Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 1 * BOOK 47
Christ, The Seed of Abraham
Hebrews 2:10-17 & II Corinthians 5:14-20
We are now in the Book of Hebrews chapter 2, jumping in at verse 10. We finished verse 9 in our last lesson. I have to keep reminding everybody that Hebrews is just like the title implies. It was written primarily to the Hebrew believers, but they were Hebrews that were fighting the pull back into Judaism. Anyone who has come out of a strict religion, whatever it is, can understand what that is. Because after years and years of being indoctrinated in something and then to suddenly see something better, as Paul constantly calls it in Hebrews, there is always that magnetic pull back to that old belief system.
So this is the whole idea of Hebrews. Yes, that which was in the past: Judaism, the Law, the Temple Worship, it was good. After all, God ordained it – but everything now on this side of the Cross and especially after the revelations of Paul’s mysteries, we now have something that is so much better. The comparison throughout the book of Hebrews is that Christ is better and higher than the angels. And that one thing and another is better than that which went before.
As we have seen in the early chapters and verses, in chapters 1 and 2, the Apostle is showing the epitome of Christ and Who He really is! How that He was the Son, and, how that He was the One Who will one day rule and reign on a new inhabited earth. (That was in verse 5.) Now we have been showing in the last couple of verses in chapter 2, how that even though He was the Creator God, He was the Ruler of the universe – for a little while He took His position lower than the angels. In other words, He became man. This is what we are looking at now in these verses, how God the Creator in the Person of Jesus of Nazareth – the Man, Who has accomplished everything that needed to be accomplished. And in His death, He not only tasted death for us, as believers, but for every human being who has ever lived. Let’s move on into verse 10.
“For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”
We are going to stop with that verse and go back to the first few words “For it became him,…” Now, as I studied this I couldn’t help but be reminded that so many little cliches, even in our everyday secular language, have a Biblical origin. You are all acquainted with the little saying “It just “becomes him” to do what he does.” It just “becomes him” to be the kind of a person that he is. Well, that is exactly what it means here. It “became” God to become the Savior of mankind. In other words, He couldn’t help Himself! He had such a love for those created creatures that He had started there in the Garden of Eden, that the moment that they fell into sin it just “became” Him to express His love for them by setting up a plan of redemption.
That plan of redemption included His own suffering and death as a man, but remember, He never lost his Deity. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that! He never stopped being God. Even in the womb, I am convinced that He is God. But, once He planted His feet on the dusty trail of ancient Israel or Palestine, as we many times refer to it, He was a man. He was the man, Christ Jesus the man from Nazareth. But, as a man, He could pray to God the Father and during those hours leading up to the cross, when He prayed that the Father would strengthen him, that the Father would be with him, those were truly prayers from the man Christ Jesus. So it just “became” God, it was part of His nature, that He would bring about this tremendous plan of Salvation.
As we travel through the cities of our country, we can’t judge hearts. We can’t even begin to come close, but you can’t help but wonder how many have ever considered this tremendous plan of salvation that has been offered free for nothing! I’m afraid not many. Even though we are in a nation where there are churches on every corner and Bibles in every home, and radio and television is blaring with people of one sort or another proclaiming whatever they call it, yet how many people ever stop for a moment to consider spiritual things?
I don’t think very many anymore. So, here we have to be aware then that the very nature of God, it “became” him, “for whom are all things, and by whom are all things.” We like to compare Scripture with Scripture, so I am going to bring you back to Colossians chapter 1.
Remember what He is telling the Hebrews that “it became him,” the God of creation, the One Who made everything, the One Who holds everything together, it is His! He didn’t have to, He could have just let Adam and Eve go off into whatever and He could have started over, or He could have just simply stayed with the angels. But, “it became him,” to love these mortal creatures that He created there in the Garden of Eden. Alright, Colossians chapter 1 verses 15 and 16. We’ve used these verses over and over:
Colossians 1: 15
“Who (speaking of the Son in verse 13) is the image (or the visible likeness) of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:” In other words, He was before anything that had ever been created and here’s why. Verse 16.
“For by him (the Son, by Him) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: (nothing escapes his creatorship) all things were created by him, (not just by him but what?) and for him:” He did it for His own enjoyment! He did it for Himself. But you see as soon as He set man in the Garden, man goofed it, didn’t he! Whereas Adam and Eve could have gone on enjoying that blissful state and with the Lord Himself communing with them every day, they disobeyed and sin entered.
But we have to constantly remember that even though God was great and powerful, the Omnipotent, the Creator, the Sustainer of the universe, yet He immediately set in motion those tremendous wheels of Redemption. Which all led up to His own suffering and death to bring about mankind’s salvation.
Coming back to verse 10 of Hebrews. It just “became” God. It was something that He just couldn’t help doing, even though He is the One that brought everything into being. He is the One by Whom everything is held together and by so bringing in this plan of redemption, He is bringing – now watch the word here, He is:
“bringing many sons unto glory,” What does it mean when He says He is bringing them with Him into Glory? Well, it means simply that He left Glory, went down and cohabited with these creatures that He intended to save. And, from their place on earth, He is now what? Bringing them with Him to Glory. Do you get the picture?
Recently I was reminded of a little anecdote. There was a gentleman who had an ant hill back in the corner of his yard. Periodically, he liked to just go out and watch those ants with all of their activity. One day as he was watching, he noticed that there was one poor little ant trying to get a piece of straw about an inch or so long down into the ant hole. Of course, it was too wide! That poor little ant could not get that piece of straw down the hole. So, finally, he couldn’t take it any longer, so he got down on his knees and he was going to help that little ant put that straw down into the hole. Well, what happened. The ants all scattered! So again, he stood there in frustration and his neighbor said “What are you doing?” He said, “I am watching these ants. They are interesting, but there is one in particular that I want to help. Every time I go down and try to help him, they all scatter. Yet as soon as I back away a little bit, that same little fellow picks up that same piece of straw and frantically tries to get it down into his den. It’s just frustrating!” His neighbor said, “The only way it will ever work, is if you become an ant!”
See, isn’t that exactly what God did? God knew mankind could never understand Who He is and what He’s done. So, He had to become one of us! When He became one of us, then He was on that playing field where we can understand and we can take hold of all of this. That’s exactly what is implied here. The very God Who “became” to do this, He went down and became part of the human race, so that He could bring them with Him to Glory.
Now, the next thought and it is just as good! That, as He brings many sons, which is what Paul says – in fact, I guess we need to compare Scripture with Scripture, so come back with me to Romans. Because when we use the words “the sons,” we want to clarify it from Scripture. Romans chapter 8 verse 14, in order to establish why Paul says here in Hebrews that Christ is bringing sons to glory.
Romans 8: 14-15
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” Now here it comes!
Romans 8: 16
“The Spirit (the Holy Spirit) itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” The actual Greek there for the word children are born ones. And if I am not mistaken, the Scottish term barn really originated from the born ones. That family relationship. If we are the born ones then we are heirs!
“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; (we don’t want to leave the last part of the verse. Today, no one likes to read something like this but it’s always been true.) if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” So this is the whole concept then, of the new birth, that we become the born ones of God. We become children of God. Now come back to Hebrews chapter 2 verse 10, where we find the love of God that was expressed when He brought about the plan of redemption and salvation for all that He had died for. He became part of the human race. Now this is a whole crux of our salvation message, that the eternal, sovereign, Creator God took on human flesh, submitted himself to the Roman authorities and He suffered and died for us.
“…bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” Underline that word captain. The captain of our salvation! It is the same Greek word translated in chapter 12 as the author of our salvation. But here the concept is a file leader. That’s the real definition of captain.
I have to go back and remember some of the western movies where the cavalry were involved. I remember seeing this file of the American cavalry going up this mountain on a narrow ledge, single file. They wound down around the mountain, down to the plains. But, who had to be at the head? A leader! There was a leader up at the head of that long line. Well now, if that can help you a little bit, that is where Christ is! Christ is the “file leader” of all of us, that He came down to earth to purchase their redemption and now he is bringing us to Glory! Can you just make a beautiful picture of that in your mind? I hope so!
Then, being the Pauline man that I am, what does Paul say? Be followers of “me” as I follow the file leader, Christ. See? Now let’s come back and pick that up in Corinthians 11 verse 1.
Just envision this. I am not a visualization promoter, but, once in a while, as these pictures are drawn in Scripture, it just helps us to get a little glimpse of what he is talking about. I have always said as long as I have been teaching, you cannot find one single earthly illustration that will carry a spiritual illustration all the way to the end. It is impossible. In fact it’s just like the Four Gospels. Why do we have four instead of one? Well, because all four of the Four Gospels look at Christ from a different viewpoint, and one could have never done that.
It is the same way with earthly anecdotes. You cannot carry a theme from start to finish in the spiritual realm with an earthly antidote. It is absolutely impossible. But it does help to put several of them together. Look what the Apostle writes. This angers people, but it is what the Holy Spirit inspired him to write and it is just as appropriate for us today as it was the day he wrote it.
I Corinthians 11:1
“Be ye followers of me, even as I also am (a follower) of Christ.” See how plain that is? Now come back to Hebrews and we get the picture, how that the Lord Himself left heaven’s glory to come amongst human men and became a man that He might be the file leader of all these that He is bringing with Him to Glory.
For us as believers, the second man up there at the front is who? The Apostle Paul! So Paul is following Christ as He is leading us up that file of believers to Glory. He’s following Christ. We follow Paul. The reason I always give is that Paul is human like we are. He had the same temptations, he had the same weaknesses. Consequently, we can identify with something like that. But, remember, when Christ finished that work of redemption, He became the captain, the file leader, of those of us that He is bringing with Him to Glory.
The last part of the verse is that our salvation was made perfect through what? Through suffering. Yes, through suffering. Now where does that begin? Genesis chapter 3. Adam and Eve have just disobeyed. They have plunged the human race into sin and death. All because of the tempter, the devil, Satan.
“And the LORD God…” God the Son, in His Old Testament personality is confronting Satan and look what He tells him. This is the first promise of a line of the redemption from Genesis all the way up through the finished work on the Cross.
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; (Christ is the seed of the woman) it (the seed of the woman) shall bruise thy head, (Christ defeated Satan by crushing his head with his death, burial and resurrection. But did Satan get his licks in? You bet he did! And here’s the prophecy of it) and thou (the Lord says to Satan) shalt bruise his heel.”
What’s implied? The suffering that Christ would go through in order to crush the head of Satan. So we have this concept all the way up through Scripture that the righteous are going to suffer for their faith. Paul epitomizes that with the suffering that he went through in order to get the Gospel of salvation to the ends of the Roman Empire. Now back to Romans chapter 8. Paul writes:
Romans 8: 18
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Now what is he talking about? Oh, we will suffer in this earthly sojourn, but it is nothing compared to the glory that is awaiting us.
Every once in a while, someone will write with a question concerning our eternal state. I usually have to answer that the Scripture doesn’t tell us very much about our eternal state. It’s going to be glorious! And, we know that God alone knows how to make things perfect. But, to be able to just lay out what we are going to be doing and how we are going to be operating, no, I can’t do that. Because, the Bible is silent.
But, we do have to constantly be reminded that we suffer for our faith. We in the Western world in the last couple of hundred years have known almost nothing of suffering for our faith. There are places in Africa tonight, and in Indonesia, etc. where they are. They are suffering inexorably for their faith. But you and I have it so good that we really don’t know what it is to suffer. Oh we may have somebody make a snide remark once in a while, bu that’s not suffering. That’s something that just rolls off like water off of a duck. Nevertheless, it has been part and parcel of the Christian experience down through the history of Christendom that people have had to suffer for their faith.
Even the Disciples, they all suffered a martyr’s death but none of them suffered as much as the Apostle Paul. He really knew what he was talking about. Let’s look at that verse once more before we go back to Hebrews. So he says:
Romans 8: 18
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
So the suffering of this present time was precipitated by the curse. Since we are living under the curse, we can certainly expect to have a certain amount of suffering. We know that a lot of our listener’s are suffering – in fact, I had one gentleman call yesterday. He and his wife had been in a terrible car wreck. He shared the suffering that they had to go through and the surgeries that he still faces. We have had others that suffered inexorably with terminal cancer, yet it is amazing how almost in every instance, when someone like that suffers, a family member was saved shortly thereafter.
Always remember, God has his own purposes. The suffering we sometimes endure, we don’t understand personally. But God has a reason and a purpose for it. We’re not to shrink from that. Repeating verse 10:
“…bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”