Hebrews 2

* The duty of stedfastly adhering to Christ and his gospel.

(1-4) His sufferings are no objection against his pre-eminence.

(5-9) The reason of his sufferings, and the fitness of them.

(10-13) Christ's taking the nature of man, and not his taking

the nature of angels, was necessary to his priestly office.

(14-18)

1-4 Christ being proved to be superior to the angels, this

doctrine is applied. Our minds and memories are like a leaky

vessel, they do not, without much care, retain what is poured

into them. This proceeds from the corruption of our nature,

temptations, worldly cares, and pleasures. Sinning against the

gospel is neglect of this great salvation; it is a contempt of

the saving grace of God in Christ, making light of it, not

caring for it, not regarding either the worth of gospel grace,

or the want of it, and our undone state without it. The Lord's

judgments under the gospel dispensation are chiefly spiritual,

but are on that account the more to be dreaded. Here is an

appeal to the consciences of sinners. Even partial neglects will

not escape rebukes; they often bring darkness on the souls they

do not finally ruin. The setting forth the gospel was continued

and confirmed by those who heard Christ, by the evangelists and

apostles, who were witnesses of what Jesus Christ began both to

do and to teach; and by the gifts of the Holy Ghost, qualified

for the work to which they were called. And all this according

to God's own will. It was the will of God that we should have

sure ground for our faith, and a strong foundation for our hope

in receiving the gospel. Let us mind this one thing needful, and

attend to the Holy Scriptures, written by those who heard the

words of our gracious Lord, and were inspired by his Spirit;

then we shall be blessed with the good part that cannot be taken

away.
5-9 Neither the state in which the church is at present, nor

its more completely restored state, when the prince of this

world shall be cast out, and the kingdoms of the earth become

the kingdom of Christ, is left to the government of the angels:

Christ will take to him his great power, and will reign. And

what is the moving cause of all the kindness God shows to men in

giving Christ for them and to them? it is the grace of God. As a

reward of Christ's humiliation in suffering death, he has

unlimited dominion over all things; thus this ancient scripture

was fulfilled in him. Thus God has done wonderful things for us

in creation and providence, but for these we have made the

basest returns.
10-13 Whatever the proud, carnal, and unbelieving may imagine

or object, the spiritual mind will see peculiar glory in the

cross of Christ, and be satisfied that it became Him, who in all

things displays his own perfections in bringing many sons to

glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through

sufferings. His way to the crown was by the cross, and so must

that of his people be. Christ sanctifies; he has purchased and

sent the sanctifying Spirit: the Spirit sanctifies as the Spirit

of Christ. True believers are sanctified, endowed with holy

principles and powers, set apart to high and holy uses and

purposes. Christ and believers are all of one heavenly Father,

who is God. They are brought into relation with Christ. But the

words, his not being ashamed to call them brethren, express the

high superiority of Christ to the human nature. This is shown

from three texts of Scripture. See #Ps 22:22; 18:2; Isa 8:18|.
14-18 The angels fell, and remained without hope or help.

Christ never designed to be the Saviour of the fallen angels,

therefore he did not take their nature; and the nature of angels

could not be an atoning sacrifice for the sin of man. Here is a

price paid, enough for all, and suitable to all, for it was in

our nature. Here the wonderful love of God appeared, that, when

Christ knew what he must suffer in our nature, and how he must

die in it, yet he readily took it upon him. And this atonement

made way for his people's deliverance from Satan's bondage, and

for the pardon of their sins through faith. Let those who dread

death, and strive to get the better of their terrors, no longer

attempt to outbrave or to stifle them, no longer grow careless

or wicked through despair. Let them not expect help from the

world, or human devices; but let them seek pardon, peace, grace,

and a lively hope of heaven, by faith in Him who died and rose

again, that thus they may rise above the fear of death. The

remembrance of his own sorrows and temptations, makes Christ

mindful of the trials of his people, and ready to help them. He

is ready and willing to succour those who are tempted, and seek

him. He became man, and was tempted, that he might be every way

qualified to succour his people, seeing that he had passed

through the same temptations himself, but continued perfectly

free from sin. Then let not the afflicted and tempted despond,

or give place to Satan, as if temptations made it wrong for them

to come to the Lord in prayer. Not soul ever perished under

temptation, that cried unto the Lord from real alarm at its

danger, with faith and expectation of relief. This is our duty

upon our first being surprised by temptations, and would stop

their progress, which is our wisdom.

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