Hebrews 1:1–14

“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Heb. 1:3a).

Having studied the books of 1 and 2 Samuel in 2003, we turn our attention to the New Testament book of Hebrews. In 1 and 2 Samuel we observed how God graciously established His kingship over His people and promised to seat David’s descendant upon the throne. In 2004, as we focus on the book of Hebrews, we will see how God’s glorious promise has been fulfilled.

In 1993, Tabletalk adapted Dr. R.C. Sproul’s Interact teaching series on the books of Ephesians, Hebrews, and James. This year, we will be using the commentary of seventeenth-century Puritan, John Owen. His seven-volume commentary on Hebrews is often recognized as his greatest work. Thomas Chalmers, the nineteenth -century Scottish pastor and theologian, wrote, “This greatest work of John Owen is a work of gigantic strength as well as gigantic size; and he who has mastered it is very little short…of being an erudite and accomplished theologian.”

As a theologian, Owen was committed to the exposition of Scripture; as such, in his writings, theology and the study of Scripture were never separated. In his preface to the commentary, Owen penned these words: “After all my searching and reading, prayer and assiduous meditation have been my only resort, and by far the most useful means of light and assistance…I always went nakedly to the Word itself, to learn humbly the mind of God in it, and to express it as he should enable me.” In writing his commentary on Hebrews, Owen purposed to explain how the old and new covenants are centered around Jesus Christ who is the “radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Heb. 1:3a). Unto this end, Owen’s work is a theological masterpiece to the glory of God.

As we study the book of Hebrews this year, we will observe this constantly recurring theme: The unqualified supremacy of Jesus Christ above all things. He is above all things human and angelic, and the covenant He inaugurated is superior to any preceding covenant. His sacrifice is greater than any that has ever been made, and, as a priest, His authority exceeds all others. For He is “the founder and perfecter of our faith” (Heb. 12:2a).

Coram Deo

Take some time to look through Hebrews today. Pray that God would demonstrate the glory and supremacy of Jesus Christ through His Word. As you consider the message of Hebrews, pray that every aspect of your life would be in conformity with Christ, the Founder and Perfecter of your faith.

For Further Study