Hebrews 3:1-6

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

CHRIST IS WORTHY OF MORE GLORY THAN MOSES

INTRODUCTION:

In chapters 1 and 2 Christ has been shown to be superior to angels, and in chapters 3 and 4 Christ is shown to be worthy of more glory than Moses. Christ is the Apostle and High Priest of the believer’s confession.

Moses was a very important character in Jewish history, and it was through Moses’ leadership that God delivered the Israelites out of Egypt. It was also through Moses that God gave the law. Furthermore, God used Moses to lead the nation of Israel during the forty years of wandering in the wilderness; and God also used Moses to write the first five books of the Bible.

Moses was faithful, but he was only a servant in God’s house; whereas, Christ was faithful as a son over God’s house. Therefore, believers should hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope they have in Christ firm unto the end.

This exhortation was necessary because there may have been some professing believers who had not yet placed their faith in Christ. Likewise some of the Israelites demonstrated their unbelief when they came out of Egypt and rebelled at Kadesh-barnea.

In view of the fact that Christ has been shown to be superior to angels, the readers are called upon to take note that –

    I.     CHRIST IS THE APOSTLE AND HIGH PRIEST OF OUR CONFESSION – 3:1

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

When the word translated wherefore appears at the beginning of a clause as it does in this verse, it means therefore or hence.

 

Holy brethren is holy brothers, brothers who are dedicated to God, or brothers who are set apart for God.

 

The writer is thus addressing those who have set themselves apart as believers or who have been set apart by the Holy Spirit for God’s use.

 

There was no doubt in the writer’s mind that these people were genuinely saved as partakers of the heavenly calling indicates.

 

Partakers is sharers in or participants in, and what they partook in was the heavenly calling or the heavenly invitation. This suggests that they had participated in salvation in that they were called by God the Father. This is the effectual call by which believers are drawn to salvation mentioned in John 6:44 , where Jesus said, No man can come unto me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him. . . .

 

As a group these people were saved people; yet, there may have been a few of them who had not yet been genuinely converted.

 

Consider is a command which means notice or fix the eyes of your spirit upon.

 

What they were to consider was the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.

 

Jesus is thus referred to as the Apostle and High Priest of our profession.

 

Apostle means ambassador, delegate, or messenger and refers to one sent on a mission.

 

As the Apostle of our profession, Jesus was sent on a mission by God the Father, in order that He might die on the cross and, thereby, pay for the sins of all humanity. Thus, Jesus represented God the Father before humanity and revealed Him to humanity.

 

He is also the High Priest; and as the High Priest, He offered His own self as a sacrifice for sins. Today He ever lives to make intercession for believers; and as the High Priest of our profession, Jesus represents believers before God.

 

The is understood with both Apostle and High Priest in the Greek text, indicating that He is not merely one of many apostles or high priests: He is the only Apostle sent out by God, and He is the only High Priest of believers.

 

Our profession is our confession or our acknowledgment that we make and refers to the readers’ profession of salvation as believers. Believers confess, profess, or acknowledge that Christ shed His blood on the cross at Calvary in dying for their sins and that He rose again from the dead the third day; and they confess that they have placed their trust in Him as Savior.

 

Lest there be any question as to whom the writer is referring as being the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, he names Him as Christ Jesus.

 

There is no significant difference between Christ Jesus and Jesus Christ other than emphasis. By placing Christ before Jesus, the writer emphasized the name of Christ, i.e. the portion of His name meaning Messiah or Anointed One, rather than the name of Jesus, i.e. the portion of His name meaning safety, saving, or salvation.

We also note that –

  II.     MOSES WAS FAITHFUL AS A SERVANT IN GOD’S HOUSE; WHEREAS, CHRIST WAS FAITHFUL AS A SON OVER GOD’S HOUSE – 3:2-6

 

In verses 2-6 a contrast is seen between the Lord Jesus Christ and Moses. Moses was indeed faithful, but Moses was not in the exalted position which Christ occupied. Moses was only a human leader of the nation of Israel; whereas, Jesus is God.

 

Hebrews 3:2-6 – (2) Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. (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. (4) For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. (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; (6) But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

 

In verse 2 Jesus is described by who was faithful to him that appointed him.

 

Who refers to Christ.

 

Was faithful suggests was dependable, was trustworthy, or was reliable.

 

It was to him that appointed him that Jesus was faithful, i.e. it was to God the Father that Jesus was faithful.

 

As also Moses was faithful in all his house indicates that just as Christ was faithful to God the Father, Moses was likewise faithful to God the Father. He did not shirk his responsibilities.

 

Also suggests in addition to Christ and implies that Christ was not the only faithful One.

 

Whereas Christ was faithful to God the Father Who appointed Him, Moses was faithful in all his house, i.e. in all God’s house rather than in all Moses’ own house.

 

Here house suggests the nation of Israel or the people of God.

 

Hebrews 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.

 

For introduces a new step in the logic of the passage and is understood in the sense of now.

 

This man is literally this One and refers to Christ Jesus.

 

Was counted worthy of is was considered worthy of or was deserving of, and its tense indicates that its action was completed in the past with its result continuing on. In addition, its passive voice suggests that Someone else has considered Him worthy, and that Someone else has to be God the Father. He is the only One competent to evaluate Christ’s worth properly. Thus, God the Father considered Jesus to be deserving and still considers Him to be deserving.

 

What Christ has been considered worthy (or deserving) of is more glory than Moses.

 

Glory has to do with splendor or majesty.

 

Moses was indeed worthy of a great deal of glory; nevertheless, no matter how much glory Moses deserved as the leader of the exodus, the lawgiver, a man greatly used of God to lead the nation of Israel throughout the forty years of wandering in the wilderness, and the writer of the first five books of the Bible, the glory of which he was considered worthy is not to be compared with the glory of which Christ has been considered worthy.

 

Inasmuch as is simply just as.

 

He who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house is a statement intended to show that Christ has more honor than Moses.

 

He who hath builded is the one who has constructed or the one who has built. It means that He is a builder; and the house is what He has built. The one who has done the work and who has done it well is to be praised for his work. He will get the credit due him for building such a wonderful house. In this house God the Father, as the Creator, is the builder; and the house is the nation of Israel.

 

Whereas God the Father built the house, Moses was merely part of the house.

 

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

 

For introduces the explanation of the last half of verse 3.

 

Every house is builded by some man is a general truth. If there is a house, somebody had to build it.

 

Some man is someone or somebody.

 

But introduces a contrast.

 

He that built all things is God indicates that the One Who has erected all things or constructed all things is God the Father rather than Christ.

 

All things is all-inclusive. Nothing is excepted.

 

If it was built, God built it.

 

Although it is true that Christ is God, the author is not attempting to show this here. He could have written that Christ is superior to Moses because Christ is God and because Moses is a mere human being. However, this is not the logic of the writer in these verses. Even though it is true, he is not arguing that Christ is superior to Moses because He is God. He is arguing that Christ is the son of the One who built the house and; as the son, He is worthy of more glory than a servant in the house.

 

Hebrews 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.

 

Verse 5 returns to the thought of verse 2 regarding Moses: And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant.

 

And . . . verily is emphatic, meaning and indeed, and in fact, or and certainly.

 

Faithful is the same word translated faithful in verse 2 meaning dependable, trustworthy, or reliable.

 

In all his house is in His whole house, in His complete house, or in His entire house, where his refers to God the Father.

 

Moses’ position is then contrasted with Christ’s position. Moses was faithful as a servant. This is in contrast with Christ’s faithfulness as a son in verse 6.

 

Servant means attendant and is a term of dignity and freedom rather than merely a bondslave.

 

Moses’ faithfulness as a servant provided a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after.

 

For a testimony is for a proof or for something which serves as a testimony. It may instead refer to the testimony or to the proof itself.

 

For is used in the sense of for the purpose of.

 

Of the things which were to be spoken after is of the things which shall have been spoken in the future or of the things which shall be spoken of in the future. In this sense the future is now. Over three thousand years later believers can look back upon Moses and conclude that he indeed was faithful as a servant in all God’s house.

 

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

 

Verse 6 provides a contrast to verse 5 as is indicated by but: but Christ as a son over his own house.

 

Christ is mentioned in contrast to Moses.

 

The reader must supply was faithful from verse 5 or is faithful from the context.

 

Christ was faithful as a son over his own house. The word translated his own is the same word translated his in verse 5. The King James translators have translated this word in a way which suggests that this house is Christ’s house. However, the Greek text merely says His house; and His may just as well refer to God the Father as to Christ and fits the context better. This means that verse 6 is a reference to the same house as verse 5. Whereas Moses had been faithful in God’s house in his capacity as a servant, Christ was faithful in God’s house in His capacity as a son.

 

An adult son, of course, is higher in position than a servant or attendant. Also, the servant or attendant was merely a part of the household; but the son ruled over the household. Therefore, Jesus is worthy of more glory than Moses.

 

The rest of verse 6 indicates that continuing to hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end is a proof that one has been saved. It is not a condition for salvation.

 

In whose house are we, whose refers to God the Father. It is God the Father’s house and is ruled over by Christ.

 

House, as in verse 2, suggests God’s people.

 

Are we indicates something that is presently true, something that is a present reality rather than a future possibility.

 

We refers to professing believers and is emphatic. It indicates that, in the writer’s view, the ones to whom he is writing are genuinely saved. There is no doubt in his mind that they are genuinely saved. Believers are God’s house; whereas, unbelievers are not.

 

If we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end is a condition which may or may not prove to be true. However, it is very possible.

 

An ending is placed on the Greek word translated if in order to intensify it so that its meaning is if indeed.

 

If we hold fast means if indeed we retain or if indeed we retain faithfully, and we refers to those professing salvation.

 

Hold fast is the same word translated hold in verse 14 and means retain, retain faithfully, or keep.

 

What believers hold fast is the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope.

 

The confidence is the courage, the boldness, the fearlessness, or the joyfulness.

 

And introduces a second thing believers hold fast.

 

It is the rejoicing of the hope, which is the boast of the hope. This would seem to be either the gospel itself or the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and suggests the hope of one’s eternal salvation.

 

Believers holding fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope means that they continue believing.

 

They are to hold fast this confidence and rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

 

Firm, when used literally, means permanent; but when used figuratively as it is in this verse, it means reliable, dependable, or certain.

 

Unto the end suggests forever or throughout all eternity.

 

Because of this condition, some have erroneously concluded that believers may lose their salvation. In their view, if believers do not continue to hold fast the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end, they will lose their salvation.

 

However, this is not the case. If the condition of holding fast the cofidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end is met, then this signifies that they are God’s house at the present time.

 

To suggest that believers could lose their salvation would require a future tense of are rather than a present tense so that whose house are we would have to be whose house we shall be.

 

By contrast, if the condition of holding fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end is not met, then they are not now (and never have been) God’s house.

 

In other words, if the condition is negated, then the result of the condition must also be negated.

 

Thus, continuing to trust in the gospel is the proof of one’s salvation rather than the condition of it.

 

If he is genuinely saved, he will continue trusting Christ.

 

If he falls away from his trust, it will be a demonstration that he was never saved in the first place.

 

There is no hint here that genuine believers might lose their salvation.

 

If any of these Jews who are professing salvation abandons his hope in Christ, it will demonstrate that his profession did not constitute genuine saving faith.