Other New Testament Letters

God’s Word portrays the Christian life.

This lesson is a survey of five New Testament books: the letter to the Hebrews and four of the seven writings that are called General Letters, because they were written to Christians in general, and not to any specific church or individual. Because the letter to the Hebrews was written specifically for Jews who believed in Jesus as the Messiah, it is an excellent guide for all Christians to obtain a better understanding of Christianity in relation to biblical Judaism. The value of the General Letters is in the fact that they are addressed to Christians in general, and therefore provide a wealth of doctrinal and practical information for living as a Christian.


A. God Spoke by His Son

Hebrews 1:1  God, who at sundry (many) times and in divers (different) manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

1:2  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;

…….God is not silent, but speaks loudly in many ways. You don’t believe it? Look around you! Before Christ came people looked to a prophet to hear what thus saith the Lord. But what a blessing is was for Christ to fulfill His promise in sending the Comforter which is the Holy Ghost to communicate to us.

1:3  Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image (exact copy) 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;

1:4  Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

…….Christ is supremely above all creation in heaven and earth and to think, He desires our attention!

Our Forever Living High Priest

Hebrews 3:1  Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

…….The Apostle Paul here shown by his wording was trying to convince the Jews that Jesus was greater than the beliefs of the Mosaic laws and old traditions. All of the first believers in Jesus as the Messiah were Jews, and it was not until about 20 years after Jesus’ ascension that the early church welcomed the Gentiles. In order to convince that Christ’s salvation was greater than outward religion and fulfillment of the law, they must understand that Jesus was head and greater than anything they had believed before Christ’s coming. His purpose superseded Moses and the law. Could you imagine believing men that are now telling you that what you believed for so many years and your method of worship wasn’t enough? This is why it is important for the church not to cheapen down the grace of God and the supernatural power of salvation!

3:2  Who (Jesus) was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.

3:3  For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.

3:4  For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.

…….Since God built all things and Christ was with Him from the beginning, that makes Jesus the partner builder of it all.

3:5  And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;

3:6  But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast (fight with) the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

…….Christ is over his house and we (his people) are the house, if we hold fast and keep fighting the good fight of Faith confidently until we make Heaven our home! I don’t know about you, but I’m not giving up!!!!

…….Paul is now here in the letter explaining the greater distinction of Christ over the priests. Hebrews 7:23  And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:

Heb 7:24  But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.

7:25  Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

…….The method of the priest was good for its time, but they could not bring us to the presence God in person like a relationship with Christ can and will!

7:26  For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

7:27  Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.

7:28  For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.

…….Thank Jesus that we don’t have to take our burdens to a man who cannot remove them, but we can freely give them to the one who understands it all and can trade deliverance and freedom from the elements that held us captive!


A. Faith Without Works is Dead

James 2:14  What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

…….Brother James made such a bold yet perfectly true statement here. Our works will not justify our faith, but our faith will cause us to work. If you are a truly born again believer in Christ, one of your overwhelming greatest desires will be to see others find Christ.

2:15  If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

2:16  And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

…….It is time to put our words into action! Who are we when the church isn’t looking? Has the church truly left the building? Are we reaching out in ministry to those who need it the most?

2:17  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

……..Faith without works is dead, but works without faith is deception. Let’s get it right in the inside and allow Christ to purge us from our useless ways so He can use us in the greatest ways!

2:18  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

2:19  Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

…….James said, it goes further than professing and believing, we must live out our beliefs!

2:20  But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

…….Why is it so natural for a new convert to want to work in the church? Because the freshness of their faith is so evident, there is nothing on the outside that can cause doubt. You can’t convince a new convert that a supernatural change didn’t occur. Maybe we need our faith stirred up by the supernatural again!

2:21  Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

2:22  Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

…….I’d rather be on the side of the ones who work being accused of no faith rather than the ones doing nothing thinking they have a greater faith!

2:23  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed (calculated, reckoned) unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

2:24  Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

2:26  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

…….It is one thing to have faith in God and believing, it is another to have so much faith that the works are produced naturally and in such a way that God makes us righteous. If we want true righteousness, let’s get to work! Tell others about Jesus and provide for them the necessities that God has provided for us.

B. Add To and Build on Faith

2Peter 1:1  Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

1:2  Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

1:3  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

1:4  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

1:5  And beside this, giving all diligence (eagerness, haste), add to your faith virtue (goodness); and to virtue knowledge;

1:6  And to knowledge temperance (self control); and to temperance patience (cheerful, hopeful endurance); and to patience godliness (holiness, devotion);

…….Our “temper” can describe allot about us, and it’s easy to see how these character words work hand in hand in a persons life. Peter is here letting us know that all of the great virtues in life are freely given to those who believe and are willing and ready to receive.

1:7  And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

1:8  For if these things be in you, and abound (increase), they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

…….I’ve heard it asked many times, what do you think I should pray for. Here is the answer. Every Christian will and should have a great desire to bear fruit. These are some of the great fruit that the Spirit will provide for us and others around us. The more these fruitful attributes are produced, the greater the possessor will be. The more we have, the more we will desire to have. No person has ever come to the point of thinking, “I’ve had enough of Christ”. That in itself is impossible. Do we want freedom from worldly and sinful passions? Do we want a “better” attitude? Do we want to be a blessing to others? Of course we do, all Christians desire these thing. All we have to do is ask.

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