Thursday, 30 May 2019
Grace be with you all. Amen. Hebrews 13:25
The final words of the book of Hebrews are reflective of the words of Paul. The same words are found at the close of Titus. They are also found without the word “all” in Colossians, 1 Timothy, and 2 Timothy.
The author desires that grace be realized in and among his audience. Grace is unmerited favor. It is getting what you do not deserve.
With these words, we close out the book of Hebrews. This has been a marvelously fantastic 303 days of study, and one which has merely touched on the depths of this wonderful book. In this final salutation, the author wishes grace to his audience. Despite being written to the Hebrew believers of his time, this includes you today.
As a closing thought, Albert Barnes says of this epistle –
“It is the true key with which to unlock the Old Testament; and with these views, we may remark in conclusion, that he who would understand the Bible thoroughly should make himself familiar with this Epistle; that the canon of Scripture would be incomplete without it; and that, to one who wishes to understand the Revelation which God has given, there is no portion of the volume whose loss would be a more irreparable calamity than that of the Epistle to the Hebrews.”
Life application: Surprisingly, if you want to see a lot of anger between Christians, do a study on the word “grace.” For such an uplifting and generous word, it divides to the point of great animosity. The reason for this is because by interpreting the word, or more precisely the concept of, grace one way or another we will have a different view on what God has done for us in human history – particularly in the Person of Jesus.
Romans Catholicism says that we must “participate” in grace. To them, what Jesus did – including going to the cross – is in itself insufficient for our salvation. Those who follow the doctrines of John Calvin see grace as bestowed on believers unconditionally – think of it as being “forced” on those God chooses to save. The Bible teaches neither of these.
There is a happy middle though. Grace is unmerited favor – it is getting what you do not deserve. If someone offers you a gift, that is not something you can earn. If you go to pay for the gift, then at some point you are going to offend the giver and negate the fact that it was a gift. Such is the case with our salvation. It is a gift. There is no merit deserving of it and no participation in keeping it, but it must be received in order to be possessed. The Bible makes this clear again and again.
A gift which is forced on someone is oppressive – no matter what the gift is. It needs to offered and received, not forced, in order for it to be a true gift. Just as Adam used free-will to rejected God’s fellowship, we must choose to receive it back now that Christ Jesus has made it possible. God’s grace in Jesus Christ is unmerited favor, offered to all. It is all-sufficient in and of itself to save. Accept God’s gift and be reconciled through the precious Gift – our Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with you all.
O God, thank You for the book of Hebrews. And thank you for Your grace, explained in this book as it tells us of the Work of Jesus Christ our Lord, Savior, Mediator, and Friend. May we have humble hearts toward You, never finding fault in the sufficiency of His work, but rather resting in the all-sufficiency of it. Thank You for Your grace! Amen.