What does it take to be saved? It seems a simple enough question—and it is. The Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas, “‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ and they said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household’” (Acts 16:30,31). That’s pretty clear, isn’t it? Believe . . . be saved.
The Book of Hebrews is devoted to the high-priestly ministry of Jesus Christ. It was the responsibility of the high priest to represent the people before God and to offer sacrifice for sin so that God might forgive and cleanse the people. This was all a shadow or a picture to illustrate the coming of Jesus Christ.
The Book of Hebrews focuses on the fact that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, came to earth to be God’s High Priest. He represented the people before God and offered a sacrifice on their behalf that took care of sin by paying its penalty.
From the beginning of the Church, God emphasized that the Church is to be a reflection of His holiness. Not long after the Church began (see Acts 2) an event occurred that dramatically emphasized the importance of holiness among God’s people.
Paul instructed the Philippians to, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5). Christ set the pattern and He is the greatest example from which we are to model our thinking.
The penalty for sin is death (see Rom. 6:23) and God demands that the penalty be paid. Those who reject Christ’s sacrifice on the cross have nothing to look forward to “but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES” (Heb. 10:27).
The one true, holy and righteous God demands justice. The penalty will be paid. If we reject the sacrifice which is acceptable, that leaves us bare and naked before the wrath of Almighty God. What remains for us is terrifying judgment.
We live in a world beset with problems and as believers we often fail to experience the joy that God intends for us to have. One reason for that lack of joy is our failure to practice thankfulness.
From prison, the Apostle Paul wrote the believers in the small city of Philippi, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you” (Phil. 1:3) and he exhorted them to “join in following my example” (3:17).
The magi who travelled from the east to worship Jesus were respected scholars and were greatly admired in their day. As astrologers, they studied the stars and had great wisdom. The assumption that there were three wise men may have been based on the fact that they brought three kinds of gifts - gold, frankincense and myrrh. The wise men likely travelled in a large entourage because the journey from Babylon or Persia to Jerusalem would have taken many months.
The penalty for sin is death (see Rom. 6:23) and God demands that the penalty be paid. Those who reject Christ's sacrifice on the cross have nothing to look forward to "but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries" (Heb. 10:27). The one true, holy and righteous God demands justice. The penalty will be paid. If we reject the sacrifice which is acceptable, that leaves us bare and naked before the wrath of Almighty God. What remains for us is terrifying judgment.
As believers committed to Jesus Christ, our involvement in social or cultural issues is sometimes misunderstood. The desire to concentrate on what God has called the church to do - teach the word - requires us to be selective in how we spend our time. The choice to limit our involvement comes from the desire to be obedient to God.
Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit uses the word of God to change lives. When the word of God is taught and assimilated into a life, two things happen: salvation and spiritual growth.