Friday, October 23, 2009

Hebrews 1:7

“Of the angels he says, ‘He made his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire.’”

Here the author is quoting Psalm 104:4, “He makes his messengers winds his ministers a flaming fire.” Giving the angels some credit, that they are indeed beautiful, awe inspiring, and more often than not scary. But he uses the word ‘makes’. The Father makes his messengers, his angels and his ministers. Psalm 104 is mostly about God’s greatness, though these parts of creation are great (winds, water, clouds, messengers, ministers… etc.) God is greater then them, for, in fact, he made them.
There are two possible meanings here. Either God makes the winds and flames his messengers, or he makes his messenger into winds and flames of fire. The Psalmist takes the latter view. So, “God employs his angels and heavenly ministers in producing those winds, fire, thunder and lightening through which he executes many judgments on the world.” (~John Owen) Therefore “… if the angels are immeasurably superior to man, the Son is immeasurably superior to the angels.”(~ Leon Morris)
So because Christ makes his angels and ministers not only in creation, but also in his service, he is far superior not only in rank (service) but also in whom he is (the Son of God. As Leon Morris said the angels are far superior to us for they are committed to the service of their King, whereas we rarely do what we ought. But just as the angels are far superior to us in their service so Christ is far superior to them in his service. For which of the angels could ever atone for sin? Which of the angels could satisfy the just wrath of God? Which of the angels could become man? Could live prefect life; die the sacrificial death; make propitiation for sins; then raise from the dead? No angel could do that I service of their King. Thus Jesus’ rank is better because the service is better, not to mention the fact that he is the Son of God, and therefore God himself (Heb 1:3).
To conclude the verse; Christ makes his messengers (angels and ministers) winds and flames of fire to minister to the Church, the body of Christ. Because he is superior to the angels he has charge over them, and employs them in the service of glorifying God, through the spreading of the Gospel. Therefore Christ’s supremacy is put on display by the angels.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hebrews 1:6

“Again to when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, ‘Let all God’s angels worship him.’”
The author quotes Psalm 97:7 wanting all to worship Him, Jesus the firstborn. The idea of Christ being first born is also in Romans 8:29; Colossians 1:5; 1:18; Revelation 1:5; Psalm 89:27; Hebrews 12:23. This is to show Christ preeminence in all things. He is the firstborn of the brothers and the firstborn of the dead. This, however, does not mean that Jesus was/is a created being. For evidence of this we look at two passages, one of which is quote by the here by the author of Hebrews.

Deuteronomy 32:43,
“Rejoice to him, O heavens; bow down to him all gods, for he avenges the blood of his children and takes vengeance on his adversaries. He repays those who hate him and cleanses his peoples land.”

and Psalm 97:7
“All worshipers of images are put to shame, who make their boast in worthless idols; worship him all you gods.”

The word ‘gods’ may be translated either gods or angels, referring to created beings. Thus here, in these passages, the distinction between creation and Creator is made. For how could what is created become better than the Creator? What is created cannot become more glorious than the one that created it, therefore creation must worship that which is more glorious, namely its Maker. Since the angels do not have the unique role that Jesus has, they must worship that which is better than they, namely Jesus. So by using Psalm 97:7 the author makes both the argument for Christ being God, for his being the Firstborn, and for the necessity for creation to worship Him.
And again when he brings the firstborn into the world he says. This is not about Christ second coming. “This does not refer to anyone special act, or any one particular day. Rather, it means God’s whole work in Bringing the Messiah, through his conception, birth, anointing with the Spirit, resurrection, sending of the Holy Spirit, and preaching of the Gospel. Firstborn. Christ is never called firstborn with respect, “either to his eternal generation or the conception and nativity of his human nature.” Of his eternal generation he is called “the Son,” and of his human nature he is called the “firstborn Son,” but never simply “the firstborn.” “It is not, therefore, the thing itself of being the firstborn, but the dignity and privilege that came with it which are meant in this name (Col. 1:15)… Which means no mare than that he has power and authority over all of God’s creatures.” ~ John Owen
He says. God himself says. He speaks in the scriptures to the end of time. “The apostle’s words may be summarized as follows: ‘Again, in another place, where the Holy Spirit foretells the bringing forth into the world among men him who is the Lord and Heir of all things, to undertake his work, and to enter into his kingdom and glory, the Lord speaks to this end, ‘Let all God’s angels worship him.’’
This passage is not an argument for Christ’s second coming; however, it does show us his supremacy over all things created. We, along with all the angels, and all other created things must be compelled to worship Christ Jesus, simply because he is greater than us. We as the creation cannot even hope to become better than the One that made us. We may wish, and may try to live in a way that makes us feel like we are greater than He, but no amount of our ranting and raving or sophisticated philosophies of man being great will change that simple fact that we cannot overcome our Creator. “Let all God’s angels worship him.” “’All’ shows that this is no small, hole-in-the-corner affair, but one in which the worship of all heaven is offered the Son. The one that the angels worship is clearly superior by far to them.” ~Leon Morris

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I'm planning on putting up more Hebrews stuff when I get a chance... Things have been busy on my end, so when I get time it'll be here. Until then chew on this: I love U2.