JohnSWilson3 Blog

“…so great a salvation?”
June 21, 2011, 3:28 pm
Filed under: Q - Letter to Hebrews

At the very beginning of his letter to Hebrews, the author described a wonderful and inspiring overview of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son, through whom He now speaks to us: He is over “all things,” who is the manifestation of the glory and reality of God Himself, who is the one who upholds us by His powerful word, has cleansed us from our “sins,” and is seated in “greatness on high!” Immediately the author goes into a lengthy discourse of Christ’s greatness. In fact the rest of the letter could be one long discourse on how great Christ Jesus is! If we want to see how great Christ is, especially for those from a Jewish or religious cultural perspective, the letter to Hebrews is the letter to read! “So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.”

Chapters 1 and 2 tend to describe what appears to be a growing misconception to some early Christians, perhaps Christians who were from the Jewish culture. It appears that some were beginning to focus more on angels than on Christ. In Paul’s letter to the church in Colosse, perhaps only written a couple years earlier than Hebrews, he says: “Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.” Our relationship is with Christ who is our life. Our relationship with our Lord is not founded on angels nor is our relationship with angels.

The author uses many Old Testament passages of scripture to describe the greatness of Christ over angels. No angel was ever called “my Son” and God their “Father.” Angels are commanded to worship Christ. Only the Son has a throne that “will last forever and ever” and is the anointed one, the Messiah, who is alone approved by God to be over all. In Christ “the foundations of the earth” were founded and “the heavens are the work of (His) hands.” This world will perish and “be changed” but Christ will “remain” and will “remain the same” and “will never end.” Nothing will last except Christ Jesus, the Son who is “the greatness,” “so much better,” and “more excellent” than angels.

The purpose of angels are to be spiritual “ministers” in that they have a “public office” so to speak, a public service, “sent to serve those who will inherit salvation.” That’s it. Our relationship is with Christ alone! Praise God that He brings His servants to help us but we do not worship the messenger, we do not serve angels, our devotion and service is to Christ, our focus is on Him, who is our salvation! In Christ we have been given salvation and we are continually to grow up in that salvation, Christ Himself, and in the future we have a salvation that will be more fully realized when we see Him face-to-face! What an inheritance we have been given in Christ, what a great salvation!

In salvation, Christ is now our life, our Head, our source, who holds us, who has cleansed us, because He loves us. He alone decided to speak to us and has now given us His life and we are to live by Him together. “We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” The body of Christ, as we live by His life, hear from Him through each of us. How important to realize that “in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son.” God has spoken to you and me, to us! “For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation?” How we need to see again, to have spiritual sight, to see what Christ has done for us! What was our life before and what could our life have been without Christ? How great a salvation Christ has done and is doing in us! But we must be careful not to neglect what He has told us through one another. There are consequences to not living by His life together, drifting away from one another, neglecting and being careless towards one another. To do so is to drift away, to neglect and be careless with Christ who is our life. There is a consequence, not seeing the greater fullness of His life in us, in His body.

“This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” We can see from the Gospels what Jesus said and did during is earthly life, and the Acts and the other letters from the New Testament describe the testimony of those with apostolic functioning and the gifts of His life distributed through each member in the body. Let us not forget what God has been doing in and through us, the stories of His life of love and grace being lived through us as our Head! They are a testimony that we should never forget.

The author then paints a wonderful picture about God’s eternal purpose! The world was not made for angels but for us. He did not subject the world to angels and He never intended to make us to be lower than the angels. Christ is mindful of us, He cares for us! It was God’s desire that we be “crowned” with “with glory and honor” but only Jesus was able to truly do that for us, “because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” Without Christ we cannot be crowned with glory and honor because of death, because of being “held in slavery by their fear of death.” But in Christ, sharing in our humanity, He broke “the power of death” and “the power of him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil.” Christ has released us from the fear of death! “We now see Jesus…now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death” and in Him He is “bringing many sons and daughters to glory!” Christ is “the pioneer of their salvation” and it is in Christ who makes “their salvation perfect through what he suffered.” The salvation we have been given is perfect, because salvation is itself Christ! Nothing can be added to what Christ has done for us! “Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.” We are the family of God! Jesus Himself calls us brothers and sisters! Jesus as our Head now sings His praises with us! Christ sings praises when His body gathers under His headship! What a salvation! How can “we ignore so great a salvation?” We have been adopted as sons and daughters! Let us not forget what He has done and move forward in learning Christ together. Christ will help us to grow in Him, but He must be our focus, our source, our Head as we gather together.

Christ does not help angels, Christ helps us and He is able to help us when we are being tempted to live by the flesh, legalism, or institutionalism. Christ Jesus our Lord is “merciful and faithful” and desires to be manifested in and through us. Let us see Jesus’ life, His glory, as we gather together!


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