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Introducing Hebrews

These notes are intended to help you as we hear the message of the Letter to the Hebrews on Sundays

Why study the Letter to the Hebrews?

  1. To know the relationship between the Jewish and Christian covenants.
  2. To know the meaning of the Jewish system of Old Testament worship.
  3. To find a sure guide to heaven.
  4. To gain the most complete and grand view of the Great Author of Christianity.
  5. To gain a clear understanding of His work and particularly of his sacrifice for sins.
  6. To get strength to bear your trials and troubles with patience and hope.
  7. To find help to keep you from falling or turning away from Christ.

What are we exhorted to do and not to do?

In the letter he exhorts us positively and negatively. Positively, he tells us to fix their thoughts and eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 3 v 1 Hebrews 12 v 2) Negatively, he warns us not to drift away; turn away; fall short; give up; throw away; shrink back; miss the grace; refuse him who speaks; or forget [Hebrews 2:1; 3:12; 4:1; 10:25; 10:35; 10:39; 12:15; 12:25; 13:16].

Who wrote Hebrews?

No one really knows as there is no name included in the letter itself. There are strong arguments for and against Paul being the author. We cannot solve the problem of centuries, but the balance of evidence points away from Paul. See Hebrews 2 v 3 , Paul would not have written that (see Galatians 1 v 12 and Acts 9 v 4). Also consider 2 Thessalonians 3 v 17. Best to say with Origen, “But who wrote the epistle, to be sure, only God knows.”

What is the message of the Letter to the Hebrews?

Hebrews 13 v 22 – it is a word of exhortation i.e. it is a pastoral letter urging us to remain true to Christ and the Christian Faith. Look at the exhortations he gives:

  1. 2:1 – 4 “We must pay more careful attention, therefore.”
  2. 3:1 “Therefore, holy brothers…fix your thoughts on Jesus”
  3. 3:12 – 19 “See to it, brothers”
  4. 4:1 – 3 “Therefore…let us be careful”
  5. 4:11 ” Let us therefore make every effort”
  6. 4:14 – 16 “Therefore…ket us hold firmly to the faith”
  7. 6:1 – 3 “Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings”
  8. 6:11 – 12 “We want each of you to show this same diligence”
  9. 10: 19 – 39 “Therefore, brothers…let us draw near to God”
  10. 12 :1 – 28 “Therefore…let us throw off everything that hinders”
  11. 13:1 – 25 “Keep on loving each other as brothers”

Hebrews 3 v 1 it is also a word of doctrine i.e. it is a well ordered argument for the superiority of Christ and Christianity over every other system of belief. The grand theme is “Fix your eyes on Jesus the apostle and high priest whom we confess

How is the Letter to the Hebrews divided?

William Hendriksen in his Survey of the Bible suggests two large divisions:

[1] Jesus is worthy of your faith 1:1 – 10:18.

[2] Have faith in him, therefore, and do not fall away 10:19 – 13:25

I hope these nortes will help you study this very precious book in our New Testament.

Jeremy Bailey