JohnSWilson3 Blog

“…he has spoken to us by his Son…”
June 16, 2011, 2:10 pm
Filed under: Q - Letter to Hebrews

For some time now I have been meditating on this letter of Hebrews. I have read it many times and I am continually amazed at what God shows me from the reading of it. I have opted to try and not be persuaded by one doctrine or another, or any denomination’s view of it but to look at it “straight on” so to speak and hear from Christ personally. I think I have. Just like in Paul’s letters to the Ephesian and Colossian churches this letter is also a “Jesus manifesto” (as Frank Viola would put it) as it is focused solely on the centrality and supremacy of Jesus Christ our Lord. The perspective though seems to indicate the letter was written primarily to those brothers and sisters who were being drawn away from the simple and organic nature of living by Christ’s life together to living by principles, by religion or the Jewish law, and by the flesh. All gatherings of the body of Christ in the beginning were organic in nature, living by Christ’s life, but Paul saw early on that there is a conflict and that conflict tends to move or draw His people away from living by Christ to living by the flesh, legalism, and institutionalism. So in a sense there are warnings in the letter that are meant to help the brothers and sisters reflect on who or what are they living by and what is their focus when they come together.
“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.” The Old Testament scriptures gives us insight into the many ways God spoke then but the New Testament scriptures reveals now that God speaks “to us by his Son.” We could also say that because each of us has a “past,” a life before being in Christ, we could also say that now in Christ God speaks to us “by” or more literally “in a Son.” (1) In other words Christ is greater than our past. Too often we make our past greater than Christ, we focus on what has been instead of what is currently. As a result this can put us into a sort of bondage and prevent us from knowing Christ better. Today Christ wants to be greater in us then yesterday and tomorrow Christ desires to be greater in us then today! Christ is “heir of all things;” He is over and greater than all things! Whatever “thing” that seems to be against us or seems to be controlling us, He is greater than it!
Interestingly the phrase “”through whom he made the universe,” while many translations have the word “universe” or “worlds” in truth the actual word is for “ages” and means “an age, a period of time” and is not “cosmos.” (2) In Ephesians Paul explained that Christ was “seated…in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.” And to the church in Colosse Paul wrote that “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.” Now in Hebrews, Paul or Apollos or both (my take on who wrote the letter) describes Christ as not just having created and being over the physical and spiritual world and that the physical and spiritual world were created for Christ but also “the ages,” time, both the past, present, and future. In a sense because time began with creation and obviously creation means this universe, the translators perhaps felt the word “universe” was a better fit. But my thought is that all of time, the ages, have been moving forward by and through and to the Son. Whatever was your past Christ is greater than that! I think this is an encouraging thought! Christ wants to be greater now than He has been before in and to and through you, in and to and through us!
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.” Christ can only be greater than our past and greater every day as we gather together only when in our gatherings Christ is our source of life and not something or someone else. Why would we want anything else? Let us not let other things overshadow the life of Christ in us.
Notice some things the author tells us of Christ! Literally Christ is “the shining forth of the glory and character (or the engraving tool) of the reality of him.” (3) While the word “sustaining all things” is used in the NIV, the KJV uses the word “upholding” which seems to be the better word. Christ “bears, carries, and upholds” “all things by the word of his power.” (4) And Christ has cleansed us “of sins” and has literally “sat on the right of the greatness on high”! Christ shines forth the glory of the Father! Christ is the instrument, if you will, by which we see the reality of the Father! Christ is the one who bears, carries, and upholds all things, us included, by His powerful word! Christ has cleansed us from our sins, He has done away with it and now sits on high in greatness! How this should change our way of gathering together! Christ desires to shine His glory, express His life to us through one another! Christ desires for us to see Him as our real life! Christ desires to be our source, the one who bears us, who carries us, who upholds us as He speaks words of life to us! Christ desires to see that in Him we have been cleansed of everything that is not of Christ, He has done away with it! It is in our past and He is greater than our past! He is now, today, and tomorrow, and through the rest of the ages our greatness who is over all!
What a grand and wonderful way to open his letter to those brothers and sisters who think that anything or someone could be better than Christ! Nothing is and nothing can or will ever be! Christ is greater! God’s final word to the ages is the Word of God, His Son expressed in and to and through us, His people.

(1) Alfred Marshall, The Interlinear KJV-NIV Parallel New Testament in Greek and English, 1975, The Zondervan Corporation, 641.
(2) W.E. Vine, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 685.
(3) F.F. Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews (Revised), The New International Commentary on the New Testament, 1990, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 48.
(4) W.E. Vine, 655.


3 Comments so far
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As Christ considered it not a thing to be grasped, with equality with The Father, so we through the Holy Spirit, consider it not a thing to be grasped with our equality, with Christ, a great mystery…As a wife does not have power her own body, nor a husband to his wife, so it is with our oneness, in Christ our Groom and we His Bride, Through His Spirit we become ONE, unto the Praise Honour and Glory of The Father.

Comment by NoDoubtin Thomas

the writer of hebrews does not identify himself. this letter is the most glorious of the new t. he did not want people to put their eyes on him. he simply wanted people to see christ as the reality of all the shadows of the old t. oh for more ministers like that! brother wilson you are a christ-centered minister! keep focus on christ always

Comment by rafael

a good point brother, author wanting to keep Christ at the fore front! Thanks for the kind words, we are all servants bro, and am still learning Christ. Blessings!

Comment by John Wilson

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