21 August 2021 | Hebrews -Jesus is Greater than Anything: Part 1

The main theme of Hebrews is “Jesus Christ superior and above and over everyone and everything.” Simply put for our study, Jesus- Greater than anything.

Supremacy = Supreme authority or power. Highest in rank, paramount, greatest, utmost, last, final, or ultimate.

Old Covenant – Old Testament – the covenant or promise between God and Israel that a messiah would be sent to save and redeem them.

New Covenant – New Testament – that the promise of a savior was through Jesus Christ the one and only son of God. The messiah is here and has become the sacrifice for the sins of man. Salvation through Jesus. 

First three verses describes Jesus Greatness and His Divine personhood.

Background – 

AUTHORSHIP – The bottomline is no one knows who wrote the book of Hebrews. What we do know is that it was written by a believer, to persecuted believers living in the east outside of Israel. Some have said Paul, some said Apollos, and some have given credit to Peter, but because of the way it is written and styled, it is more than likely not any of them. And the fact that the letter doesn’t give credit to an author, we will assume we do not know. However, what we do know is whoever it was, was guided by the Holy Spirit. One of the Early Christian teachers, Origen, simply stated, “No one knows.”

It seems to be only appropriate that no one knows the name of the Author, since the whole book is devoted to making much of the Supremacy of Jesus. 

AUDIENCE – (You must understand this to understand the different teachings of the letters, WHO IS THE AUTHOR TALKING TO, helps to understand the arguments that are being made.)

First it seems that the letter was written to a Jewish congregation. Hebrews.  The reason we believe that, is gentiles are never mentioned. As in other letters anytime the author was writing to a mixed group its is mentioned because of the drastic differences in the Jews and Gentiles.

We know that the audience had been evangelized or told of the Gospel. Hebrews 2:3-4, But it was told to them and they hadn’t seen Jesus themselves.

Most believe it was written shortly after the resurrection of Jesus and place the time of the letter around 70AD.

3 Types of readers or audiences – 

1. Hebrew Christians – 

These were believing Jews who had come out of Judaism. This is important to know, because this group still had ties to the Old Covenant. Waiting on the Messiah, all the legal and ritual aspects of Judaism, yet they had been born again but now were struggling with not being pulled back to the Old Covenant way, or even worse mixing the Old Covenant and New Covenant in Jesus and becoming very legalistic and confused. These men and women faced hostility and even persecution from their own people. 

Hebrews 10:32-34, “But remember the former days, when after being enlighten, you endured great conflict and sufferings, partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated. For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one.” 

Reminds me of that Johnny Cash lyric, “You can have my empire of dirt.”

Hebrews 12:4, “You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin.” – not yet killed for their beliefs.

This letter was written to give them confidence in the New Covenant in Jesus. They were being encouraged to not go back, but to stand strong in their new relationship with Jesus Christ. 

2. Hebrew non-christians who were intellectually convinced. 

These Hebrews were fully convinced in their minds that the Gospel and story of Jesus was true, they were convinced, however they were not yet willing to make a commitment of Faith to Jesus. They weren’t followers yet even though they believed in their minds. 

Intellectually convinced but spiritually uncommitted. 

MacArthur, “They believed that Jesus was the Messiah, the Christ, spoken of in the Jewish Scriptures (Old Testament), but they had not been willing to receive Him personally as their Savior and Lord.” 

Hebrews 2:1-3, “For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so the we do not drift away from it. For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?”

Again addressed – 

Hebrews 6:4-6, “For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame.” 

Here is the warning to the intellectually believing, yet spiritually uncommitted.

Hebrews 10:26, “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.” 

3. Hebrew non-christians that were not convinced. 

These are the Hebrew Jews that do not believe and have not been convinced in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are simply lost and not even entertaining Salvation through Jesus. 

Hebrews 9:14-15, “How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the mediator of a New Covenant, in order that since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”

Hebrews 9:27-28, “And inasmuch as it is appointed fro men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many shall appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to show who eagerly await Him.”