Sunday, August 14, 2011
Hebrews Chapter 1
- God spoke through the prophets many times throughout Israel's history. He confirmed the prophecies through Christ. Just as He spoke through the prophets... He again spoke through Christ.
- Matthew 26:47-56; 2:13-18
- Luke 4:16-30; 24:35-49
- John 19:28-37
- So who is Christ? What are His credentials? Why should take Him at His word?
1. He is God's Son. God sent His spirit to earth to take on flesh. The name of this Son, was Jesus Christ. He was 100% man and 100% God. God's Spirit fully indwelling a human form.
- Matthew 14:22-36; 3:13-17; 1:18-25
- John 10:22-42
2. Everything has been promised to the Son as an inheritance. He is the heir. No other heir. We are brothers and sisters with Christ... and we gain an inheritance THROUGH Christ... but without Christ... there is no inheritance. The inheritance is His.
- Galatians 3:23-4:7
3. Through Christ, God created the universe. John 1 reads that "He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him." As hard as it may be to understand or comprehend... Christ existed before the world began. He existed right along with the Father. And the Father created the earth and everything in it THROUGH Christ. There is Life in the Word. Remember when Christ said "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life?" "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God..." and "Anyone who believes [in Christ] will have eternal life." Through Christ... came LIFE.
- I John 5:1-12
- John 3:27-36; 6:32-51
4. The Son reflects and radiates God's own glory. They say that children resemble their parents in looks. You may have your mother's nose or your father's eyes. Something from your parents is reflected there. Christ is His Father's Son. He reflects the attributes of His Father. Both in looks... and in character. "If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father." If we look to the Son... we see the Father's heart reflected there as well.--5. Christ expresses the very character of God. "The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does His work through me."
- John 5:16-47
6. Christ sustains everything by the mighty power of His command. Just as God created the earth and all that is in it... so it is sustained through Christ as well. He is the necessary link. Without Him... there is nothing. Everything would fall to pieces without Him. He holds everything together. I got an email of a Louie Giglio article a while ago about this thing in cells... it's called laminin. It literally holds everything together. It is the binding factor in the body... it holds all the cells together... it is an essential element in humans... and most other mammals as well... and it's shaped... like a cross... I have included a picture below... Just think... down to the very smallest part of creation... God is holding everything together... : )
- Colossians 1:17
7. He cleansed us from our sin. And when He did... He sat at the right hand of God... the place of honor. The same Christ that has done all of the above... has cleansed us from our sins. There is nothing that His Grace won't cover. Ultimate cleansing... the blood of sheep and goats and bulls... didn't do it. They never covered everything for all time. There is no sacrifice for sin once Christ came. Once He came there was no more need for sacrifices. He ended the need for the sacrificial system. He sits at the right hand of God to advocate on our behalf.
- Hebrews 10:1-18
- Romans 3:21-31
- I John 2:1-6
8. All this shows that Christ is greater than the angels, just as His Name is greater than all others. There is no other Name under heaven by which we must be saved. No other Name makes the demons tremble. No other Name has conquered Death, Hell and the Grave. The greatest Name on the earth. The angels can't even compare. No spiritual being, aside from God, can come close to Jesus. He is above all things.
- Colossians 1:15-20; 2:16-23
- II Peter 2:1-11
- There was an early church teaching that said that angels were of higher power than Christ. This section explains some of the things that God said about His Son and the angels to prove that Christ is superior to the angels.
- God never told the angels that they were His Sons. But He told Christ "You are my Son. Today I have become Your Father." and "I will be His Father and He will be my Son."
- When Christ was born, God said to "Let all of God's angels worship Him." He never told anyone to worship the angels instead of Christ or with Christ.
- God said that "He sends His angels like the winds, His servants like flames of fire." God sent, and they went. God sent Christ... but it wasn't as a Master orders a servant... Remember in the garden when Christ prayed and asked if it were possible if God would take this cup from Him? He had a choice. He could have turned and walked away. The angels... don't have that choice.
- To Christ He says "Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. You rule with a scepter of justice. You love justice and hate evil. therefore. O God, Your God has anointed You, pouring out the oil of joy on You more than on anyone else."
- "In the beginning, Lord, You laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with Your hands. They will perish, but You remain forever. They will wear out like old clothing. You will fold them up like a cloak and discard them like old clothing. But You are always the same; You will live forever."
- He placed Christ in a place of rulership... He was head over all things. He could do with it as He wanted. The heavens and earth will eventually disappear... they will fade away and grow old... But Christ will never change. He will always be the same. And He will always be ruler over all things.
- And the angels? Well God never said to any of them to "Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble Your enemies, making them a footstool under Your feet."
- The angels don't get an honored position... they are only servants... sent to take care of people who will inherit salvation.
- These are proofs found in the Word in which God proves Himself and Christ. Through this it is proven that Christ is superior to all other spiritual beings.
- Ephesians 1:9-11, 19-23
- Colossians 2:6-10
Hebrews is a lawyer's book. The author explains the proofs that undeniably point to Jesus and Who He is as God who came to earth and took on flesh.
The first section describes Christ in His deity. That He is above all things spiritual... even the angels. At different points in church history, angels have been thought to be supreme spiritual beings. Many times there have been people who pray to the angels. Or seek the angels for help... rather than Christ. Even during the early church's history, there were those philosophies that put Christ either equal with the angels, or gave the angels precedence over Him. So Christ... even though He became a Man... was still God... and still holds more power than the angels.
The next section shows the superiority of Christ over man. Even though Christ Himself WAS a man... He was still God. Therefore, we are not equal with Christ... and no man who does great things... is equal with Christ... not even Moses. Jews still held Moses in great reverence. The Judiazers wanted to follow the teachings, law, and covenant of Moses... while still trying to follow Christ under the new covenant... which can't be done. So Christ, should come before Moses.
Hebrews (a chapter or so later.) also points out that God is higher than the priests. No man comes before God... so neither do the heads of religion. They too, have to answer to God.
The guy covering for our pastor last Sunday was talking about two gnostic beliefs that were in teaching during the early church. Both tried to take away a part of Who Christ was.
One said that Christ was man... but not God... and the other said that Christ was God... not man... and when He was on the earth He wasn't a man... but rather... a ghost.
Neither belief wanted to accept the fullness of Christ. They didn't want to accept the fact that God could be man and God at the same time... and be 100% both simultaneously. So the first two sections refute both those beliefs.
The third section of Hebrews talks about the kind of faith we should have in Christ. The author rebukes the Hebrews for still being babes in Christ. “You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God's word.”
Being a Christian does not mean getting to float along until we get to heaven. We still have things we have to do... and part of this walk, is growing and learning so that we can help others grow and learn as well.
The fourth section declares that Christ has made a new covenant with His people. The old covenant... was just a shadow of the covenant to come. There is one sacrifice for all time... for all sins. No more need for yearly sacrifices. Christ has overcome death, hell, and the grave. There is none greater
Now all of this takes faith to believe in it. So the author gives examples of faith down through Israel's history. He gives many examples and finally says “How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of [others who kept the faith]... All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.”
Because we are God's children, He treats us with good discipline. His discipline proves that He loves us. “My child, don't make light of the Lord's discipline, and don't give up when He corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes each one He accepts as His child.”
In conclusion, Hebrews ends with a reminder of God's faithfulness. “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you. So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?”