Summary: How Christ’s humanity provides for my success over the devil, fear of death, and temptation.
Defeating My Greatest Enemies! How Christ’s Humanity Provides Dominion Over the Devil, Death, and Temptation.
Part 2 of 5 in the series, Finding Calm in the Chaos, How Christmas Brings Peace
We’re in our Christmas series but we’re not reading from the traditional Christmas story. Our scripture this month is the First Century letter to the Hebrew Christ followers. Because of persecution, the recipients of this letter were entertaining thoughts of turning back and the composer of the letter reminds them of why they need to keep the faith. Amazingly the Bible remains relevant twenty centuries later!
In order to encourage his readers to persevere, the central focus of the letter is Jesus! “Keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish.” Hebrews 12:2a (NLT) The key to finding calm in the chaos when life is confusing and seems disorganized is to stay focused on Christ. That’s what the letter to the Hebrew Christ followers is about and it’s what we’re about this month. We’re focusing on Jesus.
Today we’re going to look at THREE BIG ENEMIES WE CAN OVERCOME BY LOOKING TO JESUS: (1) the devil, (2) fear of death, and (3) temptation. These three things can be scary. They can be intimidating. And if you take your eyes off Christ and look at them these things will get you down. If you stay focused on Christ there is no enemy that can keep you from finding calm in your chaos!
Here’s the entire second chapter of the Hebrew letter. As I read it to you I will pause here and there and make a few explanatory comments and then we’ll make practical applications.
1 So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. (If you were here last week you remember how chapter one of Hebrews emphasizes that God loves to communicate to human beings. For thousands of years He sent messages to mankind through prophets and angels. But His greatest message was when He came in person in His Son Jesus Christ! Christmas is about God becoming human so that He could speak to us in person!)
2 For the message God delivered through angels has always stood firm, and every violation of the law and every act of disobedience was punished.
3 So what makes us think we can escape if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus himself and then delivered to us by those who heard him speak? (What makes us think we can ignore Jesus and the miraculous way He came into this world? What makes us think we can ignore the “IN PERSON” appearance of God? The Jewish Christians wouldn’t have thought of ignoring a message from an angel – neither would most folks today - why ignore an even better message in Jesus Himself?)
4 And God confirmed the message by giving signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit whenever he chose.
5 And furthermore, it is not angels who will control the future world we are talking about.
6 For in one place the Scriptures say, “What are mere mortals that you should think about them, or the son of man that you should care for him?
7 Yet you made them only a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.
8 You gave them authority over all things.” (Psalm 8:4-6) Now when it says “all things,” it means nothing is left out. But we have not yet seen all things put under their authority. (God didn’t put the angels in charge of salvation. The angels don’t have the authority that Jesus has – which, by the way, includes the fallen angels like Lucifer!)
9 What we do see is Jesus, who was given a position “a little lower than the angels;” (Jesus, by becoming human in order to communicate directly with us, became a little lower than the angels in His humanity.) and because he suffered death for us, he is now “crowned with glory and honor.” Yes, by God’s grace, Jesus tasted death for everyone. (Circle the phrase, “by God’s grace, Jesus tasted death for everyone.”)
10 God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation.
11 So now Jesus and the ones He makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters.
12 For he said to God, “I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters. I will praise you among your assembled people.” (Psalm 22:22)