The Epistle to the

Study Guide & Class Notes
Rev. David R. Leigh

The Book of Better Things: Hebrews
Instructor: Dave Leigh – 847-571-3011 – –



Jesus, the unique and ultimate self-revelation of God

Jesus' Superiority Over Angels 1:4-14 2:1-4 2:5-18 Jesus, superior to all angels Admonition from implications (I) Explaining Jesus' humiliation and purpose, in view of his ultimate superiority

Jesus' Superiority Over Major OT Figures and Accomplishments 3:1-6 3:7-19 4:1-10 4:11-13 Jesus, superior to Moses Admonition from implications (II) Superior sabbath rest Admonition from implications (III)

Jesus' Superior Priesthood and Sacrifice 4:14-5:10 5:11-6:8 6:9-20a 6:20b-7:28 8:1-10:18 Jesus, the superior High Priest Admonition from implications (IV) Exhortation to excel: superior fulfillment of Abrahamic promises and anchor of hope Superior New Covenant priesthood: Order of Melchizedek Superior Covenant

Fixing Our Eyes On Jesus: Exhortations to Enduring and Overcoming In Faith 10:19-39 11:1-12:13 12:14-29 13 Admonition from implications (V) Encouragement from Old Covenant examples Admonition from Old Covenant examples and implications Concluding exhortations: practical and personal comments

The Book of Better Things: Hebrews
Dave Leigh – 847-571-3011 – –

Introducing the Best of the Best!
Hebrews 1:1-3
“God in the past spoke to our ancestors by/in/through the prophets at many times and in various ways....” (1:1) Examples: Moses (Exodus 3:2ff) Elijah (1 Kings 19:12ff) Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1ff) Hosea (Hosea 1:2) Amos (Amos 8:1) through a burning bush through a still, small voice in a vision of the heavenly temple in his family circumstances in a basket of fruit

“God [conveyed] his message through visions and dreams, through angels, though Urim and Thummim, through symbols, natural events, ecstasy, a pillar of fire, smoke, or other means. He could appear in Ur of the Chaldees, in Haran, in Canaan, in Egypt, in Babylon. There is no lack of variety, for revelation is not a monotonous activity that must always take place in the same way. God used variety.”— Leon Morris, The Expositors Bible Commentary (in loc)

Seven Descriptive Statements About Jesus
“But in these last days (lit: “on the last of these days”or “now at the end of the ages”) he has spoken to us by/in/through his Son....” (1:2-3) This Son is the one who (is): 1. Appointed heir of all things

2. The one through whom God made the universe

3. The radiance of God's glory

4. The exact representation of his being

5. Sustaining all things by his powerful word

6. Provided purification for sins

7. Sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven

The Book of Better Things: Hebrews
Dave Leigh – 847-571-3011 – –

Jesus as Human & Divine In Hebrews
Divinity of Christ 1:1 “Son” Humanity of Christ 1:6 “And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world...”

1:2b-3b “....through whom also he made the universe. The Son is 2:7-9 “'You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet.' In being, sustaining all things by his powerful word....” putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him. 1:6 And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, says, 'Let all God's angels worship him.'” now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” 1:8 “But about the Son he says, 'Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your 2:10-12 “In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was kingdom.'” fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what 1:10 “He also says, 'In the beginning, Lord, you laid the he suffered. Both the one who makes people holy and those who foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to hands.'” (cf Ps 102, addressed only to Yahweh.) call them brothers and sisters. He says, 'I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters....'” 2:14-18 “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers and sisters in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” 5:8-9 “Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him....”

Keeping the Two Straight
Fully Divine Uncreated Eternal – Without beginning or end; outside of time Infinite – Without limits Omnipotent – All powerful Omniscient – All knowing Omnipresent – Everywhere present Immutable – Unchanging Co-Equal – Without hierarchy Aseity – Without source outside of self, nonderivative being Divine nature/substance Fully Human Created Temporal – Has a beginning and end; within time Finite – Has limits Limited power Limited knowledge Specific in location Mutable – always changing, subject to change Unequal, given to hierarchies Derivative being Human nature

© Copyright 2009 David R. Leigh. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

The Book of Better Things: Hebrews
Dave Leigh – 847-571-3011 – –

What are the “Better Things” of Hebrews?
The verses below are those in Hebrews which use the word “better” or “superior” or “more excellent” (depending on your translation). Read each verse below and summarize in your own words each new thing the author says is better or superior now. (Feel free to look up contexts if that will help.)

Hebrews 1:4 - having become as much better than the angels, as He [Jesus] has inherited a more excellent name than they.

1. 2.
Hebrews 6:9 - But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way.

3. 4.
Hebrews 7:19 - (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

Hebrews 7:22 - so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.

Hebrews 8:6 - But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.

7. 8.

Hebrews 9:23 - Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

Hebrews 10:34 - For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one.

Hebrews 11:4 - By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.

Hebrews 11:16 - But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.

Hebrews 11:35 - Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection;

Hebrews 11:40 - because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.

Hebrews 12:24 - and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.


Above verses from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

The Book of Better Things: Hebrews
Dave Leigh – 847-571-3011 – –

Eight Unique Expositions of Eight Key Old Testament Passages

1. Hebrews 2:5-9 exposits Psalm 8:4-6

2. Hebrews 3:7-4:13 exposits Psalm 95:7-11

3. Hebrews 4:14-7:28 exposits Psalm 110:4

4. Hebrews 8:1-10:18 exposits Jeremiah 31:31-34

5. Hebrews 10:1-10 exposits Psalm 40:6-8

6. Hebrews 10:32-12:3 exposits Habakkuk 2:3-4

7. Hebrews 12:4-13 exposits Proverbs 3:11-12

8. Hebrews 12:18-24 exposits Exodus 19:10-23

The Book of Better Things: Hebrews
Instructor: Dave Leigh – 847-571-3011 – –

Five Sections of Key Warnings: 1. Hebrews 2:1-4 Pay careful attention! Don't drift away! There is no escape for those who ignore this great salvation! 2. Hebrews 3:7-4:13 Don't harden your heart to his voice! Don't have a sinful, unbelieving heart—it will turn you away from God! Don't fall short of the promise to enter God's Sabbath rest! Make every effort to enter it so that no one perishes through disobedience! Remember we all must give an account to God! 3. Hebrews 6:4-8 Don't be like those who were enlightened but who go back to Second-Temple Judaism on the pretext of embracing the Old Covenant! They return to a barren and hopeless place. 4. Hebrews 10:26-31 Jews who choose to go on sinning, rather than follow the Messiah, no longer have the sacrificial system to fall back on anymore. Jesus has made that obsolete—the bridge back has been burned! 5. Hebrews 12:25-29 To refuse this message is to refuse God. You cannot go “back to the Old Covenant” and still have God anymore. The old order and its systems are crumbling to dust right before their eyes. Those who attempt to “go back” will have no escape when this world passes away along with that old system. How will they then face God, who is a consuming fire, having hardened their hearts to his voice?

© Copyright 2009 David R. Leigh. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

The Book of Better Things: Hebrews
Dave Leigh – 847-571-3011 – –

The Constant Choice in Hebrews
The first readers of Hebrews faced a choice on every page of this letter. Would they embrace and remain loyal to the long-awaited New Covenant of Messiah Jesus? Or would they try to return to the Old Covenant as understood by Second-Temple Judaism? The person and work of Jesus continually prove to be superior to anything that came before. Therefore, the choice was between the stem and the flower, the promise and the fulfillment, the shadow and the substance. The old sacrificial system was ineffective and becoming obsolete—about to pass from history forever! The final and all-encompassing sacrifice of Jesus now canceled-out and replaced the old order.

The long-awaited and eschatological Messianic Kingdom had come, as evidenced by the following phrases and remarks:
God is speaking to us “... in these last days ...” (1:2) “... the world to come ...” has been subjected to Jesus. (2:5) “But we see Jesus ... now crowned with glory and honor.” (2:9) “... we are his house ...” (3:6) cf. Acts 15:13-19 NLT We have entered (or can enter) God's Sabbath-rest ... today. (4:3-7) Some have “tasted the powers of ... the coming age.” (6:5) Jewish ritual and ceremonial matters are obsolete, having applied only until the time of “the new order.” (9:10) Jesus is now mediating the promised New Covenant. (9:15) Jesus “has appeared once for all at the end of the ages/culmination of the ages.” (9:26) We increasingly “see the Day approaching.” (10:25) We have come to: • Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem • thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly • the assembly/church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven • God, the Judge of all • the spirits of the righteous made perfect • Jesus, the mediator of the New Covenant • the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel (12:22-24) “We are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken” (12:28) Yet, “we are looking for the city that is to come.” (13:14)

THE CONSTANT QUESTION TO THE HEBREWS IS SIMPLY THIS: Will you enter into this current reality or will
you “fall away” by attempting to go back to the old order? To “go back” has the same effect as to return to sin without a means of atonement, or to “shrink back” (10:38-39). Those who do so forfeit the protection of the Messiah and his Kingdom because they seek shelter in a system that is no longer there and was never meant to perfect them or protect them, anyway!
© Copyright 2009 David R. Leigh. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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