A Study of Hebrews Chapter 1: Part 8

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Upholding all things by the word of His power

We previously examined the heirship of the Son as well as the issue surrounding His creatorship but now we further this regard with a step towards viewing Christ as the sustainer of all that He has created! We are in essence entering into the study of the providence of God[i]. Not only did the Lord Jesus make the worlds but He is also active in upholding them as well. Christ is the one who is accomplishing that which He had decreed before the foundation of the world and He does so perfectly. There are those who would see God as creating all things but then becoming passive in their history yet, as we can see from this wonderful passage, the Lord Jesus is still active today! It should come as a comforting thought that He is governing and preserving all things as we speak so that we can know that all His purposes are being consummated. The writer uses the present participle “pheron” (upholding) which denotes “to carry along”. There is the sense of movement in this work of Christ since it involves action to be able to continuously accomplish this. What the writer is also stating by this term “upholding” is the fact that God had a decree[ii] when creating all things. Nehemiah knew well the providence of God:

You alone are the LORD;
You have made heaven,
The heaven of heavens, with all their host,
The earth and everything on it,
The seas and all that is in them,
And You preserve them all.
The host of heaven worships You. (Nehemiah 9:6)

The lengths by which the Lord Jesus is in control goes beyond mere natural laws or being the pedestal of the earth. We read in scripture that the steps of a man are determined by God (Jeremiah 10:23; Proverbs 16:9; 20:24), that He determines the fate of kings (Prob. 21:1), the birth of children (Psalm 127:3), the affairs of nations (Job12:23, Psalm 22:28; 66:7) and all things He has willed He accomplishes (Ephesians 1:11)

The next portion deals with how the Lord Jesus upholds all things in that this is accomplished by the word of His power! This is the word that spoke in Genesis chapter one and everything came into existence, the word that the psalmist hailed “He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast” (Psalm 33:9) and this is the same word that is able to sustain all things. The thought in this passage is almost parallel with that of Peter in His second epistle, we read: “but the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word…(2 Peter 3:7). The word of Christ is everlasting (Mark 13:31), authoritative (Luke 4:32), Spirit (John 6:63), Judgment (John 12:48 and Divine (John 14:24). This must have brought great conviction to the reader and we pray brings great conviction to us today!


[i] God is continually involved with all created things in such as a way that he (1) keeps them existing and maintaining the properties with which he created them; (2) cooperates with created things in every action, directing their distinctive properties to cause them to act as they do; and (3) directs them to fulfill his purposes– Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem, Zondervan, 1994, Page 315

[ii] We call this plan, in terms, the decree of God. Within the term “decree” we find the thought of a decision or an order given by an authority. It is also the thought of the implementation of His purposes and intention of future things. This is actually intertwined with respects to His foreknowledge and Sovereignty.

The issue surrounding the decree of God relates also to His kingship. The very idea of the power of a monarchy or a king is within the bound of his decrees. God has put forward His eternal purposes and has pronounced His authoritative will with wisdom and might. We are especially given the affirmation of an eternal decree by the purpose of sending Christ into the world. We read that this was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Ephesians 3:11), This Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God (Acts 2:23) and that in His death, the men that committed the evil acts against Christ did whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur. (Acts 4:28)


Written by shawnkjmcgrath

July 30, 2009 at 3:45 pm

Posted in Hebrews Ch.1

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