Apr 23, 2023. Hebrews 1:1-4

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CHRIST: SUPERIOR TO ANGELS. Hebrews 1:1-4. 4/23/2023. #1.

1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself [d]purged [e]our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

1. A letter to Jewish Christians

                a. Addressed to the Hebrews (no location given)

                b. Traditional view = Paul wrote Hebrews, though he did not sign it

                c. Modern view = either Barnabas or Apollos wrote the epistle (Hebrews 2:3 neither had seen Christ on earth) + though Paul’s theology, the style is different

                d. Theme = Jesus is superior or better (used 15 times) than angels, Moses, Joshua, & the priests)

                                a1. Jewish converts tried to hold onto the Law

                                a2. Writer shows that Jesus surpassed the Law

                e. Date: before the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD since writer uses priestly sacrifice in present tense

2. Ministry in the Old Testament

                a. There is no greeting at the beginning of the book

                b. The author starts with a summary statement outing both identifying Jesus & his ministry

                c. Before Christ, God spoke to man through prophets

                                a1. Prophets had 3 ministries: to reveal the will of God; to warn Israel to repent or face

                                       judgment; to reveal God’s future plans & purposes (particularly about Christ)

                                a2. The prophets held a place of teaching before the coming of Christ

                d. Prophets came at different times & ways

                e. Main job of the prophet was warning

3. God has spoken to us in last days through His Son

                a. The church age is the last days

                b. God’s Son = heir to all things (1 Corinthians 15)

                c. Christ has a multiple-fold ministry:

                                a1. Creator – made all worlds (lit., all ages – aeons) = the universe & time (Colossians 1:15-18)

                                a2. The exact image of God – of the same essence of his Father (Colossians 2:6-15)

                                a3. Sustainer of all things – everything in the universe is held together by the power of his word (Colossians 1:15-18)

                                                b1. If Christ ceased to hold all things together, everything would vanish

                                                b2. Apart from Christ there is no substance or reality (not self-sustaining)

                                                b3. Existence depends on Christ

                d. Christ’s divine being asserted

                                a1. The author begins a long treatise on the divinity of Christ & his superiority to all


                                a2. Jesus is all glorious (an expression used only of God)

                                a3.The express image of God – not only does Christ exhibit the glory of God, but he is of the exact same essence of the Father

                e. The redemptive work of Christ

                                a1. Purged sins (catharsis) – to completely cleanse from sin (a removal of sins)

                                                b1. “Our” sin = sins of believers

                                                b2. Purging of sin is complete in Christ’s atonement on the cross

                                a2. After his cross work, Christ sat down on the right hand of the Father (making intercession for us (Hebrews 4:14-16; 7:24-25, Revelation 12:10-12)

                f. “Had become so much better than the angels”

                                a1. Christ was always superior to the angels

                                a2. His ministry “became” better than the angels in that they ministered, but Christ saved through his redemptive work

Key verse: Colossians 2:6-156 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. 8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. 11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.