The exponential power of encouragement

Years ago I was going through a very tough time. I was a long way from home, feeling alone, and wondering how I was going to move forward. My dad, one of the wisest people I know, read me a short passage from Scripture on the phone: And God is able to make all grace […]

How to Please God

Chapter 13 must have been especially powerful to the Hebrews, since the author reiterates that it is the sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving (offered in faith) that are pleasing to God. The old blood sacrifices had their place, but only as pointers to what God has now fully accomplished in Jesus. Animal sacrifices never brought […]

Why do we need the means of grace?

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was […]

What is saving faith anyways?

Here we come to one of the most beautiful and inspiring passages in all of Holy Scripture–the “hall of faith.” As the many names are recounted–Moses, David, Samuel, and more–a beautiful picture unfolds. A bunch of murderers, adulterers, bad parents, and alcoholics somehow managed to play key roles in God’s saving plan and be transformed […]

Can you lose your salvation?

The scope of Jesus’ work is epic. Unlike the old sacrificial system, which required continued animal sacrifice and couldn’t in and of itself actually make anyone perfect, Christ’s sacrifice is once-for-all and truly effectual. In some way we are both perfected and being made perfect (sanctified) at the same time (cf. Heb. 10:14).

Why the blood of Jesus is enough for me, you, and God

Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. (Hebrews 9:22 ESV) Hebrews chapter nine examines the sacrificial system of the Old Covenant. These ancient rites dealt with external actions, not the internal conscience (cf Heb. 9:10). Sacrifice and blood were the […]

A new kind of covenant

Chapter 8 of Hebrews elaborates on this new covenant innaugaurated with Christ. Now, God’s law can be written our minds and hearts, and we can “Know the Lord” and experience the mercy of God in a new way (Heb. 8:11). The new covenant of Christ accomplishes something the old covenant of Moses never could, and […]