Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Hebrews Christ Above All A Better Revelation Chapter 1-2

Hebrews Christ Above All

A Better Revelation

Text: Hebrew 1:1-13 -2:9

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Joke: Not too bright.
I walked into a Mickey D's with a buy-one-get-one-free coupon for sandwich.  I handed it to the girl and she looked over at a little chalkboard that said "buy one-get one free." "They're already buy-one-get-one-free", she said, "so I guess they're both free" She handed me my free sandwiches and I walked out the door.- not too bright.

One day I was walking down the beach with some friends when one of them shouted, "Look at that dead bird!" Someone looked up at the sky and said, "Where? – not too bright

My friend has a lifesaving tool in his car designed to cut through a seat belt if he gets trapped.  He keeps it in the trunk. – not too bright

I couldn't find my luggage at the airport baggage area, so I went to the lost luggage office and told the woman there that my bags never showed up.  She smiled and told me not to worry because she was a trained professional and I was in good hands.  "Now," she asked me, "has your plane arrived yet?"
- Not too bright.
We all can do or say things that are kind of dumb sometimes. Some more than others, but there is something much worse and that is giving up on Jesus Christ. Yet it can happen and it was happening in Paul’s time to the Hebrews he wrote to in his letter.

Outline of the Book

                        1:1-2:4 Christ, The Son of God
                        2:5-4:13 Christ, The Son of Man
                        4:14-10:18 Christ, The High Priest
                        10:19-13:25 Christ, The Way
Authorship: Paul writing in a different style using a specialized vocabulary to the saved Hebrews of the early NT time period.
            Date: 65-70 AD before the fall of the Temple in Jerusalem.
            The Theme of the Book we are going to use is “Christ Above All.” Jesus is simply better than all that has gone before, all that exists today and all that will come in the future.
            Thirteen times in the Book Paul states that Jesus is better. In Chapter 1:4 He is Better than the Angels, in 6:9 Paul speak of better thing though Christ. In 7:7 Christ is better than Abraham, in 7:19 we have a better covenant through Christ, in 7:22 He brings us better hope, in 8:6 Christ is the better promises, in 9:23 Christ is the better sacrifice, in 10:34 Through Christ we have better possessions, in 11:16 In him we will find a better country, in 11:35 Christ brings a better resurrection, finally in 11:40 Christ provides a better dispensation and in 12:24 Christ’s shed blood is a better redemption.
            The purpose of the book was to convince and encourage the Jewish Christians who were being subjected to horrific persecution. In the midst of that suffering many were turning back from Christianity and the Lord to the old, safe path of legalistic Judaism. Paul writes the book to tell them that was foolish and even spiritually dangerous.

A Better Revelation of God Hebrews 1:1-3

1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2  Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3  Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Jesus as the Word of God is Superior to the Past Revelations of God.
In sundry times and in divers manners God spoke in the past to the fathers by the prophets has in these latest days spoke to us by his Son


In times past God gave his word in multiple ways and in multiple parts.

He spoke to Abraham as a friend, to Moses from a burning bush, to David through the ephod, to Elijah as a still small voice. Whether in vision or dream or audible voice God spoke.
He spoke to Israel as a voice like thunder and many trumpets from the top of Sinai and to all the world in language of creation.
In many ways and in many separate parts God spoke, but Paul says, that was in the past.
Now writing in Hebrews He says “God hath in these last days” spoken to us by his Son.
Last days means at the end of days, the idea is that of culmination of bringing a work to a completion.
Now in the end of days God has spoken to us not in part and not in different ways but in His Own Son Jesus Christ.

Quote: “The fundamental truth set forth in Hebrews is that Christ himself, the Son of God, is God’s message” –William Newell “Hebrews Verse by Verse”

There is no greater, no higher no fuller Word of God than the Son of God who came to us.
Then in verses 2 and 3, Hebrews gives us 7 titles that introduce us to the superiority of Christ.
Heb 1:2b whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3  Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

In these verses He is called.


The heir of all things

All has glory, all judgment, all praise has been given to Jesus, God the Son.


The maker of the worlds

Actually the word here is aeon or ages. He is not just the creator of the world but of time and the ages that contain that world.


The Brightness of His Glory

 I had to look up a word here when I was studying and it wasn’t even Greek. The translation of the word “brightness” in several of the old books I used was “effulgence.”
 The word means radiance, like the rays of the sun.
 The idea here is that we can’t look directly upon the sun without blinding ourselves but Jesus is the radiance of God and just as you can see the beams of the sun at sunrise or sunset we can look upon Jesus Christ.


The Express Image of His person.

 Jesus is the very expression of God’s Being.
 He was God but in the flesh. He took the form of man but did not give up the form of God which he had from eternity past.


The Upholder of All Creation

 Jesus did not just create the universe with a word and then let it run on its own but Hebrews says He continues to uphold it by that same word of power.


The Purger of Our Sins

Literally He made expiation, a cleansing for the sins of men.
Isn’t it amazing that of all the title given to Jesus, all the descriptions of power and deity that Paul places this one next to last?
The greatest miracle Jesus ever did was to save you and I. Greater than even creation itself. God came in the flesh, was crucified and rose again to open salvation to us.


Finally, He is the One Who Sits At The Right Hand Of God.

 This is the honor that shows Christ Above All.
 No others can claim these titles for no others are God, no others became man and no others died to redeem mankind.
Christ and Christ alone can wear these seven titles. He is the complete, perfect and final revelation and Word of God. 

Today it is more important than ever that we see and hear Jesus as the ultimate revelation of God.

When we understand that Jesus is the Word as John says his epistle, “The Word was God.” When we understand how preeminent Jesus must be then it should seem only logical that we should next ask ourselves, “How closely do I hear Him? How closely then do I carry out what He tells me?”
Millions in the world today have accepted a lesser revelation of God than Jesus Christ the Son of God.
Millions are listening not to Jesus but to priests, pastors or philosophers, teachers who use the words of Christ only to build a platform for their own beliefs.
While Jesus waits to speak directly to them from the pages of the book he inspired and protected, these foolish souls are being swept by the cunning words of deceitful men.
I have stood in some of the great Catholic churches of Mexico and watched as well meaning sincere people prayed to wooden statue, picture and even dried bones. What can they hear? Will God speak to them from these things? Will they find salvation in the handiwork of men or the remains of a man?
I have debated with the followers and read the words of the one of the greatest cultist of our time, Joseph Smith the fathers of Mormonism.
I have studied the words Mohammed, who was not a prophet of God and did not hear an angel and yet there are those who believe Islam is equal to Christianity and Mohammed to Jesus.
And lest we begin to feel self-righteous in our fundamental faith, I have also been confronted with Christians who have replaced God’s greatest Word with something else in their minds and hearts.
People who have quit listening to the word of Jesus and settled for the words of a preacher. Instead of amplifying and exhorting the Words of Christ these have settled for only a pale echo of those words.
People who have quit reading their Bible, saying their prayers or sharing their faith because they have allowed someone else or something else to supplant Christ as the Word of God to them.
Some replace Christ with legalism, some with traditions, some with bitterness, some with anger, but whatever they choose the result is the same they no longer hear God speaking through Jesus.
Why would anyone replace Christ? Here in Hebrews we hear it said and see it proven over and over that Christ Is Above All!
Christ above any fallen man, Christ above any preacher, Christ above legalism, Christ above my bitterness, Christ above all!

I need to cling to the words of Jesus and more importantly to the person who is Jesus.

As John said, He is the Word of God. He did not just convey the words of God, he did not just repeat the words of God but He, Jesus Christ, is the Word of God.
I must listen to His words but I must also intimately know this man, Jesus, the Christ.


Napoleon's Perception of Christ
It was Napoleon who said, "Everything in Christ astonishes me. His spirit overawes me, and His will confounds me. His ideas and His sentiments, the truth which He announces, His manner of convincing are not explained either by human observation or the nature of things. His birth and the history of His life; the profundity of His doctrine, which grapples the mightiest difficulties, and which is of those difficulties the most admirable solution; His Gospel; His apparition; His empire; His march across the ages and the realms—everything is for me a prodigy, a mystery insoluble, which plunges me into a reverie from which I cannot escape—a mystery which is there before my eyes, a mystery which I can neither deny nor explain. Here I see nothing human. The nearer I approach, the more carefully I examine. Everything is above me. Everything remains grand—of a grandeur which overpowers. His religion is a revelation from an Intelligence which certainly is not that of man." -Bible Illustrations - Illustrations of Bible Truths.

Transition: Jesus is the ultimate revelation from God and with that revelation he was a better messenger, a better revelator


A Better Revelator from God Hebrews 1:4-14

 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.  For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?  And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.  And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.  But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.  Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.  And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:  They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;  And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.  But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?  Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

A Better Messenger than Angels.

The Old Testament Scriptures were delivered by Angels but Jesus as God the Son is a better messenger to God’s people today.
In the Old Testament, often Angels were the messengers of God’s revelation to man.
It was an angel who interprets to Daniel the vision which he saw in the third year of Cyrus  in Daniel 10:5,
An angel who interprets the vision in the first year of Belshazzar Daniel 7:16,
Angels brought the news of the messiah’s birth to the shepherds.
They told Joseph, and Mary they would have a child of the Holy Spirit
They told Zacharias he would have a son who would be the forerunner.
 It was angels who guided John in his vision of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
Yet Paul says Christ is greater than these supernatural messengers of God.
He is greater because He has a better name, the Son of God.
He is greater because He has a better position, the ruler, the creator and God.
He is greater because He has a better honor, sitting at the right hand of God. 

We should be careful to Honor Christ above all others.

Today many worship angels rather than God who created the angels.
Many view angels as the greatest manifestation of God’s love toward us.
These are shamefully wrong for they take honor from Christ and elevate the created angels to positions higher than the creator. (Please don’t go worrying about any Angel figurines you have at home and have to hide them before the preacher comes over. Unless you are praying to them, you’re probably alright. Probably… Possibly…Maybe.
Colossians 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

Illustration: Jesus as Better than the Angels is portrayed in the hymn “All Hail The Power of Jesus Name”

All hail the power of Jesus’ Name! Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all.

Let highborn seraphs tune the lyre, and as they tune it, fall
Before His face Who tunes their choir, and crown Him Lord of all.

Crown Him, ye morning stars of light, who fixed this floating ball;
Now hail the strength of Israel’s might, and crown Him Lord of all.

O that, with yonder sacred throng, we at His feet may fall,
Join in the everlasting song, and crown Him Lord of all,

Transition: Not only is Jesus is the greater than the Angels but He brings a better message than the angels. 


Better Revelation of God’s Message Hebrews 2:1-4

 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.  For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;  How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;  God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? 

Jesus Brings the better Message

Because Christ is the better revelation and the better messenger we should therefore give greater attention to His message
Paul asks, “If the words spoken by the angels was stedfast and by those words and warning transgressions were punished were punished by God, then,
How can we escape if we neglect the revelation of Jesus Christ and His gospel of salvation?
This revelation that was spoken by Christ, confirmed by eye witnesses and verified by God’s power through signs wonders and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Paul is speaking specifically to those Hebrew Christians who were in danger of doing just that, neglecting and rejecting so great a salvation. Paul asks them, “How shall we escape God’s judgment if we reject Jesus and His message?”

How Shall We Escape If We Neglect Jesus?

How can we escape judgment if we neglect Jesus and His message? What will we do if we have replaced His words, His leadership, His love with something else?
There are too many today doing just that, accepting something or someone other than Jesus, or some message other than his word.
There are those like the Mormons, who have replace Jesus with Joseph Smith.
Muslims that have replaced Jesus with Mohammed.
Buddhists have replaced Jesus with Buddha. These we know and reject.
Yet many Christians have also accepted a replacement of Christ and His words.
They have allowed themselves to trust a pastor or teacher rather than listen to the words of Christ.
They accept opinions, experiences or so called experts to replace the teachings of Jesus and the truths of scripture.
The warning of verse 3 is still true. How shall we escape judgment if we neglect God revelation in His son, Jesus? 

It is true to the lost but it is also true to us the saved.

How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?
The word salvation in the New Testament is a synonym for the word deliverance.
The picture I see in these verses is like a man stranded in a burning building who when the firemen put the ladder up to his window he refuses to climb down. He believes that there is another way of deliverance and therefore refuses salvation.
So it is with the lost who refuse to come to Christ. He is the only way of salvation. There is no other. How will they escape the fires of judgment if they neglect him? 


John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
Matthew 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Christian, it is true for you as well.
You have already been delivered from hell but there is still so much salvation we need in this life.
 We need deliverance from our sinful habits.
 Deliverance from our bitterness and hurt
 Deliverance from our weaknesses and faults
 Deliverance from our failures and hopelessness.
Romans 7:24-25 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. …
This salvation, this deliverance, we cannot find in an alternative truth or the emptiness of relative truth, but only in Jesus Christ, the way, the truth and the light. Our hope is only in a close intimate personal relationship with the Son of God.

Illustration: Moses 

We must not be like the OT Israelites at Mt. Sinai.
When they saw the lightning, and heard the voice of thunder they ran from the Mount and told Moses you go up for us. You talk to God and we will talk with you.
What a contrast it was then for Moses who went up into the covering of clouds and spoke with God in Exodus 33, “Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee,…I beseech thee, shew me thy glory”
God the Father could not show his full glory lest it kill Moses, but God let Moses get closer than any other man, placed him in the cleft of a rock, covered Moses with His hand and then removed His hand after He had passed by and Moses could see the train of His glory.
I love the verse in which God tells Moses to get ready to see him.
Exodus 33:21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:
That verse is also for us today though Jesus Christ, the revelation of God. The place by God is Calvary, heaven was opened by His death and the rock upon which we stand today is Jesus Christ.


Are you ready to listen, ready to see, ready to know Jesus Above All, the greatest messenger of all time bring us the greatest story of all time? The Story of His love for us.
Are you willing like Moses to see more of the glory of God, to stand in a place by God upon the Rock of Jesus Christ?

SM Lockridge’s “That’s My King

1 comment:

  1. A great study... and Lockeridge's sermon always a classic... thanks for sharing... blessings!