Volume. XXXIV, No. 48
Sunday, 31 May 2020

Faith in the Book of Hebrews (Part 1)

I.  Brief introduction to the Book of Hebrews

  1. The overall theme of Hebrews: The supremacy of Jesus Christ over angelic beings, Moses, the Aaronic priesthood, the Old Testament sacrifices, and the old covenants.

  2. The authorship: the author of Hebrews was a Hellenistic Jew who had become a Christian, a second-generation believer (Heb. 2:3), steeped in the LXX, and had enjoyed a good education by judging his excellent vocabulary and Greek style.

  3. The recipients of Hebrews may have been Palestinian Jewish Christians or Hellenistic Jewish Christians who were under persecution.

  4. The purpose of Hebrews is to warn its readers not to turn back from the Christian faith to Judaism and exhort them to persevere in trials by faith in the exclusive, superlative Person and Work of Jesus the Messiah

 II.  An outline of Hebrews

  1. Introduction (1:1-4): The superiority and finality of the divine revelation in Jesus Christ.

  2. The Supremacy and Superiority of Christ’s high priesthood and His sacrifice and Intervening Exhortations:
    1. Christ’s superiority over angelic beings (1:4-14)
    2. The first exhortation (2:1-4) not to drift away from the gospel of Jesus Christ (2:1-4)
    3. Christ’s superiority over angelic beings and His identification with fallen human beings as their High Priests (2:5-17)
    4. Christ’s superiority over Moses and Joshua with regard to faithfulness and rest (3:1-4:12)
    5. The exhortation to come to the throne of God through Christ the High Priest sympathizing with His people (4:14-16)
    6. Christ’s High Priesthood in the order of Melchizedek (5:1-10)
    7. The warnings against spiritual immaturity (5:11-6:3) and apostasy (6:5-8) and the exhortation to persevere in light of the immutability of God and His promise (6:13-20)
    8. The superiority of Christ’s high priesthood in the order of Melchizedek over the Levitical priesthood (7:1-28)
    9. Christ’s completion of the old covenant in the new covenant (8:1-13; cf. Jer. 31:31-34)
    10. Christ’s eternal, once-for all sacrifice as the completion of the OT sacrificial rituals (9-10:10)

  3. Call to persevere by faith:
    1. The exhortation to press on with the Christian profession of faith in light of the sufficiency of the new covenant (10:19-11:40)
    2. The exhortation to fix one’s eyes on Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of faith (12:1-3), bear trials as the discipline from God (12:4-11) and persevere with hope in the heavenly Zion (12:12-29)
    3. The concluding exhortations (13:1-17), prayer request (13:18-19)

  4. Doxology (13:20-21), and final greetings and benediction (13:22-25)

III.   Understanding the concept of faith

  1. The OT concept of faith
    1. The root of the Hebrew verb ’aman basically conveys the idea of firmness and certainty. The verb means “to be certain,” “to believe in,” or “to be assured.” Other forms of the root denote “faithfulness, fidelity, firmness, certainty, truthfulness, and trustworthiness.” It expresses firm conviction based on the reliability of the object of faith. Another Hebrew word batah expresses the idea of trust in or reliance on another. The other Hebrew word related to trust mahseh means “to seek refuge.” It suggests that a person is helpless in danger and is rushing to find a secure hiding place.
    2. The OT concept of faith as certainty and safety is deeply rooted in the OT view of God. Faith fastens on God as One who by His nature is the sole certain and sure reality. God is faithful and unchanging. Because God commits Himself to us in covenantal relationship, placing our confidence in Him brings us true well-being and safety. Our response to God has validity because God is utterly faithful and trustworthy. Faith is a response to God and His Word, not His miraculous occurrences. Faith in God engages the total person. Faith is expressed in actions.
    3. The OT concept of faith is certainty as subjective conviction, a conviction that is possible because of the objective reality of God. Faith is essentially a response to God. He comes to us in His Word. Faith means taking God at His Word, counting on Him as real, committing ourselves to Him, and acting in obedience to Him. Faith’s inner conviction about God is always translated into action and results in a lifestyle through which the reality of faith is expressed.

  2. The NT concept of faith
    1. The Greek word pistis is translated “faith” or “faithfulness.” It seems linked with a formal contract between partners. It stressed faithfulness to the agreement made or trustworthiness in keeping promises. God the Father has set Jesus Christ before us as the One to whom we must entrust ourselves for salvation. It is Jesus Christ who is the focus of Christian faith. In the context of our faith and in our relationship with Jesus, “believing” has come to mean (1) the happy trust that a person places in the person and work of Jesus Christ and (2) the allegiance to Him that grows out of that very personal commitment.
    2. Faith in the synoptic gospels: faith in Jesus does not come through an observation of miracles. Faith is born when we learn about Jesus, find out what He said, and put our trust in Him. WE then go on to deeper faith, an active reliance on the power and presence of God. Believing, we experience God at work in our lives.




To be continued…………..


More Lively Hope



  • Wishing all worshippers a blessed 34th Anniversary!
  • Welcome to our pulpit: Pastor David Weng.
  • Please e-mail your availability for the Jul-Sep 2020 serving roster by tomorrow to hopebpcrosterer@gmail.com.
  • Please continue to practise social/ physical distancing, take hygiene measures & comply with SA rules when gathering.
  • Sunday Worship Service: Unless specifically invited or requested to attend church in person, all Hopefuls are to attend worship services virtually.
  • For security reasons, please do not share Zoom meeting links without approval from hosts or group leaders.
  • Please continue to support & pray for all health care workers & people in essential services during the COVID-19 emergency.


Praise and Thanksgiving

  • God’s blessings, guidance & providence for our church for 34 years.
  • Church virtual Sunday Worship Service & other virtual activities in the past week.
  • For the improving situation in Australia & God’s wisdom & guidance to the government in managing the crisis.



  • Healing: Pastor Ki (post-procedure); Rev George van Buuren; Rev Pong Sen Yiew (S’pore); and others who are unwell.
  • God’s comfort in grief – for the family of the late Dr. Stephen Scott- Pearson & others who may be grieving.
  • COVID-19 virus – for God’s grace & mercy; for God’s continuing guidance & wisdom to the government in managing the crisis.
  • Missions – IBPFM missionaries; Rev & Mrs JG; Rev & Mrs Sun Sokha & family, Faith Krang Angkrang Church (PhnomPenh); Sis Ang Liang & family, Filadelfia B-P Church, orphanage, primary school & kindergarten (Batam); House of Hope (Cebu); Sis Esther Kim & orphanage (Bandung) affected by COVID-19 pandemic & lockdown.




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14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041