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Welcome to the Study of God Podcast.

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast is designed to give you a basic understanding of God, the Bible, and Christian beliefs. J. Dwight Pentecost said, “There is no higher activity in which the mind may be engaged than the pursuit of the knowledge of God.

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Theology of Hebrews, Part 2 (The Study of God #81)

Welcome to the Study of God Podcast. This is episode #81

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast is designed to give you a basic understanding of God, the Bible, and Christian beliefs. J. Dwight Pentecost said, “There is no higher activity in which the mind may be engaged than the pursuit of the knowledge of God.”

Let’s start out reading the Word of God Itself. Today’s passage of Scripture is Colossians 1:9-10 which reads: “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;”

Today’s words from a theologian are from Max Anders. He said: “To know God and to find one’s full satisfaction in that knowledge is the ultimate goal of Christian experience. The Lord’s greatest delight comes when His people discover the ultimate value lies in the knowledge of God. Nothing in the material world can complete with the delights that are present in His Person.”

Our topic for today is titled “Theology of Hebrews (Part 2)” from “The Moody Handbook of Theology” by Dr. Paul Enns.

Dr. Paul Enns writes…

THEOLOGY OF HEBREWS
God
The writer of Hebrews emphasizes both the person of the majestic God and the way He has revealed Himself to His people.

His person. The writer pictures the Father as exalted in the heavens, enthroned on high. The phrase is a title of God referring to Psalm 110:1. A similar picture is given in 8:1 where the term “Majesty” is again used. Since the book is written to a Jewish audience, this undoubtedly refers to “the Glory which rested on the Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies.”

The writer also discusses the approach to God by referring to His throne. Because Christ is the believer’s intercessor, they may draw near to God and do so with confidence. Jesus has assumed an authoritative position at the right hand of the Father.

The Jewish believers are reminded that their God was living, in contrast to the idols that are dead. The writer exhorts them not to return to a dead system but to serve the living God.

The use of fire as a figure of God symbolizes the judgment of God. This relates to the theme of Hebrews in warning them of forsaking the living God. They will experience the disciplinary judgment of God should they return to Judaism.

The book concludes with a mention of God as peace. He is able to give peace to the Jewish believers amid their persecution.

His revelation. The apex of God’s revelation was through His Son. In the Old Testament God spoke piecemeal and in many different ways, but the climax of His revelation was in the Person of His Son. The statement suggests there is no need for any further revelation. What greater revelation about God can be given than that which has come through Christ?

As a witness to the revelation in Christ, God performed miracles through the hands of His witnesses, the apostles, testifying to the great salvation in Christ. It is noteworthy that the writer of Hebrews places himself outside the age of miracles, indicating it was the previous generation that witnessed the miracles.

The magnitude of God’s grace is seen because through it Christ suffered death on behalf of all people.3 Hence, it is important that they appropriate this grace of God that has been manifested through Christ.

The theme of judgment is stressed in Hebrews because of the danger of the Hebrew Christians reverting to Judaism. Hence, they are reminded not to trample underfoot the Son of God through whom they were sanctified, for God will judge them for so repudiating the blood of Christ. However, should God judge them, it is a disciplinary action—an indication that He is dealing with them in a Father-child relationship . Since God will ultimately judge everyone, the Hebrew believers should not refuse the warnings. Those who have been faithful will be rewarded.

Let’s Pray —

Before we close, dear friend, I want to remind you that while it is important to engage in the study of God, it is far more important that you have a relationship with God. I fear that there are a lot of people who will die knowing a lot about God, but not really knowing God. You don’t want to be one of those people.

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will.

May God bless you and keep you until we meet again.

Why Should We Believe That Jesus Christ Is Human? (The Study of God #80)

Welcome to the Study of God Podcast. This is episode #80

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast is designed to give you a basic understanding of God, the Bible, and Christian beliefs. J. Dwight Pentecost said, “There is no higher activity in which the mind may be engaged than the pursuit of the knowledge of God.”

Let’s start out reading the Word of God Itself. Today’s passage of Scripture is 1 John 4:2-3 which reads: “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”

Today’s words from a theologian are from J.I. Packer. He said: “Once you become aware that the main business that you are here for is to know God, most of life’s problems fall into place of their own accord.”

Our topic for today is titled “Why Should We Believe That Jesus Christ Is Human?” from “Understanding Theology in 15 Minutes a Day” by Dr. Daryl Aaron.

Dr. Daryl Aaron writes…

As we saw in chapter 17, orthodox Christianity has always proclaimed that Jesus Christ is fully and eternally God. It has also maintained that he became fully human as well. Small pockets of Christians have denied this, believing that he was truly God but not truly human; he only appeared to be a human, or only a part of him was human. This too was quickly considered heresy.

The true humanity of Jesus is just as important as his deity, for at least the following reason: As the sacrifice for the many sins of many humans had to be infinite in nature, so it had to be truly human. Only a human can die in the place of another human. That is why animal sacrifices could never accomplish this; they were only lessons about sin, not the payment for sin (Hebrews 10:3–4). God, who is of infinite value, had to become human in order to provide an adequate substitutionary sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 2:17).
Biblical Evidence for the Humanity of Jesus Christ

The New Testament epistle of 1 John is important in this regard. The apostle John was addressing the destructive influence of some who denied Christ’s actual humanity. For example, he says, Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist. (1 John 4:2-3)

In light of this pressing issue, note how John began his epistle: That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.

“The Word” (logos) was John’s way of referring to Jesus Christ (compare John 1:1). Obviously he did not waste any time getting started; he said, in essence, “I am an eyewitness! I have heard, seen, and touched Jesus. And I assure you he is not a phantom—he is utterly and fully human.”

John was simply referring to his firsthand experience of what the New Testament records: Jesus was born, though not conceived, in a typical way (Luke 1–2). He had a human family tree (Matthew 1). He developed as a human (Luke 2:52). He had normal human needs (e.g., sleep, food, water). And he died physically (Matthew 27:50), as all humans do.

The New Testament refers to him as a “man”; Jesus presented himself as such (John 8:40). Paul, who referred to him as a man to Greek philosophers in Athens (Acts 17:31), also developed a key point involving the first man—Adam—and another man, Jesus Christ, “the last Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:45; see Romans 5:12–21). This argument rests on Jesus’ being as human as Adam, and his getting right what Adam got wrong for the benefit of all who would trust in him.

Paul says, “There is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). There it is in one verse—Jesus is both divine and human. As we saw in chapter 17, he made the same point elsewhere: “In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives [his deity] in bodily form [his humanity]” (Colossians 2:9).
Another evidence of Jesus’ true humanity is the term Son of Man. For example, Jesus said, “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). This term, rich in meaning, connotes even more than the fact that Jesus is human. The Old Testament background of many of the later uses of this term is Daniel 7:13–14: In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days [God] and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

This is a reference to the Messiah, as even some Jewish interpreters acknowledge and as early Christians came to understand. So not only is the Messiah human, he also comes from heaven (compare John 3:13; 6:62). This, combined with the fact that he will be worshiped by all people (Daniel 7:14), implies his deity. “Son of Man” means not only that the Messiah is fully human but also that he is God at the same time.

Let’s Pray —

Before we close, dear friend, I want to remind you that while it is important to engage in the study of God, it is far more important that you have a relationship with God. I fear that there are a lot of people who will die knowing a lot about God, but not really knowing God. You don’t want to be one of those people.

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will.

May God bless you and keep you until we meet again.

Theology of Hebrews, Part 1 (The Study of God #79)

Welcome to the Study of God Podcast. This is episode #79

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast is designed to give you a basic understanding of God, the Bible, and Christian beliefs. J. Dwight Pentecost said, “There is no higher activity in which the mind may be engaged than the pursuit of the knowledge of God.”

Let’s start out reading the Word of God Itself. Today’s passage of Scripture is Hebrews 11:1 which reads: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Today’s words from a theologian are from Billy Graham. He said: “Talk about God can become dreary and lackluster if God isn’t in you.”

Our topic for today is titled “Theology of Hebrews (Part 1)” from “The Moody Handbook of Theology” by Dr. Paul Enns.

Dr. Paul Enns writes…

INTRODUCTION TO HEBREWS
The introductory questions concerning the addresses and occasion and purpose for writing are particularly important in discussing the theology of Hebrews. The view that is taken concerning these issues will determine the interpretation of the theology of Hebrews.

Authorship
The authorship of Hebrews has posed a problem throughout the history of the Christian church and has been vigorously debated without resolve. The author nowhere identifies himself in the book, yet it seems he was known to the readers. He understood their circumstances and wrote with regard to them.

Date and Place of Writing
The book was written early; Clement of Rome quoted from it in A.D. 96. The present tense regarding the sacrifices suggests the temple was still standing; therefore, it was written prior to A.D. 70. Although the believers in the book were undergoing persecution, they had not experienced martyrdom. Because the fierce persecution began with the burning of Rome in A.D. 64, it is likely the book was written before that time.

The place of writing is difficult to determine. The reference “those from Italy greet you” could refer to Italy as a place of writing.

Destination
The title “To the Hebrews” is a second-century addition to the manuscript that may merely reflect the second-century opinion concerning the destination. The intrinsic evidence points to an assembly of Hebrew believers as the destination. (1) The book follows an argument from a Jewish standpoint through comparing Christ to the Levitical system. (2) The book uses Old Testament quotations. (3) The book has extensive mention of the Levitical priesthood. (4) Terminology occurs that is exclusively Jewish: angels, miracles, high priest, Moses, Aaron, law, covenant, tabernacle, holy place, sacrifices, and blood. (5) It contains an elaborate resume of Hebrew history. (6) There is a detailed discussion of the tabernacle.

The location of the readers is difficult to determine. Although it is not without problems, the suggestion that Jerusalem is the destination seems most reasonable. The present tense concerning offering gifts in 8:4 suggests conditions under which the offerings were actually being carried out.

Theological Purpose
The purpose of the book is to demonstrate the superiority of Christ and Christianity over Judaism. The addressees were Hebrew Christians: they are termed “holy brethren”, “partakers of a heavenly calling”, and “partakers of Christ”. Although their present condition was dangerous, the writer nonetheless considered them saved but in need of maturity and progress in their walk with Christ. They were in danger of lapsing back into Judaism. These Hebrew Christians were suffering persecution and had become discouraged. They had lost their property and had suffered public ridicule and ostracism for their faith in Christ. The writer addresses these circumstances, exhorting them to go on to maturity. He also warns them about the seriousness of apostasy.

Let’s Pray —

Before we close, dear friend, I want to remind you that while it is important to engage in the study of God, it is far more important that you have a relationship with God. I fear that there are a lot of people who will die knowing a lot about God, but not really knowing God. You don’t want to be one of those people.

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will.

May God bless you and keep you until we meet again.

Why Should We Believe That Jesus Christ is God? (The Study of God #78)

Welcome to the Study of God Podcast. This is episode #78

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast is designed to give you a basic understanding of God, the Bible, and Christian beliefs. J. Dwight Pentecost said, “There is no higher activity in which the mind may be engaged than the pursuit of the knowledge of God.”

Let’s start out reading the Word of God Itself. Today’s passage of Scripture is John 20:27-28 which reads: “Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.”

Today’s words from a theologian are from Alistair Begg. He said: “You don’t know who you are until you know God and you don’t know how to live until you’ve settled the question of how to die.”

Our topic for today is titled “Why Should We Believe That Jesus Christ is God?” from “Understanding Theology in 15 Minutes a Day” by Dr. Daryl Aaron.

Dr. Daryl Aaron writes…

In addition to being who God is and doing what God does, another evidence of his deity is that he made that claim himself: “I and the Father are one”. After his arrest, when the high priest demanded of Jesus, “Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God”, he replied, “You have said so. But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven”. Here Jesus quotes from two messianic prophecies, and that those listening understood these as references to a divine being is indicated by their reaction: “He has spoken blasphemy! . . . He is worthy of death”. This was the usual Jewish reaction to his claims of deity.

Some claims that may seem obscure to us couldn’t be missed by the Jews who heard Jesus, as evidenced by this same reaction. For example, “My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I too am working.” For this reason they tried all the more to kill Him; not only was He breaking the Sabbath, but He was even calling God His own Father, making himself equal with God. – John 5:17–18

Another unavoidable argument for Christ’s deity is that He accepted worship. He went so far as to say, “Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent Him”. In other words, if we don’t worship Him, we can’t worship God.

A little while after Jesus had given sight to the man born blind, he came back to this man, who had not yet seen Him, and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” When the man realized who this was, he said “‘Lord, I believe,’ and he worshiped Him”. When Jesus appeared to His disciples after His resurrection, He said to Thomas, “‘Stop doubting and believe.’ Thomas said, ‘My Lord and my God!’”.

What is so amazing about these examples is that these two loyal (strictly monotheistic) Jews did what they did. They believed in one God who has no physical form (thus the first and second commandments). Like others before them, they would rather have died than worship anyone but the one true God; the very thought was repugnant. But these men, like many others, worshiped Jesus because they had become completely convinced that this man is the one true God.

In historical context, what they did was absolutely revolutionary. And Jesus did not rebuke them. If thinking that He was God had revealed a terrible misunderstanding, Jesus could have taken the opportunity to say, “Hold on! Don’t worship me! Worship only God” (as, for instance, Paul and Barnabas did, and as angels repeatedly did). Jesus accepted worship because He is God and is worthy of it.

One of the reasons this doctrine is so crucial is that if Jesus is not fully God, there is no salvation to be found in His death. The sacrifice that would be sufficient for the many sins of the many people had to be a sacrifice of infinite value. No human being could provide this kind of sacrifice; only God Himself could. This is why the early Christians were so appalled at the deity of Jesus being denied. They knew His deity was absolutely vital for their salvation.

INTERESTING FACT: Two of the clearest New Testament texts regarding the deity of Jesus are Colossians 2:9: “In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,” and Hebrews 1:3: “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being.”

Let’s Pray —

Before we close, dear friend, I want to remind you that while it is important to engage in the study of God, it is far more important that you have a relationship with God. I fear that there are a lot of people who will die knowing a lot about God, but not really knowing God. You don’t want to be one of those people.

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will.

May God bless you and keep you until we meet again.