The Genesis To Revelation Bible Course
By WILLIAM M. GROOM, Th.M., D.D.
Lesson No. 58 – Hebrews
Copyright, 1921 BY THE BIBLE STUDY PUBLISHING CO.
* KEY VERSE–Heb 1:1-2.
* KEY PHRASE–“THE GOSPEL IS SUPERIOR TO THE LAW.”
Prof. Bruce calls “The Epistle of the Hebrews the first defense of Christianity.” Read the book through and for family altar read:–
* Sunday–Christ is superior to prophets and angels,–Heb 1.
* Monday–Christ is superior to Moses,–Heb 3.
* Tuesday–Christ is superior to Aaron.–Heb 5:1-10.
* Wednesday–The New Covenant is superior,–Heb 8:6-13.
* Thursday–A superior worship,–Heb 10:19-31.
* Friday–The faith-way is superior,–Heb 11:1-14.
* Saturday–Christ is the Author and Finisher of faith,–Hebrews 12:1-15.
WRITER–Most probably Paul, although scholars are divided on the question of authorship, and think that Apollos wrote it.
DATE–About 65 A. D., before the destruction of the temple.
TO WHOM WRITTEN–To the converts from Judaism, probably in the church at Alexandria in Egypt, which was founded by Mark.
OCCASION–These Jewish Christians were subject to severe persecutions and to constant arguments and contempt from the non-Christian Jews. This so weakened their resistance and faith that they were in danger of abandoning their allegiance to Jesus Christ, and of going back into Judaism.
1. To prove that the Old Covenants and Ceremonial Laws of Moses came to an end in Christ.
2. To warn against the leaving of the substance of the gospel and the going back to the shadow of the Law.
1. Prophets and Angels.
3. O. T. Priesthood.
4. New Covenant.
Great Fact I. Christ Is Superior to Prophets and Angels
Heb 1; 2.
God, who in former generations spoke to our forefathers through His prophets, has in these latter days spoken to us by the Son. the Heir of all things, through whom He made the universe. He is the radiance of His glory, and the very expression of His Being, the Upholder of the universe, and the Deliverer of men from sin. Christ is as much superior to angels as His name, Son, is superior to theirs, servants. Therefore, it is dangerous to reject the great salvation, offered, not by angels, but by the Lord Himself, whose testimony was confirmed by God with signs and miracles and the imparting of the Holy Spirit. God has not given to angels the control of the future world but will place all things under man. Jesus tasted the bitterness of death for mankind, in order that He might render the Devil powerless. who has the power of death, and to deliver men from fear of death. Jesus came not to the help of angels, but to the help of men, in order that He might prove a sympathetic and faithful High Priest in all man’s relations with God.
1. We see something of the dignity of the Christian, for God cares for him, and angel’s minister unto him.
2. We see the dignity of service, for angels, the highest order of created beings, are but ministering servants and minister unto the heirs of salvation.
3. We see the supreme dignity of the Son of God for He is the Lord of angels, is surrounded by a thousand thousands of them, who veil their faces before His glory while they praise Him.
Great Fact II. Christ Is Superior to Moses
Heb 3; 4.
As Moses was faithful in all his affairs, consider how faithful to the God who appointed Him was Jesus, the High Priest of our religion. He was worthy of far higher honor than Moses, just as the master of the house has more honour than its steward. Moses was faithful as a witness, but the faithfulness of Christ was that of a son.
Take warning from the unbelief of Israel which prevented them from entering the Land of Rest promised them by God. They did not enter into the real spiritual rest that God had promised because of unworthiness. True rest comes when we are perfectly in tune with God, as all nature was when God finished the work of creation and rested on the seventh day. Let us make every effort to come into harmony and true rest with God, for nothing can be hidden from His sight. Because Christ is our High Priest let us draw near boldly to the Throne of Love, to find pity and love for the hour of need.
1. Moses was only a part of the household of faith, Christ was the Founder of it.
2. Moses was but a servant in God’s house, Christ was the Lord of it.
3. Moses’ life and work were but a type of things to come, Christ was the Reality. So everything on earth that we value is only a symbol of something better in Christ. Happy are we if before the symbol fades we have grasped the reality, if when Moses passes out of sight. Jesus is left!
Great Fact III. Christ Is Superior to the Old Testament Priesthood
Heb 5; 6; 7; 8:6.
Christ not only has the qualifications which Aaron, the earthly high priest, had but in addition, He is a priest forever after the order of the eternal Melchizedec priesthood. We should leave behind us the elementary teachings about Christ and press on to maturity, not going batik to the first stages of the Christian life, to start it all over again. For if it were possible for those tasting of the heavenly gift and partaking of the Holy Spirit, to fall away, It would be impossible to bring them to repentance again, for they have recrucified the Son of God and exposed Him to open contempt.
The order of Melchizedec, after which Christ was made a priest, is superior to that of Aaron because this priesthood is continuous and will never end. Abraham, and the priests in the Aaronic line, paid tithes to Melchizedec showing him to be the greater, also he, the superior, gave his blessing to the Aaronic line, the inferior. Further, the Aaronic priests could not make men perfect, because they themselves were mortal and sinful, but Christ is eternal and sinless, wherefore He is able to save and sanctify to the uttermost all who come to God through Him.
1. Christ’s priesthood. like that of Melchizedek, was:–
2. A royal priesthood, they were both Kings of peace and righteousness.
2. Was for all mankind, and not for the Jews only.
3. Had no human ancestry.
4. Remains forever without a successor. When Melchizedek (passed away no one stepped in his place, so the priesthood of Christ continues forever.
5. It awakens gratitude which will be shown in the payment of tithes for promoting the gospel.
Great Fact IV. The New Covenant Is Superior to the Old
Heb 8:7 to Heb 10:39.
First, because of its superior spiritual promises to write God’s law upon men’s hearts and minds, and to be merciful to their wrongdoings.
Second, because Christ officiates in heaven, a superior sanctuary.
Third, because in the old temple the priest entered the Holy of Holies only once a year, but Christ has entered it once to all.
Fourth, Christ has not Offered the life, of calves and goats which gave ceremonial purification only, but He sacrificed Himself as a lamb without blemish, to cleanse our conscience from dead rituals, to serve the living God.
Therefore we should boldly approach God through Christ, the new and living way. Let us have hearts full of faith, and never have our hope shaken. Let us invite ourselves to love and noble actions, and not neglect the assembling of ourselves together for worship, especially as the Lord’s coming is drawing near.
Great Fact V. The Superiority of Faith
Remember the heroes Of faith who subdued kingdoms, ruled righteously, gained the fulfilment of God’s promises, shut the mouth of lions, quelled the (fury of the flames, escaped the edge of the sword, found strength in the hour of weakness, were mighty in war and routed hostile armies–all this through faith which is the title deed to things hoped for and gives us a foretaste of things not seen. These heroes endured every kind of torture because in their sublime conquering faith they saw the reward that awaited them. As yet they have not entered into all that God promised them, but in fellowship with us will enter into the complete realization of all spiritual blessings.
LESSON–It is impossible to be a hero in anything unless one Is first a hero in faith. Faith will make us live like kings, and our only crown is worn in the heart, and our deeds are written down only by angels. The exalted lives of these brave men of old should inspire us to be strong, and to quit ourselves like men, yea, to live and die full of faith.
Great Fact VI. The Superiority of the Christian’s Privileges and Duties
Heb 12; 13.
Because of the great company of onlookers from heaven, we should be willing to give up every sinful habit, to run life’s race with patience, to endure chastening, follow peace and purity of heart, ever looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.
We have not come to Mt. Sinai, from which came the Law, and which showed the abiding places of God’s nature, but to Mt. Zion (which stands for the churches, the abiding places of God’s spiritual presence) which show forth the Greatness of God’s love.
However, we must be very careful not to turn away from Him who teaches from Heaven and we should practice Christian virtues, and be loyal to Christ and the leaders in the church, Heb 13:7.
LESSON–What a wonderful contrast there Is between the Old and New Covenants.
1. Sinai, an earthly mountain surrounded by gloom and storm, vs. Zion representing the churches, full of Heavenly light and comfort.
2. Israel gathered around the mountain, were forbidden to touch it and were afraid, Vs. Christians gladly receiving the word, baptized, added to church, glad fellowship, praising God, shrouded in darkness, revealed in fire. Vs. Christians drawing near to God with true hearts and full assurance of faith.
3. The priests offering the sacrifices of slain beasts, vs. the Christian offering his body as a living sacrifice, offering the fruit of his lips, praise and offering his substance.
4. The blood sprinkled on the people to ratify the old covenant, did not cleanse the conscience. Vs. The ever-cleansing blood of Christ that makes complete atonement for sin.
Questions on the Lesson
1. Give the key word and key verse.
2. Who the writer?
3. When written?
4. To whom written?
5. What the occasion?
6. Give the purpose.
7. Name the great facts.
8. Show that the Son and Heir is superior to phrophet and angels.
9. Tell about the dignity of service.
10. Tell about the dignity of the Christian.
11. Tell about the supreme dignity of the Son.
12. How may we enter into true spiritual rest?
13. Give three points showing that Christ is superior to Moses.
14. How may we leave behind the elementary teachings of Christ?
15. Give five points showing that the priesthood of Christ is like that of Melchizedec’s.
16. Give four points showing that the New Covenant is superior to the Old.
17. Name some of the things done by the heroes of faith.
18. Why should we be willing to give up sinful habits?
19. What did Mt. Sinai show and what Mt. Zion?
20. Read the five contrasts between Mt. Sinai and Mt. Zion.
21. How much of Hebrews have you read?
If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. — Philippians 2:1-4 KJV