- LESSON 37
A study of this lesson should remind
us that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to
Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son
of Heavenly Father, is our Savior.
The Melchizedek Priesthood is part of
the fulness of the gospel.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is the new
covenant between God and his children.
Those who exercise faith in Jesus Christ
will inherit a place in the kingdom.
"When Paul returned to Jerusalem from
his third mission, he found that many Jewish Christians were still convinced
that obedience to the law of Moses was essential to salvation. The
epistle to the Hebrews was written to persuade them that the law of Moses
had been fulfilled in Christ and had been replaced by the higher gospel
law." (Gospel Doctrine Teacher's Manual ©1989, p35)
"Hebrews is our finest scriptural commentary
(aside from some key Book of Mormon passages) on the Old Testament and
on the manner in which the doctrine of Christ's atoning sacrifice was clearly
signified in the Old Testament...
"One of the great
contributions of the Book of Hebrews is that it shows the ever-present
role of Jesus Christ in men's lives." (Life and Teachings of Jesus &
His Apostles, p382)
Hebrews 1:1-2: "God,
who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers
by the prophets,
"Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed
heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds."
Hebrews 1:3: "Who
being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person,
and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself
purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high."
Anciently God spoke to the prophets
(Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Malachi, etc).
Paul says that God has now spoken to
the inhabitants of the earth through his Son, Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is the Father's heir to
all things, all that the Father has also belongs to Jesus Christ.
The "worlds" were created by
I find it interesting that we find this
statement in the New Testament referring to the "worlds" created by the
Master. And yet we don't see Christianity teaching that there are
This verse provides important information
about our Heavenly Father. Jesus Christ is in the "express image"
of his Father. Heavenly Father is a separate and distinct being and
not some force without body, parts or passions.
READ HEBREWS 2:17-18.
Christ suffered being tempted.
READ HEBREWS 4:15-16.
Christ tempted as we are.
READ HEBREWS 5:8-9.
Christ learned obedience by that which he suffered.
WHY DO YOU THINK PAUL EMPHASIZED THAT
ALTHOUGH JESUS WAS THE SON OF GOD, HE WAS ALSO SUBJECT TO TEMPTATION AND
SUFFERING DURING HIS MORTAL LIFE?
To teach that Christ has not required
anything of us that he was not willing to do himself.
He has set for us the perfect example
towards which we should look.
HOW DO YOU THINK HIS MORTAL SUFFERING
AND ENDURANCE ENABLE HIM TO HELP US WHEN WE SUFFER?
He has passed through far deeper valleys
in mortality that we will ever comprehend. Having suffered the pain
of the flesh, he is not like a king who never knows the plight of the masses.
He has been one of us, and among us, and knows the human heart. Thus,
when we lean on him, his compassion can reach out and touch us, for he
knows us and our pains of mortality.
The Rest Of the
READ HEBREWS 3:8-15.
The ancient Hebrews were disobedient and unable to enter into the "rest
of the Lord" (see also 4:1-11).
Paul encouraged the Saints to live so
that they might enter into God's rest.
READ HEBREWS 3:17-4:2.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ENTER INTO THE
REST OF THE LORD?
D&C 84:23-24: "Now
this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness,
and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the
face of God;
"But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore,
the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that
they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest
is the fulness of his glory."
Alma 40:12: "And
then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous
are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state
of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles
and from all care, and sorrow."
Joseph F. Smith: "The
ancient prophets speak of 'entering into God's rest'; what does it mean?
To my mind, it means entering into the knowledge and love of God, having
faith in his purpose and in his plan, to such an extent that we know we
are right, and that we are not hunting for something else, we are not disturbed
by every wind of doctrine, or by the cunning and craftiness of men who
lie in wait to deceive. We know of the doctrine that it is of God, and
we do not ask any questions of anybody about it; they are welcome to their
opinions, to their ideas and to their vagaries. The man who has reached
that degree of faith in God that all doubt and fear have been cast from
him, he has entered into 'God's rest,' and he need not fear the vagaries
of men, nor their cunning and craftiness, by which they seek to deceive
and mislead him from the truth. I pray that we may all enter into God's
rest—rest from doubt, from fear, from apprehension of danger, rest from
the religious turmoil of the world..." (Gospel Doctrine, p58)
WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THIS EARLY GENERATION
OF HEBREWS SO THAT WE CAN ENTER INTO GOD'S REST?
Those led out of Egypt were disobedient
and did not have faith, thus they were left to wander in the desert for
40 years and did not enter into the rest of the Lord.
We need to be obedient to the word of
the Lord. We must have the faith to do what we have been asked to
do by the Lord's servants or we are no better than those early Hebrews.
READ HEBREWS 6:4-6.
Crucifying the Lord afresh.
READ HEBREWS 6:10-15.
Be followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
HOW DOES PUT HIMSELF IN A POSITION TO
CRUCIFY THE LORD AFRESH?
Joseph Smith: "All
sins shall be forgiven, except the sin against the Holy Ghost; for Jesus
will save all except the sons of perdition. What must a man do to commit
the unpardonable sin? He must receive the Holy Ghost, have the heavens
opened unto him, and know God, and then sin against Him. After a man has
sinned against the Holy Ghost, there is no repentance for him. He has got
to say that the sun does not shine while he sees it; he has got to deny
Jesus Christ when the heavens have been opened unto him, and to deny the
plan of salvation with his eyes open to the truth of it; and from that
time he begins to be an enemy. This is the case with many apostates of
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"When a man begins to be an enemy to this work, he hunts me, he seeks to
kill me, and never ceases to thirst for my blood. He gets the spirit of
the devil—the same spirit that they had who crucified the Lord of Life—the
same spirit that sins against the Holy Ghost. You cannot save such persons;
you cannot bring them to repentance; they make open war, like the devil,
and awful is the consequence."
Bruce R. McConkie: "Commission
of the unpardonable sin consists in crucifying unto oneself the Son of
God afresh and putting him to open shame. (Heb. 6:4-8; D. & C. 76:34-35.)
To commit this unpardonable crime a man must receive the gospel, gain from
the Holy Ghost by revelation the absolute knowledge of the divinity of
Christ, and then deny "the new and everlasting covenant by which he was
sanctified, calling it an unholy thing, and doing despite to the Spirit
of grace. (Teachings, p. 128.) He thereby commits murder by assenting unto
the Lord's death, that is, having a perfect knowledge of the truth he comes
out in open rebellion and places himself in a position wherein he would
have crucified Christ knowing perfectly the while that he was the Son of
God. Christ is thus crucified afresh and put to open shame. (D. & C.
132:27.)" (Mormon Doctrine, p816)
According to Paul, one who has done
this cannot "renew them again unto repentance".
They have allied with Satan and have
chosen their eternal course.
This should be a solemn warning to each
of us to be ever vigilant in guarding our testimonies, to hold to the rod,
and stay on the straight and narrow path.
WHAT DID PAUL TEACH IN THESE VERSES
ABOUT GOD'S PROMISES TO HIS CHILDREN?
The Lord fulfills his promise as we
Those who have "faith and patience inherit
the promises" (v12).
WHAT DOES VERSE 15 TELL US ABOUT THE
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ENDURING TRIALS AND RECEIVING PROMISES FROM GOD?
We may have to endure patiently in order
to obtain the promise. In the world, we have become accustomed to
instant gratification. Such is rarely the case with the Lord's promises.
The Lord abides by the law of the harvest. A crop planted in the
spring often requires months of nurturing before the fruit can be harvested.
And so it is with that which is of greatest eternal value.
Patience suggests that we not just endure,
but that we do it with faith and hope and possibly gladness.
D&C 82:10: "I,
the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say,
ye have no promise."
When we keep the Lord's commandments,
we have bound the Lord in a contract which he must and will fulfill.
READ HEBREWS 7:11-12.
Necessity for change in the priesthood.
WHY WAS IT NECESSARY THAT A CHANGE IN
THE PRIESTHOOD ACCOMPANY THE CHANGE FROM THE MOSAIC LAW TO THE GOSPEL LAW?
and atonement of our Savior brought an end to the lesser law of Moses and
instituted in its place the higher law of Jesus Christ (3 Nephi 15:8-9).
This change, in turn, required a change in the priesthood also....
Neither the law of Moses nor the priesthood of Aaron which administered
it was capable of bringing God's children unto perfection. The Aaronic
Priesthood is a lesser authority, and it administer the preparatory gospel
only. The Melchizedek Priesthood, on the other hand, is the higher
priesthood, commissioned to minister the gospel ordinances in their fulness
and capable of purifying our lives so that we can again enter into the
presence of the Lord (3 Nephi 26:19,20)." (Life and Teachings
of Jesus & His Apostles, pp385-386)
V1: "For the
law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the
things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year
continually make the comers thereunto perfect."
V9: "Then said
he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that
he may establish the second."
WHAT DOES THIS VERSE MEAN?
Corners: Under the law of Moses, the
corners of fields were left unharvested for the poor (see Bible Cyclopaedia,
p139). Thus, under the law of Moses the fields were not perfectly
harvested. I don't know if this is what Paul is referring to, but
it seems possible.
Man, under the law of Moses, cannot
be made perfect.
This verse makes an interesting comparison
between the Law of Moses and the fulness of the gospel. The Law of
Moses was nothing more than a shadow of the fulness of the gospel. It represented
the gospel, but was not the real thing.
V10: "By the
which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus
Christ once for all."
WHAT IS THE FIRST?
WHAT IS THE SECOND?
The fulness of the gospel.
It was Jesus Christ who fulfilled the
law and established the gospel.
every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same
sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
WHAT IS SANCTIFICATION?
Bruce R. McConkie: "To
be sanctified is to become clean, pure, and spotless; to be free from the
blood and sins of the world; to become a new creature of the Holy Ghost,
one whose body has been renewed by the rebirth of the Spirit."
(Mormon Doctrine, p675)
We can only achieve this state through
the atonement of Jesus Christ.
"But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever,
sat down on the right hand of God."
WHY DOES THE SACRIFICE THAT CHRIST OFFERED
GIVE US GREATER HOPE FOR PERFECTION?
We see in these verses an explanation
of the shadow and the image. The sacrifices of the priests were a
type or shadow of the Lord's sacrifice, but did not have the power to remove
sins, even when done daily.
Christ, the great High Priest (Hebrews
5:5), the image, made the sacrifice of which all earlier sacrifices were
symbolic. One sacrifice paid for all sins.
Had he not made the ultimate sacrifice,
though we give our lives completely to good works, we have not the power
to remove our blemishes. It could only be done through the atonement
of Jesus Christ.
Knowing this, we can hope that someday
we can achieve the state of sanctification and perfection.
Joseph Fielding Smith: "Men
can only be saved and exalted in the kingdom of God in righteousness; therefore,
we must repent of our sins and walk in the light as Christ is in the light,
that his blood may cleanse us from all sins and that we may have fellowship
with the Lord and receive of his glory and exaltation." (CR,
Hebrews 11 is one of our most important
discourses on faith.
WHAT IS FAITH?
WHY IS FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST VITAL TO
V1: "Now faith
is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
Alma, defined faith in these words:
"Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things;
therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which
are true." (Alma 32: 21.) And Moroni said: "Faith
is things which are hoped for and not seen." (Ether 12:6.)
In verse 3 it says that "Through
faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God".
Bruce R. McConkie: "The
creation was planned, organized, and controlled. It came by God's
power -- by faith! It came by a power that does not appear and is not seen
and understood by the carnal mind or the scientific intellect. The creation
is God's doing. Things came into being by forces which do not appear to
man and can in fact be known only by revelation. And as God created all
things by faith, even so his created handiwork can be known and understood
only by that same power, the power which is faith." (DNTC,
Joseph Smith: "Faith,
then, is the first great governing principle which has power, dominion,
authority over all things; by it they exist, by it they are upheld, by
it they are changed, or by it they remain, agreeable to the will of God.
Without it there is no power, and without power there could be no creation
or existence." (Lectures on Faith, Lecture 1, p10)
Paul's provided examples of faith:
He is our only hope. Without him
we are forever damned. Our faith drives us to do the works necessary
that enables us to qualify for the grace of Christ.
HOW DO THESE SCRIPTURE EXAMPLES STRENGTHEN
V4: Faith caused Abel to offer up an
acceptable sacrifice to God. Cain had little or no faith as demonstrated
by his sacrifice.
V5: By faith Enoch was translated.
We know from modern revelation that the whole city founded by him was also
translated. I think we can infer that all the inhabitants of that
city also had faith or they would not have been translated with Enoch and
c) V7: By faith Noah prepared an ark.
Noah had no physical evidence that there
would be a flood, and yet he preceded to prepare.
V8: By faith Abraham went out to find
the place of his inheritance.
V11: By faith Sara was delivered a child
when past age.
V17: Abraham offered up Isaac believing
that the Lord would deliver on his promises.
V20: By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and
By faith Isaac blessed the sons of Joseph.
V23: By faith was Moses life preserved.
V27: By faith, Moses forsook Egypt.
V28: By faith, Moses and Israel kept
V29: By faith they passed through the
V30: By faith the walls of Jericho fell
V31: By faith, the life of Rehab, the
harlot, was preserved.
In verses 32-38 Paul demonstrated that
when we face opposition, faith can help us either overcome it or endure
The incidents recorded in these verses
provide evidence that the Lord is true to his all promises and will support
us as we are faithful in obeying his commandments.
HOW HAS, OR HOW CAN, FAITH HELP US EITHER
OVERCOME OR ENDURE OPPOSITION PATIENTLY?
A good example of this is Joseph Smith
in Liberty Jail.
HOW HAS FAITH HELPED YOU TRIUMPH OVER
READ HEBREWS 12:1-11.
The Lord chastens those whom he loves.
HOW DOES THE LORD CHASTEN US?
Spencer W. Kimball: "In
cases where the rebellious exercise repentance, that repentance may be
sparked in various ways. Some men come to recognize their sins from introspection
while others must be brought to their knees by outside forces. Many, having
realized their transgressions, begin their repentance in secrecy. Others
must be apprehended and chastised and punished before they begin their
transformation. Some even need to be disciplined by forced inactivity,
dis-fellowshipping, or even excommunication before they realize their plight
and the need to transform their lives. None of us should resent being reminded
of our responsibilities and being called to repent of our sins. The Lord
may choose to chasten us in this way or some other, but it is all for our
own good." (The Miracle of Forgiveness, p44)
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED WHEN GOD HAS CHASTENED
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