Hebrews 1:1–8, 14; 2:1–4 comment (0)
August 31, 2006
By Dale Younce
Related Scripture: Hebrews 1:1–8, 14; 2:1–4
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Professor of Christian Studies, School of Christian Studies, University of Mobile
Hebrews 1:1–8, 14; 2:1–4
Some Christians are complacent about their salvation and their relationship with God. They know their sins are forgiven and their home in heaven is secure. This is all some think they need to know. Others attend Sunday School occasionally and think that is all the biblical education they need. Among those who attend regularly, many never study their Bible outside church and have, at best, only a meager knowledge of the Bible.
Virtually none of these people have an adequate understanding of what the Bible teaches about Jesus and the salvation He has secured for them. Particularly they are unaware of what constitutes a Christian lifestyle. God desires that we grow in our knowledge of Him and that we reflect His character in how we live. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews wanted his Hebrew-Christian brothers to grow in their relationship with Christ.
Listen Up! (1:1–3)
The writer of the Epistle wanted his readers to realize the superiority of God’s revelation in Jesus. In the Old Testament days, God’s revelation was truthful but it was fragmentary and piecemeal; it came in many forms and pieces.
But in His Son, Jesus, God has spoken thoroughly and completely. All that God has to say, He has said in Jesus.
Previously God spoke to His people through various prophets, laws, ceremonies and judges, but with the incarnation of Jesus, God has spoken His final and clearest message.
Seven traits of the Son’s person require listening to Him: (1) Jesus is heir of all things; He is the possessor of all that exists, the goal toward which all creation moves. (2) He is the Creator by whom God brought time, space and the universe into existence. (3) He is the outshining, the radiant splendor of God’s glory. (4) He is the exact, eternal expression of God’s character and essence. (5) From eternity to eternity, He is the Sustainer of the universe. (6) By purging our sins through His death on the cross, He is our Redeemer; He is both the Revealer of God and the Redeemer of man. (7) He is our King, seated in the place of divine authority and power. Christians today need to realize that God is speaking to them through His Son.
Look Up! (1:4–8, 14)
Christians should pay attention to what God is saying through His Son, Jesus, because, since He is God’s Son, He is superior to angels. Jesus is not a created being like the angels. Jesus is superior to angels in His name. Angels are messengers; Jesus is Son. He is superior in His rank; while angels are servants of God and of believers, Jesus possesses Sonship and is worshiped by angels. He is superior in His position; He is King.
Here is the superiority of the New Testament revelation over the Old Testament revelation. The New does not destroy the Old but rather completes it. Both have God as their source. The Old was given in progressive portions through inferior instruments. The New is the full expression of the divine/human Son of God. The first is partial and temporary; the second is complete and final. God has spoken finally in His Son and has no other word for mankind. Therefore Christians need to pay attention to Him.
Look Out! (2:1–4)
Because the Hebrew Christians were in danger of remaining static in their understanding of salvation and were not growing spiritually, the writer warned them that they would be judged for carelessly wasting their life. The writer illustrated this by using the words “drift away.” This phrase pictures people on shore while the water goes past them. The readers were in danger of judgment if they remained static.
Christians cannot lose their salvation, but they can lose earthly blessings and heavenly rewards because of their sin. God speaks today to Christians, primarily through His Word. Consequently we need to heed what He says.