HEBREWS CHAPTER 3:

THE REST OF GOD

INTRODUCTION:

The book of Hebrews is frequently misinterpreted and misused to support heretical teaching. The context of the entire book of Hebrews must especially be entered upon before examining any chapter or passage. Eternally secure Jewish born again believers in Christ as Messiah/Savior are predominately in view in the Book of Hebrews with occasional admonishments to Jewish unbelievers to avoid the consequences of ignoring the gospel of salvation by not trusting alone in Christ alone as Savior. The major purpose of the Book of Hebrews is, therefore, to exhort Jewish born again believers not to go back to the Mosaic rule of life as a means to get or maintain salvation. The Mosaic rule of life, among other things, represented only a picture of the once for all time sacrifice of our Lord for the sins of the whole world which sacrifice they have already permanently entrusted themselves to in reality. So why go back to a picture when they already have the real thing - once for all time? The Mosaic Law system to which they aspired to return to represented a life style which was completely superseded by a lifestyle of freedom and grace in Christ and not the former lifestyle of keeping a set of impossible rules, (Ref. Gal chapter 5). The consequences of going back to the Mosaic Law and falsely using it as a system of merit unto eternal life, to which it was never intended, (Ref. Romans 3:28; Gal 3:11, 24), is indicated as resulting in loss of the present and future eternal rewards to the believer and eternal condemnation for the unbeliever. These consequences are clearly stated in the warning passages which appear throughout the book, which admonish Jews who are NOT believers not to miss so great a salvation by ignoring, (not trusting in), the message of eternal life, (2:1-4; 10:26-31); and admonishing Jews who are believers to avoid the consequences of loss of 'rest' in Christ - meaning loss of temporal and eternal rewards which a faithful lifestyle is rewarded with (3:7-4:13; 5:11-6:20; 12:18-29). So there are two consequences to an unfaithful life: one of eternal condemnation for the individual who never trusted alone in Christ alone as Savior, (Ref. Jn 3:18; 1 Jn 5:9-13); and one of loss of 'rest', i.e., rewards for the believer in this life and in the eternal life to come, (Eph 5:1-14; 1 Cor 6:9-10).

Bruce Wilkinson states, (Tyndale Lay Institute, Ft. Worth, Texas, course on Hebrews);

"Many Jewish believers, having stepped out of Judaism into Christianity, wanted to reverse their course in order to escape persecution by their countrymen. The writer of Hebrews exhorts them to 'press on' to maturity in Christ. His appeal is based on the superiority of Christ over the Judaic system. Christ is better than the angels, for they worship Him. [1:1-14] He is better than Moses, for Moses was created by Him. [3:1-19] He is better than the Aaronic priesthood, for His sacrifice was once for all. [5:1-8:5] He is better than the Law, for He mediates a better covenant. [8:6-10:18]"

[Heb 3:1]: CHRIST, THE SON, SUPERIOR TO MOSES, THE SERVANT

"Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest Whom we confess."

"Therefore" = Refers back to previous text: Therefore since Christ did suffer and make atonement for your sins, (2:14-18).

"Holy brothers" = fellow Christians, not fellow Jews. Cp Gal 1:11 = "brothers" = believers

1 Cor 1:2 = "holy ones" i.e., saints = believers.

Col 1:2 = "holy and faithful brothers" = believers

"share in the heavenly calling" = believers ONLY are sharers in a heavenly calling, i.e., they "received the effective call of God to salvation."

[Homer A. Kent, Jr., 'The Epistle to the Hebrews', BMH Books, Winona Lake, In., 1990, p. 63]

"fix your thoughts on Jesus" = "Every believer needs to examine continually the content of his Christian confession in order that the implications of that confession may be more clearly understood in the light of his increasing spiritual understanding."

[Kent, Ibid]

[Heb 3:1 cont.]:

"Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest Whom we confess."

"the Apostle and High Priest" = God's highest Apostle and High Priest because He, Christ, is the Messenger and High Priest of their confession.

"Whom [Christ] we confess." = Only believers truly confess Christ.

[Heb 3:2]:

" [See how] faithful He [Jesus Christ] was to Him [God the Father] Who appointed Him [Apostle and High Priest] as Moses was also faithful in the whole house [of God - the Temple]."

"The readers are urged to consider Jesus as to His faithfulness as an Apostle and High Priest. He was faithful to God His Father, even as Moses was faithful to God.' [Kent, op. cit. p. 64]

[cp. Num 12:7]: "But not so with My [God's] servant Moses; he is entrusted and faithful in all My house."

"My house" = Refers to the Tabernacle itself as it does in Heb 3;2.

Further confirmation that chapter 3 refers to believers only: One would not and could not consider how faithful Christ was to the Father until he is a believer who therefore has Christ as his faithful Savior. Only believers can consider and understand how faithful Jesus Christ was to God the Father in His role as Savior. For such a concept is foolishness to an unbeliever , especially a religious Jewish unbeliever:

[1 Cor 2:14]:

"But a natural man [unbeliever or carnal believer] does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised."

[Heb 3:3 Amplified]:

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

Zane Hodges states, (The bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament Edition, John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck, Editors, Victor Books, USA, 1988, p. 786):

"But Jesus as a Builder excels Moses in honor since Moses simply was a servant carrying out instructions. But what Jesus has built is, in fact, everything for God is the Builder of everything; [i.e., Jesus Christ is God]"

[Heb 3:4]:

"For [because] every house is built and furnished by someone, but the Builder of all things and the Furnisher is God.'

Zane Hodges, op. cit., p. 786:

"The 'holy of holies' in His [Christ's] earthly house was but a shadow of heaven itself where Christ has now gone 'To appear for us in God's presence' (9:24). Moses' fidelity consisted in erecting that shadow house, the Tabernacle, so that it could properly prefigure the future order of priestly activity which now has the universe itself as its proper sphere. This is the sphere where the exalted Christ sits faithful in all His current ministrations as well as past ones, functioning as a Son over God's house."

HOLDING FAST AND FIRM TO THE END

[Heb 3:5-6]:

(v. 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.

(v. 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 not 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."

Zane Hodges, op. cit., p. 786:

"By a natural semantic shift to which the Greek word for house naturally lends itself, the writer moved from the thought of the house as the sphere where priestly activities transpired [i.e., the Temple] to the thought of the 'house' as consisting of the people who engaged in these activities [to all believers who each have their own priesthood]. His readers, he affirmed, comprise His (the Son's) 'house' contingent, however, on one important consideration: if they hold on to their courage... ...and the hope of which they boast... [which is a sure hope in eternal life]... [In other words] ...if some of the writers' Christian "brothers" should fall prey to an unbelieving heart which turns away from God] ...They would forfeit their roles... [not their salvation] ...in the Son's priestly house, which is only maintained by holding firmly to their Christian profession...."

So a Christian who loses courage and thereby would become faithless becomes useless as an ambassador to Jesus Christ and is useless to himself relative to his future life in heaven. For at the Judgment Seat of Christ he will receive few if any rewards, (2 Cor 5:10, 1 Cor 3:9-15).

As a matter of fact, a Christian can remain in the royal family of God, (1 Pet 2:9; Gal 6:10), but lose his inheritance in heaven. And all believers each have a unique inheritance set aside for them, (ref. Col 1:9-12). A Christian will also lose his inheritance in heaven for living an immoral life but not his salvation, (Eph 5:1-6; Gal 5:19-21; 1 Cor 6:9-11). And Mt 25:14-30 illustrates that a believer's position, rewards and state of happiness IN HEAVEN are highly affected by what he does on earth.

All of these passages can be reviewed by going to the index and clicking on the passage of choice.

There are going to be differences even to the point that for a time there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth for all of those who were faithless. They will be cast into the relative darkness outside the place of the marriage supper of the Lord Jesus Christ and His bride the church.

Imagine that those believers who at long last reach heaven's shores and who receive their immortal bodies and who are married to the Lord Jesus Christ, (in heaven before the Second Coming), are then cast out of the joyful marriage supper, outside the brilliance of His glory and loving presence for the time of the marriage supper, a millennium, due to a wasteful immoral faithless life here on earth. They surely will weep and gnash their teeth in utter disappointment and sorrow! (Compare re: marriage supper: Mt 22:1-14; 8:11-12; Rev 19:7-9; 7:17.).

Finally, Lk 19:12-27 illustrates the same principles of rewards and position in heaven relative to faithfulness on earth. Note that the wicked servant remains a servant but ends up with nothing for a whole eternity! For he wasted his short life on earth.

Zane Hodges states, (op. cit., p. 786):

"As long as the readership held firmly to their Christian commitment, they also functioned within this priestly arrangement [being members of the house of God, i.e., the Body of Christ]. But just as one was a true Levite by birth could withdraw from participation in the Tabernacle of Moses' day, so too one who is truly a Christian by new birth may withdraw from his priestly role... [via sin, unbelief, lack of divine good works, wrong theology, etc.] within the functioning household [of God - the body of Christ]..."

So faithlessness is NOT the cause for one to lose ones salvation:

[Compare 2 Tim 2:11-13]:

(v. 11) "Here is a trustworthy saying: 'If we died with Him we will also live with Him;

[By trusting alone in Christ alone, an individual is viewed by God as having died with Christ on the cross in order to have appropriated to him the payment and forgiveness for all of his sins, thereby being justified unto eternal life, (cp. Acts 10:43; Ro 6:3-10)]

(v. 12) If we endure, we will also reign with Him.

[Notice that an enduring faith will result in the reward of co-ruling with Christ]

(v. 13) If we are faithless...

[But if a believer is without faith, he cannot lose his salvation because of Christ's promise of eternal life to every believer]

...He will remain faithful...

[to His promise of eternal life to the believer]

...for He cannot disown Himself"

["Himself" = His body = He cannot disown the body of believers, the Church, who are His body and are eternally secure no matter what]

So in one sense, only faithful Christians are His house - i.e., properly representative as Ambassadors of Jesus Christ.