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#184

May we not be innovators but restorers.

HEBREWS 1

In the Old Testament we have seen the first creation and its development (Genesis). In the New Testament we learn that the first creation failed completely and is set aside, and a new creation replaces it. (Romans). In Exodus we learned of redemption by the blood of a lamb, and, of God's first family, the Israelites, coming out of Egypt into the wilderness. God wanted to live with this first family, so He told them to build Him a tabernacle where He could meet those redeemed people. But everything failed. They even crucified the Person Who was going to bring to pass everything God had promised. So God has made an entirely new creation. This time it is heavenly and can never fail. In Romans we read of the beginnings, the foundation of God's heavenly family, the believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. And now we are going to learn the real purpose of our being redeemed... so that God may have a worshipping people.

The book of Hebrews teaches us how we can approach God. Though written to believing Jews (3:1) it is for all believers. We'll read about angels, prophets, Moses, Aaron, Josh, Melchisedec, covenants, promises, sacrifices, but in Christ Jesus the believer has a better sacrifice, a better covenant, and better promises, that which is eternal and heavenly. "Worship" was the key to Leviticus and "access to God" is the key to the book of Hebrews - 10:19-22. Read also Col. 1:12.

Heb 1:1-2 In the Old Testament, God spoke to His people by servants and prophets such as David, Samuel, Isaiah and others. But now, God Himself is speaking to us, for the Lord Jesus is the Son of God. He is also the "heir of all things" and by Him the worlds were made, the sun, moon, stars; all that we can see and much more. Jn 1:3 and Col. 1:16.

Heb 1:3 The glory of our blessed Savior, Who He is what He has done, and where He is now. We owe our life and breath to Him. He, by Himself purged or washed away our sins and now sits on the right hand of the majesty on high.

Heb 1:4-8 The Lord Jesus is superior to angels. We shall find quite a lot of this "comparing" in Hebrews, the words "better" or "much better" as in verse 4.

Heb 1:6 Angels are told to worship the Lord Jesus for He is God.

Heb 1:8-12 We are not to worship angels. These same words were written by a man who lived a thousand years before the Lord Jesus (read Ps 45:6-7). How did king David know to write almost the same words about this glorious Man Who was to come 1,000 years later.

Heb 1:13 No angel was ever told to sit at the right hand of God.

Heb 1:14 Angels are God's servants to take care physically of the believers today.

#185

Diligence is needed to manifest the unity of the Spirit on earth. Eph 4:3.

HEBREWS 2

Heb 2:1-3 It if was a serious thing to dishonor the law of the Old Testament, how much more serious it is to neglect the wonderful and complete salvation that is now offered.

Heb 2:5 "The world to come", refers to the time when the Lord Jesus will reign in power and glory over this earth in the millennium. We shall then reign with Him - over the earth. 2 Tim. 2:12.

Heb 2:7-9 Adam, because of sin, was sent out of the Paradise of God (Eden); Christ, to cleanse away sin (not His, but ours) was sent out of the Paradise of God (heaven), but now has been given the very highest place in heaven.

Heb 2:10 He was always perfect, but in order to perfectly understand our suffering and trials, He Himself has experienced suffering. So we can always turn to Him in any suffering or trial we may have. He understands for He is a "perfect Captain".

Heb 2:12-13 It makes His Father's heart happy to have us gathered around our Lord Jesus, Who is so happy that He sings praises to His Father.

Heb 2:14-18 He became a real Man, but also a "merciful and faithful high priest". The same One who died to redeem us, now lives to keep and to help us (read Rom 5:10).

#186

NOAH, (Heb 11:7) had faith in God, listened to God, had a fear of God, and so he acted for God.

HEBREWS 3

Heb 3:1 Perhaps this verse explains why we are not told the name of the writer of this book. We are to consider (spend much time learning about) the "apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus".

Heb 3:2-6 The Lord Jesus compared with Moses. The Jews were very proud of the times when their leaders saw angels. Moses was one of their famous leaders. But there is One who is far above any angel or any of their leaders. When this book was written, there were many Jews who found it popular to say they were Christians. God knew those who were real, and would warn those who only "profess". He does the same today.

Heb 3:14 Another "if". There were many who came out of Egypt at the time of Moses, but some did not believe. God knew the heart of every one. There are many today who like to be called Christians but never have believed in Jesus as their own Savior.

#187

Don't act on any matter unless you get an evident direction from the Lord. In other words, if you don't know what to do, WAIT. The Lord's direction is always positive.

HEBREWS 4

Heb 4:1-2 A serious warning for those who heard the Word of the Lord in the days of Moses, but did not truly believe. This warning is still very much needed, for there are many who say they believe the Bible, but have never accepted the Lord Jesus, by faith, as their Savior. They do not think that they are sinners.

Heb 4:3-11 The Lord Himself rested on the seventh day, after the work of creation. Those who know the Lord, already enjoy the wonderful rest of conscience through His finished work. But there is another rest - eternal rest, yet to come. The name "Jesus" in verse 8 is really the same as "Josh" in the Old Testament.

Heb 4:12-13 The Word of God searches right into every heart and reveals all that people cannot see.

Heb 4:14-16 We believers have the same One who died for us, now living for us as a sympathetic High Priest. The chapter began with "Let us therefore fear" now ends with "Let us therefore come boldly". In this chapter we have four things. Rest... the Word of God... a Great High Priest... and a throne of grace!

Heb 4:12-16 The more keenly we feel the Word of God hitting the conscience, the more we will value the service of our great High Priest, the Lord Jesus in heaven.

#188

What is a pastor? A person who can bear the whole sorrow, care, misery and sin of another on his own soul, go to God about it, and bring from God what will meet it, before he goes to the other.

HEBREWS 5

The Lord Jesus is compared with Aaron the priest.

Heb 5:1-3 An earthly priest, such as Aaron, was himself a sinner and had to offer sacrifices for himself as well as for the people. In this, of course, the Lord Jesus was far better, for He did no sin (1 Pet 2:22) and was able to offer Himself as a perfect sacrifice once.

Heb 5:5-6 The Lord Jesus was chosen to be a priest by God Himself. "Thou art my Son" - this is His personal glory. "Thou are a priest for ever" - this is His official glory.

Heb 5:8 When He was in heaven as Son with His Father, there was never any question of obedience. But when sent into the world as Man to do the Father's will, the Lord Jesus learned the meaning of obedience, and what it meant to suffer.

Heb 5:9 The work is finished. The Savior who died, now lives, and is the author (beginning) of "eternal salvation". We are not only saved from our sins, but the One who saved us, now lives for us, and is coming for us.

Heb 5:11-14 It was hard for the Hebrews to learn some of these new things, for they had not yet given up the old things. They still honored angels, Moses and Aaron, and as we shall see later, the temple, the priests and the sacrifices. But this book was written to tell them that Someone "much better" had come. All those things which meant so much to them, were only pictures of the One who had now come.

#189

Every privilege has a responsibility; but every responsibility has a power to carry it out.

HEBREWS 6

Heb 6:1-8 Are verses which have been used by some to say that a person could lose his salvation. But we all should realize that the persons referred to here were never true believers.

Heb 6:1-2 These are things which were believed by Jews before the full truth of Christianity was made known.

Heb 6:4-5 Some of those things may be known by a person without being born again.

Heb 6:6 There were many who had seen much of the wonder of Christianity, but were not saved at all. It is most serious to see how very near a person can be to the knowledge of the wonderful truth of Christianity, and yet be lost. For if one has known the truth of Christianity, in the head, and then turns from it, there is no salvation anywhere else. "Knowing about" is not "believing in".

Heb 6:9 Here the writer speaks to the true believers... "we are persuaded better things of you...", making it clear that he was contrasting them with the mere professors spoken of earlier in the chapter.

Heb 6:11-20 How sure and steadfast is the hope of the believer! Abraham had only promises on which to rest, but those who know the Lord, have a finished work and a living Savior in the heavens, the One who had made salvation sure to us. This hope is absolutely certain but is yet future. Our hope in Christ is a sure and steadfast anchor. The "Anchor" (Christ) is in heaven.

#190

The line between narrowness and faithfulness, is a very narrow one.

HEBREWS 7

The Lord Jesus is compared with "Melchisedec", who was both a king and a priest -first in the days of Abraham - Gn 14:18-20 and Ps 110:4.

Heb 7:2 First King of righteousness, and after that... King of peace. A picture of the Lord Jesus, who satisfied all the righteous demands of God on the cross that we might have peace. He will also defeat all His enemies in righteousness, and then bring peace to the earth (after Christians are taken to heaven). Christ is both King and Priest.

Heb 7:3 This does not mean he had no father or mother, but that he wasn't in any line of priesthood... he just suddenly appears, as a type, and disappears.

Heb 7:4-17 How very great this man Melchisedec was, and yet it is all written in order that we may see how much greater is the Person of our glorious High Priest, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Heb 7:19 All the demands of the law, and all its sacrifices, and all its priests, never made anything perfect. But a better hope did! How wonderful that we have in Christ that better and certain hope!

Heb 7:25 There is One who lives for us now, and who is able not only to save us - not only from our sins, but to take up through the trials and the testings of our life until we are home.

Heb 7:26-28 What a perfect Savior and Priest we have! In one sacrifice, He has for ever finished the work and now lives for us "higher than the heaven".

#191

I am incapable of presenting truth to believers, unless I am conscious of my weakness.

HEBREWS 8

Some of those Jews who had received this letter were apparently finding it hard to understand that many of the things they had learned from their old religion were now replaced by one Person, Jesus Christ. They had to learn that the old things were merely pictures of Christ.

Heb 8:6 "A more excellent ministry" - "a better covenant"... "better promises". How often we have noticed this! How much better is the wonderful place that is ours in a risen Christ, than under the bondage and the sacrifices of the law.

Heb 8:8-9 To understand this, we should remember that God made an agreement (the Bible calls it a "covenant") with Israel in the Old Testament days. They completely disobeyed it and thus broke it. In our verses we read the words "finding fault with them", this refers to the fact that they had broken the agreement.

Heb 8:10-12 The Lord is going to make a new agreement with Israel (after we believers are caught away to heaven). This, however will be based on the perfect work of Christ on the cross.

#192

There is more happiness in the fact of being in communion with Him than in the things that He communicates.

HEBREWS 9

Heb 9:1-5 If we think back to the Old Testament days we would see priests in gorgeous robes, golden furnishings and many sacrifices. What a magnificent sight! But would we know our sins forgiven once and for always? No. Would we have peace of conscience? No. Would we be able to draw near to God? No. None of these things could be enjoyed under the "first covenant".

Heb 9:8 "The way into the holiest of all (where God lived) was not made known".

Heb 9:11 "But Christ being come..."

Heb 9:12-24 What a comparison! "By His own blood... (He) obtained eternal redemption". No more sacrifices, for this redemption is eternal. What a joy it must have been to a believing Jew, to see that all those sacrifices, as well the tabernacle and the priesthood, pointed to this one glorious Savior, and His mighty work! (We rejoice too, for it is for us also.)

Heb 9:16 The word "testament" is much the same as the word "will", which is written by someone to tell what is to be done with his possessions when he dies. But that will is of no value until the man dies. Christ had to die in order for us to receive the promised blessings.

Heb 9:23 That same word "better"... surely the blood of Christ is far better than the blood of all the animals ever sacrificed.

Heb 9:24 Christ is above, watching over us all the while that we are down here - the present.

Heb 9:26 "Hath" .. this is what He did and completed at the cross - the past.

Heb 9:28 "Shall appear" - He is coming again - the future.

#193

It is the knowledge of Christ that matures my soul.

HEBREWS 10, Verses 1-22

Heb 10:1-4 Many sacrifices were offered in the tabernacle and in the temple, that did not really take away sins - they were just pictures of the one true and perfect Sacrifice on the cross.

Heb 10:5-9 The Lord Jesus took a body and offered Himself as the one perfect sacrifice.

Heb 10:10 "Sanctified" means set apart from others for God, as holy. This was the will of God, and that "will" was accomplished through the work of Christ on the cross. Now we are sanctified. The Israelites were to be a separate people. (1 Kgs 8:53), but they failed, for their salvation depended on them. We are sanctified by the work of Another.

Heb 10:12 Many, many animals had been offered and yet the work was never done. But after the Lord Jesus offered Himself as that one sacrifice He sat down in heaven... the work was done for ever.

Heb 10:14 Right now as God looks at each believer, He sees each made perfect for ever through the one sacrifice of His beloved Son. Do you realize that?

Heb 10:19-22 Now we are fitted and invited to enter into the holiest - into the very presence of God.

Verses 8 to 22 give us examples of "patience of faith" of those who simply waited on God and trusted Him.

#194

If I indulge in the world's tastes, I shall not see much in the loveliness of Christ to attract me.

HEBREWS 10, Verses 23-end

Heb 10:23 We are told to hold fast, and then we are reminded that, although we are weak, yet He is always faithful.

Heb 10:26-31 In spite of that one sacrifice and all its perfect value, there still was the danger that some might profess to be Christians, and later turn away entirely. For such, there was no hope, nothing left but punishment. These were never believers... Those who do not believe in eternal security, use these verse 6:4-6, also 2 Pet 2:20-22 to try to prove that a person could be lost after having once been saved. (But see Jn 10:28).

Heb 10:29 "Sanctified" - If a person turned from Jewish sacrifices, and took his place among Christians by profession, he was in that way set apart from those who were still religious Jews. He has the name of a "Christian". If such a professor turns against the Christianity which he professed, see what words are spoken to such a man.

Heb 10:32-34 The marks of real believers in Christ.

Heb 10:39 There were many whose profession of faith in Christ was real.

#195

Keep your feet in the narrow way and your heart as large as you can.

HEBREWS 11, Verses 1-22

Heb 11:1-3 God has told us how the world was made - "by the Word of God". That means that God created things by His saying "Let there be..." as in Gn 1. And this we believe by faith. If we believe God's Word, we understand creation. But if God's Word is doubted, there is nothing but confusion and speculation. Faith gives substance to that which we hope for. Many people today don't believe God created the world. Read Jer 10:10 and see what the people will do when God's anger is let loose on this earth. The word "faith" appears only twice in the Old Testament. Deut. 32:20 and Hab 2:4.

Heb 11:4 Abel believed that he was a sinner, he was a son of guilty Adam and Eve. Therefore he offered a sacrifice in which blood was shed. God accepted that sacrifice; not Cain's in which there was no blood. We can say this verse tells us of "worship", verse 5 of a "walk" of faith and verse 7 a "warning".

Heb 11:5 God took Enoch to heaven without dying - a picture of what will happen to every believer when the Lord comes for us. "He pleased God". A wonderful example for us!

Heb 11:7 In the names that follow (Noah, Sarah and Abraham and others) only their faith is spoken of. There is no mention of their failures. The time is coming when the Lord will review the life of all those who are believers. All the stains of sin will be gone - only that which was done for the Lord, in obedience to His Word, will be rewarded then.

Heb 11:21 All Jacob's busy efforts during his life are left out. As an old man, he had learned that he had no strength of his own, and he learned, and worshipped.

#196

It is nearness of heart to Christ which produces simplicity.

HEBREWS 11, Verses 23-end

Heb 11:23-24 give us examples of the "energy of faith" which overcomes.

Heb 11:25 A good choice for us to remember. Moses could have been a very famous man, but by faith he chose to suffer trials with God's people because of verse 26. There may be offers of fame and wealth that must be faced, but if we choose by faith, we shall choose to please the Lord.

Heb 11:33-34 There have been men and women of faith who have been delivered by God.

Heb 11:35 "And others"... (middle of verse) were not delivered. God valued their faith alike. We also may not be delivered from our trials, but may have to bear them all the way to the end of the journey.

Heb 11:39 First three words. They take in all the above people. Isn't that just grand! To summarise the chapter... verses 8-22 seven witnesses of faith in a "strange" country; verses 23-31 seven witnesses of a walk of faith in the wilderness. Verse 32; seven examples of the warfare of faith in the land of Israel.

#197

Fellowship with God means... common thoughts and happiness with Him

HEBREWS 12

Heb 12:1 This "cloud of witnesses" refers to those who are spoken about in chapter 11. When we realize what they suffered, we also will want to be more faithful to the blessed Lord in our life. And then we will be happy to see that all this will bring glory and joy to Him. We will want to put out of our life everything that would slow us down (the weights) and the sin which stops us!

Heb 12:2 Jesus was the only perfect Man of Faith, and so we are to keep our eye on Him.

Heb 12:5-29 All about our Father. How loving and all-wise He is!

Heb 12:5-11 Here we find other trials which we cannot lay aside. We are to realize that they are permitted by our Father. Every wise father has to correct and punish his children when they disobey. We who are fathers are not always wise in this, but our Father in heaven is perfect in His wisdom and in His love when He disciplines us. Verse 5 tells us what not to do... verse 11 gives us the positive promise of blessing.

Heb 12:18-21 Mount Sinai, where the law was given to the Jews. What a dreadful condition to be under the curse of that broken law! This is actually the condition the nation of Israel is in now. (Not the individuals, for any one can be saved who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Heb 12:22 Mount Sion. The word "Sion" means "grace" or "sunshine" - and this is how God is acting toward us now.

Heb 12:24 Cain was punished for the shed blood of Abel, and Cain had to go out from the presence of the Lord. But the shed blood of the Lord Jesus is the only way by which all who trust in Him can come into the presence of God.

Heb 12:26-28 Things in the world, that once were quiet and peaceable, are now being shaken. Terrible unrest increases. But thank God there is that which cannot be shaken, and it will remain for ever. We belong by grace, to that kingdom which cannot be moved.

Heb 12:29 Our God is one Who burns up the dross without destroying us. Take a minute to read Deut. 4:24, 3l, 7:9, 21. The more we know Him, the more we trust Him and love Him.

#198

Human responsibility is as distinctly taught in Scripture, as human impotency.

HEBREWS 13

Heb 13:1-6 God watches our lives, and wants believers to behave in a way that would be for His glory, and that would also show a pure life before those who are not saved.

Heb 13:4 We are living in times when this verse is needed very much, for people are ignoring the very foundation of society, as established by God.

Heb 13:5 "Be content". We will be if we believe the end of the verse.

Heb 13:7-8 The ones who may have been a help to us in bringing us to the Lord, or helped us to understand God's Word. If a servant of the Lord does his work well, he will turn the eyes of everyone toward the Lord Jesus, who is always the same, and always will be.

Heb 13:8-9 We have everything in Christ and have to take care not to be involved in strange doctrine.

Heb 13:1 - Brotherly love, toward one another. Heb 13:2-7 Holiness toward one another. Heb 13:9, Truth toward one another.

Heb 13:10 Christianity is entirely new and different from the Old Testament. Read verse 15 with verse 10.

Heb 13:13 Jesus was taken outside the religious city of Jerusalem and there He was crucified. If believers wish to be true to Him now, they will be gathered around the Person of the Lord Jesus, outside of all the religions and denominations of men. To be gathered around any other name is to be disobedient to Eph. 4:3. Christ is rejected, He has been cast out by this religious world. It does not say to go forth unto a church or a creed, but unto Him. Does He attract your heart?

 

by Norman Berry - 1911-2001
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