Becoming… : Hebrews 1:1-4 (part 15) July 03, 2008Posted by preacherwin in Devotions, Devotions on Hebrews.
Tags: angels, becoming, greater than angels, Jesus, Jesus Christ the Lord, name above all names, ontology, redemptive history
Becoming so much greater than the angels, as much as he has inherited a name superior to theirs.
Becoming… What does it mean for Jesus to “become so much greater than the angels…”? Is Jesus not God? Is he not already greater than the angels? Has he not always been greater than the angels? Hasn’t his name always been superior to that of angels? While we know the answers to these questions from our study of the Bible as a whole, we need to ask what the writer of Hebrews is doing here, especially since there have been some who misconstrued these verses to support the idea of Jesus as one who was not divine in all senses until after the resurrection.
So what does the writer mean when he is speaking in these terms? To begin with, always remember the broader context of the passage and of the book, what is the writer seeking to communicate. For the book of Hebrews, one prevalent theme is that of Jesus being better than any other angel or god and of his covenant being better than the old covenant. So right away, you find Jesus being spoken of in contrast to the angelic beings—beings that some people even today are want to worship.
Secondly, this introduction sets up a picture of God’s work in redemptive history, beginning with the creation and coming to close at the resurrection of our Lord. This is important in terms of our understanding of the role of our Lord. Prior to the coming of the Lord, scripture speaks clearly and freely about the coming Messiah who will deliver his people from the bonds of death and destroy the serpent. Indeed, there is also a clear sense that with the coming of the Messiah, the old will pass away to make space for the new. Yet, at the same time, the fullness of the awesome work of the Godman was yet a mystery. It was a mystery, that is, until our Lord lived out that redemptive work before the eyes of a watching (and largely doubting) people. And in the completed work, now that we understand the fullness of what Christ came and did, in our hearts, Christ has become the focus of our adoration and hope. We now see the fullness of his redemptive work and proclaim the name of Jesus as the name above all other names and as Lord and Master over our lives. Thus, this change that the writer of Hebrews is speaking of is not a change in Jesus’ essential being, but a redemptive-historical change from the perspective of man gazing in awe at the completed work of Christ.
Beloved, and indeed, in our hearts, Jesus is elevated as one greater than angelic beings and as one who is the very hope and joy of our days. He is our master, our savior, and our companion—a friend in troubled times, a rock of defense in times of trial or persecution, and God’s hand of rebuke in times of sin. He is due infinite glory and then infinite glory again! He is to be the center of our thoughts, our dreams, and our desires. He is the one who is great and above all created things. Yet, how often we place created things before our eyes. How often we come to a point in our lives when we exalt other things more boldly or more highly than Christ. Loved ones, repent of this sin, for it is a sin, and flee to Christ for forgiveness. For his name is infinitely higher and greater than that of even the most mighty creatures within the creation—the angels themselves. Friends, the angels too, fall on their faces in worship before Christ, why do we think anything else might be able to be the object of our adoration?
Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne.
Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.
Cessation: Hebrews 1:1-4 (part 14) July 02, 2008Posted by preacherwin in Devotions, Devotions on Hebrews.
Tags: Atonement, Cessation, Hebrews, Judgment, Purification, purification for sins, redemption, right hand, sitting down, victory
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after making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
Jesus “sat down…” The imagery of this is of a victorious king who has returned home after the defeat of his enemies. The sitting symbolizes that the victory is final and decisive. And indeed, we who have received the benefits of that victory can and do rejoice in the wonderful victory of our King! Oh, the peace and confidence that come from knowing that our Lord reigns unopposed.
Yet, with this in mind, there are several observations that must be made from this clause. The first observation is that this victory took place at the cross. “After making purifications for sins,” this passage begins, Jesus sits down in victory. Beloved, Jesus’ victory over the devil and sin is not something that has yet to take place, but it has already taken place at the cross. Indeed, the devil still rages against believers. Indeed, sin still haunts our lives and the effects of sin still surround us. But these things are the death throes of a defeated enemy and we can rejoice in knowing that the attacks we endure have lost their sting (1 Corinthians 15:55-56) for the law has been satisfied by the work of Christ (satisfaction is another aspect of the atonement—see above). The devil is dead and he knows it, he is simply thrashing about to do as much damage as he can to God’s people for as long as he is able. Indeed, there is a time when our Lord will once again leave his throne and enter into our world in final judgment, casting the devil and his servants into the eternal lake of fire, but for now, our Lord reigns victorious while he brings the entirety of his elect church to himself.
The second thing that we must note about this passage is where our Lord takes his seat. It is at the right hand of God the Father in all of his glory. Now, we know that this is metaphoric imagery. We know that God the father does not have hands and we know that God the Father and God the Son (as well as God the Holy Spirit), while three persons, are one God, so to make too much about designation and location is inappropriate—there is no real subordination, for example, within the Godhead (though, we can argue that there was an economic subordination in the sense that certain members of the Godhead primarily focused on certain tasks in redemptive history, but all-the-while knowing that God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are present when God the Father is working, etc…). All of this having been said, we must note that the right hand was symbolic in ancient cultures of the hand of power and authority. In other words, sitting at the right hand communicates that all of the power and authority of God are at the disposal of the one to that side. It is the side given to the honored guest, brought into the fellowship of one in authority (note that we retain some of this imagery in our modern culture when we extend the right hand of fellowship to another in a handshake). The symbolism of the right hand is seen as a confirmation that Jesus’ completed work of atonement has met the full satisfaction of God the Father and nothing more needs to be added. Jesus’ work is complete; his sacrifice never needs repeating. God’s justice and honor has been satisfied and his wrath has been meted out in terms of the elect—there is no more work to be done for the redemption of God’s people.
Loved ones, let that sink in a bit. Jesus’ redemptive work is complete. We neither need to nor are even able to add to it on a saving level. Jesus successfully accomplished what we could not accomplish for ourselves. Jesus’ merit was sufficient to satisfy the righteous law and his sacrifice was sufficient to satisfy the justice of his Father—what more is there left but for us to adore him! Oh, loved ones, when we speak of the “Cessation” of the Son’s work, we are not suggesting that he puts his feet up on a celestial ottoman and sips divine lemonade for all eternity, no, he lives to make intercession for his people (Hebrews 7:25)! Yet, in terms of the work necessary to redeem his people, that work was fully completed on the cross—we are just going through history while that redemptive work is slowly realized in the lives of the elect (2 Peter 3:9). Believer, rejoice in the knowledge that your Lord and Savior sits in such a place of honor and privilege in the grand scheme of God’s great plan, yet, for those who may not believe and have a relationship with Jesus Christ, be afraid, for the one you reject is the one who has the Father’s ear and who promises that none will come to the Father save through the Son (John 14:6).
To God be the glory, great things He has done;
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He has done.
Purification for Sins: Hebrews 1:1-4 (part 13) June 30, 2008Posted by preacherwin in Devotions, Devotions on Hebrews.
Tags: Atonement, Hebrews, Jesus, Leprosy, Purification, Savior, Sin, Sins, Triumphant
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after making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
There are many theories that have been put forth in the history of theology to try and articulate all of the ramifications of Jesus’ atoning work on the cross. Yet, the scriptures affirm so many different aspects of Jesus’ work on the cross that it is difficult to encapsulate all of them within one theory. And here is one of those passages in scripture that gives us a glimpse into one aspect of Jesus’ redeeming work—that of making purification for sins. This idea of making purification ties in closely with the Old Testament concept of the high priest offering a sacrifice to make atonement for his people. Indeed, this very language is found in the Greek translation of passages like Exodus 29:6 and Exodus 30:10, which speaks specifically of this atoning work.
In light of the Old Testament passages of atonement for sin, one thing that we must recognize is that sin is an offense to God, it is ugly and wicked, and it warps us wholly. The physical disease of Leprosy in the Old Testament is a visual description of the effect that sin has upon us in life. It makes us wretched and separates us from that which is holy and of God. Yet, God offers a means by which we may be made clean. In the Old Testament age, this cleansing revolved around the illustration of slaughtering animals. Though the blood of animals has no intrinsic value of its own, the promise of the work of Christ would impart value to it (Hebrews 9:15). And ultimately, the work of Christ in laying down his life as an offering of atonement, would offer a cleansing for those who flee to him in faith. Just as Jesus physically healed the lepers and others who were being consumed by disease and the other effects of the fall, Jesus heals us as well through faith in his finished work.
Does this idea of cleansing encapsulate the entirety of what Jesus’ atoning work does, certainly not! There are legal aspects where we need to talk about Jesus in terms of penal substitution. Scripture speaks of Jesus as having provided a ransom (to God, not the devil) for believers. There is the language of his being a model for us to follow and one who imputes his righteousness. We could go on, but that misses the point. The atonement is quite complex and we will likely never plumb the depths fully of this remarkable doctrine; this passage gives us just one glance at what Christ does for us: he cleanses us from our sins so that we might stand as clean in the presence of a righteous and a holy God who cannot tolerate sin in his presence. And this task, the writer of Hebrews affirms, Christ has gloriously completed, taking his seat at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. Blessed be the name of our Lord!
Extol the Lamb of God,
The sin atoning Lamb;
Redemption by His blood
Throughout the lands proclaim:
The year of jubilee is come!
The year of jubilee is come!
Return, ye ransomed sinners, home.
Bearing All Things: Hebrews 1:1-4 (part 11) June 28, 2008Posted by preacherwin in Devotions, Devotions on Hebrews.
Tags: Bearing all things, clockmaker, creation, deism, design, Hebrews, Jesus, watchmaker
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also bearing all things in the word of his power;
What does it mean that Jesus bears all things? The Greek word that is used here is the word fe/rw (phero), which is a fairly broad verb, but it typically carries with it the idea of carrying something from point “A” to point “B.” Now, indeed, the writer of Hebrews is not trying to depict Jesus as carrying the universe around in a basket from location to location, but in the context of the passage, the writer is presenting Jesus as the one who carries all creation from time to time. Earlier in this passage, the writer of Hebrews describes Jesus as being the means by which God created, but he does not leave the imagery there, instead, Jesus is also portrayed as being the one who is preserving the universe in an ongoing way, holding it and binding it together (Colossians 1:17), and literally bearing up the universe through time from beginning to end.
There is an illustration that seems to be floating around Christian circles today for the purpose of illustrating God’s creative activity. This is called the “Watchmaker” analogy, and it is a very old illustration that has come back into usage. Essentially it poses the question of our innate expectations—when we see something that has a clear and orderly design, we expect that there is a maker. When we see a sandcastle, per say, we do not wonder whether it was formed by the wind and tides, we know that there is design and hence a designer. When we see a watch, we realize the same thing. While this is a good reminder, in principle, of God’s creative activity, it has dangerous ramifications in our understanding of the nature of God’s providential care of his creation. When a watchmaker makes a watch, he lets it alone after it is wound so that it will go on working as it was designed until it needs to be rewound. This idea of a “hands-off” God is not Biblical and leads to Deism, not genuine Christianity.
The writer of Hebrews is saying that not only did Jesus form the clock, the clock is formed in such a way that it cannot run on its own and that it is Jesus’ hand that allows it to move on. The second that Jesus withdraws his hand will be the second that the universe stops and dies. The word of Jesus’ power of so integral to the creation’s very being, that the creation cannot be said to have existence without it. It would be like being a human being trying to live and act without air or blood, it would be like an automobile trying to drive without fuel to run it or oil to lubricate its parts, and it would be like trying to turn on a light-bulb when there is not yet any power run to the house. Nothing can be said to be or to be able to continue without the word of God’s power—without the work of Jesus Christ.
Loved ones, think of the ramifications of this principle. Even the unbeliever needs Jesus, whether he likes it or not. Without Jesus, the unbeliever and the believer alike could not walk, breath, have life, or even exist—we would be nothing and nothing would be. That makes nonsense out of even the most ardent atheist’s rejection of God, for they could not reject were not Christ causing all things to be and were not Christ allowing them the setting and ability to reject. What a wonderful reminder of how we ought to be bold in our evangelism, for we know and have a relationship with the one who holds the cosmos in its place and who will bring it into its logical judgment! Oh, beloved, how our God did not create a clock to be wound and sit on the table, but instead, he created a machine that can do nothing on its own, but requires one to be ever moving and bringing it life—and the great promise is that Christ will not fail to uphold this universe, but will do so by the word of his power to its appointed time when it will be brought into judgment and remade free from the effects of the fall.
Tags: Glory, Hebrews, Image of Christ, Image of God, Imago Christi, Imago Dei, sanctification
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and the exact image of his essence…
So, understanding the theology of this passage in terms of the divine nature of Christ, what does that mean for us as humans apart from the theology of salvation? We are told in scripture that as human beings we too are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). Yet in the fall of Adam and Eve, while the image of God within us was not lost, it was severely twisted and warped by sin. Living as sinful men and women, that sin nature distorts the image of God, making it difficult to see or understand and impossible to experience. Yet, Christ is the exact image of God (Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:15), and Christ, in all his being and glorious work, did so without sin (Hebrews 4:15). In other words, if we want to look at a picture of what our lives ought to look like were we not marred by sin, Christ provides that picture!
Thus, that is why, when we talk of our sanctification, we often use the language of being made more like Christ (1 Corinthians 4:16; Ephesians 5:1). Or, perhaps to put it in another way, as we grow in grace, our lives should more and more reflect Christ and less and less reflect our old, sinful man. People should be able to look at your life and at mine, as believers in Jesus Christ, and see Christ reflected in us.
So how do we engender that in our lives? Certainly the process of our sanctification is a process driven and empowered by the Holy Spirit, but there are also many passages in scripture that exhort us to labor alongside of the Spirit as we “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12; 2 Peter 1:10). In other words, the way in which we order our lives either resists or compliments the sanctifying work of the Spirit. So how do we being the process of what Peter refers to as “supporting” or “reinforcing” our faith (2 Peter 1:5-7)? To begin with, we need to go back to the Ten Commandments, the Moral Law of God, and seek to apply that to our lives. Why is this the place to begin? First of all, Peter says as much in 2 Peter 1:5, for the very first attribute that is to be added to faith is that of ajreth/ (arete), or “moral excellence.” Where else would we find God’s standard of moral excellence other than in God’s moral law? In addition, the moral law itself is a reflection of God’s perfect and holy character, thus, if we are being remade into the image of Christ who is the perfect image of God, then ought not we strive to instill within our lives the moral excellences as taught by God and demonstrated by his very character?
Loved ones, how important it is to apply God’s law to our lives and seek to live it out. Indeed, we cannot do so in our own strength, but in the strength of the Holy Spirit, these character traits may be worked out in our lives. Through the process of sanctification we are being made ready for glory—we won’t ever be fully glorified here in this world, but as we grow in faith, we should be more and more reflecting Christ and less and less reflecting our old, fleshly, sinful selves. How deep and wide is the chasm that Christ bridged between sinful men and God himself, let us walk along that bridge, not resisting the movement of the Holy Spirit, but participating with it, so that our lives reflect the reality of the Spirit’s work in us and on us in every way. Look to your lives, beloved, and apply God’s perfect law so that you may reflect Christ to a sinful world—Christ who is the exact image of His essence.
The Reflection of God’s Image: Hebrews 1:1-4 (part 9) June 14, 2008Posted by preacherwin in Devotions, Devotions on Hebrews.
Tags: Divine, Dual Nature of Christ, Hebrews, Image of God, redemption, Sacrifice, Trinity, Truth
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and the exact image of his essence…
The early church fathers faced a lot of challenges as they sought to defend believers from heretical teachings and to define the boundaries of what may be described as “orthodox” Christian theology. Probably the two most important areas in which they were required to work was in the area of defining the doctrine of the Trinity and the doctrine of the dual nature of Christ. Both of these doctrines are clearly affirmed in scripture as a whole, but neither doctrine has a nice neat prooftext that one can go to for the purpose of articulating said view. As a result, there were many who put forward views of both of these doctrines that were either heretical in themselves or would lead another to heresy. Hence, the church fathers needed to find a way to Biblically and clearly articulate what scripture presents as true, but in a precise way that did not leave room for error. All four of the early church creeds, called the “Ecumenical Creeds” (The Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Chalcedonian Christological Statement, and the Athenasian Creed) come out of this struggle within the early church.
With that in mind, this verse is one of the important passages that were used by the Fathers in defining the dual nature of Christ—in what we technically refer to as “Hypostatic Union.” The word Hypostatic comes from the Greek word uJpo/stasiß (hupostasis), which refers to the basic structure or most essential nature of something. In terms of Christ, we recognize that he had two distinct and unconfused natures—one human and one divine. He had within his human nature everything that makes one human, for he is in essence human. In addition, though, Jesus had within his divine nature everything that made him God, for he is in essence divine. These parts are not confused in any way within Christ; Jesus is not some sort of Greek demi-god or amalgamation of God and man, but his being is marked by a perfect union of a fully divine nature with a fully human nature.
One may wonder why this degree of precision is so important for us as Christians. To begin with, were Jesus not fully human, he could not be described as having suffered in this life and died on the cross as a bloody sacrifice. Also, were he not fully human, he could not have fulfilled the failed role of Adam as covenant mediator for his people and could not have been tempted and tried in every way as we are (Hebrews 4:15). Were Jesus not fully human in every way, he could not have redeemed every aspect of fallen humanity. In addition, were Jesus not to have died, he could not have been resurrected and thus, we would have no hope of a bodily resurrection ourselves. At the same time, were Jesus not fully God, he could not have done for us what he did. He would not have been sinless, and thus could not have entered guiltless before God to mediate a new covenant. Nor could Jesus have made atonement for sins, for a guilt sacrifice had to found as faultless and without blemish before God. Were Christ not fully God he could not be said to be pre-existent as scripture presents and thus could not have entered into a covenant to save the elect from before the foundations of the earth (see Ephesians 1).
Now that we have the technical language before us, sensing the theological importance of making sure that we articulate correctly the nature of our Lord, I think that it is important for us to stop here for a minute and dwell on just what this means. Here is one who is, to use creedal language, “very God of very God.” This is the second member of the divine Trinity, the Son of the Father, the Living God. Everything that makes God, well, God, belongs to God the Son as well as to God the Father (and Spirit for that matter). Jesus is the very word which God used to bring existence into being—to form everything from nothing and to bring about life. Here is the Son of God, worthy of all praise and glory and honor by the very principle of who he is. And it is this one—one whose very presence and name defines the very meaning of glory itself—one who is exalted on high—who chose to veil that glory in flesh and descend to earth not simply for the purpose of communicating with us, but to suffer and die in our place. Loved ones, that is incomprehensible. That the King of Glory would become flesh cannot be simply rationalized and put to the side. It is an overwhelming reality that we must deal with, and when we understand this reality, there are only two possible responses for us to take: falling on our faces awestruck in humble worship or fleeing in sin and shame. One cannot remain ambivalent when it comes to this mighty act of our Lord—one must respond, but which response will it be? Knowing what you know, will you commit yourself to a life of praise of our God? Will you adore him with your words as well as with your actions? Will you adore him even in crowds where it might be unpopular to do so? Will you lead your family in adoring him, and will you seek to live your life as a living sacrifice, seeking to be blameless so as to honor him, for He is holy and he calls us to be holy as well. Will you be deliberate in the way that you order your days, your accounts, your plans, and your careers, so as to honor Him with them? Will you cherish his word as the very word of life? Or, will you go on living for yourself in guilty fear, bound in sin and hatred, and continue to rebel against the one who gave more than you can comprehend to offer life to those who come to him in faith? Beloved, there are two responses to this truth about Christ, and only two responses; which will you choose? And, dear ones, knowing this, what must change in your day to day life so that your life reflects this choice?
The Light of Creation: Hebrews 1:1-4 (part 8) May 19, 2008Posted by preacherwin in Devotions, Devotions on Hebrews.
Tags: creation, effulgence, Glory, Jesus, Light, light of God's glory, praise Christ, radiance, radiance of God's glory
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Who being the radiance of the glory…
Many people ask the question of those of us who hold strongly to the Biblical account of creation (God creating in a literal period of six 24-hour days, then resting on the seventh, literal, 24-hour day), “If the sun and stars were not created until day 4, how was there light on the earlier days?” While there are many pseudo-scientific answers that have been presented to address this question, we need not go beyond the scriptural texts, for in this passage, God gives us the answer. Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God. He is the effulgent splendor of God’s glory—of his greatness—of his “weightiness! What a wonderful thought, God’s glory cannot be contained or cloaked in darkness, but it must be seen, and who is the one who reflects that glory down upon the newly created earth? Jesus the Christ! And he continues to shine God’s glory down upon us for all time. Thus, when God the Father pronounced, “Let there be light!”, it was God the Son who revealed and reflected that light down upon a watching world. In addition, we are told that in the new creation that there will be no sun and no darkness, but the glory of God will be with our light we will exist to praise him and to glory in him.
Yet, the first line of this verse should not simply be seen in terms of creation, but in terms of all redemptive history! The heavens declare the glory of God (Psalm 19:1), believers are redeemed to the glory of God (Philippians 2:11), and Christ is the means by which God pours out and demonstrates that glory to his created order. Beloved, that ought to cause your heart to skip! The reason that we know of the sun is because it radiates its light and heat to us. The reason that we know that a flame is hot is because of the heat that radiates out from the flame. Beloved, the reason that we know of the glory of God is because God chose to radiate that glory to us in Christ. What a wonderful hope and promise, what a wonderful privilege given to him, and ought we not honor him appropriately? Ought we not pour out our praise for God the Son, not only for what he has done for us as believers, but for who he is. As Paul writes, there will come a time that even those who are eternally perishing will give Christ his due (Philippians 2:11), ought we not begin now? Loved ones, think through your days, your weeks, and your years; what does your private worship look like? Do we genuinely praise Christ in all we do and give him thanks for all we have been given? Do we praise him for who he is? Do we exalt him before a watching world with our words and with our lives? If not, what is holding us back? Jesus Christ is the very radiance—the effulgent splendor—of the glory of God; honor him as such.
Jesus created Time: Hebrews 1:1-4 (part 7) May 03, 2008Posted by preacherwin in Devotions, Devotions on Hebrews.
Tags: Creator, Danger, eternity, Hebrews, Jesus, Manton, Time, Warning
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“through whom he also created the ages.”
When we think of Christ being the means, or the Word, of creation, typically, we think in terms of material “stuff” that is all around us. We think of rocks and trees, of birds and clouds, of stars and of everything else in this wonderful creation from the greatest heavenly body to the smallest microbe, quark, and string. But, oftentimes, we do not think of time in the context of God’s creation, yet, indeed, it was. Prior to the God’s creative act, time simply did not exist. God dwelt in perfect satisfaction in eternity prior, with no beginning, end, or middle. For most of us, that begins to make our heads hurt just a bit. Yet, time is a description of a progression of events with a definite beginning and a possible end. Eternity has no such progression, for to suggest eternity is bound by time, and hence God as well, is to suggest that God has a beginning, and such is not the case. In the beginning (of time) God was—he simply was, no temporal markers defined his existence, he simply existed (Genesis 1:1). And as God is the beginning, the great Alpha and Omega, all things, including time, flowed forth from his creative process—indeed flowed forth through the Son of God—the Word.
It is interesting, when we think of time, to see the difference between the way we usually behave toward time and to the way in which the Bible speaks of time. In scripture, there is a sense of time’s fleetingness. We are told over and over that time is short, that the return of our Lord is near, that the life of man is but a vapor and passing quickly, etc… Yet, despite all of these warnings and testimonies in God’s word, we usually go about our daily activities as if time were in abundance. We put off much that we ought to do today until tomorrow and then into the following weeks if it is not pressing. We usually do not conduct our affairs as if time is running out. Thomas Manton, the Puritan divine, once reflected that if a town were on fire and the fire was spreading, people would not go about their daily affairs at the usual pace. Instead, they would spring to action, alerting all of the imminent danger and would find a renewed vigor as they sought to do their duty in saving the town.
Beloved, we have been lulled into a slumber while the enemy is burning down our nation and indeed even the church. What is it that we are doing to alert our neighbors and fellow villagers? Are we doing our duty and joining the bucket brigade to extinguish this fire? Are we running through the village, joining the town crier, proclaiming, “Danger is Near! Danger is Near!” To change the analogy to one from our own national history, will you be like Samuel Prescott, and join Paul Revere and William Dawes on their ride to warn the valiant defenders of our land that the enemy is coming? Do you recall, that it is only Samuel Prescott who completed his ride to Concord? Dear friends, will you remain in your slumber, or will you shout loudly and proclaim that danger is upon us! Loved ones, we do not know how the War for Independence might have proceeded had Prescott not rallied himself from his slumber and joined the ride. Loved ones, the scripture cries to us that time is short and that even though many may mock you and proclaim that nothing has changed since their father’s day and nothing is bound to change, these are lies worked by enemies of God who are destined for judgment (2 Peter 3:1-7). No, loved ones, in this battle we need not fear the approach of the redcoats, but instead the fire of God’s impending judgment. You who are born again in Jesus Christ are ready, but what of those around you? Are they ready as well? And you who have been born again, are you prepared to present yourself as a faithful servant before our God, having studied to show yourself approved (note the importance of studying God’s word to our lived out sanctification!)? If not, count this as your clarion call as well. Awake beloved, our Lord has created time and has set its boundaries, and whether our Lord returns before the end of the day or whether he tarries another thousand years (or more), we have been given a job to do—to go into all the world and to make disciples of all men—a task that begins at home and extends to every corner of the earth; it is a task we will not succeed in if we slumber through the days that God has granted to us.
Heir of all things: Hebrews 1:1-4 (part 6) May 03, 2008Posted by preacherwin in Devotions, Devotions on Hebrews.
Tags: Christ, Glory, Hebrews, Heir, honor, Living for Christ
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“Whom he established as heir of all things…”
Loved ones, not only is Christ the means by which God has spoken, but the writer of Hebrews further asserts that Christ is the heir, the beneficiary, of all things. Everything that is, that was, and ever will be is made and given to Christ—Creation is bowed before him and is laid at his feet for His glory and honor! Not only is all of scripture designed to point to Christ, but all of the created order is also designed to point directly to our risen Lord! What a wonderful statement of truth!
Yet, this raises an important point that must be addressed. If we take this statement seriously, and we ought, then not only must our theology and reading of the Bible be Christological, but , so too must our reading of all life! In other words, our science, must be Christological; our history must be Christological; our sociology must be Christological; our philosophy, our psychology, our mathematics, our literature, our grammar, our engineering, our biology—all these disciplines are given to Christ for his glory and honor, thus all these disciplines, to be rightly pursued, must be pursued in such a way as that they give Christ glory and honor! Oh, what a wonderful testimony and reminder that Christ is the center and focal point of all things in creation, yet oh, how far short we often fall from this great and lofty end! Beloved, shall we aim for the glory of Christ? Shall we aim to see Christ honored in every academic subject and in every endeavor known to man? Indeed, if we believe this passage to be true, we must, for all things have been handed over to Christ as the great heir, and to fail to do so, is to fail to honor him as the ruler and heir that he is. Ask yourselves, dear friends, what it is that you are doing to deliberately point every area of your life to the glory of Christ.