Enniskillen Baptist Church

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Heb 5  V8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;  V9  And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

Twice in the book of Hebrews Jesus has the title author – here and again in Heb 12 V2 where he is said to be the author and finisher of our faith. We will come to that title in time if the Lord will.  We take this one now – He (the Lord Jesus) became the author of eternal salvation.

In verse 8 he is seen as the Son of God. He had to learn obedience on earth by the things which he suffered. He knew what obedience was but never experienced it until he was the God man in the flesh here upon earth. God the Son became obedient unto God the Father during the days of his flesh.  He was able to say (John 8 V29) I do always those things which please the Him (God the Father)

Being made perfect does not infer that at one time he was imperfect or not perfect.  The idea behind this Greek word for perfect is the bringing of a person to a fixed point or goal – a point of completeness – a point to which our Lord came in the days of his earthly ministry.

The Greek word for ‘author’ here means that in which the cause of anything resides. Jesus the Messiah in his death on the cross of Calvary is the cause of our salvation.   Only when Jesus suffered and died did he become the author of salvation – yea eternal salvation -something that will last throughout the countless ages of eternity.   Only in Christ and in no other person do we find eternal salvation.   When people say they can be lost again casts a slur on the ability of his giving to them eternal salvation – not something that lasts for six months or sixty years but forevermore.   What a Saviour – what a salvation.

 

Howard McNally      09.07.11

 

Heb 3V1  Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
V2  Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.
V3  For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.

In previous chapters Paukl has shown the Lord Jesus to be better than prophets and angels.   Now in this third chapter he sets about making the Lord Jesus better than the great law giver Moses.   Again Paul the writer of the book of Hebrews went back to the thought of our Lord Jesus being that great high priest.   He asked his readers to consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession Christ Jesus.

The Greek word for ‘consider’ means to consider attentively, to fix ones eyes or mind upon.  Just  turn your eyes upon Jesus and look full in his wonderful face – concentrate on the person of the Lord Jesus.

The Greek word for apostle is ‘apostolos’ which in turn comes from ‘apostello’ which has to do with the act of sending someone off on a commission to do something,  the person being sent having been furnished with credentials.  God sent Moses on a commission in Ex 3 V7.   It is also used of the Lord Jesus being sent on a commission for God in Jn 3 V17.   In this very chapter Moses and the Lord Jesus are being compared but Jesus is made out to be greater servant of God than was Moses.

The word ‘profession’ would be better translated confession.  The apostle and high priest of our confession.

 
Howard  McNally      06.07.11

 

 

 

Heb 2 V17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

In Hebrews we have already seen Paul describe our Lord Jesus as the great high priest and that emphasised his Greatness.   Paul now looked at our Lord Jesus from a slightly different view for here Paul emphasised our Lord Jesus as to his Mercifulness and his Faithfulness.   To be a merciful and faithful high priest was quite a job.   I just wonder, among all of Israel’s high priests down the centuries, how many it could be said of them that they were both merciful and faithful.

I remember hearing a rather funny story to illustrate the difference of being merciful and faithful at the same time.   A farmer, back in the olden days, as my children like to refer to, had two sons.   He gave them each the charge of a pig to take to market that day.   The sale was to take place at 1 o’clock.   The two sons and the pigs set off early that morning for market.   The first son was faithful, so much so, that every time the pig wanted to slow down, or stop for a rest, or have something to eat along the way, he beat it and would not let up until he got to the market.   The poor pig arrived for the sale.   It was black and blue all over with bruises that no one was interested in buying that pig.   The second son was merciful, so much so, that every time the pig wanted to slow down, or stop for a rest, or have something to eat along the way, he allowed the pig its freedom to do as it pleased.  He arrived so late for the market that everyone had gone home.   Both failed their task miserably.

The two sons are very like some pastors of today.   There are some, who are so faithful, and yet at the same time show no mercy or love to their flock.   That is not right.   There are others, who are so merciful at the expense of being faithful to God’s truth.   That is not right either.   Who ever said a pastors job was easy.   To strike that right balance in one’s ministry is a very difficult task.   This was of course no trouble to the Lord Jesus for he was ever merciful and always faithful at the same time.   Oh what a great high priest our Lord Jesus is and what an example to follow.

Howard McNally     06.07.11

 

 

Heb 2V 10  For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

‘It became him’ – meaning God the Father for whom are all things and by whom are all things in bringing many sons to glory.  God the Father decreed that it must be through the blood of Christ’s cross that the Captain of our salvation would become the Saviour of sinners.  God is the final reason for all things.  Through God’s agency all things came into
being.  It is  reasonable that that the Messiah was to be a suffering Messiah.

‘In bringing many sons to glory’ speaks not just of believers as sons but includes also the Son of God himself.   In verse 9 ( the previous verse) the Lord was crowned with glory and honour because of his sufferings.   To make perfect are literally to carry to the end or to the consummation.   The consummation is the human experience of the suffering the death of the cross and through which he must pass if he is to become the Captain of our salvation.  Back in Jos 5 V15 the stranger outside Jericho city said to Joshua that he was the captain of the host of the Lord.   That will be for another day.

Today he is the captain of our salvation.   The word captain means the one that goes first. He is the leader.  He is our leader as we go the road home to heaven.   The Son precedes the saved on the road to heaven.  But then he also said ‘I am the way’ – Jesus is that road to heaven.   Our Lord Jesus is not only our leader on the road to heaven but the road itself by reason of his precious blood.  He is leading us home to glory and all we have to do is follow.

 
Howard McNally     01.07.11

 
Heb 4  V14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.  V15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.  V16  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Paul’s title here of Christ is great high priest.  To the Jewish people also known as Hebrews the office of high priest would have been well known in their religion of Judaism.  There were many high priests on the Old Testament from the days of Aaron, Israel’s first high priest.  Caiaphas  was the high priest who had the Lord Jesus arrested just before the crucifixion.  There was never ‘a great high priest’ – but this is the very title Paul gave to Jesus.  Where is this great high priest – Paul points into the heavens for that is where he is just now – that very same person is the Son of God.

This great high priest represents us before God. He can be touched with our feelings of our infirmities.  Sometimes we think that no one else understands exactly how we feel – but there is one in heaven who does and his name is Jesus.  He was tested just like you and me but one great difference was – he knew no sin for he did not sin – he could not sin for he is God.

Because of who Christ is – the great high priest, and because of where Christ is – in heaven, and because of how Christ is – he can be touched with the feelings of our infirmities – in conclusion Paul says let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, and obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.  In the Old Testament this would have been impossible.  Only the high priest could go in to God’s presence once in the whole year and that only on the day of Atonement.  Our Lord Jesus can go in to God at any time he chooses – what a great high priest we have!

 

Howard McNally      30.06.11

 

Tit 2 V13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Paul is speaking about the blessed hope of the church – what is the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of the great God our Saviour Jesus Christ.  There are many in this world to day have no hope – no hope beyond the tomb – for the great eternity to come – those of have no hope are those whom the Bible says are not trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ as their own and personal Saviour.  There are others in this world to day who have a false hope.  They are taught that if they do such and such a thing they will be right for heaven.  What they are taught is not in accordance with the Bible and therefore they only have a false hope.  There is real hope – the blessed hope by trusting only in Jesus as Paul simply described here.

In the Greek language the word ‘and’ that occurs in this verse is not in the original.  If we read the verse with the and words left out it would say – looking for the blessed hope, the glorious appearing of the great God our Saviour Jesus Christ.  This would not only be more correct but it gives a wonderful truth and a wonderful title to our Lord Jesus.  Paul is saying here that the blessed hope is the appearing of Jesus Christ.  Paul does not infer that the blessed hope is one thing and the appearing a second and altogether different event. They are one and the same.

The great God our Saviour Jesus Christ is one and the same person.  Paul was not a oneness God – he was a Trinitarian like myself – one God in three persons, blessed  trinity.  On this occasion he was not talking of the Father and Son in the Godhead.   He was meaning that the great God was Jesus Christ.  Going back to Paul in his first century setting – the Caesar on the throne in Rome liked to be called God and viewed as a saviour to all his people.  Paul here is in complete defiance of this idea for he is saying that the great God and saviour was not the emperor in Italy but his own Saviour Jesus Christ.

One of these days the Lord Jesus shall come again – we shall rise to meet him in the air – the blessed hope will be realised and we shall forever be with our great God the Saviour Jesus Christ.

Howard McNally    28.06.11

 

 

2 Tim 4 V7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:  V8
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

The Lord the righteous Judge.  This Judge is not to be looked upon as Christ is also called as Judge of all the earth in a day to come.  This judge is not one who sits in judgment dispensing with sentences which suit the crimes committed.  Here the Lord is dispensing rewards for Christian service at the heavenly Bema.  We must always take and expound a text with its context otherwise we do not fully grasp the truth of the text.  Sad to say there have been those people who take a text right out of its context and make it a pretext to say what their own particular belief is and not necessarily on what the bible teaches.

Paul was at the end of his earthly journey.  It is reckoned that only a few weeks after he wrote these words he was taken and beheaded by Nero the Roman emperor.   As he sat and looked back over his life he had no regrets.  He had fought the good fight of faith.  He had crossed the finish line in the race of life.  He had kept the faith.  He would soon meet his beloved Saviour and receive from him a crown of righteousness. Why a crown of righteousness – this particular reward was for all those people who looked forward with love and anticipation to the coming again of the Lord Jesus and he is coming again – praise his name.

There are several different crowns mentioned as rewards for Christian service but that is a subject for another time.  Someone said to Harry Ironside about these different crowns as rewards and were disappointed that he a highly respected preacher of the Word would want these heavenly rewards.  His response was simple – whatever his rewards were – he
would take those crowns and cast them down as Jesus feet as indicated by Rev ch4 and worship him as Lord and Saviour.

Howard McNally     27.06.11

 

1 Tim  6 V15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;  V16  Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

Paul is speaking about the Lord Jesus and said he shall show in his times that he is the blessed and only potentate. We are not in the times of the Lord Jesus at present.  We are in the times of the Gentiles when we see things from the prophetic view.  Then the Lord’s time will come.  In that future day when he returns to planet earth he will be seen as the blessed and only potentate. This is a title he will bare at his return to earth.  The word blessed means happy – this is the only time in the entire Bible were the Lord is said to be happy.   When upon earth it is never recorded that Jesus laughed or smiled but he was happy in that he delighted to do the Father’s will’

The only potentate- the word means ruler and of course at his first coming to earth he did not reign or rule even though he was the rightful king of the Jews.  He shall rule and reign at his second coming to earth.

The King of kings.  The Lord Jesus is the great king reigning over all the earthly kings. He   is Lord of lords.  He is the great Lord ruling over all the other earthly lords.
Note this is a double title King and Lord.  It may not  mean much to us here in the twentyfirst century but to the early church it was a bold statement.  During a major part of Paul’s lifetime the Roman emperor Domitian demanded to be addressed as both king & lord.  Anyone refusing to recognise him as such could instantly face the death penalty.  The words here of Paul were in direct contradiction to that request for Paul was saying the his Saviour Jesus was king of all kings and also Lord of all lords and was greater in power and dominion that Domitian.

Only when the Lord Jesus comes to reign for a thousand years (his great Millennial reign)  will all the world see him as king of the Jews and king over all the earth.

 

Howard McNally        25.06.11

 

 

 

 

 

1 Tim 2 V5  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;  V6  Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

Mediator – what a title – one Mediator – one and only one, and no other, as far as Paul is concerned, between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.  The word mediator means a go between – a middle man who can stand between two and communicate with both.  Because Jesus is both God and man he and he alone can do this.  God can approach man with forgiveness of sins, and the poor guilty and hell deserving sinner, can approach God and be received.

Jesus was God from all eternity. When he was born in Bethlehem he became man – something he had never been before – but he never ceased to be someone he always was – that was God.  Jesus is man’s representative – no one else can represent man before God.

This means that personalities like the blessed virgin Mary, or angels, or named saints cannot do this job of mediation.  They are not qualified as far as Paul is concerned.  The next verse comes in to say that this mediator went further and gave himself in sacrifice at the placed called Calvary as a ransom for all.   This is teaching the work of substitution.  He took our place and suffered our punishment.  A ransom is a price to be paid for someone else’s freedom.  Again words are important here.  The ransom was paid for all.  All men can be saved for the price was paid.  All men will not be saved because of man’s will.  As the great Spurgeon put it – the crosswork of Calvary is sufficient for all but only efficient to those who will believe.

We will see in the fullness of time just how many will trust the Saviour – may you
be one of them this very day dear reader.   Amen.

 

Howard McNally     24.06.11

2 Thess 3 V16 Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.

In the Old Testament so very often it refers to the Lord of hosts.  A few places it says the Lord of all the earth and once in Dan 5 V23 he is the Lord of heaven.  In the New Testament he is the Lord of the harvest and the Lord of glory and the Lord of Saboath but to day it is ‘the Lord of peace’. Our Lord Jesus is the Lord of peace

We can trace peace right through the life of our Lord Jesus here upon earth.  When he was born in Bethlehem the angel went out to the shepherds on the Judean hillside and said glory to God in the highest and on earth peace and there was a peace on this planet during his lifetime.  When he was in the little ship crossing the Sea of Galilee he stood up and said in the face of the storm peace be still and there was a great calm.  The Lord Jesus forgive the sinful woman and said go in peace thy faith hath saved thee.

The Lord Jesus went to Mount Calvary and made peace through theblood of his cross.  No wonder Paul could then say we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  When the Lord Jesus first appeared to the fearful disciples on that Easter Sunday so long ago he said peace be onto you.  Paul and the others went everywhere with the gospel as he put if  -the gospel of peace.  Paul encouraged all the believers at Corinth to live in peace.  How we need peace in this dark world of sin – yes even in our little province of Ulster at this time.  The Lord Jesus is truly the Lord of peace.  Have you peace within your breast – peace that
was put there by the Lord Jesus – he is ready to give it to you – may you enjoy his peace flooding and filling your soul to day.

 

Howard McNally   23.06.11

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