Hebrews 1

** This epistle shows Christ as the end, foundation, body, and

truth of the figures of the law, which of themselves were no

virtue for the soul. The great truth set forth in this epistle

is that Jesus of Nazareth is the true God. The unconverted Jews

used many arguments to draw their converted brethren from the

Christian faith. They represented the law of Moses as superior

to the Christian dispensation, and spoke against every thing

connected with the Saviour. The apostle, therefore, shows the

superiority of Jesus of Nazareth, as the Son of God, and the

benefits from his sufferings and death as the sacrifice for sin,

so that the Christian religion is much more excellent and

perfect than that of Moses. And the principal design seems to

be, to bring the converted Hebrews forward in the knowledge of

the gospel, and thus to establish them in the Christian faith,

and to prevent their turning from it, against which they are

earnestly warned. But while it contains many things suitable to

the Hebrews of early times, it also contains many which can

never cease to interest the church of God; for the knowledge of

Jesus Christ is the very marrow and kernel of all the

Scriptures. The ceremonial law is full of Christ, and all the

gospel is full of Christ; the blessed lines of both Testaments

meet in Him; and how they both agree and sweetly unite in Jesus

Christ, is the chief object of the epistle to the Hebrews to

discover.

* The surpassing dignity of the Son of God in his Divine person,

and in his creating and mediatorial work. (1-3) And in his

superiority to all the holy angels. (4-14)

1-3 God spake to his ancient people at sundry times, through

successive generations, and in divers manners, as he thought

proper; sometimes by personal directions, sometimes by dreams,

sometimes by visions, sometimes by Divine influences on the

minds of the prophets. The gospel revelation is excellent above

the former; in that it is a revelation which God has made by his

Son. In beholding the power, wisdom, and goodness of the Lord

Jesus Christ, we behold the power, wisdom, and goodness of the

Father, #Joh 14:7|; the fulness of the Godhead dwells, not

typically, or in a figure, but really, in him. When, on the fall

of man, the world was breaking to pieces under the wrath and

curse of God, the Son of God, undertaking the work of

redemption, sustained it by his almighty power and goodness.

From the glory of the person and office of Christ, we proceed to

the glory of his grace. The glory of His person and nature, gave

to his sufferings such merit as was a full satisfaction to the

honour of God, who suffered an infinite injury and affront by

the sins of men. We never can be thankful enough that God has in

so many ways, and with such increasing clearness, spoken to us

fallen sinners concerning salvation. That he should by himself

cleanse us from our sins is a wonder of love beyond our utmost

powers of admiration, gratitude, and praise.
4-14 Many Jews had a superstitious or idolatrous respect for

angels, because they had received the law and other tidings of

the Divine will by their ministry. They looked upon them as

mediators between God and men, and some went so far as to pay

them a kind of religious homage or worship. Thus it was

necessary that the apostle should insist, not only on Christ's

being the Creator of all things, and therefore of angels

themselves, but as being the risen and exalted Messiah in human

nature, to whom angels, authorities, and powers are made

subject. To prove this, several passages are brought from the

Old Testament. On comparing what God there says of the angels,

with what he says to Christ, the inferiority of the angels to

Christ plainly appears. Here is the office of the angels; they

are God's ministers or servants, to do his pleasure. But, how

much greater things are said of Christ by the Father! And let us

own and honour him as God; for if he had not been God, he had

never done the Mediator's work, and had never worn the

Mediator's crown. It is declared how Christ was qualified for

the office of Mediator, and how he was confirmed in it: he has

the name Messiah from his being anointed. Only as Man he has his

fellows, and as anointed with the Holy Spirit; but he is above

all prophets, priests, and kings, that ever were employed in the

service of God on earth. Another passage of Scripture, #Ps

102:25-27|, is recited, in which the Almighty power of the Lord

Jesus Christ is declared, both in creating the world and in

changing it. Christ will fold up this world as a garment, not to

be abused any longer, not to be used as it has been. As a

sovereign, when his garments of state are folded and put away,

is a sovereign still, so our Lord, when he has laid aside the

earth and heavens like a vesture, shall be still the same. Let

us not then set our hearts upon that which is not what we take

it to be, and will not be what it now is. Sin has made a great

change in the world for the worse, and Christ will make a great

change in it for the better. Let the thoughts of this make us

watchful, diligent, and desirous of that better world. The

Saviour has done much to make all men his friends, yet he has

enemies. But they shall be made his footstool, by humble

submission, or by utter destruction. Christ shall go on

conquering and to conquer. The most exalted angels are but

ministering spirits, mere servants of Christ, to execute his

commands. The saints, at present, are heirs, not yet come into

possession. The angels minister to them in opposing the malice

and power of evil spirits, in protecting and keeping their

bodies, instructing and comforting their souls, under Christ and

the Holy Ghost. Angels shall gather all the saints together at

the last day, when all whose hearts and hopes are set upon

perishing treasures and fading glories, will be driven from

Christ's presence into everlasting misery.

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