Hebrews 1** This epistle shows Christ as the end, foundation, body, andtruth of the figures of the law, which of themselves were novirtue for the soul. The great truth set forth in this epistleis that Jesus of Nazareth is the true God. The unconverted Jewsused many arguments to draw their converted brethren from theChristian faith. They represented the law of Moses as superiorto the Christian dispensation, and spoke against every thingconnected with the Saviour. The apostle, therefore, shows thesuperiority of Jesus of Nazareth, as the Son of God, and thebenefits from his sufferings and death as the sacrifice for sin,so that the Christian religion is much more excellent andperfect than that of Moses. And the principal design seems tobe, to bring the converted Hebrews forward in the knowledge ofthe gospel, and thus to establish them in the Christian faith,and to prevent their turning from it, against which they areearnestly warned. But while it contains many things suitable tothe Hebrews of early times, it also contains many which cannever cease to interest the church of God; for the knowledge ofJesus Christ is the very marrow and kernel of all theScriptures. The ceremonial law is full of Christ, and all thegospel is full of Christ; the blessed lines of both Testamentsmeet in Him; and how they both agree and sweetly unite in JesusChrist, is the chief object of the epistle to the Hebrews todiscover. * The surpassing dignity of the Son of God in his Divine person,and in his creating and mediatorial work. (1-3) And in hissuperiority to all the holy angels. (4-14)1-3 God spake to his ancient people at sundry times, throughsuccessive generations, and in divers manners, as he thoughtproper; sometimes by personal directions, sometimes by dreams,sometimes by visions, sometimes by Divine influences on theminds of the prophets. The gospel revelation is excellent abovethe former; in that it is a revelation which God has made by hisSon. In beholding the power, wisdom, and goodness of the LordJesus Christ, we behold the power, wisdom, and goodness of theFather, #Joh 14:7|; the fulness of the Godhead dwells, nottypically, or in a figure, but really, in him. When, on the fallof man, the world was breaking to pieces under the wrath andcurse of God, the Son of God, undertaking the work ofredemption, sustained it by his almighty power and goodness.From the glory of the person and office of Christ, we proceed tothe glory of his grace. The glory of His person and nature, gaveto his sufferings such merit as was a full satisfaction to thehonour of God, who suffered an infinite injury and affront bythe sins of men. We never can be thankful enough that God has inso many ways, and with such increasing clearness, spoken to usfallen sinners concerning salvation. That he should by himselfcleanse us from our sins is a wonder of love beyond our utmostpowers of admiration, gratitude, and praise. 4-14 Many Jews had a superstitious or idolatrous respect forangels, because they had received the law and other tidings ofthe Divine will by their ministry. They looked upon them asmediators between God and men, and some went so far as to paythem a kind of religious homage or worship. Thus it wasnecessary that the apostle should insist, not only on Christ'sbeing the Creator of all things, and therefore of angelsthemselves, but as being the risen and exalted Messiah in humannature, to whom angels, authorities, and powers are madesubject. To prove this, several passages are brought from theOld Testament. On comparing what God there says of the angels,with what he says to Christ, the inferiority of the angels toChrist plainly appears. Here is the office of the angels; theyare God's ministers or servants, to do his pleasure. But, howmuch greater things are said of Christ by the Father! And let usown and honour him as God; for if he had not been God, he hadnever done the Mediator's work, and had never worn theMediator's crown. It is declared how Christ was qualified forthe office of Mediator, and how he was confirmed in it: he hasthe name Messiah from his being anointed. Only as Man he has hisfellows, and as anointed with the Holy Spirit; but he is aboveall prophets, priests, and kings, that ever were employed in theservice of God on earth. Another passage of Scripture, #Ps102:25-27|, is recited, in which the Almighty power of the LordJesus Christ is declared, both in creating the world and inchanging it. Christ will fold up this world as a garment, not tobe abused any longer, not to be used as it has been. As asovereign, when his garments of state are folded and put away,is a sovereign still, so our Lord, when he has laid aside theearth and heavens like a vesture, shall be still the same. Letus not then set our hearts upon that which is not what we takeit to be, and will not be what it now is. Sin has made a greatchange in the world for the worse, and Christ will make a greatchange in it for the better. Let the thoughts of this make uswatchful, diligent, and desirous of that better world. TheSaviour has done much to make all men his friends, yet he hasenemies. But they shall be made his footstool, by humblesubmission, or by utter destruction. Christ shall go onconquering and to conquer. The most exalted angels are butministering spirits, mere servants of Christ, to execute hiscommands. The saints, at present, are heirs, not yet come intopossession. The angels minister to them in opposing the maliceand power of evil spirits, in protecting and keeping theirbodies, instructing and comforting their souls, under Christ andthe Holy Ghost. Angels shall gather all the saints together atthe last day, when all whose hearts and hopes are set uponperishing treasures and fading glories, will be driven fromChrist's presence into everlasting misery.
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