Exploring Hebrews

Philip ArthurSKU: EXPHEB6042 ISBN: 9781846256042



The temporary disciple seems to be a common feature of today’s church.
Someone who began well no longer attends church and no longer associates with Christian people.
That is why the message of the epistle to the Hebrews is especially appropriate for today.
Originally addressed to people who were considering going back on their profession of faith in Christ, it encourages them to persevere by holding up Jesus Christ before them.
In this accessible commentary Philip Arthur unpacks Hebrews’ compelling message for today’s Christians.

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Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
Matthew Cox Bethersden, Kent
Hebrews: No Turning Back – An expositional commentary : PART 1

Let’s admit it: many Christians struggle with the epistle to the Hebrews. Its ancient Jewish context can seem so obscure & irrelevant to Western readers in the 21st century. P. Arthur has managed to extract the letter’s vital central theme & connect it directly to Christian living in the modern world.
He expresses at the outset his concern about the seemingly growing phenomenon of ‘the temporary disciple’. How often we hear that someone who began well now makes no pretence of going on with the Lord. How can this happen if Jesus will lose none of those whom the Father has given him?
The unsettling answer, which Hebrews forces us to confront, is that some who give every appearance of believing in Christ are not truly converted; & that could include you or me! The test of a true disciple is that they remain ‘steadfast to the end’. The way to ‘full assurance of hope’ is through diligent perseverance in the good works which flow from a grace-touched heart.
This teaching gives the book of Hebrews a sharp cutting edge that should drive us to earnest self-examination. ‘Do we go on? Do we make progress?’.
There’s a realistic acknowledgement of the severe pressures which can tempt us to give up the faith – as they did for the original readers of Hebrews, and for the faithful men and women of chapter 11. Nevertheless Arthur doesn’t shrink from bringing out the epistle’s solemn warnings to the backslider. No sincere reader should remain complacent in the light of such fearsome words.

Matthew Cox Bethersden, Kent
Hebrews: No Turning Back – An expositional commentary : PART 2

There is an opportune challenge for ministers of the gospel to consider whether our preaching is contributing to the problem. A mere ‘invitation to receive pardon and go to heaven [is]… a cheap travesty of the gospel’ (p.71). We must also set out the price of following Jesus, and call for ongoing repentance among those who’ve already begun that course. Such preaching will be painfully penetrating, like a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12); but it will bring healing and health to those who are prepared to ‘submit to the surgery’ (p.74).
A pastorally helpful distinction is drawn between God’s gracious discipline or chastening of his children (Hebrews 12:5-11), and his punishment of sin (Christ having borne that punishment in full). Arthur shows that a failure to grasp that differentiation can leave us terrified of God’s retribution when we’re conscious that we’ve sinned, or unmindful of his genuine chastisement when we’re not.
The writing style is noticeably uncomplicated, yet not lively or animated. Rather each argument is pursued thoroughly and methodically to its conclusion.
A reasonable degree of Bible knowledge is assumed, so this is probably not for the brand new Christian. But for those who are growing weary in the race, or who still find Hebrews somewhat inaccessible, No Turning Back would make a very profitable month’s worth of daily readings.

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