Hebrews is a reminder that every expositor is an evangelist.
In as all roads lead to London, all text leads to the cross.
Hebrews is a sermon.
Hebrews 13:22 (CSB) Brothers and sisters, I urge you to receive this message of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly.
Also, used by Paul on his first mission to Galatia:
Acts 13:15 (CSB) After the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the leaders of the synagogue sent word to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, you can speak.”
Evangelistic: it is written to unconverted Jews. Stuck between two worlds. They heard the gospel and received with great joy because it is too good to be true.
Preacher of Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ
This is the main idea of Hebrews. Christ is superior to everything in the Old Testament.
Hebrews 1:1–4 (CSB) Long ago God spoke to our ancestors by the prophets at different times and in different ways. 2 In these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son. God has appointed him heir of all things and made the universe through him. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of his nature, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. 4 So he became superior to the angels, just as the name he inherited is more excellent than theirs.
The Superiority of Christ is this. Christ is the gospel. The gospel is Christ. In his person. In his saving work.
Hebrews speaks to these unconverted Jews who know the knowledge in their heads, and they feel the joy in their hearts but they have not pulled the trigger with their will. They must make the choice.
Preacher of Hebrews: The Necessity of Faith in Christ
Hebrews 2:1–4 (CSB) For this reason, we must pay attention all the more to what we have heard, so that we will not drift away. 2 For if the message spoken through angels was legally binding and every transgression and disobedience received a just punishment, 3 how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? This salvation had its beginning when it was spoken of by the Lord, and it was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4 At the same time, God also testified by signs and wonders, various miracles, and distributions of gifts from the Holy Spirit according to his will.
1 For this reason, we must pay attention all the more to what we have heard, so that we will not drift away.
What they have heard: the gospel of Christ. You who grew up in church. You need to pay closer attention to.
2 For if the message spoken through angels was legally binding and every transgression and disobedience received a just punishment
If the law was given through angels was legally binding on every single person on the earth ever for every single sin ever committed by that person
No sin will go unaddressed and unpunished by God. Either in hell or in Christ.
3 how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?
There is no escape if we neglect. There is no other name by which we are saved.
This salvation had its beginning when it was spoken of by the Lord, and it was confirmed to us by those who heard him.
Preacher of Hebrews: The Necessity of the Immediate Response to the Gospel
Hebrews 3:7–15 (CSB) Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, 9 where your ancestors tested me, tried me, and saw my works 10 for forty years. Therefore I was provoked to anger with that generation and said, “They always go astray in their hearts, and they have not known my ways.” 11 So I swore in my anger, “They will not enter my rest.” 12 Watch out, brothers and sisters, so that there won’t be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage each other daily, while it is still called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin’s deception. 14 For we have become participants in Christ if we hold firmly until the end the reality that we had at the start. 15 As it is said: Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.
Hebrews 4:7 (CSB) he again specifies a certain day—today. He specified this speaking through David after such a long time: Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.
Proverbs 27:1 (CSB) Don’t boast about tomorrow, for you don’t know what a day might bring.
James 4:14 (CSB) Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like vapor that appears for a little while, then vanishes.
2 Corinthians 6:2 (CSB) For he says: At an acceptable time I listened to you, and in the day of salvation I helped you. See, now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation!
Preacher of Hebrews: The Entirety of Faith in Christ
Mind instructed. Heart impacted. Will invited and responds to the invitation of the gospel.
Hebrews 6:4–6 (CSB) For it is impossible to renew to repentance those who were once enlightened, who tasted the heavenly gift, who shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who tasted God’s good word and the powers of the coming age, 6 and who have fallen away. This is because, to their own harm, they are recrucifying the Son of God and holding him up to contempt.
Enlightened - Know in their mind
Tasted - Tasted that God is good but have not swallowed and devoured and eaten
Shared in the Holy Spirit - but no indwelling nor convicting power of the Holy Spirit
Tasted the good word of God - sit under the preaching of the Bible
powers of the coming age - Revelation, Prophecy, Nations gathered
… but they want to retain the control of their own life. Control of their own destiny.
and who have fallen away. This is because, to their own harm, they are recrucifying the Son of God and holding him up to contempt.
They would intellectually determined that Christ should be crucified based on facts. But for them, they will not choose Christ for their salvation. You holding a line that you have crossed with God. God will not re-crucified his own Son.
James 2:19 (CSB) You believe that God is one. Good! Even the demons believe—and they shudder.
Luke 14:25–35 (CSB) Now great crowds were traveling with him. So he turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, and even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. “For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, after he has laid the foundation and cannot finish it, all the onlookers will begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man started to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ “Or what king, going to war against another king, will not first sit down and decide if he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? If not, while the other is still far off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. In the same way, therefore, every one of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple. “Now, salt is good, but if salt should lose its taste, how will it be made salty? It isn’t fit for the soil or for the manure pile; they throw it out. Let anyone who has ears to hear listen.”
They counted the cost and the cost was too much for them to bare. They cannot and shall not bow the knee and declare him Lord of all.
The sadness and the irony of it all: Christ is Lord of all. Do you bow as a friend or do you bow as a enemy of the state.
Preacher of Hebrews: The Tragedy of Rejecting Christ
Hebrews 10:26 (CSB) For if we deliberately go on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
Hebrews 10:27 (CSB) but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire about to consume the adversaries.
If you reject the gospel–the good news–you have made yourself an enemy of the state. You will be under the severer punishment than if you had never heard the gospel:
Hebrews 10:28–29 (CSB) Anyone who disregarded the law of Moses died without mercy, based on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment do you think one will deserve who has trampled on the Son of God, who has regarded as profane the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?
Matthew 11:23-30 (CSB) And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until today. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”
At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, because this was your good pleasure. All things have been entrusted to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son desires to reveal him.
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
John 3:36 (CSB) The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who rejects the Son will not see life; instead, the wrath of God remains on him.
Hebrews 10:30–31 (CSB) For we know the one who has said, Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, and again, The Lord will judge his people.
It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Preacher of Hebrews: The Priority of Faith in Christ
Hebrews 11:1 (CSB) Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.
Hebrews 11:6 (CSB) Now without faith it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.