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SECOND SECTION

SECOND SECTION.-ii. 5-18.

Jesus, even in His humiliation as Man, more than the Angels. The reason of His humiliation.

XI.

THE WORLD MADE SUBJECT TO MAN, NOT TO ANGELS.

II.-5. For not unto angels did he subject the world to come, whereof we speak.

6. But one hath testified somewhere, saying tPs. vlii. 5),

What Is man, that thou art mindful of him?
Or the Son of man, that thou visitest him?

7. 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:

8. Thou didst put all things in subjection under his feet.

For in that he subjected all things to him, he left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we see not yet all things subjected to him.

9. But we behold Jesus crowned with glory and honour.

As the Son of God Christ is more than the angels. As the Son of Man Jesus is more than the angels too. He was indeed, as man, made a little lower than the angels, and yet, because to man the world to come, of which the Spirit of Christ in the prophets spake, had been made subject, he had a place of honour and dominion greatly excelling them. Not only the divinity but the humanity of Christ will prove how. infinitely superior the new dispensation is to that which was given by the ministry of angels.

For not unto angels did He subject the world to come,

that world to which the Psalm looks forward, the kingdom of the Messiah, the kingdom of heaven upon earth. The Psalm does not speak directly of the Messiah, but of man and his destiny. But it is applied most justly to the Messiah, because in Him the Psalm and man find the fulfilment of what is promised.

The Psalmist first speaks of man's littleness and the wonder that God should notice him. What is man that Thou art mindful of him? or the son of man that Thou visitest him? He then points out how high the place is which man occupies. His nature is little less than divine. Thou madest Him a little lower than the angels; Thou crownedst him with glory and honour. And universal dominion is assigned to Him. Thou didst set him over the works of thy hands. Thou didst put all things in subjection under his feet. Our Epistle points out how this promise, though not yet true of man, has received its fulfilment in Jesus. Now we see not yet all things subjected to man, but we see Jesus crowned with glory and honour. What was true of man in promise, we see fulfilled in Jesus: what we see in Jesus, will be made true of man. What wonderful thoughts the Psalm suggests.

How glorious is the destiny of man! Created in the image of God, he was to bear God's likeness in this too, that as king he was to be ruler of all. The whole world to come was made subject to him. Man has received from God a life, a nature, a spirit, capable of partaking of His own life and spirit. His will and His holiness, capable of likeness to and fellowship with Himself, even to the sitting on His throne, and sharing with Him the dominion over all creation. What a destiny!

How gloriously we sec that destiny fulfilled in Jesus! It was because man had been created with a nature capable of such a destiny, that the Son of God could become man, and not count it unworthy of His divine glory Himself to work out that destiny. He came and proved what the life of man was meant to be—how humility and subjection to God were the sure path to glory and honour. He came and glorified a life of humiliation as the training-school for the exaltation to the right hand of God; fulfilling man's destiny in Himself as Son of Man, He, as Son of God, fulfilled it for us too.

How gloriously and certainly man's destiny will yet be realised! Jesus, the Son of Man, came as the Second Adam. He stands to us in a relation as close, as real, as intimate, as Adam did. As complete as was Adam's communication of a sinful nature will be His impartation of a new, of His own nature. As Son of God, Creator and Upholder of all, in whom all things consist, He has a divine power of living within us with all that He was in Himself. His humanity is the revelation of what we can be; His divinity the pledge that we can be it. We see not yet all things subject to man, but, and that is enough, we see Jesus crowned with glory and honour.

lt was by His union with us in our life in the flesh, by His identifying Himself with our nature, that Jesus was able to claim and to work out and enter into possession of the glory God had promised to man. lt is by our receiving His nature, and identifying ourselves with Him in this life on earth and in heaven, that what He has achieved for us can really become ours. Let us here, at the very outset of our Epistle, get well hold of the truth that what Christ does for as our Leader, our Priest, our Redeemer, is not anything external. All that God works in nature in heaven or on earth, in the stars or in the trees, He does from within, by laws that pervade their whole existence. All that Adam wrought in us is from within, by a power that rules our inmost life. And all that Christ does for us, whether as Son of God or Son of Man, is equally and entirely a work done within us. lt is when we know that He is one with us and we with Him, even as was the case with Adam, that we shall know how truly our destiny will be realised in Him. His oneness with us is the pledge, our oneness with Him the power, of our redemption.

1. Thy destiny, O man, is to sit with Jesus on His throne. Live as one preparing for it. Cultivate a royal spirit. Abide in Him: He will abide in thee.

2. The world made subject to man. How terrible the ruin of sin, by which man was made subject to the world. lts king became its slavc, and is so just when he appears most to master it. Christ teaches us to conquer the world by denying it; to hold it in subjection by not being of it. lt is in the path of humiliation and self-denial alone that man's destiny can be realised.

3. The Epistle has two things to show us in Jesus, as inseparably connected! the place of glory where He is now; the path of humiliation that brought Him there. Make it thy care to follow Christ in His humility; He will make it His care to bring thee to His glory.

4. Study to see the intimate connection, the real unity between the two. lt is the spirit that is subject to God on earth, to which God makes all things subject in heaven. The soul that in the humiliation of earth makes God all is fit for the heavens, when God is manifested in glory as the All in All.

XlI.

WE SEE JESUS CROWNED WITH GLORY AND HONOUR.

II.—8. But now we see not yet all things subjected to him. 9. But we behold Him who hath been made a little lower than the angels, even Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honour.

What a glorious contrast! We see not yet all things subjected to him, that is, to man: but—what is far better —we see Jesus crowned with glory and honour. When we look round upon this world, with all its sin and misery, it does indeed not appear as if man was destined to be higher than the angels, and to have dominion over all the works of God's hands. But when we remember that Jesus became Man, that He might taste death for all men, and that He, a Man upon the throne, now lives as our Surety, our Redeemer, and our Head, it is enough if we see Him crowned with glory and honour. ln that we have the pledge that He will one day bring man to that glory and honour too. ln that we have the assurance that He is using all that glory and honour even now on our behalf. We see not yet all things subjected to man, but —we see Jesus crowned with honour and glory. Blessed contrast!

The right knowledge and use of this antithesis is the secret of the life of faith. We see not yet all things subjected to Him — how exactly this expresses the disappointment and failure which is often the experience of the believer when his first joy and hope begin to pass away. He finds that sin is stronger than he knew; that the power of the world and the flesh and self are not yet made subject to him as he had hoped. At times it is as if he feels that the promises of God, and the expectations they raised in his heart, are vain. Or else, if he acknowledge that God is indeed faithful to fulfil them, the way for one who is as weak as he is, and in his circumstances, to obtain these promises is too hard. The promises of God, to put all things in subjection to us and make us more than conquerors, are indeed most precious, but, alas, ever again the bitter experience comes—man sees not yet all things subjected to him.

Blessed the man who knows, then, in living faith to say: But we see Jesus crowned with glory and honour. Blessed the man who knows to look away from all that he finds in himself of imperfection and failure, to look up and behold all the perfection and glory he finds in Jesus! Yes, blessed the man who finds his delight and his life in meeting every disappointment and every difficulty with the blessed: But— we see Jesus crowned with glory and honour. This is all I need! this satisfies the soul, and gives it peace and joy and strength.

The Epistle is about to expound to us the great mystery, why the Son of God was made a little lower than the angels. lt was that, by the grace of God, He might taste death for every man, and so open up again the entrance into God's presence and favour. The necessity and meaning of His sufferings and death it will present to us in three different aspects. The first (v. 10), that in suffering and death Christ Himself must needs be made perfect, so that as our Leader He might open up to us the path of perfection, and prepare that new nature, that new way of living, in which we are to be led to glory. The second (14, 15), that through death, making propitiation for sin, He might destroy the devil, with his power of death, and give us a perfect deliverance from all fear of it. And the third (16-18), that in what He suffered, He might be made a merciful and faithful High Priest, able to secure our perfect confidence, and to give us the succour we need. But before the writer thus unfolds the meaning of Christ's humiliation, he first points to His glory. lt is this which constitutes the excellency of the New Testament, which gives our faith its power of endurance and victory; we see Jesus now at the right hand of the Majesty of God. Let us hold this fast as the chief thought of the Epistle, as the one great lesson the Hebrews, and all feeble backsliding Christians, need: Jesus, who suffered for us; Jesus who in His suffering as our Leader, opened a way to God for us; Jesus who sympathises with us—this Jesus is crowned with honour and glory. To see Him is to know that we have all we can need.

Would you, my reader, give more abundant heed to the great salvation? would you experience how completely Jesus is able to save? do you long for just as much of the love and the presence, the holiness and the joy and the power of God in you as there is in Jesus for you? here you have the secret of it all! Amid all sin and weakness, all darkness and doubt, all failure and perplexity, hold fast this one truth, engage in this one exercise of faith: We see not yet all things subjected to man, but we see Jesus crowned with honour and glory. This gives peace, and victory, and joy unspeakable.

And if you would know how thus ever to have the heart turned to Jesus, remember, He came to save His people from their sins. lt is the heart that is weary of itself and its sins, that fully accepts the fact of the utter corruption and the utter helplessness of all that is of the old nature and of self, that will find itself attracted with strong desire to this mighty Redeemer. In such a heart Jesus, the crowned One, will not only be a distant object, but, by the Holy Spirit, an indwelling presence. The coming of the Holy Spirit is inseparably connected with, is our only proof of, the glorifying of Jesus (John vii. 38, 39; xvi. 14; xvii. 10), is our only real participation in the blessings that flow from it. Let all our worship of Him, crowned with glory and honour, be in the faith that the Pentecostal Spirit glorifies Him in us, so that our whole inner being is filled with His presence.

7. Jesus, made a little lower than the angels. Jesus, because of the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour. Look not only at the glory, but look well at the place of lts birth, at the way in which it was gained. lt is in the way in which you are walking now. Learn to welcome humiliation and suffering as the seed, the power out of which the glory is brought forth, as the way in which Jesus in glory is preparing you for the glory,

2. We see Jesus crowned with glory and honour. Let every experience of the contrast— we see not yet all things subject to man—become a call and a motive and a help to turn to Jesus. Let us take time and gaze and worship until our whole soul is filled with the faith: this life of humiliation is the bud of the glory everlasting : Jesus in glory is proof that lt is so, the pledge that lt will be so with us. Be this our life: Wc see Jesus, becavse of the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour.

XlIl.

JESUS TASTING DEATH FOR EVERY MAN.

n.—9. We behold him who hath been made a little lower than the angels, even Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honour, that by the grace of God He should taste death for every man.

HERE we have the one great reason why it was meet that Jesus should be made a little lower than the angels. lt was that He might taste death for every man. ln the counsel of divine grace, and in the great plan of redemption, this was one of the first objects of the incarnation—the birth was for the sake of the death. Without that wonderful birth,—THE WORD, that was God, made flesh,—the death would not have profited us. Without that wonderful birth the death would have availed us little. What God hath joined together let no man put asunder. Let us beware of exalting the one at the expense of the other. The birth and the death are two inseparable parts of the one process by which He was perfected as the Firstborn from the dead, and became our Deliverer and King. The humanity and humiliation of Jesus was needful for His death for or on behalf of every man.

And what was the meaning of this death? And wherein lies its efficacy? In Scripture there is a twofold aspect in which the death of Christ, as our Head, is set before us. The one is that He died for sin, bearing its curse, and suffering death as God's righteous judgment on account of it . His death opened up the way to God for us. lt did for us what we cannot and need not do; it wrought out a finished salvation, which we have but to accept and repose upon. According to the other aspect, He died to sin. His death was a proof of His resistance to sin and its temptation, of His readiness rather to give up life than yield to sin; a proof that there is no way of being entirely free from the flesh and its connection with sin, but by yielding the old life to death, in order to receive afresh and direct from God a life entirely new. In this view His death was an act of infinite moral and spiritual value,—the consummation of the work God wrought when He perfected Him through suffering.

The former aspect, the death for sin on our behalf, has its value from the second, which reveals what constitutes its true nature and power. And, even so, the faith in the death for sin, must lead us into the death to sin. The one view is that of substitution: Christ doing what l cannot do. The other that of fellowship: Christ working in me what I see in Himself. The former is a finished work, and gives me boldness at once and for ever to trust God. The latter is the power of sanctification, as the death and the life of Christ work in me.

Both views are found in the Epistle in perfect harmony. See how clearly the former comes out in this chapter. It is because of the suffering of death, that He has been crowned with glory and honour. "He was made a little lower than the angels that He might taste death for every man," might drink the cup of death, as the fruit of sin, for all. Some men die without tasting the bitterness of death; Jesus tasted its

bitterness, as the curse of sin, in full measure. Then we read,

ver. 14, that He became man, that through death He might

bring to nought Him that had the power of death, that

is, the devil, and deliver them who were subject to bondage.

His death accomplished for us what we never could, what we

now need not do. And ver. 17 tells us that His being made

Man was that He might be a High Priest in things pertaining

to God; to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

All these expressions—suffering death, tasting death for all,

bringing to nought the devil, making reconciliation for the

sins of the people—refer to the finished work which Christ

wrought, the sure and everlasting foundation on which our

faith and hope can rest.

ln its subsequent teaching the Epistle will show us what

the building is that rests on that foundation, what the heavenly

power and life, the blessed nearness and service of God, to

which the High Priest, our Forerunner and Leader, brings us in

fellowship with Himself in the way He opened up. But it

would have us begin here and strike the roots of our faith deep

in the work which Christ, as our Substitute, wrought on Calvary.

Let us study the words carefully, and remember them well,

and believe them fully: Christ hath tasted death for all, and

emptied the cup; Christ hath brought to nought the devil;

Christ hath made reconciliation for sin. Death and the devil

and sin: these have been put away, have been brought to

nought . A complete deliverance has been effected. The

sufferings and death of Christ have such an infinite worth

and preciousness in God's sight that no soul, who is resolved

to have nothing more to do with sin, need any longer fear,

but may with boldness meet its God. The death of Christ hath wrought with mighty power in heaven and earth and hell. lt has satisfied, and delighted God; it has conquered death and sin and hell; it has redeemed and delivered mankind. Let that death live in thy heart; it will work there its mighty wonders too. And thou shalt find Jesus in thine heart, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honour.

1. The first Adam tasted the forbidden fruit, and won death for all. The Second Adam tasted this death, and brought life for all. To all who accept Him, the power, the indwelling, the energy of the life is no less true and real than that of sin and death has been. "We see Jesus for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honour."

2. Jesus tasted the bitterness of thy sin and death, O my soul; that thou mightest taste the sweetness of His life and love. O taste and see that the Lord is good.

3. "By the grace of God taste death for every man." "Where sin abounded, grace did abound more exceedingly, that, as sin reigned in death, even so might grace reign through rightevusness unto eternal life."

XlV.

THE LEADER OF OUR SALVATION.

II.—10. For it became Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing1 many sons unto glory, to make the author2 of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

VV*E have seen that there is more than one reason for the humiliation of the Lord Jesus, even unto the suffering of death. Here we have the first: that as the Leader of our salvation, through whom God leads His sons to glory, He might open up the path, the way of life, in which we were to go. For this He needed to be made perfect through suffering and death. So only could He become a Leader,3 in the true and full sense of the word. ln suffering, His will was perfected, His character fashioned, His dependence on God and delight in His will was confirmed and made manifest . ln suffering, His obedience unto death opened up the living way in which alone the creature can reach the Creator—the deepest humility and entire surrender. As Leader He opened up the path of life, a mode of living and acting, in which we are to follow.

It is this that we also spoke of as the second aspect of

1 Leading. - Leader.

3 The Dutch version has: "The Leadei-in-Chief." The translation "Leader" makes more clear the connection with what precedes: "God leading {agagon) makes the Z^aair-in-Chief (Axchegos) perfect." Of Captain in A.V. and Author, R.V., Westcott says: "Neither word gives the fulness of sense. The Archtgos Himself first takes part in that which He establishes." In xii. I he adopts the word "Leader" in his translation—Jesus the Leader and Finisher of faith.

Christ's death. That death is not only atonement but fellowship. lt is only in suffering, in being crucified and dead with Christ, that we know Christ and His salvation. Christ was made perfect through suffering that He might be a Leader, that in conformity to Him, and in partaking of His Spirit and likeness, we might find the path to God and to glory.

The work of a leader supposes three things. The first: He must Himself lead the way, passing through all its difficulties and dangers, knowing and showing it to those who follow. The second: those who follow must yield themselves wholly to His guidance, walking even as He walked. The third: He must take charge of His followers, seeing that all hindrances are removed, and providing for all their needs. Let us see how blessedly all this is fulfilled in Jesus, and what a comfort it brings us to know that Jesus bears this name too: the Leader of our salvation.

The leader must walk in the very path his followers have to go.—The path we sought in vain was one that could bring us out from under the dominion of sin, both in its guilt as transgression against God, and its power as death to all that is holy and good. There was no possible way out of this state of sin and guilt and death, but by the submission to the judgment of God, and by giving proof, in bearing that judgment, of entire and willing surrender to God's will. There was no way to come out of fallen nature, with the power of self and selfwill ruling it, but by entirely dying to it; suffering anything rather than let it have its way. This was the way in which Jesus would have to lead us. And He had to walk in it Himself. It became God, in leading many sons unto glory, to make the Leader of their salvation perfect through suffering. Christ was perfect from His birth; every wish and inclination was as it should be; but only as a disposition, as a power, that needed to be tested and developed and strengthened by trial. What the suffering and the death effected in Christ personally, in perfecting His character, is the groundwork of what it effected on our behalf. lt was needful that God should make Him perfect through suffering; the perfectness that comes through suffering is meekness and gentleness, patience and perfect resignation to God's will. lt was because of the humility and meekness and lowliness of heart, which the Lamb of God showed here upon earth, that He is now the Lamb on the throne. Through suffering He was made perfect, and found worthy to be our High Priest.

A leader must be followed.—His followers must walk in the very path in which he walks. Jesus came and was made like us: we must come and be made like Him. His suffering and death is not only substitution and atonement. lt is that, thank God! but it is much more too. lt calls to fellowship and conformity. The substitution rests on identification : out of that conformity has its growth and strength. The Lamb of God has no salvation and no perfection to give us but His own meek spirit of entire dependence and absolute submission to God. The meekness and humility that it was needful God should perfect in Him are as needful for us. We must suffer and be crucified and die with Him. Death to self and the world, at the cost of any suffering or self-denial, this is the only path to glory the Leader of our salvation has opened up to us.

A leader cares for his followers.—He does not say, Follow me, who can. He watches over everyone, the very feeblest. Remember what care Stanley took in darkest Africa to gather in the stragglers—to leave the feeble ones provided in camp, and then to wait for their coming up. Jesus is a Leader, compassionate and sympathetic, and most faithful: with all the faithfulness and steadfastness with which He walked that path Himself on earth, will He help everyone, who will only in meekness trust and obey Him, to walk in that way to the end.

My brethren! do you understand what it means that the Father, in leading you to glory, has made Jesus the Leader of our salvation. Jesus is responsible for you. Take Him and trust Him as your Leader. The great need in one who follows a leader is a tender, teachable spirit. Rejoice that you have such a Leader, Himself made perfect in meekness and submission through suffering, that He might lead you in the blessed path that brought Him, and will bring you as surely, to the glory of the Father.

And remember who this Leader is—the Son of God, the divine Maker and Upholder of all things. Not only the Son of Man as a Leader outside of us, influencing us by example and instruction, by authority and kindness does He guide us. No, but as the Son of God who works in us by His Spirit, yea who Himself dwells within us. Even as it was God who worked in Him and perfected Him, will He, as God, now work in us and perfect us.

1. Christ came to gioe us an entirely new conception of what true life ie, to show us a new way of thinking and lioing, to teach us that a heavenly life consists in gioing up everything that has the slightest connection with sin for the sake of pleasing the Father perfectly. This is the new and lioing way He opened up through the rent veil of the flesh.

2. "lt became God to perfect Him." All that Christ wrought, and all that was wrought in Him, was wrought by God. He yielded Himself to God: He did nothing of Himself; He allowed God to do all in Him. This is the path of perfection, the path to glory, in which Jesus leads. His dioinity is inexpressibly precious to us for what He can be and do in us. But as inexpressibly precious His humanity, showing us how He was perfected, how God worked in Him, what we must be, what through Him we can most surely be.

3. Seek to get very clear hold of the truth that He is only a Saviour as He is a Leader. Salvation is being led by Him.

XV.

FOR WHOM AND THROUGH WHOM ARE ALL THINGS.

n.—10. For It became Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, In bringing1 many sons unto glory, to make the author- of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

For whom are all things. God is the final Cause of all that is. lt exists with the one purpose of showing forth His glory. Every object in nature has its only reason of existence in this that the wondrous goodness and power of God may shine out through it. Above all, man was created that the adorable Being, whose very nature is love, might have the opportunity of proving in Him how freely and how fully he would make him partaker of the riches of His grace and glory.

For whom are all things, that in them His glory and goodness may be made known. "Worthy art thou, O our Lord and our God, to receive the glory and the honour and the power, for thou didst create all things; and because of Thy will they are and were created."

Through whom are all things. God is the efficient cause of all that is. God is the end and aim of all things, because He is their beginning and origin. All must return to Him because all came from Him and exist only through him. There is no life or goodness or beauty, which does not rise up to Him again, its only fountain and source. "There is one God, the 1 Leading, 3 Leader.

Father, of whom are all things, and we unto Him." "One God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all and in all."

The apostle might have written: "lt became God to make the Leader of our salvation perfect through suffering." Not without good reason does he introduce here the character in which God acted in perfecting the Son as Leader of our salvation. When man sinned and fell from God, he lost together the two blessed truths in which his relation to God had stood. His holy allegiance to God, having all things for Him, his blessed dependence on God, having all things through Him; instead of these came the reign of self, with its life for self and through self.

lt was from this life of self Jesus came to redeem us, to bring us back to God, to know and honour Him as the God and Father, for whom are all things and through whom are all things. In doing this he opened again the only way which could lead to glory. He did it first by showing us in His life, as Man, how men ought to live for God and through God. And then by delivering us through His death from the dominion of sin, and winning for us the power of the heavenly life.

For whom are all things, and through whom are all things. It was in this character that God perfected Christ through sufferings. lt was in this character that Christ revealed and honoured God in His sufferings. It is to win and bring us to know and love and serve God in this character that Jesus is Saviour.

For whom are all things. Throughout His whole life there is nothing that Jesus sought to impress more distinctly on His disciples than this, that He was the Father's messenger and servant; that there was no thought of doing His own will or seeking His own honour; that He only sought and did what

would be for the Father's pleasure and glory. He gave us the example of a man on earth living absolutely and entirely for God in heaven. His life on earth was the exhibition here in the flesh, the translation into human language, of the divine claim —" All things for God." His allegiance to God was absolute. He proved to us that man's destiny and blessedness and everlasting glory are to be found in this: Living wholly for God.

Through whom are all things. Of this too Christ's life was the exposition. He was not ashamed continually to say that He could do nothing of Himself, and that only as the Father showed Him or spake to Him, could He work and speak. He counted this His blessedness and His strength— not to be able to do anything of Himself, but in continual dependence to wait on God and His working in Him. He knew and taught us that the man who has said in whole-hearted devotion to God, " All things for God," may confidently say too, "All things through God."

"All for God" "All through God." Jesus Christ has made it possible for us to make these our watchwords. ln all aspirations after a closer walk with God, in all efforts after a purer, truer, higher life, they are the two poles between which the soul ought to move. They are the sure marks of that true scriptural mysticism, which has such attractions for all hungry souls, who long to know and please God perfectly.

All for God! absolutely, without a moment, a thought, a word, a person, a possession, excepted; wholly for God, this becomes the soul's one desire. lt has seen that God is worthy of this, that He claims it, and that in the very nature of things, nothing less can satisfy the heart God made to be filled with Himself.

All through God! The clearer the aim becomes to be all for God, and the deeper the soul sinks into its own emptiness and impotence, under the conviction that with man it is impossible, the sooner does faith rise to see that we can not only say, but that we do dare to say, All for God! because we may also say, All through God! God Himself will work it in us.

This is the God who has revealed Himself to us in His Son. It became Him, for whom all things and through whom are all things, to make the Leader of our salvation perfect through sufferings. Let us worship Him! Let us adore Him! Let us offer Him the sacrifice of full allegiance and childlike dependence, as the words ring through heart and life— All For God! All Through God! God Is All.

1. The practice of the presence of God is a most needful and most blessed spiritual exercise. As the soul bows in stillness and lowliness, and worships in silence, lt gets into the right spirit for recognising lts own nothingness, and realising that God is all—that all is for Him, and all through Him.

2. All for God: that is consecration. All through God: that is faith. This was the spirit in which Christ yielded Himself to God: consecration and faith.

3. This was the God who perfected Christ. To know and honour God in this character is the secret of perfection, for in such He can do His work. This is the God who is leading many sons to glory; to know and honour Him is the path to glory. To reveal this God and His claims, to show how to glve up everything to Him,—this was what Christ came for. This is the life He brought us, the path He opened, the salvation He gioes.

XVl.

JESUS CALLS US BRETHREN.

n.—11. For both He that sanctifleth and they that are sanctified are all of1 One: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying (Ps. zxll. 23),

12. I will declare thy name unto my brethren,

In the midst of the congregation will I sing thy praise.

13. And again, I will put my trust in him (Isa. viii. 17). And again, Behold, I and the children which God hath given me (Isa. viii. 18).

We have here the reason of what precedes. Why was it that it was needful for God, in leading many sons unto glory, to make the Leader of their salvation perfect through suffering? Or, how was it, that making Him perfect could perfect them, and bring salvation to them? The answer is, He that sanctifieth, that is, Jesus, and they who are sanctified, God's sons, are all out of One, that is, of God. ln proof of this three texts are quoted, in which Jesus calls us brethren, takes His place with us in trusting God, and speaks of us as the children God hath given Him. It is because Jesus, the firstborn Son, and the sons He leads to glory, are one in their being begotten of God, that His perfection secures their salvation. It is the oneness of Jesus with us that fits Him to be the Leader of salvation.

This oneness has its root in the truth of the divine life. Both He that sanctifieth, and they that are sanctified are all

1 Out of.

out of One. Jesus is the only begotten, the eternal Son, one with the Father in His divine Being and Majesty. We are sons of God, as we partake of the divine life through and in Him. Notwithstanding the difference between His Sonship and ours, His being original and ours derived, they are at root one; the life of both has its origin in the life of God. It is this oneness of Christ with us in origin, that made it possible for Him to become one with us in our humanity, and so to be the Leader of our salvation. lt is this oneness that makes it possible for Him to communicate to us that perfection, that perfect meekness and delight in God's will, which was wrought out in His human nature through suffering, that holiness of His with which we must be made holy.

For both He that sanctifieth, and they that are sanctified are all of One. Jesus is the sanctifier, we are the sanctified. The object for which Christ became the Leader of our salvation, the great work He has to do for us, the bond of union between the Son and the sons of God, the proof of their bearing His image and likeness, and the mark of their real oneness, is Holiness.

The word Holy is one of the deepest in Scripture. It means a great deal more than separated or consecrated to God. The Triune God is the Thrice-Holy One: Holiness is the deepest mystery of His Being, the wondrous union of His righteousness and His love. To be holy is to be in fellowship with God, possessed of Him. Therefore the Spirit specially bears the name of Holy, because He is the bearer to us of the love of God, and the maintenance of the divine fellowship is His special work. Jesus is the Holy One of God, who makes us holy in filling us with His Holy Spirit.1 The difference between Jesus

1 Here and throughout the Epistle the word holy and sanctify includes much and us is great—the oneness is greater. He and we are of one, together partakers of God's life and God's holiness. Let us give abundant heed to so great salvation.

This oneness finds its manifestation in the Brother-name which Jesus gives us. For which cause He is not ashamed to call them Brethren, saying, I will declare Thy name unto My brethren. The writer had spoken of our inner oneness with Jesus. But oh, what a difference in actual life, such a terrible difference that He might well be ashamed of us! Yes! before angels as well as before the world, how often His saints have put Him to shame, have given Him reason to be ashamed of His relationship! But—blessed be His name—His becoming man was an act of condescension, which had its root in the sense of His oneness with us as being one with Him out of God, which had its strength in the love as of an elder Brother.

Three texts are now quoted; the one from Ps. xxii. 23, in which the suffering Messiah promises to make known the Father's name to His brethren; the second and third from lsa. viii. 17, 18, in which, in prophetic types, His fellowship with all His people in the life of faith and trust, and His place at the head of those whom God has given Him as children, find expression.

What wonderful thoughts! We, as truly as Jesus, are of God! It is in the light of this truth that Jesus looks on us, and loves us, and deals with us! It is in the light of this truth we must look on Jesus, and love Him, and deal with Him. And in the light of this truth let us look on ourselves too. This is the life of faith ■—to see Jesus and ourselves as He sees us, to think as He thinks, to live in His heart. Then will the promise be fulfilled

more than is ordinarily meant by the doctrine of sanctification. "Sanctify here includes all that God does for our restoration, as He calls, justifies, and glorifies." Rieger in Lange on z. 10 (comp. ix. 13, 14; x. 10, 14, 29; xiii. 12).

to us, " I will declare thy name unto my brethren," "that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them." As we bow in lowly, waiting silence before Him, the soul will hear Him say: My Brother! let me reveal to thee the Father. And the name and the love and the nearness of the Father will have new meaning when l can say, Jesus calls me His brother! God has spoken to me in His Son! And l shall understand that, to faith, the incomprehensible reality of oneness with Jesus becomes the blessed, conscious experience of the soul in its daily life.

1. Union with Jesus in being born of God, in being holy, in being acknowledged by Him as a brother l What a blessed life! what a full salvation!

2. "He that dveth the will of God, the same is My brother." Wouldst thou know the holy joy of Jesus saying to thee, Brother l—let thy life be what His wasthe doing of the will of God l lt was in this He was perfected in suffering. lt is in this that His Spirit and life in thee will manifest itself, and the Brother-name will be the index not only of His compassion but of the oneness in Spirit and the likeness in conduct which prove thee a son of God.

3. Sanctification, holiness, is nothing more than a life in union with Jesus. Nothing more, and nothing less. He that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of One. To liue in that oneness, to have Jesus lioing in us, is the way to be holy.

4. "And again, l will put my trust in Him." Jesus lioed by faith in God. He is the Leader and Perfecter of faith. He opened up to us the path of faith and leads us in it.

XVII.

THAT HE MIGHT BRING TO NOUGHT THE DEVIL.

H.—14. Since then the children are sharers in flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner partook of the same; that through death he might bring to nought him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

15. And might deliver all them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

The previous verses spoke of the oneness of Jesus and His brethren from the divine side: they are all of One. Here we have it put before us from its human side: Since the children are sharers in flesh and blood, He Himself in like manner partook of the same. We have already said that for this, Christ becoming man, there was more than one reason. The first, that, as our Leader, He might Himself be perfected, and so prepare a way—a way or state of living, a nature, a life, in which we might draw nigh to God. The second, that He might deliver us from the power of death and the devil. The third, that in all His work for us and in us, He might be a merciful High Priest in things pertaining to God, able to understand and sympathise with us, and ready to bear and to succour. Here it is the second of these three aspects of Christ's incarnation that is brought out: He became man that He might meet and conquer and destroy the power of death and the devil.

Since the children are sharers in flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise partook of the same. However familiar the thought of the incarnation is, let us again seek to realise fully all that it means. As Adam never could have brought us under the power of sin and death, if he had not been our father, communicating to us his own nature, so Christ never could save us, except by taking our nature upon Him, doing in that nature all that we would need to do, had it been possible for us to deliver ourselves, and then communicating the fruit of what He effected as a nature within us to be the power of a new, an eternal life. As a divine necessity, without which there could be no salvation, as an act of infinite love and condescension, the Son of God became a partaker of flesh and blood. So alone could He be the Second Adam, the Father of a new race.

That through death He might bring to nought him that had the power of death, that is, the devil. Death is a power that has its sanction from God Himself. ln the very nature of things it could not be otherwise than that man, when he turned from God, the fountain of life, to Satan and to self, fell under the power of death. He had yielded himself to Satan, and Satan had power over him. As the jailor keeps the prisoner under the authority of the king, Satan holds the sinner in the power of death so long as no true legal release is given. The only way for us to come from under the power of Satan and death was, to lay off that fallen nature over which they had power, to come out of that sinful life by dying to it, and, in dying, to be entirely freed from it. We had no power to do this. Jesus entered into all the conditions of our fallen humanity. He entered into our death, and endured it as the penalty of sin, and, enduring it, satisfied the law of God. And so, because the law had been the strength of sin, He took from sin and the devil the power of death over us. He endured death as the end of the life of the flesh, in full acknowledgment of God's righteous judgment, yielding up His spirit to the Father. Death, as the penalty of the law, death as the end of the life of nature, death as the power of Satan over man, was destroyed, and he that had the power of death was brought to nought. And now, as little claim or power as death has on Him, has it on those who are in Him, on those in whom the power of His life now works. He also Himself partook of flesh and blood, that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.

And might deliver all them who, through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. The power of death and the devil has been so completely broken that there is now perfect deliverance from that fear of death which keeps so many in bondage. Under the Old Testament, life and immortality had not yet been fully brought to light. No wonder the older saints often lived and spoke as those subject to bondage. But how sad that the redeemed of Jesus Christ, His brethren, so often prove that they know but little of the reality and power of His deliverance, or of the song of joy: "Death is swallowed up in victory. Thanks be to God who giveth us the victory, through Jesus Christ our Lord."

My brother! art thou living in the full experience of this blessed truth? Because thou sharest in flesh and blood, Christ came and likewise partook of the same, that there might be perfect oneness between Him and thee. Livest thou in this oneness? By His death He destroyed the devil, that thou mightest be entirely freed from out of his power. Is thy life in this liberty? He delivers from the fear of death and the bondage it brings, changing it into the joy of the hope of glory. ls this joy thy portion? Let us believe that he, who is now crowned with glory and honour, is indeed able to make all a reality to us, so that, as those who are one with Him by the double bond of the birth from God, and the birth in flesh and blood, we may be His ransomed, His sanctified ones, His beloved brethren. He gave Himself to be wholly like us and for us—shall we not give ourselves to be wholly like Him and for Him?

7. "Through death destroyed him that had the power of death." Death had its power from the taw. There was no way of conquering it but by fulfilling its claim. Through death He destroyed death. This is the way for us too. As l gioe myself up to death, as 1 gioe up the sinful life, and die to self in the power of Christ's death, the power of His delioerance will work in mi.

2. Through death to life. This is the law of nature, as seen in every corn of wheat. This is the law of the life of Christ, as seen in His resurrection. This is the law of the life of faith, to be felt and experienced every day, as the power of the Hew Death which Christ died, and the Hew Life He lives, works in us.

3. The first chapter revealed to us the dioinity of Christ, as the foundation of the gospel, that we might know that all that He accomplished in His humanity has been effected in dioine reality, and works in us in dioine creatioe power.

XVlll.

A HIGH PRIEST ABLE TO SUCCOUR.

n—16. For verily not of angels doth he take hold, but he taketh hold of the seed of Abraham.

17. Wherefore It behoved him In all things to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be1 a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

18. For In that he hims3lf hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

lN the first chapter we saw the writer quoting text after text from the Old Testament, in order that he might bring us to the full apprehension of the truth and the meaning of our Lord's divinity. ln this chapter we see him in the same way, time after time, reiterate the fact of our Lord's humanity, lest we should not fully realise all that it means. So it is here. He had just said, Since the children were sharers of flesh and blood, He also Himself in like manner partook of the same. lt is as if He feels the insufficiency of the words, and therefore once again repeats and confirms his statement: For verily not of angels doth He take hold, but He taketh hold of the seed of Abraham. Man may have been made lower than the angels, but this honour have they not, that He took hold of them—He taketh hold of the seed of Abraham.

And how doth He take hold? There is no way in which God can take hold of a creature other than by entering into

1 Become.

him with His life and spirit, so imparting His own goodness and power, and bringing him into union with Himself. So did Jesus take hold of man. He entered into humanity and became one with it. And so he takes hold of individual souls by entering with each into personal union and fellowship.

Wherefore, being thus minded to take hold of man, it behoved Him, it was divinely right and proper, and, in the nature of things, an absolute necessity, as a consequence of His purpose, it behoved Him in all things to be made like unto His brethren. The laying hold implied His identifying Himself with them, and this again was impossible without being made like them in all things. So only could He save them. lt was indeed needful, that so He might become a merciful and a faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

Here we have, for the first time, the word High Priest—a word which is used in no other book of the New Testament of our Lord Jesus, but in this Epistle is its central thought. We shall see later (chap, v.) how inseparably His divine sonship and His priesthood are linked. Here we are taught that His real humanity is just as much essential to it. lt is one of the remarkable things in the Epistle that it unfolds so wonderfully the value of the personal development in our Lord's life. It ever connects the person and the work as inseparable.

See it here. The work He had to do was—to make propitiation for the sins of the people. Sin had incurred the wrath of God, and His love could not flow forth towards men till the sin had been covered up, atoned for, taken away. In fulfilment of all that had been taught us in the Old Testament sacrifices, Christ came to do this. He put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, and obtained everlasting redemption. Of this the Epistle will speak later on. What it here seeks to press, is that Christ became Man, not merely to die and atone, but that in doing this, He might be a faithful and merciful High Priest. His relation to us was to be a personal one. He must Himself minister to us the salvation He worked out. Everything would depend upon His winning our confidence, getting possession of our heart and love, and as a living Leader guiding us into the path to God. lt is this which makes His human life on earth so precious to us. It proved Him faithful: we dare fully trust Him. It found Him merciful: we need not fear coming to Him. He was made in all things like unto His brethren, that He might become a merciful and faithful High Priest.

For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted. The work of our High Priest does not only consist in His atonement, nor even in the advocacy and intercession which is the fruit of that atonement. But above all, as the result of all these, in that personal charge of our spiritual life which He takes, in that never-ceasing succour which He is able to give in every temptation. This is the greatest and most blessed part of His work in bringing us to God, that, as the Leader in the path of suffering and perfection, He inspires us with His own dispositions, and, by the mighty operation of His Spirit within us, gives us His help in every time of need. The one thing we need is, to know and trust Him fully. To know Him as High Priest who not only has opened a way to God for us to walk in, and not only in heaven prays for us, but who undertakes to keep us so in fellowship with Himself, and under the covering of His power, and in the experience of His full redemption, that temptation can never conquer us. His divinity secures to us His unfailing and neverceasing presence. His humanity assures us of His sympathy and compassion. More ever-present and more mighty than the temptation, His unfailing love is always near to give the victory. He can and will do it. Our High Priest is a living, faithful helper: let us trust Him. Salvation is not a thing He gives us apart from Himself. Full salvation is nothing but Jesus Himself, most compassionately and most faithfully watching over us in daily life, most really and fully giving and living His life in us. The abiding, indwelling presence of Jesus, able to succour, is the true secret of the Christian life. Faith will lead us into the experience that Jesus is and does all that is said of Him.

1. What a chapter l Jesus crowned with glory and honour. Our Leader, our Sanctifier, our Brother, made like to us, our merciful and faithful High Priest, tempted as we are, our helper in temptation. What a Saviour l

2. No member of my body can be hurt without my feeling it and seeking to guard it. No temptation can touch me without Jesus feeling it at once, and gioing succour. is not the one thing we need to know Him better, in faith to realise His ever-present nearness, and to count on His help 1

3. The knowledge of Jesus that sufficed for conversion will not suffice for sanctificatlon. For the growth of the spiritual life it is essential that we enter more deeply into the knowledge of all that Jesus is. Jesus is the bread of heaven, the food of our spiritual life; knowing Him better is the only way to feed upon Him.

4. Learn to regard every temptation as the blessed opportunity for trusting and realising the succour of your ever-present High Priest.