Hebrews Chapter 3
The previous chapter in the book of Hebrews warned us that we must not neglect the great salvation that Jesus Christ offers. We also learned more about how great Jesus is and that, even though he is so great, he loved us so much that he lowered himself to take on human form. In chapter 3, Christ continues to be exalted and God warns us not to harden our hearts.
1. Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
In the Bible, the word “apostle” is almost always used for the twelve apostles of Christ, but in this case, it is used for Christ himself. The general meaning of the Greek word that is translated “apostle” is “messenger” or “sent one”. It is in this sense that Christ is the Apostle because he was sent forth as the Father’s messenger. He is the Word. Jesus is also call the High Priest. In the Old Testament high priests were appointed by God to offer sacrifices that prefigured the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.
2. Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.
3. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.
4. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.
5. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;
6. But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
Moses was a very great prophet in the Old Testament but Christ is so much greater than Moses. God uses the two analogies above to drive this home.
7. Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,
8. Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation
in the wilderness:
9. When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty
10. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.
11. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)
It is dangerous to resist God’s grace and demand that he prove himself over and over when he has already provided more than sufficient evidence of his greatness and goodness. If you hear God’s voice today, don’t harden your heart against him. None of us are guaranteed another day.
12. Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
13. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
14. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
15. While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
Sin is a very deceitful thing. It can fool us into thinking that a little is not such a bad thing. But God warns us that the penalty for any sin is death and a little very easily leads to a lot. A heart that becomes soft toward sin will become hard toward God and this ultimately leads to destruction. Once again, God implores us not to harden our hearts. He repeats this for emphasis. Those who are wise will take heed.
16. For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.
17. But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?
18. And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?
19. So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
Unbelief prevented many of the Israelites who were delivered from Egypt from entering into the promised land where there was rest from their labors. Unbelief prevents many today from entering into God’s salvation rest.