Better | A Sermon Series on Hebrews

Hebrews:  Jesus is Better

A Better Idea

“Better” is the title of my Sermon Series on the New Testament book of Hebrews.  Better is a good title for the book since the author to Hebrews uses the word “better” 13 times as he compares the Christianity to the old way of living and as he compares Jesus Christ to the patriarchs, the prophets, the angels, the priests, and everything else.

I have included a brief introduction to the book of Hebrews which can also be used when starting to teach or preach the book. When teaching or preaching any book of the Bible it helps people to understand it better when they know some of the basics such as, when was it written, who wrote it, who was it written to, where did they live, why was it written, what are the major themes, what are the most often repeated words, and how is it organized.  These basic observations about the book give people a framework for understanding and application.  In fact, the more people can relate to the original audience, the more they can apply the message to their own lives.

Because Hebrews is one of the longer epistles, I divided it up into more than one sermon series.  The first series contained 5 messages on Hebrews chapters 1-3.  The sermon series was titled “Better.”  When preaching longer books in these current times, sometimes it is better to preach several different series from the one book instead of trying to cover the entire book in one 26 part series.  People need a break.  You have to break it up for them.  At least that is my observation.  Try a six part series on Philippians chapters 1-2 and then a 4 week topical study of relationships, and then return to Philippians and do another six weeks on chapters 3-4, for example.

I have also included a sermon manuscript in pdf format that you can download of the first sermon.  It only discusses the first three verses of the book.  But those three verses really set the stage for everything else in the book.

Click Here to Download Sermon Manuscript

I have also included a powerpoint outline in pdf format.  I did not create the original powerpoint for this message and I honestly was not all that pleased with it, but I am including it hear for you to download, use, or adapt for your own use.

Click Here to Download Sermon Slides

I will try to include some of the other messages as I continue to preach through this book again.  One of the great benefits of preaching through the book of Hebrews is that it really helps people become grounded in their faith.  This book covers some of the most basic and yet the most profound doctrines of Christianity.

Another benefit of preaching on the book of Hebrews is that people tend to grow spiritually when they hear this material.  There is an atmosphere of motivation in the words of the book and those who read it or hear it are motivated to live for Christ.

Another benefit I have noticed of preaching on the book of Hebrews is that people tend to increase their faith.  Hebrews chapter 11 is the great chapter on “faith.”  It lists the heroes of the faith and describes what made them heroes of faith.  The truth is that faith comes by hearing (Romans 10).  Also, faith in any area of life is increased when people understand more fully the object of their faith and become confident in its ability to follow through with its claims.  This book really exalts the person of Jesus Christ.  As people become more familiar with Jesus Christ and understand more fully Who He is, then they just naturally begin to grow in their faith.  Since faith and obedience are closely linked together as discussed in Hebrews chapters 3 and 4 people will begin to live out their faith characterized by obedience to Christ.

There are many benefits for the preacher and the congregation from preaching and studying this book of Hebrews.  I hope these few ideas will get you started.  Share your own observations with me as you preach through this wonderful book about our Wonderful Savior!

Your Fellow Pilgrim,


Click Here to See the Second Message in the Series on Video


Here is the basic Introduction which you can also download in pdf format.


Hebrews:  A Better Way to Live


Main Theme of Hebrews:              The Superiority of Jesus Christ and therefore, the Superiority of Christianity.

Author of Hebrews:              Unstated, but obviously known to the original readers.

Here are some of the suggestions…

1.  Paul           suggested by the early church  (Clement of Alexandria thought Paul had

originally written it in Hebrew and Luke translated it into Greek,  BKC, 777)

characteristic closing,  13:25, cf. 2 Thess. 3:17, 18

“the just shall live by faith”  Hab. 2:4,  Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11;           Heb. 10:38

Peter’s statement in 2 Pet. 3:15,  he was also writing to the Hebrews

Possibly  written from Italy (13:24) by a friend of Timothy (13:23)

2.  Barnabas             Suggested by Tertullian

He was a Levite who was familiar with the Sacrificial Laws

He traveled with Paul and knew Timothy

3.  Apollos                Suggested by Martin Luther

Because of the eloquent Greek style

Because many of the OT quotes are taken from the Septuagint (Greek

translation of the OT and Paul tended to quote from the Hebrew

4.  Others                  Clement of Rome, Luke, Silas, Philip, Priscilla,

Date when Hebrews was written:

Definitely before the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD since there is no reference to it being destroyed.  Possibly before the empire wide persecution of Christians by the Romans which began in Rome under Nero in 62 AD.  Prior to that Christianity and Judaism were considered by be closely linked.  The early church which was primarily Jewish continued to go to the Temple.  Paul saw no conflict in going to the Temple after his third missionary trip.  The persecution referred to in this book seems to be religious and not political.

Recipients of the book of Hebrews:

The letter seems to have been written to a primarily Jewish audience.  The author assumes that they have a very intimate knowledge of both the Old Testament and the Jewish system.  There is no mention of the relationship between Jews and Gentiles in the church which is addressed in the letters to many of the churches in Gentile cities.  The location of these people is not certain.  Some have suggested Jerusalem, although the writer says they have not resisted to the point of shedding blood (12:4) which the Jerusalem church had done.  This could, however, just mean that the readers themselves had not yet been martyred.  Alexandria, Egypt which was a large center of Jewish learning has been suggested.  Another suggestion is someplace in Palestine or the general area.  Some have suggested Rome on the basis of the phrase “from Italy” in 13:24.  However, this could also refer to the place of origin.  It seems that the group addressed in this letter must have been close enough to be subjected to the persecution of organized Judaism and close enough to Jerusalem to have been able to participate in some of the activities at the Temple in Jerusalem.

This book is definitely written to people who have been saved.  There are numerous references to “brothers” (10:19, 13:1, 22).  Christianity is a hope they “profess” (10:23).  They were a part of a generation of Jews who had come under judgment (Matt. 12; Luke 21:24; Matt. 23:38, 24:2).  Baptism is the way to identify with Christianity, but that also became a dividing line from Judaism for them.  This was perhaps a reason for their persecution.  No doubt, separation from the synagogue brought financial difficulties for these believers (10:32-34).  These were not new believers.  Some might have been 2nd generation Christians (2:3).  They had been Christians long enough to be teachers, but had digressed (5:11-14).

Message of the book of Hebrews:

This letter is a “word of exhortation” (13:22).  Look for the phrase “let us.”  It is an exhortation to not backslide in their faith and their commitment to Christ.  Moving on to maturity is a major theme of the book.  The five “warning passages” in this book are some of the strongest admonitions to believers in the New Testament.  Apparently, many of them were in danger of sliding back into their old religion.  Perhaps the persecution was taking its toll on them and they were looking for a way of escape.  They were discouraged and needed reaffirmation about Christ and Christianity.  The message of the book is that Christ is really the Son of God and is superior to anything in Judaism.  If Christ is superior, then the message of Christianity is also superior.  The writer builds a case for Christ based on the Old Testament.  Since Christ is really the promised Son of God, then following Him is better no matter what the cost.  Faith in him will cause us to patiently endure whatever may come.

Key Words in Hebrews:

Perfect                                   14 times

Eternal, Forever                  15 times

Better                                     13 times

Partakers                              9 times

Heaven                                  17 times

Priest, High Priest               32 times

Click Here to Download Hebrews Introduction


Here is the Copy I used to advertise the sermon series in the bulletin and newsletter:


How does Christianity compare to other religions?  How does Jesus Christ stack up to other religious leaders past and present?  How does Jesus compare to the angels?  How does the New Testament compare to the Old Testament?  How does our future compare with those who do not know Christ?  And why is it worth it to persevere in the Christian life when there are so many trials?

The Book of Hebrews answers it all in one word…”Better!”

This motivational New Testament book encourages all Christians to follow Christ and his example regardless of what obstacles they may be facing to receive the better rewards that await.

Change Your Focus … Change Your Future


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About the author

Pastor, Church Planter, Evangelist and Consultant in Chandler, Arizona. Licensed by Second Baptist Church in Lamesa, Texas. Ordained by Trinity Baptist Church in Irving, Texas. Youth Pastor at Trinity Baptist Church in Irving, Texas 1985-1987. Pastor at Dixon Baptist Church in Greenville, Texas 1987-1999. Pastor at Wellspring Church in Chandler, Arizona July 1999 - July 2009. Currently serving as Executive Pastor at Highland Terrace Baptist Church in Greenville, Texas. Available for Pulpit Supply, Interims, Evangelistic Crusades, Revivals, Bible Conferences, Seminars, Pastoral Consulting, Church Consulting, Capital Campaign Consulting, and Conversation over a Coke Zero.