Summary: Exposition of Heb 1:1-4 regarding the end all of revelation--Jesus Christ
Text: Hebrews 1:1-4, Title: The Ultimate Revelation: Christ, Date/Place: NRBC, 7/4/10, PM
A. Opening illustration: goldfish illustration
B. Background to passage: The book of Hebrews is written by an unknown Jewish author (unless you have KJV) with a great knowledge of and deep respect for the Old Testament. He is writing to a unique group of people. Some of the people in this congregation of Jewish believers, are genuine believers to whom the bulk of the sermon is written (that’s right, a sermon, which by the way, in his own words Heb 13:22, he says is brief, only a few words). But there is also a group of Jews meeting with the church who are intellectually convinced, but not ready to bow the knee, and take up the cross, becoming Christ-followers. The are the fence straddlers. It is to these that the six warning passages are written; warning them that if they turn away, rejecting Christ, they will join the ranks of the perishing. And thirdly, there is a group of Jews who is meeting with the church that are exploring the faith, and not yet intellectually convinced. And our author is trying to persuade them to be convinced and trust Christ. And we must keep that in mind, as it is crucial to interpreting many passages correctly. And all of this is done with the theme that Christ is superior to everything! To angels, to the law, to the old covenant, to Melchizedek, to the priesthood, to everything. So watch this theme as it sweeps through the book like a mighty wave bending all topics toward Christ and His superiority. The beginning of this sermon, however, is about introducing Jesus, and what and introduction!
C. Main thought: And we will see the superiority of Christ as the final self-revelation of God Himself.
A. God Spoke (v. 1-2)
1. The author begins by reminding them of all the ways that God had spoken to their fathers. Jesus Christ is the superior self-revelation of God! He is better than creation. He is better than the prophets, he is better than the Old Testament books, better than everything. He is fuller, more complete, more lasting, and eternal. The God who had no need of speaking to His creation (in fact, had no insufficiency fulfilled even by the creation) spoke! And this final speaking was so decisive and so ultimate, that no more self-revelation of God is needed. That is the implication of the text.
2. Rom 1:20, Psalm 19:1, Num 12:6-8,
3. Illustration: “…God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." – C. S. Lewis, “He was not silent. God communicates. He means to connect with us. He is not an idea to be thought about. He is a person to be listened to and understood and enjoyed and obeyed. He is a speaking Person. There is no more important fact than this: There is a God who speaks that we might know him and love him and live in joyful obedience to him. God spoke” –Piper, Michael quoted a student of the rabbi’s who said that if we were really followers of Jesus, we would read through the gospels 3 times a week,
4. Know that God is not silent. He speaks! And He does it in lots of ways. Note that God’s “normal” message for speaking to men is through men. But the locus of amazement is that God speaks! The almighty, self-sufficient, independent, completely satisfied with his own glory, omnipotent God, chose to create us out of His own free will. Then the ordered the world so that it would reflect His power and Godhead. And He revealed himself to us. No one made Him, nothing required him, it wasn’t necessary, but God chose to speak to us. He wants to communicate His love to us. And so He speaks, most perfectly in Christ, but also through prophets, preachers, old testament, new testament, other books, nature, other people, songs, impressions, circumstances, pain, suffering, dreams, visions, and many other ways. But if you want to see who God is, and allow Him to speak to you, and you to hear Him, the main and best way is to study the life of His Son. Read the gospels, study the gospels, obey the gospels. Read books about Jesus—not many of those. And when God speaks, write it down. Bank on it, and obey it. Sometimes when we groan about God not speaking, we must realize that we have not exhausted the speech that God has already given us in Christ. This also has implications toward the preaching of Christ, as God still speaks through that to our hearts.
B. Through Christ (v. 2-4)
1. Jesus was the Son, the ultimate representative of the Father. More than a man, the Son. And not just the Son, but the heir of all things (the bearer of the family name, possessions, and authority). But not just the heir of all things, but the agent by whom He created all things (the one who spoke into existence everything that ever has been or will be). Not only the creative agent but the brightness of His glory, the exact representation of the Person of God (The word here ‘character’ is one used of a piece of wood or metal precisely engraved with an impression. It is used to speak of the identifying features of a person. The word for person refers to the nature or essence of God, or what God is made of. Jesus Christ is a perfect image of God contained within space and time). Not only that, but One who upholds all of creation by the word of his power (without the sustaining will of Jesus decreeing this world to continue to exist, all would fly into chaos, without Him decreeing your heart to continue beating, and your organs to continue functioning, you would die immediately). Not only that, but the One by whom our sins were purged by His death (no other being could substitute themselves for us, purging our sins from the record of God by His vicarious death). Not only that, but by the One who is currently seated at the right hand of the throne of God (the One in whom all power, authority, and sovereignty resides, by whom not a molecule or muscle or demon or ocean can move an inch; and the One that will settle all accounts and render all judgment in righteousness. You get the picture. Go back and explain briefly the awesomeness reflected by Christ in these descriptions.