Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I don't understand Hebrews 8

Wow, amazing passage here... not sure if I totally understand it tho.

Hebrews 8:7-13 (NIV)
For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said:
"The time is coming, declares the Lord,when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,
and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.
This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God, and they will be my people.
No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.
For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."
By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.

"No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest."

Huh? What do you mean we won't be teaching our neighbors and relatives about God? Yeah, I don't get this verse.

Does this verse say that all people know God? If so, I don't know what to do with the rest of the Bible... do we not have to share the good news with anyone?

Or is it saying that everybody who is part of this new covenant already knows God. Once someone joins this new covenant with God, they don't need to be taught more about God... that God will take care of the rest. "I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts."

Does this thinking match with these other passages?

John 14:26 (NIV)
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
John 16:13 (NIV)
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
1 John 2:27 (NIV)
As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.
1 Cor 2:10-15 (NIV)
but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment:

Any thoughts? Why so much emphasis in Christian circles on teaching each other all truths? Are we letting others replace the role of the Holy Spirit?


Tiffany Jane said...

I don't claim to have any huge insight but this is what comes to mind.

Its seems like God's plan has always been that he relates with his people directly. It also seems in the biblical narrative that the people asked that there be mediators between them and God. This seems to unfold clearly at Sinai where the people fear God and send Moses up instead. And from then on the Jewish view of God as a collective seems to involve mediators.

Judges, and Kings and Priests and Rabbis.

The people as a general population went to these mediators to find out what the law was, and how to interpret it. ( The talmud built out of these interpretations )

It seems there became a culture built around labouring to obey the law, and going to the rabis to find out how to work out the law in day to day life

part of what i think this new covenant issue may be (indeed only a part, i dont get it all either) is a shift towards direct relationship.

indeed we know that Jesus came as the ultimate mediator. So they will be God's people again. directly

to write the law on their minds and hearts... is the deepest thing in the story of God and man i think.

If it's written there in our motivation and passion for life, then we dont NEED a mediator to tell us what we can or cannot get away with under the written law.

Our hearts will be in the same place the law is - loving God & our neighbours

of course the bible lays out the room for discussion and teaching among believers... but maybe this scripture is speaking about the overall shift in the way this God-Man-Law dynamic was viewed.


perhaps not. I should keep the commenting away from 3.00am

Jonathan said...

Thanks Tiffany, good thoughts. And they even made sense. :) It only shows up as 1:44am over here - so doesn't look as crazy.

"Our hearts will be in the same place the law is - loving God & our neighbours"

I like this - not bad for 3am :)


wieger kooistra said...

Het is als in de natuurlijke wereld .Een jonge wetenschapper gaat naar de universiteit om uit boeken en door zijn professoren onderwezen te worden, als hij en goede leerling is zal hij op het juiste moment alles weten wat hem is geleerd, examen doen en het geleerde toepassen in zijn professie en leven en mogelijk zal hij zelf onderzoeker worden .Hij is dan lichamelijk en geestelijk en in kennis volwassen geworden. Hij heeft zijn boeken en zijn professor dan niet meer nodig , maar is nog wel verbonden met de geest van zijn leraren en zal ook in die geest zijn onderzoek voortzetten , want hij weet dat kennis vergaren altijd door gaat en hij zal het gestalte geven in nieuwe ontdekkingen en voortgaande en hogere kennis . Hij zal echter zijn boeken niet verbranden of wegdoen , maar zet ze in zijn boekenkast omdat ze nog steeds waardevol zijn en als het ware de basis van zijn kennis en leven vormen en vaak gebruiken ter toetsing van zijn onderzoek . ( natuurlijk is een voorbeeld nooit volmaakt, maar zo stel ik het mij voor.)

Jonathan said...

(google translate of above comment into English)
It's like in the natural world. A young scientist goes to the university from books and professors are to be taught, when he and good student, he will at the right time to know what he was taught and learned exam Apply in his profession and life and he will possibly be a researcher. He is physically and mentally and knowledge matured. He has his books and his professor is no longer necessary, but is still connected to the spirit of his teachers and will also in this spirit, continue to investigate, because he knows that the knowledge base always is and he will be shaping new discoveries and continued and increased knowledge. However he will not burn or get rid of his books, but put them in his book because they are still valuable, as it were the basis of his knowledge and life forms, often used to review his research. (Of course, is never a perfect example, but if I do it for me.)

Jonathan said...

Thank you Wieger for that example. God bless!