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Introduction to Hebrews/Psalm 97 (98) Study/Reflection (1-6): The Field is right for Harvest…

ALL ROADS LEAD TO CHRIST


CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST


INTRODUCTION TO HEBREWS


Author: In the early centuries of the Church, several differing opinions circulated as to who wrote Hebrews … By the fourth century most witnesses ascribed Hebrews to St. Paul, including St. John Chrysostom – (AD 407) and St. Athanasius – (AD 375) … Church historian Eusebius – (AD 340) included Hebrews in his list of Paul’s epistles, but noted that Rome rejected the letter because it was not Pauline … A Council at Carthage – (ad 397) canonized Hebrews as one of the fourteen epistles of Paul … All ORTHODOX LECTONARIES INTRODUCE HEBREWS WITH “the reading from the Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Hebrews” … Most Biblical scholars of today agree authorship of the letter is uncertain …


DATE: The content of the Epistle and the witness of the early Church argue some time near AD 70 …


MAJOR THEME: PERSERVING FAITH IN THE INCARNATE SON … Jesus Christ is superior to the prophets, angels, Moses, and Aaron … He offers a better priesthood, sanctuary, and sacrifice, for in His worship we enter heaven, therefore, we are to hold faithfully to Him …


BACKGROUND: Hebrews seems to be written to Greek-speaking Jewish Christians, possibly in Palestine, who were being drawn back to Judaism … Some returned to their roots, partly due to a low view of Jesus … The Subthemes: THE SUPERIORITY OF CHRIST AND HIS SACRIFICE OVER JUDAISM, AND ENCOURAGEMENT TO CONTINUE IN THE CHRISTIAN FAITH …


PSALM 97 (98) STUDY GUIDE & BREAKDOWN


PSALM 97 (98) - Prophesies the first and second comings of Christ to save both Jews and Gentiles in His Church - (vv. 2, 3) … This salvation will cause a new song - (vv. 1, 4-6) to be sung to the Father - (THE LORD, v. 1) … It would be accomplished through the First Coming of Christ, who is called the Father's RIGHT HAND AND HIS HOLY ARM - (v. 1) … He is also called the Father's SALVATION AND RIGHTEOUSNESS - (v. 2), and HIS MERCY AND TRUTH - (v. 3) … At His Second Coming, He will come to judge the world IN RIGHTEOUSNESS AND UPRIGHTNESS - (vv. 7-9) …


Today we are ending with a reflection of some Scriptures I came across they go along with today's ending message … In order to go out in the field for harvest we must first reflect on how to trust the Lord with everything we have some we don't become lukewarm …


READ: Scripture Reference (Revelation 3:15-16)


15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither[a]cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth


-(vv. 15-16) are talking about hot springs that were six miles from Laodicea at Hierapolis that gave forth water that was lukewarm (v. 16) by the time it reached Laodicea … It was contaminated with many minerals, basically impossible to drink and extremely nauseating … It is said that the Laodiceans were Lukewarm in spiritual fervor and good works; their lack of commitment is revolting to the Lord, who would have them go one way or the other … Don’t be spiritually dead to go our ministries we must remain on a spiritual high and stay energized through the Spirit …


REFLECT:


1. Personally, do you believe you are currently living in a gray or lukewarm world? Why or why not? I struggle with my own spiritual warfare daily that maybe I’m not doing enough or not a good enough servant to the Lord … I try to keep myself from spiritual arrogance, but I TRULY BELIEVE I CAN DO BETTER and the last Sunday right before communion, I asked the Lord for Him to help me to do better and be better in all do, while doing His Will, His Purpose …

2. Are you willing to let go and trust God in your life even though you know you will continue to face trials and trouble in this world? Why are you willing to let go and trust God now? Yes, trusting God is self-evident for me … He has shown me, He is who He is, the knowing that trails and tribulations will still come my way doesn’t scare me … Life was never meant to be easy regardless of the path we chose …

3. How do the first two Chapters of Ecclesiastes relate to Revelation 3:15-16 regarding living a life without God? The first two chapters of Ecclesiastes paint a clear picture of how not to become lukewarm … It talks about free will the free choice to chose good or evil … He talks about the only way to truly seek the Lord and a personal relationship with Him is through prayer, good works, and extreme love for others … In these first two chapters is discusses the importance of seeking God’s wisdom and understanding to all things …

4. Read Chapter 3:1-17 in Ecclesiastes and discuss what it means in terms of having God in your life and trusting Him in everything? This paints a clear picture that the eternal WORD – THE BEGINNING AND THE END – (v. 11; Revelation 22:13) – came into TIME and redeemed all things … He (Christ) turned our weeping into joy, our mourning into dancing, our hatred into love, and our time into ETERNITY … (vv. 14-17): THAT MEN WOULD FEAR BEFORE HIM expresses the Preacher’s understanding of why the world is the way it is … God uses the world to turn us to Himself, for at the end of the age, THE TIME will come for JUDGEMENT – (See also; Ecclesiastes 5:7; 7:15; 8:11-12; 11:9; and 12:14) …

5. Read Chapters 4 through 11 in Ecclesiastes. What does the term “meaningless” say to you related to living a life outside of God? What is the futility of living our own life without God or living a “lukewarm” life? Here, I am going to say life is not meaningless, and Solomon was saying, that anything apart from God is meaningless … Solomon noticed when God wasn’t part of his decision-making things didn’t always turn out so well, we all need the Lord in our lives to give us full meaning, and need Him to help us not to be lukewarm …

6. After reading the last Chapter in Ecclesiastes (Chapter 12), discuss specifically the meaning of 12:12 and 12:13. How does this relate to what you learned in Revelation 3:15-16? (v.12) – is saying guard yourself, and remember there is no end in sight when it comes to deception, no end to books, ad much study can be weariness of the flesh, meaning it’s only here to fatigue you and wear you out … The conclusion is this Fear God, and keep His commandments, for this makes us all whole … The Lord will one day bring everything into Judgement, doesn’t matter whether its good or evil …




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