Temple Baptist Church - 9-19-2018
A. The way that Paul, through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, is vital to these dispersed Jews or, as Peter called them, “strangers scattered.” It will help us to remember that the Book of Hebrews is one of the Jewish Christian Epistles.
B. For us to get an understanding of why these first four verses are necessary, we need to remember:
1. At the time of Hebrew’s writing, the Jews were still having problems transitioning from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant. From the Law of Moses to the fulfillment of the Law in Christ.
2. As with most of the Jewish Nation, those who believed upon Christ had been taught that when Messiah came, He would bring peace to Israel and set up His kingdom.
3. The believed upon Jesus Christ as the Messiah and had to scatter for fear of persecution. Instead of peace and the Kingdom Age, they were persecuted, displaced, and hated by both unsaved Jews who rejected Christ and the gentiles that they lived around.
C. To understand their dilemma, I want to look at John the Baptist.
1. John the Baptist was a second cousin to the Messiah, Jesus Christ, on His human side. Being 6 months older that the Lord, they grew up together, so John knew Joseph, Mary, and all of the siblings.
2. When John began his public ministry, he said, “There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.”
3. When God revealed to John that Jesus was the Messiah, twice in two days he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.”
4. In John, chapter 3, John said, “He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.”
5. I have no doubt that John the Baptist was a believer and safe in the arms of God!
6. BUT, when persecution came to John, doubts about Christ arose in his heart. Matthew 11:2-4 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, (3) And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? (4) Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: (Notice the word “again” in verse 4.)
7. Even John the Baptist, the greatest prophet born of woman, needed reassurance concerning Jesus Christ being the Messiah.
D. Paul is doing the same thing that our Lord did for John the Baptist. Reassuring these saved Jews of who Jesus Christ was before beginning the rest of the epistle. What has this to do with us by way of application? I fear that most of us, in times of confusion, tribulation, sinfulness, disappointment, and discouragement also have a tendency to forget who the Lord Jesus Christ is!
E. Paul gives a vivid, 7-fold description of Jesus Christ that these believers were well acquainted with.
1. “God’s Son” - That Jesus was the only begotten Son of God: Jehovah God or LORD God of the Old Testament. The great “I AM.”
John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Matthew 3:16-17 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: (17) And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
2. “Appointed Heir” - That Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah. Christ, consecrated, anointed, the Chosen One the Promised Seed.
Ephesians 1:21-23 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: (22) And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, (23) Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
3. “Creator” – The worlds were made by Him.
John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Colossians 1:16-17 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (17) And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
4. “Fullness of the Godhead Bodily” – Emmanuel, God with us. If you have seen me, you have seen the Father. Jesus exactly represents God to us.
John 14:9-10 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? (10) Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Colossians 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
5. “The Sustainer” – Not only did Jesus create all things, He continues to control all things.
Mark 4:39-41 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. (40) And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? (41) And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
Colossians 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
5. “The Lamb of God” – The Old Testament sacrifices atoned for sin, Jesus Christ purged our sins.
John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
6. “High Priest” – Presented the Blood on the Mercy Seat of heaven.
Hebrews 7:26-27 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; (27) Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
7. “Mediator” – Jesus Christ is all that we need. Not only our Propitiation and Hight Priest, He is:
a. Our Advocate – One who speaks on our behalf. 1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
b. Our Mediator – Our Go Between, our Reconciler. 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
c. Our Intercessor – He prays for us. Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
Conclusion: Paul is telling these “strangers scattered” that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, their Messiah, is all that they need.