THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS by 3eTW37

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									         Hebrews
The Epistle of “Better” Things




          Bob Harding
                   Table of Contents

Chapter                      LESSON TITLE                           Page

  0       Introduction……………………………………………………………... 3

  1       The Superiority Of God’s Final Spokesman……...…………………… 13

  2       The Humanity Of Christ………………...…………………………….. 23

  3       Christ Is Superior Than Moses…………………………………………36

  4       Superiority Of The More Perfect Rest Under Christ………………….. 46

  5       Christ Is Fully Qualified To Be Our High Priest……………………… 56

  6       Press On To Maturity………….…………………………………….... 66

  7       The Superiority Of Christ’s Priesthood……………………………….. 80

  8       A Superior Priest With A Superior New Covenant…………………… 85

  9       A Better Tabernacle And A Better Sacrifice………………………….. 97

  10      The Better Sacrifice And A Need For Faith…………………………. 113

  11      A Faith That Pleases God……………………………………………. 133

  12      Running The Race Of Faith………………………………………….. 153

  13      The Practice And The Fruits Of Faith……………………………….. 175




                                   2
                   THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS
                                  INTRODUCTION

A. The book of Hebrews is unique in its form and style.
   1. It begins as an "essay" – Heb 1:1-2.
   2. It progresses as a "sermon" – Heb 2:1-4.
   3. It ends as a "letter" – Heb 13:23-25.

B. Its contents are deep and challenging.
   1. It stands as a masterpiece of writing among the other N.T. books.
   2. Some equate its difficulty with the book of Romans or Revelation.

C. But for Christians who are willing to take the time to read and reflect upon
   it…
   1. They are REMINDED of how blessed they are to have trusted in Christ.
   2. They are IMPRESSED with the superiority of Christ and His New Covenant
      over Moses and the Old Covenant.
   3. They are WARNED of the danger of apostasy and the need for steadfastness
      in their faith.

D. Just as one should not begin a journey without some idea of where they are
   going, so it is beneficial to begin with a preview of this epistle, that we
   might have an idea…
   1. Of where we are headed.
   2. And what we might expect to find.
      1) Such a "preview" would naturally include some information on the
         background to the epistle.

   3. No N.T. book has more unanswered questions than Hebrews.
      1) Questions about the author, date, where it was written and to whom it was
         written.
      2) However, the importance of the book is found in the message rather than such
         background questions.

I. THE AUTHOR

   A. The author does not identify himself in the book.

      1. It matters little as to the human instrument used by the Holy Spirit to pen these
         truths found in the book.
         1) Much has been written in regard to the possible identity of the writer of the
             book.
                                            3
  2. For several centuries the majority of Biblical scholars have ascribed its
     authorship to the apostle Paul.
     1) Such a conclusion has been reached by examining both external and
        internal evidence related to the book.

B. EXTERNAL EVIDENCE

  1. Many of the leading men who lived during or within a century or so of the
     N.T. age, who are known as "church fathers", believe that Paul was its author.
     1) 150 A.D. – Pantaenus
     2) 180 A.D. – Clement of Alexandria (pupil of Pantaenus)
     3) 185 A.D. – Origen
     4) 264 A.D. – The council of Antioch
     5) 264 A.D. – Eusebius
     6) 392 A.D. – Jerome (Roman church until the end of the 4th century)
     7) 392 A.D. – Augustine

  2. Other names have been suggested over the years.
     1) 190-200 A.D. – Barnabas–Suggested by Tertullian (Montanists view)
     2) Apollos – Suggested first by Luther (didn't like theology of Hebrews and
        the impossibility of apostasy.
     3) Therefore, in order to get around what is taught on the subject in Hebrews--
        written by an inferior writer than Paul, who wrote Romans.

C. INTERNAL EVIDENCE

  1. The fact that the book is anonymous suggests that Paul might have written it
     and withheld his name so the letter wouldn't be refused because of their
     prejudice against him for being "the apostle to the Gentiles."
     1) This possible explanation strengthens, not weakens, the idea that Paul
        wrote the book.

  2. The manner of composition in the book indicates Paul's style of writing.
     1) For example, Paul's manner of leaving the train of thought to state other
        matters and then return to the main thought is illustrated in Hebrews.
        --2:1-4: Leaves his line of argument and returns to it again in 2:5.
        --5:10: Breaks off at the word "Melchizedek" and does not return to his
          main subject until 7:1.

  3. 13:23: "Take notice that our brother Timothy has been released, with whom, if
     he comes soon, I shall see you."



                                       4
   1) It is well known that Timothy was a constant companion of Paul from the
      very beginning of Timothy's ministry (Acts 16:3), to the time of Paul's
      death (2 Tim 4:9-21).

4. 13:24: "Those from Italy greet you."
   1) This suggests the possibility of Paul's having written the letter shortly after
      his first Roman imprisonment.

5. It is evident that the writer was formerly a Jew familiar with the Jewish
   system.
   1) This would harmonize with Paul's background. The themes of the
       superiority of Christianity over Judaism were often subjects in some of
       Paul's letters.
   2) The book is comparable to Romans and Galatians which have similar
       themes.

6. 13:25: "Grace"
   1) No other writer uses this ending except in 2 Pet 3:18 where it is used in a
      different sense.

7. The word "mediator" is used only by Paul.

8. Arguments against Paul being the author.
   1) "…was confirmed to us by those who heard him" (2:3).
      --Gal 1:11-12: Paul declared that he had not received the gospel from or
        through men.

   2) Style of writing is superior to Paul's style in any of his other letters.
      --2 Cor 11:6: Paul's own admission.
      --RESPONSE:
         *2 Cor 10:10: Refers to manner of speaking not content.
         *Every writer or artist is entitled to a masterpiece.
         *Different subjects and settings require different styles and flavors.
             >Shameful affairs in Corinth.
             >Helping Timothy with problems.
             >Dealing with a runaway slave (Philemon).
             >Prison epistles (Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, Philemon)
             >Hebrews—Christ is greater than Moses and angels.
 In the end, we can only say with Origen, "But who wrote the epistle, to be
  sure, only God knows."



                                      5
II. TO WHOM IT WAS WRITTEN

  A. The general consensus is that this letter is written to Jewish Christians living
     in Palestine at some definite locality, whom the author knew personally.

     1. This may be concluded from the references made to…
        1) Past experiences (6:10; 10:34)
        2) Past leaders (13:7)
        3) Intends to visit them (13:19, 23)

  B. It is generally agreed that the letter was written to Jewish Christians who
     were under intense pressure to forsake Christ and return to Judaism. The
     internal evidence harmonizes with this conclusion.

     1. The recipients of the letter were quite familiar with all the ceremonies of the
        Mosaic Law.
        1) In Palestine, the ceremonial requirements of the law and the temple were
           still being stressed.
        2) The writer used terms without any explanation.
           >"within the veil" (6:18).
           >"outside the camp" (13:11).
           >"outside the gate" (13:12).

     2. In many of Paul's letters, he mentions the controversies which were prevalent
        between the Jews and Gentiles outside of Palestine.
        1) There is no mention of Jewish-Gentile problems in Hebrews.
        2) Hebrews deals with the trials from the opposition of the unconverted Jew.
           (Their Jewish families and friends pressuring them to return to Judaism).
        3) Therefore the people addressed were likely Jewish converts living in the
           midst of an unbelieving and persecuting Jewish population.

III. THE TIME AND PLACE OF WRITING

  A. Some statements within Hebrews indicate that it was written some
     considerable time after the establishment of the church in 33 A.D., but before
     the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

     1. 5:12: "For though by this time you ought to be teachers…"
        1) The writer implies that enough time has passed since their conversion that
           they should be more mature.




                                          6
     2. There is no mention of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple.
        1) 8:4; 10:11: The author writes as though priests were still offering sacrifices
           and the temple was still standing.
        2) Jewish Christians scattered, temple and sacrifices were destroyed when the
           destruction of Jerusalem came in 70 A.D.
        3) 12:4: Reason to conclude that Hebrews was written before the Jewish wars
           (66-70 A.D.).
        4) 8:13; 10:25: Not too long before 66 A.D.
        5) DATE: 63-65 A.D.: If Paul wrote it—written shortly after being released
           from his first Roman imprisonment while still in Rome.

IV. THE PURPOSE OF THE LETTER

  A. 13:22: "But I urge you, brethren, bear (listen to) this word of exhortation, for I
     have written to you briefly."

     1. The fundamental purpose of the book is to encourage and persuade the
        Hebrew Christians to continue in the faith and be thankful for what they have
        in Christ.
        1) The strong exhortations scattered throughout the book are a key to the
           conditions behind Hebrews (2:1-4; 3-4; 5:11-6:20; 10:19-39).
        2) It was written to Christians under trial, on the verge of apostasy.
        3) The pressures of persecution, the temptations of sin and the perils of
           religious indifference are minimized as Christ is portrayed as the High
           Priest of our confession.
        4) The enthusiasm of Christianity ("new movement") began to wear off. The
           Messiah hasn't come back yet (2 Pet 3:3-4). Some were lax and lazy and
           were in danger of drifting back into Judaism.

     2. The writer urges his Jewish brethren to "not throw away your confidence
        (boldness)", they had manifested in the past (Heb 10:35).
        1) They are encouraged to not go back to the Old Law.
        2) In order to make clearer the work of Christ, the writer compares
           Christianity with Judaism.
        3) The Mosaic system is treated as types which find their fulfillment in Christ
           and as shadows and copies which find their substance in Him.
        4) The dignity and glory of Christ is shown—also His humanity and humility.

     3. The perpetual superiority of Christianity over Judaism (inferior religion).
        The comparative term "better" is used several times showing this superiority
        of Christ and the New Covenant.
        1) Messenger (than angels) – 1:4
        2) Hope – 7:19

                                           7
   3)   Covenant – 7:22
   4)   Promises – 8:6
   5)   Sacrifices – 9:23
   6)   Possession – 10:34
   7)   Country – 11:16
   8)   Resurrection – 11:34
   9)   Things – 11:40

4. To further emphasize the extremely great value of the religion of Christ, seven
   "great" things are mentioned.
   1) Salvation – 2:3
   2) High Priest – 4:14
   3) Tabernacle – 9:11
   4) Conflict – 10:32
   5) Recompense – 10:35
   6) Cloud of witnesses – 12:1
   7) Shepherd – 13:20

 Lesson to us: Remain faithful and loyal to Christ regardless of the
  pressures to be unfaithful.




                                     8
                   HEBREWS: THE EPISTLE OF "BETTER" THINGS
                                    (Key word of the book)

I. BETTER MESSENGER: THE SON                                   1:1-2:18
   Qualifications                                              1:1-3
   Superiority to angels                                       1:4-14
   1st WARNING: Danger of neglect--drifting                    2:1-4
   The Incarnation (Christ becoming man; humanity of Christ)   2:5-18

II. BETTER APOSTLE                                             3:1-4, 13
    Superiority to Moses                                       3:1-6
    2nd WARNING: Danger of unbelief—falling away               3:7-19
    Superiority of His rest                                    4:1-10
    3rd WARNING: Danger of disobedience                        4:11-13

III. BETTER PRIEST                                             4:14-7:28
    Comparison with Aaron                                      4:14-5:4
    Order of Melchizedek                                       5:5-7:25
    Appointed                                                  5:5-6
    Author of salvation                                        5:7-10
    4th WARNING: Danger of immaturity—dullness                 5:11-6:12
    Forerunner                                                 6:13-20
    Living priest                                              7:1-17
    Confirmed by an oath                                       7:18-25
    Relation to sacrifices                                     7:26-28

IV. BETTER COVENANT                                            8:1-9:28
    Establishment of New Covenant                              8:1-13
    Content of Old Covenant                                    9:1-10
    Christ and the New Covenant                                9:11-28

V. BETTER SACRIFICE                                            10:1-31
   Weakness of the Old Law                                     10:1-4
   Offering of Christ                                          10:5-18
   5th WARNING: Danger of rejection--despising                 10:19-31

VI. BETTER WAY: FAITH                                          10:32-12:29
    Need of faith                                              10:32-39
    Examples of faith                                          11:1-40
    Exercise of faith                                          12:1-17
    Objective (goal) of faith                                  12:18-24
    6th WARNING: Danger of refusal--defying                    12:25-29

VII. CONCLUSION: PRACTICE OF FAITH                             13:1-25
   Social relations                                            13:1-6
   Spiritual relations                                         13:7-17
   Personal salutations                                        13:18-25



                                                 9
V. THERE ARE THREE MAIN DIVISIONS OF THE EPISTLE

     A. THE SUPERIORITY OF CHRIST                                                      1:1-8:6
        1. Better than the prophets—as a much better spokesman                         1:1-3
        2. Better than the angels—by virtue of His Deity & humanity                    1:4-2:18
        3. Better than Moses—provides a heavenly rest                                  3:1-4:13
        4. Better than Aaron—His priesthood is superior                                4:16-8:6

     B. THE SUPERIORITY OF THE NEW COVENANT                                            8:7-10:18
        1. For it is based upon better promises                                        8:7-13
        2. For it is based upon a better sanctuary                                     9:1-28
        3. For it is based upon a better sacrifice                                     10:1-18

     C. EXHORTATIONS DRAWN FROM THIS SUPERIORITY: 10:19-13:25
        1. Draw near to God and hold fast                             10:19-39
        2. Run the race of faith with endurance                       11:1-12:29
        3. Love and faithfulness (various duties)                     13:1-17
        4. Concluding remarks (request for prayer, personal messages) 13:18-25


                                   OUTLINE OF HEBREWS

I.    THE SUPERIORITY OF THE SON                                            1:1-8:5
      A. To the Prophets of the Old Covenant                                1:1-3
         1. Former revelations through prophets; but the
            revelation of the new order is through the Son                  1:1
         2. The Divine glory, honor and dignity of the Son                  1:2-3
      B. To Angels                                                          1:4-2:18
         1. In name, exaltation and power                                   1:4-14
            1) Conclusion from these promises submitted: "How shall
                 we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?"             2:1-4
         2. But He became lower than the angels, and identical with
            man. Why?                                                       2:5-18
            1) Man was created with dignity and royalty to rule, but fell   2:5-9
            2) Christ became man, suffered and died, that He might:
                --Restore man to his former glory, reconciling him to
                  God through suffering                                     2:9-13
                --Destroy the power of Satan, redeeming man from the
                  bondage of death                                          2:14-16
                --Qualify Himself as man's high priest before God,
                  able to help man in his manifold needs                    2:17-18
      C. To Moses, as Apostle, Author, and Administrator of the
         New Institution                                                    3:1-4:13
         1. Comparison of Moses and Christ: one a servant in the
            house, the other a Son                                          3:1-6
                                                 10
         2. Warning against unbelief and falling away: Examples
            of disobedience of Israelites under Moses                   3:7-19
         3. The more perfect rest under Christ                          4:1-10
         4. The Word by which all shall be judged                       4:11-13
      D. To Aaron and His Priesthood                                    4:14-8:5
         1. The nature and character of his priesthood                  4:14-5:10
            1) The exalted character and intercession of Christ's
               priesthood                                               4:14-16
            2) His priesthood compared to that of Aaron and
               Melchizedek                                              5:1-10
         2. A digression from the main theme                            5:11-6:20
            1) The inexcusable ignorance of the Hebrews                 5:11-14
            2) An exhortation to progress                               6:1-3
            3) A warning of the danger of apostasy                      6:4-8
            4) Encouragement on the ground of God's fidelity            6:9-20
         3. Superiority of Christ's priesthood compared to Aaron's      7:1-8:5
            1) Superiority of Melchizedek's priesthood                  7:1-10
            2) Changes made in Aaron's priesthood                       7:11-25
            3) Superior dignity and moral excellence of Christ          7:26-28
            4) Christ is high priest of the true tabernacle             8:1-5

II.   THE SUPERIORITY OF THE NEW ORDER                                  8:6-10:18
      A. The New Covenant—It's Superior Nature                          8:6-13
         1. The new covenant is faultless, the old is faulty            8:7-8
         2. Comparison of the two covenants                             8:9-13
            1) The old on tables of stone—new on the heart
            2) The old individuals enter the covenant, or are under it,
               then learn its principles later—new, must learn its
               principles before becoming a part of it
            3) The old could not take away sin—under the new, sins are
               remembered no more.
            4) The old was abolished on the cross—new to continue
      B. A Better Sanctuary                                             9:1-10
         1. The tabernacle and its furniture
            1) Arrangement                                              9:1-5
            2) Its services                                             9:6-7
            3) Its inefficiency                                         9:8-10
      C. A Better and Superior Sacrifice                                9:11-10:18
         1. Superiority of Christ's offering                            9:11-15
         2. Necessity of Christ's death                                 9:16-24
         3. Contrast of the "one" offering of Christ—and the
            "many" of the old order                                     9:25-26
         4. The return of the high priest—not like that of the old      9:27-28
         5. The inefficiency of the legal sacrifices—they never took
            away the guilt of sin—were "shadows"                        10:1-4
         6. Efficiency of Christ's sacrifice—procures final salvation   10:5-18



                                                  11
III. ENCOURAGEMENTS AND EXHORTATIONS DRAWN
     FROM THESE PREMISES                                              10:19-12:29
   A. Encouragements from the superior benefits, rights,
      honors, privileges and relations of the subjects of the
      new covenant.
      1. Exhortation to greater diligence in worship and service      10:19-25
      2. Warnings drawn from the awful consequences of apostasy
         (principle: much given, much required)                       10:26-31
      3. Encouragement drawn from previous patient endurance          10:32-34
      4. Encouragement drawn from the near approach of their
         deliverance from existing evils                              10:35-37
      5. Encouragement drawn from the nature and sustaining
         influence of faith (ch 11)                                   10:38-39
         1) Faith is the foundation of all our hopes                  11:1
         2) Some general illustrations of this important truth        11:2-3
         3) Various personal illustrations of this principle          11:4-38
         4) The superior privileges and advantages of the Christian
             with regard to the object of his faith                   11:39-40
      6. Encouragement drawn from the presence of victorious
         spectators                                                   12:1
      7. Exhortation drawn from the example of Christ                 12:2-4
      8. Exhortation from the design of all divine chastisements      12:5-13
      9. Exhortation from the dangers and consequences of apostasy    12:14-17
     10. Encouragement from the greater privileges of the Christian
         dispensation                                                 12:18-24
     11. Exhortation to give heed to the things which were heard      12:25-27
         1) Because spoken from heaven through God's Son              12:25
         2) Because they were not living in preparatory Jewish age,
             but under last age in which God shakes all heaven and
             earth to make the kingdom of Christ universal and
             eternal                                                  12:26-27
     12. Exhortation because they received an unshakable kingdom      12:28-29

IV. EXHORTATION TO LOVE AND FAITHFULNESS                              13:1-25
   A. Exhortation to Various Duties                                   13:1-17
      1. Brotherly love                                               13:1
      2. Hospitality                                                  13:2
      3. Sympathy with those in bonds                                 13:3
      4. Fidelity in marriage                                         13:4
      5. Contentment                                                  13:5-6
      6. Imitate faith of leaders                                     13:7
      7. Stability in doctrine                                        13:8-15
      8. Benevolence                                                  13:16
      9. Obedience to those who rule                                  13:17
   B. Concluding Remarks                                              13:18-25
      1. Request for prayer                                           13:18-19
      2. The Benediction                                              13:20-21
      3. Personal messages                                            13:22-25


                                             12
                                 HEBREWS ONE
                THE SUPERIORITY OF GOD’S FINAL SPOKESMAN

1:1-8:5: SUPERIORITY OF THE SON
1:1-2:4: God's final revelation
1:1-3: God's superior and final spokesman
          Indicating that a change has taken place.

1:   "God, after He spoke long ago (in time past)"

     1. Refers to the period of time prior to the coming of Jesus.
        1) That period of time described in the Old Testament (Genesis-Malachi).

     2. God has clearly revealed Himself as One who "speaks", that is, He
        communicates His will to mankind!
        1) There never has been an age when man did not need God's instruction
           (Jer 10:23).
        2) It is God's prerogative to speak and it is man's duty to listen.
        3) God is the fountain of all primary authority.
        4) Man is the creature of God's hand and the product of His intelligence.

     "to the fathers in (by) the prophets"

     1. The "fathers" would be the ancestors of the Israelites.
     2. The "prophets" would include great men like Moses, Samuel, Elijah, Isaiah,
        Ezekiel, Daniel, etc.
        1) The Hebrew word for "prophet" means "one who boils over".
        2) Ex 4:16; 7:1: A prophet is a "mouth"—spokesman for God.
        3) It refers to one who is "inspired" by God to speak for Him (2 Pet 1:21).
        4) At times, the prophets themselves were unsure of the meaning of what they
           spoke (1 Pet 1:10-12).

     "in many portions and in many ways,"

     1. Revelation didn't come all at once, but progressively at different times.
        1) Each spoke a part of God.
        2) The methods varied—visions, dreams, symbols, voice on Sinai.
        3) However, the prophets were temporary spokesmen.

2:   "in these last days" (Lit.—"at the end of these days)"

     1. Refers to:
        1) The closing period of the Jewish age.
                                             13
   2) The period of the Messiah—Isa 2:2; Mic 4:1
   3) Acts 2:17—last days began on Pentecost and will end at the 2nd coming.

2. Therefore, it denotes the final phase of history, brought on by the first coming of
   Christ, continuing until His second coming and the consummation of all things
   (Heb 9:26; 1 Pet 1:20; 1 Cor 10:11).

"has spoken to us in His Son,": Note the contrast.

1. God has sent His own Son to speak for Him!
   1) As wonderful as the prophets were, how can they compare to God's own
      Son?

2. One can never settle a question for himself or for anyone else unless one
   accepts a standard of authority.
   1) That standard must be God's message to the world because man still lives in
      God's world.

3. Verses 1 and 2 should be studied with these 4 points noted.

   POINT                OLD COVENANT                       NEW COVENANT
   1) Time              ancient times                      last days
   2) Messenger         prophets                           Son
   3) Message           many times & many ways             all at once
   4) Recipients        our fathers                        us


         THE EXCELLENCE OF "GOD'S PERFECT SPOKESMAN"
7 THINGS THAT QUALIFY CHRIST TO BE GOD'S FINAL SPOKESMAN

(1) "whom He appointed heir of all things"

1. As the "beloved Son", it is only natural that He would be appointed heir.
   1) It was prophesied that Christ would inherit the heathen nations and the
      uttermost parts of the earth (Ps 2). He reigns over all things.

2. What does "all things" include?
   1) All that the Father has (John 16:15).
   2) The authority to raise and judge the dead (John 5:26-29).
   3) The authority to rule in heaven and on earth (Matt 28:18).
   4) Christ has this authority even now (Acts 2:36; 10:36; 17:30-31;
      Eph 1:20-22; 1 Pet 3:22; Rev 1:5).

                                       14
     (2) "through whom also he made the world."

     1. Not only the "Heir", but also the "Creator"! (John 1:3; Col 1:16).
        1) All things were created "through Him" (Creator).
        2) All things were created "for Him" (rightful Heir).

3:   (3) "And He is the radiance (brightness) of His [God's] glory"

     1. As we see the glory of the sun when we see its rays, we see the glory of God
        when we see Christ (John 1:14)—manifests all that God is in Himself.
        1) When we behold Jesus, we see the extension of the glory of God!
        2) Divine glory is seen in His mighty deeds, His compassion, His perfect
           holiness, His teaching.

     (4) "and the exact representation of His [God's] nature (the very image of His
         substance)"

     1. The Greek word "charakter" was the instrument used for engraving or
        carving; then the impression stamped on something by means of a stamp or
        die, which is the exact reproduction of the original in every respect.
        1) The image is not the seal—neither is the Son the Father—separate beings.

     2. "Hupostasis" is "substantial nature, essence, actual being, reality" (Arndt &
        Gingrich).
        1) Thus, the Son is distinct from the Father, but bears His nature with every
           attribute of Deity.
        2) In Christ we can see what God is like (John 14:7-9).
        3) He is the exact representation of God's being and character (Col 2:9)!

     (5) "and upholds all things by the word of His power."

     1. He is not only the Creator, but also the Sustainer of the universe.
        1) Col 1:17: "in Him all things consist".
        2) By His word the universe is held together.
        3) All He has to do is say the word, and the universe is no more!
        4) This illustrates the power of His word (Rom 1:16).

     2. Each atom is made up of protons, electrons and neutrons.
        1) Protons and neutrons make up a central nucleus.
        2) Electrons (negative) equal in number protons (positive)—spin on axis around
           it. It's like a miniature solar system.
        3) Empty space is like a universe.
        4) Light travels 186,000 miles per second—Why? God commanded it.

                                            15
     (6) "when He made purification of sins, (purged our sins)"

     1. A clear reference to His death on the cross for our sins.
        1) This alludes to His role as our High Priest and our redeemer, a theme that
           will be prominent later in this epistle.

     2. He paid the price Himself, through the shedding of His blood, thereby
        accomplishing what the O.T. sacrifices could not.
        1) Past tense—One time historical act once and for all time.

     (7) "He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high;"

     1. His work on earth is completed, thus taking His place of authority.
        1) Prophet—"spoken to us in His Son."
        2) Priest—"purification of sins."
        3) King—"sat down at the right hand of God." (on the throne—v 8)           .

     2. 1-3: See the superiority of Christ in various relationships.
        1) Relationship to God—Son—Brightness—Image.
        2) Relationship to the universe—Heir—Creator—upholds all by the Word.
        3) Relationship to the new order—Prophet—Priest—King.

     3. Sitting at the right hand of God is a place of honor, but for Jesus it is also a
        place from which he reigns (Eph 1:21-22; 1 Pet 3:22)!
        1) Ps 110:1-2: The Messiah was to "rule in the midst of Your enemies".
        2) Jesus is truly "the ruler over the kings of the earth" (Rev 1:5; 17:14).

    4. How can one turn their back on Him?
        1) Especially when the "Majesty" on high proclaimed at the Mount of
           Transfiguration: "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear
           Him" (Matt 17:5).

                  THE SUPERIORITY OF CHRIST OVER ANGELS
1:4-2:18: Better spokesman than the angels.
1:4-14: Better in name, exaltation and power.

4:   "having become as much better than the angels,"

     1. Angels were an important part of the Jewish religion. They thought of
        angels as mediators between God and man.
        1) Angels assisted with the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai (Deut 33:2;
           Ps 68:17; Acts 7:53; Gal 3:19).
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        2) Angels appear throughout the history of Israel, appearing to Abraham, Jacob,
           Joseph, Daniel and many others.
        3) Angels played a larger role in the O.T. than in the N.T.

     2. Since the purpose of Hebrews is to show the superiority of Christ and the New
        Covenant to the Law of Moses…
        1) It is necessary that the writer has something to say about angels.
        2) Therefore, we find the comparison of the Son to the prophets, followed by a
           comparison to angels.

     (1) "as He has inherited a more excellent name than they."

     1. As evidence for the superiority of Jesus over angels, the writer offers
        scriptural support from the O.T.
        1) Two prophecies are now quoted which refer to the Messiah as "Son".

5:   "For which of the angels did He ever say, 'Thou art My Son, today I have
     begotten Thee'"?

     1. Ps 2:7: This psalm depicts the enthronement of the Messiah (the Lord's
        Anointed), in which God calls the Messiah "My Son".
        1) The "begetting" has reference to the resurrection of Jesus (Acts 13:33;
           Rom 1:4; cf. Phil 2:5-9).

     "And again, 'I will be a Father to Him, and He shall be a Son to Me'"?

     1. 2 Sam 7:14: This passage had immediate application to David's son,
        Solomon.
        1) But as the Messiah who would receive the throne of David was also
           descended from David, would find its ultimate application (fulfillment) in
           the Messiah.
        2) Jesus, the "Son of David" (Matt 1:1; Mark 10:47; John 7:42).

     2. But no angel is ever called "My Son".
        1) Collectively, they were called "sons of God", but never individually
           (Job 1:6).

     3. This not only demonstrates Jesus' superiority to angels but it also proves that
        Jesus Himself is not an angel!
        1) This is contrary to what some believe (such as JW's).

6:   "And when He again brings the first-born into the world, He says,
     (2) "And let all the angels of God worship Him."
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1. "Again" may refer to the second coming or the resurrection of Christ.
   1) His resurrection was a coming again.
   2) Angels now worship Him and need not wait until the 2nd coming.

2. There are 2 different Greek words for the term "first-born".
   1) "Protoktisis" =First created.
   2) "Prototokos" =Firstborn—this is the word used here.

3. The term "First-born" doesn't always mean "born first".
   1) It is also used in the Scriptures as a metaphor to describe one who occupies
      the rank and privilege of being firstborn without literally being "firstborn".
   2) It was used by God in this way to refer to the nation of Israel (Ex 4:22).
   3) It was used by God in this way to refer to David, youngest of eight
      (Ps 89:20, 27).
   4) Jer 31:9: Ephraim, the younger son of Joseph (younger brother of
      Manasseh).

4. The Jews understood the term "first-born" to also refer to position, rank,
   honor, heir. (Nation of Israel, David, Ephraim—position not origin (time).
   1) It is used of Jesus in this way to stress His preeminence (position) over
      creation (time).
   2) Col 1:15-18: Paul explains it by using the same Greek word.
      >By being the Creator, Jesus maintains the rank, position and privilege of
      "first-born".
   3) Rev 3:14: Used this same Greek word, which is translated "beginning" in
      some versions, to refer to Jesus as occupying the highest position of honor,
      not because He was the first created being, but because He is the Creator.

5. The quotation in verse 6 is from Deut 32:43 as found in the Septuagint.
   1) The Greek word for "worship" is the same word used with reference to
      the Father (Rev 4:10-11; 5:11-13: glory, honor, power = worship).
   2) John 5:22-23: "For not even the Father judges any one, but He has given all
      judgment to the Son, in order that all may honor the Son, even as they
      honor the Father." He who does not honor the Son does not honor the
      Father who sent Him."

6. NOTE: No created being is or was ever worthy of worship!
   1) Matt 4:10; Col 1:18; 2:18-19: Angel worship is forbidden.
   1) Rev 22:8-9: The angels themselves refused to be worshiped.
   2) Acts 10:25-26: The apostle Peter refused to accept worship.

7. Yet, Jesus received and accepted worship!
   1) Matt 2:11: From the wise men.

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        2)Matt 8:2: From the leper.
        3)Matt 9:18: From the ruler.
        4)Matt 14:33: From His disciples in the boat.
        5)Matt 15:25: From the Canaanite woman.
        6)Matt 20:20: From the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
        7)Matt 28:9, 17: From the women and other disciples following His
          resurrection.
       8) John 9:38: From the man born blind.
       9) John 20:28: From doubting Thomas.
      10) Luke 24:52: From the disciples following His ascension.

7-9: (3) Greater things are said of Christ than the angels.

7:   "And of the angels He says, 'Who makes His angels winds, and His ministers a
     flame of fire.'" (Ps 104:4).

     1. "Winds" may be literal "breath" or can mean "spirits".
        1) It is true—angels are created spirits to serve God ("ministering spirits" (14).
        2) It is also true—their service can be as powerful, yet transient as "winds" or
           as "a flame of fire".
        3) "Fire" may denote angels as agents through whom God's vengeance was
           carried out.

     2. Christ is the Master above God's servants—the angels.
        1) If angels worship Christ, why not man?
        2) This is not the picture of an angel worshiping another angel (Christ).

8:   "But the Son He says, 'Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous
     scepter is the scepter of His (Thy) kingdom.'"

     1. The author quotes Ps 45:6. Psalm is about the glorious reign of the king after
        His death. Notice that the Hebrew writer clearly proclaims the deity of Jesus!
        1) 1: Willing to tell 800 years before the king came.
        2) 2-3: Marriage of the king—Bride=church. (exaggerates to describe feelings).
        3) 4: This king is never defeated. Why? "truth, meekness, righteousness"
        4) 5: Warring instruments, arrows are sharp, people will fall.
        5) 6: "Scepter": Staff-Every king has a standard to show authority –
           "uprightness".
        6) "Kingdom": "shall never be destroyed" (Dan 2:44); "No end"
           (Luke 1:33).




                                           19
9:   "Thou has loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Thy God,
     hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy companions."

     1. Ps 45:7 is now quoted. Note here a distinction of personalities within the
        Godhead.
        1) This Son, who is God and King has been "anointed".
           "Messiah" means "anointed one".
        2) Who are these "companions" ("fellows"—in Ps) Probably kings of other
           nations (Ps 45:9).
        3) Ps 45:8: "Garments" have "no spot or wrinkle" (Eph 5:27).
           Who wants a king with spots? How do we get rid of our spots? (Rev 19:7-8)

10-12: (4) Christ is the eternal Creator, thus far superior to angels.

10: "And Thou, LORD, in the beginning didst lay the foundation of the earth, and
    the heavens are the works of Thy hands;"

     1. Ps 102:25 is addressed to Jehovah and this verse applied it to Christ (1:2).

11: "They will perish, but Thou remainest;" (from Ps 102:26).
    "and they all will become old as a garment," (from Isa 51:6).

     1. Since Christ is eternal, therefore unchangeable.

12: "And as a mantle Thou wilt roll them up; as a garment they will also be changed.
    But Thou art the same, and Thy years will not come to an end."

     1. From Ps 102:26-27: The universe is constantly changing but Christ is
        changeless (Ps 46:1-6).
        1) Ps 102:28: "The children of Thy servants will continue, and their
           descendants will be established before Thee."
        2) Where is the safe place to be? In the kingdom of the King!

13-14: (5) While Christ occupies the supreme position at God's right hand, angels
        are but servants—"ministering spirits".

13: "But to which of the angels has He ever said, 'Sit at My right hand, until I make
    Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet"?

     1. The psalm quoted now is Ps 110:1.
        1) This psalm is quoted or alluded to more than any other psalm in the N.T.
        2) It refers to the Messianic reign of Christ that began when Jesus sat down at
           the right hand of God (Heb 1:3; Acts 2:34-36; 1 Pet 3:22).

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       3) Christ applied this psalm to Himself in Matt 22:43-44.
       4) Jesus identified Himself as the one "sitting at the right hand of power"
          in Mark 14:62.

    2. No angel has ever been asked to sit at God's right hand—only Jesus.
       1) Once again, this proves that Jesus was not an angel.

    3. "Enemies": It's comforting to look heavenward when we are frustrated.
       1) We can see Christ exercising authority in heaven and on earth!
       2) Christ's rule is far greater than all the angels combined!

14: "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of
    those who will inherit salvation"?

    1. While Jesus sits enthroned in heaven, angels are "sent out to…serve".
       1) They minister for those "who will inherit salvation".
       2) They have certainly ministered in the past (Luke 1:11-38).
       3) They will certainly minister at the time of Christ's return (Matt 13:36-43;
          2 Thes 1:7; Luke 16:22.
       4) But to what extent they minister in the present, the Scriptures reveal very
          little (Matt 18:10; 1 Cor 11:10).
       5) Therefore, we should be very careful to refrain from vain speculation.

     As innumerable angels proclaimed with a loud voice: "Worthy is the Lamb
      who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and
      honor and glory and blessing!" (Rev 5:11-12).

     Only Jesus is worthy of our worship and adoration!
      Let Jesus, not the angels, be the focus of our interest and adoration!




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                                Study Questions
                                      Hebrews One

1.   Hebrews is the epistle of ______________ things. (Key word of book).

2.   To whom was the book probably written?

3.   What is the purpose of the letter?




4.   How did God speak to the “fathers”?

5.   If in verse 2 it reads “at the end of these days”—what “days” were ending?

     How did God speak to those “at the end of these days”?
     If it reads “in these last days”—what could this refer to?

6.   List the statements in verses 2-3 which shows the superiority of Christ over the
     prophets of old.
     1)
     2)
     3)
     4)
     5)
     6)
     7)

7.   Christ is superior to angels because (4-14)
     1)
     2)
     3)
     4)
     5)




                                            22
                               HEBREWS TWO
                           THE HUMANITY OF CHRIST

                      SUMMARY OF HEBREWS TWO

     This chapter begins with a conclusion (2:1-4—a warning) based on the point the
writer made in chapter 1. Then chapter 2 gives more reasons for the exhortation (2:5-
18).

      Chapter 1 set forth Christ as the superior spokesman, the perfect and true
representative of God. He is superior to both the prophets of the old covenant and to
angels of God who aided in revealing the old law (Law of Moses). Chapter 2 begins by
saying that we who are under the new law “must pay much closer attention (give the
more earnest heed)” to the new order, since the old one proved steadfast and was
strictly enforced, and we have a system and spokesman superior to that of the old.

     The message of Christ, to which we should pay much closer attention is one of a
“great salvation.” It began to be taught by the Lord during His personal ministry on
earth, then it was ‘confirmed to us by those who heard Him,” as they passed it on to
others, having their testimony verified as God bore them witness through “signs and
wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit.”

      The writer anticipates an implied question in the minds of the Jewish readers: If
Christ is so much greater than the angels then why did He become a man and die? From
this, they might conclude that Jesus was inferior to the angels. After all, Jesus didn’t
appear to have the honor that Moses had. Therefore, the writer explains why Christ
became lower than the angels.

     The writer returns to the subject of chapter 1 as he proceeds to explain in 2:5-18
more reasons for saying that Christ is superior and should be heeded. Not only is Christ
superior to angels as the spokesman of God, but He is also superior to them as the
perfect high priest of man—because He lived as a man, He suffered like a man, and He
was in every way united with man. The sovereignty promised to man has been attained
only by Christ, and this by way of the incarnation and suffering. Since Christ came to
redeem man He should become a man and be subjected to the suffering like a man and
destroy the power of Satan in the process. His life, death, and resurrection qualified
Him to be man’s perfect representative as their high priest before God.




                                          23
2:1-4: FIRST WARNING: DANGER OF NEGLECT (DRIFTING).
2:5-18: HUMANITY OF CHRIST (Ch 1: His Deity).

1:   "For this reason": Conclusion to chapter 1.
     "we must pay much closer attention (give the more earnest heed)"

     1. Note in v 2: We are to give more earnest heed than those who heard the word of
        God spoken through angels—the Israelites of the O.T.
        1) Why? v.3: Because we have the word of God spoken through the Son.
        2) Which pertains to a salvation greater than that enjoyed by them.
        3) Luke 12:49: To whom more is given, more is required!

     "to what we have heard": word spoken through the Son—great salvation.

     1. The gospel of Christ in all aspects! How can we do this?
        1) The Bereans are a good example – (Acts 17:11) – in the way they listened
           and in the way they followed up by studying.

     "lest we drift away (from it)."="Flowing or floating past anything."

     1. The figure suggested is that of a boat (ship) slipping off course because the
        pilot has not paid close attention.
        1) This drifting is very gradual and almost unnoticeable.
        2) It is being carried along in the wrong direction by a subtle current.

     2. The danger of "drifting" is very real!
        1) It is possible for a child of God to so sin as to be lost!
        2) Otherwise, such an exhortation as this is meaningless!

     3. The danger of neglect and drifting in this case is caused by failing to recognize
        the importance of the gospel.
        1) It is an unconscious process that is dangerous and deceptive.
        2) Few go wrong overnight—rather it is little by little over a long time.

     4. Why is this warning still needed? Human nature—temptations.
        1) We live in an age of change, pleasures, indifference.
        2) It doesn't take any effort to float downstream—path of least resistance.

2:   "For if the word spoken through angels" (Deut 33:2; Gal 3:19; Acts 7:53).

     1. When God spoke through angels His word "proved steadfast (unalterable)"



                                             24
     "and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense,"

     1. Will not every unrepented transgression and disobedience receive a just reward?

3:   "how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?"

     1. Just as those who neglected the word spoken through angels lost their "promised
        land", so there are grave consequences for those who neglect the salvation
        spoken of by the Son of God.
        1) How much more, then, when He speaks through His Son!
        2) It is a great salvation because it offers such things as: forgiveness of sins,
           power over sin, assurance of God's presence, a clear and peaceful conscience
           and a glorious hope for eternity.
        3) Can we dare neglect it?

     2. Neglect begins in the heart.
        1) Faith weakens, loss of zeal and love.
        2) Result: Lazy in the Lord's work.
        3) We can worship, attend, pray, give and etc. and be guilty.
        4) It is easy to be lulled into a false sense of security.
        5) We can be lost not because of what we did, but because of what we didn't do.

     3. Negligence causes unfruitfulness. We are drifting when we:
        1) Become more and more satisfied with our growth.
        2) Have a declining interest in saving souls.
        3) Have an increasing interest in money and worldly possessions.
        4) Are falling more and more in love with worldly pleasures.
        5) Have an increasing unrest and discontent—and are becoming more and more
           critical of the brethren and the church.
        6) Begin to offer foolish excuses for neglect of duty.
        7) Begin some bad habits.

     4. Causes are:
        1) Not being anchored—subtle tides and currents tug at the soul's safety
           (weariness).
        2) Not developing and maturing in the faith.
        3) Secondary things receive primary time and attention.

     5. What is the cure? "Pay much closer attention to what we have heard."
        1) Follow right examples and fight the good fight.
        2) EXAMPLE: Fleet of ships arriving at their destination.
           --Each ship must be in proper relationship to the others so they won't collide.
           --Each ship must be in good sailing condition—proper maintenance.

                                            25
           --All must be headed for the same port—right destination.

     "After it was at the first spoken through the Lord,"

     1. John 6:68: Only source of the words of life.
        1) John 14:26; 15:26; 16:12-13: Matt 28:19-20.
        2) Man-made doctrines have no connection with Christ.
        3) If Christ didn't teach it—its not part of the Christian's faith.

     "it was confirmed to us by those who heard,"

     1. v 1: "we": Personal and persuasive appeal.
        1) There is no question that the writer did it for rapport.

     2. The word spoken by the Son was confirmed by His apostles.
        1) Individuals who were eyewitnesses (Acts 10:39-41; 2 Pet 1:16).
        2) Men who endured much to serve Him (1 Cor 4:9-13).

4:   "God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders and by
     various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will."

     1. The word spoken by the Son was confirmed even more!
        1) By God Himself, through signs, wonders, and miracles (John 10:37-38).
        2) By the Holy Spirit, with gifts according to His will (1 Cor 12:7-11).

     2. Shall we neglect that Word to which such have born witness?
        1) God removed all EXCUSES for unbelief and "neglect" of the great
           salvation!

     3. We can see the temporary nature of miracles in the O.T.
        1) When Israel entered the land of Canaan—manna ceased, cloud and fire
           wasn't needed anymore to guide and guard the people.
        2) God no longer uses what He (people) no longer needs.
        3) The word was "confirmed" (established) by miracles because God willed it.
        4) The absence of miracles today doesn't speak of God's power, but of His will.
        5) He could work miracles today if He willed—Question of will, not power.
        6) The so-called miracles today—are they of God? What are miracles
           confirming today? 2 Thes 2:9-10: "Lying wonders".




                                              26
2:5-18: CHRIST IS SUPERIOR TO ANGELS BECAUSE HE BECAME THE
        PERFECT REPRESENTATIVE OF MAN BY HIS LIFE AND DEATH
        (HUMANITY OF CHRIST—ch 1: HIS DEITY).

     1. This section seems to be connected to the previous one as an explanation of the
        great salvation mentioned in verse 3.
        1) In order to bring about the great salvation, Jesus became "a little lower than
           the angels", took on a physical body and became a man like us.
        2) Not just a man, for he was still deity, but now He possessed manhood as well
           as Godhood.
        3) This section explains why.

     2. The humanity of Jesus provided several advantages…
        1) 5-9: In regaining man's lost dominion.
        2) 10-13: In enabling Jesus to bring many sons to glory.
        3) 14-16: In disarming Satan, and delivering us from the fear of death.
        4) 17-18: In becoming a sympathetic high priest.

     3. Becoming flesh did not prove to be a handicap or a mark of inferiority.
        1) Rather, it served to make Him "perfect"!
        2) The great stumbling block to men, both Jews and Gentiles, was the
           crucifixion of Jesus (1 Cor 1:23).
        3) The writer explains that the humanity and death of Jesus is entirely fitting
           and is in harmony with God's plan to bring man to glory.

5:   "For He did not subject to angels the world to come (inhabited earth),
     concerning which we are speaking."

     1. What has the writer been talking about? Salvation.
        1) The "inhabited earth" was put in subjection to man rather than angels.

     2. Those who proclaimed the great salvation spoke of blessings in the Christian
        age under the Messianic reign.
        1) These blessings would not come to angels, for the Messianic rule was not put
           in subjection to angels.
        2) Rather, it was put in subjection to man in the sense that it is for MAN'S
           BENEFIT AND ENJOYMENT.
        3) The writer will proceed to show that Christ became a man in order to secure
           those blessings for man.




                                           27
6-8: (Ps 8:4-6) Different interpretations.
      Quotation from Psalms 8 refers to mankind in general and tells of a future rule
        in a world to come—Pre-millennialism—restore earth—WRONG.

        Psalms 8 and here speaks only of Christ—both are Messianic—WRONG.

        Psalms 8 speaks of God's original purpose for man and here it is applied to
         Christ—Messianic. POSSIBLE.

        FITS BEST: Psalms 8 and here speaks only of God's original purpose for man
         and lost dominion. Then 9-13 speak of Christ regaining that dominion now and
         in the "world to come".

6-8:      GOD GAVE DOMINION TO MAN BUT MAN HAS LOST THAT
          DOMINION.
9-13:     JESUS, AS A MAN, REGAINED THAT DOMINION!

6:     "What is man, that Thou rememberest Him?"

       1. What is there about man that entitles him to be noticed by God?
          1) Gen 1:26: Man was created in God's image—Gave man a spirit.
          2) Creation is for the benefit of man—not angels.

       "Or the son of man,"

       1. Hebrew parallelism (Prov 5:12; 6:2).

       "that Thou (visits; take care of him) art concerned about him?"

       1. The word used here implies the idea of manifesting oneself to another for the
          purpose of blessing (Ex 3:16) or punishing (Ps 89:32).

7:     “Thou hast made him (for)”

       1. Even though man was made "a little lower than the angels"
          1) Yet God 'crowned him with glory and honor"!

       2. Man once had dominion over the earth (Gen 1:26-28).
          1) David marveled that God set man over His "works".




                                           28
8:   "Thou hast put all things in subjection under His feet. For in subjecting all
     things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him."

     1. God's original intent for man was a position in which all things are subject to
        man.

     "But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him."

     1. Man has lost (forfeited) that dominion as a result of the Fall.
        1) Satan has usurped dominion of the world.
        2) Man is not in complete control of his environment because of sin.
        3) We are subject to disease and death, both physical and spiritual.
        4) We have lost the glory and honor that God originally planned for us.
        5) "Yet" implies that we will eventually enjoy the position we lost—in the
           world to come—when salvation becomes a reality.

9:   "But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels,
     namely Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor,
     that by the grace of God He might taste of death for every man."

     1. The contrast is not between man and Christ.
        1) The contrast is between His rule and humility as His superiority over the
           angels is explained.

     2. As a result of His death (purpose) He is presently crowned with glory and
        honor.
        1) Death was necessary in order to fulfill the Messianic prophecies.
        2) Isa 53:11-12: States that the suffering servant he would be rewarded.
        3) Therefore His suffering was not a dishonor or a rejection by God.
        4) Phil 2:5-9: He humbled and emptied Himself by becoming a man for our
           benefit.

     3. Luke 11:19-22: Stronger than Satan.
        1) Jesus didn't come to establish an ideal—but to die for the sins of man.
        2) 1 Cor 2:8: If the rulers knew His true purpose and identity they would
           "not have crucified the Lord of glory."
        3) John 17:1-4: He laid His glory aside but He did not give His glory to
           another (Isa 42:8; Dan 7:13-14).

10: "For it was fitting for Him (became Him)"

     1. "Auton" is capitalized (dative case).
        1) It is part of His divine nature not only to command but to lead man.

                                            29
    "For whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many
    sons to glory,"

    1. Isa 53:11: "justify many".
       1) 53:12: "He bore the sins of many".

    2. What man once had and lost—Jesus regained!
       1) Those who are in Christ share in that rule now (Eph 1:20-22; 2:4-6;
          3:21; Rev 5:8-9; 1 Pet 3:22).
       2) And especially in the future when we pass from this life to the next
          (Rev 2:26-27; 3:21).

    3. Such dominion, both now and in "the world to come", was never given to
       angels.
       1) Man had it and lost it.
       2) But in becoming a man to suffer death enabled Jesus to regain that dominion
          for man!

    "to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings."

    1. His suffering and death make it possible for Him to lead His followers to
       glory and honor.
       1) He became "perfect" in the sense of being fully qualified to lead men to
          glory. He became man's perfect Savior.
       2) Apart from suffering He would not have been able to perform that mission—
          therefore, it was necessary for Him to become a man!

    2. Jesus is the "pathfinder", "pioneer", "captain" of our salvation.
       1) He traveled the path of perfection. He showed us the way.
       2) He can demand man to follow the same path.
       3) He would not be the perfect Savior if He didn't find the path for us.

11: "For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified (being sanctified) are
    all from one Father, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,"

    1. The "sanctified" enter a new relationship with God.
       1) Jesus is not endorsing all their behavior.

    2. "One Father" is the basis of brotherhood (Godhood).
       1) Those that have the same Father should not be embarrassed to call one
          another brethren.
       2) "One"=united—He is also a man.


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    3. Jesus is "not ashamed" of His humiliation.
       1) He never apologized for being the Son of Man.
       2) His "brethren" are those who "do the will of the Father who is in heaven"
          (Matt 12:48-50).

12: "saying": Proof that Christ is not ashamed to call them brethren.

    "I will proclaim Thy name to My brethren, in the midst of the congregation I will
    sing Thy praise."

    1. Ps 22:1-21: is about the crucifixion of Christ.
    2. Ps 22:22-31: is about His triumph after His rejection.
       1) He is not ashamed of "sanctified" man.
       2) Jesus came to save—not just to be a man to call all men "brethren".
       3) Christ is our Captain—(John 1:17-18)—Christ through His word spoken by
          the churches declare the Father's name.

13: "And again, 'I will put My trust in Him.'" (Ps 22:8—Matt 27:43; Isa 8:17)

    1. What is purpose of quoting the O.T.?
       1) One point—HUMAN.
       2) Jesus expresses the need to trust God as men do.

    "And again, 'Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me.'" (Isa 8:18).

    1. Jesus restored man to his former glory, reconciling him to God through
       suffering.
       1) Jesus refers to Himself as associated with the children of God.
       2) All these quotations are expressions indicating that He is one of us.

14-16: HIS HUMANITY ENABLED JESUS TO DESTROY THE POWER
       OF SATAN AND DELIVER US FROM THE FEAR OF DEATH.

14: "Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also
    partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had
    the power of death, that is, the devil."

    1. If Satan could keep Jesus in the grave—he would have won every soul.
       1) Luke 10:17: When Jesus cast out demons He was in the process of defeating
           Satan's army.
       2) Rev 1:18 (Acts 2:27; Luke 23:43): Jesus raises, knocks down Satan, takes
           the keys of death—victory—(Rev 12:7-10)—able to hold men in death
           because of sin.

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           Went to heaven and tells John what happened.

       3) Eph 4:8: "When he ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives,
          (Satan and his army) and He gave gifts to men."

    2. Note that Christ had to meet the devil on his own turf and win the victory over
       death. (The same is true in wars on earth).
       1) Jesus came to earth, waged war here, died, and, finally, waged a winning
          battle in Hades over the devil.
       2) 2 Cor 5:19-20: God's sacrifice was the only way that man could be
          reconciled to God.

15: "and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all
    their lives."

    1. EX: All are handcuffed with a gun to our heads.
       1) Fear of death—going to the unknown.
       2) Jesus took the gun out of Satan's hand and released us.
       3) Now—going on a trip to an unknown place with one who has already been
          there—" I'll meet you there."
       4) We place our faith in it—takes the fear (sting) out of death (1 Cor 15:55-56).
       5) We can now face death with serenity and confidence (1 John 4:16-18; 5:13).

    2. Although the devil's power isn't what it once was and has been greatly
       weakened by Jesus' victory over death, the devil is still very active (1 Pet 5:8-9;
       1 John 5:18-21).

16: "For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the
    descendant (seed) of Abraham."

    1. Jesus suffered and died as a man to save men, not angels.
       1) When angels sin they are forever doomed.
       2) There is not a plan of escape for them, but there is for mankind.
       3) If there was—Jesus would have had to become an angel to save them.
       4) Angels are not subject to physical suffering like mankind.

    2. It is to the "seed of Abraham" and not to angels that Jesus has given such help.
       1) Gal 3:7,29: Faithful Christians.

    3. How much does God love mankind?
       1) We're made in His image. God walked with man in the garden and reversed
          the effects of sin.
       2) Spiritually, man is more blessed than angels.
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       3) Remember, angels serve for mankind's benefit.

17-18: HIS HUMANITY QUALIFIED HIMSELF AS MAN'S HIGH PRIEST
       BEFORE GOD, ABLE TO HELP MAN IN HIS MANIFOLD NEEDS.

17: "Therefore, He had (was obligated) to be made like His brethren in all things,
    that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to
    God,"

    1. Jesus willingly took on the obligation upon Himself.
       1) God is holy and just—couldn't overlook sin—sin has a high price.
       2) Man is a sinner—couldn't remove sin.
       3) Jesus became our high priest to remove sins by offering the required
          sacrifice.

    2. Becoming like man "in all things" equipped Him for the role of a merciful
       and faithful high priest.
       1) The role of high priest involved offering gifts and sacrifices for sin (5:1).
       2) "Merciful": O.T. priests were aloof from feelings of others.

    3. "Faithful" O.T. priests were sinners also but there were no failures with
       Jesus.
       1) EX: Are you willing for me to be your high priest?
       2) I understand all the requirements—if I fail in any way—all will go to hell.
       3) Are you willing? No—I'm just another man—sinner—failure.

    "to make propitiation for sins of the people."

    1. It means "to appease"—in order to remove wrath.
       1) Similar to the mercy-seat in the O.T.
       2) Christ is our mercy-seat.
       3) Jesus serves as our high priest, mercifully and faithfully representing
           our cause in heaven.

18: "For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to
    come to the aid of those who are tempted."

    1. Jesus had to be God in order to understand God.
       1) How many cows can understand man? How can a cow tell you it does?
       2) How many men understand cows?
       3) What would Jesus have to become in order to understand all the temptations
          and sufferings of man?—Become a man.
       4) Can a man actually understand dying? Don't know, never been there.

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        5) But Jesus has and He will lead the way.

    2. If Jesus was never tempted in all areas (1 John 2:15-17)—could I take my
       problem to Jesus when faced with the same temptation?
       1) All of us have "unique circumstances"—"no one else understands".
       2) That's why Jesus became a man—tell it to Jesus.
       3) Now we can appreciate Jesus becoming a man.
       4) We have the comforting assurance of knowing that there is one in heaven
          who understands our problems through His own experience.
       5) We have in heaven a representative who is one of us.

    3. What does a Christian have?
       1) We should ask, "What doesn't a Christian have?
       2) Jesus became a man to help man get out of what he got himself into.

    4. What angel has accomplished such things as…
       1) Regain man's lost dominion?
       2) Bring many sons to glory?
       3) Disarm Satan, and deliver us from the fear of death?
       4) Become a sympathetic high priest?

    5. All these things were only possible by Jesus becoming a man.
       1) Yes, Jesus became "a little lower than the angels."
       2) But in so doing, even HIS HUMANITY MAKES HIM FAR SUPERIOR to
          angels!
       3) We have seen that Jesus is superior to the prophets and angels, tempted,
          suffered, tasted death for every man—and is not ashamed to call us brethren.

    6. Why should we ever want to turn our back on such a Savior?
       1) Are we ashamed to call Him "Lord"?
       2 Are we willing to serve Him as Lord?

                    WHY WAS JESUS CRUCIFIED?
        (Heb 2:10-18: What He accomplished in becoming flesh and dying).

2:10:   Brought many sons to glory. Made the captain of their salvation perfect.
2:11:   Sanctified the sons. Made them brethren.
2:14:   Brought the power of the devil to nothing.
2:15:   Delivered man from bondage and the fear of death.
2:16:   Gave help to the seed of Abraham.
2:17:   Became a merciful and faithful high priest. Made propitiation for sins.
2:18:   Able to help those who are tempted.

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                                Study Question
                                     Hebrews Two

1.   Chapter 2 begins with a conclusion “Therefore”—upon what is this conclusion
     based?

2.   What does the phrase “drift away” mean?
     How is it accomplished?

3.   What was the penalty for rejecting the message of angels?

4.   How do some try to “escape” the consequences of neglecting salvation?

5.   How did God confirm the word concerning our “great” salvation?

6.   Who was made a little lower than the angels in verses 6-7?
     What O.T. passage is this quoted from?

7.   Who was made a little lower than the angels by His suffering and subjection?

8.   For whom did Christ “taste of death”?

9.   What perfected the “author” of our salvation?

10. What did Christ share with us?

11. How was Christ “made like His brethren” in “all things”?

12. What act of Christ showed that He overcame the devil?

13. What “release” or “deliverance” was brought through the death of Jesus?

14. What does Christ being a high priest enable Him to do which only a high priest
    could do?

15. Why is Christ so well fitted to aid those who are tempted?

16. What did Christ do by the grace of God?




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                              HEBREWS THREE
     CHRIST IS BETTER THAN MOSES; THE POSSIBILITY OF APOSTASY

                     SUMMARY OF HEBREWS THREE

     “Therefore”—As in chapter 2, this chapter begins with a conclusion based on what
the previous context has proven. The writer’s reasoning is: since God has spoken His
final message through His Son, and since He is superior to angels, and Christ is “a
merciful and faith high priest” who suffered for men and has been crowned with glory,
He can sympathize and save, then surely we must “consider Jesus, the Apostle and
High Priest of our confession.”

     3:1-6: The writer begins with the comparison of Moses and Jesus. The Jews
considered the law as supreme to everything, thus Moses and the law were synonymous.
The next step taken by the writer is to prove that Jesus is superior to Moses. Barclay
makes a significant comment of what the Jews thought of Moses. “To the prophets God
makes Himself known in a vision; to Moses God speaks ‘mouth to mouth.’ To the Jew
it would have been impossible to conceive that anyone ever stood closer to God than
Moses did, and yet that is precisely what the writer of the Hebrews set out to prove.”
The Hebrew readers revered Moses as the giver of the law, so a condemnation of Moses
would only serve to separate the readers from the author. Therefore, the author is very
careful to maintain his bond with his readers.

     In all respects, Moses is praised for his faithfulness. The special fact to be
considered is the faithfulness and the trustworthiness of Christ as our Savior. Like
Moses, He was faithful—but unlike Moses and in superiority to Moses, He was faithful
as a “Son” as Moses was as a “servant.” A servant is never held in the same regard as
a son. The Son is given credit for building the house, while Moses simply maintained
the house. In this family in which Christ is the faithful Son, we, as Christians, are
members “if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the
end.”

     3:7-19: Mention of falling away from God brings to mind the apostasy of Israel,
which should serve as a warning to Christians to remain faithful. Because Jesus is
supreme to Moses, it is necessary for Christians to maintain their belief in Him. A
Quotation from Psalm 95 is stated and applied to the Hebrew Christian readers as a
warning that Israel fell away because of “unbelief” and God was displeased with them,
thus not allowing them to enter His “rest.” A repetition by Christians of the sinful
unfaithfulness of which Israel was guilty in the wilderness will also bring God’s
displeasure upon us. Let us “take heed” and “encourage one another” that this will
not happen to any of us (1 Cor 10:12).


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3:1-6: THE BETTER APOSTLE (CHRIST: BETTER THAN MOSES).
3:7-19: DEMONSTRATE THE POSSIBILITY OF APOSTASY.

         History lesson of Israel to show that Christians could also fall away.

1:   "Therefore…consider"

     1. In an effort to prevent the Hebrew Christians from forsaking Christ and
        returning to Judaism, chapters 1-2 stressed the greatness of Christ and what
        He has done for us.
        1) In view of all that has been said concerning Christ, the writer calls on us
           to consider Christ.

     "holy brethren"

     1. Jewish Christians—you're special. Why?
        1) Set apart from the rest of the world for a special purpose.
        2) Holy=sanctified (2:11)—by obeying the gospel (2:1-4).
        3) Not holy by being born Jews (1 Thes 5:26—includes Gentiles.

     "partakers of a heavenly calling"

     1. They had come to share in the call from heaven (Phil 3:13-14).
        1) This "calling" was the call of the gospel (2 Thes 2:13-14)—how God calls
           us.
        2) It is a call to glory (1 Thes 2:12).
        3) Spiritual inheritance rather than earthly goals (Col 3:1-4).
        4) Clearly, the original recipients were Christians.

     "consider Jesus": As Apostle and High Priest

     "the Apostle": "one sent out"—on a mission; "messenger".

     1. Moses was also a messenger sent by God of the Old Covenant.
        1) Jesus is the messenger of the New Covenant as foretold by Moses and the
           prophets that followed (Acts 3:22-26; John 7:16).
        2) God sent out Christ on a mission—to bring salvation and the gospel.

     "and High Priest"

     1. Jesus is our representative before God.
        1) Having offered the sacrifice by which our sins are forgiven, He presently
           intercedes in heaven for us (1 John 2:1-2; Heb 2:17).
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     "of our confession.": "to speak the same as".

     1. John 18:37: Jesus said, "I am a king." (Matt 10:32-33; 1 Tim 6:12-13).

2:   "He was faithful to Him who appointed Him"

     1. Jesus accomplished the work He was sent to do (John 17:1-4).

     "as Moses also was in all His house" (Num 12:6-8; Heb 11:24-29).

     1. The issue is not one of faithfulness.
        1) Both Christ and Moses were faithful.

     2. Num 12:7: It is evident that the pronoun "His" refers to God.
        1) Israel was God's house—denotes the people of God (Heb 3:5-6).

3:   "For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as
     the builder of the house has more honor than the house."

     1. Here is the difference between Jesus and Moses (hard for Jews to accept).
        1) Moses is part of the house that Jesus built.
        2) Jesus is set apart as the creator of the house of God, while Moses is only a
           servant of the house (5).
        3) Therefore Christ has "more honor" than Moses.

4:   "For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God."

     1. Jesus is superior to Moses in character and function.
        1) Once again the deity of Jesus is declared as the creator of all things (1:2).

     2. This is a great verse to begin proving God created the world.
        1) If we accept the concept that every house is built by someone, then it follows
           that someone had to build this house upon which we ride.

5:   “Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those
     things which were to be spoken later;”

     1. Moses, as a faithful servant in God's house that Christ built, implies that what
        Moses did was in SERVICE TO THE WORK OF THE SON!
        1) Moses' task was to testify of things to come, which he did faithfully (Deut
           18:15-19; Luke 24:44).



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6:   "but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house."

     1. How is Jesus superior to Moses?
        1) Not only did Jesus do the work He was sent to do, but He was given
           authority over all the things of God (Matt 28:18; John 3:35; Eph 1:22).
        2) For one to forsake Jesus in an attempt to go back to Moses alone is to
           FRUSTRATE THE DESIRE OF MOSES HIMSELF!

     "whose house we are" (2:10: "many sons to glory").

     1. Jesus also built the church (Matt 16:18).
        1) The church is the house of God (1 Tim 3:15; Eph 2:11-22; 1 Pet 2:5).

     "if we hold fast our confidence (boldness) and the boast (rejoicing of hope) of
     our hope firm until the end."

     1. Yet, our status as the "house" is conditional!
        1) "Confidence": Not permitting anything to intimidate us so that we shrink
           back.
        2) Our "rejoicing of hope": Continues to live in view of the hope we have
           in Christ.
            Our faith is strengthened by a confident proclamation of it (1 Pet 3:15).

     2. Therefore, the need for steadfastness, and the reason this epistle is filled with
        exhortations to that end.
        1) We are to remain steadfast and faithful in our relationship to Christ as we are
           His servants (Rom 6:16).
        2) 3:7-19: A WARNING FROM THE WILDERNESS.

     3. Is your faith wavering? Then heed the words of this letter and…
        1) "Consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession."
        2) As you consider His person and His ministry, it should help you hold fast to
            your confession of faith!
        3) We are responsible for developing our own faith (Phil 2:12).

3:7-19: WARNING AGAINST UNBELIEF AND FALLING AWAY.
      EXAMPLES OF DISOBEDIENCE OF ISRAELITES UNDER MOSES.
      ADMONITION TO FAITHFULNESS.

7:   "Therefore"

     1. Since our condition of being God's house depends on our steadfastness—
        BEWARE OF HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF.
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        1) The writer is trying to build up their LAGGING (drifting) faith.
        2) This fact of history was a shameful thing to all the Jews.
        3) This should have a big impression upon these Hebrew Christians.

     "just as the Holy Spirit says"

     1. 7-11: This quotation is from Ps 95:7-11.
        1) The Holy Spirit warned Israel not to be like the fathers in the wilderness.
        2) The Psalmist urged Israel of his day not to harden their hearts as Israel had
           done in the wilderness.
        3) The Hebrew writer found this warning just as necessary in his day.
        4) It is a warning that is always applicable to God's people.

     "Today"

     1. Time for change is now—Call to ACTION!
        1) Procrastination is so universal.
        2) Today belongs to us—tomorrow belongs to God.
        3) People want to steal what doesn't belong to them.

     2. Why today? Should ask why wait?
        1) Don't say, "I won't drink tomorrow" or "I will stop _______ tomorrow."
        2) You have waited long enough already.
        3) It may more difficult to obey later.
        4) God commands obedience now.
        5) There is no better time than now to do His will.

     "If you hear His voice"

     1. How today? Scriptures.
        1) Pay attention not only to WHAT you hear but HOW you hear (Luke 8:18).

8:   "Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, as in the day of trial in
     the wilderness."

     1. In the wilderness, the Israelites had hardened their hearts in rebelling
        against God.
        1) They tested (tried) God with their lack of faith.

     2. God holds stubborn hearts accountable.
        1) Ex 7:14: God PERMITTED Pharaoh's heart to be hardened.
        2) He refused to believe—hardened in unbelief.
        3) He saw miracles but rejected them as having any bearing on his life.

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        4) The gospel will save some—but it will harden others (Jer 23:29).

9:   "Where your fathers tried Me by testing Me, and saw My works for forty years."

     1. They had no excuses for their rebelling against God.
        1) They didn't trust God and kept wanting proof.
        2) Beginning with the incident at "Massah" (tempted) and "Meribah"
           (contention).
        3) Rather than trusting God, they had challenged Him to prove Himself by
           meeting their demands (Ex 17:1-7: "Is the LORD among us, or not?").
        4) They tested God many times during the 40 years of wandering.
        5) Toward the end, with the incident at Kadesh (Num 27:14; 20:1-13).

10: "Therefore I was angry (displeased) with this generation, and said 'they always
    go astray (err) in their heart; and they do not know My ways'"

     1. God was grieved by their lack of trust in Him and their persistent rebellion
        (Ps 106:13-33).
        1) Truth made no impression. Preaching was heard with little interest.
        2) Afflictions didn't soften their hearts.

     2. Why did they wander off from God?
        1) Ignorance leads to hardness of heart (Eph 4:17-19).
        2) What is the remedy for any error? Knowledge of God's ways.

11: "As I swore in My wrath, 'they shall not enter My rest'" (Num 14:22-24, 26-35).

     1. Because of their distrust, their continuing to test God, the rebellious Israelites
        could not enter the promised land of Canaan.
        1) Of those over the age of 20 when they departed from Egypt, only Joshua and
           Caleb entered the promised land.
        2) The rest—603,548 men died in the wilderness!

     2. This "rest" couldn't be referring to the Sabbath because they already
        entered that rest by keeping it (Ex 16:22-30; 20:8-11).
        1) Rom 11:22: God's wrath exhibits itself in punishment.
        2) That attribute in God which stands opposed to man's continual disobedience
           and rebellion manifests itself in punishing hard hearts.

12-14: With "A Warning From The Wilderness" fresh on their minds, the writer
       exhorts his brethren by warning them of—THE DANGER OF DEPARTING.



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12: "Take care (heed), brethren, lest there should be in any one of you an evil,
    unbelieving heart, in falling away from the living God."

    1. Some didn't have their total trust in God—therefore—disobedient=unbelief.
        1) Not as good of a person as they thought.
        2) A believer can develop the kind of unbelieving heart that characterized
           Israel.
        3) A "believer" can become an "unbeliever"!
        4) God is a God of ACTION—active role in the lives of living people.

13: "But encourage one another"

    1. To guard against unbelief and to keep from drifting.
       1) If one says, "I can't"—another says, "You can!"

    "day after day, as long as it is still called 'Today,'"

    1. Use every opportunity and don't give up!

    "lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin."

    1. Deceit gives a false impression.
       1) When sin deceives a person into thinking that it is best for him, then he
          begins to take the path of sin and his heart becomes hardened to the word of
          God.

    2. Because of its "deceitfulness", it is easy to become "hardened".
       1) Ex: If someone went to David and said, "Go kill this man" David would say
          "No!"
       2) Obadiah: Pride can cause one to be deceived.
       3) Col 2:8: Philosophies and the wisdom of men can deceive.
       4) 2 Tim 3:13: "But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse,
          deceiving and being deceived."
       5) Gal 6:7: Deceit will "mock" God.
       6) Deceit causes sin to appear as being innocent (Ezek 18:24).
       7) A deceived person is promised liberty but is given bondage (2 Pet 2:19).
       8) "One more ingredient in life will make our cup full". "Life is dull."

    3. It happened to Israel, and it can happen to "any one" of us!
       1) The consequence of unbelief is "falling away from the living God."
       2) As one grows in unbelief, they drift away from God.
       3) While a believer remains in fellowship with God, an unbeliever can only
           depart further and further away from God!

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14: "For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our
    assurance firm until the end"

    1. Our participation in Christ is CONDITIONAL (Col 1:23).
       1) It is vital that we not let sin harden our hearts, for partaking the blessings of
          Christ depends on our maintaining the CONFIDENCE with which we began
          our lives as Christians.
       2) This is the purpose of the book—Exhort and warn Christians not to fall
          away.
       3) The book testifies to the possibility of apostasy.

15-19: The danger of departing from God is so great, that the writer of Hebrews
       returns to "A Warning From The Wilderness".

15: 1. Quoting again from Ps 95:7-8, the writer applies it to Christians.
       1) They need to "hear His voice"—Recall—1:1-2; 2:1-4.

16-18: These verses are very pointed.
    1. To demonstrate that God can become so provoked as to punish us and
       refuse our entrance into heaven, the writer asks a series of questions, the
       answers to which are quite obvious.
       1) They lead the reader to the point of discovering who sinned, what the
          consequences were, and what was God's oath to the sinners.

    2. The writer impresses us with the fact that the Israelites who were delivered
       from Egypt failed to enter the promised rest (Canaan).
       1) God swore that they would never enter His rest because they disobeyed and
          did not believe.
       2) Every adult Israelite who left Egypt, except Joshua and Caleb, died in the
          wilderness (1 Cor 10:10-11).

19: "And so we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief."

    1. What is the sin of "unbelief"? DISOBEDIENCE.
       1) Note the relationship between the two (John 3:36; 1 Pet 2:7-8).

    2. Shows that they didn't believe God.
       1) They didn't have respect for what God said.

    3. Faith and obedience are also used interchangeably.
       1) These terms are not opposed to one another.
       2) Rom 1:5; 16:26: Paul wrote about "obedience to the faith".
       3) Faith is dead unless there is obedience (Jas 2:17, 26).

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4. Will we enter our promised rest if we disobey through unbelief?
   1) Application will be made to Christians in chapter 4.
   2) Why we should "pay much closer attention" and "exhort one another daily".




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                               Study Questions
                                    Hebrews Three

1.   Who are the “partakers of the heavenly calling”?

2.   In what sense was Christ an Apostle?
     Does this detract from His Deity?

3.   Who “appointed” Christ to what position?

4.   Why was Christ “counted worthy of more glory than Moses”?

5.   In Moses’ day, God’s house was ______________________.
     Now it is the ____________________.

6.   According to verses 5 and 6, what is the difference between Christ and Moses?

7.   What are we to “hold fast”?

8.   What does the writer use as an example of falling away?

9.   What is the “rebellion” spoken of in verse 8?

10. How did the “fathers” test God?
    Could we commit the same sin today?

11. What was the result of their disobedience?

12. What did God swear?
    Why?

13. In what way is sin deceitful?

14. How can we avoid falling away from God? (2 ways are mentioned in 3:12-13).

15. What will we share if we “hold fast” (3:14; cf. Rom 8:12-17)?

16. What causes disobedience?




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                               HEBREWS FOUR
      THE SUPERIORITY OF THE MORE PERFECT REST UNDER CHRIST
                     (THE REST THAT REMAINS)

                      SUMMARY OF HEBREWS FOUR

     In chapter 3 we saw a comparison of Christ to Moses and how the comparison led
to a warning based upon the example of Israel in the wilderness. Appealing to the
example of Israel’s fall in the wilderness is a natural one—for despite Moses’
leadership, most died in the wilderness and did not enter the promised land for lack of
faith. Now under Christ’s leadership, we face a similar danger of falling “short” of our
“promise” through a lack of faith (3:14-15; 4:1).

      Chapter 4 continues the warning with a focus on the promised “rest” which awaits
the faithful Christian. This promised “rest” is one of several “rests” found in Scripture.
It is a “rest” that Moses and Joshua did not provide, which is just another reason why
the Hebrew Christians should not forsake Jesus and return to Judaism. It is the “rest”
that “remains” for the people of God today! In this section two questions come to the
forefront: (1) What is “the rest that remains”? (2) What essential elements are
necessary to enter that “rest”?


4:1-10: SUPERIORITY OF THE MORE PERFECT REST UNDER CHRIST.
       (THE REST THAT REMAINS).

    1. Ch 3: We saw a comparison of Christ to Moses and how the comparison led to
       a warning based upon the example of Israel in the wilderness.
       1) Appealing to the example of Israel's fall in the wilderness is a natural one—
          for despite Moses' leadership, most died in the wilderness and did not enter
          the promised land for lack of faith.
       2) Now under Christ's leadership, we face a similar danger of falling short of
          our "promise" through a lack of faith (3:14-15; 4:1).

    2. Ch 4: Continues the warning with a focus on the promised "rest" which
       awaits the faithful Christian.
       1) This promised "rest" is one of several "rests" found in the Scriptures.
       2) It is a "rest" that Moses and Joshua did not provide, which is just another
          reason why the Hebrew Christians should not forsake Jesus and return to
          Judaism.
       3) It is the "rest" that "remains" for the people of God today!



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    3. In this section we will address 2 questions.
       1) What is "the rest that remains"?
       2) What essential elements are necessary to enter "the rest that remains"?

                   IT IS NOT THE "CANAAN" REST
1. This "rest" is alluded to in Deut 3:20; 12:9-10; Josh 1:13-15.
   1) This "rest" was given as God promised (Josh 21:43-45).
   2) But in ch 4 "His rest" (or "My rest", "God's rest") is clearly different from that
      which Joshua provided (Heb 4:8).

2. Ps 95:7-8: Written long after Joshua died.
   1) The word "today…", indicates that the Spirit was warning the Israelites who
      had long before received the "Canaan" rest.
   2) So Joshua provided the "Canaan" rest, but there is still "the rest that remains"!

                  IT IS NOT THE "SABBATH" REST
1. It is natural to think of the Sabbath day when one hears or reads the word "rest".
   1) When first introduced to the nation of Israel, it was spoken of as "the rest of the
       holy Sabbath unto the LORD" (Ex 16:23).
   2) This was the seventh day rest, patterned after God's own rest following the
       creation (Gen 2:2).
   3) It was written in the Law given on tables of stone at Mt. Sinai (Ex 20:8-11).

2. But the Sabbath as a day of rest was given only to the nation of Israel.
   1) It was not given to the nation's fathers (ancestors such as Abraham, Isaac,
      Jacob) (Deut 5:2-22; Neh 9:13-14).
   2) It was given to Israel as a weekly remembrance of their deliverance from
      Egypt (Deut 5:12-13).
   3) The only Gentiles ever commanded to keep the Sabbath were those living
      among the Israelites in Canaan ("your stranger who is within your gates").

3. The Sabbath day, like the rest of the Old Law, has been done away.
   1) It was nailed to the cross (Eph 2:14-15; Col 2:14-16).
   2) Those in Christ have died to the Old Law, having been delivered from it that
      they may now serve Christ (Rom 7:4, 6).
   3) As part of "the ministry of death" (the Old Testament), it has been replaced by
      "the ministry of the Spirit" (the New Testament) (2 Cor 3:5-8, 11).
   4) It is now a matter of indifference to God, left to one's individual conscience, and
      not to be bound on anyone (cf. Rom 14:4-6; Col 2:16-17).


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4. Finally, the argument regarding Joshua can also be made regarding Moses.
   1) Long after Moses provided the "Sabbath" rest, Ps 95:7-8 was written, indicating
      that there was still another "rest" to come (that remains).
   2) If Hebrew Christians were already keeping the Sabbath—proves that the
      writer is speaking of another rest.

1-3: DANGER OF LOSING THE                        HEAVENLY         REST        THROUGH
     UNBELIEF AND REBELLION.

1: "Therefore, let us fear"(phobeo) "to be put into fright, to flee, be afraid" Why?
   "lest, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you should seem to
   have come (fall) short of it."

   1. Warning people who do care.
      1) This "promise…rest" includes us.

2: For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word
   they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who
   heard" (Gen 12:1-3; Gal 3:8).

   1. Israel failed to benefit from that message because they lacked faith.
      1) The same thing could happen to us.

   2. "united": "to mix together"
      1) Hearing doesn't guarantee belief—faith.

   3. Although Israel had professed faith in the beginning, they WAVERED when
      their faith was tested.
      1) This was the danger facing the Hebrew Christians, and it continues to threaten
         Christians today (3:12).

3: "For we who have believed enter that rest"

   1. The rest in Canaan was not the only rest God has promised.
      1) 9: Shows that this is the conclusion to which the writer is driving in these
         verses.
      2) The promise of rest is not already fulfilled so as to be no longer available.

   "As I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest"

   1. Even though the Israelites entered Canaan, they did not enter into God's rest.
      1) They rebelled over and over, demanded a king, worshiped idols, oppressed the
         poor, etc.

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      2) Therefore, the promise of rest was not fulfilled in them.
      3) Hence, it remains available to us.

   "although His works were finished from the foundation of the world."

   1. Israel didn't fail to enter into God's rest because it wasn't offered.
      1) It was available since creation.

4-10: GOD'S REST IS PREPARED FOR OBEDIENT BELIEVERS.

4: "For He has thus said somewhere"

   1. Cites 2 O.T. examples.
      1) 4: (Gen 2:2) Rest that God took after creation.
      2) 5: (Ex 20:11) Rest for the Israelites in Canaan.
      3) POINT: These 2 rests are TYPES of the rest which obedient believers are
         to enter.

   "concerning the seventh day…'And God rested on the seventh day from all His
   works.'"

   1. God rested on the 7th day of creation—not on the Hebrew Sabbath.

5: "and again in this passage, 'they shall not enter My rest'"

   1. God had entered rest from the creation on the seventh day and desired to share
      that rest with men.
      1) This is why He refers to it as "My rest".
      2) Yet, despite God's desire, Israel had failed to enter His rest.

   2. God's rest is far greater than keeping Sabbaths or entering Canaan.
      1) The Israelites kept the Sabbath and entered Canaan but failed to enter that
         far greater rest.

6: Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good
   news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience"

   1. "The rest that remains" was offered to the Israelites but due to their
      "disobedience" they didn't enter into God's rest.
      1) They could have entered but unbelief leads to disobedience and rebellion.
      2) Since the promise of rest was not fulfilled in the Israelites, it remains for
         others to enjoy.


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7: "He again fixes a certain day, 'Today', saying through David after so long a time
   just as has been said before,…"

   1. Some might think that even though those who were originally offered rest failed
      to enter into it, their descendants did enter into it when Joshua led them into
      Canaan.
      1) They may conclude that the promise of rest has already been fulfilled and
         is no longer available in his day.
      2) As David was urging people to obey God so that they could receive rest, he
         used the word "today".
      3) Repetition is used to drive the point home—limited to opportunity.
      4) Let us promptly take advantage when invited to enter into God's rest.

8: 'For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after
   that."

   1. This proves that Joshua had not given the rest of which God spoke.
      1) Joshua had given them rest (Josh 22:4; 23:1), but not the ultimate rest
         promised by God.
      2) Canaan only typified the ultimate rest in which God wants us to share.

9: "There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God."

   1. This verse reasserts that there is still a promised rest other than Canaan or the
      Sabbath day.
      1) 3-6: The promise of rest was not fulfilled in the Israelites to whom it was first
         made.
      2) 7-8: It was not fulfilled in the Israelites who entered Canaan with Joshua,
         for long after that, David held out the promise of rest.
      3) 9: Therefore, no one should think that the rest offered by God has already
         been fulfilled and is no longer available to men.

10: "For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as
   God did from His."

   1. Entrance into God's rest will mean an END to the kind of works that
      characterizes this life.
      1) Therefore, we should work now in view of that hope (11).
      2) We must not follow the example of the Israelites and fail to enter God's rest.

   2. God entered into that rest and is still in it.
      1) The rest that remains is like God's rest when He rested from His works.
      2) Unlike the Sabbath—man works 6 days and rests—repeats it over and over.

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   3. GOD'S REST IS A HEAVENLY REST (Rev 14:13).
      1) Even to Abraham's seed, a heavenly rest was implied
         (Gen 12:7; 13:14-17; 15:18; 17:8; 24:7; 26:4; Ex 33:1).

   4. Ps 95:11: The word "rest" is substituted for land in the original passage found in
      Num 14:28-30.
      1) Luke 16:22-25: Example of entering God's rest.
      2) O.T. people could have entered God's rest like Abraham when they died.

4:11-13: OUR RESPONSIBILITY: LABOR TO ENTER INTO THAT REST
         (THE WORD BY WHICH ALL SHALL BE JUDGED).

11: "Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall through following
    the same example of disobedience."

    1. Don't follow their example—enter in by obedience.
       1) The only way—be what God wants us to be.

12: "For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword,
    and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow,
    and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."

    1. Obviously, this verse cannot be understood literally.
       1) If it were, reading the Bible would necessitate a trip to the doctor or to the
          morgue.
       2) The figurative language means that the word is able to pierce our innermost
          being, dealing with our most basic character, our inner disposition, our
          deepest thoughts and purposes.

    2. We can't enter on our own terms—fear—word—faith—diligence— obedience.
       1) The word is not dormant but at all times carries the power of its living and
          active author. IT IS NOT A DEAD LETTER.
       2) The word can control our lives if we let it.

13: "And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid
    bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do."

    1. Passes from the word to the AUTHOR of the word.
       1) He knows the thoughts and intents of the heart.
       2) Nothing is secret from Him.

    2. "Laid bare": "Bend back the neck" (like in a sacrifice).
       1) Warning: God is able to discover blemishes.

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       2) We can't play games with God like we can with people.

    3. The word of God condemns such attitudes as:
       1) Hatred (1 John 3:15.
       2) Lustful gazing on a woman (Matt 5:28).
       3) Greed (Eph 5:3).


    4. Our judge is able to see into our hearts and know whether we are guilty of these
       sins.
       1) If God declares us guilty and condemns us to be punished, we can be sure
          that the punishment will come, for God's word accomplishes whatever it
          promises.
       2) If we are to enter God's heavenly rest, we must be diligent in every respect of
          our lives, guarding even the thoughts and intents of our heart.

4:14-16: THE EXALTED CHARACTER AND INTERCESSION OF CHRIST'S
         PRIESTHOOD.

    1. EXHORTATION TO STEADFASTNESS BECAUSE OF OUR HIGH
       PRIEST.
       1) We can come boldly to the throne of grace.

14: "Since then we have a great high priest"

    1. Part 2: Superiority of Christ as High Priest—Better High Priest (7:10).
       1) The writer contrasts in detail the high priests of the old covenant with Christ
          as our High Priest of the new covenant.

    "who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God,"

    1. Having ascended to the right hand of God, He has become "higher than the
       heavens"!—He is higher than all creation.
       1) First heaven—atmosphere, air we breathe (Gen 1:20).
       2) Second heaven—outside our atmosphere—universe, stars.
       3) Third heaven—God's throne (2 Cor 12:2).
       4) Whether 3 or 200 heavens—Christ passed through all of them (Eph 4:10).

    "let us hold fast our confession" Recall 3:1.

    1. The weight of responsibility to remain faithful is placed upon the believer.
       1) We are to be diligent and alert.


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15: "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses,"

    1. "Sympathy" literally means "to suffer with".
       1) The Greek word suggests an intensity that is lost in the English word.
       2) It is described as "the feeling of one who enters into the suffering and makes
          it his own" (Westcott).

    "but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet, without sin."

    1. This explains why Jesus is qualified to sympathize with us.
       1) This qualifies Him to be a "merciful and faithful" High Priest (2:17).
       2) This makes Him the most qualified high priest.

    2. All temptation is broken down into 3 categories (1 John 2:15-17).
       1) No man has been tempted more intensely than Jesus (Luke 4:13).
       2) Jesus has more than just a knowledge of our weaknesses but He felt them by
          the common experience of man's temptations.
       3) Just because Jesus passed through the heavens doesn't mean that He doesn't
          understand our problems.

16: "Let us therefore draw near"

    1. This is a priestly expression, used in the O.T. priests in their approach to God
       (Lev 21:17-21).
       1) It denotes approaching God for worship and prayer.
       2) In the O.T. only certain individuals (priests) had this privilege.
       3) Its use here suggests that the priestly privilege of access to God is now
          extended to all Christians! (Eph 2:13).

    "with confidence (boldly)" parresia, meaning "full story."

    1. In ancient Greece it was used to describe the right of a citizen to speak his mind
       on any subject in the town assembly. (Lightfoot)
       1) Only "full citizens" had this right, slaves did not.

    2. As used in Hebrews, it stands for our freedom to approach God without
       hesitation or inhibition. This confidence is not a prideful cockiness.
       1) This is made possible by the blood of Jesus (10:19-22).
       2) Not from anything we have done but because of the qualifications of our
          High Priest.
       3) He tasted every temptation, sorrow—he knows—loving heart.
       4) He always has our best interests in mind (2:18).


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"to the throne of grace,"

1. This is simply another way to say the "throne of God".
   1) God's throne is one of righteousness, justice, mercy and truth (Ps 89:14).
   2) The universe is not just a clock that is wearing out.
   3) God is not dealing with computers—personal—people—souls.

"to help in time of need."

1. God is never too busy, too tired, too old—there for us 24 hours a day.
   1) God's undeserved favor to help us in time of need.
   2) Therefore we should not hesitate to approach God's throne confidently to
      obtain the divine mercy and help we need.
   3) His grace provides providential protection (1 Cor 10:13) and divine strength
      (Rom 8:13; Phil 4:13).

2. The Christian finds these things in answer to prayer.
   1) By confessing our sins to God in prayer, there is mercy (1 John 1:9).
   2) By praying for strength, there is grace to help in time of need (Eph 6:10-18).

3. It is important to utilize this privilege of prayer, because we have yet to enter
   "the rest that remains".
   1) We need to "fear" lest "we come short of it" (4:1) and be "diligent" (4:11).
   2) This being true, we need all the "mercy" and "grace" we can find.




                                      54
                               Study Questions
                                      Hebrews Four

1.   What should we fear happening?

2.   What is the “rest” spoken of in verse 1?

3.   What would keep us from entering this “rest”?

4.   What must be united with a hearing of the truth to profit one who hears?

5.   What rest “remains” for the children of God (10-11)?

6.   We should “be ______________ to enter that rest.”

7.   What example should we not follow?

8.   To what is the word of God compared?

9.   How much can God know about any creature?

10. Who is our “great high priest”?

11. How are Christ and the Levitical priests alike?
    How are they different?

12. Why can Christ “sympathize (be touched) with our weaknesses (feelings of our
    infirmities)”?

13. In how many different ways was Christ tempted?

14. In 4:16, the writer says “Let us therefore…” Upon what is this conclusion based?
    Why can we “draw near with confidence (boldness)”? (Ans. In vv 14-15)
    1)
    2)
    3)

15. What do we receive from “the throne of grace”?

16. THOUGHT QUESTION: What O.T. prophet spoke of Christ passing through the
    heavens?


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                                 HEBREWS FIVE
            CHRIST IS FULLY QUALIFIED TO BE OUR HIGH PRIEST

                       SUMMARY OF HEBREWS FIVE

      We have seen Christ as being superior to the prophets and spokesmen of the Old
Covenant (1:1-3); to angels (1:4-2:18); to Moses, as Apostle, Author, and Administrator
of the New Covenant (house, 3:1-4:13); and now to Aaron and his priesthood (4:14-
8:5).

     The subject discussed in the first ten verses of chapter 5, the priesthood of Christ
was introduced as a conclusion and as an exhortation to faithfulness in the last part of
chapter 4. Chapter 5 begins by noting the qualifications of a high priest, observing
that Christ met those requirements and finally suggesting that Christ’s is a superior
priesthood, being royal and perpetual, of the rank and order of Melchizedek. Who
would want to leave this fro the inferior old law (house) or for the world without law
and without salvation?

     5:11-6:20: A DIGRESSION FROM THE MAIN THEME. The remainder of the
chapter makes an important point. The writer regrets that he is not able to say many
things concerning the priesthood, which are hard of interpretation, because of the
dullness of hearing and spiritual ignorance of his readers. Sufficient time had elapsed
that they should have been capable of teaching others, but rather someone needed to
teach them again. They could be fed only the milk of the word and could not cope with
meat which is for those of maturity. Such a state of maturity is attained by regular
exercise.


5:1-10: THE PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST IS COMPARED TO THAT OF
        AARON AND MELCHIZEDEK.

5:1-4: THE QUALITIES REQUIRED OF HIGH PRIESTS.

1:   "For every high priest": Ordinary qualifications.

     #1--"taken from among men": Christ was also a man.

     "is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God"

     1. The work of the high priest involves spiritual things (2:17).

     "in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins": Main function of priests.
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     1. These terms has a special reference to the day of atonement and to the
        ceremonial offering of blood, first for the sins of the high priest and then for the
        sins of all the people (3).
        1) "Gifts": Bloodless—thank and peace offerings.
        2) "Sacrifices": Blood—sin offerings.

2:   "he can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided (erring)"

     1. Num 15:22-31: The high priest was to make a distinction between sins of
        ignorance and sins of presumption (rebellion).
        1) Sacrifices were to be offered in behalf of the ignorant and misguided, but
           not for continued rebellion (blasphemy of the Holy Spirit)
        2) The erring who were led into error especially through ignorance.

     "since he himself also is beset with weakness"

     1. A high priest who was aware of his own sins would be able to be
        understanding and sympathize with the ignorant and erring.
        1) This explains why the high priest in the O.T. offered sacrifices for his own
           sins, as well as for the sins of the people (Lev 16:11).
        2) Thus a high priest would need to be well acquainted with the "human
           condition"—the struggle against temptation.

3:   "and because of it he is obligated to offer sacrifices for sins, as for the people, so
     also for himself."

     1. The parallel between the high priests in the O.T. and Jesus as our High
        Priest does not hold true in every minute detail (7:26-28).
        1) The writer of Hebrews will show the superiority of Christ as our High Priest.
        2) Today—all in Christ—all need forgiveness—BLOOD OF CHRIST.

4:   #2--"And no one takes the honor to himself, but receives it when he is called by
     God, even as Aaron was."

     1. Only God can rightfully select a high priest, even as God called Aaron (Ex 28-
        29; Lev 8-9; Num 16-18).
        1) No one has the right to assume this honor for himself.
        2) Christ met this qualification

5:5-8: CHRIST'S QUALIFICATIONS AS HIGH PRIEST.

5:   "So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who
     said to Him,"
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     1. As evidence of His divine calling, two Messianic prophecies are quoted.
        1) Ps 2:7: His position as God's "Son".

6:      2) Ps 110:4: His appointment as a "priest forever according to the order of
           Melchizedek."

     2. Ps 110:1-3 (5ff): As God's Son, sitting and ruling at the right hand of God.
        1) Jesus was called of God to be KING (1:5, 8-9).
        2) Ps 110:4: His calling as a priest is only natural.

     3. The seemingly contradictions in Messianic prophecies was a mystery to the
        Jews.
        1) In Isaiah—Christ is called , Mighty God, Prince of Peace, Counselor—then
           He is referred to as a man of sorrows, despised and rejected (Acts 8:31-34).
        2) The Jews concluded—there must be 2 different people—King and a
           suffering high priest.

     4. Under the Jewish system one couldn't be a priest and king at the same time.
        1) King—Tribe of Judah (Gen 49:10).
        2) Priest—Tribe of Levi (Ex 28).

     5. This is really an eye-opener to these Jewish Christians.
        1) Christ is both King and Priest at the same time (Zech 6:12-13).
        2) The writer compares Christ's priesthood with Melchizedek's.
        3) Both are of a higher order than Aaron's priesthood.
        4) This will be discussed in more detail in chapter 7.

7:   "In the days of His flesh": Needs, desires, emotions, temptations.

     1. Christ was also a man—what did He do?
        1) The writer is exhorting us to do the same.

     "He offered up both prayers and supplications"

     1. Urgent prayer; special request; asking God for something specific.
        1) Luke 22:42: "Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me, yet not
           My will, but Thine be done."

     "with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death"

     1. Luke 22:43: "Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening
        Him."
        1) Luke 22:44: God didn't answer with lightening.

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        2) The cross was still His burden but God strengthened His heart in order to
           bear the burden.

     "and He was heard because of His piety (godly fear)."

     1. No one will ever have a problem greater than Jesus.
        1) He realized the seriousness of His mission and handled it with godly fear =
           to receive carefully.

     2. This verse offers insight into the extent of His temptations and sufferings in the
        flesh.
        1) Christ can sympathize with us not because he succumbed to temptations, but
            because he experienced them.

8:   #3--"Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He
     suffered."

     1. He learned by use and practice—akin to the word discipline (disciple).
        1) Certainly He knew obedience as the Son of God (John 6:38; 17:1-4).

     2. Jesus did not have to suffer, but He VOLUNTARILY ENDURED the cross to
        carry out the Father's divine plan for man's salvation (Matt 26:53; John 10:18).
        1) Suffering proves the test—learned by experience what it is to obey God
           to the ultimate degree.
        2) If anyone knows what it is to obey and how difficult obedience can
           sometimes be, it is Jesus.
        3) He came to know what obedience involved as one "in the flesh"—the
           challenge of obedience in the midst of suffering, temptations.
        4) Through His suffering, Jesus understands the "human condition" which
           qualifies Him to serve as our High Priest.

9:   "And having been made perfect": Fully qualified to serve as our High Priest.

     1. He traveled the path of perfect obedience.
        1) RESULT: Perfect Savior, Head, author—pioneer (2:10).
        2) Therefore—perfect salvation (Rom 5:19).

     "He became to all those who obey Him": Is obedience necessary?

     1. If the "Son" learned obedience, how much more necessary is it that all His
        followers obey Him even at the cost of suffering and death?
        1) CHOICE: Suffer now for obeying or suffer later for disobeying (2 Thes 1:7-
            9; 1 Pet 4:17-18; Rom 1:5; 16:26; 10:16-17; 6:17-18; 1 Pet 1:22).
                                           59
    "the source (author) of eternal salvation."

    1. The word "source" comes from aitio, meaning literally, "cause".
       1) Later, we will see how Christ is the "cause" of our salvation (7:24-27).
       2) But for now, note that he is the "cause" of our salvation for "all those who
          obey Him."

10: "being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of
    Melchizedek."

    1. Although His priesthood would be different from the Levitical priesthood, but
       would it be superior?
       1) Would the difference be enough to persuade these Hebrew Christians not to
          forsake Christ?
       2) The difference between the two priesthoods and the superiority of Christ's
          over Aaron's will be elaborated on in 7:1-28.

11-14: DIFFICULTY OF UNDERSTANDING THE SUBJECT BECAUSE OF
       SPIRITUAL IMMATURITY DUE TO LACK OF KNOWLEDGE.

    1. The writer leaves the main theme of the priesthood to teach on the necessity of
       growth in knowledge in order to realize the hope of the priesthood after the
       order of Melchizedek.
       1) The writer digresses from the subject in order to rebuke them for their failure
          to grow.

    2. 5:11-6:20: PURPOSE: Arouse them to set their feet firmly on the road to
       spiritual maturity.
       1) But the subject is so important and urgent that after he rebukes them, he
          explains the superiority of Christ's priesthood anyway.

11: "Concerning Him (this) we have much to say, and it is hard to explain"

    1. It was difficult to explain Christ's priesthood after the order of
       Melchizedek in a way that some brethren could understand.
       1) The subject of Christ's priesthood could only be understood by those who
          have made good progress in the study of divine things.
       2) Their lack of spiritual maturity was a barrier and could be a stumbling block.

    2. EXAMPLE: When one becomes a Christian—many things will go over your
       head.
       1) In growing to maturity either you will sharpen your senses when you apply
          your mind to understanding spiritual things—or you will become…

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    "since you have become dull of hearing."

    1. Become: May imply a regression-at one time they were not dull of hearing.
       1) They may have been like the Bereans at one time, "who received the word
          with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these
          things were so" (Acts 17:11).

    2. Dull: Slow, sluggish, not sharp and quick to understand—slow of heart.
       1) At first, most converts are truly "sharp" in their listening and studying.
       2) They are excited about what they are learning—spiritual growth occurs.
       3) But it is not uncommon for apathy to set in, making one dull of hearing.
       4) At this point, one begins to stagnate—then decay sets in—spiritually dead—
          harder to wake up.

    3. We can't learn a thing when day-dreaming.
       1) Listening is not enough.
       2) How do we sharpen our senses? Study, meditate, verbalize, ask questions.

    4. Are you "dull of hearing"? Ask yourself these questions:
       1) Is the Bible dull?
       2) Are your Bible classes dull?
       3) Are the sermons dull?
       4) Is anything that is spiritual in nature (like singing, praying) dull?
       5) If you listen at all, it will be to those who are willing to "tickle your ears"—
          and you will fall prey to being misled (2 Tim 4:3-4).

    5. How do you know you're on the road to spiritual maturity?
       1) What is one mark of spiritual maturity?
       2) Jas 3:1: Other marks of maturity must be evident before teaching.

12: "For though by this time"

    1. They had time to learn and grow.
       1) A natural response to growth is to bear fruit—teaching.
       2) Perhaps not in a formal sense, for not all are gifted in that way (1 Cor 12:29;
          Eph 4:11).
       3) But all (most) can share the good news and hope they have with others
          (Matt 28:19-20; Acts 8:4; 1 Pet 3:15).
    2. Everyone has some ABILITY and OPPORTUNITY=RESPONSIBILITY.
       1) All have the same 24 hours in a day.
       2) If you want a job done—give it to a busy person.



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"you ought": opheilontes (opheilo)=to owe, to be a debtor, obligated.

1. Used 36 times in the N.T. and 15 times—translated "ought".
   1) John 15:1: "ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength."
   2) Eph 5:28: "so ought men to love their wives."
   3) 1 John 2:6: "ought himself to walk even as He walked."
   4) 1 John 3:16: "we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."
   5) 1 John 4:11: "we ought to also love one another."

2. Luke 17:10; Rom 1:14: Owe a debt so big that we can't repay it.
   1) Serve out of gratitude.

"to be teachers" (plural)=to impart knowledge.

1. Eccl 3:1: There is a time to be a learner and not a teacher.
   1) There is a time to be a teacher. How many future teachers?
   2) Everyone has knowledge from learning.
   3) Take any subject—learn—then tell others how to (sew, fish, build,
      mechanic, paint, mow lawns.
   4) Everyone has some influence and opportunity=responsibility=OWE to others
      to influence and teach.

"you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary (first) principles
of the oracles of God"

1. One can't grow without the necessary foundation.
   1) They needed to learn their spiritual ABC's.
   2) They were responsible to receive and learn.
   3) But they were slothful and lazy in studying God's word.
   4) Instead of going forward with knowledge—they went backward.
   5) 2 Tim 3:7: They will never be able to understand with proper diligence in
      study (2 Tim 2:15).
   6) A Christian can't stand on another's faith—therefore not take
      stand (REJECTED). They were between NEGLECT AND REJECTED.

"and you have come to need milk"

1. A diet of milk is often necessary.
   1) 1 Cor 3:1-2: Babes in Christ.
   2) Also for those who have regressed (as have these Christians).




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    "and not solid food."

    1. They are unable to partake of more difficult truths.

13: "For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of
    righteousness, for he is a babe."

    1. Our diet must one day include "solid food".
       1) Just as a physical baby must graduate to solid foods in order to grow to
          maturity—so a "babe in Christ" cannot mature unless the diet goes beyond
          the "first principles".

    2. If our diet remains "milk only"—then we will be "unskilled" (literally,
       without experience in the word of God.
       1) A Christian who never has experience in teaching is still a baby and remains
          in need of simple food.

14: "But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice"

    1. We must eat the right food and get the proper exercise—regular workouts.
       1) We are to use what we learn to teach others on a regular basis.
       2) RESULT: MATURITY!

    "have their senses trained to discern good and evil."

    1. Even the "milk" of the word is designed to train one's faculties.
       1) How? By exposing us to the difference between right and wrong.
       2) Through devoting ourselves to learning God's word and applying it in our
          lives, we develop the ability to discern good and evil on the basis of God's
          word.

    2. Deut 1:39: Children (babes) can't discern good and evil.
       1) Eph 4:13-14: How to be "no longer children".
       2) We need to be mature in a confused and deceitful world.
       3) A false teacher can lead a spiritual infant away unless he attains maturity.
       4) Col 1:28: This should be the goal of all Christians (2 Pet 3:18).

    3. Do you have the ability to discern?
       1) Can you apply general principles to a specific situation, or do you require a
          clear "Thou shalt not" to determine if something is wrong?
       2) Are you able to recognize when a doctrine is true to God's word?
       3) Or are you dependent upon someone else to "spoon feed" you?
       4) To "take you by the hand and lead" you?

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   5) To tell you what is right and wrong, what is truth and what is error?

4. There are certainly other indicators of spiritual immaturity.
   1) 1 Cor 3:1-4: Behaving in a carnal way—strife, envy, and jealousy.

5. But in our present text we have focused our attention on the 4 presented here.
   1) Dullness of hearing.
   2) The inability to teach others.
   3) A diet of "milk" only.
   4) The inability to "discern".
       All of these should serve as "warning signs" that something is amiss in
         our lives as Christians, for they are truly "marks of spiritual immaturity".

       In ch 6 we will see why it is so important to grow spiritually. Growth is
        the "antidote" to falling away.




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                                Study Questions
                                     Hebrews Five

1.   Why were the high priests appointed (1)? What was their function?

2.   What was one of their qualifications mentioned next in the text (2)?

3.   By whom was the honor of the priesthood bestowed (4)?

4.   Who made Christ a high priest (5)?

5.   What O.T. passages are mentioned to prove question #4 (5-6)?

6.   Describe Christ’s actions and evidence of devotion (7)?

7.   In what way did Christ learn complete subjection and obedience to God (8)?

8.   What did the perfection of Christ qualify Him for (9)?

9.   To whom is Christ the author of eternal salvation (9)?

10. Of what order was Christ a high priest (10)?

11. Where in the O.T. do we first read of Melchizedek?

12. Why were the things concerning Melchizedek “hard of interpretation” (11)?

13. Were the people to whom Hebrews was addressed new converts (12)?

14. What should their time of service have qualified them to do?

15. What did they need instead?

16. What is the difference between the “milk” of the word and the “meat” of the word?

17. Who partakes of the milk (13)?

18. Is your appetite and capacity for milk or meat?            And why?

19. For whom is “solid food” (14)?

20. How do we “exercise” spiritually (14)?
    Does lack of exercise affect our health physically?            Spiritually?
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                                 HEBREWS SIX
                              PRESS ON TO MATURITY

                        SUMMARY OF HEBREWS SIX

       The normal Christian life is to be one of spiritual growth and progression.
Starting as “babes in Christ”, we feed on the “milk” of the word. As our spiritual senses
are exercised to “discern good and evil”, we are then able to progress to “solid food
(meat).” In this way we are to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet 3:18). But as we saw in 5:11-14, not all grow as they
should, and some of the indications of immaturity are: dullness of hearing, inability to
teach others, diet of “milk” only, and the inability to “discern good and evil.” But if
we don’t grow spiritually as we should, so what? Is spiritual growth really that
essential? Is there a danger involved in not progressing spiritually?

       Chapter 6 is a continuation of a digression from the main theme—the superiority
of the priesthood of Christ. First, the readers are exhorted to leave (not forget, deny, or
neglect) the first principles of the truth and grow to be full grown (mature, complete)
Christians. Six things are mentioned as examples of first principles beyond which they
should progress. Continued immaturity and dullness of hearing endangers one of falling
completely away from Christ. One who is in such a state, and is not moved by truth or
remembrance of their joys of being a Christian, cannot be restored. They are crucifying
the Son of God afresh. They can no more be led by truth than could those bigoted Jews
who murdered Christ. Repentance is “impossible” because of the moral condition of
the apostates. An example is then given from nature to illustrate this hopeless condition
and just condemnation of those who thanklessly disregard Christ and salvation (6:1-8).

       A strong rebuke and warning is followed by a statement of encouragement. The
author states that he is convinced that better things may be expected of them based on
their good works. His desire is that they may be diligent, not “sluggish, but imitators of
those who through faith and patience, inherit the promises” (6:9-12).

      This last thought brings to mind Abraham’s faithfulness and God’s. God’s
“promise to Abraham” was founded and fulfilled upon the “oath” of God. Abraham’s
“hope” was based on “two unchangeable things”—God promises and God’s oath. Our
“hope” is based on the same immutability of God and this hope serves “as an anchor
of the soul” in the storms of life. Our hope is to enter “within the veil” (the Holy of
Holies=heaven) which is beyond the “veil” of life. Therein has Christ “entered as a
forerunner for us”, because He could enter as a high priest—“a high priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek.” Following such words of “strong
encouragement” concerning salvation and heaven obtained by faithfulness, the author
returns to his subject—THE PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST.
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6:1-3: LEAVING FIRST PRINCIPLES: AN EXHORTATION TO PROGRESS
       DUTY OF PRESSING ON TO MATURITY.

1:   "Therefore leaving the elementary (Lit. word of the beginning) teaching
     (doctrine) about the Christ"

     1. The starting begins with first principles. They are necessary.
        1) The author is not saying that first principles are not important.
        2) He is not saying to ignore, forget, neglect—but progress beyond.
        3) Learn the spiritual ABC's (milk)—then go on to solid food—maturity.

     "let us press on to maturity (perfection; completeness)"

     1. What is the desired destination (goal) of every Christian?
        1) This is contrasted with merely being acquainted with God's word
           (2 Tim 2:15; Eph 4:11-14).

     "not laying again a foundation of"

     1. The most basic fundamentals are openly denied or ignored by those who
        FEEL they have outgrown elementary things.
        1) There can be no going on to maturity without the proper foundation or
           starting point (2 Tim 2:15).
        2) As the builder must leave the foundation and proceed to build upon it,
           Christians must leave the fundamental principles we have learned and
           proceed to build on our knowledge.
        3) Christians are pictured as builders (1 Cor 3:9-11).

     2. Six things are mentioned as examples of first principles.

 (1) "repentance from dead works"—Sins.

     1. Turning from works which produce spiritual death (Eph 2:1-3; Rom 6:21).
        1) Destitute of a life that recognizes and is devoted to God, because of sin;
           inactive in regard to doing right.

     2. Dead works include:
        1) Works of human righteousness (Phil 3:9).
        2) Works of the flesh (Gal 5:20).
        3) Works of the law of Moses (Gal 2:16; 5:4).
        4) Works of men (Acts 5:38-39).
        5) Works of darkness (Rom 13:12).
        6) Works to be seen of men (Matt 23:5; Eph 2:9).

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   3. All dead except the ones motivated by:
      1) Faith (Jas 2:14-26).
      2) Love (John 14:15; Gal 5:6).
      3) Works of God (John 6:29; Eph 2:10; 2 Tim 3:16-17.

(2) "and of faith toward God"

   1. Having that trusting conviction in God and His promises is essential to pleasing
      Him (Heb 11:1, 6).
      1) This faith is produced by the Word of God itself (Rom 10:17; John 20:30-
         31).

   2. You can't have faith without studying about faith.
      1) But don't spend your life studying about faith—go on to maturity.

(3) "of instruction about washings (baptisms)" The plural is used.

   1. These Hebrew Christians being familiar with John's baptism—one of the first
      things they would have learned was the distinction between it and N.T. baptism
      into Christ (Acts 19:1-5).

   2. Also, it would have been fundamental for them to learn the difference between
      N.T. baptism and the various washings of the O.T. law (9:10).

   3. Eph 4:5: "One baptism" One is essential and is not optional.
      1) Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Matt 3:11; Acts 1:8).
      2) Baptism of fire (Matt 3:11).
      3) John's baptism (Matt 3:11).
      4) Moses' baptism (1 Cor 10:2).
      5) Baptism of suffering (Luke 12:50).
      6) Baptism for (in view of) the dead (1 Cor 15:29).
      7) Great Commission baptism (Matt 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16).

   4. In the first century, there were many ritual washings practiced by various sects
      of the pagans and Jews.
      1) Today, it is also important to understand the different kinds of baptisms
          practiced.
      2) Nearly all "Christian" religions practice some sort of baptism.
      3) But most do not baptize for the reasons stated in the Scriptures (Acts 2:38;
          22:16; Rom 6:1-6).
      4) Don't emphasize or exaggerate faith and diminish baptism—both are
          essential.


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 (4) "and laying on of hands"

     1. In the early church this was done for various reasons.
        1) By Jesus, and others with the gift of healing (Luke 4:40; Mark 16:18;
            Acts 28:8).
        2) By Jesus to bestow special blessings upon others (Mark 10:16; Matt 19:13-
            15).
        3) By the apostles, to impart the Spirit in a miraculous measure (Acts 8:14-25;
            19:1-7; 2 Tim 1:6). These gifts have now ceased as Paul predicted in 1 Cor
            13:8-13, but this would have been one of the first things learned by first
            century Christians.
        4) By church leaders, to appoint different ones for service (Acts 6:1-6; 13:1-3;
            1 Tim 4:14).
        5) A sign of the transference of guilt (1 Tim 5:22).

     2. It is interesting that the writer lists this as an elementary principle.
        1) Modern Protestants consider it to be a mature subject of Christianity.

 (5) "and the resurrection of the dead"

     1. This was a central theme of apostolic preaching (Acts 2:31-32; 10:40; 13:33).
        1) There is nothing more fundamental to Christianity.

     2. They also preached in Jesus our own resurrection, which is our precious hope
        (Acts 4:2; 24:15; 1 Cor 15:12-23).
        1) The Christian's whole hope is built on this.
        2) Gibbon—"Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire"—listed 5 things that caused
           rapid growth of Christianity—future life was 2nd on the list.

 (6) "and eternal judgment."

     1. This is another theme of apostolic preaching (Acts 17:30-31; 24:24-25).
        1) This theme was also stressed in their epistles (Rom 2:16; 14:10-12;
           2 Cor 5:10).
        2) Heb 9:27: Make this part of your life but go on to maturity.

3:   "And this we shall do, if God permits."

     1. Understanding these concepts serves as the BEGINNING of spiritual growth.
        1) Once we have laid the foundation, we need to build on it by understanding
           and receiving more difficult knowledge.
        2) By comprehending the "meatier" parts of the Word of God, we are more
           likely to remain steadfast in our faith.

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     2. Going on to maturity involves practicing the principle (5:11-14).
        1) Knowing these principles without practice is sure failure.
        2) This is true in any walk of life and can be well illustrated with the farmer,
           lawyer, the business man, and the preacher. Each must learn to do and then
           practice that which has been learned.
        3) And so we need the attitude of striving toward maturity as described by Paul
           (Phil 3:7-15).

     3. The writer expresses confidence that the Hebrew brethren would progress
        beyond these fundamentals.
        1) The writer has his dependence upon the Word of God.
        2) If God wills—he will lead the readers to maturity.
        3) Maturity—as a result of more advanced teaching.

6:4-8: THE DANGER OF NOT PROGRESSING: WARNING OF APOSTASY.

        1. We would call this the 3 minute-management philosophy.
           1) Tell them they are wrong.
           2) Tell them why they are wrong.
           3) Then encourage them to do better in the future (9-12).

        2. Note the privileges some apostates had enjoyed.
           1) These had been instructed in first principles—and are Christians.
           2) This describes a Christian.

4:   "For in the case of those who have once been enlightened"

     1. By the gospel (John 8:12; Acts 26:18.
        1) They had obeyed the gospel and had left darkness (ignorance) for the light
           (knowledge) (Col 1:12-13; 1 Pet 2:9).
        2) People who are not Christians have not been enlightened (Heb 8:11).

     2. Christians are enlightened people.
        1) By the 2nd century, the word "enlightenment" was used as a synonym for
           baptism (Justin, Apology, 1.61.65).
        2) The Peshitta Syriac translates the verse, "who have once descended to
           baptism" (Lightfoot).

     "and have tasted of the heavenly gift"

     1. "Tasted": To perceive the flavor of, partake of, enjoy, to feel, make trial of,
        experience first hand.
        1) Heb 2:9: Jesus tasted death for everyone—by experiencing it (5:7).

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        2) The word taste suggests a deep personal experience (1 Pet 2:3; Ps 34:8).
        3) Non Christians have never tasted of this.

     2. "Heavenly gift"
        1) Heb 3:1: When they obeyed the "heavenly calling" they received the
           heavenly gift of salvation.
        2) They experienced the forgiveness of sins and began to receive the spiritual
           blessings of being in Christ (Eph 1:3; Gal 3:27).

     "and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit" (Heb 3:1).

     1. This also refers back to their conversion (Acts 2:38; 5:32).
        1) Had fellowship with the Holy Spirit and with Christ (Heb 3:14).

     2. Rom 8:13-14—How are we led by the Spirit?
        1) 8:5: By minding the things of the Spirit (1 Cor 2:9-13).
        2) 8:7: Subject to the laws of God—salvation.

5:   "and have tasted the good word of God"

     1. They experienced the blessings and joys of being a Christian (John 7:17.

     "and the powers of the age to come"

     1. The Jews were accustomed to referring to the Messianic age as the "age to
        come" (Eph 1:19-21).
        1) Jesus took the key of death (Rev 1:18; Heb 2:14).
        2) Saw the miracles—cast out demons, etc.
        3) Baptism of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles (Mark 9:1; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4).
        4) Miraculous gifts (Heb 2:3-4; 1 Cor 2:4).

     2. Certainly included the "power" experienced by all Christians (Eph 2:5-6).
        1) Can these characteristics be describing anyone other than true
           Christians who had once believed in Jesus?

6:   "and then have fallen away"

     1. "Fell" is in the same tense as the verbs in verses 4 and 5.
        1) They experienced the past benefits and then "dropped out" (Eng. Idiom).
        2) Gal 5:4; 2 Pet 2:20-22.




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     "it is impossible to renew them again to repentance"

     1. Here we learn that some can fall away to the point they are beyond rescue!
        1) Heb 11:6: "impossible" without faith—powerless, impotent.
        2) Heb 3:13: "hardened by the deceitfulness of sin"
        3) We cannot say when a person reaches that point.
        4) But there is a point where renewal becomes impossible!
        5) Why? They reject all that God offers—in His Word.

     2. "Renew": Made new "again"—a 2nd time—saved "once"—lost again.
        1) This doesn't sound like one who was never a true believer!

     "since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God"

     1. The reason such people cannot be brought to repentance is given:
        1) They reject Christ and display the same hostility toward Him as those who
           originally crucified Him.
        2) Being in that disposition, they cannot repent.
        3) Their attitude toward Christ must change before they can repent, for their
           repentance and forgiveness of sins is based on their faith in Christ.
        4) As long they are renouncing Christ, they cannot repent.

     "and put Him to open shame": Reproach; public disgrace.

     1. This is not a Christian who sins out of weakness or ignorance.
        1) This is one who knowingly and openly rejects Christ.
        2) It is one thing to "yield" to sin contrary to the new life in Christ, it is another
           thing to "abandon" that new life altogether!
        3) But such can happen if we are not careful to "press on to maturity".

7-8: NOTE THE FEARFUL DESTRUCTION RESERVED FOR THEM IN
     CONTRAST TO THE BLESSINGS ENJOYED BY THOSE WHO GROW
     AND SERVE GOD FAITHFULLY.

7:   1. Having received "a blessing from God", they should have produced good fruit.
        1) The fruitful Christian is like ground that is productive; those who are
           unfruitful are like ground that produces no fruit.

8:   2. They are like "thorns and thistles (briars)", taking nourishment but not
        producing useful fruit in return.
        1) "Worthless (rejected)": "Not standing the test, not approved, that which
           does not prove itself to be such as it ought" (Thayer).
        2) "Cursed" (kataras): Set apart for destruction (Luke 13:6-9).

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        3) "and it ends up being burned": Final overthrow of the wicked (John 15:6).

     2. "Close": Shows the tenderness of the writer.
        1) They are not yet in that condition.
        2) They, nor we, can be content with spiritual immaturity.
        3) Brethren, what are you doing with the blessings you have received in Christ?

     3. Does this mean we must live our Christian lives with insecurity regarding our
        salvation?
        1) No—9-20: THE BASIS FOR CHRISTIAN SECURITY.

9-20: THE BASIS FOR SPIRITUAL SECURITY: ENCOURAGEMENT ON THE
      GROUND OF GOD'S FIDELITY.

9:   1. Having rebuked their spiritual immaturity and warning them of the danger of
        not progressing, the writer was "convinced (confident) of better things
        concerning you, and things that accompany salvation".
        1) What was it that gave the author confidence regarding his readers' salvation?
        2) What was the basis for their spiritual security, when the danger of apostasy
           had just been described in vivid detail?

     2. What can we glean from this passage that may help us understand the basis for
        our own spiritual security?
        1) There are 3 things that gave the author his confidence.

     GOD DOES NOT FORGET OUR WORK AND LABOR OF LOVE (9-10).

9:   "But, beloved"

     1. This is the only place in the whole letter where the writer uses this term.
        1) It comes right after the sternest passage of all.
        2) It is as if he said to them, "If I didn't love you so much I would not speak
           with such severity."
        3) He spoke the truth, but however stern that truth may be, he spoke it in love.

     "we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany
     salvation, though we are speaking this way"

     1. God expects us to live fruitful lives.
        1) Thorns and thistles do not accompany salvation but failure instead.
        2) Neglect, dullness of hearing and slothfulness do not accompany salvation.



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10: "For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have"

    1. God is very much aware of our service in the PAST and PRESENT.
       1) He is also aware of service "shown toward His name and…saints".
       2) Acts 9:4: Deeds done to the saints are done to the Lord.
       3) Matt 25:40: Showing love toward God's name.

    2. The Hebrew Christians were still serving the saints but were negligent in
       studying God's word.
       1) Charitable deeds are no substitute for knowing God's word—maturity.
       2) Matt 7:21-23: Many will be disappointed.

    3. Knowing that God doesn't forget our faithfulness can be a source of great
       comfort.
       1) 2 Chron 16:9: God seeks to show Himself strong to those who are loyal to
          Him.
       2) If He took note of Cornelius' desire to please Him in his unsaved state, how
          much more will He take note of His children's effort to serve Him
          (Acts 10:1-6)?
       3) When we stumble, but repent of our sins, our labor of love is remembered
          and our sins forgotten!
       4) Knowing that God sees and does not forget our service of love, both past and
          present, should help us feel spiritually secure.

    4. The writer expressed confidence in their faithfulness and assured them that God
       would not forget the work they had already done.
       1) Better things are ahead based upon their past good works.

11: "And we desire that each one of you"

    1. God shows individual care and concern—no one is left out.
       1) Each one of us is responsible to study and mature—can't excuse ourselves.

    (1) "show the same diligence" they had shown in the past "so as to realize the full
        assurance of hope until the end"

    1. They are to study God's word—press on to maturity with the same attitude and
       diligence as in their service and benevolence shown toward the saints.
       1) Wherever full assurance of salvation exists, a good work record will
           accompany it.




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12: (2) "that you may not be sluggish": Same Greek word as "dull" in 5:11.

    1. They were already "dull of hearing".
       1) The author's desire is they not become dull in CONDUCT.
       2) Some were moving—but too slow.
       3) Surely, there will not be any lazy Christians in heaven.
       4) Good works go hand in hand with salvation.
       5) PRESS—as fast as you can.

    "but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises."

    1. "Imitators": to mimic.
       1) Jas 1:2-3: Patience is the result of proving your faith.
       2) Without diligence, faith and patience—we become "sluggish" and as such
          expose ourselves to the "danger" of apostasy.

    2. To encourage us further, another reason is given so we can have spiritual
       security.

13-20: GOD KEEPS HIS PROMISES.

    1. Example of God's promise to Abraham.
       1. Abraham's faithfulness (mimic) and God's faithfulness.
       2. Gives an example of HOPE—salvation is not going away.
       3. The writer is going to build up our hope.

13: "For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one
    greater, He swore by Himself"

    1. "Swear": "To affirm, promise, threaten with an oath, to call a person or thing as
       a witness" (Thayer).
14:    1) Gen 22:16ff.

15: "And thus, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise."

    1. Example of verse 12.
       1) Rom 4:17-24: No son to receive the promise for many years.
       2) He saw the beginning of the fulfillment by FAITH.
       3) Abraham had to wait and so do we.
       4) The Hebrew Christians—blessing to all nations is fulfilled.




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    2. The promise of God led Abraham to holiness because he recognized its
       importance.
       1) Wise people adjust their lives to live righteously when they really appreciate
          God's promises.

16-18: GOD CONFIRMED HIS PROMISE WITH AN OATH.

16: "For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as
    confirmation is an end of every dispute."

    1. "Oath": Comes from fence, an enclosure that restrains a person (Vine).
       1) This is the last place for men to lie.
       2) Oath served 2 purposes FINAL and is a "confirmation"—assurance that it
          will be carried out.

17: "In the same way God, desiring even more (abundantly)"

    1. To exceed a fixed number or measure.
       1) God didn't need to make an oath to make His word more sure.
       2) But God had a heavenly regard for customs of men for their sake, not His, so
          they will believe in His WORD and POWER.

    "to show"

    1. To exhibit, to bring forth to view, to prove, to demonstrate.

    "to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose (immutability
    of His counsel)"

    1. "Unchangeableness (immutability)": Not to be transferred; fixed; unalterable
       (Thayer).
       1) "Of His purpose (counsel)": "A piece of advice (which is) the result of
          determination" (Vine).
       2) “interposed (guaranteed)”: "To mediate, give surety, confirm" (Vine)
          “with an oath,”

    2. In view of men's confidence in oaths, God condescended to human thinking in
       order to assure men to the highest possible degree that His promise was true.
       1) God wanted to be sure that Abraham and his offspring understood that God
          meant what He said.




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18: "in order that by two unchangeable things"

    1. God's promise
    2. His oath which confirmed His promise.
       1) This provided double assurance that He would keep His promise:

    "in which it is impossible for God to lie"

    1. God will not go back on His promise and His oath.
       1) These two unchangeable things prevent God from changing His mind.
       2) Any part of God's plan to save man must not be changed in order to receive
          the promise.

    2. God has not made some promises which men seem to think He has made.
       1) God has not promised us even one more day (Jas 4:13-15).
       2) God has not promised to save anyone outside His church because that is
          what He is the Savior of the body (Eph 1:22-23; 4:4; 5:23.
       3) God has not promised to give men a second chance after death (Heb 9:27).
          The grace which saves has already come (Tit 2:11-14).
       4) God has not promised Christians a life of ease and peace and tranquility
          here on earth (2 Tim 3:12).

    "we may have strong encouragement"

    1. Being doubly assured that God would fulfill His promise, we are encouraged to
       serve Him diligently.
       1) God wants us to have full confidence in the promises of God—no matter
          what happens or what anybody else promises (Rom 3:3-4).

    "we who have fled for refuge in laying hold of the hope set before us."

    1. Refugees are those who flee from one country to another, often at great risk.
       1) Refugees do not regard their material possessions as their greatest treasures.
       2) Refugees will take note of others who have made the same journey.
       3) Refugees realize the journey has potential for danger and discouragement.
       4) Refugees also learn they have to choose friends carefully.
       5) Finally, when they reach their goal ("hope"), there is much rejoicing.

    2. Six cities of refuge were set up until one could have a fair trial (Josh 20:1-9).
       1) Heb 10:1: Many things of the law of Moses were "shadows" and "copies" of
          Christ and His church.



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    3. “laying hold”: To have power, to be chief, to obtain.
       1) Does this sound like one who is unsure?
       2) “Set before us”: “To be present”.

19: “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast”

    1. Our hope is an anchor=(safeguard).
       1) Hope serves as an anchor in the storms of life.
       2) It keeps us steadfast, preventing us from drifting or being carried away by
          the powerful waves of persecutions, temptations, deceit, etc.
       3) Hope is to the soul what an anchor is to a ship.
       4) When hope is lost—ALL IS LOST!
       5) Ancient coins had a symbol of an anchor—symbol of hope.

    “and one which enters within the veil”

    1. We are to cast our anchor within the veil.
       1) That which was behind the veil in the O.T. tabernacle and temple
          represented the dwelling-place of God.
       2) Therefore the writer uses the expression to refer to the true dwelling of God
          in heaven.
       3) The “veil” separates heaven and earth.
       4) Our hope (on earth) is compared to an anchor cast in heaven.
       5) As the anchor draws the ship to wherever it is cast, our hope will draw to
          heaven, preventing us from drifting away.

20: “where Christ has entered as a forerunner for us” (2:10; 5:9).

    1. Aaron entered within the veil once a year, but never as a forerunner.
       1) 1 Tim 1:1: “Christ Jesus, who is our hope”—flee to Christ for refuge.
       2) We are going where Christ is.
       3) Heaven is our hope because Christ has already entered.

    2. The ship (ark, church) is to cast its anchor in the place to which it is to be
       drawn.
       1) Secure the rope (anchor) to the ship—Don’t leave the ship.

    3. The writer has sufficiently admonished his readers by showing their problem
       and gives the solution to correct it.
       1) He has prepared their minds for the subject he introduced and now returns to
          show the SUPERIORITY OF CHRIST’S PRIESTHOOD.
       2) Christ has already entered heaven to act as our High Priest after the order of
          Melchizedek.

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                                Study Questions
                                        Hebrews 6

1.   What are we to press toward?

2.   This we resolve to do if what?

3.   Show that it is possible to fall from being saved?


4.   How is one made a “partaker of the Holy Spirit” (Gal 3:26-27; Acts 2:38)?

5.   Why is it “impossible” to renew one in such a condition described?

6.   How is apostasy described in verse 6?

7.   Does this mean one cannot be saved if he ever falls from the truth? (support ans.)

8.   How does the writer illustrate his point of rejection of one who was once blessed?

9.   Explain verses 7-8. What is the application to us?

10. What does the writer then say to encourage his readers?

11. What will God remember about the readers?

12. Was the writer concerned about his readers?

13. How long is faithfulness required?

14. By whom did God swear to Abraham?

15. Were Abraham’s promises conditional (Gen 12:1-3; 22:15-18)?

16. How did Abraham merit the fulfillment of the promises?

17. For whom was “strong encouragement” provided?

18. Is there any effort required on our part in regard to “the hope set before us”?

19. What does the expression “within the veil” mean?
    When did Christ enter it?
    Why could He enter it? (Who only could enter within the veil)?
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                              HEBREWS SEVEN
                 THE SUPERIORITY OF CHRIST’S PRIESTHOOD

                     SUMMARY OF HEBREWS SEVEN

       The writer now proceeds with the argument which he was about to make in 5:10-
11, which is the priesthood of Christ is superior to that of the Levitical (Aaron's)
priesthood. This thought was interrupted by the necessary discussion of the readers'
immaturity and the possibility of apostasy (5:11-6:20). The author of Hebrews
considers the subject of Christ's priesthood after the order of Melchizedek as "meat"
compared to the "milk" of the word. Are his readers any more ready now? Evidently,
the subject is so important because its conclusions will lead to a better understanding
and appreciation, resulting in stability of faith in Christ and the New Covenant.

1-3: COMPARISON BETWEEN CHRIST AND MELCHIZEDEK.
     He was a "type" of Christ being comparable to him in the following ways:

1. He was king and priest at the same time (1). He was first to be called a priest in
   the Bible. Melchizedek was a priest and king to whom Abraham paid tithes while
   returning from his successful journey to rescue Lot (Gen 14:18-20). In addition to
   Ps 110:4, this is all we know about him in the O.T. He then disappears until the
   book of Hebrews.

2. His name and title make him a type of Christ (2). Melchizedek is the "type" and
   Christ is the "antitype". The writer is not exalting Melchizedek through Christ, but
   exalting the priesthood of Christ through Melchizedek, concluding that their
   priesthood was of a higher order. His name means "king of righteousness" (served
   God) and his title (King of Salem) means "king of peace" (tranquil state). Both
   righteousness and peace are characteristics of Christ (Isa 9:6). Salem is used for
   Jerusalem in Ps 76:2.

3. He is without father, mother, or genealogy so far as the record is concerned (3).

4. He is without beginning of days nor end of life. The writer uses the silence of the
   Scriptures to make Melchizedek's priesthood eternal. When we consider just what is
   recorded in Scripture concerning Melchizedek, he is a type of Christ, for Christ's
   priesthood is not terminated by death. Men long to know more about Melchizedek,
   but if anything were known of his birth, ancestry, or death, he would no longer be a
   type of Christ. All speculations as to his identity are contrary to God's obvious
   purpose. God omitted all such information in order to make him a type of Christ.



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4-10: SUPERIORITY OF MELCHIZEDEK'S PRIESTHOOD.

   Melchizedek was greater than Abraham and greater than the priests of the Law of
   Moses. The logical conclusion is that since Christ is a priest after the order of
   Melchizedek, His priesthood is greater than the priesthood of the Law of Moses (the
   Levitical priesthood). In establishing this truth, the writer makes the following
   points:

1. Abraham paid tithes to him, thus recognizing his exalted position (4-6). The
   Jews never liked the idea of being an inferior nation, but the writer of Hebrews
   seizes the opportunity to detail how they have never been the superior nation that
   they pictured themselves to be. Melchizedek was a godly person superior to all of
   the Israelites.

2. The fact that he blessed Abraham proves his superior rank (6-7). (This was
   probably a prophetic declaration of God's intention to "bless" Abraham). The writer
   declares that the Levites collect their tithes because the Law demands the tithe.
   Abraham was right when he willingly gave Melchizedek a tenth because of his
   respect for the greatness of the king/priest's office. Likewise, in Luke 24:50-51
   Christ (greater) blessed the apostles (lesser).

3. The inferiority of the Old Testament priesthood is seen in the fact that the
   priests died, whereas, so far as what is "witnessed" of Melchizedek is concerned,
   "he lives on" (8). This implies that the writer simply has reference to what is
   witnessed or written about Melchizedek. Nothing is said in the Scriptures about his
   death, only his life. If we consider just what is written of him, he lives. His
   priesthood was not ended by death, and he is therefore a type of Christ.

4. In a sense, Levi (from whom the O.T. priests descended) paid tithes to
   Melchizedek, for he was in Abraham's loins when Abraham paid tithes (9-10).
   If we can conclude Levi "received tithes" in the person of his descendents, then we
   can also conclude that Levi "paid tithes" in the person of his ancestor—Abraham.

   1. In a sense, Levi paid tithes when Abraham did, for the Jewish race owed their
      place in God's scheme as being descendants of Abraham.
      1) Hence, if Levi's position was inferior to Melchizedek's then so was theirs.
      2) If he paid tithes to Melchizedek (thereby indicating inferior rank), it was as
         though they did; for any actions of Abraham which showed his inferior
         position, also showed the inferior position of his descendants.
      3) Their position was inseparably linked to Levi's.

   2. Here is the clincher! Levi and his tribe paid someone else a tithe, and this
      occurred at least 400 years before the Law of Moses was given.

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      1) Therefore, the Israelites paid tribute to a priest of the Most High God that was
         not from their tribe.
      2) The writer needed to make a direct connection between Levi and Melchizedek.
      3) This proof was absolutely necessary to establish the right of Jesus to serve as
         high priest for the Most High God.
      4) If there had been no proof of another priesthood, the Israelites would have had
         strong ground to reject Jesus as their high priest.
      5) However, because even the Israelites paid tribute to Melchizedek, a non-
         Levitical priest, they must accept a priesthood outside the Levitical order.
      6) The logical conclusion is that the Levitical priesthood is inferior to
         Melchizedek and as a result very inferior to Jesus because Melchizedek was
         but a "shadow" of the real priest of the Most High God.

11-19: THE CHANGE OF THE PRIESTHOOD.
       (Imperfection of the Levitical priesthood)

   1. The Levitical priesthood and the law which regulated it (the Law of Moses) had
      to be replaced because perfection could not be attained by the Levitical
      priesthood.
      1) It could not bring about pardon for sins and perfect fellowship between Christ
         and men (11-12).
      2) This change has occurred, for we have a new priest (Christ) who could not be
         a part of the Levitical priesthood prescribed in the Law of Moses because He
         is not from the tribe of Levi (13-14).
      3) Another priest has risen after the order of Melchizedek in fulfillment of Psalm
         110:4.
      4) Like Melchizedek, the new priest was not made a priest because of a law that
         involved only carnal, physical qualifications (like physical descent).
      5) Rather, He is a priest by means of His own inherent power (15-17).
         Therefore, Jesus must be a high priest after a different and higher order.

   2. Ps 110:4 was clear when it was prophesied and this is clearer still when Jesus
      fulfilled it.
      1) The law rested upon the foundation of the priesthood.
      2) When the foundation (priesthood) was removed the whole building (Law of
          Moses) fell.
      3) The Old Law has been set aside, and now we have a “better hope (the gospel)
          through which we draw near to God” (18-19).




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20-28: THE SUPERIORITY OF CHRIST'S PRIESTHOOD.
       The priesthood of Christ is superior to the Levitical priesthood in the following
       ways:

1. God confirmed His priesthood by an oath, indicating that God will never
   change His mind about Christ's priesthood being after the order of Melchizedek
   (20-22). The Levitical priesthood was not confirmed with an "oath". Melchizedek's
   priesthood was confirmed with an oath after the Levitical priesthood had been in
   operation. This is proof that Melchizedek's priesthood had not yet ended—but is
   endless. This shows the superiority of Christ's priesthood, hence the superiority of
   "a better covenant" He guarantees. Man can accept or reject it but he can never
   change it! "And inasmuch as" Melchizedek's priesthood was confirmed with an
   oath, guaranteeing his endless priesthood, "so much the more also Jesus has become
   the guarantee of a better covenant."

2. Christ is an unchangeable priest (23-25). Whereas the Levitical priests died,
   Christ lives forever so that we can depend on Him "forever (completely; to the
   uttermost)" to function on our behalf as our high priest.

3. Christ is a sinless priest (26-28). Notice the contrast of v 28: While the Law
   appointed men, priests who were weak and sinful, God's oath (which came after the
   Law) made the Son of God to be our "perfect" priest forever!




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                                Study Questions
                                      Hebrews Seven

1.   Where was Melchizedek king?
     What is this place now called?

2.   How could Melchizedek be a priest of God since he was not from the tribe of Levi?

3.   Was perfection found in the Levitical priesthood?

4.   What was one reason for the change in the law (12)?

5.   How do verses 13 and 14 show that the silence of the Scriptures forbids a thing?


6.   Which verses show that the Law of Moses has been done away in Christ?


7.   From 7:14-28, list the verses which indicated that Jesus continues as priest forever.


8.   From 7:18-28, make a brief list of the blessings brought to Christians.


9.   What two words in verse 28 give a summary of the contrast between the priests of
     old and our high priest?




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                               HEBREWS EIGHT
           A SUPERIOR PRIEST WITH A SUPERIOR NEW COVENANT

                      SUMMARY OF HEBREWS EIGHT

    With the beginning of chapter 8, we come to the close of the first major section of
Hebrews. So far the key thought has been “The Superiority of Christ”:
    1. To the prophets (1:1-3).
    2. To the angels (1:4-2:18).
    3. To Moses (a superior rest) (3:1-4:13).
    4. To Aaron and his Levitical priesthood (4:14-5:10; 7:1-28).

                      OUR GLORIOUS HIGH PRIEST (8:1-6)

     In this section we find a transition in which the main point of the first section is
summarized and the main point of the next section is introduced. These 6 verses truly
summarize what the author seeks to establish in the first 10 chapters of this epistle. It
can all be summarized in these words “We have such a high priest…” Jesus is not just
any high priest, but “such” a high priest—a glorious High Priest! In what ways is He
“Our Glorious High Priest”?
     1. He is seated “at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens”
         (1).
     2. He is “a minister in the sanctuary, and in the true tabernacle” (5).
     3. He is “the mediator of a better covenant…better promises” (6).
With the transition in the first 6 verses, the focus shifts to the next major section:
THE SUPERIORITY OF THE NEW COVENANT (ORDER) (8:7-10:18).

             THE PROMISES OF GOD’S NEW COVENANT (8:7-13)

1.   THE FIRST COVENANT WAS NOT FAULTLESS (8:7)
     We have already seen concerning the first covenant that:
     1) The Levitical priesthood could not bring perfection (7:11).
     2) The Law made nothing perfect, and was therefore annulled due to its weakness
        (7:18-19).
        This inadequacy has special reference to the sacrifices of the first covenant that
        they could not make those who approach perfect (10:13). The blood of animals
        offered by the priests could not take away sins (10:4, 11).

2.   THE PEOPLE OF THE FIRST COVENANT WERE ALSO AT FAULT (8:8-9).
     1) God found fault because they did not continue in His covenant (Jer 11:7-10).



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     2) For this reason He disregarded them, allowing them to be taken away by their
        enemies (Jer 11:11-14). Even so, He did not leave them without some hope,
        for through the prophet Jeremiah He made a promise.

3.   GOD PROMISED A NEW COVENANT (8:8-9).
     1) God promised to make a “new covenant” with Israel and Judah (Jer 31:31-34).
     2) A covenant DIFFERENT than the one made at Mt. Sinai.

4.   GOD’S PROMISES INVOLVING THE NEW COVENANT (8:10-12).
     1) It would be inward and spiritual: “I will write My laws in their
        minds…hearts.”
     2) It would provide a closer relationship with God: “I will be their God…My
        people.”
     3) All will know the Lord: “they will not teach…saying, ‘Know the Lord”…”
     4) It will provide true forgiveness for sin: “I will remember their sins no more.”

5.   THE NEW COVENANT “MADE THE FIRST OBSOLETE” (8:13).
     1) When God called the promised covenant “new”, the first became obsolete. The
        old covenant began to vanish away (decay) the moment Jeremiah announced it.
        The first covenant continued on for about 500 years after Jeremiah. But with
        the promise of the new, attention would be taken away from the old covenant
        and directed toward the new one that was coming!
     2) It was “becoming obsolete and growing old.” Anything that is growing old and
        decaying is “ready to disappear.” The death of Jesus rendered the sacrifices of
        the first covenant unnecessary. As far as God was concerned it had already
        disappeared and vanished away, but it still remained as a Jewish practice. It was
        a period of transition as God gave time for the Jews to learn the new law.
        Before long, the temple itself would be destroyed, and along with it, the last
        sacrifices of the Levitical priesthood. Truly, it was “ready to disappear.” This
        verse offers strong evidence that the book was written before the destruction of
        Jerusalem in 70 AD. If the temple services had already ceased, the author
        couldn’t have said this.

8:1-6: OUR GLORIOUS HIGH PRIEST
       (Christ is High Priest of the True Tabernacle)

1:   "Now the main (chief) point in what has been said is this:"

      The crowning point to which all others have been leading.




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     (1)"taken His seat…throne" (sat down): to begin His reign.

     1. David prophesied that the Messiah would sit at God's right hand (Ps 110:1)
        1) Jesus said that He would sit "at the right hand" of God (Mark 14:60-62).

     "of the Majesty": Greatness used only of God (2 Pet 1:16—also Christ).

     "in the heavens": Heavenly ministry.

     1. We have a high priest who serves in heaven at the right hand of God's
        throne.
        1) When He ascended to heaven, He sat down at God's right (Mark 16:19;
           Heb 12:2).
        2) At God's right hand, He poured forth the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:33).
        3) Peter preached Jesus as being exalted to be at God's right hand as our Prince
           and Savior (Acts 5:30-31).
        4) Paul taught that Jesus is at God's right hand, interceding for us (Rom 8:34).
        5) Jesus is at God's right hand, waiting "until His enemies be made a footstool
           for His feet" (Heb 10:12-13).
        6) Yet while He sits and waits, He rules! (Ps 110:1-2, 5; 1 Cor 15:24-26).
        7) At God's right hand, He is above all other authority (Matt 28:18; Eph 1:20-
           22; 1 Pet 3:22).
        8) Acts 7:55-56: We read of Jesus "standing at the right hand of God".

            Was Jesus showing His approval and respect for Stephen, the first
             Christian martyr?

            Exalted to "such" a place of honor and authority, we truly have a
             "glorious" High Priest, one who is "the ruler over the kings of the earth"
             (Rev 1:5).

2:   (2) "a minister in the sanctuary, and in the true tabernacle"

     1. Heaven, where Jesus serves, is called the sanctuary because it is holy.
        1) This is the same word for "holy" except it is in the neuter which carries the
           idea of a holy PLACE—a dedicated place.

     2. Heaven is called the true tabernacle because it is the true dwelling place of
        God, which was symbolized and foreshadowed by the tabernacle of the OT.
        1) True: Real nature.




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     "which the Lord pitched, not man": Heavenly tabernacle.

     1. The heavenly tabernacle is none other than HEAVEN itself (9:11-12; 23-24).
        1) Inasmuch as Jesus serves in heaven itself rather than a physical tent which
           was but a representative copy of it, his priesthood is superior to the O.T.
           priesthood.

     2. 2-5: Contrast between the two "tabernacles"—true vs. copy and shadow.
        1) Levitical priesthood was built by man—earthly tabernacle as ordained under
           the first covenant.

     3. NOTE: In chapter 9 the earthy tabernacle is divided into 2 parts (9:1-5).
        1) The Holy of Holies symbolizes heaven where Jesus, our High Priest, entered
           as a forerunner (6:18-20).
        2) The Holy Place symbolizes the church and the second veil symbolizes death
           that separates the two places.

3:   "For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices"

     1. Every high priest is appointed for this purpose (5:1).
        1) What Jesus has to offer is not mentioned here, but will be later (9:12).

     "hence it is necessary that this high priest also have something to offer."

     1. With human priests, the dignity was with the office and not the man.
        1) With the true High Priest—ITS DIFFERENT!
        2) The writer is emphasizing the fact of His SERVICE to man (7:27).

4:   "Now if He were on earth, He would not be a priest at all" (7:14).

     1. Jesus performs His priestly service in heaven, not on the earth.
     2. Since the writer knew the Old Law had already been abolished, if that was a
        valid argument then, it is just as valid NOW AND IN THE FUTURE.
        1) Christ's reign as King is neither—pre-millennial or earthly (Ps 110:1-4;
           Zech 6:12-13).

5:   "copy": Representation, figure, an example.

     "shadow": Representing the true form—"the heavenly things."

     1. A shadow has to have some resemblance and relationship to the real thing.
        1) If not—it is false.


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     2. The O.T. priests and their service were only an example (copy) and shadow of
        heavenly things.
        1) The Jewish system was but an outline, a sketch, a representative copy of
           heavenly realities.
        2) As a shadow resembles the real thing, so did the Jewish rituals.

     3. The priests and their offerings were shadows of Christ and His offering.
        1) They were designed to symbolize it.
        2) This point is connected with the WARNING God gave Moses to "make
           all things according to the pattern" (Ex 25:40).
        3) This was important so that the earthly tabernacle and all that pertained to it
           would accurately represent the heavenly realities.

     "warned"

     1. To give a divine command or admonition, to teach from heaven, to receive a
        name or title, to be called.

     "pattern": Moses was given a strict pattern to follow.

     1. 2 Kings 16:10-11—Rejected the pattern.
        1) King Ahaz rejected the divine pattern for the altar and "fashioned" one like a
           pagan altar in Damascus.

     2. EXAMPLE: Bees=pattern—stingers, wings, color, direction, language,
        unity.
        1) If God takes such care in the making of bees then He also cares about how
           we worship Him and what we should be united upon.
        2) God is a pattern-minded God.
        3) Do we need to follow His pattern for worship and work of the church?

6:   "But now He has obtained"

     1. "To hit the mark, of one discharging a javelin or arrow" (Thayer).

     "a more excellent ministry"

     1. In contrast with the ministry of the Levitical priests.
        1) Their ministry was simply a "shadow" and "copy" of Christ's ministry
           (Col 2:16-17).
        2) Though He could not serve in the earthly tabernacle, He has "obtained a
           more excellent ministry."


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     (3) "by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant"

     1. The Greek for mediator is "mesites" (mes-ee'-tace).
        1) It means "a medium of communication, one who intervenes between two,
           either in order to make or restore peace and friendship, or form a compact, or
           for ratifying a covenant.
        2) A mediator has something in common with the 2 parties at variance.
        3) God is at variance with sinful man (Isa 59:1-2).
        4) Under the O.T. law—Moses, then priests acted as mediators between God
           and man.
        5) 1 Tim 2:5: Through death on the cross, Jesus has become the Mediator of a
           better covenant (9:15; 12:24).

     "of a better covenant": Better than what?—First—(8:7).

     1. The superiority of His ministry, can be measured by the superiority of the
        covenant of which He is mediator.
        1) There were 2 different kinds of covenants (testaments).
        2) Discussing the word used in reference to covenants between God and men,
           Bruce says, "It is not "suntheke", an agreement between parties who are
           more or less equal in status, but a "diatheke", a settlement by a superior on
           inferiors, 'tendered on the one hand for acceptance on the other' (Simpson)."

     "which has been enacted on better promises."

     1. What makes the new covenant better than the old are its promises.
        1) Some of these promises are explained later (10-12).
        2) 2 Pet 1:3-4: Peter describes the promises we receive as "exceedingly great
           and precious promises."

     2. With this transition passage, the writer leaves the subject of the priesthood to
        discuss:
        1) The new (better) covenant we have in Christ.
        2) The better ministry Christ renders as our High Priest in heaven, seated at
           God's right hand.

8:7-13: THE PROMISES OF GOD'S NEW COVENANT.

7:   "For if the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion
     sought for a second."

     1. This inadequacy has special reference to the sacrifices of the first covenant.
        1) The Levitical priesthood could not bring perfection (7:11).

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        2) The Law made nothing perfect, and was therefore annulled due to its
           weakness and unprofitableness (7:18-19).
        3) The sacrifices could not make those who approach perfect (10:1-3).
        4) The blood of animals offered by the priests could not take away sins
           (10:4, 11).

     2. The first covenant was not faultless, for it could not satisfy all our spiritual
        needs.
        1) If it had been, there would have been no need for a second covenant.
        2) And there would have been no prophecy concerning a second one.

     3. Apparently, the writer anticipates a flood of criticism in making such a bold
        statement that a second covenant is needed.
        1) He is addressing those who had strong ties with the O.T.
        2) Therefore, he will prove his point from the O.T.
        3) Quoting Jeremiah provided the proof of the writer's declaration in v 7.

8:   "For finding fault with them, He says,"

     1. The people of the first covenant were also at fault.
        1) God found fault because they did not continue in His covenant (Jer 11:7-
           10).
        2) For this reason He disregarded them, allowing them to be taken away by
           their enemies (Jer 11:11-14).
        3) But, He did not leave them without some hope, for through the prophet
           Jeremiah—He made a promise (Jer 31:31-34).

     "Behold, days are coming": Normal phrase—age of the Messiah.

     1. God promised and prophesied of a new covenant when the Messiah comes.

     "new covenant"

     1. Since the first covenant provided no remedy, God prophesied of a new
        covenant which would provide for our spiritual needs.

     "with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah"

     1. With whom did God make the first covenant?

9:   "not like the covenant which I made with their fathers"

     1. God promised to make a new covenant with Israel and Judah.

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       1) A covenant DIFFERENT than the one made with their fathers.

    "on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt"

    1. When did God make the first covenant?
       1) When they received the 10 commandments on Mt. Sinai.
       2) The new covenant will be different than the one made at Mt. Sinai.

    "For they did not continue in My covenant, and I did not care for them"

    1. Israel and Judah broke the old covenant—reason for new covenant.
       1) They broke the moral law (10 commandments).
       2) The ceremonial law is what they kept best (Isa 1:11-15).

    2. Notice the relationship physical Israel now has with God.
       1) And I did not care for them is a quote from Amos 5:22.
       2) Also note Jud 10:13.
       3) This Hebrew phrase can be literally interpreted as follows: "For they broke
          My covenant, and I was a lord to them. That is I treated them as a lord
          treats his unfaithful servants—I rejected them."

    3. Jer 31:32: God was a husband to them.
       1) Rom 7:1-4: Death on the cross cancelled the old covenant marriage contract.

10-12: THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO COVENANTS.

    1. This talk of a new covenant is not a new idea.
       1) God, long ago, told the Israelites that another covenant would exist and what
          kind it would be.

10: "I will put My laws into their minds…hearts"

    1. IT WILL BE INWARD AND SPIRITUAL.
       1) The first covenant had its laws written on tablets of stone (2 Cor 3:2-3, 7-
          11).
       2) The new covenant is one that requires God's laws to be written in our minds
          and hearts--Note how these words are used interchangeably (10:16).

    2. The laws of the new covenant would change men inwardly and control their
       thinking.
       1) It is not enough to have God's word in our hands, on our tables, etc.
       2) Jas 1:21: We must plant the word into our hearts.


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        3) 1 Pet 1:22-23: For only then can we truly be born again by the incorruptible
           seed, the word of God.
        4) Col 2:12: Circumcision of the heart.
        5) 2 Cor 5:17: New man—new way of thinking.

    3. Though some devoted Jews carried the laws of the Old Covenant in their
       hearts, many regarded the covenant as nothing more than a set of external
       rules.
       1) Yet, as members of the nation of Israel, they were still counted among the
          people of God.
       2) Likewise, one cannot enjoy a relationship to God through the new covenant,
          unless God's word is in his heart.

    "I will be their God, and they shall be My people."

    1. IT WILL PROVIDE A CLOSER RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
       1) Those who submit themselves to the New Covenant are God's special
          people.

    2. The actual terms of this promise is really nothing new (Ex 6:7; Lev 26:12).
       1) But in each successive "age", its promise is filled with a fresh meaning.
       2) In "this age" we enjoy a closer relationship with God (2 Cor 6:16-18;
          1 Pet 2:9-10).
       3) Rev 21:7: We will enjoy even a closer relationship in the "age to come"

11: "And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen (neighbor)"
    1. Under the first covenant, the Jews entered it at birth, circumcised, grew up and
       needed to be taught about God.

    saying, "know the LORD"

    1. Many drifted so far from God they knew only His name—Didn't really
       know God.

    "all shall know Me": Before entering the new covenant—PERSONAL.

    1. John 1:12-13: Infant membership in the new covenant is impossible.
       1) One must BELIEVE in Jesus before they can enter into a covenant
          relationship with their Lord through baptism (Heb 11:6; John 6:44-45;
          8:24; Acts 8:36-38; 22:16).




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    "from the least to the greatest."

    1. While our knowledge must grow, we do not have to learn to know God in the
       fundamental sense.
       1) However, one can drift so far away that he needs to be re-taught (5:12).

12: "For I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember them no more."

    1. IT WILL PROVIDE TRUE FORGIVENESS OF SINS—MERCIFUL.
       1) Those who lived under the Old Covenant could have their sins forgiven,
          but not through the Old Covenant (10:1-4).
       2) OT sacrifices could not take away sins—they only symbolized the sacrifice
          of Christ.
       3) The New Covenant is based on the blood of Christ and offers forgiveness on
          the basis of that blood.
       4) Their sins could be forgiven through the blood of Christ (9:15).

    2. Here is the ultimate basis of the blessing—through forgiveness of sins we can
       truly be God's people, and He is our God.
       1) God's people includes all believers in Christ—spiritual Israel (Rom 2:28-29;
           9:6; Gal 6:16; Eph 2:11-17).

    3. THE NEW COVENANT IS BETTER THAN THE OLD.
       1) SPIRITUAL: In the minds of God's people.
       2) PERSONAL: All would know the Lord.
       3) MERCIFUL: Forgiveness of sins.

13: THE NEW COVENANT MADE THE FIRST OBSOLETE.

    1. When God called the promised covenant "new", the first became obsolete.
       1) The Old Covenant began to vanish away (decay) the moment Jeremiah
          announced it.
       2) The first covenant continued on for about 500 years after Jeremiah.
       3) But with the promise of the new, attention would be taken away from the old
          covenant and directed toward the new one that is coming (Mal 4:4—good-
          bye for 400 years).

    2. It was "becoming obsolete and growing old."

       1) Anything that is growing old and decaying is "ready to disappear."
       2) The death of Jesus rendered the sacrifices of the first covenant unnecessary.
       3) As far as God is concerned it has already disappeared and vanished away,
          but it still remained as a Jewish practice.

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3. It was a period of transition as God gave time for the Jews to learn the new
   law.
   1) Before long, the temple itself would be destroyed, and along with it, the
      last sacrifices of the Levitical priesthood.
   2) Truly, it was "ready to disappear."
   3) This verse strongly suggests evidence that the book was written before the
      destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
   4) If the temple services had already ceased, the author couldn't have said this.
   5) Now, of course, it has vanished, having been replaced by the New Covenant,
      which is superior.




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                                Study Questions
                                      Hebrews Eight

1.   What was the chief point of what the writer was saying?

2.   Who built the Jewish tabernacle?

3.   Who built the “true tabernacle”?                     Where?

4.   What was one of the main functions of the high priest?

5.   What if Christ were still on earth?

6.   Did Moses have the right to build the tabernacle as he wanted?
     When did Moses receive his instructions?

7.   What 3 things does verse 6 mention as items of superiority about the new
     covenant?

8.   Why was a new covenant needed?

9.   What O.T. passage does the writer then quote (8:8-12)?
     When did “the days come”?

10. Can we be under the new covenant and old at the same time?

11. Was the new to be like the old?

12. When was the old given?

13. Was Israel faithful to the old?

14. Was the new law to be limited to one nation?

15. What is one outstanding contrast between the old and the new law (8:12)?

16. Is the O.T. called “old” because of the number of years it lasted (8:13)?

17. What happened to the old law according to 8:13?

18. List the 2 main thoughts of this chapter.
    1)
    2)
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                                HEBREWS NINE
             A BETTER TABERNACLE AND A BETTER SACRIFICE

                      SUMMARY OF HEBREWS NINE

    The main points in the Book of Hebrews are:
      1. THE SUPERIORITY OF CHRIST (1:1-7:28).
      2. THE SUPERIORITY OF THE NEW COVENANT (8:7-10:18).

    In the transition passage (8:1-6):
        1. The first point is summarized (8:1).
        2. The second point is introduced (8:2-6).

    In demonstrating the superiority of the new covenant, 3 points are made:
       1. The new covenant is based upon “better promises” (8:7-13), foretold
          through the prophet Jeremiah (Jer 31:31-34), in which God promised a
          closer relationship with His people, made possible through the forgiveness of
          sins.
       2. The new covenant pertains to a “better tabernacle.”
       3. The new covenant provides a “better sacrifice.”

    THE EARTHLY TABERNACLE (9:1-10) is contrasted with
    THE HEAVENLY TABERNACLE (9:11-28)

     In chapter 9, our attention is now drawn to the “better tabernacle” provided in the
new covenant. To appreciate the author’s argument, we must be acquainted (not in
detail) with the tabernacle of the first covenant. Therefore, we find a brief description
of the “earthly tabernacle”: its furniture and arrangement (9:1-5), services (9:6-7), and
inefficiency (9:8-10).

     In keeping with its purpose of preparing the Jews for Christ, the O.T. included
rituals and offices that represented the work of Christ. Such ordinances are “types and
shadows”, resembling the work of Christ as a shadow resembles the real object (Col
2:17; Heb 10:1). The services of the priests in the tabernacle were a shadow of the
priestly work of Christ in heaven. Hebrews 9:1-15 points out that the priestly work of
Christ accomplishes what the priestly service in the earthly tabernacle could not.
Therefore, in discussing the superiority of the new covenant, the author’s apparent
intent in this chapter is to show the superiority of the atoning work and ministry of
Christ as compared to that of the Levitical priests!

    Not only is the tabernacle of the new order above that of the old, but the sacrifice
which dedicated the new is superior (9:11-10:18). Christ has now come as the

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“substance” (Col 2:17) of that which was a “shadow.” Offering the “real” sacrifice,
“not through the blood of bulls and goats, but through His own blood”, He is the
priest of a “more perfect tabernacle” (9:11-12). With that blood He entered into the
most holy place in “heaven itself” (9:24). As the blood of those sacrifices rid them of
external uncleanness, Christ’s blood cleanses our “conscience from dead works” ((:13-
14).

     The perfection of the sacrifice under the new is further seen in that the blood of
Christ does not only remit the sins of those under the new, but also those of the faithful
under the old. As the things of the old were dedicated with the “shedding of blood”,
Christ’s blood was shed that His will might become effective and might be applied (as a
better sacrifice) to those under it (9:16-22). This sacrifice was made but once (9:25-26).
Just “as it is appointed for men to die once and after that comes judgment”, Christ
“shall appear a second time for salvation apart from sin, to those who eagerly await
Him” (9:27-28).

9:1-5: DESCRIPTION OF THE EARTHLY SANCTUARY.

     1. Inasmuch as the tabernacle represented the dwelling place of God, the entrance
        of priests into it indicated their approach to God (or the people's approach
        through them).
        1) This was a shadow of Christ's entrance into heaven and our approach to God
           through Him.

1:   "Now even the first covenant had regulations of divine worship (service)"

     1. The Greek word for service is latreias—Service offered as worship.
        1) Rom 12:1: latreian—same word.
        2) "Divine": Authorized by God—(Lev 10:1-3)—"I will be honored."

     "and the earthly sanctuary."

     1. The tabernacle consisted of 2 compartments separated by a veil.
        1) The writer refers to each compartment as a 'tabernacle".

     2. We could go back to the books of Exodus and Leviticus to read about the
        earthly sanctuary, but in our text we find a helpful and concise summary.
        1) Examination of details in not necessary to perceive the lesson gained.
        2) CONTRAST is the author's purpose, not bogged down by details (5).

2:   "outer one": (Lit.-"first")…"this is called the holy place" – Symbolic of the
     church.


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                                                                     Tabernacle Schematic s 3

                                                                         Tabernacle Schematic s 3




                            Tabernacle
                                    Table of
                                   Shewbread
                                                     Laver
                                      Altar of                    Bronze
                 Ark of the           Incense
                                                                   Altar
                 Covenant
                                           Lampstand
                    Most              Holy
                    Holy              Place
                    Place

1.   "the lamp stand (candlestick)": Described in Ex 25:31-40; 26:35.
        1) It was placed next to the south wall of the tabernacle.
        2) It was made of gold and had 7 lamps for burning olive oil.
        3) The priests were to keep it burning from evening to morning
           (Ex 27:20-23; Lev 24:1-4).
        4) "Seven"=completeness—all of it.
        5) Perhaps it symbolized the divine light of all truth.
        6) The fact that God is light made it appropriate to have light in His tabernacle.
        7) Ps 119:104-105; Zech 4:1-6: In the church the word of God is the only
           source of light. As the lamp stand required constant care twice a day (or
           more), so does God's word require constant study and care.

     2. "and the table and the sacred bread" (Ex 25:23-30; 26:35; Lev 24:5-9).
        1) In Hebrew it means "bread of the face" or "loaves of presentation".
        2) A table overlaid with gold, on which were kept 12 loaves of bread, in 2 rows
           of 6.
        3) Fresh loaves were brought in each Sabbath, and the old were eaten by the
           priests (1 Sam 21:3-6; Matt 12:3-4).
        4) What it represented is uncertain. It may have simply served as a constant
           offering to God. (Lord's supper--symbolic of the bread of life).

3:   "And behind the second veil…called the Holy of Holies (Most Holy Place)" –
     Symbolic of heaven itself (11, 24).

     1. The first veil was a curtain separating the outer court and the Holy Place
        (Ex 26:36-37).
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        1) Perhaps symbolic of conversion—enter the kingdom.

4:   "having a golden altar (censer) of incense" (Ex 30:1-10).

     1. The writer doesn't say that this was within the Holy of Holies, but says it
        has a golden altar.
        1) The golden altar was actually in the Holy Place, just on the other side of
           the veil separating the 2 rooms.
        2) Nevertheless, it pertained to the Holy of Holies because the SMOKE from it
           went into it where God was considered to be present.
        3) Therefore, its FUNCTION was connected to the Holy of Holies.
            EX: Signboard to store is on the outside of building—belongs to store—
               doesn't belong to the city or street.
        4) It is appropriate to say the Holy of Holies "having (had)" a golden altar—
           because the smoke of the daily incense would permeate through the veil, and
           as such be "a perpetual incense before the LORD" (Ex 30:8).
        5) On this altar sweet spices were continually burned with fire taken from the
           brazen altar, which was outside the tabernacle.
        6) The morning and evening services began by the high priest offering incense
           on this altar.
        7) Once a year, the high priest would take a censer of burning coals from this
           altar along with incense into the Holy of Holies (Lev 16:12).
        8) The annual ceremony on the Day of Atonement connected, in a tangible
           way, the altar of incense with the Holy of Holies.
        9) Since priests were forbidden daily entrance into it, the altar was located just
           outside the veil so that the priest could burn incense on it daily.
       10) It is mentioned several times in connection with the Holy of Holies and its
           contents (1 Kings 6:22; Ex 30:6; 40:5).
       11) Could it be that the incense represents prayers of Christians, while the altar
           depicts the institution (establishment) of prayer (Rev 5:8)?

     "and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold"

     1. A gold-plated wooden chest.--A chest made of acacia wood, about 4 feet long
        by 2½ feet high and wide, covered with gold (Ex 25:10-16).
        1) It was the most sacred thing in the tabernacle.

     "in which was a golden jar (pot) holding the manna" (Ex 16:32-34).

     1. It was a reminder to Israel of God's miraculous provision of food in the
        wilderness.



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     "and Aaron's rod which budded" (Num 17:1-11).

     1. A remembrance of the tribe of Levi's exclusive right to the priesthood.

     "and the tables of the covenant." (Ex 25:10-22; Deut 10:1-5).

     1. Tables of stone on which the 10 commandments were written.
        1) This reminded Israel of God's covenant.

5:   "And above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing" (Ex 25:17-22).

     1. On top of the mercy seat (lid over the ark of the covenant) covered with gold,
        were fastened 2 cherubim (plural) with wings stretched upward and
        overshadowing the mercy seat, and their faces "toward each other and toward
        the mercy seat" (also facing down).
        1) Mentioned as guarding the Garden of Eden.
        2) Special group of heavenly beings.
        3) Ezek 10:3: How close are they in serving God?
        4) They are so closely associated with God that they move with Him.
        5) The cherubim evidently represented heavenly attendants of God.
        6) The Lord was said to appear in a cloud above the mercy seat and between
           these figures where God was regarded as having fixed His dwelling place
           (Lev 16:2; Num 7:89; 2 Kings 19:5).

     "the mercy seat" (Ex 25:17-22).

     1. Lid of gold over the ark, having a cherub (singular) at each end.
        1) This was where the high priest sprinkled blood on the Day of Atonement
           (Lev 16:14-15).
        2) It was the place where God's mercy was found.
        3) Therefore, it symbolized the throne of grace, as God was considered to dwell
           above it between the cherubim (Ex 25:22; Num 7:89; Lev 16:2; 1 Sam 4:4;
           2 Sam 6:2; Ps 80:1).
        4) Rom 3:25; 1 John 2:1-2: "propitiation" = covering = mercy seat—Christ.

     "but of these things we cannot now speak in detail."

     1. Such was not the object of the passage.
        1) The writer simply wanted to briefly mention them so as to call to the minds
           of the people of the tabernacle and its service.




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9:6-10: THE INADEQUACY OF THE TABERNACLE SERVICE.
        (Services performed by the high priest on the Day of Atonement).

6:    "Now when these things have been thus prepared"

      1. This section relate to the duties (rituals) of the priests and high priest.

     "the priests are continually entering the outer (first) tabernacle (sacred tent)"

      1. Every morning and evening, the priests would go into the Holy Place
        "performing the divine worship (services)."
         1) They would trim the lamps on the lamp stand (Ex 27:20-21).
         2) They would offer incense on the altar of incense (Ex 30:7-8).
         3) On the Sabbath, the priests would replace the showbread (Lev 25:4-9).
         4) But none went into the Holy of Holies during these daily services.

7:    "but in the second only the high priest enters, once a year, not without taking
      blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people"

      1. Lev 16:29: Day of Atonement was on the 10th day of the 7th month.
         1) The high priest 7 days before scattered ashes of a heifer on the 3rd and 7th day
            of the month.
         2) Temple care—Elders read.
         3) The high priest and all the people fasted.
         4) Offered the daily sacrifices plus the bull, ram and 7 lambs (15 in all).

      2. The high priest would do several things.
         1) Offer the incense to cloud the mercy seat (Lev 16:12-13).
         2) Slew bullock and sprinkled its blood 7 times on the east side of the mercy
            seat, as a sin offering for himself and his family (Lev 16:11,14).
         3) Sprinkle the mercy seat with the blood of a he-goat in the same way, as a sin
            offering for the people (Lev 16:15).
            *Priests then buried the flesh of bullock and he-goat.
            *The ones that buried them bathed and washed their clothes before returning
              to camp.
         4) Take another he-goat alive (scapegoat)—laid his hands on its head and
            confessed the sins of all Israel. Then the goat was driven off into an
            uninhabited place "bearing away" the sins of the people.
         5) Then he went back into the tabernacle, took off the linen clothes, and
            washed.
         6) Then he came out of the tabernacle again to offer 2 rams as burnt-
            offerings—then washed again.


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     "committed in ignorance."

     1. The blood was for sins which were unknown to the people and to cleanse the
        utensils of the tabernacle if they had become defiled.
        1) This blood was for the unknown sins that might have occurred for which no
           previous sin offering had been made.
        2) Does God's grace cleanse us of sins that we are unaware of committing?
        3) But what was the true purpose of such service?
        4) Did the sacrifices provide complete redemption?
        5) These questions are addressed in the next 3 verses.
        6) The purpose of all those rituals were symbolic.

8:   "The Holy Spirit is signifying this, that the way into the holy place has not yet
     been disclosed (revealed; made manifest) while the outer (first) tabernacle is still
     standing"

     1. This verse tells purpose of this restriction.
        1) The Holy Spirit, under whose influence Moses recorded these instructions,
           was signifying that the way into the "holiest of all" was not yet manifest.
        2) The way into the Holy of Holies wasn't available to the Israelites.
        3) There was no way into it while living under the old covenant.
        4) The first tabernacle had to perish before the way would be revealed.
        5) God had not yet given to mankind any satisfactory explanation of this.
        6) The Jews would not listen until it is done away.
        7) Therefore, the necessity of the second veil would be used to indicate that the
           way into heaven was not yet made manifest.

     2. The "holiest of all" was where God was considered to be present above the
        mercy seat.
        1) The veil separated this compartment from the rest of the tabernacle,
           signifying the BARRIER between man and God.
        2) The fact that no one could enter behind the veil (with the one yearly
           exception) symbolized the fact that rituals of the Law of Moses did NOT
           BREAK DOWN THE BARRIER between man and God.
        3) The means of access to God was not yet provided.
        4) Through the death of Christ, that barrier was REMOVED, for His death
           made access to God possible.
        5) Upon His death the veil in the temple was torn to indicate that fact
           (Matt 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45).

9:   “which is a symbol for the present time.”

     1. The tabernacle was a mere symbol and not the reality.

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       1) The tabernacle with all of its rites was a symbol of good things to come.
       2) Gal 3:24: The Law was regarded as a schoolmaster leading to Christ.
       3) The Law symbolized what eventually would occur when Christ came.
       4) The use of the present tense seems to indicate that the Temple with its
          furnishings (or most) and priestly actions were still in existence at the time
          the letter was written.
       5) Whether it was still standing or not, the ideas conveyed regarding "both
          gifts and sacrifices" ceremonially cleansing the Israelites is true.

    2. We don't know the final destiny of the ark, tablets of stone, altar, etc.
       1) Jewish tradition—Jeremiah took the tabernacle, ark, and altar to the top of
          Mt. Pisgah and hid them (2 Mac 2:1-8).
       2) Was the Holy of Holies empty or were the furnishings destroyed in 70 AD?
       3) (1 Kings 8:9; 1 Sam 4:11; 6:1).

    "cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience"

    1. The gifts and sacrifices could not cleanse the inner man.
       1) The symbolic service of the Old Covenant involved physical, ceremonial
          rituals.
       2) The priestly actions could only ceremonially cleanse the outward figure
          of the Israelite.
       3) These actions were only a SYMBOLIC PARDON of sins.

10: "since they relate only to food and drink and various washings, regulations for
    the body (Lit.-flesh)"

    1. Just as the sanctuary was "earthly", the ordinances were "fleshly".
       1) All of the rituals were designed to impact the physical side of man.
       2) His senses—sight, sound, smell, taste, touch.
       3) The burning of incense, blowing of trumpets, sacrifices, washings.
       4) This was the greatest weakness—didn't change hearts.

    2. Washings (baptismois) "a washing, purification affected by means of
       water" (Thayer).
       1) Some examples of the washings which were performed by immersing in
          water whatever was to be cleansed are: (over 20 in all)
       2) The whole body of the priest at the time of consecration (Ex 29:4).
       3) The healed leper (Lev 14:8-9).
       4) The body of the high priest on the Day of Atonement (Lev 16:4,24).
       5) One who had eaten the flesh of a diseased animal (Lev 17:15).
       6) The man who burned the red heifer (Num 19:7).
       7) The conductor of the scape-goat (Lev 16:26).

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"imposed until a time of reformation."

1. Such ordinances were designed to be temporary when changes in worship
   would be made (Matt 19:28; Acts 3:18-26; 1 Pet 1:20).
   1) During the time of the Old Covenant, God knew that Jesus would die for
      their sins, and on the basis of that fact, he granted forgiveness of sins
      (Ps 32:1; Isa 1:18).

2. Reformation: "straightening, correcting, amendment, (paying debts)".
   1) Putting right—bringing to a satisfactory state.
   2) The time when the real (new order) comes—time of the "New Covenant".
   3) The veil stood as a symbol of the fact that this provision for fellowship with
      God had not yet been made.
   4) Refers to the time Jesus would make men right with God through His
      priestly work.

3. The earthly sanctuary and its fleshly ordinances served God's purposes well.
   1) It revealed the terrible nature and high price of sin.
   2) It revealed the need for the shedding of blood to provide the remission of sin.
   3) It prepared people for the coming of the ultimate sacrifice and complete
      redemption.

4. But as useful as it was, it was temporary and symbolic.
   1) As a copy and shadow of what was to come it was designed to vanish away
      when what it represented came to pass.

5. Why would anyone ever wish to go back to the earthly sanctuary and its
   fleshly ordinances?
   1) Why do some people wish to introduce OT practices into the worship of
       the Lord's church?

6. John 4:24: Now God expects spiritual worship.
   1) Worship that is more in keeping with God's true nature (Spirit).
   2) Worship that focuses on the inner man. Singing, Lord's supper.
   3) Therefore we should not be surprised to learn that the early church did not
      simply institute the fleshly ordinances of the first covenant into their
      worship.

7. It can only be a failure to appreciate what we now have in Christ, and the kind
   of worshipers God now desires (John 4:23-24).
   1) Are we worshiping God the way He desires or by our personal desires?



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9:11-15: THE PRIESTLY WORK OF CHRIST VS. TABERNACLE RITUALS.

     The earthly sanctuary (9:1-10) is contrasted with the heavenly sanctuary
      (9:11-28).

11-14: A BETTER SACRIFICE

11: "But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He
    entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands,
    that is to say, not of this creation."

    1. The good things likely include the promises of Jer 31:31-34.
       1) Especially the one pertaining to forgiveness of sins.

    2. 24: It is "into heaven itself" that Christ has entered!
       1) He now appears in the "presence of God".
       2) Therefore "The Superior Sanctuary” is none other than heaven, where God
          dwells.

12: "and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He
    entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption."

    1. Christ's blood is contrasted with blood of animals.
       1) Animals were sacrificed without their consent—Christ consented.
       2) Animals were offered by others—Christ offered Himself.

    2. The blood of Christ makes our religion possible.
       1) There can be no religion without sacrifice.
       2) Purity is a costly thing; access to God demands purity.
       3) Man's sins must be atoned for—once for all! (7:27; 9:2).

13: For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who
    have been defiled, sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh"

    1. Sin-offerings; Day of Atonement.
       1) A red heifer was offered for purification from uncleanness due to contact
          with the dead (Num 19).

14: "how much more will the blood of Christ?"

    1. The legal, ceremonial cleansing that these produced was symbolic of the real
       spiritual cleansing to be effected by the blood of Christ.


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       1) If they served their purpose of cleansing ceremonially, how much more will
          the blood of Christ serve its purpose of cleansing inwardly?

    "who through the eternal Spirit (His eternal spirit) offered Himself without
    blemish to God"

    1. The phrase probably refers to the divine nature of Christ, rather than the Holy
       Spirit.
       1) The phrase heightens and intensifies the value of Christ's offering.
       2) The animal sacrifices had no will, no spirit of their own which could concur
          with the act of sacrifice.
       3) Theirs was a temporary and transitory life, of no potency or value.

    2. His decision to be a sacrifice for mankind was conscious, planned, and
       eternal—unbounded by conditions.
       1) Since God planned before the foundation of the world to save man through
          Christ (Eph 1:4; 3:10-11), then Christ in spirit (innermost, deepest self)—
          offered Himself before the foundation of the world.

    "cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"

    1. The spirit of man must come in contact with the blood of Christ.
       1) 1 Pet 3:21: Baptism is not a physical bath but a cleansing of the conscience.
       2) Baptism provided the path to Christ's blood.
       3) Lord's supper—weekly reminder—most precious moments on earth.

15: "And for this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant"

    1. We can't separate the new covenant from the blood of Christ.

    "in order that since a death has taken place for the redemption of the
    transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have
    been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance."

    1. His role as mediator of the New Covenant is not limited to those who lived
       after it became of force.
       1) His death covers not only sinners since His death, but also those who lived
           under the first covenant.
       2) It is His death that makes the eternal inheritance possible.
       3) In providing atonement for those before and after His death, Jesus has truly
           obtained eternal redemption.



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    2. The service rendered by its high priest certainly makes the "heavenly
       tabernacle" a superior one.
       1) The blood of Christ paid the FULL AND COMPLETE RANSOM.
       2) It cancelled even all the sins that had been committed by Israel in the past—
          what the first covenant failed to accomplish for them is what the mediator of
          the New Covenant did accomplish for them.

9:16-10:18: THE SACRIFICE OF CHRIST.

9:16-24: NECESSITY OF CHRIST’S DEATH

16-17: “For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who
    made it.” For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force
    while the one who made it lives.”

    1. The new covenant with its heavenly sanctuary is like a testament, requiring
       Jesus’ death for it to become effective.
       1) This is the reason that those who lived before the death of Christ did not
          have to meet the conditions of salvation set forth in the N.T.
       2) The thief who was saved on the cross did not have to meet these conditions,
          for he was saved before they became effective.
       3) Luke 7:50: Another example of forgiveness before the new covenant.

18-23: HOW THE DEDICATION OF THE TWO COVENANTS OCCURRED.

18: “Therefore even the first covenant was not inaugurated without blood.”

19-20:
    1. God chose to use blood to ratify the Old Covenant (Ex 24:3-8) in order to
       foreshadow or symbolize the fact that the blood of Christ would be necessary to
       make the New Covenant valid.
       1) “Hyssop” was probably used to sprinkle the blood and water.
       2) “Scarlet wool” may have been wrapped around the hyssop to absorb the
          blood and water that were sprinkled.

21-22:
    1. Blood was used for ceremonial purification under the Old Covenant.
       1) The tabernacle and its contents were material and could not be guilty of sin
          and in need of inward, spiritual cleansing.
       2) But because of their contact with sinful humanity, the tabernacle and its
          contents were considered ceremonially defiled by the sins of men and
          therefore in need of purification.
       3) This was to impress sinful men with their own guilt and need for purity.

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      2. Why was the blood chosen as a means of ceremonial cleansing?
         1) To foreshadow the fact that the blood of Christ would be necessary for
            spiritual cleansing.
         2) This blood could only cleanse the people externally—“no forgiveness.”
         3) It could not cleanse them internally.

23-24: The “heavenly things” required purification.
    1. The real things in heaven had to be cleansed with “better sacrifices”
       (quality) than animal sacrifices.
       1) Just as blood had to be shed in order for men to enter the tabernacle without
          defiling it, blood also had to be shed in order for us to have access to God in
          heaven.
       2) Rev 12:7-10: The accuser cast out.

25-28: DEATH WAS NECESSARY ONLY ONCE.

25: This is because of the sufficiency of His sacrifice.

26:
      1. Since men have sinned from “the foundation of the world”, if His sacrifice
         were not sufficient for all sins of all time, it would have been necessary for
         Christ to offer Himself from the foundation of the world, beginning then and
         repeating the sacrifice time and again through the ages.
         1) Instead, He appeared “once” to “put away sin” by His one-time offering.
         2) There is no need for the church to have something else to sacrifice.

27: This one-time sacrifice is consistent with the end of all men.
    1. Just as men “die once”, having no more time on earth before the
       “judgment”,

28: Christ was offered only “once to bear the sins of many.”
    1. When He comes again he will make no new offering for sin.
       1) He “shall appear a second time for salvation.”

      “to those who eagerly await for Him.”
      1. This is a tender and beautiful suggestion of the necessity of enduring trials on
         earth, Christians are directed to “wait it out,” never be discouraged, and endure
         to the end. If do not watch and pray—no salvation.




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              SEVERAL CONTRASTS SUMMARIZED

1.   The blood of animals as opposed to the blood of Christ.
2.   The fleshly nature of animals verses the eternal nature of the Son.
3.   Animals, without any knowledge of what was happening, offered by the priests in
     contrast to the Son who understandingly and willingly offered Himself.
4.   The application of animal blood effecting ceremonial cleansing while the blood of
     Christ cleanses inwardly and spiritually.
5.   The frequent sacrifices of the earthly priests contrasted to the one sacrifice of
     Christ.


                          SURVEY OF HEBREWS 1-9
               (EX: seeing lots of things before reaching destination)

Ch 1: Go through a park and see a castle.
      1) See the king's house=Pictures of angels, prophets
      2) King's throne=Authority.

Ch 2: Come to a field of huge warning signs outside the park.
      1) Take heed—beware—don't drift—Christ has been down this road.

Ch 3: Come to the house of Moses.
      1) Around it is a cemetery—head stones—hard hearts.

Ch 4-5: Go outside the gate of cemetery to a house.
       1) In the house is a book—profitable if listen.

Ch 6: See a little house and go in it.
      1) See things of comfort—hanging on walls=signs that give hope.

Ch 7: Next you come to a big house. More than just a house—castle (temple).
      1) Magnificent mansion of Melchizedek.

Ch 8: Two houses=old and new covenant.

Ch 9: Museum of the old temple, furniture, covenant, etc.

         All leading up to one thing—SACRIFICE—through it—HOPE!




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                                Study Questions
                                     Hebrews Nine

1.   What was the purpose of:
     1) The lampstand?
     2) The table?
     3) The showbread?

2.   Into what two main parts was the tabernacle divided and what separated them?

3.   What was inside the ark of the covenant? What was on top of the ark?

4.   How often did the high priest enter the Holy of Holies (Most Holy Place)?

5.   The Holy of Holies was symbolic of what?

6.   What did the Holy Spirit indicate (reveal)?
     How?

7.   What was concerned with “food and drink and various washings, regulations for
     the body”?

8.   What is “the greater and more perfect tabernacle”?

9.   How did Christ enter the Holy of Holies?

10. How did Christ offer Himself “through the eternal Spirit”?

11. How did those under the old law “receive the promise of the eternal inheritance”?

12. When is a covenant in force?
    How much power does it have before then?
    How were the two covenants dedicated?

13. According to the law, how many things were to be “cleansed with blood”?

14. What are “the copies of the things in the heavens”?

15. Where did Christ enter?
    How often will He visit there?

16. What did Christ “put away” by His sacrifice?

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17. What are “the copies of the things in the heavens”?

18. Where did Christ enter with His blood?

19. What is “the consummation (end) of the ages” in this context?

20. What happens after our death?

21. How many times will Christ “bear the sins of many”?

22. Who are those “who eagerly wait for Him”?

23. How will Christ “appear a (the) second time”?




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                                 HEBREWS TEN
               THE BETTER SACRIFICE AND A NEED FOR FAITH

                        SUMMARY OF HEBREWS TEN

    In showing the superiority of the new covenant, we have seen the author discuss:
        1. The better promises (8:7-13).
        2. The better tabernacle (9:1-28).

     The author now reaches a climax in his discussion with a look at “THE BETTER
SACRIFICE.” Not that he hasn’t already mentioned it (7:26-27; 9:11-14, 24-26), but
now there is a contrast to the old covenant sacrifices in the clearest of terms. The writer
continues in chapter 10 to identify ways in which the sacrifice of Jesus is superior. The
Jewish sacrificial system dealt only with types and shadows of the true spiritual realities
(10:1). The endless repetition of sacrifices made under Mosaic Law is proof they could
not perfect the worshiper. If otherwise, these sacrifices would “not have ceased to be
offered” (10:2-4). But Christ’s offering of a single sacrifice is proof that He makes men
holy (10:5-10). Thus a better offering, as has been prophesied (Ps 40), was prepared as
a body was “prepared” for Christ, in which to dwell and die (10:4-8). And likewise,
with this superior sacrifice, Christ took away the “first” law with its inadequate
offerings and established a “second” law (10:9).

      The sacrifice of Christ is also final (10:10). After making one sacrifice, Jesus sat
down at God’s right hand, signifying that His work was finished (10:11-14; John 17:1-
4). There is no need to stand “daily ministering and offering time after time the same
sacrifices” as He waits for “His enemies to be made a footstool for His feet” (last
enemy will be death, 1 Cor 15:25-26). By this “one offering” He has “perfected for
all time (forever) those that are sanctified.” Scripture adds testimony (Jer 31:31-34),
emphasizing once again by reminding us of a new law which promised that under the
new covenant sins are forgiven (final and complete pardon, 10:15-17). Once they are
truly forgiven, sacrifices of animals are no longer required (10:18).

     The writer pauses a fifth time to urge his readers to draw confidence from Christ’s
High Priesthood and to “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering”
(10:19-25) [drifting—2:1; unbelief—3:7-13; disobedience—4:11-13; neglect—5:11-
14]. To insure a strong faith they are to consider and encourage “one another to love
and good works, not forsaking our own (their) assembling together” because the day
of trial was “drawing near.” Terrible consequences (apostasy) await anyone who
refuses to respond to God’s saving act in Christ’s one-time blood offering (10:26-31).

   The writer knows his audience has made a better choice as exhibited in their
commitment to Christ despite persecution, prison, and confiscation of property.
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Therefore he urges them to recall their former faithfulness under times of trial and, thus,
not cast away their boldness which will have great reward. They are exhorted to have
patience and be among those who, with faith, wait for the “preserving of the soul”, and
not among those who “shrink back to destruction” (10:32-39).

10:1-4: THE SUPERIOR SACRIFICE: IT’S NEED.

      Iterates the concept of imperfect animal sacrifice verses perfect human
       sacrifice.

1-2: ANIMAL SACRIFICES DID NOT PROVIDE TRUE REMISSION OF SIN.

1:   “For the Law”: Not limited to certain types of offerings and sacrifices.

     “since it has only a shadow…and not the very form (image) of things”

     1. A sharp contrast is being drawn between the old and new covenant.
        1) EX: A man’s shadow reveals less than the real image of him.
        2) The Law was a shadow compared to the knowledge of God available in the
           new covenant.

     “of the good things to come”

     1. Includes such things as:
        1) A better high priest
        2) The better hope
        3) A better mediator, better covenant, better promises (8:6).
        4) His better sacrifice
        5) The eternal redemption (9:12) and the eternal inheritance (9:15).

     2. The Law is a pale shadow of the blessings which are to come with the New
        Covenant.
        1) Its gifts and sacrifices symbolized what Jesus would actually do (9:11-12,
           24).
        2) The Law of Moses had only a shadow of the good things toward which it
           was designed to lead.

     “can never by the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually,
     make perfect those who draw near.”

     1. They were a faint resemblance to the sacrifice of Christ by which sins can be
        forgiven.
        1) They could not take away sin so as to make the offerers perfect.
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        2) They only symbolized or foreshadowed the sacrifice that could.

     2. “Drawing near” is the purpose of true religion—restoring man to God.
        1) The Law actually demonstrated SEPARATION.
        2) It was limited to rare occasions.

2:   “Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered,”

     1. The inadequacy of the sacrifices is proved by their repetition.
        1) The sacrifices were actually bearing witness that the perfect sacrifice had not
           yet occurred.

     “because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had
     consciousness of sins?”

     1. If the sacrifices had cleansed man, man would not feel guilty for their sins.
        1) The repetitive nature of the sacrifices prevented this.
        2) These are difficult words to reconcile.
        3) Should we still feel guilty after we have sinned and asked God for
            forgiveness? Why should we continue to feel guilty?

     2. “Conscience” in the New Testament is the translation of a Greek word
        derived from a verb that means ‘to know with.’
        1) This suggests a moral consciousness which compares an action with a
           standard.
        2) God is the Creator and Sustainer of all things.
        3) God judges persons by His standards as revealed in Jesus Christ.
        4) These standards are reflection in His creation and especially in persons who
           are morally responsible because of their capacity of choice.
        5) The conscience is a person’s painful reaction to a past which does not meet
           the standard.

     3. If past actions have not been such as to produce painful reactions, the
        person is said to have a “clear (pure) conscience” (1 Tim 3:9; 2 Tim 1:3).
        1) When sensitive and active in judging past acts, the conscience is said to be
           “good” (Acts 23:1; 1 Tim 1:5, 19; 1 Pet 3:16, 21; Heb 13:18).
        2) Or “blameless conscience” (Acts 24:16).

     4. If the conscience is not active in judging past acts, it is said to be “weak”
        (1 Cor 8:7, 10, 12) and may be wounded (1 Cor 8:12).
        1) When the conscience is insensitive, it is “seared” (1 Tim 4:2).
        2) The sinful conscience is “defiled” (Tit 1:15) or “evil” Heb 10:22).


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     5. One’s conscience is the source to determine whether the will of God has been
        obeyed.
        1) When the will of God is obeyed there will not be any guilt.
        2) But when there is guilt (God’s will has not been obeyed), one may ask
           forgiveness and know that his conscience is again clean.
        3) A good conscience means one has met the standards prescribed by God, but
           a guilty conscience means one recognizes that one has not met the standards
           implemented by God.

3-4: ANIMAL SACRIFICES PROVIDED A REMINDER OF SIN

3:   “But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year.”

     1. The constant sacrifices reminded them of their sin and need for cleansing.
        1) The sacrifices offered on the Day of Atonement were not merely for the
           sins for which no sacrifice had been offered, but for ALL PAST SINS.
        2) They reminded the people that their sins had not been taken care of.
        3) The sacrifice necessary for their removal still had not yet been offered.
        4) EX: debt at the bank comes due every year—can’t pay—come back next
           year—one day they go in and banker says—debt has been paid in full.

     2. Sins were not actually forgiven through all those centuries (10:5-19).
        1) They were remembered, both by God and by man, awaiting and anticipating
           the shedding of the blood of Jesus, by whose death and blood men could be
           completely forgiven (Rom 3:24-26; 5:8-9).

     3. Lord’s Supper: “Do this in remembrance of Me.”
        1) We are not to call to mind our past sins.

4:   “For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.”

     1. Their purpose was to impress upon the people their need, and to
        foreshadow what would one day be accomplished in Christ.
        1) The sacrifices of the OT accomplished their purpose.
        2) They served as a “shadow of the good things to come.”
        3) It should be obvious that the life of a dumb bull or goat could not possibly be
           an adequate price for all the sins of men.




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10:5-9: THE SUPERIOR SACRIFICE: ITS PROVISION.

5-6: IT WAS PROVIDED BY GOD.
     “Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, Sacrifice and offering Thou
     hast not desired, but a body Thou hast prepared for Me; in whole burnt offerings
     and sacrifices for sin Thou hast taken no pleasure.”

    1. The sacrifices did not meet God’s ultimate desire.
       1) But what did meet God’s desire, God provided Himself—a body.

    2. From Ps 40:6-8, we see the attitude of Christ when He came into the
       world.
       1) Jesus came to do what these sacrifices could not.

10:7-9: AS PROPHESIED, IT WAS FREELY OFFERED BY CHRIST.

    “Then I said, Behold I have come (in the role of the book it is written of Me) to
    do Thy will, O God.”

    1. Jesus satisfied God’s requirement. Note the striking difference.
       1) Animal sacrifices were offered by others against their will.
       2) Jesus freely offered Himself in accordance with His Father’s will.

    “He takes away the first in order to establish the second.”

    1. In doing the will of His Father, Jesus has taken away the first covenant,
       making it possible to establish the second covenant, of which He is a
       mediator (9:15).

10:10-18: THE SUPERIOR SACRIFICE: ITS ALL-SUFFICIENCY

10: IT PROVIDES TRUE SANCTIFICATION.

    “By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus
    Christ”

    1. The author of Hebrews must move his readers past the issue of animal
       sacrifices.
       1) Only a perfect, human sacrifice will do to satisfy God.
       2) Why? To please God, thus taking away sin.
       3) We are HOLY because of the will of God.



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2. Disobedience, self-will, rebellion sets up a barrier that no animal sacrifice can
   ever take away.
   1) That is why Jesus is the perfect sacrifice—He perfectly did God’s will.
   2) He took Himself—His body—said to God: “Do with Me as You will, Your
      will be done!” “I have come to do Thy will” (10:9).

3. The only sacrifice God desires from man is obedience.
   1) In its essence sacrifice is a noble thing.
   2) Sacrifice meant that the offerer was taking something that was precious or
      valuable to him and giving it to God to show his love and devotion.
   3) But human nature being what it is, the idea of sacrifice degenerated into
      thinking that it was a way of BUYING the forgiveness of God.

4. What if the Israelites had not offered the sacrifices? Would they have been
   in a proper obedient condition toward God? ANS: “NO!”
   1) No, If we believe what God has said about obedience.
   2) Had they not obeyed they would not have had the blood of Jesus applied
       when He died.

5. The perfect compliance with divine law as required by the Eternal God has
   been provided in the person (body) of Christ whose marvelous obedience is on
   behalf of all men.
   1) Through man’s obedience of the truth of the gospel, and upon his being
      baptized into Christ, one is added to the spiritual BODY of Christ and
      becomes a beneficiary of the PERFECT OBEDIENCE of the Son of God.

“once for all” (could be more correctly translated, “once, in conclusion.”

1. The Greek word hapax means once, without need or possibility of repetition.
   1) The same word is used in 9:26 to say that Christ manifested Himself in
      human form ONCE.

2. The author is demanding that there is no reason to continue animal sacrifices.
   1) Christ ended the sacrifices when He gave Himself once for all as a sacrifice.
   2) The point is that no animal sacrifice was good enough.
   3) Only a perfect human sacrifice was sufficient.




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10:11-12: A SERIES OF CONTRASTS BETWEEN THE LEVITICAL PRIESTS
          AND JESUS CHRIST.

           verse 11                       verse 12
           “every priest”                 “He” (this man)
           “stands”                       “sat down”
           “daily” (repeatedly)           “offered one…for all time”
           “sacrifices” (plural)          “sacrifice” (singular-one perfect sac.)
           “can never take away sins”     “sacrifice for sins”
           “stands”: as servants—daily.
           “sat down”: As king-priest—enthroned as a ruler.

    1. Christ’s sacrificial work is done.
       1) But we should understand that Christ has not ceased “working” for He still
          intercedes, reigns, sustains all things by the word of His power, etc.
       2) EX: If a disease has been once thoroughly eradicated from the system, there
          is no further need of medicine.

13: “waiting”: patiently-until the destruction of the final enemy—death (1 Cor 15:26).

14: “perfected”: In Hebrews means “made exactly right for the job or deed.”
    “for all time (forever)”: Satisfy all our spiritual needs forever.
    “those who are (being) sanctified”: present tense.

    1. Sanctification is also an on-going process (2:11).
       1) As we obey—we grow—continuous forgiveness.

15: “And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us”

    1. Note the various functions of the Godhead in the past few verses:
       1) 9: The will of God.
       2) 12: The work of Christ.
       3) And the witness of the Spirit—(2:2-4)—new covenant is true.

16: The Holy Spirit attested to the power of Jesus’ once for all sacrifice.

    1. Wright gives an enlightening comment:
       “This new covenant was not to be engraved upon tables of stone and treasured
       within the Ark of the Covenant in the Most Holy Place before God. The new
       covenant must be engraved upon the tables of our hearts and minds; it must be
       treasured within the sanctuary of our lives and become the heart beat of our very
       existence. Each child of God becomes that ark of the covenant; overlaid with
       pure gold within and without; dwelling always (not in reality, but in spirit)

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       within the golden confines of the Most Holy Place of God’s grace where every
       phase of our existence is motivated by the presence of God Himself.”

17: “And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

    1. Sins which men themselves refuse to (cannot) forget, God will forget.

18: “Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering
    for sin.”

    1. With true remission (to send away) of sins, there is no need for repeated
       sacrifices for sin.
       1) “The Mass”—Repeating the sacrifice of Christ’s body—Explain this verse!
       2) It cannot be affirmed that the body of Christ is offered in the mass, unless it
          can be said that, as often as it is offered, “Christ has suffered death”—for
          9:25-26 clearly says that if Christ offered Himself often “he needed to suffer
          often since the foundation of the world.”

10:19-25: “LET US”: A GRACIOUS EXHORTATION.
          A NEW AND LIVING WAY.

    1. Having discussed the ability of Christ’s sacrifice to satisfy all our spiritual
       needs, the writer exhorts to move Christians to the proper response.
       1) Christians should ever rejoice that the way into the holiest of all is now made
          manifest.
       2) We know that our sins are forgiven for all time.
       3) The only remaining question for us to answer is—will we remain faithful to
          the end?
       4) This is the subject to which the writer now turns.

10:19-22: LET US DRAW NEAR TO GOD.

19: “Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence (boldness) to enter the holy place
    by the blood of Jesus.”

    1. The type of confidence that a child has toward his father.
       1) The child knows that his father is superior (authority and power).
       2) EX: The child knows he can ask for anything.




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20: “by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is
    His flesh”

    1. Eventually, we can personally enter the Holy of Holies where Christ has
       entered (9:11-12)—into the presence of God Himself (9:24).
       1) Christ has provided through His death a new and living way by which we
          can approach God through Christ’s flesh, which is likened to the veil of the
          tabernacle.
       2) Just as the veil had to be opened in order for one to enter the Holy of Holies
          in the tabernacle, Christ’s flesh had to be rent asunder on the cross in order
          for men to have access to God in heaven.

    2. Living: never dead—life—power and vitality available to us.
       1) The living God takes an active role in our lives if we let Him.
       2) New: We can now come before His throne in prayer and praise.

21: “and since we have a great priest over the house of God”

    1. How many ways is Christ great? Summarizing—great in every way.
       1) Church (1 Tim 3:15; Eph 2:17-22; Matt 18:20).

22: “let us draw near”

    1. On the basis of 2 facts:
       1) 19-20: Christ provided through His death a new and living way.
       2) 21: We have a great priest over the house of God.

    “with a sincere (true) heart” (10:16; Luke 8:4-15).

    1. No insincere person or hypocrite can draw near to God (Prov 4:23).

    “in full assurance of faith”

    1. We can if we know that we have been cleansed by the blood of Christ.
       1) God has shown what He thinks of me (Rom 5:8).
       2) Fullness of faith is enough to be saved (Jas 2:14-26).

    “having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies
    washed with pure water.”

    1. Why we are now in a condition to draw near to God.
       1) Literal blood was sprinkled to produce ceremonial (outward) purification
          under the Old Covenant (shadow).

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       2) Similarly, the blood of Christ, figuratively speaking, has been applied to
          (what part was cleansed?) our hearts to produce spiritual (inward)
          purification so that our consciences are clear.
       3) WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN? (1 Pet 3:21; Acts 22:16; Eph 5:26).

    2. Pure: plain water.
       1) Why not add anything to water? Power is in the blood!

10:23: LET US HOLD FAST OUR HOPE.

    “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope”

    1. Hold fast means that there is no room for giving in or giving up.
       1) The Hebrew Christians were in a spiritual battle.

    2. What is the one hope? Heaven.
       1) If you believe that—don’t deviate.

    “without wavering”

    1. Standing on a fence—could fall either way—not sure—doubts.
       1) Other words in Hebrews—drift (2:1); unbelieving (3:12); neglect (5:12);
          sluggish (6:12); forsaking (10:25).

    “for He who promised is faithful”

    1. God is faithful to keep His promises, so we will not be disappointed if we
       remain faithful to Him.

10:24-25: LET US CONSIDER ONE ANOTHER.

24: “and let us consider how to”: Give thought to, reflect.

    “stimulate one another”: Stir up; provoke—turn negative to positive.

    1. There is another dimension to fellowship—one another.
       1) The exhorting in not only exhorting one another to assemble, but exhorting
          one another IN THE ASSEMBLY!
       2) The strength of our faith and the steadfastness of our hope is dependent
          upon the encouragement we give and receive from one another.
       3) MUTUAL ENCOURAGEMENT—WE NEED EACH OTHER.



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    “to love and good deeds (works)” (1 Cor 15:58).

    1. Can this be fulfilled when absent?
       1) We are commanded to encourage one another in the assembly.

25: “not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit (custom) of some”

    1. Forsake—Jesus on the cross—left, abandoned, deserted.
       1) “Do or carry on something in a negligent manner.” (Arndt, p.215)
       2) It is a relative term—an unspecified period of time (weekly, monthly) or
          periodically NEGLECTING AND FORSAKING the assembly.
       3) EX: Father forsaking (neglecting his family every other week or monthly;
          also apply to the Sabbath).

    2. Opposite—not leave, not to turn back— but encouraging one another.
       1) Be diligent to assemble.
       2) Its use is determined by the context (Isa 53:3; 54:6-7; 62:4, 12).
       3) It is like the word “forever”—unspecified period of time—determined by the
          context (Jonah 2:6).

    3. Some had the habit of not attending regularly—why?
       1) Persecution, unbelief, neglect, drifting, sluggish, wavering=discouraged.
       2) Some give lesser reasons than that today! Too busy, too tired,

    “but encouraging one another”

    1. We can’t receive the benefits from assembling when absent.
       1) If not encouraged—spiritual problem—(John 4:24)—must remove it.
       2) We come not to be entertained but to participate in, add something to the
          overall atmosphere, and to edification of others, as well as being edified
          ourselves.

    2. Why do we assemble? What is accomplished through frequent assemblies?
       1) 22: To draw near to God. Worship Him—Confidence.
       2) 23: To hold fast the confession of our hope (Jas 1:5-8).
       3) 24: To stimulate one another to love and good deeds.
       4) 25: To encourage one another. (can’t get stronger by being away).

    “and all the more, as you see the day drawing near (approaching)” (8:13).

    1. It appears this day was approaching in the near future—destruction of
       Jerusalem in 70 AD.


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       1) Certainly such an event would call for encouragement through frequent
          assemblies.
       2) Matt 24: It was a terrible judgment against rebellious, unbelieving Jews.
       3) And these Hebrew Christians, because of the warning signs—see the day
          drawing near (approaching).

    2. Some suggest that the day refers to the Judgment Day at the Second Coming.
       1) This view also fits the context of Heb 9:27-28; 10:27, 37.
       2) But did they see the Judgment Day drawing near?
       3) Of course, it is always vital to remain faithful in view of the final judgment.

    3. The main point is to appreciate the value and necessity of our assemblies, and
       that forsaking them is indicative of apostasy!
       1) If we truly appreciate the blessings we now have in Christ, we will do all that
          we can to draw closer to God, hold fast that hope which we confess, and
          utilize the opportunities we have by assembling—to encourage one
          another in love and good works!
       2) In the time we have left on earth, it is surely our duty to do all the good we
          can to all the people we can in all the ways we can.

10:26-31: WARNING OF JUDGMENT ON THOSE WHO FAIL TO HOLD
          FAST: A WARNING AGAINST WILLFUL SIN.

    1. This is a very serious section of Hebrews.
       1) It contains a severe warning to those Christians who turn their back on
          Christ.
       2) This section further (6:4-6) refutes the false doctrine of “once saved, always
          saved”—A Christian cannot so sin to the point of being eternally lost. If
          they do so sin, God will intervene and take their life to prevent it from
          happening.

10:26-27: THE CONSEQUENCES OF “WILLFUL SIN”.

26: “For if we go on sinning willfully (deliberately keep on sinning”-NIV).

    1. Can a true Christian ever reach this point and receive the consequences?
       1) Note the pronoun “we”: The author includes himself in the warning.


    2. Num 15:27-29: Remember the writer also said that the Levitical sin offering
       was for the sin of ignorance.
       1) Num 15:30-31: When one persists is sin “defiantly (presumptuously)” with
          (Lit., “a high hand”)—they are in grave danger.

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       2) This is especially true when one is a Christian!

    3. The sense of the Greek is one of repeated action…
       1) Implying not an “act” of sin, but a “state” of sin—Deliberate and intentional.
       2) All Christians have moments of weakness, or ignorantly sin (1 John 1:8-
          10).

    “after receiving the knowledge of the truth”

    1. This knowledge doesn’t mean just gathering and conserving more facts.
       1) It means the acceptance of the facts as the foundation of life—actions.
       2) It is a “state” in which one knows the truth, yet chooses to deliberately and
          continuously persist in sin!

 (1) “there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins”

    1. What sacrifice? Christ’s sacrifice.
       1) By rejecting Christ’s sacrifice as a means of salvation, this person has
          rejected the only means of salvation.
       2) The blood of Christ is no longer available for one who persists in “willful
          sin”!

    2. It does not mean that one cannot return to God with repentance.
       1) It does mean that there won’t be another sacrifice to take away sin in the
           world.
       2) The writer did not say there would be no further opportunity or possibility
           for repentance, but that God would make no other sacrifice for sin.
       3) Heb 6:4: He means that after leaving Judaism (world), coming to Christ, and
           then returning to Judaism (world) it will be nearly impossible for them to
           break away from Judaism again.

    3. These truths included what the writer just mentioned in 10:19-25.
       1) When we forsake meeting together we enter into apostasy.
       2) When we fail to stimulate others to love and good works by our fellowship
          and brotherly love, we also have become sinners.
       3) It is possible to abandon Christ in spirit but not yet totally in body.

10:27: THAT WHICH DOES REMAIN.

 (2) “but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment”

    1. Judgment is certain (9:27) and terrifying (fearful).


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    “and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries” (1 Cor 16:9-many
    adversaries).

    1. As long as one continues to reject Christ, all he can expect is God’s fiery
       judgment.
       1) Refers to eternal fire (Mark 9:43-48; Matt 25:46).
       2) Literal? Recall the burning bush and Daniel’s 3 friends.
       3) If figurative—literal torment just the same (29).

    2. God uses 2 types of motivation. We use them with raising children.
       1) Reward
       2) Punishment—reject Christ’s one sacrifice—What else could God send that
          one might accept?

10:28-31: THE JUSTIFICATION FOR PUNISHING “WILLFUL SIN”.

10:28: WHAT WAS REQUIRED UNDER THE OLD COVENANT.
    “Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses died without mercy on the
    testimony of two or three witnesses.”

    1. This was the punishment for sinning willfully in which one rejected Moses’
       law” (NKJV).
       1) This sin was seen by 2 or more witnesses--“open shame” (6:6).
       2) It was a sin with “a high hand”—deliberate and intentional.

    2. While there was mercy for sins of weakness or ignorance, there was none for
       open and deliberate sin under the Old Covenant.
       1) Worshiping another god—Stoned to death—kill him—get him out of the
          group.
       2) Don’t just run him off—destroy him physically.
       3) Brains falling out, etc.—ugly picture—no mercy—got what he deserved.

10:29: WHAT IS REQUIRED UNDER THE NEW COVENANT.

29: “how much severer punishment do you think he will deserve”

    1. What could be worse than physical death? Only “fury of a fire” (27).
       1) Those that rejected Moses’ law died without mercy.
       2) Surely, one who rejects the Son of God is worthy of greater punishment.

 (1) “who has trampled under foot the Son of God”

    1. Trampled (katapateo) denotes contempt of the most flagrant kind.

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      1) Such a person treats Jesus who died for him like dirt!
      2) If those under the first covenant were stoned for worshiping an idol, how
         much more will be the punishment administered by God for walking on
         Jesus?

(2) “and has regarded as unclean (a common thing) the blood of the covenant by
    which he was sanctified”

   1. Refers to one who has been washed with the blood of Christ and then later
      rejects it—fairy tale.
      1) Rejects its holy purpose and considers it of no more value than the blood of
          an ordinary person.

(3) “and has insulted (had done despite to) the Spirit of grace”

   1. To insult with egotism. Probably refers to the Holy Spirit…
      1) Through whom the message of salvation was given (John 16:13-14).
      2) Through whom our sanctification takes place (1 Cor 6:11; Tit 3:5-7).
      3) Treating the Holy Spirit with spite and disdain by spurning His efforts
         toward our salvation.
      4) Or perhaps referring to the spirit (disposition) of God’s unmerited favor.
          Either way, a person who openly and deliberately sins “insults” God’s
            grace.

   2. This passage clearly teaches…
      1) That a Christian can so sin as to reach this point of open rebellion against
         Jesus!
      2) That the punishment reserved for such is “worse than death”!

   3. Deliberately sinning may be equated to abandonment (apostasy), the leaving of
      God for another god. The writer gives 3 definitions of sin:
      1) Sin is to trample the Son of God under foot.
      2) Sin is not seeing the sacredness of sacred things—Blood of Christ.
      3) Sin is an insult to the Holy Spirit.
          Sin then “is not disobedience to an impersonal law, but the wrecking of a
            personal relationship.
          When a person leaves the Lord—he is guilty of all 3 sins.

   4. To understand this warning, consider the sins of the people to whom this letter
      is addressed.
      1) 2:1-2: Willful neglect of duty—drifting—wavering—doubts.
      2) 5:11-12: Lack of effort in Bible study—Is it right to be diligent in study?
          (2 Tim 2:15).
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            Marks of immaturity—dull of hearing, not teaching, only milk, not
              discerning.
        3) Forsaking the assembly—Lord’s Supper—blood is less important than
           recreation.
        4) Tendency to revert back to the old ways.
            They all go together—if guilty of one then probably guilty of all.

    5. These are not the sins of scoundrels but of nice people.
       1) Nice people who don’t realize their indifference was not a minor departure
          but a major departure from the path of duty.
       2) They didn’t realize their wrongs were serious.
       3) Excuses are plentiful when think these are minor sins or not sins at all.
       4) This would offend those who didn’t want to heed warning signs.

10:30-31: THIS IS CONSISTENT WITH GOD’S NATURE.

30: “For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.’ And again,
    ‘The Lord will judge His people.’”

    1. Rom 12:19: Paul quotes Deut 32:35-37 in his own words.
       1) Here in Hebrews the same words (own) are used.

    2. The God of the OT is the same God of the N.T. (Rom 1:22).
       1) God is angry with the wicked every day.
       2) The final destruction of everything evil is part of God’s eternal plan.
       3) Rom 12:19; 1 Thes 4:6: The Lord is the avenger—judge His people.
       4) God can easily handle the difficult task of punishing the sinner.
       5) He demands justice when He is insulted—receive their just due.
       6) Those who despise His love, set themselves up to be recipients of His wrath
          (Rom 1:27; 2:4-6).

31: “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

    1. Living God is used 3 other times in Hebrews.
       1) God’s punishment is certain and to be feared because it is severe!

10:32-39: THE SOLUTION TO AVOID “WILLFUL SIN”.
          ENCOURAGEMENT NOT TO DRAW BACK.

    1. The writer has been very severe with his readers to this point.
       1) He is now going to encourage and comfort them.



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32: “But remember the former days, when after being enlightened, you endured a
    great conflict of sufferings”

    1. Shortly after their conversion.
       1) In the days of Justin (ca. 167 AD), the term enlightened (illuminated) was a
          synonym for baptism.
       2) Could be the result of Stephen’s stoning (Acts 8:4)—scattered.
       3) Remember from Pentecost to now.

    2. The writer reminds them of their bravery in the face of torment.
       1) He reminds them of their past faithfulness when they had endured many
          afflictions.
       2) They had passed through many afflictions already.

33: “partly, by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations,
    and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated.”

    1. They were told it would happen. It won’t be all smooth sailing.
       1) They had a HEROIC FAITH—against every insult, slur, lie, curse, never
          deviating or turning back.
       2) One must be especially strong to withstand public accusations.
       3) They not only endured personal insults but they “willingly” identified
          themselves with any of their brethren who endured suffering.

34: “For you showed sympathy to the prisoners, and accepted joyfully the seizure of
    your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and an
    abiding one.”

    1. They endangered themselves by associating with and “willingness” to help
       others who were mistreated, and had their property seized.
       1) Matt 5:12; Luke 10:20: The church was important to them.
       2) Their attitude and actions generated a respect by the rest of the world.

    2. Why did they do all this?
       1) Knowing they had better blessings under the new covenant.
       2) Refers to the eternal rewards.
       3) Col 3:2: Their minds were constantly thinking about heaven.
       4) What we think about is where we will spend our time.

35: “Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.”

    1. To throw away is the opposite of hold fast.
       1) It would be a shame to give up right before the reward.

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36: “For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God,
    you may receive what was promised.”

    1. How did they get recharged when the flame flickers or dies out?
       1) Start or keep doing the will of God.
       2) Likewise, we need to keep or rekindle the fire of that new found faith we had
          when we first responded to the gospel (Rev 2:4-5).

    2. Victory of faith is not attained by one great act, but a life of patient and
       faithful service.
       1) The glory is not in the start of the race but glory in the faithful finish.

37: “For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay.”

    1. Perhaps they misunderstood by thinking that Christ’s return was delayed
       (2 Pet 3:3-4).
       1) It is quite possible that the reference is not to His coming for the final
          judgment, but to His coming in judgment on Jerusalem (8:13).
       2) God’s judgment upon cities or nations was sometimes described as a
          “coming” (Isa 19:1).

38: “But My righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, My soul has no
    pleasure in Him.” (Hab 2:4)

    1. When the Lord comes in judgment or at His second coming, those who live
       have faith and are thereby justified will live—spared condemnation.
       1) The one who draws back will incur God’s wrath.

39: “But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have
    faith to the preserving of the soul.”

    1. This expresses the writer's own confidence as well as confidence in the Hebrew
       Christians.
       1) They are encouraged to remain faithful to the end (Rev 2:10).
       2) The choice is ours as to which group we put ourselves.
       3) The best things come through effort.

    2. Let us not get our business and the Lord’s business mixed up.
       1) Man wants God’s job—when to send Christ, come in judgment.
       2) Man wants to give the Lord their job—blame God for their failures.




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                               Study Questions
                                      Hebrews 10

1.   What was the law a “shadow” of?

2.   What did the O.T. sacrifices remind the worshipers of?

3.   What was not possible with the blood of bulls and goats?

4.   What did the Father prepare for Christ?

5.   Did God have “pleasure” in “burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin.”

6.   What did Christ come to this world to do?

7.   What did Christ take away?
     What did He establish?

8.   Since the O.T. sacrifices could not removes sins, why were they offered?

9.   What did Christ do after He made His sacrifice?
     Why?

10. What is Christ waiting for right now?

11. How does the Holy Spirit “witness” to us?

12. How do we enter the “holy place”?
    With what attitude do we enter?

13. What is the “veil” spoken of in verse 20?

14. How are our hearts “sprinkled from an evil conscience”?

15. How are our bodies “washed with pure water”?

16. What are we to “hold fast”?

17. How can we “stir up love and good works” in others?

18. What is “the Day” spoken of in verse 25?

19. If we sin willfully, what do we have to look forward to?
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20. What happened to those who rejected the word of Moses?

21. Those who sin willfully are guilty of what 3 things?
    1)
    2)
    3)

22. Why is it “a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” ?

23. What are the “former days” spoken of in verse 32?

24. Define the word “spectacle” as used in verse 33?

25. Who is the one “who is coming” and “will not delay (tarry)”?
    What does this mean?

26. Who are those who “shrink (draw) back to destruction (perdition)”?




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                              HEBREWS ELEVEN
                           FAITH THAT: PLEASES GOD,
                           EMBRACES THE PROMISES,
                          AND OVERCOMES THE WORLD

                    SUMMARY OF HEBREWS ELEVEN

      The main concern in this letter is that Christians remain strong in the “faith.” The
writer warned them of the danger of developing “an evil, unbelieving heart” (3:12). It
was the lack of faith that destroyed Israel in the wilderness (3:16-19). In chapter 10,
we saw an exhortation to “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith”
(10:22), and an admonition to have that faith which endures to the end (10:35-39). But
one might ask, what is this “faith” which leads “to the saving of the soul”? How does
this faith manifest itself in the lives of those who possess it?

     In chapter 11, we find the answer to such questions—with a definition of faith
(11:1), with a mention of how necessary faith is to please God (11:6), and with
examples of O.T. saints who demonstrated saving faith (11:3-40). In and through faith
the “men of old” knew of God’s will and ways. This becomes the theme of the entire
chapter as the writer proceeds to give examples of the influence of faith. These
examples of faith are a concise account of O.T. history.

     The writer states that these of old “died in faith without receiving the promises”
but merely “welcomed them from a distance” (11:13-16). Their actions of faith “make
it clear that they are seeking a country of their own…a better country, that is, a
heavenly one”, knowing that “God…has prepared a city for them.”

      “All of these” (11:39-40) were informed that God had not fulfilled their promises
yet—(“did not receive what was promised”)—but had “provided something better for
us”—(under the new covenant), “that apart from us they should not be made perfect.”
All the men and women of faith in this chapter obtained a good report by their faith, as
God approved and commended them. However, the promises of Christ and His
provisions for our salvation were not fulfilled in their day. God had something
BETTER in store for us—namely, the fulfillment of the promise, the blessing of the
gospel made possible by the death of Christ. Hence, the faithful of past ages could not
be perfected apart from us. This means that they receive their perfection, the
completion of their salvation, through the work of Christ, along with us! They could not
receive it apart from us—that is, through some means different from the way we receive
it, apart from the provisions of grace we enjoy under the new covenant!




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     To be saved one must live a life of faith. These Christians are reminded that faith
has always been the key to successful relationship with God. What kind of faith should
a Christian have to keep from shrinking back? The heroes in this chapter demonstrated
their faith through their actions. The writer’s method of encouraging is ever the same—
to show them what they have under the new law. Under the old they had to, by faith
look to most of their blessing in the future. Under the new, we have many of our
blessings now and with faith await even more!

11:1-7: FAITH THAT PLEASES GOD.

1-3:      FAITH EXPLAINED—THE NATURE OF FAITH.

1:     “Now faith is the assurance (substance) of things hoped for, the conviction
       (evidence) of things not seen.”

       1. Faith is “assurance” (hupostasis) and “conviction” (elegchos).
          1) It literally means “to stand under”, i.e., to be a foundation.”
          2) Heb 3:14: As translated it means “assurance”, (confidence; firm trust).
          3) Where do we get faith? (Rom 10:17).
          4) Faith is not just hearing God’s word—but comes “from” hearing it.
          5) This verse not only defines faith but what faith will do for you.

       2. Everything we hope for in Christ is based on faith.
          1) Tit 2:13: The coming of the Lord.
          2) Acts 24:15: The resurrection of the dead.
          3) Faith has to do with things “hoped for” or “things not seen.”

       3. When we accept the reality of things that we do not see and things that are yet
          future, we exercise faith.
          1) One who has never seen Baghdad, Iraq, accepts its existence by faith.
          2) We accept historical events by faith because we did not actually see them
             happen.
          3) EX: I have something in my hand (can reason & guess) but when I tell you
             what it is, it is no longer opinion or guessing--If believe me--Faith.
          4) Faith is total confidence and trust in what God says—put it in mind.
          5) What is in mind—faith—will cause you to do what God says.

2:     “For by it the men of old gained approval (obtained a testimony)”

       1. A number of these are named in this chapter as examples for us.
          1) The rest of the chapter is filled with illustrations of the faith possessed by
             these “men of old.”


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        2) The primary reason for listing these ancients is to prove that they had
           habitually lived by faith even while under the law.
        3) However the first 3 mentioned lived before the flood.
        4) The Hebrews readily believed that the stories told about their ancients were
           true.
        5) The writer turns to these stories to convince them of their own faith (trust) in
           things unseen and things hoped for.

3:   “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so
     that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”

     1. We did not see the universe originate; hence any idea we have about the
        origin of the universe and its contents is accepted by faith.
        1) By faith we accept the fact that God spoke the universe into existence.
        2) Our faith is reasonable, for it is based on compelling evidence.

     2. The writer begins by describing the readers tangible faith in things unseen—the
        creation.
        1) The writer confirms that the readers believe that the earth was made out
           of nothing.
        2) They trust (faith) that it was done.
        3) It is important to realize that the writer is using the readers’ faith in the
           creation story to persuade them that they have faith in things hoped for and
           in things not seen.

     3. The first thing that we must have faith in is God’s creative and controlling
        power.
        1) Barclay writes: “The writer to the Hebrews goes further. He says that it is an
           act of faith to believe that God made the world. Then he goes on to say that
           the things which are seen emerged from the things which are not seen. Now
           when he said that, he was aiming a blow at a current belief. It was current
           belief that God created the world out of already existing matter, and not out
           of nothing. Further, it was current belief that this existing matter was flawed
           and that therefore from the beginning this is a flawed world because it is
           made from flawed material. The writer to the Hebrews insists that God did
           not work with existing material; God created the world from nothing.”




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11:4-7: UNTIL THE FLOOD—FAITH EXEMPLIFIED.

4:   THE TESTIMONY OF ABEL (FAITH “WORSHIPING”).
     “By faith Abel offered to God a better (more excellent) sacrifice than Cain,
     through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying
     about (by receiving) his gifts, and through faith (it), though he is dead, he still
     speaks.”

     1. Gen 4:3-5: Cain offered “the fruit of the ground.”
        1) Abel offered “the firstlings of his flock”—Animal sacrifice.

     2. Why did God “regard” (respect) Abel’s offering, but not Cain’s?
        1) I believe that God specified an animal sacrifice.
        2) Some believe that it may have been that Cain offered the “leftovers”, while
           Abel offered his best (the firstborn).
        3) Others think Cain’s attitude may have been wrong. He certainly showed
           himself prone to display envy and hatred, capable of murder!
        4) What we do know (all agree)—Abel offered his by “faith” while Cain did
           not.

     3. Since Abel acted by faith, we know that God told him what to do (Rom 10:17).
        1) Not a faith that offers sacrifices but a faith that offers an ACCEPTABLE
           sacrifice.
        2) What is acceptable? What God says and do it by faith.
        3) God testified of his righteousness in showing respect to his offering.
        4) Matt 23:35: Jesus also bore witness to the righteousness of Abel.
        5) 1 John 3:12: The apostle John also.

     4. Abel’s act of faith still speaks to us. He calls on us to exercise faith.
        1) Rom 15:4: His example of faith was written for our learning.
        2) His example of faith continues to warn us in regards to worshiping God.
        3) Abel is saying—It does make a difference how men worship God.
        4) The blood of Abel says that faith is the key to true and acceptable worship.
           The only acceptable way is the way God has commanded.
        5) The blood of Abel says that the only true righteousness is in obeying the
           commandments of God (Ps 119:151, 172; Rom 1:16-17; Luke 6:46).

     5. Disobedience—some form of rationalism.
        1) Abel is saying, faith is superior to human reason.
        2) When God says what to do—don’t need to know why.
        3) Faith draws a conclusion—sight raises an objection—a loophole.
           (miracles=above reason).


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        4) Cain and Abel—didn’t know why (if blood sac.—didn’t know why a lamb
           for a sin offering was merely a shadow—didn’t know Jesus—lamb—we can
           look back and understand why).
        5) Faith was the only instrument they had (EX: airplane—faith keeps us flying).

     6. Many try to justify things like Cain.
        1) If God wants smoke—wheat will out class a lamb (instrument).
        2) If God wants value—wheat will buy 2 lambs.
        3) “I never liked blood anyway—too messy.”
        4) “Surely God will save me if I never go near blood—It’s the spirit that
           counts.”

     7. Abel was in the grave while Cain built a city.
        1) What about Abel? How is justice ever to be had without a judgment day?
        2) The blood of Abel warns every wrong doer (2 Cor 5:10).
        3) The blood of Abel says that God takes account of the injustices perpetrated
           against the innocent and that one day they will be avenged.

     8. Many are like Cain—resent the righteousness of others (1 John 3:10-12).
        1) The righteous are hated without just cause.
        2) They get mad— “won’t have anything to do with him.”

     9. One of first lessons about faith—we are not to live any way we want.
        1) Rom 15:1-3: The real test of faith is when we don’t get our way.
        2) EX: Reaction of 2 mothers when their child dies.
           * One says, “I’ll never serve God again.”
           * The other, “Thank God for His goodness.”

5:   THE TESTIMONY OF ENOCH (FAITH “WALKING”).

     “By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death; and he was not
     found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being
     taken up he was pleasing to God.”

     1. The historical reference alluded to is Gen 5:21-24.
        1) Like Elijah, he did not experience death (2 Kings 2:1-11).
        2) What God found pleasing is that he “walked with God three hundred
           years…”
        3) His example of faith illustrates the value of walking with God throughout
           life.
        4) Jude 14-15: Enoch practiced what he believed.



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     2. Amos 3:3: We must be in agreement with God before walking with Him.
        1) We must be in agreement with the gospel.
        2) 1 Pet 2:21: We are to walk in the steps of the Savior.
        3) Walking by faith is not merely establishing a routine when it doesn’t conflict
           with our lifestyle.
        4) Are we standing by faith?
        5) Does it really take faith to do what we are doing?

6:   “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must
     believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”

     1. Faith gets us started—obey because of faith.
        1) EX: battery—starter—starts engine—destination.
                word-----faith-----obey------------heaven (faith—saving of soul).
        2) Why do some shrink back? Lack of faith.
        3) Not willing to do things God’s way—establish their own righteousness.

     2. Without faith there is nothing we can do to please God.
        1) Faith included conviction “that believes that God is.”
        2) Faith includes confidence “that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
        3) Whether we are “worshiping”, “walking”, or “working”, faith must be the
           motivating factor behind it all.

7:   THE TESTIMONY OF NOAH (FAITH “WORKING”).

     “By faith Noah being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence
     prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the
     world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.”

     1. Gen 6: Noah showed his faith when he took heed to God’s warning (this kind of
        faith).
        1) This sounds like a dumb warning—never a flood before.
        2) Noah built an ark solely because he was warned by God.
        3) He didn’t act on calculated risk or philosophies.
        4) He did it by faith—motivates—to do acts of faith.
        5) What kind of warnings do we have? (Heb 9:27).

     2. Through such faith working, Noah “condemned the world.”
        1) His own example of faithfulness stood in stark contrast to others.
        2) His faithfulness made their wickedness more apparent.
        3) His obedience magnified the lack of obedience in others.
        4) Just as Noah’s teachings were rejected, the Hebrew Christians need to be
           careful not to reject the teachings (warnings) about Christ.

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    3. He demonstrated that faith and works are not necessarily contrary to one
       another (Gal 5:6; Jas 2:14-26).
       1) He believed the promise in the face of strong opposition and over a long
          period of time.

    4. Note 9 important steps in Noah’s faith.
       1) He was a righteous man before the flood warning came.
       2) He believed the warning and had faith in God.
       3) His faith was accompanied by the fear of God.
       4) His fear and faith brought obedience to God’s warning.
       5) His obedience produced action as he began to preach, and to build.
       6) His building of the ark brought salvation to his house.
       7) His active faith condemned the world of its lack of faith.
       8) His faith made him an heir of righteousness.
       9) For Christ died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust (1 Pet 3:18).

11:8-22: FAITH THAT EMBRACES THE PROMISES.

    1. Another aspect of our faith pertains to “the promises” (13) in which we hope
       for.
       1) 4:1: We are warned not to fall short of what has been promised.
       2) 6:11-12: Faith, along with patience is necessary to inherit the promises.

    2. The faith which pleases God, then, is one that “embraces” God’s promises.
       1) 11:8-22: We learn of the faith of those who “embraced the promises.”
       2) Because of their faith, “God is not ashamed to be called their God.”
       3) Do we have the sort of faith that makes God not ashamed to be called our
          God?

8-10: “By faith Abraham…obeyed…not knowing where he was going…lived as an
    alien…for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect
    and builder is God.”

    1. He was willing to live with no permanent home on earth because of his faith
       that he would have a permanent home in heaven.
       1) The assertion that the heavenly city has “foundations” indicates its
          permanence.
       2) This suggests that the promises he embraced were more than just pertaining
          to the land of Canaan (Gal 3:8).
       3) From this and other passages we are constrained to think that God has given
          to the patriarchs information with regard to the heavenly country far beyond
          what is recorded in the Old Testament.


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    2. God separated Abraham from family, land—to live as a foreigner.
       1) Who would do that? Those who had faith in God and His promises.
       2) Who would be baptized? Only those who believe what God says.

11-12: “By faith even Sarah herself received ability (power; strength)…born… many
       descendants”

    1. Sarah had initially laughed in unbelief at God’s promise that she would bear a
       child, but further consideration led her to believe.
       1) As a result, innumerable descendants came from her and Abraham.
       2) Through her faith the promises of a great nation were fulfilled.

    2. God is considered faithful to fulfill the promise He made to Abraham and to
       Sarah.
       1) The author makes it clear that there was no doubt in their minds regarding
          God’s ability or willingness to keep His promise.
       2) Is our faith a “receiving faith” like Sarah’s? (Phil 4:13).

13: “All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and
    having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were
    strangers and exiles on the earth.”

    1. This verse is an encouragement to keep on even when the odds are
       unfavorable.
       1) Not referring to Abel, Enoch and Noah—didn’t receive promise of entering
          Canaan.
       2) Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Sarah looked in faith beyond the present.
       3) When they died they had not received the things promised (Gen 12:1-3) but
          they saw these things by faith, for they were convinced these promises would
          be fulfilled (Gal 3:8).

    2. They died in faith—This is what counts.
       1) Good examples for us.

14: “For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of
    their own.”

    1. Gen 23:4: “I am a stranger and a sojourner among you; give me a burial site
       among you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.”
       1) It’s clear that God’s people will make a similar confession.




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15: “And indeed if they had been thinking (remembering) of that country from
    which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return.”

    1. The patriarchs were volunteers—chose to seek a heavenly home—FAITH!
       1) John 6:66-68: Similar case.

16: “But as it is, they desire a better country that is a heavenly one. Therefore God is
    not ashamed to be called their God; for he has prepared a city for them.”

    1. This was contingent upon their not being ashamed of God.
       1) 2 Tim 1:8: We are not to be ashamed of Christ, the gospel, church.

17: “By faith Abraham, when he was tested (tried), offered up Isaac”

    1. The word tested in this verse is often translated tempted in the N.T.
       1) But the meaning of the word is quite clear here.
       2) It means that Abraham’s faith was to be tested.
       3) Is it possible that some of our temptations (by Satan) are tests of faith?

    2. How do we know Abraham had faith?
       1) His faith was put to the test—to do right—obey God no matter what.
       2) How will God judge his faith?

    “and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son”

    1. Abraham’s faith required him to be willing to offer that which was very close
       to him.
       1) Abraham had other sons, but because Isaac was the only one as far as the
           fulfillment of God’s promise was concerned.
       2) He was unique, one of a kind.
       3) God let Abraham feel by experience what it was to lose a beloved son.

18: “it was he to whom it was said, ‘In Isaac your descendants shall be called.’”

19: “He considered that God is able to raise men even from the dead”

    1. This explains Abraham’s willingness.
       1) The Scriptures do not reveal any turmoil in Abraham.
       2) He treated it as God’s problem. There is no contradiction.
       3) He left it up to God to reconcile His promise and His command.
       4) Figuratively speaking, Abraham did receive Isaac from the dead, for, as
          far as the intent of Abraham’s heart was concerned, Isaac was dead.


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    2. Abraham illustrated CONFIDENCE in “things hoped for” (11:1).
       1) Gen 22:12: God said, “Now I know that you fear God”—BELIEVE!
       2) 2 Cor 2:9: What is proof of faith? Being “obedient in all things.”
       3) Faith unto the saving of the soul will heed the warning.

    “from which he also received him back as a type.”

    1. Before the nation of Israel could be established, God tested Abraham.
       1) This test is very much the same test that God was called on to do when
          Christ was sacrificed.
       2) The sacrifice of Isaac is a type to that of the sacrifice of Christ in many
          respects.

    2. Note several similarities between Isaac and Christ.
       1) Both had supernatural births.
       2) Both were only begotten sons.
       3) Both consented to be sacrificed.
       4) Both of them bore the wood, Isaac firewood, Jesus the cross.
       5) Both were sacrificed by their fathers.
       6) Isaac was a model of love and affection for his wife, symbolizing the great
          love of Christ for the church.

20-22: BETWEEN ABRAHAM AND THE BIRTH OF MOSES.

20: “By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, even regarding things to come.”

    1. Gen 27:1-40: When Isaac gave the superior blessing to Jacob, he thought he
       was blessing Esau.
       1) Nevertheless, when he discovered the mistake, he accepted the fact that since
          God had moved him to pronounce the blessing on Jacob, the good things
          predicted would surely be fulfilled in Jacob’s descendants.
       2) Isaac had faith contrary to his own personal feelings even after being tricked.

21: “By faith Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and
    worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.”

    1. Gen 48:14-20: Jacob blessed Ephraim and Manasseh.
       1) The blessing were prophetic utterances regarding the future of their
          descendants.
       2) To affirm future events on the basis of God’s revelation is an act of faith in
          what God says.
       3) Gen 15:13-16: God promised deliverance from Egyptian bondage after 4
          generations.

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22: “By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the exodus of the sons of
    Israel, and gave orders concerning his bones.”

    1. Gen 50:24-26: This request demonstrated his faith in God’s promise that
       Israel would eventually leave Egypt and possess Canaan.
       1) Ex 13:19: Moses took Joseph’s bones with him.
       2) Josh 24:32: The people of Israel buried Joseph’s bones as promised.

23-40: FAITH THAT OVERCOMES THE WORLD.

23-28: THE FAITH OF MOSES.

23: “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents,
    because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s
    edict.”

    1. The Pharaoh had ordered all boy babies to be drowned in the Nile River for
       the Hebrews were growing in numbers (Ex 1-2).
       1) Having faith in God to help them in their efforts to preserve their child, they
          hid baby Moses despite the danger of severe punishment from the king.
       2) It was their faith that gave them courage to withstand the king’s order.
       3) With such a small beginning—by faith they “overcame the world” of Egypt.

24: “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of
    Pharaoh’s daughter.”

    1. Like parents—like son.
       1) It is unthinkable to do what Moses did.
       2) He must have loved Pharaoh’s daughter, who had rescued him from death
          and brought him up herself.

25: “choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the
    passing pleasures of sin”

    1. Moses lived in Pharaoh’s house for 40 years (Acts 7:23).
       1) Here is another reason for Moses’ choice—God is not with the idolatrous
          Egyptians—temporary pleasures.

    2. Moses accepted hatred by those who fed and educated him.
       1) He gave up wealth, honor and power.
       2) Reason: He did it by faith—God commanded Moses to be this way.



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26: “considering the reproach of Christ (the Messiah) greater riches than the
    treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.”

    1. Two possible meanings—both are true.
       1) The same kind of reproaches Christ suffered.
       2) Suffered for his faith in Christ.

    2. The reward provided the motivation to endure.
       1) By faith he knew (had confidence) that the reward of serving God was far
          greater than anything he could have in Egypt.

27: “By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as
    seeing Him who is unseen.”

    1. His faith led him to stand against the king without the kind of fear that
       would prevent him from obeying God.
       1) It was the invisible God he feared (Matt 10:28).
       2) His actions were the result of seeing by faith the invisible God, accepting the
          reality of God even though God is invisible to the physical eye.

    2. The writer has been showing the means of their triumph—faith in the
       invisible!
       1) 11:3: Creation is made of things invisible.
       2) 11:7: Noah was warned “about things not yet seen.”
       3) 11:8: Abraham’s inheritance was invisible to him.
       4) 11:10: The eternal city is invisible.

28: “By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that he who
    destroyed the firstborn might not touch them.”

    1. Ex 12:1-30: It was by faith that Moses observed the first Passover (and led
       Israel to do so) in order to avoid the horrors of the 10 th plague upon the
       Egyptians (death of the firstborn).
       1) Killed a lamb (l year old, without blemish and kept until the 14th day).
       2) Put (sprinkle) the blood on the lintels and door posts.
       3) Roasted the lamb with fire, not raw or boiled.
       4) Eat it all with unleavened bread, with bitter herbs.
       5) The remains must be burned up.
       6) Eat fully clothed—prepared to escape Egyptian bondage.
           *ALL DONE BY FAITH!
           *By faith, Moses “overcame the world” of Egyptian bondage.



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29-31: THE FAITH OF ISRAEL.

29: “By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing through
    dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned.”

    1. Ex 14:21-28: By faith, Israel “overcame the world” of Egypt.

30: “By faith the wall of Jericho fell down, after they had been encircled for seven
    days.”

    1. Josh 6: Because of their faith Israel obeyed God’s conditions to cause the
       walls of Jericho to fall.
       1) By faith, Israel “overcame the world” of Canaan.

31: “By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient,
    after she had welcomed the spies in peace.”

    1. Josh 2; 6:25: Because of her faith, the Israelites spared her when they
       conquered the city.
       1) She is mentioned by James as being justified by works, not faith only
          (Jas 2:24-26).
       2) She is mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus (Matt 1:5).

    2. By faith, Rahab “overcame the world” of sin and unbelief.
       1) She overcame her occupation—became the wife of a prince.
       2) Overcame her loyalty to her people.
       3) She overcame the fear of death if found out.
       4) She overcame her doubt—could she really count on the Israelites not to kill
          her, no matter what they promised?
       5) She was willing to lose everything she had.
       6) Her faith was stable in spite of many temptations.

    3. Through faith, Israel received the promise land as God had told Abraham, Isaac
       and Jacob (Josh 21:43-45).
       1) In the process, by faith they overcame what obstacles the world placed
          before them.
       2) Even a Gentile sinner like Rahab became a recipient of the promise by her
          faith.
       3) By faith—publicans and harlots are nearer to God’s kingdom than faithless
          religious leaders.




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   4. Some use this example to justify lying. (Also Abraham, Isaac, David—hid
      truths at times).
      1) Rahab was spared because she acknowledged God as the true God.
      2) All this only proves that the best of men have failings (weaknesses).
      3) We can’t use the mistakes and sins of others as an excuse for wrong-doing
          (Eph 4:25).
      4) When Peter lied and said that he wasn’t a follower of Christ, did the Lord
          smile and congratulate him? Peter himself “wept bitterly” (Luke 22:61-62).
      5) How many martyrs could have been spared by lying? (Matt 10:32-33).
      6) These groups that deliberately lie claim to have the only truth!
          (1 John 2:4-5; Rom 3:4).

32-40: FAITH IN THE LAND OF PROMISE.

32: SAMPLE LIST OF HEROES OF FAITH.

   1. The writer ceases to give details of the faith of individuals.
      1) Time would have failed if he had attempted to describe the faith of those he
         mentions.
      2) 32: Lists some who manifested great faith.

   “Gideon”: Followed the instructions of an angel—Destroyed the altar of Baal.

   “Barak”: Refused to go to battle without Deborah against Sisera.

   “Samson”: A Nazarite from birth—performed feats of superhuman strength.

   “Jephthah”: Made and kept a vow.

   1. Spoke what should be the motto of every believer (Jud 11:35).
      1) “I have given my word to the LORD, and I cannot take it back.”
      2) If go back on word—“those who shrink back” (Heb 10:39).
      3) Not “of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.”

   “David”: God looked upon his heart (1 Sam 16:7).

   1. 1 Sam 17: As a young man he was the only one not afraid of Goliath.
      1) In his weaknesses—not see faith in his sins but in his willingness to seek
         God’s forgiveness and in being forgiven by God.
      2) Not even a king is above God’s law.

   “Samuel and the prophets”


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33-38: A SUMMARY LIST OF WHAT FAITH ACCOMPLISHED.

    1. Summarizes the results faith had in the lives of these people.

33: “conquered (subdued) kingdoms”

    1. Joshua, in conquering Palestine (Josh 12:7-24).
    2. David, in conquering neighboring nations (2 Sam 5:4-25; 8:1-14).

    “performed (acts of) righteousness (worked righteousness)”

    1. Administered justice.
       1) Samuel, as judge (1 Sam 12:4).
       2) David, as king (2 Sam 8:15).
       3) Solomon, as king (1 Kings 3:28).

    “obtained promises”

    1. The nation of Israel received the promised land (Josh 21:43-45; 23:14).

    “shut the mouths of lions”

    1. Samson, (Jud 14:6).
    2. David, protecting sheep (1 Sam 17:34-37)
    3. Daniel, in the lion’s den (Dan 6:21-22)

34: “quenched the power (violence) of fire”

    1. Shadrach, Meshach, Abed-nego, in the fiery furnace (Dan 3:23-25).

    “escaped the edge of the sword”

    1. David, fleeing from King Saul (1 Sam 23:19-29).
    2. Elijah, fleeing Jezebel (1 Kings 19:8-10).
    3. Elisha, whom the king of Israel wanted murdered (2 Kings 6:31-32).

    “from weakness were made strong”

    1. Samson, after his hair was cut (Jud 16:29-30).
    2. Hezekiah, who was given 15 years of life (Isa 38:1-8).




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    “became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight”

    1. David, in defeating Goliath (1 Sam 17:50).
    2. Jehoshaphat, in defeating Edom (2 Chron 20:1-30).
    3. Hezekiah, whose faith led to the slaughter of 185,000 Assyrian soldiers
       (2 Kings 19:1-36).

35: “Women received back their dead by resurrection”

    1. A widow of Zarephath’s son raised by Elijah (1 Kings 17:17-24).
    2. A Shunamite woman’s son raised by Elisha (2 Kings 4:18-37).
    3. In the Gospels--A brother of 2 sisters was raised by Jesus (John 11-Lazarus).

    “others were tortured, not accepting their release (redemption; deliverance), to
    obtain a better resurrection”

    1. Eleazar, in the Maccabean period between the Testaments (2 Macc. 6:30).

    2. Also, 7 brothers and their mother tortured by Antiochus Epiphanes
       (2 Macc 7:9-36).
       1) Such events would have been well known by the Hebrew readers.

    3. By faith they believed it is BETTER in eternity than what would have been
       theirs by compromising their faith.
       1) It is better in eternity than yielding to temptation to prolong their lives.
       2) The resurrection of the just is contrasted with the resurrection of the unjust.

36: “and others experienced (Lit., received the trial of) mockings, scourgings, chains
    and imprisonment”

    1. Micaiah, the prophet (1 Kings 22:24-28).
    2. Jeremiah, the prophet (Jer 20:1-3; 37:11-21; 38:1-13).

37: “They were stoned”

    1. Zechariah, son of Jehoida, the priest when he testified against the people
       (2 Chron 24:17-22).
    2. Stephen (Acts 7:57-60).

    “they were sawn in two”

    1. The prophet Isaiah according to tradition with a wooden saw.
    2. John the Baptist was beheaded.

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    “they were tempted”

    1. Daniel, as a youth (Dan 1:8-21).
    2. 2 Chron 33:6-9: Offered children in pagan sacrifices.
       1) Made Judah “do worse than the heathen.”

    “they were put to death with the sword”

    1. Uriah, the prophet (Jer 26:20-23).
    2. James, an apostle and brother of John (Acts 12:2).

    “they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated
    (tormented)”

    1. Elijah (2 Kings 1:8; 17:2-6; 18:9-10).

38: “(men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains
    and caves and holes in the ground.”

    1. Acts 22:22: Godless men said the faithful were not fit for the world.
       1) But in truth, the world is not worthy of them!

39-40: WHAT THESE PEOPLE RECEIVED BY THEIR FAITH.

39-40: “And all these, having gained (Lit., obtained) approval through their faith, did
    not receive what was promised (Lit., the promise), because God had provided
    something better for us, so that apart from us they should not be made perfect.”

    1. They did obtain a good testimony.
       1) As stated regarding the elders (11:2).
       2) As stated regarding Enoch (11:5).

    2. Yet, they did not obtain “the promise” during their lifetime.
       1) They did receive some of the promises, such as the promise land.
       2) They did not live to see the coming of the promised Deliverer (Messiah).
       3) Nor did they experience the perfection which Christ now offers.
       4) The Law could not make them perfect (9:9-10; 10:1-4).
       5) But Christ can (9:11-14; 10:11-14).

    3. What they did not receive during their lifetime, they did with the coming of
       Christ!
       1) For Christ died to redeem them as well as us (9:15).


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   2) They receive their perfection, the completion of their salvation, through
      the work of Christ, along with us!
   3) They could not receive it apart from us, that is, through some means different
      from the way we receive it, apart from the provisions of grace we enjoy in
      the New Testament age (under the new covenant)!

4. Through faith, they truly “overcame the world.”
   1) Sometimes their victory was miraculous—often it was not!
   2) Their ultimate victory was that they “died in faith.”
   3) Now—they enjoy the FRUIT OF FAITH: bliss in the presence of the Lamb
      (Rev 7:9-17).

5. Through faith, we can also “overcome the world.”
   1) Faith in Jesus as the Son of God will give us the victory (1 John 5:4-5)!
   2) Victory over the world’s temptations and persecutions.
   3) The victories we win may not be as impressive as those listed in this chapter,
      but if we are “faithful until death”, the reward will be the same (Rev 2:10).

6. May this great chapter with its heroes of faith, serve to motivate us to grow
   in the faith which…
   1) 1-7: PLEASES GOD!
   2) 8-22: EMBRACES THE PROMISES!
   3) 23-40: OVERCOMES THE WORLD!

       We may not win the praise of the world, but we will receive the praise of
        God, for such is the faith which leads “to the saving of the soul”!




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                                Study Questions
                                       Hebrews 11

1.   Define the word “faith” as is used in verse 1?

2.   What does faith do for the faithful, according to verse 1?

3.   What does “gained approval” mean?
     Whose?

4.   How did Abel offer “a better sacrifice than Cain”?

5.   How does Romans 10:17 apply to the story of Cain and Abel?

6.   How does Abel speak to us today?

7.   Who was Enoch?
     What happened to him?

8.   According to verse 6, how does God want us to serve Him?

9.   What motivated Noah to build the ark?

10. How did Noah condemn the world?

11. Did Abraham know where God was going to lead him to?

12. When did Abraham receive his inheritance?

13. Who lived in tents?
    Why is this significant?

14. What is “the city which has foundations”?
    Who made this city?

15. Describe the faith of Sarah?
    What did she think of God?

16. How are the descendants of Abraham described in verse 12?

17. How did the patriarchs die “in faith”?

18. What were the patriarchs seeking?
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19. Why was God “not ashamed to be called their God”?

20. Describe the faith that would move Abraham to offer up his son?

21. Who did Jacob bless just prior to his death?

22. What instructions did Joseph give just prior to his death?

23. What was done for Moses “by faith” when he was but a baby?

24. Why were the parents of Moses not afraid of the king?

25. What are “the passing pleasures of sin”?

26. What reward was Moses looking forward to?

27. How did Moses see “Him who is unseen (invisible)”?

28. What degree of faith was needed to keep the first Passover?

29. What great event happened at the Red Sea?

30. Did the walls of Jericho fall down by faith alone (only)?

31. Why didn’t Rahab perish with the others in Jericho? (Compare with Jas 2:25).

32. Identify the following men mentioned in verse 32.
    1) Gideon:
    2) Barak:
    3) Samson:
    4) Jephthah:
    5) David:
    6) Samuel:

33. Verses 33-38 mention some of the acts of faith of great men and women of the Old
    Testament. Why was the world “not worthy” of such people?

34. What did these people fail to obtain in their lifetime?

35. What has God provided for us?




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                              HEBREWS TWELVE
                          RUNNING THE RACE OF FAITH

                    SUMMARY OF HEBREWS TWELVE

     The entire book of Hebrews is one of encouragement to being steadfast in our faith.
The writer encourages the readers (and us) by showing them what they have, namely, a
better messenger (better than the prophets, angels, and Moses), a better lawgiver, a
better rest, a better high priest, a better covenant, a better hope, better promises, and a
better sacrifice.

     Having discussed in chapter 11 the nature and sustaining influence of faith, the
author now proceeds with another stimulant: “THE RACE CAN BE WON—IT HAS
BEEN DONE BY CHRIST.” Above the long list of ancient heroes, Jesus stands as the
unique and matchless illustration of faith. With “so great a cloud of witnesses
surrounding us” (Heb 11) we are to “lay aside” sin running patiently and steadfastly
the race of the Christian life with our eyes on our goal, “the author and perfecter of
faith” (12:2) and the perfect example of faith (Christ).

     Another exhortation follows, saying that they should be encouraged by the fact that
their trials might be regarded as a fatherly discipline which will work for their good
(Rom 8:28). Suffering, when endured can work for their good. It can work to the
development of character and the perfecting of our faith. We have shown respect to our
earthly parents in their attempt to train us. We should not, therefore abandon God and
treat His will with indifference as He is constantly working toward our eternal good
“that we may share (be partakers of) His holiness” (12:10). Chastening does not seem
joyous at the moment but “it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness” (12:11).
Therefore, He says in effect, “let your faith be strengthened rather than weakened by
such experiences (tests of faith).”

     The next exhortation is one drawn from the dangers and consequences of apostasy.
They are encouraged to “pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification (purity)
without which no man will see the Lord” (12:14). Christians should watch over one
another with the utmost care “that no one come (fall) short of the grace of God; that
no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled” (12:15).
They are warned to watch “that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau
(12:16). He stands as an example of one who made an irrevocable and fatal choice.
After he sold his own birthright for an insignificant single meal, he repented and desired
the blessing to be restored, but the deed was done and could not be undone (12:17). The
consequences of wrong sometimes last longer than the guilt. We should not forsake the
goal of heaven for momentary worldly enjoyments.


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      The writer then exhorts them from the great and more encouraging privileges of the
Christian dispensation. They are warned against refusing God’s voice. The last great
warning in the book is now begun in which he contrasts the old and new covenant. He
indicates the danger of exchanging the blessings of the new covenant out of love for the
old covenant, the danger of clinging to Moses while rejecting Christ, the folly of
lingering in the earthly Jerusalem and declining citizenship in the heavenly Zion. In this
section the argument of the epistle reaches its climax. The first but essential warning is
against neglect (2:1-4). The second is against unbelief (3:7-4:13). The third is against
falling away (5:11-6:20). The fourth is against willful sin (10:26-31). The fifth
warning is: “see to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking” (12:25). All five
are designed to carry out the supreme purpose of the epistle, which is to secure loyalty
to Christ and to prevent Christians from turning away from Him. Obedience to the new
covenant should be taken seriously. With this in view the writer gives this final
comparison of the two dispensations (12:18-29).

12:1-3: RUNNING THE RACE OF FAITH WITH PATIENCE.
    1. Ch 1-10: Superiority of Christ over Judaism.
    2. Ch 11: Examples of sacrifices because of their faith.
    3. Ch 12: Jesus is the ultimate example of a sacrificial faith.
        1) Fifth exhortation: Exhortations show the writer’s purpose.

1:   “Therefore, since we have a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us”

     1. Consists of those OT heroes of faith discussed in ch 11.
        1) They are called witnesses because their lives testify eloquently of the power,
           value, and the results of faith (10:28—two or more).
        2) The testimony of their lives should inspire and stimulate us to manifest faith
           as they did, patiently continuing the struggle in running the race.

     2. While the word can mean “spectator”, it is not likely so used here.
        1) That would suggest they are now “looking down” on us from heaven.
        2) But there is no indication the dead know what is going on here on earth
           (Eccl 9:5).
        3) While they may have “memory” of what happened (Luke 16:28), their
           attention is focused upon their present condition (Rev 7:9-17).

     3. As we strive to follow in the footsteps of others who successfully “ran the race
        of faith”, there are 3 necessary things as presented in our text.
        1) We need to lay some things aside (1).
        2) We need to have endurance (1).
        3) We need to focus on Jesus (2-3).



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(1) “let us also lay aside every encumbrance (weight)”

1. Note the comparison to running a race.
   1) A racer practices with extra weight to gain strength for the real race.
   2) But, when the real race begins, he takes off the extra weight so that he may
      run as fast as he can and with more endurance.
   3) The extra weight helped him in practice, but it is a hindrance in the race.
      With it, he can’t go as fast or as far.
   4) The runner who wants to win loses as much weight as possible without
      hurting performance. He wears clothing that is light and allows freedom of
      movement.
   5) All these things can be the difference between victory and defeat!

2. As sojourners (11:9) we are to travel as lightly as possible.
   1) In a real race—practiced sin long enough.
   2) We should avoid being weighted down with worldly duties and
      commitments.
   3) We must lay aside things which slow down our spiritual progress.
   4) This includes anything that would hinder our efforts to run such as anger,
      wrath, bitterness, malice, blasphemy, filthy jokes, language, ungodly
      influences.
   5) Such things make running the “race of faith” difficult, if not impossible!

“and the sin which so easily entangles (besets) us”

1. Any and all sins must be laid aside.
   1) Don’t let sin “surround” us so as to prevent or hinder running.
   2) Sin prevents us from running the race.

2. From the context of Hebrews this may refer to “the” sin to be the “sin of
   unbelief” (3:12-13).
   1) When one no longer believes, the race is lost (10:26-29)!
   2) Unbelief is conveniently close—well-circumstanced sin.
   3) Sin has everything in its favor—time, place and opportunity.
   4) Sin can easily divert our attention from the Christian race

(2) “and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us”

1. The “race of faith” is a marathon, not a sprint.
   1) It does not require one quick burst of energy, in which the race is soon over.
   2) This race requires a sustained effort over a long period of time.
   3) All Christians must steadily and firmly move toward Christ.


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     2. However, the Christian race is not a stroll (sluggish) through life but a race.
        1) Race (agona)=agony—agonizing, grueling course and it requires endurance
           if one is to win.
        2) Endurance does not mean to sit down and accept things.
        3) It does not mean the weary patience which sits with bowed head with the
           mind resigned to let the tide of things flow over it and past it.

     3. It means the patience that masters things.
        1) It is that determination which goes steadily forward and refuses to be
            detoured from the finish line.
        2) If all run well—all can win the race.
        3) How much better is it to run in such a race?

     4. What is the race set before us? How is it set before us?
        1) The race is the action taken to move us toward the reward, heaven.
        2) It is set before us by the examples of Jesus and the instructions given by
           the apostles and prophets directed by the Holy Spirit.

     5. We can develop such endurance with the help of the Scriptures (Rom 15:4)…
        1) As we read of the faithfulness of God who fulfills His promises.
        2) As we read of the ultimate end of those who persevered in faithfulness.

2:   (3) “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter (finisher) of faith”

     1. Equally important is where we have our mind focused as we run the race.
        1) We are to look to Jesus as our ultimate leader and supreme example.
        2) That course was a human life, crucifixion, burial and resurrection to become
           the perfecter of all mankind, from the ancient to the present.
        3) This verse declares that Jesus is our leader and our reward.

     2. Our focus must be upon Christ as we “run the race of faith.”
        1) We might “glance” at others (ch 11).
        2) But we are to “gaze” upon the author and finisher of faith.
        3) Matt 14:30: As long as Peter looked to the Lord he had faith, but when he
           diverted that focus he lost faith.

     3. EX: Cross country—keep eyes on the best runners (leader) in front of you and
        try to keep up.
        1) Don’t fix eyes on members of the congregation.

     4. As suggested by this “Formula For Spiritual Success”:
        1) If you want to be distressed—look within.
        2) If you want to be defeated—look back.

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        3) If you want to be distracted—look around.
        4) If you want to be dismayed—look ahead.
        5) If you want to be delivered—look up (Col 3:1-2).

     “who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame”

     1. This is the reason Jesus endured the cross.
        1) He was willing to endure the cross despite the shame that was attached to it.
        2) He was motivated by the joy set before Him—the joy of accomplishing His
           mission and being glorified “and has sat down at the right hand of the
           throne of God.”
        3) His joy was not in the suffering itself—coming to earth and suffering at the
           hands of His own people—but anticipated great joy in providing the means
           of salvation for all mankind from the beginning of the world to the end of
           time (John 17:4).
        4) Therefore, we should endure for the joy that awaits the faithful.

     2. This verse teaches 3 things:
        1) Keep Jesus in our thoughts always.
        2) Keep the reward of heaven in sight always.
        3) Strive to be like Jesus in all that we do.
            Verse 3 places such emphasis on the responsibility of the Christian.

3:   “For consider Him who has endured such hostility (gainsaying) by sinners
     against Himself”

     1. Consider means to be foremost in thought--intense and sustained attention.
        1) We are to constantly keep the suffering of Jesus in our thoughts.
        2) Refocus, rethink things.
        3) 1 Pet 2:21-23: Jesus is an example for slaves—owners were abusive.
        4) The key to endurance is Jesus entrusting Himself to Him who judges
           righteously (1 Pet 4:19).

     2. Hostility is a verbal attack upon a believer for the purpose of destroying his
        faith, and it means to oppose, contradict, deny, or dispute.
        1) The perfect Christ lived in an imperfect world—result—conflict.
        2) A follower of Christ can expect the same kind of opposition…
        3) At every turn, there was a Pharisee or a Scribe questioning the words,
            actions, faith, sincerity, the godliness of Jesus.
        4) Their plan—to wear out the believers.
        5) The writer warns us not to let them wear you down.



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     “so that you may not grow weary and lose heart (Lit., fainting in your souls)”

     1. What causes one to faint?
        1) Adversity (Prov 24:10).
        2) Sin (Lam 1:22).
        3) Fear (Rom 8:15).
        4) Hunger and thirst (Ps 107:5).
        5) Arrogance (Ps 73:1-3).
        6) Diseases—false teaching (2 Tim 2:17).

     2. Considering and meditating upon Jesus will prevent us from growing
        weary and fainting (discouraged in your souls).
        1) We cannot run with endurance if we become weary and discouraged.
        2) But as we consider the Lord and His example (in itself a form of “waiting
           upon the Lord”), we shall not grow weary or faint (Isa 40:31).

     3. There are several verses that sound the same theme of not to lose heart.
        (1 Cor 15:58; 2 Cor 4:1, 16; Gal 6:9; 2 Thes 3:13).
        1) All of these scriptures give the same general message: “Don’t lose heart at
           doing what is good.”
        2) Also note the commendations given to the churches at Ephesus (Rev 2:3)
           and at Pergamum (Rev 2:13) for maintaining the truth.

     4. One moment a man is doing good and adds to the forward progress of the
        church, but then he faints, and suddenly he is a help no more, but takes the time
        and attention of several others to minister to him!
        1) Certainly, the man who faints in the service of Christ not only suffers
           disastrous consequences to himself, but becomes a tax and burden upon
           others also.
        2) Our problem: We are not fully committed.
        3) Today, if someone says something mean—gone for a month or forever.

                                SUMMARY OF 12:1-3

1.   These verses give us nearly a perfect summary of the Christian life.
     1) GOAL: Complete the course of required action set before us.
     2) INSPIRATION: Great group of witnesses who preceded us.
     3) HANDICAP: Sin we carry with us.
     4) THE MEANS: Endurance.
     5) EXAMPLE: Jesus and the life He lived on earth.

2.   “Running the race of faith” requires both negative and positive elements…
     1) Negatively, we must lay aside things which would hinder us.

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     2) Positively, we must keep our focus on Jesus who has made our salvation
        possible.

3.   In both cases, the word of God is crucial…
     1) For in it we learn what sort of things we must lay aside.
     2) For in it we learn about our Lord, what He endured, how His example
        should motivate us.

4.   Have you lost your endurance?
     1) Have you grown weary in “running the race of faith”?
     2) Let the Bible help you examine what “baggage” should be left aside!
     3) Let the Bible help you learn about Jesus whose example can encourage you
        to continue on with perseverance! (Recall 10:36).

12:4-13: DESIGN AND PURPOSE OF ALL DIVINE DISCIPLINE.

4:   “You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against
     sin”

     1. 1-3: Emphasized “endurance”—this implies…
        1) That the “race” will not always be an easy one.
        2) Our “author and perfecter of faith” (“forerunner”) Himself had to endure
           hostility from sinners and eventually the cross.

     2. Now they are reminded that they had “not yet” suffered as much as the Lord.
        1) This may be around the corner—Recall 1st generation of martyrs.
        2) “You haven’t died for your beliefs yet.”—Therefore—need endurance!
        3) The comparison is to Christ dying for His belief in the necessity to justify
           mankind before the Almighty God.
        4) Point: “Your sufferings are far short of those which Christ endured.”
        5) Although they had earlier endured “a great conflict of sufferings” they were
           likely to intensify (10:32-36).
        6) Their opposition was not as severe as the Lord’s—if He could endure His,
           they could endure theirs.

     3. Faith and meditation will bring in a flood of fresh supplies of strength, comfort,
        and courage—for Christ has assured us, “if we endure (suffer with Him), we will
        also reign with Him” (2 Tim 2:12).
        1) Some struggles of faith are against men but the great conflict is against sin.
        2) Therefore, we also should be able to complete the race successfully.




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5:   “and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons”

     1. The hardships which they had already experienced and endured were exactly
        what they should have expected. It was nothing unusual.
        1) Those who may have complained about their suffering needed to be
           reminded of Proverbs 3:11-12.

     “My son, do not regard lightly (despise not) the discipline (chastening) of the
     LORD, nor faint when you are reproved (thou art rebuked) by Him”

     1. This means that we must accept the afflictions with the idea that they are part of
        God’s training for our preparation to live in heaven.
        1) The child of God must not despise discipline—or be discouraged.
        2) The child of God must not faint under the impact of it.
        3) Fainting in this case means “shrinking back” from the gospel (10:39).

     2. Discipline (chastening) (paideia) is “the whole training and education of
        children (which relates to the cultivation of mind and morals, and employs for
        this purpose now commands and admonitions, now reproof and punishment)
        whatever in adults also cultivates the soul, esp. by correcting mistakes and
        curbing passions, instruction which aims at increasing virtue, according to
        biblical usage chastisement, chastening, (of the evils with which God visits men
        for their amendment)” (Thayer).
        1) It means to bring up a child, or to train.
        2) In this verse it means to discipline as a parent does a child for correction of
            actions or attitudes.

     3. There are 3 forms of discipline.
        1) INSTRUCTIVE—designed to prevent the need for corrective discipline.
           *In the form of warnings, admonitions, teaching (John 15:2-3)—purify.
           *It can also be in the form of “tribulation” or “persecution.”
            God allows persecution for Christ’s sake!

           *God does not directly cause this suffering, but He allows it within the
            limits He determines best because it has value as part of our training
            (Job 1:1, 8; Rom 5:3-4; Jas 1:2-4; 1 Pet 5:8-10).

        2) CORRECTIVE—used when instructive discipline is not heeded.
           *Note the examples of Judah and Israel (Amos 2:4-5; 4:6-12; Ps 119:67,
            71).

        3) PUNITIVE—used when corrective discipline is not heeded (1 Cor 5; 2 Cor
           2:6; Rev 2:20-23).
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           *This implies that God may choose to use corrective and punitive discipline
           in the form of national and even personal affliction.

6:   “for those whom the LORD loves He disciplines, and He scourges (punishes)
     every son whom He receives.”

     1. The writer reminds his readers that faith is especially important when we are
        faced with experiences that discipline us.
        1) That discipline may come as a bit of discomfort or it may come as a life-
           threatening or a life-taking action.
        2) Jesus experienced extreme suffering to the point of death (5:8).

     2. The discipline (chastening) of the Lord is clearly taught in the Bible.
        1) O.T. (Deut 8:5; Prov 3:11-12).
        2) N.T. (1 Cor 11:31-32; Rev 3:19).

7:   “It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what
     son is there whom his father does not discipline?”

     1. This verse discusses the effect of chastening and the relationship that God
        maintains with us.
        1) It declares that God will treat those who survive chastening with honor.
        2) All of God’s children must experience chastening.
        3) Prov 27:5: God’s love is not hidden.

     2. Another way to view this verse is to assume that if you are suffering adversity,
        then God is dealing with you—HE IS IN YOUR LIFE!
        1) If you were not suffering trials, our God would not be in our lives.
        2) The devil has no need to torment those who are already on his side.

     3. Corrective and punitive discipline is not popular in this generation.
        1) If the letter had been written to this generation the question would be
           reversed.
        2) “What son is it whom his father does chasten?”
        3) Many die from drugs—some may still be alive if chastened.

8:   “But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you
     are illegitimate children and not sons.”

     1. Illegitimate children were generally neglected and deprived of proper
        training and discipline.
        1) If we had no suffering to endure, we would be deprived of needed training,
            just as illegitimate children are.

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        2) To be without trials could be more of a mark of rejection, rather than a mark
           of divine favor.
        3) But some may ask, “Doesn’t God discipline the ungodly as well?”
           ANS: Yes, He does—but their punishment is eternal.

9:   “Furthermore, we had earthly fathers (Lit., fathers of our flesh) to discipline us,
     and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of
     spirits, and live?”

     1. But consider we only give our fathers respect if we are properly trained.
        1) Submitting to the chastening God gives us, is a necessary part of our training
           rather than developing a rebellious attitude.
        2) God expects us to obey our parents (Eph 6:1-2; Deut 21:18-21), but He
           expects to receive even more respect than we give our parents.
        3) Responding to God’s discipline in a positive way will ensure eternal life.

10: “For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He
    disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness.”

     1. God is better than our parents at providing appropriate discipline.
        1) He knows exactly what is needed to correct our behavior (spiritual or
           physical).
        2) God’s chastening is always to our profit and should lead to holiness.
        3) Our heavenly Father disciplines for a reason that far excels any earthly
           purpose.

     2. God’s chastening is never unreasonable.
        1) Suffering may be needed to stay faithful—tough thing to go through.
        2) Suppose pleasing God would cost you your job, spouse, family, life.
        3) Is it fair (reasonable) for God to ask you to give it up to remain faithful?
        4) Rom 12:1-2: Yes, it is reasonable and fair.

     3. God’s chastening is never unbearable.
        1) 1 Cor 10:13: tells us that He will never subject us to more than we can bear.
           Rather, more correctly, the verse guarantees that He will provide strength for
           us to endure without succumbing to the temptation.
        2) Being tempted is not the sin—but succumbing to the temptation is a sin.
        3) 2 Pet 2:9: Declares that the Lord will rescue godly men from trials.

11: “All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those
    who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of
    righteousness.”


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    1. Discipline is not supposed (expected) to be a pleasant experience.
       1) We are expected to adapt to discouraging circumstances.
       2) No one likes to be disciplined (straightened out), but afterwards, the
          recipient of the discipline should be happy to be on the right track.
       3) If we endure it with the proper spirit—we become stronger.
       4) What am I supposed to learn from the experience?

                       THE WEAK AND FAINTHEARTED

12: “Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble
13: and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be
    put out of joint, but rather be healed.”

    1. The vision of an Olympic race is still in mind of the author (12:1).
       1) 11: He alludes to the preparation for a race: the endless practicing, the
          strengthening exercises, the endurance and stamina training, and the
          concentration on winning the race.
       2) Practicing for the race is hard, but when the race is finished (won), it is nice
          to know that the practice was done and it was worthwhile.

    2. 12-13: The writer uses an exhortation to encourage continuing in
       faithfulness (Isa 35:3).
       1) His example is of the racer exhausted, about to collapse on the sideline, not
           able to finish the race.
       2) Drooping hands and weak knees remind one of the exhaustion of running a
           grueling, extended race.
       3) Making a straight path for the feet suggests getting rid of any rocky
           obstructions—run where it is safe and smooth so that the body will not suffer
           more damage (Isa 40:3-4—common expression).

    3. Since we know that suffering is useful, we must not be discouraged and quit
       when we suffer for our faith.
       1) The hands hanging down and the feeble knees represent spiritual
          faintheartedness, weariness in well doing (Gal 6:9).
       2) The picture is one ceasing to exert himself because he thinks the load is too
          heavy and he cannot go on (runner is weak—about to fall).
       3) Knowing the purpose of our hardships should give us courage and renewed
          spiritual strength to continue (2).

    4. Run with style.
       1) When arms and hands go limp—shake it off—be firm and focused.
       2) Cloud of witnesses--Move out (speed up not slow down)--second wind.
       3) When wounded—healed by moderate, equal exercise.

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    5. This call to action is not limited to strengthening just yourself (1 Thes 5:14;
       Gal 6:1).
       1) As we journey toward heaven, we must consider the lame, the weak that are
          in danger of not completing the journey.
       2) We are to do what we can to help them along.
       3) Rather than hindering them and aggravating their weak condition, we are to
          help them become strong.
       4) The admonition to “make straight paths” may mean to make it level or
          smooth so that the lame can travel it more easily.

    6. In a way, this call is similar to the one God gave to Joshua (Josh 1:6-9).
       1) Which Joshua later gave to Israel (Josh 23:6, 11).
       2) Let us also heed the call to “be strong and courageous”—run with style!
       3) 1 Cor 9:24-27.

12:14-17: THE PURSUIT OF PEACE AND HOLINESS.

    1. Having concluded a study on discipline and suffering, the author now
       discusses some delights that follow.
       1) Peace should come from a strengthened faith.

14: “Pursue peace with all men”

    1. We should not be surprised to read that we are to pursue peace.
       1) Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isa 9:6).
       2) He died to make peace possible: with God and with man (Rom 5:1;
          Eph 2:13-17).
       3) He taught that peacemakers will be called the children of God (Matt 5:9).
       4) A key element of the kingdom of God is peace (Rom 14:17-18).

    2. How does one pursue peace with all men?
       1) By seeking peace with God first (Prov 16:7).
          *We must first make our relationship with God what it ought to be.
          *Through Jesus, we can be at peace with God (Rom 5:1).
       2) Letting the peace of God rule in our hearts (Col 3:15-16).
          *God imparts peace through His word (Ps 119:165), and prayer
           (Phil 4:6-7).
          *If one is not at peace with himself, it is unlikely he can be at peace
           with others (2 Thes 3:16).
       3) By doing things which make for peace (Rom 14:19).
          *Being considerate of their conscience (Rom 14:13-21).
          *Seeking unity with compassion, love, tenderness, and courtesy and willing
           to respond to evil or reviling with a blessing (1 Pet 3:8-11; Eph 4:2-3).

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       4) Rom 12:18-21: “If possible”—Don’t sin to maintain peace.

    “and the sanctification (holiness) without which no one will see the Lord.”

    1. Literally, man must set himself apart for God (1 Pet 1:14-16; 1 Thes 4:7).
       1) True sanctification comes through faith in Jesus (Acts 26:18;
          Heb 10:10, 14).
       2) The word of God (John 17:17,19).
       3) The work of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:11; 2 Thes 2:13; Tit 3:5).

    2. We cooperate with God in pursuing holiness by:
       1) Offering ourselves as “slaves of righteousness” (Rom 6:19-22).
       2) “Perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor 7:1).
       3) Also putting on the “new man…in true righteousness and holiness”
          (Eph 4:24; Col 3:9-14).

    3. In many respects, this is what the Christian life is all about.
       1) Pursuing peace and holiness!
       2) How successful we are will depend on how diligently we avoid the
          PITFALLS THAT HINDER OUR PURSUIT (12:15-17).

                        BE ALERT—LOOK DILIGENTLY

15: (1) “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God”

    1. Without God’s grace, none can be saved, pursue peace, or have the holiness
       necessary to see God!
       1) When one ceases to enjoy God’s grace he loses a sense of awe (12:28).
       2) Here are some warning signs when one becomes bored.

    2. But do Christians need to concern themselves with falling from grace?
       Consider:
       1) The warning not to neglect our great salvation (2:1-3).
       2) The warning not to be hardened by sin (3:12-14).
       3) The warning to be diligent (4:1,11; 2 Pet 1:10).
       4) The warning against willful sin (10:26-31).
       5) The warning not to receive God’s grace in vain (2 Cor 6:1).
       6) The warning not to fall from grace (Gal 5:4).
       7) The warning to “look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we
          worked for” (2 John 8).
          *If there were no possibility for one to fall short of the grace of God, then
           there would be no need for us to be “looking diligently.”


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    3. For the Christian—God’s grace can be just a prayer away (4:16)!
       1) We should be impressed with our God and His word.

    (2) “that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be
        defiled”

    1. Root: The reference is to Deut 29:18.
       1) Those that forsook God and go after idols were said to be “a root bearing
          poisonous fruit and wormwood.”
       2) They would produce bitter and evil fruit as they corrupt the people (church).
       3) A root is small, local, earthly, invisible working slowly and very near to
          believers.
       4) Consider the stages of growth from one tiny seed through a root to a mighty
          tree.

    2. Bored people tend to get negative, bitter, ungodly.
       1) EX: Three men on a fishing trip—waited in a cabin for 3 days to until the
          rain stopped. When men don’t fish—they fight.

    3. Bitterness can be a stumbling block in our pursuit of peace.
       1) It destroys the peace within the person who harbors it.
       2) Modern medicine has shown that emotions like bitterness and anger can
          cause problems such as headaches, backaches, allergic disorders, ulcers, high
          blood pressure, heart attacks, etc.
       2) It can destroy the peace in a congregation where it becomes manifest.
       3) If we are going to make straight paths for your feet, then we need to clip
          any root of bitterness “in the bud”!

16: (3) “that there be no immoral (fornicator)”

    1. General term for any kind of sexual immorality including pre-marital sex,
       adultery, homosexuality, etc.
       1) God’s law has not changed (13:4; Gal 5:9).
       2) Gen 39:9: Sin against God.
       3) Prov 6:32: Sin against one’s very own soul.
       4) 1 Cor 6:18: Therefore, let us “flee fornication!”

    (4) “or godless (profane) person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a
        single meal.” (Gen 25:29-34).

    1. His birthright included custody of the sacred promises—Messiah and
       “seed” of Abraham.


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       1) Though Jacob and Rebekah tricked Isaac into giving Jacob the blessing (their
          deceit was wrong), they must have felt that they were obtaining what was
          rightfully Jacob’s anyway.

    2. A profane person has little regard for things holy and is interested only in
       earthly things that can be enjoyed at the moment.
       1) Living for momentary pleasure, Esau sold his birthright for a meal.
       2) There is no indication that Esau was a fornicator.
       3) But he was a godless person because he did not properly estimate the value
          of his birthright.
       4) One does not have to be overly wicked—they can displease God simply
          devaluing that which is important to God!

    3. Some of the Hebrew Christians were on the verge of giving up even something
       more valuable than what Esau gave up.
       1) We can become godless (profane) by devaluing our spiritual blessings.
       2) In Christ, we have a spiritual birthright (redemption, fellowship with God,
          the hope of eternal life).

    4. The lesson to Christians—Satan offers very little—beans.
       1) Are we willing to sell our birthright for a single meal?
       2) We can let careers, hobbies, friends, even families, come between us and the
          things of God.

17: “For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he
    was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with
    tears.”

    1. Esau could not reverse the effects of his decision.
       1) This verse shows how far past all human calculation are the consequences of
          sin—takes us further than we want to go and keeps us longer than we want to
          stay.
       2) There will come a time when nothing can be done to undo the harm.
       3) Though many will seek the eternal inheritance with tears at the final
          judgment, the decision they made in this life will be irrevocable (Matt 7:21-
          23).

12:18-29: HEEDING THE VOICE FROM THE MOUNTAIN.

    1. Once again contrasts the old covenant to the new covenant.
       1) Our attention is drawn to Mt. Sinai to look at the delivering of the Law to
          Moses, and then to Mt. Zion when the church was established.


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18-21: “For you have not come to a mountain that may be touched and to a blazing
    fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, and to the blast of a trumpet and
    the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no
    further word should be spoken to them. For they could not bear the command,
    ‘If even a beast touches the mountain, it will be stoned.’ And so terrible was the
    sight, that Moses said, ‘I am full of fear and trembling.’”

    1. It seems to have been much like a volcano (Ex 20:18; Deut 4:11).
       1) It frightened the people (Deut 5:22-26; 18:16).
       2) Even Moses was afraid (a godly and educated man) (Deut 9:19).

    2. God can scare people to awe—works for a while.
       1) This scene inspired a deep reverence for the Law that was given there.
       2) We have not come to such a mountain that forces us to stand at a distance
          (“afar off”).
       3) We have come to something even more marvelous.
       4) The circumstances pertaining to the New Covenant are more awesome and
          should cause greater reverence!

22-24: The “mountain” to which we have come is one that encourages us to “draw
       near”. This should produce a lasting sense of awe.
       EX: A tour guide showing us around.
           Describes the things to which we have come:

22: (1) “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the
    heavenly Jerusalem”

    1. We have not come to literal Zion and Jerusalem, but to the true dwelling
       place of God in heaven.
       1) As the throne of David was in literal Jerusalem, the throne of Christ is in
          heaven.
       2) It is the headquarters of the spiritual kingdom of which we are citizens (Phil
          3:20; Col 1:18).

    2. Zion was originally the stronghold of the Jebusites in Jerusalem that became the
    “city of David” (2 Sam 5:6-10).
       1) The term “Zion” came to be used to refer to:
           *The city of Jerusalem (Ps 48:2; 84:7; Amos 6:1).
           *The heavenly Jerusalem (Isa 28:16; Ps 2:6; Rev 14:1).

    3. The heavenly city…
       1) Was longed for by Abraham and others (11:10, 13-16).
       2) Is longed for by Christians today (13:14).

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       3) We will one day experience (Rev 3:12; 21:1-7; 22:14).
          *This heavenly city is where our Lord dwells and is our eternal home.
          *In coming to Christ we have come into the covenant which gives us
           the right to a place in that city.

                            NOTE SOME CONTRASTS

       Mt. Sinai                                   Mt. Zion (heavenly)
       Animal blood                                God’s blood
       Moses as servant                            Christ as King/Priest
       Law                                         Grace
       Earthly tabernacle                          Heavenly throne
       Fear                                        Peace
       Only one nation                             All nations
       Slavery (Gal 4:24-25)                       Freedom (Gal 4:26)
          Gal 3:10                                    Gal 3:11
          Gal 3:12                                    Gal 3:13-14

    (2) “and to myriads of angels”

    1. The heavenly servants of God, of which there is a great number (Rev 5:11).
       1) They also minister to those who will inherit salvation (Heb 1:14).
       2) The fact that angels populate the heavenly city should impress us with the
          glorious nature of that city.

    2. Angels are a festive and joyful assembly.
       1) They never sing off key.
       2) Their voice is always in perfect harmony.

23: (3) “to the general assembly and church of the firstborn”

    1. Firstborn: Is plural in Greek—therefore referring to Christians.
       1) They enjoy special privileges of their birthright.
       2) Since the firstborn son enjoyed superior privileges, the term came to be used
          of those who were of superior rank or position.
       3) Of all people on earth, Christians enjoy superior blessings, hence are
          comparable to firstborn sons.

    “who are enrolled in heaven” (Luke 10:20)

    1. Their names are written in the book of life (Phil 3:21; 4:3; Rev 3:5).
       1) No one but God can blot your name out.
       2) Ex 32:32: The ancient faithful such as Moses are in it.

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       3) Dan 12:1: All the faithful found in the book of life.

    2. We have come to the throne room of God.
       1) Abraham, Moses, David, apostles, martyrs, children.

    (4) “and to God, the Judge of all”

    1. We have come into fellowship with the one who is the Judge of all the earth
       (Gen 18:25).
       1) He is the One to whom we must give heed, as we will note shortly.
       2) He has never been seen before (1 Tim 6:16).

    (5) “and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect”

    1. People in past ages have been perfected by the blood of Christ (11:39-40; 9:15,
       22-24).
       1) We are spiritually united with them as we, along with them, have been
          justified by the Savior’s blood (1 Thes 4:13-18; 1 Cor 15:51; 1 John 3:2).

24: (6) “and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant” (8:6)

    1. This “new covenant” is by means of His death (9:15).
       1) Hence, we receive the blessings of the new covenant.

    (7) “and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.”

    1. In O.T. shed physical blood of animals and sprinkled it on tabernacle and
       people.
       1) Did anyone catch a jar of Jesus’ blood? Physically sprinkled on you?
       2) Where did Christ shed His blood? IN HIS DEATH (John 19:34).

    2. Rom 6:3: “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into
       Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?”
       1) When you were “baptized into His death” is when the Lord sprinkled your
          spirit with His blood (not with water)=FORGIVEN.
       2) Col 2:11-12: What happens to the body when baptized? (O.T.—shadow).
       3) Hebrews—using deeper terms to talk about what happens in baptism.
       4) Emphasizing—the sprinkled blood=forgiveness of sins.
       5) The blood of Christ has been spiritually sprinkled on our hearts through
          baptism, producing results that no other blood can.
       6) We must come in contact with Christ’s blood through baptism.



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    “which speaks better than the blood of Abel.”

    1. Abel still speaks through the example of his faith (11:3).
       1) But in comparison, the blood of Jesus speaks volumes! (10:11-14).

    2. Note some contrasts:
       1) Abel cried out for revenge—Christ cried out for forgiveness.
       2) Abel’s sacrifice could only benefit himself—Christ’s one time blood
          sacrifice benefits the whole world.

    3. Picture a fountain of blood. (blood dripping from His veins—shed for you).
       1) This should strike our heart so that we can’t help but remember His shed
          blood every day of our lives.
       2) EX: Woman gives her heart to save another.

    4. In coming to Christ, being redeemed by the blood of the new covenant, we have
       drawn near to this wonderful “mountain”!
       1) It is a place that offers many wonderful blessings, both now and with
          promise for the future.
       2) But the author’s purpose is not just to review the blessings we have in
          coming to this “mountain”—HE IS WARNING US.

25: “See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For is those did not
    escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less (more) shall
    we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven.”

    1. When God spoke on earth (Mt. Sinai), the disobedient were punished.
       1) 2:2: “every transgression and disobedience received a just reward”
       2) 3:17: “those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness”
       3) 10:28: “Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses died without mercy.”

    2. The argument once again is one of comparison.
       1) 2:1-4: “how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?”
       2) 10:26-31: “How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve…?”
          (Luke 12:48).

    3. Surely, then, if we reject the word spoken from heaven (Mt. Zion, the
       heavenly Jerusalem), our punishment will be all the more certain.
       1) Don’t ignore the voice calling from heaven for our loyalty and trust.
       2) If we do—will not escape punishment even though He calls from heaven.
       3) In Christ we enjoy so much more—dare we refuse to heed Him who speaks,
          not from earth, but from heaven itself!


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26: “And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, ‘Yet once
    more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.’”

    1. God has promised a more extensive and powerful shaking than Mt. Sinai.

27: “And this expression, ‘Yet once more,’ denotes the removing of those things
    which can be shaken, as of created things, in order that those things which
    cannot be shaken may remain.”

    1. Once: This word indicates a FINAL shaking is referred to.
       1) All that can be shaken—all that is not permanent—will be removed.
       2) All that will remain will be things that “cannot be shaken.”
       3) I believe this final “shaking” refers to the end of the world (2 Pet 3:10-12).

28: “Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show
    gratitude (show gratitude), by which we may offer to God an acceptable service
    with reverence and awe”

    1. We have this assurance that we have received a kingdom that will continue
       to stand (Dan 2:44; Luke 1:33; Matt 16:18).
       1) We are encouraged to remain in Christ—only place of safety.
       2) Those in the kingdom should be thankful for this and serve God with
           reverence and awe.

29: “for our God is a consuming fire.”

    1. The consequences of failure to heed the voice who speaks from the heavenly
       “mountain” are terrible, for He “is a consuming fire” (10:27, 31).




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                               Study Questions
                                      Hebrews 12

1.   What is the “great cloud of witnesses”?

2.   How can we “lay aside every weight”?

3.   How are we to run our race?

4.   What motivated Christ to “endure the cross”?

5.   What did Christ endure at the hands of sinners?

6.   Who will God chasten?
     How?
     Why?

7.   If we endure chastening, how will God deal with us?

8.   If God does not chasten us, what are we called?

9.   What should chastening yield?

10. What 2 things are we to pursue, and why?


11. Who is given as an example of being profane?
    What was the tragedy of his life?

12. In Christ, what mountain have we NOT come to?

13. What did the people beg for at this mountain?
    Why?

14. What did Moses think of the sight at this mountain?

15. In Christ, what mountain have we come to?

16. What is the “general assembly”?

17. Who are “enrolled (registered) in heaven”?

18. How does the blood of Christ speak “better than the blood of Abel”?
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19. What happened to those who refused to listen to “him who warned them on earth”?

20. Why is it impossible to escape “Him who warns (speaks) from heaven”?

21. Whose “voice shook the earth”?

22. When will He shake the earth again?

23. What is the “removing of those things which can be shaken”?

24. What “cannot be shaken”?

25. What have we received in Christ?

26. With what attitude are we to serve God?

27. What is a motivation for serving God?




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                            HEBREWS THIRTEEN
                   THE PRACTICE AND THE FRUITS OF FAITH

                   SUMMARY OF HEBREWS THIRTEEN

     EXHORTATION TO SOCIAL DUTIES (13:1-6). Christians are exhorted to
love their brethren, to be kind and hospitable to strangers, to sympathize with all who
are in affliction, to avoid all uncleanness and covetousness, and to be content, placing
their trust in God. These are essential qualities (fruits of faith) of the Christian life.

     EXHORTATION TO PERSONAL RELIGIOUS DUTIES (13:7-17). The
readers were exhorted to remember their former teachers (apostles and other inspired
men) that taught them the truth, recall their dedication, and imitate their faith. They
were to be loyal to the changeless Christ and not be led away by false teaching (13:8-9).
The heart is to be established by the grace which God has bestowed in the gospel and
not by depending upon those sacrificial feasts from which those who attend have
derived no profit.

     Christians have an altar (the cross of Christ and the saving benefits of His death).
Those who still trust in the rites and ceremonies of the old system are excluded from
these benefits because they are rejecting Christ (13:10). To illustrate the point that the
blessings of Christ could not be obtained within Judaism, the writer alludes to the Old
Testament law (13:11-12). Under the law, animals whose blood was taken to the Holy
of Holies (Most Holy Place) on the Day of Atonement were “buried outside the camp”,
hence, unlike other sacrifices, they were not eaten by anyone. Just as those animals
were “burned outside the camp”, Jesus was slain outside the gate of Jerusalem. Being
the headquarters of Judaism, Jerusalem was their “camp” in the first century. Jesus,
therefore, having been sacrificed “outside the camp”, was like the sacrifices the Jews
could not eat. As they could not eat the sacrifices that were burned outside the camp,
they could not partake of (receive the blessings of) His sacrifice as long as they
remained in the “camp” of Judaism. They are encouraged to go “outside the camp”
and renounce Judaism as a means of salvation in order to enjoy the blessings of the
Lord’s sacrifice. Such would result in “reproach” (13:13). Loyalty to Christ many
times means separation—from family and loved ones, friends or whatever is necessary
(Matt 10:34-39).

     To further encourage the Hebrew Christians in renouncing their ties to Jerusalem,
they are reminded that Jerusalem was not permanent. They should give their loyalty
and devotion not to the city that was soon to be destroyed (8:13), but to the continuing
one that is to come (13:14; cf. 11:10, 16). As priests under the new covenant (1 Pet
2:5, 9), we are to offer up spiritual sacrifices of “praise to God” from our lips and good
works to our fellow man. God delights in such sacrifices (13:15-16).

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     Christians are not only to remember their teachers of the past, but they are to obey
those who have rule over them at the present. Elders occupy that position in the local
church (Acts 20:17, 28); 1 Tim 5:17; 1 Pet 5:1-2). They watch for our souls as
shepherds guarding a flock. This includes such things as feeding, leading, and
protecting the flock (guarding against wolves) (Acts 20:28-32; Tit 1:9). They will
account for the manner in which they have performed their work. If we are rebellious
and go astray despite their efforts, they will suffer grief. This will be “unprofitable” for
us because our souls will be lost.

     PERSONAL REMARKS (13:18-25). The writer then requests (as is often done
in the N.T.) that they pray for him as he is sincerely striving to live honorably in God’s
service. Also, he wants them to pray for him that he might soon be in their company
again. The writer then prays for them that God, who raised up the Lord, would bring
them to maturity in doing God’s will. In the final statement the author exhorts his
readers to give heed to and “bear with this word of exhortation” which he had written
to them briefly. A bit of welcomed news is added that Timothy had been set free from
prison and if he came soon they, together, would visit them. He finally expresses that
God’s blessings may rest upon all those addressed.

13:1-17: THE PRACTICE AND THE FRUITS OF FAITH.

1-3: EXHORTATIONS TO MANIFEST LOVE TOWARD OTHER PEOPLE.

1:   “Let love of the brethren continue.”

     1. The importance of brotherly love.
        1) The word “philadelphia” means the natural love which brothers and sisters
           have for each other—but in the NT it means the love which all Christians
           should cherish for each other as members of the body of Christ.
        2) Brethren are just like me—created in the image of God, forgiven by the
           blood of Christ, an heir of eternal life, same temptations and sins.
        3) Brotherly love is a mark of true discipleship (John 13:35).
        4) It is an indication of true spiritual life (1 John 3:14).
        5) Who can withhold love for a brother (1 John 2:11)?

     2. The Hebrews had manifested brotherly love in the past.
        1) In their service to God and His saints (6:10).
        2) Even in their service to the author (10:32-34).

     3. The need for brotherly love never diminishes. It is God’s will that it
        continue.
        1) The Thessalonians were exhorted to excel in their love (1 Thes 4:9-10).
        2) The Philippians were encouraged to abound in their love (Phil 1:9).

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        3) Peter wrote that our love should abound (2 Pet 1:7).

     4. The verse implies that there are some dangers that may stop brotherly love.
        1) Differences of opinion, selfishness, conflict of interests, lack of association,
           awareness of sin in others more than your own, pride, love of ease, ambition,
           too busy.
        2) The true Christian faith will overcome every obstacle thrown in our path.
        3) This is the secret of a growing and effective church.
        4) The world will desire to join in as contrasted to persuasive argument alone.
        5) It is imperative that such love continues!

2:   “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have
     entertained angels without knowing it.”

     1. “Philo”=to love. “Xenia”=a stranger, guest. A lover of strangers.
        1) Gen 18:1-8: Abraham—10-14: Blessed as a result—child.
        2) Lev 19:33-34: Owed hospitality to strangers—never to forget that they had
           been strangers in Egypt (Deut 10:17-19). Treat as honored guests.
        3) Deut 23:3-4: Not blessed for a lack of hospitality.
           5-6: God’s rejected people will be blessed.
        4) Acts 20:35: There is always the “blessedness” of giving.
           *Let the stranger be in your mind.
           *Don’t let one slip by your gates--May bring you an unexpected blessing.

3:   “Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-
     treated, since you yourselves also are in the body. (10:32-36)

     1. To remember and visit Christians in prison was an act of devotion to Christ
        Himself (Matt 25:35-40).
        1) Their provisions for the prisoners would be a “fragrant aroma”
           Phil 4:18: Church sent Epaphroditus to Paul while in prison.
        2) They could also remember them in their prayers (Acts 12:5; Eph 6:18-20).

     2. Their loving remembrance was to be influenced by their sense of fellowship in
        their brethren’s suffering as though in prison with them.
        1) 1 Cor 12:26; Rom 12:15: The Lord intended such connection between the
           members of His body.

     3. They should also have a sense of awareness of their own vulnerability,
        since you yourselves also are in the body.
        1) They would not be immune to persecution for their faith themselves,
           therefore they should be sensitive to the sufferings of others.


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        2) Being in the body ourselves, we can understand physical suffering so as
           to be able to sympathize with our brethren.

4-6: LIVE GODLY LIVES.

4:   “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled;
     for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”

     1. We are to have the right attitude toward marriage—honored, not
        dishonored.
        1) Why? God will judge those who violate it!
        2) Why? Because they destroy the lives of others, their own life.
        3) Num 32:23: “Be sure your sin will find you out.”



5-6: “Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you
     have; for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake
     you,’ so that we confidently say, ‘the Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid, what
     shall man do to me?’”

     1. Covetousness is greed. Why? Not content with what we have.
        1) Trying to gain security and confidence that is forfeited through a lack of
           trust in God.
        2) Contentment is possible regardless of our circumstances because we know
           that God will continue to be with us.

     2. The key to contentment.
        1) Trusting in God’s care (1 John 4:4; Matt 6:25-33).
        2) Knowing that you can’t take things with you (1 Tim 6:7).
        3) Realizing what is truly “essential” for life (1 Tim 6:8).
        4) Understanding that material things do not satisfy (Eccl 5:10; 6:7;
           Acts 17:26-27).
        5) True contentment is a gift from God (Phil 4:11-13).

7-9: ENCOURAGEMENT TO FAITHFULNESS.

7:   “Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and
     considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.”

     1. The power of example (influence)—What a person does (led) or says
        (spoke). Remember past leaders and follow their faith.


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        1) While elders are the overseers of a congregation, they do not seem to be
           the only ones under consideration in this verse.
        2) The Hebrews has been under the direct supervision of apostles and other
           inspired men (Heb 2:3).

     2. Consider the final outcome or result of their manner of life—their faith served
        them well. This may imply that some were dead.
        1) Stephen (Acts 7).
        2) James, the brother of John (Acts 12:2).

8:   “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.”

     1. In what way?
        1) Certainly not in every respect, for He was once “in the flesh” but not today.

     2. The context must determine the answer. The context pertains to:
        1) “the word of God” (7).
        2) “varied and strange teachings” (9).
            Therefore, it is the doctrine of Christ, which is unchangeable.

     3. The past leaders may be gone, but the Christ they trusted and taught them to
        trust remains the unchanged.
        1) The same Christ who had preserved the previous generation in their trials
           would also bless and preserve them.
        2) We can still trust Him as they did, so let us not forsake Him.

     4. The fact that His character and His word has not changed does that mean that
        He continues to do everything He ever did?
        1) There are some things He no longer does, not because He has changed, but
           because of changing circumstances.
        2) It would be illogical to argue from this verse, that since Christ worked
           miracles in the past, He must still be working miracles.
        3) Or, since Jesus lived under the law, He continues to do so.
        4) On the basis of this reasoning, we could say that He still creates worlds with
           earths like this one, comes to earth as a man, and offers Himself on a cross.

9:   “Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the
     heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were
     thus occupied were not benefited.”

     1. It is apparent the author has in mind the temptation to return to the Law.
        1) To the dietary restrictions found in the Law.
        2) To the altar and tabernacle of the old covenant (13:10-11).
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       3) While they served their purpose, they do not provide what one really needs
          (Col 2:20-3:2).

    2. Dietary laws have nothing to do with our salvation.
       1) Rather, it is the gracious blessings of the gospel that will establish our hearts.
       2) The gospel of grace can make us what we should be inwardly (2 Cor 5:14-
          19). There is grace in every command (Acts 20:32).
       3) Therefore it is vital that we not be led away from the doctrine of Christ
          (Eph 4:14; 2 John 9).

10-14: RENOUNCE JUDAISM AND RELY ON CHRIST.

10: “We have an altar, from which those who serve the tabernacle have not right to
    eat.”

    1. The term altar is used (a metonymy) to stand for the sacrifice that is offered on
       the altar.
       1) EX: We use the term “dish” to stand for the food on the dish.
       2) EX: Or the term “table” to stand for the food on the table.

    2. The point is, we have a “sacrifice”, and those involved in Judaism cannot
       participate in the blessings it brings.
       1) Those who still trust in the rites and ceremonies of the old system are
          excluded from these benefits because they are rejecting Christ’s one time
          sacrifice (10:10-12).

11: “For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy place by
    the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside the camp.”

    1. For those who want to eat according to the rules of the old order—Listen to this!
       1) Under the law, animals whose blood was taken to the Most Holy Place on
          the Day of Atonement were burned outside the camp.
       2) Therefore, unlike other sacrifices, they were not eaten by anyone.

12: “Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood,
    suffered outside the camp.”

    1. Just as those animals were burned outside the camp, Jesus was slain outside the
       gate of Jerusalem.
       1) Being the headquarters of Judaism, Jerusalem was their “camp” in the first
          century.



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       2) As they could not eat the sacrifices that were burned outside the camp, they
          could not partake of (receive the blessings of) His sacrifice as long as they
          remained in the “camp” of Judaism.

13: “Hence, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.”

    1. They are encouraged to go outside the camp and renounce Judaism as a means
       of salvation, in order to enjoy the blessings of the Lord’s sacrifice.
       1) They couldn’t partake of Christ, unless they lay aside the old order (antitype,
           shadow) and identify with Christ who suffered without the camp.
       2) Such loyalty to Christ would result in reproach.

14: “For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to
    come.”

    1. To further encourage the Hebrew Christians in renouncing their ties to
       Jerusalem, they are reminded that Jerusalem was not permanent.
       1) They should give their loyalty and devotion not to the city that was soon to
          be destroyed, but to the continuing one that is to come (11:10, 16).
       2) Therefore, it is not physical Jerusalem we long for, but the heavenly city
          (12:22).

15-17: GOD-PLEASING SACRIFICES.

15: “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that
    is, the fruit of lips that give thanks (Lit., confess) to His name.”

    1. Rather than depending on the Levitical priesthood of Judaism, Christians
       should depend on the priesthood of Christ, offering spiritual sacrifices
       through Him.
       1) These sacrifices would not be acceptable except for the priestly work of
          Christ and our relationship to Him.
       2) These sacrifices include singing, prayer, teaching.
       3) We are to do these continually with stability in our service to God.

16: “And do not neglect doing good and sharing; for with such sacrifices God is
    pleased.”

    1. Actions show that we love and honor the Maker of all creation.
       1) We show our praise to God by doing good works to our fellow man.
       2) God delights in such sacrifices (Rom 12:13).
       3) They are like the “sweet-smelling aroma” of incense (Phil 4:18).


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17: “Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, as
    those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for
    this would be unprofitable for you.”

    1. Sobering thought for elders.
       1) Christians are not only to remember their teachers of the past, but they are to
          obey those who have rule over them at the present.
       2) Elders occupy that position in the local church (Acts 20:17, 28; 1 Tim 5:17;
          1 Pet 5:1-2).
       3) They watch for the souls as shepherds guarding the flock. This includes
          such things as guarding against wolves (Acts 20:28-32; Tit 1:9).

    2. Yet, those leaders must be faithful servants (shepherds) of God.
       1) They do not make their own laws, but they interpret the laws of God.
       2) They have the oversight in carrying out the word of God in the most
          expedient way. This is in the realm of exercising wise judgment.
       3) If their interpretation or judgment does not conflict with the word of God—
          then the members are to receive it as the word of God.
       4) There is nothing in this verse that would require Christians to submit to
          unfaithful, unsound, sinful, or deceived elders.

    3. Each elder will account for the manner in which they have performed their
       work.
       1) Those that have gone astray—was it through the negligence of the elder or
          was it through the hardheartedness of the follower?
       2) If it is due to negligence on the elder’s part—the price for the elder will be
          very high.
       3) But, if the loss is due to the member’s rebellious heart, the member will
          have a high price to pay and the elder will be redeemed.
       4) The writer reminds his readers that God holds them accountable for their
          own actions when they have been warned.
       5) But, the Lord holds the elder accountable to warn the members of his flock
          to save them (also himself) from bitterness.
       6) Ezek 3:16-24: This should be every elder’s constant companion.

    4. If members are rebellious and go astray despite their efforts, they will suffer
       grief.
       1) Believers are to obey and submit so that the watching by the elders will be a
          joyful task (3 John 4).
       2) A failure to cooperate will not only cause grief to those watching, but will
          make their work unprofitable for those whose sake it is done.



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13:18-25: PERSONAL REMARKS.

18-19: REQUEST FOR PRAYER ON BEHALF OF THE AUTHOR.

18: “Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to conduct
    ourselves honorably in all things.”

    1. Through the blood of Christ, his conscience has been made clean to serve God.
       1) Despite all the stern warnings and rebukes—honorable conduct (12:5).
       2) The Hebrew Christians should be willing to pray for him and his companions
          because of their upright manner of life.
       3) The author still held his readers to be bona fide Christians in a covenant
          relationship with God—otherwise their prayers would not be heard.

19: “And I urge you all the more to do this, that I may be restored to you the
    sooner.”

    1. Their combined prayers may persuade God to hurry his return to their midst
       (Jas 5:16). Only explanation—God’s power in answer to prayer.
       1) EX: Can you explain how the wrapping or winding of a wire, carrying an
          electric current, around a magnetic field, should so fantastically increase the
          velocity of the current? Only explanation—It works!

    2. The readers obviously know who the author is.
       1) Was the author in prison at the time?
       2) Was he on a long preaching tour?

20-21: BENEDICTION OFFERED ON THEIR BEHALF.

20: “Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead”

    1. Here is the writer’s prayer for the Hebrews.
       1) First, he describes the God to whom he prays.
       2) He is the God who brought Jesus from the dead.
       3) This is the only clear reference in Hebrews to the resurrection of Christ,
          though it has been assumed throughout the book, and was necessary if the
          sacrificial victim were to become a living High Priest.

    “the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even
    Jesus our Lord.”

    1. Jesus is the great Shepherd of the sheep, having been raised to occupy that
       position because of the blood He shed.

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       1) That blood makes the New Covenant valid.
       2) Also, this verse serves as a reminder to the rulers mentioned above that they
          are themselves under a Shepherd and must give an account to Him.

21: “equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is
    pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and
    ever. Amen.”

    1. This cannot be done on their own. They will need God’s help. How?
       1) “Through the blood of the eternal covenant” which is able to purge our
          conscience from dead works (9:14).
       2) By which Jesus has become the Mediator of the new and better covenant
          (9:15).

    2. His prayer was that God would provide the means for the Hebrews to fulfill
       God’s will in every good work.
       1) He prayed that God would work in them to do things well pleasing to Him.
       2) Phil 2:12-13: As we “work out” our salvation, God “works in” us!
       3) This does not mean that God would cause them to do these things apart from
          their own effort or without the influence of the word (1 Thes 2:13).

22: A FINAL EXHORTATION.

22: “But I urge you, brethren, bear (listen to) this word of exhortation, for I have
    written to you briefly.”

    1. While at times the author has written rather strongly, he encourages them to
       receive it patiently, with the proper attitude.
       1) It was a letter written “in few words,” for it was brief in view of the
          profound subjects discussed and the length of what could be said about them.

23: A COMMENT ABOUT TIMOTHY.

    “Take notice that our brother Timothy has been released, with whom, if he
    comes soon, I shall see you.”

    1. Most likely, this was Paul’s constant traveling companion.
       1) Evidently just released from prison, Timothy planned to join the author in
          coming to them.




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24-25: FAREWELL.

24: “Greet all of your leaders and all the saints. Those from Italy greet you.”

     1. Suggests that the author was writing from Italy, passing along greetings from
        those present.

25: “Grace be with you all.”

     1. The author finally expresses that God’s blessings may rest upon all those
        addressed.

                                    CONCLUSION

1.   So ends “the word of exhortation”, that grand epistle known simply as “The
     Epistle to the Hebrews”. What a masterpiece!
     1. Though written to Jewish Christians, with their particular need in mind, it is of
        great value to all Christians.
        1) It tells us more about the intercessory work of our Lord as High Priest and
           the value of that one-time blood sacrifice for all men of all ages more than
           any other book of the N.T.
        2) Its warnings and exhortations are needed just as much today by Christians
           who are being tempted to leave Christ and go back into the world.
        3) Heb 10:19-25 should especially stand out to encourage us all to “draw
           near” to God, to “hold fast” the hope we confess “without wavering”, and
           to “consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.” I pray
           that our study has served the same purpose.




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                                 Study Questions
                                      Hebrews 13

1.   What is “brotherly love”?

2.   How have some “entertained angels”?

3.   How are we to “remember the prisoners”?
     Who are these people?

4.   How does the Hebrew writer describe marriage?

5.   How is our conduct described in verse 5?
     What 2 scriptures did the writer quote?

6.   Whom else were they to remember?
     What had these men done?
     What were they to imitate?

7.   What is meant by the statement about Jesus Christ being “the same yesterday and
     today, and forever”?

8.   “Do not be carried away” by what?

9.   How is our heart “strengthened (established) by grace”?

10. What altar and sacrifice do Christians have?

11. Why were those who serve at the tabernacle excluded from it?

12. What is the significance of Christ suffering “outside the gate”?

13. How do we “go out to Him outside the camp”?

14. What is the “sacrifice of praise” in verse 15?

15. What type of sacrifices can we make that “God is pleased” with?

16. Who watches for our souls?

17. How should they perform this task?

18. What did the writer request them to do for him?
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19. What was the writer desiring to do?

20. What did the writer want for his readers?

21. What phrase does the writer use to describe Jesus in verse 20?

22. What is the “blood of the eternal covenant”?

23. What final exhortation does the writer give?

24. Who was “released (set free)” in verse 23?

25. What did he say about his travel plans and Timothy?

26. Who were the readers to salute?

27. How is it indicated that the letter was written from Italy?
    What group of people sent greetings to the Hebrew Christians?




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