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A Study Of The Apostle Paul’s Letter To The Hebrews

A Study Of The Apostle Paul’s Letter To The Hebrews

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A Study Of The Apostle Paul’s Letter To The Hebrews

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  1. Don’t fall away! Don’t Depart! Don’t neglect your salvation! Don’t cast away your confidence! Don’t harden your heart! Don’t drift away! AStudyOf TheApostlePaul’s LetterTo The Hebrews How can we neglect so greata salvation? ~ Hebrews 2:3

  2. Hebrews: Christ Is Superior! Superior Person (1:1—4:13) Superior to Prophets (1:1-3) Superior to Angels (1:4—2:18) but… We’ll only get to 1:4-9 today. Superior to Moses (3:1-19) Superior to Joshua (4:1-13) Superior Priest (4:14—7:28) Superior to Aaron (4:14—6:12) Superior to Melchizedek (6:13—7:10) Superior to Levi (7:11-28)

  3. Hebrews: Christ Is Superior! Superior Pact (Covenant) to Moses’(8:1—10:18) Superior Promises (8:1-13) Superior Sanctuary (9:1-15) Superior Sacrifice (9:16-28) Superior Results (10:1-18) Superior Principle (Faith) to Moses’ (10:19—13:25) Superior Things (10:19-39) Superior Actions (11:1-40) Superior Relationship (12:1-29) Superior Way of Life (13:1-25)

  4. Hebrews 1:4  …having become better than the angels, as He has by inheritance ob-tained a more excellent name than they. According to verses 1-3,Jesusisournew and eternal Prophet, Priest, and King…

  5. According to nearly every other version, the term for better hereisstrongerthan just better; it means muchbetterormuch greater. And in this context it refers to Jesus’ superiority over angels due to the position of auth-ority He was given. …having become better than the angels, as He has by inheritance ob-tained a more excellent name than they.

  6. This implies that (at one time) Jesus was human, which, of course, corresponds with our thoughts on verse 3 earlier—that when Paul spoke of Jesus as the exact replica of God, He was refer-ing to Him in His human state. See… …having become better than the angels, as He has by inheritance ob-tained a more excellent name than they.

  7. Later in 2:9 Paul wrote of Jesus as being made a little lower than the an-gels [so] … that He … might taste death for everyone; i.e., He had to become human in order to die for us, thereby fulfillingGod’swill& being made worthy of His inheritance. …having become better than the angels, as He has by inheritance ob-tained a more excellent name than they.

  8. Why did Paul deal with this idea here? Because the Jews boasted greatly in Moses’ Law which was given by the ministry of angels (cf. Deu.32:2,Psa.68: 17,Acts7:53,&Gal.3: 19).Inthis verycon-text Paul acknow-ledged that the Old Law was spoken through angels(2:2). …having become better than the angels, as He has by inheritance ob-tained a more excellent name than they.

  9. So whatisthismore excellent name? This means, as John 1:14 says of Jesus, He’s the only begot-ten of the Father, or, as the NIV says, the one and only; i.e., regardless of the honor involved in being an angel of God by creation or being a son of God by adoption, only Jesus possesses the unique relationship of being the literal Son of God. …having become better than the angels, as He has by inheritance ob-tained a more excellent name than they.

  10. Hebrews 1:5  For to which of the angels did He (God the Father) ever say, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You”? And again, “I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son”?

  11. ThisisfromPsa. 2 which, according to ancient Jewish doc-tors of the Law, ap-plies solely to the Messiah; and Peter must have agreed since he applied the first three verses to Jesus Himself in Acts 4:25-26. Spe-cifically here Paul quoted Psalm 2:7. For to which of the angels did He (God the Father) ever say, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You”? And again, “I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son”?

  12. The word today re-fers to the contents of Psalm 2:6 where God said of Jesus, I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion, while the word be-gotten refers to Jesus’ resurrection —that which quali-fied Him to be that King.HowdoIknow this? Because…  For to which of the angels did He (God the Father) ever say, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You”? And again, “I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son”?

  13. Thissamequotewas alluded to by Paul as well in Acts 13: 33-34 where he said that God … raised up Jesus…. As it is writteninthesecond Psalm, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You.” Also inRom.1:4Paulsaidthat Jesus was de-clared to be the Son of God … by the re-surrection from the dead. So…    For to which of the angels did He (God the Father) ever say, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You”? And again, “I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son”?

  14. The point here is that Jesus was de-monstratedtobethe prophesied Son of God who would be King by the fact that God raised Him from spiritual death and seated Him as King over His own spirit-ual house (Heb. 1:3 & 3:6). In other words, in this context…  For to which of the angels did He (God the Father) ever say, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You”? And again, “I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son”?

  15. Jesus was born into spiritual life and the office of perpetual King; in fact, in Co-lossians1:18 Paul clearly declared that Jesus was the first-born from the dead that inall thingsHe may have thepre-eminence. (There’s that “all things” idea again noted in 1:2-3.) For to which of the angels did He (God the Father) ever say, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You”? And again, “I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son”?

  16. Thisis from2ndSam. 7:4-17 & 1st Chron.17:4-5(sameincident). This prophecy from God to David con-cernedthecomingof the One who would build & preside over God’sHouseforever. For to which of the angels did He (God the Father) ever say, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You”? And again, “I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son”?

  17. Thoughthisprophecyseemedto be about David’s son, Solo-mon (who built God’s temple in Jerusalem), such is not the case (except in the sense that Solomon typified Christ),because only Jesus fulfilled this prophecy in itsto-tality; Solomon’s temple, as we know, did notlast forever. For to which of the angels did He (God the Father) ever say, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You”? And again, “I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son”?

  18. Hebrews 1:6  But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “Let all the angels of God worship Him.”

  19. Here this word obvi-ouslyreferstoJesus. But what does it mean exactly? Well, normally, of course, it refers to themale child born first;soalthoughJesuswas the only physically begotten child of God (John 3:16), He was also the first-born of God’s child-renspiritually. But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” We’ll get more into this beginning at2:10 where Jesus is said to be the Leader of our salvation.

  20. Other places (e.g., Rev. 1:5 & Col. 1:18) where Jesusisspok-enofasthefirstborn make it clear that it refers to Jesus as beingthe firstborn of those resurrected from among the dead. Now does that mean He was the first to ever be phy-sicallyresurrected? No, for we know there were others. Rather it means…  But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “Let all the angels of God worship Him.”

  21. Byraising Jesuswhodiedasin-death for all mankind (2 Cor.5: 21), GodmadeHim who committednosin (1 Pet. 2:21)thefirst to rise to etern-al life from among those who, through Adam (Rom. 5:14), had been separated from God due to the sin they couldn’t rid themselves of. So… But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “Let all the angels of God worship Him.”

  22. Now… Being the firstborn of thosetoberecon-ciled to God, Jesus became thepreemi-nentOne—the Cap-tain, the King, the Heirofallthings,the allthingsJesusglad-ly shares withthoseofuswho’ve been a-dopted as His breth-ren and God’s child-renintoHisHouse (cf. Rom. 8:29). But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “Let all the angels of God worship Him.”

  23. Althoughsomethink this verse was writ-ten about Jesus’ birth (i.e.His first coming), I believe it was written about His end-of-the-age- coming. Here are a few reasons why:  But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “Let all the angels of God worship Him.”

  24. Besides… 1. The placement of thewordagainleans toward this interpretation. 2. The word bringsisinfuture tense, future to this AD 63-65 writing. 3. Jesus would al- ready be the first- borninresurrec-tion-lifeatthetime of this coming. But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “Let all the angels of God worship Him.”

  25. On theother hand… In the context of Deuteronomy 32:43 (from whence this is taken), Moses was speakingaboutGod’s vengeance against His enemies; so the type/anti-type idea here wouldn’t work with reference to Jesus’ first coming to die for us, but it would work relative to His coming to take vengeance. But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “Let all the angels of God worship Him.”

  26. EvenifPaulhadPsa. 97:7 in mind, the context there leans toward the same conclusion:therefer- ence is to the Messi-ah and His reign as King in His kingdom. Besides, the only passage where I can find angels worship-ping Jesus is at His (2nd) coming in ven-geance (Rev. 5:11-12, cf. Php. 2:9-11), not at His birth. But…  But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “Let all the angels of God worship Him.”

  27. Regardless of the meaning of the first part of this verse, the primary point is thatJesus is worthy even of the worship of angels! (Contrast Col. 2:18.) But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “Let all the angels of God worship Him.”(Fr. Deu. 32:43 in Gr. OT; not found in Heb. OT.)

  28. Worldin10:5is from kosmosfor planet; world in 1:2 is from aion (eon) for age; & world here is from oikoumene (econo-my) for a system of people. So theideaisthatJesus would comeintopossession of & rule an econo-my,apeople,aking-dom of subjects (cf. Luke 23:42, et.al.).* But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “Let all the angels of God worship Him.”

  29. Hebrews 1:7  And of the angels He says, “Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire.”

  30. These are simply two words referring to the same beings here. The Greek term for angels means messengers, while the Greek term for ministers means servants; it’s also the term from which we get “litur-gy,” the word used ofthereligious work of Old Testament priests. And of the angels He says, “Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire.”

  31. SincetheGreekterm for spirits can mean breaths, winds, or spirits, it must be translated in har-mony with its con-text. So here’s what I’ve concluded: I believe it should be translated as winds here for the follow-ing reasons:   And of the angels He says, “Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire.”

  32. 1. Every other major translation trans- lates it as winds. And of the angels He says, “Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire.”

  33. 2.Makes is present in tense, meaning either that God is stillinthebusiness of creating these spirit-beings (anidea I can’t find any Scripture for)or that He uses them to create or be- come such things aswindsorflames of fire (cf. Jdg. 13: 20). And…   And of the angels He says, “Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire.”

  34. 3. The context of Psa.104:4 speaks of other natural phenomena such as fire, clouds, & water. But…   And of the angels He says, “Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire.”

  35. Whether its trans-lated as spirits or winds, the main point is still unmis-takable: Jesus, the One who is the only begotten and the express image of God (1:3-5), the One who was crowned as King and is wor-shipped and served by angels (1:6-7) is, therefore, superior to them. And of the angels He says, “Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire.”

  36. Hebrews 1:8  But to the SonHe says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom....” From Psalm 45:6   

  37. Jesus is here called God by God, God the Father. When you study with some of these cultic “Chris-tians” who don’t be-lieve in Jesus’ deity, you might share the following syllogisms with them:    But to the SonHe says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom....”

  38. Major Premise:Only God is to be worshipped (Deu. 6:13&Mat. 4:10). Minor Premise:Angels are expected to worship Jesus(Heb. 1:6). Conclusion:Jesus is God; i.e., deity or divine in His very nature.

  39. Major Premise:Only God is to be worshipped (Deu. 6:13&Mat. 4:10). Minor Premise:Angels cannot ac-cept worship (Rev. 19:10 & 22:9). Conclusion:Angels, unlike Jesus, are not divine.

  40. See… This is the throne that Jesus inherited from His forefather, King David. God had promised David that histhronewouldlast forever(Psa.89:35ff); later Gabriel told Mary that her Son would reign over His Father’s throne for-ever and that to His kingdom there’d be no end (Luke 1:32f). But to the SonHe says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom....”

  41. David’s throne (king-ship) over physical Israel was merely a type of God’s throne over spiritual Israel, the antitype (cf. Acts 2:30 w/ Acts 2:33). But to the SonHe says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom....”

  42. As is perfectly illus-trated in Esther 4: 11, the scepter was a sign of kingly authority. So this statement simply means that Jesus’ kingdomisgoverned with or in perfect righteousness. But to the SonHe says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom....” Isaiah9:7saysthat oftheincreaseofHisgovern-ment and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forevermore.

  43. Hebrews 1:9  “You have loved righteousness and hatedlawlessness;therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.” From Psalm 45:7   

  44. The Greek term for anointed is the root term from which the word “Christ” is de-rived; in fact, the word “Christ” (which translatedis“Messiah”) means the anointed One. “You have loved righteousness and hatedlawlessness;therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”

  45. An anointing was a public ceremony when a prophet (1 Kgs.19:16), a priest (Num.3:3), or a king (1 Kgs.1:34-39) was officially appointed to office with a per-fumed oil. “You have loved righteousness and hatedlawlessness;therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”

  46. Instead of literal oil, Jesus was anointed with the Spirit (Acts 10:37-38), and not just as King (Rev.17: 14), but also as Pro-phet (Deu.18:15-18) & Priest (Heb.4:14). “You have loved righteousness and hatedlawlessness;therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”

  47. This brings to mind the festivities of joy which accompanied the coronation; in Hebrews we see this joy in both the Son (who was crowned) and His Father (who crowned Him):  “You have loved righteousness and hatedlawlessness;therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”

  48. In 12:2 we see the joy of Jesus when Paul said that Christ for the joy … before Him, endured the cross then sat down at the right handofGod’s throne; and here in 1:9 we read about the Father’s joy—how that He crowned His Son as King with more joy than He had ever… “You have loved righteousness and hatedlawlessness;therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.” …crowned the previ-ous kings of Israel (His companions—His colleagues).

  49. And surely we can’t forget the words of Father-God when the Spirit descended upon Jesus: This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Since it’s generally accepted that at His baptism is when Jesus was anointed as King (at least prophetically), perhaps that’s the… “You have loved righteousness and hatedlawlessness;therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.” …reason for the Father’s joy in Mat-thew 3:17. Further…

  50. The entire quote of verses 8-9 was tak-en from a passage that depicts another occasion of joy: Psa. 45 (from which Paul quoted verses 6-7) is a wedding sonnet, a sonnet addressed to an Israelite king, in fact. So…    “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteous- nessandhatedlaw- lessness;therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”