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a study by
Dr. T.E.VanBuskirk

2001 and 2007 by Dr. T.E.VanBuskirk

Permission to copy is granted for use only
in the church of the original purchaser.
May not be sold for profit or given away for use in
another church without written permission
from the author. This book and other materials
may be purchased from:
Salt Lake Baptist College
3769 W. 4700 S.
Salt Lake City, UT 84120
e-mail: docvbk@saltlakebaptistcollege.org




TABLE OF CONTENTS


INTRODUCTION

THE BOOK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 1
Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 1
Destination. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 1
Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  p. 2
Keys to understanding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  p. 2
Author . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  p. 2
Canonicity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  p. 2

PART ONE
PROLOGUE (Hebrews 1:1 - 4)
I. The Superiority of Christ. (Heb 1:1-2) . . . . . . . p. 4
II. Transition. (Heb 1:4) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 5

PART TWO
MAIN ARGUMENTS AND THEIR EXPLANATION  (Heb 1:5 - 10:18)
I. The Argument for Superiority. (Heb 1:5-7:28) . . . . . . . . p. 6
II. The Priesthood of Melchisedec. (Heb 7:1-28) . . . . . . . . p. 24
III. Christ, the Minister and High Priest of the Superior Covenant.
      (Heb 8:1-10:18)
   Conclusion of the Main Arguments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 28
IV. The Elements of the Life of Faith. (Heb 10:19-13:17). . p. 35
V. Personal Epilogue. (Heb 13:18-25). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 51

SUMMARY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 52

BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  p. 55

ANSWER KEY  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  p. 56

 

 


 

HEBREWS


PROS EBRAIOUS
(pros Heb-rah'-yos)
(to the Hebrews)



Welcome to the Hebrews class. 

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS

 

In this course you will study the book of Hebrews.  After a brief introduction addressing the historical arguments concerning date, authorship, to whom was it written, and canonicity, we will go on to examine the book and its teachings and comparisons concerning the New Covenant under Christ and the Old Covenant under the Mosaic Law.

How to study: Read through the textbook and look up all of the scripture references given.  Only those references that are complete with book, chapter, and verse (example- Heb 12:6-9) are required reading.  Those references giving only book and/or chapter (example- Ps ch. 21) need not be referenced and read.  Also, you need to read the book of Hebrews in the KJV, following along in the KJV as you go through the verse by verse commentary in the textbook.

The textbook is divided into eight sections. Not more than one section should be completed each week. Even a week and a half per lesson would be reasonable (but not required). At the end of each section you will stop and take the Section Test that corresponds with the section you just finished studying. All Section Tests are “open book,” which means you may use your textbook while taking the tests.

Attendance: Minimum attendance for the course is 8 weeks.
   Minimum attendance per lesson is 1 week.

After completing a test:
If you failed the test then you must restudy that entire section and then retake the test. Repeat this process until you finally pass the test.
If you missed any of the questions on any test, then you must review the section corresponding to that test and look up the correct answers to any questions answered incorrectly.
Once you have found all of the correct answers, then you may continue on to the next section of the textbook.

 

FINAL TEST

Once you have completed all sections of the textbook and passed all of the corresponding tests, and found the correct answers to any questions missed on any test, then you may Retrieve the Password and, upon receiving the Password, take the Final Test for the course.  Final Test is "closed book" and you must submit the Final Test Contract Form before taking the test.  There is a 20 minute time limit on the test.  You will see a time remaining clock in the upper right hand corner of the test screen.  Time does not start until your first question comes on the screen.

Once you have passed the final test, do not take it again.
-  If you fail the final test then you need to restudy both the textbook and all of the section tests and then retake the final test. Repeat this process until you pass the Final Test.

If you miss any questions on the Final Test, then you need to review the textbook and all of the section tests and find the correct answers in the textbook to the questions you missed. A copy of each of your section tests was sent to you and they will have all of the correct answers on it for comparison purposes.

 

    And now, on with the class.

 

Dr. T.E. VanBuskirk

 

 



SECTION ONE

INTRODUCTION

 

hebrewstitle.jpg (28773 bytes)THE BOOK

    Of all of the accepted books of the New Testament, the book of Hebrews stands at the top of the list of the most contested. Then, on the other hand, it also is at the top of the list as the most ignored of all the books. Throughout history its canonicity has been contested; its date has been contested; its authorship has been contested; and its authority has been contested. On top of everything else, its purpose and to whom it was actually written have both been also challenged.
   Because of this and because of a lack of understanding, the book was largely ignored by many of the biblical scholars of historical times.
   Since the purpose of this study is to examine the contents of the book itself, we will only briefly address the aforementioned questions and objections. If you want a more thorough examination of these subjects, there are a plethora of writings stretching back nearly two thousand years that can be accessed addressing them in the minutest detail.

Date- The arguments for and against the date of writing of the book of Hebrews are many and heated. They do, however, all seem to center on the period between the mid to late sixties A.D. and the early nineties A.D. The mid sixties because of a lack of mention in the book of the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in A.D. 70; and the early nineties because of a knowledge of the book in the letter from Clement to the Corinthians in A.D. 95.
   Both Farrar (Cambridge Greek Testament) and Gleason Archer (The Epistle to the Hebrews, A Study Manual) both argue, very effectively, for the mid-sixties and the latter, Gleason, narrows it to a date of 65/66. One area of agreement among all of those writing on the date of the book is its silence concerning the events in Jerusalem at the end of the sixth decade and the beginning of the seventh. Surely, concerning the subject matter of the book, some mention would have been made of the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70. However, this is a negative argument to be sure.  And the mention of the book by Clement in his letter dated at A.D. 95 does not necessarily have any bearing at all on the date of composition of the book of Hebrews because it could easily have been in existence for some decades before Clement's mention of it in the letter.
   Given all of the arguments it is reasonable to agree with Gleason and place the date of the writing of Hebrews at A.D. 65/66.

Destination- To whom, specifically, this epistle was originally written is a never ending round of conjecture and disagreement that will probably never be resolved. Was it to a certain congregation? Or Christian Jews in a certain city or area? Was it to those in Jerusalem, Rome, or Alexandria? All of these areas and cities have been, by various authors, both defended and rejected as the original recipients. Whether any one of those are right or wrong or whether it was written to Jews in general throughout the Empire is not a matter of much import. What matters is that it was written originally to Christian Jews and it is valuable to all Christians of all times.
II Tim 3:16-17 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
Purpose- The purpose for which the epistle was written is manifestly obvious when one examines the contents of the letter.
   Obviously it originally was written to Christian Jews; and just as obviously those Jews were under attack and were in danger of wavering and returning to their Jewish roots- specifically, to the Mosaic Law. Then, by application and scriptural admonition (II Tim 3:16-17), the precepts presented are applicable to all Christians of that time, both Jewish and non-Jewish, and from then on down through history to all believers who really do need to understand the connection between the types and shadows of the Old Testament and the realities under the New Testament.

Keys to understanding-
   There are really two keys to understanding the book of Hebrews.
1. The key word to help you understand the book is "superior."
2. The key mental preparation for understanding the book is a thorough knowledge of the five books of Moses (the Pentateuch) and the Mosaic Law given in them.

Author- By "author" we of course mean the human instrument used by God in conveying the epistle to mankind. The true "author", meaning the person from who's mind the writing sprang, is, of course, God. The human "author" should actually be called the "amanuensis," or, if you will, the "scribe;" however, we will use the term "author" as long as you understand this as meaning only the "human author" that produced the work under inspiration of God who is the true author from who's mind the work originally sprang.
   Many people of the late to mid first century have had the book ascribed to them by various writers for various reasons. Some of them are: the Apostle Paul, Apollos, Barnabus, Luke, Timothy, Aquila and Priscilla, Silas, Aristion, and Philip the Deacon. The epistle itself, however, names no author. Therefore, the arguments for and against authorship are speculation at best and based solely upon various internal and external evidences for and against various candidates rather than a clear statement from God from within the epistle itself.
   I personally believe that the epistle was written by Paul; however, I would not ever make this a point of contention. God is the original author and the matter of who He used to pen it on earth for men is not a matter worth arguing about. As food for thought there is one more possibility; that being that the actual writing was done by someone who was recording what was delivered to him by the Apostle Paul. Interesting hypothesis. This would explain why the style is not Paul's while the content is or could be.

Canonicity- There are several books of the Bible that had their cononicity questioned by various groups during the first four centuries; and the book of Hebrews was one of the most hotly contested. This was most true in the West until after the fourth century.
   Its canonicity being finally accepted by the end of the fourth century in Catholic circles both East and West has really nothing to do with the fact that it was always scripture from before it was sent to earth when it was settled in Heaven in eternity past. (Psalm 119:89)
   Many today believe that the canon of the Bible, including the book of Hebrews, was settled and preserved by the Catholic Church. At the forefront of this group is the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox groups that claim that the Catholic Church was the "mother" of the Bible. If this is so, then why is it that the book of Hebrews was accepted by the eastern church one hundred years before its acceptance by the western church? If there is only one Universal "Catholic" Church and it was the mother of the Bible, as they claim, then the mother must have been totally schizophrenic for one half of it to not recognize its own child in its totality and to be schizophrenically torn in opposite two directions for a century concerning the part called Hebrews. In addition, many of the other books were contested from the first through the fourth centuries. It would be strange for a mother to not know its own child. Even a human mother knows every single part of her child; and if the Catholic Church were truly the "mother" of the Bible then it would have known EVERY part from the moment of that part's completion.
   How about the Independent Churches that predated the Catholic Church. When did it recognize the canonicity of the book of Hebrews. No one knows. The maniacal hatred and destruction of non-Catholic believers and their writings by the Catholic Church down through the centuries makes it impossible to ascertain when Independents in any one area or another began to accept Hebrews as inspired.
   Some of the ancient writers claimed by the Roman and Orthodox Greek Catholics as their "Church Fathers" were never Catholic in the first place. However, it is hard, if not impossible, to tell which was and which was not. In the writings of some of these, most famously the Epistle of Clement (mentioned earlier), a knowledge of the book of Hebrews is apparent. And if Clement is viewed as actually not being a Catholic, then it is obvious that acceptance of the canonicity of Hebrews by Independent believers can be traced back to the mid to late first century; i.e., to the time of its original penning or shortly thereafter by various groups who received the letter as it was copied and passed around to other groups of believers.
   The long and short of it is that there is no way of knowing when Hebrews was accepted as canonical nor for that matter when any of the books was accepted by Independents. We do trust, however, that the leading of the Holy Spirit caused the book to be accepted by various groups of true believers upon their receipt of it across the miles and the years of the first century. Its official acceptance by the Catholics in a time span from the third to the fourth centuries means nothing to us because the proclamations of the Catholic Church have never been recognized as authoritative by nor binding upon any of the groups of Independent believers down through the centuries.
   I will state this however, the book of Hebrews has been historically and is currently accepted by all Christian groups as being part of the true Bible that God gave to mankind. That makes it part of the accepted "canon," not because the Catholics say so but because God through the Holy Spirit says so.

 

STOP HERE and TAKE TEST!
Test is "open book."
SECTION ONE TEST

Should the test fail to open properly, please use F5 to reload or click the refresh symbol on the top of your browser page.

If you failed the test, then restudy this section and retake the test.
Once you have passed the test, do not take it again.

If you missed any questions on the test, then restudy the section and find all of the correct answers to any questions that you missed.  A copy of your test was sent to you with the correct answers on it.  You may use that for comparison purposes to make sure you have found the correct answers.

 

 



SECTION TWO

PART ONE

PROLOGUE
(Hebrews 1:1 - 4)



   One thing to note in the epistle to the Hebrews is that the writer does not begin with greetings and/or salutations such as are customarily seen at the beginning of other epistles in the New Testament. Instead he moves directly to his subject matter, the superiority of Christ.

I. The Superiority of Christ. (Heb 1:1-2)
A. Comparison.
   Originally God spoke to man through His prophets. (:1)
   These communications from God were:

1. Fragmentary, through many people, over many years, in many ways.
"at sundry times,"
polumerwV, polu-meros, consisting of many parts
"in diverse manners,"
polutropwV, polu-tropos, in many ways
"in times past,"
palai, pal-ahee, long ago 
   We must take this as meaning all time before the then present time. This would delineate the times under and in the Old Testament when God communicated with "the fathers by the prophets."

2. Now (present time of the book) He has spoken directly and by one person.
a. "in these last days" (cf Num 24:14; Deut 4:30; 31:29; Job 19:25; Is 2:2; 
   Jer 23:20; 30:24; 48:47; 49:39; Ez 38:16; Dan 2:28; 10:14; Hos 3:5; Mic 4:1)
In the OT the equivalent phrase, "latter days[s]" or "last day[s]" delineates the end times; and by using this phrase the writer is stating to the Hebrews that the time of Christ was the beginning of the days spoken of in and by the prophets to the fathers. This sets the stage for his comparisons to follow in which Christ and the New Testament are shown to be superior to and a fulfillment of the voices, sacrifices, etc., of the Old Testament.
b. "by his Son" God, in these last days, speaks not fragmentarily through many but directly and completely through one being- His Son.

B. The superiority of Christ introduced and argued. (Heb 1:2-3)
1. He is not just one of many messengers, He is God's only begotten "Son."
(1:2 & Jn 3:16)
2. He is not just one of many messengers, He is God's sole "heir of all things." (Heb 1:2b)
3. He is not just a created messenger. He is the Creator himself.
    "By whom also he made the worlds." (1:2c)
4. He is not just a messenger made in the image of God. He is God's glory brought to earth in the incarnate Christ. "being the brightness of his glory..." (1:3a)
5. He is not just a mere human messenger who is MADE IN the image of God.
Instead He is the "express image of his person." (Heb 1:3b)
"image"
carakthr, khar-ak-tare', the engraven image, exact expression as in the impress on a coin
6. He is not just the image of God in the way that the human messengers were.
He is the express image of God's "person." (:3b cf I Tim 3:16)
"person"
upostasewV, hoop-os'-tas-e-ohs, an expression of essence
7. He is not mere human messenger who was created and sustained by God.
Instead, He is both the Creator and the Sustainer. (Heb 1:2c & :3c)
8. His word is not just the message of God to mankind as it was through the prophets.
His word is the power of God as Creator and Sustainer, "word of his power." (:3c)
9. By His power He upholds (preserves, sustains) "all things."
This includes not just the messengers themselves and the message of redemption given through those prophets but also the redemption itself that is fulfilled in Him.
He brought the fulfillment of that redemption promise "when he had by himself purged our sins." (:3d)
10. He occupies not just the place of conferred authority enjoyed by the prophets; but as Creator, Sustainer, and sin-bearer, He occupies the place of supreme authority typified to the Hebrews by the statement that He is seated at "the right hand of the Majesty on high." (:3e cf Eph 1:19-21)
11. All of these comparisons help introduce the concept that Christ is the superior messenger of God.

 

II. Transition. (Heb 1:4)
A. In this verse the transition is accomplished with the express statement that Christ is "better" than the creations of God.
B. And the first creatures of God that He is better than are mentioned, "the angels," which were the first creations of God.
C. "The angels" were also messengers of God as were the prophets. This may be the reason that the writer used them in the transition. He has been talking about messengers, the prophets, and to transition with the other messengers, the angels, would be a logical progression with them as the objects used in transition. He will directly continue with the subject of angels in the next segment.

NOTE: I was going to include the Old Testament references where angels were also the messengers of God (bringing the Word of God, the protection of God, the vengeance of God, the judgment of God, etc.) However, there are 108 of them so I decided not to list them all. Instead, here are just a few: Gen 16:7-11; Jdg 2:1-4; Zech 4:1-7.

 

 

PART TWO

MAIN ARGUMENTS AND THEIR EXPLANATION

(Heb 1:5 - 10:18)

 

I. The Argument for Superiority. (Heb 1:5-7:28)

A. Superior to Angels. (1:5-14)
      Rhetorical question. (1:5) This is answer to the Mormon doctrine that Jesus Christ is
   a spirit-brother to Lucifer; and the Jehovah's Witness' doctrine that Jesus was Michael
   the archangel come in the flesh.
1. D. & C. 76:25-26, & 2 Nephi 2:17
   These are Mormon writings that state that Lucifer was an angel.
2. Mormon Doctrine by McConkie:
   States that the Devil (Lucifer) was a spirit child of God the Father.
3. McConkie, under "Pre-existence:" Mormonism teaches that Jesus Christ was also a spirit
    child of God the Father, as were all men in their pre-existence. 
4. Therefore, we must logically conclude that Mormon doctrine teaches that Jesus,
    whom they teach was a spirit-bother of Lucifer (an angel), was also an angel.
5. The Jehovah's witnesses also believe and teach that Jesus was once an angel- therefore,
    (whether they admit it or not) they teach this same doctrine, that Jesus and Lucifer were
    both angels, thus they were once brothers.
6. He never told any angel:
    Heb 1:5 Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again,
                 I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son
."
7. Therefore, the "spirit-brother to Satan" (Christ as an angel) of the Mormon
    cult is proved false by the Scriptures; and the Arianistic doctrine of the
    Jehovah's Witness cult (Christ as the first and highest of created beings-
    whom they believe was Michael the Archangel) is also refuted.

B. Seven OT quotations are introduced- five show the superiority of Christ.
1. As the Son of God He is superior to the angels by His birth.
   :5a Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee?
       This part is in reference to His incarnation, and is a quote of Ps 2:7 and shows
    His superiority to the angels by birth- He is the Son of God..
2. The second quotation is in reference to His walk of faith upon earth being superior
    to that of the angels. :5b I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?"
       A quote of II Samuel 7:14 which refers to Solomon, son of David, but has a much
    greater one in view- the coming King, Jesus Christ the Son of God, and His walk upon
    the earth. He was the perfect, sinless Son, following His perfect Father.
         Lk 2:49 ...wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?
3. The third reference is from Ps 97:7 and tells of His superiority in His final triumph
    over all of the enemies of God and His appearing in glory to reign over the nations.
       All beings, including the angels, were commanded to worship Christ when He
    came into the world. Ps 97:7 ... worship him, all [ye] gods.
    "gods" is Elohiym, rulers, judges, divine ones, angels, gods, goddesses, godlike ones 
        Heb 1:6 And let all the angels of God worship him.
       This means that all of the rulers, judges, divine ones, and here specifically the angels,
    will worship Christ. He is superior to them all.
4. The forth quote is from Ps 104:4 and shows the proper place of angels- they are servants.
       They are beings created ("maketh") to be a race of servants and, as such, are inferior
    to the eternal Son.
           Heb 1:7 ...Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.
    a. The superior Son is worthy of worship.
    b. Angels are not, have never been, nor ever will be, anything more than servants.
5. The fifth quote shows the proper place of the Son; and is from Ps 45:6-7.
    a. The Son is God- He is specifically called God here!
      Heb 1:8-9 But unto the Son [he saith], Thy throne, O God, [is]
                    for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness [is]
                    the sceptre of thy kingdom.

    b. But He also walked as superior man- loving righteousness and hating iniquity.
        1) Superior man because He displayed divine character.
                1:9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity;
        2) Also superior man because, as man, God is His God, and, as His God,
                         He has anointed Him with gladness above all other men.
                    1:9b ... therefore God, [even] thy God, hath anointed
                            thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

6. Christ is the superior one ("Lord") who is the creator and the eternal God.
   
     Heb 1:10-12 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the
            earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish;
            but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as
            a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art
            the same, and thy years shall not fail.
7.
Summary- Christ is superior to the angels.
    a. God never told the angels they would reign- only Christ will reign.
              Heb 1:13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit
                on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? 

    b. The angels are inferior- they are servants only.
              Heb 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth
                        to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? 
        This argument shows Christ to be superior to the angels!

C. The Superior Salvation and a Warning. (Heb 2:1-4)
1. A warning. (2:1-3a)
2. So great salvation- greater than the word given by angels. (:3b-4)
    a. Some believe "the word spoken by angels..." refers to the Law.
    b. God himself bears witness to the superiority of Salvation through Christ
        with "signs... wonders... miracles... and gifts of the Holy Ghost..."

D. Christ the Superior (perfect) Man. (Heb 2:5-18)
    He did not take on the nature of angels but the nature of man- in His case- perfect man.
1. Angels were never meant to rule. (:5)
2. Clarification of Psalm 8.
    Christ takes the rulership forfeited by Adam. (Heb 2:6-8a)
3. He will rule over all- when He returns. (:8b)
4. The Humanity of Christ. (:9)
    a. Humanity stated. He was human, even unto death. (:9)
    b. He died and was resurrected unto glory. (cf Phil 2:5-8)
        Heb 2:9 "But we see Jesus... made a little lower than the angels...
                for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour..."

    c. He had to be completely human so He could taste death for us.
         "... that He... should taste death for every man."
    d. God (:10a) became a man as Jesus (:9) and His humanity was made
         complete ("perfect") through His sufferings as a man. (:10b)
5. As complete man He is able to identify completely with the needs of every person
     and in addition He is qualified to be the leader of their salvation.
    "captain..." Gk
archgon, ar-khay-gon', one that takes the lead in any thing
                and thus affords an example, a predecessor in a matter, pioneer

     [NOTE: This same word is translated "author" in 12:2.]
6. He unashamedly identifies with us. (Heb 2:11-13)
    a. We are all of God and He calls us "brethren." (:11-13)
         He is not ashamed to be part of humanity. (:11)
    b. OT typology is used to prove His brotherhood with us.
        (:12 is a quote from Ps 22:22; and :13b is from Is 8:18) 
7. His denigration to death has turned to our deliverance. His humanity has
        turned to our victory over humanity's greatest fear- DEATH! (Heb 2:14-15)
    a. He has broken the power of the Devil. (:14)
    b. He has delivered us from bondage. (:15)
    c. Remember, although He partook of human nature, He partook of PERFECT
         original human nature.
           
        As Ironside brought out in his commentary,
               "... sin is not inherent in human nature as such...
                 it is a foreign thing brought in through the fall."
         Therefore, Christ partook of PERFECT, unfallen, human nature; and, thusly, He could
      be completely human to die for us (only because He chose to die) and still be the perfect
      sacrifice demanded by God.   (OT- Ex 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish...)
 
    d. A type of this duality of Christ can be seen in Lev 14:1-7.
         Here we have two birds that typify one Christ. The bird slain in the earthen vessel represents
      God come in the earthen vessel of humanity, in flesh as Christ, slain for us. The bird dipped in
      the blood and then released alive represents Christ as the risen Saviour returned into the heavens
      to present His own blood (shed for us) on the mercy seat (which also represented himself) and
      in the value of His own blood which was sinless and allowed His resurrection.
          In short- The two birds represented Christ as crucified and risen-
       one Christ- one Saviour- man and God.
    e. What a Saviour- what a victory!
         What a superior salvation through the humanity of Christ.
           His atoning sacrifice is fully satisfying to God.
               Is 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, [and] shall
                  be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant
                  justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

8. Summary and first mention of Christ as the High Priest,
        which is the central argument for the superiority of Christ.
   a. He took not on the nature of angels but the nature of man. (Heb 2:16)
   b. As a man, perfect man, He could be a merciful and faithful high
       priest making reconciliation for the sins of the people. (:17)
          "[R]econciliation"- is from Gk ilaskesqai [hil-as-kes-thie] which is from the
          same root word as atonement and propitiation. Therefore, what is in view here
          is a merciful and faithful high priest making the Atonement Sacrifice for the people
          and thereby affecting reconciliation with God. Only in this case He (Christ) sacrifices
          himself and presents His own blood to God as an atonement for the sins of the people
          as the final fulfillment, the antitype, of the type found in the Old Testament high
          priest's once a year offering of the Atonement in Ex 30:10.
   c. "[M]erciful and faithful."
       1) As man He is merciful (compassionate) to men as He has walked
           hand in hand with them through temptation.
           ["nature of" in v:16 means to lay hold upon, to take hold of]
       2) As perfect man He resisted those temptations and was faithful to God.
       3) In Christ, the one superior man, we find two directions in His human suffering-
            i.e., He is merciful to men and faithful to God.
   d. Because of His steadfast resistance while willingly suffering temptation
        as a man, He is able to give aid (succor) to other men who are tempted. (:18)
          To expand on this we will define "succor."
             "succor" means to: aid, help, support, comfort
          Through suffering temptation and (unlike us) resisting it- Christ is superior man.

 

 

 

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SECTION THREE

 

 

E. Christ Is Superior to Moses. (Heb 3:1-6)
1. Here we are admonished to "consider" Jesus.
consider, Gk,
katanohsate, ka-tan-o-ehs'-atay, to consider attentively, fix ones eyes or mind upon.
We are admonished to fix all of our attention, to completely fix our minds, upon Jesus; the one we confess (profess our faith in) as Saviour and bringer of the New Covenant which is superior to the Law- which is the Old Covenant and symbol of faith. Then we are told why and comparisons will be made.
2. Christ is superior High Priest and superior Apostle. (:1)
   a. He was first introduced as High Priest in verse 2:17.
   b. He is both High Priest and Apostle of the New Covenant.
            Here Christ is presented as both High Priest and Apostle. (An Apostle is a messenger.)
         This is the only place where Christ is called an "Apostle," or messenger. It is used here
         only because a comparison is being made between Moses, the messenger of the Old
         Covenant, and Jesus, the messenger of the New Covenant.
       1) As God He has come as an Apostle, the messenger of God, and has been sent as a man
          to men to reveal God to mankind.
       2) As a man He has the office of High Priest in order to reconcile men to God.
   c. "brethren" Under the Old covenant, given through Moses, Israelites were called the "people
       of God." Under the New Covenant, given through Christ, Christians are called "brethren."
          That is why we should "fix our gaze" upon the new mediator, Christ. (Following the theme
       of Hebrews- He is "superior" or better.)
3. Similarities and contrasts between Christ and Moses. (3:2-6)
   a. Similarities. (:2)
      1) Both were faithful in carrying out their duties.
      2) Both were appointed by God. (:2)
         a) God appointed Moses (advanced him to a particular status) in the Old Testament.
             (The book of Exodus; and I Sam 12:6)
         b) God appointed Christ- in eternity as the eternal son of God.  (I Pet 1:20)
   b. Contrasts.
      1) Christ is worthy of more glory than Moses. Why? (Heb 3:3)
         a) Because the builder is more worthy of honour than his construct- the house.
         b) Moses was part of the house and Christ is the builder of the house.
      2) "House," is used in three senses here.
         a) The house that Moses was faithful in was the Tabernacle, which was but a pattern
             of things in the heavens. (:2b)
         b) The house that God built was the Universe, including Heaven, which is the original
             that Moses' Tabernacle was merely a copy of. (:4)
         c) However, the "house" that Christ built is the Church. (Heb 3:6 cf. I Tim 3:15)
            i) It is built of living stones, and every believer has a part in it.   (I Pet 2:5)
            ii) It is superior to the Old Testament house in that in the Tabernacle there were truly some
                that were "saved" by looking forward to Messiah; but, there were also some that were
                not saved. They were those who were depending on the rituals rather than looking to the
                Messiah that the rituals pointed toward. They needed to believe God would do what the
                rituals symbolized He would do, bring Messiah as the reality of those rituals. Only some
                did that.
4. Christ is superior to Moses.
   a. Moses was merely a faithful servant in his job which pointed the way to Jesus, the Messiah,
        and the superior Covenant to come. (Heb 3:5)
   b. Whereas Christ is the master of the house, appointed as such by His Father in eternity past. (:6)
   c. The Hebrews are also part of that house "if" they hold Christ completely. (:6b)
        Christ built the house- Moses only served IN the house.
        Christ is superior to Moses and has built a superior house.

F. The Superiority of the Rest of Christ. (Heb 3:7-4:13)
1. A warning.
         The principle of rest is faith, both for the Israelites in the wilderness and the Christians of
      the early days and those of today.
   a. The rest of Israel had both a threat and a promise. (:7-11)
       It was conditioned on obedience as shown in this quote from Ps 95:7-11.
         While both Christ and Moses had remained faithful to the end, (vs:1-6) Israel, under Moses
      had not, in spite of the fact that they had all experienced deliverance at least twice already
      during Passover and the Red Sea miracles. (I Cor 10:1-5)
   b. This held an obvious warning for those first century Jews who had also seen the true Passover
        Lamb (Jesus) slain and had experienced the power of God in His (Christ's) resurrection.
   c. It was, therefore, not a new thing for the nation, in the majority, to remain in unbelief;
      either in Moses day, or in the day of the epistle to the Hebrews, or even today. This can be seen
      in the warning given by the Holy Ghost which makes it for "today," making it current for ALL
      generations, New Testament and Old. (Heb 3:7)
   d. Also, in His scriptures (that's why Psalm 95 is quoted, to emphasize the scriptures as the voice
      of God), when you hear the voice of God, and reject it, you are not rejecting just the words but
      the one who authored them. You are rejecting God himself. (:7 ... hear his voice ...)
   e. Unbelief is both a historical and a present problem. (:8-9)
        "... your hearts as ... your fathers..."
   f. Also, to be in unbelief was, and is, an ongoing thing in each generation. (Heb 3:9)
      "... provocation ... temptation ..."
          Provocation is a translation of the Hebrew word Meribah (Num 20:1-13) and temptation is a
       translation of the Hebrew word Massah (Ex 17:1-7)
         The temptation (Massah in Exodus) was in the first year and the provocation (Meribah in
      Numbers) was in the fortieth year; this showed that the hardening of their hearts persisted from
      the first to the fortieth year.   (Heb 3:9 "... forty years.")
            Here we can see another similarity.
         The fathers had been denied the rest of Canaan after a period of forty years of unbelief and
      rebellion against God; similarly, about forty years had elapsed since the Jews being written to
      in Hebrews had seen God's Salvation and heard it proclaimed by the Passover Lamb, Jesus, and
      most were still in rebellion. This made the rebellion of the Jews of the New Testament as deserving
      of being rejected at the very door of rest as was Old Testament Israel. In addition, it made their
      current rejection of God and His power as inexplicable as the rejection of God shown by their
      fathers in the wilderness- both groups over a period of forty years.
   g. Such rebellion has to be a willful act. (Heb 3:9)
         "... tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years."
      1) Many times they questioned God and put Him to the test. ("... tempted me ...")
      2) Many times He had met their tests and proved He was right and able through 
           miracles and miraculous provision. (The miracles in Egypt, the dividing of the Red Sea, water
           out of rocks, manna from heaven, quails in the wilderness, etc... etc...) ("... proved me ...")
      3) After forty years of seeing such proof, there was no excuse for their rebellion, 
           i.e., it obviously was a willful one. (... forty years.")
      4) In such circumstances as these, the phrase, "tempted me," seems to denote purposely
   
             seeing just how far one can go in disobeying God.
   h. God was grieved with such willful and ongoing rebellion. (3:10)
      1) Grieved.
            OT- (Ps 95:10, the scripture being quoted here) grieved- koot - to loathe, be grieved,
                             feel a loathing.
            NT- (Heb 3:10)
proswcqisa - pros-okh-thid'-zo - to be wroth or displeased with,
                to loathe, to spew out, to be disgusted with.

      2) Why?
          Because their ongoing and willful disobedience is error in the heart.
                ("... they do alway err in their heart...")
            NOTE: The lesson here is that to RECEIVE instruction is NOT enough, (whether through
                hearing instruction through Moses or receiving it through seeing the miracles or by
                experiential instruction) one must also OBEY in order to be in the will of God and
                receive His promised blessings.
   i. The results of not taking God's instructions to heart were two: (Heb 3:11)
      1) It provoked God to wrath.
      2) They were denied the rest of God.
2. An exhortation. (:12-13)
         This exhortation is both to the people in general as well as to each one personally.
              ("brethren" is general and "any of you" is personal.
   a. "Take heed..." WATCH OUT what you are doing!
   b. "... brethren..." Those Jews of the then current time.
   c. "... lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief..."
      Don't make the same mistake that the wilderness generation made.
   d. "... in departing from the living God."
        To disobey the instruction of God is to turn your back on Him and leave Him.
   e. "... exhort one another..."
  Instead of turning your back on God, encourage one
     another to follow God by following Him yourself.
      1) "... daily..." (Heb 3:13) Do this exhorting daily- because the temptations to turn away from
            God come "daily." Remember, the straying from God was an ongoing, day by day, process
         for the wilderness generation, that lasted for forty years. So it did not happen all at once,
         it was a cumulative process, accomplished on a day by day journey into rebellion.
      2) "... To day..." Gk-
shmeron, saymeron, this (very) day.
            Since temptation to stray is a day by day occurrence, then exhortation should be done not
         only "daily," but on the "To day," (the very day) of the temptation. This is to attempt
         preventing each days sin from taking root in the heart and growing into rebellion. This will
         definitely happen as it lays there from day to day and is fed by each day's new temptations.
         Much like each day helps the growth of a weed by adding new food, water and sunlight, which
         the weed robs from the useful plants around it, in the same way, sin if left alone will develop
         into spiritual weeds of rebellion (unbelief) IF it is left to grow and mature day by day without
         the outside weeding of it by daily exhortation.
      3) This also reinforces the fact that it is applicable to the Hebrews of that current day, as was
         stated in verse :12; and, it also shows that it is applicable to every "To day," including,
         TODAY, our current time- as the definition shows, "this (very) day."
   f. "... hardened through the deceitfulness of sin."
      1) "... hardened..." Picture Texas clay baking in the sun. It may dry out and start hardening on
         the first or, at the most, the second day. But check it after a week of baking in the sun. Better
         still, check it after a year-long drought. By that time, after 365 days of baking in the searing
         sun, it will be harder than concrete!
            Sin is the same way. It may harden the heart a little bit in the first day but by the second
         day it is twice as hard. And if it is left baking in the drying and hardening heat of sin for
         any length of time, say a year (or for that matter, 40 years) then it will be so hardened as
         to become nigh unto impenetrable.
            That is why we are to exhort daily, and specifically on each and every day "lest," the
         person becomes "hardened..." (Heb 3:10)
      2) "... through the deceitfulness of sin." That daily sin may look enticing, but, it is a liar-
           a deceiver. You may think you are right, but that doesn't make you right. If your way is
           different than God's way- THEN YOU ARE WRONG!
              You are in rebellion just as much as the wilderness generation was. It was true of that
           Old Testament generation. It was true of the New Testament generation being written to
           in Hebrews.  And it is true of those, "To day." (This very day.)
      3) Hitler and his henchman, Goebbels, said this, "If you tell a lie loud enough and long
         enough, people will begin to believe it is true.
" That is why we are to exhort one
         another daily, so that we can offset the hardening damage that the lie accomplishes in our
         hearts EACH DAY; and so that we don't begin to accept the lie and go into rebellion against
         the truth, and specifically the author of truth, the God of truth.
            Jn 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and
                         the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

      4) This command to exhort one another, "daily," and "To day," was the responsibility of
          the Hebrews to whom the book of Hebrews was written; and it is the responsibility of
          EVERY CHRISTIAN, "To day!" (Heb 3:13)
      5) Logistics.
            There are two ways we carry out the command to exhort one another.
         a) Daily, in our individual fellowshipping with one another. ("daily ... To day...")
         b) In Church on those days when we gather for our communal fellowship and
             worship. (10:24-25)
      6) This specific Christian responsibility is one that continues, and has continued, down through
           the ages; and it is the responsibility of every Christian to obey it until Christ returns- no
           matter how long that may be!
   g. Results. (3:14)
      1) By exhorting one another to faith and obedience we show ourselves to have entered into
           Christ's rest. (:14a)
      2) The test of the true Christian is holding our confidence in Christ,
           "steadfast unto the end." (:14b)
   h. Reinforcement of the exhortation. (:15-18)
      1) Don't do what they did- exercise a lack of belief. (:15)
      2) Not all of them disbelieved; neither then do you have to disbelieve. (:16)
         a) All knew better because they had all seen the miracles, both in Egypt and in the journey 
              following. ("... all that came out of Egypt by Moses.")
         b) Some showed a lack of belief and provoked God. (... some... did provoke...")
         c) However, it was not ALL. ("... howbeit not all that came out...")
      3) God's judgment falls ONLY on the unbeliever. (:17)
      4) They CANNOT enter into His rest. (:18)
   i. Summary. (Heb 3:19)
         Unbelief is the reason for being denied the rest of God.
      NOTE:
         One- The silent generation that fell in the wilderness left only two witnesses, Joshua and
              Caleb; and it was their FAITH that saved them and it alone remains as a witness and
              testimony to us today.
         Two- The fallen of the wilderness generation failed in two areas:
            1. Unbelief.
            2. Hardness of heart.
         Three- Those two things eventually led to sin and judgment.
         Four- The sins of that generation, brought about by unbelief and hardness of heart, were
                 manifested in the same ways that are so common in our churches today: (Num 14-21)
            1. Murmuring. (Gossiping and/or complaining about authority or belligerently and
                 publicly confronting and defying authority.)
            2. Complaining.
            3. Seeking out and setting up alternate plans in defiance of authority.
            4. Seeking out and setting up alternate authority (leadership).
            5. Open rebellion against God.
            6. Open expression of dissatisfaction with God's provision.
            7. Grudging acceptance of their place in God's plan, only when finally forced to do so.
         Five- A lack of belief (faith) today will deny a person the rest of God as much "To day,"
               as it did back then to the wilderness generation during their "To day."
         Six- A lack of continuance in faith and actions "To day," is as much an indicator of one
               who will fall in the wilderness (the unsaved) "To day," as it was back then!
         Seven- A continual manifestation of belief by one's actions is as much the proof of
               one's salvation "To day," as it was in the case of Joshua and Caleb back then!
3. Application to the Believer. (4:1-10)
        The "rest," being referred to is going to be addressed on a two-fold front.
        Many believe that a current rest is being referred to and many believe that a future rest (heaven)
     is being referred to- the answer is that BOTH are right.
        The first view (the current rest of the believer) is the rest of faith, or, as Eerdman calls it,
      "full surrender," which is considered a unique experience. This rest from our works is
      viewed as putting the believer into a closer relationship with Christ.
         As I mentioned earlier- both views are addressed here as the previous warning and
      exhortation is applied to the Believer entering into the rest of Christ.
   a. It is the obvious intent that we be on our guard that we ourselves don't fail to enter into
      God's rest as most of the wilderness generation did; but, it is also obvious that God wants
      us to be on guard that not one of those who are among us fails to also enter into that rest.
           (4:1 Let us... fear, lest... any of you should... come short of it.)
      1) For his good. (Heb 3:12-13)
      2) And for our good. (12:15)
   b. Fear of failure to enter into His rest. (Heb 4:1)
   c. The way of entrance into His rest- the Gospel. (:2)
      1) The gospel is the way to Salvation; (Ro 1:16) therefore it is resting from our works
          and casting our hope upon Christ (resting in Christ) as our only hope of Salvation that
          is being referred to in this verse.
      2) We have heard the same gospel that they heard. (Heb 4:2a)
      3) But their lack of faith made the gospel unprofitable to them. (:2b)
   d. Three-segment timeline of the rest of God. (Heb 4:2-4)
      1) Today. :2 "... unto us ..." :3 "... we which have believed do enter into rest,"
      2) Yesterday. :2 "... unto them..." :3 "... if they shall enter..."
      3) Creation. :3 "... finished from the foundation of the world."
            :4 "... God did rest the seventh day..."
         Running in reverse order: 3) Creation 2) Yesterday 1) Today
            :3 ... although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
   e. Two-fold rest suggested. (:3-4)
      1) Spiritual rest for the harassed Hebrew believer of that day and, by application,
           for us believers today. (:3 ... we which have believed... )
      2) Sabbath rest- final rest. (:4 ... God did rest the seventh day...)
           Referring to what was designated as the Sabbath Day under the Law.
           This will be taken up in verse :9 which the meaning of this verse points to.
              -  We see "... seventh and seventh day..." here in verse :4
              -  And, "... rest"
sabbatismoV, Sabbatismos or Sabbath of verse :9
      3) Therefore, a two-fold rest is suggested in verses :3 & :4.
           The first is the spiritual rest of the persecuted believer which is a personal, present rest.
           The second is the final or Sabbath rest for the believer.

NOTE: The rest of the believer here presented is not suggestive of a rest consisting of mere inactivity. Quite to the contrary. The connection between the believers rest and the rest of God on the seventh day brings to the definition an absolute necessity of the believers rest being viewed as a repose of satisfaction and successful completion of a task since it is obvious that God did not rest from activity on the seventh day. His continued and current sustaining of the Creation shows activity; therefore, His rest must have been one of completion and satisfaction with His work of creation. In the rest of the believer the same thing is true. By faith, which was lacking in the wilderness generation, the Gospel leads us to a rest, a satisfaction with the completed work of God in the recreation of us, "in Christ." (II Cor 5:16-17) This rest has always been available to all who would accept it.

    f. God's rest is still available to the believer. (Heb 4:5-10)
   
1) Offered during the wilderness wanderings. (:5-6)
    2) Offered during the time of David. (:7)
    3) Offered during the time of the New Testament Church. (:8-10)
g. Rest from works "... as God did from his." (:10)
   1) On the seventh day God rested from CREATING; but, He continued in His work of
        maintaining and guiding His creation.
   2) We rest from our works and, by faith, trust God for our re-creation in Christ, (our salvation-
        the "new creature," of II Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15) but, it is not a rest of inactivity, it is the
        rest of activity, "as God did..." through maintaining and properly guiding our Christian lives
        after our re-creation (salvation.) This in no way suggest we can sustain our salvation by our 
        works, that was accomplished once and for all at our re-creation by God and we trust Him to 
        sustain that salvation for eternity. What we are talking about is maintaining a proper Christian
        life, witness, and testimony; and doing so is the proof that we truly are re-created (saved.) 
           (James 2:14-26 also see "NOTE" on the previous page.)
h. An exhortation to enter into the "Rest" of God. (Heb 4:11 cf. 13:22)
   1) The "labour" referred to here is the labor of FAITH by which we enter into the "rest" of God
        by ceasing to strive by works for our salvation but it also carries the context from the previous
        verse of continued "labour" after we are saved, in our case, as a proof that we have entered
        into God's rest concerning our salvation.   (cf. :10)
   2) This continued labour IN salvation (:11a) also helps encourage others to follow in our
        footsteps of continuing faith lest they, "fall after the ... example of unbelief," exhibited
        by the unbelievers previously mentioned; i.e., the wilderness unbelievers of :6, and the
        unbelievers of the time of David in :7. (cf :1)
           We MUST labour in our faith. There are others who will follow us; or I should say, they will
        follow our example- be it one of belief (born out by our works) or one of unbelief (born out
        by our works); regardless of which example we give them, they will follow us as their example!
i. The judge of those who have truly entered into God's rest. (Heb 4:12-13)
      Here the inseparable connection and oneness between the Living Word and the Written
      Word is made plain by the oneness of the continuity between verses :12-13.
   1) The written Word. (:12)
   2) The living Word- Christ. (:13)
j. Five assertions are made concerning the Word of God (both Living and Written.)
   1) It is living- "quick." (:12)
   2) It is the word of power- the active energy of God. (:12)
   3) It severs- "sharp... dividing asunder," so effectively that it can divide the closest
       of relationships- "soul and spirit."
   4) It is the judge of even the most innermost thoughts. (:12)
   5) It is the agency of God's dealings with the creature- including man. (:13)


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SECTION FOUR

 

 


G. Christ, as High Priest in the Order of Melchisedek, is Superior to Aaron. (Heb 4:14-5:10)
         Here Christ is reintroduced as High Priest. This is going to be an expansion of that thought
          which was previously introduced in 2:17 & 3:1; that of the Priesthood of Christ. Here, however,
      it will be shown that Christ's priesthood is not only superior to that of Aaron and the Levites, but
      that Christ's priesthood is also an eternal one whereas that of Aaron and the Levites was a temporal 
      one.
         For the next several chapters a constant contrast will be made between the earthly sanctuary and
      tabernacle and the true "heavenly" one, and between Christ's eternal priesthood and the temporal
      ones of Aaron and the earthly high priests.
   1. High Priest- Gk,
arcierea, ar-khee-eria 
         The High Priest, above all others, was honored with the title of priest. Although he could
      perform all of the regular duties of a priest, his chief duty was, once a year on the day of
      atonement, to enter into the Holy of Holies (from which the other priests were excluded) and
      offer sacrifices for his own sins and the sins of the people, and to preside over the Sanhedrin,
      or Supreme Council, when convened for judicial deliberations. According to Mosaic law, no one
      could aspire to the high priesthood unless he were of the tribe of Aaron and descended from a
      high priestly family; and he on whom the office was conferred held it till death.
   2. Christ is superior High Priest for at least three reasons:
      a. He is superior because living forever in the true Holy of Holies, the heavenly one, which is the 
         reality only foreshadowed by the earthly Holy of Holies, He can ever make intercession for us, 
         rather than doing so only once a year as the earthly High Priest did. (:14 cf. Ro 8:34)
      b. He is superior because His Priesthood is forever, because, being God, He lives forever
            and thus can have an unending priesthood.
            (The advantage of this is explained later in Heb 7:23-24 so we will not go into it right now.)
      c. He is superior because He had to make no sacrifice for His own sins, as did Aaron and the
         Levitical high priests, for He (Christ) had none. (Heb 4:15)
              II Cor 5:21 For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin;
                              that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

3. He is superior because He is not only the Son of God but He is also the Son of man.
        (Heb 4:14-16)
   a. He is Son of God. (:14) 
   b. He is Son of man.
      Superior, perfect, sinless man, but still completely HUMAN. (:15)
   c. Therefore, the throne of judgment is turned into the throne of grace and mercy where
         Christ, who knows our sorrows, temptations, needs, and cares (:15),
       sits enthroned at the right hand of God. (:16)  (His enthronement is implied here in 4:16;
       but it is stated in 1:3, 13; 8:1; 10:12)
4. Boldly approach the throne of grace. (Heb 4:16)
   a. As high priest Christ has sprinkled His own blood upon the Ark as a fulfillment of the type
      presented in the Old Testament in the Ark of the Covenant and the Day of Atonement from
      Lev ch. 16.   The comparisons, typology, and replacement of the OT shadow by the NT reality
      in Christ will be explained more fully in the following verses; but here God is stressing that
      there is help for the weak, mercy for the wretched, and strength to help ("grace") in time of
      need for the Christian.
   b. Because of Christ's priestly work we ourselves can now approach the throne of grace; which
      action, before Christ, was reserved ONLY for the high priest- and then only once a year.
         The word "come," used here in Heb 4:16, is a Greek word
prosercwmeqa,
      pros-er'-khom-etha, that is commonly used to describe the priest's approach to God
      in the Tabernacle or, later, in the Temple.
   c. This again shows the superiority of Christ over the earthly priesthood for 4 reasons:
      1) Because now the throne of God is open to everyone, not just the high priest. ("us")
      2) It is open constantly, not just once a year.
      3) In Christ we approach not just the SYMBOL, as the high priest did in the Old Testament,
           but we approach THE REALITY- the very throne of God himself in Heaven!
      4) We can do so boldly; which the OT high priest COULD NOT!
             "come boldly" is from meta
parrhsiaV meta para-see'-as, meaning with authority,
          confidence, and assurance. He had to offer sacrifices for himself before he could approach
          the throne of God. If he was unclean in any manner He would die on the spot. We, however,
          have a high priest, Jesus Christ, who never could be unclean; and through Him we approach
          the throne with no trepidation or fear but "boldly." And because of the superiority of our High
          Priest, Christ, we approach the throne with authority, confidence, and assurance.
5. Qualifications for a High Priest. (Heb 5:1-10)
         In this segment, Aaron is used as the typical High Priest since he was the first chosen from
      among men to serve in that office. The rule of "first mention" is operating here. The first mention
      of something in the Bible carries the most weight in interpretation of the symbolism and, in this
      case, the understanding of the qualifications for this particular office which pointed to the one High
      Priest, Christ, that would fulfill that office in its final stage.
   a. First and foremost the High Priest is a mere man; i.e., totally human. (:1a)
   b. He is "set apart," "chosen," for two purposes: (:1b)
      1) He is chosen to represent men.
      2) He is chosen to minister, on behalf of those men, to God.
   c. His job is to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. (:1c)
           As a man he knows all too well the frailties and temptations that beset man.
        He offers not only sacrifices for the sin of his fellow men but also for his own.
   d. As a human being he ministers not only to God FOR the sinner but he also ministers 
               TO the sinner. (Heb 5:2)
      1) As a man he can have compassion for his fellow man, and thereby better help them.
               There are two groups given here that he is better able to help since he is also a fellow
            human being: (:2a)
         a) He can help those who sin out of ignorance, because he is as frail as they are.
         b) He can help those who have gone astray because he knows exactly how that can happen
            to any human being. As a human being he knows it could even happen to himself in the
            right circumstances and in a moment of weakness, human hard-headedness, or prideful stupidity.
      2) The reason he can minister to the sinner, with compassion, is because he is just as frail as they
            are, so he understands how they can get into sin. (:2b)

NOTE: Just because he understands and has compassion on the sinner does NOT mean that he excuses or condones their sin; nor will he leave them in their sin. His job, to the sinner, is to rebuke, exhort, educate, or whatever else is necessary to get them to turn from their sin (repent) and turn back to God. His job to God is to make sacrifices on behalf of the sinner to cover their sin and, in the case of the Old Testament High Priest, temporarily satisfy the judgment of God.

         3) However, because of their frailty, their humanness, the earthly High Priests also 
                  had to offer sacrifices for themselves. (:2b-3)
               Again, this shows the superiority of the priesthood of Christ. He knew no sin and therefore,
          had to offer no sacrifices for himself, as the earthly priests did.
   e. No man deserves nor constitutes himself a High Priest. Aaron, the first High Priest, did not
         choose to be High Priest but was chosen by God for the office. (:4)
            The fate of anyone wrongfully attempting to set himself up in this office, and the certainty
         and severity of God's judgment upon such aspirations, is best exemplified by Korah in the
         Old Testament. (Num ch. 16 esp. :32-33; 40)
   f. Christ did not choose but was chosen; as was proper according to the pattern set down
         in the case of Aaron, the first High Priest. (Heb 5:5-6)
      1) The "begotten thee," of Ps 2:7 is further clarified here in Heb 5:6. In context, Psalm ch. 2
           is talking about God appointing His King. According to Hebrews, another application of
           Psalms ch. 7 is that Christ was appointed to the office of priest. Together these show that
           Christ is both King and High Priest by appointment of God the Father. (Heb 5:5b)
      2) The superiority of this Priesthood of Christ over that of Aaron is again shown by a reference
           to Ps 110:4. (Heb 5:6)
              Christ is shown to be of a priesthood of a higher order than that of Aaron's priesthood.
           Rather than the lower order of the Levitical priesthood (of Aaron,) which did not come about
           until after the giving of the Law, the priesthood of Christ is of the order of Melchisedec, the
           priest of the most high God, which was a priesthood from centuries before the inception of
           the later Levitical priesthood.
   g. The experiences of the humanity of Christ. (Heb 5:7-10)
            This passage must be viewed from the basis of His learning and self-imposed limitations;
          i.e., His humiliation. The specific time referred to here is the time in the garden of Gethsemane
          before His crucifixion.
      1) This time is called the time of His humiliation. (Phil 2:7-8)
      2) By this time of self-imposed humanness and human limitation, Christ learned obedience;
           i.e., while on earth He willingly put Himself under the authority of God the Father and
           limited Himself to being a Son bowing to the Father's will even to the point of human
           suffering in the Garden. (Heb 5:7)
      3) He faced the same enemy that we do- death. (:7)
              As a man, He faced physical death; and as the sin-bearer, He faced spiritual death.
          (Which is separation from God. cf. Mt 27:46; Mk 15:34 "... My God, My God, why
           hast thou forsaken me.
")
      4) He learned obedience by suffering that He could not have learned any other way.
         a) As God he could totally understand the concept of obedience but as man He could learn
             the experience of obedience; and suffering was the teacher by which He learned (all by
             His choice and according to His sovereign will.) (Heb 5:8)
         b) Now He can bring salvation to them that follow His obedience of faith as a human being
            in subjection to the will of God and in need of the grace of God, which saves from death.
            (:7-9)
      5) Now, by human experience, He was perfectly qualified as the high priest. (:9-10)
         a) He now met, perfectly, the human qualification for high priest. (:9a)
         b) As the superior high priest He now can bring "eternal salvation" rather than the
             temporary one brought by the Levitical high priest. (:9b)
         c) All of this because He is the eternal High Priest on the order of Melchisedek rather than
             the temporal high priest as Aaron and the Levitical priests were. (:10)
             (This will be developed in more detail in ch. 7.)
H. Interlude. (5:11 - 6:20)
         Paul now pauses for a brief moment of exhortation and warning; including a strong rebuke
      that is applicable to many Christians today.
          Jonathan Edwards preached a sermon on this passage of scripture in which he commented on
      the fact that all of the believers addressed in the epistle are being referred to here, not just some
      of them. They had not matured in the understanding of divine knowledge but had remained
      stagnant. What they should have known, they did not know; and they were rebuked for it.
         Sadly enough, the same can be said about many Christians in many supposedly
      Fundamental Baptist churches today.
1. Strong rebuke. (Heb 5:11-14)
      Paul calls them:
   a. Slothful dullards. (:11)
   b. Immature; and, therefore, unqualified to teach anyone. (:12)
   c. As unlearned as babies. (:13)
   d. Spiritually undisciplined and inexperienced. (:14)
      1) "exercised" from Gk
gegumnasmena, from gumnazw, goom-nad'-zo, meaning to train and
           discipline oneself as an athlete. This entails not only knowledge but constant practice of what
           is learned in order to hone ones skills and proficiency so that even higher stages of knowledge
           and proficiency are then able to be strove for and attained. The truly disciplined athlete is on
           an upward spiral toward higher states of physical attainment, not a downward spiral of atrophy
           and decay of abilities through lack of discipline and practice.
      2) Here Paul is saying that the recipients of the epistle are spiritually undisciplined. They have not
           learned what they ought and they have not put into practice what they have learned; i.e., they
           are not learned nor experienced, they are undisciplined in spiritual things and unable to discern
           between good and evil, between right and wrong.
      3) The obvious connotation of this passage is that, although Paul felt obliged to teach them the
           things concerning the superior priesthood of Christ; He also felt that they would not understand,
           nor could they through spiritual immaturity and laziness discern the truth of these teachings. He
           also knew that they would not assimilate these teachings into their Christian lives nor would they
           go on to teach them to others.
2. Exhortation to continue growing.
         In the previous verses Paul has rebuked them for not understanding and not using what was
      already taught to them. Now he is going to exhort them to leave the basics (foundations) of what
      was taught to them and go on toward maturity.
   a. He exhorts them to leave the principles (the basics) of Christianity and the forms of Judaism
      (baptisms, washings, etc.) and their basic Christian counterparts, and to start advancing toward
      maturity. (Heb 6:1-2)
   b. Here Paul states that without the help of God no one can grow to maturity. (Heb 6:3)
3. The exhortation of the first of all foundations; the foundational truth of Eternal Salvation.
         (The key word here is "IF.")
   a. Salvation is a once and for all occurrence. (:4-6)
   b. The indicators (of whether God's teachings really took hold unto Salvation).
      1) Of true Salvation- fruit, growth, life, which brings God's blessings. (:7)
      2) Of false salvation- briars, thorns, only fit for burning. (:8)
   c. The concept being taught here is that IF you could lose your Salvation, you could never get it
       back; and, that true Salvation brings forth fruit.
               NOTE: In Heb 6:2, the "doctrine... of laying on of hands..." is not referring to the Christian
                practice of ordination nor is it referring to the laying on of the hands of the Apostles for
                receiving the Holy Ghost, as in the book of Acts. What it is referring to is the Hebrew
               doctrine of the transference of sins to the sacrifice under the Levitical Law. When they layed
               their hands on the head of the sacrifice, that was a way of showing identification between
               the offerer and the sacrifice; and, in this way, signifying a transference of the sin from the
               sinner to the offering. This principle is strongly enforced and even insisted upon in this
               epistle to the Hebrews; only the insistence is in reference to Christ as the actual
               manifestation of (the real fulfillment of) what was the type given in the Old Testament.
4. Such warnings, however, were for those false professors who had fallen away, not for the
     zealous and truly saved ones to whom Paul was writing. (Heb 6:9-12)

NOTE: The temptation to fall away from Christianity and revert to the forms and rituals of the Law were always there for the Hebrews who had only made a tentative break with it. The exhortation here is for the Hebrews to once and for all forget the Law as a means of Salvation and to wholly embrace Christ. They had learned the first principles of Christianity and, no matter if the Kingdom had not been established in their day (as many believers expected it would) they could not return to the Law as it was of none effect. Also the passage :4-6 makes it quite plain that even IF you could go back to the Law (or anything else for that matter) and then realized that the Law (or any other works) could not save you and tried to return to Christ, it would be impossible to do so because Christ would have to come and be your sacrificial offering for your second Salvation; and that is impossible. He saves once and for all with a once and for all sacrifice for all sin for all men; and, as superior High Priest, He need not make sacrifices year by year as they did.

      a. "... better things of you, and things that accompany salvation..."
      1) The salvation of the Hebrew believers was a true Salvation in Christ. (:9a)
      2) And the proof of that was their works in ministering to others. (:9b)
   b. God would never forget their ministering in His name to the other believers,
         both in the past and in the present. (:10)
   c. An exhortation to continue their serving in the future.
      1) Right up to the end. (:11)
      2) How? Follow the example of the diligent; both of those who had gone before and
           those who currently exhibit faithful and patient work which is the indicator of those
           who are truly the Saved. (Heb 6:12)
4. The assurance that even the Old Covenant gave the same promises to Abraham which we
     now have in Christ. 
         In this passage Abraham is given as the example of perseverance under the Law.
   a. God gave the promise to Abraham. (Heb 6:13a)
   b. God swore by HIS OWN NAME that it would come to pass! (:13b)
         There is much more here in this statement than meets the eye's cursory glance.
      1) God put His integrity on the line.
      2) God put both His authority and His ability on the line.
      3) God made it impossible that He could ever, through eternity, NOT fulfill the promise to
          Abraham, nor could God EVER change His mind and decide not to bring the promises to pass!
      4) There is an old saying, "Put up or shut up," and here we see that God put His very essence
          and being on the line. I guess we could say that is sufficient enough of a "Put up," to prove
          His sincerity to anyone.
   c. The promise to bless and multiply Abraham. (:14)
   d. The promise was then fulfilled after Abraham patiently endured. (:15)
   e. The oath.
      1) An oath must be by a greater not a lesser. (:16a)
      2) It signifies the end of strife between two opposing parties. (:16b)
      3) God, for man's sake, has confirmed His promise to the heirs (us) with a greater oath. (:17)
      4) By two immutable things- His promise, ("counsel,") and His "oath." (:18a)
      5) Those two things give us strong consolation in Christ. (:18b)
      6) That hope, in Christ as the fulfillment of the promise, anchors our soul in the Eternal
           promise of God. (:19a)
      7) Our hope is not from without the veil (of the Tabernacle) but that of a fulfilled hope which
           is already (in Christ) within the true veil in Heaven. (:19b)
   f. Now, after this short interlude, we return to the main theme; which is Christ, the superior
       High Priest after the order of Melchisedec.   He is the forerunner, entered in for us, and
       He is of the superior Melchisedekian High Priesthood. (:20)

 

 

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SECTION FIVE

 

 

 

II. The Priesthood of Melchisedec. (Heb 7:1-28)
   Melchisedec is clearly a type of Christ. All agree on this fact. Everything known about Melchisedec is found in two Old Testament passages: Gen 14:17-20 and Ps 110:4. In the New Testament, the passages in Hebrews are the only references to Melchisedec in it; and all serve to prove the superior High Priesthood of Christ.
   NOTE: Because of the prevailing religion here in Utah, it must be noted that at NO TIME in the Bible is anyone told to attain to any priesthood; Melchisedekian or otherwise. In the OT only God appointed the priests; and any others who tried to attain to the priesthood on their own volition were immediately killed! (See the story of Korah, Dathan, Abiram and others, plus 14,700 more of the nation of Israel that died because of such pretensions to the priesthood in Num ch. 16. Also see Num ch. 26.) God says that He makes us Priests and Kings unto Him- not that we seek to attain, but that HE chooses us priests and kings in Christ and makes us so without any aspirations or works for attainment on our part. (Rev 1:5-6; 5:9-10) The only reason those who seek to attain to a priesthood today are not killed on the spot is because we are under Grace; and, therefore, they are being given a space to repent! The sin of such seeking will be brought into judgment just as surely as any other sin at the final judgment of the lost. The only escape they have is to repent of that sin, and the others they have committed, and turn to Christ for Salvation. Those who seek the Melchisedec Priesthood are guilty of trying to be their own fulfillment of the type, which spot is reserved for the Son of God, Jesus Christ. In essence they are trying to take Christ's place and are saying they are worthy, in their own attainments, to approach the throne of God and present the blood sacrifice as their own High Priest. That is sacrilege and blasphemy! Anyone who tries to usurp the rightful place of the Son of God needs to throw themself on their face before Almighty God and BEG His forgiveness, and ask for Salvation in Christ for forgiveness for that blasphemous affront, as well as for all of their other sins!
      The priesthood of Melchisedec.
A. Melchisedec was King and Priest. (Heb 7:1-2)
   1. He was the priest of God.
   2. He was first the King of Righteousness; but also King of Peace
       (Salem, possibly referring to Jerusalem).
B. Melchisedec was the priest of the most High God. (:1-2)
   1. As priest, he blessed Abraham. (:1)
   2. As priest, he received tithes of Abraham. (:2)
      (The importance of this will be discussed under verses :4-6).
C. Melchisedec had no father and mother; neither did he have children.
          The obvious inference here is that he was eternal, without beginning or end;
        just like the Son of God. (:3 "continually," cf. Ps 110:4)
D. Comparison- of the Melchisedekian and Aaronic priesthoods. (Heb 7:4-14)
   1. The greatness of Melchisedec- even the patriarch Abraham gave him tithes. (:4)
   2. The Aaronic priesthood takes tithes of their brethren, i.e., the other descendants of Abraham,
        as they themselves were, pay the tithes to them. (:5)
   3. But Melchisedec received tithes from Abraham, and, by extension, from the Levites and the
        Aaronic priests that sprang from the loins of Abraham. (:6-10)
   4. And by blessing Abraham, Melchisedec was shown to be a greater priest than the priests that
        would spring from Abraham. (cf. :1-7)
   5. The relation of Christ to the Levitical priesthood. (Heb 7:11-14)
            Under the Old Covenant, only those of the tribe of Levi could hold the priesthood. Christ is
        obviously from the tribe of Judah, the wrong tribe. So how could Christ be a priest?
   6. Summary.
           The Jews would say that it is impossible for Christ to be a priest (Aaronic) because He (Christ)
        was of the tribe of Judah, not Levi. And that is very true. But, here in Hebrews Paul reminds them
        that a higher priesthood was mentioned in the Scriptures, that of Melchisedec, to whom even the
        Levites paid tithes, in Abraham, and by whom they were themselves blessed. This fact, being
        blessed by Melchisedec, in itself was acknowledging the Melchisedekian priesthood as the greater
            Therefore, as the question is: "How can Christ be a priest, since He was not from the tribe of
        Levi?" the answer is: "He is of a greater Priesthood; one that did not come from Abraham."     
        Therefore, He did not come from the tribe of Levi, because He did not have to come from the 
        tribe of Levi since He was of such an higher order of priests that even Levi, in Abraham,
        acknowledged Him as being the greater by their actions in Abraham.
            In other words, Christ's greater priesthood does not necessitate His being from the tribe of    
        Levi, from which comes the lesser priesthood; so the whole question is, really, an immaterial
        one.
E. Christ's priesthood (Melchisedekian) is superior. (Heb 7:15-28)
            Although it is "evident" (:14) that Christ cannot, because of His tribe, hold the Aaronic
        priesthood, it is "far more evident," (:15) that there is a higher priesthood than the Aaronic,
        the Melchisedekian, and that higher priesthood is the one that Christ belongs to.
    1. Christ is of the different and superior order of Priesthood.  (Heb 7:15-17)
            This order of priesthood (Melchisedekian) is superior in every way to that of the Aaronic order.
        a. It has already been shown that the Melchisedekian is greater.  (:7)
        b. It resides not just in the Law of carnal commandment.  (:16a)
        c. Instead, it resides as an endless priesthood.  (:16b)
        d. And it was sealed by the oath of God himself.  (6:17 cf. 7:17)
   
2. The weakness of the Law, and by extension, of the Aaronic priesthood.  (:18-19)
        a. The law was weak and unprofitable.  (:18)
        b. Why and how was it weak and unprofitable?  (:19)
            a) The Law can make nothing perfect.
            b) It was superceded by a better hope.
            c) We could not draw nigh unto God by the Law; but we can by the better hope.
        c. The Law, and the priesthood associated with it, were never meant to draw us nigh
                unto God; i.e., they were never meant as a means of Salvation. (Gal 3:11-26)
            a) We are saved by FAITH, not by Law. (:11)
            b) The Law was added because of transgressions (sins.) (:19)
            c) It was there to bring us unto Christ. (Gal 3:24)
            d) The Law was our "schoolmaster." (Gal 3:24)
                "schoolmaster," Gk
paidagwgoV, pahee-dag-o-gos', a trusted slave charged with
                supervising the life and morals of children until reaching maturity
.
                    This tutor, the Mosaic Law, told us what to do, when to do it, and why to do it;
                i.e., training us in the proper conduct that will help us in striving toward maturity.
            e) But after reaching maturity (faith in Christ) we are no longer under this schoolmaster
                who told us what to do, when to do it, and why to do it. In Christ, we are now mature,
                in faith, and our conduct will follow without being forced by the Law as we once were
                as immature children.
            NOTE: Remember, that here in Hebrews, Paul is talking to the Jews that were once under
                the law and He is explaining how that faith in Christ disannulled the necessity of the Law
                (the schoolmaster) that they were once under. Thus, the Law represented by the lesser
                Aaronic priesthood was disannulled by the bringing in of the better hope under the higher,
                and superior, Melchisedekian priesthood of Christ.
                    In Romans 2:14-15, the issue of the Gentiles in this matter of the law is discussed.
                There we are told that the Gentiles, the non-Jews, show the works of the law written in their
                hearts; and they are judged by their consciences which will either accuse or excuse them.
    3. The superiority of Christ's priesthood. (Heb 7:20-25)
        a. Christ was made a priest with the oath of God to back it up. (Heb 7:20)
        b. Comparison- the Aaronic priests were not backed with God's oath of continuance;
            while Christ was. (:21 "Thou [meaning Jesus] art a priest for ever...") 
        c. That made Jesus a surety of a better testament than the Aaronic priests. (:22)
        d. Their priesthood was inferior because it took many of them to fill it, because they
            all had to die and others had to take their places. (:23)
        e. Christ, on the other hand, was one who fills His priesthood alone and forever because
            He will never die. (:24)
        f. Therefore, He can save to the uttermost because He lives forever to forever make
            intercession for them as the ever living, superior, high priest. (:25)
    4. Such a superior high priest is becoming to us. (:26-28)
            "became us," Gk
eprepen, e-prep'-en, meaning to be becoming, seemly, fit, for us.
        a. He is a fitting priest because He is Holy. (:26)
        b. He is fitting because He combined all of the elements of the priesthood into one-
              Himself. (:27)
            a) He negated the necessity of the priest's to make an offering for themselves first, because
                He was a Holy high priest and, therefore, needed no sacrifice for himself.
            b) He negated the need of daily sacrifices by offering the perfect sacrifice, once.
            c) And He fulfilled the perfect sacrifice by offering himself, the perfect Lamb.
            d) Therefore, it is obvious that He is a fitting High Priest (much superior to the fragmented
                Aaronic priesthood) because all of the elements of the priesthood (Holiness for the High
                Priest and the perfect and, therefore, one time sacrifice) were combined in Himself.
                All together and forever.
        c. The final comparison showing His fitness (becomingness) as our High Priest.
            a) The Old Covenant, the Law, from which the Aaronic priesthood came, made infirm men
                priests (infirm because of death). (Heb 7:28a)
            b) But the oath consecrated Christ, the eternal priest, to the priesthood. And as the eternal
                priest He is superior and, therefore, fit to be High Priest for us. (:28b)
            c) And the oath, "which was since the law," and higher than the Law and therefore
                annulled the Law, guarantees His consecration and fitness as High Priest.

III. Christ, the Minister and High Priest of the Superior Covenant. (Heb 8:1-10:18)
     Conclusion of the Main Arguments. (Heb 8:1 "... this is the sum...")
         All three elements, the New Covenant, the Levitical priesthood of the Old Covenant, and the
    Priesthood of Christ, are brought together in this conclusion to the main arguments for superiority
    of the Priesthood of Christ.
        Also, a contrast will be made between the tabernacle in the wilderness and the heavenly
    tabernacle which is the reality only typified by the previous tabernacle.
        Finally the superiority of Christ's priesthood is shown as three elements are combined in the
    one reality, Himself. Those three elements being: the atoning sacrifice offered by Christ (himself
    also being the sacrifice), the priestly service, and the true, heavenly, sanctuary.
A. The Old Covenant and the New Covenant contrasted. (Heb 8:1-9)
    The New Covenant was first mentioned by Jeremiah.
        Jer 31:31-32 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new
            covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according
            to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day [that] I took them by
            the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake,
            although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:

        The New Covenant, the superior one that was brought in by Christ, will eventually be received
    by the nation of Israel after the Tribulation time. Therefore, the New Covenant has quite an extended
    time-frame from its inception to its final reception.
        ONE: The inception of it was 2,000 years ago by Christ.  (Heb 1:2; 3:6; 7:19, 22; 8:6)
        TWO: The final reception of it (by the nation of Israel) will be after the Tribulation time.
                (Jer 31:33-34; 38-40; Is 45:22-23; Ro 14:11; Phil 2:10-11; Rev 14:1-7; 7:9-17;
                12:5; 15:4; Rev 21:24-22:4; Is 65:17-25; Is 66:22-23; Dan 12:1-3; 9:24-27)

            1. Christ is superior high priest and superior minister seated in Heaven; minister of the
                sanctuary in the true tabernacle in Heaven. (Heb 8:1-2)
            2. The sanctuary in which He ministers is also superior because it is in Heaven. ( Heb 8:1-2)
            3. Contrast between the Old and the New Covenants. (:3-5)
    a. Both the priests under the Old and Jesus the priest under the New perform the same ministries
        of offering gifts and sacrifices. (:3)
    b. Under the Old Covenant Christ could not minister. (:4)
    c. But the priesthood under the Old was a mere shadow of the reality. (:5)
            The truth of this is born out by the reference to God's admonition to Moses, the builder of
        the earthly tabernacle (the shadow) and the institution, by God's command, of the earthly
        Priesthood that served in it.
            Moses saw the heavenly tabernacle when he was on Sinai; and was admonished to follow
        that pattern without deviation. This was necessary in order for the shadow which he was to
        build to follow the reality to come; the New Covenant, that was fulfilled in Christ. God alone
        knew what Christ would be and do; therefore, He alone could tailor the Old pattern so that it
        would exactly point to the New, the reality.  (Ex 25:40)
4. The extent of the superiority summarized. (Heb 8:6)
    a. Superior ministry of Christ.
    b. As the mediator of the superior covenant.
    c. Based on superior promises.
5. The reasons for, the time of, and the recipients of the New Covenant. (:7-9)
    a. There was fault (on the part of man) in the Old Covenant. (:7-8a)
    b. The time of the New Covenant- some time after the time of Jeremiah.
        (:8b referring to Jer ch. 31)
    c. The recipients of the New Covenant are Israel and Judah. (Heb 8:8c)
    d. It will be different than the Old Covenant made during the time of the Exodus. (:9)
6. The New Covenant explained. (:10-13)
    a. It will be a covenant of the inward not one of the outward like the Law; and it will be
            consummated. God will finally be their God (in fact, not just in word) and they will
            finally be His people (in fact, not just in word.) (:10)
        1) This was brought about by Christ.
        2) Who did so through the new birth.
        3) Which established the New Covenant as one of relationship; unlike the Old which was
            a covenant of forms, rules, and sacrifices, which were only shadows.
    b. The Hebrew people will be released from their obligations under the Old Covenant,
        under which they were set before the world as an example through whom God would reveal
        himself to the world, since upon the consummation of the New Covenant everyone will know
        who God is. (:11)
    c. Upon the consummation of the New, there will be (because of the superior sacrifice and priesthood
        of Christ already discussed) a complete cleansing and release from their sins. (:12)
    d.
By saying "A new covenant," (in Hebrews quoting from Jeremiah) God is explaining two things
            to the Hebrews.
        1) Saying "new," automatically makes the previous one "old." (Heb 8:13a)
        2) And something that is old is decaying and about to "vanish away." (:13b)
B. The New Sanctuary and the Perfect Sacrifice. (Heb 9:1-28)
            Using the priestly functions performed by the Aaronic priests, as described in the Old
        Testament in Exodus and Leviticus, God once again contrasts the superior service of Christ
        the high priest in the heavenly (superior) sanctuary, and the Aaronic priestly service in the
        earthly sanctuary.
    1. The earthly sanctuary and the earthly priesthood service. (:1-10)
        a. The two sections of the earthly sanctuary and some of the contents. (:1-5)
            1) The first was the "sanctuary," which is the holy place.
                Gk
agiwn, hagiown, meaning holy. (:2)
            2) The second is the "holiest of all," which is the holy of holies. (:3)
                Gk
agia agiwn, hagia hagiown, meaning holy of holies or holiest of all.
            3) Some of the contents of the holy of holies. (:4-5)
                    Not all of the contents are listed, since the ministrations of the priests are what is
                important, not the furniture and the details of it. This is shown by verse :5 "... of
                which we cannot now speak particularly
." (Or "individually.")
        b. The places of the various ministrations of the earthly priests.
            1) They ministered the daily sacrifices for the people to God in the holy place. (:6)
            2) But they only entered into the holiest of holies once a year on the Day of Atonement when
                the High Priest approached the mercy seat with the blood of the sacrifice. (:7) (Lev ch. 16)
                    This sacrifice served a two-fold purpose:
                i. This blood was offered for his (the High Priest's) sins.
                ii. And it was also offered for the sins of the people.
        c. This was a testimony from God the Holy Spirit that the way into the holy of holies,
            the way to God's presence, was not yet clear. (Heb 9:8)
            And this testimony by God was made while the tabernacle was still standing.
        d. These were "carnal ordinances,"- mere forms and ceremonial sacrifices. (:9-10)
            1) They were only a "figure" that could not make anyone perfect. (:9)
            2) These were necessary at that time but they were only a "figure," (:9) i.e., a similitude
                of the real thing to come later at "the time of reformation," (:10)
                "reformation," Gk
diorqwsewV, dee-or-thow-see-ohs, a making straight, restoring to
                its natural and normal condition something which in some way protrudes or has got out
                of line, as broken or misshapen limbs
.
            3) This, once again shows us the superiority of the true Sanctuary in Heaven and the reality
                of the perfect sacrifice to come (and the superior High Priest) that would one day replace
                these, somehow deformed, "figures" of that reality.
    2. The inauguration, means, and results of this time of "reformation." (Heb 9:11-14)
                Remember, reformation means a straightening of that which was crooked, broken, or out
            of line. Such as straightening (today we would call it "setting") a broken arm or other limb.
        a. This reformation was inaugurated by Christ. (:11a)
            1) "being come" He came and brought the reformation.
            2) "an high priest" When He came, he came as high priest.
        b. The means of reformation. (:11-14)
            1) The high priest, Christ, was not of the old but that of the new.
                "good things to come" (9:11a cf 10:1)
            2) He was high priest of a greater and more perfect tabernacle; i.e., an eternal one,
                the true tabernacle of God in Heaven, not the temporary one built by man's hands
                here on earth. "... not made with hands..."
                "... not of this building." Means that it is not of this creation.
                "building" Gk
ktisewV, ktis'-eh-ohs, means something created, made, or instituted.
            3) The reformation included the perfect sacrifice that brought "eternal redemption,"
                not the temporary redemption of the imperfect sacrifices. (9:12)
            4) The reformation also set straight the problem of the old sacrifices that only brought 
                    about external purification and brought in the internal purification by the perfect
                    sacrifice. (:13-14)
                i. The old sacrifices brought only external purification. (:13)
                ii. The perfect (new) sacrifice brought internal purification. (:14)
            5) The reformation set straight the problem of the old, where sacrifices were made by the
                earthly priests in the spirit of obedience, by means of the new, where the sacrifice (by
                Christ the eternal high priest) was made in the "eternal Spirit," which was Christ's Spirit
                since He was God in the flesh.
        c. The result of the reformation. (:14b)
            1) It freed us from dead works.
            2) To serve the living God.
    3. The new testament (covenant) in Christ. (15-28)
        a. Christ, by means of the reformation, brought in the new testament. (:15a)
        b. He brought it in by "means of death."
            1) On Calvary, He, by means of His death, satisfied all of the requirements for redemption.
            2) This included redemption for those held for ransom under the old testament.
                "redemption," Gk
apolutrwsin, ap-ol-oo'-tro-sin means a releasing affected by
                 payment of ransom.
        c. His ransom of them and us brought eternal forgiveness and a consequent
            "eternal inheritance." (:15c) 
        d. Comparison. (Heb 9:16-17)
            1) A testament (covenant) must last through the life and on after the death of the one
                who made it; otherwise it is no good at all. (:16-17)
            2) Therefore, the death of the testator is a necessary part of any testament.
            3) Christ's new testament meets this criteria by reason of His death. (cf :15)
        e. The necessity of blood. (:18-22)
            1) Blood was used in the dedication of the first (Old) Testament. (:18-22)
                a) He used the blood at the inception of the Testament. (:18-20 cf Ex 24:3-8)
                b) Blood was used to anoint the things of the Tabernacle. (Heb 9:21)
                    i. It was used to anoint the Altar. (Ex 29:11-16)
                    ii. It was used to anoint Aaron & his sons, & their garments.
                        (Ex 29:19-21; Lev 8:23-24, 30)
                    iii. Even the mercy seat needed to be sprinkled with blood to purge it of its uncleanness
                        because of the sin of the nation of Israel and the sin of Aaron and his house (and
                        specifically, for the sins of his priest sons.) (Lev 16:14-19)
                    iv. The Holy Place, the tabernacle of the congregation, and the Altar, were all reconciled
                        by the blood atonement of the Old Testament sacrifice.
                        (Heb 9:22 cf Lev 16:20; 17:11)
            2) This was the called the "blood of the covenant" with Israel (Heb 9:20), the Old
                Covenant, and it was absolutely necessary according to the Law. (Heb 9:22-23a)
        f. The New Covenant- the finality of it. (9:23-28)
                NOTE: Notice in verse :23 the use, once again, of the key word to the whole book
                    of Hebrews- "... better..."
            1) Purification of the earthly and purification of the heavenly. (:23)
                a) The earthly use of the blood of animals was necessary for the purification of the
                    earthly patterns. (:23a)
                b) But a heavenly sacrifice, Christ's blood was for the purification of the heavenly
                    reality. (:23b)
                    NOTE: God is not saying that the Heavenly reality was impure in itself. What He
                    is saying is that even as the earthly Tabernacle was impure and needed blood to
                    be used for the sanctification of it because of the sins of both the people and the
                    earthly priests, so the heavenly Tabernacle needed blood for the sanctification of
                    it because of the sins of the people. The notable exception in this is that unlike the
                    sanctification of the earthly where the blood was for the sins of the people and the
                    priests, the blood was not for the sins of the perfect and sinless priest, Christ, but
                    ONLY for the sins of the people. That is why the term "better sacrifices" is used
                    when speaking of the purification of the heavenly Tabernacle.
            2) Christ did not enter into the earthly Holy Place, which was made with hands, 
                (cf :11) and which was only a "figure" (a "shadow... made according to the
                pattern shewed to thee...
" Heb 8:5) but into the reality in heaven itself. (9:24a)
                    And He is there to appear for us in the very presence of God himself. (Heb 9:24b)
            3) His sacrifice of himself made by himself as the high priest, was the one time, final,
                sacrifice. (Heb 9:25-26)
            4) This one-time sacrifice for sin follows the scriptural precept of finality as set for mankind
                in general: one death and then judgment. (:27-28)
        g. The New Covenant in its final state and at work. (Heb 10:1-18)
            1) The failure of the Old Covenant. (:1-4)
                i. It failed because it was a shadow, and, therefore, it was inferior. (:1a)
                ii. And shadow sacrifices, that have to be made year after year, can never make the
                    sinner perfect. (:1b)
                iii. Anything that must be done over and over can never be the means of final perfection.
                           Stop-gap measures are never the means of completion (perfection); the most they
                        can be is just a step toward it. Only the final step brings the object to perfection; the
                        steps preceding it may aim toward it, and may even be necessary to help the object
                        toward it, but they can never actually accomplish it. (:2-4)
                    a) If they were the means of perfection why were they repeated year after year.
                        Wouldn't they have stopped if they had accomplished perfection? (:2a)
                    b) The sinner would no longer have a consciousness of sin and therefore no more need
                        of further sacrifices. (:2b)
                            A diamond that has received the final polishing that brings it to lustrous perfection
                        has no need of further mining, cutting, polishing, etc., since it is now perfect. In fact,
                        to work on it further would not enhance its brilliance but most probably would subtract
                        from its perfect luster and bring it back to a lesser state of perfection.
                    c) Therefore, the Old Covenant failed; not because of God but because of man's
                            remembrance of sins every year. And that remembrance is shown in, and is
                            even caused by, those yearly sacrifices. (:3)
   
             iv. Therefore, it is not possible that earthly sacrifices could take away sin. (:4)
                       The use in this verse of the word "impossible" (Gk
adunaton, ad-oo'-na-ton)
                    is a statement of the finality and sureness of the failure of the Old Covenant, and its
                    sacrifices, to take away sins. (Also see Ps 40:6; Is 1:11)
            2) The promise of the New Covenant was stated in the Old Testament. (Heb 9:5-9)
                        Here the writer is using Psalm 40:6-9 as typology for the coming of Christ to carry
                    out the will of the Father.
                i. Earthly sacrifices could not take away sin; but earthly blood, as we have already seen,
                    must be shed. Therefore, God prepared a flesh and blood body for Christ; in which
                    Christ could die, shed His blood and perform the perfect sacrifice. (:5)
                ii. The final blood sacrifice, Christ who was God in totally human form, was foretold in
                        the Psalms. (Heb 10:6-9)
                    a) God took no pleasure in the earthly sacrifices. (:6 cf Ps 40:6)
                    b) Christ came to do God's will in this matter. (Heb 10:7 cf Ps 40:7)
                    c) It is reiterated that it is the earthly sacrifices offered under the Law that are what
                        God takes no pleasure in. (Heb 10:8 once again cf. Ps 40:6)
                    d) By saying "I Come," He takes away the first (Old) Covenant and thereby establishes
                        the second (New) Covenant. (Heb 10:9)
            3) The finality of the New Covenant is stated as being accomplished according to the Old
                Testament promise of His coming to do the will of God by the reality of Christ who was
                offered under the New, "once for all," according to the will of God.
                (Heb 10:10 cf Ps 40:7-8)
            4) The finality of the New Covenant and the proof of the final demise of the Old is shown in
                    the once-for-allness of Christ's offering of the sacrifice in His office as High Priest and
                    His offering of Himself as the sacrifice. (Heb 10:11-13)
                i. The priest under the Old had to offer continuing sacrifices which could never take away
                    sins. (:11)
                ii. On the other hand, Christ offered Himself as the one acceptable sacrifice for sins and
                    then sat down to signify completion of the perfection of the sinner by His sacrifice as
                    well as signification of the completion of His job as High Priest in connection with the
                    sin sacrifice. (:12)
                iii. Notice in verses :11 & :12 the contrast.
                    a) In verse :11 the fact that the high priest under the Old Covenant "standeth daily"
                        offering sacrifices and thus signifying there was more work to come; i.e., by standing
                        he was showing his incompletion of the job.
                    b) In verse :12, however, we see that Christ offered the sacrifice once and then sat
                        down; thus signifying an absolute completion of the job.
                iv. Christ patiently waits for the final vanquishment of His enemies and the actual
                        establishment of His kingdom. (:13)
                v. Summary of verses :11-13.
                        Christ neither comes often nor stands in anticipation of further work, which would
                    symbolize an incomplete work of redemption. Instead, He patiently waits at the right
                    hand of the Father for the results of His work, which will be the total vanquishing of
                    His enemies and their submission to Him at the establishment of His Kingdom. Thus,
                    He shows the completion of His work as High Priest.
            5) This is, therefore, the fulfillment of Jeremiah's covenant prophecy that was discussed in
                    an earlier section. (:14-18)
                i. The New Covenant HAS replaced the Old Covenant because it is the reality that brings
                    the perfection that the Old shadow never could. (:14 cf :1)
                    "perfected" Gk
teteleiwken, te-tel-ei-o'-ken, in this case it means to bring
                    to completion; to completely accomplish the desired end.
                        In the current context, it means the complete and final (for ever) sanctification of
                    the believer, which is necessary for entrance into the sanctuary, in a way that the
                    shadow sacrifices under the Old Covenant NEVER could.
                ii. This is witnessed by the Holy Ghost.
                        This is so because it is a fulfillment of Jeremiah's prophecy which was given by
                    inspiration of the Holy Ghost. (Heb 10:15-17 cf Jer 31:31-34)
                iii. Not only is forgiveness of sins complete under the New Covenant, but the sins
                    themselves are remembered no more by God. (Heb 10:18)
                iv. Under the New Covenant, which accomplishes an inner change in us (:16) and which
                    is guaranteed as consummated by God in His forgetting of our sins, no more offering
                    is necessary, or possible. (:18)
                v. Under the Old, the sins of the people were overlooked, for a year. Under the New, there
                    is complete remission of all sin.
                    "remission," means release from bondage or imprisonment, forgiveness or pardon of
                    sins, (letting them go as if they had never been committed,) remission of the penalty.

 

 

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SECTION SIX

 

 

 

IV. The Elements of the Life of Faith. (Heb 10:19-13:17)
    This last section is an exhortation to live a life of faith. Included are contrasts between living a life of faith and forsaking such a life; with explanations of each course. Not only is the individual life of faith addressed; but the strength of the collective life of faith of the church is touched upon.
Included in this final segment is what many call "God's hall of faith," which is chapter eleven, and instructions in the life of faith, including an exhortation to endure the chastening of the Lord which is always for our profit and which is proof that we are really His children. Finally, chapter thirteen exhorts the believers both individually, communally, and in regards to hospitality to strangers, and an exhortation to remain steadfast in the faith and the doctrines of God that are taught in Christ's church. This chapter and this segment ends with a command to obey the authority God has set in the church, the pastors, and why they should do so.

A. A Description of the Life of Faith. (Heb 10:19-25)
            Verse :22 is the key to this segment. If someone's faith is weak then we must concentrate
        much on a faith that gives "much assurance." This is possible because every believer has the
        guarantee of access to God because of the work of Christ in entering into the heavenly sanctuary
        as we studied in an earlier segment. In addition it is an eternal guarantee of access because of
        Christ's eternal, Melchisedekian, priesthood. (See 4:13-16)
    1. We have a bold faith. (Heb 10:19)
            We have this boldness not because of faith in ourselves but because of our faith in Christ
        and His offering of His own blood in the true Holy of Holies in Heaven which satisfied God's
        requirements once and for all. (:10-14)
            By that sacrifice we are forever perfected and therefore may enter into the holiest place
        anytime we want to.
    2. Why we can have such a bold faith. (:20-21)
        a. We can have such a faith because we now have access by "a new and living way,"
            "consecrated" by Christ himself. (Heb 10:20)
                As Christ's "flesh" was torn on the cross, so the "veil" which once separated man from
            God was torn. Thereby we now have direct access to God.
        b. We also can have such a faith because our "high priest," or, as He is called in 4:14, our
            "great high priest," is in the true heavenly sanctuary performing His duties on our behalf.
            (10:21)
    3. Exercising the bold faith. (:22)
        a. We can have assurance that we can "draw near" to God, frequently and at anytime.
        b. We have the right to do so because of verses :20-21. (See #2. above)
        c. There are two predominant ideas in verse :22.
            1) We have a "true heart" and a "full assurance of faith" because of Christ.
                    In the Greek, this word "true,"
alhqinhV, al-ay-thee-nes', means that it not only
                bears the name but also the nature of a truly cleansed heart.
            2) We are that way because our "evil conscience," our remembrance of our sins, is
                cleansed by the pure blood of Christ, and our bodies cleansed with the pure water
                from God.
                NOTE: Some may mistakenly think that this is talking about water baptism.
                This cannot be for the following reasons.
            - The purging of our consciences from remembrance of sin is accomplished by the superior,
           heavenly, blood of Christ, the superior sacrifice sent from God and acceptable to Him. (9:14)
            - Therefore, the "pure water," must, by context, be referring to a superior, heavenly water,
             also given directly from God. This water is mentioned in Ezekiel 36:25-27. In Ezekiel, God
             promised that He would cleanse the people with "clean water." In Hebrew, the word       
             "clean," taw-hore, means physically, morally, ethically, or ceremonially pure. In other
              words, it is the Hebrew equivalent of the Greek word translated "pure," in the book of 
             Hebrews. It cannot be water baptism that is being spoken of in Hebrews because nowhere
             does the Bible talk about "pure water," when speaking of water for baptism. In the Old
             Testament, "clean water" is spoken of when talking about clean or unclean foods,
             ceremonial cleanness, physical cleanness (as concerning diseases and cleanliness), and 
             sexual cleanness. 
            - In the New Testament the equivalent phrase "pure water," is used only twice. Once in 
             Hebrews and once in Revelation. In Revelation it is used in speaking of the "pure river
             of water of life
," flowing our from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In Hebrews it is
             used in conjunction with cleanness of self for purposes of freely approaching the throne of
             God in full assurance of acceptance. No reference to baptism in the New Testament ever
             uses the phrase "pure water" when talking of the medium used. In Ez 36:25 God is talking
             about personally cleansing the people, both physically and ceremonially. And in verse :26
   
          He talks about giving them a new heart (cf Heb 10:22) and a new spirit. Then in Ez 36:27
   
          God talks about giving them the Holy Spirit and thereby causing them to follow His statutes.
             In other words, He will do what they and their ceremonies could not do; which is to make
             them truly clean.
            - This is what He is talking about in Hebrews. He himself has made them clean, truly clean,
             which their ceremonies, of which baptism is one in the New Testament, could never do. In
             both Hebrews and Ezekiel it is obvious that God is not talking about physical baptism or
             ceremonial cleansing but a true cleansing which is accomplished by Him. True, the use of
             the term, pure water, in Hebrews is an obvious correlation to their ceremonial cleansing,
             but the context makes it obvious that God is talking about the true, superior, cleansing that
             He has brought about through Christ.
            - By the way, in Ezekiel the cleansing was brought about by God's Spirit. In the New
             Testament, including here in Hebrews, we have something that they did not have in the Old
             Testament, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That indwelling of the Holy Spirit is exactly     
             what God was talking about in Ezekiel, which God promised to the Jews as a nation. As 
             individuals Jews can receive the promise right now, through Christ. During the Tribulation
             time and immediately following it, the Jews will receive the promise, as a nation, when they
             turn to Christ as their Messiah.
            - Also, in the New Testament, we find both the baptism in the Holy Ghost, which results in
             instantaneous cleansing of us in God's eyes and ongoing cleansing from the sins of the flesh
             in our own lives, as well as the concept of the Word of God as His means of cleansing His
             Church. (Acts 1:5; Eph 5:26)
            - Either of these, baptism in the Holy Ghost or cleansing through washing by the Word of 
              God, could be meant in Heb 10:22. However, the meaning that is carried here is that, in
              God's eyes we are totally clean, spiritually, physically, and ceremonially, and thus we have
              the right to approach the throne of God, anytime, in full assurance of acceptance. God has 
             made us clean, therefore, we are truly clean; and through Christ we are eternally clean.
              (See the story of God's dealings with Peter concerning the cleansing of the Gentiles by God,
                through the Holy Spirit, in Acts 10:10-11:18)
    4. The communal expression of our life of bold faith. (Heb 10:23-25)
        a. We need to hold fast to our faith (both individually and communally.) (:23)
            1) We are to hold fast to our faith and not waver.
            2) Why? Because He is faithful and does not waver.
        b. The strength of the communal life of faith. (:24)
        c. The means and practices of the communal life of faith. (:25)
            1) We are commanded to assemble.
                "assemble" Gk
episunagwghn, ep-ee-sun-ago-gayn, a gathering together in one place,
                    the religious assembly of Christians
.
                i. This can mean assemble as a Church for worship.
                ii. This can also mean to assemble as a church for study.
                iii. It can also mean to assemble as a church for fellowship.
            2) Why do we assemble? To exhort one another. (cf Heb 10:25b)
            3) How often do we assemble? More and more; not less and less! (:25c)
B. A Contrast Concerning Those Who Reject the Life of Faith. (Heb 10:26-39)
    1. A contrast with those who reject the cross, the beginning of the life of faith. (:26-27)
        a. A rejection of the cross, with full "knowledge" of it's "once-and-for-allness," leaves us with
            nothing else to turn to ("no more sacrifice for sins.") (:26)
        b. Such rejection leaves us with only "judgment and fiery indignation," to look forward
            to. (:27)
    2. A contrast with rejection of the Law.
        a. Under the Law, condemnation came with two or three witnesses.
            And those witnesses were human witnesses. (:28)
        b. How much more the punishment for rejecting Christ. (:29)
                 And remember, God was the witness and Christ was His very son!
            1) Rejecting the cross is not just a rejection of the Old Covenant and it's shadows and
                types in sacrifices and ceremonies, but rejection of it is treading under foot the reality
                of the Son of God Himself!
            2) Rejecting the cross is rejecting the blood, with which Christ was sanctified as the Eternal
                High Priest, as unholy, unclean, and defiled.
                    It was the divine blood of Christ Himself. And to call it unholy makes you worthy of
                greater condemnation than ever was given under the Old Covenant.
            3) To reject the cross is to do "despite unto the Spirit of grace."
                "despite" Gk
enubrisaV, en-oo-brid'-sas, to insult.
            4) The three-fold sin of the one who rejects the cross and the life of faith started there.
                    To reject the cross, the life of faith, after one has understood what the cross really is,
                is to tread under foot the Son of God; to call God's divine blood an unholy, unclean thing;
                and to insult the Holy Spirit Himself. This is catastrophic territory in which to tread and
                brings much greater condemnation than mere death as was spoken about under the Law.
                  (This at least borders on Mt 12:31-32.)
                   We are not talking about someone who has only heard but someone who has "received 
                 the knowledge of the truth
," which can only happen when the Holy Spirit has applied
                 the Word of God to the heart of the hearer. (Heb 10:26) Therefore, to reject after such
                 an application of knowledge to our hearts by the Holy Spirit may very well cause Him to
                 quit working on our hearts. If that happens, then we no longer can be saved.
                      Gen 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man...
    3. The results of rejection of the life of faith. (Heb 10:30-31)
         Rejection after receiving the knowledge of the truth leads to an irrevocable state of apostasy.
                And with that state comes certain judgment from God.
        a. Vengeance. (Heb 10:30a cf Deut 32:35; Ro 12:19)
        b. Judgment. (Heb 10:30b cf Deut 32:36; Ps 50:4; 135:14)
        c. Fearful and just treatment from God. (Heb 10:31; cf Lk 12:5)
    4. A contrast- "remember" when you first lived the life of faith. (Heb 10:32-34)
        a. They fought a great fight with much suffering but they retained their faith. (:32)
            "great fight" Gk
pollhn aqlhsin, pol'-en, much or large; ath-lay'-sin, to strive, struggle.
                Like in the struggles of an athlete
.
            "afflictions," Gk
paqhmatwn, path'-ay-ma-town, suffering, afflictions
        b. They were put on scornful display before the world; but in spite of that they retained their
            faith. (:33a)
              "gazingstock," Gk
qeatrizomenoi, theh-at-rid'-zom-en-oi, to be exposed as in
                      a theatre, to be made a publicly displayed object of scorn
.
            1) They were publicly displayed and scorned in their own afflictions. (:33a)
            2) And they were publicly displayed and scorned as a companion with others that
                suffered afflictions and were scorned. (:33b)
            3) Including scorn for their association with Paul himself. (:34a)
        c. Remember the reason for your standing fast- your reward in Heaven. (:34b)
    5. Hold on to that confidence that they had when they first lived the life of faith. (:35-37)
        a. Hold on to the openness and frankness that you had in your faith at the first. (:35a)
            "confidence," Gk
parrhsian, par-rhay-see'-ahn, openness, frankness, assurance,
                and boldness in speaking
.
        b. Because of your great reward which is waiting if you do. (:35b)
        c. Steadfast waiting and endurance, in your faith, will bring about those rewards. (:36)
            "patience," Gk
upomonh, hoop-om-on-ay' bear up under, endure, suffer patiently.
        d. He gives them the encouragement that Christ IS coming back at any time! (:37)
    6. Final contrast between the faithful and the apostate. (:38-39)
                The truly saved continue in faith; the apostate is not saved and his lack of continuance
            proves it.
        a. The just shall live by faith. (:38)
        b. Their continuance shows they are saved; while those who draw back are not. (:39)
C.
Examples of the Life of Faith.  (Heb 11:1-12:4)
        This is also called "God's Hall of Faith."
            This segment is a logical follow-up to the first two parts of this section (parts A. & B.)
        In those segments Paul has given the elements of the life of faith and the opposites of it.
        Now, as if to allay any fears that the reader might not be able to live such a life, he gives
        example of those in the past who have lived exactly the kind of life described.
    1. What is faith? (:1-7)
            Paul now describes what faith is. He does this by explaining the creation and how that
        faith is the means by which we understand how it came about. He also explains what faith
        is by use of the early patriarchs who lived lives of faith and how we can also live that life
        exactly as they did, by trusting God.
        a. It is substance and evidence. (Heb 11:1-2)
            1) "substance
                Gk
upostasiV, hoop-os'-ta-sis, a substructure, basis; subsistence, essence
            2) "evidence"
                Gk
elegcoV, el'-eng-khos, a proof, that by which a thing is proved or tested
            3) Faith is not sight; but it is substance and evidence of and for what is not seen.
            4) The elders (OT saints) lived by faith and not sight and received a good report.
        b. It is the ground of our understanding of the creation at God's hand. (:3)
        c. It is the ground of sacrifice and a witness of righteousness. (:4)
            This established blood sacrifice as the ground for entrance into the life of faith.
        d. It is the ground of victory over death and the reason for living the kind of life that
                pleases God. (:5)
            This shows that a life of fellowship with God should be the goal, by faith, of every believer.
        e. It is the ground of our pleasing God. (:5b-6)
                In order to please God, two elements are necessary.
            1) First, by faith (not sight) we must believe that He exists.
            2) Second, by faith (not sight) we must believe that He will reward diligent seekers.
        f. It is the ground of our taking action at God's command and warning. (:7)
            1) Two things are to be seen in the example of Noah.
                i. Judgment on the wicked is an incentive for living the life of faith.
                ii. Action (by faith, not sight) is the evidence of our life of faith.
            2) Our faith in God, which makes us heirs to righteousness as it did for Noah, brings
                us into line with God and His righteous condemnation of the world because of their
                unbelief which leaves them in their unrighteousness. (:7b)
            3) Our faith will be vindicated just like Noah's was.
    2. The witness of the later patriarchs and their families. (:8-12)
        a. Abraham.
            1) By faith he left his home, not knowing where he was going. (:8)
            2) By faith he lived in a strange land with his family. (:9)
            3) By faith he looked to a heavenly dwelling place not seen by the eye of flesh
                nor built by the hand of man. (:10)
        b. Sarah. (:11)
            By faith, Sarah conceived of a child when she was well past the age of child-bearing.
        c. Consummation of their faith. (:12)
                As Noah saw the result of his faith, so did Abraham when Isaac was born. Also,
            we see the end result of Abraham's faith in the multitude of those descended from
            him. Even by the time of the writing of the book of Hebrews the descendants of
            Abraham were as the stars of the sky and as the sand of the sea- innumerable. And
            by now we see millions upon millions more of his descendants that had their source
            in the faith of Abraham and Sarah.
    3. Faith and death.
        a. Faith transcends death. (:13-19)
            1) Faith concerns things not limited to sight nor terminated by death which is the farthest
                limits of sight. (:13a)
            2) The things seen far off which were composed of the substance of their faith and seen
                with the eye of faith, persuaded them of their reality and actuality. (:13b)
            3) By faith the things not seen were welcomed into their hearts and understanding; i.e., the
                promises were "embraced" by them to the extent that the things not seen were as real
                and maybe even more real than the things seen with the eye. (:13c)
            4) By faith the things not seen were so real that the things of this world and their life in it
                were but a short stay in a foreign country on the way to their true home promised by
                God and seen by them with the eye of faith. (:13d cf Ro 8:24-25)
            5) The testimony of the patriarchs that it is not a country of this earth but a country 
                    that will be theirs by faith. (Heb 11:14-16)
                i. They plainly said that it was a country that they were seeking by faith. (:14)
                ii. And if it was an earthly country, like the one they had left, they could have
                    returned to it before they left this earth because it would have been physically
                    possible to do so. (:15)
                iii. They desired a better (superior) country, and a city prepared by their God. (:16)
            6) Abraham, by faith, saw beyond death and proved his faith by offering up Isaac 
                    knowing that, if necessary, God would raise him from the dead in order to fulfill
                    His promises. (:17-19)
                i. By faith he withheld nothing from God; not even his son Isaac. (:17a)
                ii. By faith he offered his only son of promise. (:17b-18)
                iii. By faith he believed that, if necessary, God would raise Isaac from the dead.
                    (Heb 11:19a)
                iv. By faith he did receive him back from the dead, figuratively speaking. (:19b)
        b. The faith of the patriarchs prompted them to pass on the promises of God to their
                posterity, even in the face of their own eminent deaths. (:20-22)
            1) By faith alone, Isaac blessed his sons, passing on the promise of God. (:20)
            2) By faith alone, Jacob blessed the sons of Joseph. (:21)
            3) By faith alone, Joseph passed on the promise of God to Israel; and acted accordingly by
                commanding that his bones be carried toward the promise. (:22)
    4. The life of faith exemplified in the life of Moses. (Heb 11:23-29)
        a. Moses' life of faith started with the faith of his parents which delivered him from death at the
            hands of Pharaoh. (:23)
            Note: This could easily typify the resurrection from death of the Christian, by faith.
        b. By faith Moses refused the riches and power of the Kingdom of Egypt which he could have
            partaken of as Pharaoh's grandson. (:24)
        c. By faith Moses chose to suffer afflictions rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin.
                He knew that sin's pleasures were but for a season but the promises of God concern
            the eternal. (:25)
        d. By faith he knew that Egypt's riches paled in comparison to the rewards in heaven 
            waiting for those who suffered reproaches for Christ. (Heb 11:26)
            Note: Concerning "the reproach of Christ." This tells us that Moses knew of the Messianic
                promises of God and believed them, by faith, and acted accordingly in spite of tribulation
                here on earth.
        e. By faith he endured troubles; seeing with the eye of faith He who was invisible to the eye of
            flesh. (:27)
        f. By faith he sprinkled blood on the doorposts of the house, believing God that the death angel
            would pass over their firstborn because of their faith and obedience. (:28)
        g. By faith Moses and the others experienced the protection of God when Moses led the
            people of God through the Red Sea, not being touched by the waters that completely
            destroyed the enemy pursuing them. (:29)
                Note: This shows us that those who exercise faith in God and live the life of faith in
                    their actions, are capable of things that the unbelievers are TOTALLY incapable of.
    5. Other victories by faith experienced by the people of God in times past. (:30-40)
        a. The victorious side of faith- in life. (:30-34)
            1) The walls of Jericho fell by the faith of Joshua and the people of God. (:30)
            2) The harlot Rahab shared the blessing with the people by faith. (:31)
                    The testimony to the faith of Rahab is found in Mt 1:5. Obviously she joined with the
                people of Israel and became one of them by marriage. Thus she is listed in the genealogy
                of Jesus Christ himself in the book of Matthew.
            3) A list of others who lived the life of faith and their resultant victories in life.
                    This list is so extensive that Paul couldn't dwell on them individually, so instead
                he gives a list of names that reads like the who's who of the history of Israel and a
                list of victories that reads like the conquests made by the greatest generals of all times
                and all peoples. And yet they many times were victors over their enemies, by faith in
                God, even though they were weaker in numbers, courage, and arms than the enemies
                they vanquished!  (Heb 11:32-34)
        b. The victorious side of faith- in tribulation and death. (:35-38)
            1) Even in torture and death, faith gives not only victory but also a better reward in the
                resurrection. (:35)
                    Some who died by faith were temporarily raised to life again and were returned to
                their families; and others were not. (:35)
            2) A list of the tortures and tribulation and cruel deaths experienced by those of old who
                lived the life of faith. (:36-38)
                    If they could live the life of faith in such afflictions and still not receive the fullness
                of the blessings of God and the close fellowship with Him that was later brought by
                Messiah (Christ) upon Calvary; then we today who have experienced the forgiveness
                of sins and closeness with God that they only looked forward to in faith should be able
                to have an easier time living the life of faith, no matter what tribulations may come.
    6. They lived the life of faith although it was not consummated in their lifetimes. (Heb 11:39-40)
            The perfect plan of God was not consummated until later, at Calvary.
        a. They received a good report from God, because of their faith. However, the promises
            were not fulfilled in their lifetimes. But they did look forward to them and perceived
            them by faith. (:39)
        b. The promise of Messiah, which they looked forward to, was God's means of perfection.
                They lived by faith, but they were not perfected by it. (:40)
            1) At Calvary, three things happened:
                i. The Old testament saints were made perfect by that which they looked forward to
                    (Messiah) by faith.
                ii. The saints, who lived at the time of Christ, were saved through faith as they looked
                    at Messiah on Calvary.
                iii. And those from the time after the resurrection on down to the present (including
                    those New Testament saints written to here in the book of Hebrews) are saved as
                    they and we look back to Messiah on Calvary, by faith.
            2) The reason they received not the promises. (:40b)
                Everyone is saved the same way, by faith.
    7. The supreme example of the life of faith- Jesus Christ. (Heb 12:1-4)
        a. A transition and an exhortation. (:1-2)
                    These are given to us and cover three time frames. They refer to the past; exhort us
                in the present; and direct our thoughts toward the future.
            1) "Wherefore... compassed about with... witnesses..." (:1a) refers to the past 
                    and those of Heb ch. 11 that serve as witnesses in two important ways:
                i. They bear witness to us of the fact that we can live the life of faith because they did it.
                    And the record of that fact was just given to us in ch. 11
                ii. They watch us as witnesses as we progress in living the life of faith.
            2) "... lay aside every weight... and... sin..." (:1b) exhorts us in the present.
            3) "... run... the race... set before us, Looking unto Jesus..." directs our thoughts
                toward the future.
            4) Summary.
                    We are exhorted to patient endurance in the face of tribulation and opposition just
                like that faced by the hero's of ch. 11 who bore witness to the fact that God can help
                us overcome by the fact that they overcame through His power. Ergo, the life of faith
                is possible for us as they bore witness by their lives and witness our progress in it, in
                Christ, in our lives.
        b. Preparation for running the race; i.e., preparation for living the life of faith. (:1b)
            1) "... lay aside every weight..."
                    This refers to the superfluous things in our life that hinder our life of faith.
                This could be such things as: excessive entertainment, wasting time in unnecessary
                pursuits, etc.
                    To sum it up; Christians must prioritize things in their life so that serving God
                comes first and other pursuits afterward.
            2) "...lay aside... the sin which doth so easily beset us..." (Heb 12:1)
                You must lay aside every sin that you are aware of- at the moment you become aware of it!
            3) With overt sin and the weight of frivolous pursuits weighing us down it is impossible to
                expect to run the race and win. This is as true in running the race of the life of faith as it
                would be in a physical race. A professional runner divests himself of excess weight and
                frivolous pursuits and concentrates on preparing for and running the race; thus, he wins.
                    We, if we want to run the race in a winning fashion, must do the same things: prepare
                properly and run properly.
        c. Jesus the superior example. (Heb 12:2-4)
            1) "Looking unto Jesus..." (:2a)
                Remember, the key word to the book of Hebrews is "superior" or "better."
                    In chapter 11 we had many excellent examples of those who lived the life of faith.
                Now, in this segment, Paul will once again give us a "superior" example, Jesus.
            2) What qualified Him as the supreme example of the life of faith?
                i. He was the "author" of our faith. (:2a)
                    "author" def: one that takes the lead in any thing and thus affords an example,
                        a predecessor, a pioneer

                ii. He was the "finisher" of our faith.
                    "finisher" def: a perfector, one who has in his own person raised faith to its
                        perfection and so set before us the highest example of faith
 
                iii. Summary.
                        Christ is qualified as the supreme example of faith because He not only was our
                    pioneering predecessor in it ("author") but He also raised it to its highest possible
                    level of perfection ("finisher").
            3) How did Jesus lead as our example of faith? (12:2b-4)
                i. He endured. (:2b "... endured...")
                    (1) He endured the tribulation of the cross.
                    (2) He endured the shame of being reviled and crucified.
                ii. He looked to future reward; not at present tribulation.
                    (:2b "... for the joy that was set before him...")
                iii. Looking to His endurance strengthens us. (:3)
                iv. Looking at the scope of His endurance puts our tribulation in perspective. (:4)
                    (1) He fought against sin all the way; even to the shedding of His blood (death.) 
                    (2) How far have we gone in fighting against sin? 
                        ("... ye have not yet resisted...")
                            We have not resisted unto death "yet..." but the day may come when we will
                        be asked to. And Jesus, as the supreme example, has shown us that it is possible.

 

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SECTION SEVEN

 

 

D. The existence and purpose of chastisement in the life of faith. (Heb 12:5-11)
1. A reminder that chastisement is a part of the life of the faithful.  (:5-6 cf Prov 3:11-12)
2.
It shows that the Lord loves us and trains us in the way that a father does. (Heb 12:6)
    a. It is a blessing in disguise that is easy to see if we remember we are His children and
        He only chastises us in order to teach us. (Ps 94:12)
    b. There is no such thing as a "perfect child."
            Therefore, if you show me a child that is not chastised and I'll show you a father that
        does not love his child. However, God loves us and proves it.
         (Heb 12:6 "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth..." cf Ro 3:23)
3. Chastening proves that He is our Father. (Heb 12:7)
    a. His chastening shows we are His children. (:7a)
    b. No son goes without chastening. (:7a)
        Since "... ALL have sinned..." (Ro 3:23) and deserve chastening; and God chastens all
    of His children; then no son goes without chastening.
4. Lack of chastening proves we are illegitimate children; i.e., we are not His. (Heb 12:8)
    a. Since all of God's children are chastised at one time or another, then what does it mean
        if you are NOT chastised? (:8a)
    b. Lack of chastening means that we are "bastards," i.e., God is not our true Father. Therefore,
        we are not actually His children, we are illegitimate children. We are actually children of the
        devil, not children of God. (:8b)
5. Earthly example and comparison. (:9-10a)
    a. Our earthly fathers taught us by chastening us and we showed them reverence as our father;
        i.e., we loved them and held them in high regard in spite of the things they did to us in order
        to teach us. (:9a)
    b. Doesn't it make sense that we would much more show reverence to God and submit to His
            chastening? (:9b)
         c. Summary of verse :9.
             1) God is the father of our living spirit through Christ.
                    Remember, God is the "Creator" of all men; but, He is only the "Father" of those who
                are saved.
             2) He proves that by chastising us- as our Father.
             3) If we are saved then we are in subjection to Him and we will "... live."
                    We were in subjection to our earthly fathers; but, no matter what chastening we
                endured from them and no matter how much we submitted ourselves to their correction,
                one day we will all die anyway.
                    However, when we submit to God, the spiritual Father that saved us by His grace, and
                we submit to His chastening, then we shall live forever. 
             4) The contrast made in verse :9 is this:
                    Isn't it better in the long run to be in subjection to our Father of life than to be in
                subjection to our fathers of death?
         d. The comparison between earthly chastening and God's chastening. (Heb 12:10 )
             1) Earthly chastening is at the discretion of our earthly fathers ("they") according
                as they see fit and to accomplish the ends they chose- whether it is good for us
                or not. ("for their own pleasure...")
             2) God's chastening ("... he...") is for "... our profit, that we might be partakers
                of his holiness
."
                    It is easy to see why it is for "our" profit when we realize the eternal consequences
                of partaking of "his holiness."
    6. As unpleasant as chastening is, it is still toward a beneficial end- righteousness. (:11)
E. Christian conduct in the life of faith under the New Covenant. (Heb 12:12-29)
    1. Change your mind about chastening and "buck up" instead of being discouraged.
         a. Straighten up your attitude about chastening through suffering and trials. (:12)
         b. Straighten up the path that you walk because of adversity. (:13a)
            Don't let it make you waver, stumble, or discourage you from the walk of faith.
        c. Don't be crippled by it; but rather be strengthened by it and let that be "healed"
            which has become feeble through misuse. (:13b)
    2. Interpersonal relationships in the life of faith. (:14-15)
         a. "Follow peace with all men, and holiness..." (:14)
             1) "Follow peace..." To live the life of faith you must practice peace not war.
             2) "... and holiness..." The life of faith is lived in the spiritual realm of holiness,
                    not in the earthly realm of conflict.
                Face the trials and tribulations as a learning experience (chastisement) and not
            in the spirit of fleshly conflict. (Ro 8:1)
         b. Doing so shows your holiness and the fact that you are saved.
               Heb 12:14b Follow... holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.
    3. A warning. (12:15-17)
         a. Be careful lest you fail in utilizing the grace that God gives to endure. (:15a cf 4:16)
         b. Be careful that chastising, which is for your benefit, doesn't turn to bitterness within
            you because of your refusing to submit to God. (:15b cf :9b)
         c. Many in the church will be defiled if bitterness springs up amongst them. (:15c)
         d. The dangers of despising God's chastising. (:16)
             1) The example of Esau. He despised his birthright as the son of inheritance. (:16)
             2) Sometimes a person goes too far and there is no turning back. (:17)
                    Gen 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man...
                 i. There are two possible applications of Heb 12:17.
                     (1) The first application is that someone who constantly turns their back on the
                        Lord has a big problem. The Bible says that they are NOT saved! And such a
                        person is like Esau; when they seek to obtain their inheritance, they do not
                        receive it. It was theirs for the taking in Christ; but, they despised their birthright
                        by rejecting Christ (spiritual) for the flesh ("... one morsel of meat...") And
                        their errant view of chastisement as adversity springs up as a root of bitterness
                        in them, defiles them, and they react with fleshly contention; and if they continue
                        that way, then this could be an indicator of a lost condition. (James 2:16-26)
                     (2) The second application is that one who constantly spurns the grace of God to
                        help them in times of chastisement is spurning the possibility of an inheritance.
                        Oh, they will be in Heaven all right with a lesser blessing (as Esau had), but they
                        will have no great inheritance, which they could have had.
                 ii. There is, however, only one interpretation of Heb 12:17, loss of greater reward.
    4. An exhortation to hold fast to their profession. (Heb 12:18-24)
         a. They are not come to Sinai. (:18-21)
             This is representative of the Old Covenant, the Law, which was given with fear,
                quaking and unbearable commandment.
             1) Sinai was earthly, a symbol of the Old Covenant which was inferior.
                    It could be touched, seen in fire alternating with blinding tempest, and heard with
                an unendurable voice. (:18-19a)
             2) And the commandment that was given through Sinai was unbearable.
                 i. It was fearful and unkeepable. (:20a)
                 ii. It was rejected and isolated. (:20b)
                 iii. The giving of the Law brought fear even when Moses received it. (:21)
         b. Instead, they are come to heavenly Sion. (:22)
             1) They are not come to the earthly, but to the heavenly mount Sion.
             2) The heavenly Jerusalem not the earthly Jerusalem.
         c. They are come to the heavenly assembly and church of the firstborn. (:23)
             1) To the "general assembly" of all Saints of all times.
             2) Including the Saints of the New Testament "church."
             3) Once again we see that these things under the New Covenant are superior.
                    A "general assembly" of all Saints from both the Old Testament and the "church,"
                which are the New Testament Saints, is obviously much superior to any partial gathering
                of the Saints experienced by the OT saints in the Synagogues and NT saints in the local
                churches.
             4) This superior gathering is only "in heaven" and is happening spiritually not physically.
                On earth there can not be a "Universal Church;" but in Heaven there is. On
                earth Christ's church is always expressed locally; but in Heaven it will truly be superior and
                truly Universal.
             5) In the spiritual, heavenly Jerusalem, you are come unto "God the Judge of all..."
             6) There you also find "the spirits of just men made perfect."
         d. You are come to Jesus and the New Covenant. (:24)
             1) Jesus is the mediator of this new covenant. (:24a cf 9:15)
             2) And in this heavenly place is the superior blood of the New Covenant, (the blood of Jesus)
                which "speaketh better things" than the blood of the first earthly sacrifice when Abel
                sacrificed from the firstlings of his flock. (Heb 12:24b cf 11:4 & Gen 4:4)
                    The symbol under the Old Covenant was the blood of sprinkling from Ex 24:8.
                This blood was divided in half. One half was sprinkled on the altar and the other half was
                sprinkled on the people. This is transcended by the blood of Jesus Christ under the New
                Covenant which is sprinkled on the superior, heavenly altar; and the other half is already
                sprinkled, spiritually and vicariously, on the people as it was sprinkled on Christ, the
                firstborn among many, at His Crucifixion on Calvary.
                    This once again shows us the superiority of the New Covenant over the Old. Under the
                Old Covenant there were only types and symbols looking forward to the reality which was
                yet to come. Under the New Covenant there is the reality of the blood of Christ which is
                already sprinkled on the superior altar in heaven and is also already sprinkled, spiritually,
                upon the believers in order to consecrate them to God.
    5. An exhortation to heed Christ. (Heb 12:25-28)
         a. Those who spoke on earth who did not heed him faced judgment. (:25a-b)
                The earthly speaker would be God speaking through Moses, the representative of the Old
            Covenant, the Law.
         b. How much greater judgment will fall on us if we hear not His Son speaking from Heaven. (:25c)
         c. When He spoke before, He shook only the earth. (:26a)
         d. The time will come when He will shake both Heaven and earth. (:26b cf Hag 2:6)
         e. The Old Covenant, given in earthly shaking, has been removed so that what remains, under
            the New Covenant, cannot be shaken. (Heb 12:27)
                This prophecy is also applicable to the last judgment of II Pet 3:10 and Rev 21:1 when
            the earth shall pass away, including "... the works that are therein." This will be a fulfillment
            of the promise of Heb 12:27 because the earthly Old Covenant could never stand through the
            destruction of the Universe; whereas the New Covenant will.
         f. The proof of this is the existence of the Heavenly Jerusalem, the symbol of the new Kingdom;
            which kingdom we receive under the New Covenant. (:28a)
            And the kingdom which survives the total destruction of the Last Judgment prophesied in
             II Pet 3:10 and Rev 21:1 is obviously a kingdom which "cannot be moved." Therefore,
            it must be the one spoken of in Heb 12:28a.
         g. Because we have this unmoveable kingdom, then we are given an exhortation to serve God
            unmoveably in God's grace and with "reverence and godly fear." (:28)
    6. A warning. (:29; Ex 24:17; Deut 4:24)
F. Christian conduct in the daily life of faith. (Heb 13:1-17)
    1. Conduct concerning others. (:1-3)
         a. Concerning fellow Christians. (:1)
         b. Concerning strangers. (:2 cf Gen ch. 18-19)
         c. Concerning those in prison. (Heb 13:3a)
            As long as we are in these bodies we are also "as bound with them."
            This carries the thought of empathy not just sympathy; i.e., we can identify with them.
         d. Concerning those who are suffering opposition. (Heb 13:3b)
            As long as we are "in the body" we also suffer opposition.
    2. Conduct concerning marriage and our spouses (for those of us who are married.) (:4)
         a. Marriage is honourable and sex within it is sanctified ("undefiled").
         b. Sex outside of the bounds of marriage (whoremongering and adultery) will bring the
            judgment of God. ("whoremongers" def. fornicators and male prostitutes)
    3. Conduct concerning your lifestyle. (Heb 13:5-6)
         a. Be generous not greedy. (:5a)
            This includes, specifically, your attitude about money.
            "without covetousness" Gk
afilarguroV, af-il-ar'-goo-ros, not fond of money,
                not covetous, liberal, generous

         b. Be contented. (:5b-6)
             1) Contented with what possessions God entrusts to you. (:5b cf Phil 4:11-13)
             2) Contented with God's continual presence with you now and forever. (Heb 13:5c-6)
    4. Conduct concerning rulers in the faith (pastors and other mature Christians in places of 
            responsibility who teach the Word of God.) (:7)
         a. Be mindful of them. (:7a "...remember them...")
         b. Imitate their life of "faith." (:7b)
            "follow" Gk
mimeisqe, mim-eh'-is-theh, to mimic, to imitate
         c. Consider what issued from their life of faith. (:7c)
            "the end..." Gk
ekbasin, ek'-bas-in, way out, egress, result, issue
                Taking into account the context of the verse:
             1) They preached the "word of God" to them which led to their salvation.
             2) The Hebrews were told to imitate their way of life.
             3) Therefore, by context, the meaning we must attach to "the end of their conversation"
                is that the Hebrews were being told to consider what issued from the life of faith lived by
                those who preached and taught the word of God to them.
    5. The example of conduct we are to all follow- Jesus. (:8)
    6. Our conduct under the New Covenant is to be one of Christian grace and not the forms of the
            Old Covenant which did not profit them which kept them. (:9)
        This is also a warning to follow those who live the life of faith, by grace and showing grace,
        rather than those who preach doctrines strange to the grace of God in Christ. Such doctrines,
        and they are many and varied, all tend to confusion and lead people this way and that away
        from Christ and the simplicity and clarity of Christ and the example of Christian grace shown
        by Him and preached to us by those who preach the Word of God with truth and clarity.
    7. Conduct in reproaches suffered for the cause of God. (:10-16)
         a. Why do we suffer reproaches? (:10)
             1) Because we have a Heavenly altar which those who served at the earthly altar in the
                earthly tabernacle have no right to eat at.
             2) Because of the context through the content of the following verses, this could also be
                applied metaphorically to the cross of Christ which only those saved by grace have a
                right to by vicariously "consuming" or partaking of the body of Christ offered upon it
                under the New Covenant. Whereas those who trust in the Old Covenant have not partaken
                of Christ but of the offerings under the Law. Their attitude of trust in the forms, sacrifices,
                and ceremonies of the offerings under the Law rather than believing in and looking to the
                Messiah portrayed by those sacrifices and forms, precludes the possibility of them partaking
                at the altar (the cross) and "consuming" Christ who was the true sacrifice given by God's grace.
         b. We suffer reproaches exactly like He suffered them. (Heb 13:11-12)
             1) Under the forms of the Old Covenant, the body of the sin sacrifice was burned outside the
                camp. (:11)
             2) Christ suffered outside the gate in fulfillment under the New Covenant of the forms of the
                sacrifice under the Old Covenant. (:12)
             3) This refers to the Altar of the Red Heifer which was the Altar of the major Sin Sacrifices.
                 (Num 19:1-10)  Recent investigations into the true site of Calvary, suggest that it was
                actually located very near this Altar. This would mean that Christ was sacrificed near the
                site of the Altar of the Sin Sacrifices in accordance with the Law. Again, that would show
                further proof that He fulfilled the requirements of the Old Testament Law, even to the place
                where He was sacrificed.
         c. Therefore, our conduct in reproaches ought to be a joyous emulation of His conduct
                and a willing experiencing of reproaches, understanding that it is His reproach we bear.
                (Heb 13:13-17)
             1) We should willingly go forth bearing Christ's reproach. (:13)
             2) If our own people thrust us out it's no big deal since we look to the future and
                    the city of God and not to any city here on earth. (:14)
                 i. Any habitation here is but temporary anyway. ("no continuing city")
                 ii. But we look to a permanent "one to come."
             3) Acceptable sacrifices in reproaches that are pleasing to God.
                 i. A continual sacrifice to God of praise and thanks. (:15)
                 ii. A sacrifice of living right ("do good") and doing right, ("communicate") especially
                    in the matter of fellowshipping, is pleasing to God.  (:16)
         d. An exhortation of proper conduct and attitude toward the rulers in the Church. (:17)
             1) A command to obey them. (:17a)
             2) A command to submit to them. (:17b)
             3) Why we should obey them and submit to them. (:17b)
                 i. Because they are God's watchmen over your souls.
                 ii. Because they are responsible and accountable to God for you.
             4) The results of submitting to the leaders. (:17c)
                 i. They will have joy when accounting for their leadership role.
                 ii. If you submit you will profit; and if you do not submit it will be unprofitable to
                    you in your Christian life and the gathering of your Christian rewards.

 

 

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SECTION EIGHT

 

 

V. Personal Epilogue. (Heb 13:18-25)
        This final section is an exhortation to learn from the epistle and a personal salutation and prayer
    of God's grace upon the writer's Hebrew brothers and sisters.
A. A personal request. (:18-19)
    1. Pray for us as good examples to you in our hearts and lives. (:18)
    2. Pray that we will be able to come to you soon. (:19)
B. The writer's prayer for the readers of the epistle. (:20-21)
    1. To the God of peace by the blood of Christ through the everlasting covenant. (:20)
         a. Comfort in persecutions because the God of peace was with them.
         b. Hope because of the resurrection.
         c. Care from the Great Shepherd.
         d. Personally guaranteed by God through the New Covenant.
    2. For the readers perfection. (:21)
         a. "Make you perfect" Def. to equip, to make fit, to make up what is lacking to accomplish a task
         b. "every good work to do his will..." Perfectly equipped to accomplish good and pleasing works.
         c. "to do his will..." According to the perfect will of God.
         d. "working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ..."
            He works through you the things that are pleasing to Him.
                This also is speaking of your ability to do good works because of the work that God already
            did in you (Salvation under the New Covenant) "through Jesus Christ..."
         e. "to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." Praise to Christ for what is done by Him in you.
C. An exhortation to learn from the epistle just written. (:22)
D. The planned visit to the Hebrews by Timothy and the writer of the epistle. (:23)
        "Timothy is set at liberty..." This could have one of two possible meanings. Either Timothy
    had been in prison and was loosed or else he had just finished a particular ministry and was at
    liberty to accompany Paul on the visit to the Hebrews planned for the near future. It was probably
    the latter.
E. Salutation. (Heb 13:24)
    1. To the rulers in the church.
    2. To all the members and other saints.
    3. Friends in Italy also send their salutation.
F. Benediction in prayer. (:25)

SUMMARY
Of the Book of Hebrews and The Superior Covenant in Christ.

    The writer has shown that Christ was the superior sacrifice that shed his superior blood and, as the superior High Priest after the order of Melchisedec, how that He sprinkled that superior blood on the superior altar in Heaven; and thus fulfilled the reality of the shadows of the old forms, ceremonies, and sacrifices given under the Old Covenant.

    Also it has been shown that Christ is now in the superior and actual sanctuary in Heaven before the superior and actual altar of God which is in the very presence of God himself. Therefore, the New Covenant in Christ is the superior covenant that was promised would come; and, as was prophesied in the Old Covenant, this superior New Covenant of reality has now replaced the inferior Old Covenant of types and shadows.

    Although this book was written to the Hellenized Jewish Christians of the first century, it is profitable to all Christians of all times and all ethnic groups for three important reasons:
    ONE: A thorough knowledge of the book helps us to understand our Jewish roots and helps 
        us to round out our study of the Bible by showing us where, how, and why, Jesus Christ is
        the fulfillment of all of the types and shadows of the Old Covenant made under the Law.
            This arms and equips us to carry out certain "good works" that we would otherwise not
        be able to carry out. Such as, witnessing to Jews so that they might recognize and accept
        God's Messiah, Jesus Christ.
            Study of this book will also help train us to organize our thoughts and arguments in a
        logical and convincing manner so that we can earnestly contend for the faith against scoffers
        and apostates.
            II Tim 3:16-17 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable
                for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That
                the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
            Jude :3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common 
                salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you]
                that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered
                unto the saints.

    TWO: It will give us a compassion for God's chosen people, the Jews, and help us to better
         relate to them and their point of view as we seek to logically present Christ to them as a
        fulfillment of their own prophecies and the bringer of the superior New Covenant that their
        own prophets foretold.
    THREE: It will arm us with ammunition to spiritually defend or spiritually encourage those
        Christian Jews that may be under pressure or persecution or who are otherwise tempted to 
        revert back to the Law under the inferior Old Covenant.
            If we do not understand where they, those of Hebrew descent, came from religiously and
        exactly what the Law that God gave them put forth in types and shadows, then we will not be
        able to make the proper comparisons and defenses to solidify them in the New, superior,
        Covenant if they should waver! The book of Hebrews is an incalculable help to us in these areas
        as we carry out our obligation to the Jewish Christians that God may bring into our lives.

 

In the words of God through the writer of the book of Hebrews:


Heb 13:20-21
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.

 


Ogden, UT - 5/26/2001 and Taylorsville, UT - 12/19/07

 

 

 


2000 - 2007 by Dr. T.E. VanBuskirk

 

 

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