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CLOSER CONSIDERATION OF OUR HIGH PRIEST
Victor M. Eskew
1. Consider (Heb. 3:1)
2. Compare and Contrast (Heb. 3:2-6a)
3. Confidence (Heb. 3:6b)
I. CONSIDER (Heb. 3:1)
II. COMPARE AND CONTRAST (Heb. 3:2-6a).
A. Comparison (Heb. 3:2)
B. Contrasts (Heb. 3:3-6a)
1. Builder versus a member of the house (Heb. 3:3-4)
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 every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.
a. Jesus was counted worthy of more glory than Moses.
1) This expression immediately sets Jesus above Moses.
a) Counted worthy: deemed, entitled, judged worthy, deserving
b) More glory: dignity, honor, praise, a more exalted state
3) Why Jesus is worthy of more glory and honor than Moses could be the topic of an entire lesson. Our writer only gives two reasons.
b. Jesus is the builder of the house.
1) Builder (2680)
a) To construct, erect, create
b) To prepare thoroughly…with the idea of adorning and equipping with all things necessary (HGTV: Dream House)
2) When man sees an exceptionally beautiful house, he gives praise to the builder and/or architect. The beauty of the house is a reflection of the wisdom of the builder.
3) Wacaster: “Though Moses may have been appointed as a leader of Israel, it is never said of him that he ‘built’ or was in any way the be-ginning of Israel; he was not the founder, but simply a member of the family. But as far as Christ is concerned, it is said that He is the ‘builder’ of the church, God’s spiritual family (cf. Matt. 16:18; Eph. 2:20)” (107).
c. Jesus is more than the builder of the church, He is the Creator of all things (Heb. 3:4).
For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.
1) Two passages that indicate that Jesus was involved in the Creation.
a) John 1:3
All things were made by him; and without him was not made anything that was made.
b) Colossians 1:16-17
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
2) Wacaster: “The writer is showing that Christ is superior because He is the one who built everything, physical and spiritual, something neither Moses nor angels ever did” (109).
d. IMPORTANT NOTE: Here we see the writer using an argument for the existence of God called the Teleological Argument.
1) This is the argument from design. If something exists that exhibits design, it logically follows that there was a designer.
2) For every house is builded by some man…
3) We see the universe and its colossal design, and, it, too, had a builder.
a) A watch does not come from an explosion in a metal factory.
b) The universe did not come from a big bang that happened billions of years ago.
4) Numerous passages set forth the teleological argument.
a) Psalm 19:1-3
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
b) Psalm 139:14
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
c) Romans 1:19-20
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.
2. Son versus servant (Heb. 3:5-6a)
And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; but Christ as a son over his own house…
a. Definition of servant:
1) There are two Greek words translated servant in the New Testament.
a) One emphasizes the position of a servant (doulos).
b) The other focuses upon the performance of a service (therapohn).
2) It is the latter one that describes Moses here. He was a merciful servant as he performed his duties as the leader of Israel.
b. He was faithful in all his house.
1) As a leader, many duties were assigned to him.
2) He fulfilled his role in every aspect.
3) LESSON: Faithfulness does not just involve the responsibilities we like. It involves carrying out all the duties assigned to a person.
c. Moses position and authority was a “testimony” of things to come.
1) Testimony (3142): something evidential
2) The OT economy was evidence of things to come in the New Testament, including the Christ.
A BRIEF COMPARISON
Old Testament New Testament
Old Law New Law
Children of Israel Children of God
Sacrifices Jesus Christ
Wilderness Christian life
d. In contrast to Moses was Jesus Christ. He was not a servant; He was “a son over his own house.”
1) A son is greater than a servant.
2) He is also the owner of the house. It is “his own house.”
C. Confidence (Heb. 3:6b)
…whose house we are, if we hold fast the confidence and rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
1. The church is the house of God.
a. I Timothy 3:15
But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
b. Christians are the living stones in this house (I Pet. 2:5).
Ye also, as lively stones are built up a spiritual house.
2. NOTE: Our place in the house of God is conditional.
a. “If” we hold fast.
b. Wacaster: “Such conditional statements appear throughout the letter, a fact that is most significant. To our knowledge no other letter in the New Testament uses such repeated instances of this ‘conditionality’ as does Hebrews. This note of contingency runs all through the Epistle. We are God’s house if we do not desert. Why theologians cannot see this is beyond our ability to grasp” (111).
c. The inspired writer tells us we must “hold fast.”
a) Strong (2722): to hold down (fast)
b) Thayer: to hold fast, keep secure, keep firm possession of
c) Vincent: the holding one’s course toward
2) Two things that must be hold fast:
- Strong (3954): assurance
- Thayer: free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance
- Freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech…openly, frankly, without concealment, without ambiguity or circumlocution (roundabout way of speaking)
b) Rejoicing of hope
- Rejoicing (2745): a boast, that in which one glories or can glory
- Hope (1680): expectation of good…joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation
- Bruce: Christians live by faith and not by sight; but while this hope is in things unseen, it is something to exult in, not to be ashamed of.
3) LESSON: Danger, we learn two of the first steps toward apostasy.
a) The loss of boldness in the face of the enemy.
b) A failure to rejoice in one’s hope of salvation.
c) Two other elements are given to us in Romans 1:21.
Because that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
4) How are these two things to be held: FIRM
a) Strong (949): stable :- firm, steadfast, sure
b) Thayer: stable, fast, firm
5) How long are they to be hold firm? UNTIL THE END
a) Strong (5056): conclusion of an act or state
b) Thayer: end, termination, the limit at which a thing ceases to be…that by which a thing is finished, its close
A. Christ is greater than Moses.
B. We are part of Christ’s house.
C. We must hold fast and firm until the end!