Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20101027.htm
THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Hebrews: The Superiority Of Christ To Errant Religions
Part II: The Superiority Of Christ To The Angels And Created Heavenly Beings, Hebrews 1:4-2:18
B. Christ's Superiority In His Salvation Proclamation To That Of The Angels And Created Beings
Lesson: The Christian Gospel came from the Creator of the Universe, and was confirmed by miracles and God's spiritual gifts, so we dare not exchange it for another by any angel or other created being!
- The Mormons say Joseph Smith got "the fulness of the everlasting Gospel" from an angel Moroni (Salem Kirban, Mormonism (1971), p. 18) and Muhammad held the angel Gabriel came to him in a cave in Saudi Arabia with the true religion ("The Man From Mecca: Muhammad, Founder of Islam," SIM NOW, July-August, 1989, p. 2-3). Indeed, other groups claim to have received visionary appearances of angels or the Virgin Mary ("Our Lady of Fatima", the Marian Movement's "Mary," et al.) who assert the truth.
- Hebrews 2:1-4 in its historical context has application for us on such claims, so we view it (as follows):
- Christ's Superiority In His Salvation Proclamation To That Of The Angels And Created Beings.
- As we before learned, the author of Hebrews so early and extensively focused on Christ's superiority to the angels (Heb. 1:4-2:8), some scholars hold the brand of Judaism the epistle's readers were lured to join (Heb. 13:8-14) was one with a "highly developed angelology," Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 781.
- If this was so, Hebrews 1:4-2:8 shows the vast superiority of Christ to angels to where "preoccupation with angelic dignities" was "entirely unnecessary" in opposition to the Judaistic desert cult, Ibid.
- Accordingly, we can apply what the author of Hebrews wrote in Hebrews 2:1-4 about the superiority of Christ's salvation proclamation to that of God's true, heavenly angels, especially as it relates to all angels, be they good, false or demonic, and to alleged proclamations of other created beings like Mary as follows:
- Stephen's testimony in Acts 7:53 indicates God's heavenly angels were present at Mount Sinai helping in the delivery of the Mosaic Law to Moses and the people of Israel.
- Thus, the author's charge in Hebrews 2:1-3 not to neglect the Christian Gospel for the cultic Judaistic gospel they were facing is explained and is applicable to us in our day as follows:
- It is absolutely imperative that we Christians today give earnest heed to the salvation proclamation we have heard lest we should let it slip by yielding to contrasting claims by others, Hebrews 2:1.
- This charge is based on the fact that God severely punished every disobedience in Israel when the Law was given to her in the wilderness by the accompanying ministry of God's angels, Heb. 2:2.
- Let us then not think that we shall escape similar severe divine discipline if we neglect the salvation proclamation of the Lord Jesus Christ today any more than Israel could escape discipline for disobedience to God's Word by the accompanying ministry of God's angels at Sinai, Hebrews 2:3.
- What makes this argument even more forceful is the preceding context: (1) the author of Hebrews started his Hebrews 2:1-4 admonition with the word "therefore" (Hebrews 2:1), connecting his admonition to the previous context. (2) That context established that Jesus Christ was the Creator of the universe unlike the created angels of God (Hebrews 1:7, 10-11), so that, as the Creator, He is infinitely superior even to God's good angels, Hebrews 1:5-6. (3) Thus, if God severely punished Old Testament Jews for violating any part of the Mosaic Law when it was given with the attending ministry of created good angels, we dare not think that we will escape discipline for neglecting the truth given to us by Christ, the Son of God and Creator of the universe! (Heb rews 2:3a).
- Furthermore, the author of Hebrews added that the Christian message of salvation was confirmed to his second generation Christian readers by the first generation Christian eyewitnesses, Hebrews 2:3b.
- This confirmation came by signs, wonders, miracles and gifts of God the Holy Spirit Himself, not just godly angels or other created beings, so God administered these gifts according to His will, Heb. 2:4.
Application: We must hold that Christ's Gospel is the Gospel of the Creator of the Universe Himself in infinite superiority to any other Gospel by any other angel or created being, or we will suffer God's severe discipline! (Note how well this application statement fits Paul's Galatians 1:8-9 admonition!)