Outline of the Epistle to the Hebrews

Exposition of
The Epistle to the Hebrews

I. Establishment of authority. 1:1-3

The Jewish Christians needed to understand that the Word they received was the completed revelation of God in the presentation of the Messiah. Jesus stated that He had not come to destroy the Law but to fulfill it. All of the Law was fulfilled in Jesus Christ and believers were not obligated to keep the Law, but were saved by the grace of God (all men) through faith and were to be faithful to His Word in the building of His church. Many Jews were confused and they needed instruction in the commandments of God. Paul began to instruct them by first establishing the authority of Jesus of Nazareth.

A. The Father – Jehovah Hebrews 1:1,2a
B. The Son. Hebrews 1:2b,3 (Matthew 3:17; John 1:14,17,18; 3:16)

He –

1. Is appointed heir of all things. Matthew 28:18; John 13:3
2. Is the Creator. John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16
3. Is the manifestation of His Person. Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 1:15
Refer also to John 12:45, 14:9
Notes: “…Who being…” Everlasting existence
“…express image…” – engraved, exact reproduction of the image
4. Is the Sustainer of all things. Psalm 33:9; Colossians 1:17
5. Purged our sins. Colossians 1:14,20
6. Satisfied the will of God. Colossians 1:18-22; Ephesians 1:20-22
Refer to Isaiah 53:10,11

II. Exaltation of Christ 1:4 – 10:18

A. Superior to the prophets. 1:1-3

1. The former words. Refer to 1 Peter 1:10-12
2. The finished work. 1:3

B. Superior to the Angels. 1:4-2:18

1. Superior in Person. 1:4-14

a. Superiority stated. 1:4
b. Superiority proved. 1:5-14 By –

1). Relationship. 1:5
2). Reverence. 1:6 3). Righteousness. 1:7-9 Refer to Psalm 45:6,7
4). Redemption. 1:10-12 Refer to Psalm 102
5). Rule. 1:13,14

2. Superior in position . 2:1-8

a. Encouragement – because of His person. 2:1

1). Determination – personal decision “…we ought to give…”
2). Diligence. “…more ernest heed…”
3). Disregard. Drifting by unnoticed “…let them slip…”
4). Illustrations. Refer to –

a). Matthew 28:20 “…to observe all things which I have commanded you…”
b). 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 “…carnal…”

b. Exhortation. 2:2-4

1). Common knowledge. 2:2 Refer to Genesis 19:1,17,26
2). Common desire. “To escape accountability and judgment”
3). Common sense. 2:3,4

c. Instruction. 2:5-8 Positions of –

1). Angels – ministers Refer to Matthew 26:53
2). Man – management. Refer to Psalm 8
3). Jesus – Majesty Refer to Philippians 2:6-9

3. Superior in participation. 2:9-18 The dilemma – Job 9:30-33;
Read also Exodus 12:1-13 Death sentence declared, death sentence executed. Death came upon every house – the lamb or the firstborn – but death was sure!
Sets forth the purpose of the incarnation, in that –

a. He should be subject to death. 2:9

1). Position. “…made a little lower than the angels…”
2). Praise. “…crowned with glory and honour…”
3). Purpose. “… that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man…”
Refer to 1 Timothy 2:3-6

b. He should identify with man. 2:10-13

1). Endured suffering (revealed His nature) 2:10
Refer to James 1:3,4; 1 Peter 1:6,7; 2:19-24

2). United in fellowship “…my brethren…” 2:11-13

c. He destroyed the power of death. 2:14,15 Refer to 1 Corinthians 15:51-57
d. He intercedes for believers. 2:16-18 Refer to Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1

1). Kinsman. 2:16 Refer to Leviticus 25:25
2). Priest. 2:17 Exodus 28:11,12, 30; 1 Timothy 2:5,6
Refer to Romans 3:23-26
3). Consolation. 2:18 Matthew 11:28-30

C. Superior In Administration. 3:1-4:13 (Moses the Example)

The recipients may have been saying “Moses said…” looking back at the religious system. Paul exhorted them to stay with the Lord Jesus Christ, who is better than Moses (yet he did not deprecate Moses). Most of those who followed Moses and experienced the power of God firsthand turned back in unbelief. Refer to Exodus 17:1-4; Numbers 14:27-34 Paul pleaded with them not to follow them in their unbelief. They should encourage one another in faith and grow each day – ‘today’, and enter into the final Rest.
The Law brought people to Christ. Refer to Galations 3:24-26 Do not turn back to the servant (schoolmaster) but stay with the Son!

1. Superior in His position. 3:1-4

The position of –

a. Jesus 3:1,4

1). Apostle Refer to John 20:21
2). High Priest
3). Saviour “Christ”
4). Sovereign 3:4

b. Moses 3:2

1). Prophet.
2). Servant. Refer to Numbers 12:6-8

c. Illustration 3:3,4 Cause and effect.

1). The effect – house (Moses, servant)
2). Cause – The Lord Jesus Christ – Architect and Builder of the house. John 1:1-3
3). Both were faithful in their appointments. Moses is not being degraded, Jesus is being exalted in His proper position – Superior to Moses

2. Superior in His possession. 3:5,6

a. Moses – servant “…in all his (God’s) house…” 3:5
b. Jesus – Sovereign 3:6

1). Owner “…over His own house…”
2). Redeemer “…whose house we are…” Refer to 1 Corinthians 6:20

3. Superior in His prosecution. 3:7-4:2

“The thought of Moses (in verses 1-5) naturally suggests Israel in the wilderness. Faithful was the mediator, through whom God dealt with them; but was Israel faithful? God spake: did they obey? God showed them wonder signs: did they trust and follow in faith? And if Israel was not faithful unto Moses, and their unbelief brought ruin upon them, how much more guilty shall we be, and how much greater our danger, if we are not faithful unto the Lord Jesus” (Saphir)

The warning –

a. From History. 3:7-11 Refer to Psalm 95 Remember –

1). His position. “…wherefore…” 3:7
2). His provision. “…saw my works forty years…” 3:9b
3). Their provocation. 3:8,9a
4). His preparation. 3:11 “…my rest.”

b. Of Self-deception. 3:12-15

1). Examine their hearts. 3:12
2). Exhort one another. 3:13-15

c. Of Unbelief 3:16-4:2 Their unbelief –

1). Affected all. 3:16,17
2). Destroyed themselves. 3:18.19
3). Incites concern. 4:1,2

4. Superior in His provision. 4:3-4:13 A rest for His people

a. The declaration – Believers enter into rest. 4:3a
b. The debate –

1). The Hebrews (believers) claimed to possess the rest of God.
2). The writer concurs, but proves from Scripture that, for believers, there
is another rest. 4:3-9

c. The determination. 4:10-13

1). The rest provided 4:10
2). The rest preferred. 4:11
3). The rest proved. 4:12,13

The Lord Jesus Christ is superior in Administration.

D. Christ Superior In Mediation. 4:14 – 10:18 (Aaron and Melchizadec)

1. Because of His Qualifications. 4:14-7:25

a. His Priesthood –

1). Declared. 4:14-16
2). Compared. 5:1-10

a). Under Law. 5:1-4
b). Under Grace. 5:5-10

b. His People – challenged. 5:11-6:20

Note: 5:11-6:20 contains a challenge from Paul to the recipients of the letter. Beginning in 7:1 he continues his train of thought, elaborating on his statement in 5:10. In this challenge, He used a pattern that he would later send to Timothy to help in his ministry. Refer to 2 Timothy 4:2

1). Rebuke. 5:11-14 To confront
2). Reprove. 6:1-8 To convince
3). Exhort. 6:9-20 To counsel

The believers were assured of their salvation and were challenged to grow in their knowledge of the Lord. The unbelievers were confronted with the evidence of their unbelief. Assurance of salvation is noted in many portions of Scriptures. John 3:16-18; 10:27-30; Ephesians 1:13,14

c. His Preeminence. 7:1-25

1). He has a unique order. 7:1-10 After the (unique) calling of Melchisedec –

a). The order described. 7:1-3

Note the emphasis placed on the description of this priest. A simple declaration would have been “For this Melchisedec…abideth a priest continually.” The writer is presenting evidence of the uniqueness of this priesthood.

b). The order compared. 7:4-10

2). He has a perfect order. 7:11-19
3). He has an everlasting order. 7:20-25

a). Established by God’s oath. 7:20-22
b). Everlasting because of His life. 7:23,24
c). Effective because of His position. 7:25

(1). Power – God the Son “…able to save…”
(2). Perpetuity – eternal
(3). Position – interceding for believers. Refer also to Romans 8:34,
1 Timothy 2:5, 1 John 2:2. Read also John 17:9-26

Jesus is uniquely qualified to be superior in mediation. He only is worthy!

2. Because of His exaltation. . 7:26 – 8:5

a. His impeccability. 7:26-28

1). His character –

a). Defined.
b). Described. 7:26

2). His crucifixion. 7:27 Isaiah 53:10,11; Hebrews 9:12
3). His call. 7:28 ‘Our perfect High Priest – forever’ Refer to Hebrews 13:8

b. His immanence. 8:1-5

1). His place – ministering in Heaven. It is –
2). His people 8:1a Refer to Hebrews 4:14-16 Worshipping on Earth

The Levites were men ministering among men. The Lord is our High Priest ministering from Heaven, and that rightly so, for He had no place of service on Earth. His is the Perfect Priest ministering in the Perfect Tabernacle, of which the earthly Tabernacle was but a type.

3. Because of His ministration. 8:6-10:18

a. Based upon a better system. 8:6-13

1). A better covenant established. 8:6 Manifest a better –

a). Ministry (Eternal High Priest in Heaven) – through His mediation of a better –
b). Covenant
c). Promises.

2). A better covenant anticipated. 8:7-12
A change in covenants had been prophesied (Jeremiah) and revealed –

a). The need of it. 8:7
b). The promise of it. 8:8 Refer to Jeremiah 31:31-36
c). The provisions of it. 8:9-12
These promises to Israel will be in effect during the Kingdom rule of the
Lord Jesus Christ. Paul was not introducing this covenant into the present
time, but was reminding the Jews that a change had been prophesied. They
could not argue against this change.

3). A better covenant instituted. 8:13
The old covenant had been superseded by the new. The traditionalist had kept the old covenant alive artificially and it had no effect. It would soon be completely removed, (70 AD)

b. Performed through a better service. 9:1-22
The service –

1). Considered. 9:1-7 (Review of temporary service revealing Divine truths)

a). Purpose 9:1 To confirm –
b). Plan – (to accomplish His purpose)

The Tabernacle with its furnishings and service revealed God’s holiness and man’s sinfulness. It revealed His will to dwell among His people and His way to accomplish that purpose.

2). Compared. 9:8-14 He taught, by the Tabernacle, that a better service was –

a). Needed. 9:8-10
b). Provided. 9:11-14 His entrance was –

(1). Acceptable. 9:11
(His perfect position was in accord with the perfect Tabernacle.)
(2). Eternal 9:12 Refer to Colossians 1:12-14
(3). Efficacious. 9:13,14 (Satisfied the requirement of God)

3). Confirmed – by His death 9:15-22

a). Resulted in – 9:15

(1). Redemption. Hebrews 8:1; 9:12
(2). Renewal. Hebrews 9:14b; Refer to Romans 12:1,2 (Not a reformation)
(3). Reward. 9:15 “…eternal inheritance.” Refer to Romans 8:14-17

b). Required. Without death, could not be –

(1). Accepted. 9:16,17
(2). Executed. 9:18-22

c. Accomplished by a better sacrifice. 9:23-10:18

1). His presence in Heaven. 9:23,24
2). His power over sin. “…to put away sin…” 9:25,26
3). His perfect offering. 9:27,28 Never needs to be (nor can be) repeated.
Refer to Romans 6:10
4). His prophetic fulfillment. 10:1-18

a) The Law –

(1). Was of limited value. 10:1-6
(2). Was set aside. 10:7-10

b) The Lord –

(1). Satisfied the will of God. 10:11-14 Refer to Colossians 2:8-10
(2). Sealed the New Covenant. 10:15-18
Refer to the New Covenant in Jeremiah 31:33,34. Paul is referring to the
fact of it, not the implementation of it for Israel at this time. The Promise to the Nation Israel is still future. Romans 11:25-27

III. Exhortation to believers 10:19—13:19

A. Exhortation to Fearlessness. 10:19-39

1. A Word of Exhortation. 10:19-25

a. Permission. 10:19,20 Refer to John 14:6
b. Purpose. ‘worship’ 10:21
c. Preparation –

1). Salvation 10:22a
2). Sanctification. 10:22b

d. Perseverance. 10:23
e. Practical application. 10:24,25

2. A Word of Expostulation. 10:26-31

Paul reminds them of the consequences of apostasy. If they, being saved, could reject the salvation and return to an unsaved condition, they would stand before God to be judged accordingly. Their punishment would be –

a. Absolute. 10:26,27
b. Appropriate. 10:28,29
c. Awful. 10:30,31

3. A Word of Encouragement. 10:32-39

a. Call to remember – 10:32-34

1). Their Salvation. 10:32a
2). Their Stand. 10:32b
3). Their Suffering. 10:33-34a

b. Call to remain – 10:35-39

1). Confident. 10:35
2). Patient. 10:36,37 Refer to James 5:1-11
3). Faithful. 10:38,39 See Habakkuk 2:4

This call leads to the discussion on faith –

B. Exhortation to Faith. 11:1-11:40

1. Defined.

a. Classical usage –

1). Trusting, worthy of trust.
2). Concretely ‘pistis’ means – the guarantee which creates the possibility of trust, the assurance of reliability.

b. Scriptural usage. Hebrews 11:1-3 Refer to 1 Corinthians 2:1-14

2. Discussed.

a. Romans 10:9-17; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Corinthians 5:14-21
b. Galations 2:16; 3:1-29; Ephesians 2:8-10 (Galations 3:26 ‘through/by’)
c. John 5:24; 6:44,63; 11:25; 12:32; Ephesians 2:1,5; Titus 3:5-7; Refer to Genesis 3:17
d. Compare Romans 1:8 with Romans 15:18,19; 16:19

3. Illustrated. 11:4-31 The results of faith –

a. Pleased God. 11:4-6

1). Cain’s faith – God as benefactor.
2). Able’s faith – God as Saviour.
3). Scripture illustrates this truth – Refer to Acts 17:22-34; Romans 10:12-14

b. Obeyed God. 11:7-12 (Noah, refer to Luke 17:27)
c. Committed to God. 11:13-16 refer to 1 Timothy 1:12

They continued to be committed to God as they watched their loved ones die without receiving the promises, even as they faced death themselves!

d. Confident in God. 11:17-22
e. Courageous. 11:23-31

4. Exalted. 11:32-40

The strength of faith is evident in the lives of believers. The recipients of this letter had already faced persecution for their testimony for the Lord. Paul encourages them in their faith. Trouble will continue but the Lord is faithful. Isaiah 41:10 “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Faith prepares one for both life and death, blessings and tribulation.

a. Powerful faith. 11:32-34

1). Failings – they were imperfect men called by God.
2). Faith – they wholly relied upon God to achieve His purpose.
The imperfect believer can have faith and serve God. Refer to Psalm 8:3,4

b. Persistent faith. 11:35-38

1). Extraordinary faith. 11:35a To believe that God will do the impossible
(raise the dead)
2). Enduring faith. 11:35b-38 To believe that God’s grace is sufficient for the time.

To some victory was in life, for others it was in death. Their faith was the evidence of their victory. Refer to 1 Corinthians 15:51-58. It was a mystery, unknown to them, but their faith was the “…evidence of things not seen.”

c. Patient faith. 11:39,40 Refer to Micah 7:7; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 12:2

C. Exhortation to Fortitude. 12:1-11 Because of –

1. Their Fellowship. 12:1-3
(Fortitude to run the race)

a. The Participants. They are not spectators, they have run the race, finished their course, and are watching how we run.
b. The Preparation. To put away –

1). Encumbrances. Weights Refer to 1 Corinthians 9:25,26; 2 Timothy 2:4
2). Entrapments. Sin Refer to Ephesians 4:21-23

c. The Pace. Practical guide to long distance runners.

1). Stay focused. “…let us run…” To keep on running
2). Maintain good form. “…with patience…”
3). Know the course. “…the race that is set before us…”

d. The Purpose. 12:2,3

1). The pattern. 12:2,3 Refer to Isaiah 50:6; 53:3; Philippians 2:6-8
2). The prize. Refer to 2 Timothy 4:6-8

2. Their Future. 12:4 “…not yet resisted unto blood…”
(Fortitude to face the opponent)

3. Their Faith. 12:5-11
(Fortitude to accept the correction as faithful children)
They needed to –

a. Remember God’s Word. 12:5,6 Refer to Proverbs 3:11,12
b. Review their relationship. 12:7,8 Refer to 2 Corinthians 13:5
c. Reverence the Lord. 12:9-11

D. Exhortation to Fidelity. 12:12-13:17

1. The Meaning of Fidelity. 12:12-17 To be an example in one’s –

a. Courage. 12:12
b. Conduct. 12:13-17

1). Commitment – to the right way. 12:13
2). Compassion – to help others. 12:14
3). Conviction – to know and teach the Truth. 12:15-17 Refer to 1 Timothy 1:4-7;
Deuteronomy 29:18

2. The Motivation to Fidelity. 12:18-29
Reminds them again of that which is better –

a. Regard your position. 12:18-24

1). The Old – power and fear. 12:18-21
2). The New – peace and faith. 12:22-24

a). The City. The City of the Living God. 12:22a Refer to Revelation 21:9-27
b). The Congregation. 12:22b,23

(1). Angels. “… innumerable company of angels…”
(2). New Testament saints. “… the general assembly…”
(3). Church. “… church of the firstborn…”
(4). Old Testament saints. “… spirits of just men made perfect.”

c). The Christ. Jesus, God the Son, Mediator of the New Covenant. 12:24

b. Respect His Word. 12:25-27

1). Experience based on His performance. 12:25,26a Refer to Exodus 19:18
2). Expectation based on His promise. 12:26b,27 Refer to Haggai 2:6;
2 Peter 3:10,11
c. Resolve to serve. 12:28,29 Refer to Ephesians 2:4-10, See also Psalm 123:2

3. The Manifestation of Fidelity. 13:1-17

The believer’s fidelity to God is noted by his –

a. Reputation. 13:1-6

1). Love. 13:1
2). Hospitality. 13:2 Refer to Matthew 25:35; Romans 12:13; Galations 6:10
3). Compassion. 13:3
4). Faithfulness. 13:4
5). Confidence. 13:5,6

b. Resoluteness. 13:7-14

1). Resolute in their belief. 13:7,8 Through the example of –

(a). Their teachers. 13:7
(b). Their Lord. 13:8

2). Resolute in their behavior. 13:9-14 Refer to 2 Timothy 3:14-17

c. Rejoicing. 13:15,16 With the fruit of your –

1). Lips 13:15
2). Lives. 13:16 Refer to 1 John 3:18
d. Respect. (For Church leaders) 13:17

1). Acknowledge their position through –

a). Obedience – Truth
b). Submission – Trust.

2). Appreciate their position. Refer to 1 Peter 5:2,3

IV. The Earnest Desire of the Apostle — 13:18-23 Paul ends the epistle with a –

A. Petition. 13:18,19

1. His prayer. 13:18a Request their prayers, because of –
2. His practice. 13:18b The missionaries’ testimonies led them into confrontation with both the Jews and the Gentiles. Refer to Acts 23:1-3; 24:16,20-21.
3. His pressing desire. 13:19 Reveals companionship. He was familiar with the saints in Rome (Romans 1:9-13) but he was a companion of the recipients of this letter.

B. Prayer 13:20,21 That they would bring glory to God –

1. By the power of God. 13:20a
2. Through the promise of God. 13:20b
3. In the people of God. 13:21a
4. To the glory of God. 13:21b
Refer to Ephesians 2:8-10

C. Plea. 13:22 Paul asked them to consider the truth of what has been written to them. He did not command them based on the authority of his office, but he asked them to acknowledge the truth of what he had written.

D. Plan. 13:23 To visit them with Timothy upon his reunion with Paul.

V. Salutations – 13:24,25


About sjbjburke

I am an evangelist that enjoys Bible study and I look forward to posting outlines and receiving helpful comments. My wife and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary in 2010 and we enjoy serving the Lord together.
This entry was posted in Complete outlines of books. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Outline of the Epistle to the Hebrews

  1. pastorjburke says:

    Excellent outline. I would love to hear this taught!

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