[PDF]Because we do not know all the truth, we do not...
Some important matters as we get started: I.
Allow clear, straightforward passages to shed light on more difficult passages (not vice versa). Ex: Hebrews 6:4-6 with John 10:27-29; Romans 8:38-39; Philippians 1:6; 1 Peter 1:4-5
Context, context, context Ex: Matthew 27:5b—”(Judas) went away and hanged himself...” Luke 10:37b: “Go and do likewise.”
Just because we don’t understand something, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not true.
God is infinite. Therefore, He has unlimited knowledge, and He is the source of infinite truth.
God has chosen to reveal some of His truth to us. Therefore, we have true knowledge.
However, we are finite creatures. Therefore, we have limited knowledge.
Thus, we have true but limited knowledge. We can know things truly, but we cannot know them fully.
Because we do not know all the truth, we do not know all the interconnections between truths. Mystery is simply the result of our ignorance about the interconnections. In many doctrinal areas, we do not know fully how various elements of the revelation of God come together, but we do know that because it comes from God, it must come together. (Eg. Sovereignty/Freedom) III.Notes on Hebrews: A.
Author—the text does not tell us. Tradition does not tell us. A few of the many theories: Barnabas, Apollos, Priscilla, Paul wrote it in Hebrew and Luke translated it into Greek. Origen: “Who wrote the Epistle, God only knows the truth.”
Audience—”to the Hebrews” - on the very oldest manuscripts we have Internal evidence: Great detail about the temple, sacrificial system, Levitical priesthood, OT knowledge, etc. So, it is written to Jews. MacArthur suggests three categories of Jews: believers, those who understand the gospel on an intellectual level but have not responded on a spiritual level, and unbelievers.
Date—Long enough after the time of Christ for the early church to form and for the author to have high expectations of his audience (5:12). Persecution seems to have begun or been imminent (10:32-34), but prior to destruction of Temple in 70 A.D., so most date it in the 60s.
“Better” - 7:19—better hope; 7:22—better covenant; 8:6—better promises; 9:23—better sacrifices; 11:16—better country
Eternal—5:9—eternal salvation; 9:12—eternal redemption; 9:15—eternal inheritance; 13:20—eternal covenant
Perfect/”Made Perfect” - 2:10—Jesus made perfect through suffering; 5:9—”once made perfect”; 7:19—”law made nothing perfect”; 7:28—the Son has been made perfect forever; 9:11—more perfect tabernacle; 10:14—Jesus’ sacrifice “makes perfect forever”
*** What does it mean that Jesus was “made perfect” through suffering? Why was this necessary? “Made Perfect” = Teleio in Greek. Teleio literally means “to complete, to bring to an end, to finish, to accomplish, to reach a goal, to bring to its accomplishment, to bring to full measure, to fulfill, to make perfect.” Think of our English word “Telescope.” The idea is that we can use it to “see to the end.” When the author of Hebrews uses teleio in reference to Jesus, he is speaking of that point within time when Jesus’ work was brought to its full and complete end. By His suffering, He accomplished everything that the Father had intended for the Son to accomplish from all eternity. The end goal had been reached. There is nothing left to add or do, because all is complete in Jesus Christ. “It is finished” (John 19:30— teleio). We’re getting ahead of ourselves here, but also keep in mind that Jesus had to be fully human to be an appropriate representative for humanity. In taking on human nature, He became something that He could never be in His divine nature alone: He became a human who could suffer and die and therefore could identify with us and represent us. In other words, He was “made perfect” (made complete) as the only 100% well-rounded Savior—the God-man—perfectly God so He could save us and perfectly man so He could represent us and substitute for us. So, when we speak of Jesus being made perfect, we do not mean that He was ever lacking anything. Rather, we are speaking of the reality that within time, at a certain point in history, God’s eternal plan for Jesus the Son was brought to its full and complete end. What had been eternal, untested obedience was shown to also be perfect, proven obedience at a given point in time, in the face of suffering. IV. Big Idea Jesus Christ is superior to everyone and everything else! He is better than any and every person, institution, ritual, and sacrifice. He is superior to angels (chs 1-2), superior to Moses (ch 3), superior to Joshua (ch 4), superior to the high priests (chs 5-7), superior to the old covenant (ch 8), superior to the old tabernacle (ch 9), and superior to the sacrificial system (ch 10). V.
Very theological/intellectual, so we must be intentionally practical and applicational. Today: The goal of this study is that you will value Jesus Christ as truly greater than everything else in your life. So, do you? What competes with Him? What needs to change?
VI. Primary Sources: John MacArthur’s commentary on Hebrews, John Piper’s sermons on Hebrews, and the Expositor’s Bible Commentary on Hebrews. I will draw on them constantly, and if any thought is good or helpful, it probably comes from them.