When Hebrews was written, the newly converted Jew to the Way encountered persecution from the established religion and culture similar to what we experience.
Even as Hebrews prepared the first century church for persecution, so it is also relevant to today's church as it faces an increasing assault on God's law.
Hebrews was written to fulfill several needs of the first-century church. One of the most critical was to explain God's opening of eternal life to the Gentiles.
The conversion of Cornelius is nearly as pivotal as the original Pentecost because the Gentiles are given the same portal of salvation offered to Israel.
Parts of God's law are not presently required, yet not 'done away." Paul took a vow that required animal sacrifice. Ezekiel 34-48 shows the sacrificial law observed.
Paul's insistence that a relationship with God could not be established by keeping the law did not lead to the conclusion that the law had been done away.
Early converts from Judaism claimed to accept the Law but had difficulty accepting the Lawgiver. Today, many claim to accept Christ, but will not accept His Law.
Paul established his identity and credentials as a Jew in order to build a foundation from which to provide a logical defense of his 'apostasy'.
Paul demonstrated inner peace during turmoil, showing consistency in times of instability and faith in God during persecution, fulfilling the role God gave him.
God made the gospel available to the Gentiles to provoke Israel to jealousy. The key to breaking down the enmity and animosity is to put on Christ.
The Acts 15 decision did not do away with God's law, but solved the question of circumcision and the misconception that it was a recipe for salvation.
Circumcision was the sign God gave Abraham indicating that his descendants would ascend to greatness, acquiring physical and spiritual blessings.
Circumcision is a token, sign, or seal that one was the heir of Abraham. No physical sign has the power to transfer righteousness to the doer.
The people of Lystra and Derbe mistake Paul for Hermes and Barnabas for Zeus. When Paul convinces the crowds that he and Barnabas are not gods, they are rejected.
Jesus Christ was not just an extraordinary man, but also possessed the massive intellect needed to create, design and implementing all manner of life—He was God.
Even though the evidence from creation is overwhelming, people deliberately want to disregard it because accepting it would require submitting to His will.