Journal – October 31, 2021
3 For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house. 4 For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. 5 And Moses indeed was faithful in all his house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, 6 but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.
THE SON WAS FAITHFUL (PART 2)
Vs. 3, 4 For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house. 4 For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. The Apostle grants and supposes that Moses was worthy of honor. His honor consisted principally in the work wherein he was employed—God singled him out from all the posterity of Abraham to be the sole mediator between Him and the people, and in his fidelity in the discharge of his work and office. The Apostle would not give the Jews the least cause for suspicion that he would distract from the honor and praise due to Moses. The unbelievers among them boasted of Moses to the contempt of the Lord Christ. We know that God spoke to Moses; but as for this fellow, we do not know where he is from (John 9:29). But these things did not move the Apostle to deal partially with the truth. He allows unto Moses his due glory and honor and yet asserts the excellency of Christ above him. This man—the God-man—was counted worthy of more glory than Moses. The glory here spoken of is not that which is due to His Person (as afterwards shall be more fully declared), but that which belongs to Him in His office, the office which He discharged towards the Church.
Inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house. In these words, we learn:
- That Christ built the house—the Church of God.
- That He was worthy of glory and honor on that account.
- That His glory and honor was incomparably greater than that of Moses. When we remember what is said in the Word of God as to the materials of which the house was built: dead in trespasses and sins, enemies, children of wrath—we may see a little how Jesus Christ—the Builder—was incomparably more glorious than Moses, or any of the sons of men.
For every house is built by someone but He who built all things is God. By all things we are to understand all things belonging to the building—the Church of God. Now, He who built all things is God. That it is the Lord Christ who is intended here is plain, for the Apostle is proving that He is more honorable than Moses, and that upon account of His building the house of God; the house could only be built in such a glorious manner because its Builder is God.
Vs. 5-6 And Moses indeed was faithful in all his house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterwards, 6 but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.
Moses indeed was faithful in all his house as a servant. The office ascribed to Moses is that of a servant, a minister, an officer in holy things. This was his place, honor, and dignity. Moses was faithful as a servant in all His house. Other servants were used in various parts of the house, but the glory of Moses was that he was used in the whole house, in every part of it. All things, for the use of all ages, until the time of reformation should come, were ordered by him. But as we shall see, this left him incomparably inferior to the Lord Christ.
For a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward. By what Moses did in the service of the house of God, he gave testimony to those things—the gospel—which were to be spoken after; he ordered all things by God’s direction in the typical worship of the house, so that they might be a pledge and testimony of what God would afterwards reveal and exhibit in the gospel. Herein was Moses faithful, and now the Apostle takes leave of Moses. He does not treat about him anymore, therefore he gives him, as it were an honorable burial. He puts this glorious epitaph on his grave: Moses a faithful servant of the Lord in His whole house.
But Christ is a Son over His own house. The term ‘faithful’ is here understood. Christ was faithful as a Son. Every word proves the preeminence of Christ that is asserted. He is a Son, Moses is a servant; He is over the house, Moses is in the house. He is over His own house; Moses was in the house of another. Absolute and supreme authority over all persons and things is intended in this expression, over His own house.
Whose house we are. That is believers who worship Him according to the gospel. Believers are the house of God; in them He dwells really by His Spirit. Therefore, they are said to be ‘living stones,’ and to be built on Christ into a holy temple, and as such God dwells in them.
If we hold fast our confidence, and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. These words are a description of the persons who are the house of Christ, from a certain effect or addition of that faith they became to be so. They are such, and only such, as hold fast their confidence and rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end, whereby they are distinguished from temporary professors, who may fall away. The confidence here intended does refer to our hope no less than the rejoicing, but with confidence. This is evident from the construction of the words, for the word ‘firm’ does not agree with ‘hope’ or ‘rejoicing’ but with confidence. The genuine sense of these words will best appear from a consideration of the state and condition of the Hebrews at this time. Their condition was one of persecution, and therefore of danger in backsliding.
Now a hope in us of a blessed immortality and glory by Jesus Christ requires two things from us:
- A free, bold, and open profession of that truth upon which our hope is built, and that against all dangers or oppositions, for we know that this hope will never make us ashamed. This is the confidence here mentioned—a confident, open profession of our hope.
- An open opposing of our hope, or that which is hoped for, unto all difficulties, dangers, and persecutions, with a holy boasting and glorying, or rejoicing in our lot and portion, because the foundation of our hope is sure, and the things we hope for are precious and excellent, and that to the contempt of everything that rises against them. This is the rejoicing in hope here intended.
The Apostle shows us how such confidence and rejoicing of the hope are to be secured if we hold fast. . .firm unto the end. By the expression if we hold fast, is represented to us in the great opposition that will arise, against this duty, against our firmness and consistency in profession, also that great care, diligence, and endeavor are to be used in this matter, or we shall fail and miscarry in it. The meaning of the word ‘firm’the Apostle explains chapter 10:23; ‘without wavering,’ without declining from it, or shaking in it. And in this we must continue unto the end, as long as we live in this world, until we come to the end of our faith, even the end of our lives and the salvation of our souls. Observe then:
- That the building of the Church of God is so great and glorious a work so that it could not be accomplished by any but God. He that built all things is God.
- The greatest and most honorable of the sons of men, that are employed in the work of God in His house, are but servants, and themselves part of the house. Moses verily was a servant. They are servants. Because no man has anything to do in His house but by virtue of commission from Him who is the only Lord and Ruler of it. This testifies them to be servants. Also, because it is required of them as servants, to observe and obey the commands of their Lord. And because, as servants they are accountable for all that they do in the house of their Lord. Because as servants they shall receive their reward; they serve a good, just, great, and gracious Lord, who will not forget their labor, but will give to them a crown at His appearing.
- The great end of all Mosical institutions was to represent, or prefigure, or give testimony unto the grace of the gospel by Jesus Christ.
- It is an eminent privilege to be in the house of Christ or a part of that house, whose house we are and that because this house is God’s building, a house that He built, and that in a most admirable manner. The house is so built that none is employed in a way of authority in the building of it but the Lord Christ alone, the Son and Lord over His own house. also, in this house God dwells by His Spirit. You are built together for a habitation of God by His Spirit. Unspeakable is this privilege and so are the advantages which depend upon it.
- This great privilege requires an answer of duty. Because we are this house of God, it becomes us to hold fast our confidence to the end. Because of our being the house of God. many duties are incumbent upon us, as universal holiness, especially purity of body and soul becoming the habitation of the Holy Spirit; endeavors to fill up the place, state, condition, and relation that we hold to the house for the good of the whole.
- In times of trial and persecution, freedom, boldness and consistency in profession are good evidence to ourselves that we are living stones in the house of God. In the discharge of this duty the glory of God is greatly concerned. Another way of giving glory to God is not available to us; but by bearing witness to His excellencies that that is glorifying Him as God. Again, by these means, the souls of the saints have a trial and experiment of their own grace, of what sort it is as Abraham had of his own faith and obedience in the great experiment which God gave him by His command to sacrifice Isaac. Trial graces are exceeding precious and are evidence to those so tested that they belong to the house of God.
- Interest in the gospel gives sufficient cause of confidence and rejoicing in every condition, hold fast the rejoicing of your hope.
- So many and great are the difficulties and temptations that be in the way of profession, so great the number of those that decay in it, or apostatize from it, that the principal evidence of its truth and sincerity is to be taken from its endurance unto the end. Whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope unto the end.
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 neighbor: for we are members one of another.
“Prove it” Catechism Question 119
Q: What is the first petition?
A: Hallowed be Thy name.
Prove it: Matthew 6:9 Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.