For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory…
I. A DEFINITION OF GOD. We are told that for Him, and by Him, are all things; for Him — on His account — to manifest His glory — to display His perfections. God hath created all things for Himself. "Well, does not that look selfish? Is that worthy of God?" If we do anything for ourselves, and to show forth ourselves, we do it to show forth something that is finite and imperfect; and in attempting to show forth ourselves, and seek our own ends, we are overlooking the interests of other people. Therefore it is most improper for a creature to do anything chiefly to promote his own glory. But it is otherwise with God, for He is perfect, and the manifestation of Himself is the manifestation of perfection. Would you wish anything else? Shall creation be for any lower end than the exhibition of the Creator? Nor is the manifestation of Himself apart from the highest hope of the universe, for God is love; the manifestation of love and beneficence is, therefore, the diffusion of happiness. There is no greater, more benevolent purpose than the creation of all things for Himself. All things in the universe, however great, are subservient to an end infinitely greater than themselves. However small, they are not so insignificant as not to be employed for the greatest of all ends — for the manifestation of God the infinite.
II. THE GRACIOUS DESIGN OF THIS GLORIOUS, THIS INFINITE BEING. It is to bring many sons unto glory. These many sons are to be brought unto glory from among a rebellious and condemned race.
1. The first step towards this is to make them sons — to convert, to change them from foes to children; for by nature and by practice we are enemies to God, and not subject to the will of God. We are thus constituted sons through an act of God's free, sovereign, unmerited favour. He pardons all our sins. He puts the spirit of adoption into Us, and as He manifests Himself to us as our loving Father, He enables us to feel to Him as loving and trusting children. We seek Him whom we avoided; we trust Him whom we dreaded; we serve Him against whom we rebelled; we are sons.
2. And, having made us sons, He then brings us to glory. God does not form children for Himself and then forsake them.
III. But what is HIS METHOD? By a Mediator, called in the text the Captain of Salvation. The same word is translated in other passages, the Prince of Life — in others, "the Author and Finisher of faith." Here it is translated "Captain." He is our Captain. He goes in advance. He acts as our Champion. He fights our great adversary the devil for us — defeats him — "destroys him that had the power of death, even the devil." We can do all things through our Captain strengthening us. But we go on to observe that this Captain of Salvation was to be qualified for His office by suffering. He was to be made perfect by suffering. Emphatically He was a man of sorrows. By those sorrows He was made perfect, not as to His Divinity, for that could not be made more perfect, nor as to his moral purity, for that was perfect necessarily; but made perfect — that is, qualified for His office. The suffering was sacrificial. He had to atone for our sins. He had not merely to go before us as our Captain, but to bear the cross. So He was made a sacrifice for us. And He was to be made an example as well as a sacrifice. Men suffer. This is a world of trouble, and He could not have been an adequate example if He had not been an example in that which we are called to endure. He was to be a sympathising friend on whom we could look as understanding our case, as able to feel with us and for us, awed this would be impossible except by suffering. And, therefore, He was fitted to be the Captain and Leader of our Salvation by suffering.
IV. THE GREAT PROPOSITION. It was befitting in Him for whom and by whom are all things, in thus bringing many sons into glory through the mediation of the Captain of Salvation, to make the Captain of Salvation fitted for His work through suffering. It was befitting the Eternal God that His designs should be accomplished; and as suffering was essential to the end He had in view, was it not befitting that God should not spare even His own Son in order that He might be qualified for the work of bringing many sons to glory?
(Newman Hall, LL. B.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.