in His word, God makes it clear: all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
We all like to think that if we were Adam or Eve, we would make the right decision. But we have enough proof in our past that we really wouldn’t. And so, something has to be done with our sin, for God is a righteous judge. One day we will all stand alone before Him and give an account for every sinful thought, word, and deed—without any excuses.
That is where we found ourselves in our study this past Sunday. Watch the replay of our live stream or listen to our study of the first part of Revelation 21 as we begin our time together in front of the great white throne.
“Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
These were some of the things Jesus told His disciples to pray for when they asked Him how to pray. We experience a portion of that prayer on a daily basis, but there will come a day when that promise is fully realized. The kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven, and deliverance from evil.
As we continued our study of Revelation this past Sunday, we see that God will one day answer this prayer. In Revelation 20, we read about the future reign of Christ on earth and the imprisonment of the devil during the same time.
Watch the replay of our live stream or listen to our study of Revelation 20 with child-like faith and child-like awe and wonder as we consider what these fulfilled promises of God will one day look like.
“Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
Our study of prophecy should always lead to a deeper walk with Jesus and help us grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus—for prophecy is all about Him! Since the goal of prophecy is to worship God, we must beware of turning prophecy into a search for special knowledge that no one else has or to find a demon behind every bush. If anything else becomes the focus of our study of prophecy, something’s wrong.
So as we continue our study this book of prophecy, our understanding of Jesus deepens as we receive the full counsel of God’s word concerning Christ’s character. Remember—Jesus is not only the Suffering Servant; He will return as the Avenger of Blood. His first coming was the Lamb slain; His second coming will be the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
Watch the replay of our live stream or listen to our study from this past Sunday as we see even more of Jesus Christ revealed in Revelation 19.
Think of the few times in the Gospels when Jesus was truly angry. You know, those times when He flipped over tables and swung a whip around.
Jesus never got angry in response to a personal insult. No, His righteous anger was aroused when He saw corrupt religious leadership profiting from religious roadblocks that prevented people from worshipping God. Roadblocks that were never commanded by God, but enforced by the religious rulers to extort loyalty and money from people who just wanted to worship.
And Jesus hated this! He got angry—angry enough to call out the religious leadership of the day (see Matthew 23:15 and Luke 11:46). Angry enough to do something about it (see Mark 11:15-17).
It still angers Jesus when religious corruption takes advantage of people and keeps them from worshipping God. And, as we read in Revelation 18, it will continue to anger Jesus in the future. He will someday flip over more than tables—He’ll flip over Mystery Babylon and put an end to this wicked religious system once and for all.
Listen to or watch the video replay of our study of Revelation 18 as we consider the future ultimate destruction of Mystery Babylon in vivid detail.
People can be stubborn. Perhaps you have noticed. Sometimes stubborn people need incentive to turn away from their sin, to repent, and to turn towards the Lord. And sometimes, the Lord (in His grace and His mercy) gives people this incentive.
One day, God will give humanity all the incentive we could ever ask for. He will pull out all the stops and pour out all of His wrath for the purpose of producing repentance so that humanity might receive the greatest gift of all: eternal salvation.
This time is described in great detail in Revelation 16. It is the final opportunity God gives people to repent from sin and to receive salvation. And we shouldn’t be surprised to read how intense this time will be when it happens. God, in His great mercy, endeavors to produce repentance because He loves those who will be left at the end of the tribulation. He doesn’t want any of them to perish, but all of them to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
Watch or listen to our study of Revelation 16 and hear how God will pull out all the stops to pour out His wrath for the purpose of producing repentance. Then read ahead in Revelation 17 for our study this Sunday, at the Regency or online.
Maturity to the glory of God.
That’s 2 Timothy in a nutshell.
Oh, this book has been such a good word from the Lord during this season of difficulty! Just think of how we’ve been encouraged throughout these four chapters. What a difference we make when we wait on the Lord instead of whining and wiggling out of testings and trials. For it is the tests and trials we encounter that produce patience, endurance, and perseverance in our lives—maturity, to the glory of God.
This is the maturity Paul encouraged Timothy to develop. He knew the difficulties Timothy faced every day as he followed Jesus, and every week as he pastored his church. He knew these challenges were opportunities for Timothy to mature as he fulfilled his calling.
And what was Timothy called to do during his season of difficulty? Watch our live stream from this past Sunday, our final study in 2 Timothy, to find out.
From Pastor Dom...
When I first gave my life to Jesus, there were friends in my life who helped me to grow in my understanding of God, through His word, and for those friends