The Church of the Firstborn

I just finished up reading the book of Hebrews the other day in my personal quiet time. I was reading chapters 12 and 13 and I stopped at a phrase that I realized I?ve often skipped over. In Hebrews 12:23 the writer says that as believers, we have come “to the church of the firstborn”. The idea of the “firstborn” is a theme that is woven throughout the Old and New Testament (or the 1st and 2nd testament as one of my high school students likes to say). I grabbed a commentary and looked up some information about this phrase. Here are a few thoughts that stuck out to me:

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-The term firstborn was used to convey rank, power, and inheritance.

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-When applied to Jesus, we understand that not only was he Mary?s literal first born, but that he is the firstborn over all creation. He is the rightful heir of all creation. He is not only heir, but LORD over all creation.

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-When applied to the church…as in the Hebrews verse mentioned above, “the church of the firstborn”. We understand that as believers in Jesus Christ, we are co-heirs. We will receive an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade as I Peter 1:4 states.

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Following the lead of our Apostle?s Creed series, why is this important? In other words, how should this inform my daily life? Some things I?ve been thinking about in this regard…

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-Because Jesus is the rightful heir and LORD of all creation, I should view all creation as his property and care for it as such. (Read environmental stewardship…recycling, reducing carbon footprint, etc.). You may think this a little bit of a stretch, but I honestly believe that caring for God?s creation can and should be an act of worship.

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-Because I am a co-heir with Christ, I can be confident that my inheritance (heaven) is secure. Christ defeated death and sits with power and authority at the right hand of God the Father. My inheritance is secure.

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What do you think? What are some things that you would add to this list? What encouragement do you derive being “the church of the firstborn”?

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Grace,
?Chris