Translations: Chinese GB Big5

Christ The Son of God

Hebrews 1:1-2:4 (web)

1:1 God, having in the past spoken to the fathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways,
1:2 has at the end of these days spoken to us by his Son,
(A) whom he appointed heir of all things,
(B) through whom also he made the worlds.
(C) 1:3 His Son is the radiance of his glory,
(C*) the very image of his substance,
(B*) and upholding all things by the word of his power,
when he had by himself made purification for our sins,
(A*)  sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
1:4 having become so much better than the angels,
as he has inherited a more excellent name than they have.
1:5 For to which of the angels did he say at any time,
"You are my Son, Today have I become your father?" (Ps 2:7)
and again,
"I will be to him a Father, And he will be to me a Son?"  (1Ch 22:10)
1:6 Again, when he brings in the firstborn into the world he says,
"Let all the angels of God worship him." (Ps 97:7)
1:7 Of the angels he says,
"Who makes his angels winds, And his servants a flame of fire." (Ps 104:4)
1:8 but of the Son he says,
"Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; The scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. 1:9 You have loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows." (Ps 45:6,7)
1:10 And,
"You, Lord, in the beginning, laid the foundation of the earth.
The heavens are the works of your hands. 1:11 They will perish, but you continue. They all will grow old like a garment does. 1:12 As a mantle you will roll them up, And they will be changed; But you are the same. Your years will not fail." (Ps 102:25-27)
1:13 But of which of the angels has he said at any time,
"Sit at my right hand, Until I make your enemies the footstool of your feet?" (Ps 110:1)
1:14 Aren't they all ministering spirits,
sent out to do service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?

2:1 Therefore we ought to pay greater attention to the things that were heard, lest perhaps we drift away.

2:2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense;
2:3 how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation-- which at the first having been spoken through the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard;
2:4 God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders, and by various works of power, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to his own will?

Discussion Questions

How does Jesus Christ differ from an Old Testament prophet?
What are the characteristic differences between Jesus Christ and angels?
Why should we especially pay attention to the message?
And having heard and allegedly "believed", why need we continue to pay attention to it?
(What might be the consequences if we don't).
What evidence are we given that gospel of salvation is the word of God?


Comments

Now God speaks by his Son

Heb 1:1,2 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.

The first part of Hebrews speaks about who Jesus is and who he is not. Notice here that Jesus is not categorized among the prophets, as Islam falsely proposes, as if he were mere a prophet. Indeed "Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything." Hebrews 3:3,4 For "Through him (Jesus) all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made." John 1:3 Yes it was through Jesus that all things were made. "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." Col 1:15-17 One cannot claim to "believe in Jesus" without believing this fact about him.


The Son the Radiance

Heb 1:3 The Son is the radiance of Godís glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

As the light that comes from the sun is the radiance of the sun, so Jesus is the radiance of God. And just as we see the light that comes from the sun and call that "the sun", so also when we see Jesus we see the Father. Jesus said, "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father." John 14:9 For "No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Fatherís side, has made him known." John 1:18 How are all things sustained? It is by the powerful word of Jesus Christ, the Son of God that all things are sustained. Understand that this is heresy to the Muslim and Jew. Yet these facts about the person of Christ are central to the gospel.

As for his work on earth, Christ died for sins. "Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.  By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures ..." 1Cor 15:1-4 "He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world." 1John 2:2

Being seated indicates his work is finished and his throne established.

The Angels Worship Jesus

Heb 1:4-6
So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father"? (Ps 2:7) Or again, "I will be his Father, and he will be my Son"? (1Ch 22:10) And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, "Let all Godís angels worship him." (Ps 97:7)

That is, he was made out to be much superior to the angels as shown in his inheritance. For angels, while children of God in the sense of being God's creation, just as Paul spoke of all men being his offspring, yet they are not sons in a literal sense. In fact the angels were to worship Jesus. So who does that make Jesus out to?

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, "Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!" Rev 22:8,9

The phrase "Let all Godís angels worship him." is found word for word in Ps 97:7 in the LXX (the Septuagint), which is the Greek translation of the Old Testament used widely among the Jews at the time of Christ. But notice how it starts, "The Lord reigns". The word "Lord" is Jehovah. It's a term used for God. In fact if you look at all the verses in the New Testament which quote the Old Testament making claims about Jesus, you will notice that the New Testament writers believed that the word "Lord", as in Jehovah as it says in the Hebrew was in fact Jesus preincarnate. And we will see more examples in this chapter. Jesus is not simply a lord, he is THE LORD.

Jesus is God

Heb 1:7-9  In speaking of the angels he says, "He makes his angels winds, his servants flames of fire."  (Ps 104:4) 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.  You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy." (Ps 45:6,7)

The quote starting "Your throne" is from Ps 45:6,7 Here it is declared explicitly that Jesus is God. The word "God" is elohiym in the Hebrew text or simply Theos in the Greek, which are common terms for God. Now this is a paradox, much as John 1:1 is a paradox. But notice you see this paradox in this Old Testament reference. For how could the Psalmist say, "Your throne, O God" and yet later says, "therefore God, your God"? The paradox is resolved in the concept of the trinity. Likewise notice how the Psalm continues, "Listen, O daughter, Consider and incline your ear; Forget your own people also, and your fatherís house; So the King will greatly desire your beauty; Because He is your Lord, worship Him." Ps 45:10,11 This is speaking of the LORD Jesus. Because he is LORD, worship him.

Jesus is the LORD

Heb 1:10-12 He also says (about Jesus), "In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. 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." (Ps 102:25-27)

As mentioned a number of times in the New Testament, Jesus is the Creator. And here is yet another example of the New Testament teaching us that Jesus is the LORD spoken of in the Old Testament. You want to know more about Jesus? Read what the Old Testament says about the LORD. This verse and the preceding ones are very good to use against those who claim that the New Testament does not teach about the deity of Christ. Yes it does. It's quoting from Ps 102:25-27. Read that Psalm. And in particular note verse 24 which says, "Do not take me away, O my God, in the midst of my days; your years go on through all generations." By the author applying these verses to Jesus he is saying that Jesus is God and Jesus is the LORD.

And by the way, accepting Jesus as the LORD is a precondition for salvation, as it says, "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Rom 10:9 There once again it's referring to the LORD God. In fact a few verses later in Romans Paul uses an Old Testament cross reference to support his statement. It says, "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." which is a quote from the Old Testament prophet Joel chapter 2:27-32 which starts off "I am the LORD your God" and goes on to say, "everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved" of which the New Testament writers view as referring to Jesus.  Must a person believe in the deity of Christ to be saved? Yes he must. Jesus is the LORD. To believe otherwise is not to believe in the Biblical Jesus.

In Service to Jesus

Heb 1:13,14 To which of the angels did God ever say, "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet"? (Ps 110:1) Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

Angels are servants. They are not Lord. They do not have a throne. They do not rule. Jesus is not an angel. Jesus rules with his Father. Interesting to note that Ps 110:1 starts, "Of David. A psalm.The LORD says to my Lord ...". Yet it says, "The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name." Zec 14:9 For here we see shades of the Trinity - the Elohim. Then God said, "Let us make man in our image". Gen 1:26
The angel Gabriel announced the coming of the LORD Jesus, and when Mary visited her cousin, Elizabeth said, "Why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" Luke 1:43 As David reckon Jesus Lord over him, so Elizabeth reckoned the unborn child Lord over her. (Talk about respect for the unborn!)

Angels are servants, serving those who will inherit salvation. In contrast of the LORD Jesus it says, "He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again." 2Cor 5:15

Drifting Away

Heb 2:1
We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.

The content of Hebrews will answer the question as to what they may have not been paying attention to. But notice that so far in the first chapter the writer focused on the person of Christ - his deity, his Lordship. What I would infer is that these Christians were losing their focus on Christ. For as Christians we can so get caught up in the living of the Christian life, much as Martha busied herself with the particulars and lose our focus on Christ. "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:41,42

Now while later the writer will speak of "falling away", here he speaks literally of "drifting away". It's not so much an intentional thing. It's an effect of losing our focus. You may not realize it is happening. But if you stop listening CAREFULLY to the word, you will drift away. Mary chose to listen. That's the choice each Christian has to make. It's a lifestyle choice, as "pay attention" is in the present tense, indicating lifestyle, while "drift away" is in the aorist, indicating simply a frame in a person's life..

But in particular careful listening leads to application.


How shall we escape?

Heb 2:2-3a  For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?

By "the message spoken by angels" he's referring to the Law of Moses. The first Christian martyr, Stephen, said this, "you who have received the law that was put into effect through angels but have not obeyed it." Acts 7:53 For "Moses was in the assembly in the desert, with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers; and he received living words to pass on to us." Acts 7:38 "The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator." Gal 3:19b

Reading the Law one is struck by its strictness and severity. Yet this is the character of God. He is serious and He is severe. "See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven?" Heb 12:25  Else "while people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape." 1Th 5:3 

"Ignore" here is more precisely "to make light of", as the same Greek word is used in Mt 22:5 which in response to the Lord's calling, "they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business." While these are not like "the rest who seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them." Mt 22:6, yet they likewise are not qualified to be saved. So let us not make light of this great salvation the Lord has provided.

Forensic Evidence Affirming Jesus

Heb 2:3b-4 This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

In contrast to the Law being announced by mere angels, the Lord Jesus himself, who made the heavens and the earth, announced the gospel - the good news of salvation. Mr 1:15 "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"

But, unlike so many who would falsely make much of themselves, Jesus provide forensic evidence of who he was. In fact in the first Christian sermon Peter starts, "Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know." Acts 2:22 Such evidence is essential to the gospel message. And this is one of the main distinctions between Christianity and all other religions. Whenever the gospel is preached in the Bible, the resurrection of Christ is mentioned as forensic evidence supporting the claims of the gospel. Such evidence is based upon eyewitness testimony, as one would expect in a court of law. "You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this." Acts 3:15

Further evidence affirming the gospel is the spiritual gifts given to the Christian community. These are not the kinds of things you can make up. You can't generate them youself. God distributes just as he wills. "He gives them to each one, just as he determines." 1Cor 12:11b


Hebrews 1:1-2:4 Notes

A Model for the Trinity

God is like the sun in the sky. It is separate from the earth by a vast distance, just as God is separate from his creation. He is far away in heaven. But what we call the sun in the sky is not really the sun, but we see the light that comes from the sun and we call that light the sun. Jesus is as the light that comes from God. Is the light that comes from part of the sun? It depends on how you define the sun. The object in space is like God the Father. The light that comes from that object may be considered part of that object. For even those who don't accept that the light that comes from the sun is part of the sun, will nonetheless look up in the sky and say, "There's the sun.", referring to the light that comes from the sun as if it were the sun. Perhaps this is what Jesus meant in John 14:9 And how do we get to God? I once heard a rumor that NASA scientist had proposed to send a mission to the sun. In response to the question as to how they would deal with the intense heat, they replied, "We'll travel at night!"

You cannot get to God unless you follow the light, as Jesus says,

And what of the Holy Spirit? He is like the heat that comes from the sun. So even in darkness, for those who don't have the light of Christ, the Holy Spirit is yet at work. He is what we can experience about God. And though God is far away in heaven, separate from His creation, yet He is itimately integrated into it in the Holy Spirit as Paul says,

MODALISM

This illustration of the trinity is different than "modalism", which illustrates the trinity something like the three forms (modes) of water - steam, water, ice. This I believe is incorrect. For the Father didn't become Jesus at one point in time, for who was Jesus talking to when he prayed? And Jesus didn't go on to become the Holy Spirit. Rather the scriptures treat these three as distinct individuals and not as different forms of the same individual.

See also


The Son of God

How does 1:2-3 describe Jesus Christ? 
His Person
    He is the radiance of God's glory
    He is the exact representation of God's nature
His Authority
    He inherits all things
    He sits at the right hand of God
His Work
    He made the universe
    He sustained the universe
    He repaired the universe (by providing purification of sins)



 

Is Jesus Christ an Angel?


Jesus Angels
Son of God
yes
no
Can be worshipped
yes
no
Ruler
yes
no
Created all things
yes
no
Sits at God's right hand
yes
no


Warning !

The More You Know, 
The More You Will Be Held Responsible For

What to do: Pay careful attention that you not drift away How to do it: Study the Bible noting that it is there that

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources


Jun 28,2016