EXHORTATIONS FROM THE BOOK OF HEBREWS
The New Testament book of Hebrews draws a striking contrast between the obsolescence and ineffectiveness of the old covenant and the beauty and power of the new covenant to actually and fully provide justification from sin (Hebrews 10:1-10). In reality, the book is a written sermon consisting largely (though not exclusively) of exhortations as to how those who have been justified by Christ and His blood are to live (Hebrews 13:22).
The human author of the book (sermon) is unknown, though I personally lean heavily toward the apostle Paul as being the author. Origen (185-254) said that only God knows who wrote Hebrews. Whoever wrote it was guided by the Holy Spirit and the book is a part of God’s divine revelation to man (II Timothy 3:16-17). Its message needs to be read and digested by Christians today and its exhortations need to be followed. Consider the following.
“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (3:12-13).
“Therefore since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to come short of it” (4:1).
“Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience” (4:11).
“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession” (4:14).
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (4:16).
“Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection (spiritual maturity, hf)…” (6:1).
“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Christ…let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (10:19-22).
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (10:23).
“And let us consider one another so as to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (10:24-25).
“Therefore, seeing we also are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…” (12:1).
“See that you do not refuse Him who speaks” (12:25; cf. 1:1-2).
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire” (12:28-29).
“Let brotherly love continue” (13:1).
“Let your conduct be without covetousness, and be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’ ” (13:5).
“Remember those who have the rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct” (13:7).
“Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines” (13:9a).
“Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach” (13:13).
“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name” (13:15).
“Obey those who have the rule over you (the elders/bishops of the the local church, hf), and submit yourselves, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do it with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you” (13:17).
“And I appeal to you, brethren, bear with the word of exhortation, for I have written to you in few words” (13:22).
Hugh Fulford, December 10, 2019