In this Bible study of Hebrews, you will explore the different ways that Christ is better. Whether it is His role as a High Priest, the blood of His perfect sacrifice, His ministry in the true Tabernacle, or His mediation of the New Covenant, the superiority of Christ is threaded throughout the pages of this epistle.
Main Message of the Book of Hebrews
This New Testament letter was written as a word of exhortation to Hebrew Christians who were tempted to return to their Jewish roots and the Old Covenant sacrificial system. The author wanted to help them understand the sufficiency of Jesus Christ for eternal redemption.
Many people believe that the apostle Paul is the author of this book of the Bible, however, it seems clear (according to chapter 2) that he was not. We learn that the author of Hebrews was someone who heard the gospel from someone else who had been with Christ. Jesus
Ways to Use this Bible Study Guide of Hebrews
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Go to the Bible Study Questions for Hebrews
Here is the first, no-ink required, version. All of the study questions are available here on the website. Grab your notebook and Bible and follow along in the table of contents located towards the top of the page. You may want to bookmark this page so you can return to it easily each day.
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Find the Video Teachings for Each Chapter in the Book of Hebrews.
Summary of the Book of Hebrews
Here is a quick overview of the main points in each chapter.
Hebrews Chapter 1
- Jesus as God’s Final Revelation: The writer of Hebrews begins by highlighting that in the past, God spoke to the people through prophets, but in these last days, He has spoken through His Son. This shows the supremacy of Jesus Christ.
- Jesus as the Heir and Creator: Jesus is portrayed as the heir of all things and the one through whom God created the universe. This emphasizes His divine nature and authority.
- Radiance of God’s Glory: Jesus is described as the radiance of God’s glory, representing the perfect reflection of God’s nature. He is also seen as sustaining all things by His powerful word.
- Superior to Angels: The chapter establishes the superiority of Jesus over angels. He is not just a messenger like angels; He is the Son of God and worthy of worship.
- Jesus’ Exaltation: The chapter also mentions Jesus’ exaltation to the right hand of God, indicating His supreme position and authority in the heavenly realms.
- Angelic Worship: While angels are mighty beings, they are called to worship Jesus. The chapter underscores that Jesus is to be adored and revered above all, even by heavenly beings.
Hebrews Chapter 2
- Warning against Drifting: The author urges the readers to pay careful attention to the message they have heard, lest they drift away. This is a warning against neglecting the salvation offered through Jesus Christ.
- Confirmation through Signs and Wonders: The chapter teaches the confirmation of the message through various signs, wonders, miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit. These serve as evidence of the divine origin of the salvation message.
- Jesus as the Pioneer of Salvation: The chapter highlights Jesus as the pioneer and perfecter of salvation. He became human, experienced suffering and death, and thereby became the source of salvation for all who believe.
- Shared Humanity with Believers: Jesus is depicted as having shared in the same human nature as believers, making him a sympathetic and merciful high priest. Through his suffering, he is able to empathize with the challenges and temptations faced by humanity.
- Defeat of the Devil: The chapter asserts that through his death and resurrection, Jesus defeated the power of the devil and liberated those who were in bondage to the fear of death.
- Identification with Humanity: Jesus is not ashamed to call believers his brothers and sisters. This shows the intimate relationship between Christ and those who trust in him.
- Purpose of Incarnation: The author explains that Jesus became incarnate to taste death for everyone, providing a way for humanity to be reconciled with God and obtain eternal life.
- Release from Slavery: The chapter concludes by emphasizing that Jesus came to release those who were held in slavery by the fear of death, offering hope and salvation to all who believe in him.
Hebrews Chapter 3
- Jesus, Greater Than Moses: The chapter begins by establishing the superiority of Jesus over Moses, who was highly regarded in Jewish tradition. Jesus is described as the apostle and high priest of our confession, surpassing Moses in honor and authority.
- Faithfulness of Christ: The author of Hebrews highlights the faithfulness of Jesus in carrying out God’s plan, comparing it to the faithfulness of Moses. While Moses was faithful as a servant in God’s house, Jesus is portrayed as the Son over God’s house, signifying a higher status and authority.
- Warning Against Unbelief: Hebrews 3 gives a warning based on the Israelites’ disobedience and unbelief during their wilderness journey. The author encourages believers to hold fast to their confidence in Christ, lest they fall into a similar state of unbelief and miss out on God’s promises.
- Today, If You Hear His Voice: The chapter emphasizes the urgency of responding to God’s call and not hardening one’s heart. Believers are urged to encourage one another daily, recognizing the importance of perseverance in faith.
- Rest as God’s Promise: The concept of “rest” is significant in Hebrews 3. The promised rest is seen as not merely a physical land (referring to the Promised Land in the Old Testament) but a spiritual rest that comes through faith in Christ.
- Disobedience and Consequences: The consequences of disobedience and unbelief are discussed, drawing parallels between the Israelites’ rebellion and the potential dangers of falling away from faith in Jesus.
Hebrews Chapter 4
- The Promise of God’s Rest: The chapter begins by discussing the promise of entering God’s rest, drawing a parallel to God’s rest after creation. The promise is offered to believers, urging them to enter into this rest through faith.
- The Example of Israel’s Disobedience: The author recalls the disobedience of the Israelites in the wilderness, highlighting how they failed to enter God’s rest due to unbelief and disobedience. This serves as a warning for believers to remain faithful.
- The Continuation of God’s Rest: The chapter emphasizes that the promise of entering God’s rest still stands for believers today. It encourages readers to strive to enter that rest, suggesting that God’s rest is not merely a historical event but an ongoing reality for those who trust in Him.
- The Living Word of God: The author underscores the power and discernment of the Word of God, which is living and active. The Word exposes the thoughts and intentions of the heart, serving as a guide for believers in their journey of faith.
- Jesus as the Great High Priest: Hebrews 4 introduces Jesus as the great high priest who sympathizes with believers’ weaknesses. It encourages believers to approach the throne of grace with confidence, knowing that Jesus understands their struggles and offers mercy and help.
- The Invitation to Approach God: Believers are urged to approach God boldly through prayer and trust in Jesus as their high priest. The chapter concludes by emphasizing the compassion and understanding of Jesus, who enables believers to find grace and help in their time of need.
Hebrews Chapter 5
- Qualifications of a High Priest: The chapter begins by explaining the qualifications of a high priest, who serves as a mediator between God and the people. The high priest is chosen from among the people and can sympathize with their weaknesses.
- Christ as the High Priest: The author then highlights the various ways Jesus Christ is the ultimate and perfect High Priest. He was appointed by God and is uniquely qualified because He is sinless, obedient, and empathetic to human struggles.
- The Importance of Spiritual Maturity: The author expresses concern about the spiritual maturity of these Jewish Christians, stating that they should have progressed beyond the basics of the faith. They are encouraged to pursue a deeper understanding and knowledge of God’s Word and the work of Christ.
- Milk vs. Solid Food: The text uses the analogy of spiritual nourishment, comparing “milk” to the basic teachings of the faith and “solid food” to deeper, more mature understanding. The readers are urged to move beyond elementary teachings and strive for maturity.
- Warning Against Spiritual Stagnation: The chapter contains a warning about the dangers of spiritual stagnation and regression. Believers are encouraged to press on toward spiritual maturity, avoiding complacency and the risk of falling away.
- Jesus’ Prayerful Submission: The chapter highlights Jesus’ prayers and his submission to the will of God, especially during his earthly life. It underscores the depth of his obedience and the significance of his role as the source of eternal salvation for those who obey him.
Hebrews Chapter 6
- Foundation of Repentance and Faith: The chapter begins by urging believers to move beyond the foundational teachings of repentance and faith in God. The author encourages them to strive for deeper understanding and maturity in their spiritual journey.
- Warning Against Falling Away: The author issues a stern warning about the grave consequences of falling away from faith after having experienced the goodness of God. The imagery of land receiving rain and producing crops, or thorns and thistles, is used to illustrate the potential outcomes of one’s spiritual life.
- God’s Faithfulness: Despite the warning, the chapter reassures believers of God’s faithfulness. God remembers their work and love, encouraging them to persevere in faith.
- The Example of Abraham: The author points to the example of Abraham to illustrate patient endurance and faith. Abraham’s unwavering trust in God’s promises serves as a model for believers to follow.
- God’s Oath and Promise: God’s promise to bless and multiply Abraham is highlighted, along with the mention of God confirming this promise with an oath. This emphasizes the unchanging nature of God’s purpose and the security of His promises.
- Hope as an Anchor: The chapter concludes by describing hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. This hope is anchored in the person and work of Jesus Christ, who has entered the heavenly sanctuary on behalf of believers.
Hebrews Chapter 7
- Melchizedek’s Priesthood Superiority: The chapter begins by highlighting the unique characteristics of Melchizedek, who was both a king and a priest, and without genealogy. The author emphasizes Melchizedek’s superiority over the Levitical priesthood because Abraham, the patriarch of the Israelites, paid tithes to Melchizedek.
- Jesus as the High Priest in the Order of Melchizedek: The author asserts that Jesus Christ is a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek, contrasting with the temporary nature of the Levitical priesthood. This implies a higher and eternal priesthood in Jesus.
- Perfection through Christ’s Priesthood: The chapter explains that the Levitical priesthood was insufficient to bring perfection, but Jesus, as the high priest in the order of Melchizedek, has achieved perfection for believers once and for all.
- Unchanging Nature of Christ’s Priesthood: Unlike the changing priesthood of the Old Testament, Jesus’ priesthood is unchanging and eternal, providing a secure and lasting foundation for believers.
- Superiority of the New Covenant: The author highlights the superiority of the New Covenant established by Jesus, which surpasses the Old Covenant associated with the Levitical priesthood.
- Christ’s Atoning Sacrifice: The chapter underscores the effectiveness of Jesus’ atoning sacrifice, stating that He offered Himself once for all to atone for sins, unlike the repeated sacrifices under the Old Covenant.
Hebrew Chapter 8
- Introduction of a High Priest in Heaven: The chapter begins by highlighting that Jesus is the High Priest who is seated at the right hand of God in heaven, serving in a greater and more perfect tabernacle.
- Comparison with Earthly Priesthood: The author compares the ministry of Jesus with the earthly priesthood, emphasizing that Jesus serves in a heavenly sanctuary, not made by human hands, and His ministry is more excellent and based on better promises.
- New Covenant: Hebrews 8 introduces the concept of the New Covenant, quoting from the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah. The New Covenant represents a superior relationship between God and His people, characterized by forgiveness of sins and a personal knowledge of God.
- Obsolescence of the Old Covenant: Chapter 8 shows the limitations and temporary nature of the Old Covenant and the Levitical priesthood. The Old Covenant is described as becoming obsolete, and a new covenant is established through Jesus Christ.
- God’s Laws Written on Hearts: In the New Covenant, God promises to write His laws on the hearts of His people, indicating a more intimate and transformative relationship with believers. This contrasts with the external adherence to the law under the Old Covenant.
- Finality of Christ’s Sacrifice: Hebrews 8 emphasizes the finality of Jesus’ sacrifice for sins, contrasting it with the repeated sacrifices of the Levitical system. Jesus’ once-for-all sacrifice is sufficient to cleanse believers from sin.
Hebrews Chapter 9
- The Earthly Sanctuary: The chapter begins by describing the layout and functions of the earthly tabernacle, which was a symbol of the Old Covenant. It emphasizes the limited access to the Most Holy Place and the annual Day of Atonement.
- The Contrast with the Heavenly Sanctuary: The author contrasts the earthly tabernacle with the heavenly sanctuary, indicating that Christ entered the greater and more perfect tabernacle in heaven, not made with human hands. This heavenly sanctuary serves as the backdrop for the fulfillment of the New Covenant.
- The Efficacy of Christ’s Sacrifice: The chapter underscores the superiority of Jesus’ sacrifice over the animal sacrifices offered under the Old Covenant. Christ’s sacrifice is described as once-for-all, offering eternal redemption and cleansing the conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
- The Mediator of the New Covenant: Jesus is presented as the Mediator of the New Covenant, providing believers with access to God’s grace and forgiveness. His death serves as the basis for the forgiveness of sins under the New Covenant.
- The Necessity of Blood for Atonement: The author emphasizes the necessity of blood for the forgiveness of sins, drawing on the Old Testament understanding that without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins.
- The Finality of Christ’s Sacrifice: The chapter concludes by stressing the finality and efficacy of Christ’s sacrifice, comparing it to the repeated offerings of the Old Covenant. Christ’s sacrifice put an end to the need for continual sacrifices, offering a complete and perfect solution for sin.
Hebrews Chapter 10
- Superior Sacrifice of Jesus: The chapter begins by highlighting the inadequacy of the Old Testament sacrificial system, pointing out that the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sins. Jesus’ sacrifice, however, is presented as superior, effective, and offered once for all.
- Willful Sin and Consequences: The author warns against willful sin after receiving knowledge of the truth, as there is no longer a sacrifice for sins in such cases. Instead, there is a fearful expectation of judgment and fiery indignation.
- Perseverance and Endurance: The importance of perseverance and endurance in the face of trials is stressed. Believers are encouraged to hold fast to their confession of faith without wavering, as God is faithful to fulfill His promises.
- Access to God through Christ: The chapter affirms the believers’ confidence to enter the Most Holy Place through the blood of Jesus, inaugurating a new and living way. This access is made possible by Christ’s high priesthood, which is contrasted with the Levitical priesthood.
- Encouragement to Love and Good Deeds: Believers are encouraged to consider one another, stimulate love and good deeds, and not forsake assembling together. Mutual encouragement is emphasized as the Day of judgment approaches.
- Fearful Expectation for Those Rejecting Christ: The chapter concludes by underscoring the severity of judgment for those who reject Christ and His sacrifice. The author urges believers to persevere in faith, reminding them of the eternal reward promised to those who endure.
Hebrews Chapter 11
Faith is portrayed as the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen. It serves as the foundation of our relationship with God, and through faith, we understand God’s creation of the world.
If you would like to do your own in-depth study of Hebrews 11, see my full Bible Study guide.
Hebrews Chapter 12
- Endurance through Faith: The chapter begins by urging believers to persevere in their faith, following the examples of those who have gone before, including the great cloud of witnesses mentioned in Chapter 11.
- Fixing Eyes on Jesus: Christians are encouraged to fix their eyes on Jesus, the author, and perfecter of faith, who endured the cross for the joy set before Him. Believers are reminded to consider His example in order to endure hardships.
- Discipline as Proof of Sonship: God disciplines those He loves, treating them as His children. Discipline is presented as evidence of God’s love and a means of producing righteousness and holiness in believers.
- Warning Against Despising God’s Discipline: Believers are warned not to despise the Lord’s discipline or grow weary in the face of hardship. Instead, they should view it as a means of correction and growth.
- The Call to Holiness: Christians are called to pursue holiness, without which no one can see the Lord. This involves living in peace with others and avoiding a root of bitterness.
- The Contrast Between Mount Sinai and Mount Zion: The chapter draws a contrast between the fearful scene at Mount Sinai, where the Law was given, and the joyful reality of the heavenly Mount Zion, where believers have come.
- Receiving an Unshakeable Kingdom: Believers are reminded that they are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken. This reinforces the idea that their faith and commitment to God’s principles will endure beyond earthly trials.
Hebrews Chapter 13
- Brotherly Love: The chapter begins with an exhortation to continue in brotherly love and to show hospitality to strangers, emphasizing the importance of kindness and compassion within the Christian community.
- Remembering Prisoners: The author urges believers to remember those who are in prison for their faith and to empathize with their suffering as if it were their own.
- Honoring Marriage: Hebrews 13 emphasizes the sanctity of marriage and encourages believers to honor it by remaining faithful and avoiding adultery.
- Contentment and Trust in God: Christians are reminded to be content with what they have, for God has promised never to leave or forsake them. Believers are encouraged to trust in God rather than relying on worldly wealth.
- Remembering Leaders: The chapter advises believers to remember and imitate the faith of their leaders who have spoken the word of God to them, considering the outcome of their way of life.
- The Unchanging Christ: Hebrews 13:8 declares that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, emphasizing the unchanging nature of the Savior.
- Sacrifices of Praise and Good Deeds: Believers are encouraged to offer sacrifices of praise to God continually and to do good, sharing with others, as these acts are pleasing to God.
- Obeying and Submitting to Leaders: The author encourages believers to obey and submit to their leaders, recognizing their authority and acknowledging their responsibility for the spiritual well-being of the congregation.
As we apply the insights gained from our study of Hebrews to our daily lives, let us strive to persevere in faith, hold fast to the hope set before us, and encourage one another in love and good deeds. Just as the original audience faced challenges and uncertainties, we too can find comfort and strength in the unchanging nature of our Savior.