|Hebrews 1 |
1 [Hebrews is the principal explanation of how the New Covenant relates to the Old Covenant of God. Yet, a principal founder of Protestantism, Martin Luther, did not accept this Book of Hebrews as authentic because it conflicted with his "faith only" salvation. Luther also rejected the apostolic authorship of James, Jude, and Revelation; calling the Book of James "an epistle of straw," and rejecting the Book of Revelation as being "wholly uninspired by the Holy Spirit." (Luther also wrote of extreme hatred for the Jews, justifying the Nazi's later holocaust). It is not difficult to see how this book of Hebrews was a threat to the Protestant doctrine of instant salvation. A few quotes from this marvelous book highlight the conflict: exhort one another daily, while it is called today, lest any of you are hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold firm the beginning of our confidence to the end, Heb 3:14...Therefore let us diligently labor with every effort to enter into that rest, lest any man fall from the same kind of unbelief [and resulting disobedience] Heb 4:11...we desire that every one of you show the same diligence in realizing the full assurance of hope to the end. So that you are not slothful, but followers of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Heb 6:11-12...let us go on to perfection. Heb 6:1...he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. Heb 11:6...whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives. Heb 12:6...if you are without chastisement [correcting rebuke], of which all must share, then are you illegitimate. Heb 12:8... Evidently Luther knew he was not perfect, had not entered the mysterious rest, had not been scourged by God, and did not like being identified as an illegitimate son.]
1 God, who at sundry times and in various ways spoke in time past to our forefathers in the prophets,
2 Has in these last days spoken to us in his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, and through whom he created the worlds; [The last days were proclaimed by Peter at Pentecost, which was after the death and accession of Jesus. Paul, the believed author of this letter, was taught the gospel by the Spirit of Jesus, and not Jesus in the flesh. In this verse "God...has spoken to us by his son," means that Christ speaks to us from the word in our heart. So today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts. Heb 4:7,12:25. ]
3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had made ready a cleansing of sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high, [Notice! Jesus then was ready to cleanse sins, not excuse sins, not ignore sins, but to free them from the slavery to sin — to totally cleanse and perfect them, sanctifying them and making them holy forever, Heb 10:14. That is what true grace does; true grace redeems from all iniquity (sin, lawless deeds), and purifies a people who are His very own, zealous for good works, done by His direction in what to do and what to say.]
4 Being made as much superior to the angels, as the more excellent name he has inherited is to theirs.
5 For to which of the angels did God say at any time, "You are my Son, this day have I begotten you"? And again, "I will be a Father to him, and he will be a Son to me?"
6 And again, when he brings in the first begotten into the world, he said, "Let all the angels of God worship him."
7 Of the angels he said, "Who makes his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire."
8 But to the Son he said, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom.
13 But to which of the angels did he say at any time, "Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool?"
14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to those who will be heirs of salvation?