A Systematic Expository on the book of Hebrews
STUDY 7: CHRIST: OUR SUBSTITUTE SAVIOUR AND SANCTIFIER
Hebrews 2:9 - 18
The Jews could not understand how God could become man who would die to pay the penalty of our sins. Many, today, cannot comprehend this same mystery - God becoming man and having become man, how. He could die. Christ had to suffer and die. The cross was a serious stumbling block to the Jews. Christ had to become man so that He could die for our sins. His death, and only His death, could accomplish man’s salvation.
God created man in innocence, righteousness and holiness but man lost all this through sin. He also lost his dominion, glory and crown. Jesus Christ had to come to die for mankind. He had to take the place of man by becoming man Himself. Through His death, Jesus Christ became our Substitute, Saviour and Sanctifier. He was born to die. He died that we might live. There is only one real Saviour, only one perfect Saviour - He is Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).
CHRIST, OUR SUBSTITUTE
Hebrews 2:9,14-18; John 1:29; Isaiah 53:4-6; John 11:49-52; 2 Corinthians 5:15; 1 Timothy 2:6; 1 John 2:1,2.
Man’s history is that of sin, curse and damnation. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die”(Ezekiel 18:4) “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Inevitably and without exception, sin brings death and damnation. Left to ourselves and our own resources, we have no prospect but death. But God sent a substitute to take the punishment of our sins - to die in our place.
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also Himself took part of the same; that through death he might ... deliver them...” (Hebrews 2:14,15). We cannot fully understand the depth of Christ’s love and voluntary humility. The Incarnation, the mighty God becoming like a mortal man is a mystery of God’s love in His plan of our redemption. “For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels, but He took on Him the seed of Abraham” (Hebrews 2:16). He completely identified with us (except in sinning) so as to be a perfect Substitute.
“Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren... to make reconciliation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17). An angel could not have been our substitute, neither could an ordinary man who would have to pay the penalty of his own sins, die for our sins. Christ was a perfect, holy, sinless God-Man. “He by the grace of God tasted death for every man”(Hebrews 2:9).
To pass through the experiences of mankind, he had to be tempted, yet without sin. He “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin”(Hebrews 4:15). In times of temptation, we can trust Him to keep us from falling. “For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to sucour them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18). What a perfect Substitute, what a perfect Saviour!
CHRIST, OUR SAVIOUR
Hebrews 2:10; Acts 4:10-12; Luke 2:10,11; John 4:42; Acts 5:30,31; 1 Peter 1:18,19; Romans 3:24-26; Revelation 5:9.
Christ is referred to here as the “the Captain of their salvation”, that is, the Author of our salvation. Our salvation did not originate from any ordinary man or angel. No human or angelic mind had anything to contribute to our salvation. No one could have thought out such a plan of redemption except God who is great and infinite in love, power, grace and wisdom.
Our captain or Author of salvation was made “perfect through suffering.” He suffered much more than we can understand. To bring the suffering or penalty of all sins of all men in all history which was to be borne throughout all eternity upon Jesus Christ on the Cross, was suffering that no human tongue can describe. “thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to SUFFER, and to rise from the dead the third day”. “God before had shewed by the mouth of all His prophets, that Christ should SUFFER.” “Christ also SUFFERED for us” (Luke 24:46; Acts 3:18; 1 Peter 2:21).
Christ’s suffering was to “bring many sons unto glory”. Repenting of all our sins and believing in Christ, we become sons of God (John 1:12). Continuing in His word and enduring to the end by His grace and through faith in Him, we are eventually brought to glory (Romans 8:28-30).
CHRIST, OUR SANCTIFIER
Hebrews 2:11-113; 10:10,14-17; 13:12-14,20,21; John 17:17-23; 1 Thessalonians 5:23,24; Leviticus 20:7,8; Ephesians 5:25-27;
2 Timothy 2:19-21; Hebrews 12:14.
“Without holiness no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). Without Christ, no man can be holy. “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). Only through faith in Christ can our hearts be purified (Acts 15:9). Our salvation as well as our sanctification come through Christ. He is our full redemption.
Christ sanctifies the heart of the true believer and keeps us in true holiness and righteousness. He unites the sanctified to Himself and to one another. Our love for God and unity with the brethren are perfected by the sanctification experience - ‘Jesus is our Sanctifier, cleansing us from self and sin, and with all His Spirit’s fullness, filling all our hearts within’.
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