Wednesday, 15 January 2014

HEBREWS 1:1-2a - GOD HAS SPOKEN

RGHP/1              Hebrews 1&2 - 'Such A Great Salvation '         PSC 5/1/14 pm
GOD HAS SPOKEN
v1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, v2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son,
Is there a God? What is he like? Can we know Him? What does he require of us? YES, affirms Hebrews, He has spoken. 'God is there and he is not silent!' We believe in Revelation. Without it we are lost in the dark, cast adrift on human ingenuity, prey to subjectivity (it feels right!). With revelation life is...well exciting! It is not pointless, God has spoken, he has plans and purposes for us. We can know him.
1. GOD HAS SPOKEN IN THE PAST
[1] Long ago - reminds me of Story Time' - Once Upon A Time....
Beautifully crafted sentence - the writer wants you to listen. Written to be read out loud, using alliterations, illustrations, exhortations, applications, warnings and appeals.
[2] at many times - not just at one time. He spoke to Adam, Eve, Cain, Noah, Abraham, Isaac & Jacob; Joseph, Moses, Samuel, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel...Malachi.
[3] and in many ways - (a) The Means - 'Face to face'; dreams, visions, inspiration; (b) The Manner - history, wisdom, proverbs, psalms, prophetic writings, law, etc,
[4] to our fathers - God's people of the past. A shared faith, not necessarily shared genes - Gals 3:7 it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.
[5] by the prophets - 2 Peter 1:20-21. The OT is the inspired, infallible, inerrant, word of God.
Did you think God created us with the ability to communicate with one another and yet he cannot speak to us himself?
Do not neglect the OT. Explore those parts you have never traveled before. What plan do you have for reading the Scriptures?
2. GOD HAS SPOKEN TO US
[1] but - we sense something even greater is coming.
[2] in these last days - expectations rise even more for last days is an OT expression for the fulfillment of the promises of God given through the prophets.
Isaiah 2:2 It shall come to pass in the latter days.
Daniel 10:14 ..and came to make you understand what is to happen to your people in the latter days.
The coming of the word of God spoken by the Son marks the initiation of the last days, inaugurating the time of fulfillment.
Heb 9:26...he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages.
We are in the last days! Heb 10:25..encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
[3] he has spoken to us by his Son, Revelation continues, and in an even greater way for it comes by His Son. Not just his words, but all his actions, his obedience, death, resurrection and ascension. Hebrews will help us understand how the OT relates to the NT. God has spoken by his Son. and everything changed - Heb 8:13; 10:1
The Son is the climax of God's revelation. It is all about Christ. After 13 letter all beginning Paul to...Hebrews opens with No Name, No Address & No Date! Unknown to us but known to his readers - Heb 13:18-19. They all knew Timothy - Heb 13:22
14 possible writers. Why not Paul? Heb 2:3 & Gal 1:11-12;
"The most important thing Hebrews tells us about the author, whoever he was, is that in the first decades of the Christian movement, another remarkable mind and heart besides Paul's was at work in interpreting the significance of the crucified and raised Messiah Jesus for the understanding of Scripture, of the world, and of human existence." (Luke Timothy Johnson)
He has a Pastors heart. His letter is Heb 13:22 a short 'word of exhortation' - see Acts 13:15; a sermon in a letter. We all need exhorting to keep going - Hebs 10:36a, 12:1b.
The identity of the preacher doesn't matter. George Whitfield said:
Let the name of Whitefield perish, but Christ be glorified.
Let my name die everywhere, let even my friends forget me, if by that means the cause of the blessed Jesus may be promoted.
But what is Calvin, or what is Luther? Let us look above names and parties; let Jesus be our all in all—So that He is preached. . . . I care not who is uppermost. I know my place . . . even to be the servant of all.
I am content to wait till the judgement day for the clearing up of my reputation; and after I am dead I desire no other epitaph than this, “Here lies G.W. What sort of man he was the great day will discover.”



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