But Christ as a Son over his own house - Moses was faithful as a servant In the house; Jesus was faithful, as the first-born Son, Over the house of which he is the Heir and Governor. Here, then, is the conclusion of the argument in reference to Christ's superiority over Moses. Moses did not found the house or family, Christ did; Moses was but in the house, or one of the family, Christ was over the house as its Ruler; Moses was but servant in the house, Christ was the Son and Heir; Moses was in the house of another, Christ in his own house.
It is well known to every learned reader that the pronoun αυτου, without an aspirate, signifies his simply; and that with the aspirate, αὑτου, it signifies his own: the word being in this form a contraction, not uncommon, of ἑαυτου . If we read αυτου without the aspirate, then his must refer to God, Hebrews 3:4.
But Christ as a Son over his (that is, God's) house: if we read αὑτου, with the aspirate, as some editions do, then what is spoken refers to Christ; and the words above convey the same sense as those words, Acts 20:28; : Feed the Church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. Some editions read the word thus; and it is evident that the edition which our translators used had the word αὑτου, his own, and not αυτου, his. The Spanish and London Polyglots have the same reading. From the most ancient MSS. we can get no help to determine which is to be preferred, as they are generally written without accents. The two first editions of the Greek Testament, that of Complutum, 1514, and that of Erasmus, 1516, have αυτου, his; and they are followed by most other editions: but the celebrated edition of Robert Stephens, 1550, has αὑτου, his own. The reading is certainly important; but it belongs to one of those difficulties in criticism which, if the context or collateral evidence do not satisfactorily solve it, must remain in doubt; and every reader is at liberty to adopt which reading he thinks best.
Whose house are we - We Christians are his Church and family; he is our Father, Governor, and Head.
If we hold fast the confidence - We are now his Church, and shall continue to be such, and be acknowledged by him If we maintain our Christian profession, την παρῥησιαν, that liberty of access to God, which we now have, and the rejoicing of the hope, i.e. of eternal life, which we shall receive at the resurrection of the dead. The word παρῥησια, which is here translated confidence, and which signifies freedom of speech, liberty of access, etc., seems to be used here to distinguish an important Christian privilege. Under the old testament no man was permitted to approach to God: even the very mountain on which God published his laws must not be touched by man nor beast; and only the high priest was permitted to enter the holy of holies, and that only once a year, on the great day of atonement; and even then he must have the blood of the victim to propitiate the Divine justice. Under the Christian dispensation the way to the holiest is now laid open; and we have παρῥησιαν, liberty of access, even to the holiest, by the blood of Jesus. Having such access unto God, by such a Mediator, we may obtain all that grace which is necessary to fit us for eternal glory; and, having the witness of his Spirit in our heart, we have a well grounded hope of endless felicity, and exult in the enjoyment of that hope. But If we retain not the grace, we shall not inherit the glory.
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 recognized 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 what 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 used here originally means “the liberty of speaking boldly and without restraint;” then it means boldness or confidence in general.
And the rejoicing - The word used here 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 he 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 people 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.
Go forward. Be of good courage. If the Spirit of God be entertained in the place of the underworking of evil spirits on mind and heart, all who have been working against God will come to their right bearings. A great work is to be done now in convicting souls. The message must in no case be changed from that which has been. As has been foretold in the Scriptures, there will be seducing spirits and doctrines of devils in the midst of the church, and these evil influences will increase; but hold fast the beginning of your confidence firm unto the end.... UL 168.6Read in context »
We are to treat with kindness and courtesy those who refuse to be loyal to God, but we are never, never to unite with them in counsel, regarding the vital interests of His work, for this is not the way of the Lord. Putting our trust in God, we are to move steadily forward, doing His work with unselfishness, in humble dependence upon Him, committing ourselves and all that concerns our present and future to His wise providence, holding the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end, remembering that it is not because of our worthiness that we receive the blessings of heaven, but because of the worthiness of Christ, and our acceptance, through faith in Him, of God's abounding grace. TDG 196.3Read in context »
Let us be thankful for every favor. Let us try to be sunshiny Christians. The souls that I trouble about, fearing that they will not hold fast till the end, I will commit to God. That which is divinely real will shine amidst the moral darkness, because Christ's light shines upon it. To Him we owe constant praise and thanksgiving; for we are kept by His power through faith. We cannot keep ourselves. TDG 44.5Read in context »
Every day put on Christ. Hold the beginning of your confidence firm unto the end. The Lord has not forsaken you. He desires you to grow in grace, to increase in ability to help the people. But if you interest them, you must speak right to the point, and you must stop before you think you are half through. TDG 29.3Read in context »