Firstborn Sonship of Christ
The New Birth
COVENANT DISCIPLINARY TRAINING
There is a dichotomy of the Law Covenant versus the New Covenant throughout the Bible, and that is what we also see throughout the book of Hebrews, especially in the latter part of chapter 12. Most of the Old Testament is taken up with the Law Covenant in two major ways:
1. To reveal the heinous and pervasive nature of sin which resulted (and still results) in the condemnation of the covenant people, and thereby demonstrates the condemnation of the whole world, Rom 3:19.
2. To point to Christ as the Lamb of God and High Priest of the New Covenant by a multitude of laws and ordinances, all of which were TYPES (shadows) of Christ and of the covenant people as one with Christ under the New Covenant.
In the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) Jesus was constantly, as in the Sermon on the Mount, referring to the Law Covenant and giving the true meaning of its many ordinances. His frequent confrontations with the Jewish religious leaders were over the proper meaning of those Law Covenant ordinances, which had been corrupted by the religious elders over the previous few centuries.
Throughout the book of Acts, the main and always present thrust of persecution was from the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem, or from the Law-keeping Jews indirectly through the Gentile magistrates among the Gentile nations. This was produced by the Holy Spirit who sent Paul into the synagogue in nearly every city he visited.
In Romans, Galatians, and Hebrews, almost every chapter concerns the Law Covenant, in part or in whole; the references being contrasted or explained by New Covenant fulfilment. This also is the working of the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit, as the Spirit moved and directed the apostles and churches.
The book of Hebrews was written to churches, 3:6; 10:25; 13:7,17,24. Every chapter in the book of Hebrews quotes from or references the Law Covenant (the Old Testament or Old Covenant). Chapters one and eleven are not exceptions: every verse in chapter one, for instance, quotes from or references the Old Testament, while chapter eleven concerns the faith works of the covenant people the positive side exemplified by the faithful covenant people. So the constant dichotomous pairing of the Law Covenant and the New Covenant is inherent in the Old Testament through its "types," and is therefore necessary in the New Covenant fulfilment of those types.
A BOOK OF TRAINING (DISCIPLINE, CHASTISEMENT)
In the Scriptures, the word translated "chasten" first means to discipline through instruction and training with the intent to transform (a metamorphosis of) the mind and character of the covenant people into the mature image of Christ within the firstborn sonship of Christ. This, of course, includes appropriate punishment from God as a part of His disciplinary training.
1. The Repository of God's Inspired Truth and Disciplinary Training is The Bible.
The Bible, the Old and New Testaments, contain in writing the complete revelation of God's will and discipline concerning holy living for His covenant people:
15 "And that from a child you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise to salvation through the faith which is in Christ Jesus (in the body of Christ).
16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 "That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works," 2Ti 3:15-17.
2. The Repository of the Holy Scriptures Is Israel.
Any and everyone may own a Bible, but the Holy Scriptures which are contained in the Bible belong to Israel:
7 "For what nation is there so great, who has God so near to them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for?
8 "And what nation is there so great, that has statutes and judgments so righteous as all this Law, which I set before you this day?" Deu 4:7-8; 29:29; Ps 103:7.
19 "He is declaring His Word to Jacob, His statutes and His judgments to Israel.
20 "He has not dealt thus with any nation; and as for His judgments, they have not known them. Praise the LORD!" Ps 147:19-20; Rom 3:1-2.
3. The Repository of the Holy Scriptures Is Now the Church.
The physical seed of Abraham are currently under judgment, and the church has been grafted into Israel's covenant position, 1Pe 2:5,9; 2Co 6:16; Eph 2:12; Heb 8:8-10 (10:15-25); Rom 11:11-32; Mt 18:15-18.
God has made this discipline available only through the inspired Scriptures. The church is now the "pillar and ground of the truth" (1Ti 3:15; Mt 28:18-20), which means this "form of doctrine" (of discipline, training, Rom 6:17, the "doctrine of Christ," 2Jn 9-11), is found only in a true local church.
However, the snare we rush into is thinking those outside the church cannot understand any covenant truth. Conversely, Satan knows more covenant truth (the Scriptures) than all of us put together, and he knows how to twist the Scriptures. Also, we are not aware that we correctly teach a great amount of covenant truth to lost people, giving them somewhat of an idea of what God is offering through the covenants. Of course, if a lost person or saved person outside the church does not follow through with faith obedience, that person will end up corrupting that truth to a lesser or greater degree, as all false teachers and churches do.
The Bible is a book of covenant discipline of covenant training and testing, which training is constantly being approved or disapproved by God. The church is the training arena, and those in the church are the only ones being disciplined. This severe and meticulous (all-inclusive) discipline (training and testing) we are undergoing is to qualify us for the firstborn sonship of Christ. And this is precisely the understanding Heb 12 is urging upon us.
Repeat: God did not provide disciplinary training for people outside the covenants. The Bible is a book of covenant training for covenant people only.
NOT WRITTEN TO OR ABOUT LOST PEOPLE
The book of Hebrews was not written to lost people about how to be saved from hell, but to churches and church members who are already saved and scripturally baptized, Heb 3:6; 10:19-25; 13:7,17,24.
In chapter 1 of Hebrews, Christ is properly addressed as the Son of God, and was so before the creation of all things, yet by means of a human body He purged our sins, and now in a deified human body He is seated at the right hand of the Father. In His human (earthy) body He was made lower than the angels, but in His deified human body, He is the express image of God, the fullness of deity, the creator of all things, with authority over all principalities and powers, including the angels. The angels were, in God's purpose, created to be ministers to those who will share in the firstborn sonship of Christ. God has now spoken to us through His Son, Heb 1:14.
Chapter 2 of Hebrews begins by saying that we as God's covenant people ought therefore to give the more earnest heed to the things the Son has spoken. The Son has created a special sonship for the faithful covenant people which is here called "so great a salvation." This salvation is over and above salvation from hell.
Chapter 2, verse 2, states that every disobedience to the Law Covenant spoken by angels received severe punishment, therefore how shall we escape if we as God's New Covenant people neglect the words spoken by the Son of God. The Son who, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, created all things in the beginning, is now seated by the Father in a fully redeemed and fully divine human body, having thereby created a special kind of new and divine creature. This salvation is not salvation from hell, but salvation within the firstborn sonship of Christ.
Chapter 3 of Hebrews references Christ as the Apostle and High Priest of "our profession" the honorable and godly profession of those to whom the book of Hebrews was written. Moses was faithful in all of God's house, but Israel as God's house (the covenant people whom God delivered out of Egypt by so many great miracles), were true believers whose carcasses fell in the wilderness because they made shipwreck of faith. We are warned as partakers of the "heavenly calling," not to make the same shipwreck of faith, and thereby fail to become partakers of Christ, who is the covenant promise to the faithful covenant people only.
Chapter 4 of Hebrews continues this same warning of God's wrath, and the Holy Spirit's urgent plea to hold fast our profession to the end in order to be partakers of the "rest," which is partaking of the divine nature in the body of Christ, Heb 3:11-14; 2Pe 1:4. Christ is the faithful High Priest who was disciplined by being tested in all points that we are, and was then approved by the Father. As Christ went boldly to the throne of grace for help in all times of need, let us do the same.
Chapter 5 of Hebrews speaks of Christ as the Son, appointed as High Priest with an oath, but He had to undergo severe testing that often produced strong crying and tears in order to learn obedience through suffering by enduring God's covenant disciplinary training. Without this austere discipline He could not have been perfected in a divine human body. Likewise, without this very rigid disciplinary training, we will not learn obedience (a metamorphosis) into that same likeness of the deified body of Christ of which our bodies are metaphorically credited as being the divine members of the divine human body of Christ, 1Co 6:15-17; Eph 2:10-16; 4:22-24; Col 3:1-10.
Chapter 6 of Hebrews presents another fearful warning to saved and scripturally baptized church members who refuse to be trained by God's covenant discipline. The result is that they crucify the Son of God afresh and forfeit all the covenant promises which are found only in the firstborn sonship of Christ, plus they fall back under fearful condemnation to fiery judgment. The chapter ends with encouragement to follow on in the steps of the faith of Abraham and thereby lay hold upon the hope, which hope is Christ who has passed through the Veil (which veil is the deified flesh body of Christ), and entered into the presence of the Father in Heaven (beyond the veil of mere human flesh).
Chapter 7 of Hebrews emphasizes the divine change from the earthy to the divine priesthood, which the priesthood of Melchizedek portrayed. "For the Law (Covenant) made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh to God," Heb 7:19. We currently draw near to God by the Holy Spirit (Eph 2:18) and metaphorically by the freshly slain but now deified flesh body of Christ (Heb 10:20), which we are counted as being. Christ is ever living in this deified body and is able to make full intercessions for the covenant people who are constantly coming to God by Him.
Chapter 8 of Hebrews likewise emphasizes that we have a great High Priest seated on the throne in heaven, a High Priest over the New Covenant heavenly tabernacle of metaphorically deified saints, fitting the pattern of the Law Covenant tabernacle. The New Covenant High Priest and His tabernacle of living stones minister from the vantage point of being a deified entity of living stones, of the body of Christ, and of firstborn sons, Jn 17:21-23.
Chapter 9 of Hebrews explains briefly the Law Covenant tabernacle with its ministry which signified the way into God's presence was not yet opened, whereas the New Covenant with its more perfect deified tabernacle (Heb 9:11) provided for Christ in a deified human body to enter into the presence of the Father. Christ died for all mankind, but "the blood of sprinkling" was a within-covenant provision for the faithful covenant people only, Heb 9:13-28. Aaron as high priest bore, on the breastplate and again on his shoulders, the twelve names of the twelve tribes of Israel, the covenant people only. Only the covenant people had the blood sprinkled upon them, which signified acceptableness for service, Heb 9:13-14.
Chapter 10 of Hebrews continues the typology of the Law Covenant and its fulfillment in the New Covenant in sanctifying the covenant people for acceptable covenant disciplinary training and worship. No such provisions are made for non-covenant peoples except as they were circumcised into Israel or baptized into the church, both of which are God's Israel. Chapter 10 also addresses the fact of bitter punishment for covenant people who draw back from the covenant discipline.
Chapter 11 of Hebrews demonstrates the disciplinary faith-walk of the faithful covenant people through the ages. Abel, Enoch, and Noah (along with Job, Melchizedek, Jethro, and Balaam) were under God's covenant with Adam. All of these in Hebrews 11 were faithful covenant people who demonstrated a disciplined covenant life of faith, except for Balaam who was a true prophet of God, but one who made shipwreck of faith for the sake of money and the many worldly things it can buy.
A CLOUD OF WITNESSES
"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us," Heb 12:1.
What a grand array of faithful covenant witnesses who believed that God is the God the Bible says He is, and is worthy of their loving and obeying Him diligently with all their heart, all their life, all their mind, and all their strength!
These were covenant people of great faith who made the right choice to believe and faithfully serve God under more than the ordinary adverse circumcises. So striking was their faith-obedience to God, that the inspired Scriptures speak of them as those "of whom the world was not worthy," Heb 11:38.
"A great cloud of witnesses!" Their worthy example of sacrifice and persevering faith is given to us as a solemn testimony that we must likewise endure God's disciplinary training in order to share in the firstborn sonship of Christ.
8 "Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which he suffered;
9 "And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him," Heb 5:8-9.
At one time, Elijah said, "I am the only one left," (1Ki 19:14; Rom 11:3), but the Lord said, "I have reserved to Myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal," 1Ki 19:18; Rom 11:4. There were millions of the covenant people in Elijah's time, but only seven thousand were qualified to be counted by God as true covenant people. There were millions of the covenant people in Jesus' day, but the nation crucified Christ and were destroyed out of their land in A.D. 70. There are no doubt hundreds of thousands of Landmark Baptists today, and we are all sure that we are in good shape spiritually, but the scripture says, "While the Bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept," Mt 25:5.
There is a great amount of activity an abundance of everything, but we are "lukewarm," Rev 3:16-17. Sin abounds on every side and the love of many is waxing cold, Mt 24:12. We sit before the altar of Baal (the TV) gleefully enjoying earthy things rather than heavenly things, and are thereby transformed into the image of selfish earthy beings rather than the divine, heavenly image of Christ.
Heb 11 describes a great cloud of witnesses who stood fast and were approved as faithful, and we observe that they had to pass through many bitter afflictions, which God had appointed for their disciplinary training:
10 "Behold, I have refined you, but not with silver; I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction.
11 "For My own sake, even for My own sake, will I do it: for how should My name be polluted? and I will not give My glory to another.
12 "Hearken to Me, O Jacob and Israel, My called; I am He; I am the first, I also am the last," Isa 48:10-12.
As God's covenant people, we are in an austere training program: "As it is written: For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter,'" Rom 8:36.
Every moment of every day God is meticulously endeavoring to train us (the words "discipline" and "chastening" mean training. The Greek word "dokimos" means "tested and then approved," IF found faithful; whereas, "adokimos" means "tested and then disapproved" (disqualified, rejected, castaway), because of unfaithfulness.
NOTHING HAPPENS TO US BY ACCIDENT. Regardless of how small and insignificant, how large, how grand, or how catastrophic everything that happens to us must pass through the permissive will of God. God permits everything to happen to us precisely and without fail for our disciplinary training. Both Job's righteous trials and David's punishment for sin happened to them, and were written for our training that we may qualify for the firstborn sonship of Christ:
36 "As it is written, For Your sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter," Rom 8:36.
As a husband, as a wife, as a father, as a mother, as a son, as a daughter, on the job, at school, at home, or shopping, or whatever as covenant people we are being trained in order to qualify for this unspeakable and unsearchable gift among all major gifts: the firstborn sonship of Christ. But we must lay aside every weight and "the sin which so easily ensnares us," and "with patience" endure God's divine training program. We must remain alert, and hold fast under severe testing so that we do not fail, as the covenant people did in the wilderness, 1Co 9:24-27; 10:1-12; Heb 3:7-18; et al.
THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF OUR FAITH
"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God," Heb 12:2.
"Our faith" is the "gift" of faith, and is the "like precious faith" of 1Pe 1:1. Our faith, within the body of Christ, is "the faith of Christ" "I have been crucified with Christ: nevertheless I am living; yet not I, but Christ is living in me: and the life which I am now living in the flesh I am living by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me," Gal 2:20. Of course, this faith includes the MIND of Christ (1Co 2:16), which we have in the BODY of Christ and which contains the doctrine of Christ.
FOR THE JOY SET BEFORE HIM
"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God," Heb 12:2.
a. One of the joys set before Christ was that He should again be seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
b. Another of the joys set before Christ was the redemption of all that was lost when Adam sinned and yielded himself and all God had given him into the hands of Satan, Rom 6:16; 2Co 4:4; Eph 2:2; 1Jn 5:19.
c. Perhaps the greatest joy set before Christ was in creating the firstborn sonship, into which He would bring the faithful covenant people, fully conformed to His own image which is the image of the Father, Col 1:15-19; 2:9-10; Eph 1:22-23; 3:19.
18 "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of HIS calling, and what is the riches of the glory of HIS inheritance in the saints," Eph 1:18. God is preparing the faithful covenant people to become His very singular and special people, above all nations of people (and angels) during the Millennium and on the new earth, Gen 12:1-3; Ex 19:4-6; Deu 7:6-11; 26:16-19; 1Pe 2:5,9; Titus 2:14; Rev 2:26-27; 21:23-26; 22:1-2; 1Co 6:3; Heb 1:13-14; 2:5-13.
Jesus endured the shame of the sin and the cross for these joys that were set before Him, and the one that is uniquely under consideration in Heb 12 is "the riches of the glory of HIS inheritance in the saints." That inheritance will be consummated in the firstborn sonship of Christ in the resurrection. God has set the same joys of the firstborn sonship of Christ before us, and we also must endure the cross. The price that we must pay is our "life." We must bear about in our mortal body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the image of the divine life of Christ may be formed in others influenced by us. This can be done only by taking up the cross, dying to oneself, and reflecting the image of Christ by setting our affections on heavenly things, rather than on earthy things, Col 3:1-10; Rom 12:1-2; 2Co 3:17-18; 4:7-12.
CONSIDER HIM WHO ENDURED
"For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls," Heb 12:3.
8 "Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.
9 "And having been made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him," Heb 5:8-9.
Though He was God in the flesh, and could have at any time called twelve legions of angels (Mt 26:53), yet He patiently endured the daily hatred and hostility of the leaders of His own covenant people. Jesus did so because it was necessary, for Him as a human, to learn obedience by the things He suffered, and to create through the Holy Spirit His firstborn sonship. Jesus also did so because it was necessary for initial salvation, but especially in order to bring many sons to glory, Heb 2:9-10.
God has appointed the covenant people to undergo severe testing of fiery trials in order to qualify for that special firstborn sonship that Christ created when He became the "firstborn out from among the dead," Col 1:18; Rev 1:5; Act 13:30-33; et al. Our daily experience is: "As it is written: For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter,'" Rom 8:36. We must patiently endure this covenant training or we will not qualify for the firstborn sonship of Christ.
Observe that Christ is the Author of His covenant firstborn salvation only to those who are constantly obeying Him, Heb 5:8-9. The tense is present participle. If one stops believing and obeying by grace through faith, they forfeit this covenant salvation, which is over and beyond salvation from hell. Do not be weary and faint in your lives:
7 "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
8 "For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
9 "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart," Gal 6:7-9.
RESISTED TO BLOOD, STRIVING AGAINST SIN
"You have not yet resisted to blood, striving against sin," Heb 12:4.
What is our sacrifice? Most of us think like the world, talk like the world, dress like the world, live like the world, and have the power and performance of the Laodicean church. Little difference, Rev 3:16-17.
32 "But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings:
33 "Partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated;
34 "For you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.
35 "Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.
36 "For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise," Heb 10:32-36.
We must resist sin. Our biggest enemy is within our own selves. I have met my greatest enemy, and he is I. I am weak in the flesh, and the more I feed earthy food into my MIND, the stronger my fleshly desires become. We must get up early enough every day to feed our minds on the Word of God and to earnestly pray, so that we can be more transformed into the image of Christ throughout each day. We can fool ourselves, and think we are alright, but so do all Laodieans, Rev 3:16-17. Really, what price are we paying while we pay our devotions (worship) before the altar of Baal (the TV) and feed our minds on earthy things?
YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN
"And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
6 "For whom the LORD is loving He is chastening, and is scourging every son whom He is receiving,'" Heb 12:5-6. Please Observe:
1. Disciplinary Training.
The word "chasten" means disciplinary training by means of teaching and training (in everything we feel, think, say, and do 24 hours every day), as well as discipline by means of correction and punishment. In the Scriptures, all of these are normally a means of training and qualifying the covenant people to be approved for the firstborn sonship of Christ. For instance:
12 "Blessed is the man who is enduring temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him," Ja 1:12.
All temptations are temptations only from Satan's efforts to entice us to sin. The same temptations (same Greek word) are not temptations, but are trials from God's efforts to qualify us within His covenant training program. God is purposely and directly involved in everything that happens to us, day and night, regardless of how small and indirect the incident may be. In God's meticulous, all-pervasive covenant training blueprint of every covenant person's daily life, God is always supplying sufficient grace for us to overcome and be victorious, 1Co 10:13; 15:57-58; 2Co 2:14-16; 4:7-12.
2. God chastens only those in covenant relationship with Him.
"Hear this word that the LORD has spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying,
2 "YOU ONLY HAVE I KNOWN of all the families of the earth: THEREFORE I will punish you for all your iniquities," Amos 3:1-2; Ex 19:1-6; Deu 7:6-11; 26:16-19; Ps 147:19-20; Rom 11:1-2; 8:28-30; 9:1-11; et al.
The words know, known, foreknown, predestined, called, elected, justified, and glorified all refer to Israel as God's covenant people, with the church being grafted into the stock of Abraham, and therefore being God's Israel in this age, Rom 11:11-22; 2;28-29; 1Pe 2;5,9; et al. God's chastening or training program is a covenant provision for the covenant people only, Deu 4:7-9; 29:29; Ps 25:14; 103:7; 147:19-20; Rom 3:1-2.
We must recognize that God's chastening (training) includes everything that happens to us, and everything we feel and do, whether good or bad, however small and incidental it may be, without a single exception everything we think, feel, say, and do everything fed into our minds through our five senses, and our reaction to such through our emotions, thoughts, words, and deeds. God knew all these things from eternity, and permitted them to happen to us. He could have prevented any and all of these things, and steered our course of life differently.
Pardon the repetition, but God permitted all these things to happen to us to test and record our reaction for us to see at the judgment seat of Christ. Our reaction to ALL these things will determine our status and function in the ages of ages in eternity to come. God has instructed us as to how we should face and react to everything that happens to us. God is recording our actions and reactions, and will judge us accordingly. This is God's chastening. This is His training. This is the way God is qualifying His faithful covenant people for the firstborn sonship of Christ.
Those who reject John's baptism have rejected the counsel of God against themselves, Lk 7:29-30. Those who have rejected John's baptism have rejected the circumcision of Christ against themselves, Col 2:11-12. Those who have rejected John's baptism cannot walk in the light as God is in the light, 1Jn 1:5-7. Those who have rejected John's baptism have rejected the doctrine of Christ and do not have the Father nor the Son, 2Jn 9-11.
The covenants provide the training (chastening) for qualifying the covenant people to share in the firstborn sonship of Christ, Ex 4:22-23; Heb 12:23. Saved people outside the church (outside the covenants) are not firstborn sons, but slave sons of God, and are not chastened (trained) by the Lord, because the training program is a part of the covenants. None of God's training is outside the covenants, Deu 4:7-9; 29:29; Ps 25:14; 103:7; 147:19-20; Rom 3:1-2.
There are many saved people outside the covenants, but they will be punished when the Lord returns and will be the nations on the new earth, 1Co 11:32. Every covenant person is in the position as firstborn sons by virtue of being joined to the body of Christ as members of Christ's body, and therefore are trained by the Lord as Christ was trained or chastened, Heb 5:8-9.
3. The chastening (training) of the Lord is not all punishment for wrongdoing.
Jesus did no wrong, yet He learned obedience by suffering a multitude of hardships during His life on earth: He worked in the carpenter's shop, studied the Scriptures diligently, fasted forty days and nights, and was tempted by the greatest of enemies; He faithfully walked many, many miles of hot, dusty roads; He sweated and hungered and thirsted, He became fatigued and required rest; He taught the multitudes, and prayed into the late night, early in the morning, and sometimes all night long; and His heart was often heavy, even near to death, for a lost and dying world, and especially for His unheeding covenant people, Mt 4:1-11; Jn 4:6; 11:35; Lk 6:12; 19:41-44; 22:40-44; Mt 26:36-46; Heb 5:7.
QUESTIONS AND WORK TASKS FOR CHAPTER THREE
1. Define how the Bible is a book of disciplinary training.
2. Give scripture and explain how the Bible is the repository of inspired truth.
3. Describe how Israel (and now the church) is the repository of the Scriptures.
4. Explain why the Scriptures were committed to Israel and the church.
5. Briefly summarize each chapter of the book of Hebrews. Every field of learning, exercise, and worship is a discipline.
6. Who were the "so great a cloud of witnesses," and how did they witness?
7. Does anything happen to us by accident before God? Explain and give scriptures with your answer.
8. How is Christ the author and finisher of our faith? Ref: Heb 12:2-3; 1:2; 2:6-10; 5:7-8; Mt 28:18-20; Jn 4:34; Jn 4:4.
9. Summarize the joy that was set before Christ in Heb 12:2-3. What was the zenith of that joy?
10. Itemize briefly many of the things included in God's disciplinary training. Consider Hebrews 11 with its many examples.