As the name of the book implies, Hebrews is widely accepted as being written with the Jewish population in mind. As in many churches today, there most probably was a wide variance in the depth and breath of their spiritual maturity. Acknowledgement of this reality is helpful to the reader in determining the intended meaning of several difficult passages in the book.
The reader is strongly encouraged to read Hebrews with an open mind and to carefully examine their own beliefs against the teachings they read in the book.
- Read Hebrews 2:3b and highlight the portion that tells how God’s penman received his information about salvation. [NOTE: This is one of the proofs that convince some scholars that the author is not Paul. There are, however, some who still assert that the author IS Paul. You should decide for yourself.]
- Go back to Chapter One and read vv.1-2. Note the different ways by which God communicated in the past with men and compare with how it is done today. When in history, then, would this change have taken place? How important is this piece of knowledge to you personally?
- Reading on in Chapter One at vv.2b-4, what do you learn about who Jesus is and what He has done? [NOTE: The phrase “superior to the angels” probably is used because there was the especially high regard (and perhaps even worship) that some of the messianic Jews living in isolation near the Dead Sea had for angels.
- What is the warning that God gives in Hebrews 2:1?
- What is the warning given in Hebrews 3:12-13?
- What is the proof of our salvation that we must demonstrate according to Hebrews 3:6b and 14? How might these two verses be understood differently depending on whether you believe you CAN lose your salvation or that you CANNOT lose your salvation? [NOTE: Many believe one way or the other. We must be flexible enough to respect each persons personal belief. Believers should not argue about such scriptural teachings.]
- In next month’s issue we will examine the use of the word “rest” as used in Hebrews. This is one of the most powerful teachings in the book.
This is not an especially easy book in the Bible to understand, but is powerful in every way possible way and certainly worth the effort required to truly understand what God is wanting you to know.