Lesson 12 - Chapter 3:4-6

Lesson 12 - Chapter 3:4-6

Lesson for August 17, 2014

The Book of Hebrews

Chapter 3:4-6

Verse 4

“For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.”

Every house refers to the whole pattern of history from the viewpoint of dispensations. Remember that a dispensation is a period of human history from the divine viewpoint, from the standpoint of divine design, divine planning and divine construction. For every house therefore means every dispensation. God uses human agents to administer each dispensation. The person in this context is Moses in the house (dispensation) of Israel. For every house is constructed and furnished by someone means by the agency of someone. The agency in this illustration is Moses. God used many agents during the Age of Israel — Abraham, Moses, Joseph, the judges, the prophets and certain kings. This passage emphasizes Moses as a great hero in his house (dispensation). Right now God is constructing the Church Age from the lives of believer-priests.

All things is plural to indicate Christ constructed the entire universe. (Colossians 1:16) He is the only creator and He created everything. (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:10) Jesus Christ is the unique Person of the universe. History and the dispensations are things that Jesus Christ constructed, which means He is infinitely superior to all creatures and all creation.

Verse 5-6

“Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony to those things which were to be spoken later; but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.”

Moses is emphasized as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, Jewish heroes of all time. Faithful means dependability and is a sign of stability. Moses was more positive to doctrine than anyone who lived in his dispensation. Now Moses was faithful means he was trustworthy and dependable. God could count on Moses. He was consistent in the intake of doctrine, he was consistent in his desire for doctrine, and he realized that the most important thing in his life was doctrine and that everything else was secondary.

If Bible doctrine becomes your life, no matter what your expressions of life may be, no matter what your job or circumstances, then you have the opportunity of being something fantastic. The real secret to success for any believer is measured in terms of his attitude toward Bible doctrine. You have been given an opportunity in this life to honor God in a special way, but it depends entirely on Bible doctrine.

The word in Greek for servant used here is “therapon.” The word means a noble servant, not just a slave who does his job but a slave who has nobility of soul and it manifests itself. One of the greatest by-products of being a spiritually mature believer (servant or master) is nobility of soul from Bible doctrine. The background of the individual makes absolutely no difference. A person who is a mature believer is not a product of his environment, or circumstance; he is a product of the plan of God. What we are because of physical birth is of no consequence; it is what we are after the new birth that counts with God. A noble servant is a believer who is positive and faithful when it comes to Bible doctrine — dependable, faithful, trustworthy, and stable.

This does not mean “for a testimony” as we normally define it. If we are going to give it its exact meaning in modern English we would say “for evidence.” Moses’ faithfulness is evidence of 1) how important it is to reach spiritual maturity and 2) how important it is to be positive toward Bible doctrine. This is divine evidence that it is possible for a person with super genius (Moses) to set aside human intelligence and be positive toward Bible doctrine which is divine intelligence.

Spoken later is the Greek word “laleo,” which is a future tense to indicate that Moses will stand in every future generation as evidence to what can be done when a person is positive toward doctrine. No one has ever exploited grace like Moses, and like the apostle Paul, but any believer can. You have to make up your mind to do it and you are going to have to set aside every distraction. This can be accomplished, you can enter into spiritual maturity, and you can exploit the grace of God through doctrine. Moses as a grace hero is used as evidence not only against reversionism in the Exodus generation, but in every generation of believers who through negative volition and neglect toward doctrine become reversionistic. So Moses is evidence for the importance of spiritual maturity. And every believer who ever goes negative toward doctrine for any time, Moses stands as evidence against him.

Moses was a noble servant, but Jesus Christ is an adult son. And the son of the house is always greater than the servant of the house. Jesus Christ is over the house of Israel of which Moses was a hero in the house. Moses is in the house; Christ is over the house, once again establishing the uniqueness of the Person of Christ. He is undiminished deity and true humanity in one Person forever. He is the only manifestation of God and He represents everything that is important in God’s plan under the concept of grace. He is the object of a mature believer’s love; people do not love Christ apart from the intake of Bible doctrine. Lack of doctrine means lack of appreciation, lack of capacity for loving the Lord Jesus Christ. Capacity for loving Jesus Christ is based upon Bible doctrine in the soul. Once this is achieved through the intake of doctrine and the entrance into spiritual maturity then the believer fulfills his priesthood. There is no fulfillment of his priesthood until he is a spiritually mature believer.

Christ is both over the house of Israel and over the house called the Church. In other words, He is the Chief Cornerstone, the stone on the corner where two walls come together. Jesus Christ is the King of Israel, David’s greater Son and a high priest forever. Christ is also the head of the Church, the groom to the Church; He is the head of the body of believers. So Christ is the Chief Cornerstone. (Psalm 118:22; Ephesians 2:19-21)

The next phrase indicates that we are now discussing not the house of Israel of the previous verse but the house which represents the Church Age. Since the Church Age is a house over which Christ rules as an adult son, it has certain unique features which did not exist in the previous dispensation mentioned in verse 5. There are nine unique features of this particular age:

  1. Every believer is in union with Jesus Christ, which was never true before. Every believer has been entered into union with Christ as of the point of salvation through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
  2. Every believer is indwelt by the Person of Jesus Christ. No Old Testament believer was ever indwelt by Christ.
  3. Every believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. While God the Holy Spirit had a ministry of enduement or empowerment to certain Old Testament saints the universal indwelling of God the Holy Spirit is unique to the Church Age.
  4. For the first time in history every believer is his own priest. Therefore every believer must function in his priesthood and this demands spiritual maturity.
  5. We have a completed canon of scripture and in this house or dispensation all divine revelation is in written form. There is no extra-biblical revelation in this dispensation. God does not speak except through His Word.
  6. We have a clearly-defined grace way of life superior to and superseding anything that has ever existed prior to this dispensation. This is the Dispensation of Grace.
  7. Every believer is in full-time Christian service, every believer is an ambassador for Christ, and every believer represents Christ in the devil’s world.
  8. We have the intensification of the Angelic Conflict. Never before in human history has there been such an intensification of the Angelic Conflict.
  9. All believers are commanded to advance to spiritual maturity. Every believer is a priest, God does not intend for your priesthood to go unused. Every believer is an ambassador. God does not intend for the disintegration of your ambassadorship.

The objective of the Christian life is to take in Bible doctrine so that when you reach spiritual maturity you will be occupied with those things that are productive. But we are never to think in terms of production; we think in terms of occupation with the Person of Christ and not what we are doing for God. God does not depend upon us for His plan to succeed in time. God’s plan depends upon His essence, His concepts, and His grace; it never depends on us. The fact that we are permitted under grace to be productive is simply a manifestation of His perfect plan and our positive volition. All believers are commanded to reach spiritual maturity by way of the construction of the Edification Complex of the Soul.

The word “if” introduces a third class condition (maybe you will and maybe you won’t). The third class condition indicates the believer’s volition in moving toward spiritual maturity or toward reversionism. This “if” indicates the direction in which we will go as believers in the Church Age. The first part of this sentence says, “But Christ as an adult son over his house; whose house we are.” We live in a certain time in history, we live in the Dispensation of the Church, and we are the administrators of that dispensation. As an administrator, as a believer in full-time service, as an ambassador, and as a priest, you are a part of the function of this dispensation. Our first objective after salvation should be to reach spiritual maturity. But once you reach spiritual maturity, there is a big “if” and this is what we have in verse six.

Hold is the Greek word “katecho” and means to have and to hold according to a norm and standard, to hold fast, or even stronger than that, to keep in one’s memory, to occupy, to have in full and secure possession. There is also a nautical use of this word: to steer toward something or to make a heading, to be on course. All these meanings relate to heading for and maintaining a course toward spiritual maturity. In Hebrews 3:1 we had the verb used for occupation with Christ on the part of a spiritually mature believer. Now in verse 6 we have to hold fast used for heading toward and maintaining a course toward maturity. Verse 1 gave us the objective, now we have the course. “If you hold fast” means keep on taking in doctrine until you reach the objective of spiritual maturity where you can have the proper function of the priesthood.

Every time we take in doctrine we feed our soul under the divine power system designed for the Church Age: a pastor-teacher communicating with accuracy to a congregation of believer-priests. The third class condition indicates that we all have volition. You can choose for or against Bible doctrine. You can set aside other things and take in doctrine consistently. Attending Bible class is a personal decision you have to make. And if at some point you neglect doctrine, if at some point you fail to take in doctrine and if you fail to make this decision to learn doctrine, then you will move into reversionism. So there must be a course toward which you steer and a course which, once you are steering in that direction, you must maintain. There are two objectives, nautically speaking. One is to steer, so we set the course and steer in that direction in spite of contrary winds, in spite of difficulties, storms, and so on.

Confidence is the Greek word “parresia,” which means assurance or confidence in accurate Bible doctrine. These meanings are derived from the original concept of this noun which meant outspokenness or boldness of speech, and confidence. Here it is confidence in the authority of Bible doctrine as it is presented to you accurately by your pastor-teacher. If we do “steer and maintain our course with confidence in doctrine,” we are going to end up occupied with our High Priest Jesus Christ. The boasting of our hope will be in Christ as the object of our boasting by the believer who has erected an edification complex and has capacity to love Jesus Christ. Capacity to love Jesus Christ comes from Bible doctrine.

Hope means confident expectation or anticipation. There is a time coming when you are going to depart from this world and your soul and spirit will vacate your body. You will no longer be in the house called the Church Age; you will be taken immediately to Heaven. Your soul will be absent from the body and face to face with the Lord. You will go from whatever you are in this life to perfect happiness. That is our expectation or our hope.

Firm is the Greek word “bebais,” which means “stabilized.” And we are to remain stabilized in Christ until the end of the Church Age or until our departure from this life. Mental stability is the ability to think accurate Bible doctrine and divine viewpoint under pressure. It is the ability to make correct and accurate application of Bible doctrine in the midst of testing. Mental stability is the God-given ability to make accurate application of doctrine. From spiritual autonomy comes a maximized stabilization of the mentality. In spiritual autonomy, when you hear truth, you identify it as truth because you have learned so much Bible doctrine that your norms can identify truth in any area, wherever it is stated and by whomever it is stated.

Spiritual autonomy is orientation to God and His Word and rejecting anything that destroys the spiritual life such as fear, worry, and anxiety. Mental stability from spiritual self-esteem and spiritual autonomy is a key issue in the spiritual life because spirituality is a mental attitude produced by the filling of the Holy Spirit inside God’s power system.