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Acts 16: 21. They are teaching a philosophy and a practice that is not acceptable or even lawful for us to receive as Romans. 22. So the multitude rose up against them while the magistrates tore off their clothing and commanded that they be flogged. 23. When they had flogged them severely they cast them into prison, telling the jailor to lock them away securely. 24. When the jailor heard this he put them both into maximum security and chained them up with their feet secured in timber shackles. 25. At midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing praises to God and all the other prisoners could hear them.
26. Suddenly there was such an earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken, and all the doors of the prison flew open and all the prisoners’ chains fell off. 27. This woke up the jailor who then saw the prison doors open and drew out his sword to kill himself, thinking that the prisoners had all escaped
28. But Paul cried out to him in a loud voice and said ‘Don’t do yourself any harm; we are all still here. 29. The jailor called for a light and ran into their cell and fell down on the ground shaking, at the feet of Paul and Silas. 30. He brought them out of the cell and said to them; ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ 31. They said; ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, as will your entire household’ 32. Then Paul and Silas spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all that belonged to his household. 33. The jailor then took Paul and Silas and bathed their wounds from the flogging, and was then baptized, along with all of his household. 34. Then he took them into his home and set a table of food before them. It was a time of great joy, believing in God, with his entire household.

1. The story of God’s reality in Jesus Christ challenged the philosophy and practice of the Roman world and its law.
2. The tellers and doers of this life and practice were punished and silenced and locked away.
3. Paul and Silas sang praise to God in the midst of this midnight hour darkness.
4. God intervened - an earthquake, destruction of the prison, everybody set free – chains fell off.
5. Hopelessness, futility and despair of life fell upon the man with the useless keys of imprisonment.
6. The man with the useless keys heard the voice of Paul, called for light, and shaking, asked to be saved
7. He was told to believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and his household would be saved.
8. Paul and Silas spoke the word of God to the whole household.
9. The man bathed their wounds, then he and his household were baptized.
10. There was a great celebration in the man’s home for all, with food shared at table, and great joy in believing in God.

THE REALITY
1 Corinthians 8: 6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we live in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we exist through him.
7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: (Holy Spirit revelation)

Faith that brings the true freedom of salvation here on earth has arrived. Faith is our discovery of God’s reality. We discover, then acknowledge, then commit, with our will to that reality. It is like being in a dark room, then someone turns the light on and we realize we are at a celebration party, and we join in, and hear the music and the laughter (Luke 15:7). Everything can now change.
If we live in the awareness of this reality of the determined fellowship of the Father and the Son toward us we will be swept up in the bigness of their goodness and love, and will be the manifestation of God by His Spirit.
Something true and powerful and loving from God is waiting to find expression in the earth. The soul of man is groping in darkness but it is searching perhaps now more than ever in history. At some point society realizes failure somewhere. And now it is everywhere. Some dreams have become nightmares, and ‘all creation groans, imprisoned, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God’.

 

Such a time as this

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DO NOT HINDER THE CHILDREN
Matthew 19:13 Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid (hinder/defraud) them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” And He laid His hands on them and departed from there.

Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

JUDGING THE WORLD
1 Corinthians 5:12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges

JESUS CAME TO SAVE THE WORLD NOT TO CONDEMN IT
The woman caught in adultery - Zaccheus the covetous tax collector.
1 Timothy 2:1Here are my directions: Pray much for others; plead for God's mercy upon them; give thanks for all he is going to do for them. Pray in this way for kings and all others who are in authority over us, or are in places of high responsibility, so that we can live in peace and quietness, spending our time in godly living and thinking much about the Lord. This is good and pleases God our Savior, for he longs for all to be saved and to understand this truth:

GOD WILL DEAL WITH THOSE IN GOVERNMENT
Ephesians 1:21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
Daniel 7:25 He will defy the Most High God and wear down the saints with persecution, and he will try to change all laws, morals, and customs. God's people will be helpless in his hands for three and a half years.
Esther 4:14 For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for your people from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

www.acl.org.au coalitionformarriage.com.au www.marriagealliance.com.au

 

The life of the cross

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Luke 9:23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?

The daily life of the cross is about having an understanding of the vertical and horizontal dimensions of the cross of Jesus, and finding God’s presence in the very centre of the cross in our lives. The vertical dimension is the ‘being’ dimension of our life in the cross, and the horizontal dimension is the ‘doing’ dimension of our life in the cross. We find ourselves in the very centre if we practice being still enough to connect to both at the one time. The horizontal ‘doing’ is always moving through time across our vertical ‘being’.

Colossians 1:16 All things were created through Him and for Him. He was before all else began and it is his power that holds everything together. He is the Head of the body, his Church--which he began; and he is the Leader of all those who arise from the dead, so that he is first in everything; for God wanted all of himself to be in his Son.
It was through what his Son did that God cleared a path for everything to come to him--all things in heaven and on earth--for Christ's death on the cross has made God one together with us all.

The Laminin molecule has proteins that form a cross, giving a structure that can bind to other cell membrane . The three shorter arms are particularly good at binding to other laminin molecules, which allows them to form sheets. The long arm is capable of binding to cells, which helps anchor organized tissue cells to the membrane.

 

 

 

A serving heart

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A SERVING HEART

Matthew 20:20 Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him. And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to Him, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.”But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They said to Him, “We are able.” So He said to them, “You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father.”And when the ten heard it, they were greatly displeased with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the world lord it over people, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

THE PLAN – CHAPTER 14 - INSTRUCTION

They heard the approaching sound of voices talking excitedly, and especially loud and excited was the voice of a woman. It turned out to be James and John arriving with their mother, who was greeted warmly by them all, as she was a woman well known for her religious zeal. She knelt down, facing Jesus, with her two sons standing behind her.
“Jesus, I have a favor to ask of you concerning my two sons. I know that they are favorites of yours, which is wonderful, as they are very special boys. So I was wondering if you might give them a special place in your kingdom, to be seated next to you, one on your right hand and one on your left. I don’t mind which side, as that would be entirely up to you.” There was a stunned silence.
Peter could contain himself no longer. He let out a loud explosive ‘Baah!’ like the bellow of an ox in distress. Similar irate sounds and heated words were hurled at the two sons, from the rest of the disciples, and then even at one another, as it became clear that they were all coveting some special position one day, if not right now.

Jesus knew he had a difficult situation on his hands, so he addressed the mother first.
“You don’t know what you are asking for. It cannot be done that way.”
He helped her to her feet and she stood, shaken. Then Jesus addressed the men.
“What you are all wanting for yourselves is not even mine to give. Father has given you all to me, but he alone gives place and position as he sees fit. I will give you instruction and teaching and serve as an example for you to follow, but if you are to follow me then you must follow all the way. I have a cup of pain and sorrow that I must drink, and an ordeal of suffering that I must go through. Are you able to share that with me, instead of some position of importance that you think you deserve?”
“Yes Master,” they all said, nodding and mumbling sheepishly to each other, sobered by the rebuke, and surprised at the meanness that they had witnessed in their own hearts. Jesus went on.
“Well you have been called by my Father to share just that, and you can get your minds off anything else. You cannot behave like the Empire rulers. They like positions of power so that they can dominate others, using fear to get what they want out of them. That is not the proper use of authority.”
“We are truly sorry,” said James.
“I have not finished yet, so please listen. I will know that you have demonstrated true authority when I see you serving one another, not competing with one another. This is the way it has to be in my kingdom. I have been sent to serve, not to be served, and to lay down my life for others. This does not stop me from having complete authority in all that I have been called to do. It is the same with you, and for all who want to follow me.”
They lifted their downcast eyes one by one to look at him, expecting to see anger in his face, but all they saw was kindness.
“Just because I have to correct you doesn’t mean that I don’t love you. In fact it means that I do love you.”
They believed him. That day they learned a lot about God and a lot about themselves. They realized one thing above all else, that they could not live life without God. No one could.

“Could you teach us how to pray?” asked John.
Jesus thought for a moment then he knew exactly what he had to say. “Let me tell you how I pray.”
They sat up as one and prepared their minds and hearts to hear what he had to say.
“The first thing I think of is my Father, and of how I respect him and honor his name, Father. I think of the fact that he has made me to be who I am, and who I am comes from who he is. My life on earth exists because his life exists. This connects me to him, and he is always waiting for that connection, always.

Then I tell him that I want everything in my life to go according to his plan, the one he has thought of for His heavenly Kingdom, and for his will to be done on earth according to that plan.

I then ask him to provide for me all that I need for his plan to work out in my life. This takes away any insecurity about my personal needs. I thank him for pouring out his forgiveness upon a struggling humanity, and for allowing me to flow with him in this towards others. I also ask for protection from the evil plans of The Lie, who wants me to become independent from Father, the way he did.

After that I just give glory and honor to him in praise, telling him how great and awesome he is. Then I just relax and wait for what he puts in my spirit for us to talk about.”

He sat and waited.
Thomas had a question.
“How can we have the confidence to approach Father God like that? We are not like you, we are sinners. We feel shut away from him when we have let God down by being selfish. There are all kinds of things that we keep getting wrong.” He looked at his companions to see what they might say, or if they would just remain silent and let him look the fool. James coughed nervously, then stammered out,
“The worst thing I find about myself is that I tend to judge others for their faults and not see my own glaring mistakes.”
John edged forward and said tentatively,
“There are times when I just want my own way, and being kind like you is the last thing I think of.”
The kindness of Jesus again washed over their souls.
“Father knows that you fail quite often and that not one of you can be the person you would like to be, but nobody can escape the tug of the ‘Me’ self and its need to have its own way.” He looked at Peter who finally decided to speak up, the words rushing out of his bursting heart.
“I get dragged away by something dark inside of me that makes me want to defend myself. I find I have no room for God in my heart at times like that.”

Jesus leaned forward.
“There is only one way that you can rise above that tug from the darkness inside all of you, and that is by living each moment within the love of Father God. He has always wanted this for you and for every other person ever born.”
Jesus paused for a moment, and waited for this truth to sink into their minds.
“He can put aside all your wrongdoing and not let it come between you and him. He can draw you into the same love that he has with me, that is his Plan. But I must die first, lose my life for you, then rise up and present that life to Father, then I will be able to give you that life, and the same closeness with Father that I have.”
“How will this happen?” asked John.
“I am creating a new heart for humanity, a new motivation for living, so that everyone can enjoy and share in the love that exists between Father and me. Holy Spirit will place that amazing love in the hearts of all who ask for it.”

 John 12:25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

Losing our life to save it is when the ‘me’ self makes way for the ‘Jesus with me’ self which is the true self. That is the narrow way that leads to life. ‘If any one serves me him my Father will honor’ (to honor means Father recognizing what we do as honoring Jesus and himself – not ourselves - out of our hearts) The ‘me’ self can live it's own life and follow its own idea of serving and not be where the ‘Jesus and me’ is going to.
That is where Jesus has to say as in - yes I saw you doing a lot of things saying you were doing them in my name but I never knew you (Matthew 7:23). Jesus was preparing his disciples for this narrow way - but they had to wait till the Holy Spirit had come before they could enter into it. Holy Spirit has arrived and now true serving can happen.
God is not impressed with our performance, at least he does not have confidence in it, as also Paul in his flesh (Philippians 3:4). But God has confidence in his empowered performance within our hearts in doing the best we can. His mercy overrides our imperfect performance when our hearts are knit with his. (don’t have to think of what it looks like before man, but what our heart is before the Father)

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The light beam of god’s love is the only thing that can reorder our world, and dispel the darkness of the hatred and division that is being seen in today’s world.
1 John 2:11. Whoever acts hatefully towards his brother is living life in darkness and does not know where his life is taking him, because the darkness blinds his eyes to the way ahead of him.

WHERE DO THE DIVISIONS COME FROM?
We all derive a sense of belonging from somewhere. Our sense of belonging comes firstly from our family. Here is where parents determine the values and worldview of the child. They determine which race, culture, religion and political preferences a child belongs to. A child pins its loyalty to these worldviews of the family ‘isms’ and can start to feel different from others. This is how tribal values and behaviours begin, between the ages of 7 to about 12 and into adolescence. Emotional attachments are formed to the tribal flag or banner and that causes separation.
One group will devalue the values of another group and then tend to devalue the persons in that group. But breaking out is as commonplace as hanging in – just under another banner. Some ideological, cultural and religious groupings are like prisons that make it extremely difficult for people to break out. When these groupings become destructive within a peace loving community it becomes a matter of law and order to bring peace and order (Romans 13:1-7). Nonetheless even if the ideology is unredeemable, the individuals are always redeemable.
But we are talking here about people who should know better and who have a Judeo Christian heritage, and unfortunately separation has happened in various degrees over the years within Christianity between the thirty six thousand protestant denominations and the Catholic and the Orthodox Church etc. Galatians 3:27 … there is no Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male or female…
Here Paul defines ethnic, social, political, and gender groupings. Those kinds of groupings used to and still do bring division and hostility into human relationships. This has now become a social and political war of entitlement between special interest groups.
We also have people who advocate tolerance to ‘moral progressiveness’ speaking hatefully in their intolerance of those who stand up for traditional moral values.

TODAY’S WORLD
In the US in the last week there has been cultural and racial and political hostility erupting, culminating in the death and injury of people in Charlottesville Virginia. White Nazi supremacists from out of state, epitomized by one man from Carolina who justified the killing of an innocent woman, have become the focus of the darkness in the tribal divisions existing in the nation. America is better than that, but the hostile and angry rhetoric, sadly from people in the highest places of leadership have left millions of people, including myself, dismayed and disappointed. Both Democrats and Republicans are perplexed and confused.

I mentioned some weeks ago that there was to be a total eclipse of the sun over America on Monday, occurring from West to East (NASA map) starting from Oregon and ending in South Carolina. Is this symbolic of the darkness? Is God sending a wake up call?
Ephesians 4:6…One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
My hope is that the awakening would cause people to see one another as their Father in Heaven sees them.

Acts 17:26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our bein

The real hope

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The law (of human nature) says that whatever we put into life is what we get out of it.
The rule of Grace says – We get out of life what we let God put into it.
This especially true of how we lay the true platform of hope as a foundation in our lives. This affects our faith, and our love, all eternal things. No hope no faith!
How can we have real faith without real hope?
Hebrews 7: 19. The Law could never bring about the perfect work of God for us, but there has now been given to us the certain hope of God’s best for us, through which we can now lovingly embrace God.

EINSTEIN’S LIGHTBEAM
The only way that Einstein could fathom the true nature of time and space and matter in a divinely created Universe was for him to see himself riding a beam of light throughout that universe. He got a revelation (at 16 years of age) of what was to become his theory of special relativity. But his attempts to clarify this reality were condemned to failure as long as the mindset of the absolute character of time, or of space and measurement, and observation, was deep and unrecognized in the subconscious mind. The laws of cause and effect in these matters had to give way to a higher rule. The old reality rejected the thinking of the new reality (nice and fascinating and keep in the back of our minds but lets get on with doing what we’ve always done).

Relativity in the natural it is to the speed of light. It changes time and space. In the spiritual it is God's love. It changes mans heart. Everything to do with human actions and purpose and thinking is reordered by the knowledge of God's love.

What holds us back? Why would we not expect God’s best for us?
Maybe we have to deserve it?
Maybe God wants to withhold his best from us?

Answer:- We are either judging ourselves according to the law of performance, or judging God by listening to the voice of a world without faith.

Psalm 18:33…You make my way perfect…like the feet of a deer. You set my feet upon high places.
1John 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them.

Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

Matthew 19:26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

 

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THE PATIENCE THAT EXPANDS US.
James 1:4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. That means fullness, no lack, no emptiness, sharing he fullness of his spiritual being, his love, peace and joy.
So the perfect work is the increase of our capacity to contain more of this fullness of God within us.
God is always at work upon us and in us, to expand our capacity to contain more of Him. BUT when we say we want more of him it really translates out as - He wants more of us, and He puts that desire into our hearts to ask for more of him. (David’s broad place of enlargement Psalm 118:5 – Psalm 40).

THE PRAYER OF JABEZ
1Chronicles 4:9 ….” And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested. (What do we do with our pain?)

THE POTTER AND THE CLAY - a potter makes vessels that are designed to contain things and to be filled and to pour out and they need to be shaped. We have the treasure of him in our earthen vessels.
Isaiah 64:8 But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.
Jeremiah 18:4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.

The clay is soaked with water – He softens our hearts by the Holy Spirit
The clay is centered – everything now revolves around Jesus.
The clay is worked by hand inside and out – a complete work
The clay has to sit and wait – My heart is fixed Psalm 57:7
The clay is designed and marked uniquely – Our intimacy with him
The clay is fired – He is seen with us through the fire. Daniel 3:25

 

 

Two kinds of patience

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James 5:7 Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.

This is the kind of patience (macrothumia)that learns to wait through the process of sowing and reaping. It is the kind of patience that God honours throughout his Word.

Luke 6:38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

2 Corinthians 9:6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

This patience waits for a Scriptural process of faith to happen.

There is another kind of patience. This is the one Paul had to have in prison, and that we can have in difficult circumstances.
There are two kinds of patience.
One waits for a process to happen (macrothumia)
One waits for the assurance that God is happening (hypomone).

James 1:My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.(hypomone – to remain – stay under - in a given place - that may not seem to be going anywhere). ). But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing

This patience expands your heart to contain more of God and to touch the supernatural joy that only comes from God, that the world can’t give, as we surrender to his grace.

 

Strong on our behalf

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2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is perfect (peaceable, friendly) toward Him. (The words God speaks to us are relational)

God sees a fond heart towards himself as the ground and soil that allows entry for a mustard seed of faith to grow into acts of creative faith.

This is where faith begins, and this is where it stays.
Colossians 2:6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, ‘Received’ and ‘walk’ are highly relational words.

Trying too hard to have faith can make a person restless rather than restful. Jesus has told us that we are his friends, alongside him, who helps us as we wait for him, wherever we are in whatever circumstances with a new kind of hope for a new kind of faith.
John 15:15 I'm no longer calling you servants because servants don't understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I've named you friends because I've let you in on everything I've heard from the Father.

1Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
1Corinthians 4.22 … things present or things to come—all are yours. And you are Christ's, and Christ is God's.

This becomes the expectation of discovering God’s awareness and consideration of our neediness. Things happen that only he could arrange. We begin to realize how mindful of us he is. Hebrews 2:5

God’s thoughts towards us are intentional. We become his thought of us as we flow with him.
Psalm 139.17 How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly! I can't even count how many times a day your thoughts turn toward me. And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me!

 

 

 

 

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FAITH IS THE SUPERNATURAL ACTIVITY OF BRINGING TO PASS GOD’S CREATIVE PURPOSE.
FATHER PURPOSES, JESUS SPEAKS, HOLY SPIRIT ACTS.

The Key point that Paul wants to make in the concluding chapters from Hebrews chapter ten through to chapter thirteen is the difference between Old Covenant faith and New Covenant faith. Faith is a heart decision that releases God’s power. The capacity of the faith heroes of chapter 11, to endure suffering and death instead of escape because they trusted in the eternal goodness of God presupposes a relationship to that unseen world – that world of faith. Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and others all occupied that world. They heard God speak to them in their hearts, the place of communication where we can hear from God (Romans 10:17).

Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.

Paul listed the testimonies of those who were the forebears of those in the Hebrew church to encourage them to be faithful to God, through their own sufferings, and to embrace the new and powerful kind of faith, the faith of God himself through Jesus. Old Covenant faith was empowered by obedience to God’s word. New Covenant faith is empowered by receiving God’s faith and love. (Galatians 5:6)

Hebrews 11:39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the Promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect (complete) apart from us.

Hebrews 12:1. Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,
Background and Key Points

Paul writes to the Hebrew church to encourage them to continue confidently in their New Covenant faith. Many of them had become discouraged because of the trials they were going through and there was a crisis of faith in the life of the church community. They had already experienced adversity, humiliation, loss of property, and imprisonment. They were told to not cast away their confidence for it held great reward, and they were told to embrace the will of God and to receive The Promise Hebrews 10:32-36.
Some had stopped gathering together in fellowship and some had given up on grace in neglecting the great salvation they had been given through Jesus. Some had let attitudes of bitterness creep in. Paul goes to great pains to explain the difference between the Old Testament promises, and the New Testament PROMISE, summed up in the exchanged life of Jesus.

Acts 1:4 … wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now…

Each individual in the New Covenant can receive God’s gift of completed faith

 

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