Agonizomai: Heb 13 - 07-08 - Christ - Unchanging Forever

Friday, May 28, 2010

Heb 13 - 07-08 - Christ - Unchanging Forever

Heb 13 - 07-08 - Christ - Unchanging Forever

Heb 13:7-8 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Many a legalistic, controlling, fundamentalist Southern Baptist minister would rejoice at words like this. "Give me your brains, along with your allegiance and your obedience. Toe the line no matter what I do and say, and even if I don’t do as I say, you jump when I say so because I have the authority of God on my side."

Well, I’ve got news for such people. You have God’s authority only inasmuch as you act and teach responsibly and truthfully. I’m not following you if you teach heresy. I’m not winking when you do things that you would discipline others for. But when you speak the truth I will strive to apply it, even if you don’t.

Now that’s just my orneriness and rebellion peeking through. But a careful reading of these verses clearly shows that leaders are to be "remembered" (for which read the old fashioned word "minded") only because or only insofar as they both delivered truth and lived it.

But the imitation of the faith of true and faithful ministers - far from being the idolization of mere men - is a harkening to Christ. For we are not imitating men, but imitating their faith. By "their faith" is meant both what they believed and how that belief was worked out in their lives. Now, what they believed and how they lived is more a question of Whom they believed and Who was manifested in them. This is why verse 8 draws our attention immediately not to the Apostles and prophets and ministers themselves, but to He Who never changes. He is what they all had in common. He was the unifying factor, the common (actually the uncommon) denominator, the Shekinah glory in the temple, the power at work in and through them.

They were witnesses to Christ - no more. Christ is the one witnessed to, attested to by all the saints in all the ages. Christ, not men. Christ the Rock, the Lord, the Almighty, the Creator and Redeemer of men. The same Christ through whom the universe received its existence still sustains it by the Word of His power. He did in olden times. He did while hanging on a cross. He does today. He was God then and he is God now. In the past, he brought things to pass according to his purposes and plans, as determined in the councils of eternity - and in the present and the future the same truth holds. Alpha and Omega. Beginning and end.


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