Who's The Greatest? - A Study in the Book of Hebrews (January-October 2008)
The book of Hebrews was written to Hebrew Christians to show them the superiority of Christ and Christianity to their Old Testament Judaistic rituals and religion. Some may have been having second thoughts about Christianity not fully recognizing how completely Christ had fulfilled all of the Old Testament types and shadows.
The book basically answers the questions -
The book quotes extensively from the Old Testament with reference made to about three quarters of the books of the old. These quotations and references would be particularly valuable and helpful to Jewish Christians who were familiar with the Old Testament ritual.
Some of the key words in the book are "better", "perfect", and "heavenly". The new is so much "better" than the old. Christ is better than the prophets, angels and Moses. His priesthood is better than the Aaronic priesthood. His mediation is better than that of Moses. His tabernacle is better than the earthly tabernacle. His onetime sacrifice is better than all of the Old Testament sacrifices combined. The New Testament born again believer has a better and sure hope for a better country - heaven itself. He has a better access to God through a better covenant than the old. He is empowered to perform a better service than those of old through the indwelling Holy Spirit.
The imperfect old, Judaism and its earthly priests, has been replaced by the "perfect" person and priesthood of Christ. The old was an imperfect earthly religion where a priest mediated between God and the people while the new is a perfect heavenly relationship where Christ, our great High Priest in heaven, who continuously mediates between us and God. The old had an earthly tabernacle whereas the new has a heavenly and real tabernacle where God dwells.
God's New Covenant with Israel, as prophesied by Jeremiah long ago, is described in detail. This New Covenant will come into full force with Israel in the Millennium. The New Testament, Church age, born again believer is a beneficiary of the Eternal Covenant between God and the Lord Jesus Christ through faith in Christ's death and shed blood on the cross.
The book contains a number of warnings to believers to continue in the faith. We are exhorted not to lose our hope or rest in Christ, not to become unfruitful, not to despise Christ, not to lose our confidence in Christ, and not to cease listening to Christ. Some of these warnings have generated considerable debate as to their interpretations and this will be considered as we study through the book.
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