An Exposition of Hebrews (eBook)

by A. W. Pink

In ePub, .mobi and .pdf formats

Before taking up the study of this important Epistle let writer and reader humbly bow before its Divine Inspirer, and earnestly seek from Him that preparation of heart which is needed to bring us into fellowship with that One whose person, offices, and glories are here so sublimely displayed. Let us personally and definitely seek the help of that blessed Spirit who has been given to the saints of God for the purpose of guiding them into all truth, and taking of the things of Christ to show unto them. In Luke 24:45 we learn that Christ opened the understanding of the disciples "that they might understand the Scriptures." May He graciously do so with us, then the entrance of His words will "givelight" (Ps. 119:130), and in His light we shall "see light."

This, in a word, was to instruct Jewish believers that Judaism had been superceded by Christianity. It must be borne in mind that a very considerable proportion of the earliest converts to Christ were Jews by natural birth, who continued to labor under Jewish prejudices. In his early Epistles the apostle had touched several times on this point, and sought to wean them from an undue and now untimely attachment to the Mosaic institutions. But only in this Epistle does he deal fully and systematically with the subject.

It is difficult for us to appreciate the position, at the time this Epistle was written, of those in Israel who had believed on the Lord Jesus. Unlike the Gentiles, who, for long centuries past, had lost all knowledge of the true God, and, in consequence, worshipped idols, the Jews had a Divine religion, and a Divinely-appointed place of worship. To be called upon to forsake these, which had been venerated by their fathers for over a thousand years, was to make a big demand upon them. It was natural that even those among them who had savingly believed on Christ should want to retain the forms and ceremonies amid which they had been brought up; the more so, seeing that the Temple still stood and the Levitical priesthood still functioned. An endeavor had been made to link Christianity on to Judaism, and as Acts 21:20 tells us there were many thousands of the early Jewish Christians who were "zealous of the law"—as the next verses clearly show, the ceremonial law.

"Instead of perceiving that under the new economy of things, there was neither Jew nor Gentile, but, that, without reference to external distinctions, all believers in Christ Jesus were now to live together in the closest bonds of spiritual attachment in holy society, they dreamed of the Gentiles being admitted to the participation of the Jewish Church through means of the Messiah, and, that its external economy was to remain unaltered to the end of the world" (Dr. J. Brown).

In addition to their natural prejudices, the temporal circumstances of the believing Jews became increasingly discouraging, yea, presented a sore temptation for them to abandon the profession of Christianity. Following the persecution spoken of in Acts 8:1, that eminent scholar, Adolph Saphir—himself a converted Jew—tells us: "Then arose another persecution of the believers, especially directed against the apostle Paul. Festus died about the year 63, and under the high priest Ananias, who favored the Sadducees, the Christian Hebrews were persecuted as transgressors of the law. Some of them were stoned to death; and though this extreme punishment could not be frequently inflicted by the Sanhedrim, they were able to subject their brethren to sufferings and reproaches which they felt keenly. It was a small thing that they confiscated their goods; but they banished them from the holy places. Hitherto they had enjoyed the privileges of devout Israelites: they could take part in the beautiful and God-appointed services of the sanctuary; but now they were treated as unclean and apostates. Unless they gave up faith in Jesus, and forsook the assembling of themselves together, they were not allowed to enter the Temple, they were banished from the altar, the sacrifice, the high priest, the house of Jehovah.

"We can scarcely realize the piercing sword which thus wounded their inmost heart. That by clinging to the Messiah they were to be severed from Messiah’s people, was, indeed, a great and perplexing trial; that for the hope of Israel’s glory they were banished from the place which God had chosen, and where the divine Presence was revealed, and the symbols and ordinances had been the joy and strength of their fathers; that they were to be no longer children of the covenant and of the house, but worse than Gentiles, excluded from the outer court, cut off from the commonwealth of Israel. This was indeed a sore and mysterious trial. Cleaving to the promises made unto their fathers, cherishing the hope in constant prayer that their nation would yet accept the Messiah, it was the severest test to which their faith could be put, when their loyalty to Jesus involved separation from all the sacred rights and privileges of Jerusalem."

Thus the need for an authoritative, lucid, and systematic setting forth of the real relation of Christianity to Judaism was a pressing one. Satan would not miss the opportunity of seeking to persuade these Hebrews that their faith in Jesus of Nazareth was a mistake, a delusion, a sin. Were they right, while the vast majority of their brethren, according to the flesh, among whom were almost all the respected members of the Sanhedrim and the priesthood, wrong? Had God prospered them since they had become followers of the crucified One? or, did not their temporal circumstances evidence that He was most displeased with them? Moreover, the believing remnant of Israel had looked for a speedy return of Christ to the earth, but thirty years had now passed and He had not come! Yes, their situation was critical, and there was an urgent need that their faith should be strengthened, their understanding enlightened, and a fuller explanation be given them of Christianity in the light of the Old Testament. It was to meet this need that God, in His tender mercy, moved His servant to write this Epistle to them.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. The Superiority of Christ over the Prophets. Hebrews 1:1-3

3. The Superiority of Christ over the Prophets. Hebrews 1:1-3

4. Christ Superior to Angels. Hebrews 1:4-14

5. Christ Superior to Angels. Hebrews 1:7-9

6. Christ Superior to Angels. Hebrews 1:10-13

7. Christ Superior to Angels. Hebrews 2:1-4

8. Christ Superior to Angels. Hebrews 2:5-9

9. Christ Superior to Angels. Hebrews 2:9-11

10. Christ Superior to Angels. Hebrews 2:11-13

11. Christ Superior to Angels. Hebrews 2:14-16

12. Christ Superior to Angels. Hebrews 2:17,18

13. Christ Superior to Moses. Hebrews 3:1-6

14. Christ Superior to Moses. Hebrews 3:7-12

15. Christ Superior to Moses. Hebrews 3:13-19

16. Christ Superior to Joshua. Hebrews 4:1-3

17. Christ Superior to Joshua. Hebrews 4:3-10

18. Christ Superior to Joshua. Hebrews 4:11-16

19. Christ Superior to Aaron. Hebrews 5:1-4

20. Christ Superior to Aaron. Hebrews 5:5-7

21. Christ Superior to Aaron. Hebrews 5:8-10

22. Christ Superior to Aaron. Hebrews 5:11-14

23. Infancy and Maturity. Hebrews 6:1-3

24. Apostasy. Hebrews 6:4-6

25. The Twofold Working of the Spirit. Hebrews 6:4-6

26. The Two Classes of Professors. Hebrews 6:7, 8

27. Two Christians Described. Hebrews 6:9-11

28. Christian Perseverance. Hebrews 6:12-15

29. The Anchor of the Soul. Hebrew 6:16-20

30. Melchizedek. Hebrews 7:1-3

31. Melchizedek: Hebrews 7:4-10

32. The Priesthood Changed. Hebrews 7:11-16

33. Judaism Set Aside. Hebrews 7:17-19

34. Judaism Set Aside. Hebrews 7:20-24

35. The Perfect Priest. Hebrews 7:25-28

36. The Perfect Priest. Hebrews 8:1-5

37. The Two Covenants. Hebrews 8:6-9

38. The Two Covenants. Hebrews 8:10-13

39. The Typical Tabernacle. Hebrews 9:1-5

40. The Contrasted Priests. Hebrews 9:6-10

41. Eternal Redemption. Hebrews 9:11-14

42. The Mediator. Hebrews 9:15

43. The New Testament. Hebrews 9:16-22

44. The Great Sacrifice. Hebrews 9:23-28

45. The Typical Sacrifice. Hebrews 10:1-4

46. The Divine Incarnation. Hebrews 10:5-7

47. Christ's Dedication. Hebrews 10:7-10

48. The Perfecting of the Church. Hebrews 10:1

49. Sanctification. Hebrews 10:15-18

50. Access to God. Hebrews 10:19-23

51. Christian Perseverance. Hebrews 10:23, 24

52. Apostasy. Hebrews 10:25-27

53. The Apostates' Doom. Hebrews 10:28-31

54. The Path of Tribulation. Hebrews 10:32-34

55. The Saving of the Soul. Hebrews 10:35-39

56. The Excellency of Faith. Hebrews 11:1-3

57. The Faith of Abel. Hebrews 11:4

58. The Faith of Enoch. Hebrews 11:5, 6

59. The Faith of Noah. Hebrews 11:6, 7

60. The Call of Abraham. Hebrews 11:8

61. The Life of Abraham. Hebrews 11:9, 10

62. The Faith of Sarah. Hebrews 11:11, 12

63. The Perseverance of Faith. Hebrews 11:13, 14

64. The Reward of Faith. Hebrews 11:15, 16

65. The Faith of Abraham. Hebrews 11:17-19

66. The Faith of Abraham. Hebrews 11:17-19

67. The Faith of Isaac. Hebrews 11:20

68. The Faith of Jacob. Hebrews 11:21

69. The Faith of Joseph. Hebrews 11:22

70. The Faith of Moses' Parents. Hebrews 11:23

71. The Faith of Moses. Hebrews 11:24, 25

72. The Faith of Moses. Hebrews 11:25, 26

73. The Faith of Moses. Hebrews 11:26, 27

74. The Faith of Moses. Hebrews 11:28

75. The Faith of Israel. Hebrews 11:29

76. The Faith of Israel. Hebrews 11:30

77. The Faith of Rahab. Hebrews 11:31

78. The Faith of the Judges. Hebrews 11:32

79. The Achievements of Faith. Hebrews 11:33, 34

80. The Pinnacle of Faith. Hebrews 11:35, 36

81. The Pinnacle of Faith. Hebrews 11:37, 38

82. The Family of Faith. Hebrews 11:39, 40

83. The Demands of Faith. Hebrews 12:1

84. The Object of Faith. Hebrews 12:2.

85. A Call to Steadfastness. Hebrews 12:3, 4

86. Divine Chastisement. Hebrews 12:5

87. Divine Chastisement. Hebrews 12:5

88. Divine Chastisement. Hebrews 12:6

89. Divine Chastisement. Hebrews 12:7, 8

90. Divine Chastisement. Hebrews 12:9

91. Divine Chastisement. Hebrews 12:10

92. Divine Chastisement. Hebrews 12:11

93. A Call to Steadfastness. Hebrews 12:12, 13

94. A Call to Diligence. Hebrews 12:14

95. A Call to Examination. Hebrews 12:15

96. A Warning against Apostasy. Hebrews 12:16, 17

97. The Inferiority of Judaism. Hebrews 12:18, 19

98. The Inferiority of Judaism. Hebrews 12:20, 21

99. The Superiority of Christianity. Hebrews 12:22-24

100. The Superiority of Christianity. Hebrews 12:22-24

101. The Call to Hear. Hebrews 12:25, 26

102. The Passing of Judaism. Hebrews 12:26, 27

103. The Establishing of Christianity. Hebrews 12:27

104. The Kingdom of Christ. Hebrews 12:28

105. The Final Warning. Hebrews 12:28, 29

106. Brotherly Love. Hebrews 13:1

107. Brotherly Love. Hebrews 13:1-3

108. Marriage. Hebrews 13:4

109. Covetousness. Hebrews 13:5

110. Contentment. Hebrews 13:5, 6

111. Motives to Fidelity. Hebrews 13:7, 8

112. The Heart Established. Hebrews 13:8, 9

113. The Christian's Altar. Hebrews 13:10

114. Christ Our Sin Offering. Hebrews 13:11, 12

115. Outside the Camp. Hebrews 13:12, 13

116. Outside the Camp. Hebrews 13:13, 14

117. The Christian's Sacrifices. Hebrews 13:15, 16

118. The Christian's Sacrifices. Hebrews 13:15, 16

119. Christian Rulers. Hebrews 13:17

120. Christian Rulers. Hebrews 13:17

121. A Good Conscience. Hebrews 13:18, 19

122. Praying for Ministers. Hebrews 13:18, 19

123. The Apostle's Prayer. Hebrews 13:20, 21

124. The Apostle's Prayer. Hebrews 13:20, 21

125. Divine Exhortations. Hebrews 13:22

126. Spiritual Freedom. Hebrews 13:23

127. Conclusion. Hebrews 13:24, 25

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