The Superiority Of Christ
Christ Superior To The Prophets Chapter 1:1-3
The opening verses contain a sevenfold unveiling of the person of Christ and form a summary of the doctrinal section of the epistle.
1. THE DIVINE SPOKESMAN verses 1 & 2a
The God of the Bible is not a silent God; He has spoken and has revealed Himself to His people. Verse one declares that God exists, and that He has expressed Himself in different ways at different times.
a. The Occasions In times past These last days
b. The Method Partially Totally
c. The Persons Unto the fathers Unto Us
d. The Agents By the Prophets In His Son
2. THE UNIVERSAL HEIR verse 2b.
Christ - the end of all history
“The Heir” suggests the dignity of the person, and dominion of possessions.
3. THE CREATOR OF THE WORLDS verse 2c.
Christ - the beginning of all history
Only God can create. The one who shall rule over all things is the same one by whom all things came into existence.
4. THE REVEALER OF GOD verse 3a.
Christ - before all history
The two opening statements in verse three describe Him in relation to God. Since God’s being is invisible, Christ became the manifestation of God. The essential deity of the Lord Jesus Christ is impressed upon us. We can know the Father because we know the Son. All that God is up there, Christ was down here.
5. THE UPHOLDER OF THE UNIVERSE verse 3b
Christ - throughout all history
The one who created is the one who controls, and the ages are propelled along by His sustaining power and wisdom according to the Divine counsel.
6. THE REDEEMER OF MAN verse 3c
Christ - the Center of all history
The redemptive work of Christ is the pivotal point of all history, and the center of eternity. Everything revolves around it.
7. THE ENTHRONED LORD verse 3d.
Christ – His glorious exaltation
Four times in this epistle it is said that He is at the right hand of God. He is superior in His person, Ch. 1, superior in His priesthood, Ch. 8, superior in His sacrifice, Ch. 10, superior as a pattern, Ch. 12.
Christ Superior to the Angels Hebrews 1:4-14
Having shown the superiority of Christ to the prophets who were the earthly messengers, the writer now proceeds to set forth the superiority of Christ to the angels who were the heavenly messengers.
It was essential that he should do this, because at the time this epistle was written there was a strong tendency to give undue exaltation to angels, and at least one group of people were given to the worship of angels.
In seeking to present the case for the superiority of Christ over the heavenly servants, the writer calls in the evidence of the Holy Scriptures and quotes very freely from the Old Testament and in particular from the Psalms.
1. CHRIST IS SUPERIOR IN NAME verses 4 & 5
HE IS THE SON THEY ARE THE SERVANTS
In connection with His name, take note of the following verses:
verse 5 = My Son, verse 6 = The Firstborn, verse 8 = God, verse 10 = The Lord.
2. CHRIST IS SUPERIOR IN NATURE verses 6-14
HE IS WORSHIPPED THEY ARE WORSHIPPERS
Keep in mind that only God is to be worshipped.
Apostles refused to accept worship Acts 14:8-18
Angels refused to be worshipped Revelation 22 8-9
Satan desires to be worshipped Matthew 4:9
HE IS SOVEREIGN THEY ARE SUBJECTS
He has a throne signifying power and position, and He has a scepter signifying the emblem of His power.
They have a service to perform. They are dependent upon Him.
HE IS THE CREATOR THEY ARE HIS CREATURES
Since the heavens and the earth are the works of His hands, and Angels are created beings, we must acknowledge the Creator as being superior to His creatures.
HE IS THE SUPREME RULER THEY ARE SUBJECT TO HIS RULE
He patiently awaits the day when all His enemies shall be put down under His authority.
Angels occupy a place of obedience and continue to serve in His kingdom in complete subjection to His rule.
HE PROVIDES SALVATION ANGELS MINISTER TO THE HEIRS OF SALVATION
Having made purgation for sins He sat down (according to verse three).
This signifies that salvation has been provided on the basis of His perfect work and will be brought to a final satisfactory conclusion.
Angels are appointed to a position of service in connection with those who are the heirs of salvation.
The Peril Of Drifting Chapter 2:1-4
The first four verses of chapter two are presented in the form of a warning and an appeal. This is the first of a series of warnings which will be found throughout the epistle. This warning is a word of exhortation based upon the truths expounded in chapter one, and related to “The Great Salvation.” Regarding this great salvation take note of three important things.
1. THE DESCRIPTION OF THIS SALVATION
In the study of other portions of scripture it will be found that this salvation is referred to as “A Common Salvation”, and an “Eternal Salvation”, but here in Hebrews chapter two the designation is “So Great Salvation.”
A. GREAT BECAUSE OF ITS ORIGIN
The great plan of salvation did not originate with man, but it did originate with God. Since it is also an eternal salvation it must be eternal in its origination and eternal in its duration. “Salvation is of the Lord.”
B. GREAT BECAUSE OF ITS REVELATION
The motive of God’s profound salvation and the truths associated with it are made known in the scriptures where God reveals man’s need as a sinner and God’s remedy for sin.
C. GREAT BECAUSE OF ITS ESTIMATION “So great”
It is obvious that human language cannot adequately express the fullness of this salvation but the writer expresses his high estimation of its importance.
2. THE DUTY REGARDING THIS SALVATION
“Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed.”
A. THE CONNECTION “Therefore”
This word gives the connection with what has preceded and the argument is based upon the revelation of truth outlined in chapter one.
B. THE OBLIGATION “Give the more earnest heed”
This is something more than good advice. It is a divine precept and we ought for at least two good reasons to exercise ourselves toward keeping this precept.
1. In obedience to God for His glory; 2. For our own good and happiness.
C. THE COMMUNICATION “The things which we have heard”
Sometimes familiarity breeds contempt but the things which we have heard are from God as a revelation, and must be held steadfastly and esteemed very highly.
3. THE DANGER REGARDING SALVATION
“Lest we should let them slip”
The message of God in the gospel presents a safe harbor of salvation, but it appears that some may hear the message and see the actual entrance, and yet drift past by indifference and neglect. God has principles of government and those who neglect the provision of God in salvation cannot possibly escape the punishment of God in condemnation.
NOTE: The fourfold endorsement of the message of salvation.
1. The Lord, 2. The apostles, 3. God confirming, 4. The Holy Spirit.
In chapter one Christ is superior to angels because He is the Son of God, and able to reveal the Father. But if He became a man, which He did, and died, this made Him lower than the angels. How then can He continue to be greater than the angels? This lesson will prove that by becoming man and dying, He is the representative man capable of being the sovereign and occupying the place of rule, and also able to reconcile his brethren. Angels could never do these things.
1. GREATER AS THE REPRESENTATIVE MAN verses 5-10
a. The Purpose of God verses 5-7
The main lesson from these verses is that God has appointed that the habitable earth in the kingdom age shall be under the rule of man and not under the rule of angels. (compare Psalm 8).
b. The Postponement of the Purpose verse 8.
The consequence of the first Adam’s sin is that his dominion was lost to Satan the usurper. The first Adam was a failure and stood in all his shame in the midst of a ruined realm. His authority was resisted by the creation he should have ruled and his power was limited.
c. The Prospect of God’s Performance verses 9-10
God’s plans will be brought to fruition and in accordance with His divine perfections. Not through the first Adam who completely failed, but through the last Adam (Jesus Christ) who is the Son of Man with perfect ability.
2. GREATER AS THE RECONCILER OF HIS BRETHREN verses 11-18
a. The Spiritual Relationship verses 11-13
These verses set forth the work of Christ in relation to God, but take note of the three words that are used: sons, brethren, children.
Here we have the identity of the Captain with the children.
b. The Physical Relationship verses 14-15
These verses deal with the incarnation of Christ the Lord and set forth the need for the incarnation, the fact of it, and the purpose of it. He must destroy the devil in order to deliver them who were in bondage.
c. The Moral Relationship verses 16-18
The Favor bestowed upon us by His act of incarnation.
He didn’t become an angel but He did become a man.
The Function of the High Priest on our behalf.
To make reconciliation for the sins of the people. This word reconciliation carries quite a deep meaning, and means to make “propitiation,” which teaches us that Christ, through His sacrifice, was faithful to God and merciful to man. So He is both a faithful and merciful high Priest.
The Fitness of our high Priest.
Christ is qualified for this office because He suffered being tempted. He is able to sympathize with and succor those who are tempted.
The Heavenly Apostle Chapter 3:1-6
Contemplating the Messenger VERSE 1
a. The Connecting word. “wherefore”
b. The Communion to be enjoyed. “brethren”
c. The Character to be understood. “holy”
d. The Calling to be distinguished. “Partakers of the heavenly calling”
e. The Contemplation that is proposed. “Consider the apostle and high Priest”
The writer is focusing on two offices which meant much to the Israelites in their relationship to God. He set forth the superiority of the Lord Jesus Christ in both of these offices.
Comparing the Messengers VERSE 2
The characteristic of this comparison is that of “Faithfulness.” Now faithfulness embodies two things. There is a trust committed and there is a proper discharge of that trust.
A. CONSIDER THE TRUST COMMITTED TO MOSES IN THREE DISTINCT AREAS
1. There was the message he received at the burning bush.
This he faithfully declared in his message to the elders of Israel.
2. The ten commandments received while on the mount with God.
These he delivered to the people without any alteration.
3. The pattern for the tabernacle and the priesthood.
This work he executed in every detail according to the pattern.
B. CONSIDER THE FAITHFULNESS OF JESUS CHRIST IN THE WORK COMMITTED TO HIM.
1. He said, “I must be about my Father’s business,” Luke 2:49. Doing the will of His Father and attending to His Father’s business occupied the Lord Jesus all His life.
2. He said, “I must work the works of Him that sent me,” John 9:4. His works or miracles were all for the glory of God.
3. He said, “I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do,” John 17:4. Faithful in every detail in doing the work committed to him.
CONTRASTING THE MESSENGERS VERSES 3-6
a. Moses was a member in God’s house
Christ was the Founder of the house.
b. Moses was a servant in the house.
Christ was a Son over the house.
c. Moses was God’s servant to deliver the law to Israel.
Christ brought the message of Grace and Truth.
On the mount of transfiguration Christ was given the superior place.
CAUTIONING THE MEMBERS IN THE HOUSE VERSE 6.
Among those who made the confession of faith in Christ Jesus, there were some who were not genuine. Genuine believers would hold fast their confidence and continue steadfast unto the end, rejoicing in hope.
From chapter three verse seven and continuing to chapter four verse thirteen there is the second warning. Moses was a great leader and a faithful servant of God, but the people, marked by disbelief and disobedience, were overtaken by a dreadful doom. Since Christ Jesus is superior to Moses, then apostasy from Christ Jesus entails a more fearful doom.
THE HUMAN APOSTASY
THE WARNING OF THE SPIRIT verses 7-11
“The Provocation in the Wilderness”
a. The Power of God was disregarded.
They overlooked what God had already accomplished.
b. The Purpose of God was denied.
They claimed that God had brought them into the wilderness to destroy them and their children, with their cattle.
c. The Provision of God was despised.
God had provided the manna, but they despised this heavenly food.
d. The Presence of God was disputed.
In spite of the presence of the pillar of cloud continually in their midst, they said, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
THE WARNING OF THE SERVANT verses 12-15
“The Exhortation to Take Heed”
a. The Crime: Departing from the living God. verse 12
This is apostasy and we are warned against such sin.
b. The Cause: An evil heart of unbelief verse 12
c. The Cure: “Take heed” verses 14-15
This is the keynote of the epistle. God has spoken; Christ has spoken; the Holy Spirit has spoken; therefore “Take heed.”
THE WARNING OF HISTORY verses 16-19
“The Interrogations and the Answers”
a. THE DIVINE PURPOSE REJECTED verse 16
They provoked God with their distrust.
b. THE DIVINE RETRIBUTION EXPERIENCED verse 17
The sin of discontent brought the retribution.
c. THE DIVINE DISPLEASURE EXPRESSED verse 18
Their disobedience brought forth God’s displeasure.
d. THE DIVINE EXPLANATION GIVEN verse 19
Because of unbelief they wandered in the wilderness for forty years and that generation failed to enter into the rest and blessings of the promised land.
The main lesson in this section has to do with the subject of rest. In chapter three we had the explanation as to why a whole generation failed to enter into the rest that was promised in Canaan. Now the writer makes an application of that historical event as he presents practical truth for believers of this age. This lesson is by no means easy and the argument may appear to be somewhat involved.
1. THE PROMISE OF REST verses 1 -2
In studying this promise of rest as set forth in the first two verses we should be careful to associate with it these three things.
A. THE EXHORTATION To Godly fear
B. THE ENCOURAGEMENT To lay hold upon the promise
C. THE EFFECT Without faith it did not profit them
2. THE PARTICIPATION OF THAT REST verses 3-5
God intended that man His creature should participate in His REST. God rested with complete satisfaction in the work of His Hands in creation. Man failed to appropriate this rest because of his sin of rebellion.
3. THE PROGRESSIVE CHARACTER OF GOD’S REST
Study very carefully the Sabbaths of God.
A. THE SABBATH DAY.
B. THE SABBATIC WEEK.
C. THE SABBATIC MONTH.
D. THE SABBATIC YEAR.
E. THE SABBATIC SEVENTH YEAR.
F. THE SABBATIC SEVENTIETH SEVEN YEAR.
Then there comes the eternal abiding rest in the New Heavens and the New Earth with God All in All and Christ manifested in all His manifold glories, and the new creation in perfect submission to the will of God.
THE POSSESSION OF THE REST verses 10-11
We do not obtain spiritual life by effort nor do we obtain spiritual rest by works. Unbelief prevented the majority of Israelites from entering into and enjoying the rest God provided for them in Canaan, but Caleb and Joshua entered in by faith. The believer today can enter into the joy of redemptive rest in anticipation, and in a coming day will have the joy of realization.
THE POWER OF THE WORD OF GOD verses 12-13
In verse one of chapter four we have the words, “A PROMISE.”
This of course was a promise by the Word of God.
Verse two speaks of “The Gospel” which is the good news of God.
Verse twelve directs us to “The Word of God” with its power.
It is LIVING, ACTIVE, SHARP, PENETRATING, DISCERNING.
Following the exhortations and warnings in chapter three and four, the writer advances to set forth three important and related truths.
First: THE POWER OF THE WORD OF GOD Chapter 4:12-13
Second: THE PRIESTHOOD OF THE SON OF GOD Chapter 4:14-15
Third: THE PRIVILEGE OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD Chapter 4:16
THIS LESSON INTRODUCES THE MAIN SECTION OF THE EPISTLE WHICH DEALS WITH:
THE GLORY OF THE PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST
From chapter four verse fourteen through chapter ten verse eighteen the writer will set forth truth regarding the provision, pattern, power, and perfection of the priesthood of Christ.
In setting forth the superiority of Christ as a priest, two other names will be introduced. Namely, Aaron, who was the first high priest in Israel, and then, Melchizedek, who was the priest of the most high God, and also king of righteousness and king of peace.
THE PROVISION OF THE PRIEST
Having presented the Word of God as the basis for our assurance, he now presents the Son of God as our Great High Priest for our assistance.
1. THE PRE-EMINENCE OF THE PRIEST “A Great High Priest”
This title expresses what He is. It should be borne in mind that this title is reserved exclusively for the Lord Jesus Christ. The sons of Aaron were priests, and Aaron was the high priest, but Christ is the great High Priest, and no other person has this honor.
2. THE POSITION OF THE PRIEST “Passed through the heavens”
This emphasizes where He is. He is not functioning in an earthly temple but in the very heaven of heavens in the presence of the Holy God.
3. THE PERSON OF THE PRIEST “Jesus the Son of God”
These words explain who He is. Jesus relates to His humanity. The Son of God tells of His deity. Humanity and deity give the perfect combination that qualifies Him for the work of representation.
4. THE PURPOSE OF THE PRIEST “To give timely help”
In His present work as our representative priest in the presence of God, our Great High Priest is able to impart unto us a fourfold blessing.
SYMPATHY: He does not sympathize with our sins but with our infirmities such as sorrows of life, physical limitations, bereavement.
MERCY: Aaron who was the high priest in Israel entered into the holy of holies to the symbolic mercy-seat. But we are privileged to come to the throne of grace where mercy and grace are shown in regal majesty.
GRACE: By God’s grace we are saved, and by grace we are kept, and God’s grace is sufficient to meet every need.
HELP: The thought here is that of timely help in order to prevent the tragedy or the fall, or in this case the turning back.
The Pattern Of The Priest Chapter 5:1-10
The writer now speaks of the priesthood of the Lord Jesus, by comparing and contrasting it with the priesthood of Aaron, to emphasize the difference and show the superiority of the Lord Jesus Christ over Aaron as a person and as a priest.
THE FIGURE OF THE PRIEST Aaron Verses 1-4
Aaron as a priest was honored by God, but was only an imperfect figure of Christ who is the GREAT HIGH PRIEST.
Four things should be noted as associated with the priest:
1. HUMANITY: That is to say, he must be human and not an angel.
2. SYMPATHY: He must deal gently with the ignorant and erring.
3. ACCESSIBILITY: He must have access to God and be available to man.
4. AUTHORITY: He is appointed by God and acts with authority.
THE FITNESS OF THE PRIEST Verses 5-6
The imperfect Aaronic priesthood contrasts with the perfect priesthood of Christ.
Personal fitness was an essential qualification of the priest. In the case of Aaron the first high priest in Israel, it was a ceremonial fitness. He had to make sacrifice first for his own sins before he could represent the people before God. With the Lord Jesus Christ there was a personal and inherent fitness.
STUDY: Psalm 2:7 and Psalm 110:4.
Note in connection with his priesthood.
THE APPOINTMENT, THE ANNOUNCEMENT, & THE AUTHORITY.
THE FUNCTIONS OF THE PRIEST Verses 7-10
When Aaron was called and consecrated to the office of priesthood, he had certain functions to perform. Likewise Christ has functions as our priest.
1. CHRIST PROCURED ETERNAL SALVATION
This truth should bring assurance to every true believer, because He who died for us, now lives for us, and is our representative before God the Father.
2. CHRIST PROPITIATED GOD
By means of his one perfect sacrifice He has given satisfaction to God.
3. CHRIST PROVIDED ACCESS FOR THE PEOPLE
By Him our great high priest we can approach the throne of Grace.
4. CHRIST INTERCEDES FOR US WITH GOD
Understanding our nature He undertakes our cause and presents our case.
Chapter 5:11 – Chapter 6:3
The writer introduces the subject of the priesthood after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5:10) in order to set forth a great doctrinal truth of major importance. However, he is faced with a painful difficulty, the spiritual immaturity of the people to whom he was writing. So we have here a difficult and involved warning against degeneration.
THE STATE OF INFANCY Hebrews 5: 11-14
1. DIFFICULTY TO BE FACED verse 11
They were “Dull of hearing.” The believers had ceased to advance in their knowledge of spiritual things, and since the principle is use or lose, they had degenerated into a state of indolence and indifference and some were in danger of slipping back into Judaism.
2. DISCERNMENT IS LACKING verse 12
They should have been able to teach others, but were still in the first grade, being taught the elementary lessons of spiritual truth. Lack of discernment is one of the marks of spiritual infancy.
3. DIET IS IMPORTANT verses 13 & 14
Spiritual development requires a balanced and progressive spiritual diet. Milk is excellent for babies, but meat (solid food) is necessary for sustaining strong men. The principle is true spiritually as well as physically. By constant use the senses are exercised to discern between good and evil.
THE STATE OF MATURITY Hebrews 6:1-3
“LET US GO ON”
1. THE PRINCIPLES TO BE LEFT verses 1 & 2
The shadows pertaining to Judaism had been left because in Christianity is found the reality and the substance. Why go back to that which was only a shadow of better things to come.
2. THE PERFECTION TO BE ATTAINED verse 1
There must be an understanding of the divine revelation of the full glory of the PERSON, The PERFECTION, and POSITION of CHRIST.
3. THE PURPOSE OF THE WRITER verse 3
His resolution is: To go on and encourage others to do likewise
His subordination: Subject to the Will of God.
In studying this lesson one must ever remember that the Scriptures never contradict themselves. Whatever interpretation is given to this portion of Scripture, it must not violate what is clearly taught in other passages of the Scriptures. One must rest unreservedly on teaching that is clear and with prayer and patient meditation wait humbly for further light on Scripture which may appear at first to be difficult to understand.
THE DANGER OF APOSTASY verses 4-8
These verses interpreted in the light of the context become a solemn warning.
1. THE PERSONS DESCRIBED verses 4-5
They are apostates and five things are said about them.
“Enlightened”, “Tasted the heavenly gift”, “Partakers of the Holy Spirit”, “Tasted the good word of God”, “Tasted the powers of the age to come.”
2. THE SIN THEY COMMITTED verse 6
Apostasy. If the work of salvation is repudiated and Jesus Christ is rejected, there is no other provision for the sinner or cure for sin.
3. THE ILLUSTRATION FROM NATURE verses 7-8
An analogy is drawn between two pieces of ground which are blessed with equal blessing but one produces useful fruit, while the other produces only the results of the fall, and is rejected.
THE DILIGENCE OF PERSEVERING verses 9-12
1. THE EXPRESSION OF CONFIDENCE verse 9
The writer is genuinely persuaded that they have the real thing.
2. THE ENCOURAGING COMMENDATION verse 10
In this verse the writer builds his argument upon two things, the faithfulness of God, and the fruit in the believer’s life.
3. THE EXHORTATION TO CONTINUANCE verses 11-12
They are reminded of others who pressed on in the face of great difficulties, and we are expected to follow their example.
THE DIVINE ASSURANCE OF THE SOUL verses 13-20
1. THE SHINING EXAMPLE OF FAITH Abraham – verses 13-15
Abraham’s example of faith as the inheritor of the promises is held up before all pilgrims. He was tested but continued in his obedience.
2. THE STRONG ENCOURAGEMENT TO FAITH verses 16-18
The unchangeableness of God gives us the same foundation for our faith as Abraham had. The promise followed by the oath by which the inheritance is secured unto every heir of the promise.
3. THE SECURITY FOR OUR FAITH verses 19-20
Christ is our refuge: To Him we flee and are safe.
Christ is our anchor: Faith links us with Him for security.
Christ is our forerunner: By faith we follow Him and continue.
Christ is our faithful priest: We go to Him and He fully meets our needs.
Chapter seven is the heart of the whole exhortation and verse twenty five is the crowning point of the argument in presenting the teaching concerning the priesthood of Christ in all its power.
THE SUPERIOR PRIESTHOOD
In the first ten verses of this chapter the writer proves the superiority of the priesthood of Christ by showing that Melchizedek was greater than Aaron and that Christ is greater than Melchizedek.
MELCHIZEDEK CONSIDERED HISTORICALLY Genesis 14
1. The Statement of Scripture
Note the double office of King and Priest.
The double title KING OF RIGHTEOUSNESS and KING OF PEACE.
He combined the dignity of kingship with the sanctity of priesthood.
2. The Silence of Scripture
No mention is made of his ancestry or posterity. That such a great man should have no mention made of his ancestry in the book of Genesis is very significant, because Genesis is the book of genealogies.
3. The Significance of Scripture
Melchizedek prefigures Christ.
Note the time when the two celebrities of noble character met.
Note the great triumph that Abraham had just experienced.
Note the tithes which Abraham gave to Melchizedek.
MELCHIZEDEK CONSIDERED PROPHETICALLY Psalm 110
Psalm 110 throws light upon the historical record of Genesis 14 and lays the foundation for the teaching of Hebrews chapter seven. The central verse of the Psalm is verse 4.
“Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”
This psalm is prophetical and sets for the MESSIAH:
FIRST: His exalted position and the patience He exercises.
SECOND: His established priesthood and the order of Melchizedek.
THIRD: His expression of power when He comes as king.
MELCHIZEDEK CONSIDERED DOCTRINALLY HEBREWS 7
1. A UNIQUE PRIESTHOOD
Melchizedek did not derive his priesthood from another, and he did not pass it on to a successor. It was uniquely his own.
2. A UNIVERSAL PRIESTHOOD
The priesthood of Aaron was restricted to a particular nation, but the priesthood of Melchizedek was exercised to many nations.
3. AN UNCHANGING PRIESTHOOD
The Levitical priesthood was a changing priesthood, because the priests could not continue because of death.
But Melchizedek is only reported as living, with no record of his birth or death. In this respect he is a type or foreshadowing of Christ as Son of God, and so abideth a priest continually.
The Spiritual Priesthood Chapter 7:11-19
This lesson teaches that it was essential to have a change in the Divine administration, because if the Son of God is ordained a priest after the order of Melchizedek, it is obvious the Levitical order must be set aside.
THE LINEAL DESCENT OF CHRIST AS PRIEST verses 11-14
Those who functioned as priests under the Levitical order took office according to a law of physical descent. But He who is a priest after the order of Melchizedek comes after the power of an indissoluble life.
a. The imperfect character of the Levitical Priesthood verses 11-13
The Levitical priesthood could never make anyone perfect, so it must be replaced by an order of priesthood which is different. Now we have a priest of a different descent (from the tribe of Judah).
b. The indicated change in the Levitical priesthood verse 13
A priest after the order of Melchizedek called for a change in the law. The reference to Melchizedek in Psalm 110 indicated God’s intention to make a change in the priesthood.
THE LASTING DURATION OF CHRIST AS PRIEST verses 15-17
Note the contrast between:
The Law of the carnal commandment and The Power of an endless life.
The Levitical priest Our Great High Priest
Law = The prescribed standard Power = The enabling principle
Commandment = The Mosaic economy Endless = That which abides
Carnal = That which is physical Life = That which is spiritual
THE LAWFUL DESIGNATION OF CHRIST AS PRIEST verses 18-19
The purpose of God in connection with priesthood could never be brought to a satisfactory conclusion through the Levitical economy. A new order demanded a change of law governing priesthood, and with it was introduced a better hope by which we draw nigh to God. This denotes the approach to God in the act of worship.
The Levitical priesthood could not be altered or adjusted to make it fit into the new order of things. It had to be annulled altogether.
The Perpetual Priesthood Of Christ Chapter 7:20-28
THE SWORN PRIEST verses 20-25
He has a continuous Acceptance.
The OATH of God is the open declaration of His eternal purpose and unchanging decree.
The SURETY is a person who undertakes for another who lacks the ability to discharge his own obligation.
He has a continuous Activity
The office of high priest under the Levitical order was limited because the priest was a man of human frailty and subject to death. But, Christ had power to lay down His life and power to take it up again.
He has continuous Ability
His Power: Able to save to the uttermost.
The people who are saved: All who come unto God by Him.
The priest who intercedes: Our Great High Priest, Jesus Christ.
THE SUITABLE PRIEST VERSES 26-28
His Character is Virtuous
HOLY: That is character Godward.
HARMLESS: That is character manward.
UNDEFILED: That is character selfward.
His Sacrifice is Valid
The Levitical priest had to repeat continually the sacrifices, because they could not bring man to perfection.
Christ our High Priest was absolutely perfect and offered a perfect sacrifice with no need for repetition. His offering is valid forever.
His Ministry is Vindicated
At this point we reach the presentation of perfection as it is seen in Christ, and this perfection is developed in chapter eight.
“Enthroned in majesty, The High Priest sits within;
His precious blood once shed, Has made and keeps us clean;
With boldness let us now draw near,
That blood has banished every fear.”
The Perfection Of The Priest Chapter 8:1-6
Beginning at chapter eight the writer introduces a new discussion and begins by stating the chief point of the whole argument. He has proved conclusively in the opening chapters the superiority of the person of Christ, and demonstrated that Christ was provided as our Great High Priest, functioning after the pattern of the Aaronic priesthood, but established according to the order of the Melchizedek priesthood. Therefore the power of Christ’s priesthood has been fully explained in chapter seven, and in chapter eight the emphasis will be laid upon the fact of the exalted position occupied by Christ our Great High Priest.
THE MINISTER OF A BETTER SANCTUARY
A PRIEST OF HEAVENLY MAJESTY verses 1-3
1. The Perfect Provision for the believer
“We have such an High Priest”
This sums up all that has been said regarding the perfections that surround the glorious Person of CHRIST as our Great High Priest.
2. The Position the Priest Occupies
“Sat down on the right hand of the throne of the majesty in the heavens”
In laying emphasis upon the exaltation of Christ one should take time to look at the four places in Hebrews where mention is made regarding Christ having sat down at the right hand of the throne.
3. The Proof of an Effectual Sacrifice
The priesthood would be but an empty name, if the priest had no sacrifice. But Christ ministers in heaven because of His own perfect sacrifice.
A PRIEST WITH A HEAVENLY MINISTRY VERSES 4-6
1. The Contrast between the Earthly and the Heavenly
Here again great emphasis must be placed upon the exaltation of Christ because if He were still on earth He could not be a priest. Also, His exaltation was necessary to confirm His sacrifice.
2. The Character of the Earthly and Heavenly Sanctuaries
Moses constructed the earthly tabernacle according to the pattern shown to him by God when he was in the holy mount. The earthly tabernacle was only a shadow of the real thing in heaven. Aaron functioned as a representative priest in that which was only a copy. Christ our Great High Priest ascended into the real thing in heaven above and then sat down in virtue of His perfect sacrifice.
Jesus in His heavenly temple, sits with God upon the throne;
Now no more to be forsaken, His humiliation gone.
On His heart our names are graven, On His shoulders we are borne;
Of our God beloved is Jesus, we can love Him in return.
The Mediator Of A Better Covenant Chapter 8:6-13
A covenant is an agreement between two parties consenting to certain conditions set down for the purpose of attaining some object of mutual desire.
The covenant between God and man, however, must never be thought of merely as a contract between two equal parties. Rather, God is the sole initiator who sets down the terms under which the agreement will go into effect. He then invites man to join with Him in it and obtain the blessings and benefits involved in the covenant.
THE OLD COVENANT IS FACTUALLY DESCRIBED Exodus 20
1. The Old Covenant was Frail
Man was unable to keep the agreement.
2. The Old Covenant was Faulty
It could not justify the sinner or take away his sin.
It could not make perfect as concerning the conscience.
It could not procure access with freedom into the holiest of all.
3. The Old Covenant was Figurative
This will be expanded and proved in chapter nine.
THE NEW COVENANT IS PROPHETICALLY DESCRIBED Jeremiah 31:31-34
1. The New Covenant is absolute; The Old Covenant was conditional.
2. The New Covenant is spiritual; The Old Covenant was carnal.
3. The New Covenant is universal; The Old Covenant was local.
4. The New Covenant is eternal; The Old Covenant was temporal.
5. The New Covenant is internal; The Old Covenant was external.
THE NEW COVENANT IS HISTORICALLY PRESENTED Luke 22:20
The new covenant is not really introduced by the birth of Christ, but the records of the four gospels all lead up to the great climax which is the death, resurrection, and triumphant ascension of Christ. So by the shedding of His blood Christ has introduced the new covenant which abides eternally.
THE NEW COVENANT IS DOCTRINALLY EXPOUNDED Hebrews 8
1. There is a fuller revelation of God’s Law.
Written upon their hearts.
2. There is a fuller revelation of Fellowship.
God and His people united.
3. There is a fuller knowledge of the Will of God.
For all shall know me.
4. There is the forgiveness of sins by God.
Comprehensive and complete.
A debtor to mercy alone, of covenant mercy I sing;
No fear with God’s righteousness on, my person and offerings to bring.
The terrors of law and of God, with me can have nothing to do,
My Savior’s obedience and blood hide all my transgressions from view.
Two great ordinances which lay at the foundation of Israel’s national life and determined their relationship to God, were the Passover and the Day of Atonement. The Passover is described in Exodus 12 and interpreted in 1 Corinthians 5. The Day of Atonement is described in Leviticus 16 and is interpreted in Hebrews 9.
THE FAILURE OF THE OLD COVENANT verses 1-10
THE SANCTUARY DESCRIBED
The furniture in the holy place
The furniture and contents in the holy of holies
THE SERVICE DETAILED
The daily ministrations by the priest in the holy place
The yearly ministration by the High Priest in the holy of holies
THE SIGNIFICANCE DECLARED
An object lesson to explain spiritual truths until such times as things could be brought to a satisfactory state of completion.
THE FORCE OF THE NEW COVENANT verses 11-22
AN ABIDING PRIEST
In contrast to the changing priesthood under the old covenant.
AN ACCEPTABLE SACRIFICE
In contrast to the symbolic sacrifices.
AN ACCOMPLISHED WORK
In contrast to the unfinished and continuous work.
AN ASSURED PEOPLE
In contrast to a trembling and insecure people.
AN APPROVED TESTAMENT
The New Testament has been sealed and approved because of the death of the testator, and can never be altered or disannulled.
THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST’S OFFICE verses 23-28
ATONEMENT AT HIS FIRST APPEARING The Past
The four Gospels give the record of His first appearing and the climax when He offered Himself as the sacrifice on Calvary.
ADVOCACY AT HIS PRESENT APPEARING The Present
The Acts of the apostles through the Epistle of Jude portray His present session in the glory as representing His redeemed people in the presence of God.
ADVENT AT HIS NEXT APPEARING The Future
The book of Revelation proclaims the glorious fact of His appearing again, and it will be in majesty and power and righteousness.
Under the Levitical economy a priest was provided in the person of Aaron, and Aaron the priest was provided with a sanctuary in which to function (The Tabernacle). A form of sacrifices were also established whereby the priest could approach to God and have an acceptance with God.
Under the new economy, namely, Christianity, we have a superior priest who is Jesus Christ, the Son of God and He functions in a superior sanctuary, which is heaven, and now in chapter ten we learn the superiority of Christ’s sacrifice over the animal sacrifices that were offered under the Levitical order.
THE DEFICIENCY OF THE LEVITICAL SACRIFICES verses 1-4
1. COULD NOT BRING TO COMPLETENESS
The objective of priesthood and sacrifices was to bring the sinner into a desired relationship with God, but the Levitical order failed to do so.
2. COULD NOT GIVE CLEANSING TO THE CONSCIENCE
The sacrifices under the Levitical order could not deliver from the fear of sins being imputed to the sinner, and therefore could not provide a sure foundation for a permanent peace. The conscience was not cleansed.
THE SUFFICIENCY OF THE SACRIFICE OF CHRIST verses 5-18
1. THE WILL OF GOD verses 5-10
The Will of God is beautifully blended in with the Incarnation, and in this connection there is a blessed unity and harmony with the Trinity.
a. The body was prepared by God the Father.
b. The body was produced by the power of God the Holy Spirit.
c. The body was possessed by God the Eternal Son.
2. THE WORK OF CHRIST verses 11-14
a. THE COMPLETENESS OF HIS WORK
In contrast to the continual sacrifices that were made by the Levitical priests, Christ completed the work of reconciliation with one sacrifice.
b. THE SUFFICIENCY OF HIS WORK
The many sacrifices made by the Levitical priests were never able to give satisfaction to God or fully meet the needs of sinful man, but Christ has given satisfaction God-ward and made a full provision man-ward.
c. THE PERPETUITY OF HIS WORK
He sits at the right hand of the throne in heaven (the place of authority) in contrast to the earthly priests who only stood continually in God’s presence.
3. THE WITNESS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit bears witness by being the author of the written word.
The Holy Spirit bears witness by applying the truth of the word.
The Holy Spirit bears witness by attesting the word and the work.
Not all the blood of beasts on Jewish altars slain
Could give the guilty conscience peace or wash away one stain.
But Christ the heavenly Lamb took all our sins away,
A sacrifice of nobler name, and the richer blood than they.
We now leave the doctrinal section and begin our study of the practical application of the teaching of the epistle as it relates to the Christian life and the first major issue is the privilege and duty associated with worship.
BLESSINGS PROVIDED FOR US verses 19-21
1. THE PRIVILEGE OF APPROACH verse 19
This is based upon the perfect sacrifice made by Christ and is a summary of the truth presented in detail in Hebrews 10:1-18.
This blood of Christ perfectly satisfies the claims of God’s Holy Throne, removes every barrier, and provides for us the right approach.
2. THE PERPETUAL ACCESS verse 20
We have an open sanctuary and access to God’s presence at all times in contrast to the limitations under the law. This verse is a summary of Hebrews chapter nine.
3. THE PERFECT ASSURANCE verse 21
“Having a High Priest over the house of God”
This is a summary of the principle section of the epistle. We have the perfect priest representing us in the presence of God. We can rejoice that we have an acceptance with assurance.
BINDING OBLIGATIONS UPON US verses 22-25
In this section we shall note a threefold obligation introduced with the words “Let us” and these are duties to God, to the world, and other Christians.
1. OUR DUTY TOWARD GOD “Let us draw nigh”
a. Sincerity: Drawing nigh to God must be marked by an attitude of sincerity of heart, and not merely by expressions of the lips, or certain postures.
b. Confidence: Not confidence in myself or even in my faith, but confidence in the all-sufficiency of Christ and His work to maintain my standing before God.
c. Suitability: Recognizing what Christ has accomplished on our behalf we can approach with a purged conscience and a sanctified body.
2. OUR DUTY TOWARD THE WORLD “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope”
A confession is something that we hold with others who have a common conviction and having once made that confession there is the responsibility to maintain it before the world, being fully confident that Christ is faithful to keep His promise, and having begun the good work in you He will perform it to the end.
3. OUR DUTY TO OTHER CHRISTIANS “Let us consider one another”
By good example and correct teaching we should stir up our fellow Christians to express themselves by love and good works. Not by isolation, but by fellowship in the corporate testimony for mutual help and encouragement.
“The holiest now we enter in perfect peace with God
Regaining our lost center through Christ’s atoning blood.
Though great may be our dullness in thought and word and deed;
We glory in the fullness of Him who meets our need.”
A SOLEMN WARNING TO US
THE WILLFUL SIN EXPOSED verses 26-31
1. A GRAVE PERIL
It is possible to be enlightened and then presumptuously to sin against the light received. The only thing before a person in this state of soul is no acceptance with God.
2. A GREAT PUNISHMENT
Where the sacrifice of Christ is rejected, the only prospect for the Christ-rejecter is the devouring fiery indignation of God coming upon all of His enemies.
3. A GODLY PRINCIPLE
The person who despised the law of Moses received this sentence, he died. The severity of the sentence upon the man was that he died “without mercy.” But there had to be sufficient evidence, “two or three witnesses.”
a. Sin against God the Father who gave His Son
To despise and reject the Son of God is an insult to God the Father who sent Him.
b. Sin against the Son of God who shed His blood
“Counted” signifies a deliberate contemptuous rejection of the sacrifice of Christ.
“Unholy” implies that they treated it as not being sacred, but just a common thing.
c. Sin against God the Holy Spirit
“Despite” means they treated the Holy Spirit with an insulting attitude.
THE WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT verses 32-34
The writer now encourages his readers to remember the former days and the events which characterized their early Christian experiences.
Their first experiences had not been easy. They had passed through a great fight of affliction but they had endured.
In passing through times of affliction they had learned by experience how to show sympathy to others who were passing through a similar experience of affliction.
Some had lost their worldly goods because they had become Christians, but this they accepted with joy because they knew that in heaven they possessed better and more enduring things.
THE WORDS OF EXHORTATION verses 35-39
The writer now views the future and gives words to exhort the Christian.
1. THE CALL TO COURAGE verse 35
2. THE NEED FOR CONTINUANCE verse 36
3. THE COMFORT OF HIS COMING verse 37
4. THE CONDUCT OF THE CHRISTIAN verse 38
5. THE CONCLUDING WORD OF CONFIDENCE verse 39
This is the “Hall of Fame” for the pilgrim heroes and the entrance appears like an archway. The columns represent the past and the present as they relate to faith, and the arch points on to the future with confidence in the Word of God.
In the closing section of chapter 10, there were exhortations to faith, hope, and love. These three graces are developed in the remaining chapters. Chapter 11 is devoted to the great truth of life lived on the principle of faith, chapter 12 deals with hope, and chapter 13 with the great theme of love.
The key to the understanding of the teaching presented in chapter 11 is the statement, “The just shall live by faith,” Hebrews 10:38.
ABEL FAITH WORSHIPPING GOD verse 4
1. His approach to God was commended
He approached God according to the way that God had made known and his sacrifice was more excellent that the sacrifice of Cain.
2. His acceptance by God was certified
“God testifying of His gifts” Able was accepted on the basis of sacrifice.
3. His approval by God is continued
“He being dead yet speaketh” God placed Abel’s testimony on record.
ENOCH FAITH WALKING WITH GOD verses 5 & 6
1. The Commencement of this walk
It commenced with a turning to God at the time of a new birth.
2. The Consistency of this walk
Enoch continued to walk with God for three hundred years and it was a life of harmony, holiness, and happiness.
3. The Consummation of this walk
He was translated by God that he should not see death. This translation was a new thing and it was sudden, supernatural, and solemn.
NOAH FAITH WORKING FOR GOD verse 7
1. The Warning he received and believed
He was warned of coming judgment. The nature of the judgment was something new. Noah was a pioneer of faith because he believed God’s word.
2. The Work he commenced and completed
He constructed the ark according to the pattern he received from God.
He continued with the work and exercised patience for many years.
3. The Witness he gave and received
He witnessed to the world because he was a preacher of righteousness.
He received witness from God that he was an heir of righteousness.
ABRAHAM AND LIFE: ON THE PRINCIPLE OF FAITH
In the section that deals with Abraham the writer gives a selection of events from Abraham’s life that would show to his readers why they should take joyfully the spoiling of their goods, knowing that, like Abraham, they had in heaven a better and enduring possession.
1. THE PROMPTNESS OF FAITH verse 8
When God called Abraham he promptly obeyed, placing his entire future and well-being in the hands of God.
2. THE PILGRIMAGE OF FAITH verses 9 & 10
Abraham left his country with all of its material privileges to go to another country of which God would tell him, and there he lived as a pilgrim and a sojourner but in faith anticipating the city of God.
3. THE PRODUCTIVENESS OF FAITH verses 11 & 12
Abraham learned by bitter experience that patience must be exercised in order to produce the fruit of faith. Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness, but he had to wait God’s time before Isaac could be born.
4. THE PROSPECT OF FAITH verses 13-16
This prospect was associated with the promises. These who died in faith were fully persuaded that the God who promised was able to perform, so they continued in the life of faith and concluding life’s journey, died in faith.
5. THE PROVING OF FAITH verses 17-19
Abraham had his faith tested on three major occasions and each time he was triumphant. He obeyed the call of God when he didn’t know where he was going. He believed God when he didn’t know how it could happen. He obeyed God when he didn’t understand why he was being asked to surrender Isaac. The last test was the greatest to Abraham’s faith. But he reckoned that God would keep His promises even if it meant that Isaac should die and rise again from the dead.
ISAAC AND THE PLEDGE OF FAITH verse 20
The failures in the life of Isaac are eclipsed by his act of faith. According to Genesis 27, Isaac desired to act according to fleshly impulses, but when this was overruled by God, then Isaac submitted to the divine will and upheld the blessing pronounced on Jacob. By faith he affirmed this blessing at the opening of Genesis 28. He blessed his sons concerning things to come, and this was his expression of faith.
JACOB AND THE PRIVILEGE OF FAITH verse 21
When Jacob pronounced his blessing upon the sons of Joseph, it was by faith. It could not be by sight since he was old and almost blind. It was an intelligent and determined act, crossing his hands and placing the right hand upon the head of Ephraim. He could not be deferred by the interference of Joseph.
JOSEPH AND THE PROPHECY OF FAITH verse 22
Joseph in his dying hours looked beyond the burdens and the blessings of this life and spoke of that which God had promised to do. He declined the usual burying in an Egyptian tomb with all its honor, but he instructed his people to give him a simple burial in the land of promise.
Moses And Life On The Principle Of Faith Chapter 11:23-40
1. FAITH IN THE HOUR OF CRISIS verse 23
This verse deals with the faith exercised by the parents of Moses.
a. The Perception of their faith “They saw he was a goodly child.”
b. The Protection of faith “They hid him for three months.”
c. The Power of faith “They were not afraid of the king’s command.”
2. FAITH AT THE TIME OF CHOICE verses 24-26
a. The choice of Relationship
Would he be related to the people of Egypt or related to the people of God?
b. The choice of Realities
The pleasures of sin for a season or suffering with God’s people for a season.
c. The choice of Riches
He could have the riches of Egypt, but these would soon vanish away and be lost. Or he could have a share in the riches of Christ for all eternity.
3. FAITH AND THE COURAGE OF A GREAT COMMANDER verses 27-29
a. The Calmness of Faith
When Moses was threatened by Pharaoh, he stood calm and resolute.
b. The Covering of Faith
On the night of the Passover, the lamb was slain and the blood was applied to the doorposts (which was an act of faith) and they were covered thereby.
c. The Conquest of Faith
With the cruel enemy pursuing them and the sea lying before them, Moses believed God and in faith stepped forward and crossed over as by dry land.
JOSHUA AND LIFE ON THE PRINCIPLE OF FAITH verse 30
FAITH IN THE TIME OF CONFLICT
a. The conflict with Canaan and its sin
b. The conflict with the city of Jericho and its massive walls
RAHAB AND LIFE ON THE PRINCIPLE OF FAITH verse 31
Faith and the Confession of a sinful woman
a. She was related to a condemned people.
b. She was residing in a condemned place.
c. She responded in faith to a divine command.
d. She received by faith the divine commendation.
HEROES WHO LIVED ON THE PRINCIPLE OF FAITH verses 32-40
a. THE GREAT EXPLOITS OF FAITH
Note the six heroes and also the prophets. They all acted in faith at a time when everything was seemingly against them.
b. THE GREAT ENDURANCE OF FAITH
Consider the nameless multitudes who suffered and died for their faith.
c. THE GREAT EXPECTATION OF FAITH
They all looked forward and waited patiently for the better things that are prepared for them who love the Lord.
Hope The Great Incentive Chapter 12:1-14
THE CHRISTIAN RACE verse 1-3
With the Christian life of faith likened unto a race we note:
1. IT IS A PUBLIC LIFE
A race is observed by the spectators and the judges (who pass the verdict).
All the cloud of witnesses in chapter 11 were people who lived public lives.
2. IT IS A PURCHASED LIFE
To run the race, every hindrance must be set aside and the sin (unbelief) which would hold us back must be forsaken.
3. IT IS A PROGRESSIVE LIFE
A person in a race does not stand still or spend time examining spectators.
He presses on till he reaches the finishing line.
4. IT IS A PRESCRIBED LIFE
A person in a race must stay in the prescribed area and cannot run just where he pleases. The Christian race is set before us as a prescribed course, and we must run according to the rules.
5. IT IS A PERSEVERING LIFE
The Christian race is not a short dash but a long distance marathon and calls for patience and endurance.
6. IT IS A PATTERNED LIFE
The great pattern to whom we look is JESUS, the author and finisher of faith. Consider Him who commenced, continued, and completed the course that was set before Him, and now as our perfect example is seated at the right hand of the throne of God in heaven. HE IS OUR PERFECT PATTERN. Keep your eye on HIM.
THE CHASTENING ROD verses 4-14
In connection with the truth of divine chastening one should learn to understand the true meaning of chastening and the object in view. Chastening may be retributive, educational, or preventative.
1. EXISTENCE OF CHASTENING
Its Meaning Striving against sin
Its Members Sons in the family
Its Method Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth
Its Manner Scourgeth every son
2. THE EXERCISE CONCERNING IT
Do not despise chastening or else you will suffer loss.
Do not faint under chastening or else the end in view will be missed.
Be in subjection to it, exercised by it, and benefits will be gained.
3. THE EXHORTATIONS CONCERNING IT
Cheerfulness “Lift up the hands that hang down”
Carefulness “Make straight the paths for your feet”
Peacefulness “Follow after peace with all men”
Holiness “Follow peace and holiness”
This lesson deals with another warning and may well be termed:
THE PERIL OF DEPARTING
1. AVOID THE SINFUL VICES verses 15-17
a. FAILURE TO APPROPRIATE
This no doubt has reference to spiritual privileges, and apostates place no value upon such things. While apostates may not openly deny the doctrines, nevertheless they deliberately disobey them.
b. FOSTERING THE SPIRIT OF BITTERNESS
When the spirit of hatred and bitterness is encouraged it will do two things.
First: It will cause a lot of trouble.
Second: It will produce a state of defilement.
If the weeds are allowed to spring up, the flowers and vegetables will be choked.
c. FOOLISHLY DESPISING SPIRITUAL THINGS
Fornication is a sin against mankind and breaks the one table of the law.
Profanity is a sin against God and breaks the other table of the law.
2. APPROPRIATE THE SPIRITUAL VALUES verses 18-24
Mount Sinai with the law could never provide the way of salvation.
It could only produce and emphasize the knowledge of sin.
THE CONTRAST BETWEEN THE OLD COVENANT AND THE NEW COVENANT
THE OLD COVENANT THE NEW COVENANT
The awesome features of the old The attractive features of the new
Man was required to stand at a distance Man is now brought near
Surrounded by darkness Standing in the light
A state of natural disorders A state of spiritual order
3. ATTEND TO THE SUPREME VOICE verses 25-29
These closing verses of the chapter present a very practical appeal.
a. THE PRIVILEGE: “God hath spoken” and “God will speak”
It is of prime importance that we acknowledge and appreciate this outstanding privilege that God hath spoken and thus revealed His will.
b. THE RESPONSIBILITY: God has spoken, therefore we must listen.
Give obedience to the word that has been spoken.
Express gratitude for the blessings bestowed upon us.
Show devotion to God in engaging in reverent worship.
c. THE WARNINGS
Take the warning from past history.
Accept the warning from the word of prophecy.
Be guided by the warning of sound theology.
LOVE, THE GLORIOUS MOTIVE
Chapter 11 presented FAITH as the power to live the Christian life.
Chapter 12 presented HOPE as the incentive to continue in the Christian life.
Chapter 13 presents LOVE as the motive for living a devoted Christian life.
PERSONAL EXHORTATIONS verses 1-6
1. CHARITY verses 1-3
Love of the brethren existed but required to be maintained in the face of trial.
This love would be expressed in hospitality and sympathy.
2. CHASTITY verse 4
The principle of marriage It is a divine institution.
The purity of marriage Marriage relationship is honorable.
The punishment for violation God will punish sexual immorality.
3. CONTENTMENT verses 5-6
The rule of contentment is commanded by God.
The reason for contentment is confidence in the promises of God.
DOCTRINAL EXHORTATIONS verses 7-19
1. CONSIDERATION verses 7-8
Remember your spiritual leaders and follow their example.
Remember Jesus Christ who abides the same throughout all ages.
2. CONTINUANCE verses 9-16
Continue in the essentials of Christianity, not in the externals of legality.
Continue in the place of separation, outside the secular and sacrilegious things.
Continue in the exercise of offering spiritual sacrifices, which please God.
3. CONSISTENCY verses 17-19
Consistency in our submission to the standard of rule.
Consistency in service by those who are rulers.
Consistency in our sincerity and mutual prayers.
GENERAL EXHORTATIONS verses 20-25
1. THE DOXOLOGY verses 20-21
This doxology sets forth what God has done and is doing through Christ.
The Conciliator, the Conqueror, the Caretaker, the Covenanter, the Completer, the Contractor, the Consummator
And unto Him will be ascribed all the glory and honor and power.
2. THE CLOSING APPEAL verses 22-23
In this appeal there is an explanation, some information, and an expectation.
3. THE SALUTATION verse 24
In this closing salutation there is mutual respect for one another and also the understanding of a common bond of fellowship.
4. THE BENEDICTION verse 25
GRACE: The one thing required in order to carry out the exhortations.