Summary: A sermon about Jesus from Proverbs 8:22-31 (Some illustrations and thoughts from other Sermon Central Contributors)
Evening Service for 10/31/2010
A. Last week we talked about Adulterous Anne and temptation.
B. Chapters 8 and 9 begin a compare and contrast between Folly and Wisdom. Solomon puts it in terms of two women: Woman Wisdom and Woman Folly. He discusses these concepts as if he were making comparisons between two different women. He speaks about them like they are living beings. Personification is a literary device which represents abstract ideas, inanimate objects, and even animals as if they were human beings. This is done to enliven an otherwise dull presentation, to create an atmosphere, to get the reader’s attention, or to bring an otherwise distant topic close to home.
C. In Proverbs 8:22-31 Solomon has Woman Wisdom speak for herself.
E. Even though Solomon is talking about Woman Wisdom, when she speaks she sounds a lot like the Lord Jesus Christ. That is not unusual. 1 Corinthians 1 tells us that Christ is the Wisdom of God.
F. Wisdom here is Sofia in the Hebrew. It is like the New Testament word Logos which is Greek for Word. Read John 1:1-5, 14, 16-18
G. This is being poetic but the one who is talking here is Jesus Christ (Proverbs 8:22-31)
Thesis: What does Jesus Christ say of himself in Proverbs 8:22-31?
I. Eternity and Sonship (vs. 22-26)
A. These Scriptures make it sound like Jesus Christ had a beginning. He was given birth as vs. 25 says.
B. If we look at the footnotes in the NIV this is what those notes say. Vs. 22- The Lord brought me forth as the first of his dominion or the Lord possessed me at the beginning of his work. 1 Corinthians 15:24- Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27For he "has put everything under his feet."[c] Now when it says that "everything" has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.
D. New American Standard is much better here: The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his way, before his works of old. From everlasting I was established, from the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth. When there was no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills I was brought forth; while he had not yet made the earth and the fields, nor the first dust of the world.
E. Even in the NASB we have this issue: I was brought forth (begotten).
F. There is a well known cult that has for John 1:1 in their translation- In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god. This is not where they start with people new to their ideas. This verse is where they get this idea and where they start with those new: Colossians 1:15- He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
G. What they are saying is that Jesus is a created being. They say that firstborn means that he was begotten in the sense that he was created. No!
H. In many societies, there is rank and privilege that goes with being the first born. When the parents die, the firstborn is given the responsibility and privilege of being the steward over the estate of the parents. The other brothers and sisters are at the mercy and grace of the firstborn when it comes to the parent's affairs and estate.
I. Jesus is eternal. He has always existed. No beginning and no end. This term firstborn here does not describe Jesus Christ in the sense of time. It describes him as having supremacy in place or position. He holds the rank commonly assigned to the firstborn, the rank of dominion.
J. The Lord Jesus Christ outranks us all! However, he does not outrank God the Father. He and the Father are one but the Father has dominion over the Son. Three equals one and one equals three. Touching on issues far beyond us but we need to understand it biblically or we misunderstand about Jesus Christ being the Son of God.
K. This section of Scripture was at the very heart of the controversy that led to the Council of Chalcedon in 451 A.D.
Over 100 years before the Council of Chalcedon there was another Council convened over heretical teaching concerning the nature of Jesus. The Council of Nicea was convened with 318 Church Fathers present in 325 A.D. to settle a debate that began around 311 A.D., when a priest named Arius came from Antioch and was appointed to a major Alexandrian church. Arius was charismatic and persuasive. He was a great poet and musician and he got the word out about his theology not only by teaching and preaching, but by writing a series of popular folksongs that were sung all over Alexandria. Arius caused quite a buzz around Alexandria with his controversial views about the nature of Jesus.