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THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE HEBREWS - Chapter 3 - Verse 6
Verse 6. But Christ as a son over his own house. He is not a servant. To the whole household or family of God he sustains the same relation which a son and heir in a family does to the household. That relation is far different from that of a servant. Moses was the latter; Christ was the former. To God he sustained the relation of a Son, and recognised him as his Father, and sought in all things to do his will; but over the whole family of God—the entire Church of all dispensations—he was like a son over the affairs of a family. Compared with the condition of a servant, Christ is as much superior to Moses as a son and heir is to the condition of a servant. A servant owns nothing; is heir to nothing; has no authority, and no right to control anything, and is himself wholly at the will of another. A son is the heir of all; has a prospective right to all; and is looked up to by all with respect. But the idea here is not merely that Christ is a son; it is that as a son he is placed over the whole arrangements of the household, and is one to whom all is entrusted as if it were his own.
Whose house we are. Of whose family we are a part, or to which we belong. That is, we belong to the family over which Christ is placed, and not to that which was subject to Moses.
If we hold fast. A leading object of this epistle is to guard those to whom it was addressed against the danger of apostasy. Hence this is introduced on all suitable occasions; and the apostle here says, that the only evidence which they could have that they belonged to the family of Christ, would be that they held fast the confidence which they had unto the end. If they did not do that, it would demonstrate that they never belonged to his family, for evidence of having belonged to his household was to be furnished only by perseverance to the end.
The confidence. The word here used originally means, the liberty of speaking boldly and without restraint; then it means boldness, or confidence in general.
And the rejoicing. The word here used means, properly, glorying, boasting, and then rejoicing. These words are used here in an adverbial signification, and the meaning is, that the Christian has a confident and a rejoicing hope. It is
(1.) confident—bold—firm. It is not like the timid hope of the pagan, and the dreams and conjectures of the philosopher; it is not that which gives way at every breath of opposition; it is bold, firm, and manly. It is
(2.) rejoicing—triumphant, exulting. Why should not the hope of heaven fill with joy? Why should not he exult who has the prospect of everlasting happiness?
Unto the end. To the end of life. Our religion, our hope, our confidence in God, must be persevered in to the end of life, if we would have evidence that we are his children. If hope is cherished for a while, and then abandoned; if men profess religion, and then fall away—no matter what were their raptures and triumphs—it proves that they never had any real piety. No evidence can be strong enough to prove that a man is a Christian, unless it leads him to persevere to the end of life.
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