Sanctification: A Fully Equipped People

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Alan Bloom - “The Closing of the American Mind” - contemporary intellectual climate as one in which there is no ability to distinguish good from bad, truth from error, even the important from the unimportant. All such distinctions are seen as being contrary to the chief virtue in today’s world, that of openness. One must be open to all opinions, perspectives, and beliefs. Why? Because the truth cannot be known. Indeed there is no truth. Every viewpoint is as good and as valid as the next.

Hebrews 10:19-39

Hebrews 10:19–39 NASB95
Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated. For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one. Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay. But My righteous one shall live by faith; And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.

The Invitation

Christology, Hermeneutics, and Hebrews: Profiles from the History of Interpretation (II. Survey: Hebrews in the Modern Period)

C. Koester summarizes these:

Roman Catholic scholars often gave special emphasis to Christ’s priesthood and sacrifice, which provided the basis for worship and ministry within the Catholic Church. Protestants from the Lutheran and Reformed traditions accented Hebrews’ emphasis on the Word of God that strengthens faith, and noted the centrality of exhortations to hold fast to the confession … Liberal scholars followed the humanist idea that Hebrews moves people from lower to higher forms of religious life. They took Christ to be the subject of the most perfect personal religion, which is uniquely able to bring people nearer to God, because his obedient self-offering affects people internally, satisfying the underlying religious need associated with sacrifice.

Let us draw near with faith

Preparation (Old Covenant Exodus 30; Leviticus 16 New Covenant 1 John 1 and 2)

Pure Heart - not mixed, morally good, in tune, complete, without unnecessary elements, free of contamination

Contrite Spirit - penitence, guilt, remorse, shortcoming, grinding, bruised

Clear Conscience - free from blemishes/transparent/free from abnormalities/unencumbered/unhampered by restriction

Let us hold Fast not to faith but to hope

Hope - Intentional

Consider one another

What do you contribute to the assembly?

Three-fold Virtues of the Christian: Faith, hope, and Love

Faith - confidence and conviction

Hope - expectation and desire, intention if possible

Charity (Agape) - Voluntarily giving of help/benevolent/goodwill/institution

Rapture - (2Thess. 2:1)

Exhortation of Warning

Historical Inaccuracies - Social/Liberational/Prosperity Gospel Movement (Progressivism) - Majority of Mainline Denominations, some Evangelical

Scientific Inaccuracies - Evangelical/Charismatic/Pentecostal Movement (Liberalism) - Majority of Evangelical Denominations, some Mainline

Observe (Location and Time), Question (Research), Formulate (Organize), Test (Experiment), Analyze (Record), Conclude

Grammatical Inaccuracies - Christian Hedonism/Christian Socialism/Christian Nationalism (Conservatism) - Majority of Independent and Fundamental Denominations, some Evangelical and Mainline, Cults

Shifts from plural to singular back to plural back to singular

Shifts from God (Elohim: Spirit) to Jesus (God in the Flesh) to man (Human Being) to God (Elohim: Spirit) to Jesus (God in the Flesh) to man (Human Being)

Nouns and Verbs

Conversations - Narratives

“Today our society is in a state of ethical chaos. Much of that chaos has been directly absorbed by the churches. The church more typically has become the mirror image of society joining, rather than fighting, the chorus saying there is no truth, all is relative, and openness is the only virtue. Today we have church leaders endorsing fornication, homosexuality, and even under certain circumstances extra-martial affairs, because, after all truth is relative and love is supreme.” - Terry Johnson, The Case for Traditional Protestantism, p. 20, 2004.

John Shelby Spong Episcopal Bishop declared: “I stand ready to reject the Bible in favour of something that is more human, more humane, more life-giving, and, dare I say, more godlike.” “Living in Sin: A Bishop Rethinks Human Sexuality”, 1988

Affirmation and Confirmation

Vengeance - punishment inflicted in retaliation with great force or to an extreme or excessive degree

Righteous people live by faith, persevere through hope, and walk in Charity.

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