If the people of God are like a “house” (illustrated as a building or a family), the previous article describes how Jesus is superior within that house, even compared to someone whose role in God’s plan was as significant as Moses’ purpose.
Because we don’t use the word “house” to describe a political dynasty or a family group quite as much today (compared to how this term was used in the past), though, we might miss out on that illustration here:
But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.
Hebrews 3:6 NIV
Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t just mean that we go to church (which we may call “God’s house”). Some people have that impression, though. As long as they are in God’s house (whether once a week, or multiple times each week), they feel like they are “set”.
God doesn’t just call us to a physical building, though (although meeting together in a building as followers of Jesus is perfectly OK). As I read this passage (see also 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12), we don’t just go to a house; we are God’s house in the sense of being His family. Said another way, followers of Jesus are not a church building (the house of God in one sense), but we are the church (also the house of God, in another sense).
To be clear, we don’t get the firstborn role: that is reserved for Jesus, and He remains superior to us. However, we can be part of God’s family – God’s house – along with the rights and responsibilities that this includes.
Like the various attributes that tie together families, clans, dynasties, or houses here on earth, we should try to live up to the standards of God’s family. We strive to be like our older – and superior – brother (i.e., Jesus Christ). We subscribe to the principles of God’s house (as defined by the head of that house), and we try to preserve the reputation of that house, by following the instructions and example of Jesus, who is “the Son over God’s house”.
Note that Hebrews 3:6 describes a couple of things that relate to being God’s house, “if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory”. God’s house is something for us to invest in and commit to, not just sign up for and forget about.
(And remember, we are best united as Christians when we are being led by the same Lord and Savior. So, don’t try to artificially match what other Christians are doing, except as they are imitating Christ – see 1 Corinthians 11:1. Rather, when we follow Jesus’ example and the Holy Spirit’s direction, we’ll all be aligned naturally to the same plan: God’s plan.)
It’s great to be part of the house of God. If our identity is not in God’s family through Jesus Christ, though, whatever else we are putting our self-worth in is, by definition, inferior to that. If we are part of that house, we should live boldly and gratefully as children adopted into God’s family, and we must also remember and pay attention to Who is in charge of that house: Jesus Christ.
From Sunday School lesson prepared for September 5, 2021
- The Lookout, September 12, 2021 © 2021 Christian Standard Media.
- Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
- The College Press Commentary, Hebrews, by Jim Girdwood and Peter Verkruyse. College Press Publishing Company, © 1997.