Archive for September 2011

Epistle to the Hebrews (Intro)   2 comments

Epistle to the Hebrews

Epistle to the Hebrews

The Epistle to the Hebrews is the book of the bible which gave me the answers I needed to my many questions on Christianity. This epistle brought life and peace in my heart. I was skeptic about his divinity before reading that epistle. I was told by a a church leader that there were certain things that were difficult to explain and that I just had to accept by faith. My mind was rejecting this faith-in-the-unknown theology. The Trinity is central to the Christian faith so why should I blindly consider the Jesus of the bible to be God? This is a serious statement. There were many teachings in the scripture about wisdom and sin that I saw were true but when it came to the divinity of Jesus I could not digest it and started to have some doubts on the veracity of the scripture.

If all Christians believe that Jesus is God, then why should I? I wanted an unbiased answer. I could vaguely believe that Jesus was the Son of God and that He died for my sins. But I could not believe that He was God. I did not want to be fooled or worship someone whom Christians considered God. How could I be sure that it was not a man-made theology? If I believed in this doctrine then I would be blindly having faith in something I had no conviction of truth. Should I believe in a religious system just because my parents did? I was already baptized in the church, yet Jesus was not the central being of my life. I could not accept that He could be my God. I could not accept the doctrine of the Trinity. Verses that local preachers used e.g. Mat 3:16 could not prove that Jesus was God or prove the Trinity. I read here and there what theologians said and some of the verses they used were not clearly showing the concept behind the Trinity.

If the Trinity cannot be explained then why should I believe in something that cannot be explained?  Why should Christians have a partial understanding of this doctrine or even have a blind faith in it? Having a “faith” that would kill my conscience was hard. Before my study on the Epistle to the Hebrews, I believed that there could be only 1 God whom in my mind was the Father. It was not an entirely wrong belief. For me, there could be only a supreme God. I could not believe that there could be such things as “small gods” since God is by definition the Supreme Being and He cannot have a competitor. The Jehovah’s witnesses for instance believe that Jesus is not God but a “god”. They could solve many questions with this slight adjustment regarding Jesus.The Trinity appeared to me to have 3 Gods and that was problematic for my Christian faith.

Here are some legitimate questions regarding the doctrine of Trinity:

Is Jesus God? Yes. Is the Father God? Yes. Is the Spirit God? Yes. Do these 3 “Yes” mean there’re 3 Gods? No. But yet there’s still only One God, right? Yes.

Is not it confusing ? No. Why? In the book Genesis, God said “Let us make man in our own image“. Why this “us” then? Are we really created in God’s image? Yes. Why?

My soul is who am I i.e. “Cedric”. My body is who am I i.e. “Cedric”. My spirit is who am I i.e. “Cedric”. How many Cedrics are there? One, not three. I’m myself a proof that I’m a kind of trinity so how I can disagree with the concept of the tri-unity? My mind cannot understand why it’s like that but I can’t deny it’s reality. It’s not 1+1+1 but 1*1*1.

Explaining what is the Trinity is simple if we use the bible, it’s the many why’s behind it that are hard to explain. I appreciate much the way Nicky Cruz explained it in His book “The Magnificient 3”. It was original and I recommend it for new believers. There’re many things written on the subject of the Trinity, it’s not my aim to add to them.

In the coming posts, I will share my findings on this amazing topic that Jesus is God using the Epistle of Hebrews. Several theologians try to glue a verse here and there to try to explain problematic questions regarding the Trinity. By doing so, they are not giving justice to the verses they are using. They are misusing the Word of God to give an approximate answer to problematic questions. The bible clearly demonstrates that Jesus is God even if many people challenge it. If someone can prove that Jesus is not God then Christianity is a big lie.

Several years ago, I read the book “The Holiest of All” by Dr Andrew Murray. It is a really good book on this topic – The best I found. It was in fact through this book that I came to understand that Jesus was God.  I’ve been to church since 1995 and for more than 10 years I never heard sermons/bible studies based on this book.

When someone has this deep conviction that Jesus is God, His way of living can no longer be the same. This book has all the ingredients to make Christians realize that Jesus is not just a “son of God” as many think. He is not just a sacrifice for sins. This Jesus is God, He sits on God’s throne, all created beings in heaven adore Him since eternity past, He is God’s chosen High Priest for eternity, He is the Supreme Judge, He reigns in heaven and simply ignoring Him is hell. My perspective changed abruptly after studying this book. I bowed to my knees and asked Jesus to forgive me for refusing to adore Him and arguing with Him for so long. I was like doubting Thomas and refused to believe if I got no proofs. But God in His patience saved me from my incredulity. It took me months to study this book and restudy it again.

Murray in his book mentioned that Jesus took Peter and John with Him, brought them onto a high mountain and was transfigured before them. This is what happened to me when I studied the epistle to the Hebrews. I wish that Jesus also reveals Himself to you in a powerful way through this study. Murray was right to say that we Christians need to know Jesus more. This lack of knowledge is what keep Christians carnal and immature. Many pastors and teachers pour their heart before God asking for a cure to the mediocre life of faith of their fellow brothers and sisters. Why is there indifference, lack of love, quarrels, lack of holiness and lack zeal amidst the church? Instead of hastily concluding that the church goers are not Christians, I guess the sad truth is that these Christians do not really know Jesus or have in mind a fictitious Jesus. That was my case and this is why my heart burns to exalt the Son of God through the coming posts.

This epistle requires that each single verse is examined in the light of the Old testament and the new. Throughout this epistle, the author has compacted deep theological teachings in single verses. I invite you to unpack a verse at a time for your meditation.

And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He[Jesus] is the only true God, and he is eternal life. ” 1 John 5:20