Hebrews

A Final Appeal

A Final Appeal (Hebrews 13:22-23) I appeal to you, brothers, bear with my word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly. You should know that our brother Timothy has been released, with whom I shall see you if he comes soon. After the beautiful benediction...

God’s Equipping

God’s Equipping (Hebrews 13:21) Hebrews 13:21, “equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Equipping with Everything Good As the author...

The God of Peace

The God of Peace (Hebrews 13:20) Hebrews 13:20, “Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant.” Who God is As Hebrews ends, we find a beautiful benediction in 13:20-21....

Pray for Us

Pray for Us (Hebrews 13:18-19) Hebrews 13:18-19, “Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a...

Share What You Have

Hebrews 13:16, “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are...

A Sacrifice of Praise

A Sacrifice of Praise

Hebrews 13:15, “Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.” We concluded last week by examining once again how we are better off under the new covenant than believers were under the...

Inside or Outside?

Inside or Outside?

Let me tell you why I love Hebrews and why you should, too. This epistle confirms for us that the pictures and shadows of the Old Testament point to the superiority of Christ, his sacrifice of obedience in life and death, and the new covenant. Hebrew believers were...

We Have an Altar

We Have an Altar

Hebrews 13:10–11, “10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tent[a] have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp.” From the earliest...

Forever the Same

Forever the Same

Hebrews 13:8–9, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 9 Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.” Over the past...

Remember Your Leaders

Remember Your Leaders

Hebrews 13:7, “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.” Throughout the Bible, we find that remembering people and events from the past helps to further our sanctification. The...

Be Content

Be Content

Hebrews 13:5–6, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Over the centuries,...

Honorable Marriage

Honorable Marriage

Hebrews 13:4, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” Over and over again, the author of the epistle to the Hebrews emphasizes the vast superiority of the person and work...

Those in Prison

Those in Prison

Hebrews 13:3, “Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.” When we come to the New Testament we often find that the authors of the epistles divide their letters into two sections. The...

Let Love Continue

Let Love Continue

Hebrews 13:1–2, “Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” This month we will conclude our study of Hebrews as we examine chapter 13. You may remember that the Jewish Christians...

An Unshakable Kingdom

An Unshakable Kingdom

Hebrews 12:28–29, “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.” Lest there be any lingering doubts as to the superiority of the...

What Remains After Life is Shaken

What Remains After Life is Shaken

Hebrews 12:26-27, “At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been...

Refuse Him Not

Refuse Him Not

Hebrews 12:25, “See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven.” Until the return of Christ, one of the realities that we must...

A Better Word

A Better Word

Hebrews 12:24, “and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.” In the beginning, Adam and Eve enjoyed fellowship with God and His creation. They delighted in each other and in the wonderful...

To Mount Zion

To Mount Zion

Hebrews 12:22–23, “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23 and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the...

They Could Not Endure

They Could Not Endure

Hebrews 12:20–21, “For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” 21 Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” One of the prevalent themes of the epistle to the Hebrews...

What May Be Touched

What May Be Touched

Hebrews 12:18–19, “For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest 19 and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them.” In the verses preceding today’s...

No Chance to Repent

No Chance to Repent

Hebrews 12:17, “For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.” In many places, the author of Hebrews uses the Old Testament to warn us about remaining faithful....

Not Like Esau

Not Like Esau

Hebrews 12:16, “ that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal.” As we have seen in our study of Hebrews 12, the Christian life is like a race. All of the blessings of God will come only to those who finish the race in...

No Root of Bitterness

No Root of Bitterness

Hebrews 12:15, “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; Again and again, the author of the epistle to the Hebrews makes it clear that those who live after the...

Peace and Holiness

Peace and Holiness

Hebrews 12:14, “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” Yesterday, we examined Hebrews 12:12–13 and looked briefly at the call for us to keep on the straight path so that we might run the race of faith. This...

Make Straight Paths

Make Straight Paths

Hebrews 12:12–13, “Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.” All Christians learn quickly that living a life of faithfulness is...

The Fruit of Discipline

The Fruit of Discipline

Hebrews 12:11, “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” In our sinful condition, we hate to be disciplined. We do not like to be punished or submit...

For Our Good

For Our Good

Hebrews 12:9–10, “Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for...

Illegitimate Children

Illegitimate Children

Hebrews 12:8, “If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.” Over the last couple of days we have been examining the idea that God disciplines His children. The original audience of the epistle to...

Treated As Sons

Treated As Sons

Hebrews 12:7, “It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?” Two thousand years ago, the original audience of the epistle to the Hebrews found itself suffering for its faith....

The Father’s Discipline

The Father’s Discipline

Hebrews 12:5–6, “And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. 6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It...

The Struggle Against Sin

The Struggle Against Sin

Hebrews 12:4, “In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” In Hebrews 12:1–3, we find the Christian life compared to a race. An athletic race must be run with endurance lest the competitors grow faint and give up before...

Consider Jesus

Consider Jesus

Hebrews 12:3, “Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” One central theme of the epistle to the Hebrews is the absolute superiority of Jesus to all who came before Him. This Jesus is worthy...

Jesus Alone

Jesus Alone

Hebrews 12:2, “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” For the past year, we have been privileged to spend...

Run With Endurance

Run With Endurance

Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” At the end of Hebrews 11, we are reminded that the...

Receiving the Promise

Receiving the Promise

Hebrews 11:39–40, “And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.” Remarkably, some in the original audience of the epistle...

The Real Goal of Faithfulness to God

The Real Goal of Faithfulness to God

Hebrews 11:35, “Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life.” We tend to seek our happiness in this life versus the next. Some have quibbled that one can be too heavenly...

Countless Examples

Countless Examples

Hebrews 11:32–34, “32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,...

Rahab and the Spies

Rahab and the Spies

Hebrews 11:31, “ By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.” As Christians we are well-informed about the necessity of faith. We are justified by faith alone. We persevere in...

The Walls of Jericho

The Walls of Jericho

Hebrews 11:30, “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days.” Over and over again, the author of the letter to the Hebrews tells us that true faith must, and always does, persevere until the end of life. One of the clearest...

The Red Sea

The Red Sea

Hebrews 11:29, “By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned.” Living by faith is not an easy task. Myriads of distractions try to draw us away from God. Persecutions tempt us to place our...

The Passover

The Passover

Hebrews 11:27–28, “By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.” One of the...

The Reproach of Christ

The Reproach of Christ

Hebrews 11:26, “He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.” There are few figures more associated with the old covenant than Moses, the one chosen by God to lead His people out of slavery in...

Fleeting Pleasures of Sin

Fleeting Pleasures of Sin

Hebrews 11:24–25, “By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.” We continue today with our examination of Moses as an...

Moses Was Hidden

Moses Was Hidden

Hebrews 11:23, “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king's edict.” Over the past few days we have looked at how persevering faith manifests itself...

The Bones of Joseph

The Bones of Joseph

Hebrews 11:22, “By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones.” The patriarchs are excellent examples of persevering faith for us because they not only lived their lives in faith, they...

Blessings from Jacob

Blessings from Jacob

Hebrews 11:21, “By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff.” Yesterday we examined Hebrews 11:20 and saw how Isaac by faith blessed his two sons at the end of his life. This evidence of faith shows that...

Isaac Blesses His Sons

Isaac Blesses His Sons

Hebrews 11:20, “By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau.” The author of Hebrews wisely included a section on the faith of the old covenant saints in his letter. After all, his original audience needed to be reminded to endure in their hope and thus...

The Offering of Isaac

The Offering of Isaac

Hebrews 11:17–19, “17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 He considered that God was able...

A Heavenly Country

A Heavenly Country

Hebrews 11:14–16, “For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a...

Strangers and Exiles

Strangers and Exiles

Hebrews 11:13, “ These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.” Today’s passage makes it clear that the examples of faith...

Sarah Conceived

Sarah Conceived

Hebrews 11:11–12, “11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as...

Abraham Went Out

Abraham Went Out

Hebrews 11:8–10, “8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with...

Noah Built an Ark

Noah Built an Ark

Hebrews 11:7, “By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” The original audience...

Without Faith

Without Faith

Hebrews 11:6, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” A mere profession of faith is not enough if we are to be saved. We must not only profess but...

Taken Up by God

Taken Up by God

Hebrews 11:5, “By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God.” The Christian community has always recognized that faith is not just a...

Acceptable Sacrifice

Acceptable Sacrifice

Hebrews 11:4, “By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.” At the end of chapter 10, the author of...

The Universe Created

The Universe Created

Hebrews 11:3, “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” Throughout Hebrews chapter 11, we find examples of the persevering faith that the saints of God must possess if...

Things Hoped For

Things Hoped For

Hebrews 11:1–2, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation.” Today we begin to study one of the most well-known and beloved passages in the book of Hebrews, if not the...

We Do Not Shrink Back

We Do Not Shrink Back

Hebrews 10:37–39, “For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; 38 but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” 39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of...

We Have A Need of Patience

We Have A Need of Patience

“You have need of patience,” my shepherding elder said from across his living room. His wife nodded and looked at me for a response. I settled back into their cozy sofa as things finally began to click into place. Perhaps God had not failed me. Perhaps I had not...

An Abiding Possession

An Abiding Possession

Hebrews 10:34, “ For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.” After embracing Christ with great joy, some in the original audience...

The Beauty of Affliction

The Beauty of Affliction

What did you expect when you became a believer? Did you have any idea what the Christian life would be like? Did you think things would be easier? Read how the author of Hebrews urged the recipients of his letter to reflect on the early days of their Christian...

Hands of the Living God

Hands of the Living God

Hebrews 10:30–31, “For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Over the past few days we have been studying the second half of Hebrews 10...

Profaning the Blood

Profaning the Blood

Hebrews 10:28-29, “Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of...

Sinning Deliberately

Sinning Deliberately

Hebrews 10:26–27, “For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.” All Christians know that...

Encourage One Another

Encourage One Another

Hebrews 10:24–25, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” One of the issues that continually...

Hold Fast

Hold Fast

Hebrews 10:23, “ Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” Yesterday we saw that given the great truths about Christ’s superiority and His high priesthood, there can be no other response other than to draw near Him...

Draw Near

Draw Near

Hebrews 10:21–22, “and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” After laying out the...

The New and Living Way

The New and Living Way

Hebrews 10:19-20,“19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh,” The author of Hebrews has labored to teach us that...

No More Offering for Sin

No More Offering for Sin

Hebrews 10:15–18, “15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, 16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,” 17 then he adds, “I will...

For All Time

For All Time

Hebrews 10:11–14, “And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ[a] had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from...

We Have Been Sanctified

We Have Been Sanctified

Hebrews 10:8–10, “When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), 9 then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with...

Unwanted Sacrifices

Unwanted Sacrifices

Hebrews 10:5–7, “Consequently, when Christ[a] came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; 6 in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. 7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to...

Ineffectual Blood

Ineffectual Blood

Hebrews 10:3–4, “But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” The earliest Christians knew that they were living under the new covenant. They knew that Christ had come and...

The Sacrifices of the Law

The Sacrifices of the Law

Hebrews 10:1–2, “For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. 2 Otherwise, would they not have...

When Christ Appears

When Christ Appears

Hebrews 9:27–28, “27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”...

Not Repeatedly

Not Repeatedly

Hebrews 9:25–26, “25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he...

Into Holy Places

Into Holy Places

Hebrews 9:23–24, “23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a...

Without Blood

Without Blood

Hebrews 9:21–22, “21 And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. 22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” Jesus of...

A Covenant in Blood

A Covenant in Blood

Hebrews 9:18–20, “18 Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. 19 For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and...

The Will Takes Effect

The Will Takes Effect

Hebrews 9:16–17, “For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. 17 For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive.” In order for all of the blessings of the new covenant to...

New Covenant Mediator

New Covenant Mediator

Hebrews 9:15, “Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.” The example of Abraham...

The Blood of Christ

The Blood of Christ

Hebrews 9:13-14, “For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without...

His Own Blood

His Own Blood

Hebrews 9:11–12, “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the...

Imperfect Sacrifices

Imperfect Sacrifices

Hebrews 9:8–10, “By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing 9 (which is symbolic for the present age).[a] According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that...

But Once a Year

But Once a Year

Hebrews 9:6–7, “These preparations having thus been made, the priests go regularly into the first section, performing their ritual duties, 7 but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for...

Regulations for Worship

Regulations for Worship

Hebrews 9:1–5, “Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly place of holiness. 2 For a tent was prepared, the first section, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence. It is called the Holy Place. 3 Behind the...

Becoming Obsolete

Becoming Obsolete

Hebrews 8:13, “In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” The original audience of the epistle to the Hebrews was tempted to avoid persecution by returning to the old...

Final Redemption

Final Redemption

Hebrews 8:11-12, “And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. 12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins...

Written on the Heart

Written on the Heart

Hebrews 8:10, “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” The prophets of the Old...

The New Covenant

The New Covenant

Hebrews 8:8–9, “But God found fault with the people and said[a]: “The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. 9 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took...

A Faultless Covenant

A Faultless Covenant

Hebrews 8:7, “For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.” Hebrews 8 tells us that the priesthood of Christ is superior to the priesthood of Aaron because the covenant that Christ mediates is a better covenant...

Better Promises

Better Promises

Marriage is a wonderful gift from God. There’s nothing quite like the relationship that a husband and wife share. There’s a special closeness and uniqueness in the relationship that cannot be compared. The wedding ring I wear serves as a pointer to greater reality of...

The Priests on Earth

The Priests on Earth

Hebrews 8:4–5, “Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. 5 They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying,...

Something to Offer

Something to Offer

Hebrews 8:3, “For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer.” A return to the old covenant was attractive to the original audience of Hebrews because it would have made their...

Minister in the True Tent

Minister in the True Tent

Hebrews 8:1–2, “Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man.” Today we return to...

Made Perfect Forever

Made Perfect Forever

Hebrews 7:27–28, “He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but...

An Unstained Priest

An Unstained Priest

Hebrews 7:26, “For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.” The Levitical priesthood was only a temporary solution to the problem of sin. Though God accepted...

Saved to the Uttermost

Saved to the Uttermost

Hebrews 7:25, “ Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” Jesus is the guarantor of a better, more perfect covenant (Heb. 7:22). The old covenant, though good in a...

A Permanent Priesthood

A Permanent Priesthood

Hebrews 7:23–24, “23 The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, 24 but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever.” Those of us who live under the new covenant are in a far better...

A Better Covenant

A Better Covenant

Hebrews 7:22, “This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.” Legalism has been a perennial temptation for the church. The apostle Paul, for example, has to admonish the Galatian Christians for trying to ensure their salvation by observing the Law. Beginning in...

Not Without an Oath

Not Without an Oath

Hebrews 7:20–21, “And it was not without an oath. For those who formerly became priests were made such without an oath, 21 but this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest...

A Better Hope

A Better Hope

Hebrews 7:18–19, “18 For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.” On account of...

A Priest Forever

A Priest Forever

Hebrews 7:15-17, “15 This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, 16 who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is...

Descended from Judah

Descended from Judah

Hebrews 7:13-14, “For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.” How...

A Change in the Law

A Change in the Law

Hebrews 7:11–12, “11 Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the...

Inferior to Melchizedek

Inferior to Melchizedek

Hebrews 7:9–10, “9 One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, 10 for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him.” In chapter 7, the author of Hebrews demonstrates the superiority of Melchizedek to...

Blessed by the Superior

Blessed by the Superior

Hebrews 7:7–8, “It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior. 8 In the one case tithes are received by mortal men, but in the other case, by one of whom it is testified that he lives.” Facing a congregation that considered abandoning the new...

Resembling the Son

Resembling the Son

Hebrews 7:2–3, “and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. 3 He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither...

This Melchizedek

This Melchizedek

Hebrews 7:1, “For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him,” The church father Tertullian once remarked that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church. His point was...

The Cross, Our Hope

The Cross, Our Hope

Like many Marylanders, I learned early on about sailboats, sailing, and all things Chesapeake. I could handle a Sunfish™ when I was in grade school. As a teen, one summer I crewed on a 33-foot ketch, exploring rivers and streams up and down the bay. Pittsburgh’s...

Unchangeable Thing

Unchangeable Thing

Hebrews 6:18, “so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.” Solely by His grace and mercy, God promised Abraham that He would bless...

God Swore an Oath

God Swore an Oath

Hebrews 6:17, “So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath,” One of the main reasons the book of Hebrews was written was to encourage the readers to persevere in...

The Oaths of Men

The Oaths of Men

Hebrews 6:16, “or people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation.” Near the end of chapter 6, the author of Hebrews recounts the oath God made to Abraham after Abraham demonstrated his faith and patience...

Abraham’s Perseverance

Abraham’s Perseverance

Hebrews 6:13–15, “For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise.” Today we resume our study...

Patterns of Growth

Patterns of Growth

Hebrews 6:11–12, “And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Hebrews 6:4–8 tells us that...

God Remembers Us

God Remembers Us

Hebrews 6:10, “For 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.” The author of the book of Hebrews, like the rest of the New Testament writers, is confident that genuine Christians...

Sure of Better Things

Sure of Better Things

Hebrews 6:9, “Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation.” Ever since Judas became a disciple of Christ, the Christian community has always included people who claimed faith without really...

A Good Crop

A Good Crop

Hebrews 6:7–8, “For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. 8 But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is...

Those Who Fall Away

Those Who Fall Away

Hebrews 6:6, “and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.” Hebrews 6:4–6 paints the dreadful picture that it is impossible to restore to...

The Covenant Community

The Covenant Community

Hebrews 6:4-5, “For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come,” Yesterday we saw the...

If God Permits

If God Permits

Hebrews 6:2–3, “and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits.” Yesterday we examined how the author of Hebrews encourages his audience to press on to maturity in the...

Going on to Maturity

Going on to Maturity

Hebrews 6:1, “Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,” Over the past few days we have seen how the author of the epistle to the Hebrews had to...

Dull of Hearing

Dull of Hearing

Hebrews 5:11-12, “About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not...

Source of Salvation

Source of Salvation

Hebrews 5:9-10, “And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 10 being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.” In Hebrews 5:1–4, the author briefly describes the work of the old covenant priesthood. He...

Obedience In Suffering

Obedience In Suffering

Hebrews 5:8-10, “8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. 9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 10 being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.” Reformed...

Suffering and Obedience

Suffering and Obedience

Hebrews 5:7–8, “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he...

Called By God

Called By God

Hebrews 5:3–4, “3 Because of this he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins just as he does for those of the people. 4 And no one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, just as Aaron was.” At the beginning of an extended section detailing...

The High Priest’s Purpose

The High Priest’s Purpose

Hebrews 5:1–2, “For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness.” Today we find...

Draw Near With Confidence

Draw Near With Confidence

Hebrews 4:16, “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.” The author of Hebrews makes an airtight case for the superiority of Christ as our great High Priest. Jesus’ ascension into...

Tithes from Abraham

Tithes from Abraham

Hebrews 7:4–6, “4 See how great this man was to whom Abraham the patriarch gave a tenth of the spoils! 5 And those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to take tithes from the people, that is, from their brothers,[a] though...

Sympathetic to Weakness

Sympathetic to Weakness

Hebrews 4:15, “15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Yesterday we saw how Christ’s ascension makes Him a greater High Priest than the high priests...

Confidence in Christ

Confidence in Christ

Hebrews 4:14, “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.” Today we return to the book of Hebrews and continue our study in chapter 4. A week ago, we finished a section exhorting...

God’s Living and Active Word

God’s Living and Active Word

Hebrews 4:12–13, “ For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his...

Striving Toward God’s Rest

Striving Toward God’s Rest

Hebrews 4:11, “Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.” For the past week and a half, we have studied the Sabbath rest that Hebrews 4 promises to the people of God. This rest, as we have seen, is the same...

Rest for God’s People

Rest for God’s People

Hebrews 4:9–10, “So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.” In Hebrews 4, the author tells us about the Sabbath rest that is yet to come for the people of God....

Another Day Later On

Another Day Later On

Hebrews 4:8, “For if Joshua had given them rest, God[a] would not have spoken of another day later on.” Again and again, chapter 4 of Hebrews tells us that there is still a rest to come for the people of God. This rest to come is none other than the fullness of God’s...

Today is the Day

Today is the Day

Hebrews 4:6–7, “6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, 7 again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted,...

Sabbath Rest for God

Sabbath Rest for God

Hebrews 4:4-5, “For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” 5 And again in this passage he said, “They shall not enter my rest.” In chapter 4, the author of Hebrews develops the idea of God’s...

We Who Have Believed

We Who Have Believed

Hebrews 4:3, “For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, “As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest,’” although his works were finished from the foundation of the world.” The original audience of Hebrews found itself in the same position as...

United By Faith

United By Faith

Hebrews 4:2, “For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.” Yesterday we saw how the author of Hebrews understands the entry into Canaan as a type of the...

Holy Fear

Holy Fear

Hebrews 4:1, “Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.” Today we return to the book of Hebrews. Previously, the author of Hebrews warned his readers that they were in the same...

Promised Land Denied

Promised Land Denied

Hebrews 3:18–19, “18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.” The audience of the epistle to the Hebrews found itself in the same position as the...

Covenant Breakers

Covenant Breakers

Hebrews 3:16–17, “16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?” The warnings that the author...

Sharing in Christ

Sharing in Christ

Hebrews 3:14–15, “ For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. 15 As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” Throughout his epistle, the author of Hebrews warns his...

Guardrails and Coffee Shops

Guardrails and Coffee Shops

On Tuesdays, I confess my sins at a coffee shop. Every week, I meet with a group of four women to discuss Scripture and to share where I need help fighting my sin. This week was no exception. The coffee shop was fairly busy for a Tuesday lunch hour, and because it’s...

Guard Your Hearts

Guard Your Hearts

Hebrews 3:12, “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.” The first generation of Israelites that left Egypt hardened their hearts against the Lord and were not allowed to enter the...

An Insolent Generation

An Insolent Generation

Hebrews 3:10–11, “Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.’ 11 As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.’” Over 3,400 years ago, God heard the cries of His people who were...

Harden Not Your Hearts

Harden Not Your Hearts

Hebrews 3:7–10, "7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,     on the day of testing in the wilderness, 9 where your fathers put me to the test     and saw my works for forty years....

The Faithful Son

The Faithful Son

The book of Hebrews can be summed up in just one word: greater. As in, Jesus is greater. He’s greater than angels, prophets, priests, and kings. He’s greater than everything, and every person that has is, or will exist. The writer to the Hebrews labors throughout the...

Greater than Moses

Greater than Moses

Hebrews 3:3–4, “For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. 4 (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.” The author of Hebrews writes...

Faithful Like Moses

Faithful Like Moses

Hebrews 3:1-2, “Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, 2 who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God's house. Christ is far superior to the...

Beyond Death

Beyond Death

Six-year-old Katie is sleeping soundly in her room. At once, an unfamiliar thud echoes from the basement. Katie shoots up, clutching her blanket and teddy bear as her eyes strain to adjust to the blackness. Fear gripping her senses, her quivering voice musters the...