These are notes collected from studying with brothers in Christ. Anything good comes from the Lord. Everything else is from us!
I’m so in love with Jesus! So taken up by his majesty in Hebrews 1. Especially notice all the ways the writer is making it clear that Jesus = God:
- “Heir of all things”
- “he created the world”
- “the radiance of the glory of God”
- “the exact imprint of his nature”
- “upholds the universe by the word of his power”
- “much superior to angels”
- God’s “Son”
- “all God’s angels worship him”
This seems as clear as you can make it. Jesus = God!
Regarding Jesus and the angels…
I think this is an important point being made because of how much the Jews looked to angels as the initiators of God’s law: Acts 7:53; Gal. 3:19. So if it could be shown that Jesus is greater than angels, it helps the argument that Jesus’ covenant is superior to the old covenant.
I was really blessed to read Heb 1:14 this morning: we don’t fight alone. Most importantly we have God-Jesus-Holy Spirit (3-in-1)! He also equips us with angels. Man, we really are fully loaded for this battle–amen!
I never caught the statement in Heb. 2:1 – “we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard”. The problem with the Hebrews was not that they used the Old Testament. The writer of Hebrews uses the Old Testament a lot. Jesus uses the Old Testament a lot. The New Testament uses the O.T. a lot. The problem is that they aren’t catching what the O.T. is really saying and pointing to.
^^Paul makes the same point in Romans 3 when rebuking those people who claim they follow the Law, but Paul uses the Law (= Old Testament) to show how it declares all fall short. So they weren’t reading it close enough if they thought they could attain it!
I was also inspired by the calls to action in chapter 3:
v. 1 “Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.”
v. 12 “See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
We must focus on Jesus and approach life through the lens of what he has done for us. Also, we are not meant to do this alone! I feel like going through the Bible and discussing it with you guys is one way that we can live out verse 13. Thank you guys.
The 6 foundations mentioned at the beginning are those shared in common with Judaism. The warning to move on is lest they go backward and think salvation might be Jesus + SOMETHING ELSE. The saddest thing to me is that many identifying Christians may not even be aware of some of these foundations that must be moved on from.
I love that Abraham inherited the promise via FAITH and PATIENCE. I always have a tendency to want to stick something else in there. And that seems the point of the warning in Hebrews: don’t add your works as part of what’s needed to receive your inheritance.
Heb 4: enter Gods sabbath by ceasing to work [unto salvation]
Such a powerful book (Hebrews)! Glad to have a longer book this week to dig into!
10:17 hits me “for if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of truth there no longer remains the sacrifice for sins.”
God’s character is quick to forgive and remembers our sin no more but we can’t just ignore His amazing sacrifice and keep sinning without regard!
I also thought 2:1 was really good “therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard lest we drift away from it.”
We drift toward godlessnesses, and must constantly stay in the word and attached to the vine or we will drift, even if slowly and subtly.
Haha just looked and re-read our messages above and saw again this also jumped out above!
6:4-6 is a tough one for me… wondering if anyone could help?! Can’t we always come back to God, no matter how far we have fallen?! This makes it seem maybe not…
I could be off here, but I read this through the lens of chapter 10: if we produce “thorns and thistles” after receiving the gospel then there is no excuse for us.
I am frequently reminded of Jesus’ words in Matthew 7 when he tells us that we will be recognized by the fruit we produce.
Chapter 10:22-23 are verses that encourage me:
“let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”
We have full assurance because of what Jesus has done for us!
Great insights and questions 🙂
Something that helps me in reading Hebrews is considering the backdrop: don’t fall backwards into following the Old Testament law as a means of salvation. I think they were getting some persecution in fact from Jews/Judaizers for not following Old Testament rituals. So then Hebrews is written to show them that Jesus supersedes the need for OT ritual. And to stand firm when persecuted and suffering.
Along these lines, Hebrews 6 comes along and gives a very somber warning to those who leave Christianity and retreat back into OT ritual. Which brings us to your question…
Basically, I think this is not simply falling into sin that it references. But an actual willful disowning of the faith AFTER they received revelation and indwelling of the Holy Spirit. In other words, they are true Christians, but they willingly forsake their inheritance in Christ and disown Him. To me this is describing the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, which is unforgivable.
I pair this with 2 Tim: if you’re faithless He is faithful (in essence overlooking your falling away or falling into sin), but if you disown/deny Him He will disown/deny you. There, faithlessness is different than disowning/denial. One is forgiven, one is willful rebellion that isn’t forgiven. Perhaps like Judas vs Peter. People who’ve committed this blasphemy are happy to be done with Christ and know they are committing this. If someone is concerned they may have committed this blasphemy I think that’s a sign they haven’t: because they actually care and don’t want to disown Christ.
Again, I love the confidence in prayer shown here: Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner.
Sounds like Philemon 1:22 (if I remember right), where Paul says get a room ready for me because your prayers will deliver me. Prayer is fuel for NT Christianity!