INTRODUCTION to HEBREWS
Read Hebrews: Hebrews is uniquely Jewish (hence
the name). It is clearly to Christians, but specifically to Jewish
Christians. It is filled with teaching about how Jesus is so much
greater than anyone or anything known in the Old Testament era,
and it has many exhortations and warnings against going back to
the old ways. Remember most of the earliest Christians were Jewish.
Why should Gentile Christians read it? Because it is packed with
insights and understanding, that reveal Jesus so gloriously, that
we must surely be moved by the wonder of it.
the first century, while there were still many tensions in belief,
especially among the Jewish Christians, constantly having to fend
off pressures on them from the Jewish culture, the writer to the
Hebrews goes to length to show Jesus, the Son of God, is greater
that the angels (ch.1), Moses (ch.3), and Aaron and the Levitical
priesthood (ch.5), introducing a new covenant that is greater
than the old (v.8). He concludes by bringing challenges to faith
and endurance in later chapters.
1: The Wonder & Superiority of Jesus
Jesus superior to angels
2: A Wonderful Gospel to be held onto
Jesus, the bringer of salvation
3: Gospel greater than Law
Jesus superior to Moses
4: Sabbath Rest
the goal to be worked for, overcoming unbelief
5: Jesus our High Priest
the role of high priest that Jesus fulfils
6: Exhortations, Warnings & Assurances
exhortation not to fall away, warning of
what could happen, assurances by God's promises
7: Melchizedek and Jesus
how Jesus fulfils the Psa 110 prophecies
8: Jesus, High Priest of a New Covenant
how Jesus ushers in a new covenant replacing
the ineffectual old covenant
9: Earthly Worship & the use of Blood
how old worship used blood and how Jesus'
death replaced that
10: Encouragements & Warnings to Persevere
Jesus' sacrifice and it acting as a means
of encouraging us to persevere
11: The Gallery of Faith
the testimonies of the saints of old to
encourage us to persevere today
12: Exhortation, Discipline, Warnings, today's reality – not Law
but Holy Community
further call to persevere, teaching about
discipline, living holy lives
13: Concluding Exhortations
a miscellaneous bunch of further directions
for living out the faith.
found in Hebrews
book (letter) has large amounts of pure teaching doctrine
(6 chapters) but there are also many warnings
and exhortations (7 chapters). The truth is that
even chapters with warnings and exhortations are interspersed
with teaching. The following are examples of those exhortations
which tend to increase the further through the letter he goes.
An additional study would be to go through picking out specific
warnings but we will leave the reader to do that!
We must pay the most careful attention,
therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.
fix your thoughts on Jesus
See to it, brothers and sisters, that none
of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the
But encourage one another daily, as long
as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by
since the promise of entering his rest still
stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen
short of it.
Let us, therefore, make every effort to
enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their
example of disobedience.
let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
Let us then approach God's throne of grace
with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to
help us in our time of need.
let us move beyond the elementary teachings
We want each of you to show this same diligence
to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized.
We do not want you to become lazy, but to
imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has