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Hebrews Bible Study Week 11: Chapter 10

Chapter 10 is another long chapter, but it is going to be another good one. It continues the contrast between the Levitical priesthood and the continual animal sacrifices of the old covenant with Jesus’ priesthood and his once-for-all sacrifice of himself. It might be helpful to read chapters 8-10 altogether once before digging in to chapter 10 just to help you keep the context in mind.

As you read and study, I hope you see the value, beauty, and practicality of studying the rich, deep doctrines of Scripture. This study into the priesthood and sacrifice of Christ and the new covenant compared to the Levitical priesthood has not been a walk in the park. I’ve had to work hard to try to understand some of these things, and I’ve got some unanswered questions ahead for this chapter. BUT, this chapter and the following make abundantly clear that there is a connection between our theology and our walk. We hope, struggle, and endure because of what we know and believe to be true about God. Our response to what we know is vital.

This is exactly the method the author of Hebrews has used with his audience. He starts out in the introduction in chapter 1 summarizing who Jesus Christ is and then sets out to “prove” this throughout the book. Scattered throughout are his warnings and encouragements. He expected his audience be warned and encouraged based on what they were taught or reminded about concerning Christ. May we also continue to be taught, warned, and encouraged as we continue our study!

Here are my questions for Hebrews 10, and here is the pdf: Hebrews 10 Questions.

Hebrews 10 Questions

1. What can the law never do by its same, yearly, continual sacrifices? Why?

2. If the law could make its worshipers perfect, what would the worshipers have done? Because they would have been what?

3. What did these yearly sacrifices remind the worshipers?

4. The yearly sacrifices were necessary because what is impossible?

5. “Consequently” (because animals’ blood cannot take away sins), when Christ came to earth, he said what? (Summarize vv 5-7 in your own words; also note the source of the quotation.)

6. Verses 8-10 go on to explain verses 5-7. What are offered according to the law?

7. Christ’s statement about his coming to do God’s will does what, according to v9?

8. What was God’s will for which Jesus Christ came? What did it accomplish?

9. What does “every priest” daily do, and what does it (not) accomplish?

10. BUT WHEN CHRIST had offered what? What did he do after that? (cf. 1:3b)

11. What is Christ waiting for at the right hand of God? (cf. 1:13; 2:7-8)

12. What had Christ done by offering himself (cf. v10) as a single offering? (Note the tenses of the verbs in v14.)

13. The author again quotes God’s promise of the new covenant. It seems like the truth he wants to emphasize this time is what he “adds” in v17. What truth is that?

14. The author brings to a conclusion the argument he began in v1 with the priests’ continual offering of animals’ blood not bringing final forgiveness of sins. What does he conclude in v18?

{I marked every reference to what the sacrifices could/could not (in the case of the animal sacrifices) do in vv 1-18. All of these terms describe the work of salvation in different ways.}

15. “Since we have” what 2 things in vv 19-21?

16. What are the “holy places” that we can enter? (You’ll have to check cross-references and draw a conclusion.)

{Remember the context of this statement about entering holy places. Chapter 9 had just talked about how only the high priest could go into the Most Holy Place once a year, following all the proper procedures. If you didn’t read about the Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16, make sure you read it now to understand the gravity of this.}

17. By what do we have confidence to enter the holy places (vv 19-20)?

18. What is the curtain in v 20?

19. What is the new and living way opened for us through Jesus’ death, do you think?

20. Since we have confidence to enter the holy places and since we have a great high priest, what should we do (“Let us. . .” vv 22, 23, 24)?

21. How should we draw near? What is the condition of our hearts (and bodies?)?

22. To what should we hold fast? How? Why?

23. We should consider how to do what?

24. In doing the above, what should we not neglect (although some make this a habit)?

25. In not neglecting the above, what should we be doing, especially as we see the “Day drawing near”?

26. What do you think the “Day” is that is drawing near?

27. Immediately following this encouragement to not neglect to meet together and rather to encourage each other in light of the Day drawing near is a section connected to it by the word “For. . .” For if we what?

28. If we sin deliberately after receiving the truth, what no longer remains?

29. Rather, what can these people expect?

30. Again, we have another comparison in vv 28-29. What is being compared?

31. When one deliberately sins after receiving the truth, what has he done in the terms of v29?

32. What truths does the author remind us of about God that make it a “fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” for one such as this (vv 30-31)?

33. In contrast, the author asks them to remember what time?

34. After these believers had been “enlightened,” what sufferings did they endure? How did they respond?

35. Why did they respond the way they did?

36. “Therefore” what should they not now do? Why?

37. What do they need? Why?

38. What passage is quoted that backs up the guarantee that they will receive what is promised?

39. How would this passage encourage them to endure?

40. In contrast to one who “shrinks back,” how does the author view himself and his hearers? Not as. . . but as. . . ?

{Try to tie these sections together in your mind. There is a connection between the author’s theological “sermons” about the superiority of Christ/his sacrifice and the practical warnings/encouragement. Jesus’ better sacrifice enables our confident entrance into fellowship with God. We hold fast to what we believe about God and we obey from a heart that has been changed by him. One of the specific applications of obedience is mentioned in the middle of the passage—regularly meeting together with believers for encouragement, followed immediately by a warning that disobedience makes light of Jesus’ sacrifice. This is immediately followed by a reminder of how they had proven faithful and obedient in the midst of suffering in the past and an encouragement to continue to do so. What do you think the current situation may have been and what do you think some were doing/tempted to do? Also, take a look at chapter 11 to see the author’s continued appeal to them by way of listing OT examples of faith in the midst of struggles and sufferings.}

“But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified” (Heb 10:12-14 ESV).

{If you’re just seeing this post and are interested in the study, check out the Hebrews Study tab on the right. Start with the invitation and instructions, then you can begin with week 1.}

 

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How to Lead a Bible Study, Part 3

To conclude my notes about how to lead a Ladies’ Bible Study (LBS), I will discuss what factors are often true about the audience, as well as some practical considerations. You can view Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

What is true about the audience in a LBS?

 1. You will likely have a mixture of personalities, ages, education levels, marriage/children statuses, and spiritual growth levels.

 2. You may have a range of responses from those who indiscriminately eat up whatever you/the material says all the way to someone who likes to disagree/question everything you/the material says. I have found that there are often 1-2 on each end of the spectrum, and in the middle are women who are willing to read and listen with some level of discernment.

 3. Women tend to overall be more emotional and interpersonal (in general). Many women do not like to disagree with someone or like to be disagreed with/told they are wrong (although there are some who enjoy doing that!). What often is felt in being asked/told a clarifying question/comment is “I don’t like you” when all that is being said is “I’m not sure that your comment lines up with Scripture.”

 4. Women—in general—like to talk. Sometimes women will talk forever about a specific subject or they will talk about what they think to the exclusion (or minimization) of what the Bible says.

 5. I have noticed that many women feel intimidated to study Scripture on their own. They feel like the material is too hard. They think deep study is only for pastors and scholars. They are more comfortable with practical, easy-reading books, rather than meaty Scriptural studies.

 6. It is impossible to please everyone in your audience.

What are some practical issues to consider as you think about a LBS?

Who will teach/lead the study?

 1. The teacher needs to have the characteristics we discussed earlier. Whether the study is a specific book of the Bible or a book on a biblical topic, the leader of a study needs to be well-versed at least to some degree in her Bible. She at least needs to be willing to spend the time to improve her Bible knowledge. Questions or comments can be made by the audience that reveal a misunderstanding of Scripture in an off-topic area, and the leader needs to be able to recognize and address these issues (whether at the moment or in a private setting).

 2. The teacher needs to be able to have the time to prepare and study. If the only one able and qualified to teach a study has a bunch of young children at home or has other commitments that would not allow for adequate time to study, perhaps the study should be put off to another time. Also, if the ladies are obeying Titus 2:3–5, the relationships between the older and younger women would theoretically be meeting this need in the meantime. A formal LBS would be a bonus.

 3. A teacher/leader needs to be kind and gracious, but she also needs to be firm. She needs to be willing and able to correct outright untruths, guide unaware mistruths, and direct conversations that drift off-topic.

When will you have the study?

You will have to know your both your teacher’s schedule, your church schedule, and your audience’s average schedule to determine what will work best. Many women either work or have children, so these factors must be taken into account.

What will be the frequency of the study?

I think this depends on multiple factors. What kind of study are you doing? Is it a book of the Bible that will lose momentum if you don’t keep moving and meet weekly? Are your ladies so busy with church and other activities that once a month is preferable? Are your ladies overall slow or quick learners? Will they be overwhelmed with too much in a shorter amount of time or are they hungrily lapping it up?

Will you provide childcare?

I think this is always a bonus and help, but it is often not possible. Often the people who attend a study are the people who are already involved in many aspects of the church. By default, these ladies may end up also providing childcare unless babysitters are found or fathers are able to help watch their own children. Maybe the LBS attendees could rotate who takes care of the children. Whatever you do, make sure you follow the nursery guidelines of your church.

Where will you hold the study?

If the Bible study is a formal church function, I find it more helpful to have the study in a church building if possible. There tends to be a subtle mindset difference in a church building setting, as opposed to someone’s home (I’ve seen it!). But if it is at a home, try to keep everyone together at the dining room table or some kind of setting that keeps everyone close together and allows for laying out their Bibles and taking notes. I have found that ladies are more comfortable to speak in an informal setting, for better or for worse.

What is the objective of the study?

 1. If the objective is study, then the “fellowship” aspect needs to be emphasized at another time.

 2. Another thought is whether the study would like to broaden itself to include unbelievers, making the study also evangelistic. One would have to think through questions an unbeliever might have when approaching the study.

So let’s say that your pastor asks you to lead a Ladies’ Bible Study in your church. You’ve never led a study before, but you enjoy studying, and you think you’d enjoy teaching/leading. What do you do?

 1. Choose your content ahead of time. If this is your first study, choose a book that you have read before or a smaller book of the Bible you have studied before. Discuss your choice/material with the pastoral leadership.

 2. Decide whether you are going to give “homework” for your study. Homework is any level of outside work that you expect the participants to put in outside of the discussion/teaching time. This can be as simple as reading the chapter/Bible passage or it can be as involved as spending several days a week answering questions. I am personally a huge fan of homework. The more personal effort the student puts into studying the passage for herself, the more beneficial the study will be to her. There are several factors to consider when you assign homework.

a. Some people just will not do it. They either hate homework or say they don’t have time for it.

b. Personally, I don’t like to do homework unless it lines up with my personal Bible study. Because my personal Bible study is usually very in-depth, I don’t like to do more than one at a time. So just reading something is nice in that case. Also, not all homework is created equal.

c. Unfortunately, it seems that many (not all) people who complain about homework are not doing any in-depth Bible study on their own anyway. So, to be blunt, their complaint is probably more due to laziness. (I am not referring to women who actually do not have time due to a newborn baby, health issues, etc.)

d. I like to make it clear that ladies will benefit much more greatly from a study if they work at understanding and answering questions. It will aid in their contributions in the discussion and to their own personal understanding. But I also do not require people to do homework to be a part of the study, nor do I shame or embarrass those who don’t do it. (Although it tends to be rather obvious who has actually studied the material.)

e. Make sure any questions you ask are understandable. They should neither insult the intelligence of your ladies nor overwhelm them too much. (Being a little overwhelmed is part of learning, however. I think pushing them to think is a good thing, though unpopular.)

 3. As you study, write out good discussion questions that you plan on asking.

a. Lots of “Sunday School” type questions are annoying to many and feel insulting (e.g., Who were Isaac’s sons? What was Isaac’s wife named?) Having a handful of these questions can be helpful for someone who wants to answer questions, but doesn’t like to answer questions that don’t have a “right” answer. But–having too many questions like this stunts discussion and many (like me!) refuse to answer these questions that have obvious answers.

b. A good discussion question is an “open-ended” question; it requires more than a yes/no or one-word answer. It may not necessarily have a “right” answer. I often follow up someone’s answer with another question: “Why do you think/say that?” This helps to force people to give a biblical answer rather than an answer based simply off of what they think.

c. Good discussion questions are key to a good group discussion. Hardly anyone likes to hear the teacher talk the whole time (I have been told that!). People often enjoy the interaction (which is why I think homework is so important). Others can offer good discussion questions too. But a teacher must have the ability to divert discussions that get off-topic.

 4. Decide how you will deal with prayer requests, fellowship time, snacks, etc. Unfortunately fellowship and prayer requests can take too much of the study time if the purpose is primarily study. Perhaps one way to aid in praying for each other without taking time away from study/discussion is to write requests down at/before the study and then email them to all the ladies. Here are a couple of suggestions for how you might structure your schedule:

a. Sunday School: 9:00 to 10:00 AM

      • 9:00–9:15 – prayer requests/fellowship/snacks
      • 9:15–10:00 – Bible study (start on time to make the most of it!)

b. Saturday morning: 9:00 to 11:00 AM – fellowship will tend to take a little bit longer on non-Sundays since people have not already said hello as they would when arriving at church on a Sunday

      • 9:00–9:30 – prayer requests/fellowship/snacks
      • 9:30–10:45 – Bible study
      • 10:45–11:00 – wrap-up

I hope this has been a help to someone who is considering leading a Ladies’ Bible Study. I have enjoyed very much studying for, writing, and leading ladies’ studies and count it a privilege to do so. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to drop them in the comments section!

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Hebrews Bible Study Week 10: Chapter 9

I hope you have been so encouraged by the truths we have been studying in Hebrews. No matter what the circumstances that the Lord has placed in our lives, the bedrock truths of the gospel–God’s great love and mercy to us through Jesus–are enough. Sometimes those truths are all we can cling to.

The promises of the new covenant in chapter 8 are a treasure.

“I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. . . They shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more” (Heb 8:10-12 ESV).

During this time of crisis, most of us are socializing with others/broadcasting our thoughts to each other solely by means of various social networks. I hope that when others remember us believers during this time, they would think of us as people whose hearts and minds have God’s words written on them (evidenced by the words we speak and write), whose allegiance is to the God who claims us as his people, and who are merciful to others as God has been merciful to us in our great sinfulness.

Chapter 9 is quite a bit longer than chapter 8 was, so there are a lot more questions. Don’t be overwhelmed; just take it one section at a time! Here are my questions, and here is the pdf: Hebrews Chapter 9 Questions.

Hebrews Chapter 9 Questions

1. The first part of the chapter describes aspects of the old covenant, particularly what acc. to 9:1?

2. 9:1-5 describe the tent (or tabernacle). In verse 5b the author clarified that he could not speak in detail of these things. If you want to read in more detail, you can check out your cross-references and/or you can read Exodus 25-27, 30.

3. What was in the first section of the tabernacle? What was this section called?

4. A second curtain separated the first section from the second. What was this second section called? What was in this section?

5. How often did the priests go into the first section, and what did they do there (cf. Lev 6:8ff-7)?

6. This daily entry into the holy place by the priests is contrasted with entry into the second section, the Most Holy Place. Who was allowed into this second section? How often? What did he bring with him and for what purpose did he bring it? (I highly recommend reading Leviticus 16, explaining in greater detail this once-a-year offering of atonement.)

7. According to 9:8, what does the Holy Spirit indicate by this? (And what is “this”?)

8. What is symbolic for the present age?

9. To what is “this arrangement” referring (v9)?

10. What can gifts and offered sacrifices not do?

11. Rather, these gifts, offerings, and “regulations for worship” (v1) are simply what, according to v10?

12. What is the time of reformation?

13. Note the “But” in v11. The author has spent the first half of the chapter describing the earthly tent and the priests’/high priests’ duties, and he now contrasts this with what high priest and what tent?

14. Describe Christ acc. to v11.

15. Christ came through the “greater and more perfect tent.” Describe this tent. To what do you think this tent refers (check out the cross-references!)?

16. Christ as high priest entered where once for all?

17. Christ entered the holy places not by what (as the Levitical high priests did)? But by what?

18. What did Christ’s offering of his own blood do?

19. Concerning this eternal redemption (“For…”), if the blood and ashes of animals could sanctify and purify the flesh, “how much more” will the blood of Christ do what?

20. Acc. to v14, how did Christ offer himself?

21. Therefore, Christ is what? To what does the “therefore” refer?

22. For what purpose is Jesus the mediator of a new covenant?

23. What do those who are called receive? What is the condition for receiving it?

24. What else does that death do for the called?

25. Speaking in general about wills, what must be established? Why?

26. Since all wills require a death to become effective, how was even the first covenant inaugurated?

27. Summarize the rituals that Moses performed both after the law had been given and read to the people (vv 19-20; cf. Ex 24:3-8) and also to purify the tent and all its vessels (v 21; cf. Ex 29:12, 36; Lev 8:15, 19; 16:14, 16).

28. What was true about almost everything under the law?

29. What is necessary for forgiveness of sins?

30. If shed blood was necessary for forgiveness and purification for the copies of the heavenly things (tabernacle and old covenant worship rituals), than how would the heavenly things be purified (v 23)?

31. Jump ahead to v 25—what did the high priests do every year in the Most Holy place?

32. All the questions that follow point out how Christ’s sacrifice of himself is a better sacrifice than any offered under the old covenant.

33. Where has Christ entered? (Here’s another question to dig a little deeper. . . If Christ has always been in heaven except for the 33 years or so that he was on earth, his entrance into heaven referred to here occurred when? [cf. Heb 1:3b])

34. Why has Christ entered into heaven?

35. If Christ had offered himself repeatedly—as the high priests yearly offered their atonement sacrifices—what would be true of him?

36. Instead, what has Jesus done? Why? By what means?

37. What is appointed for man?

38. Vv 27-28 are making a comparison. The surety of mankind’s dying and then facing judgment is compared to the surety of what concerning Christ?

39. What did Christ do the first time he came?

40. What will Christ do the second time he comes?

 

“For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Heb 9:24-26 ESV).

 

{If you’re just seeing this post and are interested in doing the study, check out the Hebrews Study category on the right. You can read the invitation and preparation studies, then start with week 1 of the study with an overview.}

4.3.20 Updated to add: Spoiler Alert! As always, I recommend not reading my notes until you’ve done your own study to get the most out of your study.

9:1-10. Limitations of the Old Covenant

9:1-5. These verses briefly describe the “earthly place of holiness”/tent/tabernacle

1st section/Holy Place: contained the lampstand, table, and bread of the Presence

2nd section behind the curtain/Most Holy Place: contained the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant, holding manna, Aaron’s budding staff, and the tables of the covenant. Covering the top of the ark was the mercy seat with the cherubim overshadowing it (this was the place where God would meet with them; cf Ex 25:17-22).

9:6-7. These verses briefly touch on some of the “regulations for worship”

The priests regularly went into the 1st section/Holy Place to perform their daily duties. They priest served as the representatives for the people of Israel in meeting with God.

The high priest was only allowed to enter the 2nd section/Most Holy Place once a year on the Day of Atonement (if he entered at any other time he’d die; cf. Lev 16). He would kill a bull (then take incense in before the mercy seat so the incense smoke would cover where God’s presence manifested itself in the cloud so that he wouldn’t die), and then sprinkle the blood in front of the mercy seat (first for his own sins and then the sins of the people).

9:8-10. Explanation of how this old covenant was limited.

The Holy Spirit showed that the way into the holy places isn’t yet opened as long as the 1st section/Holy Place is still standing. He shows this “by this”—referring perhaps to the need for the yearly atonement sacrifice by the high priest?? This 1st section—in which the priests regularly bring gifts/sacrifices and perform all the food/drink/washing regulations—is symbolic for the present age. None of these regulations and sacrifices can “perfect the conscience of the worshiper.” These things are all required “until the time of reformation.”

I think the present age referred to is the time in which the old covenant was still in place (before the “reformation”–Christ’s inauguration of the new covenant); cf. 8:13. The continued need to follow all the rules and ceremonies that took place in the first part of the tabernacle that were ineffectual to perfect the conscience and the limited access to God even by the priests highlight the limitations of the old covenant.

The first tabernacle [first section] normally describes the outer tent of Israel’s earthly sanctuary. However, here the expression is apparently used to refer to the whole system of sacrifice and priestly ministry associated with the tabernacle and the temple. So the outer tent is an illustration (Gk. parabolē) for the present time. At a literal level, the outer tent obscured the way into the second tent. At a symbolic level, the tabernacle and all its ritual stood in the way of direct and permanent access to God. In certain respects the law foreshadowed and prepared for the ministry of Christ. But when the new covenant was inaugurated, the inadequacies of the old covenant cult became glaringly obvious. A particular weakness of the worship of that earthly sanctuary is then emphasized. Gifts and sacrifices were offered which were (lit.) ‘not able to perfect the worshipper with respect to conscience’ (‘to perfect’, as in 10:1; cf. 10:14; 11:40; 12:23). The rituals actually left the participants feeling guilty for their sins (10:2), because they were externally oriented regulations (10, lit. ‘fleshly ordinances’). They were imposed until the time of the new order, until ‘Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here’ (11). The ability of Christ to cleanse the conscience is stressed in 9:14 and 10:22. With this removal of the burden of guilt, liberating us to serve God with confidence and gratitude (9:14; 12:28), Jeremiah’s prophecy of the new covenant is fulfilled.”[1]

9:11-28. Redemption Through Christ’s Death and Exaltation

9:11-12. “BUT WHEN CHRIST. . .” The first 10 verses are now contrasted with Christ’s appearance as high priest. He came through the “greater and more perfect tent not made with hands”—heaven; cf. v24; 8:2.

I’ve always thought the “direction” of Christ’s appearing as high priest was toward us on earth. But Christ’s appearance through the real tent is his appearance before God in heaven after he had been to earth to live (perfecting obedience; cf. 5:8-9) and then to offer as a priest to God his own blood once for all to secure eternal redemption for believers. This ascension into heaven (cf. 4:14) and appearing before God and being exalted to God’s right hand occurred after he had made purification for sins (1:3b).

The way into the holy places that “is not yet opened” under the old covenant (v8), Christ has entered once for all—not with animals’ blood, but with his own.

9:13-14. If animals’ blood could sanctify and purify the flesh, how much more will Christ’s unblemished sacrifice and blood offered through the Holy Spirit to God (all members of the trinity involved in redemption!) purify the conscience from dead works to serve the living God. One of the weaknesses of the old covenant was that it could not perfect the conscience of the worshiper (v9), but here Christ’s blood is fully able to (cf 10:22).

Jesus’ death and blood. . .

    • Secures eternal redemption (12)
    • Purifies worshipers’ consciences from dead works to serve God (14)
    • Eternally redeems believers from transgressions (15)
    • Guarantees the called receive the promised eternal inheritance (15)

“These rituals were for the benefit of those who were ceremonially unclean, to sanctify them by making them outwardly clean (lit. ‘for the purification of the flesh’). Those who were defiled could be restored to fellowship with God in the sense that they were able to participate again in the worship of the community. The fundamental truth that blood ‘purifies’ and ‘sanctifies’, even if only at a ceremonial level, provides the basis for the How much more argument that follows. The blood of Christ is a way of speaking about his death as a sacrifice for sins. This was uniquely effective because he offered himself unblemished to God. Once again the writer alludes to Jesus’ life of perfect obedience to the Father, culminating in the cross (cf. 5:7–9; 7:26–27; 10:10). Through the eternal Spirit most likely refers to the power of the Holy Spirit upholding and maintaining him (cf. Is. 42:1). . . . The purpose of cleansing in the OT was that the people might be consecrated again to God’s service. The new covenant promise of a renewed ‘heart’, based on a decisive forgiveness of sins (Je. 31:33–34), is echoed in v 14. Only the cleansing provided by Christ can set us free to serve the living God in the way that Jeremiah predicted. The nature of this ‘service’ or ‘worship’ (Gk. latreuein) will be discussed in connection with 12:28.”[2]

9:15. “Therefore” (because Jesus’ blood can secure eternal redemption and purify our consciences. . . ) Jesus is the mediator of a new covenant, SO those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance SINCE a death has occurred that redeems (to buy back) them from since committed under the old covenant.

“Just as the old covenant promised the land of Canaan as an inheritance for God’s people, so the covenant inaugurated by Christ opens the way to an eternal inheritance. This is equivalent to ‘the world to come’ (2:5), the ‘Sabbath-rest for the people of God’ (4:9), ‘the heavenly Jerusalem’ (12:22) and other such descriptions of our destiny as Christians. Jesus has opened the way to his inheritance for us by dealing with the sin that keeps us from drawing near to God.”[3]

“Jesus’ sacrifice is retrospective in its effect and is valid for all who trusted God for the forgiveness of their sins in ancient Israel (cf. 11:40). But we also know that, by the grace of God, he tasted death ‘for everyone’ (2:9) and he is able to save all who ‘come to God through him’ (7:25).”[4]

9:16-22. Wills in general need to establish the death of the one who wrote it, going into effect only after his death (v17). Even the first covenant was inaugurated with blood, requiring the death of an animal(s). The author gives an example of Moses’ sprinkling of blood at the ratification ceremony after Moses read the Law to the people at Sinai (vv 18-20; cf. Ex 24:1-8). He also notes that the tabernacle and all the articles in it required a purification by blood (v21). Almost everything in the old covenant was purified by blood, leading up to the following principle: “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (v22).

“Although blood was largely used for ceremonial cleansing (13), these rituals pointed to the more profound needs of God’s people for release from the power and penalty of sin.”[5]

9:23-24. If the copies of the heavenly things—the Old Covenant and the Tabernacle—required a sacrifice, than the heavenly reality requires a better sacrifice—Jesus Christ. Christ entered not the tabernacle, but the presence of God in heaven. He stands before God as a high priest on our behalf (just as the OT priests entered the tabernacle on behalf of Israel).

“When the writer says the heavenly things themselves needed to be purified with better sacrifices than these, he can hardly mean that heaven is defiled by human sin, otherwise God would have to leave it! However, he may be suggesting that the sacrifice of Christ had cosmic significance, removing a barrier to fellowship with God that existed at the level of ultimate reality and not simply in human hearts.”[6]

9:25-28. Christ does not suffer repeatedly, offering yearly sacrifices. He appeared before God once—to finally and forever put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as men all die once then are judged, so Christ died once to bear many people’s sins. Then, Jesus will appear a second time—not to deal with sin—but to save those who eagerly wait for him.

Jesus’ “appearance signals the end of the ages, the time of fulfilment or the last days (cf. 1:2). The purpose of his coming was to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself (26). Put another way, it was to take away the sins of many people (28, lit. ‘to bear the sins of many’; cf. Is. 53:12). So there has been a final settlement of the problem of sin by the action of Jesus at one point in human history and this gives a solemn significance to the present. There is ‘a fearful expectation of judgment’ for those who spurn the Son of God and his sacrifice (10:26–31). But for those who trust in him and eagerly await his second coming, there is the prospect of salvation—rescue from judgment and the enjoyment of the promised eternal inheritance (15).”[7]

[1] Peterson, D. G. (1994). Hebrews. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 1340). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

[2] Ibid., 1341.

[3] Ibid., 1341-1342.

[4] Ibid., 1341.

[5] Ibid., 1342.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

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How to Lead a Bible Study, Part 2

Last week, in part 1 of this series, I wrote about whether a Ladies’ Bible study (LBS) is essential for the local church as well as the values of having one, along with the dangers and cautions that we should be aware of.

So, let’s say that the leadership team of the church has agreed that a LBS would be beneficial to the women of the church and the church as a whole. . .

 

What should be true about the teacher of a LBS?

Teachers in general

 1. They should be loving. 1 Corinthians 12 talks about the various gifts that God gives individuals in the church, including teaching. 1 Cor 13 goes on to say that someone who prophecies, speaks with tongues, etc. but does not have love is just a noisy gong or clanging symbol. A teacher who is not loving is just annoying and unhelpful.

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor 13:4-8 ESV).

 2. They should “equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” (Eph 4:12-14 ESV, emphasis added).

If they are not building up the body, aiding in faith and knowledge, helping believers not to be swayed by false teaching, they are not a qualified teacher.

 3. They should understand what they are teaching and not promote speculation and vain discussion.

“As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions” (1 Tim 1:3-7 ESV).

 4. They need to give sound teaching, not simply telling people what they want to hear.

“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Tim 4:1-4 ESV).

 5. They need to be skilled in the word of righteousness with their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to discern good and evil.

“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil” (Heb 5:12-14 ESV).

 6. They need to be self-controlled in their speech.

“Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water” (James 3:1-12 ESV).

  7. They are not devious, sensual, greedy, manipulative, and dishonest.

“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words” (2 Peter 2:1-3 ESV).

 8. They are not intentionally hypocritical.

“You then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law” (Rom 2:21-23 ESV).

 9. They need to be people in whom the Word of God dwells richly.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Col 3:16 ESV).

10. One qualification for a pastor is that he is able to teach. Although every pastor should be a teacher, not every teacher is a pastor. But here are accompanying requirements for pastor/teachers:

“The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil” (1 Tim 3:1-7 ESV).

11. A teacher teaches others to teach.

“And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus” (2 Tim 2:2-3 ESV).

12. A teacher should be kind, not quarrelsome, patient, and gentle.

“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness” (2 Tim 2:24-25 ESV).

13. A teacher should have good role models.

“You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me” (2 Tim 3:10-11).

Women-specific teachers

 1. They are not to teach men.

 2. Older women who teach younger women (which all older women are required to do) should be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not slaves to much wine.

“Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled” (Titus 2:3-5).

 3. While 1 Tim 3:11 speaks to qualifications for deacon’s wives and not necessarily teachers, it does provide some good qualifications for a woman who will be in a leadership/visible position.

“Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things” (1 Tim 3:11 ESV).

What should be true about the content of a LBS?

 1. It should be Word-centered, truth-centered, for building up and equipping of the saints

 2. It should be doctrinally sound; not devoted to myths, genealogies, speculations, or vain discussions (1 Tim 1:3-7; 6:2-5).

 3. It should be Scripture-centered.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16 ESV).

 4. It should not be that which simply suits the passions of the hearers.

“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Tim 4:3-4 ESV).

 5. Older women are to at least informally teach what is good. They are to train young women to love their husbands and children, to be self controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their husbands.

“They are to teach what is good,and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled (Titus 2:3-5 ESV).

What materials should you use?

 1. I believe that if you call it a Bible study, you should be studying the Bible. There is nothing more powerful and effective than the Word itself. There are various studies that help people study books of the Bible.

 2. A book can be a helpful tool to study as a group, but it must be chosen with great care. The emphasis of the book should be very biblical, and extra time should be taken to look at what Scripture says, holding the author’s words up to the light of Scripture. (e.g., I led a study through Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. It had some great truths, but the content contained a whole lot of stories. I had to take time to go through many of the Scripture references and lead discussion about those.)

***In the future, I will write about how I go about actually writing a Bible study, as well as suggestions for good books to study.

{Next time, I will address the audience in a LBS as well as practical issues to consider.} 

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A Christ-Compelled Compassion Created by COVID-19

I think we’ve all been stunned by the magnitude of COVID-19. We’ve been almost hypnotically reading every news article, facebook post, and meme out there–waiting to hear the next bit of new information, the next death notice, the next hope of relief and cure.

It’s been almost surreal seeing many near-empty shelves, conserving eggs and toilet paper, sheltering at home, social distancing, and praying for hope and mercy.

As I shopped the reduced amount of goods, I couldn’t help but remember what I’d read about rationing during WWII. Our experience is really nothing new. Every generation has experienced the fear of the unknown, wondering what the outcome will be and who will be alive to see it.

Think of our nation’s short history—the American Revolution, the Civil War, slavery, WWI, racism, the Great Depression, WWII, the Korean War, Vietnam, Persian Gulf. . . These (and others) were times when our nation—and at times the world—went through great uncertainty, horrors, and fear.

Tonight (in the shower, of course), I thought that this concept of an unknown future and fear of its outcome is new for our generation as a whole. Nearly the whole world is affected by this virus.

But what came to mind is that being in situations causing all of us to fear—which is a situation very unique to many of us—is sadly not unique for many people.

Some people live with the horror of being trafficked or abused.

Some people live under threat of religious persecution.

Some people live with the pain of debilitating diseases.

Some people live with grief over the illness/death of a loved one.

Fear, uncertainty of the future, pain, and horror are some people’s norms.

And now we all have a taste of that. What should be our response? Though there are many good responses, tonight I thought of compassion. We who are now experiencing a truly terrifying unknown can now have more compassion on those who live with their own terrifying unknowns every day.

When Jesus came to earth, he experienced humanity, taking on flesh, in order to sympathize with us in our weaknesses, and ultimately to die for us. Shared weaknesses and trials give more opportunity for compassion and sympathy.

Jesus was a prime example of compassion.

“And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;  therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Matt 9:35-38).

Jesus did heal many diseases and afflictions, and these were acts of compassion, but they primarily pointed to who Jesus was as God and helped to verify Jesus’ proclamation of the gospel. He had compassion on the people not simply because they were sick, but because they were “harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” They were people—some in really horrible situations, some probably not so bad—who had no hope or purpose.

Our compassion for those around us who deal with pain, fear, and tragedy should be a compassion that points them to real hope, to a Shepherd who walks with us through “the valley of the shadow of death” (Psa 23:4). Of course, as we have opportunity to practically help and serve those suffering with whom we have contact with, we should (cf. Gal 6:10—“So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”) But we should also compassionately point them to real hope in Jesus, a hope that is “a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul” (Heb 6:19).

Right now, we are all more or less in the same boat. Some of us are hunkered down below deck in our separate cabins, praying and doing our best to encourage each other. Some are below deck, worrying over every gale they hear overhead. Some are above-deck, working hard to keep the boat safe and suffering the wind and the waves first-hand. Some of these do their jobs with great fear, while others work nervously trusting God. Some sadly have already fallen overboard, and we mourn them. But we who put our faith in Jesus’ saving work have hope, hope that anchors our souls even as the ship is tossed by the waves.

May we have compassion on those who deal with all of life’s tragedies without this hope. May we anchor our own souls in hope in Christ. May we compassionately share with others our hope so that they too might be anchored in Christ.

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Hebrews Bible Study Week 9: Chapter 8

It’s hard to know how to begin any blog post these days. Almost every email, post, article, or Facebook meme I’ve seen has something to do with COVID-19. It’s tiring to keep reading and hearing about it, but the reality is that it is here. It’s refreshing to hear or read something that has absolutely nothing to do with the virus, but the reality is that it has affected us all in many ways and will continue to do so for some time. I remember hearing a wonderful sermon on Psalm 27 by Paul Tripp years ago, in which he said that trusting God doesn’t mean we minimize difficult circumstances or pretend that they are not there/as bad as they are. It means recognizing the ugliness of the situation and choosing to meditate on God instead of the situation. (As I wrote this I remembered that I wrote a post about it here, and there is a link to hear/read his full sermon. I highly recommend it.)

My husband and our assistant pastor both spoke to our church yesterday via FB live at two different times, and it was encouraging to hear them both point to the saving work of Jesus Christ. If God could send his Son to die for our salvation, he clearly loves and cares for us in the midst of a crisis he has sovereignly allowed. As I studied this morning, I thought what a blessing it is to be able to spend this time of crisis studying and meditating on Jesus’ saving work, his greatest act of love for us.

That being said, here are my questions for this week, and here is the pdf: Hebrews 8 Questions

Hebrews 8 Questions

1. What was the point of what the author had been saying? What do we have?

2. Describe our high priest. Where is he seated? (We’ve already seen this phrasing before, so what does this phrase tell us about our high priest?)

3. How are “the holy places” described?

4. What does every high priest appointed to do?

5. So, what is necessary for this high priest?

6. What would be true of this high priest if he were on earth?

7. The priests who offered gifts according to the law served what?

8. Christ’s heavenly priestly ministry is better than the Levites’ earthly ministry because what was true of the tent Moses erected (at which the Levites served)?

9. Why is Christ’s ministry much more excellent than the old?

10. Why was a second covenant necessary?

11. Most of the chapter focuses on why God found fault with the old/first covenant/promises quoting what Old Testament passage?

12. What had the Lord said he was going to establish? With whom?

13. What was this new covenant not like?

14. Why was he going to establish this new covenant?

15. What was the covenant that the Lord was going to establish? List its contents. (Feel free to mine the depths and beauty of the new covenant!)

16. When God established a new covenant, what did he do to the first one? How is the first one described?

“‘I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more’” (Hebrews 8:10-12 ESV).

{If you’re just seeing this post and interested in the study, head over to the Hebrews Study tab on the right and check out the invitation, preparation, week 1, and following.}

3.26.20 Updated to add: Spoiler Alert! Be sure not to read my notes until you’ve done your own study!

8:1-13: The Mediator of a New Covenant

8:1-2. The point of all the author had been saying, comparing Levitical priests and Jesus’ priesthood, is that Jesus’ priesthood—along with the new covenant his ministry initiated—is better than the old priesthood/law/covenant. Jesus is a high priest who—having completed his earthly task—sits down with the Father on his throne. His priestly ministry is in heaven. (It seems to me that the phrases high priest seated at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven and  minister in the holy places that the Lord set up are parallel phrases. So, high priest = minister and right hand of majesty in heaven = holy places the Lord set up.)

8:3-5. OT priests offered gifts and sacrifices (cf. 5:1), and thus Jesus should have something to offer. The author has already mentioned that Jesus did offer himself (7:27), but he does not develop that here. He continues to compare the priesthoods. The Levites served and worshiped in a copy/shadow, patterned after the real thing—heaven (cf. Ex 25:40). Jesus—unable to be a Levitical priest because of his descending from Judah—ministers in heaven as a priest, a ministry more excellent than the Levites’.

“Some readers with a Jewish background may have considered that there was something lacking in Christianity because it offered no elaborate ceremony in an earthly sanctuary. Hebrews makes the opposite point. Christ introduces the ultimate, spiritual realities to which the old covenant ritual pointed, fulfilling and replacing the whole system prescribed in the law of Moses.”[1]

8:6. The author now compares the superiority in excellence of Jesus’ high priestly ministry in heaven to the covenant he mediates also being better than the first covenant because it is based on better promises.  “Jesus inaugurates or mediates the benefits of the new covenant by means of his death and heavenly exaltation (cf. 7:22; 9:11–15; 10:12–18).”[2]

8:7-9. The second covenant is better, because the first is not faultless. The author quotes Jeremiah 31:31-34 to point out the fault of the first and contrast it with the better new covenant/promises.

Both the old covenant and the new covenant were established with Israel/Judah. (Other NT passage focus on the in inclusion of Gentiles; cf. Gal 3-4; Rom 9-11. But Hebrews does make it “quite clear that anyone who has confidence in Jesus Christ and what he achieved will share in the fulfilment of God’s promises to his ancient people (e.g. 3:14; 4:3; 5:9; 7:25).”[3])

The new would not be like the old that God had established with them when he brought them out of Egypt in that they didn’t obey the covenant, so God showed no concern for them. (Jeremiah was written during the Babylonian exile in the 6th century B.C. Their judgment for not obeying the covenant was exile.)

It seems like the “fault” of the old covenant and the way in which it differed from the new was in its inability to make every member (all of Israel) changed in their hearts (thus many and then most “did not continue in my covenant”). In addition to being born into the old covenant, Israelites needed a work in their hearts (cf. Deut 10:16; 30:6) to truly love and obey God. In contrast with the old, the new covenant did this as we will see.

8:10-12. The Lord describes the new covenant that he would make with Israel:

God will put his laws in their minds and write them on their hearts—head and heart knowledge of the truth. “Hebrews views the fulfilment of this promise in Jesus’ cleansing of the hearts of his people from a guilty conscience, so that they may ‘serve the living God’ (9:14; cf. 10:19–25).”[4]

God will be their God; they will be his people. This promises—contingent upon their obedience—had already been given to Israel (cf. Lev 26:12).

They won’t have to teach their neighbors and brothers to know the Lord, for they would all—from least to greatest—know him (cf. Isa 54:13; Jn 6:45; 1 Jn 2:27). This must refer to those who are already in the covenant. They won’t need to be told to know the Lord—like those members of the old covenant who still needed to “circumcise their hearts”—because he was already working in them to do so. “Hebrews implies that this promise is fulfilled in the direct approach to God ‘with confidence’ that Jesus makes possible (4:16; 7:25; 10:19–22; cf. 12:22–24).”[5]

God will be merciful toward their sins and choose never to remember them.

“The word For in v 12 shows that the basis of these promises is the assurance of a decisive cleansing from sin: For I will forgive their wickedness, and will remember their sins no more. It is clear from chs. 9–10 that Jesus’ sacrifice achieves the fulfilment of that foundational promise (e.g. 9:14, 26, 28; 10:10, 14).”[6]

8:13. Although Jeremiah does not explicitly make the old covenant obsolete, his speaking of a new one implicitly does. Everything attached to the old covenant—its Levitical priesthood, sacrifices, laws, and mode of worship at the tabernacle/temple were vanishing.

[1] Peterson, D. G. (1994). Hebrews. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 1338). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

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How to Lead a Bible Study, Part 1

I recently had the privilege to speak to a group of seminary wives about how to lead a Bible study. In mentioning this to a couple of people, they were interested to see my notes, so I thought I’d share them here in smaller chunks (than my 11-page notes I spoke from 🙂 ). I really enjoyed thinking through the topic in detail, and I wanted to come at it in as biblical a manner as I could. I am not an amazing teacher who has all the answers, but I have learned quite a bit in the ten or so years I have been teaching, writing Bible studies, and leading discussions. Perhaps something here will be helpful.

The first topic I addressed was whether it is essential to have a Ladies Bible Study (LBS). 

1. There is no mention in Scripture of women teaching in a formal setting.

There is actually a command in Scripture that women should not teach. In the setting of the church, Paul tells Timothy, “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet” (1 Tim 2:11-12[1]).

 2. There is mention of women teaching Scripture in informal settings.

There is a narrative telling of a woman, Priscilla, and her husband privately taking aside another man to explain “to him the way of God more accurately” (Acts 18:26).

There is a command that all older women are to be an example to and teach the younger women in practical matters of marriage, child-rearing, and godly living.

“Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled (Titus 2:3-5).

3. From Scripture, I would conclude that a LBS is not an essential part of the local church.

Despite my conclusion in number 3, I then went on to discuss the value of a LBS.

1. It values a woman’s personal growth and understanding of the Bible and biblical values.

Women are made in the image of God and have both the capability (for the most part) and responsibility to study.

“And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.’” (Matt 22:37-38, emphasis added).

Many women are hungry to study God’s Word, and this can be a means of doing so.

 2. It allows for freer, more honest discussion than many women would feel comfortable doing in a mixed group.

I took an informal survey on Facebook and this was important to many who commented. It can be really intimidating for women to interact in a mixed group, so a ladies-only group can really be a help in this regard.

 3. It can more bluntly deal with women-specific issues.

The last thing I will mention this time is the third point of my talk with the ladies, the cautions/dangers of a LBS.

1. Having an unqualified teacher. If you don’t have a qualified teacher, you shouldn’t have a LBS. (If the church leadership and ladies still really want a study, the pastor or other qualified male teacher could lead a ladies study, and perhaps they could train a qualified woman to teach.)

“Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness” (James 3:1).

Bad reasons (as the sole qualifier) to choose someone to be a teacher:

    • She is married to a pastor (a pastor’s wife can be a teacher, but her marriage to her husband does not qualify her to be one).
    • She is an extroverted, likable, talkative person.
    • She is highly opinionated and/or smart.

2. Having a study that is not under the oversight of pastoral leadership.

“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women,burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim 3:1-7, emphasis added).

“For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. 11 They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach” (Titus 1:10-11, emphasis added).

A woman can be easily led astray even by a desire to learn and study, but if she is not truly coming to a knowledge of the truth she can be a gateway to false teaching for her family and her church, leading to false teaching being promoted and division.

One of the most dangerous places for a woman can be a typical Christian bookstore. Publishers recognize that there are women who have a desire to be “always learning,” yet they do not always (often!) give knowledge of the truth.

A LBS teacher must be held accountable to the pastoral leadership, and the content of the material must be under pastoral guidance.

 3. Having studies that highlight one aspect of a woman’s role to the neglect of another.

Not every woman is a mom or a wife. Single/widowed/childless women may feel out of place in such a study. These studies are definitely helpful and can be a huge blessing, but content needs to be “advertised” so ladies know what to expect.

Studies that emphasize the “pink” passages in Scripture (e.g., Ruth, Esther, Titus 2, etc.) to the neglect of others give a lopsided understanding of Scripture.

[1] All Scripture references from the ESV.

Next time, I will address what should be true about the teacher and the content of a ladies’ Bible study.

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Hebrews Bible Study Week 8: Chapter 7

I hope that you’ve had a good week catching up. It’s an interesting time right now, isn’t it? I was pretty much house-bound for most of the past two weeks with some form of colds in our family, then I came out to find panic and the potential for more time at home. To be honest, living where I live, attending a very small church, homeschooling my kids, and not being a huge socialite myself, I don’t feel too personally affected. But I did go grocery shopping yesterday, and that was a little surreal, seeing so many empty shelves (although there was still plenty of food to be had) and no toilet paper. My son kept asking me if we were going to starve. A random man stopped me and told me not to take back my quarter from the Aldi cart and that there were going to be violent riots. The library is closing (I think I’m saddest about that!).

The panic and unrest can be just about as contagious as the virus itself it seems. Aren’t you glad that God in his providence has us studying Hebrews right now? We will have more time than ever (if we can socially distance ourselves from our kids!! 😉 ) to spend in study and meditation on how wonderful our Savior is. Remember the end of chapter 6?

“We who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor for the soul” (Heb 6:18b-19a ESV).

The world is adrift right now during quite the storm. As believers, we have hope in Jesus’ saving, interceding work for us. This hope anchors our soul. May this stabilizing hope be as contagious as the panic and the virus that surrounds us.

As I began to write questions for chapter 7, I had a harder time writing lots of little questions. So, there are going to be fewer questions this time that cover more than 1 verse each for the most part. The nature of this chapter is just a little different. I think it would be helpful to make a list with 2 columns comparing/contrasting the Levitical priesthood with Christ’s Melchizedekian priesthood. Once you see things side-by-side it might help you figure out what you need to dig deeper to understand. As always, check out your cross references.

Here are the questions, and here is a pdf: Hebrews 7 Questions

1. Write down every descriptor of this Melchizedek acc. to vv 1-3. Look at Genesis 14 for more of the context.

2. How does Melchizedek resemble the Son of God?

3. Acc to vv 4-7, what is it that made Melchizedek so great and superior even to Abraham?

4. What do vv 8-10 mean? (Sorry that’s the best question I can come up with for now! 😉 )

5. Rephrase the question being asked in v11 in your own words.

6. Vv 12-14 make a point about a change in priesthood necessitating a change in law, then points out that Jesus was from the tribe of Judah. What is the point of these statements? Why would Jesus’ descending from Judah be an issue?

7. Jesus’ “non-traditional” priesthood is further discussed in vv 15-17. Jesus’ priesthood was not based on what? What was it based on? What passage backs up his statement?

8. Acc. to vv 18-19, what was set aside and what was introduced?

9. Why was the law set aside?

10. What does the better hope allow for?

11. What oath was made concerning Jesus’ priesthood?

12. What does this oath make Jesus?

13. Why were there so many Levitical priests?

14. How does this contrast with Jesus? What is true because of Jesus’ eternal priesthood?

15. Describe our high priest acc. to v27.

16. Contrast the Levitical high priests with Jesus acc. to vv 27-28.

If you still feel a little lost after going through this chapter, keep reading just to help get context. 8:1 goes on to say, “Now the point in what we are saying is this. . .”

“For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself” (Heb 7:26-27 ESV).

{If you’re just seeing this post and are interested in doing the study, check out the Hebrews Study tab on the right. Scroll down to find an invitation to join the study, preparation, and then each week of study focusing on one chapter.}

3.20.20 Updated to Add: Spoiler Alert! Please don’t read my notes on the passage until you’ve completed your own study. I’ve made a couple of charts that were helpful for me with so many comparisons in this chapter.

7:1-28: The Eternal High Priesthood of Jesus Christ

 At the beginning of chapter 5, the author had begun to explain Jesus’ eternal priesthood after the order of Melchizedek. Then he took a short break off topic to explain to them that this was a difficult topic to understand and gave them warnings and encouragement about taking in “solid food” that leads to maturity. Here he comes back to what he had started to explain, offering them some solid food for their own spiritual growth and maturity.

7:1-3. Melchizedek described (cf. Gen 14:18-20; Psa 110:4)

  1. King of Salem
  2. Priest of the Most High God (this would have been before the Levitical priesthood was formed)
  3. Blessed Abraham
  4. Received a 10th tithe from Abraham
  5. His name means “King of righteousness”
  6. His title means “King of peace”
  7. There is no record of his genealogy, birth, or death, so he resembled the Son of God who is a high priest forever. (In contrast, there is much documentation, of the Levites’ birth, service, death, genealogies, etc.; cf. v23.)
  8. Melchizedek “appears from nowhere [in Scripture] and disappears without trace. He has no predecessors and no successors. Since the legitimacy of a man’s priesthood in the ancient world depended on such things, the silence of Scripture at this point is unusual. Melchizedek is like the Son of God in the sense that he foreshadows his unique and never-ending priesthood. In technical terms, he is a ‘type’ or pattern of Christ.”[1]

7:4-10. Evidence of Melchizedek’s greatness and superiority to Abraham (& Levi)

Abraham gave tithes to Melchizedek, while in the future Abraham’s non-Levite descendants  would pay tithes to Abraham’s descendants the Levites, as commanded by God in Num 18:21, 26 (cf. 2 Chron 31:4-5).Melchizedek, not descended from Abraham, received tithes from Abraham  and blessed Abraham, the special receiver of God’s promises. The superior—Melchizedek—blesses the inferior—Abraham.

There is continued comparison in vv 8-10. Tithes are received by mortal men, probably referring to the Levites. This is contrasted with tithes being received (even from Levi who in a sense tithed through his ancestor Abraham) by one of whom it is testified that he lives, probably referring to Melchizedek with no record of death, after whom Jesus’ eternal priesthood is patterned.

Proving Melchizedek as superior to Abraham, and thus the Levitical priesthood, paves the way to prove Jesus’ high priesthood—patterned after Melchizedek’s— as better than the Levitical priesthood.

7:11-14. Even though the Law was given through the Levitical priesthood, it was not perfect, thus requiring a new priest after a new line—Melchizedek, not Aaron. Since all priests according to OT law were to descend from the tribe of Levi and Jesus descended from Judah, this would require a change in the law. “Here it should be noted that the writer of Hebrews views the law essentially as a set of sacrificial and priestly regulations for the maintenance of Israel’s relationship with God. The limitations of the system as a whole are outlined in chs. 9–10.”[2]

7:15-17. Unlike the Levites, Jesus’ priesthood was not based on his lineage but on the basis of his indestructible life, a fact backed up by God’s promise that he is a priest forever (cf. v21; 5:6; 6:20; Psa 110:4). This indestructible life must be tied to his power over death in his resurrection and ascension (cf. v25).

7:18-19. Comparison between the former law and a better hope

The Levitical priests were made so under a former commandment (OT law), one that was weak and useless because it didn’t make anything perfect. By contrast, there is better hope, which allows people to draw near to God (expanded on below).

7:20-22. The basis for Jesus’ priesthood is expanded upon. The Levites were made priests without an oath. Jesus’ priesthood—established by an oath by God declaring him to be a priest forever (Psa 110:4; cf. 6:17)—was the guarantee of a better covenant and a better hope than the former. Jesus’ eternal priesthood allows people to draw near to God.

7:23-25. Jesus’ eternal priesthood is contrasted with the Levites who kept dying, necessitating a new priest to take over.

Because Jesus continues forever and is always living to make intercession for believers, he is able to save those who draw near to God through himself.

Intercession: “an interposing or pleading on behalf of another person” (dictionary.com)

“The word therefore [or consequently] at the beginning of v 25 introduces the logical consequence to all this. Here is the practical application of the writer’s teaching about Jesus as priest for ever in the order of Melchizedek. Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through him. The idea of ‘approaching’, ‘drawing near’, or ‘coming’ to God is prominent in Hebrews (cf. 4:16; 7:19; 10:1, 22; 11:6; 12:18, 22). Fundamentally, it expresses the idea of a relationship with God. The OT priesthood and sacrificial system only imperfectly provided for such a relationship, but Jesus is able to save completely those who relate to God through him. The language of salvation here implies deliverance from the alternative, which is the judgment of God (cf. 2:1–4; 9:27–28; 10:26–31). In fact, Christians can look to Jesus for help at every stage in their earthly pilgrimage, because he always lives to intercede for them (cf. Rom. 8:34; 1 Jn 2:1–2). The image of the heavenly intercessor is used to emphasize Christ’s willingness and ability to go on applying to us the benefits of his once-for-all sacrifice (cf. 2:18; 4:14–16; 10:19–22).”[3]

7:26-28. Jesus’ superiority is also highlighted in terms of his holiness. The Levitical priests had to offer sacrifices for their own sins before they could offer their daily sacrifices for the sins of the people. They were appointed by the former law in their weakness. Jesus, however, is described as follows:

  1. Holy
  2. Innocent
  3. Unstained
  4. Separate from sinners
  5. Exalted above the heavens
  6. Has no need to make sacrifices for his own sin
  7. Appointed by God’s oath (after the Law) to be a Son, perfect forever
  8. All of which qualifies him to be offered as a once for all sacrifice for sin (cf. 1:3; 2:17)

“The perfection of his sacrifice is associated with the perfection of the victim. Jesus also meets our need as high priest because he is now set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. His heavenly exaltation means that he always lives to apply the benefits of his saving work to us (25). The law of Moses appointed men who are weak as high priests, but the oath of Ps. 110:4 appointed the Son to be high priest of a different order. He was qualified to fulfil this role or made perfect for ever (28; cf. notes on 2:10; 5:9) by means of his obedient life, his sacrificial death and his entrance into the heavenly presence of God (as vs 26–27 suggest).”[4]

 

Levites (Abraham) Melchizedek Jesus
Paid tithes to Melchizedek via Abraham  (received tithes from fellow Israelites) Received tithes from Abraham (& Levi)
Blessed by Melchizedek Blessed Abraham
Legal right to be priests based on tribal lineage No Scriptural record of birth/genealogy From the tribe of Judah (with no connection to the priesthood)
Priesthood ends at death No Scriptural record of death Is a priest forever because of his indestructible life
Priests under a former, imperfect, weak, and useless law High priest under a better covenant by the oath of God, giving a better hope
Multiple priests required due to their deaths Has a permanent priesthood because he lives forever
Priests were sinners required to make sacrifice for their own sins Holy and without sin, without need to make sacrifices for himself
Made daily sacrifices for the sins Offered himself once for all

 

Former Law Better Covenant
Set aside because of its weakness and uselessness Introduces a better hope
Made nothing perfect Allows people to draw near to God and be saved to the uttermost
Appointed men in their weakness Jesus is the guarantor of it—holy, innocent, unstained , separate from sinners
Required multiple, continuous sacrifices Jesus offered himself as the once for all sacrifice

 

 

 

[1] Peterson, D. G. (1994). Hebrews. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 1337). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid., 1338.

[4] Ibid.

 

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Hebrews Bible Study: Catch Up Week!

As I anticipated last week, I definitely did catch the bug going around–as did all my kids. We’ve been “couched” the entire week, so I didn’t get a chance to finish chapter 6. I imagine some of you wouldn’t mind a breather week either, so here you go! 🙂 If you do happen to be all caught up, feel free to jump in to chapter 7 and ask yourself your own questions. Or you could read through the whole book a couple of more times to remind yourself of the big picture. Or just sleep in if your body needs the rest and recuperation.

Have a good week!

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Hebrews Bible Study Week 7: Chapter 6

We are almost halfway through the book of Hebrews! It’s been such a good study. There’s been so much good doctrine and practical encouragement all intertwined. Again, if you need to slow down to take it all in, that’s perfectly fine. I know a lot of sickness has been going around too, so you may even need to take some time off to get some extra rest (very apropos for our study! 😉 )  My family has been dropping like flies these past couple of days, and I’m waiting for it to hit me!

Just as an FYI, remember that when I write these questions, I usually haven’t figured out the answers yet. This is usually the first thing I do. So, for example, after I’ve studied some more, I may realize that I asked the wrong question, didn’t ask a question the right away, or the question I asked just touched on the edge of the iceberg to a whole bigger issue. Take advantage of my questions and your own questions—even if they’re hard ones—to help you “go on to maturity!” This is a tough passage to grapple with, but PLEASE don’t let that stop you from grappling with it! This is part of the message of that great salvation that our Savior proclaimed. It’s worth the fight to understand!

Here are my questions. And here is a pdf: Hebrews Chapter 6 Questions

Hebrews Chapter 6 Questions

1.Chapter 6 continues the warning begun in 5:11. What is the “therefore” of 6:1 there for?

2. Therefore, the author urged, “let us” what?

3. How would you describe the “elementary doctrine of Christ” in terms of the previous section (5:11-14)?

4. How would you describe the term “maturity” according to the previous section?

5. 6:1-2 tells us to leave something, to go on to something else, and then says that we should not lay again a foundation of what?

6. How do you think the author categorizes the teachings he names in vv 1b-2—as elementary doctrine or mature?

7. What is it that “we will do if God permits” in v3? (Reading the next verse may help you answer this question, as the “for” seems to connect the 2 verses.)

8. What is impossible in vv 4-6? You can break this question down by asking a couple more:

What are all the descriptions of the people he is describing? (Try to look up cross references for these descriptions or remember what has already been said regarding them in Hebrews to help you understand.)

What do they then do? It is impossible for them to be restored to what?

Why can they not be restored to repentance?

 9. How do vv 7-8 illustrate vv 4-6?

10. Can you try to summarize in your own words the spiritual status of someone described as such in these verses? What kind of person is he talking about?

11. Despite this very dire warning, how does the author feel about his first readers (v 9)?

12. Why does he feel sure of their salvation? What description does he give of them in v 10? How does he describe God in light of this description?

13. The author was not content with just what they had done in the past. He exhorts them to what in v 11?

14. He gives 2 contrasting reasons for his exhortation in v 12; what are they?

15. What immediate example does the author give of one “who through faith and patience inherit the promises”? {There will be many more examples to come!}

16. The next section does give the example of Abraham patiently waiting and obtaining the promise, but who is the actual focus of this section, the promise “obtainer” or the promise “maker”?

17. By whom did God swear when he made a promise to Abraham? Why?

18. What was God’s promise to Abraham?

19. What was Abraham’s response?

20. What did Abraham obtain?

21. What do people usually do when they make an oath? What is the purpose of an oath?

22. Why did God guarantee his promise with an oath?

23. What are the “two unchangeable things”?

24. What is impossible?

25. In what situation are the readers, according to v 18?

26. How do God ‘s character and promises help those who have fled for refuge?

27. What do we have in v19?

28. How is this hope described (2 ways)? {This is one of my favorite verses! 🙂 }

29. How does the picture of an anchor help you understand the nature of hope here?

30. There are 2 things/persons mentioned as going into the “inner place behind the curtain” in vv 19-20; what/who are they?

31. What is the inner place?

32. Jesus’ going into the inner place is described how? (This description clues us in on the topic of the following chapter, which the author had begun in chapter 5, but then had paused to tell his readers that this was tough stuff to understand and warned them to press on.)

33. How is it (do you think) that one’s hope enters the holy place? What does that mean?

“We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 6:19-20 ESV).

{If you’re just seeing this post and would like to participate in the study, check out the Hebrews Study tab on the right. You can check out the invitation, preparation, and then start with week 1.}

3.12.20 Updated to add: Spoiler Alert! If you haven’t completed your own study of chapter 6, I would recommend doing so before reading my own thoughts on the passage.

6:1-3: The author seeks to push them forward from a simple knowledge of the basic truths/ “milk” of Christianity on to the “solid food” of the mature. He doesn’t want to have to teach them again about faith vs. works, worship rituals, the resurrection, and future judgment. Going on to maturity is the goal, “if God permits.”

6:4-6: Perhaps the stipulation “if God permits” is there because going on to maturity is not possible for some, because it is impossible for them to be even restored to repentance. These people have fallen away (cf. 3:12; 4:11)—like Israel—having experienced the following (also much like Israel):

They were once enlightened. This seems to refer to a specific time—cf. 10:32. Eph 1:18 refers to enlightenment as a spiritual seeing of Christ and all his benefits. To fall away from this must bean that some had been made aware of Christ and his benefits and perhaps professed to believe it, but didn’t truly have faith.

Have tasted the heavenly gift and shared in the Holy Spirit. 2:4 mentioned that God bore witness to the message of salvation by giving gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His will. Perhaps some even were recipients/participants in these miracles?? (Judas performed miracles but proved himself to be an unbeliever.)

Have tasted the goodness of the Word of God and powers of the age to come. Again, I think this refers to those who heard Jesus’ message directly or indirectly.

This is the kind of person who has no more hope of repentance. It is like he kills the Son again as he refuses to believe and holds the Son in contempt.

“The writer of Hebrews is clearly confident that a true work of God has taken place in the congregation he addresses (6:9; 10:39). ‘But this does not exclude the possibility that some of their number are rebellious at heart and, unless there is a radical change, will find that they have reached the point of irremediable apostasy.’ (P. E. Hughes, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews (Eerdmans, 1977), p. 212). It is possible to get caught up in the spiritual experience of a group without being genuinely converted. Sometimes people show all the signs of conversion but drift away from Christ after a time and demonstrate that they were never truly God’s children. More specifically, the writer has in view those who see clearly where the truth lies, conform to it for a while, and then, for various reasons, renounce it. Continuance is the test of reality. Those who persevere are the true saints and a passage like this will be used by God to sustain them in faith.”[1]

6:7-8: The author illustrates with an example from nature. Just like all ground that received the good rain—good ground will produce. Bad ground will not and ends up being burned up. “The writer provides no middle ground for the sluggish and the slack. He wants his readers to be sure that they all fit into the first category!”[2]

6:9-10: The readers’ past and present love and care for fellow believers for the sake of Christ was evidence of their true Christianity. Serving the saints is love for God’s name and a work that belongs to salvation. “When the writer says God is not unjust; he will not forget such things, the focus is not simply on reward for services rendered. God knows the reality of their spiritual lives and if he so motivated expressions of genuine Christianity in the past he can be relied upon to do so again in the future. The motif of God’s faithfulness is further developed in vs 13–20.”[3]

6:11-12: Yet, he urged them to continue to earnestly love and work based on their full assurance of hope. This hanging on to hope “until the end” is what marks the difference between salvation (v9) and falling away after appearing that you were saved (vv4-6). Thus he tells them not to be sluggish (same Greek word as “dull” in 5:11), but to keep holding on fast to their hope—like those who inherited the promises through faith and patience.

6:13-15: Followed by an admonition to imitate such people is an example of one—Abraham—although the emphasis is more on the faithfulness of the Promise Giver. In Gen 22, God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac; Abraham obeyed, but the Angel of the Lord called to him, announcing that He swore by Himself that because Abraham had been obedience, He would bless and multiply him. Abraham, after waiting patiently, obtained the promise (after death? Cf. 11:13). “The basis of Christian hope is not wishful thinking about the future but the solemn promise of God. The foundation of God’s saving activity in the world was the particular promise made to Abraham.”[4]

6:16-18: When people make an oath to settle a dispute, they swear by something greater than themselves. When God wanted to convince Abraham & co. of the promises, he gave an oath—unchangeable and impossible to lie, which was guaranteed by his name—his unchangeable character and person.

6:19-20: God’s Word/promises and his character/nature are unchangeable and give those who flee for refuge strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.

  1. The hope is set before us.
  2. The hope is as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul (keeps the soul from drifting away).
  3. The hope enters the inner place (cf. 9:3-5, 7-11ff; 7:19; Lev 16:15ff). This is the place where Jesus has gone on our behalf, the place where atonement is made for our sins before the presence of God. Chapter 7 will explain this in greater detail.
  4. Our hope is tied to Jesus; He went in to the Holy Place and made sacrifice with his own boy for our sins in the presence of God.

“So the antidote to spiritual apathy and apostasy is the renewal of hope. Hope is the motivation for faithfulness and love. The basis for our hope is the promise of God, confirmed with an oath. Since the saving promises of God have already been fulfilled for us in the death and heavenly exaltation of the Lord Jesus Christ, this gives us every encouragement to believe that those who trust in Jesus will share with him in the promised eternal inheritance.”[5]

 

[1] Peterson, D. G. (1994). Hebrews. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 1335). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid., 1336

[5] Ibid.

 

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