God speaking through the writer of Hebrews, has laid out a plan for Christians to follow. This plan shows that Jesus
Christ is the only way to appropriate a living faith. Jesus is not only capable of meeting every human need, He is available
as the Source to enable Christians to live what they believe.
HOW TO LIVE WHAT YOU BELIEVE.
How to Live What You Believe
A LIFE-RELATED STUDY IN HEBREWS
RAY C. STEDMAN
Published by Regal Books
A Division of Gospel Light
Ventura, California, U.S.A.
Printed in U.S.A.
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GOSPEL. Scripture quotations from RSV of the Bible, copyrighted 1946 and 1952, by the Division of Christian Education
of the NCCC, U.S.A. Used by permission. Also quoted are: KJV--King James Version, Authorized King James Version,
Philippians--THE NEW TESTAMENT IN MODERN ENGLISH, Revised Edition, J.B. Philippians, Translator. @ J. B.
Philippians 1958, 1960, 1972. Used by permission of Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc.
Formerly published under the title What More Can God Say?
@ Copyright 1974 by Ray C. Stedman All rights reserved
library of Congress Catalog in Publication Data
Stedman, Ray C. How to live what you believe. 1. Bible. N.r. Hebrews-Meditations. 2. Christian Life-Biblical teaching. I.
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Some of us were gathered in a home discussing the state of affairs of the world. We commented on the fears,
the tensions, the sense of futility that we find in so many circles these days. Earlier someone had read the
eighth chapter of Paul's letter to the Romans, where he speaks of the whole creation groaning in bondage
with futility stamped upon all things. In our discussion the question arose: What can we do about this? As
Christians we know the answer to the world's problems, but how can we make the world believe the answer?
Among us was a young Christian who seemed considerably troubled by our discussion. With a deeply
concerned look on his face, he said, "Why is this? Why doesn't the world believe what we have to say?" Then
he added, "I think it's because so many Christian don't act like they believe it themselves." Then he asked the
logical but thorny question: "How can we make Christians believe what they believe?"
This is the very theme of the book of Hebrews! How to make Christians believe--how to make Christians act
like Christians. This is what the world is waiting to see and what the epistle was written to produce. It is
addressed to a group of Jewish Christians who had begun to drift, to lose their faith. They had lost all
awareness of the relevance of their faith to the daily affairs of life. They had begun to drift into outward
formal religious performance while they lost the inner reality. Doubts were creeping into their hearts from
some of the humanistic philosophies that abounded in the world of their day. Some of them were about to
abandon their faith in Christ, not because they were attracted again by Jewish ritual and ceremony, but
because of persecution and pressure. They felt that it was not worthwhile, that they were losing too much;
and that it was possible that they had been deceived and the message of Christ was not true after all.
No one knows exactly where these Christians lived. Some feel this letter was written to Hebrew Christians
living in the city of Rome. Others believe it was written to the most Jewish city an earth in that day,
Jerusalem. That is my own personal conviction. If anyone wished to influence the world of Jewish Christians,
surely Jerusalem would be the place to start.
No one knows far certain who wrote the letter, either. If you read this letter in English you are almost sure
that Paul wrote it, since so many of the thoughts are obviously Pauline. But if you read it in Greek you are
equally certain that Paul did not write it, for the language used is far different from that in Paul's letters.
There have been a great many guesses throughout the centuries, including Luke, Silas, Peter, Apollos (the
silver-tongued orator of the first century), Barnabas, and even Aquila and Priscilla. It is my own conviction
that the apostle Paul wrote it in Hebrew while he was in prison in Caesarea after his visit to Jerusalem, that it
was translated by Luke into Greek and that Luke's Greek translation is the copy that has came down to us
The writer sees one thing very clearly--that Jesus Christ is the total answer to every human need. No book of the New Testament focuses upon Christ like the book of Hebrews does. It is the clearest and most systematic presentation of the availability and adequacy of Jesus Christ in the whole of the Bible. It presents Christianity as the perfect and final religion, simply because the incomparable person and work of Jesus Christ permits men free and unrestricted access to God. In every age that is man's desperate need. There is no hunger like God-hunger.
The argument of this first section is very simple. Immediately and somewhat bluntly the writer declares that
God has spoken to man in Jesus Christ. This is the theme of the epistle. The very nature of that message
indicates that Christ is a stronger word than that which came through the prophets. He also has a greater
name than that of the angels. And He Himself is a surer word to man than the law.
In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days
he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he
created the world. He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding
the universe by his word of power (Hebrews 1:1-3).
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?