Summary: The first two verses of Hebrews as you start to study the book, immediately share with you the preeminence and superiority of Jesus Christ over everyone and everything that we know.
The Superiority of Christ
As we begin our study of the book of Hebrews tonight, I feel that is important for us to take a look at the background of the book to give us a strong foothold for the rest of our study. The book of Hebrews has one main theme throughout its text: Jesus Christ is superior to and preeminent over everyone and everything. The author of the book is very vocal about expressing it. Which brings us to the point of just who is the author of Hebrews.
Over the years people have been trying to pin down the author of Hebrews. Some saying that it was Paul, some say it was Peter, some say it was Apollos, and yet others believe that it was Luke. You can make a strong case for each of these being the author. But I don’t want us to dwell on who the earthly author of the book was, because we know who the Heavenly author and inspirer of the book of Hebrews was.
The book was written to not just one, but three separate audiences of the time it was written. The first group was the Hebrew Christians in the Jewish community, the true believers of Jesus Christ. The second and third groups were also Hebrew, but were not Christian. One being those that were convinced of Jesus Christ work and the other not being convinced.
You must understand for the book of Hebrews speaks of a New Covenant. For non-believing Hebrews this would be hard to swallow. They believed that one could not see God and live. The believed in the Levitical system of sacrifice to atone for their sins, now the author is expressing a need for the new sacrificial system through Jesus Christ. In essence the author of Hebrews is expressing to the people that everything from sacrifices to the priesthood is better.
So here is the whole summary of Hebrews in one sentence for you. Ours is the High Priest of high priests, and He is seated. His work is done, completely finished for all time and for us.
So now that we have a little background, lets dive into chapter one. Keep in mind though that all through the book Christ is presented as being better than the best of everyone and everything that was before Him.
I. The Preparation for Christ (v. 1)
A. The first verse here is an indication of how God wrote the Old Testament.
B. Its purpose was to prepare for the coming of Christ.
1. Whether it be by prophecy or type or principle or commandment, it was preparation for Christ
C. No matter how great the senses of man are, we are incapable of reaching beyond the natural world.
1. For us to know anything about God, He himself must tell us.
2. We would never know God if He did not speak to us.
II. Man’s Way to God
A. See man lives in a natural “box”, which encloses him within the walls of time and space.
1. Outside of that box is something supernatural, which we all know is out there, but we just don’t know anything certain about it.
2. So someone comes along and says, “We must find out about the supernatural, the world outside our box.
1. This is how new religions are born
2. People become interested and run to the edge of their little box and try to see the secrets outside their mental reach.
a. Buddhist believe that when you go into that state of nirvana that you transport yourself out of our box and into the supernatural.
b. Muslims say the same thing but in a different words.
c. So do all the other false religions, Hinduism, Confucianism, Scientology, and whatever else may be out there.
3. These are all attempts by man to escape from the natural to the supernatural, to get out of the box.
4. But the problem is, he cannot get himself out.
III. God’s Way to Man
1. By definition, a natural man cannot escape into the supernatural.
1. We cannot go into a religious phone booth and change into a superman outfit and come out somewhere else.
2. We cannot in ourselves or by ourselves transcend our natural existence.
3. If we are to know anything about God, it will not be by escaping, or climbing, or thinking, or working our way to Him: it will only be by His coming to us and His speaking to us.
4. We cannot understand God any more than an insect we may hold in our hand may understand us.
5. BUT, God can come down to our level and He can communicate with us.
2. When God became a man Himself through Jesus Christ, he entered our box to tell us about Himself.