Journal – October 24, 2021
1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, 2.who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house.
THE SON WAS FAITHFUL (PART 1)
Vs. 1, 2 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, 2.who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house. Notice, those addressed are called brethren, the Holy Spirit leads the author to call those addressed by his letter brethren, having a spirituall interest in the same family of God with himself, also with respect to their new relationship in Christ. By using the word holy, he means sanctified ones. By this title of holy brethren, the author reveals his high regard for them or respect to them upon looking at their persons sanctified by the Spirit and word of Christ, and a dear affection for them as his brethren. By the treatment of them he gives great evidence of his sincerity in dealing with them, for they might not fear that he would impose anything on them whom he honored as holy and loved brethren. And hereby he smooths the way to his following exhortation.
Partakers of the heavenly calling. This calling is first described by its quality, it is heavenly it is the calling that is from above. It is called heavenly because God the Father is the fountain and principal cause of it, also, in respect of the means whereby this calling is worked, which is spiritual and heavenly, namely the Word and the Spirit from above. The Apostle calls the gospel “the voice of Him that speaks from heaven.” Also, it is called a heavenly calling because of the end to which they are called, which is heaven and heavenly things. The Apostle assigns to these Hebrews a participation in this heavenly calling. They were partakers of it and had an interest in it, together with himself. And this he does that he might manifest to them wherein their great privilege consisted, and which, as such they were to value. The call of Abraham which was the foundation of all their privileges in Judaism, was but an early call on the earth and to the earth, but this was in every way more excellent, being heavenly.
Also, to set forth the grace of God towards the Jews and his own faith concerning them, that they were not all rejected of God, notwithstanding the hardness and obstinacy of most of them. On the other hand, he insinuates they were not to make an enclosure of this privilege, like them of old wherewith they were entrusted. The Gentiles being fellow heirs with them, they were partakers with others in this heavenly calling. Also, he declares his own communion with them in this great privilege, where they might understand his intimate concern in their state and condition. Also, he reminds them of their duty from their privilege. Being partakers of the heavenly calling unto Christ, it must needs be their duty to consider Him, which he exhorts them to do. Observe then:
- That dispensers of the gospel ought to use holy prudence in winning upon the minds of them whom they are to instruct.
- Believers are all related one to another in the nearest and strictest bond of an equal relation; they are all holy brethren.
- All true and real professors of the gospel are sanctified by the Holy Spirit and made truly and really holy.
- No man comes to a useful saving knowledge of Jesus Christ in the gospel but by virtue of an effectual heavenly calling.
- The effectual heavenly calling of believers is their great privilege wherein they have cause to rejoice, and which always ought to remind them of their duty to Him that hath called them.
Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus. Consider, presently (chapter 5:11, 14) the Apostle blames them for their being remiss and backwards in learning the doctrines of the gospel; so here he seems to intimate that they had not sufficiently weighed and pondered the nature and quality of the Person of Christ and His offices and were therefore kept in their entanglements to Judaism.
The Apostle, The Lord Jesus Christ is the one sent of God upon His great errand to the children of men—His Apostle. He whom God hath sent is His own description of Himself. This is His authority for the work He had to do, He came not of Himself, but was sent of God, even the Father, and therefore spoke in His Name, and fed the Church in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the Name of the LORD HIS GOD. His work as the Apostle was to reveal and declare the will of the Father unto the children of men. To declare the father Himself (John 1:18) and His name (John 17:6, 26); that is the mystery of His will concerning our obedience and salvation. I leave unto consideration whether there may not be some special respect unto His peculiar mission intended in this name and title here only given Him. He was in His own personal ministry on the earth a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers.
And High Priest. To explain to those Hebrews how the Lord Christ has the preeminence in all things, he instructs them that have the office—that of an Apostle which of old was executed by Moses, and that of a High Priest committed to Aaron—were now vested in Him alone intending later to show how far He excels them both, and how excellent were His offices in comparison of theirs, though they came under the same name.
Of our confession. The words may be taken objectively and passively. The Apostle and High Priest whom we profess, that is believe, declare, own to be so. Or they may designate the Author of our confession—the Apostle and High Priest who has revealed and declared the faith which we profess. Our confession is the gospel, with the worship and obedience required therein. The word our is used by way of discrimination, whatever by others He be esteemed to as He is the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, and it is our inexhaustible privilege and honor that He is so. From all this we see that the business of God with sinners could be no way transacted but by the negotiation and mission of the Son. There was a threefold greatness in this matter, which none was fit to manage but the Son of God:
- A greatness of grace, love, and condescension. That the great God should send to treat with sinners for the ends of His message, for peace and reconciliation, is a thing that all creation must admire, and that to eternity.
- There is a greatness in the work itself that is incumbent on the Apostle of God, which required that the Son should be engaged thereon. He alone could perfectly represent the Father to us. This an ambassador must do, he bears and represents the person by whom he is sent. But who could represent the person of Him by whom Christ is sent? Who could represent the Person of the Father to sinners? Surely, none but He who is in Himself, the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His Person. He who is the image of the invisible God. The noteworthiness of the work required that He who undertook it must be intimately acquainted with all the secret counsels of God that lay hidden in His infinite wisdom and will from all eternity. Now who shall manage the whole treaty between God and sinners? The only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father. He hath declared Him. The nature of this work required that the Apostle of God to sinners should be able to make to be believed and received by them. Without this the whole work and undertaking might be frustrated. And this He did by the effectual working of His Spirit; the dispensation was wholly committed to Him.
- There is a greatness in the end of this work; this was no less than to establish peace between God and man. He is our peace, and He came and preached peace; therefore, He is called the Word of God, the Counsellor, the Angel or Messenger of the covenant, and here the Apostle of our confession.
Who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as also Moses was faithful in all His house. The chief qualification of an apostle or ambassador is that he is faithful. He was faithful, the Apostle states this absolutely, that comparatively faithful as was Moses. His being faithful is annexed to the mention of two offices, apostolical and sacerdotal, yet as appears from the ensuing discourse, it relates only to the former. Faithfulness consists in two things, a trust committed and a discharge of that trust. Our Lord had a trust committed to Him, for it pleased the Father to lay all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, to commit unto Him the whole mystery of His will and grace and sent Him to make known the last full declaration of His mind and will as to His worship with the obedience and salvation of the Church. This trust He discharged faithfully. He sought not His own glory, but the glory of Him that sent Him, He always declared His message not to be His own, but His Father’s, and He declared the whole will or word of God that was committed unto Him.
In all this He was faithful to Him who appointed Him. This appointment consists of a fivefold act of God in reference to His being made an Apostle:
- In His eternal designation to this work and office, He was foreordained before the foundation of the world.
- In the solemn promise made from the beginning to send Him.
- In the sending of Him actually into the world to be the light of men.
- In the declaration He made of Him to be His Apostle and Ambassador by a visible sign, this was done by the descending of the Holy Spirit upon Him in the likeness of a dove.
- Unto these acts of appointment God added His command, and published it from heaven unto all, to hear and obey Him, as the great Teacher sent from God, as His Apostle, speaking in His name.
As also Moses was faithful in all His house. Although Moses failed personally in His faith, there is no impeachment of his faithfulness in the special office intended—an apostle of God. According to all the Lord commanded, so he did. And Moses was faithful in all God’s house, in His household, in His family. Thus does the Apostle enter upon his intended proof of the preeminence of Christ above Moses, he grants that they were both prophets, both Apostles of God, sent by Him to declare His mind and will, that they were both faithful in the discharge of their office and trust, and that this trust extended to the whole Church, and all that was to be done therein in the worship of God. The difference lay in what he declares in the next verse.
Catechism Question 83
Q: What is forbidden in the ninth commandment?
A: The ninth commandment forbids whatsoever is prejudicial to truth, or injurious to our own, or ouyr neighbor’s good name.
25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
“Prove it” Catechism Question 118
Q: How many petitions are there in the Lord’s Prayer?
Prove it: Matthew 6:9-13 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.