December 19

Hebrews 1:1 — 6:20


1 God, who long ago spoke on many occasions and in many ways to our forefathers by means of the prophets, 2 has at the end of these days spoken to us by means of a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the systems of things. 3 He is the reflection of [his] glory and the exact representation of his very being, and he sustains all things by the word of his power; and after he had made a purification for our sins he sat down on the right hand of the Majesty in lofty places. 4 So he has become better than the angels, to the extent that he has inherited a name more excellent than theirs.

5 For example, to which one of the angels did he ever say: “You are my son; I, today, I have become your father”? And again: “I myself shall become his father, and he himself will become my son”? 6 But when he again brings his Firstborn into the inhabited earth, he says: “And let all God’s angels do obeisance to him.”

7 Also, with reference to the angels he says: “And he makes his angels spirits, and his public servants a flame of fire.” 8 But with reference to the Son: “God is your throne forever and ever, and [the] scepter of your kingdom is the scepter of uprightness. 9 You loved righteousness, and you hated lawlessness. That is why God, your God, anointed you with [the] oil of exultation more than your partners.” 10 And: “You at [the] beginning, O Lord, laid the foundations of the earth itself, and the heavens are [the] works of your hands. 11 They themselves will perish, but you yourself are to remain continually; and just like an outer garment they will all grow old, 12 and you will wrap them up just as a cloak, as an outer garment; and they will be changed, but you are the same, and your years will never run out.”

13 But with reference to which one of the angels has he ever said: “Sit at my right hand, until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet”? 14 Are they not all spirits for public service, sent forth to minister for those who are going to inherit salvation?

That is why it is necessary for us to pay more than the usual attention to the things heard by us, that we may never drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved to be firm, and every transgression and disobedient act received a retribution in harmony with justice; 3 how shall we escape if we have neglected a salvation of such greatness in that it began to be spoken through [our] Lord and was verified for us by those who heard him, 4 while God joined in bearing witness with signs as well as portents and various powerful works and with distributions of holy spirit according to his will?

5 For it is not to angels that he has subjected the inhabited earth to come, about which we are speaking. 6 But a certain witness has given proof somewhere, saying: “What is man that you keep him in mind, or [the] son of man that you take care of him? 7 You made him a little lower than angels; with glory and honor you crowned him, and appointed him over the works of your hands. 8 All things you subjected under his feet.” For in that he subjected all things to him [God] left nothing that is not subject to him. Now, though, we do not yet see all things in subjection to him; 9 but we behold Jesus, who has been made a little lower than angels, crowned with glory and honor for having suffered death, that he by God’s undeserved kindness might taste death for every [man].

10 For it was fitting for the one for whose sake all things are and through whom all things are, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Chief Agent of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both he who is sanctifying and those who are being sanctified all [stem] from one, and for this cause he is not ashamed to call them “brothers,” 12 as he says: “I will declare your name to my brothers; in the middle of [the] congregation I will praise you with song.” 13 And again: “I will have my trust in him.” And again: “Look! I and the young children, whom Jehovah gave me.”

14 Therefore, since the “young children” are sharers of blood and flesh, he also similarly partook of the same things, that through his death he might bring to nothing the one having the means to cause death, that is, the Devil; 15 and [that] he might emancipate all those who for fear of death were subject to slavery all through their lives. 16 For he is really not assisting angels at all, but he is assisting Abraham’s seed. 17 Consequently he was obliged to become like his “brothers” in all respects, that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, in order to offer propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of the people. 18 For in that he himself has suffered when being put to the test, he is able to come to the aid of those who are being put to the test.

Consequently, holy brothers, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the apostle and high priest whom we confess—Jesus. 2 He was faithful to the One that made him such, as Moses was also in all the house of that One. 3 For the latter is counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who constructs it has more honor than the house. 4 Of course, every house is constructed by someone, but he that constructed all things is God. 5 And Moses as an attendant was faithful in all the house of that One as a testimony of the things that were to be spoken afterwards, 6 but Christ [was faithful] as a Son over the house of that One. We are the house of that One, if we make fast our hold on our freeness of speech and our boasting over the hope firm to the end.

7 For this reason, just as the holy spirit says: “Today if YOU people listen to his own voice, 8 do not harden YOUR hearts as on the occasion of causing bitter anger, as in the day of making the test in the wilderness, 9 in which YOUR forefathers made a test of me with a trial, and yet they had seen my works for forty years. 10 For this reason I became disgusted with this generation and said, ‘They always go astray in their hearts, and they themselves have not come to know my ways.’ 11 So I swore in my anger, ‘They shall not enter into my rest.’”

12 Beware, brothers, for fear there should ever develop in any one of YOU a wicked heart lacking faith by drawing away from the living God; 13 but keep on exhorting one another each day, as long as it may be called “Today,” for fear any one of YOU should become hardened by the deceptive power of sin. 14 For we actually become partakers of the Christ only if we make fast our hold on the confidence we had at the beginning firm to the end, 15 while it is being said: “Today if YOU people listen to his own voice, do not harden YOUR hearts as on the occasion of causing bitter anger.”

16 For who were they that heard and yet provoked to bitter anger? Did not, in fact, all do so who went out of Egypt under Moses? 17 Moreover, with whom did [God] become disgusted for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness? 18 But to whom did he swear that they should not enter into his rest except to those who acted disobediently? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of lack of faith.

Therefore, since a promise is left of entering into his rest, let us fear that sometime someone of YOU may seem to have fallen short of it. 2 For we have had the good news declared to us also, even as they also had; but the word which was heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who did hear. 3 For we who have exercised faith do enter into the rest, just as he has said: “So I swore in my anger, ‘They shall not enter into my rest,’” although his works were finished from the founding of the world. 4 For in one place he has said of the seventh day as follows: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works,” 5 and again in this place: “They shall not enter into my rest.”

6 Since, therefore, it remains for some to enter into it, and those to whom the good news was first declared did not enter in because of disobedience, 7 he again marks off a certain day by saying after so long a time in David’s [psalm] “Today”; just as it has been said above: “Today if YOU people listen to his own voice, do not harden YOUR hearts.” 8 For if Joshua had led them into a place of rest, [God] would not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 So there remains a sabbath resting for the people of God. 10 For the man that has entered into [God’s] rest has also himself rested from his own works, just as God did from his own.

11 Let us therefore do our utmost to enter into that rest, for fear anyone should fall in the same pattern of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is alive and exerts power and is sharper than any two-edged sword and pierces even to the dividing of soul and spirit, and of joints and [their] marrow, and [is] able to discern thoughts and intentions of [the] heart. 13 And there is not a creation that is not manifest to his sight, but all things are naked and openly exposed to the eyes of him with whom we have an accounting.

14 Seeing, therefore, that we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold onto [our] confessing of [him]. 15 For we have as high priest, not one who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tested in all respects like ourselves, but without sin. 16 Let us, therefore, approach with freeness of speech to the throne of undeserved kindness, that we may obtain mercy and find undeserved kindness for help at the right time.

For every high priest taken from among men is appointed in behalf of men over the things pertaining to God, that he may offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He is able to deal moderately with the ignorant and erring ones since he also is surrounded with his own weakness, 3 and on its account he is obliged to make offerings for sins as much for himself as for the people.

4 Also, a man takes this honor, not of his own accord, but only when he is called by God, just as Aaron also [was]. 5 So too the Christ did not glorify himself by becoming a high priest, but [was glorified by him] who spoke with reference to him: “You are my son; I, today, I have become your father.” 6 Just as he says also in another place: “You are a priest forever according to the manner of Melchizedek.”

7 In the days of his flesh [Christ] offered up supplications and also petitions to the One who was able to save him out of death, with strong outcries and tears, and he was favorably heard for his godly fear. 8 Although he was a Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered; 9 and after he had been made perfect he became responsible for everlasting salvation to all those obeying him, 10 because he has been specifically called by God a high priest according to the manner of Melchizedek.

11 Concerning him we have much to say and hard to be explained, since YOU have become dull in YOUR hearing. 12 For, indeed, although YOU ought to be teachers in view of the time, YOU again need someone to teach YOU from the beginning the elementary things of the sacred pronouncements of God; and YOU have become such as need milk, not solid food. 13 For everyone that partakes of milk is unacquainted with the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to mature people, to those who through use have their perceptive powers trained to distinguish both right and wrong.

For this reason, now that we have left the primary doctrine about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying a foundation again, namely, repentance from dead works, and faith toward God, 2 the teaching on baptisms and the laying on of the hands, the resurrection of the dead and everlasting judgment. 3 And this we will do, if God indeed permits.

4 For it is impossible as regards those who have once for all been enlightened, and who have tasted the heavenly free gift, and who have become partakers of holy spirit, 5 and who have tasted the fine word of God and powers of the coming system of things, 6 but who have fallen away, to revive them again to repentance, because they impale the Son of God afresh for themselves and expose him to public shame. 7 For example, the ground that drinks in the rain which often comes upon it, and that then brings forth vegetation suitable to those for whom it is also cultivated, receives in return a blessing from God. 8 But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is rejected and is near to being cursed; and it ends up with being burned.

9 However, in YOUR case, beloved ones, we are convinced of better things and things accompanied with salvation, although we are speaking in this way. 10 For God is not unrighteous so as to forget YOUR work and the love YOU showed for his name, in that YOU have ministered to the holy ones and continue ministering. 11 But we desire each one of YOU to show the same industriousness so as to have the full assurance of the hope down to the end, 12 in order that YOU may not become sluggish, but be imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

13 For when God made his promise to Abraham, since he could not swear by anyone greater, he swore by himself, 14 saying: “Assuredly in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply you.” 15 And thus after [Abraham] had shown patience, he obtained [this] promise. 16 For men swear by the one greater, and their oath is the end of every dispute, as it is a legal guarantee to them. 17 In this manner God, when he purposed to demonstrate more abundantly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of his counsel, stepped in with an oath, 18 in order that, through two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to the refuge may have strong encouragement to lay hold on the hope set before us. 19 This [hope] we have as an anchor for the soul, both sure and firm, and it enters in within the curtain, 20 where a forerunner has entered in our behalf, Jesus, who has become a high priest according to the manner of Melchizedek forever.