Showing posts with label Hebrews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hebrews. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Hebrews: Don’t Neglect the Gift

 

The book of Hebrews was written by a pastor who had a deep concern for Jewish Christians. He wanted them to continue to follow Jesus and not give in to the temptation to change the Gospel in order to avoid persecution.


At the start of chapter 2, the pastor gives this warning:

"For this reason, we must pay attention all the more to what we have heard, so that we will not drift away. For if the message spoken through angels was legally binding and every transgression and disobedience received a just punishment, how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? This salvation had its beginning when it was spoken of by the Lord, and it was confirmed to us by those who heard him. At the same time, God also testified by signs and wonders, various miracles, and distributions of gifts from the Holy Spirit according to his will." (Hebrews 2:1-4, CSB)

In these verses, the pastor urged the readers to pay attention to the message of salvation that they have received and to not allow themselves to drift away from it. He reminded his friends that the Gospel was not just any ordinary message, but it was the message declared by Jesus, the Messiah, and confirmed to be true by the first disciples. God also bore witness to the truth of this message by performing signs, wonders, and miracles through Jesus and his followers by the power of the Holy Spirit.


This warning comes after the pastor's defense of Jesus's superiority over the angels in chapter 1. In Judaism, it was a common belief that the Law came to Moses through the angels. If people are determined to be guilty based on whether or not they keep the Law, which came to people through angels, how much greater will the guilt be for ignoring the Gospel that came to people through God's Son?


We should not ignore this warning.


What can we learn from these verses?

First and foremost, we need to pay attention to the message of salvation that we have received. This message is not something to be taken lightly or ignored. It is the very message that has the power to save us from our sins and give us eternal life. We cannot afford to neglect it. This means we have to study it, meditate on it, pray over it, and obey it. We become good stewards of the Gospel when it influences our lives.


Secondly, we need to recognize the incredible privilege that we have in being the recipients of the Gospel. Many of us have heard the Gospel our entire lives, and that familiarity makes it easy to take it for granted. Remember, the Gospel is the message that Jesus came to proclaim: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near." (Matthew 4:17; CSB). God confirmed the truth of Jesus's message not only through the miracles that he performed but most importantly for us today, through his resurrection. The Gospel is a great gift, and we should treat it as such.


Finally, we need to be aware of the consequences of neglecting this great salvation. The pastor to the Hebrews reminds us that every transgression or disobedience received a just punishment. If the people under the old covenant did not escape the curses of breaking the Law, then we should not expect to escape the consequences of neglecting the Gospel. We need to take it seriously and live our lives in light of its truth.


Hebrews 2:1-4 is a powerful reminder that we need to be good stewards of the Gospel. It is not enough for us to simply hear the message of the Gospel; we have to live the message. We cannot afford to neglect it or take it lightly. After all, this is the very message that Jesus came to give us.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Hebrews: Warning Against Neglect


STOP — Hebrews 2:1-4

Summarize
The writer of Hebrews is urging the readers to pay close attention to what they have heard to avoid drifting away. The danger they are facing is that they are neglecting the salvation they have been taught, and this neglect will have dire consequences. This salvation was confirmed by Jesus and witnessed by those who heard him, and God also testified to its truth through miracles and gifts given to Christians through the Holy Spirit.

Truth
Followers of Jesus need focus on knowing God’s word and doing God’s word.

Observations
  1. For this reason: Jesus is superior to the angels and the angels are ministering spirits for God’s people. This is the truth that the writer of Hebrews wants people to remember.
  2. When we forget who Jesus is and place too much emphasize on angels or even spiritual gifts and experiences, it is easy for us to drift away from the truth.
  3. Angels, who are ministering spirits to God’s people, spoke a message that was legally binding, how much more are the words of Jesus authoritative in our lives?
  4. The salvation that we have was promised by God from the beginning and is being confirmed through Jesus and those who proclaim Jesus to the world.
  5. God proved that Jesus is the Messiah through miracles Jesus and the Holy Spirit empowered good works that Jesus’s followers are able to do.

Prayer
Lord, help me to remain focused on the truth of the Gospel so that it guides both my thoughts and my actions.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Hebrews: Greater than the Angels

 


Understanding the identity of Jesus is fundamental to being a Christian. Jesus is not just a good teacher, a prophet, a miracle worker, or an angel. Jesus is the unique Son of God who is responsible for creating and saving the world.


The author of Hebrews is making it clear that you can’t reduce Jesus to anything less than God and still be a Christian. 

Hebrews 1:5-14 (CSB)

For to which of the angels did he ever say,

You are my Son; today I have become your Father,


or again,

I will be his Father, and he will be my Son?


Again, when he brings his firstborn into the world, he says,

And let all God’s angels worship him.


And about the angels he says:

He makes his angels winds, and his servants a fiery flame,


but to the Son:

Your throne, God, is forever and ever, and the scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of justice.

You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; this is why God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of joy beyond your companions.


And:

In the beginning, Lord, you established the earth, and the heavens are the works of your hands;

they will perish, but you remain. 

They will all wear out like clothing; you will roll them up like a cloak,

and they will be changed like clothing.

But you are the same, and your years will never end.


Now to which of the angels has he ever said:

Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool?


Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve those who are going to inherit salvation?


For some Jews angels were highly regarded as messengers of God. Apparently some Christians were trying argue that Jesus was not God, but an angel who God appointed as His first born Son and Messiah. Hebrews 1:5-14 explains why Jesus is greater than the angels. The author of Hebrews provides several reasons why Jesus is greater than the angels in this passage:

  1. Jesus is the Son of God - The author of Hebrews begins by quoting Psalm 2:7, which says, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father." This highlights the fact that Jesus is not just an angel or a messenger of God, but he is the Son of God. He has a unique relationship with God the Father that is superior to that of any angel.
  2. Jesus is worshiped by the angels - The author of Hebrews also quotes Psalm 97:7, which says, "Let all God's angels worship him." This shows that even the angels are called to worship Jesus, which is a clear indication of his superiority over them.
  3. Jesus is the Creator of the universe - The author of Hebrews says that God created the universe through his Son, Jesus. This means that Jesus was involved in the act of creation, which is a remarkable feat that no angel could achieve.
  4. Jesus is eternal - The author of Hebrews says that God calls Jesus "Lord" and "God" and that he will remain forever. This shows that Jesus is not just a temporary figure, but he is eternal, which is another trait that sets him apart from the angels.
  5. Jesus is seated at the right hand of God - The author of Hebrews says that Jesus has been exalted to the highest place and is seated at the right hand of God. This is a position of honor and authority that no angel has ever held.

The superiority of Jesus to angels is demonstrated by seven Old Testament quotations that show that he is God’s Son, that he is worshiped by angels, that he is the creator of the universe, that he is eternal, and that he is at the right hand of God. This also teaches that Jesus, though he is God, is distinguished from the Father.


What we believe about Jesus matters. He is greater to all created beings, including the other spiritual beings such as the angels. This means He is worthy of our worship and faith.

Monday, March 13, 2023

Hebrews: Jesus is Superior to the Angels

 


STOP — Hebrews 1:5-14


Summary

The author of Hebrews provides a contrast between Jesus and the angels to demonstrate that Jesus is superior to the angels. God has declared that Jesus is His Son and to the angels God has commanded that the angels worship him. To Jesus God gave the Kingdom, but to the angels God made them servants.


Truth

Jesus is the King of the Kingdom and angels are his servants.


Observations

1. Jesus is greater than the angels because God has treated them differently. God declared that Jesus is the Son and that angels are to worship him.

2. God made the angels servants, but He made Jesus the King of the Kingdom.

3. Jesus was at the beginning and was responsible for creation. He is ruler over it.

4. Angels are servants of the Kingdom. They have the responsibility of serving God’s people in our task of working for the Kingdom.


Prayer

Thank You for Jesus. He is the creator and savior of all things and I join the angels in worshipping Him.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Hebrews: Jesus is Supreme


 Who is Jesus?

The book of Hebrews answers this question. Apparently, in an attempt to make Christianity more appealing, people were downplaying the identity of Jesus. The author of this book/sermon wanted to correct people’s incorrect theology about Jesus.

This is why the Hebrews begins with an argument for the supremacy of Jesus Christ as the Son of God.

Hebrews 1:1-4 (CSB)

Long ago God spoke to our ancestors by the prophets at different times and in different ways. In these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son. God has appointed him heir of all things and made the universe through him. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of his nature, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. So he became superior to the angels, just as the name he inherited is more excellent than theirs.

The author of Hebrews started by stating that in the past, God spoke to his people through the prophets. But in these last days, he has spoken to us through his Son. This alone tells us that


Jesus is not just another prophet, but he is the Son of God, sent to us to reveal God's plan for creation.

The author then goes on to describe Jesus as "the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being." In other words, Jesus is the perfect image of God the Father. He is not just a messenger, but he is the embodiment of God's love and grace for us. Through Jesus, we can see the very nature of God, his character, and his will for us.

Furthermore, the author of Hebrews emphasizes that Jesus is the one who sustains all things by his powerful word. It is through Jesus that everything was created, and he holds everything together. This means that Jesus is not only the revelation of God, but he is also the one who upholds the universe and keeps everything in order.

Finally, the author tells us that Jesus has become superior to the angels, who were also messengers of God in the Old Testament. This is because Jesus is not just a messenger, but he is the Son of God, and he has been given a name that is above all names. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

So, what does this mean for us? It means that we have a Savior who is not only powerful but also personal. He is not only the Creator of the universe but also the Redeemer of our souls. Through him, we can experience the forgiveness of our sins, the healing of our brokenness, and the restoration of our relationship with God.

As we reflect on these words from Hebrews, let us be reminded of the greatness of our God and the depth of his love for us. Let us also be encouraged to put our faith in Jesus, who is the only way to the Father. May we surrender our lives to him, and may we live every day in the light of his grace and truth.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Hebrews: The Nature of the Son

 

STOP - Hebrews 1:1-4


Summarize

God speaks to His people. In the past God spoke through prophets, but now He has spoken through His Son. The Son represents God perfectly and He sustains all things and made possible the purification for sin. In this He has proven to be greater than the angels.


Truth

Jesus is the perfect representation of God. To know Jesus is to know God.


Observations

1. God speaks to His people. He has communicated His word and will to them. In the past this mostly done through other people: Prophets.

2. At the right time, when there was a people who were familiar with God’s word, Jesus came as the perfect representation of God.

3. Jesus is the Creator and Heir of the universe. It belongs to Him.

4. Jesus continues to work at sustaining the universe and He made purification sin possible.

5. Jesus reigns with God in Heaven. 

6. All these things prove that Jesus is greater than the angels. He is not just another heavenly spiritual being.


Prayer

Lord, thank You for Jesus. I may not understand everything about the incarnation, I do trust that Jesus is the Eternal Son who secured forgiveness of sins for your people.

Prophetic Revelation and the Gospel

  1 Peter 1:10-12 (CSB) Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who prophesied about the grace that would come to you, searched and careful...