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Further Reading Resources for you - Hebrews
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The Message of Salvation.
1. Therefore we must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.
Since Christ is so greatly superior to angels, through whom the law was given, we ought to pay the most careful attention to what we have heard from Him. We must not let it pass us by, as if it were of little importance.
2,3. For if the message declared through angels was valid, and every transgression or disobedience received a just penalty, how can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? It was declared at first through the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard Him.
The message given to Moses through angels was certain and binding on the people, so that every act of disobedience was justly punished. If that is so, what kind of punishment must be reserved for those who reject the Son of God Himself? How shall we escape judgment if we treat carelessly the word of salvation which was originally announced by the Lord Himself, and which was handed down to us by the witnesses who heard his words and ate and drank with him after he was raised from the dead (Acts 10:39-41).
4. While God added His testimony by signs and wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit, distributed according to His will.
As one might imagine, the message concerning God's Son has a greater witness than that of men ; God Himself bears witness to his Son. The word used means that God adds his witness as one voice with those human agents he uses to spread the gospel message. He does so by performing, according to his own will, a variety of supernatural and miraculous signs and wonders through the gifts of the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:32). This agrees with the words of Jesus (Mark 16:15-20).
5. Now God did not subject the coming world, about which we are speaking, to angels.
The world to come which the gospel announces is what is of eternal and real importance, and God has not given the rule and government of this world to the angels, but to His Son.
The Plan of Salvation.
6,7,8,9. But someone has testified somewhere, "What are human beings that you are mindful of them, or mortals, that you care for them? You have made them for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned them with glory and honor, subjecting all things under their feet." Now in subjecting all things to them, God left nothing outside their control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them, but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
Paul quotes the scripture from Psalm 8, which he interprets with a two fold meaning. "WHAT IS MAN THAT YOU ARE MINDFUL OF HIM, OR THE SON OF MAN THAT YOU TAKE CARE OF HIM? YOU HAVE MADE HIM A LITTLE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS; YOU HAVE CROWNED HIM WITH GLORY AND HONOR, AND SET HIM OVER THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS. YOU HAVE PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET."
By God's will, mankind has been subjected by his weakness within the natural world (Rom. 8:20) and as such he is for now a little lower than the angels, even though he is destined to become a son of God. All creation has been put under man's feet, though in his present feeble state this hardly appears to be the case. Yet Christ, by His suffering and humiliation, lifts man to the place of glory and honour God has destined him for. To achieve this Christ Himself was humbled for a season. He became a man, like one of us, and in that sense alone was "made lower than the angels" for a little while, until He had accomplished our salvation by fully experiencing the death sentence passed upon all men because of sin. Now He is crowned with glory and honour, and it is only right that the world to come will be subject to Him. Since all things have been put under Christ, that means there is nothing not put under him. This may be meant as a reference to the Old Covenant. The apostle is writing to Jewish converts and emphasizes that Christ supersedes all that has gone before so that they will not revert to their former faith, but firmly hold on to the new. Although Christ has brought into being the present gospel age, the New Testament, we do not yet see all things made subject to Him. For we walk by faith not by sight. It is in this sense at present that we see our King Jesus crowned with glory and honour. Having not seen Him, we love Him (1 Pet. 1:8). Very soon, however, we shall see Christ crowned as He appears to take up His everlasting reign.
10. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. (NKJVTM)
It was an act fitting and proper for God, who made all things by and for himself, and who purposed to beget many sons to reign and share in his glory, to fully qualify (by his suffering) one who would consequently be able to bring them to glory.
11. For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.
Since the Christ who sanctifies us (makes us holy to God) by his sacrifice is by nature God, and since by the new birth he imparts to us his divine nature, we are all sons of God (2 Pet. 1:4). Christ is not ashamed to call us brothers, literally "from the same womb", metaphorically born of God (Gal. 3:26). Christ remains superior, as the eternal only begotten Son, but he has made us to share his divine nature.
12,13. Saying, "I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters, in the midst of the congregation I will praise you." And again, "I will put my trust in him." And again, "Here am I and the children whom God has given me."
The apostle once again backs up his teaching with evidence from the Old Testament (Psa. 22:22). Christ actually did sing a hymn of thanksgiving to God with his disciples at the last supper and this gives us reason to suppose that it was his custom to praise God with them in song (Mark 14:26). He calls them brothers in John 20:17 and he also calls them his children in Isa. 8:18 and John 13:33. It was as a man that Christ put his trust completely in God to bring him through his sufferings, and it is as a result of them that God has given him many children.
14. Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil.
Since those who were to be heirs of salvation were by nature flesh and blood, he himself shared in the same nature, so that he might die. It is written of Samson that he destroyed more enemies at his death tan during his life. Even so, Christ died that he might destroy death by removing the sin which occasioned it, thus defeating the one who held men in his dominion through the power of sin and death, the devil (1 John 3:8).
15. And free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death.
By His death, Christ has delivered us from the fear of death, which before his appearing held us captive throughout our lives. We are now eternally free from death's dominion (2 Tim. 1:10).
16. For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham.
At no time did Christ ever take on himself the nature of angels. The point of what Paul is saying seems to be that if he had, he would not have been able to die to redeem men. Christ did not come down from heaven in the form of some powerful supernatural being to confront the enemy of souls. Instead to fulfill God's word and bruise the serpents head he took on flesh and blood as a descendent of Abraham, to whom the promise of a Saviour for the world had been given.
17. Therefore He had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people.
The emphasis is that Christ was not anything less than perfectly human, for he was made like his brothers in all things, in every way. He who was perfectly divine became perfectly human in a perfect union of the two natures. This is why we are able to trust him as our reliable and compassionate high priest. Having made the atonement which reconciles us to God, by the once and for all sacrifice of himself, he ever lives in God's presence to assure our eternal salvation.
18. Because He Himself was tested by what He suffered, He is able to help those who are being tested.
Since the Son of God became fully man, and was fully tested in all points (yet without sin), he is able to succor and help us when we face testing and temptation. He will cause us to overcome through success or even failure, for we are more than conquerors through him who loved us, that is, before we get to the battle, we find that it has been won for us and the victory given (Rom. 8:37).
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