Hebrews Week 12

Wesley’s Doctrine of Christian Perfection: Hebrews 6:1

One of John Wesley’s most familiar and misunderstood pastoral benedictions is “go on to perfection.” Full reading and audio »

Hebrews Week 11

A Word of Exhortation: Practice Holiness: Hebrews 12:14–13:25

The Preacher is like a ship’s pilot whose pastoral task is to guide his flock to heaven’s harbor through the dangers they encounter on the journey home. His concluding exhortations, typical of other New Testament letters, signal the foghorn’s warning of dangers ahead. Full reading and audio »

Hebrews Week 10

The Rules of the Race: Hebrews 11:1—12:13

Hebrews is not the roll call of the spiritually bankrupt unfaithful — just the opposite. It’s a celebration of those faithful Old Testament figures who anticipated the Christ and form a “cloud of witnesses” for those who presently follow him. Full reading and audio »

Hebrews Week 9

The Death of God: Hebrews 9:11–10:39

Biblical faith boldly declares Jesus as Lord over every nook and cranny of human existence, including the public square. As such, Christian discipleship practiced in real world terms, according to Jesus’s life and teaching, is cruciformed existence (i.e., shaped by the Cross). Full reading and audio »

Hebrews Week 8

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Hebrews 8–9

Although ancient, biblical texts are never dead — not even past. Rather, they are continually enlivened and made relevant by the Spirit’s inspiration. Full reading and audio »

Hebrews Week 7

Why “Melchizedek” for Heaven’s Sake? Hebrews 7:1–28

Hebrews is a strange read, as exemplified by the appeal to the obscure Old Testament figure of Melchizedek (Genesis 14:17–20). To frustrate us further, we are made aware that this reference to Melchizedek underwrites the importance of the Son’s priestly mediation during the covenant community’s long journey toward the future Promised Land. Full reading and audio »

Hebrews Week 6

Practice Perfection: Hebrews 5:11–6:20

The very idea that the believer could possibly lose her residence in God’s household — that anything we do is greater than the grace God gives — is offensive to some Christians. However we interpret this hard text, it teaches us that thoughtful Christians who bet on eternal life cannot be nonchalant about their future destiny, as though God does all of salvation’s heavy lifting. Full reading and audio »

Hebrews Week 5

The Lead Pastor of a Wilderness Congregation: Hebrews 4:14–5:10

Empathy is the capacity to understand and identify with the experiences of another. Whether this is a trait that evolved as a critical attribute of human nature, as some neurobiologists contend, or a learned behavior developed during our formation, empathy is a necessary element for cultivating community. Full reading and audio »

Hebrews Week 4

A Quality-Built Home: Hebrews 3:1–4:13

By Rob Wall Paul T. Walls Professor of Scripture and Wesleyan Studies Read this week’s Scripture: Hebrews 3:1-4:13 34:42 Enlarge A neighborhood in Chicago attracts clusters of tourists, map in hand, to walk its streets to see the genius of the many homes designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright. Most of these homes are […]

Hebrews Week 3

The Messenger is the Message: Hebrews 1:5–2:18

Paul writes that Christ is the sole referent of Israel’s Scripture; every Old Testament figure and event point to him (Romans 10:4; Acts 17:1–4). The New Testament teaches us that when we read Scripture rightly, the Old Testament discloses the very promise that Christ fulfills — the very word his life and work articulate. Full reading and audio »

Hebrews Week 2

A Sermon’s “Big Idea”: Hebrews 1:1–4

Sermons are not easy listening for small kids! I went to church because there were no other options. My parents squeezed me between them, with my two sisters seated on either side of my parents out of harm’s way. Full reading and audio »

Hebrews Week 1

A Letter Without a Home: Introduction to Hebrews

The Letter to the Hebrews is surely one of Scripture’s most enigmatic books. Not only does its language seem strange to us, it is also an orphaned letter that finds a home neither among Paul’s letters (Romans–Philemon) nor among those from the apostolic Pillars of Jerusalem (James–Jude). Full reading and audio »