There are a couple of prevailing ideas going on in this world that are setting people up for failure. The first is nothing is my fault, and the second is the idea of entitlement. But the scripture teaches that we are to take responsibility for our own actions. Today we look at the theology behind personal responsibility.
Building on the previous encouragements to endure and continue "in faith" the writer tells us how much better our experience is under the new covenant. It was terrifying for the Israelites to approach God but for us it's an invitation to a future "festival" gathering with those who have gone ahead of us. Meanwhile we have entered into an unshakable kingdom.
After the description of so many who lived in great faith, the author reminds his readers to, like the heroes of faith, to endure to the end. Even though they were living through trials and suffering, they could look to these men and women of faith as encouragement as they ran their own race of endurance.
Chapter 11 is often referred to as the hall of faith because the author describes the faith of men and women of God since the beginning. Faith has always been the method to secure the promises of God and His salvation. In this second half of the chapter, the author continues to demonstrate how these heroes of old exercised their faith.
There is only one path to salvation, and that is Jesus. We can’t look to anything else to redeem us from our sins. And for these readers of this letter, the temptation would be to go back to the Mosaic system they lived under before. But the author of Hebrews warns his readers that there is no going back, and to do so would only secure judgement. Instead, they should have faith that endures to the end, securing their heavenly, eternal blessing.
The word disciple used in the New Testament means to be a pupil or student in contrast to the master. In all cases it implies that the person not only accepts the views of the teacher, but that he also is practicing these views. This year, I want to refocus on discipleship.
In chapter 10 the writer concludes what was promoted in chapter 9, which is the superiority of Christ as our perfect sacrifice over the animal sacrifices. We look forward to the time when "His enemies will be made a footstool for His feet." All this for knowing the joy of sins forgiven!
Today, the author continues his contrasting of the old and new covenant. We see that Jesus is the mediator of this new covenant, and His death ushers it in. As a result, we who believe will receive an eternal inheritance. And this is because our High Priest did not enter into an earthly representation of the Holy of Holies, but instead entered heaven itself to stand before God. He is our representative, and His single sacrifice stands for all time, guaranteeing our salvation.