The superiority of Christ over all that came before him (not just pagan but also God-given, first-covenant practice) is the theme that runs throughout the letter from the opening declaration (Hebrews 1:4) to the concluding lines (Hebrews 12:24).
When we lose our wonder, we are prone to wander.
Wonder - God - World - Clouds - Canyons
Not only are we prone to lose the wonder that God made the world he did — with clouds and canyons, mountains and mammals, nutmeg and noses — but also that Jesus is the Lord and Savior he is. We are prone to lose a sense for the glory of the new covenant, the one we enjoy now “in these last days” (Hebrews 1:2). We grow blind to the miracle of Christianity in our specific culturally conditioned manifestations of it — until we compare those experiences to something else.
Simple comparison can be a powerful tool for keeping (and even deepening) the wonder of our faith. The epistle to the Hebrews was written to a group of Christian Jews who had lost the wonder — or perhaps never quite seen the wonder in the first place. Hebrews challenges its readers to “pay much closer attention” (Hebrews 2:1) and not neglect (Hebrews 2:3) the magnitude of the salvation we have received in Christ.
Christianity - World - Religions - Love - Appreciation
Comparing Christianity to other world religions can give us fresh love and appreciation for Christ — how the God of the universe has revealed himself to us and what he expects (and doesn’t) from us. And one of the most powerful comparative controls for Christianity is not pagan religion but the God-given, pre-Christian religion of the old covenant.
The Scriptures are full of important flashpoints of comparison for how God once appointed for his people to engage with him, in preparation for the coming of his Son, against how he now directs us to live,...
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