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Reese Commentaries


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Hebrews is one of the great sources for instruction in Christian faith, and for exhortations to faithfulness to Christ and His message.  From start to finish, the writer of Hebrews demonstrates the superiority of Jesus Christ, His message, and His covenant.  For those of us living under this New Covenant, our desire to be faithful to Jesus Christ is based on the Son of God’s superiority as a messenger, on the superior priestly line from which the Son of God comes, and on the once-for-all efficacy of the sacrifices and work which the Son of God has offered on our behalf.  From start to finish, the exhortations and warnings contained in Hebrews point us to Jesus Christ Himself; He is the superior source and object of our desire to live “by faith.”

The Introductory Studies discuss special questions raised about Hebrews by form critics (i.e., literary and rhetorical analysts of Biblical literature) regarding the structure of the book, in order to answer the question, Is Hebrews a treatise, a sermon, or an epistle?  The topic of covenants and covenant theology is addressed in a special Appendix.  Importantly, this commentary provides a unique and compelling outline for the book, based on the exposition of key Old Testament passages central to each section of Hebrews and the summary explanations provided by the Hebrews writer himself at 8:1 and 13:22.

Past generations of Restoration Movement preachers preached regularly from the book of Hebrews; their audiences committed great portions of this book to memory and sought to live daily in the light of what they had heard and learned.  They did this because Hebrews provides a striking source of hope, boldness, grace, assurance, mercy, and motivation for staying true to Jesus Christ.  The letter is an encouragement to remain faithful, for He alone provides the only real, working, efficacious, propitiatory sacrifice for sins that will ever be offered.  It is for us to "hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful" (10:23), so that God will not be ashamed to be called our God (11:16), and so that we who have believed may enter the rest He offers (4:3).

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