17/07/16 Hebrews 3:1-11 “Jesus Christ the Creator superior to His creation Moses

Keep in mind that so far in Hebrews we have been applying the lessons to two different groups of people. Firstly, what Jesus came to do was for the sake of all mankind, with the gift of salvation and all it entailed being offered to all mankind. Nevertheless, most people are not saved, which calvinists describe as being the evidence of limited atonement. They usually claim that if people were atoned for, yet not saved, then they’d go to hell to pay for their sins a second time. However, people go to hell because they are relying upon works for salvation, not faith (see Romans 4:4-5). It is not possible for even one sin to be paid for in hell, otherwise given infinite time, all sins could eventually be paid for! And nowhere in the Bible does it teach that we go to hell to pay for our sins!


Thus, calvinists deny mankind’s God-given privilege of free will in this matter, and that God chose (by His sovereign will) to allow mankind the free will to determine his eternal future. God is no less sovereign for all this; in fact, it enhances His sovereignty, to then require of all mankind that they be judged for every free will choice they have made, including and especially with respect to their salvation.

Revelation 20:15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

And this brings us to that second group, a smaller group entirely within the boundaries of the first group. These are those who have accepted by faith the promises of salvation of Almighty Sovereign God, and have obtained the “better” promises which is the underlying theme of the Book of Hebrews.


The Jews, to whom this was written, were generally a devout group who took their religion seriously. The biggest problem appeared to be the rules and regulations set upon them by the religious leaders of their day, including the pharisees who hypocritically set these rules, claiming that they (both pharisees and the rules!) were of God.

Mark 7:6-76 He (Jesus) answered and said unto them, “Well hath Esaias (Isaiah) prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honoureth Me with {their} lips, but their heart is far from Me. 7 Howbeit in vain do they worship Me, teaching {for} doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”

Even in his epistle to Titus, Paul taught of the dangers of using Jewish commandments to turn people away from the truth.

Titus 1:14Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.


So this epistle is written to proclaim to the Hebrew audience that the New Covenant is “better” than the Old Covenant, yet it didn’t replace the Old Covenant, but instead was the fulfilment of the Old Covenant.

Matthew 5:17-1817 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.


Hebrews 3:1Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;


“holy brethren” could speak of Christians who had partaken of the heavenly calling, yet, being written to the Hebrews (God’s people) could also mean those who by their birth as Jews were involved in that call of God to come to the wedding feast of Matthew 22:1-14, yet most would refuse to come and actually partake of the feast. Context favours this being a group of Christians.


callingklesis (a call; invitation – to a feast, or of the divine invitation to embrace salvation of God) More correctly, “partakers of a heavenly calling”. A call to the wedding feast of the Lamb with His bride, the Church; a call to the salvation that would provide the suitable garments, without which no man might enter that wedding feast.


Matthew 22:2-3; 10-142 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, 3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. ………

10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. 11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12 And he saith unto him, “Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?” And he was speechless. 13 Then said the king to the servants, “Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast {him} into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 14 For many are called, but few {are} chosen.


apostle – a delegate; messenger; one sent forth with orders. It appears to be comparing Jesus our High Priest with another sent by God, i.e. Moses – see Vs 2.

High Priest – This is leading to the conclusion that Jesus, as a priest after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5:6), is “better” than the old priesthood He now replaces.

Also Hebrews 7:7And without all contradiction the less (Abraham) is blessed of the better (Melchizedek).

Thus Jesus the Son of God is now our great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14).


profession – what one confesses or professes.

Hebrews 10:23Let us hold fast the profession of {our} faith without wavering; (for He {is} faithful that promised;)

Thus the profession (confession) of our faith is in Jesus Christ.


Hebrews 3:2Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses {was faithful} in all his house.


The Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Jesus Christ, was faithful to the Father who appointed (= “to make”, “to do”, thus: was the author of; made ready; prepared; produced) Him, as was Moses faithful to God (in all His – that is, God’s – house).

Numbers 12:7My servant Moses {is} not so, who {is} faithful in all Mine house.

Jesus is being compared favourably with Moses, a person whom the Hebrews considered as symbolising the law of God. Jesus claimed to fulfil this law.

Luke 24:44And He said unto them, “These {are} the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and {in} the prophets, and {in} the psalms, concerning Me.”


Hebrews 3:3For this {Man} was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.


For this man – note that “man” isn’t in the original and may be rendered “For this One”. For this One, this Man (Jesus Christ) was counted worthy (judged to be worthy or deserving of being considered worthy) of more glory, because the One who built the house (God the Creator) has more glory than the house He built, that is, Moses. The Creator is worthy of more glory than the creature.


glorydoxa (can mean “opinion” but translated “glory 145 times out of 168 occurrences. Always means “good opinion” in N.T., resulting in praise, honour and glory. Also can mean that which belongs to God, majesty, and ultimately can mean “a most glorious condition, most exalted state, of that condition with God the Father in heaven to which Christ was raised after he had achieved his work on earth”, or “the glorious condition of blessedness into which is appointed and promised that true Christians shall enter after their Saviour’s return from heaven.”)

Note Hebrews 1:3 – the brightness of His glory (doxa).


He who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house – note that the Creator has authority over His creation; creation must worship the Creator, not the other way around! Note the following, where “creature” can also be translated as “creation” or even “the act of creation”.

Romans 1:25aWho changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator,


Can the creature argue with the Creator?

Romans 9:20Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed {it}, “Why hast Thou made me thus?”


Also note the following:

Zechariah 6:12-13Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, “Behold the Man whose name {is} The Branch; and He shall grow up out of his place, and He shall build the temple of the Lord: 13 Even He shall build the temple of the Lord; and He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon His throne; and He shall be a priest upon His throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”


Hebrews 3:4 – For every house is builded by some {man}; but he that built all things {is} God.


While all houses must have a builder who built them, there is One who is above all those builders. This One, who is God, has “built” (created) all things including the builders who built the houses. Thus God who has “built all things” must be superior to, or “better” than all other builders, who must therefore be subservient to Him.

Colossians 1:16-1716 For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether {they be} thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: 17 And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.

That is, Jesus Christ, as God, has a glory that far exceeds the glory of any of His creation, nor even all His creation all together.


Hebrews 3:5And Moses verily {was} faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;


servant – an attendant, servant: of God. The only place this word is used in the N.T.

As a servant, Moses was faithful (trustworthy) toward the One whom he served.

Joshua 1:1-2a1 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying, 2Moses my servant is dead;”


Moses’ work or ministry was to communicate or be the means of communication of God’s will, through His law, to His people and that this would continue to be spoken of after the time of Moses. It could mean that other prophets like Moses would be raised who would speak as Moses had spoken and would have continued to speak. In particular, it speaks of One (Christ) who would fulfil or complete the prophecies of Moses.

Deuteronomy 18:15The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto Me; unto Him ye shall hearken;


It can also mean that Moses would continue to be the “spokesman” for God, a prophet of God, even referring to things spoken by Christ, as noted on the road to Emmaus. This would fit in with the context of this passage in Hebrews.

Luke 24:27And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He (Christ) expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself.


Hebrews 3:6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.


Referring to Vs 3 where Christ was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, who was faithful in all God’s house, yet this house is Christ’s house, His own. And we are this house, the body of Christ and He is the head, yet also the chief cornerstone.

Ephesians 2:19-2219 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner {stone}; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Ephesians 4:15But (we, the Christians) speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, {even} Christ:


We have a picture of Moses who was faithful, yet as a servant, not the ruler, of the house. The Hebrews revered Moses; they spoke of God’s law as the law of Moses. Moses was permitted glory as a result, yet Christ had more glory than Moses (whom He had created), was faithful in His own house (which was the house Moses served faithfully), and as Creator had more honour than the house He built (His creation, including Moses).


The writer has, by this comparison of Christ with Moses, established the superiority (“better”) of Christ’s apostleship and priesthood over that of Moses whom the Hebrews had set up on a pedestal as the epitome of apostleship and service to God in the house of God that was built by God, that is, the creation of God. Thus, as the Hebrews were guaranteed to accept the ministry of Moses, then they would have to accept the ministry of One who was greater than Moses in every way!

And we are the house of Christ, if we hold fast the confidence (our boldness, assurance) and the rejoicing (glorying, boasting) of the hope (joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation) firm (sure, trusty) to the end (can mean the point where we enter eternity).

Titus 2:13Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;


Note the “respect” the Jews had for the Son in the following parable of Jesus:

Matthew 21:37-4237 But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, “They will reverence my son.” 38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.” 39 And they caught him, and cast {him} out of the vineyard, and slew {him}. 40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? 41 They say unto him, “He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out {his} vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.” 42 Jesus saith unto them, “Did ye never read in the scriptures, ‘The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?’ ”


Hebrews 3:6 isn’t saying that we need to persevere in works to reach the end; it’s talking about holding fast “the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end”, being steadfast.

1 Corinthians 15:58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.


hold fast – detain; restrain; hinder; hold a ship’s headway; hold fast; keep secure; keep firm possession of. Also used for “hold” in Hebrews 3:14, and “hold fast” in Hebrews 10:23. It has the idea of stopping something from getting away. Note “lest at any time we should let {them} slip” in the following:

Hebrews 2:1Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let {them} slip.


That is, there appears to be some component of holding onto what we have, which in turn means letting go of the world. At some stage we have to let go of either the world or our salvation. We cannot just hold onto both world and Christ; we cannot serve two masters. At some point we will have to let one go before the two desires acting on our lives tear us apart! Jesus said to deny ourselves, take up our crosses and follow Him, without which we were unworthy, and couldn’t be His disciples. This theme is developed further in Hebrews as we continue.


confidence – free and fearless confidence; cheerful courage; boldness; assurance. A different term to that translated “confidence” in Hebrews 3:14.


Hebrews 3:7-117 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, “To day if ye will hear His voice, 8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9 When your fathers tempted Me, proved me, and saw My works forty years. 10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, ‘They do alway err in {their} heart; and they have not known My ways.’ 11 So I sware in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter into My rest.’ ”

This is almost word for word from Psalm 95:7b-11.


Wherefore – that is, following on from what you have just heard the writer teach about the superiority of Jesus Christ over Moses, do not harden your hearts as they did then, with disastrous consequences. And the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth, says that this message is for today, now. It is always the right time to be saved!

2 Corinthians 6:1-21 We then, {as} workers together {with Him}, beseech {you} also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. 2(For He saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: (Isaiah 49:8) behold, now {is} the accepted time; behold, now {is} the day of salvation.)


Hardenskleruno (become obstinate; stubborn; stiffen; harden)

provocation – rebellion

day – can be used of time in general.

Eg 2 Peter 3:10But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night;


Thus, the day of temptation (trial) in the wilderness (desert) is likely to refer to their time spent in the wilderness when they should have recognised God’s works over that 40 years. They put God to the test (“tempted” Him), they tried God (“proved” Him), and God even delivered (such as the birds for meat when they demanded such). He provided them with manna, which was completely sufficient for their needs, yet they had wanted more. They saw what God did, yet took it for granted that He would continue to give them more and more.


So God was angry (“grieved”). They continued to go astray (“err”) in their heart, that is, they desired more than their provision from God. They wanted extra, just like so many “Christians” today who are not satisfied with the Lord God’s provision; they want the world as well. They so often want more and more, while God gets less and less, because the world seems to be so much more attractive than God’s provision! And so God swore that this disobedient generation in the wilderness wouldn’t enter His rest in the land which God had promised them; instead they were to wander the wilderness until the next generation had taken over.


The writer to the Hebrews is warning them that his readers must hear the voice of God today, to not harden their hearts by thinking that the Old Covenant that they knew so well was already perfected. God is now speaking through His Son, Jesus, because He is God, better than the angels, and superior to even Moses whom they revered. Jesus is now the Mediator of the New Covenant, a better covenant, more excellent than the Old Covenant which, if it had been without fault and perfect, would have remained in place. But it wasn’t perfect; thus a New Covenant had to be established, in order to perfect (fulfil) the Old Covenant.

Hebrews 8:6-76 But now hath He obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also He is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. 7 For if that first {covenant} had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.


The Hebrews are being told that if they continue to stubbornly resist by holding firm to the Old Covenant, then they are testing (tempting) God who will react with anger if they continue to resist His works. And God in His anger could refuse to let them enter their rest.

Hebrews 3:19So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.


While they weren’t now trying to enter their promised land of Canaan ……..

Deuteronomy 12:9-11a9 For ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which the Lord your God giveth you. 10 But {when} ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the Lord your God giveth you to inherit, and {when} He giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety; 11 Then there shall be a place which the Lord your God shall choose to cause His name to dwell there;

….. they were still expecting that final rest and inheritance that they believed the Lord their God was giving them, that is, heaven!


However, there’s a serious warning here to those who call themselves the people of God today. The Hebrews in the desert were not unreligious people; to the contrary, they were very religious. But they had their own ideas even then about how that religion should be carried out. Note the episode of the golden calf to see just how they determined to worship God in their own way even back as far as then. Do churches today worship the golden calf? Most would say emphatically, “No!” But the sin and disobedience which caused God to reject His people, Israel, is no different to what will happen today if God’s people continue to go playing with the world, yet all the while expecting God to continue to bless their ministries! The church might need to be in the world, but there’s far too much world in the church today!


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