Notes from 2 Timothy 4:3-5
Many speakers, teachers, and writers talk about the pursuit of knowledge. But often they don't want knowledge; they want power. Such people won't listen to "sound and wholesome teaching." Instead, they "reject the truth and chase after myths." You can see this everywhere--from liberal churches to university campuses. People claiming to have a bit more enlightenment than what the dusty Bible has to say; people claiming to improve on God's words. Such people have several things in common: (1) They do not tolerate the truth. They have no interest or respect for absolute truth or any standard for judgment. (2) They reject truth for sensationalism. They want truth that fits their situation and makes sense for them. What they feel, what works for them, what seems compelling--that is their truth and they claim an absolute right to it. No one should even attempt to tell them differently. (3) They gather viewpoints to suit their selfish desires. Although they profess objectivity, their only defense for their viewpoints is that those viewpoints suit their desires.
Such teachers have a following because they are telling people "whatever their itching ears want to hear." These people are following myths. Be careful. False teaching can be found in many places--even inside the doors of some churches. Like Timothy, you must "keep a clear mind in every situation" and seek God's Word for the truth.
Notes from Hebrews 10:26
When people deliberately reject Christ's offer of salvation, they reject God's most precious gift. They ignore the leading of the Holy Spirit, the one who communicates to us God's saving love. This warning was given to Jewish Christians who were tempted to reject Christ for Judaism, but it applies to anyone who rejects Christ for another religion or, having understood Christ's atoning work, deliberately turns away from it (see also Numbers 15:30, 31 and Mark 3:28-30). The point is that there is no other acceptable sacrifice for sin than the death of Christ on the cross. If someone deliberately rejects the sacrifice of Christ after clearly understanding the Good News teaching about it, then there is no way for that person to be saved, because God has not provided any other name in all of heaven for people to call on to save them (see Acts 4:12).
Notes from Colossians 1:21, 22
No one is good enough to save himself or herself. If we want to live eternally with Christ, we must depend totally on God's grace. This is true whether we have been murderers or honest, hardworking citizens. We have all sinned repeatedly, and any sin is enough to cause us to need to come to Jesus Christ for salvation and eternal life. Apart from Christ, there is no way for our sin to be forgiven and removed.
Notes from Hebrews 7:28
So much is attributed to Jesus in this chapter that it might appear that there is nothing you need to do, or can do, to make salvation a reality for you. And that is true. Jesus has done it all. Nothing you do can improve his work. Nothing you do adds to God's acceptance of Jesus' sacrifice.
So how do the benefits of Jesus' sacrifice become yours? You accept the gift of salvation by faith, trusting entirely in Jesus for salvation. You can do that now through a simple prayer: "Dear God, I trust in Jesus alone. Please forgive my sins through him, and give me the eternal life secured by him. Amen."
Notes from Hebrews 9:14
Sinful deeds are more than just wrong actions; ironically, these also include our attempts to reach God by being good enough! Our culture glorifies self-effort and personal achievement. It defines a successful person as one who obtains certain goals: financial security, health and fitness, and the respect of others. But here the Bible gives us a different picture of successful living: accept Jesus' sacrifice for your sin, abandon the futility of sinful deeds, and let the blood of Christ purify your conscience (see 10:19-22).