The Book of Hebrews – Heb 2:16-18 “We Ought to Give the More Earnest Heed” – Part 4

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Heb 2:16-18 “We Ought to Give the More Earnest Heed” – Part 4

[Study Aired June 18, 2020]

Heb 2:16  For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 
Heb 2:17  Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 
Heb 2:18  For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. 

God’s elect will give the more earnest heed as the spiritual “seed of Abraham” to whom Christ and His body are likened  (Gal 3:16) being those who were first granted the grace and faith (1Jn 5:4) needed at this time in order to overcome and endure until the end.

Gal 3:16  Now to Abraham and his seed [‘Christ and his spiritual seed’] were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many [Mat 22:14]; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

1Jn 5:4  For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith [‘It is the few who overcome the world within today by losing our life through Christ‘].

Eph 1:14  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.  [We ought to give the more earnest heed to this “earnest of our inheritance” relationship with our Father and Christ (Joh 17:3).]

Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Rom 8:22  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now [Abraham and all the prophets of old for example, groaned and suffered for our sakes (Jas 5:11, 2Co 4:15)].
Rom 8:23  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

[Eph 1:14 God’s elect are learning to give “more earnest heed” to this process of patiently possessing our souls “until the redemption of the purchased possession” (Luk 21:19)]

Rom 8:24  For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
Rom 8:25  But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

The opening verse of this last section of chapter two explains how those who are that holy seed, who are of that kingship and priesthood through Christ, typified by Abraham, are able to endure the temptations of this life and are being comforted by Christ in each other through God’s spirit which is able to “succour [comfort] them that are tempted” knowing that this temptation is promised to never be beyond what we can endure.

1Co 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

[He uses the body to accomplish this bearing through the law of Christ that is working in the members of those who are connected to the vine as a joint which supplies in love (Gal 6:2-3, Eph 4:16]

Gal 6:2  Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
Gal 6:3  For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.

[A healthy body of Christ like a healthy tree supports the fruit at the various stages that it grows supporting it and contributing to that growth as a joint that supplies (Luk 6:43-45, Joh 15:5]

Eph 4:16  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Christ’s body (Col 1:24) is to “give the more earnest heed” in regard to knowing that we must be armed with the mind and suffering of Christ (1Pe 4:1) in order to become those kings and priests who bring forth much fruit together alongside Christ who will give us the ability to identify with this verse: “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour [comfort] them that are tempted” (2Co 1:4). Those fiery trials through which we support each other are essential for bringing fruit unto maturation, and the trial of our faith is precious to God for what it works in the entire body which is learning to support and endure these fiery trials together (1Pe 1:7, 1Pe 4:12).

Col 1:24  Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

1Pe 4:1  Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

2Co 1:4  Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

In this study we will do a small overview of what we have talked about already in Hebrews chapter one and two and how those previous verses have brought us to these very succinct words in the last three verses of chapter two describing who Christ was in type and shadow as Abraham and who He is today as our high priest and who we will ultimately become (1Jn 3:2) because of what our Lord is accomplishing within our Father’s workmanship today (Eph 2:8-10, Tit 3:8).

We ought to give the more earnest heed to what it means to be called to become kings and priests, rejoicing, praising, and thanking God for the blessing to which we have been called. That blessing is to bring forth much fruit (Joh 15:8) through much tribulation in this life leading to eternal life (Psa 68:3-5, Rom 6:22-23, Act 14:22).

Psa 68:3  But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.
Psa 68:4  Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.
Psa 68:5  A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.

Rom 6:22  But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Rom 6:23  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Act 14:22  Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Heb 2:16  For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 

God moved the prophets of old for our sakes as He inspired them to point to the reality of the One who was going to be born the saviour of humanity (Isa 9:6). Christ would be used to speak to us as our high priest, being the one “whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds” (Heb 1:1-2). Chapter one of Hebrews sets the stage for how God is going to redeem mankind through our Lord who knows our form, who “made the worlds”, the physical world that typifies the workmanship we are in his hands (Eph 2:10). The Master Potter is able to take us in our marred condition and make us anew to the glory of God (Jer 18:4, Joh 15:8).

Heb 1:1  God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 1:2  Hath in these last days [‘the last days of our fleshly carnal minds that are being destroyed by the brightness of his coming‘] spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

Isa 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Jer 18:4  And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

Christ did not come to earth so He could get comfortable with the idea of how it is to be a human for His own sake, “but he took on him the seed of Abraham” for our sake (2Co 4:15). We can so easily, in our fleshly thinking, separate ourselves from this momentous event in history when Christ was born of the virgin Mary, but that event was for our sakes and points to another momentous event. At the birth of the bride of Christ, typified by the birth of Jesus who is the head of the manchild [‘the bride’], who is later, on Pentecost, to be caught up into heaven (Isa 7:14, 2Co 11:2, Rev 14:4, Rev 12:5). The body of Christ is judged as those who go through this nine-month period of spiritual gestation in the church (1Pe 4:17), so we, like Christ, can be born again in an earnest relationship at first, becoming that seed of Christ, the children of God (1Jn 3:1) who are typified by the seed of Abraham (Gal 3:16, Rom 9:6-8, Rom 8:9).

Isa 7:14  Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

2Co 11:2  For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Rev 14:4  These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. [Rom 8:14-16] These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

Rev 12:5  And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

Gal 3:16  Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

Rom 9:6  Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
Rom 9:7  Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
Rom 9:8  That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

Rom 8:9  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Chapter one of Hebrews boldly tells us it is not only Christ who is going to “Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool” (Heb 1:3, 13, Eph 2:6, Rev 4:10-11, Rev 3:9). Those who are being ministered to as Christ was when He was in this marred vessel of clay, who had to die daily and carry His cross just as He commanded His disciples to do, will also be there (Mat 16:24-26, 1Jn 4:17, Gal 2:20).

Heb 1:3  Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins [Joh 17:17], sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Heb 1:13  But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?

Eph 2:6  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Rev 4:10  The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
Rev 4:11  Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Rev 3:9  Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

Mat 16:24  Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Mat 16:25  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. [Eph 2:6]
Mat 16:26  For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

1Jn 4:17  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

Gal 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Chapter one of Hebrews sets the stage to help us understand that we have an high priest who is identifying with us in our marred condition for a reason.  That reason is so that we can go through the suffering of this life, enduring all things through Christ who strengthens us (Php 4:13), as we experience this hope of glory within (Col 1:27) which gives us the power to faithfully witness and overcome in this life (Rev 11:3). The inward enemies of the cross are naturally within us as a root of bitterness that could manifest if we don’t continue to diligently examine ourselves (Heb 12:15), and they are only overcome through Christ who gives us the power to bring every thought into subjection to Him (2Co 10:5) as we learn to patiently possess our souls sitting at His right hand where there is power to overcome and drink the cup we are called unto: “A Psalm of David. The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool” (2Ti 2:12, Joh 8:36, Psa 110:1, Mat 20:23).

Col 1:27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Rev 11:3  And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

2Ti 2:12  If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

Joh 8:36  If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Mat 20:23  And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

Heb 2:17  Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 

It behooved Christ not just to be born into the flesh “to be made like unto his brethren” but to be connected to the physical seed of Abraham for those who would one day identify with what the spiritual significance of being “made like unto his brethren” means (1Co 10:11). It was critical that Christ have all the same pulls of the flesh, being tempted in all diverse manner yet without sin for our sakes, but also critical that He experience the power of God, the spirit without measure (Joh 3:34), giving Him the ability to overcome all those pulls of the flesh demonstrating that the head of this spiritual lineage typified by Abraham could overcome and remain as a pure and unspotted lamb without blemish (Heb 4:15, 1Pe 1:9).

The “reconciliation for the sins of the people” is a statement connected not just to Abraham, but to Abraham’s seed and the type and shadow events which brought about the miraculous birth of Abraham’s son, Isaac (Gen 17:17). Each patriarch has his counterpart in the flesh as well to remind us that we will have to struggle against the powers and principalities over which God will give us power to prevail and overcome through Christ. The reconciliation process takes time, and it is a matter of supernaturally overcoming what we could never overcome except for the grace and faith God gives us through Christ.

Starting with Abraham and Lot [Abraham was a type of Christ who listened to God (Gen 22:2) whereas Lot went where his passions drove him (Gen 13:8-10)].

Isaac was the son of promise (Gal 4:28) as opposed to Ishmael whom Abraham lamented for not being able to “live before thee” (Gen 17:18). Isaac was presented a living sacrifice by his father, typifying our being dragged to Christ by our Father (Joh 6:44) who has made provision for us through Christ as the goat who is killed for all the sins of the world (Joh 1:29) within and without (Lev 16:7-10, Gen 22:13).

Jacob represents the body of Christ that perseveres and overcomes the flesh represented by Esau. The daily reward for not following our fleshly passions as we daily mortify the deeds of our flesh (Rom 8:13) is what it means to strive for the mark of the prize of the high calling in Christ (Php 3:14). If we are granted the power to continue to overcome and forget what is behind us (Php 3:13, Luk 17:32), we will be partakers of those promises as typified by Jacob’s life. His name means “to follow, to be behind, to supplant, circumvent, assail, overreach”. Jacob’s new name was Israel, as we are the Israel of God (Gal 6:16), and Israel means “God prevails”H3478 (Gen 32:28).

Abraham and Lot, Isaac and Ishmael (Gal 4:28), and Jacob and Esau (Gen 32:22-31, Gen 28:13-14) all serve to remind the body of Christ there is a process of spiritual completion unfolding in the lives of God’s children who are joint-heirs with Christ. The inheritance in type which was promised unto Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is something that can only be inherited through a lifetime of overcoming and enduring until the end through Christ, the author and finisher of our faith (Rom 8:17-19, Act 14:22). To “make reconciliation for the sins of the people” will require a reconciliation process that will be administered by those who have first trusted God and suffered in this life (Eph 1:12) so we can rule in the next (2Ti 2:12).

Rom 8:17  And if children [spiritual children of Abraham typifying those who have God’s spirit within them (Rom 8:6-9)], then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Rom 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.
Rom 8:19  For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

Heb 2:18  For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. 

We need to ask ourselves again, “What good will any or all of this knowledge be to us if we don’t give the more earnest heed today?” Therefore “we ought to give the more earnest heed” means we ought to identify with Christ’s suffering, filling up what is behind of His afflictions for His body’s sake, the church, and not be surprised concerning the fiery trial which is to try us as though some strange thing happened to us (Col 1:24, 1Pe 4:12).

What a humbling and glorious thought all at the same time, to consider that God can and will strengthen, stablish and settle those He has called in this age to experience that humbling event under His mighty hand so that we can be exalted in due time! It is through the struggles, the process we have discussed, that we will be established in the Lord.

1Pe 5:6  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

2Th 2:16  Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
2Th 2:17  Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

2Th 3:3  But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.

Jas 5:8  Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

1Pe 5:10  But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

We are humbled to know that we are as He is in this world (1Jn 4:17), and as such, these words in the book of Hebrews should apply just as much to the body of Christ as it did to Christ when He was in the flesh: “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted“. God is the one who is directing all the growth in the body of Christ (1Co 3:6), like the young child of twelve years old (Luk 2:40-42) who walked into the temple and was being established of His Father. So the body of Christ is also being established in the temple, being strengthened and settled so we can be the foundational government God will build upon Christ (Mat 16:18), a government that will know no end to the peace and increase that has been promised (Isa 9:6).

Luk 2:40  And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. [2Pe 3:18]
Luk 2:41  Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.
Luk 2:42  And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.

Mat 16:18  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Isa 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isa 9:7  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

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