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Jesus, the most superior revelation of God (last in the series on the Word of God) September 2, 2007

Posted by roberttalley in Bible, Falling Away, Hebrews, Jesus, Religion.
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JESUS, THE WORD

Hebrews 1:1-2:4

We finish today our series on the doctrine of the Word of God. The Word of God can be summed up in one person. Jesus Christ, the Word. Jesus is called the Word in John 1 and Revelation 19:13. Jesus was not sent with a word from God but was sent into the world as the Word of God. This is one of those concepts for which we do not have an adequate word in English to express but we can understand it better through the beginning chapters of the book of Hebrews and we can also understand what it means to you and to me personally.

TO WHOM IS JESUS PRESENTED AS “THE WORD”?

There were some to which the letter was written that the author was not certain whether they were saved or not. Sometimes we look at people’s lives and we find it hard to determine if they have trusted Christ. This book was written for such people.

Another characteristic of these people is that many were disillusioned with Christianity. Some of you are disillusioned with Christianity or at least with the church. You feel you are not being fed, your needs are not being adequately met, your spiritual experience is not full enough. That is what these people were going through.  You are drifting away. Some of you been drifting long for a long time. You have been drift so long that you and others wonder about your salvation.

There are, however, some of you who have just started drifting. Your focus is not on Christ. This book says, “Turn back to Jesus and anchor yourself in Him. If you drift away, there is no escape for you.”

THE PROBLEM…

Ligon Duncan puts it this way, “The author of Hebrews says, ‘Look, if you thought that you tried Jesus, and He wasn’t satisfying, you never knew Jesus. So what we’re going to do is, we’re going to point you right back to Jesus again and ask you to be reintroduced to Him. Because once you know Christ, there is nothing beyond that that you need. There is no more that you need to tack onto the Lord Jesus Christ.’” (from his introductory sermon to the book of Hebrews).

INTRODUCING JESUS

The Position of Christ was Obtained for Our Sakes (1:2-8, 10). Jesus has not always held the same position in God’s kingdom.

He began as God (verse 3a). Actually Jesus did not have a beginning. He is God. He is Jehovah. He is the beginning as well as the end. He is the reflection of the Light that is in the world. He is the spitting image of God the Father because He is God the Son.

He continued as the Creator (compare verse 3b with verse 10). We are also told how He created the world, by the word of His power. It is with that same power that He maintains the world and when the world is burned to dust and ashes, He will remain.

He became man to purge or purify us from our sin (verse 3c). This is what we celebrate during the Lord’s Table. Jesus came and became man to purify us. He said, “This is my blood, the new covenant, which was given for the remission of sins.” Christ came not to be an example but to solve the sin problem. In solving the sin problem, however, He made Himself the greatest example that their could ever be.

He inherited the universe because of His death, resurrection, and ascension (verses 2, 4-8). When Christ became man, He set aside His inheritance and came and earned it. He died to save man and ultimately the universe from sin. He rose to subject sin and death and hell to His will. He ascended to take His place on the throne with His Father, waiting for the day when He returns to claim for His own what is His.

HIS CHARACTER 

The Person of Christ is the Motivation of His Work for Us (1:9; 1:3). Why would Jesus do such a thing? Because of who He is. We sang last Sunday night the song, “Above All”. I love that song because it emphasizes the price that He paid to ransom me from sin but His ultimate motivation was not me but came out of His own character. He saved me from sin, not because of who I was but because of who He is.

His Person is revealed by His attitudes (1:9). Jesus is a very black and white thinker. He loves what is good and hates lawlessness. His attitude towards everything and everyone: you, me, our neighbor, everything is wrapped up in His love of righteousness and His hatred of evil. If He had not hated evil, totally and completely, there would be no reason for Him to die. But there He was. He desired to lift up goodness and destroy wickedness.

His Person is revealed by His actions (1:3cd, 2:1-3a).

Jesus being the Word and bringing cleansing to those who trust Him is an essential in understanding who He really is. If Jesus had not paid the price on the cross, we would never have understood His holiness nor His mercy. Romans 5:8 says that God commended, proved His love in that while we were yet sinners, He died for us.

Cleansing is limited to those who trust in Christ. We were unclean before God because of our sin. That was my situation and that is the situation of every person born, Jew and Gentile. There is, however, hope. Jesus shed His blood to cleanse us from our sin. That is how that Jesus gives purges and purifies us.

TRULY KNOWING JESUS WILL KEEP YOU FROM DRIFTING AWAY 

The Promises of Christ are the Anchor that Keeps us from Drifting Away (1:1-2a, 2:3-4).

The promises of Christ are better than the prophets in material and in manner (1:1-2a). That was a long time ago but now we have a current message from a current messenger, Jesus Christ. That is why this book is so precious. We can hear from Jesus daily. We can meet with Him. We can learn from Him.

They are better than the law given through angels because of the material and of the manner in which they were given (2:1-4). When God gave the law through Moses, we find that angels were also somehow involved in the giving of that law. That is what the writer of Hebrews is referring to. Jesus’ message is more direct, it is more stable. It cannot be improved upon.

They are better because they have been confirmed by eyewitnesses and miracles (2:3-4). We spoke about this two months ago.  We can have confidence because of the eyewitness and miraculous confirming testimony from those times.

They are better because they bring salvation (2:3). The law could never save but Jesus can and does.

CHALLENGE FOR THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR 

Young people, during this next year you are going to face all kinds of challenges to your faith. Some of those challenges will be people: friends, teachers, parents, classmates who like you and classmates who do not. Some of those challenges will come out of the new situations in which you find yourself. Some of you are entering high school, other of you are looking to the near future when you will be out of high school. Some of you are entering middle school and at the beginning stages of puberty. In all of these and other new situations, your faith will be challenged spiritually, emotionally, physically, or in some other way. You need to understand that Jesus is God’s Word to you. Tim Keller put it this way, “…the gospel [of Jesus Christ] is not just the ABC[s] of the faith, it is the A to Z.”

You need to anchor your being to Jesus Christ. You need to be absolutely convinced that Jesus is the only way to purpose in this life and in the life to come. If you are not sure, then you come to me and I and others in the congregation will make it a priority to teach you about Jesus Christ. If you are sure, then you need sometime in the next week to tell those with whom you go to school, “I am a Christian! I am a follower of Christ!” You do not need to preach them a sermon. Just saying you are a Christian will scare some of them half to death. You need though to anchor yourself to Jesus Christ and tell those with whom you have daily contact that you are a follower of Christ. Then you need to invite them to youth group or to Sunday morning church. Stand for Jesus. You will get questions. We will help you with those questions. Be convinced in your mind though that there is no one but Jesus Christ worthy of your devotion and follow Him openly and publicly.

John MacArthur: “I will never forget a particular lady who came into my office and informed me that she was a prostitute. She said, ‘I need help.’ And I said, ‘I guess you do.’ She said, ‘Please, I’m desperate.’ So I presented the claims of Christ to her. Then I said, ‘Would you like to invite Jesus Christ into your life?’ She said yes, so she prayed and evidently invited Christ into her life. I said, ‘Now, I want you to do something. Do you have your book with all your contacts?’ She said she did. I said, ‘Let’s light a match to it and burn it.’ She looked at me and said, ‘What do you mean?’ I said, ‘If you want to live for Jesus Christ, and you’ve truly accepted His forgiveness and met Him as your Savior, then you need to prove it.’ She said to me, ‘That book is worth a lot of money. I don’t want to burn it.’ She put it back in her purse and looked me right in the eye and said, ‘I guess I don’t really want Jesus, do I?’ Then she left.” from “The Tragedy of Neglecting Salvation” by John MacArthur

“GIVE THE MORE EARNEST HEED…LEST YOU DRIFT AWAY”.

Again from John MacArthur: “Explorer William Edward Perry and his crew were exploring the Arctic Ocean. At one point they endeavored to move further north, so they charted their location by the stars and began a difficult and treacherous march north. They walked hour upon hour, and finally, totally exhausted, they stopped. They took their bearings and discovered that they were farther south than they were when they started! They then realized that they had been walking on an ice floe that was travelling south faster than they were walking north. I wonder how many people think their good deeds, their merits, and their religiosity is taking them to God when in fact they’re on an ice floe taking them away from God faster than their own efforts are taking them any closer. They will wake one day to find, like William Perry’s crew did, that they’re in the midst of a disaster.” from “The Tragedy of Neglecting Salvation” by John MacArthur

If Jesus is the Word, as He is, a word requires a listening ear. The phrase, more earnest heed indicates a response. In this verse, the response is anchoring your soul to the Word of God, to Jesus Christ, the Faithful and True Word.

One thing about a promise. You must believe it and respond appropriately. If you neglect the promise, if you are careless about it, as it says in verse 3, there is no escape for you. The cleansing that He offers is yours for all eternity. Only Christ, our Great High Priest who sacrificed Himself can provide cleansing. He did this by Himself without any help from man or angel. Anchor your soul in Him.

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