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August 20, 2008


Got an interesting reply about Hebrews 11 from Bill Linton:



You raised the question stating that some have asked about the Faith Chapter (11), why is it placed here and how is it relevant here? I would like to comment.

If we go back and study the book again with the topic of faith in mind, we see something we may have missed the first time through. That is, the topic of faith is woven into the lessons and statements throughout the entire book, building to a crescendo.

Back in Heb 3 Paul talks about us being Christ's house "if we hold fast the confidence and rejoicing of the hope firm to the end". (holding fast/confidence/hope - these are references to faith).

Paul really makes the point, though when he shows that the main failure of the children of Israel in the wilderness was not having faith. They hardened their hearts, did not believe God, and shrank back from the challenges of the wilderness and promise land. They would not go in because they did not believe that God would back them up if they would obey and go in. No faith! They could not enter in because of unbelief (no faith).

You referred to God often waiting for us to make a decision before He will act. That is exactly how the children of Israel failed. It was a greater offense to God than all their carnality and fleshly sins. Except for Joshua and Caleb who maintained their faith (not only an attitude of faith, but actions demonstrating that faith), the children of Israel had no faith.

The topic continues to be mentioned in practically every chapter. 4:16 Let us come boldly to the throne of grace (faith implied). 6:11 - "...show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end." (faith implied)

So why is Chapter 11, The Faith Chapter placed where it is? Paul is telling us we must also have faith to go through this life and hold fast. We have greater promises, a better covenant, a greater priesthood... We must enter boldly into the Holy of Holies by the blood of Jesus (10:19). We must draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith (10:22). We must hold fast to our confession of our hope without wavering. He who promised is faithful.

We must not cast away our confidence which has great reward (10:35). Finally, we must not draw back, but believe (faith) to the saving of the soul (10:39). So how could we not have faith

What a build up to the Faith chapter 11! In one sense the entire book of Hebrews is a book about faith. And the lesson for us is we have an even greater reason to have faith. We must not fail to hold on to it. (12:26).





This posting on the CEM Forum from Doug Young of San Diego:


Ron mentioned the Leviticus 16 Atonement ceremony in the August 1 WBS. I did a little research and found these 3 sermons where Ron goes over Leviticus 16.
The 1981 sermon "Atonement - Why Fast?" has an explanation at the 33:40 mark.
The 1997 sermon "9739 Atonement and Community" has an explanation at the 30:00 mark.
Sermon "0541 Being There" has a brief discussion at 7:50, but I really like this sermon for its value in pre-Atonement self-examination.

August 6.

Mike Christian writes from Edmonton.


Also a while back you mentioned in a Sermon the lyric “I don’t know where we went wrong but the feelings gone and I just can’t get it back”. I recognized that immediately. It is from “If you could read my mind” by Gordon Lightfoot (Canadian). I thought you might like to take a listen to it.


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