Being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto them who obey Him
By Brother Mike (10-30-16; 52 minutes)
6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec .
7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared ;
8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered ;
9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him ;
In Hebrews 5:6-9 we are first told through a quote of Psalms 110:4 that Christ is a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec. Then we find listed several things about Christ during His earthly ministry as high priest: first, we find that He offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears to the one who could save Him from death, and He was heard in that He feared. Then we discover that He actually learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And, finally, we discover that in being made perfect, Christ became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that are obeying Him. What does all this mean? This, we hope to unravel in more detail as we look at things more closely.
As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec
Here, we continue the thought from the previous verse, which is that Christ did not make himself a high priest, but Yahweh made Him high priest. As He [Yahweh] saith also in another place, Thou [Christ] are a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec. Now, this is a quote taken from Psalms 110:4 where we read,
The LORD [literally Yahweh] hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou [Christ] art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek
The point is that not only did Christ not make himself a high priest, for He was chosen to be a high priest by Yahweh, but He was chosen to be a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek, which brings us to this mysterious personage called Melchizedek who we read about only briefly in Genesis 14. We read in verses 14-20,
And when Abram heard that his brother [Lot] was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan
15 And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus .
16 And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people .
17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale .
18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God .
19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth :
20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all .
Now, in that this Melchizedek was a type of Christ who would come is plainly seen in that he brought forth bread and wine. We know that the bread represents Christ because of what we read in the New Testament in John 6 and other passages. We will look at John 6 first where we read,
They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work
31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat .
32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven .
33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world .
34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread .
35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst .
36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not .
37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out .
38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me .
39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day .
40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day .
41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven .
42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven ?
43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves .
44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day .
45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me .
46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father .
47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life .
48 I am that bread of life .
49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead .
50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die .
51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world .
52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat ?
53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you .
54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day .
55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed .
56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him .
57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me .
58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever .
Okay, clearly, over and over again, we see that the bread represents Christ Himself or His flesh. In fact, the bread represents His body as we read in 1Corinthians 11:24,
And when he had given thanks, he brake it [the bread], and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me
And, again, we read in Luke 22:19,
And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me
And, in Matthew 26:26 and Mark 14:22, we read,
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body
And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body
Indeed, the bread which Melchizedek brought forth to Abram represents the body of Christ which would be broken for his sins, and for the sins of all the elect who were in the loins of Abram. But, what does the wine that Melchizedek brought forth to Abram represent? Most of us know the answer already: we read in Matthew 26,
And he took the cup [of wine], and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it
28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins .
And, again, we read in 1Corinthians 11,
After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup [of wine] is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me
And, in Luke 22:20 it states,
Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup [of wine] is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you
So, we can conclude from all this that the bread of Melchizedek represents the body of Christ to be broken for sins, and the wine of Melchizedek represents the blood of Christ to be shed for the remission of sins. In other words, Melchizedek is a picture of Christ who would give His body and shed His blood for the sins of Abram and all the elect who were then yet in the loins of Abram.
Now, notice, once again, what Melchizedek says to Abram in the context of verses 18-20 of Genesis 14. There we read,
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God
19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth :
20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand . . .
In the historical account, the enemies delivered into Abram's hand were those who had stole away his brother, Lot, but, in the spiritual dimension, the enemies delivered into Abram's hand are those who would be delivered into the hand of the elect (typified by Abram) as the elect went forth into the world with Christ, the gospel, as typified by Melchizedek who brought forth the bread and the wine to rescue the yet unsaved elect (typified by Lot) from their enemies of sin, Satan, and death. What we see, then, in the historical account of Abram rescuing Lot is a picture of the elect going forth to save the elect by Christ who is typified by Melchizedek who brings forth the bread and the wine, the gospel.
Now, we will learn more about Melchizedek, especially in Chapter 7of Hebrews, but, for now, let's move forward to our next verse.
Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared
. . .
In this verse, we first read, Who in the days of his flesh. Obviously, this is speaking about the days when Christ was a human being on earth. And, it is called the days of his flesh because these are the days when Yahweh became flesh as the Christ as we read in John 1:1 and 14,
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God
And the Word was made flesh [as the Christ], and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth
So, Christ was Yahweh made flesh. That is, He was made to be a human being as you and I in the flesh, and just how Yahweh could be both a man and infinite God is a mystery (see
The Mystery of the Incarnation
Next, our verse reads, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death. Here, the verb offered up in the sentence when he had offered up prayers and supplications . . . is actually a participle, and so the first part of this sentence should read, having offered up prayers and supplications . . . and not when he had offered up prayers and supplications . . . So, our verse to this point should read like this:
Who in the days of his flesh, having offered up both prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto the one who was able to save him from death .
Now, is there any time during Christ's time on earth where the Bible records that Christ offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears? The time that stands out the most is when Christ was in the garden of Gethsemane the night before He was crucified. There we read,
Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder
37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy .
38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me .
39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt .
40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour ?
41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak .
42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done .
43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy .
44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words .
The parallel account in Mark reads as such,
And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray
33 And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy ;
34 And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch .
35 And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him .
36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt .
37 And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour ?
38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak .
39 And again he went away, and prayed, and spake the same words .
40 And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him .
41 And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners .
And, the parallel account in Luke reads,
And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him
40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation .
41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone�s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed ,
42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done .
43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him .
44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground .
45 And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow ,
46 And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation .
So, we do find, as our verse in Hebrews states, that Jesus offered up both prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears. O yes, none of the accounts mention that He shed tears, but Luke does mention that His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling to the ground (Lk. 22:44), and it is just common sense to realize that someone under such agony, and who we read was exceeding sorrowful unto death (Mk. 14:34), must have been shedding tears.
Next, we are told that Christ while in the flesh offered up both prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto the one who was able to save him from death. Obviously, this one who was able to save Him from death was the Father, Yahweh. But, as we know, it was not the Father�s will that Christ escape death so that we could be saved for eternal life by His substitutionary death on our behalf. So Christ would take upon Himself in our place the wrath of God due to our sins. So we could be counted sinless and made fit for eternal life in the new heaven and earth to be manifest on the Last Day.
Now, finally, the last sentence of our verse reads, and was heard in that he feared. Actually, the verse literally reads, and, having been heard out of godly fear [piety]. Our verse now reads,
Who in the days of his flesh, having offered up both prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto the one who was able to save him from death, and, having been heard out of godly fear [piety]
That is, Christ offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto the one who was able to save him from death, and He was heard from or out of His praying in godly fear or piety. Yes, Christ prayed from His deep desire to be pleasing to Yahweh in every way, and we can see this in what He prayed. He prayed, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done (Lk. 22:42). Indeed, He wanted to please the Father in every way so He stated, nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And, this is the way that we should be as well. We may pray whatever we want, but, in the end, may His will be done and not ours. We must be willing to yield to His sovereignty in the godly fear of desiring to please Him in all that we think, say, and do. And, if anyone desires something different, Yahweh will reveal it to you as a test to reveal just where your allegiance lies. May Yahweh place in each one of us that same godly fear that was in our Lord in order that we would be manifest as the children of God even in the face of hardship and suffering.
Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered
. . .
Here, we first read, Though He where a Son. That is, although He was the Son of Yahweh, which we have learned is one and the same as God (see
God is a Trinity
Okay, now, the latter part of our verse states, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered. Here, the word, yet and the phrase, by the things are not found in the Greek so that our verse would more literally be translated,
Though he were a Son, He learned obedience from which he suffered
. . .
The idea is that He learned obedience from which [things] He suffered. But, now, the question arises, just how did He learn to obey from which things He suffered? Normally, if a person was given the choice to obey, but by doing so, he must suffer to the point of death, he would not obey, or he would only be able to obey up to a certain point. So, he would not learn to obey by the things which he suffered, but he would learn not to obey in order to escape suffering. But, in the case of Christ, He did not run from the suffering, but He continued to obey even to the death. So, we could say that He learned obedience from the things which He suffered because He had every human reason to run from the suffering of death, but, instead, He chose to obey the Father, and, by doing so, He learned to obey even to the death. And, so, He was made perfect in obedience, which made it possible for the Father to save the elect whose obedience was imperfect and flawed. And, now, He is teaching the elect to obey to the point of death as they trust in His Word. Yes, we must have died to be able to have departed out from all the churches where our friends resided who now reject us. We must have died to accept the fact that there is no longer any salvation when we still have family and friends who we would like to see become saved. We must have died when we came to reject the false Christ who, in their imagination only, they falsely say died for sins at or before the foundation of the world, but, instead, we believe what the scriptures teach, namely that Christ atoned for sins on earth in 33 AD. We must have died to believe that we are now in Judgment Day when the whole world just goes on sinning? We must have died to be able to endure all the foul speaking against us simply because we continue to keep watching through the Bible as to when the end will come. We must have died to be able to endure the mockery because the rapture did not come on May 21, 2011, which we now know will come on the Last Day. Indeed, we, the elect, have died, died, and died again, and we will continue to die until through death to this world we rise to prove that it was not all for nothing.
You see, it is not only Christ who learned obedience from the things that He suffered, but we who are in Christ are learning the same until we all either pass on from this world to be with the Lord, or until we are all changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the sound of the Last Trump, as these fleshly bodies shall be transformed as a caterpillar is transformed into a glorious butterfly. Yes, these bodies will be changed into glorious spiritual bodies fit to dwell for all eternity in the new heaven and earth to be created on the Last Day. Indeed, we are counted as sheep for the slaughter. But, once slaughtered we have a most glorious future even as our Lord once slaughtered had a glorious future. So, His and our learning of obedience through the things that we suffered, or are now suffering, was and is not for nothing. But, it is to teach us an obedience that will transcend the temporal and continue for all eternity as we joy in obedience to our master, The Lord Jesus Christ, in the eternity to come, regardless of the consequences. All the glory to our Lord Jesus Christ.
And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him
. . .
In this verse, we first read, And being made perfect. Here, the three words being made perfect are the translation of a verb participle that is in the Aorist Tense and Passive Voice. The Aorist tense means that the action of the verb took place at some point in the past (see
); hence, Christ was made perfect [in the past], and the Passive Voice means that Christ was passive in the matter (see
Now, what does it mean that Christ was made perfect or perfected? Well, it doesn't mean that He was ever imperfect as a person because that would imply that Yahweh is imperfect since Jesus Christ was and is Yahweh. No, it means that He was made perfect in the sense of having been made to reach His ultimate goal of completing the atonement for our sins without ever having disobeyed the Father. Indeed, He was proven to be perfect in every way by the things which He suffered, and, in this sense, of having been proven, and having reached His end goal, we could say that He was made perfect or perfected; not that Christ was ever imperfect as a person, but only that He had not reached His complete purpose in this world until He had made atonement for our sins by perfect obedience.
Another way of looking at it is to realize that the word translated as perfect can also be translated mature. Therefore, we can say that Christ was made mature in that He was made to pass all the tests in reaching the purpose of His life to atone for the sins of all His elect, and, because of this, we could say that He had been made mature; that is, fully grown for the purpose at hand, which was the atonement for our sins. As an illustration, we need only look at all the tribal rights of passage into manhood in various tribes. In one tribe, a boy cannot become a mature man until he endures the cutting of certain symbols into his flesh. In another tribe, a boy must endure the poisonous toxins from off a poisonous frog. Once they have endured it, they are then considered to be mature men. Similarly, Christ had to endure the suffering of the cross in perfect obedience to the Father before it could be said of Him that He had been made mature or perfect; not because Christ was ever imperfect as a human being, for He certainly was not, but because He had to complete the purpose for His life in atoning for our sins before it could be said of Him as a man that He was fully mature or perfect.
Next, we read in our verse about Christ that in being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation. The word author, here, literally means cause so that our verse literally states that He [Christ] became the cause of eternal salvation. And, this makes perfect sense in that Christ, having been made perfect through His obedience unto death, was the obvious cause or reason for the eternal salvation of all His elect. He took their place under the wrath of Yahweh so that they would never have to suffer under the wrath they so deserve, but, instead, be given eternal life through the gift of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.
Now, finally, we read about Christ that in being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him. Here, the Verb obey is in the Present Tense and Active Voice, which means that the action of obeying is ongoing or continuous, and we can now translate our verse like this:
And being made perfect, he became the cause of eternal salvation unto all them that are obeying him
. . .
This seems to be saying that eternal salvation is through obeying Christ, and those who teach such a doctrine latch onto this verse as one of their proof texts. But, we know better because we must look in the Bible for everything that has to do with the nature of salvation before we can ever make the conclusion that we become saved by obedience. And, when we do this, we soon discover that salvation cannot possibly be due to obedience as we read in Ephesians 2,
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast .
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them
And, again, we read in Titus 3:5,
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost
. . .
Also, in Galatians 2:16, we read,
Knowing that a man is not justified [saved] by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified
And, we are given a clear example of how someone is saved in Abraham. As we read,
What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found
2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God .
3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness .
4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt .
5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness .
6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works ,
7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered .
8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin .
Now, let's return to our verse and ask the question, if one cannot be saved by obedience to Yahweh, then why does our verse say,
And being made perfect, he became the cause of eternal salvation unto all them that are obeying him
Well, based upon the immense amount of scripture of which I have barely touched the surface, which teaches that salvation is not by obedience, but by the free gift of faith imparted to us through the hearing of the Word, we know that our verse is not teaching that one must obey in order to become saved, but rather it is focusing in upon the result of our salvation, which is that we will be obeying Christ; not in order to be saved, but because we are already saved. Indeed, a sheep does not "bahhh" to become a sheep, but it "bahhhs" because it is already a sheep. Likewise, the elect do not obey Yahweh to become saved, but we obey Yahweh because we are already saved. Hence, Christ became the cause of eternal salvation unto all them that are obeying Him is not revealing how the elect are saved, but, instead, it is simply revealing that the elect who are saved will be obeying Christ as it is their very nature to do so. In other words, the all them that are obeying Christ are all those who are already saved. The point is that,
. . . we [who are saved] are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them
So, can a person be saved if they are not ongoingly obeying Christ? Absolutely not! For the scripture says,
He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him
So, Christ became the cause of eternal salvation unto all them that are obeying him because only the already saved elect are the ones who are actually ongoingly obeying Him.
Christ is a priest forever according to the order of Mechizedek as we read in Psalms 110:4. Just as Melchisedec offered Abram bread and wine, so also Christ offered Himself as the bread and wine of eternal salvation in order to save the elect from Satan, sin, and death as Abram saved Lot from his captors. During His earthly ministry, Christ offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto the one that could save Him from death, and He was heard out of His godly fear or piety; nevertheless, it was not the Father's will that Christ be saved from death, but instead that Christ learn obedience from which things He suffered on His journey to death until He had displayed perfect obedience all the way to death, and, thus, having been shown to be perfect in obedience, and made perfect or mature in that He fully reached His end goal of atoning for sins, He became the author or cause of eternal salvation unto all them who are saved; who have made it their lifestyle to be ongoingly obeying Him.