Summary: The Book of Hebrews gives us insight into the identity of God, but also it reveals what God is not. It’s important to know what God is not.
Sermon for CATM: “Jesus, the Answer to Who God is Not!” – October 28, 2007
Last week Maryellen talked about what the Book of Hebrews reveals about Jesus Christ. That God is trustworthy, that God is serious, and that God is faithful.
Today we’re looking at the opposite in a sense: Jesus also reveals what God is not. “Who God is” is crucial for our understanding of the identity and nature of God. “Who God is Not” is important for our understanding of who we are.
So, what does the book of Hebrews suggest that God is not?
God is Not Me
First of all, we learn from the book of Hebrews that God is not me. I am not God. We are not God. In life there is always a danger of misunderstanding God or of drifting away from a right understanding of God, but also to start substituting things for God.
Other powers will hold sway in our lives if we let them. At our most deluded, we may be tempted to believe that famous bumper-sticker: “I used to be an atheist, then I realized I was God”. PPT: “I am God”
What does the Scripture say?
[Unannounced PPT] Heb 1:7 In speaking of the angels he says, "He makes his angels winds, his servants flames of fire."8 But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. 10 He also says, "In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. 11 They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. 12 You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end."
The first thing I notice is that this Scripture doesn’t wax theological when it talks about Jesus. Poetry is the language of the heights and depths of human feeling, and this reads way more as poetry than anything else.
"He makes his angels winds, his servants flames of fire." Angels, as glorious as they are as messengers of the love and judgment of God, angels don’t hold a candle to our Jesus.
Human authorities have a shelf life. As imposing and influential as they can be in the good and bad sense (Think Martin Luther King Jr vs Hitler) they will all perish. The scope of their hopes and dreams however great, is limited by three things: human frailty, sin, and death.
Not so with Jesus.
8 But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.
Eternally present. The Son of God, Jesus Christ, will forever reign. You will know Him and love Him and worship Him for eternity in a heaven that will forever be filled with praise for our Creator.
Hebrews 1:10 He also says, "In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. 11 They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. 12 You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed.
Were you there in the beginning? Before anything that is was? Jesus, the same One that we love, the same One who lived and died among us and who rose from the dead…this same Jesus made the earth and sky.
In the end, the earth and sky as we know them will perish…they will be worn out like an old pair of jeans. Jesus will roll them up like a house robe. And they will be forever changed.
PPT: “Unleash the goddess within”
When I hear people talk about ‘finding the god” or “finding the goddess” within, I both laugh and cry at the same time, for the same reason…the idea of humans being divine is so ridiculous and demonstrates such a profound ignorance of God that you’d think they have to be kidding, right?
But you know what may be even more ironic? As Christians, we get that Jesus is Lord and that we are his people, his servants, his friends, his slaves even as the Scriptures say and that we are His body here on earth…the body of Christ.
But you know what? I don’t always behave as though Jesus is Lord. In my struggle with sin, if I’m honest, a big part of that is trying to wrestle control of my life way from God. To do my own thing. To be my own boss. That’s just a hop, skip and a jump away from trying to be my own god.