The Letter to the Hebrews: More on Living Theology
In this series, I’ve been basing these posts on an essay I wrote 11 years ago. And the appendices. In fact, there is more in the appendices than in the actual essay! So here is the appendix on the section on Living Theology that I shared yesterday.
In Chapter 2:1, the readers are made aware of the danger of drifting away from God. As Barclay points out, “There are few people who deliberately and in a moment turn their backs on God; there are many who day by day drift further and further away from Him.” The answer is found in Chapter 3:1 – “fix your thoughts on Jesus”. This implies more than a half-hearted glance every now and then: this is more a determined effort, a concentrated gaze. It is obvious from the Epistle that drifting amongst these early Christians has led to a watered down faith. Those who should be teachers are still immature in their faith, equated in Chapter 5:11-14 to infants still needing a diet of milk rather than solid food. Reaching spiritual maturity requires diligence; laziness and excuses will not be tolerated. There is no standing still in the Christian life. Apparently, Cromwell had this motto inscribed in his Bible – “ qui cessat esse melior cessat esse bonus – he who ceases to be better ceases to be good.”
So what does this mean in practice? Chapter 10 provides some ideas:-
- “let us draw near to God…” v22 ie. Never get so caught up in this world of earthly things that we forget God.
- “let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess..” v23 ie. Never be swayed by the mocking and cynical voices around us.
- “let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds..” v24 ie. Never forget that we are Christians, not just for our own sake, but for the sake of others.
- “let us not give up meeting together..” v25 ie. Never underestimate the fellowship of the Church
- “let us encourage one another…” v25 ie. Never join the throng of discouraging voices.
From The Letter to the Hebrews: an evaluative outline of the key themes and theological insights by Helen Redfern
I love the power in the invitation ‘Let us…’ The writer is not telling the people what to do. He’s inviting them to join him in living in relationship with God as God always intended. I hope that you always get a sense of this in what I write too. That’s why this blog is called ‘Join Our Journey’. It’s about journeying together along this path of faith. My husband and I set out on this journey nearly five years ago to read and write our way through the whole Bible and we’ve been delighted by being accompanied on that journey by our readers so thank you. As I’ve said so many times, we’re all in this together. That makes the journey so much more fun and meaningful. Going it alone is never what God intended for His people.
So let us……