The Book of Hebrews: 4:8-11 (NLT)
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The Book of Hebrews (NLT): This Book argues for the superiority of Jesus Christ over the Jewish law and traditions, showing that He is the ultimate high priest and the perfect sacrifice for sin. The author emphasizes the need for perseverance in faith, warning against falling away from the truth and encouraging the readers to hold fast to their faith in Christ. The Book of Hebrews is located in the New Testament containing 13 chapters and a total of 303 verses.
Author: Attributed to the apostle Paul, but its true author is anonymous.
Theme: The superiority of Jesus Christ as the ultimate revelation of God and the fulfillment of the Old Testament law and prophecies. The new covenant that Jesus brought is superior to the old covenant under the law and faith is superior.
Timeline: Believed to have been written between AD 60 and AD 70 before the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple.
Structure: A New Testament letter written to Jewish Christians.
Recipients: Jewish Christians.
Importance: The book of Hebrews is considered authoritative scripture and provides important teachings on the person and work of Jesus Christ, as well as the superiority of faith and the new covenant over the old covenant. It is also considered profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness, as stated in 2nd Timothy 4:16.
The Bible is such a fascinating book that you can learn something new every day. Our scriptures today talk about Joshua leading the Israelites into the “promised land” where they would obtain rest and live an abundant life. They did not have to start from scratch because God had already prepared everything for them. They even saw the large cluster of grapes and other fruit that were brought back and were told that the land flowed with milk and honey. However, the historical events packed with miracles and signs that they witnessed and experienced, and the promise from their God of a good land for them, was not enough for them to overcome their fear and unbelief.
If the Israelites had been obedient the first time, despite their fear, they would have entered into God’s rest and the Psalmist David would not have referenced another day of rest in the future (Psalm 95). The second generation under Joshua finally went into the “promised land” after their parents and elders had passed away. Again, God performed great miracles at Jericho when the walls of the city fell. There was another rest coming under Jesus and the New Covenant of grace and salvation. Some of the Christian Jews were struggling with the Old Covenant, the law, and thus the warning to not harden their hearts and fall into unbelief.
Under the Old Covenant of law, (613 laws), there was a lot of labor involved to meet all of the requirements for the Israelites to have their sins and unrighteousness covered or forgiven. Under the New Covenant, the work for salvation once and for all for mankind was completed with Jesus’ sacrifice. When Jews and Gentiles alike become Christians through faith, they are able to enter into His rest. They do not have to work for it any longer and follow the 613 laws under the Old Covenant. Does this mean we can do anything and disobey God because we are under grace and not law? God had given us a template to follow regarding social and moral laws which we follow because of what is in our hearts. God’s law of love is greater and we as His children follow it (Galations 5:14). God wants the best for His children and His Word provides us with wisdom and guidance.
Lastly, the scriptures tell us to labor or do our best to enter into His rest. How do we do this? It is through belief in His Word and His promises. When you pray, believe that you receive (Mark 11:24) and pray according to His will. What is His will? His will has been written in the scriptures (healing, finances, relationships, protection, etc.) and that’s why study of the Word of God and why believing is so important. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17).
Dear God, use me for Your glory today in all that I do. Remove whatever is holding me back and prepare me for what new things You have in store for my life in Jesus name Amen.
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