Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Knowing God

I just finished J.I. Packer's "Knowing God."
Dude is a genius. Dude is godly. Dude, you need to read this book.
Not only did I learn quite a bit of who God is, but I also learned a great deal of what I am. Therefore as I read "Knowing God" I got, by God's grace, to know myself as well.

Hebrews 1:5

“For to which of the angels did God ever say, ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’ Or again, ‘I will be to him a Father and he shall be to me a Son.”
“For to which of the angels did God ever say.” The writer implies there is a distinction between the angels; they differ in degrees. He, thus, challenges his readers to find an angel that is spoken to in the scriptures that is spoken to in a more loving manner than Christ.
The writer then supports the statement by quoting Psalms 2:7. “The apostle insists that testimonies in matters of faith must be from the Scriptures.” We ought to strive to do the same. Rather than say, “I think this passage means…” or “What I got from this was…” Scripture ought to interpret itself, and we ought to let it.
The author is continuing on to show the supremacy of Christ over the angels. We have seen his supremacy over the prophets. Now he continues, in more detail than the prophets, for angels are mysterious and awe inspiring but are not God. Therefore with these mysterious beings the writer constructs a biblical argument as to why Christ is supreme over the angels.
“You are my Son.” Here is the writer’s evidence for the supremacy of Christ over angels. ‘You are my Son.’ Solomon was called ‘Jedediah’ meaning ‘beloved of the Lord’ (2 Samuel 12:25). But Jesus is called ‘my Son.” Extreme love is implied in this simple statement.
The Jewish people see this verse (Psalms 2:7) as a prophecy about the Messiah. We as Christians would term this a Christological passage. Thus, as a passage applying to Christ, we must say that Christ is the Son of God.
If Christ is not the Son of God Christianity fails. All of the Christian faith hinges on this one God-Man. This should be an area of great joy for we as believers, because Christianity remains. Centuries of martyrdom, of abuse, of hate toward this Man, Jesus, all trying to put an end to the spread of his name, but it remains. Jesus is still supreme, the Bible is sill seen as authoritative, and lives are still dramatically changed.
“You are my Son today I have begotten you.” This is a poetic expression revealing the unique relationship between the Father and Son. Not that the Son was born on this day, for Christ has no beginning, but that the Father and Son entered into a new relationship.
Here the author gives another evidence for Christ’s supremacy over the angels. 1) Not only is his name of higher importance, meaning and office, but also 2) to the Father he is the Son. We must try to grasp the beauty of these two evidences.
“ I will be to him a father and he will be to me a son. When he commits iniquity I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men.” 2 Samuel 7:14 “We say that both Solomon and the Lord Christ are intended in this oracle; Solomon literally and also as the type; the Lord Christ principally and mystically, as he who was represented by him.” ~John Owen. Spoken to Solomon fulfilled in Christ.
Giant Parenthetical:
(The intricacy of the Bible is astounding, but what is literally Jaw dropping is that it all points to Jesus and the work he did on the cross! I wonder if the writers knew of whom they were writing. A book written over the span of man hundreds of thousands of years, that has one theme, one protagonist, one climax one plot (with many sub-plots) and one end. Such a book can only have been written from one outside of time looking in. By one who knows the story intimately, like an author. There is beauty in this book.)
Christ is given the name Son of God showing his supremacy over angels. Therefore his witness is greater than mans.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mars Hill blog post

Go here to read about a Mars Hill congregant who lost his life in the line of duty to his country.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hebrews 1:4

“Having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.”
Now the theme of chapter 1 is revealed. After establishing Christ’s word as supreme, his person as God and his work as complete and perfect the writer states that Christ is supreme over angels as well. His name is “Son of God” not “angel” giving him a place of prominence.
As much superior to. “The Lord Jesus Christ, the revealer of God’s will in the Gospel, is exalted above, preferred before, made more excellent and glorious than the angels themselves…” Christ is the exact imprint of God. Christ is God, “I and the Father are One.” (John 10:22) The angels are created beings, God is infinite the angels do the will of God (Jesus). Jesus is superior to angels because:
1. Christ is the heir of all things
2. Christ is the creator of all things
3. Christ is the, “radiance of the glory of God.”
4. Christ is the, “exact imprint of his [God’s] nature.”
5. Christ, “upholds the universe by the word of his power.”
6. Christ made purification for sins perfectly and completely.
7. Christ is seated at the, “right hand of the Majesty on high.”
Five questions to ask of this verse:
1. Why is Christ preferred above the angels?
See above list
2. When was Christ exalted above the angels?
“… It must be the time of his resurrection, ascension, and exalted at God’s right hand.” ~John Owen
I think that he (John Owen) is right to say Christ was (and is) exalted at the time of his resurrection and ascension, however I think it would also be prudent to say that Christ was exalted before the creation of the universe.
3. What is the extent of Christ exaltation?
The extent of Christ’s exaltation can, in my mind, be given no adjective in any language to make it fully comprehendible. Simply put our minds are too small. I do not know the extent of Jesus’ exaltation, but what I do know is that for all eternity I will be going into a deeper and deeper understanding of Christ’s exaltation. As C.S. Lewis put it in the final book of The Chronicles of Narnia through the mouth of Aslan, “Further up and further in!” This will be heaven for those who believe the Gospel. Continually going further up and further in to the manifest glories of God.
4. What proof is seen for Christ ascertaining this name?
“His name was not given to him by man, or assumed by himself, but ascribed to him by God himself… The apostle is emphasizing that the titles were given to them by God, and thus tells you about their relative importance.”
5. How did the Lord come by this name?
He inherited it from God. As a smith would inherit the name smith; so Jesus inherited Christ. It signifies his profession forever. Because he is the heir of all things; he is the High Priest; He is the mediator between perfect God and sinful man; He is the reason for our justification and our adoption. Thus ‘Christ’ is his title for it means ‘Messiah,’ our deliverer. He delivered us from the curse of the law to adoption as co-heirs.
Jesus Christ must be seen as supreme or the Bible is nothing more than a collection of odd stories. Christ is the thread weaving the tapestry together. He is the theme. He is the main character. He is God.