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[1]

          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.


Hebrews 1:1-3  "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, (2) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by 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 purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high."


          Now, look at verse 4.


Hebrews 1:4  "Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they."


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).


Philippians 2:9-11  "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: (10) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; (11) And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."


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.


Hebrews 1:5  "For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?"


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).


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.    At His Transfiguration (Matthew 17:5).


Matthew 17:5  "While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him."


3.    At His Resurrection ((Ps. 2:7; Rom. 1:4; Heb. 5:5).


Psalms 2:7  "I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee."


Romans 1:1-4  "Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (2) (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) (3) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; (4) And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:"


Hebrews 5:5  "So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee."


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).


John 1:1-2  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) The same was in the beginning with God."


John 17:1-4  "These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: (2) As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. (3) And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (4) I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. (5.) And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was."


Hebrews 1:6  "And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him."


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


Hebrews 1:7  "And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire."


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).


Hebrews 1:8  "But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom."


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.


Psalms 45:6-7  "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. (7) Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows."


Hebrews 1:9  "Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows."


“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).


Colossians 1:14-18  "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: (15) Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: (16) 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. (18) And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence."


Hebrews 1:10  "And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:"


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.


Hebrews 1:11  "They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;"


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).


Romans 8:19-22  "For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. (20) For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, (21) Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. (22) For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now."


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).


Isaiah 51:6  "Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished."


Hebrews 13:8  "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."



Hebrews 1:12  "And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail."


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).


Job 19:23-27  "Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! (24) That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever! (25) For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: (26) And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: (27) Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me."


Hebrews 1:13  "But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?"


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.


Hebrews 1:14  "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?"


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!



[1] Wichita Falls, TX – (11/3/99)