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The Letter to the Hebrews Chapter 1, Part & 2 Winter 2014 FXCC.

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Presentation on theme: "The Letter to the Hebrews Chapter 1, Part & 2 Winter 2014 FXCC."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Letter to the Hebrews Chapter 1, Part & 2 Winter 2014 FXCC

2 Hebrews 1:1-4 1 After God spoke long ago in various portions and in various ways to our ancestors through the prophets, 2 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. 3 The Son is the radiance of his glory and the representation of his essence, and he sustains all things by his powerful word, and so when he had accomplished cleansing for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. 4 Thus he became so far better than the angels as he has inherited a name superior to theirs.

3 Hebrews There’s a new sheriff new town! God is not subject to our norms There is a God and we are not Him This is My Son…HEAR Him – To a Jew “hear” is more than perceiving sound waves – It includes the concept of OBEY!

4 Hebrews The Hebrews author has a point to make He wastes no time in making it Vss 1-4 summarize the entire letter God’s final revelation is His BEST

5 Hebrews The recipients (and the author) of the letter had never seen Jesus nor a miracle – The “world” seems to be thriving – They (Christians) are suffering – Their faith cuts them out of the world’s riches and social standing – Why not just chuck it all in? Toss in the towel? The letter declares that God is still with them (and us)

6 Hebrews The recipients are being told they must choose – Jesus – Or going back to the old way – In 10:39 the writer will declare “But we are not among those who shrink back and thus perish, but are among those who have faith and preserve their souls.” – The choice is CLEAR!

7 Hebrews The recipients – Life was hard – Their faith was being challenged – They were thinking of giving up and going back But – God really does love them – There is a point to their struggle – They can find the strength to go on – There is reason to hope

8 Hebrews 1:1-4 FYI – The first 4 verses make use of alliteration The Greek words for many times, many ways, past, fathers and prophets All begin with π (in Greek pi, in English p) – The first 4 verses are one sentence in Greek – These 4 verses are almost like a song

9 Hebrews 1:1 Thru the ages God has spoken God took the initiative! He has revealed Himself He was not silent God used a variety of ways to speak – “…in various portions and in various ways...” – Prophets were a primary way

10 Hebrews 1:1 What are some other ways God has “spoken”? – Creation (Rom 1, Psalm 19) – Dreams (Joseph, Daniel, Ezekiel,…) – Fulfilled prophecy – Angel of the Lord (Moses, Jacob, Abraham,…) – Sinai’s thunder and lightening (Israel) – Elijah and a still small voice – Miracles (Egypt, Red Sea, manna, water, etc)

11 Hebrews 1:1-2 Vs 1 tells us that those past communications from God were only part of the story, fragments – “…various portions…”, “…divers ways…”, etc That is in contrast to the Son

12 Hebrews 1:2 Heir/Son/Messiah – “a son” meaning God chose to use His Son, vice a human prophet – Heir (of all things) is from Psalm 2:8 “…I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the ends of the earth as your personal property.” – Son as in the parable in Matt 21:33-41 – Matt 28:18, “…all authority…has been given to Me.”

13 Hebrews 1:2 The agent, i.e. created the world – This vs declares Christ to be the agent of creation – John 1:3 also says the same thing “All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created.” – Heb 1:10 ditto ““You founded the earth in the beginning, Lord, and the heavens are the works of your hands.”

14 Hebrews 1:2 The agent, i.e. created the world – Col 1:16 “for all things in heaven and on earth were created by him – all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers – all things were created through him and for him.” – Christ is declared to be preexistent, fully divine, having authority and having power

15 Hebrews 1:3 Radiance – Jesus is the glory of God KJV word is “effulgence” (radiant splendor, the radiance shining forth from a light source) – Exodus 34, Moses’ face shone from being in God’s presence II Cor 3:7-4:6, Paul notes That shining would fade, unless renewed We (Christians) reflect the glory of God (3:18) God’s Spirit lives in us

16 Hebrews 1:3 Radiance – John 1:14 (Jesus’ glory is the same as God’s) “We saw his glory – the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father.” – In Christ the glorious light of God shines into the hearts of people

17 Hebrews 1:3 Representation – Exact imprint/representation/very image – like an image on a coin The Greek word is charakter (used only here in the NT) – In 2 Cor 4:4 and Col 1:15, Paul also calls Jesus the image of God (uses the Greek word eikon) 2 Cor 4:4 “of Christ, who is the image of God.” Col 1:15 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation,”

18 Hebrews 1:3 Representation – Jesus is the essence of God, the embodiment of God – When you see Jesus, you see God – What God is, is made manifest (revealed, seen) in Christ

19 Hebrews 1:3 Sustainer – The Hebrews author declares that all creation is sustained (upheld) by Jesus’ powerful word His mighty word, his enabling word – He did not just create the world and sit back He is still involved/active/working! – Gen 1, God created by His word In Hebrews Jesus sustains/maintains by His word

20 Hebrews 1:3 Sustainer – Col 1:17 “He himself is before all things and all things are held together in him.” – John 1:1-3, Jesus’ word (Jesus as the Word) is also divine “…and the Word was fully God.”

21 Hebrews 1:3 Savior – The word Savior is not used in the text – He accomplished the cleansing of our sins We will see more of this later in the letter with Jesus as High Priest – This makes Him our Savior – We will see that Jesus is the best and final sacrifice – His sacrifice was once and for all (all people, all time)

22 Hebrews 1:3 Savior – Jesus’ sacrifice allows us to enter into God’s presence – Only Jesus could have done this, i.e. no human could have accomplished this

23 Hebrews 1:3 King – Jesus is the King sitting at God’s (the Majesty on High) right hand – Psalm 110:1 “…Sit down at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool!” – Jesus quotes Psalm 110, referring to Himself, In Matt 26:64, Mk 12:36, Luke 20:41-44, 22:69 – Being at the “right hand” is a place/position of favor

24 Hebrews 1:3 King – Paul uses different language to say the same thing in Eph 4:10 “He, the very one who descended, is also the one who ascended above all the heavens, in order to fill all things.” Phil 2:9-11 “As a result God exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow – in heaven and on earth and under the earth – and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord…”

25 Hebrews 1:3 King – Being at the “right hand” is a place/position of favor (Ps 80:18, Jer 22:24) of victory (Ps 20:6, 44:3, Isa 41:10) of power (Ex 15:6, Ps 89:13, Isa 48:13) of sharing God’s throne (Rev 3:21) – Jesus sat down, meaning His work is done Aaronic priests never sat down while working as priests(more in Chapter 10 on this) Their work was never done

26 Hebrews 1:3 King – Thus in Christ three roles are embodied Prophet – last, final, best Priest – able to do what no human Aaronic priest could do King – sovereign, descendant of David, fulfillment of God’s promise to David (and to Abraham) No one else could accomplish this

27 Hebrews 1:4 Superior – Superior to angels – Before Jesus, God used prophets, who were believed to speak as prompted by angels (2:2) Ex 3:2 (angel of the Lord in burning bush) Isa 63:9 (the angel from His presence…) Acts 7:38-39 referring to Moses (…with the angel who spoke to him at Mt Sinai…) Gal 3:19 (…It was administered through angels by an intermediary.)

28 Hebrews 1:4 Superior – His name, Son, also declares Him as superior to the angels – Before God used prophets/servants – Now His Son!

29 Hebrews 1 Hebrews will declare Jesus to be “better” that what went before 13 times The next verses build the case for Christ’s superiority to angels The recipients of the letter must have been infatuated with angels – There is some of that going on today too

30 Hebrews 1:5-14 5 For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my son! Today I have fathered you”? And in another place he says, “I will be his father and he will be my son.” 6 But when he again brings his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all the angels of God worship him!” 7 And he says of the angels, “He makes his angels spirits and his ministers a flame of fire,” 8 but of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and a righteous scepter is the scepter of your kingdom.

31 Hebrews 1:5-14 9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness. So God, your God, has anointed you over your companions with the oil of rejoicing.” 10 And, “You founded the earth in the beginning, Lord, and the heavens are the works of your hands. 11 They will perish, but you continue. And they will all grow old like a garment, 12 and like a robe you will fold them up and like a garment they will be changed, but you are the same and your years will never run out.”

32 Hebrews 1:5-14 13 But to which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to serve those who will inherit salvation?

33 Hebrews 1:5-14 He said it in vs 4 and now proclaims is again and again w/OT quotes – Psalm 2:7 (my son) – II Sam 7:14 and I Chron 17:13 (father and son) – Psalm 97:7, 89:7 (angels worship) – Psalm 104:4 (angels spirits, ministers of fire) – Psalm 45:6-7 (forever, scepter, anointed,…) – Psalm 102:25-27 (founded, continue, the same,…) – Psalm 110:1 (footstool)

34 Hebrews 1:5-14 Jesus is GREATER than the angels – Hands down – No doubt – Slam dunk – PERIOD Again how is Jesus better?

35 Hebrews 1:5-14 Greater/better – He is the Son, they are not – He is the Firstborn, they worship Him – He is God (enthroned, anointed), angels are merely servants – He is LORD, i.e. YHWH, eternal Creator – He is sovereign seated at God’s right hand, they are ministering spirits

36 Why Angels? What’s with all this focus on angels? – Were they tempted to worship angels? – Did they obsess over angels (books, chats, TV programs, etc) – Did they believe Jesus was some kind of an angel? – All the above? – None of the above? – WE DON’T KNOW

37 Why Angels? Remember we noted that the Jews held to a belief about the use of angels in bringing God’s message to them in the past (2:2). Whatever the reason, the author is making it CLEAR – JEUS IS BETTER, BEST They considered God’s message as brought by angels to be authoritative WELL JESUS’ MESSAGE IS MORE AUTHORITATIVE!

38 Why Angels? They were aware of the punishment for ignoring the message brought by angels Well how much more dangerous will it be to ignore the message brought by Jesus?! The author uses scripture to make his points The quotes all seem to come from the LXX, Septuagint, the Greek translation of the OT

39 Hebrews 1:5 Jesus is the Son, in name and title and relationship – Psalm 2:7 “…He said to me: ‘You are my son! This very day I have become your father!” – II Sam 7:14 “I will become his father and he will become my son. …” – I Chron 17:13 “I will become his father and he will become my son. …”

40 Hebrews 1:5 Jesus is the Son, in name and title and relationship – The author is interested in this name, Son – The Jews considered Ps 2 and II Sam 7 as Messianic – The author’s point is that Jesus IS the Son, the angels are NOT – The Son was/is pre-existent – He is son because of divine nature and obedience

41 Hebrews 1:5 Angels (and even people) might be called sons of God, BUT only Jesus is THE Son Paul in Rom 1:3-4 “…concerning his Son who was a descendant of David with reference to the flesh, who was appointed (declared) the Son-of-God-in-power according to the Holy Spirit by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

42 Hebrews 1:5 The fulfillment of God’s promise to David in Samuel and Chronicles is declared in Luke 1:68-69 – “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, because he has come to help and has redeemed his people. For he has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David,”

43 Hebrews 1:5 The fulfillment of God’s promise to David in Samuel and Chronicles is also declared in Rom 1:2-3 – “…This gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, concerning his Son who was a descendant of David with reference to the flesh,”

44 Hebrews 1:6 Jesus is the one who is worshipped and firstborn – Psalm 97:7 “All who worship idols are ashamed, those who boast about worthless idols. All the gods (in the LXX this is angels) bow down before him.” – Psalm 89:27 “I will appoint him to be my firstborn son, the most exalted of the earth’s kings.”

45 Hebrews 1:6 Jesus is the one who is worshipped and firstborn – Deut 32:43 in the LXX “Rejoice, ye heavens, along with him, and let the sons of God worship him; Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people, and let all the angels of God ascribe strength to him; …”

46 Hebrews 1:6 Psalm 97 and the LXX Deut passage clearly have the angels worshipping God, thus our author is clearly equating Jesus with God. – Worthy of receiving the worship of angels

47 Hebrews 1:6 All of this is language to proclaim Jesus as – Worthy of worship – Having rank and honor – Related to the covenant with David

48 References F.F. Bruce, “The Epistle to the Hebrews”, The New International Commentary on the New Testament, Eerdmans, 1967 Edward Fudge, “Our Man in Heaven: An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews”,, Baker, 1974 – Available on-line for free – html html

49 References Edward Fudge, “Hebrews: Ancient Encouragement for Believers Today”, Leafwood Publishers, 2009 John Mark Hicks, Hebrews, Word Doc – content/uploads/sites/10/2009/03/hebrews- edited.doc content/uploads/sites/10/2009/03/hebrews- edited.doc

50 References Bobby Valentine’s “Stoned-Campbell Disciple” blog – aul-and-the-unquestioned-authority-of-the-old- testament/ aul-and-the-unquestioned-authority-of-the-old- testament/

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