Hebrews Lesson 148 February 19, 2009
NKJ John 17:17 "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
Well, I thought I'd start off with something from current events this evening – a little current event. This was an editorial that was given to me on Sunday. It's the column called Sightings by Terry Teachout. The title of this is Musical Torture Instruments. I thought I'd read segments of it; but the whole thing is so good that I'll probably bore you by reading too much of it. But it's kind of fun, especially if you think of this in terms of what I have taught in the past on music and worship and that music has and communicates a worldview. There are all kinds of things we ought to pay attention to in terms of music.
The problem I think that many of us have is we've become so desensitized to our own cultural taste for music that we have difficulty stepping back and having a measure of objectivity. All of us here grew up and went through fun times at wherever we were in junior high or high school and college. And music is such a part of every person's experience growing up that it's hard for us to get passed the deep emotional connections that we have to music. Most of us can relate. It you hear certain songs on the radio; you're immediately transported in time to some place, some event, some situation – good or bad. Music has that.
So this is an article that indicates another use for music. It's written by Terry Teachout. He's fairly conservative. He writes in … doesn't he write also in Commentary Magazine? I know he writes in Higher Critic. No, the New Criterion; no he doesn't write in New Criterion. He writes in Commentary and a few other things. So he's worth reading.
What do you fear more than anything else? In the novel 1984 George Orwell's 1948 novel about a life under totalitarianism, he described a mysterious torture chamber called Room 101 where prisoners were exposed to "the worst thing in the world" in order to make them talk. 'It might be buried alive or death by fire or by drowning or by entailment or 50 other deaths", the chief interrogator explains. I thought of Room 101 when I read that the United States military uses loud music to soften up detainees who refuse to talk about their terrorist activities. Not surprisingly, some though by no means all, of the musicians' whose recordings have been used for this purpose want to have it stopped.
Doesn't that explain some things; why you have these liberal left-wing musicians raising cane with the Bush administration? The back-story is that their music is used to torture the prisoners. How interesting! Then he goes on to say:
Reprieve, a British legal charity that defends prisoners whose human rights are allegedly being violated, has gone so far as to launch zero dB an initiative specifically aimed at practitioners of what it calls music torture. President Obama's decision to close the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay and conduct a review of CIA interrogation techniques will doubtless have some as yet unknown impact on the use of music for coercive purposes. But speaking strictly as a critic what I find most intriguing about this practice is the list of songs and performers reportedly used to "torture" the detainees that Reprieve has posted on its website.
I will say this slowly because so many will want to write this down. It's www.reprieve.org.uk.
It is an eclectic assemblage of tunes ranging from A.C./D.C's Hells Bells, a heavy metal ditty that sounds as though it had been recorded by an orchestra of buzz saws, to such seemingly innocuous fare as John McClain's American Pie and the Bee Gee's Staying Alive.
Now I think – no comment.
To be sure most of the records sited by Reprieve have one thing in common. They're ear burstingly loud. But the presence on the list of "I Love You" the chirpy theme song of Barney and Friends a long time staple of children's programming on PBS suggests that the successful use of music as a tool of coercion entails more that mere volume. I'm also struck by the fact that music is so far as I know the only art form used for such purposes.
I don't know if I had to sit in a room with a lot of stuff like Jackson Pollack I might go crazy after awhile.
I'm also struck by the fact that music is ….No doubt it would be unpleasant to be locked in a windowless room that had bad paintings hung on all four walls but I can't imagine envision even the most sensitive of spies blurting out the name of his controller to escape the looming presence of Andy Warhol or Thomas Kincaid. Yet I have no trouble imaging myself being reduced to hysterical babbling after being forced to listen to Shred, Grunge and I Love You for 16 hour stretches, a technique said to been employed by Guantanamo interrogators.
No wonder the liberals want to get rid of the place.
Donald Vance who was imprisoned for 97days at a United States military detention center in Iraq is now suing the United States government claims that interrogators there subjected him to a not stop barrage of recorded music that made him suicidal. It sort of removes you from you, he told an Associated Press reporter. You can no longer formulate your own thoughts when you're in an environment like that.
Music really does affect your thinking and your ability to concentrate on what you're doing. That's why I think it's so important what you do before you study God's Word. All I ever talk about is the kind of music you use as a preface to the study of God's Word. What you do at a Christian camp when you are singing fun songs or what you do in other contexts there can be appropriate music for those kinds of settings. But it still ought to be good and it ought to be tasteful. I was at an event not long ago and I thought the two people singing some contemporary Christian piece of music was caterwauling.
Anyway Teachout goes on to say:
I think I know what Mr. Vance means, sort of. I've gone to a lot of terrible plays in my capacity as a journal drama critic; but I'd much rather squirm through a bad play than a bad musical much less a bad opera or symphony. No doubt this is partly because I've had musical training. But I'm sure that it has more to do with the fundamental nature of the musical experience. Music after all is the most enveloping of the arts, only one that creates the illusion of occupying both time and space. Live theater comes close but it lacks music's all encompassing quality. To enter into the presence of a piece of music be it a Schubert sonata or a single by Metallica is to be surrounded and permeated by its essence. The air is full of it and the plot is ruled by it. You can't get away from music which explains its unparalleled power to disorient and disturb. This power it seems is not limited to any one kind of music. Anyone who has paid a visit to New York's Penn Station in recent years knows that chamber music is regularly played over the station public address system. What most commuters don't know however is that this innovation was introduced in 1995 as part of the stations homelessness program.
I love it.
The purpose of the music as an Amtrak official explained at the time was both to calm the frenzied traveler and to displace the negative element.
Translation Mozart drives away vagrants.
Similarly a number of high school teachers have experimented in recent years by all accounts successfully to playing Frank Sinatra albums to miscreant teenagers during after school detention periods.
That begs for a comment, but I'll move on.
I nevertheless find it significant and not a little comforting that the titles on Reprieve's list of music (music to confess by) includes Hells Bells, Nine Inch Nails, March to the Pigs rather than say In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning. Nor is this coincidental. As an interrogator for the U. S. Army's 361st Psychological Operational Company explained to Newsweek:
"These people haven't heard heavy metal. They can't take it. If you play it for 24 hours your brain and body functions start to slide. Your train of thought slows down and your will is broken."
See everything has a purpose.
The day anyone feels moved to say such things about the Marriage of Figaro is the day I'll apply for early retirement.
We have to think a lot more about music and what it does. It's very important.
We are in Hebrews 9. We came to 9:15 last time. It brings us into a doctrine that we have looked at here and there as we go through Hebrews. I went back on previous lessons where I've looked, taught on the doctrine of inheritance and realized that I have taught different things at different places depending on the context. I'm not trying to give an exhaustive review on the doctrine of inheritance here because that would probably entail the next four weeks. So I just want to hit some of the high points for us so that we can all be reminded of what inheritance is all about.
Hebrews 9:15 says:
NKJ Hebrews 9:15 And for this reason
That is relating to the previous verse and the work of Christ on the cross.
He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption
Redemption always emphasizes that word purchase (or payment of a price.)
of the transgressions under the first covenant,
The word committed is in italics. It's not in the original, but the idea is there.
that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
The phrase "those who are called" is simply used as a circumlocution or idiom for believers. I talked about this last time in case you missed it. There is controversy over this because the word is often used in conversations in theology within the context of the Calvinism-Arminianism argument. Calvinism roughly is a position that emphasizes God's predestination, His eternal decree made before time of who would be saved. Sometimes it's articulated who would not be saved. That's called double predestination. Not all Calvinists are double predestinarians. It is associated with the doctrine of Unconditional Election: that God chooses who will be saved on the basis of His own will. The way Calvinists articulate unconditional election, God's omniscience is not part of the information God uses to make that choice. Now that runs counter to I Peter 1:2 which states that:
NKJ 1 Peter 1:2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.
But they don't want to include knowledge as part of that decision making package because they think that implies that God is then simply being manipulated by human decisions. That of course is Arminianism.
So if you don't agree with Calvinism they always says, "Well that means you're an Arminian." It doesn't. That is just an older debater's ploy that if you don't agree with me then you must be with the bad guys on the other side. Arminianism on the other hand believes in total human ability as if sin has no impact on man's thinking, volition or on his soul and that man can not only choose all on his own apart from God to be saved but he can then choose to not to be saved anymore. And he can lose his salvation. That's it in something of a nutshell.
Calling is used theologically by some to indicate unconditional election. Actually the word refers to an external call or simply what we would call the gospel invitation so that if someone is invited or asked to trust Christ as their savior (offered the gospel) that is the gospel call. It's simply an external offer of the gospel and not all will respond to that.
NKJ Matthew 22:14 "For many are called, but few are chosen."
Chosen there is the same word that is used. It's a word for election. So it's used of that external call which goes to saved and unsaved (those who will reject it) alike. But then it is also used in other passages to refer exclusively to those who have responded to that gospel invitation. So it becomes a synonym for those who are believers. So the verse says that those who are called (that is those who are believers, those who have responded to the gospel call) may receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
I pointed out last time that several places in Hebrews we see this connection between a promise which focuses on a future plan and future fulfillment and inheritance; that these terms pop up together quite frequently. So the bottom line here is that because of what Christ did as mediator of the New Covenant, we have on the basis of His sacrifice a new promise. A promise is associated with the covenant. That promise relates to our future, our eternal inheritance.
So I retranslated the verse because of some technical problems in the Greek:
So that those who are called (that is, those who are believers) may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance, a death having come about for the redemption of the transgressions of the first covenant.
So the focus here is on "we're saved", but for a purpose. You're not saved so you can go to heaven. You're not saved so that you can be saved in time. Those are secondary. There is a future plan that God has for us and that all of human history is moving toward the Millennial Kingdom which is really the first 1,000 years of eternity. We're moving towards this future fulfillment in the kingdom but as God is taking us in the direction of ultimate fulfillment, it's not just sitting on a cloud somewhere with angel wings strumming a harp and that somehow for millions and millions and billions of years that's all we're going to do. I think that what we're going to see when we hit eternity is so far beyond anything that any human being could possibly comprehend. We are just not told because human vocabulary can't grasp it.
But when we look at what we see when we look at how God created man in the perfect environment of the garden is that man is given responsibility. He's given an entire planet with all these natural resources to learn about, to develop. Man is a creature designed to think, designed to learn, designed to interact with the environment around him. I think that tells us something about what eternity is going to be like.
So we are being prepared today for that future that God has for us. So we constantly need to remember that we're living today in light of eternity, which means the decisions we make today develop our capacity and ability for what we're going to do in the future.
Now how many of us have thought back to when we were in junior high or high school or college or for some of us even after college and said, "You know, I just didn't realize what life was all about. I somehow woke up when I was 28 or 30 or 35 or 55 and realized what life was going to be all about. I was just there through junior high or high school. I wish I could go back and really learn what I was being taught because I wasn't mature enough or hadn't snapped to the fact that this was preparing me for the future and I sure wish I had learned that better when I had the opportunity."
That's sort of the way our Christian life is. We are going through this training process to learn the Word now to let it become so much part of our souls that it dominates everything that we think about and all of our decision making so that we're in this training process so that we pop out the other end after the rapture, resurrection whatever occurs and we're able to live, function, decide, operate in the Millennial Kingdom because our soul has been trained for the way God does things. We don't want to end up being disappointed by it.
"I just wish I had spent more time going to Bible class instead of staying at home doing whatever or working but my emphasis was on the Word of God and getting trained", which is the focal point of the local church ministry.
One of the key verses that people go to and that you frequently find in every doctrinal statement you read from almost every church two key verses. One is Matthew 28:19-20, which is the great commission.
NKJ Matthew 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
NKJ Matthew 28:20 "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.
Then the other is in Ephesians 4:11-12 dealing with the purpose of the church that gifted men (men with spiritual gifts)…
NKJ Ephesians 4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
NKJ Ephesians 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
Now that phrase is really important. That word to "equip" the saints for the work of the ministry is a training term. To equip somebody for a task means to educate them, to train them, to prepare them so that when they are not in the classroom anymore, they can then engage in the realities of life on the basis of what they have learned in the classroom. So that the role of the pastor is not the role of the CEO, which is one of the models that you see out there that is typically taught in seminaries today. It's not the role of the grand encourager who is always there to smile and encourage people. These may be parts of the mosaic that makes up a pastor's mission, but his primary mission is to train, to equip, to prepare people for the issues of life by drilling them on the doctrines of the Word of God so that they think differently from the way they did before they were saved so.
So the role of the pastor is to equip, to train people. A lot of folks just don't want to be trained. They want to come to church and they want to feel good. They want to hear positive-motivational type messages; but they don't want to be trained. It's a lot easier to go to a pep rally than it is to go to football practice. It's a lot easier to sit in the stands and to watch the military parades go by and to cheer the troops than it is to go through boot camp, Airborne School or Ranger School. It's that old Marine Corps ad – the Few, the Proud, the Marines. That's what God is looking for as the cadre of believers is this unique group of people who He has saved and sanctified and given everything for that are going to become the cadre of His ruling administration during the Millennial Kingdom. That's what we're being trained for. That's what we've been called for. That's why you were saved. Not just so that you don't go to the Lake of Fire, not just so God can have the wonderful joy of your wonderful beautiful personality in heaven for eternity; but so that you can serve Him and carry out all of those responsibilities that God is going to have for us in our post-rapture, post-resurrection life.
So when we get into this issue of inheritance that's what that focuses on is that future inheritance that we have. But there are problems with understanding this that people have because there are those who on the one hand think that the Bible says that everybody gets the same inheritance. Then there are those on the other hand who say, everybody is going to have certain things in common. Everybody is going to have a resurrection body. Everybody is going to have a perfect happiness. There's not going to be any sorrow, tears, pain all of those things will have passed away. There's no disease. You're going to have a unique resurrection body. You're going to be in the presence of God and have access to Him. You're going to be in heaven and you're not going to be in the Lake of Fire. What could be wrong with that? I used to always cringe when I would hear people say, and I had several who said this in my first church which was a good learning experience for a young pastor: "Oh, but I don't care if I'm in the slums of heaven as long as I'm there."
In other words I'm going to justify being lazy, unmotivated and not positive to God's Word because I'm going to be in heaven so I'll just go the ghetto. Thank you as long as I'm in heaven."
It shows a complete unwillingness to recognize what God is saving us for. It's absolutely no capacity, no understanding. It's not even rising to the level of mediocrity. It's the expectation of the lowest kind – as long as I'm there.
But we are to move towards inheritance. So we're going to get into the Doctrine of Inheritance. A key verse for this is Colossians 3:23-24 which is a great verse to understand. Paul says:
NKJ Colossians 3:23 And whatever you do,
Now "whatever" is one of those broad terms that doesn't leave anything out. Whatever you do – that includes how you work at the office, how you work at home, what you do in your free time, what you do at church, what you do when you're all by yourself, what you do when you're in school in the classroom.
do it heartily,
Whatever you do, work it with all your heart. That means focus on it and do your best.
as to the Lord and not to men,
Don't think about the fact that you're doing this for that lousy boss who always takes credit for what you do and who never gives you any credit or any praise. You're working as unto the Lord and not as unto men.
NKJ Colossians 3:24 knowing that from the Lord
This is a causal phrase – because you know something. I ought to go through this sometime and figure out how many times you have a causal participle or a causal knowledge clause in the New Testament in the epistles – because you know something, because you know something not because you feel something; not because you've been motivated for something, but because you know something. You have to learn something before you can apply it. To learn things takes time. It takes effort. It takes discipline. It takes commitment to the process.
you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
Now an inheritance that's a reward is different from salvation which is a gift. Salvation is a free gift to people who simply believe in Jesus as their Savior. They don't do anything for it. They simply believe that Jesus died on the cross for their sins and they are given eternal life. They are given this package of grace blessings,
NKJ Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
We haven't even begun to touch on all of the things that God has blessed us with. But those were all given to us as a free gift. We didn't do anything to earn them or to deserve them. That's different from an inheritance. An inheritance comes as a reward to those who work, to those who do all things as unto the Lord, to those who mature in their spiritual lives. So this sets the stage for understanding that part of inheritance is not a free gift but is something that is given on the basis of our maturation, our growth, our capacity to use it; to experience it and to carry out those responsibilities.
So we'll start looking at the basic words that are used.
- We have in the Greek the noun kleronomos which refers to an heir, one who inherits. It also can refer inheritance, the possession or the property. In our culture you inherit something when someone dies. But that's not what this word always means. In both Greek and in Hebrew (biblically speaking) it's primarily thought of as a possession, something one has. You may get it by virtue of the death of someone, but you may get it as a gift from someone without a death being involved. The verb is kleronomeo, which simply means to possess. That's the primary meaning, to posses or to receive something as one's own possession or to obtain something. The Hebrew word is nahala. That's the noun. Nahal is the verb and it means an inheritance, a heritage or again a possession. So the idea here is that this is something that is yours, something that is a possession. We see that it's given on different basis. It can be a gift. Other times it can be as a reward. Now to understand the New Testament concept of anything, what do you have to understand first? The Old Testament concept. You have to go to the Old Testament because the precedent for the New Testament, and for New Testament Greek, isn't Greek culture. That's very helpful to understand other ways in which these biblical words are used in the broader Greek culture in Koine Greek or even tracing the historical etymology. But the reality is that the writers of the New Testament are coming out of a Jewish background. They're coming out of an Old Testament background. Hebrew was their first language. So the concepts that they're talking about with Greek vocabulary are concepts that come out of the Old Testament. So if you want to know what hagios (the Greek word for holy) means, you don't go to Sophocles or Euripides or Plato or Aristotle to find out what that means, you go to Moses and you go to Isaiah and you go to Jeremiah. That's where you find out what that word means. Same thing with inheritance. You don't look at what's going on in Greek culture as the background. You have to go back to the Old Testament and find out how these words were used in the Old Testament.
I'm going to look at three verses to emphasize a couple of points. All of this is all under point 1, trying to understand the basic meaning of the vocabulary. Exodus 34:9 - Moses is speaking and he is speaking to God.
NKJ Exodus 34:9 Then he said, "If now I have found grace in Your sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray, go among us, even though we are a stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us as Your inheritance.
So if God is going to take Israel, take the Jews as His inheritance, does anybody die in order for Him to get the property? No. That's where you see the root meaning of this word as a possession, not involving the death and transfer of property from one person to another.
Now the next verse to look at is Numbers 14:24. To understand Numbers 14 we have to understand the background for this. This comes right after the event that's described in Numbers 13 related to the Jewish failure at Kadesh-Barnea. Kadesh-Barnea was located south of Israel, south of the land of Canaan. It was to have been the original jumping off spot for the conquest of the land after the Exodus generation came out of Egypt. After they came out of Egypt, they spent the first year at Mt. Sinai which is somewhere I believe in the center part of the Sinai Peninsula, not the traditional site down on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula which is too far from Kadesh-Barnea to fit the biblical guidelines for how long it took that number of people (3 million people) to travel at the rate of about 8 to 10 miles a day. It was too far away. So they made it in a rather short time.
They came to Kadesh-Barnea and God said: "We're going to send out a LRP (That's a long range reconnaissance patrol) into the land in order to see the layout of the land."
They weren't going to find out how or if they could conquer the land. They interpreted the command wrongly, which is a great passage for teaching the importance of correct interpretation. Eight of the spies interpreted the command wrong and so they responded in fear. Two of the spies recognized God had already given them the land. They were just to check it out and to see what the layout was so that when they went into the land they would be able to understand where they were going and what the disposition of the enemy was. That was Caleb and Joshua. They trusted God.
When they got back from exploring the land going throughout the land ten of the 12 came back and said, "Well, we can't do it. There are too many people. There are giants in the land. They live in these tremendously walled cities. We just don't have the resources to conquer."
But two of the 12, Joshua and Caleb, said, "It doesn't matter how many people there are or how big they are or what kind of military technology they have; all we need is the Lord. The Lord is on our side, then we're going to win."
They understood the principle that the battle is the Lord's. So God is going to reward Caleb and Joshua. But there is a loss of reward for everybody else. They don't enter the rest. We went through this in Hebrews 3 and 4. They gave up their inheritance when they disobeyed God and God prohibited them from entering into the land and taking possession of the land. This is how God expresses it in regard to Caleb. He says in Numbers 14:24:
NKJ Numbers 14:24 "But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him
That's not saying that the Jews were demon possessed and he's got the Holy Spirit in him. Here the word spirit has the idea of an attitude of a way of thinking, a mentality.
and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.
That's that idea of possession. They own the land. They will dispossess the Canaanites, and they will inherit it.
Now the next passage we're going to look at is a passage in Lamentations 5:2. Here's the historical background. In 586 BC the Chaldean army, the neo-Babylonian empire under Nebuchadnezzar, invaded Israel or the Southern Kingdom of Judah rather for the third time. They had done it in 605. They invaded again around 592. In 586 he's now going to crush these rebellious stiff-necked Jews in Judah and he's going to defeat them and when he does he conquers Jerusalem and destroys the Temple. After this Jeremiah writes the book of Lamentations where he laments, where he grieves over the loss of the land and the fact that they no longer have a temple and they no longer have possession of the land that God gave them. He expresses it in Lamentations 5:2.
NKJ Lamentations 5:2 Our inheritance has been turned over to aliens
Not Star Trek type aliens, but foreigners.
And our houses to foreigners.
This shows that inheritance can be lost. Inheritance can be taken away. Just because something is an inheritance (A possession is promised.) doesn't mean that it can't be lost or jeopardized by disobedience. We have two examples: the Exodus generation and the generation of the Babylonian captivity jeopardized and lost their possession through disobedience to God.
So we can say four things about the meaning of the concept of keronomos or nahala in the Old Testament.
1. First of all it's a birthright which one enters into by virtue of sonship. A couple of passages, Galatians 4:30 and Hebrews 1:4.
2. It's property that's received as a gift in contrast to a reward. Now the point that I'm making in both of these is that there are aspects of our inheritance that are ours by virtue of regeneration alone. By virtue of birth we have access to a certain possession, a certain inheritance. Now sonship (it's terrible we live in a time we have to say this is not a sexist term) is a legal term under inheritance law in the Roman Empire and that a first born son is the one who gets the blessing and the one who has the greatest position in law in relationship to inheritance. So it doesn't matter in terms of the application of this whether you are male or female. We all have access to this kind of sonship.
3. It's property that can be received on condition of obedience to certain conditions. You see the last two points here shift the emphasis to something that is earned or something that is given as a reward that is not just automatically received by virtue of birth. It can be property received on condition of obedience to certain conditions.
4. Reward based on meeting certain conditions and following certain activities.
- As far as the Christian is concerned, we recognize that our inheritance is derivative. That means it is based on a greater inheritance and that is the inheritance that goes to Jesus Christ as the first-born son. This is stated in Hebrews 1:2.
NKJ Hebrews 1:2 has in these last days
spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
So Christ is the heir of all things and that is His future role. What we learned when we studied Hebrews 1 is that when Jesus Christ in hypostatic union by virtue of His humanity when He lived His life in obedience to God He then qualified for this inheritance. It wasn't simply a birth issue. It is a qualification and reward issue because this isn't something - the inheritance to all things isn't what He gets because He is the Second Person of the Trinity. It's what He gets because of His fulfillment of His mission as the greater Son of David.
- That leads to the third point that Christ's inheritance (His heirship) is based on His successful completion of His strategic victory on the cross. It's called a strategic victory because your overall approach or plan to a problem is your strategy. What you do in individual battles or individual components are your tactics. So the cross is the strategic victory when sin is paid for and the problem of sin is completely resolved and handled by what Jesus Christ did on the cross.
- Jesus Christ is qualified for that inheritance because He was impeccable in His humanity. This is one of the most difficult things for a lot of folks to grasp: that Jesus Christ in His humanity without reaching over and accessing divine attributes, without accessing His omniscience, without accessing His omnipotence, without accessing any divine ability Jesus Christ faced and handled His life His day-to-day existence. Spiritual challenges, temptations by Satan in the wilderness, and any other kind of human temptation were handled in His humanity without accessing His deity. It's handled by reliance on the Spirit of God and the Word of God – the same things that you and I have. If He relied on His deity (which is what a lot of people think), then how could we follow that example? We don't have any deity to access. So somehow in the hypostatic union where you have perfect deity combined with perfect humanity (undiminished deity and true humanity) united in one person somehow there was a curtain or vow - I don't care what kind of analogy you want to use - some kind of partition, and I don't want to emphasize that too much because we're not talking about a multiple personality Jesus. That gets into the Nestorian heresy. But He is able to volitionally shut off access to His divine attributes to handle certain things. That's why Jesus in His humanity says, "I don't know when I'm coming back. That's only for the Father to know."
Well, wait a minute. In Your deity, you're omniscient. But He's not talking as God there. He's talking as man and in His role as the Son of Man. So Jesus is qualified because He's impeccable in His humanity. He never, ever sinned. He never relied upon His deity to get through the problem. He never disobeyed God. He was 100% obedient.
This impeccability is developed. It is a process. He goes through the same learning process that you and I go through. He had to learn Scripture. Luke 2:52 says that He grew in wisdom and in stature with both God and men. He goes through the basic growth process that we all did. He had to in His humanity learn the Scriptures. He had to memorize the Scriptures. He had to learn how to pray. He had to learn how to talk. He had to learn how to walk. He had to learn how to eat. He had to learn how to do all of those things just as we do. He had to learn how to apply the Scripture. The only difference is He didn't have a sin nature sort of gumming up the works and making it difficult to learn. He goes through that whole process and He has to go through the same testing, suffering, and adversity as everybody else.
I would think (but this is probably my sin nature) that if I had 8 or 9 brothers and sisters that I had to put up with and I didn't have a sin nature and they did, that it would be a pretty difficult thing to deal with. Of course it was probably hard on their side to because their mother kept saying, "Why don't you do it like Jesus did. He's perfect." Maybe you were a third or fourth child and you had a perfect older sibling and it really wasn't perfect. But in this case you have an older sibling that is perfect. So Jesus had to learn obedience through the things that He suffered. He had to go through the learning process and He had to go through adversity where He learned to apply the Word. He learned to rely on the Holy Spirit and He learned to follow God's pattern. This is seen in a couple of verses. Hebrews 2:10 and Hebrews 5:8
Hebrews 2:10 says:
NKJ Hebrews 2:10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things,
See that emphasizes His deity.
That's His ultimate destiny.
There's that term again. It refers to male and female.
to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
I do this every time I read this verse out of context.
The "Him" there isn't the Son. The "Him" there is the Father.
NKJ Hebrews 2:10 For it was fitting for Him,
for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory,
That's God's plan of salvation.
to make the captain of their salvation perfect.
That is to bring to maturity. That's Jesus.
So God's plan was to take the Lord Jesus Christ in His humanity through various stages of adversity so that He could learn to apply the Word.
NKJ Hebrews 5:8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.
So He had to go through all of this to be perfect, to be sinless, to be living in the midst of all the arrogance, all of the stupidity, all of the legalism, all of the distortion of the Law, all of the illiteracy about the Scriptures that He about the Scriptures that He had to deal with just shows how patient and gracious He really was. He had to handle all of that by relying upon the Holy Spirit.
- His spiritual growth qualifies Him for the inheritance. This we see in passages such as Psalms 2:8, Hebrews 1:2
NKJ Psalm 2:8 Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance,
Now nobody had to die for Jesus to get that inheritance.
"I know He had to die." I know somebody's thinking that. Jesus died and He gets the inheritance, but you don't die to get your inheritance. That's the wrong way of looking at this. There is a death there, but that death is not what transfers property.
And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
Of course Hebrews 1:2 which we looked at already that He's appointed heir of all things.
Now we'll stop here and we'll come back next time to continue to look at this and to pull this Doctrine of Inheritance together because once we get through this there is a key problem that we're going to have to address and that really helps us understand the mission that God has for us. Just as Jesus had a mission and Jesus' mission was to grow in His maturity so that He would be qualified, we are to grow in our maturity through learning the Word, learning to rely upon God, trusting in Him so that we then become qualified for our inheritance and to rule as joint heirs with Christ in the kingdom.
Let's bow our head in closing prayer.