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The Speaking Savior Who is Still Seated

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Whenever I was a child growing up my dad served as the children and recreation pastor at FBC Springfield and I had my dad as my children’s pastor which was really cool at times and really inconvenient at other times! One of the things that we’d always do as a family on Saturdays was we’d go to Daylight Donuts in Springfield and they’d donate their leftover donuts in the afternoon and we’d take them to the church for kids to have on Sunday morning. As a young boy, free donuts were just about the coolest thing in the whole world and I’d take one for the team to make sure that they were still edible and I’d usually eat my favorite at that time: A chocolate long john. I loved the chocolate and the normal glaze part of the donut and thought these donuts were the best you could find… Until one Saturday I was eating my long john and I made it to the center of the donut and what did my taste buds discover unexpectedly? It was a filled long john and at the center of this delicious glaze and chocolate donut was a creme filling that about made me gag. Ever since, I’ve been skeptical about eating long johns because you never know what’s in the center of the donut.
The center of things is usually important. Whether its the center of our planet or the center of our lives or the center of a donut, the center is important and impacts everything around it. The center of the Bible is no different and, thankfully, the center of the Bible is no surprise!
At the center of the Bible is Jesus Christ. “We find Christ in all the Scriptures. In the Old Testament He is predicted, in the Gospels He is revealed, in Acts He is preached, in the epistles He is explained, and in Revelation He is expected.” - Alistair Begg
Jesus stands at the center of Scripture as its King. This is what we read in our men’s and women’s Bible study books this week if you’re participating in that study and this is also what we saw last week we began looking at the book of Hebrews. We studied how Jesus is fully-God and full-man and how He created the same earth that He would eventually come to be born into. The same Savior who created all trees found Himself being hung upon the very tree that He created. The same God who sustains all things, dying in the place of sinners He breathed the breath of life into. This same Jesus who came, lived a perfect life, and died a sinners death is the same God who is sitting today on His throne as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords today!
Even though we have difficulties and adversity in this life, Hebrews reminds us that our God saves and our God reigns. In Lindsey’s song earlier, we were reminded that Christ is ours forevermore. If you are in Christ this morning, you have a greater hope than anything this world has to offer. You have a greater joy, a greater peace, a greater comfort, and a greater purpose than anything or anyone else around you who is not in Christ.
The theme of Jesus being greater is found 13x in this book! This is a big deal that this anonymous preacher keeps circling back to. This is the reminder that we need to tell ourselves often as well. Jesus is greater than my temporary happiness, His way is better than my way, He is better than comfort, and He is better than any other religious system out there. He is the center and He is the King over creation.
As we continue looking at Hebrews we find ourselves in an interesting part of God’s Word. Hebrews 1:1-3 is straightforward passage as we are given rich truths concerning Jesus and Him being our great sacrifice and source of salvation. Today, though, we continue the theme of Jesus being greater but He isn’t being compared to the sacrifices, priests, or prophets of old… Now He will be compared to God’s angels. Why would this need to be said in the first place? What is going on in these verses? What makes Jesus better than the angels? Let’s study from God’s Word this morning and see what our great Savior has done!
Hebrews 1:4–14 CSB
4 So he became superior to the angels, just as the name he inherited is more excellent than theirs. 5 For to which of the angels did he ever say, You are my Son; today I have become your Father, or again, I will be his Father, and he will be my Son? 6 Again, when he brings his firstborn into the world, he says, And let all God’s angels worship him. 7 And about the angels he says: He makes his angels winds, and his servants a fiery flame, 8 but to the Son: Your throne, God, is forever and ever, and the scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of justice. 9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; this is why God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of joy beyond your companions. 10 And: In the beginning, Lord, you established the earth, and the heavens are the works of your hands; 11 they will perish, but you remain. They will all wear out like clothing; 12 you will roll them up like a cloak, and they will be changed like clothing. But you are the same, and your years will never end. 13 Now to which of the angels has he ever said: Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve those who are going to inherit salvation?
The Old Testament law was mediated through the angels and was from God - it was good - see Galatians 3:19 and Acts 7:53 to demonstrate the fact that God gave the OT law to the people through angels, yet God’s people couldn’t keep it. Jesus does keep the law in its entirety, though! Jesus is greater than the angels. He is greater than the OT prophets and sacrifices, meaning that His message is greater too and we must respond to what He has done!

Jesus Has the Greater Name (4-5)

Names matter! If you’ve read Matthew 1 or Luke 3 around Christmas you understand how important names are as we see lots of names leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ. Our names sometimes tell a story - some people are named after a relative or a close family friend, other people are named after a famous person or Biblical figure. Some people have a relatively simple name and other people have a more complicated name and if you’re a teacher in the school system you probably wish that you could have a talk with some parents and ask them what they were thinking whenever they gave their child their name because it’s impossible to pronounce! Names matter and names tell a story.
We looked last week in Hebrews 1:4 at the fact that Jesus inherited a more excellent name than the angels. What name did Jesus inherit? Let’s think of some options here about this name. Luke 1:31-33 gives us some background information about Jesus as Gabriel tells Mary this before Jesus’ birth
Luke 1:31–33 CSB
31 Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will have no end.”
We’ll touch more on this message later, but we see clearly that Mary and Joseph named Him Jesus for a reason - God told them to. Is this the name that is more excellent than the angels? Is there something special about the name of Jesus? Absolutely we know that there is power in the person and work of Jesus Christ, but Jesus is a relatively common name in our world today and it was a relatively common name 2000 years ago. Literally, the root word for Jesus in the Hebrew is Yeshua and this is the same root for the name Joshua. Is that the name that is more excellent than theirs? Probably not - it’s significant but there’s a name that’s even more significant to the preacher of Hebrews’ argument here.
What about the name Lord? Philippians 2:5-11 shares with us that Jesus is exalted and given the name above every other name and that at the name of Jesus everyone will declare that Jesus Christ is Lord! In other words, Jesus Christ is King!
See Colossians 2:18 - some worshipped angels and believed that they were greater than they truly are. They’re tempted to make the wrong thing the most important thing, and we better not make the same mistake! New Testament angels are only messengers… Jesus is God’s Son. He is given the name of Son and the title of Lord! He is reigning over Creation! That’s an important name for Jesus as well but there’s an even stronger option in the text before and after verse 4...
The greater name the preacher of Hebrews says that Jesus inherits is likely the name Son. God has spoken to us through His Son. God has saved sinners through His Son. God is changing the world through His Son. Why is this designation so significant? What’s the big deal about Jesus being the Son of God and the Son of Man? Think about authority for a minute. In the ancient world, who had more power? The king or a scout? Obviously the king does because he’s the king and he’s the ruler. That same power and designation extends not only to the king but also to his family - meaning that his son is also extremely powerful. The king’s son is more powerful than a soldier or a scout or a servant not because he’s bigger or stronger but because of the authority in his nature - he IS the son of the king. Think of Jesus in this regard - Jesus as the 2nd person of the Trinity always has existed but whenever He came to the earth as the God-man, He came to do the will of His Father as His Son. We find this truth in Galatians 4 as Paul writes this
Galatians 4:4–5 CSB
4 When the time came to completion, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
Aren’t you thankful that the Son of God came to this earth to save sinners like you and me and adopt us into God’s forever family? This is good news and the only reason that it’s possible is because Jesus is God’s Son. See, the angels in God’s army are messengers. They have a role and purpose to play in the Old and New Testaments as they share God’s message and goodness with others… they even shared the law with Moses as Galatians 3:19 tells us
Galatians 3:19 CSB
19 Why, then, was the law given? It was added for the sake of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise was made would come. The law was put into effect through angels by means of a mediator.
If angels are God’s messengers and they have a role to play in God’s perfect plan in giving the people the law - how much more do you think that Jesus, as God’s Son and the promised Messiah, has good news for God’s people? He is the Son of God and we must listen to His Words and submit to His rule. The preacher of Hebrews quotes from Psalm 2 and 2 Samuel 7 (which is referred to often in this book) in verse 5 to demonstrate that Jesus is not only the Son of God but that He has authority due to that name. He is the King - He is not a messenger. He is God’s Son - not God’s soldier.
Most popular Bible verse is John 3:16 which shares this truth about who Jesus is to us
John 3:16 NASB95
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
We must respond to that name and give Jesus the respect that He deserves as the Son of God.

Jesus is the Greater King (7-14)

The preacher of Hebrews continues in verses 7-14 to tell us how the Son of God rules as King and how this makes Him different from the angels and every other king in human history. The preacher of Hebrews draws on several Psalms in this text to make His overall point that Jesus is the greatest King because of His power and nature.
Think about the government for a minute - we know that God is on His throne and that there are not governmental surprises to Him as God’s Word tells us that God is the One who gives power and God takes it away. God raises Kings and nations up and God brings them crashing down. Consider some of the different nations and governments that have been in power over the years. If you go way back you have the Egyptians who were a major world power for over 2,500 years and were ruled by the Pharoah. You have the Greeks who ruled for a much shorter period of time - several hundred years - but Alexander introduced Greek culture to much of the known world and paved the way for the Romans to set up a massive empire that lasted for over 1,000 years. Each of these governments had some form of a monarchy or republic setup and their rulers ruled for a period of time but eventually kings died and these nations passed away. This has been the way of our world and it will continue to be that way. The promise in Scripture is that Jesus is not going to be a president who can be voted out of office. He won’t be an emperor who can be assassinated whenever He does something that people don’t like. Jesus will bring about a theocracy - the rule of God - as He will rule as king forever with no end!
Usually we think of someone ruling as a king for a long period of time and we think that that’s a bad idea and a bad thing and understandably so! We’re all sinners and even the best leader has shortcomings and weaknesses, this guy certainly does. There are times where people are in power and they need to not be in power… But this isn’t the case with Jesus. The preacher of Hebrews reminds us that His throne is forever and ever. This is from Psalm 45 which was a Royal Psalm for the King of Israel. As you study God’s Word, especially in the Old Testament, you read of several notable kings. Think of Saul, David, and Solomon for a minute - these 3 ancient kings who ruled for 40 years a piece. God made a promise, a covenant, with David in 2 Samuel 7:16 as God promises this
2 Samuel 7:16 CSB
16 Your house and kingdom will endure before me forever, and your throne will be established forever.’ ”
Usually we’d say that someone ruling forever with no end is a bad thing… Yet, with Jesus this is not only not bad but this is the best possible news! Why? Because of Who Jesus is. Who is this King? We see several truths concerning Jesus in these verses:
Why is Jesus the Greater King?
He is Just
He loves Righteousness
He Hates Lawlessness
He is the Same
He is Eternal
This is good news, church! Jesus stays the same and He offers us a solid foundation to stand upon. Look at how these attributes pale in comparison to the leaders in our world today. Our leaders, even the best ones, are sinners - they are not just. Because of sin, so often the kings of this world love power and earthly things - not righteousness. Because of sin, we naturally are lawbreakers. We change. We have an expiration date attached to us. This is bad news and it’s especially bad news for any person placing their hope in an earthly power system because it will always fail!
Y’all there are so many who despise Jesus and His rule and Hebrews 1:11 makes it clear that one day all of us will perish and the only hope that we have is by belonging to Jesus Christ and to have Him change our life from the inside out. Our world is so confused as to who Jesus is and why we talk about our need for Him. An ever-changing world desperately needs a never-changing King - and this is Who Jesus is! Isaiah 9 tells us this about our King
Isaiah 9:6–7 CSB
6 For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7 The dominion will be vast, and its prosperity will never end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from now on and forever. The zeal of the Lord of Armies will accomplish this.
Aren’t you thankful that Jesus is not only a better sacrifice, priest, messenger, but also a better King who rules over creation with justice and righteousness? We look at our world today and we see chaos and injustice… yet, we know that Jesus will make things right. He hears our cries, He knows our hearts, He sustains our souls, He is the King of Kings who is ruling over creation, yet He delights in saving sinners like you and me. Because of this truth, 3rd and finally,

Jesus Deserves Greater Worship (6)

Between this declaration about Jesus having a better name and being the greater king who rules forever, the preacher of Hebrews shares something about Him in verse 6 that must serve as our response… Jesus deserves to be praised. This was true 2000 years ago and it remains true today! Do you remember what happened whenever Jesus was born in Bethlehem?
Luke 2:9–11 CSB
9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: 11 Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord.
The first thing that we see about these angels is that the glory of God shines around them because they are heavenly messengers - whenever Isaiah had his vision before the throne of God in Isaiah 6, he thought that he was going to die because of God’s glory and holiness! We have to get the idea out of our heads that angels are these cute cuddly beings and understand that they are downright terrifying in part because the glory of God shines on them because they are in close proximity to God as they worship Him. The angels are not deserving of worship, rather angels worship their Creator. This is true as Luke 2 continues
Luke 2:13–14 CSB
13 Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: 14 Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people he favors!
Have you ever paused to ask yourself why do angels exist? People are fascinated by angels - we see this in the media with books and movies, we see this with conversations that people have, we even see it at stores as many people purchase angel statues and paintings. Why do they exist, though?
Angels are God’s messengers
Angels are God’s soldiers
Angels worship God
Angels primarily exist to worship God and to carry out His will. They relay messages to God’s people in the Old and New Testaments, Paul shares that there is a spiritual battle taking place and angels are certainly fighting in that battle against unseen powers of darkness as Ephesians 6 tells us. Angels have a purpose! But they are not to be worshipped - look at what happened to John in Revelation
Revelation 19:10 CSB
10 Then I fell at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers and sisters who hold firmly to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God, because the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
Why is the preacher of Hebrews taking 3/4 of Hebrews 1 to talk about angels? Because there exists a temptation to worship them. There exists a temptation for us to get things out of order in our head and in our heart. Michael Kruger says it like this, “Angels are like a JV team: they may seem impressive but they’re not playing major leagues… Jesus is.” The angels refuse to be worshipped - they’re too impressed with Jesus Christ and His glory to do anything but worship Him.
Church, we need to get this right this morning - the angels can’t help but worship Jesus because of His greatness and holiness. What is stopping us from doing the same?
God has spoken to us through Jesus, the Word of God! The Holy Spirit enables us to truly understand God’s Word instead of what we think or want the Bible to mean. This truth should lead us to worship our God for Who He is and how He has revealed Himself to us! You can know God through Jesus Christ and you can obey Him as you follow the Holy Spirit’s guiding in your life and submit to His Word. Jesus deserved the worship of the angels and He received their worship at His birth and at His exaltation and He will receive their worship for all eternity… He deserves our worship today.
If the angels exist to worship God and carry out His will, then why do we exist? What is our purpose?
Imagine yourself as a player in the board game, “Life” for a minute. This game has been around for nearly 60 years and when it originally came out what was the purpose? The purpose of life as with any board game is to win! You win this game by getting a job, buying insurance, saving for retirement and earning the most wealth in the game. This was what people viewed as important in the 1960s… as time has gone on the board game of life has changed several times due to redesigns to make it more relevant to each generation. In the 2007 redesign, the game was changed to reflect a changing society and suddenly not only did you get money for having a good job and working hard, suddenly you are able to do noteworthy actions and make cool discoveries like saving animals, creating a solution to pollution, and helping in the medical world… but what is the reward in the game for good actions? Money. As one journalist said about this new design, “The game has no goal… life is aimless.”
Church, is our goal to simply make cool discoveries? Nope. Is it to make lots and lots of money? Nope. Is it to achieve the American Dream? Not even close. As Tim Keller shares in the New City Catechism, “God created us male and female in His own image to know Him, love Him, live with Him, and glorify Him.” This is why we are here today, friends. You are a part of something far bigger than yourself and God has created you with a purpose to know Him and to enjoy Him forever and to bring Him glory in the in-between time! What is stopping you from worshipping God? What is stopping you from following Christ and His perfect plan for your life? For some, perhaps, it is because we’re currently worshipping the wrong thing. We want to worship our ideas. We want to worship our comforts. We want to worship ourselves. We want to worship something really really good. How are you investing your time? What are you investing your resources in?
We are here to lift high the name of Jesus and as we reflect on Who Jesus is there are things that we must do as well… let’s look at 4 way to respond to this text:


Because Jesus is the Greater King, I must trust in His rule and rely on His understanding.
Because Jesus Deserves my Worship, I must glorify Him with everything that I do.
Because Jesus is God’s Son, I must submit to His authority.
Because Jesus is Greater than anything this world has to offer, I can rejoice at all times.
This life is a journey and it’s a privilege to walk through it together with each one of you! How can we at FBC Salem better trust in God’s plan and rejoice in Jesus’ victory? It starts by remembering what its all about. It’s not about me. It’s not about you. It’s not about us. It’s all about our King who stands at the center of Scripture and in the center of our lives today. May He not be hidden from others like the creme in the middle of a long john donut - may Jesus shine through our lives as we praise Him and worship Him as the King that He truly is. This world will one day pass away - but our God will rule and reign forevermore. Do you belong to Christ today? If not, today can be the day where Jesus saves you from the punishment, and power of sin and one day, He will save you from the very presence of sin. What a day that will be!
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