Archive for October 2011

Epistle to the Hebrews (1:8-9)   Leave a comment

Epistle to the Hebrews

Epistle to the Hebrews

But about the Son he says,“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.”” Hebrews 1:8,9

Now the arguments are getting even stronger.

“But about the Son he says”:
As we saw in v7, when God talked about angels, He always referred to them as servants but to the Son it’s significantly different.

“Your throne”:
First, this Son has a throne. But a throne indicates superiority. But why? Should not there be only One supreme place in heaven?

“O God”:

That’s a great statement! So this Son has a throne(we’ll have a look soon) and He is called God, by God Himself. God the Father is talking to God the Son. This is getting complex but it does not matter if we cannot comprehend the nature of God with our limited mind and knowledge. We were simply not gifted intellectually by God to comprehend why it is like that. But one day we’ll see Him face to face. “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2

“will last for ever and ever”
This indicates that He is existence. He is a no-beginning-no-end.

“a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom”

A scepter is staff held by a sovereign/ruling power as an emblem of authority. His ruling power is Justice and in Psalm 97, we read:

Clouds and thick darkness surround him;righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.Fire goes before him and consumes his foes on every side.

His Kingdom will always survive because the foundation of His Kingdom is not built with tangible materials (gold, silver). His Kingdom will continue to exist not because it is based on some cleverly thought core values or motto. But, righteousness and justice are its foundation. No trace of evil. He hates wickedness.

has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy
It’s quite a complicated verse.

This is how I understand it:

Jesus was put below the angels for a while (Hebrews 2:9, Philippians 2:7) when He took a mortal body on earth.

FROM PAUL, a bond servant of Jesus Christ (the Messiah) called to be an apostle, (a special messenger) set apart to [preach] the Gospel (good news) of and from God,Which He promised in advance [long ago] through His prophets in the sacred Scriptures–[The Gospel] regarding His Son, Who as to the flesh (His human nature) was descended from David,And [as to His divine nature] according to the Spirit of holiness was openly designated the Son of God in power [in a striking, triumphant and miraculous manner] by His resurrection from the dead, even Jesus Christ our Lord (the Messiah, the Anointed One).” Romans 1 (AMP)

But after His resurrection, He was triumphantly declared the Son of God through the power of the Holy Spirit and He returned to His glorious place. The oil of joy was used after mourning, to anoint kings or priests.

The NLT puts it as such : “You have hated what is wrong. That is why God, Your God, has chosen You. He has poured over You the oil of joy more than over anyone else.”

Posted October 30, 2011 by Cedric in Theology

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Epistle to the Hebrews (1:6-7)   1 comment

Epistle to the Hebrews

Epistle to the Hebrews

And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says,“Let all God’s angels worship him.”In speaking of the angels he says,“He makes his angels spirits,and his servants flames of fire.” ” Hebrews 1:6
Paul described to the Colossians this concept of firstborn alluding to the Son.

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.” Colossians 1:5-18

God has many sons and daughters born of the Spirit. However, Jesus is the reference when we want to talk about Son of God. There is only one firstborn – it’s the Son. Adam was the first human created but Jesus preceded him in the spiritual realm. Jesus is the firstborn over all creation(He existed before creation) and also in resurrection. This title of firstborn does not mean He was the first one to be created. He holds this title as an indication of His leadership on God’s household. Only Him rose from the dead. He is the One who made all things new and on the cross He said “It is finished”.

Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” John 12:23

All these verses describe that Jesus’ death and resurrection are the start of something new. He is also the author, firstborn and predecessor of this new creation. He is the Redeemer and we are the redeemed. As clearly explained by Paul (Romans 6), we have been baptised in His death and are made new by His life. He is also our elder brother (Hebrews 2:12). We are sons and daughters of God because of what Jesus did. But Jesus is THE Son of God, not just an ordinary son. He was the first One who rose from the dead and is therefore the firstborn of this new covenant.

Being firstborn also demonstrates His supremacy. The NLT puts it as such:

And when he brought his supreme Son into the world, God said,“Let all of God’s angels worship him.”

God said to the angels to worship Jesus. This statement has eternal implications. God is jealous and He will not give His glory to another (Isaiah 42:8).

God told the angels He created to worship the Firstborn…Why is this?
In the OT, the seraphim were calling out to one another “Holy, Holy, Holy”

It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple.Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. They were calling out to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!The whole earth is filled with his glory!” Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke.” Isaiah 6

When God talks of angels, He refers to them as servants. As we saw in Heb 1:7, these servants worship Jesus. This is a spectacular description of what happens everyday and every night in heaven (Rev 4). The angels never stop saying “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies”. The seraphim are powerful and they are close to the Lord God Almighty. Could this be the reason why they use 2 of their wings to cover their feet – to hide the lower part of their body? With 2 other wings they covered their face. Why? Because they are not worthy to see the glory and holiness of the God Almighty?
The 2 other wings to hover around and “guard God’s Holy domain and presence from any sin and corruption” as per Jewish view.

Jesus is not like these powerful angels. He is the One whom these angels fear and serve.

Could these 3 Holy’s refer to the “members” of the Tri-unity? Holy is God the Father, Holy is God the Son and Holy is God the Spirit.

If we continue reading this verse, we see “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” .

Why “US”?
It is analogous to Genesis 1:26, when God created man “God said, Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness

If God told the angels to worship Jesus then it means that Jesus is also God. This cannot be a decision taken by God 2000 years ago after Jesus’ death. This is something which has always been and will always be. If angels in heaven adore Him, should not we bow before Jesus? If this Jesus is really God then all what is written about Him should be true.

The author is venturing on a topic very important.

Posted October 23, 2011 by Cedric in Theology

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Epistle to the Hebrews (1:3-5)   Leave a comment

Epistle to the Hebrews

Epistle to the Hebrews

… After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son;today I have become your Father”? ” Hebrews 1:3-5

He came to take away our sins by offering Himself. It never occurred in the OT than a man laid his life voluntarily to forgive the sins of the nation. What we see is that High Priests were doing the purification of sins of Israel by sacrificing animals once a year. They did it because it was their job. It was the animals who were dying because of sinners. It was no funny activity to see an animal slaughtered just because a human sinned. This just showed how sin was unacceptable before God. It would not have made sense if a sinner proposed to die to forgive sinners. This would have been an abomination before God. But here we see an unusual way of providing the purification of sins. This sacrifice was not done as per Jewish traditions. It was not an animal but a human. But what could make this sacrifice acceptable before God? Many people in the Philippines crucify themselves but God takes pleasure in that. This is a kind of rebellion against God’s provision.

But why was Jesus’s sacrifice accepted? Furthermore, why is it written that he was also exalted and “sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven” after He offered His life? Who was He? The name He was given was superior to the angels. But what was His name?

God never said to an angel “You are my Son;today I have become your Father. I will be his Father and he will be my Son” NLT. But Jesus is God’s Son. He is called God’s Son because His origin is divine. But His name since eternity past is the Word of God (Rev 19:13)

It seems through this verse that at moment in time, the second person of the Trinity became the Son of God. More precisely, it happened when the Word of God became flesh (John 1). Jesus was born through the action of God the Spirit on the virgin Mary. The intervention of the Spirit led to the birth of a person of divine origin – The Son of God. The birth through a woman, led also to a person having human nature, the Son of Man.

He did not deny that he was the Son of God.

The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.” John 19:7

Jesus said He was the Son of God because His origin was divine. He was also called the Son of man because He was born of a woman. It’s only in the NT that this expression Son of God is explained clearly and revealed.
But Jesus interchangeably identified Himself as being both the Son of God and the Son of Man. Divinity and humanity was found in one Being. Does not it make Him a suitable High Priest? God’s contact to humanity is through Jesus. Our contact to the Holy God of heaven is Jesus. Jesus is the Head, the anointed One and the perfect Mediator.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father also. From now on, you do know him. And you have seen him.” John 14:6

But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.” They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?”He replied, “You say that I am.”Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.” Luke 22:69-71

This is an important aspect in the Epistle of Hebrews because that makes Jesus a suitable High Priest who is able to sympathise and understand the weaknesses of humans. This is why He can intercede. He knows what it means to be living in the flesh. This is a great assurance for us because Jesus is someone who knows what it means to be tempted. He is not only a God who has thunder in his hand but He has also a staff to protect us from danger. He is the Lion of Judah but is also the Good Shepherd.

Where was the Son sitting? He was sitting at the right hand as per scripture. But that’s a great privilege, is not it? If we have a look at how kings and queens are seated, it’s always the King who sits at the right. So the author is not saying that there’re several thrones, but he wants to emphasise that Jesus took the place  of supremacy – the King’s place. But where was the Majesty in heaven seated then? It’s not a question of seating left or right but a question of honor. The Father and the Son are One. I was once asked by a Oneness “When you’ll go to heaven, how many thrones will you see?” I told him one because Revelation 3:21 says : “To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.”

It’s quite mysterious but such a beautiful illustration of unity. When a man unites himself with a woman, the two become one flesh (Gen 2:24). It’s a mystery but it’s just like that. They are 2 individuals but one entity. I have a soul, a body and a spirit but yet I’m still one person. There’re no 3 Cedrics, only one. Was not I created in God’s image? So I’m a kind of trinity also…

So it’s not 1+1+1 but 1*1*1.

Posted October 22, 2011 by Cedric in Theology

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Love   1 comment

Love=Giving

Love=Giving


This week I saw on billboards the adverts of the first Mauritian portal for dating. If we just pay attention to what people say, to what we see around and what people do, there must be something related to what people call “Love”. I once read that an experiment was done with babies where love/affection/communication were withheld but all physical needs were carefully given. All the babies died even though they were healthy physiologically. This experiment showed that we all need love/affection… Some people are even ready to do crazy things to be loved or to show their love. There’re just so many things to say about this subject.

I just want to go through some meaning of this word “Love” but before, I would like to mention these quotes before starting:

Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not want what belongs to others. It does not brag. It is not proud. It is not rude. It does not look out for its own interests. It does not easily become angry. It does not keep track of other people’s wrongs.Love is not happy with evil. But it is full of joy when the truth is spoken. It always protects. It always trusts. It always hopes. It never gives up. Love never fails.”

No one has greater love than the one who gives his life for his friends.

Love is NOT a feeling as many people think. It’s all about giving. When you love someone you give your time, what you have, you do not seek your own interest. When you love someone you give yourself to that person. But what we see around us is the opposite.

This is what we hear ‘If you love me, do this for me”.

Love does not impose a condition, there’re no ifs. Love is about you giving yourself without expecting something in return. It’s action, not just words. We know that…
If you love someone you will respect that person.
How many times we hear youths saying “If you love me, have sex with me”. But this is not love, this is selfishness. If you really love someone, you won’t ask him/her something which s/he is not comfortable with.

Love is not sex. Love is not about feeling good with someone, infatuation, being attracted etc
Even if there’s no feeling, love should still be there. It’s a commitment to continue giving yourself to the person you love…

If a man likes a woman (or vice versa) to get something , this is called selfishness.
If a man likes a woman (or vice versa) to give something, this is love.

Is not it more beautiful when a man and woman do all they can to please the one they love? Is not it more genuine?
But when 2 people want to please themselves, they both lose.
When you give love, you receive in return. When you want to receive but don’t make an effort to give, you are selfish.
You can’t force someone to love you.
Many marriages fail because one partner is not willing to give.

Those quotes above were taken from the bible. This is what Jesus taught and lived.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” John 3

God proved his love by giving His Son to save sinners. Love and giving cannot be dissociated. God is love and he gave an example of love to mankind.

When you say “I love you”, think twice if you’re ready to give yourself, your time, everything to the person you love. Jesus did it. He went to the extent of giving his life for you. Even if you ignore His love for you, that would not change the fact that He’ll still love you…

It's all about giving anyway

It's all about giving anyway

Posted October 15, 2011 by Cedric in Thought-provoking

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Epistle to the Hebrews (1:1-3)   Leave a comment

Epistle to the Hebrews

Epistle to the Hebrews

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. Hebrews 1:1-3

There were about 433 years between Malachi (the last book of the OT) and Matthew (the first book of the NT). The author makes allusion to God’s way of communicating with His people (Israel) through the prophets during the ages. For instance, God used Moses as a vessel to show His will and plans for Israel. The law was given by God through Moses to Israel. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezechiel were similarly used by God to warn Israel and show them His will. God spoke to Israel either through a vision, a revelation, a dream, an angel or by voice. God was not always talking to them daily, monthly or yearly. The prophets would say “Thus saith the Lord” but Jesus said “Verily, verily I say unto you”. It’s no longer “God is telling you” but “I am telling you”. It was now more personal, God spoke through His Son. It is a very important theme that the Son is the agent through whom God speaks.

For example, the word of the Lord was rare in Samuel’s time. God was not speaking frequently.

The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions. ” 1 Sam 3.

We can realise that the people of Israel were somehow depending on the prophets to get some news from above. These prophets were also just ordinary men. I don’t think they were perfect intermediaries/mediators between God and the people. Saying “I love you” to someone has more impact when it is said face to face than through someone. Not everyone were prophets or priests in the tribes of Israel so many had to go through the spiritual leaders.

The author wanted to emphasize that God was now speaking to His people through His Son. It was not just a prophet. It was the long promised Messiah. It was God’s Son, God Himself. Do we realize the implications? God was speaking through prophets before to demonstrate His concern, will and love. Now, He came down to speak to His creation. Daily He spoke in the temple, on the road, on the mountain, in boat and houses. He was accessible. They could touch Him. God did not send another prophet to proclaim His Word, it was the Holy Word Himself who came in the person of Jesus (John 1). God having a son is absurd to many and seems like a contradiction to Christ’s deity. If we consider Jesus as a biological son of God we’ll be confused because we’ll associate a beginning to His existence. Jesus’ relationship with God is one that resembles the love between a father and a son, it did not begin at a point in time as if He was created. It logically follows that his sonship is relational and not biological.

This is what John said :

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 life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.” 1 John 1

The Word spoken by Jesus was God’s very Word, directly from God’s heart. God’s very thoughts and sentiments were expressed through the manifestation of the Son.

I am telling you what I saw when I was with my Father.” John 8:38

When Jesus rebuked the Pharisees, He did it with the very sentiments God had. For example when talking about Jerusalem, Jesus talked as if He was the One who sent the prophets. He expressed the rejection He felt. Mark 12 tells us about a man who rented his vineyard to some farmers. He sent his servants to collect fruits from the tenants and whenever he did, the tenants harmed or killed the servants. The man finally sent his son hoping they would respect him, but they did not and rather killed him.

He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’“But the tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.”

Jesus said:

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing” Mat 23:37

God’s expression of love, compassion and justice were all contained in the Son? The Son was God’s voice, He is God’s very utterance made flesh.

We entered the ‘last days’ 2000 years ago when Jesus came. We are now in the end of days. His coming was the end of a covenant and the start of a new one. His coming implied the end of sacrifices and the fulfillment of the law. How I wished I were in Jesus’ time and heard only one Word from Him! This Son is the exact representation of who God is and the world was made by the Word (Jesus). It is an argument that the author will substantiate in the following verses to prove that Jesus is God.

Posted October 9, 2011 by Cedric in Theology

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