How to Read Hebrews
During the month of August, our church will be reading the book of Hebrews. Use this study guide to help you as you read this amazing book.
What’s Hebrews All About?
Hebrews is a beautiful book among the New Testament letters. It reads more like a well-crafted sermon, but it does end with greetings typical of a letter. The author is unknown. The letter is called Hebrews because it is assumed to have been written to Jewish Christians. And it’s all about Jesus.
There seemed to be a temptation for these believers to go back to their Jewish practices rather than clinging to their hope in Christ. So the Pastor works through the people, images, and systems of the Old Testament, showing how Christ is better than them all. The letter has deep reflections on the person and work of Jesus. It covers broad strokes of Old Testament history. It offers challenging warnings and calls us to faithfulness in Christ. The book is a beautiful call for us to come and see that Jesus is better.
Outline of The Book
1:1–14 | Jesus, the Better Son
2:1–18 | Jesus, the Better Adam
3:1–19 | Jesus, the Better Moses
4:1–13 | Jesus, the Better Joshua
4:14–6:12 | Jesus, the Better High Priest
6:13–7:10 | Jesus, the Better Melchizedek
7:11–28 | Jesus, the Better Priesthood
8:1–13 | Jesus, the Better Covenant
9:1–10:18 | Jesus, the Better Temple & Sacrifice
10:19–39 | Draw Near to God
11:1–40 | Live As People of Faith
12:1–17 | Run the Race with Endurance
12:18–29 | Offer Your Worship to God
13:1–25 | Live as a Sacrifice to God
Things to Look For
Look for the glories of Christ. This book has some of the most incredibly rich descriptions of the person and work of Christ in the whole Bible. As you read, ask yourself—what glory of Christ is God putting on display here? Let the book lead you deeper in your love and worship for Jesus.
Look for the Old Testament. This letter is swimming in Old Testament references and allusions. There are over 30 direct quotes and over 50 other allusions to the Hebrew Bible. Look for how the Pastor engages the Old Testament and finds it all pointing to Jesus.
Look for promises and warnings. Hebrews has some of the most familiar warning passages in the New Testament. At first glance, these can seem to teach that you can lose your salvation. But the promises and warnings in the book are like two sides of the same coin—they are both meant to call us to cling to our hope in Christ.
Look for practical wisdom and help. While the book is deeply theological, there is lots of practical wisdom. The book can help you draw near to God, to press into faith, to pursue holiness, and to live a daily life of worship.
Look for the call to cling to Christ. The whole book is a call to cling to Christ. Look for that thread running through the whole book as you read. And let your heart be attentive to that call. Let reading this book this month help you be unwavering in your hope and unshaken in your faith in Jesus.
Tips for Reading
Read a chapter a day and you can read the whole book twice this month. Read half a chapter a day to read the book once this month. Take about 45 minutes one day and read the whole book in one sitting.
Take lots of notes. Sometimes the Old Testament references and the flow of argument can be a bit much. Grab a pen. Track the arguments. Note the quotations. Underline main ideas. This will help you greatly.
Talk with someone about the glories of Christ. Get together with other believers and talk about the glories of Jesus you see in this book. You’ll be encouraged and you’ll encourage someone else too.
Ask God to draw you near in Christ as you read. Don’t read this letter just to read, but use this beautiful book to daily draw you close to God in Jesus.