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.
Those who have held the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end will be wide-awake during the time that the third angel's message is proclaimed with great power. During the loud cry, the church, aided by the providential interpositions of her exalted Lord, will diffuse the knowledge of salvation so abundantly that light will be communicated to every city and town. The earth will be filled with the knowledge of salvation. So abundantly will the renewing Spirit of God have crowned with success the intensely active agencies, that the light of present truth will be seen flashing everywhere.—The Review and Herald, October 13, 1904. (See Evangelism, 694.) PM 388.3Read in context »
I greatly desire that you shall have a trustful mind, that you shall not depend upon your past confidence in God, but have a present, fresh faith, and maintain your confidence without wavering. Your soul must daily be warmed and invigorated by the truth of the gospel, and you refreshed by a daily living and new experience. I want you to have comfort and hope and joy in the Holy Ghost. Never, never feel the slightest disturbance because the Lord is raising up youth to lift and carry the heavier burdens and proclaim the message of truth.—Letter 14, 1891. RY 73.1Read in context »
12 (ch. 11:6). No Encouragement Given for Unbelief—There is no encouragement given for unbelief. The Lord manifests His grace and His power over and over again, and this should teach us that it is always profitable under all circumstances to cherish faith, to talk faith, to act faith. We are not to have our hearts and hands weakened by allowing the suggestions of suspicious minds to plant in our hearts the seeds of doubt and distrust [Hebrews 3:12 quoted] (Letter 97, 1898). 7BC 928.3Read in context »
“Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die.” This is our work. There are many ready to die spiritually, and the Lord calls upon us to strengthen them. God's people are to be firmly united in the bonds of Christian fellowship, and are to be strengthened in the faith by speaking often to one another about the precious truths entrusted to them. Never are they to spend their time in accusing and condemning one another (The Review and Herald, August 10, 1905). 7BC 959.1
1-4 (Hebrews 4:13). Weighing the Character—[Revelation 3:1-3 quoted.] The discrimination revealed by Christ in weighing the characters of those who have taken to themselves His name, as Christians, leads us to realize more fully that every individual is under His supervision. He is acquainted with the thoughts and intents of the heart, as well as with every word and act. He knows all about our religious experience; He knows whom we love and serve (Manuscript 81, 1900). 7BC 959.2
1-5 (Matthew 22:14). A Few Faithful Ones in Sardis—The church of Sardis is represented as having in it a few faithful ones among the many who had become, as it were, careless and insensible of their obligations to God. “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.” Who is so favored as to be numbered among these few in Sardis? Are you? Am I? Who are among this number? Is it not best for us to inquire into this matter, in order that we may learn to whom the Lord refers when He says that a few have not stained their white robes of character (Manuscript 81, 1900)? 7BC 959.3Read in context »