Serving Jesus in Our Community

Bible Notes

Hebrews 12:22-23 (19.06.24)

Hebrews 12:22-23
“You have come … to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven.”

Who does the writer mean by ‘the firstborn’ – could it be the angels, since they were created before mankind? No, I don’t think it can mean angels, since they were mentioned separately in v.22; and of course they have no need of having their names written in heaven. Elsewhere in the NT Jesus is several times described as the firstborn, but in this verse in Hebrews ‘firstborn’ is plural so it cannot mean Christ; that their names are written in heaven suggests that they are the redeemed whose names are in the Lamb’s book of life. So here the writer is thinking of all whose trust in God’s mercy, whose faith in Jesus Christ makes them a part of his body, the church. So why ‘firstborn’ ? – in the OT the firstborn in every generation were specially set apart for God (Numbers 3.13) – at the Exodus the firstborn of Israel were especially spared the judgment of the destroying angel by applying the blood of the Passover Lamb; moreover, the firstborn had great privileges, they were the ones who stood to inherit. So do we! – there are around 20 references in the NT to our wonderful heavenly inheritance We are all firstborn!

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine:
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God;
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

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