The Berean Expositor
Volume 9 - Page 54 of 138
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when "equality" changed to "obedience". Heb. 1: 3 therefore is but one further facet of
this glorious jewel, there He is "the express image of His substance".
God as conceived of as "invisible" needs Christ as His "Image" both in creation and
grace (Col. 1: 14-16). God, as expressed by Christ as His "equal", necessitated "the form
of God". God, as regards His "substance", required the "express image" of the Son.
Each phase has its own manifestation and context. Christ is also spoken of as the
"image" in II Cor. 4: 4-6, and in this passage the reference is not to the essence, being,
or person of God like it is in Col. 1: 15, but the revelation of His gospel, "the light of the
knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ". We find, further, in
Heb. 10: 1 that the law had a "shadow" of good things to come, but not the "very image".
A reading of the chapter will demonstrate clearly that the blood of bulls and goats, and
the sacrifices and offerings of the law, are the "shadows", while Christ, the body prepared
for Him, the once-offered sacrifice, and the remission of sins that touched the conscience,
constitute "the very image".
It will be seen therefore that Christ is the "image" not only of God Himself, but also of
God's intentions and purposes of grace, faintly set forth in the law until the fulness of
time should come. We therefore take the word charakter to set forth a relationship to the
"substance" parallel to that which the image holds to the unsearchable and hidden
purposes of God.
We must now turn our attention to the second word, Substance.--This in the original
is the word hupostasis. The English word is an exact equivalent of the Greek, but is
derived from the Latin. Hupo and sub both mean under; histanai and stare have similar
meanings, both being capable of the meaning "to stand". The first meaning of the
English word "substance" is not something physically solid as, for example, a brick, and
the statement that faith is anything but a "substance" is only true if this lower meaning of
the word is intended. A dictionary gives the undermentioned meanings to the word
substance in the following order:--
"Being; something that exists, something real, not imaginary; something solid, not
empty;  that which underlies all outward manifestation;  substratum;  that which
constitutes anything what it is; nature; real or existing essence; the most important
element in any existence; the characteristics of anything; anything that has a material
form;  body; matter;  estate;  property. We call a noun a substantive because it
designates something that exists, or some object of thought, either material or immaterial.
We have gone to this length of definition because if we merely say that hypostasis
means substance, we use a word of varied meanings. What we mean by substance in this
article is "that which underlies all outward manifestation".  The hidden unknown
characteristics of God are the hypostasis of which the Son, God manifest in the flesh, is
the express image.
It is well to remember that the Greek of the N.T. is a language used by men who
thought Hebrew, or at least had been trained in the Jewish school. The LXX therefore
becomes of great service to us, showing us the Hebrew equivalent for these Greek words.
In Psa. 139: 15 (A.V. numbers) we read:--