Hebrews 1-4 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
1 Long ago in many ways and at many times God’s prophets spoke his message to our ancestors. 2 But now at last, God sent his Son to bring his message to us. God created the universe by his Son, and everything will someday belong to the Son. 3 God’s Son has all the brightness of God’s own glory and is like him in every way. By his own mighty word, he holds the universe together.
After the Son had washed away our sins, he sat down at the right side[a] of the glorious God in heaven. 4 He had become much greater than the angels, and the name he was given is far greater than any of theirs.
God’s Son Is Greater than Angels
5 God has never said
6 When God brings his first-born Son[b] into the world, he commands all of his angels to worship him.
7 And when God speaks about the angels, he says,
“I change my angels into wind
8 But God says about his Son,
“You are God,
10 The Scriptures also say,
“In the beginning, Lord,
13 God never said to any
14 Angels are merely spirits sent to serve people who are going to be saved.
This Great Way of Being Saved
2 We must give our full attention to what we were told, so that we won’t drift away. 2 The message spoken by angels proved to be true, and all who disobeyed or rejected it were punished as they deserved. 3 So if we refuse this great way of being saved, how can we hope to escape? The Lord himself was the first to tell about it, and people who heard the message proved to us that it was true. 4 God himself showed that his message was true by working all kinds of powerful miracles and wonders. He also gave his Holy Spirit to anyone he chose to.
The One Who Leads Us To Be Saved
5 We know that God did not put the future world under the power of angels. 6 Somewhere in the Scriptures someone says to God,
“What makes you care
God has put everything under our power and has not left anything out of our power. But we still don’t see it all under our power. 9 What we do see is Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels. Because of God’s wonderful kindness, Jesus died for everyone. And now that Jesus has suffered and died, he is crowned with glory and honor!
10 Everything belongs to God, and all things were created by his power. So God did the right thing when he made Jesus perfect by suffering, as Jesus led many of God’s children to be saved and to share in his glory. 11 Jesus and the people he makes holy all belong to the same family. That is why he isn’t ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters. 12 He even said to God,
“I will tell them your name
13 He also said,
“I will trust God.”
Then he said,
“Here I am with the children
14 We are people of flesh and blood. That is why Jesus became one of us. He died to destroy the devil, who had power over death. 15 But he also died to rescue all of us who live each day in fear of dying. 16 Jesus clearly did not come to help angels, but he did come to help Abraham’s descendants. 17 He had to be one of us, so that he could serve God as our merciful and faithful high priest and sacrifice himself for the forgiveness of our sins. 18 And now that Jesus has suffered and was tempted, he can help anyone else who is tempted.
Jesus Is Greater than Moses
3 My friends, God has chosen you to be his holy people. So think about Jesus, the one we call our apostle and high priest! 2 Jesus was faithful to God, who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in serving all of[e] God’s people. 3 But Jesus deserves more honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house deserves more honor than the house. 4 Of course, every house is built by someone, and God is really the one who built everything.
5 Moses was a faithful servant and told God’s people what would be said in the future. 6 But Christ is the Son in charge of God’s people. And we are those people, if we keep on being brave and don’t lose hope.
A Rest for God’s People
7 It is just as the Holy Spirit says,
“If you hear God’s voice today,
10 “Then God got tired of them
12 My friends, watch out! Don’t let evil thoughts or doubts make any of you turn from the living God. 13 You must encourage one another each day. And you must keep on while there is still a time that can be called “today.” If you don’t, then sin may fool some of you and make you stubborn. 14 We were sure about Christ when we first became his people. So let’s hold tightly to our faith until the end. 15 The Scriptures say,
“If you hear his voice today,
16 Who were those people that heard God’s voice and rebelled? Weren’t they the same ones that came out of Egypt with Moses? 17 Who were the people that made God angry for forty years? Weren’t they the ones that sinned and died in the desert? 18 And who did God say would never enter his place of rest? Weren’t they the ones that disobeyed him? 19 We see that those people did not enter the place of rest because they did not have faith.
4 The promise to enter the place of rest is still good, and we must take care that none of you miss out. 2 We have heard the message, just as they did. But they failed to believe what they heard, and the message did not do them any good. 3 Only people who have faith will enter the place of rest. It is just as the Scriptures say,
“God became angry
God said this, even though everything has been ready from the time of creation. 4 In fact, somewhere the Scriptures say that by the seventh day, God had finished his work, and so he rested. 5 We also read that he later said, “You people will never enter my place of rest!” 6 This means that the promise to enter is still good, because those who first heard about it disobeyed and did not enter. 7 Much later God told David to make the promise again, just as I have already said,
“If you hear his voice today,
8 If Joshua had really given the people rest, there would not be any need for God to talk about another day of rest. 9 But God has promised us a Sabbath when we will rest, even though it has not yet come. 10 On that day God’s people will rest from their work, just as God rested from his work.
11 We should do our best to enter that place of rest, so that none of us will disobey and miss going there, as they did. 12 What God has said isn’t only alive and active! It is sharper than any double-edged sword. His word can cut through our spirits and souls and through our joints and marrow, until it discovers the desires and thoughts of our hearts. 13 Nothing is hidden from God! He sees through everything, and we will have to tell him the truth.
Jesus Is the Great High Priest
14 We have a great high priest, who has gone into heaven, and he is Jesus the Son of God. That is why we must hold on to what we have said about him. 15 Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because he was tempted in every way that we are. But he did not sin! 16 So whenever we are in need, we should come bravely before the throne of our merciful God. There we will be treated with undeserved kindness, and we will find help.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to choose a monthly or yearly subscription, and then enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the Believer's Bible Commentary and the Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (NIV and NRSV) - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.