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Hebrews 1:1-3 | "Who is Jesus?" [Live Stream Edition]

[Hebrews] Jesus: God's Final Word!  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  13:52
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Sunday , April 12, 2020. EASTER SUNDAY Hebrews 1:1-3 "Who is Jesus?" [Live Stream Edition] Why preach Hebrews 1 on Resurrection Sunday? The answer is found in the book's benediction: It is because the "God of peace...brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus" that Hebrews has any meaning for us today! Give your attention to how Hebrews introduces Jesus, and give your faith to Him!

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This Easter Sunday, we begin a new preaching series through the book of Hebrews.
And I want to personally ask you to join with me today, and every Sunday of this series.
If Church is something new to you, and you are not actively a part of a Christian fellowship, make this day the first day of your commitment and see this series through to the end.
This book will be a rich blessing for you and your faith.
We give our attention this morning to the first three verses of Chapter 1 — And I want us to ask this question — WHO IS JESUS?
Hebrews 1:1–3 ESV
1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
If you believe this is God’s word,
that it is living and active and working in you,
and if you commit to obey it,
will you unite with all who receive this message in faith by saying out-loud together “Amen” — AMEN!
Let us Pray!
God of peace, would you give us eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to obey Your Word. We receive this message by faith. We are committed to obedience. In the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, the Risen Lord, through whom you have spoken we pray — Amen.

Introduction to Text

Hebrews begins by immediately drawing our attention to an action God has performed.
And what has God done?
Verse 2 says it this way:
God “has spoken.” (1:2)
God is the subject of that statement. And it is God himself who has performed the action — it is God who has spoken.
God has initiated His own self-revelation so that you and I may know who He is!
God wants us to know Him!
And this leads us to ask the question of “How has God spoken”? And what has he said?

I. Hebrews 1:1

Hebrews 1:1 ESV
1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,
Hebrews is written to a group of people who are descendents with a history of receiving a word from God.
This verse says “God spoke to our fathers” — “by the prophets.”
God is not speaking for the first time. God is continuing to speak just as God is continuing to act in History.
This verse asks us to turn around and look back in time, at history.
God spoke “long ago at many times.”
This word “at many times” makes us think that God spoke often.
And it does appear that God spoke often throughout the pages of the Bible. But there were seasons where the word of the Lord was rare (ex: 1 Samuel 3:1).
Hebrews 1 is not saying God spoke many times, as much as it is saying God spoke in many portions. In many parts. Thats what this word means.
Those of you that keep journals, it as if you went back through your journals and picked a day at random from the past and let some else read it.
That person would read the events from that day, and know that it involved you in some way, but they would not be able to see how that one day, that one journal entry, that one portion fit within the whole of that year, or the whole of your life.
It is just one piece, one part of a whole.
When you look at a plate of food, you see the various portions, but only when they are placed all together do they form the whole meal.
As God spoke in history, he spoke in portions, in parts.
God doesn’t fully reveal all of who He is.
He reveals Himself in parts, as “the Almighty One”, as “Healer” as “Shepherd”, as “Righteousness”, as “Provider” as “Peace” as the “Everlasting One.”
But these revelations unfold piece by piece, as history progresses, often in response to specific actions of God to specific people.
Not only did God speak in many portions, or parts — but also God spoke (verse 1) “in many ways.”
I am thankful for the many ways God speaks, because I’ve come to understand that people learn in different ways.
Some learn better by hearing. Others by experiencing. Others by seeing.
So God doesn’t limit his self revelation to only one way — he reveals himself in many ways.
And this shows how much God wants you to know Him!

II. Hebrews 1:2

But we are no longer living in the days of “long ago.”
The days of long ago are recorded for us in history. And this history still speaks to us, and helps us to know God.
But today, we are living in the “now,” a time God’s word calls “these last days.”
And the good news of these last days, is that God speaks and has spoken in a way far better than before!
Look with me at Hebrews 1:2
Hebrews 1:2 ESV
2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
“In these last days he has spoken.”
There is more time behind us, than there is ahead of us.
The days of this world are numbered — And the day when we will meet God is nearer than ever before.
But even so, God is not silent, and God has spoken — “by his Son.”
Who is this Son?
He is the one “whom he appointed the heir of all things.”
This Son will inherit everything!
Psalm 2:7–8 ESV
7 I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. 8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.
This Son through whom God has spoken is the fulfillment of this Psalm from long ago.
This Son will inherit not some things, not parts of things, but ALL things.
Does that get your attention?
Think of all the things you have and the things that you have been given.
Some day someone will inherit those things. But it is just your things — whatever is left of it.
The Son of God will inherit ALL things! There is nothing outside of His possession and power!
You can’t keep anything from God!
Verse 2 tells us that this Son is “through whom also he [GOD] created the world.”
This SON did not come onto the scene after creation.
This SON was with God at Creation.
This SON was active in creating the World — it is through Him everything was made that’s been made (Jn 1).
So from the moment of Creation until these last days, this present moment — God has spoken, with the same authority and power that made the world!
And the world remains under God’s control through this SON.
Hebrews 1:3 tells us more about this Son.

III. Hebrews 1:3

“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature”
It is a challenge to interpret what that word “radiance” means.
If you think of a radiating heater in your home, that heater is heat, and has heat, and radiates that heat from itself.
This Son is the glory of God, has the glory of God, and radiates the glory of God!
You can also think of it in terms of reflection.
The Son reflects the glory of God. Just as the moon reflects the light of the sun, or a mirror reflects an image.
That glory is something we all fall short of. It is the greatness and majesty of God — that we cannot attain because we have sinned and chosen our own ways instead of God’s ways.
But the point God’s word is making is this: if you want to see the glory of God — you can see that glory in the Son.
We fall short, but the Son does not!
The Son is also the “exact imprint of [God’s] nature.”
That word “imprint” is the word χαρακτὴρ. It sounds like the word “character.”
The character of this Son is the character of God. Not superficially, but of God’s essence — God’s nature. God’s being.
And this Son
“upholds the universe by the word of his power.”
That word “upholds” means the Son sustains.
This Son was not only active in Creation, but it is by the Son that all things are sustained and continue on.
You live! You continue on! Not in your own strength, but because this Son upholds you!
“By the word of his power.”

IV. Hebrews 1:3 (end)

WHO IS THIS SON?
One more phrase brings the answer into clearer focus:
Look with me at the end of verse 3:
“After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”

Conclusion

Who is this Son?
He is the one who was born of a virgin, that the prophet spoke about long ago and that we celebrate at Christmastime.
He is the one who lived a life of perfect obedience to His Father!
He is the one who never sinned, yet made purification for sins through sacrifice — by sacrificing Himself as a perfect offering in our place, so that we might be forgiven.
This SON is Jesus.
God has spoken to us in these last days through Jesus.
God has appointed Jesus as heir of all things.
It is through Jesus God created the world.
Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God, and the the exact imprint of God’s nature.
Jesus upholds the universe by the word of his power.
And after making purification for sins — after giving his life on a cross, after being buried —
He was raised.
And Jesus sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
And from this place Jesus is coming again, very soon, in these last days.
WHO IS THIS SON?
This Son is Jesus. This Son is God!
Do you receive this message as another idle tale? Or do you believe?
God’s Word says:
Romans 10:9–10 ESV
9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
There is one more celebration to be added today, and that is the celebration of one more sinner finding salvation in this Son — in Jesus.
To know what it means to be crucified with Christ and raised to new life with Him.
I pray you receive Jesus by faith today. For Christians I pray your faith is strengthened in Him.

BENEDICTION

Hebrews 13:20–21 ESV
20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
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