II. Exaltation of Christ 1:4 – 10:18
A. Superior to the prophets. 1:1-3
B. Superior to the Angels. 1:4-2:18
1. Superior in Person. 1:4-14
Jesus is superior in person, His being. We also must recognize that He is superior in His position. Some have the mistaken idea that Jesus of Nazareth became superior at a point in time. There are those that claim that He was a prophet and that He became the Messiah at His baptism or upon the completion of His death on the cross.
We have seen that Jesus is God the Son forever, with no beginning and no ending. Paul presented this truth to help the believers to withstand the false teachers that were coming in among them.
One false teaching we will mention this morning is Cerinthianism. It is a heresy taught by Cerinthus (died approximately A.D. 100) that deals with the person of Jesus. It stated that “the Christ” came upon Jesus at his baptism and left him just prior to his crucifixion. Essentially, Cerinthus taught that the Christ and Jesus are separate beings. He taught that Jesus was born naturally without the Virgin birth. Teachings like this are still being promoted today and we must be aware and be prepared to challenge them with the truth, the Word of God.
The Apostle John also exhorted the believers to stand against false teachers –
1 John 4:2-3 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
God clearly led Paul to declare that Jesus is superior in His Person and then goes on to state the fact that He has always been –
2. Superior in position .
This morning we will look into Hebrews 2:1-3
We are given –
a. Encouragement – because of His person and position to stand strong in the truth. Hebrews 2:1
Christians are to have –
1). Determination – personal decision “…we ought to give…”
2). Diligence. “…more earnest heed…”
3). Disregard. Be warned and be careful. Life is drifting by with many things going unnoticed. Do not “…let them slip…”
We will be held accountable! We will answer for how we live according to the Word of God. We will not be excused by saying “I did not know”.
– We are commanded to “Study to show ourselves approved…”!
God has revealed Himself to us and opened Himself to us to know Him. We are invited, encouraged, even commanded to study, to search, to research Him through His Word. You will NEVER be disappointed by what you find out as you learn of Him!
– We are commanded to “…to observe all things which I have commanded you…”
This encouragement is reinforced with warning. We now come to the –
b. Exhortation. Hebrews 2:2-3
He is speaking to –
1). The Religious people 2:2
The Hebrew believers were familiar with the Scriptures, the history of Israel. They knew exactly what Paul was referring to. The history of Israel was one of –
God’s blessings, man’s rebellion,
God’s judgment, man’s repentance,
God’s mercy, God’s blessings, man’s rebellion……
Paul reminded them of the Word of God coming to them in power by the Angels of God –
Exodus 19:16-19 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.
And all the people agreed to hear and obey –
Exodus 19:8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.
And yet we see –
2). The Rebellious people. 2:2a The Israelites rebelled against God in –
a). Transgression – sin
b). Disobedience – refusing to hear.
(Golden calves, breaking Sabbath, even Moses’ anger resulting is disobedience)
The Hebrews were warned that because of the sins of Israel, judgment came.
3). The Reproved people. “…received a just recompense of reward…” 2:2a
Paul turned the Hebrews attention from the Israelites living under the Law which was spoken by angels to –
4). The Redeemed People. Living by grace 2:3 “How shall we escape…”
Judgment is sure! We cannot escape the judgment of God in our lives. Know this, it is most important to realize that judgment is not about our eternal life in Him.
Salvation from sin is not about works that we do, simply about belief or unbelief
John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Salvation is settled between you and God –
Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
We have been studying on Wednesday nights this very issue and it is clear that there is no condemnation to the believer. When we are saved, we are saved forever! It is about our actions or lack of actions that will be judged!
James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
What is being stated here refers to the truth declared in –
Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Because of Who He is (His Person) and because of What He does (His Position), we are to obey Him. Because of who we are (Saved and in Christ) and what we are (children of the Most High God) we are to obey Him.
You might say this morning “What can I do”? If you are saved –
Admit to yourself that God has saved you to spend eternity with Him, but even more than that! He has saved you to do something here and now.
Know that God has a purpose for you.
Change those four words “What can I do”? from negative to positive.
Lord, what do you want me to do?
Everyone can pray!
Everyone can witness! Take a gospel tract and give to someone, then pray.
Everyone can be friendly and helpful.
Everyone can give.
Everyone can serve in some way.
Do not neglect the great salvation that is given by our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
He is greater in His Person.
He is greater in His Position.
If you are not saved, come to Him today in faith.