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How to Build an Unshakable Faith

An introduction to the book of Hebrews

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom He also made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,  having become so much better than the angels, to the extent that He has inherited a more excellent name than they. – Hebrews 1:1-4 NASB

In his commentary on the Book of Hebrews, Chuck Swindoll says,

“The letter to the Hebrews isn’t casual bedside reading. Dense, deep, complex, compelling, profound, and practical, it requires mental focus and spiritual motivation to grasp its content and grapple with its application. But the return on this big investment has benefits that pay off in eternal dividends.”

The Epistle of Hebrews, written around A.D. 65, addresses Christians facing social and religious turmoil. It was writing to a church in Rome. Its author remains anonymous but is believed to be a prominent figure associated with Timothy and Paul. This epistle aims to encourage Jewish believers enduring persecution, urging them to maintain faith in Jesus as their Messiah and dissuading them from reverting to old covenant customs.

The author presents a straightforward theme: Jesus Christ is chosen and superior to all things.

“Christ is presented as superior.  The truths deposited about Christ by the Holy Spirit in the thirteen chapters of this letter can enable a believer in any age and area to persevere in faith, hope, and love amid trials, temptations, and time.” – Chuck Swindoll

Now let's look at some significant themes that arise in Hebrews that will help us when we examine individual passages and verses.

First: Hebrews is a book of evaluation.

One of the main tasks the writer sets out to accomplish is to establish that Jesus is superior in his person and that his path of salvation is superior to the Mosaic system.

To this end, the author uses the word better thirteen times in this book.

Here's some examples:

  • Hebrews 1:4 Jesus is better than the angels.

  • Hebrews 7:19 He brought in a better hope.

  • Hebrews 8:6 he is the mediator of a better covenant, Which is established upon better promises.

Another word repeated several times in this book is the word perfect, used fourteen times.

It relates to a perfect standing with God.

The writer explains that a perfect standing with God could never be accomplished through the Levitical system of priesthood. (Heb 7:11) Jesus Christ offered himself as a final offering for our sins once and for all, creating the pathway for a perfect standing with God.

Heb 10:14 says, “For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.”

Eternal is the next significant word used repeatedly in this letter.

Here's some examples of this:

  • Heb 5:9 “Christ is the author of eternal salvation.”Through his death

  • Heb 9:12 He “obtained eternal redemption"

  • Heb 9:15 He shares with all believers “the promise of eternal inheritance.”

One way to view the message of Hebrews is that it presents Jesus as superior to all religions upon evaluation.

When it comes to faith and practice, Jesus provides the better way; he alone provides the perfect standing with God; no one comes to the Father except through him. Therefore, he alone can offer eternal life. And his throne is established forever with no aid from human beings.

Secondly, Hebrews is a book of exhortation.

But I urge you, brethren, bear with this word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly. – Hebrews 13:22

The writer calls this letter “this word of exhortation.” The word exhortation means encouragement

We can gather that this book was not written to discourage but to encourage believers. The author mentions this because of what scholars call the five warning passages of Hebrews.

To understand these passages, we must remember that this book begins with a declaration, in chapter 1:1 the writer says God is speaking.

  • He spoke in the past through prophets, angels, and leaders. But in the last days, God has spoken through his son Jesus Christ. Near the end of the book, the writer says, In Ch 12:25 “See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking.” In other words, the challenge in this book is that God is speaking; we have his word; now, what are we going to do with it?  

The warning or exhortation passages both show us what happens If we neglect God’s word or fail to listen when he is speaking.

  1. Drifting from the Word 2:1-4 (neglect)

  2. Doubting the Word 3:7-4:13 (hard heart)

  3. Dullness toward the Word 5:11-6:20 (sluggishness)

  4. Despising the Word 10:26-39 (willfulness)

  5. Defying the Word 12:14-29 (refusing to hear)

These passages reveal a dangerous progression that begins with refusing to heed God’s word.

We can gather that one reason the writer includes such exhortations is because some were drifting from their confidence in Christ. Some were turning back and rejecting the word of God.

It's important to acknowledge the potential for drifting away from God, as warned in the Bible, especially in the last days when many will fall away from the faith. Therefore, studying this book is essential as it helps us discern if we are at risk of falling away and enables us to take the necessary steps to remain steadfast in our faith.

The Book of Hebrews serves as both a book of evaluation and exhortation. It prompts us to reevaluate the profound claims of Christ and the significance of His sacrifice, as well as acts as an encouragement for us to continue growing in the grace and knowledge of Christ (2 Peter 3:18).

About Pastor Bob Moya

Pastor Bob Moya has served as the lead pastor with his wife Candace at City Chapel in Arlington, Texas for over 22+ years. He is currently wrapping up his dissertation at Regent University and will graduate in the spring of 2024 with a doctorate degree in Spiritual Renewal and Leadership. When not serving at the church, you'll find Bob enjoying a good read at Barnes & Noble, sipping a nitro cold brew or black coffee at Starbucks, or spending time with his family.


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