The Book of Hebrews                                                            Study No. 237



n our common order of books, toward the back of the New Testament, is a neglected book.  It is a General Epistle, meaning it has basic information that should be read before more complicated things.  I believe that the best position to place it, in Topical Order, is right after the Book of Acts.

The epistle that we call Hebrews is truly a gold mine.  It covers the seven fundamental doctrines, plus much more.  Hebrews explains why Christ came to the earth as a man, the meaning of His sacrifice for sin, angels, prayer, tithing, the Sabbath, the New Covenant, the Unpardonable Sin, Faith, Trials and Persecution, Marriage, etc.  Above all, Hebrews lets us see Jesus, as He is now, our High Priest who makes intercession for us today.  Let’s take a journey through this remarkable book, and highlight the major themes of the Book of Hebrews.


Hebrews, Chapter by Chapter



Key Verse



God has in these last days spoken unto us by His son, verses 1-2.

Jesus Christ is God’s Son, the anointed one, the Creator, who lives forever and is the same.  Angels are minister­ing spirits to the heirs of salvation (us).


“But we see Jesus . . .” verse 9.

Man is destined to have all things under his feet; let’s take heed and not slip.  Jesus became a man and died for our sins; He is the Captain of our salvation, delivered man from death and bondage, and is our brother and High Priest.


“To day if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provoca­tion,” verses 7-8, 15.

Israel did not enter the Promised Land because of unbelief (disobedience).  Don’t harden your hearts; we are God’s house if we hold fast.


“There remaineth there­fore a rest [margin: keep­ing of a Sabbath] to the people of God,” verse 9.

The Sabbath is a type of the millennial rest, God’s rest.  On the seventh-day Sabbath, we cease from our own works, and labor to enter His rest.  God’s Word is powerful and reveals all our sins.  Therefore, we should come boldly in prayer to Christ, our great High Priest, to obtain mercy and help to believe and obey.


“Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered,” verse 8.

Christ learned obedience by His sufferings and is now a Melchisedec (King of Righteousness) High Priest.  We ought to be teachers, skilful users of the Word, strong meat, and not only the milk, so that we may discern good and evil.


“. . . let us go on unto perfec­tion . . .” verse 1.

The fundamental doctrines are: repentance, faith, baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection, eternal judgment, and perfection. Those who will not repent have committed the unpardonable sin.  God, who cannot lie, is our anchor.


“For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law [of tithing],” verse 12.

Jesus is the Melchisedec priest to whom Abraham gave 1/10 of the spoils.  Tithing is now to Jesus, rather than Levites.  He is eternal, able to save those who come to God through Him.


“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel . . . I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts . . .” verse 10.

The New Covenant is better than the Old Covenant.  The fault of the Old was them, those who sinned. Under the New Covenant, God’s Laws are put in our minds and hearts, and all shall know the Lord.


“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many . . .” verse 28.

The Tabernacle sacrificial worship services pointed to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the one big sacrifice whose blood remitted our sins.


“Let us hold fast the profes­sion of our faith without wavering . . . .  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together . . .”  ver­ses 23, 25

The OT sacrifices did not make the comers perfect, but only reminded them of sins.  The offering of Christ’s body once for all remitted sins (10:10).  There is now no more offering for sin.  Hold fast; assemble ourselves together; don’t sin willfully.  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.  The Just shall live by faith.


“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” verse 1.

The Faith Chapter.  You must have faith to please God.  Examples of the faithful saints show we need to seek the better resurrection, a city with founda­tions.


“For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiv­eth,” verse 6.

Trials and Corrections Chapter.  Enduring trials and discipline of the Lord leads us to repentance, deepens our conversion, teaches obedience, helps us be compassionate of others, tests our faith in God, builds character, helps us to qualify to be priests and rulers in the Kingdom of God.  Hold fast!  Don’t let trials cause a root of bitterness to grow in you.


“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whore­mongers and adulterers God will judge. . . .  Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever,” verses 4, 8.

Jesus Christ has not changed His views of the sanctity of marriage, and the exceeding sinfulness of sexual perversions.  Don’t be carried away with diverse and strange doctrines; obey them which have the rule over you (the ministry).  Don’t cease sharing and helping the brethren.


Major Theme of Hebrews:  “But We See Jesus”


In the Four Gospels, we see Jesus’ birth, ministry, death, and resurrection.  We see Him healing, performing miracles, preaching, and teaching.  In the Book of Hebrews, we see the reason why Jesus came to this earth, why He had to become a man, why He had to die for our sins.  The wages of sin is death.  Blood must be shed for the remission of sins.  The Old Testament animal sacrifices did not atone for sin, but merely reminded of sin, and pointed to Christ, whose death and shed blood would truly forgive sins, once and for all.  A man’s death must pay the penalty for man’s sin, which is the breaking of God’s law.  So, God had to become a man to die for the sins of mankind.  Hebrews helps us to see Jesus as our blood sacrifice for our sins, our compassionate redeemer, and merciful High Priest.

Here are some of the many ways that the Book of Hebrews helps us “see Jesus”:  He is God’s Son, 1:2, 5, 8.  He is the Creator, 1:2, 10.  He purged our sins, 1:3.  He sits on the right hand of God, 1:3.  He is the first begotten, 1:6.  He is God, 1:8, and has a throne and scepter of righteousness, 1:8.  He is the anointed, 1:9; never perishes, 1:11; is always the same, 1:12, 13:8.  He is the Son of Man, 2:6; crowned with glory and honor, 2:9; the captain of our salvation, 2:10; made perfect through sufferings, 2:10; became a man to taste death for every man, 2:9-10, 14-16; a merciful and faithful High Priest, 2:17, 3:1; our Apostle, 3:1.

We become Christ’s house if we hold fast our confidence firm to the end, 3:6, 14.  Christ was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin.  Therefore, He understands our infirmities and weaknesses, and we can come boldly to Him to the throne of grace, 4:15-16.  Christ offered prayers in tears, and learned obedience by the things which He suffered, 5:7-8.  He was made perfect and became the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey Him, a priest after the order of Melchisedec, 5:9-10; He is our forerunner, a Melchisedec High Priest forever, 6:20.  He lives forever, and has an unchangeable (not transferable) priesthood, 7:24.

Christ is the Mediator of the New Covenant: by His own blood he entered once into the Holy Place and has obtained eternal redemption for us, 9:12, 15; His sacrifice once and for all redeemed mankind, 9:28, 10:10.  Let us look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, now seated on the right hand of God, 12:2.


Seven Basic Doctrines


Hebrews does much more than mention the seven basic doctrines; it gives lots of details about most of them.

Repentance from dead works is more than lip service.  It is not just being sorry for one’s sins, it is being sorry enough to want to quit sinning.  Moses’ example of forsaking Egypt’s pleasures is a type of true repentance, 11:24-27.  Esau’s contempt for the birthright and later remorse for losing it is an example of false repentance, 12:16-17.

Faith toward God is exemplified by frequent examples of the faithful saints in Hebrews 11, the Faith Chapter.  But faith is also stressed throughout Hebrews: 4:2, 6:1, 12, 10:22, 23, 38, 12:2, 13:7.

Baptisms, as you will notice, is plural in Hebrews 6:2.  While baptism with water is not mentioned, baptism of the Holy Spirit is, as well as baptism with fire (judgment), 6:4-5, 8.  The Holy Spirit is received through the laying on of the hands of the ministry, whom we are taught to respect, 13:7, 17, 22, 24.

The Resurrection of the dead is explained in Hebrews 11:35, where we are admonished to seek the better resurrection.  So, there is a good resurrection (Great White Throne Judgment), and a better resurrection, as well as a bad resurrection to eternal judgment.  The latter theme is covered many times in Hebrews.  See references to “Unpardonable Sin,” below.

Perfection is the seventh basic doctrine.  Hebrews is replete with admonitions for us hold fast and go beyond the milk of the word to spiritual maturity, 5:9, 11-14; we need to be made perfect to do His will, 13:21.


Additional Themes of Book of Hebrews


There are many precious metals of Truth in the Book of Hebrews.  Here are additional themes of this extraordinary book of the Bible:





New Covenant


Better hope.


Better covenant, established on better promises; God’s laws in our hearts and minds; they shall not teach every man his neighbor, for all shall know the Lord.

10:15-17, 20

God writes His laws on our hearts and minds, and remembers our sins and iniquities no more; a new and living way.


The blood of the everlasting covenant.

Hold Fast


Give earnest heed; don’t let slip the things we have heard.


We are Christ’s house IF we hold fast; we are made partakers of Christ IF we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast to the end.


Let us hold fast our profession.


Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering.


Cast not away your confidence; have patience.


Those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

Unpardon­able Sin


Israel’s rebellion in the wilderness is a type of the unpardonable sin.  They could not enter in because of unbelief.


The word preached to them did not profit them, not being mixed with faith.

6:4-6, 8

It is impossible to renew to repentance those who fall away because they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh.


They continued not in My covenant, and I regarded them not.

Unpardon­able Sin, cont.


If we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the Truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins, but a fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.  Those who have trodden underfoot the blood of the covenant will face the Lord’s judgment.  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.


If any man draw back unto perdition, My soul shall have no pleasure in him.


Don’t let a root of bitterness cause you to fall from the grace of God.  Esau is a type of the person who commits the unpardonable sin.


Refuse not Him who speaketh.


For our God is a consuming fire.


Be not carried about with diverse and strange doctrines.

Endure Trials

Ch. 11

Examples of God’s faithful people who endured trials and persecution.

Ch. 12

Trials and Corrections Chapter.


As Jesus suffered without the gate, let us go without the camp, bearing His reproach.



So I sware in My wrath, they shall not enter into My rest.


There remains a keeping of a Sabbath to the people of God.



We have a great High Priest, tempted like we are.  Therefore, let us come boldly to the throne of grace to find mercy and grace to help in time of need.


Jesus offered prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears.


Let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually.  Pray for the ministry.

Seek the Eternal City

11:10, 16

Abraham looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God; a heavenly country.

12:22, 28

Mount Sion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem . . . . a kingdom which cannot be moved.


For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

Better . . .


Christ is better than angels, has a more excellent name.


Priesthood of Melchisedec (Christ) is better than Levitical priesthood.

7:19, 22

Better hope . . . the New Covenant is a better testament.

8:2; 9:11

Christ is the minister of the True (better) tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man; a greater and more perfect tabernacle.


Christ is the mediator of a better covenant, with better promises.


Blood of Christ is better than the blood of bulls and goats.


We desire a better country, that is, an heavenly.


Saints seek the better resurrection.

Serve the brethren


Serve the brethren in love: some have entertained angels unawares.  Remember those who are suffering.


Don’t forget to do good and share; God pleased with such sacrifices.

Respect the elders


Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken the Word of God to you; follow their faith.


Obey them that have the rule over you, submit yourselves, for they watch over your souls and shall give an account.


Suffer the word of exhortation.


Salute all them that have the rule over you.


The Book of Hebrews has it all.  If it were the only New Testament book you had, you would do well.  We see Jesus, we are encouraged to exercise faith and hold fast to the faith.  We look beyond our trials, to the better resurrection, and the Eternal City.

                                                                                              — written by Richard C. Nickels  Ω