Heb 3:1                                   Holy Brethren                                   9/25/2011        ßą   

 

 

 

 

#1.       Partakers of the Heavenly Calling (Heb 3:1, Luke 3:16, Gal 5:11, Rev 1:6, Jam 5:15-16, Matt 8:3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2.       He Who Builded the House (Heb 3:2-3, 1Pet 2:4-6, Rom 8:9, Isa 42:8, 48:11)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3.       Christ as a Son over His Own House (Heb 3:6, Isa 61:1-2, Psalm 50:16-17, Ex 20:7, Rev 22:19, Matt 28:19-20, Psalm 34:18, Rom 10:17, John 8:36, Isa 63:3-5, 1John 5:13)

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Epistle to the Hebrews, Heb 3:1 (2X). We have here a passage where Christ is compared to Moses. We all know that in reality there is no comparison, for the Lord Jesus Christ is God, whereas Moses is not. Moses was just a human being on whom God lavished much grace so that he was smarter, and more courageous, and had a talent to lead a group of a couple million slaves through the wilderness, and had many more gifts than any of his contemporaries. But Moses was just a man. Let us now read about the “Holy Brethren:”

Heb 3:1-6 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. 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. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; 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.

In verse 1 there are three things which claim our attention: First of all the exhortation given, secondly the people that are addressed, and thirdly the characters in which Christ is here contemplated. The exhortation is a call to consider Christ. The people addressed are the Holy Brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling. The characters in which the Savior is viewed are “The apostle and High Priest of our profession.” So first of all, consider Christ, who He is and what He did, and for what reason He did it. The Lord Jesus Christ is the union of God the Son with the man Christ Jesus from the womb of the Virgin Mary. But with that we have to say that this covers all the honor of the Virgin Mary; she gave birth to the man Christ Jesus and that is all the honor she gets from the Bible. Then we have to consider Christ who is the union of a Divine nature and a human nature. In His human nature He some-times was tired and slept, and he became hungry and thirsty, and He prayed to His heavenly Father. But when we consider His prayers we see His Divine nature take over, for He could pray fervently all night, and we humans cannot do that. He could fast for 40 days and not be exhausted, and we humans cannot do that. But when we read in Mark 13:32 when the Lord Jesus spoke of His second coming, “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father,” He said this in His human nature, for in His Divine nature He knew everything, for there He was one with the Father. I am bringing this up, for these days we can hear the man on the radio bring a totally false explanation of this verse. And so, when we consider Christ, when we consider the Person who gave all that He had for our well being, we have our hearts fixed upon the man who is altogether lovely, who is not only rich and powerful, but also full of compassion for us, sinners.

And who are the Holy Brethren that the apostle talks about? The Hebrew word “brethren” may refer to males as well as to females. And thus the apostle is addressing the entire congregation. We are those holy brethren of the Lord, and I say that without any boasting. We are those partakers of the heavenly calling. We belong to the family of God, and Jesus, the Son of God, is not ashamed to call us brethren. We are those whom He chose to call in this day and age, and to call us with a heavenly calling. Now, what does that mean?

#1.       Partakers of the Heavenly Calling (Heb 3:1, Luke 3:16, Gal 5:11, Rev 1:6, Jam 5:15-16, Matt 8:3)

Heb 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

Consider Him, our compassionate High Priest, who loved us so much that He was willing to suffer in our place the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. In His compassion for me He reached out to me and forgave me all my sins. Just think of it, the guilt of my sins has reached to an infinite high, and therefore the payment for all my sins required an eternity in Hell. But when Christ saw me from eternity past He had pity on me, because He saw that I was bankrupt, and that I was unable to pay such a large penalty. And so, He paid the penalty on my behalf, but it cost Him dearly. It cost Him the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. He had to do that because the righteousness of God, the justness of God as a Just Judge, was at stake. God is not able to forgive sins unless those sins have been paid in full. That is why John the Baptist proclaimed in Luke 3:16, “He shall baptize you, or wash you, with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” “With fire” refers to the fire of Hell. When the guilt of our sins was washed at the cross, our Lord had to pay the penalty for our sins in His soul, the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. Why are the churches so slow in understanding this? It is because this is an offensive idea. Man does not like an offensive gospel; but the true Gospel is an offence to the natural man. God speaks of “the offence of the cross” in Gal 5:11, and God speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ as “a stone of stumbling” or as “a Rock of offence” in many places in the Bible. But this is how the Lord made us “partakers of the heavenly calling.” And what is this heavenly calling that the Lord made us partakers of? He made us kings and priests unto God and His Father (Rev 1:6).  We are not only ruling as kings on this earth in that we bring the Gospel wherever we decide, but we are also priests unto God in that we bring petitions from sinners to God. We are called to love sinners and to lift them up in prayer before God. And we remember the promise of God that “the fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (Jam 5:16) so that we can have hope for our friends and relatives that even the worst of sinners can be saved. It does not mean that we let ourselves be used as a doormat, for God does not want us, His children, to suffer needlessly. But if we suffer for righteousness sake, we are called blessed, and we shall not be afraid, for we serve Him as kings and priests.

And so, when someone is seriously ill, remember to pray for that person, for the fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. And when someone has fallen seriously in sin we pray for that person, for the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up (Jam 5:15). Yes, I said “the sick” for we realize that those who have sinned are spiritually sick. The Bible speaks of leprosy as a symbol for sin.  And is this not a symbol that perfectly fits the effects of sin? When a person is infected by leprosy that person undergoes a gradual deterioration of his or her extremities; the fingers and the toes are eaten up by the leprosy bacteria. Just like sin eats away the morality and the dignity of that person, so the body is gradually being consumed by the leprosy bacteria; first the skin, then the flesh, then the bones. They are the walking dead until after nine to eleven years they can walk no more because their legs have also been eaten up. In the last stage of their sickness they just stand there, without a face, surrounded by flies and maggots who eat their rotting flesh, and they collapse and die in agony. This is what sin does to our soul. Without the Lord we are the walking dead, and we are corrupting both in body and in soul. And as time goes by it gets only worse, not better. But the Lord Jesus is able to save even the worst of sinners. He demonstrated that by healing a leper in Matt 8:3. Yes, as long as there is life there is hope that the sinner will turn from his evil ways, but only Christ does the saving. We can only sow the seed of the Gospel, as kings, and we can pray for that person, as priests, but in the end it is only Christ who can save that person by His amazing grace.

Heb 3:1, Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

When we consider Christ as the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, let us first consider the first word in this verse: “Wherefore.” That word tells us that we must draw a conclusion from all that we have studied before about Christ in the previous two chapters in Hebrews. Because Christ is the One through whom Deity is now fully and finally manifested, and because He is the Brightness of God’s glory and the very impression of His substance, and because He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than the angels or the prophets, and because He in infinite grace became “all of one” with His elect whom He came to save, and because He made propitiation for the sins of His people on the cross, and because He was buried and was raised and has justified all the elect in Him, and because He is now seated at the right hand of the Majesty on High with all the elect in Him, and because He is there as a merciful and faithful High Priest for us, and because He has Himself suffered while being tempted, and because He is able to succor them who are tempted, therefore He is infinitely worthy of our constant meditation and adoration, and He is infinitely worthy of being lifted up in our thoughts. Therefore, consider Him!

There are two special characters in which the Holy Spirit tells us to meditate on Christ: First as the Apostle and this refers to the prophetical office of Christ. The term Apostle means “one who is sent forth by God,” and who has been endowed with special authority as God’s ambassador. Then we need to recognize the matter of succession, since before He went to heaven the Lord Jesus said to His disciples in John 20:21, “Peace be unto you: as My Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” In other words, “As my Father has sent Me and has given Me authority as His ambassador, and has given Me authority to make decisions in His Name, even so send I you.” What a great honor has he Lord Jesus bestowed upon His disciples, and subsequently what a great honor has He bestowed upon us. We are now sent out in His Name. These words have germinated the idea of popery. You can see what great apostacy would flow out of these words if they would be taken in by those who are proud and have never been Born Again. But, of course, a child of God who has been Born Again must never be so proud to twist the Word of God to his own honor, for that will lead to his own destruction. But Christ is more than an Apostle; He is “The Apostle”,  the First Apostle, for all twelve apostles were appointed by Him. Therefore He has the preeminence, for He is the Firstborn from the dead, the Prince of the kings of the earth, in whom all the fullness of the Godhead bodily dwelt. He is the one who loved us so much and washed us from our sins in His own blood. And when we say this do we also remember how much He suffered on behalf of our sins, because we loved our sins. Should we not honor Him and love Him above everything else in this world? Should we not lift Him up above all else that we love and cherish in this world? And then the words of Hymn # 382 come to my mind:

Majestic sweetness sits enthroned upon the Savior’s brow; His head with radiant glories crowned, His lips with grace overflow. No mortal can with Him compare among the sons of men; Fairer is He than all the fair who fill the heavenly train. He saw me plunged in deep distress, and sped to my relief; For me He bore the shameful cross and carried all my grief, and carried all my grief.

How can it be that we might deliberately sin and turn away from such a beautiful Savior? Such action would imply that we have no love for Christ, and that we have no appreciation for His suffering of the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. This is an act of utter ingratitude for what Christ has done and it is an act of spurning the love of God. This would be the action of someone who is not saved. And this is why God wrote in Heb 10:38,

Heb 10:38  Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

This is in complete agreement with Heb 6:4-8 which begins with the words, “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,” and so on; and with Heb 10:26-31 which begins with the words, “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,” and so on; and with the words of the apostle Paul in 2Tim 4:10  “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world”; and with the words of the apostle Peter in 2Pet 2:20-21, “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.” Pray to God that this would never occur to any one of us. I shudder when I think that anyone of you might experience such apostacy. But we are living near the end of time, and the Word of God prophesies that such apostacy will occur extensively near the end of time, “for the love of many will wax cold” (Matt 24:12). Now look at the second character we have to consider:

Heb 3:1, Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

What do we see here in Heb 3:1? We have already seen in Heb 2:17 that the Lord Jesus is a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God. This tells us immediately how His priestly office differs from His prophetic office. As Prophet, Christ is God’s representative to His people; as Priest, Christ is the people’s representative before God. As the Apostle He speaks to us from God, as our High Priest He speaks for us to God. The two offices are both mentioned in John 13:3, “He was from God and He went to God.” As Apostle He is close to me; as Priest He is close to God. This High Priest of our profession is a man, who is a high priest according to the order of Melchisedec, not of the order of Aaron, because the order of Aaron consisted of imperfect men.

Consider “the High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.” And when you see the sequence of these words turned around, instead of Jesus Christ it reads Christ Jesus, remember that God wants us to think of the man Christ Jesus. God brings this out so beautifully in 1Tim 2:5, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” Is it not amazing that God would elevate a human being to such a status?

And think now of the fact that we are called “Partakers of the heavenly calling.” How is it possible for sinful worms of the earth to obtain such a citizenship? It is only because of our union with the incarnate Son, whose excellency is imputed to us, and whose position we share. We are partakers of the heavenly calling because He, in wondrous condescension, partook of our earthly lot. What He has, we have; where He is, we are. He is the Holy one of God, therefore we are holy. He is the holy one of Israel, therefore we are also called Israel, according to Rom 9:6. He is a Jew, where the name Jew means “praise”, we are also called Jews, according to Rom 2:28-29. He is called the Firstborn from the Dead, we are also called the firstborn, according to Heb 12:23. He is called the Judge of all; we will also be judges with Him, according to 1Cor 6:2. He has been made higher than the heavens, therefore we are made partakers of the heavenly calling. Just so far as our hearts really lay hold of this, shall we walk as strangers and pilgrims here. Where our Treasure is, meaning where Christ is, there will our hearts be also. That is why we are asked to consider Him, our Apostle and our High Priest. Let us now continue in Heb 3:2.

#2.       He Who Builded the House (Heb 3:2-3, 1Pet 2:4-6, Rom 8:9, Isa 42:8, 48:11)

Heb 3:2-3  Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. 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.

The chief qualification of an apostle, or of an ambassador, is that he be faithful. Our Lord had a big task committed to Him, and this trust He faithfully discharged. He sought not His own glory, but the glory of Him that sent Him. He always declared that His message was not His own, but the Father’s who sent Him. And He declared the whole counsel of God that was committed unto Him, and He declared it to the whole house.

The house of Christ refers to the children of God who by grace through faith as lively stones are built upon Jesus Christ as the Foundation, the Cornerstone, and who are filled with God the Holy Spirit (1Pet 2:4-6). They are those in whom God dwells as in His temple, and in whom God is praised and manifested in glory. This simple illustration is very instructive: We are compared to stones, but living stones. Christ will add not dead stones but lively stones to His house and thereby makes the temple grow. The way in which we are brought unto the Lord Jesus Christ and are united with Him is not by building with dead stones, but by Him making us Born Again, by which we become lively stones, and are used by Him to build the temple of God. When we try to build the temple by our works we are trying, but Christ is not working. But an elect child of God will give up working for his salvation, and then by grace through faith God the Holy Spirit adds us to Christ, and grafts us into the living Vine who is also the living Foundation of God’s temple that we will be part of. We are rooted and grounded in Christ, in love, washed from our sins, and united with Him in the Spirit. “If any man has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His” (Rom 8:9). Look at this metaphor now, and meditate on how Christ saves us and how He makes us living stones in His temple. If we make a decision to follow Christ, it will not work. If we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ thinking that God promised we will be saved, it will not work. If we study the Bible for 20 years, study it very hard, and believe everything the Bible says, we still are not saved. If we forgive everyone their trespasses against us, thinking that thereby we shall be saved, it will not work. What then will work? How do we become saved? Every preacher tells us that we are saved by faith. So if I believe, am I not saved? No! That is not how we are saved. “You must be Born Again, or you must be born from above.” Only if you are Born Again will you see the Kingdom of God. Can you make yourself Born Again? Can you make yourself born from above? The answer is: Absolutely not! Only God can make you Born Again, and God does that for those on whom God’s special favor rest. And what is God’s special favor? It is called GRACE, for the definition of grace is “Unmerited Favor”, God’s unmerited favor. And since you cannot merit unmerited favor it means that this is a gift that is given by God freely. This is how we become living stones in the house of God: It is something that is given to us freely, by grace, not of works, lest anyone should boast. We should not be able to boast that we have made such a smart decision to follow Jesus. This is pride, and pride is of the Devil. This must be our answer to anyone who boasts of coming to Christ by his own free will. It is dirty rotten pride, and pride is of the Devil. And so, Christ is the One who builds His house; no one else does it for Him. God says in Isa 42:8 and in Isa 48:11, “I will not give my glory to another.”

Heb 3:4-5  For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;

What does the house represent here in this verse? It does not represent a literal house, like where we live in, but it represents our spiritual house, meaning the soul that we have, or the body where the soul lives in, or the family that we have generated, or the spiritual family consisting of the saved people in our family, or the spiritual family consisting of the church where we worship, or the physical membership of the church. It is God who builds the house. He that builds all things is God. God says in Psalm 127:1, “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”

Please turn to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 3:3 (2X). The chief qualification of a husband is that he be faithful. The human marriage is just a shadow of the relation between Christ and the church. Christ is our Bridegroom, our future Husband, and we are His Bride. It is certain that Christ will be a faithful Husband even though we are not a faithful Bride. God says in Rom 3:3-8,

Ro 3:3-8  For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man) God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world? For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,)Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.

Paraphrased we can say: The nation of the Jews are entrusted with the oracles of God. This Word remains reliable even if some of God’s people are not. Initially we all came into the world as unbelievers. Shall the unbelief of God’s elect make the faithfulness of God without effect? God forbid! In fact, even though only God is true and every man a liar, the truth of God’s Word is confirmed by the judgment of God over all the liars, and the lies of all of God’s elect have to be paid by Christ on the cross. But if our wickedness serves to bring God’s righteousness to the foreground, does that make Him unfair if He judges our wickedness? Certainly not. If you talk that way He could not be the Judge of the world. But if my lies show God’s glory through the truth that shines forth from His Word, then I serve a good purpose, do I not? Why then am I still judged? If you talk that way you will end up putting a bonus on sin (some even say that this is what I teach), and you will be justly punished for it.

Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 43:7 (2X). And so, it is only Christ who is faithful. We are not faithful. Even though we may be called saints right now, if we cannot see that we are sinful we are probably not saved, for the Lord Jesus did not come for the righteous, but He came for sinners, and to lead them to repentance. Are we done with sinning once we have come to repentance? Let the Word of God answer this question. We read in Isa 43:7, “Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” Who is God speaking to? He is speaking to the Lord Jesus Christ, for God says in Isa 49:3, “Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified” and the context clearly indicates that God is speaking to Messiah, and God calls Him “Israel” and thus the entire remnant chosen by grace is also called Israel. Then God says in Isa 43:7, “I have created him for my glory.” It means that God has created us also for His glory; that was the purpose of our creation. Every time we are not glorifying God we commit sin, and that is at least 50 times each day. After we are saved we still live in a body that is inclined to sin. So let us be honest before God and admit that we are sinners. The fact that God has chosen us unto salvation before the foundation of the world, and calls us saints, does not take away that we are sinners until the day we die. But blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin (Rom 4:8). Do we realize the utter blessedness of our condition if we belong to God’s elect? Do we realize that for all of God’s elect Christ paid for all the guilt of all our sins when He suffered and died on the cross and was raised the third day? It means that from that Easter Sunday in AD 33 the guilt of all our sins was removed and God did not charge us for our sins ever since we came into the world, even though He knew all the sins that we were going to commit. But Christ paid for all of them. That is why we love Him more than everyone else in this world. And by our love for Him we can know if we are saved.

#3.       Christ as a Son over His Own House (Heb 3:6, Isa 61:1-2, Psalm 50:16-17, Ex 20:7, Rev 22:19, Matt 28:19-20, Psalm 34:18, Rom 10:17, John 8:36, Isa 63:3-5, 1John 5:13)

Heb 3:6  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.

And so, this verse says that Christ was faithful over His own house. He faithfully built His own house, His own temple, from the people that God the Father gave Him as building materials. And what do we see then? How did the Lord Jesus Christ build His own house? We are still in Isaiah, so I would like you to turn to Isaiah chapter 61, Isa 61:1 (2X). We have here a passage which was repeated in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 4, but we can read it as well here in Isaiah. It is a chapter that gives us an outline of the Gospel. The Lord Jesus was referring to Himself when He read this chapter of Isaiah. He read it in the hearing of his own countrymen in His hometown of Nazareth, and the result was that they almost killed Him by throwing Him off a cliff. This chapter tells us how the Lord Jesus faithfully built His own house. We read here in Isa 61:1-2,

Isa 61:1-2  The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

What does the Lord Jesus say here? He spoke of building His house by preaching the Gospel. But what was the first thing that was necessary before He started preaching the Gospel? It was that the Spirit of Jehovah had to come upon Him, and that Jehovah had to appoint Him to preach the Gospel. What does that mean to us? How do we apply this to our own life? Well, it means that in the first step we must first be converted. We have no business preaching the Gospel if we are not converted. To those who are unconverted God says in Psalm 50:16-17,

Ps 50:16-17 But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee.

Why is God saying this? Christ does not need assistance from Satan. And so, it is important that we first must be converted, we must be Born Again, before we are preaching the Gospel to the unsaved. You can see how this principle is confirmed in the Ten Commandments, for in the third commandment we read in the Hebrew text of Ex 20:7, “Thou shalt not bear the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold them guiltless that beareth His name in vain.” What does it mean to bear the name of the Lord thy God in vain? It means to proclaim words from God in the name of the Lord. But if we are still unconverted we cannot do that, and we are bearing the name of the Lord in vain, and we are held accountable for violating the third commandment. All the preachers today who are preaching a free-will Gospel fall in this category, for they have robbed God of His glory, and they prove by their actions that they are still unconverted pagans, for they have violated Rev 22:19.

The second step is that we must be appointed to preach the Gospel. We live now in the New Testament time, and in Matt 28:19-20 the Lord Jesus appointed all the saints to preach the Gospel to those who have not been saved. For me personally I received the call to bring the Gospel in 1980 when Annie and I began to have home Bible studies with many in the community. As a second step I began to preach in earnest when we started to organize this church, and three years later, in January 1998, Pastor Jack van Dyken ordained me as the Pastor of this church. What are we to preach? We must “preach good tidings unto the meek.” It means we must preach the Good News, the Gospel, to those who are called the meek, which refers to those who are the elect of God. How would we know who are the elect of God? We do not know them, but God knows them. Here is the principle by which God operates: “The same effects do not have the same results.” We just preach the Gospel to everyone, and God will soften the hearts of those who are God’s elect, and they will desire to hear more of what God has to say.

Next we read in Isa 61:1, “He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted.” Who are the brokenhearted? These are people who repent of their sins and are of a broken heart because they have sinned against God. Psalm 34:18,

Ps 34:18  The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

Ps 51:17  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Next we read in Isa 61:1, “to proclaim liberty to the captives.” Who are the captives? They are the elect. When we come into the world we are captives of Satan, because man is born as a slave of sin and Satan. Upon hearing the true Gospel God will save His elect and makes us, by His grace, believe the Gospel, for “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word from God” (Rom 10:17). Then the words of the Lord Jesus in John 8:36 ring loud and clear, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” This is the liberty that is proclaimed to the captives. Next we read in Isa 61:1, “and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” Who are they that are in prison? Again these are the elect who have come into the world as prisoners of Satan, but their prison doors shall be opened because the gates of Hell shall not prevail against them. Then we read in Isa 61:2 about, “the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn.” Who are they that mourn? They are those who mourn for their sins, because they repented that they have insulted God. But they will be comforted because they will hear that the Lord Jesus Christ has paid for all their sins, and has forgiven them all their sins. Please turn to Isa 63:3 (2X). The day of vengeance of our God refers to the day the Lord Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross. This was the day God avenged Himself on those who have sinned against Him through Christ’s atonement for our sins. God wrote this in the Prophecy of Isaiah in chapter 63, where we read in Isa 63:3-5,

Isa 63:3-5  I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.

This is how the Lord Jesus Christ as a faithful Son built His own house. He built it by redeeming His people, His elect, on the cross, an then He continued to build it by serving as the High Priest over His house and guiding His people through the obstacles in this life safely unto the end. You see, the second half of Heb 3:6 reads, “if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.” Does this then mean that we cannot be sure of our salvation until we have arrived at the Last Day? No, that is not what it means. It is true that we will know for sure when the Last Day has arrived, but we must learn from 1John 5:13 that God wants us to know if we are saved.

1Jo 5:13  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

How can we know? We know it by the evidence of our faith, but we must examine if our faith is genuine. If we have a genuine faith that was given to us by God, then we will love the Lord Jesus above all else in this world. If we do not have such a love for Christ then our faith was not real, it was self generated. So let us think about these matters when we think of “Holy Brethren”, for our holy brethren are only those who truly have been saved. And praise God that He gave us the discernment to know what is true and what is false.

AMEN.                 Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.