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Our Pioneer in the Faith Our Pioneer in the Faith

Our Pioneer in the Faith


By definition, a pioneer is someone who explores or settles a new realm. By metaphorical expansion, however, we often use the word pioneer for anyone who accomplishes something for the first time, opening a new way for those who follow.

That metaphor is applied to Jesus when Scripture declares Him “the pioneer of salvation” (v. 10). In fact, Christ is our pioneer in several important ways. For example, He is the first to defeat “the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil” (v. 14). He was made “perfect” in this way (that is, brought this work to completion), only “through what he suffered” (v. 10). Through the cross and resurrection, Christ has pioneered the defeat of death.

Second, Christ’s identity with us means He is a pioneer on our behalf! He did not defeat death for His own sake, or even for the sake of angels (v. 16), but for us. In order to do that, He had to share our humanity completely. He was “fully human in every way” (v. 17) and shared in our “flesh and blood” (v. 14). Because Christ participates in our identity, Scripture says: “The one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters” (v. 11). Because of our shared identity, His pioneering work now applies to us.

The benefits of Christ’s work are nothing less than salvation! He has freed those who were “held in slavery by their fear of death” (v. 15), and has made “atonement for the sins of the people” (v. 17). And because He has shared in our human suffering, “he is able to help those who are being tempted” (v. 18). A great pioneer indeed!

Pray with Us

As Moody prepares students for a lifetime of service, employees in Residence Life provide direction and support. We thank God in prayer for the insight and love they demonstrate while interacting with students.

BY Bryan Stewart

Bryan A. Stewart is associate professor of religion at McMurry University in Abilene, Texas. His particular interests are the history of Christian thought and the way that early Christians interpreted the biblical canon. He is the editor of a volume on the Gospel of John in The Church’s Bible series (Eerdmans), and he has done extensive research on the ways that the early Church preached on this Gospel. He is an ordained minister. 

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