Bk Sec Outline Sec Bk The War of Sodom: Abram Rescues Lot Genesis 14 Genesis 14. In this chapter there is much instruction for us. The chapter records the war fought by the confederate armies of Mesopotamia against the confederate armies of Canaan, and how these events involved Abram and Lot. In a practical way, two great […]
Bk Sec Outline Sec Bk Psalm 110 The Vindication of Christ: David’s Lord, the Melchisedec Priest Psalm 110. This Psalm of David is one of the most important chapters in scripture. Aside from the ten commandments, of all Old Testament passages, Psalm 110 and Psalm 118 are the two most commonly quoted passages in the New Testament. […]
Hebrews 5 – 7
Christ’s Priesthood Introduced (5:1-10)
The Superiority of Christ’s Priesthood. The major point of these verses is to show that the earthly high priesthood Israel had pales in comparison with the heavenly priesthood of Christ!
The Qualifications of a Priest (vv.1-4)
v.4 Called by God. Wrong to appoint themselves , like Korah and associates (Num. 16:1-3), or Uzziah (2 Chron. 26:16). Nor right to be chosen by men, like Jeroboam’s priests (1 Kings 13:33). Must be called by God Himself, as Aaron!
How Christ Exceeds Every Qualification (vv.5-10)
v.7 Offered Supplications and Prayers. Every priest offers (v.1), Christ offered prayers too, in addition Himself (Heb. 9:14; 9:26), before He became High Priest, met the qualification. In view Garden of Gethsemane. Offered to God sacrifices He desired from man: dependence, submission, and obedience unto death. Atoning sacrifice not in v.7, ch.5-7 focus on Priest, don’t have cross in view til ch.8-10 (next section). As He offered, did so with more devotion than any other priest. As perfect man, prayed to His God. “Out of death” not “from death”, “from the lion’s mouth”. Full answer seen in resurrection (Psa. 22:21)! No answer during three hours (Psa. 22:2), but when work complete (Psa. 22:21b). Reason: “heard because of his piety”. Different reason than John 13:32, because glorified God.
Warning to False-Professors, Encouragement for Believers (5:11 – 6:20)
Sad Need to Turn Aside to Less Spiritual Things (vv.11-14)
- Repentance from dead works. Change thinking, but deeper than intellect. A moral judgment, soul takes God’s side in a matter. Results in a change.
- Faith in God. Implicit and complete trust in God, and is the condition for justification.
- The doctrine of washings. Ceremonial washings as under the Old Covenant, may even include John’s baptism, not Christian baptism.
- Imposition of hands. Laying on of hands was a sign of conferring blessing, fellowship, or authority. It was an outward sign, practiced in both Old and New Testaments. But those things are not the focus in Christianity!
- Resurrection of the dead. The resurrection is another doctrine that is known and precious to Old and New Testament saints alike. Note that it is simple “resurrection from the dead” rather than “from among the dead”. The latter expression conveys the truth of the special or first resurrection, which Jesus introduced and Paul fully developed.
- Eternal judgment. Another weighty matter that is considered elementary is that of eternal judgment. This was known in the Old Testament and acknowledged in the New Testament. However, the New Testament brings out the hope of the Lord’s coming as the Christian’s hope, and this shows how sad it would be to never move beyond the basics!
- First, they were “once enlightened” by the gospel shining the light of the knowledge of God on their minds. But knowledge is not equivalent to divine life.
- Second, they “have tasted of the heavenly gift” which refers to Christ glorified in heaven. This was an object far above this world. The professing Hebrews tasted this gift in that they were surrounded by those who were looking up, sustained by an object in heaven! But to taste the gift is not the same as receiving it.1
- Third, they had “been made partakers of the Holy Spirit”, not in the sense of indwelling them, but externally in the sense that they were part of God’s House by profession, in which the Holy Spirit dwells. False professors are part of God’s house, and they thus “partake” in a limited sense of the Spirit. The same word for “partakers” is translated “partners” in Luke 5:7. For example, an unbeliever who was attending a local assembly – Paul spoke of the assembly in Corinth; “…God is in you of a truth…” (1 Corinthians 14:25). But only true believers are individually indwelt by the Spirit.
- Fourth, they had “tasted the good word of God”. A person may hear and be attracted to the Word of God, and especially the offer of salvation – even witness the impact of the Word on consciences with power like Simon Magus (Acts 8) – and yet it not be “mixed with faith” (Heb. 4:2).
- Fifth, they had seen “the works of power of the age to come”. The “age to come” refers to the Millennium (Heb. 2:5), when the Spirit will be poured out on all flesh with great power in blessing on the earth. What was witnessed by the Hebrews near the Day of Pentecost displayed in miracles, tongues, and mighty acts of power (Heb. 2:4) was a foretaste of that same millennial power! But even with this testimony, some of the Hebrews would reject it.
7 For ground which drinks the rain which comes often upon it, and produces useful herbs for those for whose sakes also it is tilled, partakes of blessing from God; 8 but bringing forth thorns and briars, it is found worthless and nigh to a curse, whose end is to be burned. vv.7-8 An Example From Nature. The writer of Hebrews goes on to describe the condition and judgment of the Hebrew apostates with an example from nature. He uses the example of rain which falls on two kinds of ground. Both good and bad ground receive the same rain, but they produce different results. If the tilled land produces useful herbs, it proves that it really “partakes of blessing from God”. But if the ground brings forth thorns and briars, then it is “found worthless and nigh to a curse”. Useful growth manifests reality (Luke 8:15). Regression to a worthless state manifests a false profession only, and warrants severe judgment; “whose end is to be burned”. It is remarkable that rain is used as a picture of the blessing of the Spirit, and in the Millennium in a literal way, springs and rivers will be everywhere (Isa. 35:1,7; 41:18), even where there was once desert!
Encouragement for the Faithful (vv.9-12)
The three things mentioned - faith, love, and hope - are the three great moral principles of Christianity; without which there would be no Christianity. Many times in the New Testament faith, hope, and love are put together (1 Cor. 13:13; Gal. 5:5-6; Col. 1:4-5; 1 Thess. 1:3; 1 Thess. 5:8-10; Heb. 6:10-12). Faith is implicit and complete trust in God: a total contrast to the unbelief and skepticism in the world around us. Hope for the believer is a deferred certainly; whether it be the hope of the Lord's coming, or of being conformed to the image of Christ, or of enjoying the glory of God. Love is a settled disposition of favor: something God has toward us, and what we ought to have toward our brethren. These three principles "now abide" (1 Cor. 13:13), and are necessary for the pathway.But not all three will abide forever. Faith and hope are good companions for the pathway, but we will part company with them at door of heaven. Faith and hope are only needed because of the limitations of the human nature. When we get to heaven, we will see that which faith is the evidence or conviction of presently (Heb. 11:1). Our hope, being seen, will no longer be hope (Rom. 8:24). In other words, faith and hope will give way to sight. But love is the essential character of God, and it will never fade nor be replaced! Therefore, “the greater of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:13).
Christ’s Melchizedek Priesthood Greater than Aaron’s (7:1-28)
Hebrews 7. The writer of Hebrews is going to show that Christ’s priesthood is greater than Aaron’s, and the way he will do this is by turning to another Old Testament priest named Melchizedek, who was greater than Aaron, and then showing that Christ is a priest after the order of Melchizedek, and therefore far superior to Aaron. The aim of all this is to show the Hebrews that they lost nothing, and actually gained a great deal more, by leaving Judaism for Christianity. Two scriptures are referenced primarily, Genesis 14 in the first ten verses, and then Psalm 110 in the remainder of the chapter.