Sermon #3 Hebrews Notes
Title: CHRIST IS BETTER THAN ANGELS
Text: Hebrews 1:4-14
Readings: Rex Bartley and Bob Poncer
Subject: Christ’s Superiority over Angels
Date: Tuesday Evening – November 2,1999
Tape # V-49b
The theme of the Book of Hebrews is found in the opening line of verse 4. – Christ is better. It appears that this Epistle was written because some of the Jews who had professed faith in Christ were being enticed to go back to the legal yoke of bondage and the ceremonies of carnal, legal worship. As in our own day, so from the beginning of this gospel age, there were many who tried to mix law and grace, carnal worship and spiritual worship, Moses and Christ.
Therefore, the Holy Spirit gave us the Book of Hebrews. The purpose of this entire Epistle is to show us that all the Mosaic, Levitical law of the Old Testament was only given to be a temporary picture of our Lord Jesus Christ and of that redemption and salvation which he accomplished for his people.
The title of my message tonight is – Christ Is Better than Angels.
Proposition: The angels were venerated by the Jews, and worshipped by many, as the highest creatures of God. Therefore, the Book of Hebrews begins by showing us the infinite superiority of Christ over those heavenly creatures.
Hold your Bibles open on your laps; and we will look at this passage line by line and verse by verse. In verses 1-3, we see who Christ is and what he has done.
Now, look at verse 4.
As I said before, This verse sounds a note that shall be sounded throughout the Book of Hebrews. – This Epistle was written to show us the excellence, superiority and glory of the Lord Jesus Christ over all creatures, all covenants, all priests and all sacrifices.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is better than the angels by virtue of his eternal divinity; but he was made better than the angels as a man, as the God-man, by virtue of his success as our Mediator and Surety (vv. 1-3; Phil. 2:9-11).
This verse was written to discourage the worship and adoration of angels (Rev. 22:8,9). Neither angels nor men are to be worshipped, but God alone (Acts 10:25,26; Matt. 23:8-11).
Christ is, in all things, better than, superior to, and more excellent than the angels, by an infinite degree.
1. He is the Creator. They are his creatures.
2. He is the King. They are his subjects.
3. He is Independent. They are dependent upon him for all things.
4. He is the One worshipped. They are his worshipers.
5. He is the Master. They are his servants.
6. He is the One who sends. They are sent by him.
7. He is the One who blesses. They are blessed by him.
God never said to any angel, “Thou art my Son.” That title is given to the Lord Jesus Christ alone. When did the Lord God say to Christ, “Thou art my Son?”
1. At His Baptism (Matthew 3:16-17).
2. At His Transfiguration (Matthew 17:5).
3. At His Resurrection ((Ps. 2:7; Rom. 1:4; Heb. 5:5).
Christ is the Son of God by nature. He is God!
Angels are the sons of God by creation.
God’s elect are the sons of God by adoption.
Our Lord’s office as the Messiah and our Mediator is not the foundation of his sonship. His sonship is the foundation of his office. He was the Son before he was the Prophet, Priest and King (John 1:1,2; 17:1-5).
When our Lord Jesus Christ came into the world, the angels of God were called to worship the incarnate God, and they gladly did so. We see the angels worshipping him as God, and serving him as their Master with willing hearts in many places (Luke 2:9-14; Mark 1:13; Luke 24:2-5; Acts 1:10,11).
· At His Birth
· After His Temptations
· In the Garden
· At His Resurrection
· At His Ascension
The angels of God are created spirits. They often appeared in the Old Testament and in the gospels in the form of a man; but the angels do not have material, physical bodies.
These created spirits are made the “ministers (servants) of God”. They do his bidding; they attend his presence and are ready to do as he commands.
They are called “a flame of fire” because of their power and swiftness, because of their burning love and zeal, and because they are the executioners of God's wrath. The chariot of fire which bore Elijah away were probably angels. Certainly, those chariots of fire surrounding Elisha and his servant were the angels of God (2 Kings 6:17-18).
Do you see how the excellence, glory, and superiority of Christ is set before us in ever-increasing tones? If we were reading scales of music, this passage reads like a great cantata rising rapidly to the crescendo.
To the Son, Jesus Christ, the Father says, “Thy throne, O God, is for ever.” Again, we are here told that the man Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and Savior, is himself God (John 1:1,14; 10:30; Matt. 1:23; Acts 20:28; 2 Cor. 5:19).
1. His throne is an everlasting throne.
2. The sceptre of his kingdom is the sceptre of righteousness.
“Thou has loved righteousness and hated iniquity.” He showed this in casting Adam from the garden, in the flood, in Sodom, in all his dealing with Israel, and most fully and perfectly in working out a perfect righteousness for his us as our Substitute. In the last day, at the bar of God he will all the universe and make every creature see and acknowledge that he loves righteousness and hates iniquity. In that day, every creature shall confess that the sceptre by which he rules is a right sceptre.
The words, “Thy God” refer to both the triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), and to God the Father, for the Father is the God of Christ as man (Eph. 1:3).
Because of what Christ has accomplished as the God-man, our Mediator, he has been anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows (Col. 1:14-18).
Christ Jesus is the Creator of all things. Our Redeemer, our Mediator, our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the sovereign Creator. This verse is addressed to the Son, as indicated in verse 8. Throughout this passage, great emphasis is laid upon the deity, eternality, wisdom, excellence, and glory of Christ, as God the Son.
Everything in this sin cursed earth is marked for destruction. How I wish we could learn this. It is all going to be burned soon. The heavens and the earth in their present form shall pass away (Rom. 8:19-22).
Soon, our Lord will come again. He will purge all creation with fire. He will remove the curse. He will create a new heaven and a new earth, purified and without sin. But Christ remains as he is, without change, the same yesterday, today and forever (Isa. 51:6).
When our clothes wear out and lose their beauty and usefulness, we fold them up, lay them aside and replace them with new garments. That is what our Lord is going to do with this world. When it has served its’ purpose, he will fold it up, put it away, and create something better.
But he is immutable, unchangeable in his nature, in his person, in his offices and in the virtue of his blood and righteousness. To rest and trust in him is never to die or be ashamed (Job 19:23-27).
God the Father never said anything like this to a mere angel. He never promised dominion to them. He did not design a throne for them. This honor was and is reserved for but to the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, alone.
The angels are servants to the Father, to the Son and to his people (his elect “who shall be heirs of salvation”). But how do the angels of God minister to those who shall be the heirs of salvation?
· Before Conversion – Prevenient Grace
· After Conversion – Protection
· At Death – Carrying God’s Lazaruses up to Glory!
· In the Resurrection – Gathering the dust of our flesh!
Let us ever thank God for his holy angels; but we do not worship them. We worship Christ, who created, rules, and sends the angels to keep us in our ways and bring us safely into glory, where we shall be the heirs of salvation forever!
 Wichita Falls, TX – (11/3/99)