Hebrews Part 1 - The Test
— Hebrews 1-5:10
- Andrew Fountain — May 10th, 2011
- After God spoke long ago in various portions and in various ways to our ancestors through the prophets,
- in these last days he has spoken to us in a son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he created the world.
- The Son is
- the radiance of his glory
- and the representation of his essence
- and he sustains all things by his powerful word
Jesus is God’s final word
- The majority of people today are comfortable with you saying you believe in some kind of God out there.
- If you ask them about Jesus, they would usually say he was probably a good guy
- “oh yea, Jesus. —he’s Cool!”
- But if you say, “Jesus is the only way, he is ultimate and final revelation of God”
- [1:1-2] A new revelation through Jesus (far superior to previous revelation)
- In those days in Corinth they were SBNR (spiritual but not religious)
- Everyone was “spiritual” (few atheists)
Hebrews 1:1-4 cont’d
- …and so when he had accomplished cleansing for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
- Thus he became so far better than the angels as he has inherited a name superior to theirs
- The angels are a marker for a level of glory. Jesus is:
-  Exact representation of the Father
-  Creator / Sustainer (by his speaking)
-  Now at the right hand of all power
-  and therefore Jesus is far higher than the angels
- 1:1-4 is Exactly 72 words in the Greek. All one sentence of beauty and balance.
- 31 words concerning how God has spoken to us
- 5 words describing Christ “The heir of all things”
- 5 words describing Christ “through whom he created the world”
- 31 words concerning Christ’s beauty, work and power
- The contrast between how God spoke long ago and how he has now spoken
- In both cases there were prophets and others inspired to write Scriptures, so what is the difference?
- Clarity: God himself walked this earth and so we have a vastly superior understanding of what he is like
- Intimacy: A “son”-type of revelation means he opened his heart to us. He came to us in a much more personal way than even to Abraham or Moses, who spoke with God face to face.
- Directly: We do not need a human priest or prophet but hear God’s voice directly through the Spirit, sent by Jesus to manifest his presence to our hearts in an intimate way ([Rom 8])
- This explains the apparent severity of some of the statements—
- When God has opened his heart to us, it is much, much more serious to reject him
- Read [2:1-4]
- The purpose is not to scare us into performance but to stir us up to the wonder of the gift
- Therefore we must pay closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.
- For if the message spoken through angels proved to be so firm that every violation or disobedience received its just penalty,
- how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?
[1:5-2:4] Exhortation to pay attention
- If Jesus is so much better than the angels
- and he has brought a new revelation
- and disobeying the revelation through angels was punished severely
- beware that you don’t drift away into some other “spirituality”
- or neglect following Jesus
Psalm 8 - Creation
- O Lord, our Lord,
how magnificent is your reputation throughout the earth!
You reveal your majesty in the heavens above!
- When I look up at the heavens, which your fingers made,
and see the moon and the stars, which you set in place...
- The psalmist then goes on to consider mankind’s place in this universe
- Quoted in Hebrews 2
- What is man that you think of him
or the son of man that you care for him?
- You made him lower than the angels for a little while.
You crowned him with glory and honour.
- You put all things under his control.
- Does this accurately describe mankind today?
- Adam, but not us
- Actually, it is only Jesus whom it accurately describes
- At present we do not yet see all things under his control,
- but we see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honour because he suffered death, so that by God’s grace he would experience death on behalf of everyone.
- For it was fitting for him, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
- …and so he is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters,
- Adam tested and failed
- Jesus the first authentic man who passes the test
- Will bring many sons to glory (as Adam failed to do)
- Final goal, being like the Son, above the angels (judge them)
- We share in his flesh and blood
- He has suffered the tests ahead of us, so he can help us through
- How can the immortal God come into relationship with weak and mortal mankind?
2. The testing of Israel as a re-run of Adam
- For which ones heard and rebelled? Was it not all who came out of Egypt under Moses’ leadership?
- And against whom was God provoked for forty years? Was it not those who sinned, whose dead bodies fell in the wilderness?
- And to whom did he swear they would never enter into his rest, except those who were disobedient?
- So we see that they could not enter because of unbelief.
- Eden: God gave a command
- pass: enter permanent rest/glory
- fail: cast out of garden
- unbelief caused him to fail
- Israel: God gave them the commandments, the law of Moses
- pass: lots of blessings, enter into God’s rest—the promised land
- fail: destruction
- unbelief caused them to fail [3:19]
- Jesus came with a new command from the Father: love one another
- he himself passed that command!
Our destiny is to be with Christ in glory
- Heb 12:28 —we will receive a kingdom
- Our destiny is to be kings with Jesus, to rule over angels,
- Rev 3:21 —one of the most striking: “I will grant him to sit on my throne as I sat down with my Father on his throne”
Updated on 2011-05-11 by Andrew Fountain