Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hebrews 1:3 (Summary)

“He is the radiance of the glory of God.” Jesus is “his glory” who dwelt among Israel from the beginning representing the Father. “The exact imprint of his nature.” Christ is not merely an emanation from the Father like a ray of light from the sun, but he is the Father himself. “The exact imprint of the Father is the Father himself.” If Jesus is not the exact imprint of the Father he cannot be our representative head. “And he upholds the universe by the word if his power.” Jesus is not only the heir and creator of all things, but the sustainer as well. He upholds, sustains, carries the universe along to a single end, namely to his own glory. Christ’s sustaining hand is the only thing keeping the universe from falling back into nothingness at any one moment. “After making purification for sins.” After he suffered the humiliation of the cross; the pain of the cross; the loneliness and torment of the cross. “He sat down at the right hand of Majesty on high.” Because his sacrifice was superior to those of old, because his sacrifice was completely perfect he sat down. He disbanded the role of priest by being the perfect high priest. Thus he entered into the majesty and glory of the Father, sitting at his right hand making intercession for us, how are called according to his purpose.

Hebrews 1:3b

"After making purification for sins." “The apostle says two things about the Messiah; one, which is the foundation of both, he takes for granted. First, he says what he did; he provided purification for sins; second, he says how he did this: he did it…after he… the basis for these things he assumes we know; that Christ was the great High Priest of the Church. The apostle’s readers knew well enough that this matter of purging sins belonged only to the priest.” Once again only the God-Man could make purification for sins, a goat would not suffice, any other man would not suffice, it must be the God-Man, Jesus.

“He sat down at the right hand of Majesty on high.” After Christ suffered the worst possible pain, humiliation, and loneliness possible (for our sake) on the cross, he sat down at the right hand of God. The act of sitting here is representative of Jesus’ work finished. That his sacrificial work was accepted, that his propitiatory work was complete, and that his expiating work was perfect. Therefore, because of this work, the office of priest was disbanded forever, because in Christ we find our Great High Priest, not in men.
So here is another way we can read this passage, "After making purification for sins. [After being beaten to a pulp. After being scourged 'till his back fluttered like ribbons in the wind. After having a crown of thorns shoved into his previously beaten skull. After being nailed to a tree he created by men he sustained. After having the sins of mankind laid on his shoulders. After the Father turned his face away. After dying. After rising. After crushing the Serpent's head.] He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high."

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hebrews 1:3a

Before I begin, you need to know this portion continues to blow my mind... Daily.

"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 Majesty on high."

"He is the radiance of the glory of God." The Jews called the ark, 'His glory' because in it they had the representation of God dwelling among them. "So he who had revealed the will of God to them was none other than he who had dwelt among them from the beginning, representing in all things the person of the Father, being typically revealed to them as the radiance of the glory of God. (Owen)"

"The exact imprint of his nature." The Son is the Father. "The exact imprint of the Father is the Father himself." Jesus must, be, do, and have exactly what the Father is, does, and has or he cannot be our representative head. Jesus must be the God-Man. Fully God to live the perfect life. Fully man to make propitiation for us.

"And he upholds the universe by the word of his power." Upholds, sustains, supports, carries along to a single end. This sustaining work is the only thing that keeps creation from falling back into nothingness at any one moment. All this is done by his word. "His enabling word (Knox)." "The 'word' is thought of as active and powerful... The 'word' is not empty. It has force. It does things (Leon Morris)."
With a word the universe was created, and with a word it is sustained by the powerful (dynamis = dynamite), effectual, change causing word of God. When God speaks things happen. Not little trifles (although they are included) but universes, Everests, Grand Canyons, single celled life, animals, people, spider webs, leaves, salvation happens from utter nothingness. The same powerful word that, created everything brought about our salvation (Rom. 1:16) When God speaks change happens. The dead are raised to life. The blind see. The deaf hear. The captives go free. The word of God will not return to him void.

Side note: Practically speaking, Christ's word sustains us, all the time... Meaning that while we are sinning, while we are thankless, while we are loveless; while we are dead (in our sins) Christ sustains us. While people interact and go about their lives in complete objection to God he sustains them. While they live lives of rebellion against him, he sustains them… While we are living lives of rebellion against him, he sustains us!
Birds fly, leaves grow, rain falls; we feel, and hear, and see, and taste simply because Christ says, "BE!" For no other reason do we exist apart from God's mere will.
Therefore, as a Christian, my view of others should (and indeed has) change dramatically. For how can I know that God sustains all things, and still not love them? God sees mankind as worthy of upholding, if only for the purpose of his glory, so I should see them as worthy of love. But more often than not I see my love to them as an obligatory duty, not an overflowing of love. So here, in this verse, is a wellspring of love for others, that Christ sustains them, and therefore, if for no other reason, I should love them, because he loves them.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hebrews 1:1-2

About a month ago I began a study in Hebrews. This study, which is still in process, has been very good for my heart. Christ's supremacy being put on display for me day in and day out. Therefore I feel it may be beneficial to put my notes (edited of course) on here, so that you, the reader, may also enjoy seeing Christ as supreme over all things. "Let's go. (Chandlerism)"

"Long ago at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our Father by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom He also created the world."


Vs. 1________________________Vs.2
Long ago_____________________In these last Days
Many times, many ways________Once
through the prophets_________Through His Son
to our fathers_______________To us (the Church)

Through the prophets the law was given to the forefathers over an extended period of time. Through the Son the Gospel was given to us, at one dispensation of time, namely the life of Christ. "There is a difference between the Son of God revealing God's will in his divine person to the prophets, and the Son of God as incarnate revealing God's will directly to the Church." ~John Owen
We must see the one revealing the Gospel as better than the prophets. For if the prophets and the Son are equal than Jesus is merely man, and therefore 1) we must discredit Jesus for proclaiming to be God, 2) making him a simple lunatic, and causing 3) the Gospel to null and void.

8 reasons the Son of God's revelation is better than the prophets:

"1) From the womb, being filled with the light and the knowledge of God and His will. (2 Cor. 4:4)
2) This was accomplished through the commission, mission, and equipping of the Son as incarnate and mediator, with the ability to declare God's will mind and will for the Church. (John 8:26,28,40; 14:10;15:15; Rev.1:1)
3) The Son received the revelation of God's will since his own nature was divine, and because he was the eternal Word and Wisdom of the Father. (John1:1; Heb 1:3; Col.1:15-20)
4) The Lord Christ carried out his office of the Father's will through His human nature. (John 19:29; Isaiah 53)
5) Christ's human nature was, from the moment of its union with the person of the Son of God a 'holy thing.'
6) Christ has a special endowment of the Holy Spirit that is beyond our understanding. (John 1:33; Luke 4:1)
7) Christ's prophecies were superior to those of Moses and all other prophets. (John 1:17-18; Eph. 3:8-11 (?); Col. 1:26-27; 2 Tim. 1:9-10; Titus 2:11)
8) The general expectation of the Church for the full revelation of God's will was upon the Messiah. (John 4:25)" ~John Owen

After showing Christ's supremacy to the prophets the author moves one to show His glory. "Whom he appointed the heir of all thing, and through whom he created all thing." Owen says, "The Son, as God, has a natural dominion over everyone . To this He can be no more appointed than he can be to God." Only he who became a a man to establish the Gospel can be the heir of all things. Or to say it another way, the God-Man alone can be the heir of all things.

Friday, May 1, 2009

God is never silent

God is never silent. He speaks loudly and clearly through the truth of His word. When the dark night of the soul comes and we feel He is not near we have not run to His word! We know its pages not, "Where will I go in my hour of need?" To the word! "Where?" Poor fellow do you not know your sword well enough to find comfort in its security? Woe are we who do not know our Bible's pages well.