Hebrews Bible Study – Week 2, Part 2

Below you’ll find all of the answers to the questions for chapters 4-6 in our study on the book of Hebrews. Come back on Monday when we’ll continue our study on chapters 7-9.

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Chapter 4 – A Sabbath Rest for His People

What is the promise we read about in Verse 1?

Entering into God’s rest.

Why didn’t the word of God profit those that heard it? (Verse 2)

Because they didn’t combine it with faith by obeying the gospel.

What is the difference between knowing who Jesus is and having faith in Jesus?

Many know who Jesus is, but they haven’t made Him Lord of their lives. When you have faith in Jesus Christ, you believe that He is Lord and you also allow Him to rule in Your life through obedience to His word.

What is the difference between works as a basis of our faith, and works as a result of our faith?

If works is the basis of our faith, then we foolishly believe that we are saved by our merit and our strength alone.

But when we believe that we are nothing without the grace of God and that everything we do is by His strength and through His spirit working within us, works become a result of obedience to our faith.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:8-10, NIV

In this chapter we find five characteristics of the Word of God. What are they?

  1. It’s alive
  2. It’s active
  3. It’s sharper than any two-edged sword
  4. It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit
    (this analogy describes a division between the flesh and the spirit, or the old nature of man and our new birth in Christ)
  5. It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

What is the rest that we read about in Joshua 21:43-45? How does that compare to the rest we read about in this chapter?

The rest we read about in Joshua is when the Lord gave the Israelites rest from their enemies. They were given the land He had promised them, and along with that land came His rest.

The rest we read about in this chapter is a spiritual rest, and for the believer there is also a final rest in heaven that awaits us.

John Owen described five features of this spiritual rest for the believer:·

Rest means peace with God.· 
Rest means freedom from a servile, bondage-like spirit in the worship and service of God.· 
Rest means deliverance from the burden of Mosaic observance.· 
Rest means the freedom of worship according to the gospel.· 
Rest means the rest that God Himself enjoys.
(David Guzik, Hebrews 4 study, Blue Letter Bible)

According to verses 14-15, why is Jesus greater than every other high priest?

Because He was tempted in every way, He can empathize with our weaknesses. Because He suffered and died, He can empathize with our suffering.

Most importantly we have a high priest who was not held down by death. After becoming the ultimate sacrifice for our sin, He rose from the dead and ascended to Heaven.

Chapter 5 – Jesus, Our Eternal Priest

Who did God appoint as the first high priest under the Levitical law? See Exodus 28:1

Aaron and his sons were appointed as priests. Because Aaron’s garments were unique from his sons, we can deduce that he was appointed as the high priest.

Hundreds of years earlier, we’re introduced to Melchizedek in Genesis Chapter 14. Who appointed him as high priest? And who appointed Jesus as our High Priest?

They were both designated by God.

In Verse 10, what designation was given to Jesus?

A high priest.

Why was it hard for some readers to understand what the author was saying to the Hebrews?

They didn’t try to understand, and so the author makes a comparison with infancy and maturity. We see by the comparison that maturity comes by exercising our faith. Like Christ, we must learn to be submissive and obedient through our suffering.

Again, the Greek word “teleioo” (Strong’s G5048) appears in this chapter, when in Verse 9 the author says that Christ was made “perfect.”  What does this word mean?

To carry through completely, to accomplish, finish, bring to an end.

To whom does the author say that Jesus is the source of salvation?

For all who obey Him.

How did Christ’s suffering prepare Him for the office of the High Priest?

He learned obedience to the Father through His suffering.

How does the author describe mature believers in the last verse?

Mature believers constantly train themselves to distinguish good from evil.

Chapter 6 – A Warning not to Fall Away

What are the basic principles of the gospel that the author mentions at the beginning of this chapter?

  • The foundation of repentance
  • Faith in God
  • Instruction about baptisms
  • The laying on of hands
  • The resurrection of the dead
  • Eternal judgment.

What agricultural comparison does the author make to salvation? What parable might this remind you of?

He compares believers and non believers to land that drinks in the rain and produces a crop to worthless land that produces thorns and thistles.

Jesus gave us a similar illustration in “the parable of the sower.”
Matthew 13:1-23, Mark 4:1-20, and Luke 8:4-15

Who are the readers instructed to imitate?

Those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

Take Note

In understanding this chapter, it’s important that we rightly divide scripture taking God’s Word in context with the rest of the Bible. You cannot look at Hebrews 6:4-6 apart from its context, it grammatical historical setting, or the unity of what the entire scripture teaches. You can’t divorce all of the other principles from the meaning of the text. 

Here we read that it’s impossible for those who have tasted the Word of God and have fallen away to be brought back to repentance. And yet we see that in Luke 22, Peter denied Jesus not once but three times. In Luke 15 we read the parable of the prodigal son who left his father’s home, squandered his wealth, and ate table scraps with the pigs. In both of these cases, the men repented and were restored.

This scripture does not teach that if somebody backslides, or blows it, that he can never come back to the Lord. The warning is to the Hebrews who had left the temple sacrifices, who had come into a relationship with Jesus, and who were now turning away. The writer is talking about those that had finally apostatized and permanently turned away. If you were to permanently turn away from faith in Jesus Christ and went back to trusting in the Jewish sacrifice for the covering of your sin, and the rituals; and if you should die in that state, those sacrifices and the blood covering could never atone for your sins.

We must take these words as a stern warning that turning away from God is a dangerous choice. Any time we step out of God’s will, we put our soul in danger. 1 Timothy 4:2 talks about a conscience that’s been seared with a hot iron, illustrating the dangers that come with ignoring our sin.

Many have different beliefs as to what this portion of scripture means. The eternal security issue is difficult and there are two sides to the coin:

One is the keeping power of God. That no one can pluck you out of God’s hand. When you are in Christ, you are secure. You don’t lose your salvation simply because you backslide. But the question would be, were you ever saved to begin with?

Beside the sovereignty of God, the other side is the free will of Man. Man has volition, or the right to choose. He continues to make choices after salvation, and just because we surrender our lives to Christ, God does not remove the ability to choose. 

Both of those truths are woven together in the scripture. Why do we try to divide them? 

We do know that we are eternally secure as long as we abide in Christ and yet still know that we have a free will. 

What does the author mean when he says “crucify the Son of God all over again?”

David Guzik explains this passage well when he writes, “This difficult passage is best understood in the context of Hebrews 6:1-2.The writer to the Hebrews means that if they retreat back to Judaism, all the religious “repentance” in the world will do them no good. Retreating from distinctive Christianity into the “safe” ideas and customs of their former religious experience is to forsake Jesus, and to essentially crucify Him again. This is especially true for these ancient Christians from a Jewish background, since the religious customs they took up again likely included animal sacrifice for atonement, denying the total work of Jesus for them on the cross.”

Why did God confirm His promise to Abraham with an oath?

Because God cannot lie, His promise was already more than enough. Because He wanted to make the unchanging nature of His purpose very clear, however, He confirmed that promise with an oath.

By these two unchangeable things (His promise and His oath), the heirs of the promise are encouraged.

What hope is the author talking about in Verse 19?

While hope is often little more than a lofty idea or dream, the hope we read about in this chapter is quite different. The author makes every effort to assure us that our hope is as firm and secure as an anchor to that of a ship.

We might hope that our baby sleeps through the night or hope that our favorite team wins the game, but the hope we have in Jesus Christ is not based on wishful thinking, it’s anchored in the reality that we have a future beyond this world.

What significance does the tearing of the veil in Matthew 27:51 have in relation to this chapter?

The moment that Jesus gave up His spirit, the Bible tells us that the curtain in the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom. The length, the width, and the thickness of this veil make this a momentous event.

God was showing us right there and then that the law was fulfilled as Jesus entered the Holy of Holies on our behalf to make a sacrifice once and for all. That very moment that our sin was atoned for, the partition dividing God from mankind was removed.

That’s all for today. I’ll see you on Monday for chapters 7-9.

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About the Author

Darlene Schacht and her husband Michael live in Manitoba Canada where the summers are beautiful and the winters are cold. Together they’ve come to learn that relationships aren’t always easy, but that marriage, the way God intended it to be, is a treasure worth fighting for.

She began her publishing journey about twelve years ago when she pioneered one of the first online magazines for Christian women, known at the time as “Christian Women Online Magazine.” After three years, Darlene left CWO to blog as a solo author at Time-Warp Wife Ministries.

It was also during this transition that she worked alongside actress Candace Cameron Bure to write the NYT Best-Selling book, Reshaping it All: Motivation for Spiritual and Physical FitnessReshaping it All was the winner of both the 2011 USA Best Book Awards and the 2012 Christian Reading Retailers Choice Awards.

Author of more than 15 books, Darlene continues to write and to minister to her readers through her blog at TimeWarpWife.com.

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You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene Schacht
The Time-Warp Wife

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