Hebrews 8 Study Sheet

The following is a simple study sheet that contains a brief outline of the chapter and a few questions that focus on the text. One of the first and most important parts of good Bible study is observation. What does the text say? Until we know what the text says, it is fruitless to try to discover what it means and how it applies. Most of the questions are designed to do little more than help the reader observe the text. There may be an occasional question that asks for deeper meaning or application.

OUTLINE

I. New Priest, New Law (8:1-7)

A. The new priest (1-3).

B. The new law (4-7).

II. Prophecy Fulfilled (8:8-13)

A. Jeremiah predicted the coming of the new covenant (8-12).

B. When the prophecy was made, the Mosaic covenant became “old” (13)

QUESTIONS

  1. What is the main point that the writer had been emphasizing (8:1)?
  2. Where is our High Priest (8:1)?
  3. What is the primary responsibility of a High Priest (8:3)?
  4. Could Jesus have been a priest on earth under the Levitical system (8:4; 7:14)?
  5. How does Christ’s ministry to compare to that of the Levitical priests (8:6)?
  6. How does the new covenant compare to the old (8:6)?
  7. Why was the new covenant given (8:7)?
  8. Hebrews 8:8-12 is a quotation of what Old Testament passage?
  9. What did the announcement of a coming “new” covenant make the Law of Moses (8:13)?
  10. What are “old” things destined to do (8:13)?

APPLICATION

It is not often that a writer of one of the New Testament documents identifies his main point for you. The Hebrews writer does that for us in 8:1. His main point is to emphasize that we Christians are not without representation before God. We have a High Priest and he is seated at the right hand of God in heaven. He offered himself as our sacrifice, serves in a better ministry than the Levitical priests, and has mediated a better covenant based on better promises (8:6-7). And all of that is in harmony with what God had said since the days of Jeremiah (8:8-12). We are blessed indeed to have God’s own Son as our representative in heaven!

Hebrews 6 Study Sheet

The following is a simple study sheet that contains a brief outline of the chapter and a few questions that focus on the text. One of the first and most important parts of good Bible study is observation. What does the text say? Until we know what the text says, it is fruitless to try to discover what it means and how it applies. Most of the questions are designed to do little more than help the reader observe the text. There may be an occasional question that asks for deeper meaning or application.

OUTLINE

I. The Danger of Apostasy (6:1-8)

A. It is necessary to deepen our spiritual understanding (1-3).

B. Falling away places our souls in jeopardy (4-8).

II. Optimism for the Future (6:9-20)

A. There are reasons to be confident that Christians can remain faithful (9-10).

B. Encouragement to be faithful (11-12)

C. God’s promise to Abraham and the oath that undergirded it are two immutable things that support our hope for the future (13-20).

QUESTIONS

  1. What is the primary statement of encouragement in 6:1 (hint: “let us…”)?
  2. List the “elementary teaching” that the writer says we should move past (6:1-2).
  3. In 6:4-5, the writer lists five characteristics of those who could fall away. What are they?
  4. According to 6:6, is it possible for a person to pass a point of no return?
  5. What characteristic of God in 6:10 should encourage us to be faithful?
  6. What characteristics should we maintain all the way to the end (6:11)?
  7. What two characteristics will help us to inherit the promises (6:12)?
  8. How did God reinforce his promise to Abraham (6:13, 17)?
  9. What are the two “unchangeable things” that give us hope (6:18)?
  10. How does the writer describe our hope (6:19)?

APPLICATION

One of the beauties of Bible study is how it reveals the nature of God. Right in the middle of a frightening warning about the possibility of apostasy, the writer reminds us of several of God’s qualities that should ease our fears. Among them are these:

  • God blesses those who bear good fruit (6:7).
  • We are God’s beloved (6:9).
  • God has confidence in us (6:9).
  • God will not forget our loving ministry to others (6:10).
  • God will keep his promises (6:18).

These are not only characteristics that deserve our gratitude, they are also tremendous motivations for us to maintain our loyalty and commitment to Jesus.

Hebrews 5 Study Sheet

The following is a simple study sheet that contains a brief outline of the chapter and a few questions that focus on the text. One of the first and most important parts of good Bible study is observation. What does the text say? Until we know what the text says, it is fruitless to try to discover what it means and how it applies. Most of the questions are designed to do little more than help the reader observe the text. There may be an occasional question that asks for deeper meaning or application.

OUTLINE

I. The Qualifications of a High Priest (5:1-4)

A. He offers sacrifices to God on behalf of men (1).

B. He is to deal gently with those he represents (2).

C. He offers sacrifices for himself, too (3).

D. He does not take the honor of service on himself; God appoints him (4).

II. Jesus is Qualified to Be High Priest (5:5-10)

A. God appointed him to this role (5-6).

B. He learned obedience through suffering (7-8).

C. This qualifies him to represent us as a High Priest like Melchizadek (9-10).

III. A Rebuke (5:11-14)

A. More could be said about Melchizadek, but the readers could not understand it (11).

B. Though they should be mature enough by now, they had not mastered the elementary principles of Christianity (12-14).

QUESTIONS

1. From where is a High Priest to be chosen (5:1)?

2. What is the primary duty of a High Priest (5:1)?

3. How is a High Priest to deal with those he represents (5:2)?

4. How does a man get to be a High Priest (5:4)?

5. The one who said to Jesus, “You are a priest” is the same one who said to him, “You are my Son” (5:5). Who is that?

6. The priesthood of Jesus is not after the order of Aaron, but whom (5:6)?

7. Through what experiences did Jesus learn obedience (5:8)?

8. For what group of people is Jesus the source, or author, of eternal salvation (5:9)?

9. Why was the information about Melchizadek hard for the readers to understand (5:11)?

10.What analogy does the writer use to illustrate the spiritual ignorance of the readers (5:12-14)?

APPLICATION

It is in this chapter that the writer begins in earnest to talk about what Jesus is doing for Christians in the present. One of the comforting realities to come out of this chapter is the ability of Jesus to understand us on a deep and personal level. Do you suffer? So did he. Is it sometimes hard to obey God? It was for him, too. Have your trials ever knocked you to your knees and caused you to cry out to God for help? Him, too. The original readers of this letter had a greater High Priest in Jesus than they would ever be able to find in the Levitical system. There is no religion or philosophy that offers mankind what Christianity offers – the Son of God as a compassionate, merciful, and understanding representative before God himself.

Spend some time meditating on that wonderful reality, then thank him for being there for you.

Hebrews 4 Study Sheet

The following is a simple study sheet that contains a brief outline of the chapter and a few questions that focus on the text. One of the first and most important parts of good Bible study is observation. What does the text say? Until we know what the text says, it is fruitless to try to discover what it means and how it applies. Most of the questions are designed to do little more than help the reader observe the text. There may be an occasional question that asks for deeper meaning or application.

OUTLINE

I. Trust is Crucial (4:1-2)

A. We must be careful not to fall short of our reward (1).

B. To do that, we must combine the hearing of God’s word with complete trust in it (2).

II. The Rest that Remains for the Christian (4:3-10)

A. God has rested from his creative work (3-5).

B. It remains that some are yet to enter his rest (6-10).

III. Warning and Motivation (4:11-16)

A. Be diligent to enter God’s rest (11).

B. Four incentives (12-16)

1. The powerful word of God (12)

2. The all-seeing eye of God (13)

3. Our great high priest (14-15)

4. The power of prayer (16)

QUESTIONS

1.    What is the significance of “therefore” in 4:1?

2.   Who should fear falling short of God’s rest (4:1)?

3.   Why did the good news not profit the Israelites of old (4:2)?

4.   Who will enter God’s rest (4:3)?

5.    What is the rest that yet remains for God’s people (4:9-10)?

6.   Does our entering God’s rest rely, to some extent, on our works? (4:11)?

7.   What characteristics does the writer attribute to the word of God (4:12)?

8.   Because Jesus is our high priest, what should we do (4:14)?

9.   Why is Jesus able to sympathize with us (4:15)?

10. Because Jesus is our high priest, how may we approach God’s throne of grace (4:16)?

APPLICATION

The writer made it clear that even though the ancient Hebrews heard the good news about the Promised Land, it didn’t make any difference because they did not really believe, or trust, in what they heard. Read the following passages: Ezekiel 33:30-33 and James 1:21-25. How do these passages harmonize with Hebrews 4:1-2? What are some concrete ways that you can make sure that you are combining faith with the hearing of the word?

Write down in your own words the significance of the four incentives in Hebrews 4:12-16. How can these things motivate you to greater service?

Hebrews 3 Study Sheet

The following is a simple study sheet that contains a brief outline of the chapter and a few questions that focus on the text. One of the first and most important parts of good Bible study is observation. What does the text say? Until we know what the text says, it is fruitless to try to discover what it means and how it applies. Most of the questions are designed to do little more than help the reader observe the text. There may be an occasional question that asks for deeper meaning or application.

OUTLINE

I. Jesus is Superior to Moses (3:1-6)

A. Both Moses and Jesus were faithful (3:1-2).

B. But Jesus is worthy of more honor (3:3-6).

1. Just as a builder has more honor than the house he builds (3:3-4)

2. Just as a son has more honor than a servant (3:5-6)

II. A History Lesson (3:7-11)

A. A quotation from Psalm 95:7-11

B. During the wilderness wanderings, the Hebrews developed hard hearts.

III. A Warning (3:12-19)

A. Be careful that you do not develop a hard heart like they did (3:12).

B. Instead, encourage each other and hold fast to Jesus (3:13-14).

C. To develop a hard heart could excite the anger of God and result in a forfeiture of future blessing (3:15-19).

QUESTIONS

1. How does the writer refer to the recipients in 3:1?

2. How does the writer refer to Jesus in 3:1?

3. What characteristic do Jesus and Moses share (3:2)?

4. How does the writer affirm the deity of Jesus in 3:3-4?

5. How do we maintain our place in God’s house according to 3:6? (Hint: note the “if” statement)

6. How does the writer affirm the inspiration of scripture in 3:7?

7. According to 3:12, is it possible to fall away from God?

8. What can consistent encourage prevent (3:13)?

9. A word is repeated in verses 7, 13, and 15 that emphasizes the urgency of listening to God, encouraging each other, and maintaining a soft heart. What word is it?

10. Why were the Hebrews not able to enter the Promised Land (3:19)?

APPLICATION

Most Christians recognize their need to grow (2 Pet. 3:18). Most Christians understand that it’s possible to drift away from the Lord (Heb. 2:1-2). But I wonder how many of us feel a strong sense of urgency to address our spiritual growth. In this chapter, the writer tries to impress on his readers how important it is to address their wavering faith “today” (3:7, 13, 15).

What can you do today to improve your spiritual health? Make a list. Prioritize it. Then invest the time and energy to deepen your relationship with Jesus.

Hebrews 1 Study Sheet

The following is a simple study sheet that contains a brief outline of the chapter and a few questions that focus on the text. One of the first and most important parts of good Bible study is observation. What does the text say? Until we know what the text says, it is fruitless to try to discover what it means and how it applies. Most of the questions are designed to do little more than help the reader observe the text. There may be an occasional question that asks for deeper meaning or application.

OUTLINE

I. God Has Spoken Through His Son (1:1-3)

A. In the past, God spoke through the prophets (1)

B. In these last days, God has spoken through his Son (2-3)

C. The Son of God possesses all of the characteristics of his father.

D. The Son now sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven.

II. The Son of God is Superior to Angels (1:4-14)

A. No individual angel was ever singled out as “son” like Jesus was (4-5).

B. Angels worship the Son (6).

C. Angels are servants (7, 14); the Son rules an eternal kingdom (8-9, 13).

D. The Son created the earth and will one day destroy it (10-12).

QUESTIONS

  1. How does the writer describe the ways that God previously spoke through the prophets (1:1)?
  2. To what does the phrase “these last days” refer?
  3. There are seven characteristics of Jesus listed in 1:2-3. What are they?
  4. What does it mean to say that Jesus “upholds all things by the word of His power” (1:3)?
  5. What is the significance of being “at the right hand” of God (1:3)?
  6. In what way does the writer say that Jesus is better than the angels (1:4)?
  7. Why might it have been necessary for the writer to show that Jesus was superior to angels?
  8. There are seven different Old Testament quotations in 1:5-13. What are they?
  9. When God said to the Son, “This day have I begotten You,” to what day does He refer (1:5)?
  10. What is the significance of the term “firstborn” in 1:6?
  11. When the writer says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever” (1:8), of whom is he speaking?
  12. What do angels do (1:14)?

APPLICATION

Because Jesus: (1) is the one through whom God has spoken in these last days, (2) is the heir of God, (3) is the creator of the world, (4) is the radiance of God’s glory, (5) is the exact representation of God’s nature, (6) is the one who cleansed our sins, (7) is seated at God’s right hand, (8) is superior to angels, (9) is God’s Son, (10) is worshiped even by angels, (11) righteously rules an eternal kingdom, (12) will outlast the universe, (13) and sends out angels to do his bidding as they serve on behalf of Christians, then there is NO ONE who deserves our allegiance more than He.

If we were to turn away from Jesus, to whom better could we go? Peter was exactly right when he responded to Jesus’ question, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” by saying, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life” (John 6:67-68).

Introduction to Hebrews

First century Christians faced challenges and persecution from many sources, including Jewish ones. These Jewish problems confronted Christians in two ways. One, some Jewish converts to Christianity tried to bind on Gentiles the practice of circumcision and other elements of the Law of Moses as a means of salvation. This is the background of the book of Galatians. Second, there were devout Jews, still loyal to the Law of Moses, who persecuted their Jewish friends and neighbors who had been converted to Christ. They did this in an effort to bring those Jews back into full allegiance to the Law of Moses. This is the setting for the book of Hebrews.

AUTHOR/WRITER

The ultimate source of Hebrews is the Holy Spirit of God (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 1 Cor. 2:10-13; Eph. 3:3-5). It is not the purpose of this treatise to detail the evidence that supports that conclusion. But the evidence exists that will lead the objective student to conclude that Hebrews belongs in the Scriptures.

As to the identity of the human writer, the simple and accurate answer is that we do not know. While many believe that the apostle Paul wrote Hebrews, and that conclusion is not without evidence, there is also substantial evidence against Pauline authorship. Some have suggested Luke, Apollos, Barnabas, and others. Had God intended for us to know the name of the writer, he would have made sure that we did. It is enough for us to know that the book is inspired.

DATE

The writer used a lot of ink to prove the point that the Law of Moses and the Levitical system of sacrifices had fulfilled their purposes and been replaced by the Law of Christ, with Jesus now serving as High Priest. One of the most visible signs of that change came in AD 70 when the Roman armies attacked the city of Jerusalem and destroyed the temple (Matt. 24:1-35). Had that event already taken place by the time Hebrews was written, there is little doubt that the writer would have included a discussion of it. In addition, the language of the letter, specifically in 8:4 and 10:11, leaves the impression that priests were still offering daily sacrifices in the temple. These two points are the strongest lines of evidence that Hebrews was written prior to AD 70.

But how long before AD 70 was it? All we have from within the letter are vague statements regarding how long the recipients had been Christians. In 5:12, the writer affirms that enough time had elapsed since their conversion that they should have been more mature than they actually were. In 10:32, he encourages them to look back to “the former days” soon after their conversion when they patiently endured persecution. That’s not much material, but when coupled with external evidence, most scholars place the date of writing in 63-64 AD.

RECIPIENTS

The title, “To the Hebrews,” is on many early manuscripts and how the earliest uninspired writers refer to the book. The way the writer refers to the tabernacle, Levitical priesthood, and Jewish history seems to assume that the readers would have been familiar with those things. The emphasis, especially in chapters 8-10, on the superiority of the New Testament over the Old leaves the impression that the writer is trying to convince his readers to accept that superiority. All of those characteristics, added to the many exhortations in Hebrews to remain faithful to Jesus and not go back to the Law of Moses, leads us to the conclusion that the original recipients of the book were Jewish.

Regarding their spiritual condition at the time, they were Christians (1:3; 2:3; 3:14; 10:32), but not new Christians (5:12; 10:32). They were immature (5:12-14; 6:1-3). They had faced persecution in the past (10:32-34) and were facing it at the time the letter was written (12:4). Due to this persecution, they were on the threshold of complete apostasy (3:12-13; 6:10, 12; 12:12-13).

PURPOSE

The writer calls the book a “word of exhortation” (13:22). As stated above, Jewish Christians were facing persecution from their non-Christian, Jewish friends and neighbors. These Jews did not accept that Jesus was Messiah and wanted to eradicate his influence among their kinsmen. The Jewish Christians were weakening under the weight of this persecution (3:13; 5:12; 6:10, 12; 10:32-34; 12:12-13, 16; 13:5). Hebrews contains repeated warnings against apostasy (4:1, 11, 14; 6:11-12; 10:22-25; 12:1, 28; 13:22), perhaps best summarized in 3:12, “Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.”

OUTLINE

I. The Superiority of the Person of Christ (1:1 – 7:28)

A. Jesus is superior to angels (1:1 – 2:18)

B. Jesus is superior to Moses (3:1 – 4:16)

C. Jesus is superior to the Levitical priests (5:1 – 7:28)

II. The Superiority of the Law of Christ (8:1 – 10:39)

A. A change in priesthood necessitates a change in law (8:1-13)

B. The inferior tabernacle and sacrifices (9:1 – 10:18)

C. The superior sacrifice of Jesus (10:19-39)

III. The Superiority of Christian Living (11:1 – 13:25)

A. Faith defined, described, and illustrated (11:1-40)

B. Christians must endure (12:1-17)

C. Choose: Mount Sinai or Mount Zion (12:18-29)

D. Miscellaneous exhortations and final greetings (13:1-25)