The epistle of Hebrews is so vital to Christians in the first century and now because it explains the unique place and power of Christianity's High Priest.
Jesus Christ perfectly fulfilled His spiritual responsibilities and can now aid us in fulfilling ours, which includes keeping God's commandments.
God inspired the book of Hebrews to answer the difficult questions church members were struggling with during the tumultuous first decades of the church.
The Book of Hebrews is a must-read for all members of God's church who seek the key for spiritual growth through a meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ.
The Jewish converts to the Way, although having had the benefit of Messianic prophecies, did not recognize the powerful significance of Psalm 8.
Hebrews emphasizes that spiritual growth and glorification depends on an individual's relationship with Christ, the centerpiece of the Book of Hebrews.
The book of Hebrews' audience consisted of converts from Judaism, suffering estrangement from family and community, excommunicated from the temple.
Hebrews 10:9 does not say that God's law or the Old Covenant has been done away, but that the system of animal sacrifices has been set aside for now.
Who was Jesus Christ? Believers think they know Him from the accounts in the four gospels, but even they are admittedly limited (John 21:25). John Ritenbaugh reveals that the first chapter of Hebrews declares that our preconceptions of Christ fall far short of what He really is.
Hebrews 1:3-4 describes the dramatic transitional period in which God begot Christ, making Him the only human being who could qualify as our Messiah and Savior.
God created angels as ministering spirits to take care of the heirs of salvation. The Bible is filled with examples of angels rescuing God's people from harm.
The book of Hebrews systematically proves Christ's superiority to patriarchs, prophets, the Levitical Priesthood, and angels, establishing His credentials.
To counteract complacency, Hebrews warns against neglecting God's invitation of salvation, which He does not guarantee until sanctification has run its course.
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.
The Bible shows a clear pattern of how people leave the faith: looking back, drawing back, looking elsewhere, and then going backward and refusing to hear.
If we understand the function of the Old Covenant as explained in Leviticus, we will better understand the New Covenant and not reject the law of the Savior.
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.
Although God never intended the Old Covenant to endure eternally, the spiritual law (shared by both the old and new covenants) lasts forever.
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.
In Hebrews, we learn that Jesus is the only- begotten Son, creator and heir of all things, the express image of God's person, and has purged our sins.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that the tumultuous time recorded in Acts is analogous to the current factional secularism, where God's Church is operating in the shadow of religious structures claiming to be "faith-based," but in fact denying God's Laws. Like the original audience of the Book of Hebrews, who battled a …
God personally communicated with Adam, Eve, Abraham, Moses, the prophets, and to us through His Son. With the Scriptures, God teaches His faithful today.
John identifies Christ as co-eternal with the Father, equal in character, but subordinate in authority. Christ's sonship was unique; He was the 'only Begotten Son.'
John Ritenbaugh, suggesting that most of us resemble the Samaritan woman in our understanding of the value of our calling, maintains that our relationship with God is our sole protection from carnal human nature and the deadly pulls of the world. Whatever consumes our time has the power to either edify or distract us. Faith and …
Hebrews is addressed to a people living at the end of an era, who were drifting away, had lost their devotion, and were no longer motivated by zeal.
Without a meaningful relationship with Christ, God's people cannot possibly bear fruit. Our responsibility is to yield to God's creative work in our lives.
The book of Hebrews provides reasons to recapture flagging zeal, focusing on the reason for our hope and faith, establishing Christ's credentials.
Jesus Christ's priesthood is superior to the Aaronic priesthood because Christ tenure is eternal rather than temporal, guaranteeing both continuity and quality.
John Ritenbaugh, examining the socio-cultural milieu before the writing of the Epistle to the Hebrews, explains the difficulties experienced by the new Jewish converts to the Gospel. The powerful testimony of the recently risen Christ, combined with the apostles, who had spent 3 ½ years under His tutelage, were the main factors …
John Ritenbaugh emphasizes the infinite superiority of Christ's priesthood and one-time sacrifice as contrasted to the repetitive Aaronic sacrifices, which were incapable of remitting sin, purging consciences, or providing access to God. The shadow image of the Old Covenant could not possibly provide the clarity, dimension, or …
John Ritenbaugh reiterates Christ's superior qualifications as High Priest. After the change from the Aaronic to the Melchizedek priesthood, it was also necessary to bring about a major change in the Covenant. The flaw in the Old Covenant was not in the law, but stemmed from the fleshly, deceitful, carnal hearts of mankind. All …
Jesus blazed a trail, giving a pattern for qualifying (through suffering and resisting sin) for our responsibility as priests, reconnecting man and God.
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.
We must lay aside every weight, accept God's chastening, receive encouragement from those who have gone before, and get back into the spiritual race.
John Ritenbaugh characterizes the spiritual condition of the recipients of the Hebrews epistle as dangerously complacent, drifting into apostasy through neglect rather than from any blatant sin or perversion. Losing their zeal and first love after the manner of the Ephesians, having a complacent disregard for Christ's sacrifice, …
John Ritenbaugh, observing that Psalm 78 reveals Israel's intermittent fractured-and-restored-relationship with God, emphasizes that those who fail to learn the lessons of history are destined to repeat them. Israel has forgotten her unique position as the only people to whom God has revealed Himself. Sadly, Israel is …
The modern church stands in danger of allowing salvation to slip away. Hebrews gives warnings to help us turn our lives around so we do not fall short.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that everything about the Priesthood of Jesus Christ is superior to that of the Levitical system, which was only intended to serve as a type (a forerunner, shadow, or symbol) of the access to God that Jesus would later fulfill. As splendid as it was, there was neither provision for the forgiveness of …
Hebrews 1:3 and Psalm 2 explain how Jesus becomes something He previously was not. Because of Christ's qualifications, Christianity has a claim on all mankind.
With godly hope, we need to envision the successful accomplishment of God's purpose for us, realizing that God has bound that promise with an oath.
John Ritenbaugh warns that the sheer variety of choices (distractions) available to us today (with their potential accompanying temptations and enervating time-wasting diversions) is extremely stressful because it automatically increases sin and lawlessness, automatically decreasing love, zeal, and affection. Like our society, …
We dare not allow a root of bitterness to spring up in us as a result of trials - those burdens intended by God to strengthen us and perfect us.
In terms of spiritual insight, Hebrews is a pivotal book, whose function is to bridge the purposes and themes of the Old and New Testaments.
Christians often spend so much time engaged in their present-day trials and tribulations that they fail to understand and learn from the experiences of Christians of the past. In the New Testament, God has supplied His church with multiple examples of the difficult times faced by the early church. John Ritenbaugh provides …
John Ritenbaugh, reminding us that Jesus handpicked the twelve apostles for a specific work, notes that there is a strong possibility that God has also handpicked each one of us to fulfill a particular role in the Body. Like an engineer on a building project, Jesus Christ has constructed a blueprint with detailed specifications. …
John Ritenbaugh affirms that Jesus Christ's sinlessness was not the result of being a programmed automaton, but instead as a result of volition or choice—actively struggling against carnal pulls and temptations, enabling Him to fully empathize and have compassion on those tempted in like manner. He experienced exactly the …
We must emulate Christ, who learned through suffering, preparing Himself for His role as High Priest. Giving in alienates us from the fellowship with God.
The ancient Israelites resisted the gospel, refusing to mix it with actual obedience. What they heard never became a part of their lives; Egypt never left them.
If church members are to grow in grace and knowledge and be zealous in producing fruit to God's glory, they need to have their priorities in the right place.
If we patiently endure, trusting in God's faithfulness to bring us to completion, there will be a time when we will attain the rest we desperately yearn for.
Like Jesus and other heroes of faith, we need to look beyond the present to the long term effects of the trials and tests we go though, seeing their value.
Abraham, the father of the faithful, did not have a blind faith; it was based upon observation of God's proven track record of faithfulness.
The book of Hebrews teaches that our relationship to Christ as our Savior, High Priest, and King is the key to salvation. He shows us the way to the Father.
Most of the attrition from the truth stems from losing interest. Drifting away is rarely intentional, but the result of choosing to live carnally.
Because of the confusion in the church of God, many have withdrawn from fellowship, implying they need fellowship only with the Head and not the Body.
As the book of Hebrews ends, the author—likely Paul—pens this benediction: "Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, ..."
All the signs point to Christ's imminent return, yet the Bible warns us not to let down. Hebrews 10 exhorts us to strive to please God and finish our course.
The book of Hebrews resonates for the church of God at this time due to the strong parallels between our circumstances and those of the first century church.
Despite being perhaps the oldest text in the canon, Job contains many detailed, even scientific, insights into the creative and sustaining power of Christ.
God is not only powerful, but He is the source of all power. We can tap into God's power to avoid slipping into apostasy.
Paul never taught any Jew to forsake the Law of Moses, but he did warn against Pharisaical additions for the expressed purpose of attaining justification.
John Reid, reflecting on his skin diving experiences several years ago, recalls that the ocean is always unstable. If we do not latch on to our target in the ocean, it will quickly drift away, very much like the congregation in Hebrews 2:1. Today, we are bombarded by fast moving technology, competing for our attention, causing …
Like with the heroes of faith, our testing will be commensurate with the job God has prepared for us. We must make our relationship with God our top priority.
John Reid, reflecting upon our deadly carnal human nature, warns us to be on guard against our deceitful evil hearts. God wishes to replace this deceitful heart with a new heart, totally composed of God's Holy Spirit. Our carnal human nature has been compared to a coiled spring, totally under control when we put our full weight …
The Law (including the judgments, ordinances, and statutes), far from being done away, shows us our faults and outlines the way of mercy and love—how to live.