Like it or not, Jesus Christ is God’s spokesman today. The Hebrews writer, attaches a series of phrases to the basic declaration, “God has spoken” (Heb 1:1). “In time past” tells us God has spoken before (recorded in the Old Testament). “In various times and in various ways” tells us He spoke in time past on multiple occasions, “to the fathers” (to different people like Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses), “by the prophets” (through a variety of men who delivered God’s message). In verse two, a new time element is introduced: “In these last days” (the time of Christ), God has spoken, “to us,” which gives us a different audience, one that includes Gentiles also. God has spoken, “by His Son”, which gives us a different speaker. The way God spoke in times past has changed. He now only speaks through His Son Jesus Christ, which necessarily rules out the Law of Moses, visions, prophecies, and modern-day revelations.
We have the assurance that Jesus is God’s final spokesman by how He is characterized in verses 2 and 3: He has been, “appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds,” and is, “the brightness of God’s glory and the express image of His person.” He is, “upholding all things by the word of His power.” After having, “purged our sins, He has sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Jesus Christ, being God the Son, has all power and authority and is reigning right now in His kingdom (Matt 28:18; 1 Tim 6:15; Rev 1:9). We need to heed Him and Him only (Heb 2:1-3). In fact, the Holy Spirit inspired writer later declares, “See that you do not refuse Him who speaks” (Heb 12:25a). Will you hear Him or refuse Him? – By Shawn Smith
Among God’s blessings, enjoyed by almost everyone, is the blessing of friendship. The right kind of friendship is important (Jas 4:4; 1 Cor 15:33), but there is comfort and advantage in having a friend (Prov 17:17; 18:24; Ecc 4:9-12). Friendship is conditional (Jas 2:23; John 15:14). When we meet the conditions of friendship with God, the blessings are overwhelming (Mal 3:10; Luke 6:38). What kind of friend is the Lord Jesus Christ?
1. JESUS IS DEPENDABLE
- The promise (John 14:23)
- The outcome (Eph 3:14-21)
2. JESUS IS NEARBY
- When lonely (2 Tim 4:17; Phil 4:4-5)
- When lost (Acts 17:27)
3. JESUS IS COMFORTING
• Every circumstance (Heb 2:18)
4. JESUS IS HELPING
- Every prayer (Phil 4:11-13; Heb 13:6).
5. JESUS IS ENCOURAGING
- Best response (John 6:1-14)
6. JESUS IS LONGSUFFERING
- Our errors/sins (Luke 22:31-32)
7. JESUS IS PRAYING
- Our advantage (Heb 7:25; 1 Jn 2:1)
8. JESUS IS CORRECTING
- Total honesty (Matt 16:21-23; Prov 27:6)
9. JESUS DID DIE
- For you (John 15:9-10, 13)
Are you moved by His love and friendship?
Will you return His love and friendship (John 15:14)?
Paul used the example of Christ to encourage the Corinthians to give more liberally: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Cor 8:9). Jesus “became poor” in that He willingly left His place at the Father’s side in Heaven to come to this world of sin and sorrow to live as a humble Servant. He made the ultimate sacrifice by offering His body to suffer and die on the cross (Phil 2:5-8). It is through this great sacrifice that we can “become rich.” There are many reminders of that in Paul’s letter:
- We can have comfort in our afflictions (2 Cor 1:3-7).
- Though our outward man is perishing, our inward (spiritual) man is being renewed daily (2 Cor 4:16).
- Despite our temporary sufferings, we have an eternal weight of glory awaiting us (2 Cor 4:17); an eternal home in heaven (2 Cor 5:1).
- We have unending fellowship with Christ (2 Cor 5:8).
- We are a new creation in Christ (2 Cor 5:17).
- We are reconciled back unto God through Christ (2 Cor 5:18-20).
- Though we are guilty of sin, we can have righteousness through Christ (2 Cor 5:21).
- We are God’s people; His sons and daughters (2 Cor 6:17-18).
- God will furnish us to be able to do every good work (2 Cor 9:8).
If Jesus was willing to give everything when we had nothing, are we not able to follow His example and give what we can to further the cause of Christ and help our brethren who are in need? — By Heath Rogers
The theme of Scripture is “good news” to all who know and accept it. But why did God carry out His plan to redeem us – from sin – in the way that He did? What are His reasons? We all need to know the answers to these three questions.
I. WHY REQUIRE DEATH?
A. Suitable penalty for sin (1 John 3:4; Gen 2:17; 3:7-8, 19, 23-24 – Isa 59:1-2; Rom 6:23)
B. Atonement for sins (Lev 17:11-12; Heb 9:22)
1. Only One would do (Heb 10:4-10; Psa 40:6-8; Heb 2:9)
II. WHY REQUIRE HIS SON?
A. Perfect man for a perfect man (1 Pet 2:22; Isa 53:9)
B. Unblemished sacrifice restores unblemished state (1 Pet 1:18-19)
III. WHY REQUIRE A CROSS?
A. Physical torture
B. Mental anguish: betrayal, denial, forsaken, mocked, blasphemed, rejected, stigma
1. Proof of divine love (Rom 5:8; John 15:13)
2. Curse of sin (Deut 21:22-23; Gal 3:13; Rom 3:23)
3. Suffering for the right (1 Pet 2:18-25)
4. Power over Satan (Heb 2:14-16; Acts 2:22-24; Rom 4:25)
5. Power to draw us to God (John 12:32)
Have you received the benefits of Jesus’ death (John 1:10-13; Eph 2:4-8; Col 1:5)?
Are you yet, a son or daughter of God (Gal 3:26-27)?
Matthew 28:1-15; John 20:30-31. Today we come to the most important miracle (Rom 1:1-4). Never had anyone witnessed a dead person coming back to life – by His own power (cf. Heb 11:35). But the disciples should have expected it (Mark 8:31).
I. BELIEVING HISTORICAL WITNESSES
A. Women (Matt 27:61: 28:1; cf. Acts 10:40-41)
B. Peter, John (John 20:3-8)
C. Thomas (John 20:25-28)
D. Paul’s list (1 Cor 15:3-8)
E. Soldiers (Matt 28:11-15)
1. He is alive! Claims proven (Matt 16:16-20; Matt 20:28; John 10:10; 14:6)
II. BELIEVING CURRENT FACTS
A. Jesus raised to prove divinity (Rom 1:4-5)
B. Jesus raised to receive dominion/kingdom (Dan 7:13-14; Acts 2:36-41)
C. Jesus raised to God’s right hand (Mark 16:19; Acts 2:33-35)
D. Jesus raised for our justification (Rom 4:25; Col 2:11-13; 1 Pet 3:18-22)
E. Jesus raised for our intercession (Heb 7:24-25)
1. To believe it, is to speak it (2 Cor 4:13-14)
III. BELIEVING FUTURE FACTS
A. He will return (1 Cor 11:26)
B. He will raise the dead (1 Cor 15:20; John 5:28-29)
C. He will judge the living and dead (John 12:48; Matt 25:31-46; 2 Cor 5:10; 2 Tim 4:1)
D. He will transform the believer’s body (Phil 3:21; 1 John 3:2)
E. He will give the believer eternal life (John 11:25-26)
1. Life — is living in God’s presence!
After you have come to know all there is to know about the Christ,
can you truly just walk away from Him?