General Outlines of the Epistle to the Hebrews
The Being of Jesus Christ
1. He is the Son of God ---- the perfect God (chap.1);
2. He is the Son of man ---- the perfect man (chap. 2);
3. He is the Apostle of God as well as the High Priest (chap.3-7);
4. He is the Mediator (chap.8:1-10:18);
5. He is the way ---- a new and living way (chap.10:19-39);
6. He is the example to believers (chap.11-12);
7. He is the great Shepherd (chap.13);
Jesus in the Epistle to the Hebrews
1. Jesus is the Son of God (chap.1);
2. Jesus is the Son of man (chap.2);
3. The life experience of His incarnation of Jesus (chap.2-5);
4. The redemption work of Jesus (chap.5-7);
5. The works Jesus had fulfilled on the earth and His works in the heaven (chap.7-10);
6. The influence of Jesus on believers’ spiritual life (chap.11-13);
a. He is the object of our faith ---- obtained a good testimony by faith (chap.11);
b. He is the goal of our hope ---- seek with endurance because of hope (chap.12);
c. He is the source of our love ---- be perfected by Him on account of love (chap.13);
Jesus Christ and Christians
1. Jesus Christ Himself (chap.1-7);
a. His honor: more honorable than the prophets and the angels (chap.1);
b. His humiliation: became the Son of man and perfected the salvation (chap.2);
c. His ascension: be the High Priest in the heavens forever (chap.3-7);
2. The blood of Jesus Christ ---- His relation with Christians (chap.8-10);
a. Made the new covenant and became the Mediator of the better covenant (chap.8);
b. He offered Himself once for all and obtained the eternal redemption (9:1-10:18);
c. There is a new and living way which He consecrated for us (10:19-39);
3. What shall Christians do (chap.11-13)?
a. Do the works of faith (chap.);
b. Keep the endurance of hope (chap.12);
c. Present the labor of love (chap.13);
He Takes Away the First that He May Establish the Second (10:9)
1. God spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, and has in these last days spoken to us by His Son (1:1-2).
2. In time past God spoke through angels and now the salvation is spoken by the Lord (2:2-3).
3. In time past Moses was the servant in the house of God and now Christ as a Son over His own house (3:5-6).
4. In time past Joshua did not give the people rest, and now there remains a rest for the people of God (4:8-9).
5. In time past the high priests were chosen among men, and now Christ as the High Priest is the Son of God (5:1, 5).
6. In time past God promised Abraham, and now God promises the spiritual seed of Abraham (6:13, 17).
7. In time past the priesthood was prevented by death from continuing, and now the High Priest continues forever (7:23-24).
8. In time past the priests served in tabernacle erected by man, and now the High Priest fulfills the ministry in the true tabernacle in the heavens (8:2, 4).
9. In time past, the gifts and sacrifices could not him who performed the service perfect, and now Christ has appeared once to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself (9:9, 26).
10. In time past, the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest, and now we are able to enter into the Holiest with boldness (9:8; 10:19-20).
11. In time past who died in faith did not receive the promise, and now God has provided something better for us (11:13, 39-40).
12. In time past, the people came to the Mount Sinai and could not approach it, and now we have come to Mount Zion, namely, the heavenly Jerusalem (12:18-23).
13. In time past, the priests of the Israelites had an altar from which they had right to eat, and now we have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat (13:10).
The Transcendent Christ and His Believers
1. The transcendent revelations ---- the Son of God Jesus Christ (1:1-4:13);
a. Christ is more excellent than the prophets (1:1-3);
b. Christ is better than the angels (1:4-14);
c. The first warning ---- the danger of neglecting the salvation (2:1-4);
d. Christ has obtained honor and glory for men (2:5-13);
e. Christ’s victory over death and His suffering for men (2:14-18);
f. Christ is more honorable than Moses (3:1-6);
g. The second warning ---- the danger of unbelief and being hardened in heart (3:7-4:13);
2. The transcendent High Priest ---- the Son of God Jesus Christ (4:17-7:28);
a. Christ is the great High Priest ---- the mercy of High Priest (4:14-16).
b. Christ is called as the High Priest by God ---- the title of the High Priest (5:1-10).
c.The third warning ---- the danger of not growing up and of falling away (5:11-6:8).
d. Christ is the High Priest who has entered into the veil ---- He is our hope (6:9-20).
e. Christ is the eternal High Priest ---- His priesthood never changes (7:1-24).
f. Christ is the perfect High Priest ---- He can save us unto the uttermost (7:25-28).
3. The transcendent ministry ---- the Son of God Jesus Christ (8:1-10:18);
a. Christ is the High Priest who has been raised up ---- a Minister in the heavens (8:1-5).
b. Christ is the Mediator of the better covenant ---- the better promise and better ministry (8:6-13).
c. Christ is the High Priest of the good things to come ---- offer the better sacrifices (9:1-10:18).
4. The transcendent example of faith (10:19-11:40);
a. Come to God by the new and living way in faith and hope and love (10:19-25);
b. The fourth warning ---- the willful win and the danger of drawing back (10:26-39);
c. The theme of faith ---- please God by faith (11:1-6);
d. The faith Noah ---- the faith of fearing God (11:7);
e. The faith of Abraham ---- the obedient faith of waiting (11:8-10);
f. The faith of Sarah ---- the faith of turning what is impossible to possible (11:11-12);
g. The faith of the forefathers ---- the faith of sojourner (11:13-16);
h. The faith of Abraham’s offering Isaac ---- the faith of resurrection (11:17-19);
i. The faith of Isaac ---- the faith of blessing (11:20);
j. The faith of Jacob ---- the faith of worship (11:21);
k. The faith of Joseph ---- the faith of not dying (11:22);
l. The faith of the parents of Moses ---- the fearless faith (11:23);
m. The faith of Moses ---- the faith of self-denial (11:24-28);
n. The faith of the Israelites ---- the faith of salvation and victory (11:29-30);
o. The faith of Rahab ---- the faith of obedience (11:31);
p. The faith of the giants in faith ---- the faith is strong and bold and suffers afflictions (11:32-40);
5. The transcendent example of hope (12:1-29);
a. The example of running the race of Christians (12:1-4);
b. The profit of enduring the chastening of God the Father (12:5-13);
c. The result of forsaking the hope (selling the birthright) (12:14-17);
d. The better hope of the new covenant ---- the heavenly Jerusalem (12:18-24);
e. The fifth warning ---- serve God with reverence and godly fear for the kingdom that cannot be shaken (12:25-29);
6. The transcendent example of love (13:1-25);
a. Love men ---- love, entertainment and remembrance (13:1-3);
b. Love oneself ---- not commit fornication or adultery, and conduct with covetousness (13:4-6);
c. Love the word of God ---- not be carried about with various and strange doctrines (13:7-9);
d. Love God ---- go forth to Jesus outside the camp and offer the sacrifices that God pleases (13:10-16);
e. Love the servants of God ---- obey those who rule over us and pray for them (13:17-25);
The Proper Attitudes that We Are Supposed to Have Toward “Him”
1. We have to “hear” His words (1:2);
2. We have to “see” Him only (2:9).
3. We have to “consider” Him (3:1).
4. We have to “draw near to” Him with boldness (4:16).
5. We have to “learn” Him and “obey” Him (5:8-9).
6. We have to “hold fast” Him (6:18-20) and not put Him to shame (6:6).
7. We have to come to God “by Him” (7:25).
8. We have to know that we “have” such a High Priest and “know” Him (8:1, 11).
9. We have to “wait for” Him (9:28).
10. We have to enjoy His precious blood and works, that is, we are “through Him” (10:19-20).
11. We have to “see” the invisible Lord in spirit (11:27).
12. We have to “look unto” Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith (12:2).
13. We have to “go forth” to Him outside the camp (13:13).
Be Seated at the Right Hand of the Majesty in the Heavens (Four Times in this Epistle)
1. As the Son of God (1:3);
2. As the High Priest (8:1);
3. As the Son of man (10:12);
4. As the author and finisher of faith (12:2);
Christ Who is Above the Heavens and the Heavenly Reward
1. The rank of Christ:
a. He has passed through the heavens (4:14);
b. He is higher than the heavens (7:26);
c. He has been into the heaven (9:24);
d. He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (1:3);
2. The heavenly reward of Christ:
a. The heavenly calling (3:1);
b. The heavenly gifts (6:4);
c. The heavenly things (8:5);
d. The better heavenly country (11:16);
e. The heavenly Jerusalem (12:22);
1. The better name (1:4);
2. The better works (6:9);
3. The better status (7:7);
4. The better hope (7:19);
5. The better covenant (7:22; 8:6);
6. The better ministry (8:6);
7. The better promise (8:6);
8. The better sacrifices (9:23; 11:4);
9. The better enduring possession (10:34);
10. The better country (11:16);
11. The better resurrection (11:35);
12. The better speaking (11:40);
13. The better (12:24);
Christ as the Son
1. His rank ---- the Son of God, His divinity ---- six quotations of the old scriptures prove His excellence (1:5-12);
2. His revelation ---- the Son of man, His humanity ---- He is a little lower than the angels (2:6);
3. His rule ---- the son of David, His authority ---- all in subjection under Him (2:8-9);
4. His role ---- the son of Abraham, His ministry ---- save the seed of Abraham (2:16);
What Shall the Faith Inherit?
1. Inherit salvation ---- be served by the angels (the minister spirits) (1:14);
2. Inherit promises ---- enter into the heaven with sure and steadfast hope (6:17-18);
3. Inherit the righteousness which is according to faith ---- (11:7)
The Seven Strongholds of the Saints
1. To hear ---- give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away (2:1);
2. To beware ---- beware, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief (3:12);
3. To exhort ---- exhort one another daily, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin (3:13);
4. To be diligent ---- be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience (4:11);
5. To consider ---- consider, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls (12:3);
6. To make straight… ---- make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated (12:13);
7. To watch ---- look carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble (12:15);
The Dangerous Signs ---- the Red Light Shall be Turned to Green
1. Do not drift away, but give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard (2:1);
2. Do not move, but hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end (3:6, 14);
3. Do not fall, but enter into that rest with diligence (4:11);
4. Do not fall away, but go on to perfection (6:1-3);
5. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines, but be established by grace (13:8-9);
Five Great Exhortations
1. Do not neglect the great salvation (2:1-4);
2. Let us go into the rest promised by God (3:7-4:13);
3. Let us go on to perfection (5:11-6:12);
4. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering (10:19-39);
5. Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us (12:1-29);
Jesus We Have Seen (Eight Times in the Epistle that Mention the Name of “Jesus” Only)
1. Jesus ---- be crowned with glory and honor (2:9);
2. Jesus ---- the Apostle and High Priest of our confession (3:1);
3. Jesus ---- become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek (6:20);
4. Jesus ---- become a “surety” of a better covenant (7:22);
5. Jesus ---- open a new and living way for us so that we are enabled to enter the Holiest (10:19-20);
6. Jesus ---- the author and finisher of our faith (12:2);
7. Jesus ---- the “Mediator” of the new testament (12:24);
8. Jesus ---- suffer outside of the gate and sanctify the people with His own blood (13:12);
The High Priest Jesus Christ
1. The merciful and faithful High Priest ---- aid those who are tempted (2:17-18);
2. The Apostle and High Priest of our confession ---- be faithful to Him who appointed Him (3:1-2);
3. The great High Priest who has passed through the heavens ---- sympathize with our weaknesses (4:14-15);
4. The High Priest called by God according to the order of Melchizedek ---- become the author of eternal salvation (5:9-10);
5. The High Priest who enters the veil ---- the sure and steadfast anchor of the soul (6:19-20);
6. The High Priest has become higher than the heavens ---- holy and fitting for us (7:25-27);
7. The High Priest who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens ---- (8:1, 6);
8. The High Priest of the good things to come ---- obtain the eternal redemption with His own blood (9:11-12);
9. The High Priest over the house of God ---- a new and living way which consecrated for us (10:20-21);
The Steps of Obtaining the Rest
1. “Consider Jesus” (3:1);
2. “Beware, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief” (3:12);
3. “Exhort one another daily … lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (3:13);
4. “Let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it” (4:1);
5. “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest” (4:11);
Hear His Words or Harden One’s Heart
1. Today if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts (3:7-8, 15; 4:7);
2. Three elements that bring about the hardening of one’s heart:
a. An evil heart of unbelief (3:12);
b. The deceitfulness of sin (3:13);
c. Come short of the promise of God (4:1);
Seven Conditions of the Heart in this Epistle
1. The heart that goes astray (3:10);
2. The hardened heart (3:8-15);
3. The evil heart of unbelief (3:12);
4. The heart that discerns (4:12);
5. The heart that is sprinkled with pure water (10:22);
6. The true heart (10:22);
7. The heart that is established (13:9);
Do Not Forsake
1. Do not depart from the living God in an evil heart of unbelief (3:12);
2. Do not fall away, lest one should not renew again to repentance (6:6);
3. Do not cast away the confidence, which has great reward (10:35);
4. Do not refuse Him who speaks from heaven, for He is a consuming fire (12:35, 29);
Five Reasons for Approaching the Throne of Grace with Boldness
1. For He is able to save to the uttermost (7:25);
2. For He has passed through the heavens (4:14; 9:24);
3. For He is the Son of God, both God and man (4:14);
4. For He can sympathize with our weakness (4:15);
5. For He was in all points tempted as we are (4:15);
The High Priest that God Elects
1. His person ---- Jesus the Son of God (4:14-15; 5:5);
2. His preparation ---- suffer (5:8);
3. His pattern ---- according to the order of Melchizedek (5:10);
4. His people ---- we who have been saved by grace (6:20);
5. His power ---- eternal (7:25);
6. His purpose as priest ---- offer Himself to redeem men and make intercession for them (7:25-27);
7. His place ---- in the heavens (9:24);
Seven Aspects of the Eternal Truth
1. The eternal salvation ---- Christ is the origin (5:9);
2. The eternal judgment ---- the elementary principles of Christ (6:2);
3. The eternal redemption ---- the blood of Christ (9:12);
4. The eternal Spirit ---- Christ presents Himself to God through the eternal Spirit (9:14);
5. The eternal inheritance ---- the promise of the eternal inheritance is given to those who are called (9:15);
6. The eternal covenant ---- become effective through the blood of Christ (13:20);
7. The eternal perfection ---- be the High Priest, for He is the Son of God (7:28);
Our High Priest
1. His ordination ---- out of God (5:5-6);
2. His obedience ---- become man (5:8-9);
3. His omnipotence ---- the High Priest (4:14-16);
Three Pictures Describing Believers’ Imperfect Conditions of Life
1. Baby ---- they ought to be grown up, and yet they can only be partakes only of milk, not solid food (5:13-14);
2. Student ---- for though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God (5:12);
3. Building ---- they are supposed to be perfect, and yet the foundation of the elementary principles of Christ shall still be laid again (6:1-2);
The Comparisons between the Tabernacle in the Heavens and that on the Earth
1. The tabernacle in the heavens is erected by the Lord, and the tabernacle on the earth is erected by man (8:2);
2. The tabernacle in the heavens is the real body, and the tabernacle on the earth is the copy and shadow (8:5);
3. The tabernacle in the heavens has no the hindrance of the veil, and the tabernacle on the earth was divided into the first part and the second part (9:6-8; 10:19-20);
4. The tabernacle is in the heavens greater and more perfect, and the tabernacle on the earth was imperfect with blemish (9:9, 11, 23);
5. The tabernacle in the heavens is spiritual and glorious and eternal, and the tabernacle on the earth was of the world and would be destroyed (9:11);
The Comparisons between the New Testament and the Old Testament
1. The Old Testament is the preparation of the New Testament, and the priesthood on the earth was only the copy and shadow of things in the heavens (8:1-5);
2. The New Testament is established by the better promises, and the Old Testament had been faultless and is becoming obsolete and growing old and is ready to vanish away (8:6-13);
3. The New Testament replaces and abolishes the Old Testament, and all the rules and customs of the Old Testament shall be ceased (9:1-10);
4. The sacrifice of the New Testament is better (9:11-28);
a. It was the blood of the goats and calves in the Old Testament, and the blood of the Lord Himself in the New Testament.
b. In the Old Testament, it was the washing of one’s body, and in the New Testament, it is the washing of one’s heart.
c. The sacrifices in the Old Testament were many times, and the sacrifice in the New Testament is once for all.
5. The sacrifices of the Old Testament can in no wise put away the sin forever, and yet the Lord Jesus in the New Testament “offered one sacrifice for sins forever” and “has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” (10:1-18);
The New Testament is the Explanation and Implementation and Guarantee of the Eternal Will of God
1. The New Testament (8:1-13);
a. Christ in the Spirit is the true meaning of all things of the New Testament (8:1-5);
1) To obtain Jesus in glory is the key of all spiritual things (8:1);
2) The specific ministry of Jesus who is glorified is to make the spiritual tabernacle (8:2);
3) The glorious Christ is the pattern revealed in the making of the tabernacle (8:5);
b. Christ in the Spirit is the content and reality of the New Testament (8:6-13);
1) The better promise and the better covenant and the better ministry (8:6);
2) The faults of the Old Testament and the necessity of the New Testament (8:7-9);
3) The reality and foundation of the New Testament (8:10-13);
2. The spirit of the New Testament is that Jesus has fulfilled the “Holy of the Holiest” (9:1-11);
a. “Holy of the Holiest” speaks of the highest mind and counsel (9: 3, 8).
b. “Holy of the Holiest” speaks of the secret of Christ’s salvation (9:6-10).
c. “Holy of the Holiest” speaks of the infinite fullness of Christ (9:1-5).
d. “Holy of the Holiest” speaks of God’s calling to all those who have been favored (9:8, 11).
3. The enjoyment of the power of the New Testament is through the full spiritual meaning of the precious blood (9:11-10:18).
a. The precious blood enables us to serve the living God (9:11-14).
1) The power of the precious blood lies in the excellent humanity of Christ (9:14);
2) The power of the precious blood opens the way to the Holy of the Holiest (9:11-12);
3) The effect of the precious blood lies in the eternal Spirit (9:14);
4) The power of the precious blood enables us to serve God (9:14);
b. The precious blood enables us to the promise of the eternal inheritance (9:15-28).
1) The Lord’s death fulfilled the redemption of all the transgressions of men (9:15);
2) The Lord’s death opened the heavenly blessings to us (9:15);
3) The Lord’s death brought the testament into force (9:16-17);
4) The blood, by the Lord’s death once for all, has become the proof of the New Testament (9:18-22);
5) The blood, by the Lord’s death once for all, has the eternal effect of redemption (9:23-28);
c. The precious blood enables us to serve the living God (10:1-18).
1) He offered His body once for all according to the will of God to sanctify us (10:1-10).
2) He had offered one sacrifice for sins to perfect us (10:11-14).
3) The Spirit through the New Testament witnesses that sin has been put away once for all (10:15-18).
Christ and the Holy Places in the Heavens
1. He has opened the Holy Places in the heavens (9:11-12).
2. He has purified the Holy Places in the heavens (9:20-23).
3. He appears in the presence of God in the Holy Places in the heavens (9:24).
4. He has consecrated a new and living way for us to the Holiest (10:19-22).
5. He offers our praise to God in the Holiest in the heavens (13:15).
The Responses that We Are Supposed to Have Toward the High Priest ---- Faith, Hope and Love
1. The outline (10:19-25);
a. The High Priest has consecrated a new and living way for us and is over the house of God (10:19-21).
b. Let us draw near to God in full assurance of faith (10:22).
c. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope (10:23).
d. Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works (10:24-25).
2. How to be in full assurance of faith (11:1-40)?
a. To know the real meaning of faith (11:1-3);
b. To imitate those who have obtained good testimonies by faith (11:4-39);
c. To believe God in order to obtain the better things God has provided for us with them (11:40);
3. How to hold fast the confession of our hope (12:1-29)?
a. Follow the steps of the witnesses and run the race by looking unto the Lord Jesus (12:1-4);
b. Be willing to receive the chastening of God the Father (12:5-13);
c. Look carefully for fear of being defiled and hold fast what cannot be shaken and fear God (12:14-29);
4. How to stir up love (13:1-25)?
a. Practice the works of love in the daily conduct (13:1-6);
b. Imitate the examples of love in spiritual life (13:7-17);
c. Pray to God for perfection in every good work (13:18-25).
── Caleb Huang《Christian Digest Bible Commentary Series》
Translated by Mary Zhou