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Hebrews Chapters 1-6

(Introductory)

 

 

          The book of Hebrews is often quoted to demonstrate that God's law, specifically the levitical priesthood, has been abolished and no longer applies to us today.  We will see, through careful study, that this simply is not true and has no merit whatsoever.  The writer of the book of Hebrews is unknown.  The two most popular theories to it's authorship are the Apostle Paul or Apollos, a church leader at the time.  Though it is not the point of this article to prove one or the other, it is important to note that whoever wrote the book of Hebrews was well-educated in the scriptures and specifically, the Mosaic law.  We need to remember, in order to understand the book of Hebrews, we need a good understanding of the Mosaic law as well.  The purpose of this series of articles is to demonstrate that the writer of Hebrews is in no way advocating the abolishment of God's law, but rather endorsing the following of God's law.  The specific chapters to address are chapters seven through ten, but we will start with a quick overview of the previous six chapters. 

 

Chapter 1:

 

          The epistle opens with a statement regarding the place of the Messiah.  In the past God spoke to us through the prophets, but in recent times (last days) He has spoken to us through His Son (Heb. 1:1-2).  This Son is none other than the predicted Messiah, God Himself in the flesh.  He is the, "brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person."  His accomplishments were the, "purge[ing] of our sins" and He, "sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Heb. 1:3).  This position has made him, "better than the angels."  He is better because, as a Son, He has an inheritance with the Father (Heb. 1:4-8).  How did He obtain this?  Because He, "hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity" (Heb. 1:9).  The Messiah loved righteousness (dikaiosunē - justification - Strong's Concordance G1343), that is, He obeyed and followed the law of God.  But He also hated iniquity (anomia - illegality, that is, violation of law - Strong's Concordance G458).  From the start we see support for God's law and not the removing of it.  The writer concludes chapter one by demonstrating God's eternal nature.  Even though His creation will perish, God is eternal (Heb. 1:10-12). 

  

Chapters 2-3:

  

        With this understanding, we, "ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard" (Heb. 2:1).  If God's word delivered by angels always gave a, "just recompence of reward," then we ought not to neglect such a great salvation and receive the same (Heb. 2:2-3).  This we know for God confirmed this through, "signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost" (Heb. 2:4).  The future of this world was not given to the angels, but to the Messiah.  He was, "made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death" so that He might be, "crowned with glory and honour" (Heb. 2:9-10).  The Messiah had to become, "flesh and blood" for the children He was redeeming, "[were] partakers of flesh and blood" (Heb. 2:14-18).  This He had to do to become an acceptable sacrifice to forgive us of our sins.  The Messiah is now the, "High Priest of our profession" (Heb. 3:1).  He was counted, "worthy of more glory than Moses" (Heb. 3:3).  Why, because He was, "faithful" (Heb. 3:2).  Therefore we should, "harden not [our] hearts" as was done in the past (Heb. 3:7-11), but rather we should believe and beware of a, "heart of unbelief" which turns us from the living God (Heb. 3:12).  We should be diligent and exhort one another daily to avoid hardening our heart and missing out on God's "rest" (Heb. 3:13-18).  How does this happen?  By the, "deceitfulness of sin" (Heb. 3:13).  The key to entering God's rest is belief.  Those who miss the rest of God, "could not enter in because of unbelief" (Heb. 3:19).  Therefore, chapter two and three are showing us that the Messiah was faithful to God in his calling to his father, so we should be faithful in our calling to the Father as well.   

  

Chapter 4:

  

          In chapter four, the Messiah reminds us that He offers a, "rest" for those who believe in Him.  We should fear lest we suffer the same fate as those who came before us (Heb. 4:1).  For the gospel was preached to the Israelites as well, but it was not mixed with faith (Heb. 4:2).  Those who believe do enter His rest (Heb. 4:3), and just as God rested on the seventh day, so we rest on the Sabbath day (Heb. 4:4-9).  The Greek word for, "rest" in verse nine is sabbatismos (Sabbath) and should be translated as Sabbath.  Just as we enter the Sabbath with no work, we are to enter the rest of the Messiah by ceasing from our justification by works.  This change of heart from unbelief to belief comes by the word of God, which is, "quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Heb. 4:12).  And the Messiah is the very High Priest to deliver this faith through, "mercy" and, "grace" (Heb. 4:16).

  

Chapters 5-6:

  

         Chapter five discusses the job of the High Priest.  His purpose was to, "offer gifts and sacrifices for sins" (Heb. 5:1).  He would offer sacrifice for himself first and then for the people of God (Heb. 5:2-3).  However, the Messiah, is a High Priest, "after the order of Melchisedec" (Heb. 5:6-10).  This priesthood is eternal for the Messiah is a son and an heir of God. Unfortunately, these concepts are hard for the Hebrews to understand because they are still, "babes" and not mature in their faith (Heb. 5:11-14).  The writer urges the Hebrews to "go on unto perfection" (Heb. 6:1-3).  That is, leave the basic doctrines of the Messiah and move on to sanctification and the life they were created for.  They are to move onto perfection so as to not be rejected (Heb. 6:4-8).  God, however, will not forget their good works if they should do them (Heb. 6:9-12).  Just as Abraham, "patiently endured" to the end, the Hebrews were to do the same (Heb. 6:13-15).  The end result will be a blessing from God.  We can be certain of these things because it is, "impossible for God to lie" and our Messiah is a, "high priest for ever" (Heb. 6:16-20).

 

          This brings us to chapter seven, which is the beginning of the chapters in question.  The writer has addressed the problem at hand, which was the Hebrew's immaturity as believers.  They were, "babes" in their faith drinking only milk and not meat of the word (Heb. 5:12-14).  They were, "unskilful in the word of righteousness" and needed to press onto a greater understanding beyond the basic doctrines of their faith like, "baptisms" and the, "laying on of hands", and of the, "resurrection of the dead" (Heb. 6:2).  The writer is now going to teach them the meat of the word, which is the topic of chapters seven through ten.  To continue reading click here.

    

Chapter:   <--   1-6    7    8 -9     10    11-13    -->

 

By Steve Siefken
 

  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth

not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15 KJV