GOD SPEAKS THROUGH HIS SON
-- HEBREWS ONE
Hebrews one is designed to cause us to understand the
greatness of Jesus. He is the only one through whom God speaks today. God
formerly spoke by the prophets. Now He has spoken by his Son. This epistle or
letter is designed to keep people from turning from Christianity. In order to
accomplish this goal the superiority of Jesus is show. It is likewise clearly
proven that Christianity is superior to the Mosaic system.
The entire purpose of Hebrews chapter one is to show the
exalted nature of the Son of God. Jesus is addressed as God, and His throne is
said to be for ever and ever. Jesus, the author of the Christian system, is
greater than Moses and greater than angles.
The Christian system is superior to any other system
because it centers in the one true God and His only begotten Son, Jesus the
Christ. This Jesus is, (1) Prophet -- He serves as God's spokesman (Hebrews
1:1-2), (2) Priest -- He makes purification for sins (Hebrews 1:3), and (3)
King -- sitting on the right hand of God. (Hebrews 1:3)
Let us learn of the superiority of Jesus:
God's word was spoken through His Son -- Hebrews 1:1-3: One
major difference between the law and gospel has to do with the manner of their
revelation. God's revelation of the law was at different times. God's
revelation was given before the flood to Adam, Enoch, Noah and others. After
the flood His revelation was given to Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and the
God not only communicated the law at different times but
also in different or divers ways. He sometimes communicated His will by
visions, sometimes by an audible voice, sometimes by legible characters written
by His own hand, as when He wrote the Ten Commandments on tables of stone,
sometimes by Urim and Thummim, and sometimes by signs from heaven.
In the last days God gave a perfect, and likewise a final
revelation of His mind for a lost world. This revelation was given through His
Son. He, "Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath
appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the
brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all
things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat
down on the right hand of the Majesty on high." (Hebrews 1:2-3)
The New Testament is the revelation which God made by his
Son. He is the most excellent messenger that was ever sent into the world, far
superior to all the patriarchs, prophet and angles. The superiority of Jesus is
seen in the fact that: (1) God appointed Him to be heir of all things. (2) By
him God made the worlds, both visible and invisible, the heavens and the earth.
(3) He upholds all things by the word of His power. He keeps the world from
dissolving. It was written of Jesus that, "He is before all things, and by
him all things consist." (Colossians 1:17)
God's Son is superior to the angels -- Hebrews 1:4-7: The
Lord Jesus Christ is pre-eminent. He is superior to the prophets and to the
angels. Peter wrote of Jesus that He, "is gone into heaven, and is on the
right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto
him." (1 Peter 3:22) He has a more
excellent name than angels. They are called ministering spirits or servants. He
is called God's only begotten Son.
God demanded that even the angels worship Jesus. "And
again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let
all the angels of God worship him." (Hebrews 1:6) He is the Lord Jesus
Christ. He is the Mediator of the New Testament. In His own person Jesus is God
blessed for ever, the one that is worthy of our honor and worship. "Let
all the angels of God worship him."
Jesus is greater than the angels, and thus His word is what we are to
God's Son is upon the established throne -- Hebrews 1:8-12:
Observe what God said to His Son, Jesus, "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." (Hebrews 1:8) In Hebrews chapter one we are taught that
Jesus should be on the throne because: (1) He is the "Son" of God
(Hebrews 1:5), (2) He is the "firstbotten" of God (Hebrews 1:6), (3)
He is "God" (Hebrews 1:8-9) and (4) He is "Lord" of all. (Hebrews
Jesus should be on the throne because He is God. His part
in the creation proves His Deity. "Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid
the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine
hands." (Hebrews 1:10) The words of Hebrews 1:10-13 are taken from Psalm
102:25-27. To apply these words to Jesus which were spoken of Jehovah proves
conclusively that Jesus is Divine.
God said, "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and
ever." If God the Father declares Jesus to be God, He must be really and
truly be God. Earthly kings are often unrighteous and their thrones fall. The
sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Christ's kingdom. All the laws of
the Son's kingdom are just, righteous and holy. Jesus is King of kings because
of His love for righteousness and hatred of sin.
kingdom is not a future kingdom for God declares Him to have, (1) A throne, (2)
A kingdom, and (3) A sceptre of that kingdom. This kingdom is forever. Christ
Jesus did what He did for man with gladness and cheerfulness. These same
attitudes must characterize our service to God!
We are better people if we follow the
guidance of God's Son. We must follow Jesus as, (1) Our sympathizing "High
Priest" (Hebrews 4:14-16), (2) The "Mediator" of our New
Covenant. (Hebrews 8:6), and (3) the "author and finisher" of our
faith. (Hebrews 12:2)
God's angels are servants, not sons -- Hebrews 1:13-14: The
superiority of Christ over angels is seen in the fact that God never said to
the angels what He said to Christ. He said to Jesus, "Sit on my right
hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?" (Hebrews 1:13) He never
said that to an angel. Angels are simply "ministering spirits, sent forth
to minister." (Hebrews 1:14) Angels are servants to the
Christ or to
those who are heirs of salvation.
Christ Jesus has His enemies. There are those that are, (1)
Enemies of God's supremacy, (2) Enemies to God's cause, (3) Enemies to His
people, and (4) Enemies to His church. They will not have God to reign over
them. Let us serve God faithful least we also be made God's footstool.
Heirs of salvation have God's word in
their heart. They have obeyed and are obeying His will. They have Heard the
gospel (John 6:44-45), Believed in Jesus (John 8:24), Repented of sins (Luke
13:1-5), Confessed Christ as Lord (Matthew 10:32-33), and been Baptized. (Mark
16:15-16). Those who are heirs of salvation have stayed faithful to God.
GIVE THE MORE EARNEST HEED
-- HEBREWS TWO
We must attend diligently to the things that were spoken by
the Lord and not allow ourselves to slip away from them. The writer of Hebrews
shows what Jesus accomplished by becoming the man who died for all. His message
is greater than the Old Law.
People gave heed to that Old Law. Should we not even more
heed the New Covenant which was given by one who was greater than the angels?
Jesus has the right to be heard because: (1) The world to come has been put
under Him, (2) He was crowned with glory and honor, and (3) He tasted death for
Jesus became a man and suffered severely to provide
salvation for humanity. Jesus took upon Himself our nature and suffered for our
sins. The Hebrew writer wrote, "But we see Jesus, who was made a little
lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and
honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man."
(Hebrews 2:9) Jesus conquered him who has the power of death, the Devil.
How shall we escape if we neglect so
great salvation -- Hebrews 2:1-4:
We must give the more earnest
heed to the things which we have heard because Jehovah made them available. We
must give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard because they
relate to the Christ and to our eternal salvation. We must give the more
earnest heed to the things which we have heard because they relate to God's
great promises of forgiveness and an eternity in heaven. We must give the more
earnest heed to the things which we have heard lest we lose the joy of our
The great salvation which was spoken of by the Lord can be
ours through: (1) Our faith in the truth that Jesus is the Son of God (John
8:24), (2) Repentance from our past sinful living (Luke 13:3-5), (3) Confession
of our faith in Jesus as Lord and Christ (Romans 10:9-10) and (4) Baptism for
the forgiveness of our sins. (1 Peter 3:21) Since the Christ is so far exalted
above the prophets, angels, and Moses we ought to give the more earnest
attention to all that He has spoken.
The word spoken by angels refers to the Law given by the
ministry of angels. Under that Old Law all transgressors were justly and
severely punished. So then, how can we escape eternal damnation if we neglect
the gospel of Christ! The gospel of the Son of God was confirmed by signs and
wonders, by miraculous powers and gifts of the Holy Ghost. The use of all the
signs and wonders was controlled by the will of God.
Jesus is our great Savior. Therefore, let us be careful
that we esteem the greatness of His person, that we respect His authority, and
that we receive His message.
How could we not appreciate one who died for all -- Hebrews
We must give loving obedience to Jesus Christ because
God has put the world to come in subjection unto Him. The church can depend
upon Jesus Christ as her loving head. The unbelievable love of the Son of God
toward mankind is seen in the fact that He willing condescend to this earth and
suffered terribly to provide our salvation.
Jesus Christ has the government over that church.
The words of Psalm 8:4-6 are here applied powerfully to Him. "What is man,
that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For
thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory
and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou
hast put all things under his feet."
God is mindful of Jesus and He is also always mindful of
us. Therefore, let us never be forgetful of Him. Let us remember God daily as
we approach Him by doing our duty. God accomplished in Jesus what he could
accomplish in no other. As a result of His suffering and death, Jesus was
crowned with glory and honour.
Salvation was not provided by any
right which man had earned, but it was provided by the grace of God. By the
favour of God, Jesus experience death for the sins of the world. Jesus bore the
bitterness and unpleasantness of death (physical and spiritual) for every man,
whether Jew or Gentile, bond or free. The atonement made by Jesus was unlimited
in its nature and design. When we look upon the sinfulness of man, we too, can
only exclaim, "What is man that thou art mindful of him?"
How touched we should be by the suffering of the Saviour -- Hebrews
2:10-15: The Hebrew writer refers to Jesus with many wonderful terms.
Among then, he calls Him "the captain of our salvation." (Hebrews
2:10) His purpose is and our purpose also is to bring many to heaven so they
can be treated as sons. God as God could not die for our
sins -- God cannot die. So God took our nature that he might die for us. He
became one with us that we might become one with Him.
Observe these truths: (1) Jesus Christ has a church. (2)
Christians are one of another and brethren to Christ. (3) Jesus declared the
Father's name to them in the church. and, (4) Jesus sang praise to the Father
in the church. If He would praise the Father with song in the church so should
Jesus undertook the work of destroying him that
had the power of death. This was accomplished by His own dying. When it was
said that Satan had the power of death I understand this to mean that the Devil
was the cause of death being introduced into the world, and he was the means of
its long and depressing reign.
Jesus Christ, by dying, has freed all His children from the
tormenting fear of death. Christ took away the reason to fear death, namely,
the curse or condemnation of the Law of God. Sin is now curable by the precious
blood of Jesus.
How the Saviour is able to succor those that are tempted --
Christ did not take upon himself the nature of
angles because the angels sinned without a tempter. There was no one who
seduced them to evil. Also the angels sinned against knowledge. The angels
sinned by purposed malice.
We shall never fully understand the riches of God's amazing
grace toward sinful man until that Judgment Day when Christ appears as both our
judge and our justifier. Christ is ready, willing and able to succour those who
under their temptations come to Him. He became man and was tempted in every way
that He might be qualified to succour His people.
Are you in Christ so that He might be able to succour you? "For you are all sons of God through
faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of
you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Galatians
3:26-27) As a Christian you will have
the help of Christ as you live a faithful life.
PARTAKERS OF THE
-- HEBREWS THREE
The Hebrew writer appealed to his readers to seriously
consider Jesus Christ as faithful High Priest. Christianity was founded by one
superior to Moses. Moses was only a servant in the house. Jesus is the Son over
the house. Jesus Christ, as high priest, was likewise superior to the high
priest of the Jews.
Much of this section
of scripture is occupied with showing the superiority of the Christ over Moses.
If we accept the fact that Jesus is superior to Moses certain consequences will
Moses was faithful as a servant of God. Christ was faithful
as God's only begotten Son. Jesus is greater than Moses just as the builder is
greater than the house he built. This being true there would be serious and
grave danger to any who turned away from Christ. Those Israelites who were
disobedient to Moses suffered sever consequences. What of those who in unbelief
and rebellion have turned away from the Son of God?
Christ is to be preferred to Moses -- Hebrews 3:1-6: The
"partakers of the heavenly calling," must seriously consider Jesus,
"the Apostle and High Priest of our profession." Those that “partake
of the heavenly calling” are called "Holy Brethren." The heavenly
calling is extended to man by gospel preaching. Paul wrote,
"Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of
our Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Thessalonians 2:14)
The "partakers of the heavenly calling," must
consider Christ Jesus. Jesus Christ is Lord over His
church. He is the king, priest, prophet, and apostle of all. God appointed Him
as Mediator. He is faithful to that appointment. Moses was faithful in the
discharge of his office to the Jewish nation in the Old Testament. His
faithfulness was typical of Christ's faithfulness to those under the New
The Hebrew writer did not attempt in any way to
undervalue Moses. But, he did say that Jesus, "was counted worthy of more
glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour
than the house." (Hebrews 3:3)
Jesus Christ, the builder of the church, the house of God, is worthy of
all glory and honour.
Every house has a builder. Every family has a founder;
every age or dispensation has someone responsible for it. Someone had to be
over the old and the new dispensations --- Moses was over the Jewish age and
Jesus Christ is over the Christian age. Christ is the Son and we are His house.
We are the temple of the Holy Ghost (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), and Christ dwells
in us by faith (Ephesians 3:17).
God expects us to
maintain a bold and open profession of the truths of the gospel firm unto the
end. "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that
endureth to the end shall be saved." (Matthew 10:22)
Christ desires hearts that are not hardened -- Hebrews
3:7-11: It is our duty to hear the voice of Jesus, our great
High Priest, speaking in the gospel. We must hear and obey the voice of Christ
"Today." All of God's commandments relate to the present. "For
he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation
have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day
of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:2) Our obligation to God is to turn from
sin, and to love Him NOW.
We must be careful not to allow our heart to be hardened by
sin. The hardening of our heart to one sin may open the door for many other
The sins of others should serve as an example to us. God
used the "provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness"
provoked God as an example of this truth. (Exodus 17:2-7) In the wilderness
tempted and provoked God. They did not trust Him as they should. They also
murmured against Moses, God's appointed leader. They would not listen to the
voice of God.
The source of their sins was they "erred in their
heart." The result of their sin was that God said, "They shall not
enter into my rest." The result of sin is always great loss. The worst
result of all concerning their sin was when God said, "Wherefore I was
grieved with that generation." How sad it would be to face God in judgment
having been a grief to Him in our lifetime.
Christ demands that we hold on to our faith -- Hebrews 3:12-15:
Christians must be careful that they do not sin. Sin is a departure from God.
Unbelief, in particular, is the root of all such departures. Unbelief makes the
soul negligent and careless in opposing sin. We must be extremely careful that
an "evil heart of unbelief" does not give birth to the sin of
While it is called "Today" much encouragement to
faithfulness should be given. Close friends in the church should admonish and
encourage one another. Parents should daily encourage their children to
faithful service to God.
teachers should encourage those in their class to more dedication to God. Older
Christians could do much for the growth of Christianity by exhorting young
Christians to faithful service to God. Fellow Christians must encourage all
those that you sit down at the same Supper of the Lord with to serve God
The need for this encouragement is seen in that, "we
are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence
stedfast unto the end." (Hebrews 3:14) We have been spiritually united
with Jesus the Saviour. Our goal now should be to become like Him and one with
Him. "For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the
sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as
in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When
your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. Forty years long was I
grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their
heart, and they have not known my ways: Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they
should not enter into my rest." (Psalm 95:7-11)
Christ expects steadfastness to the end -- Hebrews 3:16-19:
It was not all of those who came out of
rebelled against God. The great majority of them rebelled against Him. They
fell in the wilderness. A small minority stayed faithful to God. Christians
should be admonished by their example. God is not at all grieved by the
faithful. He is grieved only with those who sin against Him, and continue in
Unbelief, resulting in rebellion against the will of God is
the great, damning sin of the world. This sin shuts up the heart of God against
the rebellious. It also shuts up the gate of heaven against them. It puts them
under the wrath of God forever. No unbeliever or unfaithful soul shall enter
into the rest of God!
Through obedient faith you should become a Christian now.
(Matthew 28:18-20) Our love for God
should then lead us to persevere till death. (Revelation 2:10)
UNDER THE GOSPEL
-- HEBREWS FOUR
In Hebrews three the author set forth the sin of the Jews
and the punishment for their actions. Here in Hebrews four he begins to show
the benefits and privileges that come to believers in Christ through the
The Holy Spirit wanted us to understand the promise of a
"rest" that remains. There is a real danger of coming short of God's
rest and of losing it. The reason that Jews of old did not enter into God's
rest was because of a lack of faith. Unbelief will also keep us out of God's
One of the main points of this section was that a rest of a
spiritual nature remains for the people of God. This rest is much more
desirable than the
for the Jews. God used both the Jews of the Old Testament times and His own
rest to picture the rest awaiting the faithful Christian. This rest that God
has prepared is attainable through faithful service to God.
Our boldness in coming before God should exist because of
Jesus, our Great High Priest. In all of our spiritual weakness and struggles we
can come to Him for help.
Great privileges under Christ -- Hebrews 4:1-4: The writer of
Hebrews says that the example of the Jews dying in the wilderness because of
unbelief should motivate us to faithfulness to God. Unbelief or unfaithfulness
will cause the same end to come our way concerning our rest.
The great privilege of knowing Christ and His gospel is
ours. Let us fear lest we come short of the heavenly rest promised in the
gospel. The kind of fear which is here spoken of leads to caution, care and
We have been blessed with the promise of God's
rest and of knowing how to enter that rest. God will demand a strict account of
how we how dealt with His will if we are to enter His rest. How sobering the
truth, "but God's word did not profit some because it was not
mixed with faith (obedience) in them that heard it."
Man missing the promised rest because of unbelief
in no way reflects on God faithfulness and the certainty of the promise. God
finished His work, and then rested from it on the Sabbath Day. He will cause
all who believe (obey) to finish their work and to enter into their heavenly
rest. There is a promised spiritual rest in heaven that you may enter!
Great blessings for the believers -- Hebrews 4:5-8:
the Hebrew writer continues to quote from and apply Psalm 95. In Hebrews 4:5 he
refers to Psalm 95:11, "Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not
enter into my rest." The quoting of this Psalm seems to have two purposes:
To show that even in this Psalm God promised a rest that many would
miss, and (2) To show that a heavenly rest remains for the faithful child of
The Spirit used two Old Testament rests to
picture a third rest yet to come. God's rest on the Sabbath Day and the rest
that some Jews entered into in Canaan, thought most missed because of unbelief,
is a picture a our rest when the preaching of the gospel is mixed with faith on
our part. The true spiritual rest was not
there remains a rest to be enjoyed by the people of God. God’s people have a
full assurance of enjoying this rest conditioned upon their faithfulness. This
heavenly rest is far different, better and more glorious than the rest Joshua
Israel to in
Great motivation for serving God -- Hebrews 4:9-13:
must take heed to live our lives by the word of God, or doctrine of Jesus
Christ. The gospel will quickly find you out if you are guilty of disobedience
to it. All insincerity, unbelief, and hypocrisy, will be detected by God
because, "the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any
twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and
of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the
heart." (Hebrews 4:12) There will be no escape from the penetrating,
powerful word of God.
Man possesses spirit, soul, and body. (1 Thessalonians
5:23) Man has a physical body, a life much like the animals have, and an
immortal soul that leaves the body when earthly life ends. United these three
constitute one man. The word of God is able to separate all of these. When our
life is measured by that same word of God it will be determined as to whether
we can enter into God's rest.
The word of God is able to lay bear the secrets of the
heart. "All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we
have to do." (Hebrews 4:13)
Great help from our High Priest -- Hebrews 4:14-16: In
Hebrews 2:17 the idea had been introduced that Jesus Christ is our merciful and
faithful High Priest. "Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made
like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in
things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the
What kind of High Priest is Jesus? The Jewish High Priest
passed once a year into the
Holy Place. Jesus passed into the
heavens. They had names, many of which have been long forgotten. His name will
never be forgotten. His name is Jesus --Savior. The Jewish High Priests were descendants
of Aaron. Jesus is the Son of God. The Jewish High Priests were sinners. Jesus
Never sinned. (Hebrews 4:15) Isaiah
wrote, "And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich
in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his
mouth." (Isaiah 53:9)
Even as great as Jesus is He is very kind, tender and
concerned about us. He can "be touched with the feeling of our
infirmities." He understands what it is to be tempted. He understands our
weaknesses. We have a faithful High Priest who is qualified to sympathize with
us in our afflictions, and to whom we may look for help in trials and
temptations. "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that
we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews
With our focus on Jesus let us labour
to enter His rest. Through the preaching of the gospel of Christ may we be
drawn to His perfect life and to His powerful teachings? Let us love Jesus
enough to surrender our lives to Him and His will. He promised "Come unto
me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my
yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall
find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew
Repentance, baptism and faithfulness are required of all
who would enter God's rest. (Acts 2:38, Mark 13:13) Will you enter?
-- HEBREWS FIVE
Let us rejoice in that we have a High Priest who is called
by God. He was not a descendant of Aaron; He is the Son of God.
The writer of Hebrews had introduced Jesus as our
"merciful and faithful high priest." In Hebrews 2:17 he said,
"Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren,
that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to
God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people." He had also
admonished Christians to, "consider the Apostle and High Priest of our
profession, Christ Jesus." (Hebrews 3:1)
Not many passages in our Bible encourage us more than
Hebrews 4:14-16, "Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is
passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our
infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let
us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy,
and find grace to help in time of need."
In this chapter the writer continues his discourse upon the
priesthood of Christ. Here he: (1) Explains the nature of the priestly office,
Hebrews 5:1-3, (2) Explains how priest are called to this office, Hebrews
5:4-6, (3) Explains the qualifications for their work, Hebrews 5:7-9, (4)
Explains the order of the priesthood of
Christ, Hebrews 5:10, (5) Explains the failure of the Hebrews in living for
Christ, their High Priest. (Hebrews 5:11-14)
The priesthood was a very essential part of the Jews
religion. Those who have become Christians have lost nothing concerning the
priesthood. In fact they have gained, because in every way, Christians have a
High Priest that is equal to or great than the high priest of the Jews.
The nature and call of Christ's priesthood -- Hebrews 5:1-6: The
Jewish priest was "taken from among men." This same nature allowed
them to practice true compassion. Christ can be tender and compassionate toward
because He took our nature. The writer gave this simple definition of the
priesthood -- he is "ordained for men in things pertaining to God."
The priest was to deal with Almighty God on behalf of sinful man.
Had it not
been for sin, everyone might have gone to God in his own person. But now our
only way to God is through our High priest, Jesus Christ. The sacrifices were
offered by the priest to clear the way to God for sinful man. Gifts to God
involved many things, but sacrifices were bloody offerings for sin. Our High
Priest offered Himself for our sins.
The Old Testament priest had to have compassion for the
sinful and concern for their own personal sins. They were chosen by God. It was
an act of the sovereignty of God to call whom He pleased to His priesthood.
"So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he
that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee."
(Hebrews 5:5) Christ's priesthood was not after the order of Aaron. He was a
priest "after the order of Melchisedec." (Hebrews 5:6)
The qualifications for Christ's priesthood -- Hebrews 5:7-9:
Jesus Christ, while in the flesh subjected Himself to hunger, temptation,
bleeding and dying Jesus. God could have saved Jesus from dying. But, what
would have become of us if He had. In the days of His flesh Christ offered up
prayers to God, joined with strong crying and tear.
Christ was God's Son and by His suffering He
learned obedience. There are two ways of learning obedience: (1) You learn it
by comprehension of mind, and (2) You learn it by experience. Christ has now
been "made perfect, and he became the author of eternal salvation unto all
them that obey him." (Hebrews 5:9)
God's desire is for every person to obey
Him and become Christians. Let all come to Jesus in faith (Hebrews 11:6),
repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confession (Matthew 10:32-33), baptism for
forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38) and then live a Christian life (I Peter
2:9). If you are not yet a Christian, it
is my earnest prayer that you will heed the call of our risen Lord thought His
glorious and powerful gospel while you still have life and opportunity. Christ
gave His blood to make your salvation possible. Lean obedience NOW before it is
The order of Christ's priesthood -- Hebrews 5:10:
Christ is, "Called of God an high priest after the order of
Melchisedec." (Hebrews 5:10) His priesthood is eternal. It is a
special priesthood. Jesus was like Melchisedec in his designation to the
office. The arrangement of His priesthood was like that of Melchisedec.
We have a more detailed account of this Melchisedec in
Hebrews 7. He was both a priest and a king. None of the kings of the Jews were
priests; nor were any of the priests ever elevated to the office of king. But
in Melchisedec these offices were united.
Melchisedec was a powerful type of Christ Jesus who is prophet, priest
Christ is a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec.
The priesthood of Christ is an eternal priesthood; He ever lives to make
intercession for us
The priesthood of Christ was unappreciated -- Hebrews
5:11-14: The Hebrew writer had many "things to say"
concerning Christ and Melchisedec. Sadly the Christians were "dull of
hearing" and could not receive theses sayings. The problem was the
incapacity of the hearers, their dullness and slothfulness.
Enough time had elapsed since these Hebrew Christians were
converted that they should be teaching God's word. They had been Christians
long enough to be expected to understand such doctrines. Now they should be
able to instruct others. Instead they needed someone to teach them again the
very first lessons of Christianity.
It is reasonably expected by God that His people should
thrive spiritually and grow in their knowledge and godliness. Proportionally to
the time they have been Christians they have personal responsibility for
growth. Sadly, many, after thousands of sermons and Bible classes, are still
ignorant of even simple Bible lessons, and need to be taught again the same
things which they heard so long ago.
May we all diligently seek to grow in the word of righteousness?
The process of learning and obeying the doctrine of Christ is how men become
righteous and find the way of salvation offered by our Redeemer. Habit or
practice in the word of God allows Christians to be in the position of being
able to "discern both good and evil." The Christians grow in the word
of God will appreciate and understand that which is true. They will likewise
reject that which is false.
To become a Christian you must hear the gospel (Romans
10:17), believe in Jesus (Mark 16:16), Repent of sins (Acts 2:38), Confess
Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized to was away sins. (Acts 22:16)
After your baptism, "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and
Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever." (2 Peter
Go On Unto Perfection
-- Hebrews Six
Hebrews six the writer shows that the best way to prevent apostasy is to do
better than the Hebrews had done in serving God. Our goal must be to persevere
in the faith and to grow in holiness. True happiness comes in serving God
faithfully until the end.
purpose of this chapter is to warn these brethren against the danger of going
back to Judaism. God wanted to encourage them to gain as much knowledge as
possible of the Christian system and of how to please Him daily.
writer uses several methods to encourage these brethren to faithfulness. First,
he encouraged them to leave the simple doctrines and to go on to maturity.
Second, he warned them of the danger of falling away from the grace of God.
Third, he showed that those who did not grow and become more Christ-like would
eventually be destroyed. Fourth, he showed that he was expecting better of them
than their past life had shown. Fifth, he desired that they show diligence
until they had received the fulfillment of their hope. Sixth, He showed that
God would be faithful to His promises and that it was important for them to be
labor to attain a more perfect measure of the knowledge of the glorious gospel
A warning against apostasy -- Hebrews 6:1-6: In
Christianity there are many fundamental principles that must be carefully
taught and learned. Sadly many never learn these principles. Some who learn
these elementary things never go beyond them. Once the foundation principles
have been learned we must go to perfection.
writer names six foundation principles of the Christian religion. These
foundation matters include: (1) Repentance from anything causing spiritual
death, (2) Faith in God, Christ and the Holy Spirit, (3) The matter of baptism
into Christ, (4) The laying on of hands as a manner of blessing and accepting,
(5) The resurrection of the dead, the animating principle of the gospel, and
(6) The eternal judgment, which will doom the lost to everlasting punishment.
"Leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto
perfection; which we will do, if God permit."
How could anyone who has been once enlightened,
tasted of the heavenly gift, been made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have
tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, turn away
from God? Those who do so, "crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh,
and put him to an open shame." The sin here mentioned is plainly apostasy
from the truth and from the Christ, Himself. There is but one way of salvation.
If a man deliberately rejects that, he must perish.
An illustration of apostasy -- Hebrews 6:7-10: The
truth concerning apostasy is illustrated by the ground that after much
cultivation brings forth nothing but briers and thorns. It "is nigh unto
cursing; whose end is to be burned." (Hebrews 5:8)
good ground drinks in the rain that comes upon it. This rain softens the earth,
refreshes it, and makes it fruitful. Those who desire to serve God drink in
God's truth in the same fashion and it brings forth fruit in their life. The
sincere Christian becomes fruitful under the preaching and teaching of God's
word and receives many blessings. The fruitless professor of Christianity is
like the dry desert, which, after many refreshing showers, brings forth nothing
but briars and thorns. Blessings belong to those who serve God faithfully,
burning awaits the others.
writer expected better things of the Hebrews. His desire and hope was that they
would produce the proper fruits of holiness, and that they would be saved.
must learn that while we must teach men that if they should fall away they
would certainly perish, we must nevertheless address them with the full assurance
that salvation is possible! Salvation is possible because of God. He "is
not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed
toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do
A sure promise from God -- Hebrews 6:11-15:
Christianity is persevered, hope can be obtained. Those who faithfully serve
God will attain the full assurance of hope in the end. No one can have this
hope who, does not persevere in holy living! Therefore, the object of every
Christian must be a life, totally devoted to God.
sad, but, sometimes even good men relax their efforts for God. They sit down
feeling contented, thinking that they now have it made as far as going to
heaven is concerned. Those who have a "full assurance of hope" must
show diligence unto the end.
who have gone before have set many good examples of continuing diligently until
the end. Just as God blessed Abraham He will bless all who are faithful till
the end. Would your faithfulness serve as an example for someone else?
is a promised inheritance, which saints, by faith and patience, can possess. We
have the promise of God that heaven can be our home. God could promise by no
greater than Himself! God did not fail Abraham and He will not fail us. Abraham
did not fail God, and we must also be careful that we remain faithful.
An anchor for our soul -- Hebrews 6:16-20: God's
promise of our heavenly hope provides an anchor for our soul. Two immutable
things, God's promise and the oath of God should cause us to possess a strong
consolation. As Christians we have fled to Christ for refuge. He is the
Christian’s city of refuge, the only sanctuary for distressed souls.
in this world as a ship at sea. The world tosses us in all directions. There is
always the danger of being cast away. Our souls are at stake. Heaven is the
harbor to which we sail. The temptations, persecutions, and afflictions that we
encounter, are the winds and waves from Satan that threaten to shipwreck our
We have an anchor and that anchor is Christ. Without Him we
have neither anchor nor hope. The hope of the believer is invisible unto the
world. They enter within the veil. How beautiful and wonderful it must be
beyond that veil in the heavenly land.
It is necessary to be in Christ
in order to be saved and to have this heavenly hope. To be in Christ you must
hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), Believe in Jesus (Hebrews 11:6), Repent of sins
(Acts 2:38), and Be Baptized to wash away sins. (Acts 22:16) But it is not
enough just to have been baptized into Christ. In Christ we must live
faithfully to the end. May God help each of us to remember who we are, where we
have been, and where we are going.
CHRIST'S SUPERIOR PRIESTHOOD
-- HEBREWS 7
We have already been introduced to the idea that Christ was
made a high priest after the order of Melchisedec. The writer had much to say
about that but, they were not in a state of mind then to understand it. They
had made very little progress in their Christianity. In Hebrews seven the
writer returns to the subject of the priesthood of Christ. He shows that Jesus'
priesthood is superior to the Jewish priesthood.
Jesus was a priest like Melchisedec. Abraham, the father of
the Jewish nation and Jewish priesthood acknowledged that Melchisedec was
superior, and even he paid tribute to him. But Christ was of the order of
Melchisedec. His priesthood was superior to the Jewish priesthood.
Melchisedec stands alone on the pages of the sacred
Scripture. He was without any known ancestry and therefore was worthy to be
compared with the Son of God. Even Levi paid tithes in Abraham, to
"Perfection" could not come through the Levitical
priesthood. There had to be a new priesthood in order to have perfection. But
to have a new priesthood there had to be a change in the law. (Hebrews
7:12) Under the Jewish system there were
many priests. Those priest lived a brief period, and were then removed by
death. Under Christianity there is but one High Priest and no dying. His is an
unchangeable priesthood. "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the
uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession
for them." (Hebrews 7:25)
made the Jews as fond of the Levitical dispensation as the high esteem they had
of their priesthood." The Hebrew writer here shows them that being in
Christ they have a much better high priest, a priesthood of a higher order, and
consequently a better dispensation or covenant, a better law and a New
Priesthood like Melchisedec -- Hebrews 7:1-10: Melchisedec
is set forth as a type of Christ. He is (a) king of
(b) priest of the most high God. Who was this Melchisedec? In Genesis 14:18 we
read that, "Melchizedek king of
brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God."
In Psalm 110:4 it was said, "The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent,
Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek."
There were many in the Bible who gave us brief glimpses of
what Jesus would be like. Melchisedec, the priest, was the first to represent
Christ by what he was and did. He depicted the foundation of all that our Lord
Jesus Christ would do. Like Melchisedec, Jesus would hold a priestly office,
whereby He made atonement, and reconciliation for the sins of mankind.
Abraham gave a tenth to Melchisedec and Melchisedec blessed
him. The Levitical priests had a right to receive tithes of their brethren, but
still that they were inferior to Melchisedec. Liberal giving was a part of the
life of the patriarchs before the law, the Jews under the law, and the
Christians in times of the gospel.
"King of righteousness" is the meaning of the
name "Melchisedec." What better type of the Messiah could there be
than him who was king of righteousness? We have no record of Melchisedec's
death. Just so, the life of the church depends upon the everlasting life of
Jesus Christ, our Savior. The Hebrew writer attempted to show the superiority
of Jesus by proving that His priesthood was like that of Melchisedec.
A priesthood that brings perfection-- Hebrews 7:11-19: If
perfection, remission of sin, could have been obtained by the sacrifices
offered by the Jewish priests, there would have been no need that God give a
new law and a new priesthood. God sent another priest who was not after the
order of Aaron. This priest was God's own Son, a priest forever after the order
The Old Testament priesthood was limited to one tribe,
Levi, and to one certain family, that of Aaron. Under that priesthood and those
sacrifices there was no forgiveness of sins. That helped us understand the
necessity of raising up another priest, after the order of Melchisedec and not
after the order of Aaron. God's mercy was seen in the giving of the law and
even more so in the taking away of the law. Now sins can be forgiven!
Under the Levitical priesthood the next high priest was the
eldest son of the present high priest. Death brought a new high priest. The law,
by which Christ was constituted a priest, after the order of Melchisedec, was
the power of an endless life. Life and immortality is what gave Jesus His
A priesthood superior to Aaron's -- Hebrews 7:20-24: The
writer continues to press the subject of the excellency of the priesthood of
Christ. In addition to every other consideration showing the superiority of
Christ as a priest, there was the solemnity of the oath by which He was set
apart to the office. Under the Levitical system men became priest by decent,
because of death it was now their turn. Christ did not become a priest by
decent, but by an oath. "The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a
priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." (Hebrews 7:21)
Jesus is the surety "of a better covenant." The
New Covenant which God made with mankind by means of Jesus is a better
covenant. It is a better covenant because its commands are simple. It is a
better covenant because it related to all men, not just the Jewish people. It
is a better covenant because it is eternal and under it sins can be forgiven.
Priesthood with a superior priest -- Hebrews 7:25-28: Jesus has
the power to save. "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the
uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession
for them." (Hebrews 7:25) He is able to save to the uttermost. He does not
abandon the work midway; He does not begin the work of salvation and then leave
it unfinished because of death.
The only priest that could be suitable for our
reconciliation to God would be one who was perfectly righteous in his own
person. He would have to be righteous or He could not be a propitiation for our
sin. This was the case with Jesus. He was so holy that He needed no sacrifice
for Himself, and all that He did was in behalf of others. The great foundation
of our faith, and the main thing upon which our consolation depends, is that
our High Priest is The Son of God, and His everlasting continuance in this
office is secured by the oath of God.
Your faith in Jesus as your great High
Priest will lead you to baptism into Christ. Baptism brings one into the death
of Christ and into contact with His saving blood. (Romans 6:3-4) Becoming a
Christian makes one a member of Christ's church, for the church is God's
family, made up of His children. Those in the church have Jesus as their
faithful high priest. Make your salvation sure. There is no privilege on earth
like being a Christian.
Priesthood Being Changed
-- Hebrews Eight
Hebrews chapter eight is a continuation of the discussion
of the priesthood of Christ. He is a priest, by an oath, after the order of
Melchizedek. Christ's priesthood is not a part of the Levitical order. The
priesthood of Christ was authentic and perpetual, while the priesthood of the Jews
was typical of that which was to come. The Levitical priesthood was temporary
in its nature.
The priesthood of Christ made necessary a change in the
law. His priesthood demanded a change in the way priests were appointed. It
also involved a change in respect to the permanency of the priest, and the
moral influence of the priesthood. The priesthood of Christ far surpassed the
Jewish priesthood in all aspects.
This chapter begins a look at the nature of the New
Covenant brought about by the priesthood of Christ. This portion of Scripture
shows the excellency of that new dispensation or new covenant of which Christ
is the Mediator. He had obtained a more exalted ministry than the Jewish
priests. His New Covenant is better be-cause under it sins are forgiven.
Christ's priesthood is permanent-- Hebrews 8:1-3: The
pre-eminence of our High Priest is seen in the fact that He, "is set on
the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens." (Hebrews 8:1)
The Christian system will never be destitute of a High Priest, because Christ
is our High Priest forever. In the height of His glory He humbled Himself to
discharge the office of High Priest in the behalf of His church.
The work of Christ was not in the Jewish tabernacle. He is,
"a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord
pitched, and not man." (Hebrews 8:2) The old tabernacle was pitched by man
according to the commandments given by God. Jesus dwells in the sanctuary of
heaven for us continually. He is our Mediator and Advocate, representing our
case before the Father, by the power His blood whereby atonement was made for
A priest that has nothing to offer is no priest at all.
Under the old covenant when the people brought sacrifices, or peace-offerings,
or thank-offerings, these were offered by their priest. This is the only way
their gifts were acceptable to God. Jesus also had something to offer, Himself!
In Hebrews nine the writer discussed this thought in more detail saying,
"Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth
into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often
have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the
world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself."
(Hebrews 9:25-26) There was no sacrifice sufficient for man's atonement except
Christ's priesthood is from heaven -- Hebrews 8:4-5: Christ
must now conduct His priesthood in heaven. "For if he were on earth, he
should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts
according to the law." (Hebrews 8:4) So long as the Levitical priesthood
continued Christ could never be priest. With those priests, there was already a
system of sacrifice. His sacrifice and service demanded a different kind of
The things of the old covenant were a shadow of what was to
come in Christ. He is the substance and end of that old law. Under the old
system Moses did nothing of his own will. When he built the tabernacle he followed
God's directions in every thing. "Moses was ad-monished of God when he was
about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things
according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount." (Hebrews 8:5)
"According to the pattern" were powerful words
from God to Moses. Many today look at these words as insulting words. We would
do well to remember that there is a form of doctrine that must be followed.
"But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from
the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you." (Romans 6:17) We
do well to recognize the need for a "Thus saith the Lord" in all
religious matters. There is a pattern from God!
Christ's priesthood and the New Covenant -- Hebrews 8:6-8: The
writer here offers more proof that Christ's priesthood is better. His
priesthood is better because the new covenant is better. The New Covenant is a
better covenant, because it is established upon better promises. The promises
of the New Covenant are better because most of them relate to spiritual things
and to eternal salvation. Christ, the Son of God, is Mediator of this New
A covenant is an arrangement, or an ordering of things. God
has an arrangement whereby man can be saved, honor Him in life and worship in a
pleasing manner. This new covenant relates to man's heart. It has to do with
the forgiveness of sins.
The Old Covenant had the fault of not containing provisions
for the salvation of the soul. If the first covenant had provided a means of
salvation there would never have been a need for another. The Hebrew writer
quoted a promise from Jeremiah as proof of the need of this new covenant.
Christ's priesthood and covenant excelled the old -- Hebrews 8:9-13:
This new arrangement is different from that which was made with
God brought them out of
includes everyone and it relates more to the heart and inner man. Sadly the
Jews failed to comply with the conditions of the covenant God made with them.
We must do better than they did under our New and Better Covenant.
The New Covenant was not made with
Judah as a
national covenant, but as they were blessed to be part of the
has revealed His will and it is our obligation to reach a thorough knowledge
and understanding of those laws. God's laws are now written on man's heart, not
on tables of stone.
This great and fundamental promise of the New Covenant is
the pardon of sin, "their sins and their iniquities will I remember no
more." (Hebrews 8:12) This is possible only by God's mercy. God does not
forget that men are sinners, but by the blood of Jesus He treats them as if
they had never sinned.
There is now a New and Better covenant. At the destruction
old was finally folded up and put away forever. All the glory of the
its service did gradually vanish, and at last it totally disappeared. Now we
are blessed by the NEW! It is a new covenant, even that new covenant that God
long ago promised
He would make. (Jeremiah 31:31-32)
Your appreciation of this New Covenant should lead you to
baptism into Christ. Baptism brings one into the death of Christ and into
contact with His saving blood. (Romans 6:3-4) How wonderful it is that now,
through Jesus there is forgiveness of sins! Make your salvation sure. Obey from
the heart the gospel of Christ today. There is no privilege on earth like being
The Redeemer’s Great Sacrifice
-- Hebrews Nine
In Hebrews nine the writer continues to show that Christ,
as High Priest, is superior to the Jewish high priest. He is the
"Mediator" of a better covenant. In this chapter we observe the true
significance of the sacrifice of Jesus. This section of Scripture provides a
comparison of our Redeemer to the Old Testament priest. The point is that the
Old was only a figure of the true.
We here have a description of the tabernacle and of some of
the utensils that were in tabernacle service. We are allowed a look into the
service rendered once each year by the Jewish high priest. All of this was
symbolic of Christ entering into the most holy place in heaven on our behalf.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, (1) Pertained to a more
perfect tabernacle, (2) Offered more perfect blood, and (3) Entered a more
perfect Holy Place. He did not offer the blood of bulls and goats, but His own
blood. With His own precious blood He entered into the most holy place in
heaven. The blood of Christ did what the blood of bulls and goats could not do
-- it took away sin. His blood not only remits the sins of those living in the
present, but it extends backwards, to those living in past ages, and removes
the sins of those who obeyed God in those old ages as well.
It was necessary that the Mediator of the new covenant shed
His blood. The offering made by our Redeemer was a one time for all sacrifice.
It is appointed to man to die once; and so Christ died but once. Jesus did not
cease to exist when He died. He will appear a second time to receive, to
eternal salvation, all who truly love Him, and who wait for his appearing.
The tabernacle and its services – Hebrews 9:1-7: God's
first or former arrangement had religious services connected with it. A study
of Exodus 25-27 will provide you with much information about what is here
called a "worldly sanctuary." The term "worldly" means that
it concerned this world. This is set in contrast to the "heavenly
In the tabernacle you could find the candlestick, with the
lamps always burning. You would also observe the table with the shew-bread upon
it. This gives us a glimpse of how Christians observe communion with Christ and
with fellow Christians. The showbread pointed to our Lord Jesus Christ, the
bread of life to His church.
The tabernacle contained a second veil which led to a part
called the Holiest of all or the Holy of holies. Herein was the golden censer,
a fire-pan made for the purpose of carrying fire, in order to burn incense. The
Ark of the Covenant with its mercy-seat was a part of the Holy of holies. The
ark contained the golden pot that had manna, Aaron's rod that budded, and the
tables of the covenant. The Divine Presence rested on the mercy seat.
The Priest was in the Holy place every day, and at all
times, as occasion did required. However, the High Priest alone was permitted
into the Holy of holies. "But into the second went the high priest alone
once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the
errors of the people." Leviticus 16 describes the special occasion when
the High Priest entered the Holiest of all. This had to do with the grievous
nature of man's sins.
The Messiah's great sacrifice – Hebrews 9:8-14: The tabernacle,
with the meats and drinks, and divers washings, and physical ordinances, was a
type of the reformation that would come only through Jesus. Christ had a more
excellent tabernacle than the Jewish priest. Those priests entered the
tabernacle often, Jesus entered heaven once. Those priests entered the
tabernacle with the blood of goats and calves. He entered heaven with His own
blood thereby obtaining eternal redemption for us.
Those Old Testament sacrifices made man holy so far as the
flesh or body was concerned. They did not provide redemption. Eternal
redemption was the fruit of Christ's sacrifice. His sacrifice was sufficient to
purge the conscience from dead works. It reached to the very soul and
conscience of sinful man. The blood of Jesus is sufficient to enable us to
serve the living God. His sacrifice purged away the guilt which separated man
from his God. Only through the blood of Jesus can guilty mankind be delivered
from the dread of the wrath to come.
The blood of the New Covenant – Hebrews 9:15-23: One
other major benefit of the death of Christ was the ratification of the New
Covenant. His death provided atonement for those under both the Old and the New
Covenants. The beauty of the teaching of this chapter is that God made a New
Covenant, with Jesus as Mediator, and He redeemed man from sin by the sacrifice
of His own death.
God's covenant of Grace is called a testament or will. All
things required in a will or testament is found. Christ Jesus died and left His
will. The will contains certain bequeath. Some were temporal; many were
spiritual, and all related to eternal salvation. The heirs of promises must be
part of God's family. The will contained certain required conditions whereby
the blessing could be obtained. The will required faith, repentance, and
sincere obedience in baptism into Christ’s death and blood, and faithfulness to
the Heavenly Father. Let us remember that "without shedding of blood there
is no remission."
The one appointment for
all – Hebrews 9:24-27: Christ's sacrifice was a better sacrifice than
all Old Testament sacrifices. The sacrifice of Christ is the one and only
fountain from which sanctification and spiritual blessings flows. Jesus Christ
by one sacrifice has made an end of sin. And it was a one time sacrifice
because, "it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the
judgment." (Hebrews 9:27)
Man has two appointments. First, man must die once, or, at
least, go through a change equivalent to death. After death man shall come to
judgment. Those who die in the Lord leave the world to go to heaven, where
death is unknown. The day is coming when Christ will appear a second time to
take His followers to eternal salvation with Him in glory.
To become a Christian, you must hear God's word and believe
(John 6:44-45), you must repent (Acts 2:38), you must confess Christ (Romans
10:9-10), and you must be baptized to be saved (1 Peter 3:21). It is the desire
of Jesus that everyone be saved. He said, "Come to Me, all you who labor
and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn
from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your
souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30.)
Those who become Christians must continue doing good. Peter
wrote, "For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing
good than for doing evil." (I Peter 3:17.) Never let a day pass that you
are not walking in the will of God.
THE ASSEMBLY OF THE SAINTS
-- HEBREWS 10
The Jews were very wrapped up in the Levitical
dispensation. However, the writer here again reminds them that the sacrifices
of that old time were insufficient to take away sin. The purpose and will of
God was to provide salvation for the world. Man was to serve God and thus
prepare for heaven. This salvation and service was made possible by the
incarnation of the Christ, His death for our sins, and His priesthood.
us understand the honor of being a Christian and the responsibilities which go
with that honor. We are blessed to live under the New Covenant, with Jesus
Christ as our High Priest. Under this New Covenant we have access to the
holiest by the blood of Jesus.
The result of having Jesus as High Priest over the Church
is that we should walk faithfully, walk uprightly, hold fast our profession,
exhort other Christians to stay faithful, and never forsake the assembly of the
saints. We will stay faithful when we understand the danger and awful consequences
In order to stay faithful we should meditate on God's
past mercies. We should focus on the
help He has provided us as we have faced temptations. If we will be careful to
not cast away our confidence, then we shall receive God's promise if we
patiently fulfill His will while we live. "Now the just shall live by
faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him."
The purpose and the will of God -- Hebrews 10:1-10:
The law, with all its ceremonies and sacrifices, was only a shadow or type of
what was to come under the gospel dispensation. The legal sacrifices, offered
year by year under the law, could never make the sinners perfect or free from
guilt. If those sacrifices had satisfied the demands of justice, and made
reconciliation for sins they would have ceased to be offered.
God stated simply that, "it is not possible that the
blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins." (Hebrews 10:4) Jesus
was incarnated with a body so that a proper sacrifice could be made that would
eliminate man's sin problem. How wonderful it is to know that a New Covenant
with a new sacrifice now makes salvation possible. "Then said he, Lo, I
come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the
second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of
Jesus Christ once for all." (Hebrews 10:9-10)
The new and living way -- Hebrews 10:11-20: The
Levitical priesthood consisted of many priest and many sacrifices. The
sacrifices were many in number, and also many in kind, bulls, lambs, and goats.
But the sacrifice of "This Man" was a one of a kind sacrifice. He
sacrificed that body which had been prepared for Him. Now, through His
sacrifice we have partaken of what Christ has done for us. We are called,
converted, sanctified, united to Christ, and partakers of the benefits of His
The riches of divine grace, and the sufficiency of Christ's
satisfaction is again shown in the statement, "And their
sins and iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 10:17) The joy of what has transpired in the
Christian is that there shall be no more be a remembrance made of sin against
true believers. "Now where remission of these is, there is no more
offering for sin." (Hebrews 10:18)
The danger of willful sin -- Hebrews 10:21-31: As
a Christian our duty is simply stated that we "draw near to God."
With boldness let us draw near with a true heart. We must draw near to God in
general, but especially in worship to Him. We must draw near to God with a pure
heart, and in full assurance of faith. Sincerity of heart is the life and soul
of all acceptable worship and service to God. This full assurance of faith is
grounded upon the fidelity of God, and the immutability of His promise.
The person who draws near to God must have his soul
cleansed by the blood of Christ. This provides freedom from a condemning
conscience. How blessed we are to have a new and living way unto the holiest by
the blood of Jesus. Our bodies were washed with pure water, that is, with the
water of baptism. It is at that point that we could be numbered among the
followers of Christ, members of His blood bought body.
In this text we have the means which God
prescribed for preventing apostasy, and promoting our faithfulness to God and
perseverance in His cause. In order to prevent apostasy we should: (1) "Consider
one another to provoke unto love and to good works," and (2)
we should "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together." Those
who willfully forsake the assembly are guilty of grievous sin.
When you willfully forsake the assembly you are guilty of
having trodden under foot the Son of God. That is, you have treated Him with
the utmost contempt and blasphemy. You have shown no more respect for His
precious blood than if that blood was unholy. This means you are expecting
nothing from that blood in a sacrificial or atoning way. What worse spiritual
crime could one commit than this? When one deliberately forsakes the assembly
they have insulted the Holy Spirit of grace. No wonder the writer would say of
this person, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living
God." (Hebrews 10:31)
The just shall live by faith -- Hebrews 10:32-39: You
can easily remain faithful when you remember how God blessed you through former
trials and troubles. Christians are many times exposed to all kinds of things
as they live in this world. You may have to suffer all kinds of afflictions,
but heaven is worth it! The Christian must never be like the
cowardly soldiers that in the heat of the battle cast down their shields and
armor, and run away.
The Christian is a spiritual soldier. He must never
turn back, but he must die a conqueror rather than be taken prisoner by Satan.
After we have done the will of God in becoming a Christian, we have
need of patience to enable us to wait for the receiving of the promise of God.
You can rest assured that Christ will come to call His faithful home
and thus end all suffering.
just shall live by their faith. Those who lack faith "draw back" and
cause God to have no pleasure in them. A Christian must live His life with
assistance of his faith and in accordance with the faith once for all revealed
to the saints. The influence of faith on our life is the saving
of our soul.
Are you in Christ and walking
faithfully in His service? "For you are all sons of God through faith in
Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on
Christ." (Galatians 3:26-27) As a Christian you will have the help of
Christ as live by faith. But, remember that, if any man draws back, God's soul
shall have no pleasure in him.
THOSE WHO DID NOT
-- HEBREWS 11
The major purpose of the epistle to the Hebrews was to keep
those Hebrew Christians from going into apostasy by relapsing into Judaism. In
the previous chapter the writer said, "the just shall live by faith."
(Hebrews 10:38-39) Now he proceeds to introduce us to a "Hall of
fame" of Old Testament characters who lived by faith.
The thing that kept these Old Testament worthies on the
mark was their "faith." They remained faithful to God even in the
midst of trials, sever persecution and much suffering. It is here that the
Bible writer describes "faith" and shows that it will really work in
life. There is power in faith that keeps our heart focused on God, even in the
midst of trials, hardships or even persecution.
Upon completion of a study of Hebrews 11 we should have a
much greater understanding of the doctrine of "salvation by faith."
An explanation of saving faith -- Hebrews 11:1-3:
The writer described that faith whereby the just man lives in these words,
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things
not seen." (Hebrews 11:1) Faith and hope go hand in hand. The things that
are the object of our hope are the result of our faith.
Our eternal salvation depends on the existence of saving
faith and the exercise or practice of that faith. "Faith gives reality or
substance to things hoped for." Faith is that which makes it possible to
see God and His word as reality. Through faith we can live our life in the full
expectation that God will give the good things which He has promised to those
who obey Him.
Concerning God, His word and His way, there is evidence. It
is the evidence of things not seen. This evidence causes the invisible things
concerning God to be just as real to us as those things which we have seen with
our physical eyes. Our faith causes us to feel and act just as if it was before
our very eyes.
The renown of the Old Testament saints was not in that they
lived as long as Methuselah (Genesis 5:27), were as rich as Abraham (Genesis
14:14), or were as strong as Samson (Judges 15). They obtain a good report upon
the account of their faith. We remember Enoch because he walked with God. Abraham’s
name has been on the tongue of every Christian because of his loving obedience
to God. Moses' meekness in serving Jehovah cause us to fondly remember him
Faith begins at the creation. "In the
beginning God created the heaven and the earth." (Genesis 1:1) This is the
very foundation article of our faith -- God is Creator. God framed the world
out of nothing, by His infinite wisdom. The Bible gives us true and exact
account of the origin of all things and that origin is "GOD!"
Some who lived by faith -- Hebrews 11:4-31: The
writer of Hebrews has now set forth what faith is and how faith works. He proceeds
to list a "Hall of fame" of Old Testament characters who lived 'by
faith." These faithful ones are divided into two groups. There are the
names of those who lived by faith and some of the specific things they did.
Then there are those who names are barely mentioned, for a lack of time. Their
faith accomplishments were grouped together. In both groups we observe that
saving faith is always active, obedient faith.
Able worshipped by faith. By his faith Enoch lived in such
a way as to please God. Noah's faith caused him to build an ark on God's terms
and according to God's instructions. Abraham's faith led him to obey God in
leaving his homeland. His faith caused him to, "looked for a city which
hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." (Hebrews 11:10)
Sara was also cited as one of those who died in faith. God
said, "these all died in faith, not having received the promises, but
having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and
confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." (Hebrews
The list of those who lived by faith goes on with those like
Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses. "By faith Moses, when he was come to
years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to
suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin
for a season. (Hebrews 11:24-25)
The nation of
Israel lived by faith as they passed through the Red Sea and
marched around Jericho for seven days. The result of living by faith is that
you are always blessed by God. Rahab the harlot is an example of how those who
live by faith are blessed. "By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with
them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace."
Many suffered for the faith -- Hebrews
11:32-38: Many names were only
mentioned. There was Gedeon, Barak, Samson, Jephthae, David,
Samuel, and the prophet. These are great servants of God "Who through
faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the
mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword,
out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the
armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and
others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a
better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings,
yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn
asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in
sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented." (Hebrews
The writer of the book of Hebrews does not commend all that
these people did. He does not deny that they were very imperfect men, or that
they did many things that were a disappointment to God. He does commend all
their actions which were "by faith." Their focus was on
"a better resurrection." God said the world was not worthy of such
of the faith system -- Hebrews 11:39-40: These worthy and godly people obtained a good report with God, but
they did not live long enough to receive the promise of the coming Messiah.
"But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made
of a woman, made under the law." (Galatians 4:4) Now, we can be perfected
together by the power of His blood.
We have been given "better things," things that
those Old Testament worthies could only imagine. The "better things,"
are the privilege of seeing those promises fulfilled in the Messiah. We can
enjoy the blessings resulting from His atonement and have the hope of heaven
itself. The teachings of this chapter should encourage us to bear every trial,
and to be ready to lay down our lives for the cause of God.
Many needs exist in our world. No greater need could ever exist than for
people to walk "BY FAITH." Are you a Christian? (Acts 2:36-41.) What
about your daily walk? Is it "by faith?"
LET US RUN WITH
-- HEBREWS 12 --
Hebrews 12 is the chapter that really begins to make
application of what has been learned concerning the priesthood of Jesus. This
chapter provides motivation to run with perseverance the Christian race. Now
that we have learned what saving faith is all about, we must make application
of those teachings to our life.
The Old Testament worthies of Hebrews 11 are listed as
"witnesses" to encourage these brethren to faithful service to God.
The Hebrew writer points these brethren to Jesus as the greatest example of one
who was faithful to God. Christians can also look to Him for help to persevere
in the Christian life. Christ bore all the trials and temptations which came
His way. He remained faithful to God, faithful even to His death on the cross.
Jesus did what these Hebrew brethren had not done. He
"resisted unto blood, striving against sin." (Hebrews 12:4) He wanted
them to understand that their trials and chastisement would work out for their
own good. These sufferings should bring them closer to the Lord. These were
God's sons and He was trying to help them reach their goal -- Heaven. Thus,
they should bear their trials, with patience, as they wait for that heavenly
should mark every Christian life. Those who fail are like Esau. When Esau had
lost the blessing it was impossible to recover it, though he sought it
earnestly with tears. We should persevere because of the nature of the
dispensation that we live under. This new dispensation is designed to encourage
and to win the heart of mankind for God. What a privilege we now enjoy! It
would be a horrible thing to renounce Christ and His gospel and thus turn back.
This is true because, our "God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:29)
Run the Christian race -- Hebrews 12:1-3: This great chapter begins, "wherefore seeing we
also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside
every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with
patience the race that is set before us." (Hebrews 12:1) These Old
Testament heroes of faith (Hebrews 11) provide encouragement for the Hebrew
Christians, and for us to stand up and be men for God.
"Lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so
easily beset us" is one of the great Bible statements dealing with
Christian living. As applied to Christians, it means that they should remove
all that would obstruct their progress in the Christian race. Christianity is a
race set before us by God. It is our duty to faithfully run this race.
"Every weight" refers to anything in the world
that would hinder our faith, worship or service to God. These hindrances could
be riches, honors or pleasures. We cannot allow the world to influence our mind
in any way that would pull us away from our faithfulness to God.
"The sin that doth so easily beset us" likely
refers to the sin that we have the greatest struggle with. We must avoid
circumstances and conditions that would make that sin available. Therefore we
must lay aside both external and internal hindrances. Get your heart right and
stay away from anything that would hinder your Christian growth and service.
Let us run the Christian race with endurance, looking unto Jesus.
Run with endurance -- Hebrews 12:4-17:
Christians must be faithful, even during the worst of suffering. Christ
suffered, even unto death. His sufferings are contrasted with the sufferings of
the Hebrew Christians. The statement that they had not "yet resisted unto
blood" was a warning of more sever trials ahead.
The writer wanted these brethren to understand that their
sufferings were grounded in the love and benevolent purpose of God. "For
whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth." (Hebrews 12:6) He does not overlook
any of His children in giving the chastisement that is needed.
Some who run get beaten down. The faithful must help them
be able to run with endurance. "Wherefore lift up the hands which hang
down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that
which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed."
Those who fail to endure are like Esau. They are profane. A
profane person is the opposite of one who endures in the Christian life. A
Christian who turns back is giving up something even more valuable than Esau's
birthright. The person who fails to run with endurance is giving up his eternal
to the heavenly Jerusalem -- Hebrews 12:18-22: The goal of the Christian is not
Mount Sinai. That mountain is not our goal, even though at that mountain there was
an awesome demonstration of God's power. (Exodus 19-20) Even the sound of God's
voice was so powerful that the people begged God to speak only to Moses, and
not to them, directly.
In contrast with that old law, think of the wonderful
blessings believers enjoy through Christ and His gospel. We are come to "Mount
Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly
Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels."
(Hebrews 12:22) The church is "the city of the living God." The church is a place of safety, honor, peace
and hope. Let us never stop running the
Christian race. If we do turn back we become unfit for the heavenly reward.
Run till the race is over -- Hebrews 12:23-29:
The great motivation to run is that we are: (a) A part of the general assembly,
(b) Members of the church of the firstborn, (c) Part of an immovable kingdom,
and (d) Serving our God who is a consuming fire.
Why would anyone turn from Christianity back to Judaism?
Christians are God's regenerated. They are the ones who have been born
again. These are the ones who have their
names registered in heaven. Just as the firstborn under the Law enjoyed special
blessings, even more so, God's firstborn today have many glorious privileges.
The fact that Jesus is the Mediator of the new covenant is
one of many encouragements to perseverance in the gospel. Christ is the
Mediator. His work was and is to bring man back to God and to keep them
together. The ultimate goal of our Mediator is to bring God and His people
together in heaven. Christians are taught perseverance based on the heavenly
nature of the gospel and the church produced by that message. The gospel has
its power and the church has its meaning because of the precious blood of Jesus
Christians are blessed to be a part of this general
assembly of the first-born. We belong! We assemble together. We run the
Christian race till life is over. We never stop running because one day we will
stand before God the Judge of all. God will judge both Jew and Gentile according
to the law that they lived under. We must never turn back because, "our
God is a consuming fire."
If you are not a Christian you should
become a Christian today. (Acts 2:36-41.) If you are a Christian be faithful to
the Lord in daily Bible study, in your commitment and daily living.
SANCTIFIED BY BLOOD
-- HEBREWS 13
"Practical" is a word that best describes the
teachings of Hebrews 13. Nothing could be more down to earth than, "Let
brotherly love continue." (Hebrews 13:1) In life there are so many things
that disturb and disillusion. Hence, we have the convincing words of Hebrews
13:5, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
Our daily service to God involves such things as following
the godly example of our elders. (Hebrews 13:7) The shepherds over God's flock
have the somber responsibility of watching over every soul of the Christians in
their local congregation. The local church has the responsibility to obey the
godly men who are striving to help them get to heaven. (Hebrews 13:17)
Hebrews 13 focuses on such powerful themes as: (1) Love
among brethren and strangers (Hebrews 13:1-3), (2) Marriage God's way (Hebrews
13:4), (3) The final judgment (Hebrews 13:4), (4) Learning to be content
(Hebrews 13:5-6), (5) Elders among God's people (Hebrews 13:7, Hebrews 13:17),
(6) The unchanging Christ (Hebrews 13:8), (7) The damage done by false teachers
(Hebrews 13:9), (8) Our right to worship because of Christ (Hebrews 13:10-13),
(9) The continuing city we hope for (Hebrews 13:14), (10) Worship God in song
(Hebrews 13:15), (11) The power of prayer (Hebrews 13:18), and (12) The grace
of God. (Hebrews 13:25)
Remember these things -- Hebrews 13:1-6: It
is wonderful that brotherly love existed among these brethren. The writer
admonished them to allow this love to continue. In a very forceful statement
Peter wrote, "Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the
king." (1 Peter 2:17) Brotherly love and compassion for others is
Christianity in action.
Marriage is a sacred ordinance of God. Just choosing to
live together outside of marriage is sinful. Marriage must be in harmony with
the laws of God and the laws of the land. According to God, marriage is a union
between a man and a woman. God must be disgusted with our evil society that
says a man with men or women with women is marriage. God said, "Thou shalt
not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." (Leviticus
18:22) Marriage will work only when it is built upon God and His word.
The Bible is filled with great and precious promises from
God. None is greater than that of Hebrews 13:5-6 where God promised, "I
will never leave you nor forsake you." This promise of God should lead to
boldness, contentment, blessings and happiness.
React to certain people -- Hebrews 13:7-11: God's
people must react to those around them and Him who is above them.
The greatest responsibility in the entire world is that of
serving as an elder in the church. God took the mater of church leadership so
seriously that he gave a number of very specific qualifications that must be
met before one can become a shepherd over God's flock. (1 Timothy 3, Titus 1)
He likewise gave the church the responsibility to: (1) Remember her elders, (2)
Follow their example, and (3) to obey them. If elders lead properly and the
members lovingly they can answer to God "with joy and not with grief"
for every soul. (Hebrews 13:7, Hebrews 13:17)
God's people must likewise react properly to Jesus.
"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." (Hebrews
13:8) Jesus, our great high priest, is our hope and our help. He is our
sacrificial lamb. (John 1:29) He is the heart of our hope and the hope of our
The Hebrew writer spoke boldly of how we should react to
false teachers. (Hebrews 13:9) Instrumental music, the role of women in the
church, communion every Sunday and only on Sunday, how to interpret Scripture,
praise teams and singing groups, and church leadership are only a few of the
matters false teachers are dividing the church of Christ over the today. What
ever happened to the plea, "We speak where the Bible speaks and are silent
where the Bible is silent?"
Recognize the important -- Hebrews 13:12-17:
A list of important Bible truths would have at its top the fact that Jesus died
for our sins. (Hebrews 13:12) The Hebrew writer had earlier said, that Jesus
"tasted death for every man." (Hebrews 2:9) This is a truth still
almost beyond my comprehension.
On that list of important things would be heaven itself.
(Hebrews 13:14) Christians seek that heavenly
Jerusalem, where they shall worship God continually. Our
condition in this world is very uncertain and unsettled. The permanent home of
the faithful Christian is not Jerusalem, but heaven itself.
Christians are to offer a sacrifice to God, and none but
God. They are not to sacrifice to created things, angels, or saints. The
sacrifice we offer to God is the fruit of our lips. We do not offer the fruit
of our fields, or of our flocks, but we offer the fruit of the same lips that
confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. (Hebrews 13:15)
We must speak forth the praises of God from unfeigned lips and thankful hearts.
We must do all
within our power to communicate to the necessities of the souls and bodies of
men. Our actions must go beyond just words. There must also be the sacrifice of
good deeds. "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all
men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." (Galatians
Respond to the exhortations -- Hebrews 13:18-25: The
writer asked and exhorted the brethren to pray for him that he could have a
good conscience. (Hebrews 13:18) A good conscience is a conscience enlightened by
the word of God, a conscience purified by the blood of Christ, a conscience
universally tender of all God's commands. We must be willing in all things to
There are many glorious titles given to Almighty God in the
Bible. None is more glorious or powerful than the expression, "God of
peace." Jesus is also given the title, "the great Shepherd of the
sheep." He is called this because Christians are His flock in the midst of
wolves. They could never be preserved without the care and protection of this
great Shepherd. Christians are exhorted to have respect and love both for the
Father and the Son.
The writer encouraged these brethren to, "suffer the
word of exhortation." (Hebrews 13:22) "Suffer the word of
exhortation" refers to the heeding the counsels in this whole epistle.
Christians must follow these practical exhortations to perseverance in the
Christian religion amidst all the temptations which can easily lead to
There is a solemn benediction at the close of this great
letter. "Grace be with you all. Amen." (Hebrews 13:25) Let God's grace continually work in you.
Allow this grace to bring forth the fruits of holiness in your life.
To become a Christian, you must hear
the gospel (John 6:44-45), you must believe in Jesus as the Son of God (Mark
16:16), you must repent of sins (Acts 2:38), you must confess Christ as Lord
(Romans 10:9-10), and you must be baptized to be saved (1 Peter 3:21). After
baptism you must be faithful to the Great Shepherd of the Sheep!