Hebrews 3:1-6 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Hebrews 3:1
  • Hebrews 3:2
  • Hebrews 3:3
  • Hebrews 3:4
  • Hebrews 3:5
  • Hebrews 3:6

Jesus was faithful to God just as Moses was faithful to God. Moses was faithful in God’s house as a servant but Jesus was faithful as a Son – the Inheritor. We can be a part of God’s household that inherits as well, if we hold fast.

Notice that at the start of chapter 3 Paul refers to his audience as holy brethren and partakers of a heavenly calling. Paul makes it clear throughout Hebrews that his audience is in no danger of losing their entrance into heaven, he recognizes that they are believers and will live in eternity with God. Instead, he is encouraging these believers to focus on the greatness of Jesus and live in obedience to Him, that we might inherit all He has for us.  In other words, Paul is telling us what is in our best interest.

In order to gain the inheritance God has for us as believers, we must follow the High Priest (Jesus) and His faithful example on earth. We are partakers of the heavenly calling, which God has established for us through Jesus. Christ is the Apostle and the High Priest of our confession, which means He acts as an intermediary on our behalf, and allows us to have unity and be companions (partakers) with God. Because of Christ and His ongoing work on our behalf, we can be companions of God and gain the inheritance to which we are called.

Paul writes that Jesus was faithful to God who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house. The reference to Moses being faithful in God’s house is taken from Numbers 12:6-8 and refers to his faithfulness to carry out God’s instructions to build the tabernacle. The tabernacle and the activities that took place in it served as a representation of those things which were to be spoken about later (verse 5). They were a symbol of a new and better covenant that was brought about by Jesus: the eternal forgiveness of sins and a high priest who mediates for us at all times.

Similar to the faithfulness of Moses, Jesus was and remains faithful to God as a Son over His house..

Moses was faithful to build God’s house, the tabernacle, just as God instructed Him. This house, where priests would perform their religious duties, was a representation of God’s true tabernacle in heaven. Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, simply carrying out instructions to build a house; however, Jesus serves as a Son and ruler over God’s house and therefore has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses. We can be a part of those who rule that house, along with Christ, if we hold fast. Believers have a choice: we can remain immature in our faith or we can be obedient to Christ and be a partaker of ruling His house along with Him if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.

This is a theme that runs throughout the Bible. Revelation 3:21 promises that those who overcome as [Jesus] overcame will share His throne. Romans 8:17 promises that believers will be joint heirs with Christ (i.e. share rulership of His household) if we suffer as He suffered.

At the beginning of this chapter Paul called his audience holy brethren, and here he includes himself in the warning by saying if we. Paul considers himself and his audience to be justified (made right) before God, so this warning is not about losing our salvation of being justified before God, that is secured. However, if we turn away from God during our lives, we will miss out on our inheritance reward with Christ. The author is telling them that they must boldly, confidently, and tenaciously hold to what they know to be true of Jesus if we want to receive the reward of being a ruler with Him in His household (verse 6).

This opportunity to be a part of those who rule God’s house is similar to the language in 1 Peter 2:5 that says we are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. As believers in Christ we have the priestly responsibility of being faithful and obedient to God, and if we are being obedient and fulfilling these duties, then we are God’s house. The warning is not that we could lose our salvation from spiritual death, the warning is to hold fast so that we live as God’s house in this life. Even though our eternal salvation from spiritual death is secure because of what Jesus has done, we could miss out on the opportunity to be God’s house in this life and as a result have no share in Christ’s inheritance.

Paul is emphasizing to these Jewish believers that Christ is greater than Moses. In chapters 1 and 2, Paul spent time emphasizing that Christ is greater than the law, prophets, and angels. Moses was one of the great fathers of the Jewish faith and was highly respected and given great importance by the Jewish people. Paul is pointing out that Jesus is greater than Moses and so should be given greater importance.

Believers must hold firmly to their hope in Christ until the end of their lives on this earth. This is what allows believers to be a part of those who rule God’s house. Paul uses the example of the Israelites to further illustrate his warning in the next verses.

1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession; 2 He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house. 3 For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. 4 For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. 5 Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; 6 but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.

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