Verses about the Apostles' "TRAVELS and ACTS"
THE LETTER TO JEWISH CHRISTIANS
Introduction to Hebrews
Book 19 of 27 - LETTER TO THE HEBREWS
Writer: The apostle Paul according to the tradition of the Roman Catholic church and the early Anglican church. Hebrews is credited in its title to Paul in the 1611 "King James Version" of the Holy Bible;
Date: c AD65 before the start of the Jewish War of AD66-73, and certainly before the Fall of Jerusalem in AD70;
Where written: Traditionally Italy, possibly Rome;
Reader: A small group of Jewish Christians, possibly known to the author, and living in a specific location. As "Hebrews", they may well have lived in Jerusalem, but other suggestions include Alexandria, Corinth, Ephesus, or Rome itself. They had been persecuted for their Christian faith, were losing their initial enthusiasm and in danger of falling away altogether and embracing some new form of Judaism;
Why: To prove to Jewish Christians the superiority of Jesus Christ over the Law and prophets of the Old Testament. The entire Letter is included in Part C;
According to Some Modern Scholarship: Although credited to Paul for centuries, most modern scholars maintain Hebrews was not written by him, but by an unknown author at this time. Whoever the author was, he or she was certainly a Jewish Christian, knew the Old Testament well, and wrote excellent Greek. Suggestions include Silas and Priscilla, but the most likely candidates are Apollos or Barnabas.
The place of writing is unknown, but from Hebrews 13:24, it may have been from Italy. Or else it was sent to Italy, as it includes greetings from expatriate Italian Christians
JESUS CHRIST IS FOR ALL MEN
24.1 THE GOD OF THE JEWS HAS NOW SENT HIS SON FOR ALL PEOPLE
Hebrews 1:1-2 - God, who gave our forefathers (the Jews) many different glimpses of the truth in the words of the prophets, has now, at the end of the present age, given us the truth in the Son (Jesus Christ). Through the Son God made the whole universe, and to the Son he has ordained that all creation shall ultimately belong.
including verses 1:1-2 above, Hebrews continues
in Part 54 with verses preaching the "Gospel of Jesus" 1:1-3 God has sent his son Jesus Christ for all people JESUS CHRIST IS GREATER THAN GOD'S ANGELS 1:4-14 Christ is higher than the angels then:
24.2 THE GOSPEL OF JESUS IS GREATER THAN THE MESSAGE BROUGHT BY THE ANGELS; STAND FAST
Hebrews 2:1-4 - We ought, therefore, to pay the greatest attention to the truth (of the Gospel) that we have heard and not allow ourselves to drift away from it. For if the message (... the Law) given through angels proved authentic (... angels are traditionally associated with giving the Law to Moses), so that defiance of it and disobedience to it received appropriate retribution, how shall we escape if we refuse to pay proper attention to the salvation that is offered us today? For this salvation came first through the words of the Lord himself (... the ministry and Gospel of Jesus): it was confirmed for our hearing by men who had heard him speak (the apostles), and God moreover has plainly endorsed their witness (the apostles again) by signs and miracles, by all kinds of spiritual power, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit, all working to the divine plan.
in Part 54 with verses preaching the "Gospel of Jesus" 2:5-18 Jesus Christ the son of God also became a man, lower than the angels HE IS GREATER THAN MOSES 3:1-6 Moses was a faithful servant; Jesus is a faithful son then:
24.3 REJECTING JESUS IS FAR MORE SERIOUS THAN REJECTING MOSES; KEEP FAITH
Hebrews 3:7-14 - We ought to take note of these words in which the Holy Spirit says:
'Today, if you will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness, where your fathers tested me (the Lord God), proved me, and saw my works for forty years. Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said they always go astray in their heart, and they have not known my ways. So I swore in my wrath, they shall not enter my rest' (Psalm 95:7-11).
You should therefore be most careful, my brothers, that there should not be in any of you that wickedness of heart which refuses to trust, and deserts the cause of the living God (the Gospel of Jesus). Help each other to stand firm in the faith every day, while it is still called "today", and beware that none of you becomes deaf and blind to God through the delusive glamour of sin. For we continue to share in all that Christ has for us so long as we steadily maintain until the end the trust with which we began.
including verses 3:7-14 above, Hebrews continues
in Part 54 with verses preaching the "Gospel of Jesus" 3:7-19 Second warning - stand firm; rejecting Jesus is far more serious than rejecting Moses 4:1-10 The eternal rest of heaven is promised to those faithful to Christ 4:11-13 Third warning - accept God's second chance JESUS IS GREATER THAN EVERY HIGH PRIEST 4:14-16 Jesus Christ the great high priest 5:1-10 Jesus Christ contrasted with Aaron then:
24.4 DON'T KEEP GOING BACK TO CHRISTIAN BASICS - MOVE ON TOWARDS CHRISTIAN MATURITY
Hebrews 5:11-6:3 - There is a great deal that we should like to say about this high priesthood (of Christ and the priestly order of Melchizedek, introduced in Genesis 14:18-20), but it is not easy to explain to you since you seem so slow to grasp spiritual truth. At a time when you should be teaching others, you need teachers yourselves to repeat to you the ABC of God's revelation to men. You have become people who need a milk diet and cannot face solid food! For anyone who continues to live on "milk" is obviously immature - he simply has not grown up. "Solid food" is only for the adult, that is, for the man who has developed by experience his power to discriminate between what is good and bad for him.
Can we not leave spiritual babyhood behind - and go on to maturity
(Chapter 6 ......) Let us leave behind the elementary teaching about Christ and go forward to adult understanding. Let us not lay over and over again the foundation truths (... and keep going over the basics, such as ....) - repentance from the deeds which led to death, believing in God, baptism and laying-on of hands, belief in the life to come and the final judgment. No, if God allows, let us go on (to Christian maturity).
including verses 6:1-3 above, Hebrews continues
in Part 54 with verses preaching the "Gospel of Jesus" 6:1-20 Fourth warning (continued) - move on towards Christian maturity 7:1-28 Jesus Christ the great high priest compared with Melchizedek 8:1-5 The superiority of Christ in heaven THE ONE SACRIFICE OF JESUS CHRIST CANCELS ALL SIN 8:6-13 The new agreement of Jesus supersedes the Law 9:1-10 The high priest's earthly ministry 9:11-28 The heavenly ministry of Jesus Christ 10:1-18 Sacrifices under the Law cannot cancel sin KEEP GOING AS CHRISTIANS IN FAITH 10:19-25 In faith approach God through Christ then:
24.5 ENCOURAGEMENT TO SUPPORT EACH OTHER
Hebrews 10:23-25 - In this confidence (that Jesus is the new high priest of the Jews) let us hold on to the hope that we profess without the slightest hesitation - for he is utterly dependable - and let us think of one another and how we can encourage each other to love and do good deeds. And let us not hold aloof from our church meetings, as some do. Let us do all we can to help one another's faith, and this the more earnestly as we see the final day drawing ever nearer.
in Part 54 with verses preaching the "Gospel of Jesus" 10:26-31 Fifth warning - what hope do we have if we reject Christ's sacrifice then:
24.6 REMINDERS OF THE STRUGGLES NEW JEWISH CHRISTIANS HAVE ALREADY GONE THROUGH
Hebrews 10:32-36 - You must never forget those past days when you had received the light and went through such a great and painful struggle (after conversion). It was partly because everyone's eye was on you as you endured harsh words and hard experiences, partly because you threw in your lot with those who suffered much the same. You sympathised with those who were put in prison and you were cheerful when your own goods were confiscated, for you knew that you had a much more solid and lasting treasure in Heaven. Don't throw away your trust now - it carries with it a rich reward in the world to come. Patient endurance is what you need if, after doing God's will, you are to receive what he has promised.
Including verses 10:32-36 above and 13:18-19,22-25 following, Hebrews concludes
in Part 54 with verses preaching the "Gospel of Jesus" 10:32-39 Having come so far in faith dont turn back, endure 11:1-40 Examples of faith from the Old Testament 12:1-24 Keep going in faith 12:25-29 At the end, only those who are faithful to Christ will remain CALL TO LIVE AS CHRISTIANS 13:1-17 Warnings against strange teachings; sharing Christ's disgrace PERSONAL MESSAGES 13:18-25 Personal messages and blessings
24.7 A REQUEST FOR PRAYER; A FINAL APPEAL; FAREWELLS; A BLESSING
Hebrews 13:18-19,22-25 - Pray for us. Our conscience is clear before God, and our great desire is to lead a life that is completely honest. Please pray earnestly that I may be restored to you the sooner.
(Verse 22 ....) All I have said, my brothers, I ask you to accept as though it were an appeal in person, although I have compressed it into a short letter.
You will be glad to know that brother Timothy (also Paul's travelling companion, friend, and recipient of the two Letters) is now at liberty (after an unknown imprisonment). If he comes here soon, he and I will perhaps visit you together.
Greetings to all your leaders and all your church members. The Christians of Italy send their greetings.
Grace be with you all.
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continuing the Apostle's "Travels and Acts", on to Part 25, 1 Peter OR back to Harmony of Jesus & Early Church