The Weekend Word

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70 Responses

  1. Em says:

    i’ll be indebted to MLD in this study not only for the points he makes that i amen, but for the goad to rethink his assertions with which i disagree πŸ™‚

    FWIW i lean toward the argument for Apollos as the writer of the book
    and, of course, i see the sacraments of baptism and communion differently -was going to elaborate, but i won’t…

  2. brian says:

    One of the things that often strikes me as a Christian and in pretty much everything I read in the bible is your phrase “He is mad”. I think it goes much deeper than that, God is very very angry at each of us from our conception to our death and beyond. He might save some of us, maybe, but He is even angry at the elect. That is one aspect of the faith I have learned very well. Intellectually i know that is not true, but in my heart, it is alive and well.

  3. Michael says:

    brian,

    The natural revelation doesn’t include the Gospel…where God’s anger has been satisfied at the cross.
    If you are in Christ, God is not angry with you, nor will He ever be angry with you.
    God…is not angry with Brian.

  4. Michael says:

    “In baptism we are put into Jesus and in the Eucharist Jesus puts himself into us.”

    I might differ on some details, but the older I get, the more I affirm this.

  5. dusty says:

    I thought God put Himself In us by His Spirit.

  6. dusty says:

    Sounds like you are saying He puts Himself in us over and over?

  7. Michael says:

    Dusty,

    That is true.
    My belief is that He also continually feeds us Himself through the Lords Table.

  8. dusty says:

    Ok got it.

  9. dusty says:

    Like getting refueled but not getting re-saved?

  10. Michael says:

    Dusty,

    Exactly.

  11. Em says:

    it doesn’t seem to me that the differing views on the Lord’s table are relevant to this study…

    however, the teaching that Jesus’ blood enters into our physical bodies in order for us to gain ground spiritually is a sentiment that just doesn’t compute…

    IMV the communion table is more like the act of prayer… we consider what is holy, we reverence what we know (Faith, which comes by hearing the Word of God), what the Incarnation, obedience to the Father, the suffering – the unspeakable taking upon Himself our sin – the victory and the position we know have in Christ … we dwell on God’s gifts to man and His amazing power and grace and, in doing so, we touch heaven and we grow – yes, Jesus Christ gains ground in our hearts and minds in the process, but it is not the ingesting of grain and grape as it goes through a transformation into holy substance … IMHO

    and that is my mind on something that i see as irrelevant to the study here – wasn’t going to be irrelevant… promise not to do this again πŸ™‚

  12. dusty says:

    Sorry em did not mean to go off course with my questions.

  13. dusty says:

    God was not always mad when He spoke….was He?

  14. dusty says:

    There were times when He spoke Words of compassion and tenderness

  15. Michael says:

    Yes, He did.
    What the writer to the Hebrews is getting across is “how” God has spoken, “how” He has revealed Himself.

    In former times, through the fathers and the prophets…today through His Son, the Word.

  16. Em says:

    Dusty, from this corner re. baptism and communion, i also brought that up when i first read the study this morning as i thought the focus was going to be on what Hebrews teaches regarding grace…. and, FWIW, the studies out there that i have followed in times past in Hebrews came to a different conclusion regarding the rituals – baptism and communion

    to use a “dusty-ism” just sayin πŸ™‚

    if it would be unfair to skip the differences, if this is the Lutheran teaching on the book as a whole, …?… well, okay, maybe i can make myself stand down … er … sit down

  17. dusty says:

    What about Hagar. ? He spoke to her.

  18. Michael says:

    Dusty,

    This is true…there were some special instances where He communicated directly.
    Another way of looking at this passage is that Jesus is God’s last word of self revelation.

    God revealed Himself partially to the fathers and through the prophets, but the full revelation of God is in Jesus Christ.

    I’m off to teach Amos 5 and call down the fire… πŸ™‚

  19. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em you have failed to consider that baptism and the supper are not about us doing or us getting but is about Jesus giving – and that is the gospel. Another thing you focused on the sacraments themselves and skipped right past the point of being heirs. An heir becomes an heir by absolutely no effort on their own but strictly by gift from the giving party — and the giving party has told us.

  20. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Dusty I did not say God was mad nor did I say he spoke as mad today. What I said was if you looked at nature you could only determine that God was mad. Look at tornadoes, hurricane and earthquakes. It’s why we threw our virgins into volcanoes. No personal revelation.

  21. Erunner says:

    MLD, when you speak of natural revelation and the idea we discover through this that God is mad could you explain? Thanks for a very nice presentation no matter where the dialogue goes!

  22. Em says:

    “Em,…you … skipped right past the point of being heirs. An heir becomes an heir by absolutely no effort on their own but strictly by gift from the giving party.

    nope, i didn’t, i read and agreed – didn’t see a need to repeat what you said – but okay, praises to God – His Son, Christ is heir of all things and God has spoken to us by Him – i rejoice at your point … πŸ™‚

    ” baptism and the supper are not about us doing or us getting,” … about Jesus giving? okay, i’m not equipped to wade into theological waters… but we do the baptism and we do the supper or they won’t happen… always we are the receivers and our triune God the giver … guess we agree? dunno

  23. Em says:

    BTW – MLD, over the weekend i finished and ordered a draft copy of the story of my grandparents and i’d kinda sorta shut the computer down (with a sigh of relief)
    i wondered what i’d do this week
    looks like i’ll enjoy some time in Hebrews – affirming what i know and learning a lot more too – for me, this is a gift – thank you …

  24. Jim says:

    Nature tells us that God is, and that He is awesome, and to me, loving, and I live in hurricaneville. I don’t see anger in the storm, but power. There are a lot of cool, refreshing breezes and breathtakingly beautiful sights to marvel in in between the storms.

  25. Erunner,
    It’s not about God being mad, it’s about what we perceive with no direct revelation from God. Look at the world and the universe – it is self evident that God is there (regardless what the atheist tries to dump into the conversation. Then by the massive quantity of creation it is self evident that this god, whoever he may be is very powerful – no 98lb weakling can do this. And third, the perception must be that this powerful, god, creator seems to be made at mankind. Why do tsunamis wipe out whole villages? What would you think if there was no special revelation of God telling “the rest of the story.”

    The point I was making was that Special Revelation – the fact that God speaks with and to man is necessary for us to understand.

  26. Jim, you are thinking through a Christian mindset, with special revelation revealed to you – so you can understand God.

    But be a pagan standing next to Mt. St Helen at the time of the eruption, or be a pagan in Nepal when the earthquake hit a couple of months ago and what would you think of God? This is why God had to reveal himself to us.

    Tell me how you get “god is loving” when a hurricane blows through town and kills 1,000 with no other input than the hurricane?

  27. If I were to have guessed at a hot button statement in this writing, it would have been my opening statement. Shows you what I know. But I only get 700 words πŸ˜‰

  28. Erunner says:

    MLD, the question I have is does God allow or decree these natural disasters that kill believers and non believers alike?

    Is God mad at those who live in an earthquake zone such as Indonesia or Japan or are these calamities a result of living in a cursed and fallen creation?

    If God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked why would He send these calamities to wipe so many out?

    I’ll try to keep up with you!

  29. Erunner – let me take another run at this.In the context I am speaking, I am not addressing if God is mad or not. I am saying without special revelation you cannot know and in fact would assume he is mad. As I said earlier, why else would we waste perfectly good virgins by throwing them into a volcano to appease what we see as a god who is mad and demanding satisfaction?

    Special revelation says “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”

  30. Erunner says:

    If I was a pagan then this makes perfect sense. The lost trying to appease a distant and unknowable god through their actions and limited understanding.

  31. you got it. It’s like trying to explain Zack Greinke to the common baseball fan πŸ™‚

  32. Erunner says:

    You talking about Phil Naessens?? πŸ™‚

  33. Can you get anymore “common” than a greek ex patriot, NY Mets fan living in Akron? πŸ™‚

  34. Jim says:

    MLD,

    I’ve always seen nature as good. I obviously appreciate God’s handiwork in a different way now. It’s hard to imagine the beauty of the earth before the fall and the flood.

    Your study is good, and I wasn’t going to mention the two points in which I disagree (natural revelation including anger and the Sacraments), but they came up in the comments.

    Thank you for writing this, and I look forward to future installments.

  35. Em says:

    #27-“The Book of Hebrews best reflects my thesis that the Old Testament is the Bible and the New Testament is the divine interpretation of this Bible.”
    is this new news?

    God keep all close…

    will check the thread tomorrow

  36. Jim, my point was not about the sacraments at all – those were just what I used as the means to getting to the important part – how do we become and or participate in become “heirs of all things” – the text at hand. How do we become “in Christ”?

    For the sake of the study, I am open to others saying how they think we do.

  37. Babylon's Dread says:

    All I would assert is that we know the author is not Paul.

    Hebrews is one of the greatest epistles … Romans being the other …

  38. Nonnie says:

    I remember years ago reading an article that said perhaps it was Priscilla and Aquilla that wrote Hebrews (since it sounds so much like Paul’s writings, and she and her husband traveled and worked with Paul) No author ascribed to the book because a woman may have been involved in writing it.

  39. Babs, the issue that I have with Luke is that I don’t know he thinks enough like a Jew. There is something intuitively very Jewish just in the laying out of the whole thought pattern.

    Barnabas also was a traveling companion of Paul and would be familiar with his thoughts, but just as he was a great companion and encourger, I see him in this role.

    But in the end, we all get this from the white spaces on the pages. πŸ™‚

  40. Nonnie – Priscilla and Aquilla – could be.

  41. Again, I go back to the God spoke. If God had not spoken we would be left to a minimum revelation from nature and our own human thoughts and imaginations.

    oh, that is like 100% of all other religions and philosophies

  42. Bob says:

    MLD

    I know we we have a chasm which will never be bridged, but you asked the question, “How do we become in “Christ?”

    The answer is simple, the same way Abraham did; through faith in Him.

    Now that may be too simple for many and I also understand many want a more “tangible” thing to hold onto and grasp, but the simplicity is faith. This type of faith is often compared to a child who only source of care is their parent; child like faith.

    People become in Him through trusting the finished work, on the cross and in His resurrection. But that’s probably too simple.

  43. It is too simple – it leaves out Jesus doing anything and my example has Jesus doing everything. But again, the focus was not to be the sacraments but to be about the writer making the case that Jesus is the heir of all things and do we have a part in that.

    Folks who deny the sacraments and want to call them ordinances are denying that God uses physical means to save people – I can’t figure that one out since the scriptures so clearly say he does.

    But again that wasn’t the topic.

  44. Xenia says:

    In baptism we are put into Jesus and in the Eucharist Jesus puts himself into us.<<<

    Great way to put it, MLD!

  45. Bob says:

    MLD:

    We won’t be able to agree on the “sacraments” so I won’t go there. I got the impression that you wrote the article in this thread. When I saw it and how you introduced it, “New Testament is the divine interpretation of this Bible,” I shouted “Praise God!”

    However, I was sorry to see the discussion rapidly changed course to views on the cup and bread and how they play a part in a person of faith’s life.

    The letter of Hebrews is an outstanding work written to people who were confused about the role of the Temple and faith. Of particular interest are those references to “sinning willfully” and how to this day it brings so confusion to us non-(Orthodox)Jews.

    As you stated, the part the NT plays is an interpretation of the OT and therefore to understand what the author is talking about one must know the part regular sacrifice and the annual (Yom Kippur) on played in their life.

    As you carefully and persistently point out all of us sin all the time, even when we don’t know it. There was a sacrifice for that. But what about the intentional sin, what is the sacrifice for that? To this day the Jewish people consider that day, Yom Kippur, the first day of the new year, when the intentional sins of the previous year are wiped away. They get a clean start.

    The author of Hebrews clearly points out that to revert to a system of forgiveness each year is a denial of the finished work of Jesus and how He, 24/7, provides that atonement. I would even speculate the author warns that once a person rejects Jesus,His sacrifice and continual atonement, and returns to the old system of sacrifice that person is without hope.

    Pretty serious stuff, but the good news is all those who think they have somehow failed God really don’t understand the text at all. Every day He makes atonement for our sin, even those we intentionally and knowingly do. Because He is the perfect High Priest we can go to Him and present ourselves as what we are, sinners in need.

    Overall, I enjoy the article and Hebrews has been one of my favorite texts in the NT.

    One of the best studies is to look at “hall of faith” and spend time looking up each of the heroes. It is surprising how these heroes really aren’t that heroic at all. But, the real catch is who isn’t named on the list.

    Blessings to you!

  46. Em says:

    FWIW – i can find no Scripture or any other rationale for physically ingesting the body and blood of Jesus… i can’t – i’m not trying argue the point…
    and i do believe that either adherent can partake unworthily no matter how or when their baptism into Christ occurred… in fact, it is probably easier to do when one does so “out of remembrance” as it isn’t quite as sobering as thinking, i believe these are MLD’s words, the actual “blood of Jesus [is] pouring down one’s throat.”
    more to the point: we surely do not consider enough of what occurred when God became sin for us… IMHO

  47. Steve Wright says:

    In baptism we are put into Jesus and in the Eucharist Jesus puts himself into us.
    ———————————————————————-
    I agree that is a good way to express your view and also is a great way to express my objection. Baptism is a one-time event, and the Eucharist is intended for weekly, even daily, participation. Thus, it is apples and oranges.

    The implication from your given explanation is that since baptism is a one-time event, that I must never leave Jesus. But that Jesus must leave me repeatedly to support my need to “ingest” Him so regularly.

    In all seriousness, where does Jesus go during the week between the Eucharist participation? Am I putting additional “pieces” in some way each week…building a larger Jesus within me. The analogy really breaks down in my mind. Maybe if the Eucharist was a one-time event and we got baptized each week it would make more theological sense.

    And as an aside, this is why in my own group I dismiss the idea of a secondary work known as a baptism of the Spirit. I believe this happens at salvation. And so I am very careful when speaking of our need for the filling of the Spirit to make it clear we do not somehow get “more” of the Holy Spirit, nor do we have some sort of a leak needing a “filling” but that the word describes the power of the Spirit ruling our lives – which is always latent in the child of God at the moment of salvation but which WE can hinder by our sinful rebellions.

    Not looking to debate the point – just offering my counter and point of view. Well done expressing your view, MLD.

  48. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I will make this the end of the sacraments part of this because it has taken away from the purpose of :”heirs of all things”

    Em, I think you need to do the explaining – the scripture is clear and only through trying to explain away clear words to we not see it

    Here they are – “this IS my body / blood – this IS my blood. NOT “this REPRESENTS or SYMBOLIZES my body / blood”

    Also in 1 Cor Paul specifically speaks of certain acts during the supper as being sins against The Body (which some try to deflect to the church body) but he adds “and against the Blood.

  49. Em says:

    well, dear MLD, i do know those words that you take literally… of course, i do and you know that i don’t see them as literal… couldn’t have been as Jesus’ blood had not yet been shed – He was standing there in the flesh talking to them… more to the point would be the doctrines that have been built off of those words… as other than those doctrines, it probably doesn’t matter what of the possibles that we THINK we are ingesting
    you did slip in that reference in your teaching above and could, no doubt, justify it as necessary to the Lutheran view of Hebrews – just had to say … cuz i could πŸ™‚
    i will try to stay seated in my pew from here on… i do look forward to your next Lutheran exposition – the all things – joint heirs … and the mystery man Melchizedek …

  50. Michael says:

    Two points to discuss…

    What is our inheritance?

    Now that God has given His final word through the Word…does he speak through means other than the Scriptures?

    I think MLD would say no…I say…sometimes, without contradicting the Scriptures.

  51. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I think Jesus speaks by other means but they use the scriptures. My pastor spoke to us yesterday in a perfectly legitimate way.

    Tony Robbins can give great tips to live a more fulfilled life (actual good stuff) and not once use scripture nor contradict scripture. Is that God speaking to me? Could I say God spoke to me there? I would hesitate myself.

    I think the writer here is being very specific when he states that today, God speaks through Jesus. But I am open minded πŸ˜‰

  52. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, that’s what I said – you have to symbolize or allegorize the clear words, but you can’t say they are not there. What did Paul mean about sinning against the wine/grape juice in the supper. Oh, he didn’t say that – he said blood.

    It’s not my Lutheran exposition of Hebrews – I think it is very much the Christian view. Could you imagine a teaching or commentary that left anything out that could be disputed. Chuck Swindoll would have a 90 sec program each day.

    I share my view and you counter with yours.

  53. Em says:

    i’m not sure that i buy that argument, MLD… there is the reference to Christ’s once for all offering … nowhere is there a type in O.T. of ingesting blood for any purpose, is there? – just the opposite … probably, if i’d come to the Lord under the Lutheran banner it would be part of my soul’s view and i’d not question my church’s dogma, but for me, it is the heart and the mind that God saves – our earthly temple/body is just a dwelling place, a gift from God for a time and a purpose, a gift to be respected and used prudently, but temporary and i just can’t imagine it digesting Christ’s blood

    i’m sure there are counters to all my conclusions by scholars on the other side, but i’m just a simple minded, and happy to be one fundy πŸ™‚

  54. Xenia says:

    it is the heart and the mind that God saves – our earthly temple/body is just a dwelling place, a gift from God for a time and a purpose, <<<

    God saves the whole person- body and soul, not just the soul.

    The body will make a reappearance on Resurrection Day.

  55. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The body is for real and forever and the body is also saved. But I think that lends to the issue of does God use physical means to save. If you think of physical as bad or temporary then perhaps the same folks have an issue with physical elements actually doing what the scriptures say they do.

  56. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “nowhere is there a type in O.T. of ingesting blood for any purpose, is there?”

    I am a NT guy so I don’t look for what the OT does – I look at wha th NT says the OT meant.

    Read John 6 and see what Jesus said about himself being the bread of life and told the people to eat hi,. They didn’t symbolize what he said – they took it literally and said “this ain’t for me – he wants me to be a cannibal.” and they all left because they knew exactly what he was saying..

    But as I said, that can be a discussion for later.

    What is our inheritance … or are we the inheritance.? Wowzer!!!

  57. Em says:

    MLD, truth be told if i were to persuade you that your interpretation was in error, i think that i would feel very badly…
    that said, i have no problem with spiritual applications of living water, bread of life etc. Jesus is the Word made flesh, i feed on the Word(s)
    i expect a NEW glorified body in Eternity – whatever God provides – creates or recreates, but it won’t be my corrupted and dying one that i have now, no matter how much i may like it πŸ™‚

  58. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, my mind can be changed – that’s how I became a Lutheran πŸ˜‰

  59. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The idea of the body having no purpose than to contain the soul or the idea that we get a new body vs our old body is what has led to the pagan practice in the church of cremation.

  60. Xenia says:

    MLD, are Lutherans opposed to cremation? So are the Orthodox. It’s forbidden, except in extreme cases (think “bubonic plague.”)

    Christ resurrected in His own body, and so will we. How this is accomplished is unknown to us but known to God.

  61. Josh the Baptist says:

    Isn’t cremation just a faster form of what nature does on its own? To dust we will return, one way or the other. Modern embalming seems much less natural than speeding up the process of the body breaking down.

  62. Xenia – it’s not forbidden because Lutherans fall to the same lies as anyone else.

    Josh, embalming has it’s issues also. Jews do it right. One day dead throw them in the ground or in the box. In the Bible the people were buried – laid to sleep with their fathers. Odd though Jacob was mummified.

    Besides, if you are cremated, how are you going to roll over in your grave over the things your family are doing back in the living world.

    You never see cremation in the bible, but you see it all over the pagan world. Again, I think it goes back to what people think of this body.

  63. Xenia says:

    By “forbidden” I mean an Orthodox priest will not preside over a funeral where the body has been intentionally cremated. I am sure Orthodox people do it all the time but that person does not get to have an Orthodox funeral. And an Orthodox funeral is a wonderful thing and I would not miss mine for anything!

  64. Xenia says:

    The Orthodox ideal is for the person to die at home if possible, then to have the body washed by the men or women of the parish, then to put the body- dressed in white- in a plain pine coffin and take it to the Church where people take turns staying with the body, keeping vigil, and reading Psalms aloud. No embalming, if it can be avoided. No autopsy, if it can be avoided. (We do obey the laws.) As soon as possible, the funeral liturgy is held. Personally, I find the EO funeral service to be the most beautiful, hope-filled service of them all, even more Gospel-centered than Easter, if that is possible. The guests all go and kiss the departed person (if they want), many tears are shed, and then the wooden lid is put in place. Pall bearers (as many as can get a grip) carry the coffin straight to the graveyard, if possible. If not, a station wagon, pick up truck, or hearse is employed. At the graveyard, more prayers and then all guests help throw dirt on the coffin.

    There will be a reception, of course. This is where the slide-show of the highlights of the person’s life is shown, and when people will give eulogies. These things never happen at the funeral proper.

    We show respect for the body because Jesus Himself resurrected His own body and ours will be resurrected some day, too.

  65. Xenia says:

    If someone is baptized as an adult, the ladies of the church will sew a simple white baptismal garment for them. They are expected to save this garment so they can be buried in it.

  66. Em says:

    to cremate a body and reverently inter the ashes is acceptable in my view – Jesus’ glorified, resurrected body of flesh and bone was markedly altered from the one that hung on the cross… the lovely thought for me is that He did not see corruption – no ashes, no dust, no worms …

    more than likely when what we leave behind is put into the grave, it will see corruption of one kind or another or will just dry up, depending on the fat content, i guess – placing the body into a cave to process and then coming back later – much later – to gather the bones seems respectful… death is a bit awkward, isn’t it? πŸ™‚

    God keep

  67. Em says:

    the Orthodox and the Irish seem to have something in common… love expressed similarly… and yet quite different…
    my late husband died in the bed beside me and was interred with gunfire and a trumpet salute… that worked

  68. Em says:

    i apologize for any anxiety my examination of death (the physical one) might have caused last night … the sorrow in the separation from one whom we love should be handled with compassion and tenderness … yet for the child of God, their death is sweet – precious in God’s eyes… so the end of the matter is, that all is well with the souls, of the redeemed ones, is it not?

  69. Xenia says:

    Em, the Irish were Orthodox until 1054….

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