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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) 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) We’ll only get to 6:13-20 today. Superior to Levi (7:11-28)

  3. Hebrews: Christ Is Superior! Superior Pact 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. In our study of 6:4-12, we found Paul writing about the impossibility of being saved without Christ, which is what they would’ve been hoping for by going back to the Old Law. This is why in 6:12 Paul brought up the idea of inheriting thepromisesmadetoAbraham,promis- esthatcouldand wouldonlybe fulfilled in Christ—the One they were leaving behind; so he was urging them to imi-tate those like Abraham who, through faith and perseverance, were experi-encing the fulfillment of the promises.

  5. Hebrews 6:13  For when God made a promise to Abraham, be-cause He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself…

  6. Because they were becoming discour-aged by the long de-lay of Christ’s com-ing (for, as Peter indi-cated, they were look-ing for Him in theirgeneration, 2 Pet. 3:4), Paul alluded to fath-er Abraham’s faith & perseverance.   For when God made a promise to Abraham, be-cause He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself…

  7. In 11:9-10 & 39 we read, By faith he (Abe) sojourned in the land of promise asinaforeigncountry,dwellingintents with Isaac & Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God…. All these, having obtained a good testimony thru faith, did not receive the promise.

  8. The emphasis of Hebrews 11, which is often referred to as The Hall of Faith, is thelongoutlookof truefaith—involving patient waiting and endurance. The ex-ample of Abraham demonstrated that the promise of God is certain; i.e., You think you’ve had a long wait—just think of poor father Abraham who has yet to receive the fulfillment of the promises that were made directly to him!

  9. God swearing here meansthat He con-firmed His promise (cf. v.17); and this oath was made on Himself since He is theTop-Banana: in Genesis 22:16 God said, By Myself I havesworn,whichis probably similar to saying, I give you my word of honor. For when God made a promise to Abraham, be-cause He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself… Incidentally…  

  10. It’s interesting to note that this oath was made to Abra-ham after Isaac was about 25 years old, so it didn’t include Isaac’s birth, but all the blessings which would flow through him. For when God made a promise to Abraham, be-cause He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself…

  11. Hebrews 6:14  …saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.”

  12. This type of repeti-tious saying is a fig-ure of speech meant to emphasize; i.e., God was telling Ab-raham that He was going to greatlybless &multiply him and his offspring. …saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.”

  13. This same idea is found of Jesus when He is said to be the King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev.19:16), meaning that Jesus is the kingliest king and the lord-liest lord! It’s also found in the phrase theholy of holies (Heb.9:3 & 12 in Darby & Holman versions), meaning, as the NKJV puts it, the holiest of all (9:3) or the most holy place (9:12).

  14. The blessing of the promise was not only that Abe’s faith would be accounted tohimforrighteous-ness, but also that the faith of his seed would be accounted to them forrighte-ousness: in Gal.3:8 Paul wrote about how that… …saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” God, forseeing that He would bless the nations by faith, preached the Gospel to Abraham before-hand, saying, In you all the nations shall be blessed.

  15. Hebrews 6:15  And so, after he had patiently en-dured, he obtain-ed the promise.

  16. Thetermforendured here is the same root word as trans-lated patience in verse 12, both refer-ring to perseverance (something active), not mere patience (something passive— the way we usually understand it today). And so, after he had patiently en-dured, he obtain-ed the promise.

  17. Since the term for obtained here car-ries with it the idea of something merely lighting on a person, it indicates that Abe didn’t personally re-ceive the entire ful-fillment of the pro-mise, only a touch of it, such as in the birth of Isaac and someofhisprogeny. However…    And so, after he had patiently en-dured, he obtain-ed the promise.

  18. Another way to look at it is this: Just as multiplying Abraham referred to his de-scendants, so his reception of the pro-mise was fulfilled through them. Still… Another way of looking at this can be found in John 8:56: Jesus said, Your father Abraham … saw My day and was glad; more than likely this means that Abraham saw the Messiah by the eye of faith (as referred to in Hebrews 11:13 that we’ll read momentarily). By the way… 

  19. To patiently endure is to do the opposite of becoming slug-gish (v. 12). And so, after he had patientlyen-dured, he obtain-ed the promise.

  20. Hebrews 6:16  For men indeed swearbythegreat- er, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute.

  21. Paul was illustrating the certainty and security of God’s promise by alludingtoHisoath: God’s aim was to push aside any reason for doubt by confirming His promise with an oath. Why bring this up? Because…  For men indeed swearbythegreat- er, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute.

  22. Since time immemorial, mankind has em-ployedtheuseofoathsuponthosegreater than he (usually God or His Word) in order to settle any matter; oaths, therefore, have become solemn. Oaths cause people to say, OK, as long as you swear, I can ex-pect nothing more. So… The point is this: If people feel like they canbank on what a man says under oath to God, surely he should not only accept what God Himself says in oath, but he should also be able to feel total security in doing such!

  23. Abraham did, and he didn’t even live long enough to see the entirety of the promise fulfilled! In fact, Paul said that hedied in faith,not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off was assured of them (Heb. 11:13). Unlike Abraham though, these brethren were on the verge of finally experienc-ing the fulfillment of these long-await-ed promises! As a side-note…   

  24. What’s the difference between an oath and a promise? In a promise a simple claim is made, while in an oath some-one’s character publicly & solemnly sup-ports the claim. In a promise we look at words, while in an oath we look at the person (whether he be the oath-takerortheoath-supporter). Such reminds me of when Paul called on God as witness (Rom. 1:9, 2 Cor. 1:23, Php. 1:8, & 1 The. 2:5).

  25. Hebrews 6:17  Thus God, deter-mining to show more abundantly to the heirs of [the] promise the immutability of His counsel, con-firmed it by an oath…

  26. In other words, ac-cording to our own universal custom, God complied with mankind’s own ac-cepted tradition of oath-taking. Thus God, deter-mining to show more abundantly to the heirs of [the] promise the immutability of His counsel, con-firmed it by an oath…

  27. Paulwas sayingthat God disregarded the implied distrust in His Word alone and took the oath; He just couldn’t make it on any other thanHimself. See…   Thus God, deter-mining to show more abundantly to the heirs of [the] promise the immutability of His counsel, con-firmed it by an oath…

  28. Men make oaths on someone greater than himself (such as God) because he’s in essence saying that if he’s lying, he acknowledges the right of this greater one to punish him. But since there’s none above God to punish HimifHe werelying,He didallHe could possibly do, taking an oath on the very same person that men do—Himself; so if they trust themselves to make an oath on God, surely they can trust God to make an oath on Himself!

  29. This word simply means unchange-ableness; God want-ed Abraham and all his heirs (physical & spiritual) to know that He isn’t a turn-coat. Thus God, deter-mining to show more abundantly to the heirs of [the] promise the immutability of His counsel, con-firmed it by an oath…

  30. ToTimothyPaulsuc-cinctly said that God cannot deny Himself (2 Tim. 2:13), and James said of God that in Him is no variation or [even a] shadow of turning (1:17). Thus God, deter-mining to show more abundantly to the heirs of [the] promise the immutability of His counsel, con-firmed it by an oath…

  31. The term for coun-sel refers to a pro-posalbasedonone’s desire; i.e., God pro-posed or promised certain things to Ab-raham based on His desires for mankind, then He took an oath to fulfill them. Thus God, deter-mining to show more abundantly to the heirs of [the] promise the immutability of His counsel, con-firmed it by an oath…

  32. The term for con-firmed is different thantheoneforcon-firmation in verse 16: this one means to pledge oneself as surety. I.e….   Thus God, deter-mining to show more abundantly to the heirs of [the] promise the immutability of His counsel, con-firmed it by an oath…

  33. Since God couldn’t takeanoathonany-one greater, He in essence, by takinganoathonHimself, became the securi-ty-deposit for the sakeofthispromise. Similarly, Jesus is the surety for the NewCovenant(7:22). Interestingly…  Thus God, deter-mining to show more abundantly to the heirs of [the] promise the immutability of His counsel, con-firmed it by an oath…

  34. Since Paul was heading back into his discussion of Christ’s high priesthood according to the order of Melchizedek, there’s a very distinct possibility that this verse about the oath of God to Ab-raham and his descendants includes His oath concerning Jesus’ priesthood. In 6:20 he brought up Psalm 110:4 again where God spoke of swearing that Jesus will be a priest forever. You know what?   

  35. For Paul, this really is a very smooth transition: moving from an allusion to Psalm 110:4 in 5:6-10 to a warning against apostasy in 5:11—6:12 to Abra-ham as an example of faithfulness due to his trust in God in 6:13-19 then back to Psalm 110:4 about Jesus and Melchi-zedekandAbraham’s connectiontohim (6:20)ismasterfullyaccomplished. Anyway, on to…   

  36. Hebrews 6:18  …that by two im-mutable things, in which it is impos-sible for God to lie,we might have strong consola-tionwhohave fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.

  37. This either refers to two oaths (the one to Abraham and the one about Jesus’ priest-hood)or,asmostbe-lieve, to God’s pro-mise and His oath (v. 17). …that by two im-mutable things, in which it is impos-sible for God to lie,we might have strong consola-tionwhohave fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.

  38. Numbers 23:19 reads, God is not a man that He should lie…. Has He ever promised and not carried it through? (NLT). …that by two im-mutable things, in which it is impos-sible for God to lie,we might have strong consola-tionwhohave fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.

  39. This might be better understood as a for-tress of encourage-ment, because the word for strong refers to a barrier against resistance, while the word for consolation refers, of course, to en-couragement result-ing in consolation. …that by two im-mutable things, in which it is impos-sible for God to lie,we might have strong consola-tionwhohave fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.

  40. Peter once said, The Lord isn’t really being slow about His promise as some think (2 Pet. 3:9); & this was right after he wrote about those who expected Him to come back and deliver them in their generation and were complaining that He wasn’t fulfilling His promise (v. 4). So because God made a promise, took an oath, and cannot lie, they really had no excuse for not being highly motivat-edandmovingforward,nomatter what they were enduring!

  41. This is the same as in the Septuagint version of Deu.4:42 where it speaks of fleeing to a city of refuge. (There were three on each side of the Jordan.) …that by two im-mutable things, in which it is impos-sible for God to lie,we might have strong consola-tionwhohave fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.

  42. These brethren had accepted Jesus as the Messiah, so they were headed for the eternal city of God’s refuge, obeying John the Baptist who warned them to flee from the wrath to come (Mat. 3:7). …that by two im-mutable things, in which it is impos-sible for God to lie,we might have strong consola-tionwhohave fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.

  43. Hebrews 6:19  This hope we have as an anchorof the soul,both sure and steadfast, and which enters the presence behind the veil…

  44. This word is from the term ankuran; so, as you can see, our word “anchor,” like our word “baptism” is actually a transli-teration(a Greek word in English letters). This hope we have as an anchor of the soul,both sure and steadfast, and which enters the presence behind the veil…

  45. Paulwastellingthem that their hope was their anchor—some-thing found on an-cientcoinsasanem-blem of hope. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul,both sure and steadfast, and which enters the presence behind the veil…

  46. This means that it was totally secure in that the chain could not break, and the anchor could not slip off its mooring. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul,both sure and steadfast, and which enters the presence behind the veil…

  47. And where did Paul say this anchor and its chain—hope—extended into? The presence behind the veil, or more literal-ly, the place behind theveil—the most holy place. Think about this:    This hope we have as an anchor of the soul,both sure and steadfast, and which enters the presence behind the veil…

  48. The veil of the temple represented Jesus (Heb. 10:19-20), so when He died this veil was torn in two to signify His death (Luke 23:45); but not only that, for man through Jesus is now invited into God’s presence—behind the veil, something that was forbidden before! Listen to Hebrews 10:19-23:   

  49. Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He con-secrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh. And having a high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience & our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without waver-ing, for He who promised is faithful. However…   

  50. Since the full glories of that invitation wouldn’t be realized until Christ’s high priestly work was completed, then the veil of the tabernacle also signified the transition Christ was making from one covenant to another (from the covenant of sin and death to the covenant of reconci-liation and life). In other words…  