|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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