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A Study Of The Apostle Paul Letter To The Hebrews

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A Study Of The Apostle Paul Letter To The Hebrews Powered By Docstoc
					             Don’t       Don’t
Don’t
                    A
             Depart!     fall    Don’t cast
neglect                  away!   away your
your                             confidence!
salvation!        Study
 Don’t           Of The            Don’t
                                   harden
 drift
 away!           Apostle           your
                                   heart!

              Paul’s Letter
             To The Hebrews
       How can we neglect so great
       a salvation? ~ Hebrews 2:3
     Hebrews: Christ Is Superior!
Superior Person (1:1—4:13)
    Superior to Prophets (1:1-3)
    Superior to Angels (1:4—2:18)
    Superior to Moses (3:1-19)
    Superior to Joshua (4:1-13)
Superior Priest (4:14—7:28)
    Superior to Aaron (4:14—6:12)
    Superior to Melchizedek (6:13—7:10)
    Superior to Levi (7:11-28) but…
    We’ll only get to verses 11-19 today.
     Hebrews: Christ Is Superior!
Superior Pact to Moses’ (8:1—10:18)
    Superior Promises (8:1-13)
    Superior Sanctuary (9:1-15)
    Superior Sacrifice (9:16-28)
    Superior Results (10:1-18)
Superior Principle (Faith) to Moses’
(10:19—13:25)
    Superior Things (10:19-39)
    Superior Actions (11:1-40)
    Superior Relationship (12:1-29)
    Superior Way of Life (13:1-25)
In our examination of 7:1-10 we studi-
ed Paul’s primary arguments about the
eternal and therefore superior order of
   Melchizedek’s priesthood over the
 temporal and therefore inferior order
 of Aaron’s priesthood; and Jesus, not
  being of the lineage of Aaron but of
 God who (like Mel) has no beginning
 or ending, is therefore of Mel’s order.
                        Now…   
In 7:11-19 we’ll find that Paul showed
how the ideal priesthood is realized in
Christ, an idea which set the stage for
  his lengthy discussion in chapters
 8—10 about how the Law of Christ is
 greater than the Law of Moses. (Re-
member, Moses was the brother of Aaron,
the first high priest of the Levitical order).
Hebrews   Therefore if per-
          fection were thru
 7:11    the Levitical priest-
          hood (for under it
          the people received
          the Law), what
          further need was
          there that another
          priest should rise
          according to the
          order of Mel and
          not be called ac-
          cording to the
          order of Aaron?
I.e., since Jesus has   Therefore if per-
become a High Priest    fection were thru
after the superior      the Levitical priest-
order of Mel (6:20—     hood (for under it
7:10), then it’s evi-   the people received
dent that the Leviti-   the Law), what
cal priesthood wasn’t   further need was
adequate.               there that another
                        priest should rise
                        according to the
                        order of Mel and
                        not be called ac-
                        cording to the
                        order of Aaron?
This comes from a       Therefore if per-
term referring to the   fection were thru
process or act of       the Levitical priest-
completion of God’s     hood (for under it
plan of man’s re-       the people received
storation to His fel-   the Law), what
lowship.    See…       further need was
                        there that another
                        priest should rise
                        according to the
                        order of Mel and
                        not be called ac-
                        cording to the
                        order of Aaron?
 The purpose of the priesthood was/is
to remove the barrier between God and
man—sin, so that man could again have
 access to God; and, since the Levitical
priesthood could only do that typically,
 a new priesthood had to be instituted
 which could actually provide salvation
for sinful man, which is why Paul later
wrote in verse 25 that Jesus saves in a
           completed manner!
 Later Paul wrote of the priesthood that
it was symbolic for the present time and
could not make him who performed the
 service perfect (9:9); and he said of the
 Law of that priesthood that it, having a
 shadow of the good things to come, …
 can never … make those who approach
perfect (10:1), or, as 7:19 says, the Law
 made nothing perfect. He also wrote, if
there had been a law given which could
   have given life, truly righteousness
would have been by the Law (Gal. 3:21).
This clause actually   Therefore if per-
means that the Law     fection were thru
and the Levitical      the Levitical priest-
priesthood were in-    hood (for under it
separable; they were   the people received
essentially given by   the Law), what
God at the same        further need was
time, each reinforc-   there that another
ing the other, mean-   priest should rise
ing that they stand    according to the
or fall together.      order of Mel and
                       not be called ac-
                       cording to the
                       order of Aaron?
There are two Greek   Therefore if per-
words for another:    fection were thru
one means another     the Levitical priest-
of the same kind,     hood (for under it
and the other one,    the people received
the one used here,    the Law), what
means another of a    further need was
different kind. In    there that another
other words…        priest should rise
                      according to the
                      order of Mel and
                      not be called ac-
                      cording to the
                      order of Aaron?
Since the Levitical    Therefore if per-
priesthood didn’t      fection were thru
bring anything to      the Levitical priest-
completion (v. 19),    hood (for under it
more was needed        the people received
than just another      the Law), what
priest—an entirely     further need was
different priesthood   there that another
was needed, one af-    priest should rise
ter the order of Mel   according to the
instead of Aaron.      order of Mel and
        So…   
                       not be called ac-
                       cording to the
                       order of Aaron?
  The answer to the question of this
verse, of course, is that if the Levitical
 priesthood could’ve cleansed man of
 his sin, if it could’ve re-established a
relationship with God, i.e. if it could’ve
  provided for perfection, then there
 would’ve been no need for a priest of
a different order, much less the death
  of the Son of God. But…   
Since God did promise another priest
after another order (an order different
from that of Aaron), and since the re-
placed priesthood found its authority
in the Law of Moses (7:28), then it’s
obvious that God had never planned
for our salvation to be realized under
the Levitical priesthood or its law.
What an argument! To deny this, those
Jewish brethren would’ve had to deny
the inspiration of Psalm 110.
Hebrews   For the priesthood
          being changed, of
 7:12    necessity there is
          also a change of
          the law.
Notice this present    For the priesthood
tense word in this     being changed, of
verse: The Jewish      necessity there is
world was being sup-
                       also a change of
planted by a new
one (2:5)—a new        the law.
world that would, of
necessity, include a
new law and a new
priesthood.
This word is from a     For the priesthood
term which means        being changed, of
to put one thing in     necessity there is
the place of another.
                        also a change of
       So…   
                        the law.
Paul wasn’t just teaching that the Mel-
chizedekian priesthood was better than
the Aaronic priesthood, but that it also
replaced it! But, since the Law and the
priesthood stand or fall together, this
priesthood-replacement could only be
accomplished by a replacement of the
law which governed the priesthood;
i.e., the Law of Christ replaced the Law
of Moses. So…
Why did the law need to change in
order to change the priesthood?  
Hebrews   Because He (Jesus)
          of whom these
 7:13    things are spoken
          belongs to another
          tribe from which
          no man has offici-
          ated at the altar.
These things refer      Because He (Jesus)
to the words of Psa.    of whom these
110:4—the prophecy      things are spoken
of God that there’d
                        belongs to another
arise One who would
be a priest after the   tribe from which
order of Mel instead    no man has offici-
of Aaron.               ated at the altar.
I find it interesting   Because He (Jesus)
that the original       of whom these
term for this phrase    things are spoken
is the same as trans-
                        belongs to another
lated share in the
same in 2:14 where      tribe from which
Paul wrote of Jesus     no man has offici-
taking part in hu-      ated at the altar.
manity in order to
destroy him who
had the power of
death—the devil.
It’s interesting because, as I said when
we studied that verse, this word is ac-
tive and means that Jesus volunteered
to become human (something none of us
  had a choice in), implying that Jesus
was/is deity. So, with reference to this
verse here, this means that … not only
  did Jesus choose to become human,
 but also … He chose to be born of the
      tribe of Judah instead of Levi.
This word is the        Because He (Jesus)
same as the one in      of whom these
verse 11; i.e., not     things are spoken
only was Jesus not
                        belongs to another
of the lineage of
Aaron, He wasn’t        tribe from which
even a descendant       no man has offici-
of Levi. The prophets   ated at the altar.
were very clear on
this:   
Speaking of the Messiah, Isaiah 11:10
 prophesied that He shall be a Root of
 Jesse. And who was Jesse’s son? God
said, I will raise to David a Branch…; a
 King shall reign and prosper and exe-
  cute judgment and righteousness in
the earth (Jer. 23:5). So Jesus would be
   a branch of David from the root of
  Jesse, meaning that the New Testa-
 ment High Priest would actually come
   through the kingly lineage, not the
priestly lineage. And what lineage was
              that?   
Hebrews   For it is evident
          that our Lord arose
 7:14    from Judah, of
          which tribe Moses
          spoke nothing con-
          cerning priesthood.
Jesus was a descen-      For it is evident
dant of Levi’s broth-    that our Lord arose
er Judah, whose de-      from Judah, of
scendants, including
                         which tribe Moses
Jesus, had no auth-
ority in the least to    spoke nothing con-
fulfill the job of a     cerning priesthood.
Levite, much less a
priest or high priest!
Let’s read some re-
lated passages at
this point:   
Jacob, prophesying about his son, said,
 Judah is a lion’s cub; …. He … [is] as a
lion; and as a lion who shall rouse him?
  The scepter shall not depart from Ju-
  dah nor a lawgiver from between his
   feet until Shiloh comes; and to Him
  shall be the obedience of the people
 (Gen. 49:9-10). Then, speaking to John,
 an elder said of Jesus, Behold the Lion
of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David
(Rev. 5:5).        By the way…   
Though folks tell us today that we can’t
argue from silence, that’s exactly what
Paul did here in verse 14; a perfect ex-
ample of the binding of silence with re-
 ference to this very subject, in fact, is
  found in 2nd Chron. 26:16-21 where
  King Uzziah, a descendant of Judah,
  was struck by God with leprosy until
the day of his death because he dared
    to do the work of a Levite priest.
Hebrews   And it is yet far
          more evident if, in
7:15-16   the likeness of Mel-
          chizedek, there
       arises another
          priest who has
          come, not accord-
          ing to the law of a
          fleshly command-
          ment, but accord-
          ing to the power
          of an endless life.
What’s far more evi-   And it is yet far
dent? Well, let’s go   more evident if, in
back a moment:         the likeness of Mel-
What was the point
                       chizedek, there
Paul was making?
                       arises another
                       priest who has
                       come, not accord-
                       ing to the law of a
                       fleshly command-
                       ment, but accord-
                       ing to the power
                       of an endless life.
The point is found in   And it is yet far
verses 11-12 where      more evident if, in
he affirmed that the    the likeness of Mel-
Levitical priesthood
                        chizedek, there
and the Law had to
be, and were, re-       arises another
placed. To prove        priest who has
this, he presented      come, not accord-
two arguments:         ing to the law of a
                        fleshly command-
                        ment, but accord-
                        ing to the power
                        of an endless life.
  He first presented a new argument in
 verse 14, namely that according to the
   prophets (as well as their own common
knowledge), the Messiah, Jesus—the One
they as Christians had accepted as God’s
 new High Priest—was of the lineage of
Judah, not Levi. Then here in verses 15-
16 he brought in a previously established
  truth to further support his point, viz.
that Jesus, being God, is a priest who can
not and therefore will not die—a type of
priest Moses’ Law, of course, never took
into consideration. Incidentally…  
Paul probably had         And it is yet far
Christ’s resurrection     more evident if, in
in mind when he
                          the likeness of Mel-
chose the term aris-
es; i.e., since He rose   chizedek, there
(as witnessed, 1 Cor.     arises another
15:3-7) and spoke of      priest who has
the power to raise        come, not accord-
Himself (John 10:17),     ing to the law of a
His resurrection          fleshly command-
proved His inherent
virtue of indestruc-      ment, but accord-
tibility—the power        ing to the power
of an endless life.       of an endless life.
Since this phrase is   And it is yet far
in contrast to the     more evident if, in
phrase endless life,   the likeness of Mel-
and since the next
                       chizedek, there
two verses say what
they do about the      arises another
ending of the old      priest who has
law, then…           come, not accord-
                       ing to the law of a
                       fleshly command-
                       ment, but accord-
                       ing to the power
                       of an endless life.
This clause evidently   And it is yet far
means that High         more evident if, in
Priest Jesus was ap-    the likeness of Mel-
pointed to the office
                        chizedek, there
of priest … based
not on His ancestral    arises another
line, but … based on    priest who has
His intrinsic superi-   come, not accord-
ority—His deity. By     ing to the law of a
the way…             fleshly command-
                        ment, but accord-
                        ing to the power
                        of an endless life.
Romans 1:3-4 corre-      And it is yet far
sponds to this con-      more evident if, in
text, for in them Paul   the likeness of Mel-
wrote of Jesus being
                         chizedek, there
born of David (giving
Him the authority to be arises another
a king, Heb. 7:14) and priest who has
of His being resur-      come, not accord-
rected (giving Him the ing to the law of a
right to be, like Mel, a fleshly command-
priest, Heb. 7:1-3).
                         ment, but accord-
                         ing to the power
                         of an endless life.
Hebrews   For He (God) testi-
          fies: “You (Jesus)
 7:17    are a priest for-
          ever according to
          the order of Mel-
          chizedek.”
I find it interesting    For He (God) testi-
that Paul quoted         fies: “You (Jesus)
this Psalm 4 times in    are a priest for-
this book (5:6 & 10
                         ever according to
and 7:17 & 21), and
he alluded to it at      the order of Mel-
least 3 other times      chizedek.”
(6:20 and 7:11 & 15).
This is interesting to
me because…  
Though folks tell us   For He (God) testi-
today that we can’t    fies: “You (Jesus)
base a doctrine on     are a priest for-
one verse, that’s
                       ever according to
exactly what Paul
did here: Psa. 110:4   the order of Mel-
is the key verse or    chizedek.”
the hub around
which the book of
Hebrews revolves!
Hebrews    For on the one
           hand there is an
7:18-19a   annulling of the
           former command-
        ment because of
           its weakness and
           unprofitableness,
           for the Law made
           nothing perfect…
Verse 18 takes up        For on the one
the idea of verse 16     hand there is an
by speaking of the       annulling of the
negative result of
                         former command-
the power of an in-
destructible life tak-   ment because of
ing over the fleshly     its weakness and
ordinance.               unprofitableness,
                         for the Law made
                         nothing perfect…
This word comes          For on the one
from a term which        hand there is an
meant to make void
                         annulling of the
or to do away with;
it’s the same term       former command-
as found in 9:26         ment because of
where Paul said that     its weakness and
Jesus appeared [in       unprofitableness,
the flesh] to put away   for the Law made
sin, meaning that
the Law has been re-
                         nothing perfect…
moved just as tho-
roughly as Jesus re-
moves sin.
This phrase refers        For on the one
primarily to the law      hand there is an
concerning priests        annulling of the
being from Aaron’s
                          former command-
lineage; but the do-
ing away with just        ment because of
that one rule voids       its weakness and
the entire Law (cf. v.    unprofitableness,
11 & Gal. 5:3). This is   for the Law made
obviously true be-        nothing perfect…
cause of what Paul
went on to say: 
The Law was weak           For on the one
& therefore unprofit-      hand there is an
able because it made
nothing perfect or
                           annulling of the
complete, meaning          former command-
that it (as a mere shad-   ment because of
ow, 10:1) brought no-      its weakness and
thing to conclusion;       unprofitableness,
i.e., since it couldn’t
                           for the Law made
produce or offer a
sacrifice that would       nothing perfect…
pay for sin (10:4), it
couldn’t reconcile
anyone to his God.
Paul commented on this idea in Romans
 8:3 when he said, What the Law could
not do, in that it was weak through the
flesh, God did by sending His own Son.
As a disclaimer, Paul taught in Galatians
3 that, though the Law was unprofitable
for the purpose of pardoning sinners, it
 fulfilled its primary purpose which led
up to the pardoning of sinners. In fact …
The word former         For on the one
here carries with it    hand there is an
the idea of introduc-
ing; the Law, as
                        annulling of the
Paul said in Galati-    former command-
ans, brought man to     ment because of
Christ, introducing     its weakness and
him to the new and      unprofitableness,
eternal High Priest.
                        for the Law made
      So…   
                        nothing perfect…
 It’s important to remember that Paul
 said (in Romans 8:3) that the Law was
weak, not totally powerless—it did what
 it was meant to do (cf. Rom. 7:12 & 14
where Paul said that the Law was holy, just,
      good, and spiritual in nature).
           On the other hand…   
Hebrews   …there is the
          bringing in of a
7:19b    better hope, thru
          which we draw
          near to God.
This is the positive   …there is the
result of the power    bringing in of a
of an indestructible   better hope, thru
life taking over the
                       which we draw
fleshly ordinance.
                       near to God.
This phrase actually   …there is the
carries with it the    bringing in of a
idea of bringing in    better hope, thru
upon , which takes
                       which we draw
us back to the con-
cept of replacement    near to God.
spoken of earlier—
the Gospel of Grace
replaced the Law of
Works.
This is a better hope    …there is the
because Christ’s         bringing in of a
priesthood and Gos-      better hope, thru
pel draw us near to
                         which we draw
God: 8:6 tells us that
Jesus has received a     near to God.
ministry that’s better
than the Levites, by
creating a better
covenant between
God and man, based
on better promises.
The hope under the old law was for re-
conciliation to God later in the coming
of the Messiah; but now, under the new
law, that restoration to God’s fellow-
ship is fulfilled in Christ (John 14:6).
Since God through Jesus has accom-
plished everything possible on His part
to open the door to man for forgiveness,
reconciliation, and salvation, the ball is
in our court to draw near to God; in
fact, it’s commanded of us (James 4:8).

				
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