Sermon: Jesus, The Faithful Son (Hebrews 3:1-6)

Jesus, the Faithful Son

Hebrews 3:1-6 (ESV)

Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession,  [2] who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house.  [3] For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself.  [4] (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.)  [5] Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later,  [6] but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.

Introduction

Primary Claim- Jesus is superior to Moses as a builder is superior to the house and as a beloved Son is superior to a servant.

Primary Challenge- To consider and hold fast to Jesus Christ, God’s Son.

We have covered the first two chapters, chapters that taught us that Jesus is superior to those who mediated the Law, namely, the prophets and the angels.  The writer takes more territory away from the Jewish Christian who would still want to hold to some of his tradition.  Jesus is not only better than those who mediated the Law of Moses, He’s better than Moses, the one who gave the Law to the people.  To make the bold statement that Jesus is far superior to Moses was a serious statement for the Jew.

The primary claim of this section of Scripture for us to consider today is simply this: Jesus is superior to Moses as a builder or the Creator is superior to His creation.  The writer clearly by his comparison claims the deity of Christ.

1. A Believer’s Calling (Hebrews 3:1)

Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession,

We are called to believe and worship Jesus Christ.  We are called to see Him as superior to all things and all other people.

For the first time, the writer uses the term holy brothers. He’s definitely writing to the church and declaring our election and the fact that we’ve been set apart from all the rest of humanity.  We are being made into the image of Christ.  Holy, in this sense means set apart to be made like Christ.

It’s important to note here that we’re not set apart in a vacuum but we’re set apart for service.  This phrase set apart is used three times in the NT and each time it means set apart for a particular task.  Set apart for service.  I’d like to point out the fact that unless you are engaged in the work of the ministry, you’re not being sanctified like you could be.  Maturing in the faith only truly happens when we are coupling our learning with service.  Never fall into the trap of believing that learning things about God is all there is.  We must be engaged in ministry.

Acts 13:2 (ESV)

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

Romans 1:1 (ESV)

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,

2 Tim. 2:21 (ESV)

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

I’d also like to point out that the work we are to be engaged in is evangelism and discipleship.  We are called to Bible reading, prayer, and other spiritual disciplines.  However, these are means by which the work is accomplished, they are not the work itself.  I pray to get ready to do evangelism.  I read the Bible to strengthen myself for the work God has called me to.

How are you doing with your calling?

A. Are you being equipped for the ministry?

B. Are you engaged in ministry?

Especially, with a new church, we must all have a ministry.  If you don’t come and see me to discuss what it is God may be calling you to do. Don’t think that you have to reach some level of learning or maturity before you can be used in ministry.  We at GCC will help you as you seek to fulfill your calling.  I won’t let you fail in a big way.  Together, we’ll take small steps and seek the Lord’s direction together.

Verse one goes on to say that we who have the heavenly calling should consider Christ.  What the writer has in mind again has to do with the work of the ministry.  We are to consider Christ and His work in such a way as to capture our worship and encourage our working in the ministry we have been called to.

Consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession,

Jesus is called, the apostle.  Here the writer is using “apostle” in the sense of its literal meaning.  Jesus, the Messenger.  He is the One who came to earth and gave us the Gospel.  He was the Father’s Ambassador.  Not only did He deliver the message but He also performed the duty of the High Priest, which was to make atonement.  Jesus, in effect, delivered the Gospel and is the Gospel.

As we consider the work of Christ, it should compel us to work as well.

We consider the greatness of Jesus and the importance of His faithfulness to the assigned task He had and that should encourage us to faithfulness to the assigned calling we have.

2. Christ’s Faithfulness (Hebrews 3:2-4)

[2] who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house.  [3] For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself.  [4] (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.)

Christ is counted worthy of great honor because of His faithfulness.  Jesus was sent by God the Father to secure salvation for the elect.  He did so perfectly.  He lived a perfect life free from sin and in obedience to everything God had asked Him to do.  Moses was faithful as well.  Moses’ faithfulness is not made light of in this text.  However, Jesus is found to be in a class all by Himself.  He is in a totally different category.

The comparison and flow of this text goes like this:

Jesus is worthy of more honor than Moses because He is the Creator and Moses is the creation, just like the Creator or Builder of a house is more worthy than the house that was built.

When the writer explains things to us in this way, he is showing us that Jesus is the Creator of God’s house or people.  The people of God are often referred to as God’s house.

Col. 1:15-17 (ESV)

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  [16] For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.  [17] And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

The whole argument hinges on the point the author is making, namely, Jesus is the Creator God and Moses is the creation.

3. Christ’s Sonship (Hebrews 3:5-6)

[5] Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later,  [6] but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.

The first thing I want us to see is that the metaphor of God’s house continues.  In Scripture, God’s house refers to the children of God.  In the Old Testament God’s people are referred to as a house. Hebrews tells us Moses was faithful as a servant.  He did what God asked him to do.  Moses was unique among God’s servants.

When Miriam and Aaron rise up against Moses in Numbers 12, God explains just how special Moses is.  To Moses God spoke clearly, audibly, and mouth to mouth.  With the other prophets, God spoke in dreams, riddles, and things like that.  As great as Moses was, he was simply a caretaker or a servant in the house.  He did what God said to do.  He led the people as God said to lead them.

Look at that very interesting phrase in verse 5:  [5] Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, In other words, Moses’ faithful ministry points to something that would transcend his own time and his own ministry and even his own understanding.  And according to the author of Hebrews, that thing is the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.  What Moses represents in Jewish history is incomplete.  And he points forward to what would be said in the future.

Moses’ greatness as a servant was in how he pointed the people of God to Christ.  Moses was faithful because his life and ministry was a picture of things which would come about later.  As great as Moses was, he was a servant…Jesus is the blessed Son of the house.

Notice the thrust of verse 6.

We are included in God’s house or God’s people the writer tells us, we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.

As Christians, we are called to persevere in the faith.  Our Christian hope is in Christ.  Our confidence is in the work of Christ on our behalf.

“The conditional sentences of this epistle [as] worthy of special attention.  Nowhere in the New Testament more than here do we find such repeated insistence on the fact that continuance in the Christian life is the test of reality.  The doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints has as its corollary the salutary teaching that the saints are the people who persevere to the end.”—F F Bruce

Since the great test of the genuiness of a Christian is if he/she holds fast till the end.  Along the way there are bumps in the road and bridges to cross.  Christians fail, sin, and fall on their face.  The test is that when sin is committed does repentance follow?  When failures occur do we start over and seek the Lord’s face?

How do we hold fast to Christ?

That question takes us full circle with our text today.  Go back up to verse 1.

Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession.

We hold fast to Christ when we trust in Christ for salvation.

We believe His message (the Gospel) that He delivered from heaven to earth.

Do you believe the good news?

Do you believe that all people are sinners?

Do you believe that we are dead in our sin and that our only hope is that Jesus would bring us to life?

Not only are we to rely on Christ for justification but as our High Priest, we also rely on the fact that our sins are being atoned for through His current priestly office.  He is currently saving us.

Consider Christ; rely on His work for all of salvation.

In order to hold fast we must currently believe these things.

The test of salvation is endurance not a prayer prayed.  So often evangelists will make a general declaration that all the people who came forward and prayed a prayer, if they’re sincere are now saved.  The Bible shows us this is not right.  We cannot know about someone else with100% assurance.  We can know about ourselves.  The human heart is evil and desperately wicked, who can know it.

The true test of genuine salvation is endurance.  A true Christian will trust Christ now and forever.

%d bloggers like this: