In the Beginning

Exhortations, with a Deeper Side

Exhortations to Godliness are a bulwark of the New Testament. Even the Gospel accounts, which are the foundation of the New Testament, are intertwined with exhortations by recounting the words, advice, and teachings of Jesus. The record of what Jesus did and how he conducted himself also constitute exhortations by way of example.

In this issue, Exhortations, with a Deeper Side, we look at some of the exhortations from the New Testament epistles, and exhortations by example from the Old Testament narratives. We consider the associated context, or the details of the experiences, to find some deep lessons associated with those exhortations.

Our first article, “The Greater Context of Hebrews Six,” looks at Paul’s encouragement to us to think deeply about the Scriptures. His advice was given in the midst of a discussion about Melchizedek. We consider that discussion, and the purpose for which Paul appealed to those testimonies.

The second article, “Comfort One Another,” looks at a well known passage in 1 Thessalonians chapter four about the reward of the saints at the return of Christ. Paul’s surrounding concern was to comfort brethren respecting recent losses they had experienced. In doing so, Paul brings out some points that have deeply engaged the minds of brethren. The more carefully we consider his words, the more clear become his views concerning the return of Christ.

Next is an article about the lovely example of Ruth. It is an endearing story. But more than an endearing narrative, there are also lessons by allegory of things meaningful specially to Gentile converts to Christ.

“Lessons From Hezekiah” gives examples of faith, earnestness, and fidelity from one of the noblest kings to govern Israel. He faced a crisis that imperilled the nation — as Israel will do in their hour of crisis, approaching.

“The Return of Jacob” notes that Jacob, on returning to the land of promise, fully committed himself to worship Jehovah. His experiences represent consecutive developments in the transition from the Gospel Age to the Millennial Age, when Israel also will become fully committed to serving God.

Our final article, “The Justice of Festus,” gives much needed exhortations to us about our interplay as brethren. It is from the pen of a dear departed brother whose legacy lives on.

We hope that these articles will enhance our appreciation of the good counsel of God’s word, and improve us all, by following it.

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