Ty Gibson and James Rafferty presenting a bible study on Hebrews chapter 1. This is the first part of this two part study on Hebrews chapter 1. Click here to go back to an overview of the book of Hebrews.
Transcript of This Hebrews 1 Bible Study:
Hi friends, welcome back to our continuing study in The Books Of Book.
We’re in the book of Hebrews, and I am your co-host James Rafferty, and I’m here with Ty Gibson.
Well, we are looking at the book of Hebrews, James. This is an exciting study because as we learn in our opening study, which was kind of an overview, of the book of Hebrews, Hebrews is a masterpiece of Holy Spirit inspired literature.
We want to invite our friends who are viewing, those listening in on the radio, if you are not driving that is. Pull up a chair, grab your Bible and open to Hebrews, chapter 1, as we launch right into our study.
We left off with the theme of something better, and we are going to pick up with this theme in Hebrews chapter 1.
The whole book of Hebrews has a number of themes. One of the themes is this theme of better things.
Right here in Hebrews chapter 1, we introduce ourselves, or God introduces ourselves to Him, I should say. We are introduced to God.
Paul gets right to the point in Hebrews 1, verse 1, “God, who at sundry times, in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers, by the Prophets has in these last days spoken unto us by his son, whom he has appointed heir of all things and by whom also he made the worlds”
God wants to speak with us. God has never stopped wanting to communicate with us. I love this.
The book of Hebrews, opens with Paul bringing to our attention that the Lord Jesus Christ is God’s supreme revelation.
There is a contrast that drawn here, between the prophets who have spoke in different ways at different times in history. That contrast is drawn between those prophetic revelations and Jesus Christ, who is now the express image of God’s person come to earth.
The manifest glory of God in all its beauty, is brought right up close and personal in Jesus Christ.
You know when you look at relationship Ty, it is very important for us to understand what God is doing here. What point He is making here.
You know when you look at relationships, you are talking about connecting with people, for example, you could connect with people today by e-mail, or by telephone, you can connect with people by letter.
There are different ways we can communicate, but up close and personal makes all the difference. God has continued to communicate with us, and I like this because all the way from the fall, all the way from Genesis, we find that God was a relational God.
He came to talk with us in the cool of the day. Sin destroyed, that relationship, not from God’s perspective, but from our perspective.
As God comes in the cool of the day to talk to Adam and Eve, after they have sinned, what are they doing? They’re hiding, and we have been hiding from God ever since.
The book of Hebrews is telling us that even though we have been hiding from God, God has never ceased to seek to communicate with us.
Well friends, we want to consider that in Hebrews Chapter 1. Jesus comes to earth as God in the flesh.
It’s God that were dealing with, James. It’s none other than the Creator of the universe whom we are encountering, in this apparently just a human being, this man Jesus from Nazareth.
Here comes this person in every way, like us, from all appearances. Yet we are literally dealing with God in the flesh.
I like that in 2 Peter 1, verse 16, Peter uses this language that really helps us to expand what’s is being said here. He says we, speaking of the apostles and the others at at that time, were eye witnesses of His Majesty.
Isn’t that incredible? I mean, you can feel the passion and the urgency that comes through. This kind of revelation, I mean think about it. We as human beings have walked and talked with a person for 31/2 years, and others literally grew up with Him and had encounters with Him.
I mean, He was one of the kids on the block. All of a sudden, it dawns on you, hey, that person, we were dealing with was none other than God and we were eye witnesses of His Majesty.
This is important, because what God is trying to say to us basically is, I have always wanted to be close to you. I always wanted you to see Me. I always wanted to be revealed to you and come close to you, but you have changed in the way that you have responded to Me. So, I have had to speak to you through the Prophets.
In some way, I have even had to mask myself, becoming a man, becoming a human. In some way, I have even had to mask Myself so that I don’t give you full disclosure.
I want you to know that in spite of that, in spite of the way that sin has affected you, it has never affected Me that way.
Malachi 3 says, that God has not changed.
James 1:17 also tells us that God does not change.
There is no variables, variableness, no shadow of turning in God.
So the Bible is teaching us that God is love. In this context, His love is manifested in an unbroken relationship toward us. The way He relates to us has not changed.
I have spoken to you, I continue to speak to you, and now I come to speak to you in person.
Why, what is the point? The underlying point Paul is making here, I love you. I want a relationship with you. I love that.
I’ve learned in my own personal experience, James, as I know you have, that love, not only God’s love for us, but we get a feel for it. We see shadows of it, we get a taste of it in our human relationships.
I have had the privilege of being married to actually one of your fellow workers and friends. My wife Sue, we have been together since she was 13, and I was 14.
We learned over the years that love is exponential reality. In other words, love doesn’t have any bottom, it doesn’t have any edges, it doesn’t have any cap.
In other words, God’s love as the zenith, the apex of love, is the ultimate reality of God’s character.
So that we can go on growing in our relationship with God. Growing in our knowledge of Him, growing in our appreciation of Him. Even our passion for God for ever and ever without end, with out reaching a plateau.
I mean, if we as human beings are capable of always loving, more, loving a little bit more passionately someone that we have entered into a relationship with, and we are growing together.
Loving a little bit more intelligently. Loving a little bit more, with all that we are as a human being. And it doesn’t seem to ever stop. How much more, this encounter through Jesus, with God is drawing us into a never-ending, forever deepening relationship with Himself.
Amen, and you know, if the problem is not from God’s perspective, but from our perspective, if God is always wanting to have this everlasting deepening relationship with us, but we are the ones that have pulled away from Him. Why have we pulled away from Him?
And I liked this verse because it explains to us, what is happened in our relationship. Verses found in Isaiah 59 verse 2. It says, context, verse 1, “behold the Lord’s hand is not shortened that he cannot save. neither is his ear heavy that he cannot hear. “
In other words, God is there for us. He is there to hear us. He wants relationship, He wants communication. But verse 2, “your iniquities have separated between you and your God and your sins have hid His face from you that you will not hear. “
And I like what we were talking about earlier Ty, because it tells me that the problem is not with God, the problem is with us.
We are not willing to hear, we are not willing to listen, we’re not willing to communicate. Sin has had its effect upon us. And that is why in verse 3, of Hebrews Chapter 1, God says I’m going to take care of sin because sin has caused a problem between us.
It says here in verse 3, “who being the brightness of His glory”, talking about Christ, “the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of man. “
I love this. By Himself He purged our sins, why, because sin was causing a problem in the relationship. We couldn’t deal with it, He dealt with it.
Yeah, so clearly in these first three verses of Hebrews chapter 1, we encounter God as the ultimate communicator. He takes the initiative, and He comes to us with not just a message in words, but a message in the flesh.
He comes to this world clothed in our very humanity and becomes God’s alternate expression.
I like what it says in one favorite book of mine, that Jesus was God’s thoughts made audible. God’s heart put on display, made visible, God with flesh on, up close and personal, as we have said here and Jesus, when He came to this world in Hebrews Chapter 1.
There are a number of ways, James, in which it is pointed out that it is God we are dealing with here. This is extremely profound to realize in, chapter 1, verse 2, where it says that this person that we are encountering that purged our sins by Himself was the One who made the worlds.
So this is the that Creator of the Universe, the One who made everything in a sense becomes made. He becomes a part of His own creation, and He is the only One that is qualified to purge our sins by Himself.
And there it is emphasis here, He did this by Himself. He did it without human participation, and He did it, we’re told in verse 4, without angelic participation.
Jesus is better than the angels. Angels in verse 4 could not occupy a redemptive position. Later on in chapter 1, verse 14, it’s clear that they are ministering spirits, but they are not redeemers.
There is no way that angels can enter into the actual saving of our souls. God does that by Himself.
And I like this, because it leads into another aspect, another question that comes up often in the Bible, especially in relation to the Old Testament, and that is why did God require all these sacrifices for sin? Why did God require the death of all these animals or death itself?
That is a question that is brought up many times. And the answer to that question is very simple and based in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament. And the answer is this, God did not require sacrifices for sin. God did not require animals to die for sin. Sin required that.
Sin leads to death and all those sacrifices were God’s way of trying to help us to understand that one truth. The wages of sin is death. This is what sin does.
God is trying to communicate that to us the reality of what sin does, because He has, in the context of sin stepped in and stopped us from experiencing that consequence.
This is a loaded term here, James when it says that He by Himself purged our sins. Because when we fast-forward and will get there in greater detail, but will we fast forward to Chapter 9, verse 26 of Hebrews.
It says that Jesus appeared once at the end of the ages to put away sin. Similar to this phrase purge sin, by the sacrifice of Himself. It’s God coming to this world and making the sacrifice, not requiring the sacrifice.
I mean, I guess there’s a sense in which He is requiring that in and of Himself, but He knows that we can’t in any way make a sufficient sacrifice for our sins.
It is as if God is saying to us, it’s your sin that has caused suffering and death to Me, because I have willingly subjected Myself to be your Redeemer and your Savior; because this is not something you can achieve. You can’t fulfill this.
Exactly, in fact, Isaiah Chapter 1, verses 11 and 12. This is God talking to us. We are asking Him why did He want all these these sacrifices for sin? Why was He wanting all these animals to be killed? This is God talking to us, this is God asking us the same question?
Isaiah 1 verse 11. “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? don’t bring it to Me anymore. “
This is God speaking back to us. This is God talking to us. This is God communicating to us.
I am not interested in all those sacrifices. Sin required that and sin leads to death. Sins reward is death and death is an enemy of God.
1 Corinthians 15, Paul tells us clearly there, death is the last enemy that God will destroy.
So why is God allowing this system be set up in the first place? Because He wants to instruct us and teach us what sin does.
Yeah that’s right, it is a fascinating thing, that when we look at Scripture, the prophets and the Apostles are bringing out this powerful insight.
For example in 2 Corinthians 5:19 we have these words. “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. “
So, what we are witnessing in Jesus Christ, what we are witnessing at the cross, specifically, is monumental self-sacrifice. We are witnessing the God of the Universe making this self-sacrifice.
God’s love is on display with unprecedented glory at the cross of Jesus Christ. And this is the theme of something better, this is the focus of the book of Hebrews.
It opens right up here in Hebrews Chapter 1. It introduces to us a personal God, who has personally taken responsibility for our sins and we’re to continue with this same theme in just one moment. So don’t go away we’ll be right back.