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Originality is an attribute that is not only valuable, but is universally sought after. If someone plagiarizes, it is received with academic discipline and can even be grounds for institutional dismissal. Knock-off brands in stores are always seen as the cheaper alternative to an original design or product. In an even more recent development, consider the radical innovation of artificial intelligence — the very antithesis of authentic intelligence.
The list continues to grow as one extrapolates all the areas of life in which the dichotomy of authentic and artificial play out in life. People have even worked tirelessly to replicate original pieces of art like the Mona Lisa or beautifully handcrafted and wonderfully limited instruments such as a Stradivarius. All in vain efforts to copy the original. Yet at the end of the day, there is only one source of originality for such highly valued items and it is the creator themself.
It’s a peculiar task to consider the recognized worth of originality in the realm of the everyday life. Though, while thinking of such a topic, one can’t help but recognize how individuals as a collective continue to settle for cheap alternatives. If it costs less, and achieves a similar quality or experience, why would one seek the original? Scripture is clear in the value, superiority, and precedence of originality when it comes to spirituality. Twice in Hebrews the Greek word, archegos is utilized and is translated as “pioneer, originator, or founder.” The author will lead his readers to comprehend the unwavering value of Jesus.
Jesus Originated Salvation (Hebrews 2:10)
If one seeks to find salvation or deliverance in any other source outside of Jesus, they are woefully settling for a cheap knock-off. In the minds of both Greeks and Jews, angelic beings were some of the strongest powers they could conceptualize. Yet, the writer makes the point “It is not to the angels He has subjected the world to come” (2:5). Moreover, it was not angelic host nor any other being that God crowned with glory and honor to be ruler of all (2:9). The writer simply states, “but we see Jesus.”
Those who seek true salvation should not look to humanity or even ambiguous heavenly characters; they ought to seek the Christ. Later, the writer will exhort the readers to “fix their thoughts” (NIV) or “consider” Jesus as apostle and High Priest (3:1). Christians don’t put their hope of salvation in just a Rabbi, or prophet. Instead, Christians find their salvation in a God who suffered in the flesh, perfected a unique priesthood, and conquered death.
Jesus Originated Faith (Hebrews 12:2)
Faith is perhaps the most noticeable dichotomy of authentic and artificial in relation to spirituality. There have been numerous earthly leaders, spiritual influencers, and historical giants who have led campaigns of faith estranged from Jesus’ teaching. Unfortunately, many individuals have blindly accepted such man-made doctrines and traditions. It is here in Hebrews that the writer considers what true faith is (11:1-3), what true faith looks like (11:4-40), and where true faith comes from (12:1-3). Catch the climactic point being made in 12:3, “SO THAT, you will not grow weary and lose heart.” This imposes a necessary inference that any faith outside of Jesus will eventually fail.
Jesus is not only the “pioneer” or “originator” of faith, He is the teleiotes of faith; one who brings it to perfect completion. He originates the faith and completes it.
Unfortunately, individuals have succumbed to accepting an alternative spirituality than the one spoken of in the holy scriptures. A cheaper salvation is one that is discounted in truth, undermined in integrity, and lacking in effectiveness; it will not stand in the last day. Similarly, a cheaper faith is one that will leave its subject deserted in seasons of distress and confused in times of burden. It is only through Jesus that one can find authentic salvation and faith. While the price of discipleship is high, it’s worth the cost (Luke 14:27).
Editor’s Note: For more content from Tyler King, please check out his personal blog: TyTypes.