Summary of Hebrews
The Book of Hebrews is a collection of letters Paul wrote to Hebrew believers to help them to understand the difference between older traditionally accepted teachings in Judaism to the newer ‘Christian’ belief of the new covenant. During this time the Hebrew believers were under intense persecution and many were thinking of returning to their beliefs in Judaism.
In Chapters 1-10: Paul explains that Jesus Christ is superior to all the angels in heaven, for “…all the angels of God worship him.” (Hebrews 1:6) We learn about the Atonement and the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for our Salvation. We are also taught the difference between the Aaronic and Melcizedek priesthoods, one being of a higher order than the other.
In Chapters 11-13: Paul defines Faith as “…the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) We are also taught that as we have earthly fathers here in this life, we also have a father of our spirits; Heavenly Father. Finally Paul elaborates on why Marriage is honorable and why we should be content with the things that we have. He leaves his last letter with encouragement for the struggling Hebrew Christians
Hebrews 13: Marriage is Honorable
Paul opens his address to the Hebrews by exclaiming; “Let brotherly love continue.” (Hebrews 13:1) Paul explains that we should be kind to everyone, including strangers. Paul explains that often times you may run into an angel and not even know, just as the Apostles did not recognize Jesus Christ (see Luke 24)
Paul explains that “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” (Hebrews 13:4) Essentially Paul is telling us that marriage is a very honorable thing to do, and is even encouraged. However we should never cheat on our spouse and anyone who commits adultery or fornication will be judged by God.
Paul explains that we should “…be content with such things as we have.” (Hebrews 13:5) We should never complain about or situation or want things that are beyond our basic needs. Be content! We should never fear man, because; “…The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” (Hebrews 13:6)
Paul explains that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:8) He warns us to “Be not carried about with… strange doctrines…” (Hebrews 13:9), because the Gospel of Jesus Christ is simple.
Hebrews 12: God is our Heavenly Father
Paul writes to the Hebrews and explains that we should; “…lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1) Paul uses ‘weights’ to describe sin, and then tells us to be patient in the race of life. But one must consider how much easier that race could be ran, and finished with less to weigh us down!
Paul urges us to look; “…unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2) Paul explains that Jesus is our FAITH, and He put aside His life for US! We should look unto Him during our good times and our bad times, for He truly knows how we feel when we are sad, but also knows how we feel when we are happy. He can be there through the good and the bad, if we are also there with Him through the good and the bad.
Paul likens God our Eternal Father with our earthly fathers; “…we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits and live?” (Hebrews 12:9) Paul lays out our divine lineage; we are SONS and DAUGHTERS of God the Father! If we respect and love our earthly fathers, should we not love and respect even more the Father of our Spirit? Paul explains that in life we will go through trials and often times we feel like God is punishing us, either for our sins or to make us stronger; “…no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous… nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness…” (Hebrews 12:11) In other words, being punished (or feeling like we are being punished) in the present is not fun. But God knows all, and He has a plan for us all! Therefore after we are punished we can grow and then receive the fruit righteousness, a heavenly peace.
Paul goes on to explain that in the days of Moses, there were consequences for rebelling against the word of God. Paul tells us that we have “…come unto mount Sion [zion], and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.” (Hebrews 12:22-23) Essentially Paul is saying that we will be brought to judgment, God being the Judge of all, but presiding over a group of judges of men who were made perfect.
Hebrews 11: Faith
Paul explains that “…faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) He goes on to explain that by FAITH and not BY EVIDENCE; “…we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God [word of God=Jesus Christ]…” (Hebrews 11:3)
Often times people think they need facts and evidences; however we do things by FAITH and FAITH alone; for by faith…
“…Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain…” (Hebrews 11:4)
“…Enoch was translated that he should not see death…” (Hebrews 11:5)
“…Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark…” (Hebrews 11:7)
“…Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac…” (Hebrews 11:17)
Paul continues with many other “by faith…” stories, however he explains that “…out of weaknesses were made strong…” (Hebrews 11:34) With Faith, anything is possible.
Hebrews 10: The Just Live by Faith
Paul explains that the way sin was taken away from the people in the Old Testament; through the shedding of the blood of animals can no longer take away the sin. Instead we “…are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10) The sacrifice, also known as the Atonement of Jesus Christ was the ultimate price paid for the sin of mankind. Jesus Christ gave us a way to return to live with our Heavenly Father again.
Paul invites those followers of Christ to “…draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:22) For if we sin after we come to the knowledge of Him, it will be difficult for us to be forgiven, for we know right from wrong;
“For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.” (Hebrews 10:26)
Essentially Paul is telling us that we need to live by faith and once we have knowledge of our Redeemer, we need to live a pure and clean life (as best our abilities).
Hebrews 9: Christ = The Mediator
Paul writes to the Hebrews and explains that in times of Old (the Old Testament) a priest would come into the Holy Tabernacle once a year to “atone” for the sins of the people. However, Christ came to Atone for the sins of the people with a far greater tabernacle, which was His own body, the very same body that He sacrificed and Atoned for us. In order for this Atonement to take effect, Jesus Christ had to die for the Testament. This is similar to “last will and testament”, which is only executed upon death of an individual. Because of this it was necessary for Jesus Christ to die for our sins. Those who follow Him; “…are called [to] receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” (Hebrews 9:15)
Paul explains the divine mission of Jesus Christ;
“…Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands… but into heaven itself…. Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the scone time without sin unto salvation.” (Hebrews 9:24;28) Therefore those who follow Jesus Christ will be given salvation when Jesus Christ returns for the Second time.
Hebrews 8: Christ Sacrificed for Sin
Paul explains to the Hebrews that the Old Covenant has “…waxeth old [and] is ready to vanish away.” (Hebrews 8:13) Paul urges the Hebrews and everyone who can read this letter (either then, or today) should; “…teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” (Hebrews 8:11-12)
Essentially Paul has reminded us that God is merciful. This means that is DOES NOT matter if we have sinned in the past, as long as we put it in the past. Those who come to Christ, will have their sins and wickedness be forgotten by Him.