July 22, 2017
Shawn Bumpers / General
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, a great theme of this letter is the “betterness of Christ.”
I pointed out that there is a Greek word used throughout this letter … κρείττων kreittōn which means “Better.”
Galatians 3:24 NKJV
Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Romans 3:10 NKJV
As it is written:
“There is none righteous, no, not one;
Romans 3:23 NKJV
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 8:1 NKJV
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
The author spent the better portion of the chapter explaining that Christ is better than angels.
He did this because people came to think of the angels as intermediaries between God and human beings.
1 Timothy 2:5 NKJV
For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,
In chapter 2, the author continued in his presentation of the “betterness” of Christ, focusing on Christ over angels.
But let’s not overlook that the author made it clear that Christ’s work was not for the angels, but for man.
Hebrews 2:16 NKJV
For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham.
Chapter 2 closed out with some really deep theological truth.
We move now into the 3rd argument for the superiority of Christ.
Of course, Moses was the great hero of the Jewish nation.
In verse 1, holy is ἅγιος hagios meaning holy as in belonging to God.
Brethren is ἀδελφός adelphos meaning brothers and sisters as in a closely associated group of persons.
Apostle is ἀπόστολος apostolos meaning a special messenger.
And High Priest is ἀρχιερεύς archiereus meaning most important priest.
The first 2 describe those who would be reading this letter.
The latter 2 describe our Lord Jesus Christ.
Luke 5:7 NKJV
So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.
Ephesians 5:30 NKJV
For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.
Ephesians 1:13–14 NKJV
In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
Romans 8:9 NKJV
But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
The word is ὁμολογία homologia and simply means “To say the same thing.”
Hebrews 4:14 NKJV
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
Hebrews 10:23 NKJV
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
The word consider in verse 1 is κατανοέω katanoeō and means “to consider carefully, to understand fully.”
To do that we need to carefully consider who Christ is and what Christ has done.
And to that end, the author sets up a comparison between Moses and Christ.
From the time of Adam forward to the close of the prophet Malachi’s ministry, was an initial period of God’s revelation.
It was a time in which God pointed man toward the work that His Son would accomplish on our behalf.
Hebrews 1:1–2 NKJV
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
Christ is the fulfillment of all old covenant types.
He is the subject of the prophets and the object of Israel’s forward-looking faith.
Moses, of course, fulfilled similar ministries.
He taught Israel God’s truth and he interceded with the LORD on behalf of Israel at various times.
John 1:17 NKJV
For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
In verse 2, the writer notes that Moses and Jesus Christ were both faithful in the work God gave them to do.
Moses was not sinless, as was Jesus Christ, but he was faithful and obeyed God’s will.
Numbers 12:7 NKJV
Not so with My servant Moses; He is faithful in all My house.
Do you recognize a word repeated multiple times in these verses?
It’s the word “house” … occuring 6 times here.
It’s the Greek word οἶκος oikos and it means house or home.
Both were in operation at all times.
Israel is God’s special people, but in Israel there were those who had faith and those who did not.
So then, Moses was faithful in all of the LORD’s house.
This draws out the contrast between Moses and Christ.
Hebrews 8:5 NKJV
who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”
The Greek word translated “servant” is not the usual New Testament word for servant or slave.
In fact, in the New Testament, it is used only of Moses.
It’s the word θεράπων therapōn and speaks of someone who renders service voluntarily out of affection.
Now, we need to spend a little bit of time on this “if clause” that closes out verse 6, “If we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.”
Hebrews 3:6 NKJV
but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.
This should be understood in the light of the total context, which is Moses leading Israel out of Egypt and to the Promised Land.
The word “confidence” is παρρησία parrēsia and literally means “freedom of speech, openness.”
Hebrews 4:16 NKJV
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 10:19 NKJV
Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,
And look at the last few words of verse 6 … rejoicing and hope (that is firm to the end.)
Because of this confidence in Christ and this confession of Christ, we can rejoice now in our eternal hope.
Hebrews 13:20 NKJV
Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
Ephesians 2:10 NKJV
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
James 2:17 NKJV
Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Luke 6:35 NKJV
But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.
Psalm 37:3 NKJV
Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Hebrews 13:16 NKJV
But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
“Whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end” in verse 6 speaks of proven faith.