Some Thoughts on Hebrews 1


I am starting a college Bible study tonight (we actually started last week, but spent the time on how to properly read the Bible) on the book of Hebrews and wanted to share a couple tidbits I found interesting.

I just got done translating the passage and found an interesting link between vv. 2, 4, and 14. In each of these verses the word for “inherit” (or a cognate) is present.

1. The Son is the “heir” of all things. A reference to Psa 2 will be made later that explicates this some more. For the time being, the Son is the heir of all things. He does not inherit some things. Nor does he inherit many things. All things belong to him. They are rightfully his.

2. How does this happen? Jesus is given a name that is far superior to that of the angels (v. 4). He was given his rightful seat of power at the right hand of the Almighty because he “inherited” the name given him by the Father (see Phil 2.9). From eternity past, God the Father had ordained that the Son, who created all things, receive all things.

3. By virtue of the Son receiving all things, he has also inherited men. Not only this, but those who recognize the sovereignty that the Son has are being groomed to “inherit” salvation. This gives new light to the Doxology: Praise God from whom all blessings flow…The Father has given to the Son what is rightfully his and we have been given what is rightfully…HIS.

Did I just totally mess up my parallelism I saw in the text? Not really. You see, that is the shocker. The essence of salvation is that we were saved from something and for something. That means that there was nothing that we could do to inherit salvation. It was won by the finished work of Christ…He sat down and received all things. We receive all things from his hand.

There is a nasty rumor going around that part of being saved is earning salvation by our obedience. The problem is that it misses the point of what salvation is. If we could earn this gift, then how can it possibly be salvation. The picture in the Bible is painted by a dark brush, indeed, when it comes to the plight of man. If man could prove his worth to God, then saving would be superfluous. The very nature of salvation points to the reality of dire straits…hopelessness…and inability.

The works we are meant to walk in are the result of this faith…more on this later.

Comments 2

  1. Are you asssuming predestination of the “elect”, then? I ask because the age old question comes to mind that if what I do has no relevance to my salvation, what motive do I have to not sin?

    I’m aquainted with the standard responses, but I’d like to hear your take on it.

  2. Just incase anyone out there thinks that those nasty rumors are coming from the Catholic camp, let me assure you otherwise.

    The Catholic Church believes that we are INITIALLY saved by grace, through faith. But then that salvation needs to be preserved and increased so that we can grown in sanctification.

    Here’s what the Council of Trent said:

    Canon 24: “If any one saith, that the justice received [in justification] is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema.”

    What’s happening is, there’s the INITIAL justification by grace through faith. That’s that moment when we step from darkness into light.

    But then there’s a phase II in justification. We have to preserve that justification and that happens by co-operation with God’s grace and this co-operation takes the form of good works.

    There’s two different kinds of works that we could do to try to preserve our justification. There’s good works that we do on our own steam, or by our own natural powers. These works generally are done to corner God into owing us heaven. They don’t work. But then there’s the good works that we do by God’s grace in order to please God. And these good words are effective in holding us in God’s salvation (Rom 2, Jas 2).

    But most people don’t understand this and speak all sorts of words against Catholics. Not saying you are doing this, but you never know what people are thinking.

    Peace

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