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An Outline of the 'Letter' to the Hebrews

AN OUTLINE OF HEBREWS


I. The Sonship of Jesus (1:1-4:13).

  Thesis: The Son stands as God's final Prophet (1:1-4).

   A. The Person of the Son (1:5-2:18).

    1. The Son is divine (1:5-14).

      a. The Son's name is unique (1:5-6).

      b. The Son's excellence is demonstrated (1:7-12).

      c. The Son is compared with angels (1:13-14).

    2. The Son's word is authoritative (2:1-4).

    3. The Son became human (2:5-18).

      a. Jesus takes on a creaturely status (2:5-9).

      b. Jesus becomes the author of salvation (2:10-18).

        (1) He is the brother of humanity (2:10-15).

        (2) He is the redeemer of humanity (2:16-18).

  B. The Prophetic Character of the Son (3:1-4:13).

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

      a. Jesus is faithful in his appointments (3:1-2).

      b. Jesus is superior to Moses (3:3-6).

    2. Israel is a warning to the Church (3:7-19).

      a. Psalm 95 offers an admonishment (3:7-11).

      b. The church is warned (3:12-15).

      c. Israel is an example (3:16-19).

    3. God's people still anticipate a rest (4:1-13).

      a. The promise of rest calls us to faithfulness (4:1-5).

      b. There is yet a rest for the people of God (4:6-10).

      c. They are exhorted to enter the rest (4:11-13).


II. The Priesthood of Jesus (4:14-10:19).

  Thesis: Jesus, the Son of God, is our High Priest (4:14-16).

  A. The Priestly Office (5:1-7:28).

    1. There are qualifications for priesthood (5:1-10).

      a. The qualifications are identified (5:1-4).

      b. Jesus fills these qualifications (5:5-10).

    2. Warning: Christians are expected to mature (5:11-6:20).

      a. The problem is spiritual immaturity (5:11-6:8).

        (1) The problem is described (5:11-14).

        (2) Progress is expected (6:1-3).

        (3) Without progress, there is danger (6:4-8).

      b. They are exhorted to pursue growth (6:9-12).

      c. Hope enables confidence and perseverance (6:13-20).

    3. Jesus is a priest in the order of Melchizedek (7:1-28).

      a. Melchizedek is identified (7:1-10).

      b. Levitical and Melchizedekian orders are compared (7:11-25).

        (1) The Levitical order is inferior (7:11-19).

          (a) It is mutable (7:11-14).

          (b) It is temporary (7:15-19).

        (2) The Melchizedekian order is superior (7:20-25).

          (a) It is immutable (7:20-22).

          (b) It is eternal (7:23-25).

      c. Jesus is our Melchizedekian High Priest (7:26-28).

  B. The Priestly Function (8:1-10:18).

    1. Jesus inaugurates a new covenant (8:1-13).

      a. Jesus is our heavenly priest (8:1-6).

      b. The new covenant offers better promises (8:7-13).

    2. Sacrifice is the primary priestly function (9:1-22).

      a. Atonement under the first covenant is described (9:1-10).

      b. Jesus' work of atonement is described (9:11-14).

      c. The new covenant required the blood of its mediator (9:15-22).

    3. The sacrifice of Jesus is superior to Levitical sacrifices (9:23-10:18).

      a. Jesus' sacrifice is compared to Levitical sacrifices (9:23-10:4).

        (1) The reality of Jesus' sacrifice is effectual (9:23-28).

        (2) The Levitical sacrifices are shadows of the real (10:1-4).

      b. Jesus' sacrifice was the will of God (10:5-10).

      c. Jesus' sacrifice was effectual (10:11-18).


III. The Call to Faithfulness to Jesus (10:19-12:29).

  Thesis: Through Jesus we enter the holy place (10:19-25).

  A. Exhorted to Faith (10:26-11:40).

    1. God's people are called to faith (10:26-39).

      a. They are warned about apostasy (10:26-31).

      b. They are reminded about faith (10:32-39).

    2. God's people have exemplified faith (11:1-40).

      a. Faith brings certainty (11:1-3).

      b. The Antediluvians exhibited faith (11:4-7).

      c. The Patriarchs exhibited faith (11:8-22).

        (1) Abraham exhibited faith (11:8-12).

        (2) Faith and promise are related (11:13-16).

        (3) Other Patriarchs exhibited faith (11:17-12).

      d. Moses exhibited faith (11:23-28).

      e. The nation of Israel often exhibited faith (11:29-38).

      f. Faith receives a good report (11:39-40).

  B. Exhorted to Endurance (12:1-29).

    1. The Lord disciplines his children (12:1-13).

      a. They are exhorted to run the race with endurance (12:1-3).

      b. Trials must be kept in perspective (12:4-11).

      c. They are exhorted to persevere (12:12-13).

    2. The Lord warns his children (12:14-29).

      a. They are warned about apostasy (12:14-17).

      b. God is a consuming fire (12:18-29).


IV. Epistolary Epilogue (13:1-25).

  A. Practical Communal Exhortations (13:1-6).

    1. Three commands are given (13:1-3).

    2. Two observations are offered (13:4-5a).

    3. The faithfulness of God is noted (13:5b-6).

  B. Final Appeal for Faithfulness (13:7-17).

    1. The community needs stability (13:7-8).

    2. Exhortation: Remain in the Christian Community (13:9-14).

    3. Community responsibilities are highlighted (13:15-17).

  C. Concluding Personal Reflections (13:18-25).

    1. Author requests prayer (13:18-19).

    2. Author offers benediction (13:20-21).

    3. Author makes his final appeal (13:22).

    4. Author offers his greetings (13:23-25).




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