The full tale of life's keeping can be summed up in one word: God! Throughout all of life, both this and the next, God has moved toward us in his grace to lift us up and bear us home. He lifted Christ, our great Shepherd, from death and bore him to the heights of glory. By the blood of Christ, efficacious in perpetuity, God has lifted us from death and borne us home as well. In his covenant love we have true and lasting peace, the peace God enjoys and bestows on those who love him. It comes to us in the midst of our struggles and our pain. It sustains us in the onslaught of evil brought against those who confess Jesus' name. In the end, all of life must be seen through the operation of God's grace. Whatever goodness comes to us, rests upon us, and finds expression through us is God's doing. God makes us perfectly fit with every good endowment necessary for the doing of his will (v. 21). As we submit to him, God accomplishes in and through us that which he pleases to do for his name's sake and for the glory of Christ. No higher calling is available than to be the instrument of his good purpose. Faith is yielded to that purpose, and perfection is merely its outworking in the grace and power of God.
This entire letter was meant to be admonitory and encouraging, a sermonic discourse (v. 22) delivered to Christians facing adversity. It came at a time when Christian leaders were being imprisoned; Timothy, apparently recently released (v. 23), is the individual known to us in the circle of Paul's friends. The note of urgency in the epistle reflects the situation facing those to whom it was sent. This personal postscript (vv. 22-25) was added as the letter was dispatched.
Regardless of the circumstances in which Christians, ancient or modern, have found themselves, God's grace is present and more than sufficient for the need. The faithful of every age will find that grace and persevere.
Barrett, C.K. “The Eschatology of the Epistle to the Hebrews.” In The Background of the New Testament and Its Eschatology. Edited by W.D. Davies and D. Daube. Cambridge: University Press, 1956.
Bruce, F.F. “‘To the Hebrews’ or ‘To the Essenes’?” New Testament Studies, 9 (1962-63): 217-32.
Caird, G.B. “The Exegetical Method of the Epistle to the Hebrews,” Canadian Journal of Theology 5 (1959): 44-51.
Hurst, Lincoln D. “Eschatology and ‘Platonism’ in the Epistle to the Hebrews.” Society of Biblical Literature 1984 Seminar Papers. Edited by Kent Harold Richards. Chico, Calif.: Scholars Press, 1984.
________. The Epistle to the Hebrews: Its Background of Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1990.
Lane, William L. Hebrews: A Call to Commitment. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1985.
McCullough, J.C. “Some Recent Developments in Research on the Epistle to the Hebrews,” Irish Biblical Studies 2 (1980): 141-65.
________. “Some Recent Developments in Research on the Epistle to the Hebrews, Part 2,” Irish Biblical Studies 3 (1981): 28-45.
Manson, William. The Epistle to the Hebrews. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1951.
Peterson, David. Hebrews and Perfection. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982.
Wesley, John. Explanatory Notes Upon the New Testament. Salem, Ohio: Schmul, reprint (1754).
Westcott, Brooke Foss. The Epistle to the Hebrews. London: Macmillan, 1903.
Wiley, H. Orton. The Epistle to the Hebrews. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, 1959.
Williamson, Ronald. Philo and the Epistle to the Hebrews. Leiden: Brill, 1970.
________. “The Background of the Epistle to the Hebrews,” Expository Times 87 (1976): 232-36.
________. “Platonism and Hebrews,” Scottish Journal of Theology 16 (1963): 415-24.
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 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 of $3.99/month, 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.
You've successfully created your account! For the ultimate Bible Gateway experience, consider upgrading Bible Gateway Plus to get the most out of your new account. For just a few dollars each month, a Bible Gateway Plus upgrade gives you:
• A complete digital Bible study library integrated with your Bible Gateway account, with no expensive software to install.
• Access to 40+ study & reference books including the NIV Study Bible, the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, and the MacArthur Study Bible.
• An ad-free Bible Gateway experience.
• A risk-free, 30-day trial—you can cancel any time.
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.