Answers to Correspondents: Destroy in HEB 2:14; Same People in 1PE 3 & 4; Sin in HEB 12:1

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 9
17. Q.-Will you explain Heb. 2:14, especially the last clause, giving the force of the word, destroy? B. F. C.
A.-The teaching of the verse is, that the Son of God became incarnate, in order that by death He might, as meeting the whole power of Satan there, bring him to nothing-annul or destroy him, as to his power over man through the fear of death. The Greek verb,καταργεω, means to destroy, in the sense of taking away all power, or bringing to nothing, and is the same word elsewhere translated "make void" (Rom. 3:31); " bring to naught" (1 Cor. 1:28); "none effect" (Gal. 3:17); "abolished" (Eph. 2:15). Satan, through death, as the judgment of God on man on account of sin, had power over man; Christ bore the judgment of sin, on the cross, in death; and thus death, as the judgment of God on man on account of sin, is gone for those who believe on Him-Satan can no longer use this power over them to bring them into bondage through the fear of death. Death has no terrors for the believer in Christ, and in this way Satan's power over him is entirely annulled. Satan is, in every sense, a vanquished foe, and that by the death of Christ, where apparently, for unbelief, he was completely victorious. By His personal perfectness in life, Christ was able to bind Satan, and spoil his goods; but, though delivering man from Satan's actual power over his body and mind, He could not then, deliver him from the power of Satan over his conscience, as to the fear of death-this His death alone could do, by which Satan is not merely bound, but annulled. C. W.
18. Q.-Do 1 Peter 3:19 and 4:6 refer to the same people? If so, when was the gospel preached to them? J. L.
A.-1 Peter 3:19 plainly refers exclusively to those who lived before the flood, and the gospel was preached to them by Noah, through whom, as acting by His Spirit in him, Christ Himself is spoken of as having preached to them, when as men they lived on the earth, though now "the spirits in prison."
"The dead," in 1 Peter 4:6, refers specially to the Jews, though perhaps it may have, too, a general application to all who have died at any time, thus standing in contrast with all those who will be living on the earth when Christ appears for judgment. The thought in the apostle's mind- and we must remember he was writing entirely to the Jews of the dispersion-was this: as the center of God's government upon the earth, the Jews were accustomed to the judgment of the living, but the judgment of the dead they were very imperfectly, if at all, acquainted with; it had not then been revealed to them as it has been now to us. Still, they would be subject to this judgment, as those to whom the promises, or gospel, had been preached, in order that they might stand before God in judgment upon the ground of what they had done as men in the flesh, or be saved out of that condition by the quickening power of the word, received by faith in their souls; they would then "live according to God in the Spirit." The antediluvians had their gospel, the Jews had theirs, and we have ours; and the general truth is, that all are responsible to believe and accept the testimony of God to them and thus be saved, or abide His judgment for their conduct while living in the flesh. C. W.
19. Q.-Does "the sin" in Heb. 12:1 mean some particular sin, or sin in general? B. F. C.
A.-It is not any particular sin that is referred to here, but sin, the evil principle that works in the flesh, by which man does his own will without reference to God. C. W.