Morning Bible Study
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A week from Thursday starts a new session of our Servant School.
Besides the currently ongoing study through the book of Judges (we’ll be
looking at Samson that next week), there are two other choices:
Seeking Allah / Finding Jesus
This class not only examines the claims of Islam, but it gives an excellent
defense for Christianity.
Only one spot left. If you sign up
and it’s already full, you’ll be put on a waiting list in case someone drops
Both classes require you to signup online – use either the website or the
The book of Hebrews was written to Jewish believers.
The author expects the
readers to be well acquainted with Levitical worship and sacrifice.
He will constantly quote the Old Testament in a way that expects that the
reader understands what he’s talking about.
We also know that these believers were encountering very strong
Times were so bad that some were beginning to wonder if they shouldn’t quit
We will see three elements woven throughout this letter to the Hebrews.
1. Both Testaments
Even though the Old Testament has become “obsolete” (Heb. 8:13), the entire
book of Hebrews is built upon the clear foundation of the Old Testament.
(Hebrews 8:13 NKJV)
that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what
is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
You aren’t going to understand Hebrews, or even the New Testament correctly
unless you learn the Old Testament.
2. Jesus is superior
He’s superior to angels, Moses, and the Torah.
He’s superior to the Levitical priests and their sacrifices.
3. Don’t quit
The ultimate goal of the book is to encourage those who are struggling with
difficult times, and help them to endure.
In making these points, the author has painstakingly taken us through all
sorts of Old Testament prophecies and passages that point to the coming Messiah
and what His ministry would be all about.
He’s reminded us that the Old Testament was just a shadow of the things to
come, but that Jesus and Heaven are the reality.
He’s proven that Jesus is the only, the best High Priest.
He’s proven that the sacrifice of Jesus is the best sacrifice, the only one
that actually takes away sins and cleanses our
We are now in a section where the author has been pointing out the
implications of the truth about Jesus.
Last week Caleb took us through a passage that told us that if these things
are true about Jesus, then:
We can draw near to God.
We should cling tight to what we believe about Jesus.
We need to encourage each other.
Today we look at the serious side of the implications of the truth about
Hebrews has had several serious “warning” passages, and we’re about to dive
10:26-31 Don’t Walk Away
:26 For if we sin
willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer
remains a sacrifice for sins,
willfully – hekousios – intentionally, willingly,
voluntarily, willingly, of one’s own accord
we sin – hamartano – to be
without a share in; to miss the mark; to err, be mistaken; to miss or wander
from the path of uprightness and honour, to do or go wrong; to wander from the
law of God, violate God’s law, sin
Present active participle
received – lambano – to
take; to receive (what is given), to gain, get, obtain, to get back
Aorist active infinitive
knowledge – epignosis –
precise and correct knowledge; used in the NT of the knowledge of things
ethical and divine
truth – aletheia – truth
no longer – ouketi – no longer, no more, no further
remains – apoleipo – to
leave, to leave behind; to desert or forsake
Present passive indicative
sacrifice – thusia – a
:27 but a certain fearful
expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the
fearful – phoberos –
inspiring fear, terrible, formidable; affected with fear, timid
expectation – ekdoche –
the act or manner of receiving from; reception; expectation, waiting
judgment – krisis – a
separating, sundering, separation; judgment; sentence of condemnation,
damnatory judgment, condemnation and punishment
fiery – pur – fire
indignation – zelos –
excitement of mind, ardor, fervor of spirit; zeal, ardor in embracing,
pursuing, defending anything; the fierceness of indignation, punitive zeal
devour – esthio – to eat;
metaph. to devour, consume
adversaries – hupenantios –
opposite to; set over against: meeting one another; opposed to, contrary to, an
:26 there no longer remains a sacrifice
Nowhere else to go
Note: These verses can give
you the idea that if you should ever sin after having become a Christian, that
you are going to go to hell. Slow down
and think about the context.
Even in the Old Testament, when it comes to salvation, the issue has always
been about faith.
We’ll see this at the end of our passage.
We’ll see it reiterated over and over again in
Hebrews 11 – the hall of fame of Old Testament saints. OLD TESTAMENT. They all had “faith”.
The Old Testament sacrifices had a measure of cleansing and forgiveness
that came only when a person had faith.
The blood of goats and bulls didn’t do anything by
It’s trust in God, looking forward to God’s provision
through the one day future ultimate sacrifice that
actually brought cleansing.
So the Jewish believer who has made that
transition from trusting the “shadow” of the Old Testament sacrificial system,
to trusting the REAL sacrifice – Jesus – the Lamb of God – the Great High
and then that person decides it’s too hard to be a Christian and turns
their back on Jesus … that person isn’t going to find any more cleansing from
their sins because they’ve rejected the true sacrifice.
Everything else is just shadows.
If you choose to walk away from your faith in Jesus Christ, then you will put
yourself into the category of the “adversaries” of Jesus.
You are either for Jesus or against Jesus.
There’s no middle ground.
:28 Anyone who has
rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three
rejected – atheteo (“away”
+ “to place”) – to do away with, to set aside, disregard; to thwart the
efficacy of anything, nullify, make void, frustrate; to reject, to refuse, to
mercy – oiktirmos –
compassion, pity, mercy; bowels in which compassion resides, a heart of compassion;
emotions, longings, manifestations of pity
:28 the testimony of two or three witnesses
The writer is drawing from the what the Law said about itself:
17:6 NKJV) Whoever is deserving of death shall be put to
death on the testimony of two or three witnesses; he shall not be put to death
on the testimony of one witness.
If you did something under the Law of Moses that invoked the death penalty,
it only took two or three witnesses, and you would be put to death. Without any mercy.
In context, it was talking about those who had done something that deserved
the death penalty. Doing something
worthy of death is being called “despising the law” or “setting aside the law”. The person has made a
decision that they don’t care to do what the Law required.
:29 Of how much worse
punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son
of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified
a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
do you suppose – dokeo –
to be of opinion, think, suppose
be thought worthy – axioo –
to think meet, fit, right; to judge worthy, deem, deserving
punishment – timoria – a
rendering help; assistance; vengeance, punishment, penalty
trampled … underfoot – katapateo
– to tread down, trample under foot, to trample on; metaph. to treat with
rudeness and insult; to spurn, treat with insulting neglect
common – koinos – common; common i.e. ordinary,
belonging to generality; by the Jews, unhallowed, profane, Levitically unclean
counted – hegeomai – to
lead; to consider, deem, account, think
he was sanctified – hagiazo –
to render or acknowledge, or to be venerable or hallow; to separate from
profane things and dedicate to God; to purify
aorist passive indicative
Spirit of grace –
the Holy Spirit is working to bring people into God’s grace, but sometimes
people step all over God’s grace.
insulted – enubrizo (“in” + “treat shamefully”,
“proudfully”) – to insult
If there was a harsh penalty for breaking the Law of Moses, which was just
the “shadow” of things to come, how much worse would it be if you found
yourself an enemy of the “real” thing, of Jesus Christ?
If you’ve rejected Jesus then you’ve …
:29 trampled the Son of God underfoot
This isn’t talking about you as a believer committing a sin and finding
yourself without forgiveness.
This is talking about the person who has walked away from Jesus Christ and
no longer considers themselves a Christian.
They have counted…
:29 the blood of the covenant …a common thing
common – koinos – common; unholy, profane
The language of the New Testament is in a form of Greek called koine Greek. It was “common” Greek, or “street” Greek.
It was a simplified version of the more ancient classical Greek, developed
by Alexander the Great, intended to be an easier form of the language, so the
whole world would learn it and his empire would be more unified.
When the New Testament was written, it was written in a language that the
whole world knew.
Here’s another definition of the person who has walked away.
Jesus Christ, God in human flesh, gave up His life, His blood, to pay for
That is something awesome and amazing.
When a person walks away from Jesus, they no longer consider the blood of
Jesus as anything special.
:29 by which he was sanctified
The individual who turns their back on Jesus was one who was “sanctified”
by the blood of the covenant.
I hate to say it, but here’s another hint that it may be possible for a
person who was once “saved”, or “sanctified”, to get so far away from God that
they turn their back on them and lose their salvation.
As I’ve said before, I don’t think this happens with one rebellious act.
I don’t think the person who is struggling with guilt over their sin has
It’s the person that has gotten so far that they no longer care, and would
even “spit” on Jesus, that is in grave trouble.
:29 insulted the Spirit of grace
The Holy Spirit is the One who pointed us to Jesus, brought conviction of
sin, and pointed out the truth of God’s grace to us.
When a person turns their back on Jesus, they insult the Holy Spirit.
:30 For we know Him who
said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The
Lord will judge His people.”
vengeance – ekdikesis – a
revenging, vengeance, punishment
repay – antapodidomi – in
a good sense, to repay, requite; in a bad sense, penalty and vengeance
:30 Vengeance is Mine
These are quotes from Deut. 32:35,36
32:35 NKJV) Vengeance is Mine, and recompense…
32:36 NKJV) “For the Lord
will judge His people…
:31 It is a fearful thing
to fall into the hands of the living God.
fearful – phoberos –
inspiring fear, terrible, formidable; affected with fear, timid
fall into – empipto – to
fall into; to fall among robbers; fall into one’s power
Aorist active infinitive
living – zao – to live,
breathe, be among the living (not lifeless, not dead); to enjoy real life
:31 It is a fearful thing
Let me say that it’s only “fearful” to fall into God’s hands if we’ve been
running from Him.
As much as we want to focus on the love and mercy of God,
He is also a God of justice.
God’s justice isn’t based on whether He’s in a good mood or not.
His justice is based on what’s right and what’s wrong.
There’s something in all of us that recognizes the need for justice.
You go to the grocery store, and after having purchased
your groceries you make your way out to the parking lot.
There you find your car has been broken into and
Or worse yet, it’s been stolen.
There is something inside of you that recognizes that this
wasn’t right, isn’t there?
There’s a part of you that wishes the wrong would be made
right, isn’t there?
Monkey Theft Retrieval System
Something in us cheers when the thief gets justice.
Where we struggle when it comes to justice has to do with when we have to face
justice. What … me?
We tend to think our sins aren’t too bad.
Yet the Bible says our sins deserve death, separation from God (Rom. 6:23)
And the fact is that unless something is done to take care of our sins, we
will face justice.
10:28 NKJV) And do not fear those who kill the body but
cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to
destroy both soul and body in hell.
That’s the warning for those who are running from God.
Yet for those who aren’t running but have turned to God and found
forgiveness and a new life, there’s nothing to fear.
We have found that the most powerful being in the universe has always been
in love with us and wants us to turn around and follow Him.
Corinthians 5:20–21 NLT) —20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God
is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back
to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our
sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
God doesn’t hate you.
He’s done everything possible to make things right.
:32 But recall the former
days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with
recall – anamimnesko (“again”
+ “remember”) – to call to remembrance, to remind, to admonish; to remember, to
remember and weigh well and consider
great struggle – athlesis (“athletic”)
– to contest, to combat, to strive, struggle, hard trial
you endured – hupomeno
(“under” + “remain”) – to remain; to remain i.e. abide, not recede or flee;
to preserve: under misfortunes and trials to hold fast to one’s faith in
Christ; to endure, bear bravely and calmly: ill treatments
Aorist active indicative
This is the verb form of one of the words often translated “patience” (hupomone).
sufferings – pathema –
that which one suffers or has suffered; an enduring, undergoing, suffering
:32 after you were illuminated
illuminated – photizo – to
give light, to shine; to enlighten, to bring to light, spiritually, imbue with
He’s talking about back when they were first “saved”.
He’s talking to believers.
This is the same word used in
NKJV) —4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened,
and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy
Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to
come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they
crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open
Some like to argue that this doesn’t mean these are people who are saved and lose their salvation.
Yet in chapter 10 it’s talking about the readers. They are saved.
:33 partly while you were
made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you
became companions of those who were so treated;
:32 you endured a great struggle with sufferings
He’s trying to get these believers to remember back to the early days of
their faith and the hard times they went through.
great struggle – athlesis (“athletic”)
– to contest, to combat, to strive, struggle, hard trial
:33 you were made a spectacle
made a spectacle –
theatrizo (“theater”) – to bring upon
It’s as if they had been put on a stage for everyone to watch as they went
through their persecution.
:33 you became companions
became companions –
koinonos – a partner, associate,
This is based on the root word koinos
earlier (common), like “Koine Greek”
The word koinonia is also related. It’s translated “communion” or “fellowship”.
They had something in common with all the others that were going through
difficult times just like they were.
A special fellowship
When you endure persecution for your faith, you become a member of a unique
group, a special “fellowship”.
NKJV) —10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is
the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when they revile
and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against
you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for
great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who
were before you.
One member of that “fellowship” was the apostle Paul.
NKJV) —8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the
knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all
things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found
in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that
which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by
faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the
fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Peter also hints at this “fellowship”
(1 Peter 4:12–13
NKJV) —12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which
is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s
sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
The word “partake” is the verb form koinoneo
In the early church, there came a time during the reign of Nero, that
Christians were persecuted in the “theater”, in the Coliseum. They called it
“the games”. Some were beheaded, others made a spectacle with wild animals.
We’re not talking about just going through difficulty,
but going through difficulty because of your faith.
We don’t face this kind of persecution in America. But other places do.
Recently, Pastor Andrew Brunson was released from prison in Turkey. He had
been imprisoned for two years.
There is a way to face persecution.
Get your eyes off the pain and put them back on Jesus.
reproaches – oneidismos –
a reproach; such as Christ suffered, for the cause of God, from his enemies
tribulations – thlipsis –
a pressing, pressing together, pressure; metaph. oppression, affliction,
tribulation, distress, straits
These people had something in common with others who had been persecuted.
were so treated – anastrepho –
to turn upside down, overturn; to turn back; to turn hither and thither, to
turn one’s self about, sojourn dwell in a place; metaph. to conduct one’s self,
behave one’s self, live
:34 for you had
compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your
goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves
Whoever the author is, these people had once shown compassion to him as he
you had compassion
– sumpatheo (“sympathetic”) – to
be affected with the same feeling as another, to sympathise with; to feel for,
have compassion on
the plundering –
harpage – the act of plundering,
robbery; plunder spoil
goods – huparchonta – possessions, goods,
joyfully – chara – joy,
accepted – prosdechomai –
to receive to one’s self, to admit, to give access to one’s self
possession – huparxis – possessions, goods, wealth,
property; a form of the word translated “goods”.
enduring – meno – to
:34 you have a better and an enduring possession
Two words here are related.
Their “goods” had been plundered.
Yet they had a better, lasting “possession” in heaven.
It’s all about your “stuff”.
These persecuted believers knew what it was like to have people take their
Yet they had a better possession, one that can’t be taken away, in heaven.
NKJV) —19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and
rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up
for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and
where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where
your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
:35 Therefore do not cast
away your confidence, which has great reward.
cast … away – apoballo – to throw off, cast away. “Don’t throw away …”
confidence – parrhesia – freedom in speaking,
unreservedness in speech; free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage,
reward – misthapodosia (“hire” + “to pay back”) –
payment of wages due, recompense
There is a great payoff for being able to trust the Lord and come boldly
:35 do not cast away your confidence
The word translated “confidence” (parrhesia)
is the same word translated “boldness” back in:
10:19 NKJV) Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter
the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,
Our “confidence” to come into His presence in prayer is something we have
gained because of the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
The author is exhorting his readers not to throw away this amazing
connection they have with God.
There is “great reward” from having an intimate connection with God.
I can’t help but wonder if some of us haven’t yet discovered the incredible
treasure we have at our disposal – the ability to connect with God in prayer.
Do you realize the power and blessing God has for you in prayer?
:36 For you have need of
endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the
:36 For you have need of endurance
endurance – hupomone (“under” + “remain”) – steadfastness, perseverance,
It’s the quality of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose
and his loyalty to faith by even the greatest trials and sufferings
We saw back in vs. 32 that they’ve already endured some persecution.
God isn’t asking them to do anything they haven’t already done.
They just need to keep enduring.
We’ll see the key to enduring is faith.
need – chreia – necessity,
need; duty, business
:36 after you have done the will of God
the will – thelema – what
one wishes or has determined shall be done; will, choice, inclination, desire,
We’ve been praying each week that God would:
13:21 NKJV) make you complete in every good work to do His
will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight…
Here our author is saying that we need to keep enduring and doing God’s
:36 you may receive the promise
you may receive – komizo –
to care for, to get back; receive back
What’s the promise?
He’s coming back. He’s coming back
to change the world.
He’s coming back to judge the rebellious and reward His faithful ones.
Our author then quotes from Isaiah 26:20, and then Habakkuk 2:3-4 …
:37 “For yet a
little while, And He who is coming will come and will not
tarry – chronizo – to
linger, delay, tarry
The phrase “yet a little while”
is the only part of Isaiah 26:20.
:38 Now the
just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.”
The rest of the quote comes from:
NKJV) —3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the
end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not
tarry. 4 “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his
Our author’s version sounds a little off from our English version, but some
of it is because he’s quoting from the Greek Septuagint version, and part of it
is because he swaps the two phrases of verse 4.
The quote points out the choice we have.
Believe or draw back.
:39 But we are not of
those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the
:39 draw back … believe
If you draw away from God you will end up in hell
If you have faith (believe), your soul will be saved (heaven).
The writer is telling his reader that he doesn’t see them as faithless, but
who draw back – hupostole –
the timidity of one stealthily retreating
perdition – apoleia –
destroying, utter destruction; a perishing, ruin, destruction; the destruction
which consists of eternal misery in hell
those who believe –
pistis – faith; conviction of the
truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man’s
relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of
trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it
You might translate this, “we are not of them that draw back leading to
hell, but those of faith, ending up with the saving of their soul”
the saving – peripoiesis –
a preserving, a preservation; an obtaining
soul – psuche – breath;
It all hinges on this quote from Hab. 2:4, the key part being…
:38 the just shall live by faith
just – dikaios –
righteous, observing divine laws
faith – pistis –
conviction of the truth of anything, belief
shall live – zao – to
live, breathe, be among the living (not lifeless, not dead); to enjoy real
The verb is a future indicative.
draws back – hupostello –
to draw back, let down, lower; to withdraw: of a timid person; to withdraw
one’s self, i.e. to be timid, to cover, shrink
has no pleasure – eudokeo –
it seems good to one, is one’s good pleasure; to be well pleased with, take
pleasure in, to be favorably inclined towards one
Our author gives two choices from Habakkuk.
It’s either “drawing back” or “faith”.
Sometimes we have the wrong idea of what Habakkuk means when he says “the just shall live by faith”.
We think that it means that a good person is one who always takes those
blind leaps of faith. Like…
I’m not saying that there aren’t times we will be asked to
take a “leap of faith”, but that’s not what this passage is about.
The text reads a little more like this:
“But the righteous, out of his faith, will definitely live”
In other words, eternal “life” comes from “faith”.
Jesus put it this way:
(John 3:16 NKJV) For God so loved the world that He
gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but
have everlasting life.
The words “believe” and “faith” are forms of the same
word in Greek.
Our “faith” isn’t a blind leap.
We are trusting in a proven historical fact – that Jesus
Christ came, died on a cross, and rose again on the third day.
His resurrection proved His deity.
His death paid for our sins.
I’m going to give you a chance in a moment to find this “life” by putting
your trust in Jesus.
Recap: The people are going through
tough times. They need to endure. And the key to enduring is faith. So, just what is “faith”?
That my friends is where we pick up next week.