Sermons & Sunday Schools

The Supremacy of the Incarnate Son

Full Transcript:

Let us take our Bibles this morning, and turn to Hebrews. We continue in this great epistle this morning. We have already embarked on the journey through Hebrews. According to this book, we cannot return. Once you discover the truth about the supremacy of the Son, you cannot turn back or turn away. You must forever move forward toward an ever-deepening understanding and intimate relationship with your Lord.

As always in my prayer, I pray that through this study if you do not genuinely know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, that you will be led to faith and repentance under its message. This is so that you will follow Him and grow in your love for Him all the days of your life.

If you do know Him, I pray that you would remain forever worshipful and delightfully amazed at the supremacy of the Son. Also that you would not defect from a high Christology, which sadly the church and the world often do.

We cannot defect from a high Christology presented to us in the holy Word of God. We must, according to Hebrews, hold fast to it, learn more of it, and be faithful to proclaim it.

As a review from last time, here are some Jewish Christians that are reading the book of Hebrews. Because of their persecutions and the difficulties living the Christian life, like you might have found in your own life, they were half-inclined to throw in the towel and revert back to their former system of Judaism.

Religion is easy compared to Christianity. Christianity is a full, whole-hearted, whole-life commitment to Christ. Christ wants all of you, not just some of you. He wants all of you right now. They, as we, are hit with an undeniable introduction that is very difficult to dismiss. That is, the God of Christianity, the God of the Bible is a God who speaks.

God did indeed speak! In content, He spoke in a certain manner in the Old Testament. This morning, in our text I want you to see two major points.

The first one is this, that God began speaking. He wanted humankind to know something. He wanted it written down, He wanted it proclaimed, He wanted it to be shouted from the rooftops. He never wanted it to be stuck in a corner or on a shelf where nobody heard or opened it. That is what God’s intention has always been. And yet, men have tried to suppress it, put it down, close it, put it away, and forget it. But that cannot happen, because God speaks. And if God speaks, He will be heard.

Let me pray. Lord, this morning I do ask You in the Word of God, that You would speak again to us. I pray, Lord, that we would have listening ears to hear so that we can respond appropriately and we can give You the glory and honor for it. So that we could be thrilled with the sense that You have given us the supreme revelation in Your Son Jesus Christ. Help us, Lord, to more fully understand that today. In Christ I pray, Amen.

Look at Hebrews 1:1, it says this:

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways.

God spoke in various parts and ways in the Old Testament. When I think of the word used here, “portions,” I think of going to a fine restaurant. They do not just give you a hamburger and fries and plop it in front of you. Instead, you have a little appetizer, salad, main dish, and then before your dessert you may cleanse your palate a bit. You are given the food in portions to enjoy and mull over in your taste buds. So you get the full impact of the flavor of the food.

It goes right to the end with the closing and a beverage. You enjoy the food during a long sitting, it is not fast food. The essence and the taste of the food is an experience. In a very real way, the Lord has spoken in many portions, not all at once.

Genesis 1 and onward, we see hundreds of thousands of years of revelation to this day. Of course revelation stopped with the coming together of the Old and New Testaments, but it is clear that the Lord spoke into history. The Lord wanted us to know His thoughts and to know His plans and purposes. Just as Romans 15:4 says:

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

God has given us the Word of God, the mind of God, the thoughts of God, the plans of God, and the purposes of God so His people at every point in history can have hope. What He was telling them and who He was pointing to, the Lord also spoke in prophecy. But if you look at prophecy, God gave promises yet fulfilled. He gave judgments yet to come, He gave understanding of the future and yet showed us that the Messiah would reign in glory and in His eternal Kingdom.

So He has given portions along the way. He has spoken to us and it was written down. A second thing in verse 1 is that He spoke in “many ways,” multi-faceted ways, which is literal rendering. God, after He spoke long ago the fathers and the prophets, in many portions and in many ways.

Yes, God did speak richly, abundantly and in so many different ways as the Hebrew Scriptures record. But only in fragments, not in completeness. God spoke in dreams, He spoke in visions, He spoke in a burning bush to Moses, He spoke in the pillar of fire when the tabernacle was in the wilderness. But His primary vehicle in which He spoke was through the prophets, as it says in verse 1, “to the fathers and the prophets.”

So there is a line of prophets that spoke on behalf of God and bore testimony to the truth. Men like Moses, Samuel, Isaiah, and Jeremiah, right down to the last prophet of the Old Testament, Malachi. He had the last word on what was going on with the people of God. He had the last word from God to the people and the last word talked about the people going through the forms and rituals without any heart it in, they were hypocrites.

And then 400 years of silence and God raises up John the Baptist and He speaks through John the Baptist who picks up the message of Malachi and begins to proclaim it to the leadership of Israel.

God spoke richly and abundantly but all of it was incomplete. Yes He spoke through Moses, and yet promised to send another prophet. If you look back to Acts 7:37, it quotes from Deuteronomy 18:15. He promised a prophet vastly greater than Moses, even though Moses was responsible for the prophecy.

Look what it says in Acts 7:37:

This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brethren.’

So Moses was not the last word of things. He was actually the beginning of much of what was going to happen. He was the one who spoke and said, “listen there is going to be someone who is going to be great like me, but also greater than me.”

And Deuteronomy adds something to this passage of Scripture in Acts. In Deuteronomy 18:15 it sounds the same, but listen to what it says:

The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.

So Moses way back when said, “listen, over here there is going to be one greater than me. You think it was great for you to come through the Red Sea, for me to lead you through the wilderness, for me to do all these miracles before you as the instrument of God? The pillar of fire to lead us at night and the pillar of cloud by day to show the presence of God in the midst of IsraelÉ you think all that was great? That is nothing compared with the One who is coming. But I want to tell you know so you can tell the next generation, and so that generation can tell the next generation right up until the day when you must listen to the One who is coming. I am pointing to Him.”

God works according to consistent and straightforward unswerving plan. Moses was part of that plan. God’s plan of deliverance and salvation was not just for the people of Israel in bondage. But Moses actually became a picture of the One who would come after him and who would be the greatest of deliverers because the One who would come after him would be a spiritual deliverer. God would provide the ideal ruler to fulfill His promises. The man would be prepared to be the ideal redeemer.

Those who heard the prophets also heard God. Remember the prophets never came up with their own message. It was always a message that God gave them, which they then delivered. It was not something they spun on their own. As a matter of fact, the ones that spun it on their own were the false teachers. And they would even be, in the Old Testament Israel economy, put to death for giving falsehoods to the people.

God spoke. Again and again He spoke, in many different ways but all of them were inferior. It was the apostle John who told us in John 1:17:

For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

That very verse is on a plaque on Mount Nebo in stone, it is written there. It is the only verse that is there. This is where Moses went when God showed him the promise land. God took him on Mount Nebo, and this is the verse that is there. Moses was the one pointing to the One who would be full of grace and truth.

So God definitely from the Word has begun to speak from the Old Testament times, when it was written down. Now, what do we have? We have God saying here in this passage of Scripture in Hebrews 1 that He finished His speaking. God spoke and now He is finished with His speaking. Look at what it says in Hebrews 1:2:

In these last days, have spoken to us in His Son.

So the Word of God is telling us that God has sent His Son who would go beyond Moses and all of the prophets. God now speaks fully and completely in the person of the Son. He makes a comparison here in Scripture between a good that was partial and piecemeal and that came little by little throughout the ages in portions, to something better that came all at once in the person of His Son.

The comparison is between the good and the better. Moses was good but what I am sending is better. Moses and the prophets were partial but what I am sending is definitive. Moses and the prophets and all that was spoken was only partial. I am sending someone who is final.

God finishes His speaking so Scripture is meant to make clear this morning, that God’s revelation in His Son was full, it was final, and definitive in a way that all previous revelations were not. Are you still listening to the Son? Are you listening to God’s final revelation to mankind. He is done giving us Scripture, signs and types. That was done at a portion of time, and now in His Son it all comes together.

Also the writer of Hebrews, whoever he may be, does not mess around getting to the meat. He gives us seven essential things about the One who is the crowning point of divine revelation, Jesus Christ. Let us look at those things. I want to give them to you in a package, all together. Because, all throughout Hebrews each one of the will be brought up again.

So I want you to get a sense of what this writer is saying to the people. If God spoke and He has finished speaking in His Son, then you have to listen to Him because there is nothing else. If you reject this final revelation, there is no other revelation! There is no other message, or anywhere else to go. This is it. So you have to listen.

He gives seven essential things about the Son, about the crowning part of divine revelation. Here is the first thing He says in Hebrews 1:2, it says this:

In these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.

The first thing is the Son is the inheritor of all things. An heir signifies a person who on the death of another becomes the possessor of the other’s property. Usually the son gets the property of the father. But it is unusual here because it is at the death of the Son, that He inherits. Because the Son has to die. So here, the way Christ the Son came to His inheritance is by being placed there, and being appointed by the Father to carry it out.

There are a couple of things about an heir. An heir becomes lord of all that he inherits. In fact, Paul says it like this in Galatians 4:1:

Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything.

In other words, a boy could not inherit. Usually, he had to grow to maturity in order to completely inherit his father’s property. When He did, He owned it all. He was the Lord of everything.

Secondly, an heir takes full possession of all it inherits. If you would like to look with me at Psalm 2:8, we will see that most of the scholars that deal with this passage of Scripture go back to the prophecy that comes out of this passage in Psalms which says:

Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession.

In other words, it is saying here that Christ the Son is the one who is heir of all things, being Lord of every single thing. And then He possesses it completely. I would like to remind you, though, that all those who are true children of God and fellow heirs with Christ, it tells us in Romans 8:16-17:

The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.

So we are inheritors of all things with Christ. Could you imagine that? Wrap your brains around that one. We are worried about all of our little possessions that we have, and the things we do not have. But the Bible is saying that if you are in Christ, you own everything and possess everything.

Of course we do not realize that now by sight, we have to obtain that or hold to that by faith. That is why Hebrews is getting to, that we hold it by faith, why? Because these are God’s truths and revelations to us, and it is definitely true that everything is ours.

A third thing that it says in Hebrews 1:2, is that not only is He the heir of all things but look what it says at the end of the verse:

Through whom also He made the world.

This is getting very interesting. His superiority is seen as the Creator of all. Actually the word translated here, world, maybe a bit misleading because you may be just thinking of the earth. But the Greek word is actual eons. It means that God created the eons that can be translated as the universe. Jesus was the agent in whom and through whom the entire universe of space and time were created. Hopefully you are starting to ask yourself, who is this Son? Who is this who is the apex of revelation? Who is this person that at the very creation when the eons of time began, God made His Son heir of all things, not according to the Son’s deity, but according to the Son’s humanity?

As a Son He inherits it all. In fact, He had to become a Son to inherit. God did not have to inherit anything but the Son did, in the flesh. So because he does, we do. God had to send His Son incarnate into the world so the Son, Jesus, created the hundred thousand million galaxies each containing some hundred thousand million stars. And we know now in an ever expanding universe that Jesus created every speck of dust in the hundred thousand million galaxies. He also created all the sub microscope systems that have no measurable size, or can even be seen.

In other words, Jesus created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them that have their being and have their existence and have their identity and have their function within that system. Outside of that system, there is nothing. This theme is represented all through the Word of God, like the passage of Scripture in John 1:3:

All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

Colossians 1:16 says:

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authoritiesÑall things have been created through Him and for Him.

This is amazing to think that Jesus Christ, the Son, is not only inheritor of all things, but He is the inheritor of all things He created. And we cannot forget, brethren, that the One who redeemed us is the One who created us. Our Redeemer and our Creator are one and the same person.

But do not miss the point because the focus here is not the comprehension of the divine act of creation even though we can get lost in that. The point is the apprehension of the true nature of the Son who is displayed in His full deity in creation. The very power and essence and glory of God is displayed before our eyes, day in and day out even for the things we can see with our eyes, and even those who put things under the microscope who see things you cannot see with just your eyes. There is another life past what I can see.

We gaze into space and we realize that Christ Jesus made all that too. And He made me! This is all too grand to wrap our brains around and yet that is what it is saying here. The One who created me is one in essence and one in power and one in glory with the Father, Jesus Christ the Son.

So He is not only the Inheritor and the Creator, but the fourth thing is that He is also the Radiator. It says in Hebrews 1:3:

And He is the radiance of His glory.

Another word is the effulgence, and in the original there, some tried to translate this as a passive. This would mean that Jesus Christ is the reflection of the Father. But that would be inconsistent with the whole flow of the text. It should be translated as an active adjective.

Jesus Christ is the very beam that comes forth from the light source. It is like the sun has its own light but when we look at the moon glowing, its light source comes from the sun and is reflected. Jesus Christ is not reflected light, Jesus Christ is the very source of light. He is the effulgent light source of God’s brightness in the Word of God.

All the Jews knew what this meant, that any time you see the radiant glory of God going out, that had to do with the Shekinah glory, that had to do with God’s brightness, unmistakable presence among His people. That is why He presented Himself to Moses in the burning bush. God was going to present Himself in light, that is why He presented Himself in the pillar of fire to show His glory amongst His people.

When Paul got saved, remember what He said? At noon when God spoke to him, that the light around him was brighter than the noon day sun. This means that he understood that it was the glory of God. It was the very brightness of God that was shining around him.

And what do people do when that happens? They fall on their faces. Just try one day staring into the sun when it is a really clear, bright day. You cannot do it. You cannot stare into the glory of God. It should bring us right to our faces.

Now, by way of example turn over to Matthew 17:1-2, the whole chapter there talks about God’s inherent glory, that means His glory is not reflected but inherent in Him. A good example is found here on the Mount of Transfiguration, having to do with Jesus. It says in verse 1:

Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. 2 And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.

What was that all about, that the deity of Christ burst forth from within Him showing forth His glory. Theologians refer to this incident as back to Hebrews and John 14 where it mentions that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. It says that we say His glory, most likely referring to the Mount of Transfiguration. This is where they saw the glory of God. Right before them, Christ was transformed.

Jesus Christ is the Radiator. He is the very source of God’s light. He is not the reflected light. Another thing back in Hebrews 1:3, it says also:

And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature.

A fifth thing is that the Son is a representer of all things. The exact representation of His nature. Actually the word here is character. It means a stamp or impression, like a signet ring that kings used to wear and would use to leave the impression of their logo right in the wax, and it would be an exact replica. Another example is a coin that is minted where we see that the coin is the exact representation as the dye in which it was stamped from. Jesus is therefore completely the same in His being as the Father.

When you see the Son, you see the Father. And yet Jesus is also distinct, and I believe that this passage of Scripture gives us that distinction. He is the source of light and He is the exact representation of the Father, yet there is a distinction. Jesus being the second person of the trinity. He is not the Father, He is different in person but the same in essence and being. This is problematic for anyone to wrap their mind around the whole concept of three in one.

It was in John 14 where Jesus was dealing with Philip and the conversation went like this in verse 7-10:

If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” 8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us. 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.

There is a connectedness between the Son and the Father that is taught in the Word of God and communicates that Jesus Christ is not only God but is also given this mission to be man. So you see the Son bear the exact likeness of God’s nature. The divine image and the nature of God has been stamped onto the Son.

You cannot go through the gospels and miss that. Where Jesus goes, things happen, people get healed, demons get cast out, all kinds of things go on when Jesus shows up. When you look in Scripture and see Jesus, well we know what the God of the universe is like.

When you see Jesus, you know somewhat of how God thinks. When you see Jesus, you know how He talks, how He relates to people. We know what His will is as prescribed in the Word of God. God has spoken in His Son. There is no one like Him. There is no other way to be saved. You see who He is, see how you cannot get around this introduction?

Here is a fifth essential thing that we find in Hebrews 1:3. It says in the middle of the verse:

He upholds all things by the word of His power.

Jesus did not create and then let His creation continue on its own, like many philosophers have concluded. No, but He upholds it all, He bears it, He carries it. Jesus actively exerts His divine power every single day in the conservation of creation by keeping it from sinking back into its original state of confusion and nothingness, as you find in Genesis 1.

He not only created it, He holds it together. If you and I are still here, and the world is still here, He is still holding it all together. God is actively, right now, in your and my life keeping things where they ought to be. In Hebrews 11 we will read “by faith, we understand that the world was prepared by the Word of God. So that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”

And then you come to the gospels again and look at what happens. Jesus is dealing with His disciples and they are in the boat together in Luke 8, and the winds are surging and the waves are coming over the boat, and they are getting scared to death. They ask Jesus if He cares about them because they will perish. And what does Jesus do? He gets up and He stops the wind and the waves right in the middle of a violent storm.

What happened to the disciples? Jesus said to them, “where is your faith?” The disciples asked themselves, “Who is this? That commands even the wind and thew water and they obey Him?” Who is this? He is more than a man! He is more than a prophet! That is what they are concluding in their minds. Exactly what God designed. They are concluding that He is God and He is has full authority over and keeps everything from falling apart. That is why pretty much in the end, when the Lord says He will not hold it together anymore, it will all fall apart.

That is why at the judgment, Heaven and earth will pass away. God says you are done. We know that Jesus, too, is given authority to judge so the Son is the sustainer of all things.

A sixth thing in Hebrews 1:3, the Son is the Savior of all the redeemed. Look how He says it at the end of the verse:

When He had made purification of sins.

The purging of sin belongs only to the priest. Jesus is the superior High Priest. He not only offers the last sacrifice and the final sacrifice, but apart from the Old Testament priests He is the sacrifice. Which makes Him completely different from the Old Testament priesthood. This is where the fullness of the divine character is displayed in His dying love.

It was John who said, “No man has seen God at any time. The only begotten God who was in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.” He has exegetes Him. Where does He exegete God the most? On the cross. God’s attributes were exhibited in creation and in God’s providential workings all along, but ultimately in the work of redemption. In that alone, His full excellence appears. Nothing could have obliterated the abominable mountain of sin that we have committed and cleansed the indelible stain of sin that has been left on the mark of our guilty souls.

Therefore God thought it best and most for His glory to ordain the mediatorial work of His incarnate Son so that He would take away the sins of His people. Accordingly, by the sacrifice of Jesus this great mountain of our sins was removed and cast into the depth of the sea. This indelible stain on our consciouses, and on our souls was washed as white as snow by His shed blood on the cross.

Only in Christ are His perfections fully realized. As the text says, He had made purifications for our sins. He has cleansed us completely before the Father, and before God’s justice and righteousness. You see what He is getting at and what His argument is. You cannot get away from Jesus, not when you see Him like this.

I am responsible to Him as Creator, Sustainer, as a representation of God, and in every facet as the Savior. Without His redemption, there is no redemption or salvation! That is the great point that He makes.

There is one last thing in Hebrews 1:3, that the Son is the Finisher of all things. If God said, “This is my final revelation to you, then this final revelation finishes and seals up all revelation.”

Look what it says at the end of verse 3:

He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

This whole visual thing of sitting down really has to do with work accomplished and finished. It assumes His position of authority too. It was in Acts 2:34 that it said:

For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “sit at my right hand.”’

Look at Hebrews 12:2 for a minute:

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

He is sitting down at the right hand of the throne of God. It says also in Hebrews the majesty on high, and that is the attribute of one who is a king, one who was mighty, one who has majesty, one who has honor, and one who is God. That is why it says in Acts 2:33-34:

Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. 34 For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “sit at my right hand.”’

The right hand of authority, the rightful place of Christ. No one else has finished like Christ has finished. So Jesus has been displayed in this segment of Scripture as the apex of divine revelation in which Jesus fulfills the office of prophet, of priest, and of king. He is the Finisher of all that God has spoken. Therefore, the incarnate Son is the superior revelation of God, that God has spoken in His Son and it is His ultimate communication to humanity. It is His final word to humanity.

It shows the superiority of the Son. Now why all that? We will not get to it this morning, but look at Hebrews 2:3. Here is the question:

How will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?

That is the warning at the end of the introduction. If you ignore, if you deny, if you neglect God’s highest and final revelation, how will you escape? How will you do it?

Of course the answer to this rhetorical question is that you will not escape, but you will forever be under God’s righteous wrath. Why? Because God began speaking in many portions and in many different ways and finished speaking in Christ. The book is closed and the message is complete. Now respond to it.

It also should bring to us as Christians a very serious look about our Christian walk. We should not take sin lightly and think we can have sin and can have God too, like it is not a big deal. We cannot presume that God will forgive us even though He is a forgiving God. No, God is serious about sin and punishment. He will bring them to pass.

Are you listening? Are you believing and following Him? That would be just some of the conclusions this morning to this message. If you are not, please today is the day that you need to make right before God and come in repentance and faith and believe in God’s final revelation and what He has accomplished on behalf of sinners.

And if you are saved, please be serious about your Christian walk and life! Do not neglect it and set it aside as if it does not need nurturing and constant pruning. It needs that all the time so that it will grow and expand.

That is why we get to Hebrews 5 and he is rebuking them for what? Not being teachers, because they have not been growing. Something shut them down. We have to be warned about the same thing. So, in one way it is a grand and glorious message. To begin to think about Christ like this, it is a whole new way of thinking.

I cannot bring Him down to just be a carpenter or a good teacher, or someone who only had a good ethical and moral story. If I can conclude that, you might as well take this portion of Hebrews and cut it out. You would make the Bible like Jefferson made his, whatever he did not like He took out.

But we cannot do that! We cannot discard this introduction. This applies to all mankind. And if you are believers and are walking with the Lord, what a privilege it is to know this and hear it. What a gift of God to allow these things to come into our ears, to seep into our minds, and to begin to reorganize the computer so that we could look at things the way God wants us to, that will be liberating and free and in a way that honors God. Even in our imagination, thoughts, and doing of life. It is a privilege to be able to know this about Christ.

Do you see that you cannot go back? Do you see that you cannot go back the way you came, you have to go forward. He who puts his hand to the plow, looks back and is not worthy in the Kingdom of God. So keep looking forward and keep pressing on. Keep having your eyes fixed on the One who is the Finisher, and Author of your faith. Amen?

Let’s pray. Lord, thank You, for this portion of Scripture. It is awesome to think upon in the way the Scriptures have revealed You, Lord. It keeps us from the reverted interpretations of many scholars, many schools and liberals. I pray, Lord, that we would always continue to press on toward the high calling of Jesus Christ.

I ask You, Lord, that You would work Your Word into our hearts, minds and souls until we understand, Lord. Until we see what You want us to see, hear what You want us to hear, and do what You want us to do.

Lord, thank You for not giving up on us and for always speaking to us. Thank You, Lord, so much that we are even able to hear this. We give You praise, honor and glory because You are exalted. You sit at the right hand of the Father in majestic glory. Thank You for so great a salvation. Since You have done this, no one can take it from us. Thank You. I pray this in Christ’s Name, Amen.