We’ve put quite a bit of time into Hebrews so . Theologically, it’s a very rich study, being one of our primary texts for Christology.
Many people teach that ultimately our Bible studies should always be with the primary goal of revealing Christ in every study. Where I’m at with it right now is simply primae facae, the reading of the rtext on its face (I’m using a legal term – no, I’m not converting to Catholicism!). But if your goal this year is the study of the Bible to reveal Christ, then – Hebrews requires some serious study.
Notice I haven’t consulted too many commentaries so far. It’s been more time constraints than laziness. Very often, my goal is to write all my blog articles for the coming week on weekend mornings. This allows me time for all the myriad projects I have going on.
“Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.” (Hebrews 2:1, KJV)
The notes read that “let them slip” is s phrase suggesting water running out of the cracks in a clay jar. παραρρυῶμεν pararryōmen. The word suggests the washing away. So, if we were going to do a word study… we’re pretty much stopped in the water because this is the only time this word is present in the Bible in this particular tense. If we look up the root word (called a lemma), we would find it is present 8 times in the Bible.
What’s this word teach us?
“And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.” (Matthew 27:35, KJV)
I didn’t either. Logos is amazing. Spoken of by the prophet. ῥηθὲν rhēthen. Understanding the lemma and the root gives us a suggestion that the words flowed out of the prophet, possibly in the sense of a water fountain. The prophet (in this case David, Ps. 22:18) opens his mouth, and God’s words flow out of him.
In this case the word study didn’t reveal much about the text – but it did reveal to us something about how God speaks through the prophets!
Now, there is a danger in word studies. The first thing to be aware of is this – In english, a word can have many meanings. It can also be replaced by another word with the same meaning, often with better results. How do we know how to choose?
This is why I urged my readers NOT to consult Strong’s, until you’ve had some Greek. I even provided six months of elementary Greek on a separate blog! …which cost me a couple of readers, might I add.
Case in point, I could travel to the store, or I could run to the store. I could even run up to the store, even though the store I’m thinking of is not vertical from my position, but rather northwest. I could go to the store.
Let me think about it versus I think so. The first tense is “let me consider whether I’ll allow it” versus “I’m not sure, but probably”.
How do I determine the meaning correctly for these words? Context.
So, Logos, in their “30 days…” course, suggested this for word studies… do not accept the results of a word study until you’ve checked it against a commentary. Why? If the message you just got from God is right, it will have been revealed to other Christians as well. A brief check of commentaries and Bible dictionaries show there’s nothing on HOW prophecies are recieved, so I chalk it up to something interesting but not conclusive… and move on.
Is it possible to backslide to the point that one simply fades into the genuine population, saved but bearing no fruit? It’s a complicated question. I do not believe it is possible to permanantly backslide and still be saved. There is no record of any saved individual in the Bible backsliding and not returning. Those that have put their hands to the plow and looked back have always returned to the plow.
So what have you suffered? THe time you spend in the trenches (so to speak) is the time you earn rewards. Best case scenario, you would miss the chances to be rewarded by God for Christian service. Worst case scenario, David Cloud believes that actively pursuing sin gets rewards removed – so that instead of missing out on rewards, you lose rewards already given or earned. I’m not sure about that position, but I present it to all of you.
There’s a great deal of importance to be placed upon the Gospel story, that Jesus Christ died to save sinners. Let that motivate you.