Heb 2:6 What Is Man that Thou Art Mindful of Him? 7/3/2011 ßą
#1. The World to Come (Heb 2:5, 1:6, John 1:13, Gal 3:28, Rev 20:1-3)
#2. The Son of Man (Heb 2:6, Psalm 8:5-6, Luke 3:38, Isa 64:8, Phil 2:5-11, Mark 10:45)
#3. All Things (Heb 2:7-8, Psalm 8:6, Isa 45:15, Jam 1:12, 1Cor 16:22, 1John 4:19, Eph 2:8, Matt 10:37-38)
Please open your Bibles to the Epistle to the Hebrews, Heb 2:1 (2X). What is this chapter about? Do not be deceived by people who claim that the Epistle to the Hebrews was primarily written to the Hebrews who were converted to Christianity. That is not true. Look at what the context says. Please put a sticker here in Heb 2.
This Epistle was written to us, just like the whole Bible was written to God’s children at any time in history, and it was written to the remnant chosen by grace out of all nations, and kindreds, and peoples, and tongues. We are those Hebrews to whom God wrote this Epistle, for after the cross God completely changed His terminology. God says in Gal 3:29, “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Abraham was the father of the Hebrews, and thus if we together with Christ are Abraham’s seed, then we are also called Hebrews. If Christ is called Abraham’s seed, then we who are in Christ are also called Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. The main reason why this Epistle is called “Hebrews” is to show to us, and to the Hebrew Christians who were recently converted that we all stand on the same ground at the foot of the cross. In God’s eyes there is neither Jew nor Greek, for we are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal 3:28). Moreover, do not be deceived by people who claim that the first two chapters in this Epistle to the Hebrews were written with the main theme that Christ is greater than the angels. Baloney! Look at Heb 1:8. Once Christ is declared to be God incarnate He is greater than anything else in this creation; no question about it; discussion closed. Bible commentators are simply copying one another, and this is how errors are multiplied. The main purpose of the first two chapters of this Epistle is to elevate and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, because of the great sacrifice that He went through on our behalf. The context proves it. The first four verses in chapter 2 spoke to us about “So Great Salvation.” And now the following verses in this chapter continue on the main theme of this Great Author who created this Great Salvation. Today we will focus on verses 5-9, but to remember the context we will start with verse 1. Heb 2:1-9,
Heb 2:1-9 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
Last week we went through verses 1 through 4. Today we will look at verses 5 through 9. What verse jumps out to us in this passage of Heb 2:5-9? It is verse 6, which contains the words, “What is man that Thou art mindful of him?” That is why the title of this sermon is, “What Is Man that Thou Art Mindful of Him?” This reflects God’s unmerited favor toward rebellious sinners, who do not deserve any of God’s favors. The only reason why God is mindful of us is that He has placed us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before Him, and to become the bride of Christ. And so He has made the decision to love us and to adopt us as His sons, and to promote us to the status of sons of God. What a great honor, totally undeserved, and a totally free gift. First He lavished His mercy upon us by having the Lord Jesus Christ pay for the guilt of our sins, so that we do not have to go to Hell. That takes us from minus infinity to ground zero. That in itself is a wonderful blessing, for we do not have to pay for our sins any more. Secondly, He poured His grace upon us, taking us from ground zero to plus infinity by making us sons of God and the bride of Christ, thereby securing our position in the future New Heaven and the New Earth which God will usher in on the last day. It is unbelievable what God has done and what He still will do for us down to eternity future. What is man that Thou art mindful of him?
#1. The World to Come (Heb 2:5, 1:6, John 1:13, Gal 3:28, Rev 20:1-3)
Let us now study this passage Heb 2:5-9, and we begin to look at Heb 2:5 (2X).
Heb 2:5, “For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.”
This verse begins with the word “For.” What is the word “For” there for? It refers back to the previous passage, especially the words of verses 2 and 3. Perhaps you remember that these verses speak of #1, the great danger of neglecting the Gospel, and #2, the vengeance that is certain to follow on the neglect of the Gospel. But what is the great blessing if we do not neglect the Gospel. The great blessing is “the world to come,” of which we read in verse 5. What is that “world to come” referring to? What is the word “world” here in Heb 2:5? It is not the word “kosmos” which is the more common Greek word for the world, and it is not the word “aion” which is the Greek word for “age”, but it is the less common word “oikoumene”, which signifies “a habitable place.” And thus “the world to come” means “a habitable place to come.” This does not help us much. Please turn to Heb 1:6 (2X). When we look at Heb 1:6, where God says, “And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.” And here in Heb 1:6 the word for world is again “oikoumene.” Then, what is the meaning of the word “world” in Heb 1:6? The second word of Heb 1:6 is the word “again”, and the 8th word in this verse is “firstbegotten”. Both words speak of Christ after the cross. In fact Heb 1:6 refers to the second coming of Christ, for it is only after the cross that the Lord Jesus is spoken of as “the firstbegotten of the dead.” Therefore the word “world” in Heb 1:6 refers to the Kingdom of God after Christ has come for the second time, and that is the New Heaven and the New Earth. Let us now use this information into Heb 2:5. Please turn again to Heb 2:5 (2X). And now we understand what this verse is saying. Let us simplify this translation a little The words “put in subjection” is actually one Greek word meaning “to put under.” Thus Heb 2:5 reads as follows,
Heb 2:5, “For not under angels did He put the coming world (the new creation), about which we speak.”
No! He put the coming world in subjection under man. Not under angels who seem to be much more qualified than man. The great honor that God spoke about in Heb 2:3, that we are the recipients of the New Heaven and the New Earth where no entropy dwells, that great inheritance will be ruled over by man, and at that time the angels will be subject to man. Angels are ministering spirits, and they continue to be ministering spirits, but we will be sons of God. And so, this is the glory God will bestow upon us after all the wicked have been removed into Hell.
Some people will imagine that “the world to come” refers to a thousand year reign of Christ on this earth, which will be another Jewish age. There are two big errors in the premillennial and the postmillennial theology that people have developed. First of all these theories are unbiblical, for a major principle after the cross is that we shall walk by faith, not by sight. Our gaze must be on eternal life with Christ in the New Heaven and the New Earth, and not on this sin cursed earth. Unfortunately, the people who look for a 1000 year reign of Christ have their eyes fixed on this sin cursed earth. The second error, which is an equally big error, elevates the descendants of Jacob as a special people in the eyes of God. Nothing could be further from the truth. God says in John 1:13, “Not of blood”, meaning “Not of the right bloodline.” Your bloodline does not help you in any way to become saved, for God is not a respecter of persons. And do we not read in Gal 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek.” Yes, this is God’s design after the cross: Everyone stands on the same level at the foot of the cross. All the fanciful theories that have been developed to make Christ rule for 1000 years on this earth have been developed around Rev 20:1-3. These verses speak of a thousand years, but the context of these verses is parabolic. If all the verses before Rev 20:1-3 must be taken symbolically, and the verses after Rev 20:1-3 must also be taken symbolically, then it is insane to take these three verses literally. But that is what people have done, and they have developed a theology that was a carryover from the Old Testament Jews, but when Christ came nothing of that Old Testament theology amounted to anything any more. Let us now return to Heb 2:5-6 where God says,
Heb 2:5-6 For not under angels did He put the coming world, about which we speak. But to one in a certain place who testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?
If you are taking notes, please notice that the words “one in a certain place” is actually one Greek word which means “somewhere.” It is only a certain place for those who know their Bibles, but literally the Greek text does not indicate a certain place. It says “somewhere”, which actually refers to Psalm 8:4. Moreover the word “testified” should have been translated “solemnly testified.” And the word “But” in the beginning of verse 6 indicates that what now follows is a contrast. The contrast is that God did not put the coming world under angels, But He put it under the One who in Psalm 8:4 solemnly testified, “What is man that Thou art mindful of him?” This is the literal meaning of Heb 2:6. And so, what is the Gospel meaning of that to us? What impact does this have on us? Please turn to Psalm 8:1 (2X). We must first ponder the spiritual meaning of Psalm 8 before we go any further in Heb 2.
Psalm 8 is a psalm of David. The main theme of this psalm is to magnify the glory of God. That main theme is proved by the works of God, which are so obvious that babes can magnify God in them, to the astonishment of His enemies. In Psalm 8 God first shows us His visible glorious works that are above, which manifest God’s eternal power and Godhead. Then He shows us God’s goodness to man, who has made himself a miserable creature.
Psalm 8:1-9 <<To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.>> O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!
Look at God’s majesty in verse 3, “When I consider thy heavens.” What are we seeing when we look at the stars through mighty telescopes? We see stars, great and small. Some are so large we could easily fit the orbit of Mars around the sun within that star, and some are very small in size but extremely dense. Our galaxy contains a wide variety of stars in all sizes and colors. We see stars 4 light-years away and see stars 50,000 light-years away, at the other end of our galaxy. We see the remnants of supernovas, which are explosions of stars which put our best hydrogen bombs to shame. We can sense X-rays from stars that are many millions of times stronger than anything man has produced. We see magnificent nebulas, which are like cloud formations, but these clouds are bigger than thousands of stars together. How many stars are there in our Galaxy? It is a number that can be compared to the number of letters in 500,000 books from any encyclopedia. And now we have only one galaxy covered. There are billions of galaxies in the universe, and since God made them all, God is greater than this universe He created.
God sent the Lord Jesus Christ to this earth, and God said that Christ suffered and died only once, which means that there is no other place in this universe where Christ would come to pay for the sins of His creatures. And thus God revealed to us that we are alone in this great and wide universe. He created all this splendor just to show us His almighty hand. And thus when we consider how great God is, and how small we are, is it any wonder that we are amazed, “What is man that Thou art mindful of him.” What is man that You, Lord, have designed a wonderful plan of salvation for us? And who are we to imagine that we can oppose what You are doing? We are nothing. And the only way we can know anything is when You reveal it to us in Your Word, the Bible. And so, we are appalled to hear that there are people who say that they can accept or reject the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior. They have made the great God so small. They have ignored what You have said in the Bible, that Your sovereign ways are not like our ways. And like the heavens are above the earth, so high are Your ways above our ways. And so, Lord, allow us to understand what You have declared in the Bible so that we will worship You who You are, and not the way we want You to be. “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?”
#2. The Son of Man (Heb 2:6, Psalm 8:5-6, Luke 3:38, Isa 64:8, Phil 2:5-11, Mark 10:45)
Why does God now introduce the Son of Man? Is God now introducing New Testament language? Indeed He is. We can see that already in Psalm 2 where God introduced the Lord Jesus Christ with the words, “Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee.” So we should not be surprised that God introduces the Lord Jesus Christ here in Psalm 8:4-6. Therefore “the Son of Man” indeed refers to the Lord Jesus Christ. God says in Psalm 8:5-6, “For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.” This does not refer to Adam, for Adam was not the Son of Man. Adam was the son of God, as is stated in Luke 3:38, and in Isa 64:8. When God sent Christ to the earth, did He make Christ a little lower than the angels? Indeed He did. We read in Phil 2:5-11,
Php 2:5-11 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
O yes. When Christ came He came a little lower in rank than the angels. In fact He came quite a bit lower than the angels, for He came as the servant of man. He came to suffer the wrath of God in our place, and He came to be humiliated in our place, and He came to die in our place. For Christ to come lower than the angels was already a very large step down. God the Son who together with the Father and the Holy Spirit was the creator of the universe and creator of heaven and earth, was taking a step down to somewhere lower than the angels to where despicable man was, because He had to become like us. He, the Judge of all the world, had to step down from the judge’s bench, and become a servant, and pay the price for the guilt of all our sins on our behalf, because we were unable to pay such a great price. And He had to pay the full price, the equivalent of an eternity in Hell, for only that which is equivalent to the price that we would have to pay would satisfy the righteousness of God. Therefore God says in Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
Let us now consider these words from Psalm 8 from a different angle. When we look at Psalm 8:5-6 we see that these were written in the past tense. David lived more than 1000 years before the cross and the resurrection of Christ. How can it be that these two verses were written in the past tense? We might say that this was a proleptic vision, which is defined as a vision of a future event as if it presently existed already. God does this more often in the Bible. But that is too easy. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Hebrews, Heb 4:3 (2X) If you had a sticker here in Heb 2 you could look this up quickly. In your King James Bible you will find these words,
Heb 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, they shall not enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
Those who wandered in the wilderness in unbelief shall not enter into the rest that Christ gives us, for they have an evil heart of unbelief. But then follow the words, “although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.” Does this mean that before the foundation of the world Christ already paid for the sins of those who are going to be saved? No! That is a faulty conclusion, for the Epistle to the Hebrews says repeatedly in Heb 7:27, 9:12,25,26,28, 10:10,12, that Christ was crucified only ONCE. What is going on? God could not have contradicted Himself. When we look again at Heb 4:3 we see that the King James Version has a serious error in translation. The correct translation of the second half of verse 3 is: “though the works having come into being from the foundation of the world.” What are those works and what is the meaning of “from the foundation of the world?” We have a similar expression in Rev 13:8 and in Rev 17:8 where “the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world.” Notice that the Bible does not say “before the foundation of the world.” The words “from the foundation of the world” refer to Gen 1, and Gen 2, and Gen 3. Even Gen 3 belongs to the beginning of the foundation of the world, for God has determined before the foundation of the world that the names of sinners like me were written into the mind of God the Son. Therefore, According to Eph 1:4-5 Christ had to come to pay for the sins of sinners. And how did those sinners come into being? That is what Gen 3 is all about. And so, when we read about “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world,” it means that the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross was effective retroactively from the time that Adam and Eve sinned. Can we have confirmation of that? Yes! We read in Gen 3:21, “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” God killed animals, which in the Old Testament is a figure of the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, and God clothed Adam and his wife, which was a figure of God covering His children with the righteousness of Christ (Isa 61:10). Therefore when we read in Heb 4:3, “though the works having come into being from the foundation of the world” we have in view the works of God concerning election and reprobation, for that is the subject matter in Heb 4:2-3.
Therefore, when David penned Psalm 8:5-6 he wrote it in the past tense, for being a prophet of God he could see the future humiliation and resurrection and exaltation of Christ. Besides, God dictated it to him to show him what his descendant, the Messiah, had to go through. We see a similar situation in Psalm 2, for there the prophet who wrote this psalm also received from God a message to Messiah, “Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee,” and we know that these words only apply to the Lord Jesus Christ on the day that He rose from the grave.
And David said in Psalm 8:5-6, and notice how these two verses are written in the past tense,
Ps 8:5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
Ps 8:6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
The Lord Jesus was crowned with a crown of thorns. Is that glory and honor? From our earthly perspective we do not consider this glory and honor. But the Lord Jesus prayed for strength in this hour in the Garden of Gethsemane. And ultimately His suffering caused Him to be successful in redeeming all His elect from the power of the Devil. And just like the cross so His crown of thorns was instrumental in giving Him all the glory of victory over sin and Satan. We recoil at this degree of suffering, but we are seeing only the tip of the iceberg. His suffering was immensely greater than the crown of thorns and the cross. But how grateful are we today for Christ’s purchase of us on the cross? Do we thank Him for this? Do we indeed believe that we now belong to Him? But now after the cross God says that He has put all things under the feet of Christ. He has been crowned King of kings and Lord of lords. In fact He has taken His elect and changed us into a new order of man. He caused me to die with Christ as the old man, and He caused me to come alive with Christ like a new man; one who can stand before God as a man who is holy and without blame before Him. There is nothing that I could do to shed the old man and take on the new man. It was all done by the grace of God. And now that Christ has been resurrected, He has been crowned with glory and honor. Please turn again to Heb 2:7 (2X). And there we read in Heb 2:7-8,
#3. All Things (Heb 2:7-8, Psalm 8:6, Isa 45:15, Jam 1:12, 1Cor 16:22, 1John 4:19, Eph 2:8, Matt 10:37-38)
Heb 2:7-8 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.
He left nothing that is not put under Him, and that includes the Devil. Satan has become God’s servant, now more so than ever before. And even though we can see that Satan is attacking the church, and Satan is attacking our church vehemently, be assured that it is all within God’s plan, for Christ is coming soon. And even though we do not yet see all things put under the authority of Christ, God assures us that indeed all things are under Him, including Satan. And this goes beyond the terms of Psalm 8:6, for you can see that the word “things” in Psalm 8:6 is in italics. It is an insertion by the translators based on what they see in the New Testament in Heb 2:8. You see, “the last Adam, Christ, has secured for His people more than the first Adam lost” (2X). When we enter into the New Heaven and the New Earth all creation, even the angels, will be in subjection to man. I do not mean to say that all creation will be in subjection to Christ, for that is already so, but all creation will be in subjection to each and every saint in glory. Man is next to God in that world. God shall dwell with us and among us and we shall be His people. What a glorious future awaits us! Just the thought of it fills our life with joy and anticipation.
You see, God will do for His children all things that a loving Father does. What are God’s thoughts concerning us who are His children, those whom He has chosen to be the bride of Christ? Let us consider the thoughts of God toward us, who were responsible for sending His Son to be crucified. God has seen our utter insignificance. He has seen that we are little specks on this earth, which is just a little speck in our solar system, which is just a little speck in this great galaxy that we can see, which is just a little speck in this great universe that we can see. But if God has counted us worthy to send His Son here, then we are no longer insignificant. And why has He sent His Son here to this earth? He did that to remedy our exceeding sinfulness. And because of our exceeding sinfulness it would have been impossible to save even one human being if it depended on us to make the choice between God and Satan. If God would leave it up to us we would always choose Satan. That is how sinful we are. Therefore God had to rescue us from ourselves by His sovereign grace, and if it is by grace then it is not by works, not even a small work, otherwise grace is no longer grace and work is no longer work. Therefore, since it is by grace, and since God is immutable, it is required that God makes the decision whom to save before the foundation of the world. And since God sent us His Son to be our forerunner, He predestined us to be conformed to the image of Christ. It means then that we would receive from God our faith in Christ, and our love for Christ resembling the love of Christ for us, and our love for one another. And since God sent us His Son to be our Bridegroom, we as His bride would be co-heirs to His inheritance in the New Heaven and the New Earth, and we would share in His name, whatever that name would be. If Christ is called Israel in Isa 45:15, then we are also called Israel because we are the bride of Christ and because we are in Christ from before the foundation of the world. But if God would give us all this understanding then He would not have to regulate us with a series of rules and regulations. Therefore, God in His wisdom has made us free from the law which He nailed to the cross, and He made us free from ceremonial hoopla. The only reason we want to obey the law is that we want to do those things that are pleasing in His sight. God has given us eternal life now, an abundant life now, and He will give us more abundance in the life hereafter.
On the other hand, those who continue their exceedingly sinful life on this earth have also spurned His love in this life and do not live their life to the glory of God, and they will have to pay for their own sins in a place called Hell. Since God is not the author of sin people sin voluntarily, and thus God will be totally justified to cast them into Hell, for they sinned voluntarily. Who then will be saved? God says in Jam 1:12, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” Let us think about this. Is it possible to find out if we have been saved? Or do we have to wait until the end of our life before we are sure if we are saved? What are the conditions, or the signs, or the requirements of salvation? Some say we must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and we shall be saved. Some say we must receive faith from God to be saved. Some say we must be saved by grace alone. Some say no, it is by faith alone. Some say we must obey the commandments. Some say we must plead with God to have mercy on us. Some say if we have unconfessed sin in our heart God will not hear us. Some say we must love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love our neighbor as ourselves. Some say we must be born again. Some say we must love the brethren. These are ten conditions already, and I may have missed a few. This going to be really complicated. How can we untie the tangle? The key is: we do not choose one of these conditions, we must choose all ten of them, and we must harmonize all of them under one unifying umbrella that includes them all. Let me help us understand where to look for the key. Please turn to the First Epistle to the Corinthians, 1Cor 16:22 (2X). Here is a verse that is not preached by most churches because it is so threatening. And yet it contains one of the simplest solutions to the problem of determining how to examine ourselves. We read in 1Cor 16:22, “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha”, or “let him be accursed till the Lord comes.” This is the umbrella. This verse is an absolute statement. It means it is absolutely true. We cannot bend it or spiritualize around it. To be truly saved we have to love the Lord Jesus Christ, and this is not a love that we can conjure up ourselves, for we read in 1John 4:19, “We love Him, because He first loved us.” If God gave us this love for Christ then God gave it to us by His grace. And if God gave us His grace, then God gave us also faith as a gift from God, for we read in Eph 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that (faith) not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” If God gave us His grace, then He also made us born again at the moment that He gave us His grace. If God gave us His grace, then He also gave us a love for one another, for this is His commandment that we love one another. If God gave us His grace, then we will survive temptation, for He will not allow us to go astray. And so on, and so on. Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel According to Matthew, Matt 10:37 (2X). Can we now see that it is our love for Christ which is the overarching umbrella, or the touchstone by which we can examine ourselves and see if we are truly saved? How do we know if our love for Christ is genuine? Now we are getting into an area where it hurts. The Lord Jesus said in Matt 10:37-38, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” Now that is a tall order. The cross has to do with death. We do not have to die, but we have to give our life as a living sacrifice. And if we are not willing to give our life as a living sacrifice Christ does not want us, for we do not love Him. Can we see that our love for Christ must be genuine, and most people do not have it? Most people do not want to follow Christ, because it involves sacrifice. Following Christ means that we bring the Gospel to everyone who has not heard. That is what Christ did. We must love the unsaved to the extent that we will offer our time and our resources. Have pity on them, for they are blind, and they need someone to point them the way of salvation. The lord Jesus did not beat around the bush when He said, “He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” But when we love Christ we will do that, and we will love it. The Lord Jesus said that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. And the reason why His burden is light is because we love being His servant. And we will be crowned with glory, not because we have done that, but because He loves us.
Please turn again to the Epistle to the Hebrews, Heb 2:9 (2X). We began this discussion with the question, “What is man that Thou art mindful of him?” You see, God’s great condescension to have mercy on some of this miserable mankind has brought Christ to the scene. But the resulting suffering and death of Christ brought with it the resurrection and a joint inheritance so great that all the miseries of this life are overshadowed by this great inheritance. Then the Lord Jesus said in Matt 28:18, “All authority is given unto Me in heaven and on earth.” It means that all things are already under His control, even Satan. And then we read in Heb 2:8, “But now we see not yet all things put under Him.” In other words, it is not so easy to see. But what do we see? We read in Heb 2:9,
Heb 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
How do we see Jesus? We see Jesus in the Scriptures, and we see Jesus with eyes of faith. The apostle Peter said it so clearly in 2Pet 1:19, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” Note well that this earth is a dark place, but the sure word of prophecy is like a light that shines in a dark place and it keeps shining “until the day dawn” which means until Christ comes again, and “the day star”, which also refers to Christ as “the bright and morning star”, arise in your hearts. This is how we see Jesus, with eyes of faith.
Then what do we see in Heb 2:9? We read there, “That he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” That is an incorrect translation. The last word “man” is not there in the Greek text. Cross it out. It is not possible that Christ would have died for every man in the world, for not everyone is saved. Only a remnant is saved, by grace, and Christ knows who that remnant is. Christ is not a possibility savior; when He has died for someone then that someone has been saved. And God says in Matt 1:21, Thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins.” Therefore, Christ would have died for everyone of His elect, and not one can be added and not one can be forgotten. Our God is a mighty Savior, an omniscient Savior, an all wise Savior.
AMEN. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.