Dec 17 Heb 1:1-5:10; Pro 27:9-16

Hebrews was once thought to be certainly a letter of Paul. Today many do not think that Paul is the author. But then the majority of these thinkers do not believe the Bible to be the very word of God. I personally think Paul was the author. Whether you do or not, just be aware that not everyone will agree with you.

Note first of all the high position of Christ in the writer’s estimation (1:1-4). Then note the amount of Scripture quoted (1:5-13). And don’t miss the comment at verse 14, that angels are all ministering spirits sent out by God and they who cannot inherit salvation minister to us who can and do.

There is a bit of “depth” to the argument in chapter 2. Man is a little lower than the angels (in prestige and authority), Christ is over all and all is subject to Him. But we do not see all subject to Him–yet! (2:1-8). Verses 7 and 9-10 speak of the “emptying of Himself” that we read about in Philippians 2:5-7. Finally in 2:17 Paul comes to the topic of Christ as High Priest, a subject which he treats from various angles throughout the book.

Why does he call Jesus an Apostle? John does the same in his Gospel. An apostle is one who is sent, John refers to Him as the One sent from the Father. The role of high priest though is a new one for us–at least in the New Testament. In the Old Testament we have read that the high priest yearly made sacrifice on behalf of the people (and himself). He was the intermediary between God and the people and the sacrifice was to take away the “rightfully earned” wrath of God toward His sinful people. And as mentioned, this sacrifice had to be made over and over. God the Father sent Christ His Son to be the ultimate sacrificial lamb, to take away the sin of the world, once and for all time!

Because of the sins of the previous generations God had said “They shall not enter My rest” (3:11; Psalm 95:11). Rest, remember, signifies that final rest that is given to those who remain true to God to the end–heaven.

Hebrews is also a book to which believers go to support their beliefs in whether a person can lose his salvation or not. Although Paul seems to say both that they can and cannot, I am of the opinion that they can (although it takes great effort and determination to do so), but I do not think it is something to worry about. Here at 3:12-19 Paul warns believers NOT to lose faith, NOT to fall away. How do we remain strong and refrain from falling away? We must ask the Lord in prayer, we must also be careful in our decisions and turn to Him for wisdom and strength. Apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5).

5:1 reminds us that we need to be working out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12), that is consciously striving to do good for Him. The difference between those who heard the Good News and fell away and those who “remained” is FAITH (4:2). We cannot fool God, but will be judged by Him for all we do and are (4:8-13). We have as our high priest, our intercessor, Jesus the Son of God. He has lived a perfect sinless life, setting the example for us, and He mediates for us. Therefore we should serve Him with confidence (4:14-16).

Paul introduces the topic of Christ as a high priest in the order of Melchizedek at 5:6 and mentions it again at 5:10. He will speak more on the subject. Melchizedek is otherwise only mentioned at Genesis 14:17-24 and Psalm 110:4 and eight times in chapters five to seven of Hebrews.

Proverbs: Friendship is very important, nurture it carefully. The wise exercise wisdom and foresight, the foolish are overtaken by obvious calamity that the wise would have avoided. Steadily dripping rain is like a contentious woman, she cannot be stopped.