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If there are very few actual parallels between Hebrews and Ephesians, the reverse is
true when we compare Hebrews with Philippians. They are too numerous to set out here,
and a review of them would occupy a whole article, but a selection will suffice.
The Parallels between and Philippians.
The same key words. "Perfection" or "Perdition"
(Heb. 6: 1; 10: 39; Phil. 3: 12-19).
The same figure. "The Race", "The Prize" (Heb. 12: 1; Phil. 3: 14).
The "better", or the "out" resurrection (Heb. 11: 35; Phil. 3: 11).
Cross related to crown--example (Heb. 12: 1, 2; Phil. 2: 5, 9).
Not certainty, but contingency--IF (Heb. 3: 14; 4: 1; Phil. 3: 11).
The danger, "one morsel of meat" (Heb. 12: 16; Phil. 3: 19).
City and citizenship (Heb. 11: 10; 12: 22; Phil. 3: 20).
Here are seven parallels selected from dozens of others. Now a parallel truth is not an
identical truth. The parallels between Hebrews and Philippians reveal that in both
callings God works along similar lines, but this parallel working does not make the race,
the prize, and the city identical, otherwise they could not be spoken of as being parallel.
Hebrews is to Romans as Philippians is to Ephesians. Romans is basic and concerned
with standing in grace. Its great text is "The JUST shall live by faith" (Rom. 1: 17).
Hebrews assumes the standing in grace, and urges the believer to endure, to run, to hold
fast, to work out, to show, "the things that accompany salvation" and emphasizes
"reward". Its great text is "The just shall LIVE by faith" (Heb. 10: 38).
Again, there are parallels between Hebrews, Philippians and the sermon on the mount
which can be worked out. This however does not make Hebrews or the sermon on the
mount identical with the revelation of the later epistles. The sermon on the mount is to
the gospel of the kingdom what Hebrews is to the heavenly calling, and what Philippians
is to the calling that is "Far above all". There is a "city" in each sphere (Matt. 5: 35;
Heb. 11: 10; Eph. 2: 19), but this fact no more reduces the heavenly Jerusalem to the
level of the earthly, than it reduces the citizenship of Ephesians and Philippians to the
level of the New Jerusalem.
It has been suggested that Eph. 2: contains more spiritual teaching than Eph. 1: 3-14,
and in this very suggestion is revealed the false system of exegesis we are here
combating. True, there may be a fascination in delving into the possible meaning of the
"twain" and the "both", but it is unforgivable so to interpret them as virtually to deny the
basic teaching of Eph. 1: 3-14. This passage we have called, we believe rightly, The
Charter of the Church. It reveals a choice made before the foundation of the world. This
is unique, and colours every subsequent expression found in Ephesians. It reveals a
sphere of blessing "far above all where Christ sits in heavenly places", which again is
unique and colours all subsequent statements. It reveals an adoption that must differ both
from Israel's, which is according to the flesh, and from the other adoption, which is
linked with Abraham and the heavenly Jerusalem.