Saturday, March 30, 2013

Hebrews Bible Study Notes- Chapter 9

Chapter 9


-This section of Scripture deals with fact that the first covenant that God made with His people laid the framework for what Christ did in shedding His blood for the remissions of sins and entrance into the Most Holy Place with God. This is the place that only the high priest could go under the Mosaic system, but has now been opened up to everyone by the payment that Jesus Christ, our greater, eternal, and for all time High Priest, accomplished by His sacrificed life blood. This is what secures eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12). This is the event that causes the reformation (Hebrews 9:10). This is the actualization of the offering without blemish to God, which purifies our sinful consciences from dead works to serve the Living God through His eternal Holy Spirit (Hebrews 9:14). Jesus is the mediator and initiator of the New Covenant through His death and resurrection that those who are called may receive His promised eternal inheritance (Hebrews 9:15). In other words, He is the reality of God’s plan for mankind’s salvation. “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22).” Christ Jesus has entered “into Heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf (Hebrews 9:24).” He only needed to do this one time, once and for all, “to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself (Hebrews 9:25-26).” Just as it is appointed for mankind to die once, and after that comes the judgment, so too Christ died only once to bear the sins of many. But, He will return and appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who eagerly wait for Him (Hebrews 9:27-28). *Application* Christ’s mission is complete. The only question for us now is will we accept Him and His great salvation? The whole matter comes down to faith. You must trust that He is greater than every other form of hope, deliverance, and salvation. Jesus is the only way to God and His good and perfect grace. It’s just that simple. Don’t make it harder than you have to. Christ shed His blood and died so that we don’t have to die spiritually. Trust in Jesus! He has made the way definitively and completely.


Verses to memorize- Hebrews 9:22, 27-28

Friday, March 29, 2013

Hebrews Bible Study Notes- Chapter 8

Chapter 8


-The author uses citations from the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31:31-34) to explain how the New Covenant is “more excellent” than the old one set up by God through Moses on Mt. Sinai when the children of Israel came out of Egypt. Jesus Christ has “obtained” this “ministry” with His work on the cross, which empowers the effects of the New Covenant involving the inner working of the Holy Spirit who writes the laws of God on hearts and minds (Hebrews 8:6,10). This is Christ’s offering on our behalf (Hebrews 8:3). The former covenant was a copy (example, model, pattern) and a shadow (foreshadowing) of the heavenly things, and these things teach us who Christ is and what He was to be about (Hebrews 8:5). This New Covenant makes the first one obsolete and allows us to “know the Lord,” from the least to the greatest (Hebrews 8:11, 13). It allows for God to be merciful towards our sins where He remembers them no more (Hebrews 8:12)! *Application* Moses could talk to God and be in His presence at the mercy seat, which sat on the Ark of the Covenant above the commandments and regulations that He had given (Exodus 25:22). This was the place where His atonement was actualized in the foreshadowing of things to come in Christ Jesus. Today is Good Friday, and we remember the Lord’s suffering on our behalf to cleanse us from each sin and set back that keep us separated from our Heavenly Father. We can now “know” Him intimately and forever because of the price Jesus paid; therefore, glorify God and give Him everything you’ve got (1 Corinthians 6:20)! His Kingdom endures forever and He has set us free!


Verse to memorize- Hebrews 8:6

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hebrews Bible Study Notes- Chapter 7

Chapter 7


-Chapter seven continues to make the point that Jesus Christ is the High Priest superior to the Old Covenant. Jesus is a priest according to the order of Melchizedek in the respect that He is wholly other from the Levitical system being from the tribe of Judah (Hebrews 7:4-16). He like Melchizedek, is the King of righteousness, King of Jerusalem, King of peace, without father or mother or genealogy, has neither beginning of days nor end of life, and He continues as a priest forever (Psalm 110:4, Hebrews 7:2-3, 17, 21). The former system had weakness and became useless, for the Law made nothing perfect; but on the other hand, Jesus provides a better hope by which we can now draw near to God by the covering that He gives (Hebrews 7:18-19). This makes Jesus the guarantor (a surety, a guarantee) of a better covenant since He lives forever and makes intercession continually, saving to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:22-25). He is indeed fitting since He is holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, exalted above the heavens, and He died once for all by offering Himself up on the cross (Hebrews 7:26-27). He is the oath of God by His Word made perfect forever, which came later in time to fulfill the Law (Matthew 5:17, Hebrews 7:28). *Application* Christ is our mediator between us, who have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and the Holy-Righteous Father in Heaven who is perfect and complete. Jesus’ atonement for our sins is completed on the cross and His resurrection gives us the hope of new life in Him apart from the requirements of an old and out dated religious system that we had no hope of keeping. When viewed in this light, we can better understand Christ’s love for us and realize fully what He meant when He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6). He is our superior High Priest forever!


Verse to memorize- Hebrews 7:22

Hebrews Bible Study Notes- Chapter 6

Chapter 6


-Go on to maturity in your faith and leave the elementary doctrine of Christ, which is based in the Law (as a tutor to Christ, Galatians 3:24-25) and dead works. Instead (the kai here in the Greek can have the contrastive meaning “but”), have these things: faith toward God, instruction about washings (baptisms), laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment (Hebrews 6:1-2). Those who have been enlightened and have tasted and shared in the heavenly gift of the Holy Spirit having tasted the goodness of the Word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away make it impossible to renew (restore) them again to repentance (Hebrews 6:4-6). These crucify once again the Son of God to their own harm and hold Him up to contempt. The fruits of true repentance are not there and there is no crop that is useful for the Kingdom of God if one bears thorns and thistles. These are the worthless ones, near to being cursed, and their end will be consuming fire (Hebrews 6:6, 8). But for the steadfast and believing better things are expected. These drink the falling rain and produce abundant crops, which are useful for the Lord. They are cultivated (disciplined) and receive blessing from God pertaining to eternal salvation (Hebrews 6:7, 9). “God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for His Name in serving the saints, as you still do (Hebrews 6:10).” The author’s desire is for each person to whom that he is writing to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that there is no sluggishness, but an imitation of those who through faith and patience (perseverance) inherit the promises (Hebrews 6:11-12). *Application* This section in its context is really about adherence to the Law of Christ verses the reverting back to the Torah (Law of Moses, Old Covenant dispensation) in hopes of eternal life. No one can say they accept Christ and then go back to any other system for salvation. This, as Hebrews puts it, crucifies Christ again (which cannot happen, once was all it took, Hebrews 10:10) and makes a mockery of Him holding Him up to contempt. The basic principle is this: We must accept Jesus Christ for who He actually is, the propitiation for our sins, and quit trying to come to any other conclusion. We must abide in Him continually for salvation. There are those who get enlightened (they experience God in revelation, they sense God’s presence near, the Light shines on them, but not in them, 2 Peter 1:19), partake (share, a partner, not a child) and taste (enjoy, experience, but not digestion) in the Holy Spirit, but have no root and do not produce the fruit in the end of righteousness by true faith. These are like the seeds that Jesus spoke of in His parable that receive the Word of the Kingdom with joy, but it is temporary and they fall away because of their rocky soil, a wavering and untrue heart (Matthew 13:20-21). There is no other way to Heaven than Jesus Christ. Abide in Him!

-Jesus Christ has become our forerunner as our ultimate High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 6:20). He can swear by no other but Himself since He is the greatest and most high. Therefore, His Word is true (He cannot lie) and we have hope and encouragement in Him alone. Jesus is a sure and steadfast anchor of our soul, a hope that enters into the holy of holies behind the curtain veil and secures our relationship with Him (Hebrews 6:13-19). *Application* Those who truly know the Lord will have no need for anything else. He brings us into His grace and into His presence because He is a faithful High Priest and there is no shifting shadow with Him (James 1:17-18). To turn to any other form of religion is disaster for your soul. His Holy Spirit will seal you when you completely turn everything over to Jesus Christ and quit trying to earn salvation (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30). Jesus is the complete and final answer (Hebrews 12:1-2).


Verse to memorize- Hebrews 6:10

Monday, March 25, 2013

Hebrews Bible Study Notes- Chapter 5

Chapter 5


-The issue of Christ Jesus’ calling as High Priest is further developed to teach the people of God His ways. Christ was chosen in relation to God to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins (Hebrews 5:1). He can deal gently with our weakness in ignorance and waywardness because He was also beset with weakness in the flesh out of obligation and love (Ephesians 5:2, Philippians 2:5-8, Hebrews 5:2-3). No one should take honor for himself, but only do their work when called by God (Hebrews 5:4). Jesus and Aaron were perfect examples of this the Word says in their appointments (Hebrews 5:4b-6). The author tells how Jesus, when He was in the flesh, accomplished His duties as High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18-19, Psalm 110:4). He offered up prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the LORD who was able to save Him from death, and Christ was heard because of His reverent fear of God (Hebrews 5:7). Even though He was a son and co-equal with Deity, He learned obedience as our example through what He suffered. And, being made perfect (teleiow, completed, accomplished, finished, brought to its goal), He became the source (the first fruits, 1 Corinthians 15:20-23) of eternal salvation to all who obey Him (Hebrews 8-9). *Application* This section gives us incredible insight as to the function of Jesus in our relationship to Him as our Lord and Savior. He became everything for us to purchase our salvation. He came down to our level and gave Himself up for us on the cross to make reconciliation with God as a payment for our sins. He gain victory over death with His resurrection since He was indeed perfect and had no flaws. He is our perfect mediator between us as sinners and a Holy Righteous God. Jesus made a way to receive God’s grace and forgiveness. Accept Christ and all He has to offer as our great High Priest!

-The last section of this chapter has some harsh words as the people have become “dull of hearing (Hebrews 5:11).” These should have by this time become teachers, but they have stayed immature and basic in understanding the oracles of God. They needed milk, like a baby, when they should have graduated to more solid foods in maturity. The solid food is for the mature believer who has the power of discernment in proper training by constant practice so as to distinguish good from evil (Hebrews 5:12-14). *Application* This rebuke serves as the beginning statement as a warning against apostasy (falling away), which is picked up in the next chapter of Hebrews (Hebrews 6:1-8). The “dull of hearing” harkens back to the children of Israel who became obstinate, disobedient, and stiff necked in their dealings with the LORD (Exodus 32:9, Deuteronomy 31:27, Isaiah 6:9-10, Ezekiel 3:7, Matthew 13:15, Romans 10:21). God has no pleasure in those who shrink back from Him and have no faith (Hebrews 10:38). We too can be immature if not careful. Go on in Christ and receive His superior grace, which makes us mature unto salvation and all good works (Philippians 3:12-15).


Verses to memorize- Hebrews 5:7, 14

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hebrews Bible Study Notes- Chapter 4

Chapter 4


-We must rest in the power of the High Priest, Jesus Christ, who passed through the heavens and is able to sympathize with our weaknesses, who in every respect has been tempted just like us, but without sin (Hebrews 4:3, 14-15). We enter that rest through belief in what He has accomplished by His works finished from the foundation of the world (Hebrews 4:3). When we hear His voice, which is the Word of God that “is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” exposing everything, we must not harden our hearts so that we can enter that promised Sabbath rest as the people of God (Psalms 95:6-11, Hebrews 4:7-13). Because we have Jesus as our High Priest who is superior to everything else pertaining to unification with the LORD, “let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:14, 16).” *Application* Christianity has what no other religious system has. We have a Savior, who sympathizes with us in our weakness of the flesh, and conquered death and the grave on our behalf. He lives to give us victory over our separation from the Holy Father. Enter into His rest by trusting in what He has already accomplished for you. You need not strive anymore!


Verses to memorize- Hebrews 4:10, 12, 15-16

Friday, March 22, 2013

Hebrews Bible Study Notes- Chapter 3

Chapter 3


-In this chapter the author is making points on the critical and essential element of belief in the life of the true follower of Christ Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession (Hebrews 3:1). If we share in this Heavenly calling, we must consider Jesus, His faithfulness and His appointment, as our Deliverer with all trust and obedience (Hebrews 3:2). Jesus has been counted worthy of much more glory than Moses as the builder of the house, whereas Moses was simply a faithful servant of the most high God testifying to the Messiah (Hebrews 3:3-5). Jesus is over God’s house as the faithful One, and we are part of “His house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting (in Christ alone) in our hope (Hebrews 3:6, 14).” *Application* Our hope is in Christ Jesus and His work alone. All other things in Scripture point to Him as our Rock and our Salvation. Trust is the key ingredient to become part of His House (His Body, salvation). The disobedience of belief is the one thing that God cannot stand. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Therefore, it is our responsibility and duty first and foremost to believe that God exists and is a faithful rewarder of those who trust in Him (Hebrews 11:6). It is as simple as that when it all comes down to it.

-The passage works with the disobedience of those Hebrews that went into the wilderness with Moses, but hardened their hearts in rebellion as they were tested in their faith. After they had seen all the miraculous deeds of God in their deliverance from Egypt, they still had doubts and complained greatly in unbelief. God was provoked with that generation and would not let them enter into rest because they refused to trust in the Lord’s great and mighty provision as they went astray in their HEART and did not KNOW the ways of God (Hebrews 3:7-19). The same applies to the readers in the New Testament and to us in this modern age. *Application* You cannot enter into God’s rest unless you believe. This is a simple concept to understand, but the application proves difficult in our wandering and unstable hearts. Resolve that you will relinquish complete and utter control to the Lord of this universe by totally trusting in who He is and what He has done for you. It is the ONLY way to peace, hope, eternal life, and joy. He wants to give you rest, but you must really believe. Otherwise, you have hardened your heart in disobedience and have no part of Him.


Verse to memorize- Hebrews 3:6, 19

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Hebrews Bible Study Notes- Chapter 2

Chapter 2


-The salvation that is in Jesus Christ, our faithful High Priest and propitiation (the act of atoning for sin, reconciling) for our sins (Hebrews 2:17), is something we must pay careful attention to and not drift away from (Hebrews 2:1). It is a reliable message that we cannot neglect (Hebrews 2:2-3). God has born witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit, which He distributed (and distributes even now) to man according to His will (Hebrews 2:4). *Application* The work of Christ is what we must accept if we are to encounter right standing with the Lord and become His child. Children share in flesh and blood, and the Lord Jesus took on flesh and blood to partake of the same things we encounter, even death, that He might destroy the one who has power over death, that is, the devil (Hebrews 2:13b-14). If we do not accept this plan of God for salvation, we cannot become His. He who was made for a while a lower than the angels has now been crowned with glory and honor and puts everything in subjection under His feet (Psalms 8:4-6, the word elohim [plural] could be translated God or gods or heavenly beings, I, like many translations including the Septuagint, take it to mean angels as Hebrews understands it, Hebrews 2:6-8).

-Presently we do not see everything subjected to Him (Hebrews 2:8). This is the “now, but not yet” quality of the Kingdom described articulately by George E. Ladd, Darrell Bock, and Craig Blaising among others. Christ Jesus has certainly initiated His Kingdom with His eathly life, His atoning death, resurrected life, and the sending of His Holy Spirit, but there is still work to be done in the eradicating of all evil. This is the point that the author is making here. *Application* We are soldiers on a mission of love for the sake of Christ’s Kingdom. Fight the good fight and endure to the end, when you will get your reward (Daniel 2:44, 1 Timothy 6:12, 2 Timothy 4:7). He will come and make all things new (Revelation 21:5).

-Christ Jesus proves the superior as He went through the suffering and shame of becoming lower than the angels, and has now been given the Name above all names as King of kings and Lord of lords (Acts 4:12, 1 Timothy 6:14-16, Hebrews 2:10, 18, Revelation 17:14; 19:16). He is the One for whom and by whom all things exist (Hebrews 2:10). This describes His Deity and worthiness (Revelation 4:11; 5:12). He was tempted in all things proving that He IS ABLE to help those of us who are being tempted (Hebrews 2:18; 4:15). He is our constant help in time of trouble (Hebrews 4:16). *Application* The love of Christ reaches down to us by His grace and pulls us out of the pit of sin that we find ourselves in if we simply trust in His provision (Hebrews 2:13). He is our way out; He is the life; He is the truth (John 4:16). Believe in the Lord Jesus and be saved! He is able!


Verse to Memorize- Hebrews 2:17

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hebrews Bible Study Notes- Chapter 1

Overview of Hebrews for New Testament Reading


            Christ is the path to salvation for all mankind and is superior to any other form of religion. This is the message that the author of Hebrews relates to his recipients who are urged to continue in their profession of the living Savior (Heb. 3:6, 14). The audience no doubt has ties to Judaism and need reminders so that they won’t slip back into inferior religious forms that may take them away from genuine faith resulting in salvation. In the book there are many references to falling away, or drifting in apostasy, which is a warning for us as well today (Heb. 2:1; 3:8-12; 4:11; 6:4-6; 10:23-30, 38-39). The author by many is supposed to be the Apostle Paul, but many scholars have disagreed both now and in the past. Other considerations for authorship include Luke, Apollos, or possibly Clement of Rome. None of this should take anything away from the inspiration of the letter directed by God’s Holy Spirit. The letter was written presumably before the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, but no definitely time line is available.


Major Themes:

Superiority of Christ- Christ is the exalted ruler over all things and is the exact representation of the divine nature of God. He is more excellent and powerful by the word of His power. He is superior to Moses, Joshua, the prophets and the angels. He is the propitiation for sins.


Christ as High Priest- Christ Jesus is the ultimate High Priest who gives us rest and favor with God the Father. He was tempted in all ways as we are, but He triumphed over sin and has become our mediator with God. He institutes the new covenant in His blood.


Covenants- The author develops the idea that Christ has superseded the failed covenants of the past and has inaugurated a lasting covenant that will stand the test of time with complete forgiveness of sins.


Faith- Faith is extolled as the means of salvation both in the time before Christ and after. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6).



·         1:4-5 His Superior Name of Son

·         3:1-6 What Is God's House?

·         6:16-20 The Anchor of the Soul

·         7:1-3 Who Was Melchizedek?

·         8:1-6 The Royal High Priest

·         8:7-13 The Better Covenant

·         10:1-10 A Willing Sacrifice

·         10:11-18 A Complete Sacrifice

·         11:1-3 The Nature of Faith
·         11:4-7 The Qualities of Faith
·         11:8-38 The Activities of Faith
·         The Faith of Abraham and Sarah (11:8-19)
·         The Faith of Isaac, Jacob and Joseph (11:20-22)
·         The Faith of Moses and the Israelites (11:23-29)
·         Faith Exhibited at Jericho (11:30-31)

·         12:1-3 The Race of Life

·         12:4-13 How God Trains Us

·         13:7-19 Life in the Church

·         13:22-25 Closing Words

Key Verses:

Hebrews 1:1-3  In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways,  but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.  The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.


*Notes from this overview were aided by:

Thomas D. Lea and David Alan Black, The New Testament: Its Background and Message, 2nd edition, Broadman and Holman Publishers, Nashville, TN: 2003, pgs. 449-457.


HEBREWS (IVP New Testament Commentary Series) by Ray C. Stedman. (c) 1992 by Ray C. Stedman. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, P. O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, Illinois 60515. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced, sorted in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopied, recorded or otherwise without prior permission from InterVarsity Press.


Chapter 1

-Hebrews begins with the fact that God is involved in His creation and has spoken to us “at many times” and “in many ways” to the patriarchs by the prophets. However, something even greater and more supreme has occurred in God’s interaction with mankind now in these last days. Now He has spoken to us by His Son, “whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom He created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint (charactar, representation, image, expression) of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the Word of His power (Hebrews 1:1-3a).” Christ has made the purification for sins at this point on the cross, and has “sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high having become superior to angels as the Name He has inherited is more excellent than theirs (Hebrews 1:3b-4).” *Application* This is Divinity language as the author tells us who Jesus Christ really is. This demands our allegiance as we reflect on His superior nature that is truly God. Christ Jesus is Lord!

-The rest of the chapter basically uses Old Testament quotes to prove Christ’s superiority to the angels, which seems to be a concern that needs to be addressed in the early stages of this oddly formed letter (there is no salutation, but there is a conclusion with greetings). Points to consider from the quotes: Jesus is called God’s Son and begotten (Hebrews 1:5), Jesus is to be worshiped (Hebrews 1:6), Jesus is the Creator and sustainer of the angels (Hebrews 1:7), Jesus’ throne is forever in His Kingdom of righteousness beyond all His companions (Hebrews 1:8-9), Jesus laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning and the heavens are the works of His hands (Hebrews 1:10), Jesus will remain even though the earth will wear out (Hebrews 1:11-12), Jesus will sit at the Father’s right hand until all His enemies are made a footstool for His feet (Hebrews 1:13). *Application* God’s glory has been revealed to us by His Son. Jesus commands our complete obedience and loyalty. He is our only hope for salvation. Trust in His power to overcome all things on this earth and into eternity!

-The angels are sent out under the power and authority of God as ministering spirits to serve those who are inheriting salvation (Hebrews 1:14). *Application* It is nice to realize the help that we have on this earth by way of God’s Holy Spirit that indwells and teaches us all things and His angels that He gives charge over us for protection and help in this natural world. When we meditate on these things, we see that the supernatural is all around us and in us for our benefit. God truly does care about His children! We are so blessed! Give God thanks and glory for all His benefits!


Verses to Memorize- Hebrews 1:1-4