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Christmas 2014 God With Us Hebrews 1:1-6

December 21, 2014 Speaker: Jim Galli Series: Specials

Topic: Sunday AM Passage: Hebrews 1:1–1:6

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1God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.

5For to which of the angels did He ever say,
“YOU ARE MY SON,
TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU”?
And again,
“I WILL BE A FATHER TO HIM
AND HE SHALL BE A SON TO ME”?

6And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says,
“AND LET ALL THE ANGELS OF GOD WORSHIP HIM.”

I was talking to Gary Flood last week about this particular message that is our "Christmas" message if we're going to have one.

We both agreed you could choose one of 3 approaches.

1) Ignore christmas and just go on to the next verses in our series in Matthew.
2) Take a break from Matthew and do something about Christmas
3) Find an angle to work a Christmas message into where we're currently at.

At first I considered the Matthew passage. But to give it a Christmas twist is to give us all a Christmas spanking.

Christmas in America is a blow out of unbridled materialism and squandered wealth the like of which the world has never seen or witnessed in all of history until now.

Mt. 6:25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

Ouch! How much of a hypocrite can I be? I know I'm going to gather with my beloved ones and we'll have a world class feast, and we'll even enjoy a glass or two of wine or eggnog, and we'll rip open presents full of beautiful things we don't need.

I'm going to do all that with a clear conscience.

Ne. 8:10 Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

Pete Seeger said; 1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

2A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

3A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

I know it wasn't really Pete Seeger. Just seeing if you're listening.

The point is that God blesses us with seasons.

It's OK to enjoy your family and have a feast. Savor it while it lasts. All of the other things in that list are waiting just around the corner.

The one thing I want to bring to the front though is something Jesus said in our passage we're not going to study in depth this morning, that rises above everything else in importance.

Mt. 6:25b Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

If you're lucky enough to be in that season where your family draws close around you and everyone is healthy and happy, enjoy it. Savor it. But remember that Jesus calls us to a depth beyond what the world considers it's norm.

His question is rhetorical. Let me re-state the obvious. Life is more than food and the body is more than clothing.

Life, with a capitol L.

That's a hard argument to make if you've not been born again spiritually. If you've not been quickened from the spiritual dead and made alive together with the Lord Jesus Christ, that's an empty argument.

For the rest of the world the feast is all there is. The orgy is all there is.

Years ago when my girls were in their young teens, we made some trips to Mexico with other church youth groups.

We were concentrated east of Tijuana over a hundred miles, going into Mexico at Calexico. It was green farm land watered by what was left of the Colorado River.

The people there are deperately poor. But I noticed something and I wanted my kids to see it.

In the USA our wealth has made us dysfunctional. Teenagers here are slitting their wrists over whether they can have the latest style of new shoes. People are killing each other if someone cuts them off on the freeway. We've all gone stark-raving nuts it seems.

In Mexico, the families are intact. There's a mom and a dad and kids, and they may be living in a cardboard box, but the families are a unit. The kids are out making up games because they have no toys. Kids honor moms. Moms honor dads.

It's not perfect. I'm not delusional. But you go 60 miles over that border and it's a lot healthier than what we've got here. Our wealth has driven us mad. We are unbelievably shallow.

I'll say it again. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

So, let's move beyond food and clothing. Stuff and barns. Let's talk about the source of the life that is deeper than all the surface stuff. The stuff is a smoke screen Satan throws up so you can't see the real clearly.

I want to look very briefly this morning at Hebrews 1 as a Christmas text. One of the most marvelous passages in all the bible.

1God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.

Our God speaks. He reveals truths to us that are unknowable. Things that can't be found out.

He's been doing that, on His schedule, since creation.

In old times He spoke in many different ways to many different prophets.

The old testament consists entirely of revelation from God, to His prophets.
Moses. Isaiah. Daniel. Jeremiah. Ezekiel. David. Job. And many others.

He didn't write it on secret stones. He spoke to men. All kinds of different weird ways. Some very unique.

But ultimately, it was the plan of God to send His Son into the world, as a man, and also fully God, in order to die in our place.

The story of Christmas is the story of the advent of God, born as a man.

The writer of Hebrews and the apostle John approach the advent of Jesus the same way. He revealed God to us, in a way that no prophet could do.

John says; In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God, and the word was God.

The greek word is logos. In the beginning was the logos. We translate it all kinds of different ways in different passages, but the underlying meaning is that of communicating an idea. Revelation. Our God speaks.

That's exactly what the writer of Hebrews is saying. 1God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2in these last days has spoken to us in His Son,

The prophets could tell us about God. Jesus was God with us.

Add Paul to the chorus. Colossians 2:9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,

God wants to reveal Himself to us. He wants us to see and understand His Glory. He uses the prophets of the Old Testament and the apostles of the New testament to tell us about Himself.

But the Son is Him. In John 14 after spending 3 years with Him, Philip still doesn't get it.

7"If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him." 8Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." 9Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father '?

I'm new at all of this, but as we learn together in the Word of God, it has often occurred to me that we should probably be looking at the Gospel stories about Jesus 2/3rds of the time.

When you study Pauls letters and the prophets discourses, it's an important connection with doctrine, it's God telling you about Himself, but whe you study the gospels, it's like looking at a picture of God directly. It's like being in a room with God. The more we know Jesus, the more we know what God is like.

1God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.

The author of Hebrews is going to tell us 3 things about Jesus in this opening salvo. See it there in verse 2.

He is the Word of God. He is a picture of God. He is the visible communication of who God is, both spoken and seen.

He is heir of everything. He owns the world. Think of it this way. Before Jesus, there was no matter. Nothing made of solid elements. Jesus not only owns everything, it's all His....

He created everything that is. As R. C. Sproul likes to say, there are no renegade molecules in the universe. They all belong to Him.

Both the passage here in Hebrews and the one in John 1 take us for a parallel swim in the deep water. I'm in over my head, but then, so is everybody else. These things are just barely fathomable to our little brains.

John tells us the same thing the writer of Hebrews tells us. Listen to John 1: 1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God.

The first thing we want to see is that the Word becomes evident at the beginning of all creation. And He was with God, and He is God. Co-equals. The Word who is the Son is also God.

3All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

The Word, the Logos, the Son of God, co-equal with God, has caused everything that is created, to exist. It all belongs to Him. And just to confuse you further, Paul says in

Col. 1:16 - 17 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

Me and Pam are guilty of watching that stupid show, Big Bang Theory. It's a comedic poke at the emptiness and un-knowing of secularism that has nothing else.

The big bang, if there was one, was when Jesus Christ spoke all things into existence by the word, the Logos, of His power.

The secular big bang theory requires something to pre-exist to go bang in the first place. The Word of God puts that flight of fancy to death. Jesus always existed with God. He spoke everything into being that now exists. It all is in Him.

Paul says all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together

In Him all things hold together. In Him all things hold together.

You know, we live in an age where we study sub atomic particles. We know about the building blocks of everything. But ask some scientist to explain what holds those positive and negatively charged particle in their perfect orbits. What is the so-called "nuclear glue"?

Isn't it amazing that a man wrote the answer to that question 1950 years ago, and he didn't really understand what he was saying (or did he), and it's right there for anyone to read, and modern secular "so-called" science rejects the answer. In Him all things hold together.

Listen again to John's amazing sentence. 3All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

Now listen again to what the author of Hebrews says; 1God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.

Can you get a little glimpse of the 'big picture'. Jesus spoke everything that is, into existence. He owns it all. He holds it all together. And ultimately, all of it, even the things He will judge, will come together and shout "GLORY" to Him. All of it.

This thing with Satan, and Adam, and the fall. Sin and rebellion. It's just a temporary set-back. A fart in a whirlwind. And when He's done with it, it also will give Him glory.

Now listen to the author of Hebrews as he continues, and see if it doesn't sound like an echo in the room.

Hebrews 1:3 - 4 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.

The three authors and 3 books I've quoted this morning span a roughly 50 year period written by 3 authors who were half a continent apart from each other. Yet, they're all saying the same thing. How is that?

The obvious answer is there is one author in control of this book. The Holy Spirit of God revealed these things which are unknowable to His servants who wrote them down.

At least one of them, John, and perhaps the author of Hebrews too, walked on this earth and spoke with the Son of God . . in person.

So, He was holding the molecules, the atomic structure together, and at the same time, sitting around a camp fire somewhere in Judea with his disciples, having some fun and I'm convinced, making some jokes with them. You think Jesus and the disciples didn't laugh on occasion??

Did you ever notice we work best . . when we're laughing at ourselves and each other just a bit.

The point of the Book of Hebrews was to show the Jews, systematically, that Jesus, basically, trumps everything.

He's better than the angels. He's better than Moses. He's better than the sacrifices. He's better than everything!

So, look with me at the next few verses real quick, and we'll wind this back down to earth. Small things. Like you and me, and Christmas.

5For to which of the angels did He ever say,
“YOU ARE MY SON,
TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU”?
And again,
“I WILL BE A FATHER TO HIM
AND HE SHALL BE A SON TO ME”?

6And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says,
“AND LET ALL THE ANGELS OF GOD WORSHIP HIM.”

Listen to Isaiah, God's prophet, speaking for us the very words of God.

Isaiah 9:6 - 7 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of armies will accomplish this.

God of very God, came to earth. He didn't ride in on a sunbeam and land on the pinnacle of some temple with black hair and yellow saffron robes.

He was born of a woman. But under special circumstances. He had no earthly human father. The seed of the woman was made alive by God Almighty. He was born of a virgin. He was seperate from Adam's race. Born of God.

A tiny baby. Wrapped up in cloth. Laid in a manger. And when that was done, a great shout went up in heaven.

Luke 2:13 - 14. A familiar passage to us. And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14"Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased."

There are several instances where overwhelmed men fall down and worship an angel. And the response is universally the same. Worship God! The angels only worship God. And they instruct men to Worship God.

This is the one time in all eternity that a birth of a human being is accompanied by shouts of Glory in Heaven, by the angels.

Go out from here. Enjoy your feasts. Enjoy ripping open the boxes with the stuff inside. More stuff.

But also, think about the big picture. Jesus, who made everything that is, for His own Glory, holding all things together, laying swaddled in cloth, in a manger, with the armies of God shouting His worship! Pretty spectacular stuff!