Bible Commentary–Understanding Hebrews (NIV
The writer of this epistle is not known. The approximate date when written was about 70AD–before the destruction of Jerusalem. The newly converted Jews (Christians) possibly in Rome were under severe persecutions. Their faith began to waver. Because of their immaturity, they drifted them back into Jewish rites of ceremonies. Chapter 5: 11-14 says:
We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truth of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant,is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
The writer noticed that the Jewish Christians drifted back for lack of faith. He gave the following warnings, which are also timely warnings to Christians nowadays:
- We must pay attention to what we have heard so that we do not drift away (2:1).
- If the gospel spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? (2:3a).
- This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard Him (2:3b).
Chapter 1:1-14—The supremacy of Jesus Christ
The Son Superior to Angels:
- In the past, God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways. (See Deuteronomy 1:34 -38: Joshua1:10 -11).
- In these last days (from the birth of Jesus Christ until His second coming) God has spoken to us by his Son (1:2a).
- The Son is the appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe (1:2-3a).
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven (1:3b: Genesis 1; John 1:1-5; Psalm 110:1).God did say to Jesus, “You are my son; today I have become your Father” (Psalm 2:7).
- In speaking of the angels he says, “He makes his angels winds, his servant’s flames of fire” (1:7; Psalm 104:4).
- But about the Son, he says, “Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever, and righteousness will be the sceptre of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy” (1:7; Psalm 45:6-7).
- He also says, “In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment, they will be changed. But your years will never end” (1:10; Psalm 102:25-27).
Chapter 2: 1-18
What is the danger of ignoring or not knowing the Truth?
What is the punishment or suffering for people being ignorant of the only God?
It’s a matter of life and death—spiritual death. Spiritually we all have died after the Fall of Adam and Eve (Genesis 1:3). We are therefore reminded to pay more careful attention to what we’ve heard in Jesus Christ and what we’ve believed (2:1). The Jewish Christians in the First Century under great pressure of persecution and even today’s Christians under the bombardments of different types of temptations—spiritual as well as material—any violation, disobedience, slipping or drifting to other philosophical faith, and even unbelief are taken as normalcy in the secular post-modern world.
However, God’s purpose has been revealed through David (Psalm 8:4-6):What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet (2:6b-8).At present we do not see everything subject to Him yet; we are waiting for the second coming of Jesus as promised. But we see Jesus who by the grace of God has tasted death for everyone (Crucifixion). By his death, he has destroyed the one (Satan) who holds the power of death and has freed those whose lives were held in slavery by their fear of death (2:14-15).He [Jesus] was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believe in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—Children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God (John1:10-14).
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). In this way, Jesus Christ has become the high priest in service to God and has made atonement at the cross for the sins of the people (2:11).
Referring to the private conversations between a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus and Jesus in John 3, we know that “flesh gives birth to flesh, but Spirit gives birth to spirit” (John 3:6). Jesus says that we must be born again by which he means “Spiritual birth”. And we must have faith in Jesus Christ for God sent his Son into the world to save the world through him (John3:17). “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only one Son” (John 3:18). God saves us because of his mercy through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ our Savior (Titus 3:5-6)–[The Holy Trinity].
Chapter 3:1-19–Jesus Greater Than Moses
Jesus versus Moses
The Jewish Christians in the First Century were confused and they thought that Jesus came to enforce the laws that Moses had given. The writer of Hebrews asks those who share the true faith to fix their thoughts on Jesus—the apostle and high priest. Jesus is greater than Moses for He is the Son of God, who is the builder (Creator) of everything; Moses was faithful to what would be said in the future about the salvation from Christ. Jesus Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house ( 3:1-11).
Let’s read what David says in Psalm 37:5-8:
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do no fret –it leads only to evil.
Warning Against Unbelief
Remember and heed this warning: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts” as the Israelites did (Psalm 95:7b-8).
Forty years I was angry with that generation; …they are people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways. They shall never enter my rest (Psalm 95:10-11).
Saint Augustine said that no soul found rest until it found its rest in God. Joshua could not lead the children of Israel into perfect rest and trust in God, but Jesus did…. Trust Jesus as your Joshua and ‘enter into His land of promise. (What The Bible Is All About by Henrietta C. Mears, P.565.)
Chapter 4:1-16—A Sabbath-Rest for the People of God
To enter into God’s land of peace through His son Jesus Christ is the basic truth of a Christian faith to find rest in God. Let us be careful that none of us—followers of Jesus Christ—be found fallen short of it. More important, for those who have heard the gospel did not share in the Christian faith shall never enter into God’s rest .Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest (i.e., the Sabbath-Rest) just as God did from his (Genesis 2:1).
Jesus Christ is the living Word of God. Let the power of God’s Word search and try us. Thusly, we are brought to His perfect rest.
For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword. It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and lay bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account (4:8-13).
Jesus the Great High Priest
Jesus Christ not only has the qualifications of a priest like Aaron, who was the earthly high priest, but He is also a High Priest forever in the order of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4).
Henrietta C. Mears has an explanation on “Christ’s Priesthood Is Like Melchizedek” (Genesis 14) in What The Bible Is All About:
- A royal priesthood—both were kings of peace and righteousness.
- Was universal—not alone for the Jews.
- Had no human ancestry—‘without father or mother,’
- Had no successor—when Melchizedek passed away no one stepped into his place. So Christ is a priest forever. (P.566).
In Genesis 14:17-18 we read about
After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King Valley). Then Melchizedek king of Salem, (i.e., Jerusalem) brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying,’ blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, who delivered your enemies into your hand.’Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
Melchizedek, the priest of God as well as king appeared in a mysterious way and blessed Abram. Then he returned to obscurity until now the writer of Hebrews seems to signify through him that Jesus Christ’s priesthood is superior to any other priesthood. God said to him, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father” (Psalm 2:7) And “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek” (Psalm 110:4).Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people. No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was (5:1-4).
While He was on earth Jesus offered up prayers and petitions in Gethsemane with loud cries and tears to God. “ Abba Father… everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me, yet not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36).
Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designed by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek (5:8-10).
Warning against Falling Away
An interesting story goes like this. An employee ‘A’ who has been very loyal in serving his employer for ten years and every year he got a pat on the back. But when an opportunity arose, his colleague ‘B’ was promoted. Rather disappointing, he dashed through the door to see his boss. He ironically asked, “Boss! Why couldn’t you be fair to me?”
“Why?” calmly reply his boss.
“I’ve served you loyally and diligently for ten years, but that guy you promoted has only served you for five years,” ‘A’ said.
“Ah! Yes,” the boss said, “I like to remind you, he has five years of experience whereas you’ve only one year experience times 10.
There is a Chinese proverb, “Learning is like rowing upstream not to advance is to drop back.” In Hebrews, the writer admonished the new Christians the truth of “growing up” not just “growing old.” But they needed “someone to teach [them] the elementary truths of God’s word all over again” (6:12b).
Are you still feeding on milk like an infant in your faith?
Are you mature enough to take solid food?
Are you acquainted with the teaching about righteousness?
Have you trained yourself in the grace of Jesus Christ to distinguish good from evil? (5:13-14).
Warning against Delay
Slow to learn in our Christian lives is not uncommon. We remain in a stage of infancy only taking “milk” but not “solid food”. An infant will never grow up on “milk” only. “Let us [Christians] leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity.…” (6:14). The writer of this epistle points out three basic truths:
- A Christian must not act in ways or rituals that lead to death (6:16).
- A Christian must know the truth about baptisms and the laying on of hands, i.e., the re-birth and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (6:2a).
- A Christian must believe in the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment (6:2b).
If a Christian fails to appreciate the above-mentioned truth and falls away, it is impossible for one to be brought back to repentance for one’s loss is to crucify the Son of God all over again and subject him to public disgrace (6: 4-6).
The Certainty of God’s PromiseI will surely bless you and make you descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will like possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your off-springs all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me (Genesis 22:17-18).
And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised (6: 15).
Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath (6:17a).
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.… Let the word of Christ dwell in us richly as we teach and admonish one another with wisdom and as [us] any psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude on [our] hearts to God. (Colossians 3:15-16.) “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” (6:19).
When Jesus breathed his last at the Cross, the curtain of the temple was torn in two (Luke 23:44-46). The grace of salvation has been established and Jesus has entered the inner sanctuary behind the curtain on our behalf. “He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek” (16:19; 5:10).
Melchizedek the Priest
This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means “king of righteous”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace”. Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever (7; 1-3). The Old Testament only briefly mentions Melchizedek in Genesis 14:18-20 and Psalm 110:4.
- Melchizedek is a High Priest forever. Jesus Christ not only has the qualification of a priest like Aaron, the earthly high priest, but He is a High Priest forever. Christ is sinless and eternal.
- Melchizedek is “king of righteous” and “king of Salem” (i.e., “king of peace”) both righteous and peace come from Jesus Christ.
- Melchizedek met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything (7:1-2a).
This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him.… [that] the lesser person is blessed by the greater (7:6-7). Jesus Christ in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron, is living and eternal.
Jesus like Melchizedek
Why was there still need for another priest to come—one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? Because all earthly priests before Jesus Christ would not attain perfection through the Levitical priesthood (on the basis of it the law was given to the people.) Jesus Christ descended from Judah, a different tribe from Levi, and no one from that tribe had ever served at the altar.
Jesus Christ has become the High Priest as prophesized not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life (Psalm 110:4).
Because of [God’s] oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. Because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them (7:22-25).
Jesus is the High Priest who meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens…He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself [at the cross.]…for the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath [of God], which came after the law, approved the Son, who has been made perfect forever (7:26-28).
The High Priest of a New Covenant
By the oath of God, Jesus has become the High Priest forever. At present He is at the right hand of the Father (the Majesty in heaven) making intercession for you and for me (7:25; 8:1; 10:12). This is the truth set up by the Lord, not by men (8:2). This is possible only because Jesus Christ entered into the heavenly sanctuary, God’s presence, bearing the blood of His own sacrifices to cleanse us from our sins. The earthly priests who served at a sanctuary in the Old Testament were a copy and shadow of what is in heaven (Exodus 25:40). But Jesus’ ministry is superior to theirs. The new covenant of which Jesus is the mediator is superior to the old one, because it is based on better promises, and written on the hearts, not on the tablets of stones (8:10).
Therefore, the Lord declares that the first covenant made with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah has been made obsolete by the new covenant (8:7-13).
Worship in the Earthly Tabernacle
The first covenant had regulations for worship. It was an earthly sanctuary (Tabernacle). In its room, within the Holy Place, were the lamp-stand, the table and the consecrated bread. Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered Ark of the Covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover–traditionally the mercy seat (9:1-5).
The priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. But only the high priests entered the inner room, and that only once a year and never without blood, which he offered for himself and the sins the people had committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Highest had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing. This also indicated that the gifts and sacrifices offered were not able to clean the conscience of the worshiper. They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings—external regulations applying until the time of the new order (9:6-10).
The Blood of Christ
When Christ came as High Priest, he went through the greater and more perfect Tabernacle that is not men-made. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. The blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death (9:11-14).
For this reason, Christ is the mediator of a new covenant; that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—Jesus Christ has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant (9:15).
When Moses had proclaimed every command of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. Moses said, “This is the blood of the Covenant, which God has commanded you to keep” (Exodus 24:8). In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the Tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. The law requests that nearly everything is cleansed with blood and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (9:19-22).
But Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; He entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. Christ appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people. He will appear a second time, not to be “sin”, but to bring salvation to those who were waiting for him. (The salvation is then complete.)
In Hebrews 9, Jesus Christ three appearings call for our attention:
- Over 2000 years ago, Jesus appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of him (9:26).
- Now Jesus appears in the presence of God for us (9:24).
- In the future, Jesus’ second coming in the clouds of glory to complete salvation for those who are waiting for him (9:28).
Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All
The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming–the coming of Jesus Christ.
In the Old Testament, the sacrifice of calves and goats could never be made perfect those who worshipped God. They are just an annual reminder for their sins (10:1-2).
When Christ came into the world over 2000 years ago (John1:1-32) He said, “ Sacrifice and offerings, burnt offerings and sins offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” (although the law required them to be made).T hen he said, “Here I am, I
have come to do your will.” He set aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all (10:8-10). When Jesus had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down on the right hand of God. Since that time, he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy (10:12-14).
The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this.
First ,he says:
“This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds” (Jeremiah 31:33).
Then he adds:
Their and the lawless acts I will remember no more (Jeremiah 31:34).Therefore, brothers [and sisters] since we’ve confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is , his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a greatly conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another or toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching (10:19-25).
The writer of Hebrews warns us not to presume on God’s grace: If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God (10:26-27).
Anyone who rejected the Law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses (10:28). How much more severely a sinner deserves to be punished, if he or she has insulted as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant. God said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay” (10:29-31).
The writer of Hebrews further points out that for those who received the light, God has provided a way to be righteousness and the strength to face adverse circumstances around us. Therefore, do not throw away confidence, which will be richly rewarded. And persevere to do the will of God to receive what God has promised. Christians are not those who shrink back and are destroyed, but are those who believe and are saved (10:32-39).
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Without faith ,it is impossible to please God. Faith of Christian living simply means to allow Christ to meet over needs—trusting God, believing the Holy Spirit would lead us through this life in spite of adverse circumstances. Believing is seeing—seeing the unseen. As we read through this chapter that lists the heroes of faith, we find how faith helps us to evaluate the past, anticipate the future, act in the present, and persist to the end. When we do believe God absolutely and totally yield ourselves to Him and trust Him, then a miracle– the supernatural power–enter our lives. Though circumstances may be unchanged. The faith in Christ empowers us to go through the storm of life–the darkest valley (Psalm 23:4).
The Roll Call of Faith
- By faith, Abel offered God a better sacrifice than his brother Cain.
- Enoch did not experience death because of his faithful service to God.
- By faith , Noah saved his family from the flood of God’s judgment.
- Abraham and Sarah obeyed God’s call by faith, not knowing where God would lead them. By faith Abraham (though he was past age and Sarah herself was barren) was enabled to become a father.
- By faith, Abraham offered his one and only son Isaac to God.
- By faith, Isaac blessed his sons: Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.
- By faith, Jacob blessed Joseph’s sons.
- By faith, Joseph foresaw the exodus of Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land.
- By faith Moses’ parents hid him after he was born; they were not afraid of the Pharaoh’s edict.
- By faith, Moses chose to identify with the suffering of his people because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith, Moses left Egypt and he persevered because he saw the invisible God.
- By faith, Moses led the people through the Red Sea as dry land.
- By faith, Joshua called down the walls of Jericho after the people had marched around them for seven days.
- The prostitute Rahab received Israel’s spies because of her faith in Israel’s God.
- Others—Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah. David, Samuel, and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised. They all endured incredible persecution while trusting God to provide for them a resurrection. These people who, by faith, were enabled to live God’s life through theirs.
These biblical characters are examples of faith, because after they fell they turned back to God. Yet none of them received what had been promised because “God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect” (11:40).
God through Moses has set before us today “life and good, death and evil” (Deuteronomy 30:15). “…[C]hoose life , that both you and your descendants may live, that you may love the Lord your God, that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, Jacob, to give them” (Deuteronomy 30:19b-20.)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning (John 1:1-2). The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us (John 1:14a). Jesus is the Word.
God Discipline His Sons
Living in the secular world, oftentimes it’s really difficult to imagine how faith in Jesus Christ can be produced in our lives. First, let us “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles [us]” (12:1). Second, let us look at the heroes of faith in the Old Testament and many other successful Christians lives and their testimonies that give us great encouragement and most importantly let us focus on Jesus—the author and perfecter of our faith. When we look to Jesus for guidance we will not only be inspired but will be empowered. We’ll be strong in our time of weakness.
In any trials of life, failure, loss of loved ones, sickness or chronicle health problems, unemployment and so on….the experience is painful and heart-broken. But followers of Jesus Christ should have hope and the faith that God is treating us as sons. All His legitimate children are subject to discipline. Even our human fathers who discipline us and we respect them for it. God so disciplines us for our good that we may share in his holiness.
Therefore, gather all our strength in the faith of Jesus Christ, and run with perseverance the race marked out for us (12:1-13).
Warning against Refusing God
- Live in peace with others and to be holy. God is holy. Without holiness, no one will see the Lord (1:14).
- No one should miss the grace of God (12:15a).
- Ensure that no bitter root grows up (12:15b) to cause troubles among people.
- No one is sexually immoral (12:16a).
- No one is godless like Esau (12:16b).
Christians are not under the Law in the Old Testament but in the grace of God. Mount Zion is the image of the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant (12:18-24).
.God said that the earth and the heaven will be shaken, i.e., removed (Haggai 2:6). What cannot be shaken may remain (12:25-27).
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptingly with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire (12:28; Deuteronomy 4:24).
Toward the end of Hebrews, the writer sums up the true meaning of our lives. Wherever we go and no matter what we face, walk the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the great shepherd who equips us with everything good doing the will of God.
- Love: Love one another as brothers and sisters; entertain strangers; remember those in prison who suffer for Christ (13:1-3).
- Marriage should be honored by all (13:4).
- Be content with what we have and free ourselves from the love of money (12:5).
- Remember your spiritual leaders and consider the outcome of their way of life in the faith of Jesus Christ (13:7).
- Jesus Christ is eternal. He is the same yesterday and today and forever (13:8).
- Be aware of strange teachings and do not be carried away. Our hearts must be strengthened by the grace of God, not ceremonies and religious rituals (13:3).
- Continue to offer to God a sacrifice of praise (13:15).
- Do good and to share with others—this is the sacrifice that pleases God (13:16).
- Obey your leaders and submit to their authority (13:17).
- The writer requests for intercession that is essential in our faith. We all need a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every day. Walk the faith in Christ (13:18).
- A closing prayer and a blessing:
Through the precious blood of Jesus Christ, we have been saved. The Lord is our shepherd who equips us with everything good for doing His will—doing what is pleasing to God (13:20-21).
The writer concludes his letter with a greeting and his hope to see God’s people with Timothy who had just been released from prison (13:22-25).