Good mornin to you my friend.
This mornin I was reading the first three chapters in the book of Hebrews as a normal course of my daily reading, and I decided to post a few of the verses that leapt out at me.
And while posting those verses, I decided to add a little bit of commentary about the book of Hebrews in general to help people understand it better. Because I know of at least one mature (dispensational) Christian who’s expressed that it’s a difficult book to understand. (When in reality it’s one of the easiest books to understand). The difficulty in understanding a book like Hebrews comes from viewing it with the lens of false religion (like dispensationalism or arminianism) which divides the body of Christ, or denies the finished work of Christ applied to every saint of God.
So with that preface understood, here’s the information that I have for you to help you navigate the book of Hebrews…
Here’s a handy key to understanding the book of Hebrews in general:
Like the epistle of 1 John, the book of Hebrews was written to a mixed-audience of both saved and lost people.
And like the book of James, the writer of Hebrews was speaking to fellow Jews. So when you see words like “brethren” in this book, understand that such phraseology doesn’t necessarily mean “Christian” brethren.
It’s also very important to keep in mind that this letter was originally written to first century Hebrews who lived during the era of animal-sacrifices for sins at the temple.
So for them, transitioning to the (then) new way of approaching God by the once-for-all perfect sacrifice of Christ was a radical shift from their familiar way of approaching God.
That’s why so much detail is spent in the first several chapters of this book contrasting the supremacy of Christ as our perfect high priest and His perfect singular sin-offering…over the inferior and obsolete system of the Levitical priesthood and ongoing animal sacrifices.
The book of Hebrews may have originally been written to first century Hebrews, but it’s fully applicable to every saint in Christ (right now). You may identify yourself as a Gentile Christian, but (the false doctrine of dispensationalism notwithstanding) every saint of God (every Christian) regardless of one’s earthly identity is part of the Israel of God. You’re not some sort of 2nd class citizen in God’s kingdom like dispensationalism would have you to believe.
See for yourself:
11 “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;”
2 Timothy 3
16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
15 “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.”
Also of great importance, did you know that in the first 10 chapters of Hebrews, the only sin that’s named is “an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God” ?
(We see that sin spelled out in Hebrews 3.12).
For the first 10 chapters, faith (or the lack of it) is the book’s focus where mortal man is concerned.
The warnings of apostasy that are sprinkled throughout this letter are also tests of distinguishing real Christians from false Christians.
Here’s an example:
The words “hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end” isn’t something that one must muster up to do to be saved. It’s an evidence of someone who was legitimately saved by God. A way of distinguishing true Christians from apostate false Christians who fall away because of their evil heart of unbelief.
While the absence of faith or departing from Christ (especially in relation to the degree of light that’s given to a person), is the maximum insult God/sin that a person can commit against God. Which of course brings His greatest wrath on such a person.
“Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?”
Incidentally, the book of Hebrews is one of my two favorite books in the Bible (the other is Galatians). As it’s jam-packed with good news for every believer.
So friend, I encourage you to prayerfully engage it, and personally own the finished work of Christ for yourself.
(It’s thrilling to embrace having been fully sanctified and spiritually perfected in Christ!)
Here’s those verses that this post started out as:
6 “But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,
8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.
10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.
11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)
12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.”
All glory to the risen Lord Jesus Christ, and no glory to us whatsoever!
[Here’s my video about warnings in the book of Hebrews: https://youtu.be/0ZQ2oMaW7UY%5D