“When I get to China, I will have no claim on any one for anything. My claim will be alone in God and I must learn before I leave England to move men through God by prayer alone.”

J. Hudson Taylor

TODAY’S READING: Hebrews 1–6

Hebrews was certainly written in the second half of the first century as we have a letter by Clement that quotes it extensively to the church in Corinth around 95 A.D. Hebrews itself quotes extensively from the Old Testament, uses Jewish methods of interpretation common in the synagogues of the day, and is a masterful description of the salvation obtained by Christ’s priesthood and sacrifice.[1] The Jewish author of Hebrews “describes Jesus as the author of pioneer salvation (Heb. 2:10), the source of our eternal salvation (Heb. 5:9) and the mediator of complete salvation for all who come to God through Him (Heb. 7:25). New Testament salvation is as utterly Christ-shaped as Old Testament salvation is YHWH-shaped.”[2] Hebrews makes it very clear that Christ-shaped salvation must include representatives of every people as it promises that Jesus tasted death for everyone, many sons will be brought to glory, and that Jesus is the author of salvation to all who obey Him.

The crescendo of Hebrews 6 occurs when God shows that the immutability of His counsel, the immutable promises in which it is impossible for God to lie, and the consolation, hope, and refuge before us are mission promises. The author quotes Genesis 22:17 and the promise to Abraham which is the guarantee that all nations of the world will be blessed through Jesus, Abraham’s seed. It is this covenant with Abraham which gives us the foundation for the hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast. Not only is our salvation sure, so is the salvation of representatives of all nations. It is impossible for God to lie about this. And Jesus not only guarantees the result, He also does the work to ensure His promise; thus, He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses. What relief that Jesus both guarantees a full, free salvation and also engineers it.

David Brainerd recorded in his journal an example of this wonderful reality taken from his missionary work among American Indians: “I never saw the work of God appear so independent of means as at this time. I discoursed to the people, and spoke what, I suppose, had a proper tendency to promote convictions. But God’s manner of working upon them appeared so entirely supernatural and above means that I could scarce believe he used me as an instrument, or what I spake as means of caring on his work. It seemed, as I thought, to have no connection with, nor dependence upon means in any respect. Although I could not but continue to use the means which I thought proper for the promotion of the work, yet God seemed, as I apprehended, to work entirely without them. I seemed to do nothing, and indeed to have nothing to do, but to ‘stand still and see the salvation of God.’ I found myself obliged and delighted to say, ‘Not unto us,’ not unto instruments and means, ‘but to thy name be glory.’ God appeared to work entirely alone, and I saw no room to attribute any part of this work to any created arm.”[3]

[1] The Chronological Study Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008. 1390.
[2] Christopher J. H. Wright. The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2006. 120.
[3] Jonathan Edwards. Life and Diary of David Brainerd. Pantianos Classics, 1749. 145.

Prayer Focus: Pakistan

Today’s Unreached People Group: Baloch
Population: 8,043,000
Language: Balochi, Southern
Primary Religion: Islam
Evangelical: 0.0%
Estimated Workers Needed: 161

[Source: Joshua Project]

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