Sunday, January 4, 2015

The better life in Jesus: Children (by adoption & faith) secure in the better life

Hebrews 11:39-40  "And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect."

In this series we want to consider what the writer of Hebrews refers to here in Hebrews 11:39 as “something better for us” or what we could call “the better life”. This theme of "better" or "more excellent" 
runs its course like a silver river through the golden hills of Hebrews. In Hebrews 1:4 we discover that Jesus Christ has acheived a "more excellent" or "better name" than the angels. Hebrews 3:3 tells us that Jesus, touching His humanity, was better than Moses. In Hebrews 7:7, Abraham, the father of faith and protoype of all who by faith trust in Jesus, was blessed by One better than He, Melechizedek or what was most likely and Old Testament appearance of the Son prior to His incarnation. Then we come of course to Hebrews 12:24 that speaks of the blood of Jesus being better.  

People all the time are interested in having the so-called “good-life” – a life with no problems, plenty of money and endless possibilities. But why have the “good-life” that is a myth when you can have “the better life” from God that is described here in Hebrews 12-13. The Christian life is of course “the better life” of which we speak. In the details of Hebrews 12-13 there may be parts which may not sound appealing or good, let alone “better”. However by the end of this blog series we will discover four truths about the Christian identity that demonstrates it to be “The Better Life in Jesus.” The first one we called: "Victors Running Out the Better Life". Today we consider the second truth that shows why life with Jesus is the better life: Children (of God by adoption & faith) secure in the better life. 

Children (of God by adoption & faith) secure in the better life. Hebrews 12:5-18
Several places in scripture describe believers in Jesus Christ as “sons and daughters”. (Romans 8:14-16; Galatians 4:6) The discipline that God enacts on Christians must not be viewed as punishment for sin as it is in developing the Christian’s character and enriching them in the things of God. Oftentimes we may view God’s chastening as Him being mean, but beloved, Hebrews 13:6 states plainly that discipline demonstrates we are the Lord’s beloved. The point of God’s loving chastening is to remove out of us what is not Christ and replace in us what is Christ. The passage from whence Hebrews 12:5-6 is quoting (Proverbs 3:12) has the word translated “discipline” as referring to God restraining one’s life in order to bring it into conformity with His will. The author here shows the validity of the Christian’s sonship by comparing it to what is experienced in earthly parent/child relationships (Hebrews 12:7-14). We are warned in Hebrews 12:15-17 to ignore the seduction of earthly things and pleasures in comparison to the better life found in Jesus Christ.

The Christian life is regarded as “better” because of the fact that Christians are victors and children secure in their relationship with the Lord. 

More tomorrow....

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