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A Study Of The Apostle Paul’s Letter To The Hebrews

Don’t fall away!. Don’t Depart!. Don’t neglect your salvation!. Don’t cast away your confidence!. Don’t harden your heart!. Don’t drift away!. A Study Of The Apostle Paul’s Letter To The Hebrews. How can we neglect so great a salvation? ~ Hebrews 2:3 . Hebrews: Christ Is Superior!

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A Study Of The Apostle Paul’s Letter To The Hebrews

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  1. Don’t fall away! Don’t Depart! Don’t neglect your salvation! Don’t cast away your confidence! Don’t harden your heart! Don’t drift away! AStudyOf TheApostlePaul’s LetterTo The Hebrews How can we neglect so greata salvation? ~ Hebrews 2:3

  2. Hebrews: Christ Is Superior! Superior Person (1:1—4:13) Superior to Prophets (1:1-3) Superior to Angels (1:4—2:18) Superior to Moses (3:1-19) Superior to Joshua (4:1-13) Superior Priest (4:14—7:28) Superior to Aaron (4:14—6:12) Superior to Melchizedek (6:13—7:10) Superior to Levi (7:11-28)but… We’ll only study verses 20-28 today.

  3. Hebrews: Christ Is Superior! Superior Pact to Moses’ (8:1—10:18) Superior Promises (8:1-13) Superior Sanctuary (9:1-15) Superior Sacrifice (9:16-28) Superior Results (10:1-18) Superior Principle (Faith) to Moses’ (10:19—13:25) Superior Things (10:19-39) Superior Actions (11:1-40) Superior Relationship (12:1-29) Superior Way of Life (13:1-25)

  4. In 7:1-10, based on the premise that Jesus is our High Priest after the order of Melchizedek (6:20), Paul wrote of the greatness of Mel’s priesthood even over Levi’s priesthood that God Him-self set up. Yes, God established both, but one was greater than the other. In7:11-19he wroteabouthowChrist’s priesthood replaced Levi’s priesthood. Now…   

  5. In 7:20-28 we’ll consider his explana-tion for this substitution. In a nutshell we’ll discover that the priesthood of which Jesus is our High Priest is muchsuperiortothepriesthoodof which Aaron was a priest because of what Jesus accomplished for us through it— our redemption, that which the Levites could never accomplish.

  6. The two basic arguments are that (1) unlike the Levites, Jesus was made High Priest by an oath from God, andthat(2)unliketheLevites,neither JesusnorHispriesthoodwilleverneed to be replaced—it’s timeless!

  7. Hebrews 7:20-21   Inasmuch as He wasn’t made priest w/o an oath (forthey have becomepriests w/o an oath,but He w/ an oathby Him who said toHim, “The Lord hassworn and will notrelent, ‘You are apriest forever ac- cordingtotheorder of Melchizedek’”)…

  8. Godtookoathsinor-der to indicate the unchangeableness of things that He set in order (cf. 6:17). This teaches us two things here:   Inasmuch as He wasn’t made priest w/o an oath (forthey have becomepriests w/o an oath,but He w/ an oathby Him who said toHim, “The Lord hassworn and will notrelent, ‘You are apriest forever ac- cordingtotheorder of Melchizedek’”)…

  9. 1. Since the Levite priests became priests apart from anyoathbyGodat all,thenGodnever meant that priest- hood tobe unend- ing; without an oathfromGod, itcould be (& was) changed(cf.7:12, what Paul built onfrom here on out). In contrast … Inasmuch as He wasn’t made priest w/o an oath (forthey have becomepriests w/o an oath,but He w/ an oathby Him who said toHim, “The Lord hassworn and will notrelent, ‘You are apriest forever ac- cordingtotheorder of Melchizedek’”)…

  10. 2. Since(asPaulsaid here as well as in 6: 18-20,which he ob-viously still had in mindhere)Goddidswearanoathcon- cerning Christ’s priesthood, then it, unlike the Levi- ticalpriesthood,is un-endingandun- changeable—an oath God won’t renege on. So…  Inasmuch as Hewasn’t made priest w/o an oath (forthey have becomepriests w/o an oath,but He w/ an oathby Him who said toHim, “The Lord hassworn and will notrelent, ‘You are apriest forever ac- cordingtotheorder of Melchizedek’”)…

  11. Why did God swear relative to Jesus but not relative to Levi or his descendants? Becausetheyweren’t chosen based on their morality or spirituality, but on theirlineage. However…    Inasmuch as He wasn’t made priest w/o an oath (forthey have becomepriests w/o an oath,but He w/ an oathby Him who said toHim, “The Lord hassworn and will notrelent, ‘You are apriest forever ac- cordingtotheorder of Melchizedek’”)…

  12. JesusandHispriest- hood were establish- edby anoathof God based on His char-acter (5:1-10). Inasmuch as Hewasn’t made priest w/o an oath (forthey have becomepriests w/o an oath,but He w/ an oathby Him who said toHim, “The Lord hassworn and will notrelent, ‘You are apriest forever ac- cordingtotheorder of Melchizedek’”)…

  13. Hebrews 7:22 …bysomuchmore Jesus has become a surety of a bet-ter covenant.

  14. This could simply read by which; i.e., by God’s oath con-cerning Him. …bysomuchmore Jesus has become a surety of a bet-ter covenant.

  15. This is in what’s called the perfect tense, meaning that it refers to a past action with present effects; i.e., Jesus became and isasurety. …bysomuchmore Jesus has become a surety of a bet-ter covenant.

  16. This word refers to a guarantor—one who makessure the covenant is carried out by both parties involved. In fact, I discovered some-thing else that’s in-teresting about this term:    …bysomuchmore Jesus has become a surety of a bet-ter covenant.

  17. All five Greek terms in Strong’s that begin with egg (eng in English) are re-lated to the hand, something close by: Eggizo: to make near, to be at hand Eggrapho: to engrave, inscribe, write with the hand Egguos: (fromlimb e.g.the hand):pledged(e.g. by handshake); a bondsman Eggus: at hand, near, nigh, ready Egguteron: (comparative adj.) nearer, closer at hand So what’s my point?  

  18. It’s obvious that the etymology of this term carries with it the idea that what-ever was/is being guaranteed was/is something that would occur soon, at least within the lifetime of the reci-pient, meaning also, of course, that it was future, that it hadn’t arrived yet. So…  …bysomuchmore Jesus has become a surety of a bet-ter covenant.

  19. To bring this all to-gether, we could read it like this:Be-cause Jesus was made High Priest by an oath from God, He is the chosen Guarantorofasoon-to-arrive and better covenant. …bysomuchmore Jesus has become a surety of a bet-ter covenant.

  20. This word comes from a term which actually refers to anarrangementmade byasuperior forthe benefit of an inferi-or. I.e.…    …bysomuchmore Jesus has become a surety of a bet-ter covenant.

  21. Because of Jesus, we’re under a much better arrangement than were our Abra-hamic ancestors un-der Moses. Now…  …bysomuchmore Jesus has become a surety of a bet-ter covenant.

  22. Speaking about Christ and His priest-hoodbeingestablishedasendless and consistent by an oath from God, Paul went on in the next two verses to ex-pand on this thought.

  23. Hebrews 7:23 And there were many priests, be-cause they were prevented by death from con-tinuing.

  24. Let me mention two significant side-notes here. Firstly, this verseisactually in the present tense in the original, indi-cating that the Levi-tical-Aaronicpriest-hoodwas still being adhered to by the Jews … until AD 70 anyway. And there were many priests, be-cause they were prevented by death from con-tinuing.

  25. Secondly, since it’s the high priesthood of Jesus that’s un-der consideration, Paul (by his use of the wordpriestshere)was obviously referring specifically to the high priests. So…  And there were many priests, be-cause they were prevented by death from con-tinuing.

  26. His point is that, whereas death kept any Aaronic high priest from remain-ing a priest forever, Jesus, who received His priesthoodafter His resurrection, is no longer subject to death. By the way…  And there were many priests, be-cause they were prevented by death from con-tinuing.

  27. According to Milli-gan, at the fall of Jerusalem, Phanni-as became the last— the 81st—highpriest. And since 81 is the sacred number 3 squared & squared again (34), this sug-gests that the full-ness of God’s inten-tion for the Levitical system was com-pleted in AD 70. And there were many priests, be-cause they were prevented by death from con-tinuing.

  28. Sometimes we hear about the illegal handling of a will, but because Jesus not only wrote and died for His will, but also rose from the dead to probate it Himself, He’s, with-out dispute, the perfect High Priest! And there were many priests, be-cause they were prevented by death from con-tinuing.

  29. Hebrews 7:24 But He, because He continues for-ever, has an un-changeable priest-hood.

  30. Inverse8Paulspoke of Levitical priests as mortal (having to depend on lineage), while in verse16 he spoke of Jesus as having an immortal character, not hav-ing any posterity or any need for one. But He, because He continues for-ever, has an un-changeable priest-hood.

  31. This word comes fromatermthatwas used on a legal con-tractandmeant that it was valid and (un-like the contract with Israel through Moses) unalterable, some-thing that should’ve provided them a confidence like they had never experi-enced before. But He, because He continues for-ever, has an un-changeable priest-hood.

  32. This term also car-ries with it the idea of something that cannot be stepped across or into, mean- ing that it can’t be destroyed, and it isn’t transferable. But He, because He continues for-ever, has an un-changeable priest-hood.

  33. As Paul said later, Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (13:8), meaning that, while under the Levitical priesthood you might have a nice, moral priest one day and a not-so-nice, immoral priest the next, Jesus was, is, and always will be the same. But He, because He continues for-ever, has an un-changeable priest-hood.

  34. Hebrews 7:25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost thosewhocometo God through Him, since He ever lives to make interces-sion for them.

  35. This word is from a term which means completely or per-fectly;i.e.,He,asour eternal High Priest, doesn’t just roll sins forward for a year (cf. 10:1-3); He for-gives them forever, remembering them against us no more (10:17). Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost thosewhocometo God through Him, since He ever lives to make interces-sion for them.

  36. The drawing near to God idea in verse19 is defined here by Paul as coming to God through Christ; as Jesus Himself once said, No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6). Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost thosewhocometo God through Him, since He ever lives to make interces-sion for them.

  37. This is from a term whichactuallyrefers to everything Jesus has done and is do-ing even now as re-gards our salvation. (Today the word is pretty much limited to prayer, but this was not the case with the Greek word.) Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost thosewhocometo God through Him, since He ever lives to make interces-sion for them.

  38. Hebrews 7:26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us who is holy, harmless,undefil-ed, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens.

  39. Verses 26-28 are a sketch of The Ideal Priest, a priest who isn’t just better than the Levitical priests, but even better than Melchizedek, whom Paul left behind at this point to focus on the perfection of Jesus, His priest-hood, and His new covenant. For such a High Priest was fitting for us who is holy, harmless,undefil-ed, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens.

  40. Jesus,whocontinues forever & has an un-changeable priest-hood, is the most suitable high priest for us because only He can save to the uttermost. Besides those things, He is…    For such a High Priest was fitting for us who is holy, harmless,undefil-ed, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens.

  41. The Old Testament background for this particular original term describes a person whose rela-tionship to God was based on covenant faithfulness. For such a High Priest was fitting for us who is holy, harmless,undefil-ed, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens.

  42. It described one who genuinely fulfilled … not only the exter-nal, but also … the internal (the heart) expectations of the covenant; such a one was all who God wanted him to be. For such a High Priest was fitting for us who is holy, harmless,undefil-ed, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens.

  43. Jesus, having been perfectly loyal in obedience and hav-ing lived a life of perfect integrity, was all God wanted Him to be … for us. He’s also…    For such a High Priest was fitting for us who is holy, harmless,undefil-ed, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens.

  44. While holy brings to mind Christ’s rela-tionship to God, harmless brings to mind the idea of Christ’s relationship to His fellowman; e.g., even when He cleansed the temple and was wrongly executed, He hurt no one. He’s also…  For such a High Priest was fitting for us who is holy, harmless,undefil-ed, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens.

  45. While holy has to do with God, and harm-less has to do with people,undefiledhas to do with evil; i.e., Jesus wasn’t conta-minatedbyHisasso-ciation with sinners. For such a High Priest was fitting for us who is holy, harmless,undefil-ed, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens.

  46. These three adjec-tives describe Jesus spiritually, morally, andreligiously. Fur-thermore, He’s…  For such a High Priest was fitting for us who is holy, harmless,undefil-ed, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens.

  47. I.e., Jesus isn’t onlydistinctorindepen-dantofsinners be-cause He’sholy,harmless, &undefil-edorwithout sin(4:15),but also be-cause He…   For such a High Priest was fitting for us who is holy, harmless,undefil-ed, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens.

  48. This means that, un-like Aaronic high priests,Jesus sits at the very right hand of God Himself, as this context goes on to say in8:1. For such a High Priest was fitting for us who is holy, harmless,undefil-ed, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens.

  49. In4:14Paulsaidthat Jesus hadpassed throughtheheavens, and inEph.4:10he said that Jesus isfar above all heavens that He might fulfill all things. So…  For such a High Priest was fitting for us who is holy, harmless,undefil-ed, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens.

  50. Even though Jesus came in the like-ness of sinful flesh (Rom.8:3), received and ate with sinners (Luke15:1-2), & was a friend to them (Mat. 11:19), He re-mains separate from them because He refusedtoparticipate in their evil deeds. For such a High Priest was fitting for us who is holy, harmless,undefil-ed, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens.

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