The SBJT Forum -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 17:4 (Winter 2013)
Article: The SBJT Forum
Author: Anonymous


The SBJT Forum

Barry Joslin is currently Associate Professor of Christian Theology at Boyce College of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he also earned his Ph.D. degree.

In addition, he also serves as the Worship Pastor at Ninth and O Baptist Church, Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Joslin is the author of Hebrews, Christ, and the Law (Paternoster, 2009) and numerous articles and book reviews which have been published in such journal as: Themelios, Southern Baptist Journal of Theology, Library of New Testament Studies, and Currents in Biblical Research. He is currently writing a commentary on Hebrews and has recently completed writing the Adult Sunday School Exploring the Bible quarterly on Hebrews for LifeWay (forthcoming, 2014).

SBJT: The Book Of Hebrews Addresses A Suffering Church. What Can We Learn From Hebrews For Us Today On Facing Suffering As Christians?

Barry Joslin: If we are being honest, suffering is not something most of us treasure, embrace, or go looking for. Most of us avoid it, and those of us with children often seek to minimize or eliminate it altogether in their lives, and at all costs. We eschew pain due to a common, self-protecting fear, which also leads us to want to avoid persecution, and which, sadly, often requires our silence concerning the hope within us. But this kind of suffering-free life is an illusion. Sooner or later we will have to face it, just as our brothers and sisters in the book of Hebrews faced it, just as scores of believers are facing it now, and just like our Lord Jesus faced it. It is naïve to think otherwise, so let us prepare ourselves for it; and let us learn from Hebrews on how to face suffering.

The term itself is found frequently in Hebrews, both in noun and verb forms (e.g., 2:9, 10, 18; 5:8; 9:26; 10:32; 11:36; and 13:12). The term conveys the idea of suffering which arises from an outside source, and in Hebrews it is the reality both for Christ and his people. For the believer, the goal is not to avoid suffering, but to suffer well, with his or her eyes fixed on Jesus who endured far more than we can imagine—and did so joyfully. This example of joyful endurance of suffering is also seen in the lives of believers such as Abraham, Moses, and in the original readers of Hebrews, but most of all, we see it in the suffering of Christ. What, then, does Hebrews teach us about sufferin...

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