Faithlife Sermons

Jesus: The Greater Adam

Notes
Transcript

Intro

Alright. Go ahead and grab a seat and as you do you can turn in your Bibles to .
And while you turn there, I want to talk to you today about what our great hope is as Christians.
When you ask most Christians what is it that we are hoping for in our faith, they will correctly say Heaven.
But sadly, for most of us, Heaven has become an empty word.
Many of us have settled for a view of Heaven that is closer to the world’s understanding and speculation than it is to the Bible’s teaching on what God is preparing for us.
Because Heaven is so much more than a place of good feelings where nothing bad ever happens.
It is actually the place of eternal joy and peace
You see, the only reason Heaven is the place where those who trust in Christ will experience eternal joy, peace, love, and eternal life itself is because it is ruled by Christ.
It is where we will finally see all things put in subjection to Christ. Where we will finally see Jesus as the exalted King of kings and Lord of lords.
Where he will finally make all things new. Where all the evil and brokenness of this world will be removed and death, Satan, his angels, and all those who oppose God and his people will be thrown into Hell, and we will enjoy the blessings of living under Christ’s Kingdom.
Our hope isn’t just for some vague better place called Heaven. Our hope is for the Kingdom of God.
A Kingdom where Jesus rules over all things and every speck of sin, and death, and evil will be no more, and we get to live with God under his loving rule for all eternity.
And this hope is the focus of our passage today. So far, the Author of Hebrews has been shining a spotlight on the Supremacy of Christ as God’s Son in order to encourage the Jewish believers to whom he is writing.
They are facing intense persecution from every side and they are being tempted to give into the pressure and stop following Jesus.
But in chapter 2:1-4, he told them that they cannot possibly go back to Judaism and ignore the gospel of salvation because it is only through faith in Christ that we will escape God’s coming judgement against sin.
Then in our passage today, he turns from reminding them of the judgement that God will pour out on sin to instead remind the Hebrews of the hope all Christians have in Christ.
Its like he is saying, not only will you escape God’s judgement against sin through faith in Christ, but remember that you will also live in Christ’s Kingdom when he returns.
In other words, he doesn’t want to encourage them to endure the persecution and persevere just because they will face God’s judgement if they don’t. He also wants them to persevere remembering that one day, all our suffering and faithfulness will be worth it when we see Christ rule over all things in perfect peace.
And in these 4 verses he is going to take us all the way back to when God created the world to remind us what God originally intended for humanity,, how everything was broken because of our sin, and finally how he promises to make all things new through the death of Christ and his coming Kingdom.
And the BIG IDEA I want you to take away from this passage is that Jesus rules over all things as the Greater Adam whose death brought life to everyone who believes in him.
And in order for us to understand the significance of Jesus being the greater Adam who rules all things, we must first understand Adam’s call to rule creation from .

1. Adam’s Call to Rule Creation

For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet.”
For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. It has been testified somewhere,
“What is man, that you are mindful of him,
or the son of man, that you care for him?
You made him for a little while lower than the angels;
you have crowned him with glory and honor,
putting everything in subjection under his feet.”
So to encourage the Hebrews to persevere in the midst of persecution, the author returns to his idea that Christ is superior to the angels by saying For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking.
You’ll remember how in the second half of chapter 1, the author quoted Psalm after Psalm celebrating how Christ is the exalted King of kings who reigns at the right hand of the Father.
And here the author is looking forward into the future where Christ’s reign will be ultimately realized. Where we won’t just see it in part here and now, but where we will actually experience Christ’s Kingdom in its fullness.
This is what he means by the world to come. And the word translated world is actually very telling.
Instead of using the generic word for world as in the general systems that move the world forward, the author chose to use a specific word that means the inhabited world.
In other words he is not just talking about Christ ruling over all things in a general sense as he does now, but he is looking forward to the day when Christ returns to rule over the inhabited earth in person.
That Christ will return to take his place as the King of kings and Lord of lords and those who trust in him will live in his Kingdom under his perfect rule.
And to give a picture of Christ’s rule over all things, the author quotes .
says that when Jesus returns he will make a new heaven and a new earth and the new Jerusalem where he will reign from his throne will come down
It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet.
Now to understand the full significance of this Psalm in the Author’s argument, we need to do a little bit of leg work.
We first need to see what this Psalm meant in its original context if we are going to see its significance in light of Christ.
This is a Psalm written by David, and in it he is overwhelmed with wonder as he thinks about God’s glory in Creation.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
In this Psalm, David is amazed. He is looking at creation, its beauty, is grandeur, its vastness and his thought immediately goes to, “God. Why in the world do you care about us?”
and the son of man that you care for him?
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
We are just a little dot, a little speck in this grand universe that contains beautiful stars, planets, and galaxies all proclaiming the power of God who spoke all of them into existence, and yet, God is mindful of us. He cares for us.
and crowned him with glory and honor.
And then David continues...
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
you have put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
Not only did God care for us, but he gave us glory and honor by putting us in charge over his creation.
the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
Even though we were lower than the angels, God gave humanity dominion over all the lesser creation, that is the physical world and he placed everything in the physical world, under our feet.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
And the language David uses in this Psalm, specifically in regards to all the animals, birds, and fish being put in subjection to mankind shows us that David here was writing his own commentary on .
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
27  So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
This of course describes God creating Adam and Eve.
male and female he created them.
If you don’t know, the name Adam is actually just the Hebrew word for “man.” And while we believe that there was a literal Adam, this literal Adam was just the first man that God created and breathed life into.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
And God created Adam and Eve, and therefore all humanity in his image.
The Hebrew word for image signifies something that represents something or someone else.
In the ancient world, a King or ruler would often place an image or idol of himself in different parts of his realm as a way of symbolizing his reign in that place.
When anyone saw the image, they knew who was king of that land.
This is even the same idea that people communicate when they worship idols. When someone worships an idol, they erect an image of their god to show that this god is the one they worship. This is the god that rules their life.
And because we are God’s image bearers, we are called to represent God in his created world.
So when God made us in his image and gave us dominion over the earth, God was saying that he is the God of all creation. Being made in God’s image means that we belong to him and were created to bring glory to his Name.
These include God’s communicable attributes such as his love, kindness and mercy, to the world and one another. To glorify God by living all our lives for him as his image bearers.
And because we are God’s image bearers, we are called to represent God in his created world, and one of the ways we represent him is by exercising dominion over creation as he commanded us to.
In other words, just like the images kings would use to show the reach of their kingdom, humanity as God’s image bearers show that God’s rule extends beyond his heavenly kingdom and over his created world.
So when God made Adam in his image and then charged him to have dominion over all the earth, God effectively made him a king over the created world whose sole purpose was to represent and serve the King of kings who rules over all things, God himself.
And after God made Adam and Eve, he entrusted to them the created world to rule as his representatives and when he did, he gave them something that he said was very good.
There was no corruption. No evil. No death.
Everything in the world was as it should be. There was no brokenness, pain, sickness, injustice, or any evil of any kind whatsoever.
To put it one way, the Earth, when God created it, was heavenly.
It operated perfectly under his rule and care under the administration of his image bearers who perfectly executed his will on the earth.
The Earth yielded its food willingly for man to eat, and man lived in perfect harmony with God, creation, and each other.
This is the reality God designed humanity to enjoy. This is the life God meant for us.
But we all can look around today and know that this is not the reality we currently live in. Our world is broken. Instead of experiencing peace and harmony with God and his creation as his image bearers, we experience only chaos.
There are wars, famines, natural disasters, loved ones getting cancer, slavery, injustice, children dying. Sexual abuse, broken marriages, broken families, poverty, suffering, terrorism, anxiety, hatred, hunger, and all kinds of other atrocities that lead to death that were never meant to be a part of our world.
And all of these things. All the brokenness we experience today that make hearing about how God originally created the world seem so far gone that it is impossible to believe such a place can actually exist at all because of...

2. Adam’s Failure to Rule Over Creation

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
After God made Adam he placed him in the Garden of Eden to exercise his dominion over creation in God’s blessing.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
And God gave Adam one command. You cannot eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because if you eat it, you will die.
But what happens? The serpent, that is Satan, comes along and tempts Adam and Eve in the garden saying, Did God actually say, “You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?”
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
From the very beginning Satan was twisting God’s Word to make us question his goodness to us as his image bearers.
And Eve responded saying that they could eat of any tree of the Garden. Just not the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because if they ate of it they would die.
But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Satan said God is a liar. You won’t die just from eating some fruit. The only reason God doesn’t want you to eat it is because then you will be like him having the knowledge of good and evil.
Satan’s temptation was that we could be equal with God. That instead of living by faith, trusting that God is good and it is better to live according to his Word, Adam and Eve, and every person since, bought into Satan’s lie.
They believed through their sin, they would no longer need to depend on God to show them how to live. To show them how to have a fulfilled life. Instead they could know good and evil and then determine for themselves what was right and wrong.
It was a coup. It was an act of cosmic treason against the holy and true God. It wasn’t enough that we were made in God’s image and likeness. It wasn’t enough that God made us kings over his creation. We wanted to be like God so we rebelled against the King of kings believing that we didn’t need God. We could be our own gods determining what is good and what is evil for ourselves.
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
Through Adam, we sinned against the Lord and placed ourselves squarely in his wrath. Through our sin, we now live under the curse of death just like God had promised because physical death is now the reality that awaits every person that has ever lived.
Not only that, but we also suffer spiritual death in our sin because we no longer enjoy an unbroken relationship with the giver of life God himself. Instead, We are separated from him and are under his wrath for our sin. But there is hope.
After Adam and Eve sinned God came to them and the serpent and laid a curse on Satan, humanity, and creation.
The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. 15  I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
This is the first gospel. God is promising to send someone born from Adam and Eve, a human, who would undo everything sin had broken.
Who would do what Adam failed to do.
God said that Satan would have enmity, which means a deep rooted hatred, towards God’s image bearers. The reason why Satan hates people so much is because humans, as image bearers, are a constant reminder of God’s ultimate authority over all things.
That no matter what he does, Satan will never hold one fraction of God’s infinite glory that he covets.
And God says that Satan will war against humanity, continuing to deceive them from drinking the living water of eternal life that God alone can give, and instead trick them into choking down gravel and sand in their sin.
But one day, there would be a person who would conquer Satan. Someone from Adam and Eve who would be bruised by Satan, but would ultimately triumph and crush Satan and undo everything sin had done.
This of course is referring to Jesus who conquered sin, satan, and death on the cross by paying our wages of sin which is death, and rising again three days later.
Then God cursed Adam and Eve.
To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.”
And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18  thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19  By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
To the woman he said,
18  thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
19  By the sweat of your face
in pain you shall bring forth children.
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
Your desire shall be contrary to your husband,
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
but he shall rule over you.”
What I want you to see in this passage is how sin broke absolutely everything God had intended for creation. Look at what God said to the woman.
He said that her curse for sin would be that she would now have pain in childbirth. When God created Adam and Eve he commanded them to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth. Now, because of sin, they could only obey God with great suffering.
Then he said that her desire would be contrary to her husband, but that he would rule over her. When God made Eve, he made her because it wasn’t good that Adam was alone.
He needed a helper. He would not be able to exercise dominion over creation as God’s image bearer by himself. There was great dignity in the woman helping her husband obey God in a way that only she could.
But under the curse, Eve would would no longer be satisfied with being Adam’s helper. She now wanted to rule over her husband. To be the one in charge which was the complete opposite of who God had made her to be.
And then to Adam, God said that the earth would not longer yield its food willingly. Instead, the ground was cursed. It would only be through pain and suffering that he would be able to eat and feed his family.
And he would suffer this life of hard labor until he physically died and returned to the dust of the earth.
And here is what people often miss in this chapter. Do you see how the curse of sin was a complete reversal of all the blessings God had intended for man.?
They were told to multiply, but now it would be through pain.
Eve was meant to joyfully help her husband serve the Lord, but now there would be strife and hardship in their marriage.
Adam was meant to work the ground exercising dominion over the earth with the joyful blessing of the Lord giving him success in everything he did, but now his work was more like a death sentence where he would struggle and sweat until he died.
Sin has broken absolutely everything. Its broken families and raising children. It has broken marriages. Its even broken creation itself because creation now wars against us as we try exercise dominion over it as God’s image bearers.
In every way, the curse of sin has shattered any possibility to glorify God and enjoy his creation as he intended. In our sin, we stepped out of God’s loving care and every aspect of our lives was plunged into darkness and chaos as sin corrupted our hearts.
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.
Instead of enjoying life as God intended, now every person from Adam to today is born into death.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
Where mankind was meant to rule over all creation enjoying God’s blessings and living in perfect relationship to him who is the fountain of living waters, the very source of life itself, sin has frustrated our ability to rule as God intended and has infinitely separated us from God who is holy and has wrath against all sin.
Instead of a life of blessing, we live under a curse. But there is good news.
God did not leave us to rot in our sin. In fact, he had a plan to redeem all things. To make everything new so that everything that is broken now would one day be made whole.
One day, Mankind will again rule over God’s creation as he intended. We will again experience the blessing of peace and life with God as we live for his glory enjoying the life that he had intended for us from the very beginning because, one day, mankind will rule the earth through the God-Man Jesus Christ, the perfect Adam, and God will again dwell with his people like he did before the Fall.

3. Jesus is the Greater Adam Who Rules All Things

Allow me to remind you where we’ve been so far in this sermon.
The BIG IDEA of this Passage is that Jesus rules over all things as the Greater Adam whose death brought life to everyone who believes in him.
And we started by looking at God’s purpose for humanity which was to rule the earth as his image bearers.
We did this because the author in verse 6 quotes , so we went back to to see what David was originally saying in that passage so that we could see the full impact of why the author quotes it here.
And in David is reflecting on which says that we were made in God’s image and that we were created to walk with God and have dominion over everything God has made.
And then that led us to look at the Fall where humanity failed to rule over creation as God intended by sinning against him. And because of sin, what we see now in the worlddoesn’t really look like what God described in and 2.
The world, when God created it, was whole. It was a place of perfect peace, but today, because of our sin, that peace has been torn asunder.
No longer do we see the world subjected to us, ruling it at will to the glory of God. Instead, our life wars against us.
Adam failed in his sin, and now all of creation is cursed and does not produce the peace and life that God had originally intended for us.
But thankfully, that is not God’s final word. Creation will not be subjected to futility and its bondage to corruption forever. Instead, God sent his Son, born as a man to redeem what Adam broke, and this is why Jesus is the Greater Adam who rules over all things.
Now why do I use that term greater Adam? Well in , Paul says that Jesus is the last Adam.
By last it doesn’t mean that Jesus was the last human to be born because obviously we are here. Instead think of the Last Adam as the ultimate Adam. The perfect Adam. He is the closing of the book. He is the Last Word and there is no one like him.
Where the Author of Hebrews has been emphasizing Christ as the God of the universe, he now begins to focus on Christ as God incarnate. That Jesus is not only fully God, but he is also fully man. He is the second person of the Trinity who became a man to redeem sinners and fulfill God’s destiny for mankind.
This is why he quotes . He reinterprets this Psalm in a way that finds its ultimate fulfillment in Christ.
Where David was only speaking of mankind in general, the Author of Hebrews takes this passage and applies it not to the first Adam and all his descendants, but to Christ as the last Adam. The perfect and sinless Adam. The head of the new creation and the ruler of the world to come.
It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him?
You’ll notice there Jesus’ favorite title for himself which is likely intentional by the author.
Where David meant son of man as just one of Adam’s descendants, early Christians knew that Jesus often referred to himself as the Son of Man in order to emphasize his identification with mankind.
You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet.
When the Author says You made him for a little while lower than the angels, he is talking about Jesus’ incarnation.
In his incarnation, the eternal Son of God emptied himself, and he became a man in Jesus Christ. And while he never ceased to be God, he walked on earth as a man perfectly obeying God on our behalf.
He is not saying that Jesus is less than the angels and therefore not God. That would contradict everything he said in the second have of chapter 1. Instead, the author is emphasizing Jesus’ identification with mankind in his incarnation where he willingly took the form of a servant to accomplish our redemption.
But now, after his death and resurrection, God has crowned Christ with glory and honor, and placed everything in subjection under his feet.
Then the author continues with his own commentary on to make explicit what he has been implying this whole time.
wasn’t just about any man. It was pointing to God’s promised Messiah. The King from the line of David who would rule over all things perfectly for all time and restore God’s perfect peace over creation.
Jesus as the ultimate man, the God-Man, the last Adam, is the one who is crowned with glory and honor and reigns over all things.
Its like he can almost hear them saying, “If Christ really is crowned with glory and honor and everything has been placed in subjection under his feet, why is the world still broken?
Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control.
When David wrote Psalm 8, he was only referring to the things on earth as far as Adam was concerned.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
But Jesus’ dominion doesn’t have any limitation. As the perfect God-Man, He rules over all things both on earth and in heaven and nothing is left outside his control.
At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him.
Its almost as if the author can hear his readers objections. If Jesus really has been crowned with glory and honor and everything really is put in subjection to him, why does chaos still reign in the world?
I mean he is writing to persecuted Christians who are struggling to stay committed to Jesus and looking for any kind of hope that this is all worth it.
And the author’s answer to them is, “We might not see all things subjected to him today as they one day will be. But we can take great hope that all things really will be made right and put back in place because verse 9...
But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
He is calling them to not focus on the chaos and brokenness of this world and to doubt the truthfulness of the gospel because of the suffering they are experiencing. Instead he is urging them to turn their eyes to Jesus.
This is the first time in the letter that the Author has mentioned his name. Up until this point he has referred to Christ only as the Son, but now, he wants them to remember that this Son became a man in Jesus and was crowned with glory and honor and had all things subjected to him because Jesus suffered and died for them.
The assurance that we have for our hope that Christ will return and make all things new. That he will reverse the brokenness of sin in our world and restore creation to everything God intended it to be is because we see how Jesus paid the full penalty of our sin in his death.
Jesus paid the penalty of our sin with his own blood to purchase our redemption.
The reason He is crowned with glory and honor, exalted over all things, because he suffered and died to take the curse of sin upon himself for everyone that puts their faith in him.
By God’s grace, the eternal Son became a man in Jesus Christ and tasted death for everyone who believes in him.
To taste death doesn’t mean that Jesus simply died. Rather he experienced death in its full horror and humiliation.
Remember, God had said that if the first Adam ate of the tree he would surely die. Death was a punishment for sin and Christ took that penalty upon himself, so that we wouldn’t have to.
Christ suffered death in order that he might remove the threat of death from everyone who trusts in him for salvation.
Through the blood of Christ salvation is open to all who believe and no one who comes to Jesus will ever be turned away from God’s saving grace.
Where the first Adam plunged humanity into sin and death through his disobedience, the last Adam, Jesus Christ, plunged himself into sin and death for our sake.
For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
Where Adam disobeyed at the tree the knowledge of good and evil, Christ obeyed by being nailed to a tree to suffer and die on our behalf.
Where Adam disobeyed at the tree the knowledge of good and evil, Christ obeyed at the tree by being crucified to suffer and die on our behalf.
And because of his obedience, even to the point of death on the cross, Jesus is now highly exalted ruling and reigning over all things.
We can take great confidence that Christ is currently enthroned in the heavens ruling over all things even while we don’t currently see all things in subjection to him because we see how he has paid the penalty for sin in his death.
And if Christ has paid the penalty for sin, then there is no reason to doubt that he will one day return and remove the effects of sin from creation and rule over all things perfectly in the world to come.
And all who trust in Christ will be citizens of his kingdom and and says we will reign with him on the earth. We will be a kingdom of priests who have dominion over the earth under the dominion of our Redeemer King who reigns over all things.
And what will Christ’s reign be like? tells us.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
The sea in apocalyptic literature is a symbol for chaos, evil, and uncertainty. So the sea is a symbol for everything that sin broke in this world. So John is saying when Christ returns, there will be no more brokenness.
And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
What a glorious hope. We will live with God as we did in Eden and God will redeem everything sin has broken. He will wipe away every tear sin has caused and death will be a thing of the past.
We will not mourn or cry or have any pain because the former things, the things associated with the curse in this world will pass away in God’s kingdom.
And this is coming soon because in Jesus promises that he is coming soon to bring all these things to pass. May our prayer be with John in that verse saying Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

Application

So how do we apply this passage? I mean if we are talking in this passage about how Jesus is the ruler of all things but we won’t enjoy the fullness of that until we are in heaven, how do we apply this passage to us today?
For those that aren’t Christians, the application is obvious. Respond to God’s Word by placing your faith in Christ.
He is the only way that the penalty for your sin can be paid for and the Bible tells us that if we place our faith in him as our substitute, we will not die but have eternal life.
And if you want to be invited into God’s Kingdom when you die or Christ returns, to enjoy life as God had originally intended it, then you must be born again through faith in Christ.
Now for Christians, I think there are two ways we can apply the principle that Jesus rules over all things as the greater Adam whose death brought life to all who believe.

1. Consider Yourselves Dead to Sin

We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Christ died to remove the curse of sin from us and he will one day return to make all things new and remove the curse of sin from every inch of this world.
We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Because of that, we must consider ourselves dead to sin.
Because of Christ’s death for sin, our sin can not longer be an option for us. We cannot be content to allow sin, no matter how big or small we might think it is, to go unchecked in our life.
Instead, we must put our sins to death and consider ourselves not alive to live for sin, but alive to live for Christ and his kingdom through his resurrection.
He rules all things and when we walk in obedience to him, we bear witness to that reality.
We are not our own, but we were purchased with his blood to live all of our lives for him.
If Christ really is our King and everything has been subjected under his feet, then we must make every effort to bring our lives in subjection to his rule as well by the power of the Spirit

2. Live as an Ambassador for the Kingdom

The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.
The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.
An Ambassador is someone who serves as the representative of the King of a foreign nation.
This world is not our home. We are citizens of Christ’s heavenly kingdom and until he returns we are called to live on earth as his representatives.
Representing what exactly? The message of reconciliation! The only way people will be forgiven of their sin is through faith in Christ and Paul says in that the only way they can hear about Christ is if we are willing to go and tell them.
Who in your life is God wanting you to be his ambassador to? Who in your life needs the gospel of Christ or they will perish for their sin?
Then share the gospel with them. Tell them about how Jesus loved them and died for them so that they wouldn’t have to perish for their sins, but they could have eternal life and worship him.
And if you are too nervous or afraid to share the gospel because you’ve never done it before, then let me encourage you. Just start by praying.
Pray that God would soften their heart to the gospel and that God would show you opportunities to be his ambassador and tell others about Jesus.
Then when those opportunities come, take them. If you get in a conversation and start really thinking, maybe I should share the gospel here then do it!
God has entrusted to us the message of reconciliation and he will answer our prayers for opportunities to share the gospel.
Are we willing to be faithful ambassadors of his kingdom?

Conclusion

We started off this sermon by asking what is our great hope as Christians? What is it that we are looking forward to?
And as we’ve studied we have seen that our hope is that one day Christ will return and make all things new.
That he tasted death for everyone who believes in him to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
And because of his suffering and death, he has been exalted in the heavens, crowned with glory and honor over all things as our Redeemer King.
Jesus truly is the greater Adam who doesn’t just rule over the earth, but rules over all things because he is the perfect God-Man who died for our sins.

Let’s Pray

Scripture Reading

Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
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