Agonizomai: Heb 11 - 36-38 - Christ - Glorified in His Saints

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Heb 11 - 36-38 - Christ - Glorified in His Saints

Heb 11 - 36-38 - Christ - Glorified in His Saints

Heb 11:36-38 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

The litany of the sufferings of the saints in the church triumphant continues with the contrast between their sufferings and the world in which they suffered. This is not something lost on the New Testament Hebrews to whom it is addressed. These were times of persecution for them, too. They were times in which to profess faith in the God of the Promise, who was now revealed fully in Christ, could be to die. It certainly had meant to suffer loss.

Why is the world not worthy of the saints? Do they render themselves somehow "above" the world by their derring-do? Are they better than the world? Are they more worthy, as it seems to imply here? Well, they would make no such claim. God may commend them and we also might cheer them on, or rejoice with them in their perseverance. But no saint will, having a proper understanding of His salvation, take any credit for himself. Nor will he give any credit to a fellow saint apart from the understanding that Christ wrought it in him. God may reflect His glory upon and through His people, but it is always His glory.

So the world was unworthy of them because Christ lived in them and displayed His glory in them through their persevering faith in Him - and not because they had a righteousness of their own.


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