As I said in Part One, the writer to the Hebrews elevates Jesus to be equal with God. He is much higher than the angels, Moses, the Jewish priests, and even the Jewish high priest. He is God with the Father and the Holy Spirit as the one, only-true God.
Then, the writer points us to Jesus as the Starter and Finisher of our faith, Hebrews 12:1-3. He stands at the start of our life’s race, helps us run, and picks us up when we’re exhausted at the end–similar to the Old Testament believers, who are cheering us on in the stands (chapter 11).
It’s astounding to me that the God who created stars, planets, and imperfect me would send the God-man Jesus to live and die perfectly in my place and for my benefit!
It’s also amazing to me that that same God would give me his power through Jesus’ resurrection to make progress toward resurrection perfection, which he will give me through no merit of mine, at my rising again from death to permanent, perfect life.
Thus, since I want to obey God as my heavenly Father, his strength gives me spiritual progress. However, it’s my full responsibility to follow his commands, which I find all through his inspired Scriptures.
Therefore, the inspired writer gives us the following commandments (Hebrews 12:18–13:18):
- Since you belong to the new Jerusalem, not to the old one, don’t refuse to listen to speakers of the Word.
- Be thankful.
- Worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.
- Keep on loving each other.
- Entertain strangers.
- Honor marriage, for God will judge those who have sexual intercourse outside of marriage.
- Keep your lives free from the love of money.
- Be content with what you have.
- Imitate the faith and way of life of your preachers and teachers.
- Don’t follow strange teachings that don’t agree with the Bible.
- Be willing to bear the same disgrace of persecution that Jesus bore.
- Offer to God a sacrifice of praise all the time by confessing Jesus’ name.
- Don’t forget to do good and share with others as your sacrifice to God.
- Obey your leaders and submit to their authority, since they will answer to God for their actions.
- Pray for them also.
What response do you have to the writer to the Hebrews? Which commands are most relevant in today’s culture? How do we find power to make progress for our growing in knowing God in these ways?