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Hebrews 3:1-19

July 16, 2009
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Hebrews 3:1-19


3:1 SO THEN, brethren, consecrated and set apart for God, who share in the heavenly calling, [thoughtfully and attentively] consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest Whom we confessed [as ours when we embraced the Christian faith].

1.       The Israelites had an earthly calling, they were called out of Egypt to gointo the promised land, Christians have a heavenly calling;

2.       Among the Jews the high priest was considered to be also the apostle of God; He exhorts the Hebrews to consider Jesus to be both their High Priest and Apostle and these offices are only filled by Jesus.

a.       The Mosaic economy was at an end and the priesthood changed.

b.      Every system of religion must have a priest to minister in holy things, and a prophet to declare the will of God.

2[See how] faithful He was to Him Who appointed Him [Apostle and High Priest], as Moses was also faithful in the whole house [of God]. [Num 12:7.]

1.        The secret of God was with Moses, but all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge were in Christ.

a.       Life and immortality were comparatively secrets until Christ revealed and illustrated them, and even the divine nature was but little known, until Jesus Christ came.

b.      Moses received the secrets of God, and faithfully taught them to the people; Jesus revealed the whole will of God to mankind.

c.       Moses was thus faithful to a small part of mankind, namely, the Jewish people; but in this sense Jesus was faithful to all mankind; for he was the light to enlighten the Gentiles, and the glory of his people Israel.

3 Yet Jesus has been considered worthy of much greater honor and glory than Moses, just as the builder of a house has more honor than the house [itself].

1.       Weíve already seen by the previous verses the writer has proven that Jesus is higher than the angels, now heís showing that Heís also higher than Moses and Aaron.

2.       The house is the church of God, the family of believers that is built by Christ; while Moses was a faithful servant in this house.

4 For [of course] every house is built and furnished by someone, but the Builder of all things and the Furnisher [of the entire equipment of all things] is God.

1.       House here signifies family or church.

2.       Man may found families, civil & religious communities, but God alone is the Head, the Governor of the universe.

3.       Who could found the church & govern it but God alone.

5 And Moses certainly was faithful in the administration of all God's house [but it was only] as a ministering servant. [In his entire ministry he was but] a testimony to the things which were to be spoken [the revelations to be given afterward in Christ]. [Num 12:7.] 


6 But Christ (the Messiah) was faithful over His [own Father's] house as a Son [and Master of it]. And it is we who are [now members] of this house, if we hold fast and firm to the end our joyful and exultant confidence and sense of triumph in our hope [in Christ].

1.       Moses was faithful as a servant in the house; Jesus was faithful, as the first-born son, over the house of which he is Heir & Governor.

2.       This is the conclusion of the argument in reference to Christís superiority over Moses.

3.       We Christians are His church & family.

4.       Hold to our courage: Gr. Parrhesia; out-spokenness, assurance: signifies freedom of speech & liberty of access to God which is an important Christian privilege which they didnít have in the Old Testament.

5.       If we donít retain the grace, we wonít inherit the glory.

7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you will hear His voice,

1.       Her e, these words were said by the Holy spirit and it proves that in Ps 95:7 David wrote by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

2.       These words were originally a warning to the Israelites not to provoke God, and these words were used here to persuade the Christians in Palestine to hold fast their religious privileges, and the grace they had received so they would not come short of the future glory which Christ had prepared for them.

3.       The words strongly imply, as indeed does the whole letter, the possibility of falling from the grace of God and perish everlastingly.

4.       Without this supposition these words, and all such like it, making up more than two-thirds of the whole of divine revelation wouldnít make sense.

5.       Why would God exhort a believer to persevere, if it were impossible to fall away.

6.       Angels fell, Adam fell, Solomon fell, and multitudes of believers have fallen, and, for all we know, never rose again; and yet many preach that we canít lose the benefits of our conversion.

7.       Satan preached this doctrine to our first parents; they believed him, sinned, and fell; and brought the whole world to ruin.


8 Do not harden your hearts, as [happened] in the rebellion [of Israel] and their provocation and embitterment [of Me] in the day of testing in the wilderness,

1.       If we donít hear His voice, we will harden our hearts.

2.       1st provocation: in the wilderness of sin, complained for lack of bread, and had manna given to them.

3.       2nd time at Rephidim: no water, and insolently saying, Is the Lord God among us or not.

4.       3rd time: Sinai-made the golden calf.

5.       4th time: Taberah-murmured for want of flesh to eat.

6.       Greatest provocation: refusing to go into Canaan from Kadesh , which excluded them from His rest in Canaan.

9 Where your fathers tried [My patience] and tested [My forbearance] and found I stood their test, and they saw My works for forty years.

10 And so I was provoked (displeased and sorely grieved) with that generation, and said, They always err and are led astray in their hearts, and they have not perceived or recognized My ways and become progressively better and more experimentally and intimately acquainted with them.

1.       God represents himself as the Father of this great Jewish family, for whose comfort and support he had made every necessary provision, and to whom he had given every proof of tenderness and fatherly affection.

2.       Because they disobeyed him, and walked in the way in which they could not but be miserable, therefore he represents himself as grieved and exceedingly displeased with them.

3.       Their affections are set on earthly things, and they do not acknowledge my ways to be right-holy, just, and good.

4.       They are radically evil: and they are evil continually. They have every proof of my power and goodness, and lay nothing to heart.

a.       They might have been saved, but they would not. God was grieved on this account.

11 Accordingly, I swore in My wrath and indignation, They shall not enter into My rest. [Ps 95:7-11.]

1.       Godís grief at their continued disobedience became wrath at their final impenitence, and therefore excluded them from the promised rest.

12[Therefore beware] brethren, take care, lest there be in any one of you a wicked, unbelieving heart [which refuses to cleave to, trust in, and rely on Him], leading you to turn away and desert or stand aloof from the living God.

1.       We are to take warning by these disobedient Israelites which were delivered out of slavery, and had the promise of a land of prosperity and rest.

a.       By their disobedience they came short of it, and fell in the wilderness.

2.       We have been brought from the bondage of sin, and have a promise of an everlasting inheritance among the saints.

a.       As through unbelief and disobedience ďTHEYĒ lost their rest, and through the same we ďcanĒ lose ours.

3.       An evil heart of unbelief will lead us away from the living God.

4.       What was possible in their case, is possible in ours.

5.       The apostle shows 5 degrees of apostasy:

a.       Consenting to sin, being deceived by its pull.

b.      Hardness of heart, through giving way to sin.

c.       Unbelief in this consequence of this hardness which leads them to call even the truth of the Gospel in question.

d.      This unbelief causing them to speak evil of the gospel, and the provision God made for our salvation.

6.       Apostasy itself, or falling away from the living God, thus extinguishing all the light that was in them, and finally grieving the Spirit of God, so that he leaves them to a seared conscience and reprobate mind.

a.       He who begins to give the least way to sin is in danger of final apostasy.

                                                                           i.      The best remedy against this is to get the evil heart removed.


13 But instead warn (admonish, urge, and encourage) one another every day, as long as it is called Today, that none of you may be hardened [into settled rebellion] by the deceitfulness of sin [by the fraudulence, the stratagem, the trickery which the delusive glamor of his sin may play on him].

1.       Warn daily: this supposes a state of close church fellowship, without which they could not have had access to each other.

2.       Daily implies time continued, use time while you have it, for all will be future, eternity.

3.       They, (the Israelites) said letís return to Egypt, and thus exhorted each other to depart from the living God.

a.       Be warned by their example and donít let that unbelieving heart be in us as was in them.

b.      Exhort each other daily to cling to the living God, or like them, you may be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

14 For we have become fellows with Christ (the Messiah) and share in all He has for us, if only we hold our first newborn confidence and original assured expectation [in virtue of which we are believers] firm and unshaken to the end.

1.       Having believed in Christ as the promised Messiah, they were made partakers of all its benefits in this life, and entitled to all the great and precious promises included in the New Covenant.

2.       Confidence: Gr. Hupostasis: to place or stand signifies a basis or foundation built by something else.

a.       Their faith in Christ was this hypostasis or foundation; and on that all their peace, comfort, and salvation were built.

b.      If this were not held fast to the end would we no longer have a part in this great salvation?

15 Then while it is [still] called Today, if you would hear His voice and when you hear it, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion [in the desert, when the people provoked and irritated and embittered God against them]. [Ps 95:7,8.] 

1.       This shows the necessity of perseverance.

16 For who were they who heard and yet were rebellious and provoked [Him]? Was it not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses?


17 And with whom was He irritated and provoked and grieved for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose dismembered bodies were strewn and left in the desert?

1.       Joshua and Caleb were exempted.

2.       Eleazar, the son of Aaron , was one of those who entered Canaan.

3.       The priests and the whole tribe of Levi, very likely did not provoke God and all didnít die in the wilderness.

a.       The levites and priests didnít fight their way into Canaan because they were exempt, being entirely devoted to the service of the sanctuary.

18 And to whom did He swear that they should not enter His rest, but to those who disobeyed [who had not listened to His word and who refused to be compliant or be persuaded]?

19 So we see that they were not able to enter [into His rest], because of their unwillingness to adhere to and trust in and rely on God [unbelief had shut them out]. [Num 14:1-35.

1.       They had the necessary strength, divine counsel to instruct them, they had these in abundance, but they chose to sin and would not believe.

2.       Unbelief produces disobedience, disobedience produces hardness of heart and blindness of mind.

3.       This whole chapter is an important lesson against backsliders, triflers, and loiterers in the way of salvation.

a.       Every believer in Christ is in danger of apostasy while any remains of the evil heart of unbelief are found in him.

b.      God has promised to purify the heart, and the blood of Christ cleanses from all sin, as we (genuine Christians look to God in total earnestness and sincerity.

4.       If man would defer his salvation to any future time it shows that he prefers, at least for the present, the Devil to Christ, sin to holiness, and earth to heaven.

5.       God will not be mocked, what a man sows he reaps; If he sows to the flesh, he shall reap corruption.

6.       Unbelief has generally considered the most damning of sins. Why? They are not permitting their minds to be persuaded of the truths of God. Gr. Apistia, unbelief.

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